Thursday 31 January 2013

Today's Review: McVitie's Double Chocolate Digestives

I can't find a picture of these anywhere on the internet, and I forgot to take my own before I gorged on them, but indeed there are new double chocolate digestives. Digestives are good. Digestives coated in chocolate are even better, so surely double chocolate will be doubly better than the original good? Well, I'm about to tell you.

These are chocolate flavoured digestives, with chocolate chips, coated in chocolate, so really, by established chocolate quantity rules, they could be touted as triple chocolate digestives. They certainly are chocolatey though. They're quite a bit thicker than your average digestive, presumably to get all those chocolate chips in there. So yes, they're better than your average digestive, and even better than your average chocolate digestive. These biscuits are chunky, chocolatey and satisfying, so I suggest you buy some.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Today's Review: Red Bull Red, Silver And Blue Editions

With all these Monsters, Relentlesses, and various other energy drinks that I've imbibed, it's easy to forget the energy drink that started it all for me, Red Bull. It was the only real energy drink I could find for a while, and it will always have a place in my heart, even though the tiny cans for expensive prices put me off nowadays.

But now Red Bull have decided to join the flavour game, coming out with these three special editions that promise the flavour of various fruits, with the effect of Red Bull. We have red for cranberry, blue for blueberry, and silver for lime, because limes are silver and everyone knows that.

I must say I wasn't expecting too much, but the flavours are actually very nice. They mask the pure energy drink taste very nicely, and actually taste like the fruits they're supposed to. While blueberry was definitely my favourite flavour, I think the cranberry more accurately matches the taste of the fruit (or fruit juice) itself. But really, they all taste good, and I've certainly woken up a little from drinking them, so I guess the Red Bull effect is preserved despite them tasting all fruity. So give them a try, though I wouldn't recommend drinking all three flavours in the space of a few hours. I'm not sure when I'll sleep.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Today's Review: Yorkie Man Size Buttons

I've always wondered what Yorkie were thinking of their ad campaign that appeals only to men and straight up banishes women. I mean, men don't eat chocolate, they just eat meat. Still, that hasn't stopped them bringing out this big pack of Man Size Buttons. You see, they're like normal chocolate buttons, but man size. No the size of an actual man, but just obnoxiously big, like big obnoxious men.

Yes, they are very big, way bigger than those big buttons Cadbury have churned out. But those are Cadbury chocolate, so they win by default. I may love a Yorkie bar, especially the raisin and biscuit variety, but in button form the chocolate just tastes cheap. So while the buttons are satisfyingly large, they just taste okay. As a man I expected more, but I guess I'll just go back to my meat.

My rating: 2/5

Monday 28 January 2013

Today's Review: As Seen On TV Stickers

You know how many times I've bought something that I've "seen on TV"? Well, lots of times probably, there are adverts everywhere. But what I don't like is certain products reminding me of the fact that I saw them on TV. For one thing, what if I didn't see this thing on TV? I'm sure it was shown on TV at several times, on several stations, but I hardly watch TV, so I probably didn't see them. So when a product tries to explain itself to me this way, I normally say "So what, you're on TV, you think you're a big deal?", and then I don't get a response because I'm talking to an inanimate object.

But say I did see this product on TV. I don't need the thing to have a big sticker reminding me of the fact. I know what I've watched, I can make informed decisions about my purchases, and I don't need a sticker to help me find my way. I may be coming off as snobby, perhaps these stickers are helpful for people. But I just don't get how they work, or why they're necessary. So you've been on TV, does that mean I should just buy you? Does it?

Still no response. I should stop talking to my Slap Chop.

My rating: 1/5

Sunday 27 January 2013

Today's Review: The Sessions

Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) sends most of his life in an iron lung, after a bout of polio at age six left him paralyzed below the neck and gave him breathing difficulties. After confessing his love for one of his carers doesn't work out too well, Mark, with the support of his priest (William H. Macy) finds Cheryl (Helen Hunt), a sex surrogate who teaches Mark to explore his sexual feelings and abilities in several "hands on" therapeutic sessions.

I had no idea there was even such thing as a sex surrogate, but this is all real life stuff, based on an article written by O'Brien detailing the experience. As such, there is a lot of sex involved in this movie, but there's a lot more to it than that. It's a very intimate look at the life of a man who cannot control his own body, but whose mind is extremely active. John Hawkes does a fantastic job, giving us a wonderful character who provides us with as many warm, funny moments as sad and thoughtful ones. With a great supporting cast too, this is a movie of great performances that feels very cosy and well put together.

The only trouble I really had was with how abruptly it ended. The movie got into the sessions quite quickly, built up the relationships involved, and then just seemed to grind to a halt. Sure, there was a nice ending to everything, but I was longing to find more out about these characters and what happened after. Still, it is called The Sessions, and based on an article about just the sessions, and the main bulk of the movie is a heartwarming, sometimes emotional, experience. I had no idea what this movie was when I went into it, but I certainly enjoyed it.

My rating: 4/5

Saturday 26 January 2013

Today's Review: Sticky Entry Wristbands

Of all the entry themed items you can get, these are the worst, and I really dislike lanyards.

I wore one of these today, and while it wasn't so bad while wearing it, putting these things on is a hazard to hairy armed men like me. If you put one millimetre of the sticky part out of place, hairs will stick and be tugged immediately, forcing you to rip them out to continue your day in comfort. If that's not bad enough, when I get home I normally find out I wrapped it a little too tight, so getting the scissors in to cut it off ends up being a near death experience.

I understand why people use them, they're a cheap, effective way to ensure payment has been made and entry granted. But seriously, I'd take a lanyard any day.

My rating: 1/5

Friday 25 January 2013

Today's Review: The BCG Vaccine

Vaccinations are good things. A few jabs to set you up for life against awful diseases? Sign me up. Though for a few of them I probably wasn't yet self aware, so I guess I'm glad someone else signed me up. But there's one in particular that's left an impression on me, like, physically. Yes, the BCG, or Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (thanks Wikipedia).

Yes, I know, it's great to be safe from tuberculosis, but that BCG jab has scarred mine and many others' arms forever. Most people will see some form of scar tissue and ask how it happened, but this weird scar on the top of everyone's arm has the same story. "Yeah, I went to school one day, and they stuck me with a needle, then my arm scabbed over for a few weeks and now I have an unsightly mark to remind me of that special day."

So yeah, thanks for the no TB, but I wish they'd find a better way of administering it. According to Wikipedia they can also jab you in the buttocks, but that would probably be a bit weird in school.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 24 January 2013

Today's Review: Trop50 Pomegranate & Blueberry Juice

Tropicana have released a new range of juices, one which promises 50% less calories and sugar than other fruit juices. How does it do this? Well, instead of loading up the juice with a load of sugar, Tropicana have harnessed the power of the Stevia leaf, a leaf that has apparently been used for hundreds of years, but has only just been approved for use as a sweetener in real proper food. This fancy extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar, but with zero calories, and I don't know whether I should believe that. Still, companies can't lie about their calorific contents, so I'll accept that this drink certainly has less calories than others. But does this fancy sweetener ruin the taste?

I chose the pomegranate and blueberry flavour because it was on offer, and normally that juice is pretty expensive. Whenever I do have a glass I find my mouth gets quite dry after a few sips, but there must be something about this Stevia extract, because this drink is pretty smooth all the way through. The flavours are certainly bold, but it does leave something of an aftertaste, a feeling that something's not quite right. That's the sweetener at work. It certainly does its job of keeping the drink sweet, but the lingering taste afterwards is very noticeable. Still, the actual juice is very nice, and maybe once we've started using fancy leaves instead of sugar for everything we can all get used to the taste.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Today's Review: Touchscreen Gloves

Life is good, with all our fantastic touchscreen phones that can do everything, but one thing they can't do is make our hands less cold when we use them in winter. But this first world problem is easily solved by picking up a pair of touchscreen gloves. They seemed to be everywhere at Christmas, especially in one of my presents. I'd been suffering after needing to remove my leathery gloves every time I wanted to use my phone, leaving my hands exposed and starting to go numb, so I was pretty happy to get a nice pair of gloves. Most allow just the index finger and thumb to swipe away, but the pair I got give me free reign of all my fingers, and probably my palm, but that would be an awkward way to use a phone.

Suddenly my life has changed, for the month or so that it will be cold enough to wear gloves. Not only can I use my phone while keeping my hands warm, I can also use those self service tills at Tesco while wearing gloves, or anything else that is vaguely touchscreeny for that matter. Touchscreen gloves are a great solution to a new and annoying problem.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Today's Review: Candy Crush Saga

As a gamer, I have lamented the fall of modern gaming in the form of the "social" freemium games that now litter Facebook and the App Store. I have generally stayed away from such things. I've never farmed a ville, or declared war with the Mafia, although I did draw some things for a while. But yesterday I decided to give Candy Crush Saga a try, a game that I had heard about but not really researched effectively. This was my downfall.

Candy Crush Saga is, at its heart, a match 3 game. Get three of the same shape together, they disappear. Four or more, you get a neat little power up in its place, very Bejeweled like in essence (although the first tile swapping and matching game was Panel de Pon, yeah, now I'm doing my research). But there are several types of levels to keep the gameplay fresh. Some levels have pieces encased in "jelly" that you must clear to pass the level, others demand you reach a certain score within a time limit, and some ask you to coax special ingredients to the bottom of the screen by destroying pieces underneath them. Nothing too unique, but the themes swap around enough that you're not doing the same thing over and over.

Sorry, did I say you won't be doing the same thing over and over? Because you will. A lot. While Candy Crush Saga may start off quite easy while it shows you the ropes, it quite quickly becomes very much an unforgiving game of chance. I have played certain levels tens of times before I've managed to just barely pass. Not that I mind too much, it makes it challenging, and makes me determined to beat it. But my problem lies with the fact that this game is clearly designed to be stupidly difficult. While I casually mentioned "freemium" in the first paragraph, this game is just overly obnoxious about it. You see, what makes some of these levels so difficult is that you have to clear the items in a certain number of moves, which get increasingly smaller. If you run out of moves, guess what? You can get some more, but it will cost you 69p. If you don't want to pay for that though, you can forfeit one of your five lives instead (this will happen a lot). If you lose a life it takes 30 minutes to get it back, or you can pay for some more, with your real money. Five lives not enough? Guess what, you can increase your limit to eight, for a cool £11.99. Don't crack open your wallet too soon though, because you can earn power ups that will help you in the tougher levels. Well, you can earn the right to buy them, that is. About £1.50 a time will get you a few helping items that may not even help you anyway. But if you want to go for the special power up that lets you make one special tile per game forever, there's that option too. Only £27.99!

So yes, it's pretty ridiculous the amount of stuff that pops up during casual play to remind you how much better you could be doing if you pay the company a lot of money. I'm sure it works for some, but I am vehemently against the whole system. I have never paid for "freemium" content and I never intend to. I've downloaded a couple of iPhone games that have hindered me to a large extent for not parting with my cash, and they have been swiftly deleted. Thankfully Candy Crush Saga is somewhat bearable. If I run out of lives I can just do something else for a couple of hours, and then try again. The reason I want to try again is because it's a pretty addictive game.

It's very pretty too. The levels are laid out like a Candyland style board game, the candy pieces you need to blow up are bright and colourful, combos explode satisfyingly all over the screen, and some of the power ups are pretty cool too, especially when you can combine two special combo pieces to really wreak havoc on the board. So yes, these people know what they are doing, and have created a challenging, addictive game that looks good and plays well. But the whole freemium aspect has somewhat soured the experience for me. If they just released it at a flat rate like most iPhone games, I might be inclined to give it a bigger score. But at most this is a good game that has sold itself out for a quick buck from impatient social media gamers.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 21 January 2013

Today's Review: Honeycomb Puffs

Yes, it's a new Sugar Puffs cereal. But not content with giving us crunchy honey waffles, or even the regular Sugar Puffs that are honey flavoured to start with, they need to give us Honeycomb Puffs, which are just regular Sugar Puffs with extra crunchy honeycomb pieces mixed in.

Those pieces sure do add a bit of flavour, but they are very crunchy, and provide a stark contrast to the regular soft Sugar Puffs. So whenever I got to a chunk, my teeth weren't really expecting it. Plus it doesn't really do much to add to the flavour, since Sugar Puffs taste like honey in the first place. So all in all I'm not too impressed. They're nice, but somewhat unnecessary, and a bit awkward to eat.

My rating: 3/5

Sunday 20 January 2013

Today's Review: Walking In Fresh Snow

Our area has managed to avoid much of the snow that's been plaguing the country. We had a bit yesterday, but it finally came down properly today, and for a good few hours. I was at work when it started, so when I set off for home there was quite a nice build up in the streets, with more still falling. We all know how awful it is to walk in the streets when the snow has become trodden in and icy, every step could be the one that makes you fall to a premature demise (or just a painful smack). But today it was nice to walk on just nice, fresh snow.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of those flakes crunching beneath your feet. It's satisfying, starting soft, but turning firm, leaving an icy death trap for the next person to step in the same place. It's a nice muffled, scrunchy sound as well, that really captures that feel of winter for me. Sure, I don't like the cold, or the ice, or even the snow falling all over me, but when it's on the floor and I step on it, that's a good thing.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 19 January 2013

Today's Review: Belvita Breakfast Fruit & Fibre Biscuits

I think the packaging here is trying to inform me that these biscuits are for breakfast, what with the sun, the cup of tea, and the incorporation of "breakfast" right there in the title. But really you could eat them any time of day. Although apparently they're designed for breakfast.

Yes, these are breakfast biscuits aimed at the healthy, dieting women of the world. Pop four of these in your face, and you'll be satisfied for the next four hours with a small amount of calories. Maybe I should just eat these all day and watch the weight drop off.

I wouldn't mind actually, they do taste quite nice. I quite like fibre type stuff, and the fruity bits spread throughout the biscuit aren't just big chewy lumps like I expected, it's a nice blended in flavour, making the biscuit nicely textured and fulfilling. Once I decide to start eating healthily, I may well invest in some more of these.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 18 January 2013

Today's Review: Dr. Moo Quick Milk Magic Sipper Chocolate Straws

Yeah, that's what they're called. "Dr. Moo Quick Milk Magic Sipper" It's like they couldn't stop thinking of buzz words, so they kept going until they had to squeeze them over the top of the doctor cow's head light. Speaking of which, I have never seen a doctor with a strap on head light, apart from in stereotypical roles on TV, or apparently on anthropomorphic doctor cows on packaging. But it looks like he's wearing a stethoscope too, so that's okay. Apart from the fact that a cow being a doctor has nothing to do with these straws.

Yes, a whole paragraph and I haven't gotten to the actual purpose of this product. Thankfully it's adequately explained by that spurting diagram at the bottom of the packet. You take an ordinary glass of milk, suck it up through one of these bad boys, and are met with a nice chocolatey milk when it reaches your mouth. That's the theory anyway. At first it just tasted like milk, slightly chocolatey, but not really enough. But as I worked my way down the glass, the chocolatey granules in the straw seemed to break down and wear down quite a bit, giving it more flavour. I guess you could just keep spitting the milk back into the glass and sucking it up again until it was of a desirable strength, but then it would probably be half saliva. 

So yes, these are strange, and not very effective, not that I expected much from 13 for a pound. It's a nice idea I suppose, a novelty for kids and the like, but if I want chocolate milk I'll probably just buy some. Or get some Nesquik, or even eat some Coco Pops. These straws are a strange addition to an already saturated turn-the-milk-chocolatey market.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 17 January 2013

Today's Review: People Who Say "Alright?" Instead Of "Hello"

I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty socially awkward. Sure, I'm fine once I get to know someone, but those first few moments are quite hard for me, because I can't really do small talk. The "How are you"s, the "How was your weekend"s, it's hard for me to form them into a fluid sounding conversation. So imagine my thoughts when someone greets me by saying "Alright?"

Now at first, I think this is a pretty straightforward greeting. No time for hellos, just skip straight to the how do you dos. But if someone says "Alright?" and I say "Yeah", I am then often met with a "How are you?". What do I say to that? I've already informed you that I'm alright, what more do you want from me? It then becomes apparent that the starting "Alright?" was supposed to be some form of greeting instead of a question. But then in some cases, it's not, it depends on the person. It's all very confusing and makes for one socially inept me.

Do you know how many words that you can use to greet someone? Let me tell you, there are lots. Hello, hey, hi, yo, howdy, greetings, salutations, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, not to mention all the other languages you can use if you want to be thoroughly amusing. There are also the wordless forms, like a wave, salute, or nod. With so many options, how did a one word question intended to find out the wellbeing of a person become the greeting? I don't like it, it makes me nervous. But I guess that's just me. Other people have clearly gotten used to it. Maybe adopting it will be the start of my road to recovery. But at the moment I don't like it.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Today's Review: Chocolate Coins

Here I am, working my way through the dregs of the holiday chocolate. I can't very well start eating healthily when there's still unhealthy stuff hiding in dark corners, can I? So in front of me is a stack of chocolate coins, the cheap chocolate variety. I know there are Cadbury's ones that are quite nice, but we never seem to get those. Instead I'm stuck with these oversized advent calendar chocolates wrapped tightly in foil.

It's not too hard to open them, I must admit, but there is a certain amount of effort involved that makes me wonder if it was worth the reward. You've got to get your nail right into the groove, twice, to get to the chocolatey centre, and there's always going to be some chocolate shaving fallout under your fingernail. Why are they wrapped like this? Why must it be this way? What's even the point of coin shaped chocolate? You can tell they're made of chocolate just by looking at them, giving them the markings of an actual 10p isn't helping anyone.

I just don't get it really. These things are snatched up every Christmas, but they're almost invariably bland, and difficult to open, relative to other chocolate. I'd rather have a proper bar any day.

My rating: 2/5

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Today's Review: Peanut Butter M&Ms

I love M&Ms, as long as they're not the peanut variety. Sure, they're okay, but I'm just not a big fan of having nuts in my chocolate. Most other varieties of M&M I've tried are awesome. Chocolate, Crispy, Pretzel, all good. I don't know what it is that makes me love peanut butter but not really dig peanuts, but it transfers over to my chocolate quite well. Give me a peanut butter cup, a Butterfinger, Peanut Butter Kit Kat Chunky,  I'll be happy, but a Snickers will make me nibble half-heartedly.

Peanut Butter M&Ms are just that, M&Ms filled with peanut butter. They're quite chunky, so there's a fair amount of brown stuff in there. It's the good old fashioned American peanut butter. Smooth, and quite salty, and while the flavour can get quite intense after a while, it normally overlaps quite nicely with the point that these generous pieces fill me up, but I carry on eating just 'cause it tastes good (Shemomedjamo). So yes, these are delicious, and can last quite a while if you pick up a big bag and can show some form of restraint while eating. It's too bad they're not readily available over here.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 14 January 2013

Today's Review: Goat's Milk

I tried Soy Milk the other week, and today it was time to try another variety of milk that I sell at work. Milk that came out of a goat. Most people would turn their nose up at such things, but it didn't bother me too much. Sure, goats are weedy, annoying animals, but cows aren't exactly graceful and majestic creatures.

So how does goat's milk taste? Like cow's milk, pretty much. It's not like it's some milk alternative, it's still made of the same basic stuff as a cow's, and at the start of a gulp it tastes pretty much the same. There's a bit of a weird taste in the middle, but it all mellows out nicely at the end. It's quite creamy, and the taste is a little bit off-putting I suppose, but that's only because I've grown so accustomed to the taste of cow. Goat's milk is a nice little alternative. All tastes the same in a coffee I suppose.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday 13 January 2013

Today's Review: Magic Mike

Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer are male strippers. That's enough to get all the ladies to buy this movie. See, I wouldn't have made such a bold, sweeping statement a year or so ago, but then 50 Shades Of Grey sold millions, and it's now clear that women are as perverted as us guys.

So yes, Magic Mike is a movie about male strippers, and that's all I was expecting going into it. Thankfully I didn't get an eyeful of schlong, for some reason. Are willies still taboo? You'd think they'd put at least one in here somewhere. But I digress. Channing Tatum plays "Magic" Mike, a man who works by day and strips by night (also working, but it's a lot of fun, alright?), who recruits a down-on-his-luck guy into his troupe so they can have dollar bills thrown at them by screaming women. But Mike wants to do something with his life that isn't taking his clothes off for money, and the new guy may end up causing more trouble for him than he first thought.

My plot description may sound a little lacklustre, but that's it is. I appreciate that they tried to add a bit of a story to not make the whole movie about naked men, but despite some things clearly happening, I got to the end thinking that not much had really happened. There was a slight predicament, things were said and done, but at the end of it all no one really learned anything and not much really changed.

There were some good things about Magic Mike, although not too much. All the actors did quite well, and the dialogue seemed very natural, almost improvised in a way. It's clear these people had a lot of fun with their characters, and felt comfortable in their roles to be able to shoot the shit so freely throughout. Still, despite the good performances, it couldn't really keep me interested in a movie with not much plot. I know I'm not the target audience, but I tried to see things from the mind of a sex-starved man-eater, and I still wasn't too impressed. It's certainly not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it's not very good.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday 12 January 2013

Today's Review: Dredd 3D

I've never read Judge Dredd, or seen that apparently awful movie from the 90s. So I went into this movie with no real preconceptions, apart that Judge Dredd wears a helmet and... judges people. With guns.

Luckily for me, that's almost the entirety of the backstory. In a dystopian future, the remaining non-wasteland part of America has given rise to a mega city, rife with poverty and therefore crime. To stop the rampant spread of criminality, the city has employed a number of "Judges", gun toting police with the ability to act as judge, jury and executioner to whoever they see deserving. Judge Dredd is one of them, and he has been tasked with training up a new recruit, petite psychic Judge Anderson. While investigating a regular old gang murder in the massive apartment complex of Peach Trees, the Judges find themselves trapped in the building by gang lord Ma-Ma. Alone and outnumbered, Dredd and Anderson must use all their smarts and firepower to get out alive.

If it sounds similar to The Raid, then you'd be correct, but I'm pretty sure Dredd was in production first, so all the people calling it a rip off should just stop talking. While it does seem like shutting two Judges in one building would be a little restrictive in terms of plot, the movie is actually handled very well. Different dangers and surprises await on each floor, and there are plenty of well thought out action sequences filled with guns, explosions and blood, just what you'd want out of a 3D action movie. Ma-ma is even in control of the manufacture of Slow-Mo, a fancy new drug that slows down time for the user and allows for plenty of high definition 3D slow motion coolness for when you're getting a bit bored of faces being blown up.

Karl Urban is pretty fantastic as Dredd. His face is covered for the entire movie, and no real emotion or back story is provided, but that's the way Dredd is supposed to be, the faceless embodiment of justice. Urban just growls, scowls and shoots, but radiates coolness while he's doing it. A lot of actors would probably want to leave their mark in the role, but with Urban I couldn't even guess who was playing Dredd until I looked it up. The other characters are quite well played, but nothing to write home about.

Dredd is at its heart a full on action movie. There's more than enough gunfire, explosions and blood and guts to satisfy your average Hollywood fan. The plot is a little restrictive in terms of location, it would have been nice to see more of the city, particularly on Dredd's motorcycle, but they have done well with providing enough variety in action scenes while remaining in one apartment complex. Add a spectacular front man to the mix, and this is certainly a very enjoyable movie. Thankfully it was pretty well received, so we may see more in the rumoured sequels.

My rating: 4/5

Friday 11 January 2013

Today's Review: "Good Morning!" Raspberry, Oats And Honey Drinking Yoghurt

Yeah, that's a small bottle. But they are nowadays, these drinking yoghurts. It's because they put all these "friendly bacteria" inside that are apparently on standby to make your body feel amazing. This one is no different, touting itself as "bio-live" and "probiotic", with the main ingredient being "live low fat yogurt". I don't normally agree with eating things alive, especially if they're not supposed to be alive in the first place. But hey, that's a review for another time. I'm just here to tell you if this drink is tasty.

It certainly is, though quite tangy, as you would expect from raspberries. I can't say I can detect much of the honey, but there are certainly quite a few oats thrown into there, like someone threw their porridge into a batch and they decided to market it instead of starting again. But the oats do add a nice texture, and it certainly makes the tiny bottle quite filling. The yoghurt itself is creamy, good quality. So there's a lot to be had in this little bottle. Creaminess, a nice bold tangy flavour, and a smattering of fulfilling oats that add a nice texture to the experience. It's perhaps a little too sour for my tastes, but it's certainly very nice. Especially if it's flooding my body with bacteria that somehow make me a better person.

My rating: 4/5

Thursday 10 January 2013

Today's Review: My Fingers Splitting For No Reason

Don't you hate it when you get a cut, but you don't realise until you find it an undetermined amount of time later? It didn't hurt before, but now it sure does. I had that experience today, but instead of being a mostly clotted scratch of some kind, there was a small slit in the side of my finger that has yet to heal in any form.

It's not the first time it's happened to me, according to the internet it can happen if I do a lot of washing with chemicals. While it may sound like a perfect excuse to avoid washing up or bathing the kids, I'd rather just not have my skin randomly crack open in the first place. You see, I don't like being in pain, and all this injury has caused me is pain since I discovered it. I use my fingers a lot, in fact, I'm using them right now. I've managed to curb the pain somewhat by putting the second plaster of the day on, but plasters suck because you can't get them wet, and any time I put one on my finger my brain does as much as possible to keep me from using it. How am I meant to point at things with an incapacitated index finger?

So I guess I'll have to start moisturising my hands in future, carry some around in my bag like someone who's obsessed with swine flu or something. Because I've had enough of my body deciding to open in inappropriate places. Skin is meant to be covering me up, not splitting open willy nilly. It's painful and annoying.

My rating: 0/5

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Today's Review: Cadbury Wishes

I've been tempted to try one of these for a while, but I always assumed they were just a novelty shaped, overpriced hunk of Cadbury chocolate, pressing heavily on the Make-A-Wish angle to get people to buy it. But now they're down to 10p each in Tesco, so I thought it was about time I gave them a try.

In fact, Wishes are not just overpriced hunks of chocolate, there's some awesome truffle in the middle, and they're actually a lot bigger than I expected. The star itself is huge, with each point boasting a thick chunk of Cadbury chocolate. The entire centre is a massive hunk of truffle, and it's creamy, melt-in-the-mouth goodness. This isn't just some novelty, one bite and it's gone chocolate, it's a generous, satisfying chunk of awesome. It's probably one of the best Cadbury things I've tried lately. Apart from Oreo Dairy Milk, that stuff is divine.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Today's Review: Chocolate Orange Squares

Another limited edition. Oh Squares, you're spoiling me. I quite enjoyed the honeycomb version, but these chocolate orange flavour Squares certainly caught my attention, especially given the amount of Chocolate Orange I consumed over Christmas.

These certainly don't disappoint, they certainly taste like orange chocolate. Perhaps not the authentic Terry's variety, but the flavour is bold, and the chocolatey swirls on top add a nice texture aside from the regular marshmallow. Certainly the best flavour I've tried so far.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 7 January 2013

Today's Review: Steak

It's not often that I have steak, no one else in my household is fond of it, but they were all out tonight, and I had a nice big hunk of meat in the fridge waiting for me. Fried up, with peppercorn sauce, I was in man heaven.

There's just something about a big juicy hunk of cow that appeals to my nature as a carnivorous male who lives in a civilised society. I can't hunt, I'm not going to go out and bite an animal, but give me a prepared and packaged hunk of meat that I can fry to my liking and I'm happy.

I know some people are against eating animals, but I'm guessing they've never had a really good steak before. If I were a cow, I'd be proud to give my muscle as a tasty treat for a manly man, and I'd be annoyed at the veggies for dwindling the world's supply of grass. That's how veggies work, right?

Anyway, steak is awesome. Easy to cook, but fulfilling and delicious. If I could eat steak every day, I'd probably become really unhealthy, but it's so good that I'd probably do it anyway.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 6 January 2013

Today's Review: Wreck-It Ralph

It seems like Pixar and Disney have switched roles this year, with the former kicking out a princess themed tale, and the latter trying something edgy and original. But here is Wreck-It-Ralph, a movie about video games, which excited me immensely as I am a huge nerd.

Wreck-It-Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the villain in the arcade game Fix-It Felix, Jr. For 30 years he has destroyed the same building, only to have his efforts undone by Felix (Jack McBrayer) and the residents throw him into the mud. Despite it being his job, Ralph has had enough of being the bad guy, so he attempts to hop over to another game in search of a hero's medal. Nut Ralph only knows wrecking, and it's not long before he stirs up some chaos. Can a guy who only knows how to be a villain step up and do some good?

This movie is a love letter to video games old and new. There are some fantastic cameos spread throughout, from the likes of Sonic, Bowser, Pacman, and many others. They all exist in a fully imagined interconnected world inside an arcade, and the ideas and scenarios are all fleshed out, and made a lot of sense to me as a gamer. Not that this is a movie only gamers will like. There are a buttload of references that only gamers will understand, but anyone can enjoy the plot and characters. Aside from Ralph and Felix, the girl racer Vanellope Von Schweetz and no-nonsense Sergeant Calhoun are fantastically portrayed by Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch repsectively.

While this is predominantly a movie about video games, a lot of the action takes place in one specific original game, the candy themed racer Sugar Rush. Once the plot arrives there about halfway through, it rarely leaves, which could have felt a bit restrictive given the glimpses we had of the rest of the arcade world. But the Sugar Rush world is so perfectly constructed, I instantly went from enjoying the movie as a video game fanatic, to enjoying it as a massive fan of confectionery. Every single piece of the world is made of sweets that you can recognise, with some clear nods to some slightly obscure foods as well. Every aspect of this movie is just constructed perfectly, and never overused.

Wreck-It-Ralph is probably one of my favourite Disney movies of all time. It is a bold and original effort, paying homage to video games old and new, but managing to blend it all into a heart-warming, action-packed comedy that people of all ages can enjoy. With memorable characters, beautiful, fully realised environments, and an awesome soundtrack, I won't be surprised if this scoops up the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 5 January 2013

Today's Review: Walk Off The Earth's I Knew You Were Trouble

Remember that cover of Somebody That I Used To Know with five people on one guitar? Well, it seems they've struck gold again, as their latest cover video is going viral and appearing in the new and such. They've taken Taylor Swift's strangely bassy new single and performed it a capella with fellow YouTuber KRNFX providing some kick ass beat boxing. Sarah provides some flawless vocals, while Gianni Luminati and the others provide some excellent beats and harmonies, in a one take video that I can't really get out of my head.

Of course, if it takes off as well as Somebody That I Used To Know did, it's a good thing for all involved. The band become known as more than a one trick pony, and the listeners get to hear another fantastic cover. But already the video is peppered with comments asking where the "beard guy" is who so dutifully plucked the neck of the guitar in the aforementioned video. This band has kicked out several fantastic covers and original songs throughout the past year, and it's a little sad to see that people are still focusing on that one video. Still, this cover just goes to show how versatile Walk Off The Earth really are, able to abandon their instruments completely and still kick out a version of a song that, in my opinion, betters the original. It's also introduced me to KRNFX, who has some great work on display on his YouTube channel.

This is what the internet age is all about. People can come together, make great music,  and be seen and spread throughout the world by people who otherwise wouldn't know a thing about them. Walk Off The Earth have gotten a record contract on the tail end of last year's video hit, and they're going on tour soon.They deserve it when they keep on churning out good quality stuff like this. If their London tour date wasn't on my son's birthday I would be there with bells on.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 4 January 2013

Today's Review: Thai Sweet Chilli Pringles

Pringles are excellent. They're shaped just right to place on your tongue for maximum flavour, and although my big clumsy man hands have problems reaching the latter half, eating Pringles is an enjoyable experience. I normally stick with the salt and vinegar flavour, but recently I decided to take a chance and go with the thai sweet chilli.

I like the thai sweet chilli sensations, they're spicy, but not too spicy, and certainly quite sweet. The Pringles, though, I'm not sure about. They are spicy, yes, but my first thought is that they taste like curry, and not an entire curry, more like just curry sauce. Cheap curry sauce. It's not an entirely nice first bite for me, but as long as I keep eating them the flavour isn't too bad. I certainly still prefer them to the sour cream and chive, but then I really don't like the sour cream and chive.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 3 January 2013

Today's Review: Pepsi Max Cherry

I love Cherry Coke, in most forms. The regular old Cherry Coke is awesome, and even the Diet Coke Cherry that was around a few years ago was quite nice in an odd kind of way. In America I had Coke with some kind of cherry cordial in it, and I've dabbled in American cherry Pepsi, and even Dr. Pepper, all were good.

This, on the other hand, is not so great. I'm not exactly a fan of Pepsi Max as it is, and this "cherry" variety tastes less like cherry, and more like vodka, for some reason. Just a bit like vodka diluted into some crappy Pepsi Max. Sure, it's drinkable, but I certainly didn't enjoy it all that much. I think I'll stick with Coca Cola.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Today's Review: Jam Tarts

I had jam tarts today for the first time in years. I don't know why I haven't had them in so long, seeing as they were tasty back then and they're tasty now.

What makes a jam tart? It's simple, it's a pastry base that's filled with jam, and nothing else. They almost invariably come in apricot, strawberry and blackcurrant flavours too, so you always know where you are with a jam tart. So simple, yet so delicious. These cakes don't need fancy icing or filling to satisfy your taste buds, jam tarts are exactly what they claim to be, and they're always awesome.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Today's Review: Blood Blisters

I trapped my finger earlier, but instead of the skin tearing asunder and wetting my hand with a nice stream of blood, or a nice colourful bruise creeping over my fingertip, my body went somewhere inbetween. My blood vessels were damaged, but the skin remained intact, providing me with a nice red blister that hurt quite a bit.

At least it brought a bit of colour to my hand. But it's not a particularly nice experience. I would have popped it there and then, but I was at work and didn't fancy bleeding on people's groceries. But now I am at home, and after sticking a pin into it I am well on the way to recovery. It's no use keeping all that blood trapped in your finger, and now it's out it hurts less when I touch things, so that's a result for me.

Blood blisters are an odd type of wound. Like a cut without a cut, they hurt like a bitch at first, and then continue to hurt after that. At least it was just a small one this time, I wouldn't like to experience a bigger one.

My rating: 1/5