Friday 31 May 2013

Today's Review: Haribo Watermelon Slices

There's a limited edition pack of Tangfastics out at the moment, and much like the rhubarb and custard splat before it, the special new sweetie available this time around is the watermelon slice. It's fizzy like the rest of its tangy brethren, but shaped and coloured like a watermelon slice, unsurprisingly.

It does taste very nice though. I was certainly a fan of the rhubarb and custard splats, as were others apparently, since they got their own bag. The watermelon slice is even better, in my opinion. It has that bold, candy watermelon taste that you'll find in true American sweets like Jolly Rancher, and the fuzziness really gives it a kick, ensuring intense flavour all the way through. It's an excellent addition to the Tangfastics range, let's just hope it gets its own bag someday.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 30 May 2013

Today's Review: Warm Bodies

Nine years after Shaun Of The Dead, and rom-zom-com is still a genre apparently. But this one has a somewhat interesting angle. Nicholas Hoult plays R, a zombie who has grown tired of his zombie life. On a routine food shuffle with his zombie comrades, he comes across a survivor named Julie (Teresa Palmer), and begins to feel things for her that isn't hunger. As he starts to warm up to her (in more ways than one), he must keep her safe from roaming hordes of zombies, defensive survivors, and a more sinister flesh eating evil.

This is a zombie story from the point of view of the zombie. Thankfully, although undead, Hoult steals the show as the shuffling, monologuing corpse. Grunting, groaning, limping, is all done with great delivery, it's just a shame that the other characters aren't as entertaining or fleshed out. Teresa Palmer and Rob Corddry are good enough, but John Malkovich makes an appearance that is quite uninspiring.

The same goes with the plot really. The premise is a good one, and progresses nicely over the first half of the movie. But once that's put of the way, the final scenes seem rather rushed and unimaginative. Overall it's not a hilarious movie, but it does have its humorous moments. However, a strong, imaginative first half soon gives way to something quite mediocre. It's certainly a watchable movie, I just wish that they did something more with the story and the cast.

My rating: 3/5

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Today's Review: Paperclips

A simple. bent piece of metal. A stationery revolution. Paperclips are, in essence, clips that hold paper together, and that in itself is remarkable. For anyone who wants to keep papers together, but without the long term commitment and painful separation that a staple promises, the paperclip is the ultimate choice. It is malleable in order to accommodate any number of papers, but can easily be bent back into shape to provide security. But paperclips don't just hold paper to paper, in fact any two items that fit neatly inside its grasp can be held together. It should just be called a clip, calling it a paperclip severely undermines its potential.

In fact, a paperclip doesn't need to be used as a clip at all. The fact that it's made from a bendable rod of sturdy metal makes it useful for a plethora of other things. The sharp ends can poke holes in various things, you can fashion a couple of paperclips into lock picks, you could use one as a rudimentary backscratcher? I don't know, the possibilities are probably not endless, but are many and varied. Forget your pencils, erasers, protractors and other single use stationery items, the paperclip is where it's at.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Today's Review: Gorgonzola

I have attempted to broaden my cheesy horizons lately, and this week I picked up a packet of this creamy gorgonzola. I've never had it before, and have only really heard references from Monty Python, but hey, that's enough to try anything.

Gorgonzola is a veined blue cheese, and while the actual cheesy part is very smooth and creamy, the blue parts certainly give it a nice kick, but really throw off the texture. It's odd going back and forth from melt-in-the-mouth creamy to slightly chewy several times while eating, but thankfully the bold flavours mix quite well together. It's not the best blue cheese I've tasted, but it's certainly edible.

My rating: 3/5

Monday 27 May 2013

Today's Review: Mirrors

I can't imagine what it was like when man first saw himself in a mirror-like surface. I imagine the reaction was something like the hostile reaction of a lesser animal, but with more club wielding and "ug"s. But I guess he figured out that club was his own, and how messy his hair looked, because we have harnessed the power of reflective materials to create mirrors.

Mirrors are great. They come in avail ty of shapes and sizes, you can even carry them around in your pocket. The applications of mirrors are plentiful too. You can go for the obvious like checking there are no bits of good stuck in your teeth and doing your hair, but you could also use them in fun houses to make people look bendy, or to deflect laser beams. Without mirrors we would all look extremely dishevelled a lot of the time, and there'd be a load of straight laser beams hanging around, and that's boring.

Mirrors are very useful, and although I may have broken a few in my time, I can safely say that it was always entirely my fault. If you want to see why people keep staring at your face, or just check out your make up, you would be lost without a mirror.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 26 May 2013

Today's Review: Fruit Burst: Sherbet Lemon Orange & Lime Juice

I've avoided juice while I've been dieting, too many sugars for my liking. But a quick glance at the back of this carton informed me that this was certainly worth a dabble, probably because all the fruits it contains are sour. But wait, it promises to be sherbety as well, surely it must be sweet? Well, no, the sherbet part is a big lie.

The juice is actually just sour, and quite dry. I don't know what more you'd expect from lemon, orange and lime juice, but if the sherbet part invokes thoughts of sweetness you may be disappointed. The flavours are quite bold, but all in all it was a little too dry for me. Even a little something to sweeten it up would improve it for me. But if you like your juices sour, this will probably work out for you.

My rating: 3/5

Saturday 25 May 2013

Today's Review: Getting A Tax Refund

I got a nice big cheque from the government this morning, and it sure was satisfying. The taxman is usually regarded as taking all of our money away, so there's something special about when they can admit they took too much and give it back to you.

I can't say it was at the end of a long and arduous process of fighting delays, but it did start when I changed jobs last July. Since I was working two jobs for a few weeks, I was of course taxed an unfair amount, not enough to ruin me, but quite a bit. But I wasn't going to stress about it, it was July, and the financial year starts in April for some reason, so it was up to me to remain patient and wait several months. Once I had my P60 in hand, I called up, told them I think I paid too much tax, and they agreed and sent the cheque my way. Simple as that. I've heard of people having all kinds of trouble getting what they're owed back, but I don't know what kind of employments and such they're caught up in. In my experience tax refunds are simple to request, and can be promptly delivered if you call at the right time. Plus the conclusion is a satisfying amount topping up your bank balance. Wins all round.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 24 May 2013

Today's Review: Yum Pink & Black Peppercorn Soft Cheese

If there's one thing I like more than cheese spread, it's cheese spread with awesome things mixed into it. Garlic and herbs, chocolate, you name it, I'll try it, and since I have a coupon to get money off a tub of Yum, I went for this interesting peppercorn laden cheese.

I love peppercorn sauce, but so it's no surprise that I was a big fan of this cheese. The creamy, smooth flavour of the cheese is quite a contrast to the tangy pepper, but it all works together to create a very interesting flavour, slightly spicy, but refreshingly cool. It's like peppercorn sauce and cheese spread had a baby. A delicious baby.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 23 May 2013

Today's Review: Tesco Austrian Smoked Processed Cheese

While on the hunt for meats and cheese I can legitimately snack on, I stumbled upon this little sausage of cheese. I may still be judged for casually chomping on it, but less so than with a full block of cheddar, so I went for it.

One of the main draws of this cheese is the fact that it's smoked, because everything is better smoked. Although it was probably smoked in the most artificial way possible, it still manages to have a very distinct flavour. The cheese is also very processed, and while it leaves it quite unnatural texture wise, it does give it a certain creamy texture that works very well with the smokiness. This may not be one of my all time favourite cheeses, but it's certainly a good fit for when I'm feeling a bit peckish.

My rating: 4/5

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Today's Review: Watches

I'm sure at one point, the ability to be able to tell the time of day by glancing at your wrist would have been condemned as witchcraft. You'd have to rely on the position of the sun, or some kind of massive clock somewhere. But then someone made a watch, a tiny clock that fits round your wrist, and the world was changed forever.

I know that nowadays watches aren't overly important, what with every screen we carry around displaying the time, but there's something about the convenient placement of a watch that makes it timeless. Even without a watch, we can acknowledge its importance, tapping our wrist when scolding someone for their lateness and the like. Watches are, and always will be, a useful invention.

Until they stop, that is. Now, most watch batteries last a very long time, but my last watch crapped out very soon after I bought it. I then went through a dark time of not owning a watch, and while I adjusted, it wasn't quite the same. But when a watch fails it leaves a sour taste. Without another timepiece to consult you may be late to important events, it's really a lot of trust to be putting into a small circle on your wrist to always be accurate. I'm sure most people compare watch to clock regularly, and we soon notice any discrepancies.

So yes, the watch is a fantastic invention, but it does rely on external sources to remain accurate. Still, I hope I never have to live without one.

My rating: 4/5

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Today's Review: Sugar Free Irn Bru

Hooray, another sugar free drink for me to down. This time it's Irn Bru. I'm not exactly sure what the flavour is supposed to be. It's not iron, in fact the whole name is dubiously misspelled. But I like it.

The sugar free version retains the flavour, which is very nice. The only drawback is that it leaves a bit of a syrupy aftertaste that's a little bit sickly, but if you like the taste it's not too much of a problem. I like this one.

My rating: 4/5

Monday 20 May 2013

Today's Review: Burning The Roof Of Your Mouth

I'm sure we've all been eager to sink our teeth into some freshly cooked, piping hot food. Too eager, perhaps, for while our teeth can chomp through it just fine, the roof of the mouth is slightly more susceptible to heat, because it is made of flesh. Many a time I have chowed down on some food that I assumed was just slightly too warm, only to spend the rest of the day nursing a nice shiny burn with my tongue. Involuntarily of course, because the last thing you should do with a burn is keep rubbing it with your filthy mouth muscle.

It only takes a split second, one mistake, and that mouth burn could last for several days. It's not even like you can leave it alone to heal. Apart from the aforementioned tonguing, your mouth is always in use, be it filling with saliva or taking in the food and drink you need to survive. So when the roof of your mouth is burned, there's no choice but to live through the painstakingly slow healing process. Burning the roof of your mouth is sucky and painful. Plus there's the times when little bits of skin start to peel off and then you eat them. That's just gross.

My rating: 0/5

Sunday 19 May 2013

Today's Review: Shaving

As a man, I find there is a constant struggle between the hair that keeps growing out of my face, and my desire not to have hair growing out of my face. Sure, it can be left unchecked for a day or so, but after that the stubble starts to resemble fluff, and my face starts to resemble that of a dirty hobo. So obviously something must be done, and that something is shaving. Unfortunately, I'm terrible at it.

I started shaving at some point in my early teens. I was bought an electric razor, and although I used it for a while, it just didn't give me the results I desired. The stubble still remained, and it was too much of an effort to run the tiny buzzing machine over my chin again and again. One day I stumbled upon a proper razor in the bathroom that my brother must have been using, and decided to give it a go. So improvising with shaving foam, I managed to pull off a basic shave, and it felt good. Razor blades are definitely the way to go. But my own experiences with them are completely inconsistent.

I have used disposable razors for most of my shaving life, and while they do a decent job of getting rid of facial hair, they also do a good job of slicing up and irritating my neck. I even went for a professional shave once, and was told that they way my hairs lie was all weird and made for difficult shaving. Great, even the experts can't shave me properly, what chance do I have? So I recently invested in a relatively expensive razor, setting me back £10, plus whatever inflated costs the replacement blades cost. I also sprung for the matching brand name foam, the variety that soothed irritated skin, and I must say the results have improved. My neck is less red, and though I have had a few nicks, it's nothing I can't handle.

But it's not just the cuts and marks that make shaving annoying for me. The aforementioned odd directions my hair goes in means I always seem to miss patches of hair. I may shave off ones growing in one direction, and be left with some that go in another. Shaving the same area over and over will definitely lead to irritation, so often I find myself staring in the mirror at work wondering if anyone has noticed my red splotches and/or errant hair patches. Strangely enough, I've found my most consistently good shaves happen when I'm in the bath, with no mirror and a disposable razor. Simply rubbing my hands around my face to find the location and direction of hair is enough for me to get rid of it, and the warm, soapy water allows the razor to cut through quite nicely. So with all the expensive instruments and ointments, the perfect shave still baffles and eludes me. I often have good shaves, and they're satisfying, but there's always something that's a bit off. Shaving is necessary, but it sucks when it doesn't go right, and it rarely does for me.

My rating: 2/5

Saturday 18 May 2013

Today's Review: Inside Pockets

Pockets are very useful. Depending on their shape and size, you can keep all manner of things in there, from wallets and phones to rubbish and small animals (I don't put small animals in my pockets, but I could). Without pockets in my trousers and jackets I would be at a loss every single day. But you know what's better than a pocket? An inside pocket.

Nothing pleases me more than buying a jacket to find that it has a pocket on the inside, or two, or maybe even more. You see, the one problem with regular pockets is that they can be quite susceptible to robberies. Not that I've ever had anyone steal something from one of my pockets, but the opportunity is definitely there, especially with baggy clothing. An inside pocket eradicates that danger, and only leaves you open to robbery if you let someone manhandle your clothing, and I'd hope you'd only let trustworthy people do that.

So whereas before I would feel a little bit apprehensive about putting quite valuable things in my pockets, I will certainly put things in my inside pockets. Favourites include keys, passports and tickets, and all three of those come into play when I go on holiday. If I don't keep them very close to my person, in a conveniently accessed yet secure spot, I won't be able to get home again. So if you need to carry some things around, and don't trust your regular pockets, you need to get some inside ones. It's the next best thing to surgically implanting them in your skin. Not that that could in any way be considered the best option.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 17 May 2013

Today's Review: Memory Foam Mattress

Have you had a rough night's sleep lately, not caused by stress, illness or any other biological reason, but by the lack of comfort your bed provides? Then you probably don't have memory foam.

I know what it's like to have a lumpy, uncomfortable mattress, flat pillows. I've never had much trouble sleeping, but sometimes it was just impossible to get in a position that felt right. Then, five years ago, we sprung (ha, get it?) for a memory foam mattress and I've never looked back. 

While it seemed a little rigid at first, failing to deliver than satisfying sinking feeling I'd assumed I'd get, no matter which way I lie on it I can always get comfortable. I also have memory foam pillows now, and that magic combination means I never have a fidgety night's sleep. My mattress remains comfy, and my pillows remain firm, no matter what nightly ordeals I put them through. 

Memory foam has to be the comfiest ring you can slap on your bed. It may be pricey, but it's totally worth it. You definitely won't have to replace a memory foam mattress like you would your lumpy sprung one. Besides, who can put a price on a good night's sleep? I can, and it's about the price of a memory foam mattress.

My rating: 5/5

Thursday 16 May 2013

Today's Review: Thrustmaster PSOne LCD Screen

The constant re-releasing of consoles as a slimmer version may seem unnecessarily abundant nowadays, but it's been going on for quite a while. 1996 brought us the Game Boy Pocket, and in the year 2000 we were treated to the PSOne, a smaller, significantly more curvy Playstation. Sony probably would have been fine just leaving it at that, but the PSOne had a very interesting add-on, in the form of an attachable LCD screen. I don't have the official one, but I managed to find a dubiously named third party screen, the Thrustmaster.

I'm an adult now, which means I can play my Playstation on my big TV whenever I want, but I would have gone absolutely crazy if I got one of these when I was a kid. Not only can you plug it into any wall socket to have a nice little personal Playstation space, but it comes with a power adaptor so you can play it in the car. I used to have to settle for my chunky old Game Boy, being forced to turn it off when it got dark because the thing had no backlight. But this screen unlocks access to the entirety of the Playstation library, on the go. Sure, we have many better things nowadays, smart phones, the 3DS, the PS Vita, but there's something quite wonderful about the range of games available on the Playstation, many classics that today's games just don't compare to. If I go on a long car journey in the near future, I know what I'll take.

So yes, the idea is solid, but what about the execution? I'm quite the quality-phile, so I was a little dubious about playing games on a 5" screen. Thankfully I was wrong, because the visual quality is pretty great. Brightness levels can be adjusted to your liking, and the sound comes through crisp and clean. This screen is a fantastic piece of kit that was perhaps a little too ahead of its time. If you can find one anywhere I'd definitely suggest snapping it up.

My rating: 5/5

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Today's Review: Having A Sore Throat

The weather is fluctuating between hot and cold, and my sleep patterns are all messed up, leaving me a little vulnerable. This all adds up to one thing, me getting sick. Not dramatically sick, just a cold, but it always starts the same way, with a sore throat.

Sore throats suck in the most basic way because they hurt. But there's so much more to it than that. Because even though your throat hurts, there's no way you can stop irritating it. You have to swallow several times in a day, hell, in an hour, and each swallow irritates and burns. An even bigger problem is that when you have a sore throat your body seems intent on swallowing more, creating more pain for no reason. What masochistic bodies we have.

The only time you can manage to leave your sore throat alone for a while is when you're sleeping, and that's a whole different bad situation. I can't count the number of times I've woken up, my throat dry, painful and scratchy, begging for fluid that only gives a different kind of pain. Perhaps it's just because I snore a lot, but waking up with a sore throat is definitely not a pleasant experience.

Sore throats suck. They're one of the most persistent and annoying pains, and they always seem to end in me becoming all bunged up and lethargic. Horrible.

My rating: 0/5

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Today's Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

I don't know how they can call it "In Darkness" with all that lens flare. Har har.

Anyways, the sequel to the 2009 reboot-but-not-quite-a-reboot has arrived. This time the crew of the Enterprise face off against a threat much closer to Earth, in the form of legendary Star Trek villain Khan. With a one man war waged against the entirety of Starfleet, it's up to Kirk and his crew to track him down and stop him, even if it means infiltrating some volatile areas of space...

Everyone's back in this movie. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, and all are on fine form. Since everyone has settled into their characters, the quite serious tone throughout let's everyone put on their best dramatic chops. There is much less comic relief this time around, and even when it's there it's subdued. Even Simon Pegg manages to pull off some great dramatic moments.

The star of the show is definitely Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. He manages to be menacing, charismatic, devious, all at the same time. Khan is definitely a powerhouse of a villain, boasting superior intellect and magnificent strength. Despite this, he did weaken a bit in my eyes at about the halfway point, due to the many twists and turns that get thrown around in the plot. It gets a little bundled and confusing, but definitely pulls together for a magnificent final showdown.

J.J. Abrams has clearly settled Ito his director's chair after the success of the first movie. All the scenes are wonderfully shot, from full scale battles to more intimate moments, and no matter how much lens flare is thrown around, it's clear he put a lot of effort into making Into Darkness entertaining for new and old fans alike, keeping up the consistency of his new universe while making very nice references and reflections of the original Wrath Of Khan.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is a fantastic sequel. It's full of great action set pieces, a great cast and an entirely menacing villain. I may have had misgivings around the middle, but it seems they were entirely unfounded, and having seen the entirety I really don't have a bad thing to say about it. I'm looking forward to a continuation of the franchise, and am starting to get quite excited about how Abrams will handle Star Wars.

My rating: 5/5

Monday 13 May 2013

Today's Review: Dripping Taps

It normally happens when I am at my laziest. When I have finished doing some housework, or preparing a meal. Having settled down on the sofa, intent on relaxing, it begins. Slow and soft at first, drip... drip... drip. But after a while it speeds up. Tiny droplets of water building on the edge of the tap, before gaining enough mass to fall into the sink below. A single occurrence, perhaps a noise ignored. But when it is constant, and increasing in frequency, it becomes maddening.

I mean, I just sat down. I have to weigh up the benefits of getting up to switch the tap off, or staying where I am, and the tap wins every time. It may be the annoying repetitiveness of the sound, it may be the fact that water is being wasted lies heavily on my soul. If it's the hot tap the same goes for my heating bill. But once that tap starts dripping, my body lets out an involuntary sigh, and prepares for the inevitable trip to stop it. My thoughts and actions dominated by a leaky hunk of metal. Dripping taps suck.

My rating: 0/5

Sunday 12 May 2013

Today's Review: The Aquafresh Pump Tube

For a few years now I have been suffering with my toothpaste tubes. The caps get dirty, and the paste coagulates, or I end up having to roll the whole tube up just to coax the errant splodges of minty goodness onto my toothbrush, 'cause I'm economic like that. But last week we bought a tube of Aquafresh, and my word is it so much better.

This isn't my first run in with marvel of engineering. Growing up we always seemed to have a tube of this stuff lying around. But living away from my parents I guess I got sloppy, and my choice of toothpaste tube reflected that. But no more. Here is a tube that forces the paste out at the push of a button, raising the base, and always managing to deliver a sliver of toothpaste that contains all three signature colours. tHe cap doesn't get dirty, no toothpaste gets wasted or left behind, even my kids can use this thing. I'm guessing Aquafresh patented this thing, because all the other toothpaste companies are still stuck in the dark ages, which is a damn shame. We should be living through a brushing revolution, with our flawless toothpaste tubes held high.

My rating: 5/5

Saturday 11 May 2013

Today's Review: Cadbury's Marvellous Creations: Cookie Nut Crunch

Well, after being disappointed by the jelly popping candy bar, I had to go and try this one. Cookie Nut Crunch is the other entry into the Marvellous Creations flavours. This bar comes packed with cookie pieces and caramelised almonds and hazelnuts. Sure, it's not too quirky or outrageous a filling, but at least the flavours actually complement each other instead of leaving you with a chewy, fruity flavour soaked with chocolate residue. The creaminess of the chocolate and the crunchiness of the fillings work very well together, and the nuts are just sweet enough to blend in nicely with the cookies. I must say I enjoyed this a lot more than the jelly popping candy. Hopefully there'll be some more additions to this line, as so far it's kinda hit and miss.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 10 May 2013

Today's Review: Jack Reacher

In case that poster isn't clear, Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher, a mysterious and highly trained former Army cop. When a sniper takes out several innocent people in a random attack, he calls for Jack Reacher by name, who appears out of nowhere and dives head first into the case. As Reacher investigates, he begins to see that things aren't all as they seem, and starts to get the attention of some dangerous people.

Jack Reacher is definitely not what I thought it would be. I was expecting an all out action movie, but in fact it's a slow and deliberate one. The opening scene has no speech at all, and is very well shot to set up the overall tone of the rest of the movie. It's a slow burning thriller with plenty of twists and turns, but it has a lead character that can take it all in his stride. When Jack Reacher enters the fray, it's clear right off the bat that he knows what he's doing, and his deductions and cool handling of dangerous situations establish him as a formidable opponent.

That's perhaps one of this movie's downfalls though. Reacher is so confident and able that most of the time there is a real lack of suspense, as I never believed he was in any real danger. Most of the time he just stands around figuring things out, but when he starts a fight he knows full well how it's going to turn out. Reacher is perhaps too perfect a hero. He is flawless, constantly calm and collected, has no real personal connection to the case, and his entire character seems to be built around how infallible he is.

Despite this, Tom Cruise still plays him quite excellently, oozing charisma at every turn. The rest of the performances are pretty forgettable, but this was clearly meant to be a one man show anyway. Jack Reacher is quite a subdued and deliberate thriller, with well shot scenes but not much characterisation. Overall it just seems too safe. The little action there is is over pretty quickly with no real consequence, and it just fails to give the narrative much of an impact. If you want to see Tom Cruise relentlessly kicking ass, then by all means give it a go, but otherwise I can't say I overly enjoyed it.

My rating: 3/5

Thursday 9 May 2013

Today's Review: Stubbing Your Toe

What with my new baby and all, I have spent an increased amount of time stumbling around in the dark in a tired stupor. Apparently that's not a good thing to do to your body, because it invariably results in you stubbing your toes on things. 

Feet are pretty durable most of the time. You can kick things around, they help you walk, and they can support your whole body weight. But if you manage to catch your little toe on something as you walk by the pain is often unbearable, if just for a short while. Curses fly, tantrums are had, but once that toe is stubbed the pain must be endured. 

But why must our toes hurt so much when jammed against objects? Toes are on the front line of your body. They scout the ground areas and allow the whole unit to move forward. But up against obstacles they're just giant pussies. Stubbing your toe is the worst. Well, being stabbed is probably worse.

My rating: 0/5

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Today's Review: The Weetos Moustache Combat Game

While pouring my kids their cereal, and lamenting the unexplained disappearance of Professor Weeto, I noticed that instead the cereal wants me to play this fancy new "Moustache Combat" game on their website. I say noticed, but the box tells you to play on every single side but the bottom. But hell, I figured I'd give it a go, what's the worst that could happen, apart from losing an undetermined amount of time on a shitty flash game?

So here it is, Weetos Moustache Combat. The very premise of this game was somewhat baffling to me.
I have no idea what Weetos have to do with moustaches, now was there any explanation as to why these moustaches need to be dealt with in combat. I tried viewing the attached TV ad, but all that seems to tell me is I should be carrying around surplus portions of Weetos in random containers, so that I can eat them, without milk, at regular intervals, to give me the strength to fend off attacks from rogue disembodied moustaches. Man, school has gotten a lot tougher since I was a kid.

Anyway, onto the game. You play as that generic kid up there, and your goal is to kick and punch the shit out of moustaches, and somehow that will make you want to eat Weetos.

This picture just screams "nutritious breakfast"
It's basically Mortal Kombat for kids. Your standard fighting style game. A punches, S kicks, D blocks, and there are some rudimentary combos for you to pull off, but really you can just win by kicking all the time, because most of these moustaches are too small to be affected by your high punches. I say Mortal Kombat because during the final KO of each moustache the screen says "Finish Him", and prompts you to enter a string of arrows and letters. The result is a lacklustre flurry of punches and kicks, and you gain nothing from it, but I suppose it's a nice touch.

Here's the roster of hairy opponents. They start off pretty easy, even the Dhal Sim-esque Jean Pa'Pow didn't pose much of a threat. But by the time you get to the Chinese style Black Dragon 'tache things get a little tricky. The real challenge is the final opponent, Red. This moustache is a massive, lumbering bastard who will decimate you in seconds if you're not good at blocking and jumping around.

Even Nessie is impressed
It actually took me a good few tries to finally beat this guy, and it was mostly accomplished by jumping all the time and getting cheap kicks in where I could. Thankfully, if you land enough hits and survive for long enough, a Weeto materialises in the top left, and once it's complete you can press W to restore your health. A cheap mechanic, but at least they're being consistent with their nonsensical TV ad.

After spending a good quarter of an hour kicking the crap out of moustaches, I have to say it's not a bad little game. The visuals and music are quite nice, and it poses a little bit of a challenge. I just don't understand why this game exists. It does little to promote the tastiness of the cereal, which is a selling point in its own right. I guess I'm out of touch with the kids these days, and these marketing people know what they're doing. Or maybe I just long for Professor Weeto.

My rating: 3/5

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Today's Review: Ginger Beer

Not often, but sometimes, I am partial to a bit of ginger. The gingerbread man is a good form for ginger to take, as it may be slightly spicy, but the edge is taken off the unpleasantness by the sugar and the gumdrop buttons. Yes, I don't like the taste of ginger, but I still want to eat it, and that's weird. What's even more weird are the times I crave ginger beer.

It's basically fizzy water that tastes like burning. A gingery, fiery, carbonated drink. On paper that sounds disgusting, and while I'm drinking it it tastes pretty bad too. But something keeps drawing me back, and I don't know what it is. There's a half full bottle in my fridge, and while I've given up on every glass halfway through I still kinda want some now that I'm thinking about it. I don't understand. I guess my body thinks it's nice even though most of my senses disagree. Ginger beer is an odd drink indeed.

My rating: 1/5

Monday 6 May 2013

Today's Review: Maltesers Teasers

While it was indeed a sad day when Galaxy Truffles disappeared from the Celebrations lineup, there did remain one chocolate that hardly appeared, and was fiercely fought over. The Maltesers Teasers are little bitesize pieces of heaven, filled with crunchy malty bits, but with so much more chocolate than their ordinary Maltesers brethren.

We've sampled the Teasers outside of their chocolate box habitat in the form of Malteaster Bunnies, but now Mars have decided they can cash in all year, and have given us a Malteser Teasers bar. Available in both single and share size, these bobbly chocolatey slabs are full to the brim with malt pieces. The picture on the front doesn't even seem like an exaggeration, the bar is chock full,as well as choc full (har har). The combination of creamy chocolate and crunchiness is perfectly proportioned, much like they are in the Celebrations version. It's great to see it perfectly extrapolated to a large size, and this is certainly a fantastic chocolate bar. Finally we can enjoy Maltesers Teasers without having to buy a massive box of chocolates or wait until Easter. Let's hope this bar sticks around.

My rating: 5/5

Sunday 5 May 2013

Today's Review: Pre-Grated Cheese

One of my most used utensils in my kitchen is the cheese grater. Where blocks or slices of cheese are not particularly useful, you can bet that grated is the way to go. Just run that block up and down those sharp little holes and watch as the cheese settles onto your pizza/salad/other food item like a strange dairy snow.

But apparently people are too lazy to grate, because supermarkets sell cheese in pre-grated form. Why? I have no idea. I've only bought pre-grated cheese once, because the price was massively reduced, and it was horrible. The chunks were way too big, and there was a lot more surface area to get that weird rubber texture that is normally just present around the outside of your standard block.

I wasn't disappointed to find that it was disgusting, because pre-grated cheese seems like the epitome of culinary laziness. Cheese graters are cheap, easy to use, and offer many different sized holes for you to rub your blocks over. Is it really that hard for people to do? I understand some people may not be physically able to grate cheese, but I see people buying this stuff all the time. It just baffles me. It may be easy to dump a bag of grated cheese onto your pizza base, but that doesn't make it right.

My rating: 0/5

Saturday 4 May 2013

Today's Review: Cinnamon Rolls

I have mentioned my hatred of cinnamon, and the origin of that hatred before. To this day it remains one of the few foods I can't stand. But one thing baffles me: I absolutely love cinnamon rolls.

I don't know why I first had one. I got it from Cinnabon, and there's no way I didn't know about the cinnamon content because it's in the damn name. But there was something about that plump, rolled dough, draped with lashings of icing, that made me want one bad. Upon eating it I knew I made the right decision. Cinnamon rolls are chewy, doughy, smooth, slightly spicy and satisfying. Rather than overpowering the other flavours like it had done in other foods I've tried, the cinnamon in the cinnamon roll just complements everything perfectly.

So while I may never fully accept cinnamon as a nice spice, there obviously are ways it can be used that are appealing to me. Cinnamon rolls is definitely one of those ways.

My rating: 5/5

Friday 3 May 2013

Today's Review: Cadbury Marvellous Creations: Jelly Popping Candy

Yay, a new Cadbury bar that isn't just the same bar with a different shape. Plus it looks like they're trying some bold moves too. These Marvellous Creations bars seem to involve shoving a bunch of random stuff into chocolate, and I'm certainly all for that. In this bar there is a generous smattering of jelly sweets, which are themselves full of popping candy. Crazy. So all at once we have the smooth, creamy chocolate, the chewy jelly, and the slightly crunchy and tongue tingling popping candy.

The sad thing is they don't all fit together too nicely. Each element by itself is awesome, even chocolate and popping candy together is very nice, but there's something about mixing the jelly and the chocolate that doesn't sit right with me. Partly the difference in consistency, but mostly due to the flavour. You start off with the very distinct creamy taste of Dairy Milk, but once you start chewing the jelly shells, the flavour gets intense very fast, and ends up overpowering the chocolate itself. Then, as the chocolate fades away, you're left with a lump of very sickly, chewy jelly, which didn't round off my experience all too well. I think I'll go with the more conservative sounding Cookie Nut Crunch next time, this was just a bit too mish-mashy for me.

My rating: 2/5

Thursday 2 May 2013

Today's Review: Tesco Blue Spark Energy Drink

For those of us who can't quite afford the sub-£1 Tesco brand Kx energy drink, they've presented a cheaper option, in the form of Blue Spark. It's like the White Lightning of energy drinks.

Clocking in at a mere 35p, Blue Spark promises a "fruit flavour" that is not specified in any way whatsoever. Well, having tried it, I can tell you that the flavour is in fact not specific at all. If I had to name a fruit, I'd say blueberry, but I may have been swayed by the name. At any rate, if it is blueberry flavoured, those blueberries have been introduced to many interesting chemicals, because that's the overpowering taste here. Sure, every energy drink tastes a little like that, but this is worse, and, while refreshing at first, left me with a somewhat dry taste in the mouth. I didn't even feel any kind of energy boost after drinking it, so overall I'm pretty disappointed. I guess I'll have to spring for the extra 34p for the good stuff.

My rating: 1/5

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Today's Review: Getting Food Stuck Between Your Teeth

I'm sure we've all had it happen before. You go about your day, smiling, talking and whatnot, only to get home, glance in the mirror and- "Holy shit! There's a great big piece of food stuck in my teeth! I had lunch hours ago! How many people saw it? Why did nobody tell me?"

It's an embarrassing discovery, because no one wants to be thought of as having poor dental hygiene, and nothing says that more than letting your food hang out at the front of your gums for a while (apart from having rotten stumps for teeth I guess). But sadly, getting food between your teeth is pretty unavoidable sometimes, and unless you check your teeth every time you eat that food is going to stay there a while, meaning people may be judging you wherever you go.

But why does food have to get stuck in your teeth anyway? Why should teeth be individual peg things with room in between for such awful things? I know there are probably various biological and evolutionary reasons for our teeth being the way they are, but really, having a wall of enamel that we can use to crunch with no fear of errant food hanging around doesn't sound so bad. The dental floss business would collapse, but we would have mouths like cartoon characters, and that's cool.

Getting food stuck between your teeth is annoying, embarrassing and unnecessary. It's made me want to check my teeth after every single thing I eat, but if I do that at work and find something then I'll have no toothbrush to remedy the situation. Getting food out of your teeth with your fingers is no easy task, and I find flossing pretty cringeworthy too. The whole thing is just annoying. Maybe I'll just eat my food liquefied to be safe.

My rating: 0/5