Thursday, 17 April 2008


Lonkiponk is getting real busy. Another sub from her on Threadless. I hope that this one does better!

Monday, 7 April 2008

A New Design from Lonkiponk

Loniponk has a new design up on Threadless. Have a look and give it a vote. Its a design featuring two 3D flying creatures she made! Have a look on the quick link to the right!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Harvest Moon: and the credits roll....

Three years of hard toil and careful attention to detail has resulted in me being allowed to stay on Hippity Farm. I think I can stay here for the next 200 odd years if I like!

In the last few days (in Real Life that is) Karen has given birth to a beautiful baby boy. He is going to be a star, 'Boy Star' is his name. I don't think Karen liked that name, she made some comment like "how long did you take to think that one up?" when I told her what I had chosen. Karen has really shown me a different side to her personality with our marriage and her pregnancy. I was initially attracted to her for her good looks. Her fanatical love of Fried Chips and Pizza, matched my own desires for these meals! She was a Wine affecionado, but little did I know.... The night before she gave birth, heavily pregnant, she prepared a Star Night dinner for the two of us. The main ingredient of the meal, Wine! She proceeded to drink with gusto and then proclaimed a desire (in a drunken state of mind) to climb to the top of Mother Hill! What an effort that must have been! The morning after the Star night festival, she gave birth to Boy Star, a most joyous day for me. The only sad thing being that I was unable to hold my own child, that task was left entirely up to Karen. It seems it must be quite an onerous task, as every morning Boy Star greets me with a loud WaaaaH and Karen lets me know how she has been suffering from a lack of sleep having been kept awake all night from his crying. She didn't want to wake me and I presume she was ticked off that I managed to sleep through the racket! Oh how I'd love to help and hold my child! I'm sure that he is crying for a father's love! In the afternoons while Karen ponders what to cook, she leaves Boy Star crying in bed. All my attempts to console him are futile as I cannot pick him up! Karen is obviously tired of his crying and has dumped him in the bedroom. Her lack of motherly skills was demonstrated on New Years Eve as well. Confused as to whether the party in the Inn was at 6pm on the 30th or the 1st, I visited the Inn shortly after 6pm on the 30th. There I found Duke, passed out on the floor with a pink face, muttering on about nothing! I managed to somehow take him home to the winery where his wife, Manna, scolded him for his poor behaviour. This man has quite a drinking problem. I'm sure it doesn't help him owning a Winery, where there is an endless supply of Wine. Anyway I digress.... Still thinking that there could be a further party going on at the Inn, I returned there only to then find Karen and Ann screaming at each other. It seemed I had come into the middle of an argument. Karen was drunk and being boisterous and generally disorderly, so I also had to to guide her back home. Heaven knows where Boy Star was while she was getting drunk at the Inn. I presume he must have been crying in bed. I was really shocked! Karen did try to make things up to me by telling me that she far preferred walking with me than drinking alone in the Inn. I had to agree! She went back inside to Boy Star and in a disgusted mood I went up into the Hillside to go fish in the lake for the last time that winter. In the lake there is one place where it does not freeze in winter. It is where lake falls over the Goddess Falls, just in front of the bridge. I caught a medium sized fish and my spirits lifted. As midnight approached, I carried on further up the mountain to join the festivities there. Karen must have been hung over because she didn't make it. I chatted to everyone there and watched the sun rise over a new year in Harvest Moon. This also marked the end of my trial period as determined by Thomas the Mayor. He met me at the farm on the new day. He had good news for me! I had succeeded in making the farm a success, and I had succeeded in making friends with all the villagers, and I could stay. Yippee! We walked to the Square where everyone had gathered to compliment me and tell stories about me and my success. I really felt proud to have made it, and although it was a forgone conclusion that I would succeed, I still reveled in the praise! The credits then rolled, with beautiful pictures of all the characters in this magic game. However, that is not the end, I can now continue to live my life on the farm, and enjoy all the riches I have accumulated.

If you think that I am mad for becoming so involved in this game, I think you should read a blog post from Freyashawk entitled Addictions and the Four Seasons. It sums up my feeling and interactions with this game perfectly.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Knotty Boy

I have dreadlocks, some may consider dreadlocks dirty or unkempt, but my dreads are sparkly and clean, mostly thanks to Knotty Boy dread products. They make Dread wax, a combination of bees wax, organic hemp oil and a range of other oils. This is really good at fixing the dreads to prevent them from coming loose, and helping bind the hairs to each other, especially at the base of the dread, where is forms near the scalp. The wax is not really needed on the lower ends of the dreads as it would already have matted well there. My girlfriend loves fixing my dreads and uses a crochet hook and the wax to neaten them up every 2 months or so. Usually when there is at least more than 2cm of new hair growth. This gives her something to work with. Now you may think that dreads are dirty. Knotty Boy also has a range of Dread Shampoo soap bars in a variety of scents. These are good at cleaning dreads but not letting them untangle as would happen if you used regular shampoo with conditioner. The dread shampoo actually gets the dreads to tangle better as well. The only frustrating thing I find with washing my dreads is getting them to dry quickly after washing them. This is mostly a winter problem, but a few hours sitting near the central heating usually gets them mostly dry. To be truly dry needs a day or two in winter whereas in summer outside, they are bone dry in a few hours.
I have included a link to Knotty Boys website. You will find their banner at the very bottom of this page. (unfortunately the only place it fits)

Reel Fishing

I've had my eye on Natsume's Reel Fishing game for sometime now. I found it by chance on a sale in my local game store, it was less than half price so I naturally bought it! Now I have the dilemma as to to continue HM or to fish. I have had a quick peek at RF, and I like what I see. True to Natsume's philosophy with their other games; Caring for Nature, respecting other living things and behaving in a responsible manner, RF includes these ideas. So far what I have found is that there are 2 live wells, thus on any one trip you can only keep 2 fish. These fish can also be taken back to the lodge live and put into an aerated or un-aerated tank so that you can watch them. What a splendid way to see your trophy fish, much better than stuffing them and putting them on the wall. There is also a background story to the game, which is charming and is exactly what I would expect from Natsume. Way to Go! Although at first glance the game does not seem to be a graphically good as Rapala Trophies, It is way better overall in the sustainable approach it takes to fishing!

Monday, 24 March 2008

While away the winter in Harvest Moon

Karen is pregnant and it seems like she has been that way for some time now, The Fall has passed and winter has begun. No Crops to be harvested, except for the occasional bumper cash crop of pineapples in the Hothouse that pumps up my balance of G. However a flock of 10 chickens and a barn filled to bursting with Cows and Sheep are daily tasks that keep me busy in real time, as time stops whilst indoors in Harvest Moon. They are quite a job to take care of, yet I cannot bear to sell them. The products from my animals I now mostly ship as raw and unmade, as there is no real need for me to earn money. I think that I am already a millionaire farmer who has no worry for cash. Whereas I would never previously nave bought food at the inn, now, I'm a regular customer whenever I pass by!

Anyway back to original reason for this post about whiling away the Winter. I want Karen to give birth as quickly as possible and I have resorted to going to bed as early as 6:30 am! (This just to make time pass as quickly as possible so that I can begin playing as a girl). Karen must think I'm nuts, but then again, she's also not too sane, as she pleads with her unborn child to stop tormenting her. I think that the end of the pregnancy is near, and I shall start contemplating what name I shall give the child when its born. I am truly curious as to its gender too!

Friday, 21 March 2008

The Superest

Kevin Cornell and Matthew Sutter have teamed up and play 'My Team Your Team'. The game involves each player, in turn, creating a superhero that defeats the hero before it. I have been watching this site grow from the beginning. Each weekday there is a new hero. Follow the link from the RSS feed on the right.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Another site that I have been wanting to include in my blog is Kiva. This is a site where you can sponsor real people in the developing world to help them begin their own small businesses.

Please click on the link in this post or from the profile bar on the right.

The Story of Stuff

Well it is nothing too new or fresh, but it certainly is worth a view if you have not watched it. It is all about how our would is being polluted by excess consumerism. Why we keep on buying more stuff, and how damaging all the excessive stuff is to our planet and ourselves. Take a look from the link on the right

Going back to Harvest Moon

I have picked up where I left off in Boy & Girl. Karen is still pregnant and I am plodding through the days till we receive our child. It is reather tedious work, as I have a full shed of chickens and 11 cows and 9 sheep to take care of each day. The hothouse is full of Pineapples which bring in a lot of gold, in the fields I have sweet potatoes now in the Fall. Woollard the sheep just won the sheep contest and so I have 2 sheep with golden fleeces. I hope to soon also try my hand at playing the girl version. When I do so, I am going to follow Freyashawk's example and try to get all the batchelors to red heart before getting married to one of them. I already think that I will want to marry Kai, mostly because he is probably the hardest to court, only being there in the summer. Still I hope that the daunting task of starting afresh will not prove to arduous.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Cutting Ties

Oh well Lonkiponk's design only scored a 1.89, but she got a lot of nice comments. I have heard that she is working on a new design, I cannot wait to see it submitted!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Lonkiponk's Debut on Threadless

Threadless is design and social networking website where Teeshirts and designed and sold in a webstore. It is an online community and I am pleased to announce that Lonkiponk, one of my favourite illustrators/designers, has submitted her first design to be voted on. The design is up for voting for one week only and I think at the time of writing has about 5 days left. She creates the most fantastic designs and her characters are famous in our town. Her submitted Teeshirt design has 2 of her very cute flying men on it! Check it out on the link to the right!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

The Sims2: Castaway

In my quest to find non-violent games for my PSP, I came across Sims2:Castaway.

In the past 2 months, I have been playing this game non-stop and have really enjoyed the alternative reality of living on a quirky, deserted island.

Freyashawk, after hearing that I had purchased the game, was intrigued, and being the kindly soul that she is, proceeded to write up a guide for the game. Although she wrote the guide for the Wii platform, the game guide is relevant for the PSP platform (and probably other ones too) aswell. Thanks Freyashawk! :-)

Initially Freyashawk discovered that the PSP version seemed to have inherent bugs in it causing the game to shut the PSP down. This may have been the reason she wrote the guide for the Wii platform. What happens is, that during loading from one location to another or during the save process, the PSP seems to become overloaded and it shuts down. This causes you to lose all your unsaved info. Quite a frustrating experience. I also discovered the bug, it happened to me 3 times, very early on in the game, but I persevered, and the bug did not return.

I have now almost finished the game, there is only one more goal that I have not completed and that is to catch a chicken and harvest its eggs. I will need to make and set more traps! The game itself is really nice, perhaps that is a weak adjective for the game, but I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the game during my daily train commute. The realistic graphics, although they sometimes don't render properly, go a long way to adding to the enjoyment of the game. Another aspect of the game that I really enjoyed was the randomness of some of the events or items. Picking up and reading the messages in the bottles that wash up on shore provided many amusing moments. The fact that you always have soft (dry) toilet paper with you is another! The discriptions of many of the items in your inventry are also very funny.

The play-ability of the game after you have reached all targets is another bonus. You can continue to create new outfits and new furniture for your houses that you build if you choose to remain on the island after being rescued. You can fish to your hearts content. This makes me very happy and there are many fish types that you can catch. I absolutely love the fact that you can catch a shark that is almost as big as you are, if not bigger, and that you can catch this with a small whippy rod that looks like a fly-fishing rod!

On the whole a very nice game that follows a very linear storyline, but that still allows you to follow your own adventure as you go along. If you get the chance, get and play this game!

Thanks Freyashawk

Ok, my Harvest Moon friend Freyashawk, has stimulated me to continue blogging...

Friday, 25 January 2008


after a hiatus, well lets call it laziness to be truthful, I hope to be become a more regular blogger, keep em peeled!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Fishing in Mineral Town

Well Skyrender's guide was correct with regard to the fishing pole. Winter finished and as soon as my pond defrosted in the spring, I took all the fish I had been storing in my fridge in Winter and threw them in the pond, which was quite a few trips back and forth. But the very next day I was rewarded by Greg the fisherman, who gave me the upgraded Fishing Pole. This really improves your ability to catch fish. I have used that Pole to catch some of the King Fish. So far I have caught the Angler Fish (late night fishing in the ocean in Winter), The Char (in the river by the Hot Spring after you have cooked all the fish dishes) and the Catfish (in the underground lake in the Winter Mine). Still remaining are the Squid (can only be caught in Summer) and the Bream (can only be caught when all other King Fish are caught). I think that to catch the Squid you also need to have shipped (by hand) at least 200 fish, which means I have another 50 or so fish to catch and ship.
The best place to fish, but the furtherest away, is the lake by the Winter Mine. Although only small and medium fish are caught there, the catch rate of fish to garbage is small. It is also useful to not litter anywhere, to improve your catch rate, and its best to forgive your littering sins by confessing to Carter the priest in the confessional on Mondays or Wednesdays between 1pm - 3pm.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Tales from HipPiTy Farm

Progress is going slowly on HipPiTy Farm, currently I am playing in Winter of my 2nd year, I am trying to make sure that I can achieve all targets. Winter is a tiresome season, only the crops from the hothouse and the products from my animals to generate income. Via the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Harvest Moon I have found a recipe book and a walkthrough. The walk through does not interest me as much as the recipe book. Having built up quite a supply of edible products in my fridge, I have slowly been learning more recipes. Some of them seem a little un-intuitive, for example, one would have assumed that you would use the pot to make popcorn, but instead one uses the frying pan! I can imagine my character picking up popped corn from all over the kitchen... but anyway...

Skyrender's walkthrough for me is a little dry, I glanced over it and found some information, that I otherwise would not have found out, namely that there is also a fishing pole to be obtained. Apparently Greg the fisherman will come and admire your pond once it has more than 50 fish in it, and as a reward for such an abundant supply of fish will give you a fishing pole, which improves your fishing ability. I did not know this earlier, so I have been selling off all my fish from the pond as they get big. Now that I have found that out and now that winter has come around I have been been frantically fishing and stockpiling fish in the fridge to put into the pond in spring, hopefully I can get the fishing pole soon. On the topic of fishing, Skyrender, also mentions in his walkthrough, about different fish that can be caught in different locations. I do not know if this is true for the PSP version Boy and Girl, as his guide is written for the original version of Back to Nature, but if it is true, I have a lot more fishing to do to catch the various King Fishes.

Happy harvesting!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Free Rice

In line with my previous post on Ripple, helping the developing world through the power of the Internet, comes today's blog post.


This website is set up as a word game where you have to choose synonyms for the word displayed. For each word you have 4 choices, for each correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated via the United Nations to feed the world's hungry. The game starts out quite easy and gets more difficult with each correct answer. With each incorrect answer, the difficulty level drops and you get asked a new word. You don't lose any grains of rice that you have donated.

The money to donate the rice is once again, like Ripple, generated by advertising that appears on the website.

The total number of grains of rice donated now (13th November 2007) stands on 1,712,371,750 grains since the 7th of October 2007, this figure seems to be increasing exponentially as the website becomes more known.

The lovely dual benefit of this site is that not only are you providing a meal for someone, aleviating their hunger, but you are also improving your vocabularly, and spending your time on the net for a good cause.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

HipPiTy Farm

I love the fact that you can customise your farm in Harvest Moon to give names to all of your animals at birth. With names, your animals, especially the cows and sheep, become like friends that you greet each day by name. I have not sold any animals yet in Boy and Girl, but in Innocent life, when you sold an animal, you were asked "If you sell Daisy the cow, you will never see her again, are you sure you want to continue?" This almost had me in tears the first time I read it, and I didn't go through with the sale! However in Innocent Life, you did not have the option to give your animals personal names, instead you had to choose one from a list. Being a vegetarian, and an animal lover, I love this aspect of Harvest Moon.
In Boy & Girl I have personalized my animals in the following way:

Farm: HipPiTy farm
Farmer: Shaggy
Dog: NiKs
Horse: PIkwIk *
Sheep: ShaWn, WooLard*, YarNaRd*, LaMbERt*, BaaBAra*, FleeCi**
Cows: TriXsY, DikXi *, LiKxI **, PiKxi **, FiKxi **, WiKxi **, RiKxi **, BiKxi **
Chickens: ChuCki, CLuk*, CHooKi, CheePa, KliKi *, ChUkXI *, ChIkXi *, ChUnKi *, RooSta *, HeNRi **

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

If only....

If only real life was like a Harvest Moon game.....

1. You inherit a farm
2. Time stands still when you are in the supermarket
3. You can survive eating only one meal a day
4. It hardly ever rains in summer
5. Prospective marriage partners are impressed by simple gifts
6. Small spites help you with your daily chores
7. You can build a Hothouse with wood alone
8. If you want you can fish all day long
9. Cows and sheep can conceive without bulls or rams
10. You can harvest honey without getting stung