Pizza Saturday

A new day. Let’s not allow any crap from yesterday mess up today. The cynical side of me is shouting – today probably has enough new crap to keep me occupied. But today is a new page and let’s see what it brings. Pigging lots of fun I hope.

Late last night (430am) I finally gained some control over my two brain cell super computer. My mind wandered to the stuff which social distancing is stopping which we could run virtually.

A virtual darts league

A virtual computer gaming league ( would be even more fun if it was just for those whose middle name is something like ‘Games Nube’ or ‘Apart from the old Atari tennis game I’m generally Crap’)

Virtual Cooking schools and bake offs (we did a brilliant one last year)

Virtual Gardening Clubs or in my case a Virtual Mass Plant Murderer Club

Virtual Exercise or Yoga Gyms

Virtual Book a major event. Say Wrestlemania, LiveAid, Woodstock, The Great Exhibition

Virtual Coffee Meet-ups

Virtual let’s recreate the cinema experience and watch the same film then review it night out

Virtual Homeschooling school gate meet-ups

Virtual bad hair days

Virtual fashion disasters as we can do whatever we like in our homes. Really go for it

Virtual design with Lego or whatever you have in the house challenges (come up with a theme and see what people and the kids make)

Virtual let’s write a song together gigs

Virtual let’s make pizza lunches.

On the subject of making pizza. Well that’s what we have just done.

Yes it’s not to Pizza Express standards. But we don’t care because we had fun… and yes I know the work surface needs a good clean…… Our pizza session also introduced a new concept to me. Ethical Cooking Balance.

Son looked at my attempt. A pizza which was completely dairy, gluten, meat free. Then back to his. A normal ham, full on dairy pizza.

“Dad I think your pizza looks a bit sad. It needs something. Maybe some proper cheese and ham”

“Well son it won’t be ethical then would it”

Well think about it. I will take some of my existing topping and put that on yours. You then put some of your ethical topping on mine. We have not used any less ethical products and not used any more unethical stuff. The quantities are exactly the same as before. But now my pizza is slightly more ethical and yours is slightly less ethical, but will taste infinitely better. So we still have balance”

I tried but couldn’t really argue with that. So that’s what happened. And yes he was right – it did taste so much better….

Progress

If you think that pesky dog is getting his bed back then he can think again….

Today is a bit of a milestone. After encouraging him for months son has today joined in a Minecraft multiplayer game with some of the other kids at his school. Thankfully it’s some of the really nice kids. He is currently sat wearing his game headset talking some strange language about mods and Ender Dragon Portals. Worryingly it’s a language I understand just about. That’s real progress.

Now I just need to make progress on the dog and cat sharing front. Not going to happen.

FIFA

While driving back from work I was listening to a radio phone in with the following phrases repeatedly hurled about

  • Brainwashing
  • Fostering violence
  • Casual link to crime
  • Fuelling drugs
  • Breakdown of relationships
  • Death of books
  • Mind numbing
  • Addiction
  • Causing depression
  • School failings
  • Antisocial
  • Evil

The target of this torrent of abuse – Computer Games. Lots of people phoning in demanding that gaming is banned. Many of the callers from the sound of it have never used a computer, never mind have and clue about important stuff like a Donkey Kong.

So let’s balance out the argument a tad.

One of the best ways our son has found to unwind and release some of his anxieties is through a bit of gaming. Games like FIFA, Clash Of Clans, Fortnite, Roadblock, Minecraft and Crossy Roads. Just an hour now and then really makes a difference.

On top of helping him relax it offers other positive elements

  • Helps develop his hand eye coordination
  • Works on his fine motor skills
  • Teaches patience and the benefits of practice
  • Helps with recognising common gaming words – helps with dyslexia
  • Provides a common and interesting subject he can discuss with other kids
  • Provides a fun way of learning how to cope with time pressures.

And above all it helps build confidence and a sense of achievement. The smile on his face when he gets to a new level or succeeds in a task tells you everything. He’s still glowing after winning the Champions League with Inter Milan.

So yes gaming does have its pitfalls but let’s not forget that it can be a shed load of fun and if moderated can be really beneficial.

So while he’s not looking let’s see if I can get Newcastle United to win something. Just like in real life that’s not going to happen. Maybe if I get Mario, Sonic, Pac-man and Lara Croft on my team……

Moon Lander

If there was ever a competition for the most inept computer gamer on the planet – then get all your money on me. I am beyond useless. My latest gaming disaster involves trying to land a command module onto the moon. When you look up at the moon tonight just remember most of those craters you can see are down to me.

Pressure was on, son looking over my shoulder. Looking good then panic and yet another smoking crater formed.

“Dad I’ve found the perfect job for you. NASA have started crashing space crafts into the surface of planets. Cassini was smashed into Saturn. You would be the perfect remote pilot. You would never fail.”

“Having said that you would probably hit Saturn that hard you would probably knock it out of its orbit”

AGAIN MY SHAME IS COMPLETE