Thursday, October 30, 2014

MORGANVILLE THE SERIES Behind The Scenes Exclusives

Have you been following Morganville The Series? Have you been enjoying #Halloweek on Geek and Sundry? Need more Morganville check out these Exclusive images.

Morganville had its World Exclusive Premiere at London Comic Con at MCM, I was lucky enough to be there and it was a blast to hear from author Rachel Caine and the Cast of the show. Robert Picardo was on particular form if there is YouTube footage out there it is worth watching.

A quick guide to Morganville Vampires by yours truly

Maybe you’re a fan of the Morganville Vampires series of books and you haven’t yet taken the leap to see if the series captures the heart and soul of that amazing series. Perhaps you like all things Vampires but haven’t yet read the books either way I can’t recommend the series enough so much that I am just going to put the first two episodes here.

Morganville: The Series – The show stars fan favorites Robert Picardo as Oliver (Star Trek: Voyager) and Amber Benson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as Amelie, as well as Lindsay Seidel (Claire), Jordan Taylor Farris (Shane), Haileigh Todd (Eve), Ben Easter (Michael), Nikki Donley (Hannah), Afomia Hailemeskel (Monica), Jessi Mechler (Gina), Taylor Murphy (Jennifer), Gregory Connors (Brandon) and Chase Ryan Jeffery (Myrnin). It is directed by Blake Calhoun, known for his award-winning and groundbreaking digital series Pink and Continuum, the show was filmed on location in Texas on a Blackmagic camera.

So you can experience in a similar way to how I did except without that female Saiyan warrior sat in the row in front of you.

After you make it through those make sure to take a longer look at the Geek & Sundry Channel on YouTube there is so much more awesome contained within I particularly recommend Caper.
Anyway I have promised you exclusive content so behold.

First we have Jessi Mechler (Gina) waiting for her shoot in Chemistry class

Second Susanna Gibbs and Jordan Farris (Shane) on set

So that's it from me just to remind you that Morganville The Series is the direct result of its fans and an incredible campaign run by Rachel Caine on Kickstarter which was then matched by Geek & Sundry. No big Hollywood studios just real fans with a passion for a series they have been enjoying for 8 years wanting to see it come to life onscreen. If you'd like to help make sure to Tweet out the new episodes when you watch them and keep an eye on the Morganville The Series and Rachel and tell them and Geek and Sundry what you think of the show so far.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sentenced To Six Months - For Being Unemployed

So it happened for the terrible crime of not being able to find a job in one of the most deprived areas in the UK I have been sentenced to 6 months of unpaid labour which is longer than you can be sentenced for committing an actual crime. It came out of the blue in my second meeting and hit me for a loop.

Apparently three years admin experience
is not good enough

Now I’m stressing out wondering how I am going to find time for actually looking for work and also how I am going to avoid getting more spurious sanctions from Seetec who manage the CWP programme. They have already put me up for 3 or 4 sanctions that I managed to get overturned in the end. My relationship with them can be best described as poor as I am currently waiting for the result of a complaint I escalated up to OIA.

So now I spend yet another series of nights writing letters to complain about my treatment by the DWP instead of researching new places to look for work or finishing off an online application. This is a short post because honestly I am too mad to trust myself to write more. Time after time I have to overcome the obstacles put in place by the DWP and the WPP and CWP organisations trying to profit from my misfortune.

I have read that in a lot of cases people get referred to Community Work Placement after challenging their advisors which it could be argued I did when I refused to sign the Claimant Commitment without having the chance to look at it in detail or maybe when I didn’t hand over my CV. That is where things have got to people who exercise their rights or simply the rules and guidelines of being a Job Seeker are punished and transferred away to be someone else’s problem. So if you’re reading this don’t believe the government and media hype about the unemployed being lazy you wouldn’t believe how much strength it truly takes to be treated like this and not snap.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

PERSONAL BLOG: Claimant Commitmentt Time/First JCP Since WP

On Monday of this week I had my first proper advisor appointment at Jobcentre Plus. To give you some idea of the sort of anxiety this caused I was up there in the JCP some 20 minutes early to calm myself down and steel myself for the various inescapable arguments. The Claimant Commitment stuff had not been done beforehand because amazingly they wanted us to blind sign it without any negotiation.

Once we got started I realised that this wasn’t going to be all that easier than dealing with advisers at the Work Programme. There is still a lot of being treated like a child and not a person no looking at things for instance I had to correct something about my CV even though he had it a copy of it right there that he could look at.

Things got interesting when the Claimant Commitment came up for ‘negotiation’ I put those quotes because he wasn’t interested in any negotiation more intimidation but to be fair I have come up against those who have been worse both in the JCP on while on the Work Programme.

Basically to cut a long back and forth short I have just spent the last few days working on my challenge to the Claimant Commitment which I will be handing in next week. Not sure if it is going to result in them stopping my benefits so I am cutting back on everything and hoping to weather any storm.

I’ve written a letter challenging aspects of the Claimant Commitment this is the summary that I want agreed. If you want some help with the letter you can drop me a comment and we’ll sort something out but I recommend unemployment movement and/or JSSA (Job Seekers Sanction Advice) they have helped me countless times.

I will use jobsites and employer websites to find and apply for jobs I can do.
Suggestion 3-4 times per week
I will ensure I have an up to date CV that I can tailor for jobs I apply for.
I will respond promptly to contacts and notifications from employers and jobsites

I’m not sure if I am going to get a sanction but hopefully I will find out on my first JCP Signing Monday and/or my next proper appointment on Wednesday I of course will keep you posted.

If you're having Work Programme or JCP feel free to talk in generalities in the comments ideally not using your real name because you're only a Google away from getting into trouble but the community is here to help.


This weekend Rachel Caine and Geek & Sundry will be presenting the World Premiere of Morganville: The Web Series based on the Best Selling YA book series Morganville Vampires at London Comic Con.

Despite recent posts of a more sombre nature this Blog is happiest when I’m writing about cool books and cool shows so imagine how happy I get when the two combine and it works out. This weekend over on this side of the Atlantic down in London Town we have London Comic Con, I don’t have the time or the proper knowledge to tell you everything that is going down there but one thing I am really interested in is the World Premiere of Morganville Vampires: The Series.

I’ve been a fan of this ever since I randomly saw a post about it on another books forum and thought “a town run by vampires, colour me INTRIGUED” so a trip to a well known online store and some listening later (I can’t recommend the first four audiobooks enough) and I knew I would be a fan till the end which was great because I had a lot of books to get caught up on.

What is Morganville Vampires about well I would tell you it is about a super smart and somewhat sheltered but brilliant young girl scared out of her dorms who stumbles on the secret her college town is hiding when she moves into the town proper. It is run by Vampires.

With the help of her three friends Claire Danvers struggles to survive and grows up in ways she couldn’t imagine as she delves into the secrets of Morganville. It has crazy science, horror, friendship and some of the best dialogue I have read in a YA novel.

I freely admit I was late to the series after Harry Potter, Twilight and Alex Cross reminded me that reading was awesome. I had a look and this was the first time I properly mentioned Morganville Vampires in my blog.

To give you some idea of my love of all things Morganville, Texas I have linked some reviews I posted on my blog.

You can find out about Rachel Caine’s appearance along with some of the cast from the show here

Well enough waffling from me check out the Trailer below then if you can’t get to Comic Con make sure to check it out on its Geek & Sundry Premiere on 27th October.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Work Programme Returners

At my last monthly Seetec appointment I was given an appointment for the jobcentre about a month or so in the future. I was told it was a small group session in a small sort of mini-office where us Work Programme types used to go to sign.

I arrived a little early and was let in at 9:00am which was the time of the appointment. There were five of us in the group meeting with an advisor who identified himself of one of a group of three advisors who deal with us Ex-WP people.

The first thing he did was talk about what we could expect the different options for what we might be expected to do but you guys know that daily signings, various courses and/or 30 hours a week Community Placements which is controlled by Seetec FYI.

After this the next thing was that the advisor handed us all Claimant Commitments and asked us to look over them and after assuring us that we could negotiate it asked us all to sign them. I said I was not happy to sign at that time and you could tell the advisor was less than pleased but after a while I think he realised that I wasn’t going to budge so told me to take it away for the first proper appointment. He also said something about legally I have to have a signed CC before my first appointment so maybe he might be setting me up for a wrongful sanction.

The Claimant Commitment also has the Jobseeker Profile on the back of it but makes it clear that it is not part of the CC. Then we were told that it was mandatory to go to this site and do one of the modules. I can’t put into words how condescending this site is, it reminded me of some of those videos from the 90s that Seetec using on their Elvis site.

Then we went on to talk about My Work Plan. There was a heavy move almost badgering to try and get us to use Universal Job Match. Then he went on to talk about the fact that steps were no longer acceptable which didn’t make a lot of sense but served to try and scare the crap out of us about how much time we spend job searching.

Oh we got taken on a tour of the Jobcentre’s computers and how to use them which requires use of our emails to sign on mention of whether not they record everything we do there also of interest is the fact there are no phones at the Jobcentre now so if you want to call someone and don’t have credit you’re shit out of luck, the advisor saying “well everything is online now”.

The last thing of interest was being told to bring in my CV which I have no problem with but I will not be leaving them with a copy after all the rubbish I went through at Seetec. Hope this helps for people coming up to the end of his sentence on Work Programme.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ultra Street Fighter IV Training

So I have been playing Ultra Street Fighter IV and trying to get to grips with the changes from Arcade Edition. I am also trying to learn some new characters, my current main is Juri. My aim is to play like this.

Obviously I am nowhere near this level but I am training and slowly getting better. I play on the PS3 which posed some problems at first with that official controller. So I did some research and managed to find a half decent alternative for a pretty low price.

It does take some configuring to use it properly and it took me ages to figure it out because I haven’t had a PS3 for all that long. The secret to getting the Sega Saturn USB controller to work on Ultra Street Fighter IV is to configure it as the first controller and obviously to have a proper PS3 controller of some description (one with a PS button) handy to navigate.

The result is a controller a heck of a lot cheaper than a £100 joystick. It is kind of scary though to make use of a copy of a control pad I used more than 15 years ago. A control pad that was a copy of an earlier pad that is 20 years old (give me a second so I can go cry).

(UPDATE) Yep it is broke. It always felt a bit flimsy but not 3 months flimsy. Nevermind I picked up an adaptor which is supposed to be lag free so I can use my old Sega Saturn controllers (I have like 3 or so) should be here by next week.

Anyway I have a couple of videos of me playing below.

Juri VS Poison

Juri VS Evil Ryu

You can find me training most likely in the evenings on PSN USFIV (UK Time) searching for opponents who are not lagging like hell. So far my best rank is D+ though I am not entirely sure how ranking and battle points work.

What games are you playing online? Yes even you COD types can talk about how awesome you are should you feel it necessary.