Well another Xmas has come and gone and I’ve spent the afternoon recovering from an overdose of Turkey, Chocolate and the hyperactive activities of sugar influenced children.

While I’ve been lounging around I’ve taken the time to pick up a few new purchases from emusic and itunes.  I’ll be adding these to the blog this evening.

At the moment I think its time for a little more rest.

*** I can’t believe its been so long since I’ve made a post.  Time to get back into the swing of things I feel.

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As I’ve been having problems with my log in for the last few days (still unresolved?!), I’ve taken the time to reacquaint myself with 2 of my favorite Browser Based Games and thought I’d share them with you.

Each of these games is free to play, and do not require any downloads to you computer. All you need is you internet connection and a browser.

The first up is one of the many football (soccer) management games available online.

http://www.xperteleven.com/

xperteleven.com screenshot

While I have signed up with a number of these football management games I’ve found xperteleven to be the only one I would recommend mainly due to it’s simple text based interface, low system requirements and non-obtrusive advertising.

While there is a paid option for this service, it really only provides extra stats and for most users the free service provides plenty of information to help your team/s on the road to success.

If you have never played a football management game before I think this is one would be a good place to start. You could jump right in and add your name to one of the public competitions available to all members (with over 1,000 clubs per league) or start you own, inviting a few friends to join in the fun

http://www.ogame.org/

The second of the games is ogame.

ogame is another text based game and it is best described as an empire building simulation, set in a massive galactic setting where you are competing against 1000’s of other players.

ogame.org screenshot

The beauty of this game for me is that you are actually competing with other players (I’ve been attacked / raided several times) and that the interface is very easy to understand – which leaves you free to plan your next move. Be it building more ships for your next raid, strengthening your planetary defenses or bulking up your mine production.

Like xperteleven, ogame does have a paid service option…however, until such time as you are truly competitive in your galaxy (which could take a many months of work) it’s probably not something you need to consider for some time.

Well this post took a lot longer than expected.  For some reason I have had log in problems and have been unable to update the blog.  All appears fine now…so lets get on with it.

Here are my latest music purchases through emusic.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s an eclectic mix this month.

Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals

Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals

China Dub Soundsystem – Made in China

China Dub Soundsystem - Made in China

Kode 9 – Memories of the Future

Kode 9 - Memories of the Future

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Naturally

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Naturally

Pinch – Underwater Dancehall

Pinch - Underwater Dancehall

Studio – West Coast

Studio - West Coast

I’ll be adding notes progressively for each of the titles as I listen to them more in depth over the coming week.

With the close of 2007 marking the end of the first full month of the ‘cultnation’,  I thought it would be a good exercise to review the 5 most viewed entries during the period.

#1  100 Books…

While a page more than a blog entry, the ‘100 Books…‘ list drew by far the largest number of page views during the month.  I have big plans for this entry (and it’s associated project) so I’m glad fellow bloggers and general surfers have found it interesting to date.

#2  New Music, 12th December 2007

Maybe I didn’t realise just how popular searching for ‘new music’ was on the net, as this entry also drew a large number of page views.  It was pointed out to me by one of my readers that a little more information regarding each of the releases (and maybe the album covers) would be a good inclusion…I’ve taken note and my next entry which I should be posting this evening will be a little more detailed.

#3  The ‘Baroque Cycle’, Neal Stephenson (100 Books…)

Of all the title specific entries made in December regarding books, it was Neal Stephenson’s epic ‘Baroque Cycle that proved the most popular.  Hopefully, I interested a few readers enough that they will pick up this series.

#4  New Album…Burial – Untrue

A brief entry, but a popular one.  In short, if you like electronic music I don’t think you can go wrong with either of Burial’s albums.

#5  cultnation’s – Top 5 Portable Games for 2007

I couldn’t resist this one.  Every gaming site in the world releases at least one (usually more) top games lists each year, so I thought why not me on my little blog.  By getting in early – releasing the list mid-december (just on my b’day) – I was thinking I might get a little more interest from fellow bloggers.  What do you know, it worked!!!

I hope you enjoyed my first month.

What a bloody hot day. From what sources I can gather it hit 38 degrees today.

I spent most of the day trying my best to keep my pets cool, by moving them around the backyard, keeping them in the shade and running a continuous supply of frozen water bottles up to them. The poor things, I don’t know how they’re going to cope tomorrow when it’s forcast to at least hit 40 degrees. I might have to bring them inside for some relief in front of the aircon…though I don’t know how I will manage that with 15 cavies.

Trying my best to stay out of the heat today I decided to do a little music shopping online using emusic. I think I’ve mentioned before that it’s now my favourite online music retailer and I’ve had some fun this month picking out an eclectic mix of albums to add to my collection. I’ll let you know how I went tomorrow as I’m still downloading the last album.

Did I mention it is hot down here today. Still around 30 degrees and it’s 2340hrs / nearly midnight!!!

Good, the download has finished. Time to crash with some new tunes as I fall asleep playing Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.

A few weeks before Christmas I was lucky enough to win an auction on eBay for 400 second-hand Science-Fiction and Fantasy paperbacks…all for the magic price of AU$50.

At the time I thought it was a bargain, however on getting the books home I soon realised that the collection had previously shared a residence with a smoker, with the second hand smoke of many a cigarette strongly evident as I unpacked my winnings from their boxes.

I’m fairly particular with how I keep my books and I absolutely hate getting them soiled or damaged in any way. Many people who see my shelves ask me if I’ve even read half the titles as they still look new, with no dog ears, no cracked spines, no pen / pencil marks and definitely no greasy fingerprints on the covers. So you can probably imagine my disappointment being confronted with the strong smell of spent tobacco on each and every book.

Despite the fact that they are aflicted with a condition that will prevent them from ever joining my library as part of the permanent collection, they should certainly give me a good year or two of disposable reading with the auction containing a majority of titles I have never read before.

All in all, at 13 cents a book I suppose I shouldn’t really worry or complain about it too much.

I must have been busy yesterday, because I plain forgot to list the 3rd title I was lucky to score Christmas morning…Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow.

Logan’s Shadow

While I’m not so much a fan of FPS or Tactical Shooters I was glad to see this title appear in my hands as I was ripping away the wrapping paper. My collection was starting to get a little RPG heavy and playing in another genre for a while should bring a little more variety to my gaming day.

Trouble is with so many games sitting on my desk it may be a while before the plastic wrap comes off this title. At least I’m guaranteed some decent gaming over the coming weeks.