(Vocal Reprise) The greatest game I never thought I’d play, and the terrible thing about preconceived notions

Taking into consideration all the games I’ve played over the past six or seven years, I’d be hard pressed to find a game that affected me more than Grand Theft Auto IV. When it came to writing a post about it, there was sooooo much I wanted to include.  In the end, however, that “sooooo much” turned into a post bloated with repetitive and somewhat undignified praise. While I think I did a good job cutting things, you’ll be the judge of its final copy in aural form here.

The greatest game I never thought I’d play, and the terrible thing about preconceived notions, original post from 2/9/2012.
Duration: 6:54
Final thought: I have since developed a fear of motorcycles in games…any games…even if you don’t have to ride them.

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Seven Favorite Female Game Characters (Who Aren’t Samus)


The post below should speak for itself, and I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. But, if I may so shamelessly plug, my list here actually has a secret part two, which will be posted on United We Game this Thursday. In the meantime, click below and be sure to check out all the other great content we’ve got going on there!

Originally posted on United We Game:

In case you’ve failed to look at a calendar during the past two weeks, it’s March, and that means it’s Women’s History Month. Though I’d like to think that we should simply celebrate humanity year-round, this provides some excuse to examine more closely the many contributions women have made to our collective history…of video games! Though depictions of women in some games are not without issue, great female characters have made (and continue to make) their marks in games past and present. Topping my list of favorite female characters is Samus Aran, the now-ubiquitous bounty hunter from the Metroid series. But I’ve not much more praise to foist upon her than has already been foisted. So here’s my list of seven notable females (from games I’ve played) that have held their own among the immense cast of video games characters.

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It’s Liebstering All Over the Place!

Over the past couple weeks, my reader has been brimming with the likes of the Liebster Award — a blog “award” that’s passed round with the intention of sending shoutouts to and discovering new blogs. Though it seems the Liebster’s format has changed a bit since I first received the award back in 2013 (she said both coyly and dumbly) , its mission remains about the same, and I’m more than happy to follow through with answering questions, creating more questions, and sending out nominations of my own. Many thanks to Mr. Luvva Luvva and Soulbound Life for their nods — please do follow their happy, lovely blogs if you’re not doing so already.


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Recipe Challenge: Fried Rice with Mushrooms


Sharing another one here from 8bit Kitchen. (You are following it…yeeeeessss??) This time, it’s a recipe I made up myself, which isn’t something I often do. I’m the kind of person who likes to follow directions (I coulda been a cartographer!), but when 8bit Kitchen’s contributors received a recipe challenge, I would have been daft to say no. Read on to find out more about the challenge and my special (and thankfully tasty) recipe.

Originally posted on 8bit Kitchen:

Mushrooms and I have a…well…rocky relationship. That’s to say I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding them. For many years, they simply struck out in both the taste and texture departments. (Unless they were hidden so deeply in a dish as to be completely unrecognizable.) But some years ago I learned about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms, and since then have been trying to accept them into my life. I can now eat mushrooms on a pizza without wincing and can make a suitable mushroom gravy when needed. I’ve also been cooking with them more as I would any regular vegetable. The results have been…not the worst, but I still have a long way to go in become the world’s greatest mushroom chef.

Part of this re-examination of mushrooms has involved trying different varieties. For the most part, and thanks to their explosion of the 2000s, portabella mushrooms…

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(Vocal Reprise) It’s not you, it’s me. My short and uneventful ride on the Spirit Tracks.

Moving on with this series, I…um…okay, look.  It’s all I can do to apologize for this article. It’s incoherence is painful, and the reading below is somewhere round my 9th or 10th attempt at it, because I simply couldn’t stop stumbling over its lack of direction. But, in my defense, it was written during a stupidly busy time. I was in the midst of planning a wedding and we had just bought a house. Life was not kind then, and apparently my writing reflected that.

Sorry to be so stupid. Just tell me to shut the hell up, and you enjoy (to whatever degree you feel comfortable) the reading!

It’s not you, it’s me. My short and uneventful ride on the Spirit Tracks, original post from 3/14/2012.
Duration: 7:34
Final thought: “This is why I really shouldn’t write, or speak.” EXACTLY.

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No whips, witnesses, or Wookies here

As most of the world knows by now, Harrison Ford was in a plane crash late last week. He’s “on the mend” according to recent reports, which is great to hear. … Not that I know him personally, but I am a decently unoblivious fan of his movies. With that in mind, here’s an article I wrote for Geek Force Network (originally posted on May 17, 2013) about a few of my favorite Harrison Ford movies that didn’t involve the things he’s best known for — treasure hunting, space battles, futuristic crime-fighting, Amish drama, or dealing with one-armed men. 

What Lies Beneath still

© DreamWorks Pictures (2000)

I’m not just a Harrison Ford fan; I’m a Harrison Ford apologist.

He was a pretty decent as Russian guy, da? I mean, he was stuck in a sub, after all. It’s not like you can make a great movie in a submar–…huh? The what about Red October?  Oh.

He wasn’t so bad. Anybody looks good opposite Greg Kinnear.

Crystal Skull??
Yeah, it was awful, but it was totally fun seeing Ford and Allen back together. And yes, I have the movie on Blu-Ray. You wanna fight about it?

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Album Rundown: Metallica

One of the most awesome things about blogging is that inspiration can strike at any moment, and it come from the least expected of sources. Last month, I received a comment on my iTunes Diaries post about Slayer from the mind behind Games I Made My Girlfriend Play concerning Metallica. The comment read, in part:

I would love to read your thoughts on Metallica. Perhaps an iTunes Diary post about Master of Puppets is in our collective future?

I responded in kind as to why nothing from my Metallica collection would qualify for the iTunes Diaries (in short: I own the albums on CD and the iTunes Diaries posts are about single songs I download from iTunes), but the thought remained. Why not dedicate a post to Metallica? Though I don’t possess every Metallica album and can’t claim to be the band’s #1 fan, I followed Metallica closely for awhile, and my iPod just wouldn’t be “my iPod” without its music.

In thinking about how to best approach a musical, compilation-type post like this, I decided to arrange the albums in the order in which I was introduced to them, rather than simply chronologically or by some other scheme. That just made the most sense, because Metallica hasn’t always fit so snugly into my musical life, and the moments I came into possession of their albums were unique. But don’t worry, I’ll refrain from drowning this whole operation in nostalgia. If anything, shorter will be sweeter. I’ll touch upon likes and dislikes and maybe get into the musicality of each album (lightly that is — I’m no musicologist). And as I said, this won’t cover every Metallica album, just the ones I have. Onward then! And into the void…

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Deleting the Fluff; Playing with Passion


I’ll admit it. For awhile there I was really into playing games on my tablet. I had lots of games from which to choose, and that number seemed to grow weekly every time I logged into Google Play. All it took was the re-introduction of Xenoblade Chronicles to make me take a long, hard look at the direction in which my gaming life was going. I covered this journey to redemption (or maybe “redemption”) in the following post for United We Game.

Originally posted on United We Game:

If I was placed under duress to name one amazing aspect of modern gaming, (because there are many) it would be accessibility. Simply put, one need not stray far from common technologies to access video games. They are available through consoles, desktops, laptops, streaming devices (i.e. Roku), tablets, and phones. And perhaps most importantly, a good many available games are FREE. Well…make that “free,” at least in some cases.

When I first got a phone that was capable for playing games, I loaded it to the brim with free fodder like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Same thing happened when I got my first tablet. Only with the tablet, I expanded my game gobbling to include paid titles as well as freemium games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. And I was happy. I was happy to have nothing less than…

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