Friday, March 22, 2013

Rant Ramblings: Week of 3-22-13

I'm still in the middle of packing up all my worldly possessions, so things are pretty hectic around here. This week's column is again a bit on the short side as a result.

To kick things off, here's the trailer for Saints Row 4, which was released last Friday(after I already had that week's post up). It looks appropriately insane. I friggin' love that you're the president of the US in this game! Hopefully we'll be able to bling the fuck out of our White House crib.

What the hell is going on at DC? Wednesday, we discovered that incoming Action Comics writer Andy Diggle has left the book, while Joshua Hale Fialkov has left the Green Lantern books he was slated to write. The first issues of their respective runs have yet to even ship. Yesterday, the rumor made the rounds that Fialkov's exit was due to his objections over an editorially-mandated edict to kill John Stewart.  Writers leaving books over creative differences is nothing new, but there has been an unusually high occurrence of such conflicts since the DC New 52 relaunch. Frankly, DC editorial seems to be a bit of a mess, and that's not good for the line. It results in some poorly-written books, and that screws the readers who spend good money on them. I still enjoy a good many DC books, but all too many have been negatively affected by such issues in the past couple of years. There is one editor in particular who is involved with several of the books that have had these issues; one wonders if he might be the problem. Whatever the case may be, I hope DC editorial can get its act together a little better.

Here is an awesome story about the 1400 pound block of cheese President Andrew Jackson received as a gift, and how he disposed of it. This is a must-read.

This dude has figured out a way to grow pears that are shaped like baby Buddhas. That just rocks on so many levels.

I leave you with this animated Calvin and Hobbes strip, made by animator Adam Brown. Brown wisely chose a strip that is silent, so you don't have to worry about being weirded out by suddenly hearing a voice for Calvin.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rant Ramblings: Week of 3-15-13

Spring break is upon us, that special time in which we take a week to celebrate my birthday! You're welcome. It's also been a crazy hectic week around here, so this week's column is well on the short side.

Reviews for the new Evil Dead are coming in, and they are overwhelmingly positive. I always reserve judgment on movies until I've seen them myself, but it is encouraging to see so much enthusiasm for this movie. I may have to wait until it lands on Blu-ray or Netflix, but I am looking forward to watching it. (This is the problem with having a significant other and a set of friends who do not like horror movies. You NEVER get to go see them in the theater.)

Speaking of that classic movie franchise, reports are flowing in about a sequel to Army of Darkness, which would mean we would effectively have two Evil Dead film series at once. Sounds great to me! This is not the first time we've heard that Raimi is working on a sequel, however, so try not to get your hopes up until they actually begin filming the thing.

Here is a very interesting site about M. C. Escher's unfinished Print Gallery, and how it was completed long after his death by a couple of mathematicians.

That's it for this week!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rant Ramblings: Week of 3-8-13

My birthday is coming up on Monday, but I'm giving YOU a gift! I've made my first book, Nightmare Escapade: A Horror Anthology, free today through Tuesday. If you still don't have it yet for some reason, now is your chance! If you would then take a few minutes to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, it would be much appreciated. Spread the word on Twitter and Facebook, and tell all your friends!

I was finally able to start playing The Simpsons Tapped Out last week; even with the release of the Android version of the game, it still was not available in Amazon's app store, so I had to sideload the game to be able to play it on my Kindle Fire. It's been a lot of fun building my own version of Springfield and populating the town, and the St. Patrick's Day update that came out yesterday added a couple more things, including the 50-foot magnifying glass and the leprechaun. You can check out some photos from my Springfield right here.

Via Reddit, here are some instructions on how to easily block a certain IP address that will stop all the annoying buffering on Youtube videos, returning it to the kind of smooth experience that was the norm several years ago. This post explains why this fix works.

The Big Lebowski, one of my favorite movies and a bona-fide cultural phenomenon, is turning 15. There are too many features and such celebrating the anniversary for me to run through here, so check out this link that'll let you pick and choose what you like.

I've been playing Saints Row 2 this week, after making my through the third game some time ago. There are definitely a few things the third game had that I miss in this one, but it's basically the same solid gameplay at its core, enhanced by the irreverent attitude that I love so much in the third game. It's already clear that the main story is going to be much longer in this game, but I think the third one made up for its brevity with the presentation and implementation of the missions. I just don't seem to enjoy many of the missions as much as I loved the main story in SR3. The game is still lots of fun all the same, and I'll be seeing it through to the end. The community seems pretty evenly split between those who like SR2 best and those who prefer SR3; ultimately, it mostly comes down to whether you prefer SR2's more even mix of zaniness with mostly straight-laced action and storytelling, or the balls-out insanity of SR3. For my part, I'm enjoying SR2 quite a bit, but SR3 was an absolute blast all the way through. I played through SR3's main story twice, but I don't see myself replaying this one once I've finished it.

Yesterday, DC announced that Kurt Busiek's Astro City is returning in June with a new ongoing series. For anyone who has read this book in the past, this obviously fantastic news! It's been far too long since we've had any Astro City, and we'd grown accustomed to only getting miniseries and one-shots, at that.

That's it for this week; download my book, and have a skeery weekend!