Friday, February 27, 2009

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix (DS) 2009

If I hadn't of wiped out the battery on my DS I'd still be playing Puzzle Quest: Galactrix. The original incarnation of Puzzle Quest is still an amazing game but Galactrix is double plus good amazing.

I would write more of a review but I think I'm just gonna play more Galactrix.

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GTA IV: The Lost and the Damned (XBOX360 DLC 2009)

While I wasn't as wet my pants enthused about the new downloadable content (DLC) for GTA IV - due to disappointing DLC for pretty much any game except for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion - I was looking forward to the possibility of playing something new on the 360.

Boy, I was wrong in not being wet my pants excited. GTA IV: The Lost and Damned (TLAD) sets the bar for what DLC should be like. TLAD is not just a new pair of pants and a couple of crummy missions - it could be it's own game. Rockstar could have charged a lot more than $20 for this release. New characters, new storyline, improved physics on bike handling, new vehicles, new weapons, new music, new missions, and a slew of other stuff. I haven't checked out the online play because well, a lot of the players online aren't all that grand.

TLAD revolves around Jon - VP of "The Lost" biker gang - and his dealings with the gang and his less than wonderful life. The story - chronologically - runs parallel to Nico's. I like the two story lines running this way. There are occasionally news bulletins about what's going on in Nico's storyline - i.e. Arson in Firefly Island. I'm trying to take my time and not just tear through the story.

There's all kinds of GTA goodness to be had in this download. I haven't found any faults yet but I will report them when I do - pending final impressions review.

Oh yeah, if you haven't heard, there's full frontal male nudity in TLAD. M-O-O-N that spells exposed tackle. If that bothers you don't watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall either.

Need some feedback from you folks:

What do you folks think of me posting cooking videos? Since I was tinkering with the camera and shooting video yesterday and editing it I thought, "Huh, I wonder if I could do a cooking video?" Before I bother let me know if it's worth the trouble. Don't worry, if I do make videos I will wear pants.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Warning to the City of New Orleans:

I am coming to visit and I am going to feed.

Soul Food. Seafood. Po'boys. Oysters. African. Caribbean. Korean. Jamaican. Ribs.

If any of you folks have suggestions, recommendations, etc., etc., please let me know.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Dinner: tasty stuffed peppers.

Well, it's been a little while since I made a Sunday Dinner with plans for leftovers. I love stuffed peppers, chile relleno, Stouffer's, and everything inbetween. I didn't intend for these stuffed peppers to come out the way they did but I am happier with the results than my normal generic stuffed peppers. Just to let you know I kind of made this recipe up as I went with stuff I just had in my kitchen.

Joshua's Texican Stuffed Peppers:

Filling:

  • 1/2 package of chorizo
  • 1/2 lb of ground chuck
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup Zatarain's Dehydrated Sweet Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro - chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Joshua's Spice Mix - order now!
  • punch of salt
  • 1 10oz can of Rotel
  • 1 10 can of regular gringo diced tomatoes
  • 1 small box/can of tomato sauce
  • 1 diced Bell Pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked short grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock

4 big Bell Peppers

1 bag of shredded "Mexican" cheese

Slapping it all together:

  1. Get a pot, not huge but big enough for you to make a big batch of meat and sauce in. Start heating up the pan - medium heat. I didn't bother using any oil or butter.
  2. Slice up the onion nice and thin. Brown.
  3. Add chorizo. Brown.
  4. Add ground chuck. Brown.
  5. Throw in Joshua's Spice Mix, Dehydrated Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped cilantro. Cook everything - keep the mess moving, don't let it burn.
  6. Open cans of tomatoes and sauce. Pour all that in the pot. Mix. Lower the heat and keep stirring now and then.
  7. Start prepping the bell peppers. Dice one for the mix and throw that in. Take the other peppers, chop just the tops off and 86 them. We don't need them.
  8. Brown the uncooked rice in another pan, like the one you make rice in. If you don't want to brown the rice, well...don't. Hell, use whatever kind of rice you want.
  9. Keep the meat and stuff at low low heat. Make your rice. Preheat the oven to 350.
  10. When the rice is done mix it all in with the rest of the filling.
  11. Fill the bell peppers with the mix. Leave just enough room at the top for a layer of cheese.
  12. Layer on a bunch of cheese. Don't be scairt of the cheese.
  13. Put the peppers in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven.
  15. Eat.
  16. Put away leftovers. There will be a lot of leftovers of the mix. That is good.

If try this out let me know what you think or what you changed. I think the next time I make this I will use red or yellow peppers as well as green.



Friday, February 13, 2009

DS Reviews! Chrono Trigger (2008) & Age of Empires: Mythologies (2009)

Chrono Trigger was originally released in the way back times of 1995 for the Super Nintendo. I never played that version for some reason, probably because I was loose on the streets causing trouble. Fortunately the game has been rereleased for the DS and it's a pretty solid JRPG. It's got a - now - pretty standard travel through time to stop the destruction of the world plot. There's not much grinding to do - in all honesty it's not a particularly difficult game. There are a few tough/tricky boss fights but nothing that will make you gouge out your eyes.

The gameplay and graphics etc etc etc are solid, the music is awesome, and all in all is a great release for the DS. It's kind of funny that RPGs are the main thing I play on the DS but I'm glad I can still my RPG fix.

Age of Empires: Mythologies is a very satisfying turn based strategy game - especially for $20. You can select the Egyptians, Norse, or Greeks with which to wage war. Then you can invoke the powers of the gods to smite your foes. I'm enjoying it though I haven't played it for too long. The gameplay is solid, for such a dense game it's really easy to navigate the map and the units and all the good stuff. Resource management is pretty straight forward as well. It's quite surprising at how user friendly the game is. I'm gonna get some more game in but it's definitely worth the money.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad: XBOX 360 D3 Publisher


Huh. Well...uh...apparently this game was popular in Japan. For some reason...

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage

Yeah, even if with a completely level one character Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage is easy and not a particularly ripping diversion. It's pretty much just a rail shooter but when all is said and done it's just a training vehicle.

On the upside:

  • It's a great place to very quickly level a starter character.
  • Having immediate access to a mountain of powerful equipment. The T-51b power armor is instantly wearable. Plus the Guass Rifle and Chinese Stealth Armor are helpful.
  • It's an excuse to play Fallout 3.

Why I love Persona 4.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A few brief comments about "The Harder They Come".

I first learned of Jimmy Cliff from the Ska All Over the World compilation - the rerelease not the original LP - and I first learned of The Clash from Combat Rock. I wish that Dad had been cool enough to have London Calling but, well, all he had was Combat Rock on cassette. Come to think of it he probably stole it from my Aunt.

I was dicking around in cyberspace - I have come to the decision I am going to call "The Internet" cyberspace - and listening to The Clash's cover of The Maytals' "Pressure Drop". Now don't get me wrong I love The Clash version but The Maytals version has a sound that stirs up the good stuff from the pot of nostalgia stew. I had a moment of confusion finding the album "Pressure Drop" featured on - The Harder They Come. Did I put it in soundtracks or with other Jimmy Cliff albums?

I was just going to listen to "Pressure Drop" but the album started playing auto. I had almost forgetten how good this soundtrack was. This was the soundtrack that made Jamaican music blow up - internationally - in 1972.

I'm digging through a few books and liner notes at the moment but should come up with something solid in a few shakes of lamb's tail.

A half hearted review and an upcoming review...

College. (2008) dir. Deb Hagan. I was bored and didn't have the brains to play Fallout 3 or Persona 4. I downloaded College watched it and can say don't bother. While it wasn't worse than most of the piece of shit 80s teen sex comedies. There were boobies. There were one or two parts that made me laugh. There were boobies. The mean frat-boys get what's coming to them. There were boobies. A kid barfs on the Dean's car. A kid get shot in the crotch with a paint-ball gun. There were boobies.

On the upside I also downloaded:

Tokyo Gore Police (2008). dir. Yoshihiro Nishimura. If you haven't heard of this then that's okay. I haven't been keeping up with my Japanese films either. As many of you may know for quite some time I was addicted to Asian cinema - Japanese in particular. I guess I just reached a saturation point and gave up on looking for stuff to watch. The J-Horror/American remakes probably had something to do with my waning interest as well. God forbid I like something popular.

In any case I saw the trailer for Tokyo Gore Police and was/am genuinely intrigued. It looks like one of those apeshit over the top, horrorshow, ultra-violent, "Holy Shit, am I watching this?" inducing, Japanese lunacy movies. I looked up Yoshihiro Nishimura and he was: Art Director, Production Designer, Special Effects mold maker, and Special Effects Make-Up for one of my favorite twisted Japanese movies of the early aughts - Jisatsu Saakuru a.k.a. Suicide Club (2002) dir Sion Sono. Based on that information I am pretty excited to see Tokyo Gore Police tonight. I will have a review up for it ASAP.

A friend of mine reviewed Tokyo Gore Police pretty succinctly on his site.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Lilies






Tattoo Ballad


Torrents of electrons
Find vent in steel
Flickering magnetic
Bonds clapping
Open, closed
Fast as hummingbird hearts
Drive the needles’
Staccato plunge


Viscous metals
Pigments spreading
Find homes in skin
Cells accommodate
Microscopic inkblots
Permanently etched in
Slow weeping
Surface wounds


This is how I remember you.

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