Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Xbox Is Sentient

In a shocking turn of events, my Xbox 360 has gained a disturbing level of sentience, and has stated it's (his?) own blog! Mostly it just spends it's time insulting me and talking about the games I play, but every now and again, it mentions that it's responsible for turning off my PC or messing with my other modes of entertainment for it's own benefit. At least now I know what's causing all that.

The Xbox voice blog is provided my It's an amusing, if utterly useless addition to the larger 360 universe. If you have or start up a blog for your own Xbox, post me a link so I can keep an eye on what your Xbox thinks of you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Join The Revolution

While I'm pimping other peoples websites, I guess I should pimp my own wife's (still not used to typing that!) one as well.

Claire has started up a blog focusing on the basics of how to use a computer, from posts about what an operating system is and what it does, to the weird wild world of the world wide web.

Revolutions Ireland is aimed squarely at those of us that know next to nothing about PCs, and can't tell their input device from their output device, let alone their ROM from their RAM, most of the readers of my blog, will find little new information within. That said, it is, unsurprisingly, well written and clear, and if any of you have family or friends that would like to start learning the basics of what makes computers tick, then Claire would love if you'd point them to her site. If they're wondering why their computer actually is producing a ticking sound, I'm sure she has a post related to that particular issue coming up soon... though, honestly, if it's ticking now, it's probably already too late.

Long overdue, I've also added her site to my blog list on the right side of this page.

Get Your Comics

As anyone that knows me will attest, I like comics. A lot. I have a substantial collection, though nothing on the scale of serious comic collectors. Currently, my collection stands at 12 standard comic boxes, sorted and labelled to an almost OCD degree. It's impressive, and has stuff from Marvel, DC, Devils Due, Top Cow, and loads of independent publishers. The box I find myself most proud of is a single box full of G.I. Joe, though within the other boxes, I have some amazing treasures and collections, as well as all of my paperback graphic novels. One box holds my bagged and boarded collection of signed or otherwise special comics, as well as a tonne of various Marvel Handbooks that I intend to use some day for a Marvel Universe based super hero RPG.

But this mighty collection was not a thing of ease to accumulate. Many random issues here and there were retrieved from ebay after a certain comic supplier randomly never got it an issue, or stopped halfway through a series, or got issue one and two, and then stopped. I've ended up moving most of my collecting to graphic novel format, particularly for Marvel comics, as Marvel are excellent at publishing almost everything in collections.

For a while, I availed of the short lived and long missed, a site owned and run by a good friend of mine. Conveniently, while the site was based on a postal delivery system for most, the fact that both of us lived in Cork meant that my comics were delivered direct to me. It also meant that I could just ring my friend and get him to order a single issue, or know that he'd hold special covers or limited editions of issues from series I liked. I was even able to order clothing through his service, a feat I couldn't manage even while I worked in my afore mentioned local comic store!! It's a pity the business never took off, and more of a pity that it eventually folded, but it was great while it lasted.

It was fantastic, then, when the owner of GetYourComics pointed me toward a U.K based site that was doing similar, and succeeding. He had been using it, and thought I might like to give them a go. Even factoring in the cost of shipping that has to be included, getting comics through this supplier works out cheaper than my LCS.

Economic Comics has been serving me well since before Christmas now, and I've received, quickly and without error, three orders through them to date, the most recent of which only arrived today, prompting me to write this blog.

It's a simple system; you send them the comics you want, and the issue number to start from, then they hold them for you. Every week you get an email updating you of what is now on hold, and depending on how often you like to get your comics, you'll get a regular order email with a PayPal link. Hit that, and the comics are posted within a day or two, arriving shortly afterwords. I get my orders on a monthly basis, as I only have one or two comics a week to collect. However, during a quiet month, the site kindly allows me to wait a week or two before taking my comics together, helping spread the cost of shipping over more issues. Because of this, I actually only receive comics every six to eight weeks, which suits me fine.

If you're living far from any comic stores, or even if you have one nearby but they charge a bit too much, give Economic Comics a look. Good service, friendly staff, prompt response time. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Think Someone Is Watching Me

Recently, as any of my regular readers know, I had an extended break from blogging caused by a lethal combination of laziness, procrastination and no internet. However, everything has it's purpose, even if unintentionally so.

While away, I had a number of people ask if I was ok, or if I had become bored of blogging, or if I had moved my blog elsewhere (don't worry Blogger. I love you too much to leave). It made me realise that there are a lot more people reading than I'm aware of! Some come and go, some even have me on their Google Reader feed or similar. I don't post very interesting stuff 99% of the time, just things that catch my own attention, but people still come back for more.

So, if you do read regularly, please take this opportunity to just drop a quick "hello". Especially if you're a friend with a blog I don't read. While you're at it, feel free to let me know if there is something about my blog you particularly enjoy, or even something you dislike. What would you like to see me do more of in 2009? What would you like to see less of?

No Fanboy?

While signing up for some DRM free classic point-and-click games to download, I was filling in the required information into the website for registration when I hit "Gender", and was offered this longer-than-usual choice!!
What would you choose?

It's A Good Time To Be A Nerd

Or, as a friend of mine used to call me, a "naird". I like to think that naird is a nerd with sufficient communication skills, divergent interests, alternate hobbies, social graces and personal hygiene to pass among norms as not being a big nerd fanboy geek. I also realise that he considered it a term for someone that was a nerd in a limited scope, in my case, Marvel super-heroes and comics! Honestly, considering the alternative, both are good!

While musing over the body of my next blog entry, I happened across an interesting article on Newsarama. The focus of the piece is related to how Paramount and DreamWorks have announced a July 1, 2011 release for Transformers 3, months before Transformers 2 even hits cinemas.

But it was the very end of the article that caught my attention. A handy calendar of the upcoming comic-based and "major genre" films for the next few years, reprinted here for your pleasure, and my commentary.

Iron Man 2: May 7th, 2010
Twilight: Eclipse: June 30th, 2010
Inception (Christopher Nolan’s next film): July 16th, 2010
Jonah Hex: August 6th, 2010
Green Lantern: December 17th, 2010
Spider-Man 4: May 6, 2011
Thor: June 16th, 2011
Transformers 3: July 1st, 2011
The First Avenger: Captain America: July 22nd, 2011
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2: July 15th, 2011
The Avengers: July15th, 2012.
Courtesy of

First of all, I love how the term "major genre" has come to include the fantasy and cult movies the geek community have been enjoying for decades. Seems the phrase "and the geek shall inherit the earth" is closer to reality then even I expected!

Marvel are filling up five of the eleven slots, four of which are part of the Marvel Studios shared universe line, building toward the Avengers release. Harry Potters release date has forced Marvel to push the Avengers movie back a full year, but now gives them the opportunity to allow Iron Man director Jon Favreau direct what will presumably be their biggest, most daring, most expensive movie to date. Favreau seems to have become Marvel Studios golden boy when it comes to their movie line, and thankfully that is backed by a huge level of fan approval.

Sony's date for Spider-Man 4 has, according to some sources forced Marvel to move things around for their own line as well. The Spidey movie francise is the single biggest comic based money maker in Hollywood, and even Marvel aren't willing to go up against it. They're not without reason; despite glowing reviews, strong casting, stunning visual effects and an all-ages appeal, last years Speed Racer tanked, almost exclusively because it opened a week after Iron Man.

While DC has two movies on the list; Jonah Hex and Green Lantern, it's really only Green Lantern that people are going to recognise, and even then, he's no Superman, or even Flash.

All this and this years X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra are not even mentioned. (Observation: This year seems to be the year of the movie title format "Franchise Title, Colon, Subtitle") Truely it is a great time to be a nerd.

Even better, perhaps, to be a naird!

Photos, Fotos, Phfotoz

During my controversial exile from the land of crystal clear data streams and radiating rays of information, I did have a chance to start organising, tagging and writing little paragraphs for more photos from the Epic Holiday(TM) of 2008. My Flickr stream now has an amazing nine pages of new photos, from the baseball games we saw to walking around San Diego, driving a Corvette to Vegas and back, and Star Trek.

I have tonnes more to post, and hope to make a further dent in my backlog soon. As well as older photos, I really want to start posting some newer stuff as well, including a photo tour of our new place.

Soon, soon, soon!

Happy Irish Day!

It's March 17th, and I've posted a grand total of twice now in 2009, including this one! We are as good as a quarter of the way through the year already, so I have some serious catching up to do.

Because today is the feast of Ireland's patron saint, I have the day off of work. Because it falls on a Tuesday, I also got Monday off work! So far today, I have put on a wash, dried the dishes that Claire cleaned, did some light tidying, and surfed the net, all climaxing with this post right now. The sun is beaming in the windows of our new place, so I hope to head out and spend some time outside later today as well.

Yesterday was far less productive, but much more enjoyable. Claire had work, and was up early. I got up soon after, turned on the Xbox and spent the vast majority of the day playing Burnout Paradise. Since last I blogged about Burnout, I not only got that elusive Burnout License, but managed 100% completion. Life without internet for six weeks can drive a man to extraordinary heights of accomplishment! I also tried my hand at my first online combat in Tom Clancy's Endwar, and learned that I am not a very good general, despite what my single player campaign suggests.

Finally, last night I put in a few hours on Gears of War 2, a game I really need to post about. I love the game, and have made some great friends through it, all of whom I really enjoyed playing with again now that I'm back online! Horde mode is the best fun ever!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Still Alive

Despite what my online activity may suggest, I am still very much alive and active. Christmas was busy, as was New Years, and January saw us moving apartments.

During this move, we ended up without internet for about six weeks, as we ran into issue after issue with getting our new shiny place online.

But now I am back, and plan to blog more. 2008 was a quiet year for me in blogging, with long dry spells between short bursts. Hopefully, despite a slow start, I can get 2009 back on track quickly. I have loads of news and interesting stories to tell. I shall endeavor to find the time.