Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday NES

So, I don't think weekend posts are gonna work.  Too much going on during the day, out of the house at night.  I'll probably do Fridays, then Mondays.

In other news, today marks the 25th Anniversary of the original Nintendo Entertainment System's release in the US.

Now at least for me, this was my entry into video gaming.  Before all later systems, NES was king.  My time with NES was brief, as the SNES would become my console of choice shortly after I started gaming, but that time was indeed sweet.  If you don't know how to reach the warp zone in Super Mario Bros world 1-2, I don't think we could be friends.  But since I'm a friendly person, here's how to do it:

And here's a little tirbute video to some of the NES's greatest hits.
(Note: keep the volume off if you hate techno music like I do)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Beer: Anchor Steam

New tradition, every Friday Night I will highlight a favorite beer of mine.  Tonight it is Anchor Steam Original.  Now, Anchor Steam Brewery may have been in San Francisco since 1896, but its revival in the '70's behind Fritz Maytag was actually one of the early successes that gave strengh to the craft beer movement.  It, along with Sierra Nevada were among the earliest craft "microbrews" that gained popularity around the country.  As such, Anchor Steam retains an esteemed position among breweries today.

The beer itself is very malty with a slightly fruity aftertaste.  It is golden amber in color with a thick head and dense bubbles.  It has a distinct hoppiness, but is not overpowering.  Easy to drink and doesn't sit heavy for a somewhat darker beer.  A great overall beer for almost any occasion.

Honestly, Anchor Steam is one of my favorite beers.  They had it on tap at my college pub, and whenever I could afford it, that's where my money went.  It's just a great all-around beer.  Easy to drink, I could put away quite a few of these before I switched to the cheap stuff.  The bottle itself is oddly shaped.  I'm not sure if any other beer has the same shaped bottle.  So it is unique in many aspects, its excellent taste notwithstanding. 

I'll have more next week, but this one, a favorite of the Chem department, seemed a good place to start.  And please excuse any typos, it is Friday night, and I have been drinking.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Between Two Ferns with Bruce Willis

Feeling a little lazy today.  Saw this and thought it would give you guys a laugh.

"When you were making The Whole Ten Yards, were you ever worried it would be 'too good'?"

"Who's your favorite kid?  Ashton?"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Footage of Eric Stoltz to be released with Back to the Future Blu-Ray

You may know Eric Stoltz as Vincent Vega's robed drugdealer from Pulp Fiction. 

Off the top of my head I can't think of anything else memorable he's been in.  Not to say he isn't a good actor, he is, but he just doesn't seem to have that star power a leading actor needs to carry a big film.

At least that's what the producing team of 'Back to the Future' thought.  Stoltz was cast in the iconic Marty McFly role, and the movie was filmed with him for 5 weeks before he was canned for Michael J. Fox.  Ouch.  Talk about a shaky start for a movie.  I can just imagine how that conversation went:

Producers:  Eric, we need to talk
Stoltz:  Sure guys, what's up?
Producers:  Look Eric, it's not working out.  The footage we've filmed with you has been... awful, just awful.
Stoltz:  Come on guys, I think it's pretty good.  We could always...
Producers:  Enough, we're bringing in the kid from Family Ties.
Stoltz:  Michael J. Fox, are you kidding me??  That jittery midget?  This is just unbelievable.
Producers:  Good luck in all your future endeavors.
Stoltz:  [walks away slowly with head down as "Christmas Tme is Here" from Charlie Brown plays in the background]

I think it'd be a little hard to recover from that one after the movie became a runaway success.  Anyway, in a cruel marketing move, the producers have twisted the knife by including Stoltz footage on the 25th anniversary release of 'Back to the Future' Blu-Ray.  Check out the video from THR:

Great Scott

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Joker's speech from Batman The Killing Joke, performed by Legos

Biggest surprise for me was to find out that this was not Mark Hamill's voice.  Great impersonation though. 

For those who don't know, The Killing Joke was a graphic novel written by Alan Moore in 1988.  It's probably the best Joker story around, and is definitely one of the better Batman graphic novels.  It was also important because it actually did affect regular continuity in the crippling of Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, which eventually led her to become Oracle.

Monday, October 11, 2010

X-Men Arcade game coming to PSN, XBL

Does this look familiar to you?
If so, it might interest you to know that Konami has reached agreements with Sony and Microsoft to bring the X-Men Arcade game (1992) to their respective download services.  The agreement doesn't allow any changes to be made to content, but they have added an online leaderboard with online multiplayer. 

Here are more details from IGN:

Hide your kids, hide your wife Magneto, 'cause Colossus is about to rape everybody in your asteroid base.

Honestly the game was really cheesy, but those side-scrolling beat-em ups were a lot of fun.  And at the time, the X-Men were kind of a big deal with the comics craze in full force.  I think I actually played this in an arcade in New Hampshire about 6 years ago, which excited me a lot more than it should have.  It also featured Dazzler, the disco-inspired musical light show mutant, who apparently Marvel was still trying to push as late as 1992.  I can't wait for this to come out.  It's scheduled for some time before the end of the year.

And of course, this can only be taken as a good sign that eventually Konami will release The Simpsons arcade game too.  And I know you all remember that one. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back in Town

Just got back into town.  Thanks for all the well wishes in the last post's comments.  The funeral service was really nice, more of a celebration of a life well-lived than a sad affair, and there was a nice reception afterward where I was able to see my friend and talk to him.  He was actually in really good shape considering.  I guess his dad had been sick for a few weeks, so he was able to prepare and come to terms with it a bit.  It's tough, my friend is 24 and his dad was 76.  He grew up in war-torn Italy in the 40's then came here by himself and had a long career and a family.  A true self-made man.  Kind of crazy to think about.  Sorry, a bit of a ramble.  I'll be back to regular posting tomorrow

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Out of town a few days

Just got some bad news, one of my really good friends from college's dad passed away.  Gotta go out of town a couple of days for the funeral.  Be back Sunday

Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare: Zombie DLC for the PS3 and Xbox 360

How do you make a great game even better?  That's right, add zombies.

Now I haven't gotten any of the other DLCs for RDR, but this one will be a must buy.  I'm not a guy who spends a ton of time on video games, and I normally don't like paying extra for a game I already spent $60 on, but this one just looks like too much win to pass up.

I really did enjoy RDR by itself.  An Old West sandbox game in the vein of GTA?  Sign me up.  It helped that I loved Red Dead Revolver for the ps2 too (Really underrated multiplayer).  Like most things zombie, this DLC is set to release the week of Halloween.

Maybe now I'll have an excuse to shoot that grave-robbing pervert Seth.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Walking Dead Fan-Made Intro

Seeing as how this is a zombie-themed blog, I thought you might like a zombie post.

For those of you who haven't heard, AMC is set to air a series based on Robert Kirkman's comic "The Walking Dead". The comic itself is spectacular, and I have astronomically high hopes for the tv show. With AMC's track record (Mad Men, Rubicon, Breaking Bad... I'm choosing to ignore The Prisoner mini series) and with the fact that Frank Darabont (basically every worthwhile Stephen King adaptation) is directing, all signs point to awesome. There is a long trailer available online from this past Comic Con, which I'll let you hunt down, but the reason I'm posting is for an intro to the new series.

It isn't even the actual opening sequence for the series, it's fan made. Check it:

THE WALKING DEAD "Opening Titles" from Daniel Kanemoto on Vimeo.

This video was made by Daniel M. Kanemoto using panels from the comic. I can't stop watching it. I have a hard time believing the actual show's intro will be this good, maybe AMC will just pay Mr. Kanemoto to use this one.

In any case, I cannot wait for the premiere of The Walking Dead, naturally airing on Oct. 31.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lego Minifig Barcode Decoder

So my cousin recently had a birthday and on his list of wanted items were a bunch of LEGO Minifigures. To that point I hadn't heard of them, but after checking them out I have to say they are pretty awesome. Little individual LEGO people with unique accessories following different themes. LEGO has made two different series of figures with 16 different characters in each.

The big problem for me was that my cousin of course wanted specific figures, and they are only sold in blind packages so you can't tell which is which. Now I can see how this is a nice marketing strategy by LEGO to promote trading among kids etc. However, I can imagine it getting really frustrating when you're trying to complete a set and end up with 4 Pop Singers, but can't find that lone Spartan Warrior to save your life.

Lo and behold, a hole in LEGO's strategy... each blind package has a unique barcode corresponding to a specific figure. Check out this handy chart:
Pretty cool litte trick to find those ones you are looking for. I managed to find some of the figures he was looking for, and picked out 3 for myself. The only other problem was finding them in stock in stores. They seemed to be pretty much sold out everywhere, that is until Target started stocking them in their Halloween section.

Enjoy the decoder now though, rumor has it that series 3 of the figures due out in January 2011 will have fixed the barcode loophole.

Happy Hunting