It's tough to get much done in the way of house renovations during a Canadian winter--particularly if all your larger tools live in an unheated garage. I braved the elements, though, in order to install a kitchen cubby (wall niche) and avert potential disaster.
A Mid-Playthrough Review of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
There seem to be two kinds of game reviews on the internet: the launch day “I threw a review together after spending 10 frantic hours in-game,” and the week-after-launch “I hustled my way through the game so that I could tell you all about it.” This is neither.
This is a real nerd, taking his sweet time waltzing through a game that deserves someone taking their sweet time waltzing through it. Come on over to the NI Nerdgasm section and find out why: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Review
Also, for anyone who hasn't been over to check out the newly revamped blog section of Nerd Incognito, you're missing out! That Dad Who Says N.I. has all sorts of stories, articles, and other bits and bobs to keep you entertained. You can find it at: The Dad Who Says N.I.?
December 5, 2013
The Changes: They Keep Coming!
I'm willing to admit when I have a problem. I like to tinker. I like to fix. Sometimes this manifests in changes to the website. Most recently, I've put the blog through a rebranding process. My goal was to make the title a *little* less objectionable, while still maintaining the sense of humour you've come to know and love
Preview: Batman: Arkham Origins, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
I admit that I have to work pretty hard not to get myself too worked up every time a new Assassin's Creed game comes out. Yes, I realize that it's often just more of the same...but the same is just so damned good.
I've also been a big fan of the Batman games that have come out in the last few years. Another is on the horizon. Come check out a quick preview of both games: Arkham Origins and Black Flag
Also, I've recently set up an Amazon Affiliate store that conveniently houses all of the books, movies, and games that I've talked about on this site. You can find it here: My Store . I will freely admit that for every item purchased through the store, I get a very small amount of money from Amazon--not that I've actually made any money from it yet, but just FYI.
October 11, 2013
Major Website Changes
Despite only being a couple of months old, the blog section of Nerd Incognito (Pissing into the Wind) has undergone a fairly major renovation. Though I generally prefer to work directly in HTML, the standard page format clearly didn't fit a blog, and I found myself cursing both a lack of tools, and a lack of audience engagement.
While I briefly considered adopting blogging elements into the existing page, a lack of PHP understanding, and a need for elements like comment moderation, led me to redesign Pissing into the Wind in Wordpress format.
Though it meant a slight stylistic change, as I was confined to working largely with a style sheet, rather than directly in the html code, I think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Each post will now have a static address for sharing, and an individual comment section, and it's my hope that readers will begin to make use of both.
Existing links to Pissing into the Wind have been redirected, or you can now find the blog directly here: Pissing into the Wind
October 10, 2013
Why We Need to Look at Our Own House
Though I generally try to avoid posting much about politics, I do try to stay engaged with what's going on...and it's pretty hard to miss the giant mess that our southern neighbours are currently stuck in.
I think it's important, though, that we don't lose sight of what exactly is happening in our own country.
I admit that I've long been a fan of Rick Mercer, and I have a particular love of ranting (no, really--go check my blog), so that may be one of the reasons I identify with this as strongly as I do. However, if it makes you stop and think, even for a moment, then it's worth my time to post it.
October 4, 2013
Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Review
Come on over to Finer Things, where I've posted the first of what will likely be many book reviews on this site.
If you're a current fan of Neil Gaiman, or even if you've never read his work before, you will definitely want to take a quick read through about his most recent novel.
September 25, 2013
Dishonored: A Review
A few of you keeners may have noticed that I've posted a review of the PC version of Dishonored over in Nerdgasm
It's now a frequent star in Steam Sales, so keep your eyes open, and read through a quick review while you wait!
September 17, 2013
Diablo III to Lose its Auction House
Apparently Diablo III will soon be losing its real money auction house, as the makers feel that it has undermined the core gameplay that made Diablo great--getting cool stuff for killing monsters.
Bravo to the developers for listening to their players, and thanks to Good Guy Blizzard; I might actually have to start playing...but I'll wait and see what the post-patch world looks like :)
The site has recently undergone some minor tinkering to help migrate its Facebook presence into the new "page" design.
Since I was playing around with things anyway, I have decided that I'm just not evil enough to have a full-time section for "How to Be a Jerk." Instead, I will be migrating the existing content into a new section called "Pissing into the Wind."
Pissing into the Wind will provide more of a blog-like element for the site, with some random thoughts, book reviews, and whatever else I think might need some attention. Come check it out at Pissing into the Wind.
June 13, 2013
Fired Over Butter Chicken
A light-hearted laugh, perfect for the last half of the work week. Come check it out in Laugh at the World.
February 15, 2013
Man at Arms: The Making of Jaime Lannister's Sword
For any readers that may be interested in either Game of Thrones itself, or, more generally, all things medieval, here's a video from Break Media's newest webseries, "Man at Arms."
This episode features the making of Jamie Lannister's sword!
December 19, 2012
2012: A Year in Review
The end of another year approaches, causing us to look back at how the most heavily anticipated movies and games lived up to our expectations (or not). Head on over to Nerdgasm too see how things shook out, or follow this link: 2012: A Year in Review
November 29, 2012
So You Want to Be a Manager, Chapter 5: Employee Motivation
Alright. So I may have lied about lots more coming soon. Laziness and apathy are tough hurdles to make it over. But I do finally have something new to share. Do enjoy!
September 05, 2012
Return of the Nerd-I
After a lovely summer vacation, updates have begun anew. Check out Laugh at the World for another installment of the So You Want to Be a Manager series, focused on "The Office Nerd."
Also take a quick look at HTBAJ to see the latest nonsensical crankiness and put a smile on your jaded mug...
Keep your eyes open in the coming days for a new addition to The Finer Things, as well; I will be posting my forays into mead making, including a nearly fool-proof recipe for a DIY mead!
July 12, 2012
So You Want to Be a Manager, Chapter 4: Arbitrarialityism
Another installment in the "So You Want to Be a Manager" series, Chapter 4 explores the fine arts of confusion, misdirection, and redirection through a complete lack of consistent direction.
June 6, 2012
Twittering About Turning TriTrix: A Speaker Build Log
Another build log has been added to the Nerdgasm Section, this time involving DIY home theatre speakers.
You may also note that you can now tweet about the articles on the site, and follow the site on Twitter for the latest updates. Just follow the icons at the top left of each page.
May 23, 2012
In addition to the regular updates to the How to Be a Jerk section, a new character sketch has been added to the "So You Want to Be a Manager" ramblings: The Bureaucrat.
Always wondered what a government bureaucrat does with their time? Me too.
May 10, 2012
And Now...How to Be a Jerk
After a brief hiatus, Nerd Incognito updates are back on track, and I am proud to offer a new feature on the site: How to Be a Jerk.
HTBA Jerk will offer regularly-updated amusement in a somewhat more crass and straight-forward way than the rest of the site, giving you the laugh you need to make it through another long, drawn-out, and generally terrible work meeting, day, or even week.
April 1, 2012
A Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 1 Commentary
Legend......WAIT FOR IT......dary.
That is all.
March 24, 2012
I can't imagine that too many of those that exist with me in eternal nerdom have failed to hear about A Game of Thrones . The fantasy series (actually called A Song of Fire and Ice (GOT is just the first novel in the series), by George R.R. Martin has been ongoing for almost 16 years, and currently consists of five novels, with two more heavily-anticipated novels to go.
The novels are a wonderful mesh of traditional fantasy with a heavy dose of political intrigue and a feeling much that found in historical fiction. Though quite long and often heavy reads, the stories are brilliantly and vividly depicted, resulting in a strong connection between characters and the reader--which makes it so much harder when they die.
That is, perhaps, the most impressive part of the novels: Martin is not afraid to kill anyone. Nobody, even protagonists are guaranteed survival in the game of thrones--you either win, or you die.
For those who haven't heard of the novels, I suspect the name will still ring a bell, as the series has inspired one of the best HBO series in a long time--and that's really saying something for HBO. Season One more or less followed the plotline of the first novel, with the anticipated plot of the second season following the second novel, A Clash of Kings (though HBO is naturally keeping the name of the series static to avoid confusing its audience).
So why is this important right now? Why am I bringing it all up??? Because the season premier of season 2 is almost a week away! April 1, 2012, the song and the game continue.
That means that, for those of you that haven't watched the series or would like to watch it again, time is ticking away. QUICKLY, my friends! Winter is coming...
For those of you with a bit more of an interest in the author, here's an interview that George R.R. Martin gave not too long ago:
March 18, 2012
Like many nerds, I have a general desire to know a little bit of everything. However, most of us also share a general laziness and disinterest in spending our reading time with dry, dull texts far outside our general fields of interest.
Unsolvable, right? Nope--anything but.
The solution is to mix things like history, and even classics, in with more exciting and fast-paced material. Enter Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
AL:VH combines a historial autobiography of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, with a chilling tale of a boy whose entire childhood was shaped by his mother's death at the hands of a vampire, and the man who grew up hunting the undead and striving to see them driven from the shores of his country.
Now, being Canadian, I don't feel intimately connected with American history, and I failed to learn the names of the presidents by rote on my way through primary school. However, that doesn't mean that I'm totally disconnected from our southern cousins; their history and future is bound closely to our own. Perhaps because of this, figure like Lincoln and Washington hold some measure of interest for me, as do their stories--though that limited interest was only really piqued after a healthy measure of the undead was mixed in...
Seth Grahame-Smith released Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 2010, after the overwhelming success of his adaptation of Jane Austen's work, entitled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies . (This latter title is also work a look if you, like me, would like to appreciate the ivory tower of literature, but simply can't stomach some styles--Austen and similar authors are my personal Achilles heel)
The novel is set, predictably, from 1809-1865 (Lincoln's lifespan), and tells what feels like a historically-accurate tale while at the same time setting up an underlying motivation for Lincoln's actions, based on his knowledge of vampires, and his hatred of them.
Several times, Lincoln attempt to put aside his axe and utility belt, but he is continually drawn back into the life of the hunter, as he comes to realize that so many of the things he despises, including slavery, are the result of undead influences; vampires use their influence, power, and nearly unlimited funding, to buy slaves like cattle and feed on them without fear of retribution. The novel also connects the deaths of Lincoln's sons to vampirism, and even Lincoln's own demise at the hands of a vampiric John Wilkes Booth.
As luck and popular culture would have it, Grahame-Smith's novels have been noticed by Hollywood, and a movie adaptation of AL:VH is due in theatres June 22, 2012. The trailer, available on YouTube and linked at the end of this article, depicts a movie heavily bent on action, which may ultimately sour the entire experience. Actually, it brings to mind the film adaptation of The Vampire Lestat/The Queen of the Damned which stands out as possibly the worst supernatural novel to film adaptation to date. For Grahame-Smith's sake, I hope the same isn't true of the adaptation of his novel, though even if it is, I suspect he's be laughing...all the way to the bank.
March 15, 2012
THE END OF DAYS IS UPON US:
Diablo III Lives May 15, 2012
The long awaited and much-anticipated Diablo III debuts May 15, after months of beta testing by nerd the world over.
For those of you, like me, who lost days and weeks, if not months at a time to Diablo II Baal runs, this may signal the end of days. Already, I have put my wife, son, and employer on notification that I will be unavailable (at least mentally) for several months following release, and I advise you to get your affairs in order, as well.
Pre-sales have already begun for those that want to be pre-loaded and ready to play the minute servers go live on May 15.