Saturday, December 29, 2012

Zoo Keys

I’ve been hit by some nostalgia lately and I’ve been thinking a lot about the Detroit Zoo. The painted Elephant tracks, the Penguin house, and the Chimpanzee shows have all crawled back into my head and fill my day dreams. Because of this feeling I’ve suddenly wanted a physical representation of these lost childhood visits; I want a Detroit Zoo Elephant key. It makes no sense, it’s not like it would work with anything anymore. Regardless I keep searching eBay and other places for one.

The Zoo Keys were invented by Bruce Sedley. He was a children’s TV host who would spend his weekend telling stories at a Fairytale park. They recorded him singing songs and telling stories about the exhibits. These recordings were then housed in boxes that could be activated by inserting the correct key. Suddenly this idea spread to zoos across the country. The Detroit zoo key would work at the zoo, the Belle Isle Kid’s Zoo, and the Belle Isle Aquarium.

Bruce Sedley is still selling Zoo Keys, although they’ve changed quite a bit over the years. Now they are all done with magnetic strips and most keys are only good for a year. It’s a better system for the zoos that are using them, but there was something iconic about the old key’s design.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Tales From the Brain Jar, #24

Tales From the Brain Jar is a reoccurring feature here at That F’ing Monkey. I’ve been collecting art from some of my favorite creators for years now and Tales From the Brain Jar is a way it off a little. Today’s sketch was done at Botcon 2010. Botcon is a Transformers convention. I probably wouldn’t travel to go to a Botcon, but when it came to Orlando I had to check it out.

The sketch was done by Matt Moylan whose art can be found at Matt ran a Lil Former’s web comic for a long time. He now works for Udon Entertainment and does web comics for Bravoman and Wagan Land. Matt is extremely well versed in Transformers lore, so I could have asked for any number of Transformers. Instead of going for my all time favorite (Springer), I went with another bot in my top 5.

Slag is one of the Dinobots. The triceratops was always my favorite dinosaur as a kid, so when the Dinobots first were introduced he was the one I wanted. But there are other reasons that Slag is perfect for me. His name is a generic curse word in the Transformers world. It’s not a nice word in British slang either. He also breathes fire; his file card even stated he likes melting enemies into pools of liquid metal. The file card also goes on to state he’s such a complete and total asshole that the other Autobots won’t come to his rescue when he gets himself in trouble. “Me Slag no like anything” indeed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hangover Thursday: Drunken Monkey Style

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? In the past week I’ve had a number of great drinks. For Christmas dinner I had a bottle of Southern Tier’s Krampus. At another party we drank a large amount of hot Dr. Pepper, poured into a cup of lemon and rum. It was during the later drink that we discovered the video below. The video is from the BBC and is actually 3 years old. It was new to me this weekend, so hopefully it is new to you too.

I hate the beach. Sunshine, salty air, and tropical heat are not my idea of a good time. But now I find myself planning an island vacation. Not really, but I could probably watch monkeys stealing people’s drinks all day long.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Ballad of Kid Largo: S1, E13

And now That F’ing Monkey proudly presents, The Ballad of Kid Largo.

It isn’t clear in the strips, Tess is still with Largo but she didn’t climb up on the building. All joking aside, if there was a collected version of the strips I’d probably add something to bridge 12 and 13. Anyway I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Xmas Eve

It's Xmas Eve and I hope everyone ends up on the nice list, because you know what happens if you don't.

Santa Claus will be gunning you down

 Merry Xmas from the crew here at That F'ing Monkey!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

That F’ing Monkey Podcast 2

Just in time for Christmas we are releasing Episode 2 of the That F’ing Monkey Podcast! Why only let a fat yuletide elf into your home? Download our podcast and you can let three verbose malcontents right into your ear holes!

In all seriousness Episode 2 is game centric. We talk board games, video games, and a little Warhammer 40K. The podcast can be found HERE. You can also find us on iTunes. You can find all of our podcasts by clicking on the podcast right under the F’ing Monkey banner on this page.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Black Axe

With only a few days left before Christmas you might still be scrambling to find that perfect gift. Maybe you have that one family member or friend who is just impossible to shop for. Maybe you want to give the writer of your favorite blog something really cool that he will appreciate forever. You should totally buy me, I mean that person we were talking about earlier, a replica Black Axe.

If you’ve been reading Mouse Guard the Black Axe is already familiar to you. First mentioned in Fall 1152 the Black Axe was a weapon wielded by a legendary Guard Mouse who eventually became known as the Black Axe. I’m not going to give anything away about who the Axe belonged to or who eventually was chosen to carry it, because you really should be reading all of that for yourself. Let’s just agree that the Black Axe is awesome.

Skeleton Crew Studio is now making licensed replicas of the Black Axe. 30 dollars gets you your very own axe packed in a brown leather pouch. The axe is actual size, so it is around 4.25 inches long. To get the proper look it has been cast in dull black nickel-plated pewter. The axe won’t ship until January but I think it is worth waiting for.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hangover Thursday: Winter Beer is Coming

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? Mine is clear this morning, I’m saving all my drinking for later this week when all the holiday shenanigans kick off. I might be brave enough to bust out the Tom and Jerry recipe this year but only time will tell.

Earlier in the year I showcased an artist who was making beer logos using the various factions of Game of Thrones. These types of designs are all over the internet and usually pop up on sites like Tee Magnet and Shirt Woot. I’m always divided on these things, I love the creativity in some of them but it is also strange to see someone selling things based on a licensed property that they have no claim to. Luckily I won’t have to feel bad when I enjoy an Iron Throne Blonde Ale.

Ommegang brewery has teamed HBO to create beer based on the Game of Thrones series. The very first beer, the Iron Throne Blonde Ale is going to be released in March. What else happens at the end of March? Oh yeah, the start of Season 3! This is an amazing tie in. Think of how many viewing parties are going to start off with people popping open a bottle of Iron Throne. It is going to be available in 750 ml bottles and on draft. They are currently working on sword-like tap handles. Game of Thrones tap handles. Does it need repeated one more time? Game of Thrones tap handles. That’s fucking awesome.

There are three more beers in the Game of Thrones line that are in the works. Ommegang is a good brewery though and they aren’t rushing this. The second beer won’t debut till fall and the other two beers probably won’t be released until the next seasons of the show are released. It’s a smart move, it shows they are actually thinking about the product and not just slapping new labels on existing brews.

A big thank you goes out to Carlos who sent me a heads up on this one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Ballad of Kid Largo: S1, E12

And now That F’ing Monkey proudly presents, the Ballad of Kid Largo.

I hope you forgive me that we skipped a couple of strips full of Kid Largo and Tess walking through the city. That Tess is a handy girl to have around. Internal tracking radar isn’t the only trick she has up those sleeves. Well gloves really, she doesn’t have sleeves.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Xbox Live Year End Deals

We are a week away from Christmas. This is the time where people start getting frantic. Family visits, crazed shopping binges, and the other craziness the holidays can bring. You may find yourself struggling to get a few moments to yourself to relax. You might have to look longingly at your game console as you take people out to look at Christmas lights. It might be worth it to take 5 minutes and turn that Xbox on at least once a day until the end of the year.

Xbox Live has a pretty big sale going on until the New Year. Each day there will be a different deal revealed. These deals are for one day only. So if you’ve been waiting for a game or two to drop in price before picking them up, one of these upcoming days may be your lucky one.

On top of the daily deals are three pages worth of deals that will be up all month long. There are some crazy addictive games in there too. Peggle, Zuma, and Plants vs Zombies are all 50% off. Rockband 3 is 10 dollars off. Jet Set Radio and Meat Boy are also 50% off. Some of these might be older games, but they are fantastic games at good prices.

Finally, Bully: Scholarship Edition is 5 dollars off. I’ve talked up Bully on That F’ing Monkey before. It is still my favorite game Rockstar has ever made. It isn’t a pretty game on the 360, but I honestly can’t recommend it enough. The mini-games disguised as classes, the skateboard, the bike races, story, and the music all fit together so well. I had already been thinking about restarting the game again, now I think I’ll be doing it as soon as I get a good chunk of free time.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Quite Expected Journey

I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and feeling of death. So this is going to be short and sweet.

I saw "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" on Friday. It was quite enjoyable and did not feel drawn out at all. I have a feeling that the third flick will focus on the Battle of the Five Armies. A lot of the extra material in the film is taken from the LOTR appendices and the "prequal" story The Quest of Erebor.

I did not see it in 3D as my disdain for that format is well known. Therefor I can not comment on the 48 frames per second controversy.

I am off to self medicate and sleep so throw your opinions of the movie down in the comments or on our Facebook page. Also check out That F'ing Monkey Podcast and let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Visionaries: Episode 1 Part 2

Welcome back to our look at the Visionaries’ first cartoon episode. As a quick re-cap from yesterday’s insanity we learn that the world of Prysmos lost all of its technology when its three suns lined up. The world plunged back into medieval times. Prince Leoric and his heroic friends are fighting Darkstorm’s Darkling Lords as both groups try to reach Merklynn’s temple so they can gain the power of magic. Whew. I think that covers it all.

Cryotek goes to break down the door only to have a strange bit of special effects go off. Flashing lights, lighting over the earth, and it looks like everyone is in a tornado. After a couple of seconds we see everyone still standing in the room so they just walk through the now broken door. Inside is Merklynn tells them they were the only knights with “the vision to reach the shrine.” Ah ha ha, that Merklynn. He then flat out calls them the Visionaries. Merklynn goes on to explain that in exchange for his magic he was occasional require tasks from the Visionaries, but he leaves out the details. He tells them to prepare themselves to take the totems they have earned.

Totem role call! Ass-hat Azron with the plant wings earns an eagle as his totem! Cindarr receives the gorilla because of his climbing and brute strength. Witterquick gets a cheetah because he is fast and agile, and because he has the word quick in his name. Chris Latta, I mean Cravex earns the phylot. The phylot is the only airborne scavenger on Prysmos. It pretty much looks like the mother fucking pterodactyl. Ectar gets a fox because he was able to sense an ambush. Mortdredd gets a beetle because he’s a bootlicker. Seriously, Merklynn flat out calls him out as a bootlicker.

Feryl gets the totem of the wolf for his amazing tracking skills. Feryal sounds just like feral. Clever right? Virulina becomes a shark because she showed a killers instinct while underwater. The only reason she was even in the water was because her and Galadria fell into it. It’s not like they had some affinity with water. Anyway, Galadria receives the dolphin because she has a prehensile penis. No wait, she’s a dolphin because that’s the most intelligent animal in the ocean. Lexor is given the Armadillo for his cowardice. Cryotek is the bear because he likes leather pants and a hairy back or because he’s strong and tough. Take your pick really.

Reekon (pronounced recon) is a master of stealth, so he becomes a lizard. Leoric becomes that lion because of his courage and leadership, not because his name starts with Leo! Finally Darkstorm becomes a mollusk for his climbing and slimy-ness. The fucking bad guy leader is a god damn snail. I’m seriously disappointed Merklynn. The characters can become these totems but Merklynn warns they are powerful and sometimes uncontrollable. Then Merklynn lays out the best pickup line every, “Now dip your staffs into the pool and you will see a wondrous transformation.” Those who forgot to bring a staff are told that they’ll have great powers that they’ll figure out later. These staff-less characters became the vehicle drivers for the toy line. Anyway I’m not going though whose staff gets what power because just typing out all the totems made me want to bang my head against the desk.

Like a true drug pusher Merklynn tells them that each time they use the magic in their staff it will become weaker and they have to come back to him for a recharge. Even Merklynn seems tired of all of this and tells them all to go the fuck home and stop bothering him. He then flushes them all out of his shrine with a magic whirlpool. All the heroes and villains are now deposited outside the shrine with all sorts of new shiny weapons. I wonder what is going to happen. Oh I know, maybe they’ll start fighting. Darkstorm stops the fight and proposes that magic only be used to preserve the peace on Prysmos. No one believes that he would be the one to say such a thing, but the good guys all agree. Darkstorm tells his Darklords that it is easier to be evil and won’t follow the truce but he knows the good guys will.

Then we have a jarring jump where Ass-hat Azron is rescuing a princess stuck in a hole. I really can't explain this one. She quickly convinces him to show her his staff if you know what I mean. His magic staff. Anyway, he uses up the magic charge on his staff of wisdom to impress a girl. His staff is smarter than he is, it quickly outs the princess as Virulina. Virulina then rips off her princess dress and wig to show that she’s been wearing her armor under there the whole time. Virulina attacks and suddenly the episode is to be continued!! Episode 2, “The Dark Hand of Treachery” picks up right where this one ends but we've talked enough Visionaries today. Keep an eye out at That F’ing Monkey, you may just see that episode reviewed next weekend.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Visionaries: Episode 1 Part 1

Today we’re going to take a look at the first episode of Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Visionaries were a Hasbro toyline that launched in 1987. Holograms were popular at the time, so the Visionaries were trying to capitalize on that. The toyline, cartoon, and comic book were all scrapped after the first year. I never had any of the toys, but I remember when they were released and while I remember the cartoon being on TV, I didn’t remember it being this strange.

The episode begins by telling us that the people of the planet Prysmos live in a time of great technology. It continues to say that they’ve mastered all forms of energy and have lived in comfort and ease for 7,000 years. We’re shown this with all sorts of futuristic looking cityscapes and crazy vehicles. The realigning of the “3 blazing suns of Prysmos” caused all technology to fail. Cars stopped, aircraft fell from the sky, and all communications went dead. The narrator says that years past, but it doesn’t say how many. Considering the next scene has everyone wearing medieval armor and living in castles you would think that hundreds of years had passed. But the characters were actually alive during the age of science, so I have no idea how they changed so quickly.

Leoric is the prince of New Valarak. The comic book identified him as the old mayor during the age of science. So when shit stopped working, Leoric decided to make himself royalty. Trying to take over the city is Darkstorm. Both of these leaders are frantically searching for a weapon that will give them an edge in defeating their adversary. The wizard Merklynn visits both leaders and invites them to his shrine so he can teach the knights magic. The really name him Merklynn too. I’m not making this shit up. Also, take a close look at the crazy rocket on his belt. Moving on, Leoric seems open to the idea, while Darkstorm sends Merklynn down his trapdoor. Once Darkstorm hears that Leoric is going on the magic quest, he decides that he better do the same.

So knights from all over Prysmos show up at Merklynn’s. He states that all the knights who can pass the trials will be given the gift of magic. There are a lot of cannon fodder knights in these scenes, so you know that a bunch of them will be dying from traps. A simple guide from telling the good guys from the bad guys, all the bad guys have beards . I have no idea why. It isn’t just Merklynn’s traps that are stopping the knights, Darkstorm and his flunkies make sure no one can follow them as they go. He cuts the bridge out from under some of the other knights. One of those knights is Arzon, who while hanging on the side of the cliff makes working wings out of the plants around him. He then flies to safety.

The assorted knights each use their defining trait to get around the traps. Witterquick uses his speed to sprint through a trap. Leoric uses his bravery to face down a giant stone golem. We are also introduced to the Visionaries’ ladies; Galadria and Virulina. You can tell Virulina was evil since she was about to stab Galadria in the back. From their comments, it’s apparent they have a history together. They both fall into the water. Suddenly it’s a wet armored shirt party! To their credit, the females in Visionaries don’t wear chainmail bikinis; they have full suits of armor.

The pair is attacked by a giant octopus. Virulina swims through an underwater exit and closes the gates before Galadria can follow her. Galadria has to fight off the octopus by herself. The above picture is for you Michael May. Galadria manages to drain the pool/lake/thing and she is able to escape as the octopus is being dragged down by the whirlpool. Very quickly the show goes through some more “character pieces” for the knights. One evil knight scares off some no named knights by cutting down an hornet’s nest and drops it on them. Two powerful warriors meet up and chase each other.

Darkstorm finds four of the evil characters all caught in the same trap. He tells them that he’s willing to help them as long as they all swear loyalty to him. Some members of the group are more willing to do so than others, but they all join him and he cuts them down from their ropes. Chris Latta voices one of Darkstorm’s new members. Never trust Chris Latta. The group of evil knights ambush Leoric and his two friends. The evil group is named the Darkling Lords during the combat. At the same time the unaffiliated heroic knights see the fight and join Leoric. Merklynn stops the fight and tells the knights there is magic enough for everyone, they just have to open the door to the shrine now.

What happens next? When do the holograms come into play? Will the girls wrestle more tentacles? You’ll have to check back tomorrow for a special Sunday update of That F’ing Monkey to find out!

Friday, December 14, 2012

South Park: The Stick of Truth

The second trailer for South Park: The Stick of Truth debuted at the VGAs. To be honest, it doesn’t show you a whole lot more then the first trailer. That’s okay with me though, I’m already sold on the game. It’s an old school RPG written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and being developed by Obsidian Entertainment. The game has been pushed back a bit, but I think that has more to do with the state that THQ is in than it does with game quality. Obsidian has a long history of not getting to enough time to finish their games, it looks like they are getting it this time.

Currently pre-orders will get you the Bulrog Chicken Attack, Cartman’s Kick-Ass Sais, and Samurai armor. Gamestop is advertising they have the Mysterion Superhero Pack that includes a Super Hero Costume and a Mysterion Summon.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hangover Thursday: Beeropoly

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? I spent last night drinking with a couple of friends that I consider family. They live out of state now, so getting to see them was a wonderful surprise. My drink of choice last night was black and tans, all of the bar’s drink specials last night were on Miller products. And Miller products tie in directly with today’s Hangover Thursday.

Anheuser-Bush-InBev is a giant beer company. Currently they already control 47% of the U.S. beer market. They want more though. Currently the Department of Justice is examining AB InBev’s request to purchase Modelo beer brands for 20.1 billion. Now AB InBev already owns 50% of non-controlling stake in Modelo, now they want the rest. Modelo makes Corona, the best selling import in the U.S. and currently controls about 6% of the U.S. beer market.

So if this goes through AB InBev suddenly has 53% of the market. Enter MillerCoors, I told you at the start of all of this we’d be talking about them. MillerCoors controls about 30% of the market. That’s two companies controlling over 80% of the market. Currently when I go to my grocery store I can find things like Session, Brooklyn, and Dogfish Head. I like that. I like have choices. The more the large companies control, the less stores and bars will be able to promote the smaller breweries.

It gets harder and harder to tell just who is making the beer you’re buying too. Brands like Shocktop and Goose Island are owned by big breweries. Brooklyn Brewery’s co-founder Steve Hindy spoke in depth on this merger in an opinion piece for CNN. It’s a fascinating read that you can check out by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Ballad of Kid Largo: S1, E11

And now That F’ing Monkey proudly presents, The Ballad of Kid Largo.

There are some strips, like the one with Toast-T that I wrote just because I found funny. Actually the whole series is pretty much because I liked the oddness of a Hammerhead cowboy. Today’s strip isn’t for me. Today’s strip was made just to make Brandon laugh. Anyway, enjoy the Lincolns.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Season’s Upon Us

I’m not really a fan of a traditional Christmas music. That being said I still managed to collect a pretty large number of Christmas songs. Most of them are a little stranger than the normal Bing Crosby tunes. The newest song I’m adding to my holiday collection is the Dropkick Murphys latest release, “The Season’s Upon Us.”

Now here is where I’m doing you, the loyal That F’ing Monkey reader a favor. If you just heard this song and your reaction was, “I must have this in my collection!” it is available on iTunes and such for a little more than a dollar. DON’T DO THAT. You see, “The Season’s Upon Us” is going to be on the Dropkick’s album Signed and Sealed in Blood. It comes out on January 7th, but if you preorder directly at you get a download of “The Season’s Upon Us” right now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Comic Immersion

This weekend I was finally able to pick up some comics. Among my purchases were some of the new Marvel Now books. The Marvel Now initiative is a bit of a soft reset on the Marvel Universe not quite as drastic as the New 52 over at DC. One of the books was the new Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender and John Cassaday. It flows directly out of the A vs. X mega event of last summer. The problem was I had not read A vs. X. I needed a primer on the story. Welp, there's an app for that.

The Marvel Augmented Reality App for your smart phone.

With the AR app you aim your camera at any cover or page that has the AR symbol on it and it gives you a little video that applies to that page.

On the Uncanny Avengers cover, it gives you a quick run down of what happened in the A vs. X story line that pertains to the story you are about to read.

It might currently be a bit of a misnomer with the "augmented reality" as so far it just gives a bit of backstory or a speech by Wolvierine. However it is a pretty cool app. Plus it is free, so if you read Marvel books it is worth the download.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

That F’ing Monkey Podcast 1

released one episode, but I’m still calling that one Episode 0. On this recording we are joined by the great Michael May. Listen as we talk about Kill All Monsters, the state of sci-fi, and all sorts of other randomness.

You can download the podcast by clicking HERE or by going to iTunes and searching for That F’ing Monkey. I do want to say we had quite a few technical issues on this one. All of the editing and behind the scenes work is done by Brandon. So a big thank you to Michael May for joining us and a big thank you to Brandon for gluing everything together after we finished.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flash Friday: The Flash is Dead Again!

Happy Flash Friday everyone! I have some grave news; Flash Friday is Dead…Again! I’m going to be taking a break from writing Flash Fridays for awhile. There isn’t a lot of news to talk about recently so I’m quickly running out of things to say. This isn’t the first time either; I dug back into the archives and realized my last big break from writing about the Flash was in December of 2011.

Flash Friday will return sometime in January. Until then we’ll be filling Fridays with the normal strangeness that we post during the rest of the week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hangover Thursday: How to Drink Scotch

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? Mine is currently buried under a mountain of work, so today’s Hangover Thursday is going to be a short one. Richard Paterson is the Master Blender for Whyte & Mackay. Today we’re sharing a video where he teaches you the proper way to drink Scotch.

More of Richard’s insight can be found at

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Ballad of Kid Largo: S1, E10

And now That F’ing Monkey proudly presents, The Ballad of Kid Largo.

I think you’ll see that Brad looks more like his father than Tess does. He’s actually the older of the two. In this setting there is a very big difference robots and androids. Those differences, including things like how androids can even have families, will be part of next month’s updates. There is some neat stuff planned for Kid Largo, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cards Against Humanity Holiday Pack

I don’t buy my friends Christmas gifts anymore. When written like that I know it sounds pretty cold. Instead of gift buying I host an All Swine’s Day party. For those readers new to the site; the first Sunday of January I invite my friends over for bacon-shell breakfast tacos and Ever-beer. I love it because the holidays get crazier every year and a lot of times I don’t get to see my friends during them. Another thing we’ve started doing during All Swine’s Day is playing Cards Against Humanity.

I’ve been championing the Cards Against Humanity game since their first set went on sale. It’s a simple game. One player lays down a black card. That card has a question on it. The rest of the players then play a white card that has an answer on it. The player with the funniest answer is the winner of the round. It’s a simple enough game concept. Now imagine that every one of those cards is offensive, perverse, or demented. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

Since Cards Against Humanity’s release there have been two full expansions. Yesterday they announced their newest release, a 30 card Holiday pack. The best thing about it, is they’ve made it a gift. You can choose how much you pay for these additions to your game. Their website states it takes them 1 dollar to print and 2 dollars to ship, but again, you pay whatever you want. Get your Holiday Pack by clicking HERE, just don’t be a dick when picking your own price.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Enterprise, Nope Not That One...

Last week I had completed one of the great Nerd Quests. I stood on the bridge of the Enterprise. In fact it was the Enterprise that actually sailed. That's right folks I am talking about the air craft carrier CNV 65, not NCC 1701. I still call it a win.

If you have never see an air craft carrier in real life, that fucker is huge.

On Saturday Dec 1st 2012, the Enterprise was inactivated and will soon be retired and cut into scrap metal. It was the first Nuclear powered carrier and had a 52 year life.

Why should I care you say? Well it is still the fucking Enterprise. And I stood on the bridge while it was still an active vessal, I also sat in the captains chair. It was pretty damn cool. Since I will most likely never stand on the bridge of the starship Enterprise I feel that this Nerd Quest was completed to satisfaction.

Don't fret though, as the Enterprise name will not be out of the fleet for long. The next carrier to be built, CVN 80, will bear the name and continue the legacy.

This was my view for most of the week.

Anyway this was a bit of a detour from the Comics, Games, and Booze ethos, but I hope you enjoyed seeing a piece of ancillary Nerd history. If you want to see the ceremony head over to the Navy website. Be aware it is a whole lot of talky talky.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kickstarter: Pariah, Missouri

I don’t think it was surprise anyone that reads That F’ing Monkey that I love westerns. There is a reason I keep a working Colt Navy revolver on my book shelf. Yesterday I received an email about a Kickstarter project that I was immediately excited about. It’s a supernatural/western comic book called Pariah, Missouri. I was excited before I even saw the art.

The Kickstarter sets up the story like this:
1857. Pariah, Missouri is a riverboat boom-town and a haven for the unscrupulous. The charismatic Hy Buchanan works undercover as a foppish cheat, and creates a rag-tag team to ferret out evil, both the corruption of man and the supernatural. His first challenge is the arrival of a duo of thespians, whose intentions are not to entertain.

Pariah, Missouri was created by Andres Salazar with art by Jose Pescador. The art is flat out gorgeous. Me talking about this isn’t enough though. Go to the Kickstarter. There is a 20 page preview pdf that you can download. I honestly don’t know how anyone could read that and not want to see more. I want to see more. I’m sorry I can’t pledge at the higher levels, because I want to see this project succeed so bad it hurts.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flash Friday: PVC Flash

Happy Flash Friday everyone! Real life is extremely busy right now, so I almost skipped Flash Friday this week. Instead I’ll just make a super quick update. Check the preorders at your favorite comic shop or online retailer; we’ve got a new piece of Flash merchandise coming out next month.

Monogram has a new line of 2.75 inch PVC figures and Flash is part of their DC lineup. The chinstrap lets us know that this figure is based on the current Flash costume, but it isn’t clear enough to show if all of the extra lines are still on the suit. For five bucks I wouldn’t expect too much out of the sculpt or the paint job.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hangover Thursday: Sanders Chocolate Stout

It’s Hangover Thursday, how’s your head? Have you recovered from the first round of Holiday madness yet? We are in one of my favorite times of year. I’m not a giant Christmas person, but when it starts getting cold all of those seasonal stouts and porters start coming out. So even if I haven’t been able to make it out to my local bar in a while, I’m happy to know some of my favorite beers are there waiting for me.

I was born outside Detroit. Regardless of the city’s reputation, it is something I’ve always been proud of. There are a lot of things up there that I miss and some food items that I don’t just miss, but my soul is incomplete without them. Real Coney Island Hotdogs, I could talk for days about them. Kowalski hotdogs and sausage are amazing. I demand Vernors Ginger Ale every time I’m sick. Then there is the reason I’m even bring all of this up, Sanders Hot Fudge. Sanders makes all sorts of wonderful things like creampuffs and cakes, but their ice cream toppings are king.

So know that you know of this Motor City love deep in my heart you can understand my excitement when I stumbled upon Detroit Brewing Company’s Sanders Chocolate Stout. It was a must buy and because I found it while I was going to spend time with my family on Thanksgiving, I was hoping they’d appreciate it too. I know, you’re thinking Ken this is a lot of buildup just to talk about a beer. How was it? It was okay.

I almost ended the post there. Seriously, there is a good chocolate smell. There are hints of coffee in there too, almost making this a mocha stout. It hides its alcohol taste pretty well. I think it would be a good beer to give someone who was just branching out to stouts. The flavor was a little more subdued than I was looking for. I’d certainly drink it again but I wouldn’t seek it out unless I knew I was going to be seeing other refugees from Hockeytown.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Ballad of Kid Largo: S1, E9

And now That F’ing Monkey proudly presents, The Ballad of Kid Largo.

And we’re back with a face full of plot! When we first started with the Ballad of Kid Largo I said it would be an experiment and would run for two months. According to that, today’s strip would be the last one that I had posted. Kid Largo is not ending here, there are a number of finished strips sitting in a folder and I still want to show them off. At this point in time, the Ballad Kid Largo will run at least until the 14th strip.  I have the entire first story plotted out, so if the interest is there we'll go far beyond number 14.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

So I’ve been watching Firaxis’ game XCOM: Enemy Unknown closely since it was released. After playing three massive RPGs back to back to back, I needed a change of pace. While I had never played the games it was based on, a tactical turn based strategy game sounded perfect. I have to manage base construction, research projects, and global panic levels? I was already sold on it. I just didn’t want to pay full price. Luckily during all the Black Friday craziness, I was able to pick it up for 25 bucks. Please don’t think I was camping out or anything. I went to the Walmart at 7pm on Friday after I got off work myself.

I’m not really reviewing the game today; there was something else about it I wanted to talk about. What I will say is an excellent game that will swallow all of your free time without you noticing. Playing one mission and then walking away is almost impossible, you want to play just one more. The game introduces some elements that are chosen randomly. Things like mission names, which map you’re on, and just about everything involving your soldiers.

I expected I’d like the game, I had even watched a few people playing it on Youtube. What I didn’t expect is how invested I’d get in my soldiers. Let me explain a little how it works. You have 12 soldiers to start with; all of them are new recruits to XCOM. You can edit the first and last name of each of these soldiers, but they are already named for you. You can edit their appearances but the sex and home country can’t be edited. Once a soldier gets their first promotion they are get a specialty; assault, support, heavy, or sniper. You have no choice in which they move into. Two more promotions and the soldier is given a nickname, you can edit this too, but one is provided if you don’t want to change it.

These random factors come together to make pretty developed characters in my head. Major Esmeralda “Brick” Ramirez is a heavy weapons operator from Mexico. She’s been on every XCOM op I’ve commanded except for the two she missed while recovering in the hospital. I know “The Brick”, she’s a tough talking, cigar smoking, badass. Deep down she probably gets emotionally hurt a little too easy, which is why she surrounds herself with such bravado. Major Kellen “Rogue” Kennedy is our most highly trained combat medic. How does a medic get the nickname Rogue? He’s a Kennedy and from Ireland, his story is right in the details.

That’s just two of the characters on my team. I probably think too much about it, but it has heightened my playing experience. I’m not sending a faceless minion to check that alleyway; I’m sending my assault specialist "Twitch". I’m relieved when the alien blasters beams go harmlessly past her, because I want her to survive the mission. I mean Major Kennedy would be devastated if we lost her, I’m pretty sure they’re sleeping together.


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