Friday, August 30, 2013


Having just purchased a 3DS XL I’ve been going on and on about how Nintendo seems to understand handheld consoles better than anyone else.  Well they just made an announcement that surprised just about everyone.  The 2DS is like a 3DS without a hinge and without the 3D feature.  It’s actually quite brilliant.

The 3DS and 3DS XL aren’t cheap.  If a younger gamer wants to get a hold of one it is going to hit their parents right in the wallet.  On top of that, while the 3DS is pretty sturdy that hinge can break.  Nintendo just announced a cheaper, sturdier version of their game system to make sure they have the market sealed up.  The only thing it doesn’t have is the 3D feature.  Since I’ve owned my 3DS XL I’ve only turned the 3D on two or three times and even then it was quickly turned back off.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top 10 Giant Robots

Last week Michael May and Siskoid ran a top 10 list of his their top 10 giant monsters.   One  of the rules when creating this top ten is that robots aren’t monsters and would require their own top 10 list.  Just like last week I had to get in on the action, so today we’re going to be talking giant robots.  We are also including mecha into this list, figuring that giant machines controlled by pilots are going to be close enough to robots that it will still count.  Make sure you check out Michael’s AdventureBlog today for a list of other blogs participating in today’s robot countdown. 

10. Voltron

I was going to use the Vehicle version of Voltron just to enrage a friend of mine, but the majority of people who recognize the name Voltron immediately think of the lion version when they hear that name.  There is a good reason for that to, the Lion Force robot is extremely cool looking.  So you’re asking if Voltron is iconic and has such a great design why is he only number 10 on the list?  It’s because watching a Voltron cartoon is excruciatingly boring.  All the archetypes are there, but nothing interesting is ever done with it.  That makes it even worse, it has such potental to be amazing and it's just bland.  I’m including all the re-launches in that statement too. 

9. Emperor Titans (Warhammer 40K)

No setting in existence does over the top better than the Warhammer 40K universe.  The armies of man have giant war machines called Titans, the largest of these are the Emperor Titans.  Standing 166 feet tall the Emperor Titan towers over everything else on the battle field.  As you’d expect the Titan is loaded down with weapons with equally over the top names like Hellstorm Cannons, Apocalypse Missle Launcher’s, and Vulcan Mega Bolters.  I almost forgot to mention that it carries a cathedral dedicated to the God-Emperor on its shoulders.  It's a massive warmachine and a walking church. 

8. Liberty Prime (Fallout 3)

If you remember the Journey of Thall Faceshooter you know I had a great time playing through Fallout 3.  There are some issues with the setting of the game when compared to the rest of the series; some of the lore just doesn’t fit as well.  Liberty Prime though is awesome.  Originally built to liberate Anchorage, Alaska from the Red Chinese this robot was dug up by the Brotherhood of Steel.  Liberty Prime eventually is set upon the Enclave and causes massive destruction by shooting dual energy beams from his head and throwing mini-nukes like footballs.  All the time he’s wrecking face he says things like “Communism is the very definition of failure,” and “Democracy is non-negotiable.”

7. Volfogg (GaoGaiGar)

One of the Super-AI robots in the GGG is the definition of cool.  His vehicle form is a police Ferrari and his robot form is pretty much a ninja.  He carries tow Silver Moon throwing blades that can be combined to form a giant throwing star known as the Silver Cross.  He is also equipped to create holograms, create smoke screens, and to use his Mirror Coating to turn invisible.  When he needs a power upgrade he can join with a non intelligent motorcycle and helicopter to form Big Volfogg.  He looks significantly less ninja-like when it Big Volfogg mode though.

6.  Lockdown (Transformers)

Transformers Animated introduced one of the coolest Transformers of all time.  It’s heavily implied that this faction-less bounty hunter was once an Autobot.  Lockdown has a habit of collecting trophies from his prey, usually it’s a weapon or upgrade that he can use for himself.  This is how he came to own Ratchet’s EMP generator.  Lockdown’s alt form is a nasty spiked racecar with an exposed engine block and a cow-catcher on the bumper.  Oh and in the cartoon he is voiced my Lance Henricksen. 

5. Megas XLR

With a theme song that told the world that “Chicks dig giant robots,” it was obvious that Megas XLR was going to be different than most cartoons.  Produced by Titmouse, Inc, Megas XLR only lasted one season (just like their amazing cartoon Motorcity).  In the future the Earth is losing a war with an alien race called the Glorft. The humans steal a prototype giant robot and modify for our use.  Megas and its pilot Kiva are going to be sent into the past hoping they can stop the invasion.  All sorts of craziness happens.  Megas is damaged and sent to the wrong time.  The damaged Megas is found in present day by Coop , who repairs the robot and replaces the damaged head with a muscle car.  He calls the robot XLR.  Kiva finds Megas but is unable to pilot it anymore because of Coop’s modifications.  Megas XLR makes fun of every giant robot trope in existence and then moves on to anime tropes in general.  The series was smart and funny as all hell. 

4. Iron Giant

Iron Giant is the best Superman movie ever made.  If you haven’t seen it you should stop reading right now and go see it.  Nothing else really needs to be said about it.

3. Veritech (Macross/Robotech)

The VF-1 Valkyrie is a classic.  It goes from from jet mode, to guardian more, to battloid.  There are numerous different versions just in the first series alone.  The design has been copied across all different sorts of media.  Roy Focker’s Veritech looks the best of course.  The black and yellow scheme stand out on the white body and the skull squadron symbol just makes the whole thing look cool.  The Robotech cartoon had a huge impact on me when I was a kid and this design will be with me forever.

2. Springer (Transformers)

I’ve talked numerous times about Springer on That F’ing Monkey.  My all time favorite Transformer.  In the cartoon he was a sarcastic asshole who got shit done.  In the comics he’s the lead of the Wreckers.  Springer is named because he’s legs are so powerful that he is able to leap across battlefields.  Considering he also turns into a helicopter you wouldn’t think that would be an issue.  He goes from sports car, to helicopter, to bad ass.  This triple changer first debuted in the Transformers movie and I’ve been obsessed with him ever since.

1. GaoGaiGar

GaoGaiGar could be placed on the top of this list for his theme song alone.  For those unfamiliar with this awesomeness let me explain what it takes to transform into GaoGaiGar.  A cyborg leaps into a giant robot lion's mouth.  This causes the lion to transform into the robot GaiGar.  That robot is then joined by a drill tank, a bullet train, and a stealth fighter.  All four of these machines then take on the form of GaoGairGar.  You want a giant robot anime that takes it over the top?  This is it.  GaoGaiGar protects the world from the Zonder threat and while I had just mentioned his basic transformation as the series went on he was outfitted with more equipment to battle the aliens.  The most famous is probably his Goldion Hammer, a gigantic hammer that contains an artificial gravity well.  Another robot had to be introduced so it could turn into an arm attachment strong enough to even hold the hammer.  Most of the foes GaoGaiGar faces end up be completely disintegrated.  There is a reason GaoGaiGar is the King of the Braves. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Warriors

Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite movies ever, The Warriors.  It all started with a workplace discussion on movie remakes when I complained that since VHS/DVD/Blu-ray that it’s rare for movies to be re-released anymore.  I didn’t want to see someone else make their version of a movie I loved; I want to see the movie I loved in a theater setting.  It was after saying that I remembered one of the independent theaters in my area did rescreen classic movies and they put up their schedule months in advance.  So way back in June I saw that on August 27th I saw the Enzian Theater was showing The Warriors.  I didn’t wait, I didn’t see who else could go with me, I bought four tickets immediately.

I’d never seen the movie in a theater.  My first introduction to the movie was through HBO.  The film print was grainy and scratchy but that just seemed to add to the whole experience.  The theater was sold out, so I wasn’t the only one excited to see the movie.  Before the movie started there was a small talk about the other movies coming to their cult classic showings and then some basic trivia about The Warriors.  I won't really go into the movie itself, there is a lot about it I want to say and sadly I don't have the time to do that today.

I couldn’t even begin to guess at how many times I’ve seen this movie.  Besides the countless times I’ve seen it on television, there was a long period of my life without cable.  I watched a lot of DVDs then and The Warriors was one of the movies that was always in my rotation.  It was different last night.  Sharing the experience with people was amazing.  Seeing the movie’s surreal characters on the giant screen just made me happier than I can really express. 

If you haven’t seen the movie the movie I want to give a quick word of warning.  There are two versions of the movie out; the original version and the Ultimate Director’s Cut.  Stay as far away from the Director’s Cut as you can.  That version adds horrible zooms and freezes in addition to changing some scenes into comic book panels complete with thought bubbles.  The additions slow down the movie and actually break the tension in most scenes. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting Closer to the End

While I was working yesterday I heard my music cut out for a second and then jump to the next song.  Paranoid I reached over to my faithful iPod and clicked back to the song was just playing.  It cut out again in the same place and then jumped to the next song.  I was bothered, but I was content to listen to the song that was currently playing.  It played perfectly.  The next song stopped around the halfway mark and jumped to the one after that.  There was a sick feeling in my gut. 

I’ve been teased before at work because my iPod has been with me for so long.  Every day when I get into work I grab a cup of coffee and I hook my iPod up to a set of speakers.  My 40 gig, 4th generation iPod.  The music player is almost 9 years old now and has close to 7,000 songs on it.  Every once in a while I get asked why I haven’t upgraded to a new one, but I never saw the point.  The classic was doing everything I needed it to.  Now that’s starting to change.  I’d say 1 in every 10 songs played is choppy or skips.  I can manage but I know the end is coming.

The real killer for me is that there isn’t a good replacement for what I have.  I got almost 9 years out of this one so I have no problem sticking with Apple, but they aren’t making it easy for me.  I have almost 30GB of music.  I don’t need to run apps or watch movies; I just want a music player.  I’d need 2 iPod nanos to carry what I have now.  At 150 each that isn’t going to happen.  The 32Gb iPod touch costs 300 too.  Besides that the touch is full of things I don’t need.  That brings us back to the iPod Classic.

The Classic.  The device that launched the line only comes in one version now, the 160GB.  That’s 5 times more than I really need and it’s 250 dollars.  Sure if it lasts 10 years that 250 will seem like a great deal, but right now it seems like a lot of money for more storage than I need.  I’m not going to do anything while my old Classic still functions, but the whole idea of it no longer working just makes me sad.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Top 10 Giant Monsters

Yesterday our good friend Michael May ran a top 10 list of his favorite giant monsters over at his Adventure Blog.  After reading his list I knew I wanted to play along and started making my own list.  The first couple were easy, but it was harder than I thought it would be.  What constitutes as a giant monster, how big does the monster have to be?  Does Jaws count?  The shark’s size is so inconsistent in Jaws 3 I think that argument could be made.  How about the Zentradi from Robotech?  Being able to add Khyron to the list would certainly alter the results. 

The other big note to add here is that Michael made it a point to mention that he isn’t including giant robots because that should be a separate list.  He’s right and sometime next week I’m going to post up my top ten favorite giant robots.

10. Alligator (Alligator, 1980)

I was still living in Detroit when I first saw this movie. I know I was very young when I saw it, so it must have been on HBO or something.  An alligator is flushed down the New York sewer where it ends up eating the carcasses of animals that were test subjects of a growth formula.  Of course the alligator becomes a giant eating machine and eventually escapes the sewers.  A fun movie, but the alligator makes the list because of one scene that is forever burned in my memory.  There is this kid’s party and the party goers are going to force one of the kids into the pool.  None of them know the gator is hiding in the pool.  I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying it doesn’t end well for the kid.

9. Giant Gila Monster (The Giant Gila Monster, 1959)

I might love this movie more than the actual monster.  The special effects are mostly a real gila monster walking through scale models.  It’s fun, but hardly enough to make it on the list.  The movie stars Don Sullivan as a mechanic and hot rod racer with a heart of gold.  There are French girls, younger sisters in need of surgery, and a bizarre subplot with a disc jockey.  The whole experience borders on surreal, which is why I’m always happy when I see it.

8. Mothra

First appearing in 1961 Mothra is the most famous of the good kaiju.  Mothra is pretty amazing because the character is so different that most other kaiju.  Mothra first appeared in her own movie before joining the other Toho kaiju in Godzilla’s movies.  Usually once a monster joins Godzilla’s stable they are stuck with him.  Mothra is the only monster to get her own movies after being in Godzilla’s.   All of this is well and good, but I’d be lying if I said these were the reasons I liked Mothra.  No, it’s all because of the Tiny Beauties.  These little ladies (seriously they are tiny) speak for Mothra.  They were originally played by Japanese twin singers The Peanuts.   

7. Rancor (Star Wars)

You weren’t expecting Star Wars were you?  First, let’s forget all the Expanded Universe here.  I’m not worried about Dathomir or their witches, this is about the big monster under Jabba’s palace.  The beast fed on anyone foolish enough to cross Jabba and stand on his trap door.  The first time it stepped out of the shadows it was amazing.  We all know how a meddling Jedi killed this poor beast, but the Rancor’s few scenes still made a big enough impact on me to put him on this list.   A while back during the Tamagotchi craze there were Star Wars versions.  The Rancor ate Gamorians for food and dancing girls as treats. 

6.  Thresher Maw (Mass Effect)

Picture the scene.  You’re Commander Shepard responding to a distress beacon on a planet’s surface.  You’re driving across a big stretch of desert when the whole ground starts rumbling.  There is a scream, your vehicle is tossed into the air, and you’re facing a giant snake/insect thing that spits acid.  One of Shepard’s histories can even be tied to humanity’s first run in with a thresher maw.  In Mass Effect 3 you even run into Kalros, the legendary thresher maw known as “the mother from which all other thresher maws spawn.”  I realize they are very similar to the sand worms in Dune, but I prefer this version. 

5. Godzilla

King of the Monsters and Godzilla only ranks number five?  I realize I’m strange.  If we’re talking cultural impact or importance to a genre Godzilla would be hard to not place at number one.  But this list is talking about my favorites and the big guy is at number five.  If it wasn’t for his iconic roar I might have even place him lower, but every time I hear that noise I just smile.  I also want to point out here if you’ve never actually watched the first Godzilla movie I really recommend you do.  It is a far deeper movie than just a guy in a rubber suit knocking over buildings.

4. King Kong

A giant monkey falls in love with a beautiful woman.  It’s the story of my life; minus the dinosaur fighting and building climbing.  I love both the original and the latest remakes for different reasons.  What’s not to love about his movies?  You can watch Kong stomp on people, crush them between his teeth, and still for sorry for him as he falls to his death.  Kong is a classic in the truest sense of the word. 

3. SpaceGodzilla (Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla 1994)

My top three giant monsters are probably going to be vastly different from most peoples.  I prefer SpaceGodzilla to the original.  So some of Godzilla’s cells get sent into space; either from Biollante or from Mothra. Once these cells are in space they enter a black hole, become altered, and returns out of a white hole.  SpaceGodzilla looks like a blue version of Godzilla with giant crystals growing out of his shoulders.  SpaceGodzilla has all over Godzilla’s powers plus a new set granted by the crystals.  There is also no doubt that SpaceGodzilla is evil to the core.  I love his look, I love his powers, and I love SpaceGodzilla.

2. Mighty Joe Young (Mighty Joe Young 1949)

Is this one cheating?  Joe should be about 12 feet tall, is that a big enough gorilla to be considered a giant?  Anyway, Mighty Joe Young is on my list as more enjoyable than King Kong.  I know it’s blasphemy.  Traveling to Africa to find animals a smooth talking business man meets up with a beautiful woman and her giant trained gorilla.  They take them all back to the states where the craziest nightclub ever is opened.  There are lions and running around in glassed off areas.  The club is amazing.  Joe is turned into a spectacle.  He ends up getting drunk, fighting the lions, and trashing the club.  Then it’s a race to get Joe back to Africa before the police kill him.  There are car chases, a burning orphanage, and actor Ben Johnson (one of the best cowboys ever).  This is one of my favorite movies of all time and I had to include Mr. Joe Young on the list.

1. Gamera

I’ve said it on this site before, Gamera is my favorite giant monster.  He’s a fire breathing giant turtle that can fly by pulling his legs in and shooting jets of fire out his leg holes.  It’s no surprise that Gamera was created by a rival film studio trying to cash in on the Godzilla craze.  The series became more popular with children as it went, so the original run of movies (1965-1971) get sillier as they go.  The second run of movies (1995-1999) are simply amazing.  Seriously if you like giant monster movies you need to see them.  How much do I love Gamera?  I own the original Japanese run, the 90s reboot, and the MST3K Gamera box set.  MST3K was the reason I was introduced to Gamera and I’m forever thankful to them and Sandy Frank for bring Gamera to America.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ghost Shark

Somehow Sharknado became an overnight sensation.  People were talking about it everywhere and it got better ratings every time Syfy aired it.  Somehow it was absurd enough to catch on where other movies like Pirannahconda failed.  I think I’ve seen every one of Syfy’s original monster movies.  The CGI is bad, the acting is worse, and I love every wretched second of it.  Tonight is the premiere of Ghost Shark.

I’m not going to lie; I think the premise is brilliant. I don’t like it ironically or any of that bullshit either; I genuinely think the core concept of the movie is a good one.  Someone there is a spectral shark out there that can only attack people in water.  Pools, bathtubs, rain; no where wet is safe.   If someone doesn’t get attacked while sitting on the toilet I’m going to be disappointed.   I’ve avoid the how and why the shark is a ghost because I’m eager to see how the movie handles it. 

The movie stars Mackenzie Rosman and Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis but I’m far more excited to see that Richard Moll is in it.  Moll is best known as Bull from the old TV show Night Court.  He was also in the movie House as Big Ben and the voice of Norman from the Mighty Max cartoon.  You might not remember the Might Max cartoon, but let me tell you, Norman was THE SHIT.  Moll is playing what appears to be a lighthouse keeper who I am sure is going to be all sorts of surly.

While it isn’t Ghost Shark related I also want to mention that we’ll be getting two Sharktopus sequels in the future.  Sadly Syfy didn’t take any of my ideas, but I’m still holding out for that animated series pitch.  Instead we’ll be getting Sharktopus versus Pteracuda and Sharktopus versus Mermantula.  I don’t know if there is a way to express that and not sound like I’m joking.  I’m honestly thrilled and I can’t wait to own the whole Sharktopus trilogy.  I’ve never wanted to be an actor, ever, but I wish I could be in a Sharktopus movie.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pixies Bagboy

The Pixies reunited and started touring back in 2004.  They released a new song “Bam Thwok” and contributed a song to the Warren Zevon tribute album.  As they continued to play their fans wondered if there was a new Pixies album in the works.  In interviews Frank Black stated that it was Kim Deal who was against recording a new album.  Deal announced leaving the band back in June of this year.  Two weeks later the band released the song “Bagboy” as a free song on their website. 

In July the band announced that Kim Shattuck, the guitarist and vocalist of The Muffs will be replacing Kim Deal on the Pixies current European tour.  There hasn’t been any confirmation on if a new album is in the works or not, but if Kim Deal was the only holdout one has to think we’ll be seeing some sort of announcement soon.  Until then, enjoy "Bagboy" and remember that you can go to the Pixies homepage to download the song for free.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Real Life Bearmageddon

While he is more famous for Axe Cop, I’m a huge fan of Ethan Nicolle’s web comic Bearmageddon.  I wrote briefly about it last year when I made a cameo appearance.  If the name doesn’t give it away, Bearmageddon is about bears attacking humanity.  There is a lot more to it of course, there are mutant bears and other things going on, but when you boil it down to the basics it’s about bears attacking people.  This past week it seems like Bearmageddon is closer to reality than anyone thought.
In the past week there have been seven different bear attacks.  They aren’t just happening in one area either, these attacks happened in five different states.  The attack getting the most attention is that of a 12 year old Michigan girl who was out jogging when she was attacked.  The girl played dead as the bear attacked her.  It left scratches on her face and deep gashes on her legs that required stitches, but she survived the ordeal.  She quickly made it to a neighbor’s house and was able to get medical attention.  The attack in Alaska had the victim waiting in the wilderness for 36 hours before he could be picked up for medical attention.  The news is reporting that he is currently in stable condition.  There aren't many details in that attack, but I have to wonder which did more damage; the initial attack or going so long without any help.

Bear fatalities in North America are actually pretty rare.  Attacks like the ones happening this week are more common.  Sure the clawing and biting may not be enjoyable for the victim, it isn’t usually fatal.  Bear attacks are on the rise, but considering their habitat is shrinking that is hardly surprising.  So why have there been so many bear attacks this week?  Partly because everyone is on vacation; most of the attacks have been on campers, hikers, and hunters.  Who would have thought?  If you go looking for nature it just might find you instead.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nerf Rebelle

We take a break from all the video game talk this week to talk about Nerf.  Nerf comes up from time to time on That F’ing Monkey because we love Nerf guns.  I used to keep a blaster in my desk drawer at work just in case a Nerf fight broke out.  I had a huge Nerf arsenal when I was a kid.  The Nerf releases that we’re looking at today aren’t meant for me.  You see this fall Nerf will be releasing the Rebelle line of blasters, a line advertised directly at a female audience. 

With their neon colors I never really thought of Nerf as a gender specific toy, but it makes sense that Hasbro wants to capture the female market.  The Rebelle line is made up of mostly new blasters, so they aren’t just repainting last year’s line pink and calling it a day.  It seems like the two items they are pushing the hardest will be a bow and a crossbow, so it looks like they are trying to cash in on the Hunger Games fueled interest in archery.

The bow is called the Heartbreaker Bow.  Nerf has a long history with bows and I still remember the one I had as a kid.  At that time the bow fired large foam arrows, this new version fires “collectible darts”.  The collectable darts appear to be Elite darts repainted.  The darts have different color schemes and/or graphics and all have pink tips.  The Heartbreak Bow will be available in Phoenix (purple) and Vine (blue) versions. 

The Guardian Crossbow is a bit of a letdown for me.  The original Nerf crossbow was one of the best blasters ever made.  It could fire the larger arrow darts and mini-darts.  I the Guardian was a version of this crossbow I would have bought one, regardless of the color.  Instead the Guardian can hold up to six collectible darts and can be single fired or slam fired.  Slam firing is when you hold the trigger down and repeatedly prime the blaster.  Each time you prime a dart automatically fires. 

The Pink Crush is a strange gun.  The large pink piece at the end of the barrel mimics the arms of a crossbow but can be removed if they are getting in the way.  The rest of the body looks like a Nerf Firestrike with the flashlight removed.  It’s a single fire blaster with a ten dollar price point, so it’s meant to be one of the cheaper entries into the line.  This is just your standard Nerf blaster, so it's a little boring compared to the other offerings.

 The Sweet Revenge is the most interesting of the Rebelle lineup.  The Sweet Revenge is the exact same gun as the Zombie Strike Hammershot, it’s just repainted to fit the rest of the Rebelle line.  The gun holds five darts and actually use hammer-action to prime the dart.  You can hold the gun in one hand, use your thumb to pull back the hammer, and then fire.  This is huge because on all the other non-motorized Nerf guns you would need a free hand to pull back the primer.  There is no word on whether or not you can fan the hammer like on a real single action revolver.  The Sweet Revenge is going to be sold in a kit that comes with a holster and sunglasses.


The smallest of the guns is the Sneak Attacker.  It will actually be sold in the Power Pair blaster set.  So for thirteen dollars you get a tiny blaster for you and a friend.  That’s Nerf’s initial lineup for the Rebelle line.  I hope it does well for them because Nerf should be enjoyed by everyone.  What do you think ladies?  Does this make you want a new Nerf gun? 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Safety Dance Game

I get these ideas that won’t go away.  Stupid, silly things that keep me awake at night.  I’m not talking important things either.   I still have to worry about things like mortgages, 401ks, and college plans but those things don’t tend to consume my brain like the trivial nonsense does.  The worst thing is that most of these ideas are for things that I couldn’t possibly bring to life, like ideas for video games or sequels to the Cannonball Run franchise.  Lately I can’t stop thinking about a video game based on the music video for “The Safety Dance.”
 I know that sounds really strange.  The video came out in 1983 and was a one hit wonder.  Why would I want an entire video game based on it?  Because it all works so extremely well.  Let’s start with the basic premise.  We have a generic feudal society and since we need to have some conflict we’re going to say the land is ruled by a series of corrupt nobility that heavily tax and mistreat their subjects.  You are in control of three characters that are fighting this oppression.  But this would be more about stealing from the nobles than it would be engaging their army in warfare.


Stealth would be huge.  Think the Thief series, borrow heavily from Assassins Creed, and then add music.  The team consists of a singer, a dancer, and a lute player.  Causing the right kind of distractions would be vital in completing your mission.  The main character in the video was played by Men Without Hats front-man Ivan Doroschuk.  The dashing rogue would be the best at actual fisticuffs but would also be able to easily distract any ladies he came across.

The dancer would be the lightest on her feet, so she’d have the ability to jump higher and further than the other two.  She’d be able to get other town’s people to dance along with her, causing distractions for the rest of the team.  Of course if our singer is distracting the females our dancer is going to be just as good at distracting the males.  She'd still be useful in combat too.  Although she wouldn't be as strong as the singer, her attacks would be much quicker.

Finally we come to our lute playing jester.  Being a little person the jester would be able to slip through opening that the other two are too large for.  Being a jester, the kids will love him.  He’s also the only one with a musical instrument, so that would come into play during some of the game’s puzzles. 

By switching from character to character it would allow the player to cause the needed distractions to allow one of our three thieves to steal whatever was the objective for each mission.  These three bards would loot their way through the countryside going all Robin Hood and sticking it to the man.  And that dear reader is all I’ve been able to think about for the past week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Game Launch Rock

Brentalfloss has released a new song that will kick a few of you right in the nostalgia.  The video is based on the old School House Rock songs that used to run with Saturday morning cartoons.  If they were before your time School House Rock were educational videos that taught kids about history, math, grammar, and other things.  Considering I only remember the catchy parts of the songs and not the teach-y parts I don’t know if they really worked as intended.

Besides sounding exactly like one of the old School House Rock songs the video also has some pretty good advice.  I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a new console during its launch.  I know I talked about buying the black 3DS XL yesterday, but that was on the launch day for that color; the system itself had already been out for a while.  Apparently I’m on a video game kick this week, expect more game talk tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Black 3DS XL

This past Sunday Nintendo released their 3DS XL handheld in an all black color.  Before then if you wanted the XL your options were the dual colored red/black, blue/black, or pink/white.  There were also a few limited editions tied into game releases, most of those go for absurd ammounts of money now though.  I’ve been looking at the 3DS XL for a couple months now, and the all black version was coming out right when I was getting ready to purchase one anyway, so it worked out perfectly for me.

Thursday I had taken off work so I decided to head down to Best Buy and see if anyone had accidentally put one on the shelves early.  I had seen pictures of a few stores breaking street date, so I figured I’d try.  Unfortunately they only had the current versions out.  After flagging down a helpful worker I played dumb and asked if they had the black model.  They did have it in stock, but the system showed it wasn’t allowed to be sold until the eleventh.  She then asked if I’d like to pre-order it.  Because I’ve played this game before I asked if I was guaranteed one on Sunday if I pre-ordered now.  She checked her stock again and said yes, that there was no doubt in her mind that if I pre-ordered I’d get a system.

Believing what I was told I walked over to the pre-order kiosk and printed off a receipt.  I then took the receipt to the cashier so I could put my five dollars down.  And it wouldn’t ring up.  He tried two or three times before going to ask someone else what was going wrong.  He gets told to create a new pre-order and ignore the ticket.  That doesn’t work either.  I want to stress at this point, everyone I’ve dealt with has been very nice.  I’m not impatient or rude either, I really didn’t have anything to do that day anyway.

A manager and someone else come in to try and help.  Everything the original cashier tried fails for them too.  My name and rewards information is written down as the manager goes to the customer service area and tries to enter my pre-order off Best Buy’s website.  That doesn’t work either.  Finally the manager gets fed up and runs to the back of the store.  I see him two minutes later carrying the 3DS XL.  Inwardly I’m celebrating.  I watch as he starts ringing it up.  I’m celebrating because I don’t go back to work until Monday, that’s four days to goof off with my new toy.

And the system won’t let him sell it early.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Defeated the manager writes my name and phone number on a piece of paper and then tapes it onto the box.  He apologizes and tells me that the system will be there for me to pickup Sunday.  While my weekend dreams are crushed, I tell him that’s fine and head off.  Sunday morning rolls around and I’m up early to get to the store.  My 3DS and the manager’s note are nowhere to be found.  There were plenty of black 3DS XLs on the store shelves though. 

The system is worth all the frustration though.  Nintendo knows what they’re doing when it comes to handhelds.  If you haven’t picked one up I highly recommend it.  Again I want to end this with saying I’m not mad at anyone who helped me Thursday or Sunday.  I find the whole thing rather funny, although I probably would have felt differently if I didn’t end up with the 3DS I wanted.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Muppets Most Wanted

This is the last update for the week.  I'm going to enjoy my birthday and try to stay away from the computer for a few days.  I do want to share the new trailer for the Muppet's sequel because it's the Muppets and I'm excited.

The strange thing is that I don't really need a story for a Muppet movie.  I'd be happy with an hour and a half of their skits and backstage stuff.  I've missed Veterinarians Hospital and Pigs in Space; it'd be nice to see them again.   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grammar Slam

Inspired by his visit on the Nerdist podcast wrestler CM Punk has released a series of videos on YouTube called Grammar Slam.  There are four videos right now, hopefully there will be some more in the future.  Each video has Punk going over the common grammatical errors that fill the email and tweets he receives. 

The Nerdist must have been sitting on these videos for a little while, the matches that are mentioned in the video all happened back at Wrestlemania and the Punk in these videos isn’t rocking the Wolverine look.  Check out the video above and then track down the other three.  Besides being entertaining they might actually help you out the next time you’re writing something.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shark Week Letdown

(Hey Ken, why are there two posts today?  Tuesday's update is posting early because I'm too pissed to wait another day).
Sunday night Discovery kicked off Shark Week.  It should be very obvious to anyone who spends any time on That F’ing Monkey that I love sharks.  I look forward to Shark Week every year and I’m excited that my birthday usually falls during the week.  That said I don’t think Discovery Channel’s offering is perfect.  The shows are too focused on the great white and shark attacks in general.  Considering how many shark species are threatened there should be a much larger conservation message.  I was prepared for those concerns; I wasn’t prepared for last night’s offerings.

The first show of the night was Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives.  Had this been a documentary about the prehistoric shark I would have been thrilled.  A shark that measured between 46 and 59 feet is ridiculously cool.  Instead this show was full of “found footage”, bad CGI, and misinformation.  Much like the mermaid special they ran, Discovery presents this information like it is fact.  I stuck it out for half an hour, hoping I could find something redeeming in this special but it defeated me.

I understand you may be confused at this point.  I’m the guy who loves Sharktopus.  I’m so excited for Syfy’s Ghost Shark that I can barely contain myself.  Why am I so upset about another channel running a shark focused mockumentary?  It all has to do with what channel it’s on.  Discovery channel is supposed to celebrate how amazing the Earth is.  It’s there to remind us how cool science it.  This is the channel that ran those wonderful “The World is Just Awesome (Boom De Yada) commercials”.   From whale sharks to dwarf lantern sharks, all of them are cool.  You don’t need made up flimflam to make an exciting shark special.

I look forward to the rest of the week but I’m really let down by Shark Week’s start.  You’re better than this Discovery channel.

Resolutions Update

And just like that the year is well more than half over. At the beginning of the year I laid down some "Nerd Resolutions". Looking back over that list, I see that I have accomplished very little. Perhaps I should have resolved to post more this year...of course that also would not have happened.

So lets take a look at my list so far this year, shall we?

1) Getting my Eldar fully painted - Nope, not even close. I wish I could use the excuse of the new codex coming out a few months ago, but I can't even do that. I am not even sure that I have put a brush to any Eldar yet. Wow, way to start off on a positive note.

2) Catching up on The Walking Dead *comics and show - Well I finished the first season of the show. Started on the second and have not read a single back issue. To be honest on this one, the show is only okay to me. It does not really have me hooked. As for the comics, perhaps I need to go back and start over. I remember highly enjoying those first two trades.

3) Work through that video game back log - I think I may have played some Dragon Age at the beginning of the year. That's about it. I have never been a huge video game player, and nothing is really capturing my imagination as of late. The ol' Xbox is mainly just a movie and TV distribution unit at this point.

4) Find an IPA that I actually enjoy - Sure did! Well, it is a bit of a cheat though as it is a mixed brew. At a company called Duclaw they make a fractional IPA called "Oz". They also make a fantastic porter called "Bad Moon". Mix those together and you have "The Dark Side Of Oz". It aint bad.

There ya go 1 out of 4 in eight months, and that 1 is kind of a cop-out. 
It's been a hell of a year.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Skin Crawling Comics

When you go to your local comic shop to you skip over the piles of spandex clad heroes and villains?  Are you looking for the books that feature vampires, werewolves, and other monsters?  Are you having a hard time finding good horror comics?  The Skin Crawling Comics Anthology is the answer you’ve been looking for. 

Currently raising fund at indiegogo (CLICK HERE!) the Skin Crawling Comics Anthology is a collection of “Horror comics that hearken back to spooky storytelling and reject gore as a plot substitute.”  As someone who has always preferred monsters eating people to sadists torturing people, that makes me pretty happy.  The project is citing things like Creepy, Eerie, and Tales from the Crypt as their inspiration.  The final book will be 180 colored pages appropriate for anyone 16 and up.

Skin Crawling Comics is a true anthology, check out their indiegogo page to check out the huge list of artists, writers, letterers, and colorists.  There are like 40 people that want to get their horrific visions into your hands.  To cover printing, shipping, and all the not fun stuff they are trying to raise 18,000.  This is a very doable goal but they need help getting the word out.  Go to their indiegogo (CLICK HERE) and check out the different perks available.  Go to their facebook (CLICK HERE) and check out all the updates.   Tell all your friends about it.  If you do pledge to their campaign, let them know that F’ing Monkey sent you. 


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