Natural Selection?

Sometimes the logic of science just is not logical. Now I am by no means against science to make the world a better place, but most often the first idea that pops into your head to solve a problem is the last idea that should actually be applied. I present to you exhibits A and B for your consideration. I would have loved to be around the lab when a couple of scientists were talking this idea over.

Scientist A: Wow, did you read in the news about how the bee population is rapidly disappearing due to all the pollution in the atmosphere?

Scientist B: Hey, I have an idea! Let’s make fake bugs!

Scientist A: Have you been making bongs out of the test tubes again?

Scientist B: Naw man, we can make bees and spiders and stuff!

Scientist A: But won’t that process just make more pollution, thereby killing off even more of the natural insects and making the problem worse?

Scientist B: Maybe, but we can sell ours for money!

Scientist A: Well by that logic we should just be building endangered species like Rhinos. What about the Rhinos?

Scientist B: Pfft, the hell with the Rhinos. Come check out this bong I made with a Newton’s Cradle in it!

There are things that the world needs, and there are terrible ideas on how to build them and fix them. These ideas both fall into the terrible category. Don’t get me wrong, building them for use as spy drones, bomb disposal, and actually useful tasks is a great idea, but building them to replace nature is a different issue all together.


Would you like fries with that?

What the hell is the matter with people? Of course I am referring to This Article that describes how scientists in the Netherlands have used bovine stem cells to create artificial hamburger in a lab. An anonymous celebrity donor has paid 250,000 Euro (roughly $330,000) to be the first to eat a lab grown hamburger. Now, I enjoy meat just like all Americans (vegans don’t count as people), but is it really asking too much to get my meat from an actual animal? It’s bad enough that I can’t get meat at McDonald’s or Taco Bell, but someone is actually spending money to do this crap. My wife and I buy a Black Angus cow every year from my  father-in-law, and the whole cow comes in at about $3,000 for a 1500 pound cow with the current beef prices. So get out your trusty iPhone, bring up the calculator, and do the math with me. Assuming quarter pound patties, you could make approximately 6,000 hamburgers from the average cow if you ground all of the meat. If you figure in the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, onion, all on a sesame seed bun, you get to about $1.25 per burger. Cost of the produce may even get cheaper if Scientists Build A Better Leaf. I probably don’t need to point this out but $1.25 < $330,000. It would be cheaper to clone a really big cow to get a higher yield of meat. Well, either way I doubt that this will become the sole choice of beef anytime in the near future, and if it does, I’m switching to pork.


Knights of Badassdom – will it be Badass?

This gamer girl thinks ‘yes’! Knights of Badassdom looks deliciously hilarious and rife with satirical commentary and horridly skewed views of what gaming and specifically LARPing looks like to different groups.  With a cast ranging from Peter Dinklage (Tyrion from Game of Thrones), Summer Glau (River Tam from Firefly), Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse from Trueblood), and Danny Pudi (Abed from Community), it seems it will have to prove itself to different standards considering the actors involved. I honestly can not get enough of Danny Pudi or Peter Dinklage and for that reason alone I rank this movie worth viewing.

Basically we are set up at a weekend LARP event of static fantasy proportions. We all know the great video with the famous ‘lightning’ bean bag being thrown to simulate a spell being performed. Perhaps this is the same, but it’s a movie so buckle up and expect at least some visual effects. Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Steve (Peter Zahn) have kidnapped their friend Joe (Ryan Kwanten) for the weekend to initiate him into their glorious ranks of prolific geekdom. Resistant at first all it takes is a lady in armor, Gwen (Glau) to convince him otherwise. Okay! So lets put on the armor.

During a summoning spell, something goes terribly wrong (probably because they are actually reading from a real book – so it seems) and the small band of heroes manage to conjure up a /real/ succubus who is bent on killing everyone with her uncommonly beautiful and sexually charged capabilities. Let’s face it, hot girl, tons of geeks in armor….and she’s offering to kiss them. What geek man in his right mind turns that down? So we can see the problem here – willing masses for the slaughter.

The trailer has a lot of highlights and as a big Danny Pudi and Peter Dinklage fan, I can not help but laugh. Despite the simple, possibly poor acting ability attributed to a few of the actors in my opinion, I still think this is a must see for any and all gaming fans. It is slated to be released this year and my guess it will be late spring or early summer when it finally is. In all honesty, I just can’t wait to see Peter Dinklage in armor again!  — For the trailer.

Atta boy, Joss!

I found this pic/quote of Joss Whedon, and it immediately made me think of the head of a multimedia studio I work for.  He’s always talking about certain studios that refuse to make films with a strong female lead and remarks he gets from his writing group about the teen fighting girls series he publishes, remarks like, “But she’s a fifteen-year-old girl facing a two-hundred pound man, she ain’t gonna win.”  And he’ll reply, “If that fifteen-year-old girl is wielding a flaming sword or a two-handed battle hammer, that guy’s gonna be toast.”  And then the critic still can’t wrap his mind around a girl with a sword in proper battle armor (proper, as in built to fully protect, not built to protect some parts and expose others).  And come to think of it, the majority of entertainment-related things I enjoy best include male leads.  Not that I have a problem with John McClane, he’s completely awesome, but why can we have a woman doing that kind of badassery?  And I have no problem with Link getting the Master Sword and shoving it between Ganon’s eyes, but why can’t there be a woman character wielding a sword and having a similarly epic showdown with evil?  I enjoy these forms of entertainment because I get to sort of live adventurously through these characters, but the living through them is just a bit more distant when I can’t live through them as a woman.

Lock and Load HART drops soon!

Coming in April PCGamer magazine will be giving out Beta keys to Planetside 2, OR if you’re one of those elite GoJ soldiers from way back in PS1 then you should already have a key coming via email.

If you haven’t already signed up for beta testing and confirmed your SOE account info, make sure to do so and prepare to join the war!

Loyalty Beyond Death

Do not shorten Valentine’s Day to VD…

So if you have been living under a rock or knee’s deep in Skyrim I should inform you that today is Valentine’s Day or as the hipster’s like to call it Single’s Awarness Day, or some call it Obligation Day.  Any way, In the spirit of selling out I thought I would share with you some fun geeky valentine’s.  Remember while for adults Valentine’s day is all about love, diamonds and mushy stuff think back to being a kid when you would give Valentine’s to all your class mates, friendship’s were made by what kind of valentine you brought, if you were a girl and brought Batman or Star War’s valentines you instantly became cool regardless of the cooties.  So I share will all of you some valentine’s that I found online to celebrate our geekiness.  If you like them share them with friends, loved ones, heck if it’s a good one maybe your DM will give you a +1 on your next roll.


Another site celebrating Valentines and 42 can be found here

From a favorite webcomic of mine some Dork Tower Valentines

and I totally should have given this in school, but for all you Instructors out there…
and if you have some more awesome ones, share them below.

Roll for Initiative….

So this is my next entry in my quest for self improvement in a living Role Playing Game, and it turns out to be quite like an actual role playing game.  By that I mean I crit failed, rolled a natural one, a fumble, a botch.  Really I made no real progress my initiative check was not so good .  So I guess this is a learning experience for those out there, resolutions or goals are nice, but if you don’t act on them your lameness gets spread on the internet…or some such.  Well here is to next week may that bring me some better luck.

Again I will try to post my progress on twitter as @vanguard1042 or on  Also I am looking into an app for helping me with my travel rations if you will, although we never did that much in our actual games.  In any case, I think one that I found to try is MyFitnessPal on the apple store and android market.  I’ll try it out and let you know how I like it.

So see you next week, wish me luck.

Writing in Progress

Once again, not starting the choose-your-path yet.  But I have at least planned out the characters I’m going to use, world, and basic plot (I can’t plan out too much, because the readers will decide).  Here’s a “sneak peek” (ie., names):  Lor, Errol, Destsin, Lythaven.  Two characters have definite identities/personalities, and the third will be voter-determined 😀

I’m also in the process of finishing my latest ebook.  It’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but with a new world and new characters.  I just started it for fun because of the random silliness, but it actually came to an appropriate length for an ebook, so…why not?  The story actually begins in New Zealand where Australian university students are on an internship trip.  So the Alice character is Australian.  Which means I need to go back through the dialogue I’ve written and see where it would make sense to incorporate some Australian lingo.  I also need to add a little more than 2k words yet to make it the right length, and I have no idea where to add it…so I’ll print it out and have my mom read it.  She’s been a good editor so far.

I’m sorry I’m not an uber gamer

While I do play video games on occasion, I feel sometimes that others don’t understand that not everyone has the ambition or time to game 24/7. So it really bugs me when someone comes along and tries to get in my grill about how could I not know about how this or that works or what rotation is the best. I’m sorry I don’t sit on my computer and read all the forums or watch the latest video. I like my casual playing, is that too much to ask that you do your “uber” thing and I do my casual thing? Don’t ruin someone’s experience because I choose to have a life outside my computer.

While I’m at it, I don’t get your whole nerd rage at something that is just a game. I mean really, when I’m in Stormwind I don’t want to see you swearing and cussing because someone is selling the same thing as you cheaper or someone took your piece of equipment. Guess what? It’s a digital image. What happened to enjoying the experience of defeating a baddie with friends? Is it all about what “thing” you get anymore? I guess I play games to enjoy playing them, not to win imaginary things that don’t matter. But don’t worry, while you go into a rage I sit back and giggle at your expense because you just don’t even know how ridiculous you look.

Printers for Dummies

It was lovingly pointed out to me yesterday that my writing thus far has been more advertising than entertainment, and after reading over much of it I have to agree. It is not my intention to try to sell you junk that I find on the internet, so I decided to spend several hours today reading articles about geek news items. I found a few that I will be sharing over the next few weeks, and I hope that my new direction will be more appealing to you all.

On that note, The Pirate Bay has begun to post torrents for physical objects. Ok, breathe, I’ll explain it. Until recently I had no idea that 3D printers could ever exist. As I was watching a documentary about Jeff Dunham, he showed how he used a 3D printer to create the physical form of his dummies from imaging software. Printing a 3D dummy head took about 20 hours. He showed how these printers can even print moving parts, like transmission gearboxes that actually work. All of this is currently done with plastics, and the printers cost around $2,000.

The Pirate Bay has begun posting models for things like Cowboy Hats, Lawn Darts, even the trademark Pirate Ship from Pirate Bay. The goal of the 3D printing industry is to be capable of printing things like car parts, shoes, and books right at home by 2020 with metals and paper products along with their plastics (don’t ask how much the ink cartridges cost). I’m not planning to buy a 3D printer anytime soon, but the idea that I will someday be able to print computer parts is kind of amazing. The list of “Physibles” can be found here.

Happy Geeking!



When you think of Laser Tag, what comes to mind? (That’s a lazy way of filling your head with visual imagery from my lack of writing skills).  As cool as the concept originally was, it just never evolved into a game where you could dress as Master Chief and blast each other with harmless plasma pulses and throw light grenades. Instead, it seems to have faded into a game where 7th graders can shoot at each other with modified Nintendo gear in a heavily padded basement space with black lights and terrible fluorescent paint on the walls. Well now the Geeks have stepped in to reclaim what was once ours by using modern technology.

Enter the XAPPER Gun. Being released soon on the Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone platforms, this gadget can turn your smartphone into a laser tag device to play with your friends anytime. It also has the option of shooting aliens, and what gamer tech device would be complete without a zombie mode! Using the screen of the phone along with the internal GPS, we could soon see hoards of geeks walking around our shopping malls and parking lots with toy guns shooting at nonexistent creatures that appear on a 2″x4″ screen. The XAPPER Gun can be yours for only $30, which is roughly the cost of a round or two of traditional Laser Tag.

I invite you to grab a couple of these Geek Gadgets and try them out, but be warned that it may lead to black lights and fluorescent paint being added to your basement at home.

Happy Geeking!


The collector’s prize

Inspired by Dinah’s post (thank ye, Dinah), I’d like to pose the question of, “What is your favorite collectible that you own?”  As in, what is that one piece of memorabilia (or pair of shoes, perhaps) that you would never ever sell for any amount of money, no matter how broke you were?  I’m sure everyone has such a beloved artifact.

For me, it would be a tie between two things:

1) My Sailor Moon first season henshin broach.  It was the very first piece of Sailor Moon anything I ever purchased.

2) My Ariel and Eric Little Mermaid figurines, because they were the very first of my extensive figurine collection.  Figurines became my favorite childhood toy and had a huge role in developing my currently out-of-control imagination.

Of course, these things wouldn’t be worth very much anyway, so I don’t have to worry about the temptation of selling them…

The collector’s personality

So one aspect of geek/gamers I have found I just don’t understand is the collector gamer/geek. You know, the one who has to have that 30th set of dice, the one who has to have the super special box set of something because that one has a blue cover when the one they already have has a red cover. Maybe you already know someone like this, maybe this is you. Well as someone who has seen her fair share of geeks with this mentality I have to wonder, “When is it ever going to be enough?” Now I have been told that since I’m not a huge geek/gamer I just simply wouldn’t understand. Apparently there is something inherently amazing about having more set of die then one could even imagine ever using or even looking at, a comic book collection that can take up almost a whole room or owning every single book of some gaming system. I can’t relate I guess, I find nothing exciting about owning one set of dice and when I read something small like a comic in five minutes I don’t keep it for decades.

Now you may wonder where I go with this rant. Fair enough I say but let me swing something by you then oh geek/gamer…shoes. Now while I may not totally get your need to keep tons of things that are stored in boxes or bags in the back of your office/room that many have never been opened, let alone used, I will not get on your case as long as can agree to not complain that I have far too many shoes (or in my case, clothes). You keep your books, your die sets and I will have my three pairs of black heels and 3 sweaters that look very similar. Let’s agree to our own collective natures without trying to dabble into the deeper reasons behind why we feel the need to keep these certain things.

Well, unless you collect shoes and clothes too. Then you might just have to upgrade your house.

Gaining Levels and Losing Weight

Well, this is my first actual article on this site and I was back and forth on what I wanted to write about.  Now I am sure I will post many different things, but for this first outing I wanted to create something worthwhile, or at least intriguing if nothing else. While I know that all geeks and gamers are unique, I am a semi-stereotypical in some respects.  I definitely have the mindset of “IT MUST BE MINE!!!” when it comes to new merchandise involving my hobbies.  Yet it is one of the “larger” stereotypes that I am sadly a victim of and have been for years.  I am the dreaded Fat Fanboy.  I wasn’t always this way…as a young chap I was a skinny kid but then Middle School hit and I became more sedentary, liking games and TV a tad too much.  Fast-Forward to during High School when after two years as an underclassmen I grew sick of how I looked (at 240lbs) and the jokes here and there and I decided to do something about it.  Then SHAZAM! Through eating better and working my butt off I dropped 60 lbs (down to 180lbs) and joined the Track Team.  It was nuts, life in High School became a lot easier when you weren’t the fat kid and also stopped caring about what other’s thought.

Then college hit and the dreaded Freshman 15 came, and then 15 more and then 15 more and then 15 more and I was back to where I was.  But it didn’t stop there.  After college I had a relatively sedentary job, that was at times stressful and gained another 15 then another 15, then another 15 and another 15 (not quite so regular but you get the point).  I doubled what I lost going backwards.  It was like a critical failure to the gut.  I even gained about another 15 – 30 more, however I did manage to scale that back down over this last year even lost more but then gained it back.  So here I sit, for those of you counting, I am now at about 300 lbs.  While I may not be the heaviest geek you see at a convention, I am still way way way above what I want to be.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to weight loss I talk a good game, but I have shown time and time again over the last few years that I am like the DND campaign that only lasts one session, or even worse never makes it past character creation.  Best of intentions and all that.  So I thought here was a chance to put myself out there for the world to watch, hopefully this way I will be even more encouraged, scared, shamed, ridiculed and lambasted into losing the weight.  After all, the Internet can be a cruel and harsh mistress.

But not only did I want to loose weight and get in better shape, I also want to be a better person, more well rounded, as I became less, well uh, round.  Add to that the fact that this is a geek and gamer site, not just a self help place so how to make it geeky.  Then I thought why not take what I have a passion for, and combine it with what I would like to do.  In all the games I enjoy playing, my character grows more powerful.  What if I wanted to do that?  What if I wanted to be someone who is leveling up in life?

So I decided to connect my changes with a type of game I am fond of, that of DND or Dungeons and Dragons (but really any role playing game would work).  Part of this will be to create my own chart for leveling up.  Now the chart isn’t finalized yet but I believe I will start out with the DND famous Ability Scores as a way to categorize the things I want to change.

Strength (STR):  Self explanatory and pretty standard with the DND version.  I hope to increase my Strength through weight-lifting and working out.

Constitution (CON): I thought for this possibly my long distance endurance through things like running and swimming.

Dexterity (DEX): Flexibility and Balance through stretching and yoga among other things.  I am very not flexible and could use all the help I can get.

Intelligence (INT): Here I thought I should expand my mind and try to take time to study and learn things that will help me in my jobs and hobbies and to learn new skills.

Wisdom (WIS): Chores, because I know it’s not a wise thing to not do my chores.  But in addition to that I will try to be more organized and financially responsible.  This is the toughest to measure but I will try to elaborate in the future.

Charisma (CHA): Now I can actually measure this by weight loss or body measurements, but I was also thinking the old school Perform Skill for DND and incorporate skills I would like to improve such as Music, Art and Writing.

My next thing was how do I level up?  Well I think it would be fair to get 1 Experience (XP) Point for every hour I do something that would fit in one of the categories.  For starters, I believe Level 2 will be at 100 XP and one item of treasure, to be determined (maybe something on the random dice roll chart…).  I may modify this as I go and flesh out the rest of my Gaming for Losing system but I wanted somewhere to start.  If you have any ideas, suggestions, or would like to join in your self please leave a comment.  Maybe eventually I will create some character sheets!

I will try and check back each week for Weigh-In Wednesday’s and let you know how my progress is going.  If you are looking for a more day to day happenstance you can also follow me on twitter at  and there will soon to be a twitter feed you can follow on this website to keep up with all the Guild 1042 twitter users.

Lastly in order to fully lay it out there and prepare for my next step in this adventure I need to be able to look back as a commoner to see where I have been and where I need to go.  Thus, a picture of my ogre-like physique at Level 1.


In the interest of full disclosure these pictures are a little old, but sadly I haven’t really lost any weight since they were taken.  If I get a chance to get some new photographs I may swap them out, but I wanted to get something started on this Wednesday February 1, 2012.  Let the adventure begin…