Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - Nov 2nd, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - Nov 2nd, 2010: "A pretty darned good crop from last week and there was more goodness out there as well that I didn't review at all. Sad, but there's just s..."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - October 31st, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - October 31st, 2010: "More quick reviews. Not super quick like the last one, but let me know which format you prefer. If you kind of like me switching it up her..."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: SUPER Quick Comic Reviews - October 28th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: SUPER Quick Comic Reviews - October 28th, 2010: "This is a super quick rundown to catch up from last week: Hits: Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom #3 - Written by Jim Shooter and Penciled by ..."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 24th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 24th, 2010: "Brightest Day #12 - Written by Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi and Art by Patrick Gleason, Scott Clark, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado. Hi, this is D..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wolves: Kids, They're What's for Dinner

I told my 3 year old son about the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".  He had been lying to us about everything recently, so I thought that I could turn this into a story that fit the best.  When telling this story, always make sure the kid actually knows that the wolf is a dangerous creature.  That's the first part.

This is what happened to the Deer who cried "oh crap, wolves, gotta run into a car!"
A little bit later I caught my son in a lie again.  When I asked him what he learned from the story I told him earlier, he simply stated "that the wolf ate the boy."  Well, yeah, sure did.  I tried to make this story seem semi-horrific.  Nobody wants to be eaten by a wolf.  So I asked him why he got eaten by the wolf and it became apparent that it just didn't click in that the boy was lying and nobody believed him when he actually needed help.

I think Disney is to blame for some of this.  Now days, creatures like wolves are portrayed as cute, cuddly, and most of all, talkative.  But in reality, they can be vicious predators and roam in packs.  Oh my gosh, I just described my kids.  No wonder they weren't scared by this analogy.  Um... nevermind.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 20th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 20th, 2010: "The Siouxland Voice site has been acting up. So yes, I've been updating my blog. Unfortunately my feed isn't loading there like it shou..."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 18th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 18th, 2010: "Still trying to catch up after the peed on laptop incident. We're still taking donations or check out some ads and help the recovery fund. ..."

My Son the Poopsmith

As the boys were about to settle in tonight, my three year old made the announcement that he had to poop. So I see him going to work in the bathroom.  Getting his seat added to the toilet and then his eyes dart back and forth.  At that time, I hear him utter the word, "dang."  Off he goes to grab his step-stool from his 1 month old brother's room.

So as he got situated finally on the potty, he issues a question to me and my wife from the bathroom.  "Hey guys, do you want to know the best part of going to the bathroom that I love the best?"  At first, I had no idea what he was saying, nor did my wife.  So we asked him to please repeat that.  Sure enough, he said just what I had finally put together.  Of course, my wife and I oblige the youngster with a obligatory "what?"  His response, "pooping!"

In case you were wondering, the original Poopsmith

This was about as sincere and as heart felt as he gets.  He just loves pooping.  My boy would then go on to give his own running commentary of what was occurring in the most solemn of places.  Why, he even gave a nice "splash!" sound effect for good measure at the moment of triumph.

Oh, but the proud moments do not stop there.  Not only that, but when it was time for me to help wipe him, he quickly darts back to the toilet to view his masterpiece.  "One chunk!" he echoed to me.  Now, he quickly darted to the toilet because sometimes I wipe him and then drop the tissue into the toilet, directly over his Picasso.  Usually, that elicits an angry exchange from him.  But tonight he could go to sleep proud.  He knew that his favorite part of the day had not been sullied by an unforgivable fatherly mistake.  Kudos to my young poopsmith, kudos.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 14th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Reviews - October 14th, 2010: "With my peed on computer out of commission, I haven't redone the stuff I was working on. I just don't have the time to go back and fix it a..."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stuff my Kids Ruined

Ok, for the title of the post I was politically correct. After all, this cross-posts to mySiouxlandvoice.com, so I figured they wouldn't want my title to be called "Shit my Kids Ruined". But the wife told me about a great site called Shit My Kids Ruined. You really have to check it out if you want a good laugh today!

After looking around on that site, I find out things could be worse. My kids have destroyed fairly small things until my laptop fiasco. Although, the way my kids went about destroying my laptop was somewhat unique. At least they didn't drop a deuce on the keyboard. Nobody ever told them I said that either, because I don't want them getting any ideas!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Peed on Laptop Later...

Ahhh... kids. They are wonderful little people aren't they? Well, not as much when they pee on your laptop computer. Yes, that's right. My laptop computer was peed on. Fantastic, eh? So now, I'm using my slightly functioning old Ubuntu system. Not the bells and whistles I had with Windows 7, but still decent.

So I've lost the posts for my comic blog that were coming out, so I'm just going to start anew next week with a fresh start on that. Meanwhile, I simply must adjust to the Blog Editor I'm now using. It isn't as slick as Windows Live Writer 2010, so that's a disadvantage as well.

Now why did the kids pee on my laptop? I know you would have that question and we're still not sure. The 2 year old for certain was a peeing culprit. He came into our bedroom with his diaper off claiming his victory. However, the 3 year old had shown up a minute beforehand and there's a conspiracy theory that he set-up the 2 year old for the fall. At one time, the 3 year old claimed he peed on it first and he told the 2 year old to pee on it. However, that could have just been him trying to garner attention. We can't be sure.

What is for sure? Well, after attempting to dry it out in rice, there is no power, nothing to it. We suspect the motherboard is shot and probably just needs replaced. The approximate cost is around $100 + whatever repair expenses it may incur. We aren't exactly rolling in money right now, so if you like the blogs (or just me... or even my wonderfully cute kids) then feel free to donate. There's a donation button on each of my blogs to help save the laptop. Donate whatever you would like, throw change at me, whatever you want. I'm shameless at this point.

The comic stuff should be returning next week. Thank you for your patience!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–October 3rd, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–October 3rd, 2010: "The new releases this week were not on the impressive side. In all actuality, I was pretty much not excited to do many reviews this week be..."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 29th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 29th, 2010: "Well, there are a few titles from last week that I didn’t fit in, I’ll try to squeeze them in next week. For the most part, all the major t..."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Comic Book Review–Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #2...

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Comic Book Review–Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #2...: "Script by Jim Shooter, Art by Roger Robinson, Colorist Wes Dzioba, Lettering by Blambot!, Cover Art by Michael Komarck. Published by Dark ..."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 27th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 27th, 2010: "Titans #27 – Written by Eric Wallace and Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino & Cliff Richards. Another journey into the land of Deathstroke’s Titans..."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 25th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 25th, 2010: "5 Quick Reviews for today, but this is a rarity as all five are winners today! And that’s not an easy feat, but I was surprised with these ..."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 24th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 24th, 2010: "10, count em, 10 titles all reviewed today! One of my biggest posts EVER! Will it be epic? What will I think of the awesome titles in tod..."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Sunday Board Game Fun!

Well, we had another great Sunday of board games.  Didn't get in a
ton, but having three kids to juggle makes it harder.  We did get in
three good games though and I introduced my friend from work to our
wonderful boardgame world.

The first game we played was World Without End by Michael Rieneck and Stefan Sadler and published by Mayfair Games.  World Without End is based on the bestselling novel by Ken Follett.  And boy, this is a nasty little game, but very innovative.  The way you win is by scoring victory points.  The best way to score those is to help build different projects in the town by donating building materials to them.  Also, half-way through the game, the plague hits and you have to help save people from it for more points.

gaming and museum 001 fixed
A lot of wool early on meant no money problems late in the game.

The best part of this game is the first thing you do every turn.  You draw a card read the event and deal with it.  Sometimes it can be quite nasty and cause you much grief.  There are also four icons of different things you can get off this card and an arrow.  You orient the card with the item you want pointing at your seated location and then everyone else gets what's on the icon pointed at them.  Pretty neat mechanic there.  But you also have to pay attention to that arrow, because there's a track at the bottom of the board and the pawn there will move the number of spaces that the arrow is pointing to on the card.  There are 4 numbers where you place the card.  It will be 0 to 3 spaces and then you get the bonus or negative of the space the pawn moves to.  You really have to be careful with this, because there are outlaws on the bottom track that will otherwise take your money. So you may take something you don't want as much, but you avoid losing money.

gaming and museum 110
Mike is quite the charmer, I assure you!

This game was pretty close and I thought for sure my wife was going to
win as she had gotten a ton of points curing people.  However, Karen
balanced it all out very well and was able to make some key donations
at the right time.  There's tons of other interesting mechanics in this game, but I won't go into them.  I didn't do too well at the game, but I didn't do too terrible either.  Like I said, a pretty close and evenly matched game here.

Mike, Karen and I would then go on to play Caylus.  I had to break this game out as I hadn't played it in a long time and I love it for some odd reason.  I can't remember when the last time was that I won. Heck, have I ever won?  I had to teach Karen the rules real quick and we're off.  Supposedly there are multiple paths to victory in this game, but I always end up going in different directions and not doing any of them well.  I always tell myself what I'm going to focus on and then suddenly, oh crap, I need to build part of the castle of lose two
points.  Is losing two points that much of a disadvantage?  If I took a strategy and stuck to it, I might do fine.

gaming and museum 008fix
Early on in the game.  I just love pictures of Caylus even.  Great game!

In this one, Mike was a bit nasty during the first turn with the provost and I'm going to claim that it caused me to lose.  But really, building the place where you can buy gold and then letting Mike have the first turn that round and him buying two gold pretty much caused the tide to turn.  I thought I should do it, but reality isn't a street on which I travel.  I really thought he might ignore it and I could put my money into this thing, net six more points and potentially win.  Didn't happen, stupid move, but Mike played well.  I still love this game a ton!  Other people don't like it as much, but it has some painful, but important decisions to make.  I love building things, collecting resources, the pink "meat" cubes, and just the feel of it.  Still the best worker placement game there is.

Finally my friend Noah came over.  He, my wife, Mike and I played
Stone Age.  I figured that Stone Age would be a great intro game for
Noah to play.  I think he really liked it too.  The rules explanation took a little bit longer than I thought it would, but we dove in with much gusto.

My favorite thing about this game is the dice rolling to collect resources based on the amount of people you have there.  It kind of
makes sense, but some bad dice rolls can make things tough.  That's
why I usually invest heavily in tools.  This game I took the card strategy route and focused specifically on the ones that gave you
points for your food production and the amount of tools you had.  Then
I collected the different sets of items as well.  I really found that just collecting any card that comes up isn't the greatest idea unless it's cheap.  I really focused on just those particular cards and improving in those particular areas.  I scored 200 points and left everyone in the dust.

gaming and museum 016fix
We’re both very deep in thought.  Can you tell?

To be honest, some of it fell into my lap.  Some people weren't focusing on increasing their food production and I would usually get the cards early that allow you to roll the dice to get a random item and improving tools and cultivation that way as well.  Noah went towards more of a construct huts area and did pretty decent at that. My wife had to put the boys to bed so she had Karen take over for her. To say that Becca left Karen in a bit of a car wreck was an understatement.  Mike had some decent points in the end, but not
enough to counter my insane point run.  I think it got Noah interested
in the type of board games I play, which is good.

After that Mike and Karen left.  Noah and I went through some Heroclix
duplicates he brought and sold me some on the dirt cheap side of
things.  Now I can amass some decent themed teams.  I was pretty
excited to get Black Flash and Flash from the Justice League set.  I
love my speedsters!  Beta Ray Bill is definitely sweet as well.  The
next day my awesome wife who is getting out of scrapbooking cleared
out her scrapbook cart for me to use for my Clix.  They sit in there
pretty well.  So thanks to my wife for helping out there!  How awesome
is that?

So Sunday was a pretty excellent day for fun and gaming.  I, at least,
won a game.  I'm hoping to get Noah addicted to gaming in general so I
can add more people to this excellent hobby.  Now I just need to hook
more new people.


Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - August 22nd, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - August 22nd, 2010: "This installment, we find a hidden gem and a horrible new title that will make you throw-up in your mouth a little bit. Brightest Day fina..."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - August 20th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews - August 20th, 2010: "The Amazing Spider-Man #642 – Written by Mark Waid and Art by Paul Azaceta. Finally, One Moment in Time is done and we go on with our lives..."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Some Accolades for Yours Truly

Apparently, in Sioux City, IA, I am King of Nerdom.  The Sioux City Journal recently did an interview with me that you can read by clicking this link.  It captures me in all my glory with my stash of board games behind me.  It was a semi-proud moment I guess.

My only complaints are a) my wife never said that because my football card collection consists of one binder of Bears cards and b) a lot of the quotes are more like paraphrasing, so they aren’t actual quotes, but that’s not a big deal.  The worst mistake, to me, was that the website address is wrong.  If you add the www part, you won’t get to my site.  Tis a shame!

I’m kind of wish that my board game advocacy would have been covered a bit more, but I guess I’ll just be saving that for another interview.  I’ve got plenty of interviews left in me as long as I can promote being a nerd.  Good day all!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 19th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 19th, 2010: "Huge set of reviews here folks! I’ve got plenty more stuff I’m reading, but boy, having a third kid under the age of 4 really takes away mo..."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Comic Movie Review–Batman: Under the Red Hood

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Comic Movie Review–Batman: Under the Red Hood: "I first read the story of Jason Todd (the 2nd Robin) years ago. I found a Batman issue at my local pharmacy in the small town I grew up in...."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Board Game Review: Forbidden Island

Publisher: Gamewright
Designer:  Matt Leacock
Number of Players: 2-4
Approx. Minutes to Play: 30 minutes
Suggested Ages: 8 & Up
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Forbidden Island is a game in which cooperation and working together is the key to victory.  It is very much you and your friends or family against the game as you try and get ancient artifacts off an island before it is completely submerged underwater.  You move about randomly placed tiles that make up the board attempting to do this and get on the helicopter before the island sinks.
The game plays very simple.  On your turn you can do up to 3 actions.  Some of the things you can do are move 1 space (up & down, left or right), shore up the island (to help prevent it from flooding), give a treasure card (to another player on the same space as you), or capture a treasure (via discarding 4 cards of an artifact at a matching location).  Then you draw two treasure cards (you can have only up to 5) and hope you don’t draw a nasty Waters Rise card.  Then once you’ve done that, you draw flood cards to see what tiles flood an then it’s the next player’s turn.
Photo from Mike Hulsebus from the Boardgamegeek.com website
Now there are some extra things to this.  Namely, if you draw a Waters Rise card, you move the water level up 1 tick and shuffle the flood pile discards and place them on TOP of the flood card deck.  That means that the tiles that have started sinking first are going to keep sinking and you know you don’t have much time left.  If a tile is flooded (meaning you drew the flood card and flipped the location tile to the flooded side), if you draw the flood location card again, it will sink into the ocean floor, leaving you with nothing but water.  If you’re on that tile, you are going to have to swim for safety.
There are some special action cards that add a bit of spice and can really save your butt from time-to-time.  Everyone also has a special ability based on what color they get assigned and that adds some good flavor. You win if you have all 4 treasures captured and everyone is at the helicopter tile and somebody in your group has a Helicopter Lift card. You lose if the water level reaches the skull and crossbones level or if it becomes impossible to complete the objectives.  It’s really about that easy.  So what did I think of it:
Replayability: StarStarStarStar out of 5.  If you lose, you’ll want to play it again and again until you finally win.  And you can adjust the level of difficulty.  You can play with a different ability than you have last time.  Really, you can get a decent amount of replayability because the island changes every time.  You might get bored of it after awhile, but it might take awhile.
Theme: StarStarStarStar out of 5. This game feels like you’re running around and trying to get the treasure before the island sinks.  You know you’re in a race against time and the sinking island thing is kind of a fun idea.  Nothing ground-breaking, but the theme really works quite well for this game.
Price: StarStarStarStarStar out of 5.  Talk about bang for the buck!  You can pick this up for $14.99 or less!  With the amount of replayability, this is truly a spectacular deal!  Simply put, you can’t beat it.  For the price of taking two people to a movie, you can have many evenings of entertainment out of this!
Mechanics/Rules: StarStarStarStar out of 5.  While there is nothing groundbreaking here, the rules are well put together and thought out and easy to understand.  The mechanics aren’t anything really new, but work well given the theme.  Pretty solid overall job here.  Not too difficult at all to learn and get younger kids in the game.
Components: StarStarStarStar out of 5.  Pretty decent tiles, the artifacts look pretty cool.  I hate the tin box, but it’ll last longer than the typical boardgame boxes, so who can complain?  I can because the tin boxes don’t seem to fit on my shelves quite as well.  Card stock might be a tad flimsy, but not any worse than any other Gamewright game.
Overall: StarStarStarStar out of 5.  As far as a game goes, I give it 4 out of 5.  As a FAMILY game, I would give it 5 stars.  The reason is, it’s easily accessible for adults and kids alike.  The theme is pretty decent and working together as a family is going to be a LOT of fun.  Since it’s a cooperative game, you don’t have to compete with each other.  You can all discuss you strategy and find the best paths to victory.  Sure, there’s a good amount of random element here, but that doesn’t hurt.  Being unsure of what is going to happen really ads to the fun.  For $14.99 or less, this NEEDS to be on your game shelf.  And the fact that it came from Gamewright (who usually makes below average games) amazes me and gives me hope that they’ll continue on the path.  Buy it folks, show Gamewright that we appreciate games like this, ones that actually require us to use our brains!
For more information on boardgames like this one, please visit Boardgamegeek.com.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 13th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 13th, 2010: "More catching up and more fun today! This time around we have some pretty good stuff and only a few duds. Also, in Friday’s Sioux City Jou..."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Racism is Replaced by Speciesism Thanks to American Food Chain

We are in a different day and age folks.  I was watching a movie, The Losers, and I noticed that they featured a scene with cock-fighting.  I didn’t think anything of it at first, but now I’m noticing a disturbing trend.

I thought we had gotten past the point of dogs and cats feuding with each other.  But there is a much larger threat secretly being funded right now by a particular company.  I will reveal this company in a few moments.  First, let’s catch up on what has been happening.

In the 1960’s a controversial book was released that forever changed the way people would view cats and dogs.  The book was entitled The Incredible Journey, written by Sheila Burnford.  This groundbreaking book showed that two dogs were able to co-exist with a cat.  Both the dogs and cat all had prejudices against each other and used typical Specieist remarks, such as, “cats rule and dogs drool.”  However, they found that each species was not that different and both had many good qualities which helped them both survive.

Peace may only be achieved through understanding and occasionally sniffing each other in very awkward spots.

While the release of the book in the ‘60’s and an eventual movie release by Disney in 1963 would bring about awareness of this large and looming problem, it wasn’t until 1993 when Walt Disney once again brought back the movie.  This time entitled, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.  Disney was able to utilize the drawing power and species equality advocates Michael J. Fox and Sally Field.  The movie was viewed as a success and is currently a staple in many school across America when it comes to dealing with this subject.

During the late 1990’s, dog lovers and cat lovers had all but declared a truce.  More families than ever had both a cat and a dog and there was much harmony, not only in America, but in most places where they don’t actually eat cats and dogs.  It seemed that an age old problem had been put aside.  Sure, stereotypes were still thrown around, but really, when you sniffing butts and licking your own privates, you tend not to care that much.

In 1986, a food chain launched it’s first eatery to help undermine a movement started in the 1960’s.  During the 90’s it grew quietly without much fanfare.  It kept it’s tones low key and undetected for several years, but it always had a certain phrase associated with it.  That phrase of “Eat Mor Chikin” has since become synonymous with a deep hatred and inter-species rivalry between cows and chickens.  Yes, Chik-Fil-A has also touted a strong anti-work on Sunday policy due to that being the day cows need the most sleep.

Chik-Fil-A’s mascot create a friendly pro-cow atmosphere in it’s establishments, while maintaining a hostile anti-chicken environment.

This ad campaign has been the cause of much grief and pain in the chicken community, as cow advocates try to stir up more hatred.  There has been speculation that cows were the cause of the recent egg recall as they planted salmonella at those plants in order to create mass anti-chicken hysteria.  Have no doubt, cows and chickens are not finding peace with one another and it’s time to raise awareness about this growing issue.

Major businesses like Luxury Auto Sales have taken a pro-chicken approach and found business booming.  They have tripled customers from 1 person a month to 3.

So what side of the farm fence do you sit on?  Do you consider yourself pro-chicken?  Recently debate is stirring by people being called anti-cow and that it gives the wrong impression.  Do you agree with this, or is the pro-chicken crowd really anti-cow?  The time for ignorance is at an end, let your voices be herd!

This entire article is satirical in nature and information here is likely inaccurate at best.  Please take anything in this with a grain of salt.  Good day!


Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 12th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 12th, 2010: "Still playing a game of catch-up! But I’m getting there! This batch we have some hits and two major league misses. The New Avengers #3 – W..."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 10th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 10th, 2010: "Working on catching up, about a month behind on some titles, but I’m getting there. Should have another set of reviews out tomorrow and hop..."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Are Bid Cactus and Penny Auctions a Scam?

I ran across several sites one day when I was looking for some clearanced out items.  Who isn’t looking for a great deal these days?  But then I came across the idea of penny bid auctions.  Well what the heck are those?

Basically, these sites offer you the chance to buy “bids”, and prices vary from site to site, and you use those bids on merchandise in an attempt to win it.  Time runs out on these bids, but as soon as someone bids on an auction, it adds time back on.  Kind of like a bidding war.

Not this kind of war!  Crazy Canucks!

Now while this seems good in theory, sites like this are raking it in.  You see, the bids can cost about 75 cents each and then you pay whatever price the auctions get up to on top of it.  So if I’m watching a “penny bid” auction and it goes for $1.00, that means the winning bidder pays $1.00.  The site, however, made 75 dollars for the bids alone.

True, the site could take a loss on items, but unlikely.  These auctions see furious amounts of bidding in the last few seconds, which add time back on, and then repeat ad nauseam.  Truly, patience is the virtue we are looking for here.  And for patient people, this could pay off quite well.  Me, I would just get ticked off and say forget it.

So are these sites scams?  In a way yes, but not like most scams.  They have a way that they know they’ll make their money back on the items.  However, if you pay $75 for 100 bids and don’t win an auctions, you just threw away $75 bucks.  And that is a distinct possibility unless you’re really patient.  You could also run out of most of those bids in one auction.  So there is an inherent risk/reward system going on here.

Once again, the Bid Cactus trucks make off with another haul!

In my brief study, I found that the most “tenacious” bidders usually won out.  That means you aren’t going to “sneak one by” on anybody.  Those who try, automatically fail as the “tenacious” bidder quickly outbids them.  So the hit and score system does not work at all.  Like I stated before, patience seems to win out.

To further my study, I saw a $50 Target gift card that nobody had won yet at $3.00.  That means the site made $225 on bidding for a $50 gift card.  And the same guy kept bidding back in.  Tenacious eh?  Seem like a scam to you?  You decide there.

Is it worth it?  Probably not.  There may be some people who do fairly well, but those people have to be pretty dedicated to that site.  So, unless you’re going to be the “tenacious” and “dedicated” type, don’t even bother.  The odds just aren’t stacked in your favor.

Let’s chalk one up for BidCactus.com for the Hobo Shame Award for the Week!



Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–September 6th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–September 6th, 2010: "Wow, I’m even more behind than usual with my supposedly quick reviews. But we just had a new baby born and leading up that I didn’t have as..."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Things you Forget About Babies

You would think that after having my third child, I would remember more about them.  The one thing I forgot the most has to be the lack of sleep at night.  You really start taking certain things for granted.

My other boys are 2 and 3.  At this point they pretty much sleep through the night and the 3 year old might visit us once a night to inform us of a bad dream and to attempt to sleep in our bed.  Almost makes one feel spoiled with so few interruptions.

Clark pics Sept. 3rd 001
At least somebody is getting his sleep!

Now there’s a whole new level of adjustment again.  Being woken up several times a night is something nobody who’s sane looks forward to.  Yet, I seem to have forgotten that this is a vital part of having a newborn.  Lack of sleep is truly a fundamental part of being a parent.

The whole commodity of sleep can be underrated until one becomes a parent.  Sure, before that you have a whole lot of late night partying when you have to get up early the next day.  So maybe you do understand.  Let me put it like this, when you have a newborn, it’s like staying up most of the night partying, getting up early and dealing with a hangover the next day. 

I know, I’m not painting the prettiest of pictures.  I’m sure at this point, though, my wife could paint a much worse picture.  But despite that, there’s a bit of adventure all over again. 

You forget just how small and delicate they can be.  How different it is to change their diaper versus that of a 2 year old.  Changing his clothes was even something I had to relearn all over.  Once again, with a 2 year old you don’t have to be delicate in changing them.  But you marvel at the daily changes as well.  It’s a pretty special adventure and the boys love their new brother.

Here’s to new adventures!  No matter how familiar those adventures feel.


Monday, August 30, 2010

How to Play Heroclix with Kids (or Awesome Fun Time)

My boys love super heroes and they love action figure.  So I figured why not try to play something with my 3 year old that combines the two?  Yeah, probably not the greatest idea, but I tried to simplify it.

heroclix 001
As you can see, there was a lot of enthusiasm going on with our 2 players!

So I basically made it a game of counting squares based on the movement he could go and then counting the dice to see if his attack worked.  I still used some of the mechanics from the game, but I may have calculated a few things in his favor.

heroclix 002
My son contemplating how many spaces he can move and how he can crush his dad into two!

My youngest boy (2 years old) watched on as a spectator and seemed to enjoy it.  Well, he enjoyed the extra figures he could pick up and look at.  He didn’t really horn his way in and try to get in on the action.  I think he’s finally learned not to interrupt games being played by other people.

heroclix 003
My two year old admires the cool looking guys we purchased.

In the end, the 3 year old got tired of having to count more than he would like.  He said it made him tired.  So after a minor skirmish we called it quits.  He already fondly remembers this little battle we had and it was the favorite part of his day.  And he saw three elephants today, so that’s saying something.  Of course, I think he might have accidentally forgotten about the elephants.

heroclix 004
Our minor skirmish!  An epic battle with Gorilla Grodd!

Heroclix might be our new thing.  Thankfully Rainbow Sports Card and Comics on Hamilton carries it and I’m pretty sure ACME Comic on Pierce has it too.  I just figured it would be a game we could grow with since the boys love comics.  It has the depth, in the end, to be entertaining for Dad as well too.  Isn’t that what really matters?

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Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 30th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 30th, 2010: "Boy, am I running far behind! I’m trying to catch-up on issues, so stick with me as I try to do just that. More quick comic reviews will b..."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How to Use Mozilla Firefox Web Browser and Personas

Audio is better in this one. Check it out!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 28th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews–August 28th, 2010: "Uncanny X-Men #526 – Written by Matt Fraction and Pencilled by Whilce Portacio. So the main plot is that 5 new mutants showed up and their ..."

A Truck, A Trailer, An Epic Fail

My neighbors will probably forever hate me, but I came across this yesterday as I was walking outside.  I look up to see a pick-up truck sitting on a trailer.  But not the kind of trailer you should be putting a vehicle on.


In the end, paying that tow truck company may have been a better idea, because getting that bad boy off that trailer is going to be no small task.  If they raise that front way up, it might not be that bad.  But I’m not sure how they play on lifting that front way up there.  I hope they had this all planned out, but that grill under the front tires sure didn’t hold up well.


At least this whole ordeal gave me a good laugh.  The neighbors probably weren’t laughing as much as I was.  Good effort though!



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It’s That Time of Year, Allergy Time

Welcome to Hell.  Population, me and about 40 million other people.  So if you see some crabby or lackluster faces right now, there are some very good reasons for this.

Either this person has allergies or they just watched Jersey Shore.

I grew up on a farm, so you would think anyone living on a farm with almost no air conditioning would be immune to this type of thing.  Well guess again!  As the days of Summer waned, I found myself increasingly miserable, and just in time for the start of the school year.  The allergens in the air played hokey pokey in my nostrils and made life rotten.

To give you an example, sinus pressure and the general feeling of irritation in my eyes, pretty much ruined most of my weekend.  I had an extreme sinus headache couple with a migraine to take away the last day of the weekend.  It really isn’t any fun. 

Approximately 1 million people also suffer from Mullet Allergies.

Sure, there are tons of different treatments that one can take for allergies.  How many of those are actually effective?  Well, some lessen the effects for awhile, but they’re still there.  Others work well for a few doses and then seem to stop working for me altogether.  It’s really hard to get an active plan against this raging world of allergens.  My allergy treatment is a revolving door of insanity.

The weather outside is downright beautiful folks.  Have you noticed it?  I sure have.  Unfortunately, if I stay outside too long, my allergies fly through the roof and can put me away for days.  But man, is it nice out.  What should be a wonderful time of the year is more miserable than a new TV series starring David Hasselhoff.  Nobody should be subjected to that.

So what the question is, do you suffer from allergies?  What do you do to combat this age old enemy?  How do you thumb your nose at it?  If you don’t mind, I’m going to go snort a nettie pot.  Good day!



Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Fun Sunday of Board Games

Ah, life is good when you get to play some board games.  Our friends from Holstein (Andy, Mike, and Karen) visited us so we could play a good amount of board games, despite my kids running around like crazed banshees.  I do believe that banshees are much more quiet though.
pic600733_mdOur day began as we dug into a game called “Founding Fathers” by Christian Leonhard and Jason Mathews and published by Jolly Roger Games.  This is, by far, their best game yet.  The theme feels a bit pasted on, but overall a pretty interesting game.  The thing I found the MOST interesting is how the Constitution could have been very different.  I also learned a lot about how the politicians back there were very similar to today.  Some wanted to be governed like England still, some wanted more power for the big states, etc.  So I got a bit of historical education along with a very solid game experience.  I want to play it again before I get a solid opinion on this one!  Andy won this.
Tin_FrontNext we grabbed another new game, “Forbidden Island” by Matt Leacock and published by Gamewright.  Gamewright hasn’t exactly put out tons of great games, but decent kids games.  Well, Forbidden Island brings the concept of a cooperative board game to a mass producer of games in the U.S.  It worked out rather well too.  I really felt like I had to hurry up and get my butt off that island and we scrambled and scrambled to get the artifacts, but we couldn’t pull it off and everyone ended up drowning.  I really like this very simple cooperative game and is one the whole family can enjoy.  Best of all, it is SUPER cheap!  Link included!  Smile
pic275117_mdNext up we broke out an old game with much neglect.  "California” by the infamous Michael Schact and published by the defunct Uberplay Games.  I don’t know, it is a silly concept to furnish your mansion and try to get guests to come over and bring you gifts, but hey, winner winner chicken dinner?  Sure.  Not a bad game at all, pretty fun really.  I had a good time playing it and should probably break it out again soon.  Be looking for a review on this game coming up!  Andy won this as well.  Whipping us so far!
pic649329_lgThen we broke out Defenders of the Realm.  For my thoughts on that game, see my review.  I absolutely adored this game.  We were overrun in the end and I still blame Mike for it.  He decided to attack a General when we had almost no dice for it instead of clearing out potential overrun areas.  I think what really lost it for us was how much we sucked at dice rolling against the General Sapphire.  I think we rolled about 21 dice and only managed to roll three 5’s or 6’s.  Typical day of dice rolling for me.  So we all lost this one.  Can’t wait to play it again though.  Very challenging.
pic628399_mdWe closed our night with a grand game of “Innovation” by Carl Chudyk and produced by Asmadi Games.  This one is a card game with a civilization/technology advancement theme.  It’s basically a rummy type of game with lots of little things going on and sometimes trying to figure out the cards can take awhile.  It has some really interesting mechanics going on, not sure if 4 players is the best for this.  I’m thinking 3 might be optimal.  Be that as it may, still a fairly interesting little game.  My wife somehow won this without really ever feeling like she had a clue as to what was going on.  This card game felt almost like there was too much going on at once, but I’ll give it another whirl.
Overall a fun day of gaming with great friends!  Can’t wait til next time, although we’ll probably have a new gamer born by then.
As always, check out www.boardgamegeek.com for tons of boardgames you’ve never heard of before but SHOULD!