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 for tons of boardgames you’ve never heard of before but SHOULD!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Undiscovered Websites You Simply Must Have

Still working with the audio, should have a solution set-up soon. In the meantime, here's another video. I think I might switch back to widescreen. What do you all think?


Board Game Review: Defenders of the Realm

Publisher: Eagle Games
Designer:  Richard Launius
Number of Players: 1-4
Approx. Minutes to Play: 90 minutes
Suggested Ages: 13 & Up
Suggested Retail Price: $84.99
Defenders of the Realm is a cooperative board game that takes roughly 90 minutes to play.  In it, you will take part of a band of adventure heroes (our rightly titled Defenders) who are working together to thwart 4 evil Generals who basically want to kill everyone and stomp on the nearby major city.  Really bad people here, generally bad dispositions, you’ll want to smite them.

In the game, each turn you will have a set number of actions.  The amount of actions you have is your health.  Therefore, if you take damage and lose health points, you also lose actions.  You can heal by visiting the city of an inn or just by finding an empty relaxing spot on your turn.  But during your turn you spend those actions, you draw 2 hero cards, and then Darkness Spreads, which is a set of cards where the bad stuff happens.  Rinse and repeat.

Also, talk about a pile of stuff when you open this box!  A lot of plastic miniatures, a pretty nice looking board, about everything you could want in what seems to be a pretty solid box.  Big monstrous bad guys, gotta love it.

The game is really simple, the most a space will ever have is 3 evil minions and maybe an evil general.  You roll dice equal to the color and number of minions and based on the color of the minions you have to roll a certain number.  Some minions are tougher than others and a few have some bonuses effects going on.  When you fight Generals, everyone can team up together and attack the big bad.  Those battles can be pretty fun and once again, really simple.  Everything uses common six-sided dice.

One of the things I love is that there are several different characters you could play with.  Those characters have different abilities that will affect you through-out the game.  It adds some nice flavor to the game and makes your hero really feel useful when played correctly.  If the Generals ever make it to the city they will destroy it, if there are ever 6 minions in the city, you lose, and if you run out of these things call corruption stones, you lose.

I’ve left out a few parts, but there are cards that also assist you in moving faster and are what you also use to determine how many dice you will be rolling against a General.  The cards can be of limited use, but there are special ones that are quite powerful as well.  They also added in quests without making it too quest heavy.  It is very well blended in and the quests are good to help you beat bosses or prevent total defeat.

So what did I think?  Let’s read on:

Replayability: StarStarStarStar out of 5.  The bosses are always the same, not a ton of characters to chose from, but expansions will add to this.  The general feel of the game make it pretty replayable as you try to win with your friends.

Theme: StarStarStarStar out of 5. I love this theme!  The classic high fantasy adventure, but on a cooperative scale.  You feel like you’ve got a lot on the line and with the different abilities it feels very much like a fantasy type of adventure.

Price:  Star out of 5.  Here’s the weak point, the price.  $84.99 is the MSRP, mainly because Eagle isn’t a huge publisher and they have a limited print run.  You can get it discounted and maybe find it for around $60 or so.  At that price, it’s no worse than a video game and a tad more reasonable.  A lot of fun in this, but at the price, you will definitely want to try it out first.

Mechanics/Rules:  StarStarStarStar out of 5.  Very easy to understand and play.  The mechanics are streamlined down to the essentials to make this game play fairly quick without too much downtime.  They’ve done an awesome job with this one.

Components: StarStarStarStar out of 5.  Overall the components are fantastic!  The colored figures and everything is well done.  Maybe not quite up to par with Fantasy Flight Games, but it’s getting close.  Job well done here.

Overall: StarStarStar out of 5.  Very good game, probably not for everybody though.  The price is steep for a cooperative, but there will be expansions for it.  I really like the feel of it.  It’s like what Castle Panic should have been, but wasn’t.  Much easier to understand than Shadows Over Camelot and shorter than Battlestar Galactica.  The theme sells me on it.  A good, but pricey buy if you like the theme!

For more information on boardgames like this one, please visit


Friday, August 20, 2010

What are Jeggings? (Or, American Slides Further Downhill)

So I recently was introduced to the wording of jeggings.  I had no idea what they were at first.  To me, I’m thinking of the leggings 80’s female rock stars used to wear.  Oh yeah, hot pink baby!  But I was wrong.

Just in case you needed the official definition.

Welcome to the Aught 10’s and welcome to jeggings.  A miss of jeans and leggings they say, but that’s not entirely true.  They’re basically a spandex-ish pants that almost at times look like jeans.  Yes, now we need to see every curve of your body in intimate detail.

I’m even seeing way too much of these mannequins.  Ugh!

Really folks, no offense, but I don’t need to see more of your “features”.  I don’t want to see every lump, bulge, bump, curve, curb, dimple, goosebump, pimples, indentation, golf ball, and camel… you get my point.  I just don’t need or want to see it.

Wearing these does not make you like Beyonce.  Hell, why would you want to dress like Beyonce anyway?  Yes, you just absolutely NEEDED to look like somebody had to pour you into your jeans.  Thank you jeggings!

This trend seems doomed from the word go.  Well, at least I would think it is doomed, but you never know.  Consumers have a history of turning crazy things into common place.  Look how long it has taken Crocs to finally start dying off!  Some people still insist on wearing snowshoes or boots in places there is no snow, but that seems to be dying off a bit too.

Just like Hannah Montana, this lady has the best of both worlds going on!

If only I could just convince my wife that skorts are just weird we would be set.  I’m telling you, some things don’t really need to be combined.  Kind of like Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts being a couple in “I Love Trouble”.  Good day!


StumbleUpon is Coming to the iPhone and Android

Has anyone here ever used StumbleUpon?  It’s a great way to discover new and interesting websites.  You select the categories you’re interested in and away you go!

Well, the application is now out there for you to use it on your phone.  I’ve included the link below, check out some of the screenshots.  Looks pretty cool!

StumbleUpon for the iPhone and Android


Thursday, August 19, 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: " Thanos Imperative #3 – I kind of like these cosmic sagas and this one has been pretty solid so far. I’ve been a big fan of Dan Abnett and..."

How to Buy ANYTHING From a Salesman

Let me tell you about my wife.  She’s 8 and 1/2 months pregnant and nesting.  Nesting means she has to constantly work on the house and have everything in place for when the baby comes.  Not necessarily a bad thing, it just gets obsessive sometimes.

Now let me tell you about the other night.  I was at work and the doorbell at the house rang.  Well, apparently it was a salesman, but he hid kind of around the corner so that she had to open the door to see who it was.  From that moment on, it was game over for my wife.  She would do anything to get rid of this character.

Traveling Salesman
Another fine salesman goes home happy from the Wilson household.

I’m pretty sure my wife Rebecca made a mental list of what she needed to do.  She told me that she was prepared to spend $20 on a product JUST to get him out of the house.  Also, since this salesman was selling a cleaning product, she was willing to let him attempt to clean things.  Why not?  Put them to work!

A salesman who goes door-to-door won’t stop unless you buy and hopefully buy big.  My wife got him to door some cleaning and he did clean part of my grill, so I at least got some decent work out of him.  But when it finally came time to get down to selling the product, she was greeted with a price tag of $40.

Let me redirect your attention real quick.  Go back up to the third paragraph and note my wife’s mental checklist.  Ok, then go back to the fourth.  So what do you think this means?  You’re right, clearly she told the guy to head for the hills, there’s no way she could afford this product even if it did work miracles.  Clearly, $40 for a cleaning product was way too much.

So my wife bought it.  Now we have $40 of Clear Advanage: The Wonder Cleaner.  Yeah, there’s no T in it, I know.  Marketing wizards, these guys.  I sure as heck hope that it works wonders, because $40… did we have $40?  I better never have to buy a cleaning product again.  But hey, if you know any salesmen, you now know where you can sell something.

Guess who wins the Hobo Shame Award of the Week???



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Brett Favre is Coming Back to Minnesota. In Related News, the Cubs still Suck.

Oh Brett, you came and you took without giving.  Then you send yourself away, oh Brett!  Seriously folks, the yearly biggest joke is back and I’m hoping for epic fail this year.  I’m tired of Brett acting like a politician, although he’ll probably run for Governor of Minnesota when this is done, and I’m tired of him taking up headlines for no reasons.


Look at this eye candy for Vikings fan!  Remember, it is inappropriate to touch yourselves that way.

I feel that Favre is playing everyone and keeping himself in the news as much as possible.  He doesn’t truly care about the fans, he cares about getting his picture in the papers.  He loves it when the fans beg to have him come back for one more year.  And hey, it worked in Green Bay for awhile and they eventually grew tired of it.  Minnesota is so starved for a good QB, that the fans don’t care and would probably have treated Donovan McNabb like the second coming as well.


This man stole Brett Favre’s Gold Medal for retiring and then un-retiring the most times since Ric Flair.

Brett is only watching out for himself and he just loves this publicity.  He holds these teams and their fans hostage.  How the hell can you respect that?  The first time, yeah, that might be one thing.  About the fifth time?  Really?  Him saying he’s done is like Washington saying no more bailouts.  You know they just can’t help themselves.  And Vikings fans just can’t help themselves to another heaping helping of Brett.  Somewhere I just heard Sage Rosenfels crying himself to sleep.


These fans just heard the news!  Upon seeing this photo, many children are heard saying the words, “bad touch, bad touch.”

So now I have to listen to another year of Vikings fans slobbering over their hunky piece of QB meat that is Brett Favre.  And I’ll laugh when he fails to bring the Vikings their championship yet again.  Although, I don’t think he can repeat that amazing act of stupid versus the Saints. 


Walter Mondale approves this message.  Paid for by Citizens for Unretiring when Minnesota needs them.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Valiant Comic Fans Find Home in

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Valiant Comic Fans Find Home in " Several months ago, I was visiting my local library and I decided to check out some graphic novels. While I was perusing that section, I..."

How to Use Gadgets or Widgets in Windows 7

This is the first of a tutorial series I will be working on. Some for Windows 7, some for Ubuntu. Basic stuff at first. Some of you may find this useful, many probably not so much. Hope some of you enjoy it! This is my first video, so I hope to improve the quality.

V: The TV Series news

A couple of headlines caught my attention recently about the sci-fi series, V.  V is a series about aliens that come to Earth and promise they come in peace and they’ll help us.  However they have a hidden agenda.  In the current series, it hasn’t truly been revealed what they’re here for.  In the original series they came to Earth to siphon off our water and to use humans for food.  The original mini-series is truly some of the most classic television, as it gave us a perspective of what it was like for countries that were invaded by Germans and a resistance movement needed to form, just with an alien twist.  Really great stuff.
The new series is full of bells and whistles, not all for the better, but it is still pretty decent sci-fi television.  I was really excited that ABC decided to give this series a second life.  The show is interested, has some decent actors, and modernizes the classic.  There have been some disappointments and the whole situation so far feels much more hopeless than even the first one since they don’t seem to be adding on more characters.  Until now!  This next season guarantees some great stuff from what I hear.
The first is that Jane Badler has been confirmed as Anna’s mother in V.  Jane Badler played the alien leader Diana in the original show and what a great way to pay homage to it.  Jane Badler was the quintessential bad ass, cold hearted, killer woman that you never wanted to meet in a dark alley.  Jane Badler defined what it meant to be one bad “broad”. 
Jane Badler in a recent musical performance.  Hey, she can sing too!
The next is that Bret Harrison will be joining the cast of V for season 2.  Bret Harrison is fresh off of the series “Reaper” which was on the CW before being cancelled.  It was a really hilarious series and Bret was the main character and he found out his father was the devil.  All good stuff there, eh?  Bret will play a biologist named Dr. Sidney Miller.  I can’t quite picture him as a Sidney, or a biologist for that matter.  We’ll have to see, but it certainly makes me more interested.
Our loveable loser, Bret Harrison may be come a winner finally!
The new season of V isn’t set to premier until November.  I’m guessing only 13 episodes again this year.  If they would just build some sets instead of having to CGI everything possible it might be easier to film more.  Although anything involving sci-fi is a risk and you don’t want to appear low budget.  CGI still doesn’t make everything better.  Here’s to Season 2 though and I hope it gets even better!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews – August 15th, 2010

Mark's Comic Book Review Center: Quick Comic Book Reviews – August 15th, 2010: "Brightest Day #7 – Well, it only took 7 issues before they got to the main plot. We saw bits of mysteries going on and we now have a few a..."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Poop Jokes Are Funny

During a conversation with my wife, I came to a startling revelation.  My contribution to my family and friends and perhaps the world has been poop jokes.  Long have the poop jokes been the standard for which all humor in my life comes from.  But finally understanding that my lot in life has been to provide other people with the joy and contentment that poop jokes bring, well, that just warms my heart.


The World’s Largest Poop as dropped by Latesha B. Rippen of Poducah.  She proudly displayed it at the Kentucky State Fair where she won a blue ribbon for it.

Let’s start by looking at the word poop.  Poop is a palindrome, which means that it is spelled the same forwards as it is backwards.  It also just sounds awesome.  It’s like pop but with an oop.  Poop is also fecal matter and feces has been a long running method of pulling a prank on someone.  You know what I’m talking about folks.  Pooping on someone’s door step or pooping in a bag and lighting it on fire so someone has to stomp it out.  Classical stylings all the same.  Let us next delve into the history of poop.

Long before men sported moustaches, there was poop.  In fact, all men who have ever had brilliant moustaches have indeed… you guessed it… pooped.  Moustaches are amazing and must be saluted for their vast amount of pride and flair.  Gay men have nothing on you dear sirs.  Gay men with moustaches are overstepping their bounds though, that’s too much flair and you will be sullied.  I’ve formulated that Adam and Eve were, indeed, the first humans to ever drop a deuce.  Those historic remains decayed over time and formed New Jersey.


The infamous “Poop Left” Sign.  You must stopped in this spot of grass or be pulled over.  Drop It or Ticket?

Ah, yes Mark, but there is something you are missing!  Why indeed, man has always pooped, but what about the primates?  What about the primordial soup that concocted this world.  Oh yes, even the amazing amoeba does lay amounts of excrement which it must eventually redigest and split itself apart so that more amoeba may too… poop.  I have not forgotten these contributions, but an amoeba does not talk, nor does it find the eating of said poop particularly amusing.  So we will skip past that.

Who can forget those great vaudevillian comedians who shat themselves at the behest of many a crowd.  Then they gave a tip of their hat, wiggled their moustache, and exited the stage to triumphant applause.  Oh yes, it was they who gave us such great ideas as the “Upper Decker” or that “Phantom Pooper”.  But the one thing they never explained, the great mystery, who are these people who can manage to crap in a stall all over almost everything but the toilet.  My only explanation is that there are people with false butts who remove them and… well, the results are appalling to say the least.


For some reason, this was also the busiest day this Walgreens store ever saw.

To all of you who have managed to read this far, I am proud.  For my contribution shall continue to grow as long as this post lives on.  I will leave you with my long secret equation to success in television and film.  May a producer or director someday find this post and reap the benefits.

If poop=funny and funny=ratings, then poop=ratings.  Mathematical my friends!  Good day!