#TWTT | #DoctorWho Dark Journey Series 2 Episode 6 “Lost Souls” WORLD PREMIERE!

Doctor Who Dark Journey HD Wallpaper - 1920x1280 - Art By SJA 2015

It’s finally here – the latest episode of Doctor Who Dark Journey Series 2 (and TWTT)!

Greetings Geeksters, Tangent Seekers, Whovians, geeks, nerds, and everyone in between.  We have a real treat for you today.  Pardon me while I rant a bit…

Episode 6, “Lost Souls”, is the end of the story thus far and the beginning of new things.  I love the dialogue in this episode so, when AM Audio Media asked us to be part of their launch event and they gave us THIS episode, I was particularly giddy.  The writing in Dark Journey is smart, cheeky, and just plain BRILLIANT!  I love how the show pokes fun at the tropes we’ve come to love in Doctor Who, while infusing elements from the mythos of other creative works.

But, enough from me, here are the video clips from today’s live broadcast.  You’ll want to watch #TWTT Episode 31.5 for the actual Dark Journey episode.  I know banter is something people tend to complain about when it comes to podcasts but I quite enjoyed learning more about Andrew “Chompers” Chalmers when he is not playing The Doctor.  This guy is a true geek and an absolute pleasure to hang out with.  Heck, we have a half-hour pre-show and we’re still chatting right now.  Gotta love the power of the Interwebz!

Timey-Wimey Tea Time Episode 31.0 – Andrew Chalmers Talks Action Figures, Spider-Man, Batman, Babylon 5, And MORE!

Timey-Wimey Tea Time Episode 31.5 – Intro To Doctor Who Dark Journey & S2E6 “Lost Souls” World Premiere!

…And now for something completely different (not really)…

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AM Audio Media Interviews With Rikki Wright & Andrew Chalmers!

AM Audio Media | Doctor Who Dark Journey Radio Drama |http://amaudiomedia.com/subscribe

It’s finally here – the AM Audio Media interview with Rikki Wright and Andrew Chalmers!

If you’re not familiar with the fine folks behind the Doctor Who Dark Journey radio drama, check out the embedded #TWTT video or podcast below.  You can also visit the official AM Audio Media web site, home to delicious Doctor Who fandoms.  Skip ahead for breaking news from our friends at AMAM and the interview double-header.  It’s FANTASTIC!

As some of you know, I had a recent hard drive crash right after one of my computers started to act up.  We’ve been recovering from the losses but fortunately we had backups an the support of fine folks like Mike T.  He’s even sending us some new Doctor Who sound bits to use on our soundboard and post-productions.  The one and only MA Tamburro also added some breaking Whovian news that is somewhat exclusive so – YAY!

BTW We’re planning a launch of Series 2 of Dark Journey at the end of the month if you’d like to mention that to your listeners. We’d love to be on the show at some point in June and intro a full new episode.

So it turns out we are posting these interviews right on time, after all (PHEW).  Stand by…  AM Audio Media nterviews warping in!

Doctor Who Dark Journey HD Wallpaper - 1920x1280 - Art By SJA 2015

Download this FREE Doctor Who HD wallpaper, courtesy of AM Audio Media!

I’ve always been a fan of third person games, from the Doom and Duke Nukem era through Goldeneye through to current incarnation of the Grand Theft Auto series.  I like driving games too so when you combine them into something like Driver or Getaway, that’s what really cranks my chain… or floats my boat or… erm… let’s just say I’m particularly fond of them.  ~Rikki Wright a.k.a. “Just Fred”

Three Pantomimes & Interchangeable Pertwee Head Scarecrows

TWTT:  Before we get into your work with Dark Journey, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do for fun, for example?
Rikki Wright:  For fun, I run marathon’s to raise money for various charities, I am an activist for certain group that promotes freedom of speech but who shall remain “anonymous”, and I actively get involved in the rescue of puppies from illegal dog fighting rings.  Really?  No, not really.  I rarely leave the comfort of my Lazy-Boy recliner where I spend most days as close to horizontal as possible while watching reruns of 1980’s game shows, eating cheesies and scratching myself with a medium sized stick (interestingly I found that a large stick whilst providing greater coverage was too heavy and hence required a greater consumption of cheesies to generate the energy to use properly).  Really?  Also no, not really.  The reality is almost less interesting than both of those extremes.  As a father of 2, I spend most of my “spare” time running kids from swimming lessons to hockey practice and birthday parties.  I am on the board and coach at my local rugby club and in those rarest of moments when I do find time for myself, I pretend to be an actor both on stage, on camera and in the case of Doctor Who Dark Journey, behind a microphone.  Occasionally I turn my pen towards paper and have written (and produced) three pantomimes. 
What does Doctor Who mean to you?  Does it have a special place in your heart?
As a child growing up in the 80’s in England, Doctor Who was quite popular and so when I think of Doctor Who (the classic era) it reminds me of my childhood.  More recently however, with the latest regenerations of the Doctor, it reminds me that my wife often goes to bed much earlier than me and thus I get free reign to watch whatever I want on TV!  Mixed emotions then.
EDITOR’S NOTE:  I know the feeling well..  My family hogs up the big screen TV..   But, on a positive note, I got my anti-sci-fi wife mildly interested in Doctor Who – it’s a start!
How did you come to be involved with the Dark Journey radio drama?
I became involved in Dark Journey after answering a casting call I came across online. I auditioned over the phone reading from a play I performed in when I was about 15 years old… so just a few years ago.
What is your fondest memory of recording with the cast (thus far)?
Andrew and I share a very similar sense of humour (or as he would pronounce it “youmer”) – recording with the cast was always a challenge as Andrew and I would crack jokes (often with double entendres providing the punchlines).  The challenge was always continuing recording after a good giggle and trying to keep a straight face.  I’d regularly have to close my eyes or turn away from Andrew to avoid making eye contact and cracking up again.  Unprofessional… maybe! I will not miss the small and overly warm recording studio that somehow managed to create the most unusual smells with no apparent source material.
Who is your favorite Doctor?   Least favorite?
I have a romanticised idea of liking the third doctor Jon Pertwee because of another TV character he played on Worzel Gummidge (a scarecrow with interchangeable heads!) I really should go back and watch some of the episodes from that era, particularly as he is often compared to the current Doctor Peter Capaldi whom I have a difficult time warming to.  If I were to pick a favourite Doctor (who I can actually remember clearly), without a doubt it would be Tennant. In terms of least favourite Doctor, I will probably be lambasted for this but I didn’t like Matt Smith, too quirky and full of self importance… although that could describe most Doctors.

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Happy Cinco De Mayo – Celebrate Blizzard & Gaming With Us!

World of Warcraft (WoW) Ogre Pinata / Piñata

YAYAYAY – Happy Cinco De Mayo! *takes a shot*

Tonight, May 5th 2015, we’ll be drinking, probably drunk-streaming, and counting down to the Heroes Of The Storm open beta on May 19th.  We’re counting down to the big Heroes Of The Storm full launch on June 2nd 2015, too.  Lots of Blizzard fanboy status going on.  Plus it’s a good excuse to drink if you’re of age.  Who’s with us?

In our May 4th/5th The G.A.N.G. Minute vlog, we discuss tons of great stuff, including:

  • Yogizilla returns to streaming?
  • Cinco De Mayo late-night Twitch stream plans – to be multicasted on channels GeekyAntics and Yogizilla!
  • Back on Hearthstone, SolForge, Scrolls, and indie games for the strum, yo.
  • Heroes Of The Storm release dates announced: May 19th and June 2nd.
  • We still have Heroes Of The Storm beta keys for our geeky friends.
  • Comcast backpedals on broadband data usage charges.
  • FCC regulations, net neutrality, and Internet as a public utility – what does it all really mean?
  • Jedmartinez25 chimes in about how Internet is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.  Agreed!
  • Welcome Beard_And_Hat to #TheGANG!
  • Beard_And_Hat advocates Don’t Starve, PS4, and Mag!
  • Blizzard Battle Tag Exchange – join us for Blizzard gaming fun!!
  • BM and toxicity makes it way into Heroes Of The Storm, sadly.
  • Heroes of the Storm is all about raw teamwork.  #WordUp
  • Shout-outs to Cupcakeeenvy, CupcakeNoms, MaidenShyWhiteWolf, RenayeBones, BFT9000, Linkwall, ObioneX2, Melissaaaxd, Jedmartinez25, and F8tl_Blades.
  • Check out our awesome sponsors including ShinyPrints.com -the place to get durable, high-quality, beautiful photo and art print solutions!
  • We miss Internet cafes and arcades.
  • #GamerGate returns.  Are media portrayals skewed?  Is it just the gaming industry that is corrupt?
  • Yogi’s quest to get his gaming rig back up and running.
  • Yogizilla is back on #TeamXBox – XBox One HYPE!!!
  • …And MORE!

Read on for more info on our Cinco De Mayo gaming and drinking plans!

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“Black Jester”, A Poem For Kind People In An Unkind World

Black Jester, story by Lord_Rakdos a.k.a. Andrew Murray. Art is not the property of GeekyAntics network or author.

I tell jokes to hide a sad soul

I laugh to hide a crying child

I listen so no one else is alone

I wear bright colors to distract from red-rimmed eyes

I am kind because I don’t want others to suffer

I teach so others may learn from my mistakes

I lie so no one else need feel my sadness

I help so no one else need be like me

I am the Black Jester

 

See more of  creative works by Lord_Rakdos a.k.a. Andrew Murray at:

http://geekyantics.net/forums/topic/black-jester/

How To Win On Heroes Of The Storm When You’re A Scrub Like Me!

Heroes Of The Storm - Official Splash Screen & Logo - Copyright Blizzard

Heroes Of The Storm has been in closed beta since around January 13th but, since people can easily score beta keys or buy in (not sure on the latter since the Founder’s Pack was removed), now is the time when the more toxic players and feeders come into the fray.  I have decided we NEED a simple guide for those of us that want to compete but don’t want to break out calculators or make Heroes Of The Storm a career move..  Oh, and have FUN playing the game; after all, that should be the first priority!

I will open up by saying that Heroes Of The Storm is the one MOBA I can wholeheartedly recommend to all my friends, unless they don’t like the overhead/isometric view or are graphics snobs that need bleeding-edge technology even if the gameplay sucks otherwise.  Blizzard has done it again by taking a growing space and making it their own.  Here is a MOBA/ARTS (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena / Action Real Time Strategy) game that is truly accessible and plays more like an action game than a weird, drawn-out experience of Farmville mixed with Archon: Battle Chess.  It’s fun, even when you’re losing badly..  Well, maybe if you’re not a sore loser.

This game has tons of depth without the high barrier to entry.   The tedious elements that ruin other MOBAs or make them good only in small doses have been removed.  Rather than worrying on last-hitting, denying creep farm/score (CS), or calculating your effective DPS after AC, resistances, shields, debuffs, auras, and sun-moon alignment offsets, you can actually focus on strategies and adapting to dynamic scenarios that are always exciting and intense.

As such, we’ll be kicking off an exclusive GeekyAntics series called VGB (Video Game Brawls) where we’ll compare games of similar styles and give you our verdict on which one, as objectively as possible, is the best across quantifiable categories. But, for now, I’m going to share what I’ve learned on HotS since playing in the alpha.

Heroes Of The Storm - Nova, Sylvanas, Illidan, and other heroes!

Nova, Nazeebo, and Sylvanas? YES please!

 

 

It’s NOT Pay To Win

There’s a lot of salt about the pricing structure on HotS but people forget that the game just recently went into beta.  I agree that it is pricey but it’s actually still cheaper than the ever-popular yet still ridiculous League Of Legends.  The only thing that tips the scale on HotS are the premium mounts but, still, LoL has had $40 skins sooooo…

The important thing here is that you don’t put money into this game and suddenly start winning, which is the epitome of pay-to-win.  In fact, I would recommend sticking to the heroes that cost 2K or 4K gold (in-game currency).  These heroes will be easier for newer players to get used to and eventually master.

You might see a top-tier hero dominating but don’t think it’s the hero and not the player.  The game is balanced so that every hero has a fighting chance and can contribute to the team’s effort.  So, if you want to drop mad gold on a Jaina, Kerrigan, Thrall, or whatever, you may want to hold off.  Heroes with unique mechanics like Nazeebo, Lost Vikings, and Abathur typically work against your team if you do not have sufficient experience.  Let’s not even talk about Nazeebo body-blocking his own team with those damn zombies..  Oops, too late!

Whereas other MOBA/ARTS  games have characters that are easily broken to the point of being unfair or, on the flip side, picks that are almost unplayable, Heroes Of The Storm is very well balanced.  I’ve seen “never spend a dime” type players beat fully-invested players.  Pick any hero..  It all comes down to skill and which team plays best together.

Heroes Of The Storm HD Wallpaper - Arthas, Thrall, Kerrigan, and Illidan - HDWALLPAPERS.COM

Dat Kerrigan booty, doe. Who wins the booty contest: Jaina, Kerrigan, Nova, or Tyrande? [Source: HDWallPapers.com ]

Don’t Get Stuck On Kills

Contrary to popular belief, the Takedowns stat in Heroes Of The Storm refers to assists or participation in kills.  There is no formal KDA tracked in HotS, certainly not on an individual basis.  Kills also represent a smaller XP gain when compared to taking objectives like destroying enemy structures, clearing lanes, and taking mercenary camps.  Even when the kills are worth more, one must consider the time lost while other things happen..  Like your base being overrun (yes, this happens..  TOO often).

Killing enemies and dominating the opposing team is always fun but it mainly serves the purpose of creating opportunities, whether it’s pushing lanes, capturing mercenary camps, or taking map objectives (e.g. tributes, spider gems, and dubloons).  The respawn timer prior to level 13 just isn’t long enough to make pursuing kills truly worthwhile when there are objectives that will push towards victory faster and more consistently.

The #1 mistake I think players make on any MOBA/ARTS game is that they get tunnel vision and focus on kills too much.  This leads to frustration and missed opportunities.  It’s very easy to lose sight of the objectives on any given battleground/map on HotS so don’t worry about falling behind on kills or even levels.  In fact, when you fall behind on levels, it’s best to avoid team fights until it’s absolutely necessary.

 

Master The Mundane: The Basics Of MOBAs

You may hear die-hard MOBA veterans talk about how players should focus on the fundamentals.  Practice more, play against bots, L2P, etc.  But what does this all mean?

The basics are the things you will naturally get better at if you are aware of them and gain more experience.  It includes…

  • Map Awareness – Everyone struggles here to some degree.  You have to train yourself to notice the minimap and see if any enemies are unaccounted for..  And possibly doing something that could hurt your team.
  • Timing – Play a MOBA enough and you start to get a feel for when an attack will happen, objectives refreshed, or you should fall back/regroup.
  • XP Soak/Laning – Most MOBAs require that you stay in lanes as much as possible to soak up XP as enemies die but in HotS there is no formal laning phase.  Some might say it’s up to when you reach level 10 but that’s more a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule.
  • Positioning – Fighting a battle at multiple fronts rarely ends well, especially when your squishy damage dealers are singled out, leaving the rest of your team somewhat helpless.
  • Rotating – This ties into positioning and laning.  Basically, when you rotate, you see a teammate change positions and you swap with them.  This ensures there is always proper XP soak but, more importantly, it helps against mis-matched lanes situation where a hero keeps getting picked on.  Rotating when taking objectives is key so that you maximize XP.
  • Disengaging – Knowing when to back out of a fight is something that few people have mastered 100%.  You have to make snap decisions and sometimes they will be the wrong ones but, ultimately, any fight you can walk away from is a good one.
  • Initiating – When the fight looks promising and everyone is in position, someone has to take point and intiatie the fight/engage.  This is usually the tank/warrior’s job since they can likely take a lot of lumps and live to tell the story later.
  • Skill Shots– Abilities that require aiming are tricky because sometimes you have to lead shots and account for projectile travel speed, as well as likely jukes/pathing and obstacles.

For many, positioning and being aware of what is going on off-screen is easier said than done.  I would say it all comes down to confidence in yourself and, more importantly, in your team.  In my experience, losing streaks happen when teams get deflated and sloppy as a result, and not vice versa.  You won’t ever be perfect at the aforementioned but practice will improve your performance.  Until then, don’t beat yourself up over mistakes because once you start hesitating or doubting, things only get worse – TRUST! [Read more…]

Are Live Giveaways [On Twitch] Worth It?

Oprah Winfrey LOVES giving away free stuff!

This article is one of many follow-ups to our most popular article, The Honest Way To Succeed On Twitch And Social Media – if you love it, please leave comments.  We are considering doing video, eBooks, and other content to help everyday folks really figure out social media..  Give us the creative nudge we need and share this forward… Or leave some thoughtful comments to keep the discussion going (to may have mentioned this already)!

Giveaways are something everyone has dabbled with on Twitch.  They’re a fairly common practice yet few really know what they are doing.  This is not a jab at Twitch streamers, bloggers, or anyone doing business and creating online.  Social media is something you just never fully master, even if you have formal education and extensive experience.

A debate I’ve had with many Twitch streamers, including our pals Link & Lily over at Linkwall, is this:

Are giveaways even worth it?

That’s a loaded question because, if giveaways didn’t produce results, people would never do them.  So the real issues here revolve around whether giveaways are right for your brand and how you should go about doing them.

 

My Fun (And Not So Fun) Experience With Giveaways

Once upon a time, I was a partner and part owner over at Social Prize, a company that was poised to take the social media world by storm.  Me and Spathizilla turned the platform into something worth talking about.  On the surface, it was a giveaway platform like Rafflecopter, Woobox, Offerpop, and whatever else you can think of, but we were building it to be more than that.

Sadly, our vision would take time to bring to life and we came into the business after the company had pissed money away.  It’s no fun building up a company when it’s recovering from serious debt and really piss-poor missteps..  But that’s another story for another time.

Being a part of Social Prize and involved with countless giveaways as a publisher, consumer, and product manager made me realize that giveaways really do work..  But most people on social media, Twitch in particular, are doing them wrong because they don’t have that background.  There are legal risks, hidden costs, subtle strategies, and much more to consider beyond the simple tactics and tech of merely executing them.

Let’s explore some of the nuances of giveaways together…

Fat Business Man With A Cigar

Legal Poop About Giveaways, Sweepstakes, And Contests

First and foremost, it is very important to differentiate contests from giveaways because they are NOT the same thing.  People often use the terms “giveaway” and “contest” interchangeably but, the bigger your brand, the more dangerous this faux pas becomes.  Here’s why:

  • Giveaways [and sweepstakes] are supposed to be 100% random or luck-driven.  Any performance piece or “purchase” could put you in the dangerous territory of illegal gambling.  At the very least, labeling a contest as a “giveaway” would be a failure at managing expectations.
  • Contests are performance-driven so the time required to succeed in them is far greater than what you’d see in giveaways.  It’s also more easily understood that it’s not a “set it and forget it” proposition for publishers and participants alike; that is, people know there is a need to put in continued effort.  Conversely, the notion of daily entries on giveaways often eludes people.

In addition to the aforementioned distinctions, there are legal risks with giveaways, contests, or any sort of social media or marketing promotion.  Twitch continues to update their Terms Of Service but this is what they have to say about promotions (i.e. self-promotion and sales/marketing) in general as of March 26, 2015.  You are not allowed to…

make unsolicited offers, advertisements, proposals, or send junk mail or spam to other Users of the Twitch Service, including, without limitation, unsolicited advertising, promotional materials, or other solicitation material, bulk mailing of commercial advertising, chain mail, informational announcements, charity requests, petitions for signatures, or any of the foregoing related to promotional giveaways (such as raffles and contests), and other similar activities;

Yet people do giveaways on Twitch all the time.  As with any legal jargon, you have to read between the lines.  Twitch has been known to say things like “we are in the progress of updating our terms of service” and “we have discretionary power [to do whatever the hell we want]” so be wary of this.  There are always rules and laws on the books that don’t get enforced until you ruffle someone’s feathers.

The key to any sort of marketing is making sure you represent your brand properly, manage expectations effectively, and avoid misrepresenting your offerings.  In other words, don’t bait and switch people or you may find yourself in the midst of a legal battle.  With regards to Twitch, you want to make sure the brunt of your activity is gaming-related (non-gaming content can get you suspended like we did on GeekyAntics TV) and serves their best interests first and foremost; namely, you want to keep their users happy and on their platform.

No Purchase Required.  Make sure your giveaway has an easy entry method and an alternative for those that may not be able to get in via conventional means.  The bigger the prize, the more important this is.  While people are paying with their time and money, make sure they are not actually spending money to earn an entry.   There are also rules that vary by state and country regarding the prize value, tax liability, and the like but that information can be found online or via an attorney for little or no money if you’re smart about it.

 

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The GANG Minute: 24 Hour Emergency Fundraising Stream

So many great things are going on with the GeekyAntics network.  We’re hitting the front page on web searches, new friends are joining the community every day, potential sponsors are inquiring about our services and advertising deals, and we are attracting awesome special guests like our friends from AM Audio Media (creators of the Doctor Who “Dark Journey” radio drama).  I’m so happy to see people excited about our vision and fresh take on geeky content.

Unfortunately, I can’t celebrate all these wonderful things as my family is going through a really tough time.  My wife’s health is poor, I’m not doing too hot, and unexpected bills keep piling up.  I know everyone has problems and I’m not seeking pitty but, in simple terms, if we don’t raise the funds by Thursday, February 26th, the lights will be cut.  The details are below in my personal vlog on YouTube:

I’ll be doing a 24-hour stream on Monday, February 23rd starting sometime in the evening (can’t set a specific time because of something stupid Twitch did – details to follow).  Some of The GANG will be teaming up with me so we can raise funds and have some fun playing random games.  We’ll be focusing on indie and deckbuilding games including Speedrunners, Lethal League, SolForge, Hearthstone, and Dungeon Of The Endless.  There might be some League Of Legends, Smite, and Heroes Of The Storm (if this backup streaming PC can handle it)!

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Minecraft Project gone CLASS(y)?

Minecraft University Football Field - Not really sponsored by Pepsi.. Just saying.

Browsing Reddit’s r/Gaming subreddit a Minecraft project crossed my screen that is so advanced I had to share with y’all.

This team, over the span on 3-4 years, have put together a fully scaled university.  The thing is done to epic proportions with multiple massive buildings, functioning wings inside of the buildings, on-site outdoor activities, and even a chopper landed on the helipad up top.  After browsing the dynamic map provided in the post – http://play.shirecraft.us:6635/?worldname=Nippopolis&mapname=surface&zoom=3&x=-3429&y=64&z=-4306 (EDITOR some say the platform lags but this is still petty sweet.. Google Earth for Minecraft YO!).  I jumped on Reddit to ask the creator some questions pertaining to a long unfulfilled fantasy to be able to wander the halls of a Hogwarts school, fiddling with things, discovering secret passages, and just plain exploring (aimlessly, no less).

To my surprise to creator stated that they do currently have some embedded Easter eggs and that more are planned to come.  His response:

I do!  There’s an ongoing quest going on within the university in one of the dorms, and there’s a hidden strip-club somewhere along the university subway tracks…

When asked about the possible business related options the maps creator also stated,

Aha, I’ve been asked a few times in the past to commission for Minecraft builds, I have unfortunately denied every one of them though, mostly because I like building in my free time and I don’t like being restricted and having the responsibility of completing a build in a certain amount of time.

No matter what this dev decided to do with this project, I give my kudos to him for such an awesomely executed project!

http://www.shirecraft.us/

 

University Aerial Photo:

Minecraft - Shirecraft - Full Scale University - Overhead View

Christmas Merriment, Hope, Joy, & Musings For All – Happy Holidays!

A blue Christmas?

I just had the pleasure of enjoying a heart-felt article written by Alister Kennedy of 42 Level One and Star Wars RebelsCast UK.  It is so authentic and moving that I felt I really needed to open up more myself as we celebrate the holidays.  I hope I get a chance to share Ali’s words but, for now, I hope I can at least find the courage to share what my heart and soul feels I should.

For starters, this year has been the hardest year for me and my family, though I try to shelter them from my pain and struggles as much as possible.  It all started with when two folks, Patty Vollherbst and Lauri Flaquer, stole all the credit for the hard work I put into a web site I was developing.  I was willing to do tons of work for free and on the cheap (and I did end up unpaid for most of the work)..  But apparently the fact that I asked for money for the tons of work I put in didn’t make me a team player.  I think it’s fair to ask for less than a fourth of what would have otherwise been a $15,000 job just for starters by other standards (I know because I check what the competition charges).

If you want to know just how much I hate thieves and stealing of credit for work, read my content/creative work theft article on Y3B.  I am a very forgiving and understanding guy, more than most, but theft is something that really makes me a sad panda, whether you steal someone’s work or you refuse to pay for it.

Usually, I don’t like to call people out but I need to release this burden and, since addressing it calmly with the offending parties did not work, I will share with ears that will listen and hearts that care.  This event set off a chain reaction.  Rumors were spread that I was over-charging or trying to milk customers.  Of course, these rumors did not include the fact that our Project Manager was MIA for over two weeks and the lines of communication / chain of command were vastly unclear.  I lost other clients in the process because, you know, negativity is more pervasive than anything good.

Then there were deaths in the family, betrayals by loved ones, fighting off sickness, endless car problems, and much, much more.  It all seemed to come together in spikes.  Just when we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, things went pitch black all over again.  Needless to say, it’s been rough.  Losing Robin Williams didn’t help either.  Sure, I didn’t know him but it felt like the end of a great era, perhaps a portent of things to come.  I’m not saying suicide is the right choice but I can relate.  Depression really does hurt.

In spite of all that darkness, I still feel a glimmer of hope and joy.  It’s hard not to during this time.  I look back, even at recent years, and recall better days…  I know better days will return, too.

So here I am contemplating, musing even, and remembering the merriment and goodness of this holiday season.  I hope you’ll allow me to share these emotions and unadulterated thoughts with you today…

 

What Christmas Means To Me

Christmas has always been a special time to me.  It’s not because I can expect some neat gifts and maybe extra spending money, though that is nice, but rather the love and spirit that the season usually brings.  This is a time of reflection, family, compassion, and countless memories.

As a parent, I get to enjoy the merriment and laughter of young ones running about and opening presents frantically.  Truth be told, this year won’t be big for gifts at all and we’ll be happy to at least enjoy one big meal.  The key is that we’re together as a family.  Hopefully, we can put our worries aside and enjoy some board games, reminiscing, and much needed laughs.

Christmas 2009 at Casa Yogi

Christmas 2009 at Casa Yogi

Friends and family.  That’s what Christmas means to me.  When I say “friends”, I mean the few that actually give a damn and stick around.   Those are the rare treasures that the holidays bring us.

As a Christian, I do believe we should bring back Christ into the holiday but I do not force that upon others.  As long as we all exercise a spirit of giving, compassion, and gratitude, we can all get along.  With the weather getting colder and the days getting darker, it’s easy to fall into depression and angst.  This is when we need hope and love more than ever.

Christmas now also marks the one-year anniversary of HorsePLAY! LIVE and the Geeky Antics network (well, almost).

 

HorsePLAY! EP53 – Christmas 2014 Special PART 1

After some crazy tech issues with HorsePLAY! LIVE Episode 52, we decided to keep the one-year anniversary celebrations going.  With Christmas right around the corner as well, we were feeling particularly nostalgic.  Most of the memories took us to happy places but there were some anger-inducing memories too.  We try to keep the salt to a minimum as we share Christmas memories, favorite HorsePLAY! moments, and rants.

We play quite a few voicemail messages and enjoy many laughs with our live chat.  One of my favorites was the drunken karaoke game review with DekardC.  Of course, to kick off the episode, we have a hilarious (and pretty catchy) dubstep Christmas intro theme.

Please leave us some well wishes via voicemail – (206) 415-4987 – we love you!

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[NSFW] Food Porn: French Toast Roast – Oi Oi, It’s So Moist!

IMGUR: French Toast Roast by IvanTheTerrible

WARNING:  If you are offended by strong language or sexual inuendo, do not read ahead..  And sorry.

Do you love french toast?  Maybe you love breakfast food?  This is the recipe for you guys!

I stumbled across this thanks to a random, unrelated Imgur share from our pal, DekardC.  Credit goes out to IvanTheTerrible for sharing this and making us drool a bit.  I must say that we LOVE having breakfast foods at any time of the day in our household so this one gets me extra excited!

The French Toast Roast is a carb fanatics wet dream come true.  We haven’t tried this out at home (yet) but just looking at this really does it for me.  Let’s look at what you need to get this lovely treat going!

French Toast Roast Ingredients Spread

French Toast Roast Ingredients SPREAD…  NVM, that pun is too easy!

The idea is that you want to create a glaze concoction to fry the bread in (without the crust).  Meanwhile, there is a cream mixture using bananas, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and eggs.  This actually gets injected into the naked, delicious bread.  The recipe’s creator recommend a Brioche, which sounds like the name of a fancy escort.  I’m sure you can use any ‘ol French or even *GASP* Italian bread.

French Toast Roast with a cream center!

Oh yeah baby, fill me up with your delicious cream!!

This is where it gets exciting.  Rather than bathing the the bread in the usual egg-and-sweets soak, you fry it in butter after dusting the bread in sugar.  Look at this beautiful golden tan!

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