DiRT Rally: Codemasters Kicks It Old School In Its Early Access Racer


 

Awesome. I haven’t even played DiRT Rally yet but I already know it’s going to make a LOT of rally fans very happy. No crazy Gymkhana mode, no “celebrity” drivers, ALL rally all the time and with more realistic controls and car damage? Sign me up, stat! I checked out the Steam page for the game just now and the overwhelming positive response to the game even in its early access state is so positive that it seems Codemasters has gone and made people who are completely new to rally games appreciate the intensity and high difficulty curve (pun intended) not seen in years from the series.

Of course, Codemasters surprised plenty of folks by announcing the game was out now (again, as a work in progress). So I’m betting they’re using all that early feedback to make it a lot better before (hopefully) announcing some console versions. As long as the final version is pure rally and isn’t packing any X-Games style nonsense, I’m in for the long haul.

Today’s Mystery: The Case of the One-Winged Chicken

Right Winger Right Winger (2)

One more reason to cut certain foods out of the diet, I suppose. But also a big little mystery that needs solving, so I’m (kind of) on the case. I defrosted a whole Purdue chicken and put it in a simple salt water brine overnight. As I tend to handle raw proteins as little as possible, I didn’t realize until this morning that the chicken ended up in the store sans one wing. Eek. From what I recall, chickens don’t fly very well at all, so this couldn’t be the result of the one I was about to cook being gimped because it wanted to go all Freebird from wherever it was raised.

“It’s a factory second!” was a guess tossed into the hat I wasn’t wearing. But that wasn’t the case, as it was a full price chicken with a clipped wing and someone out there walking around with it in a pocket as a good luck charm. Or something a lot less disgusting. Speaking of disgusting, as soon as I saw that missing wing, I had a serious Eraserhead flashback. You know the scene: “Just cut them up like regular chickens!”:


Yuck. Anyway, a coin was flipped and it was decided to not waste a good and already brine-soaked bird. So a bit of Madras Soul (TM!) spice blend and a good shake in a plastic bag later, into the oven it went. As it’s meant to be split with a friend going through some bumpy times of late, I decided to keep the wingless half for myself. There’s nothing like having to answer questions about what happened to that missing flapper on a gift half chicken. Some questions weren’t made to be answered without a legal team handy. Or at least the Scooby Gang. Anyway, it’s a sunny Sunday and too nice outside to dwell on a dead (now twice dead) piece of poultry. That said, guess who will be pickin’ chickens a lot more carefully from now on. Or a lot less carefully because I’ll have changed my dining options.

Then again, having tried faux poultry on a few occasions, I can very safely say that every one has had missing wings, legs, thighs and bones. That’s not a mystery at all other than why some of those ersatz birds sometimes end up in assorted poultry shapes. Then again, if it were a tofu bird with a missing wing? Well… THAT would be even more creepy.

More From The Vaults: Found Object Fridays

Hey there- here’s some more random stuff I unearthed from the vaults while my PC was out of action for a few days earlier this week. I ended up making more of a mess “cleaning up” than I did when I left all those bins and boxes alone. But I did find some nice things I knew I’d kept for assorted good reasons. Enjoy the quick trip down memory lane!

Kurzrok Casper
 

If I recall correctly, this sketch was gotten in a rather oddball reverse double back-flip manner at a Creation Con back in 1981 or ’82. I was minding a friend’s table at the show while displaying some of my (lousy) artwork and a man walked up and started looking through my stuff. We chatted for a bit about comics and when he told me his name was Al Kurzrok, I was thrilled because I remembered the outstanding lettering he did for Marvel on Doctor Strange back in the late 60’s. When I noted that to him and asked for an autograph, he asked me for a sheet of paper and did this quick sketch. That was a big day-maker for me back then.

Outland Press Kit 

Heh. Back in 1981, a dot matrix printout sure looked “futuristic”, so here you go: The press kit for Peter Hyams‘ sci-fi flick OUTLAND. The film is basically High Noon in outer space with Sean Connery playing the Gary Cooper part. High Noon is a better film by far, by the way. That said, it does have some suspenseful moments (and a few exploding heads, eww), Frances Sternhagen gets the best part and lines in the film and there’s a great Jerry Goldsmith score worth tracking down.

All that and like many of Hyams’s best films, there’s a nice foot chase that perks things up at just the right moment.

Outland Press Kit 2 

I have a lot more ancient history here, but I’ll pull the plug on this installment before I end up making an even bigger pile of stuff in the home office. No need to have to sleep curled up in a closet because there’s way too much stuff on the bed and floor, right?

Godzilla The Game PS4: There Goes The Neighborhood, Toho Style!


 

Sure, it’s all fun and games, but YOU try and get some decent sleep when there are a bunch of over-sized rubber suits banging away on the buildings on YOUR block. BOOM! ROAR! CRASH! “Hey, keep it down!” just doesn’t work on a pair or more of bent on destruction giant beasts like these, you know. Fortunately, all that glorious wreckage is only on the PS3 and PS4 and not for real, as I can see real world property values sinking but also growing back after a short while. You know people would probably move in JUST for the monster battles because humans are dumb and love to watch any sort of fight (provided they don’t get hurt).

Oh, and as for that “Hollywood Godzilla” pre-order bonus, I laughed out loud because for some reason I thought of this film clip when that image and text popped up onscreen. Yeah, I’m a nut. I know, I know. Hey, I didn’t make that old and too loud film. But I did pay good money to see it when it came out (and still want my five bucks back, Mr. Spielberg!).

Mad Max Gameplay Overview: We DO Need Another Hero!


 

If there was any doubt that Avalanche Studios could do Mad Max justice as a game property, well.. let’s just say some mind erasing has just taken place with this new video. The game is set to land on September 1, 2015 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC and that means a bunch of gamers will finally be upgrading to something they can play this on. I’d write more, but there’s the matter of that puddle of drool I need to clean up before someone slips in it. Yep, I do need this game, folks. If the film and game are as good as they look, I’d say we’ll be seeing more of the man himself sooner than later.

“What Do People Do All Day?” DAF Edition!

What Do People Do All DayAh, memories. Anyway, it’s been an intense and stupid week for me, but at least I got other stuff done besides grow a few new gray hairs from all that annoying tech nonsense.

In honor of one of my favorite books from my childhood (that you should buy whether or not you have kids of your own), here’s what I did of note on a few days this week:

A Pizza I made a nice pizza on Monday. I also got a nicer new phone, but that’s an ongoing post in the making as far as getting some stuff sorted out before I can activate the damn thing.

stuff to review  I got some stuff to review including three more excellent Blu-Rays from Arrow Video (thanks, Clint!) and a nifty tablet stand that’s actually pretty cool.

VHS Cover Art Speaking of movies, the greatest book I’ve read (this month) also arrived for me to review. You should buy a copy just for the cover alone. Okay, the insides are great as well.

old star wars stuff I found some cool original Kenner Star Wars stuff when I was looking for something else in a bin of lots of something else. Yeah, I’ve kept a few of the things I’ve bought from when I was younger. Not enough of them, sadly.

Elminage I played a bunch of new and old games I’d been needing to get to. That’s Elminage Original, a PSP and Vita RPG very much in the Wizardry vein that initially had a lousy English localization until a patch over half the size of the full game cleaned things up considerably.

Some other stuff is on the way or has arrived, but you don’t need to know about a box of packing tape, some razors and a few other mundane items. Okay, back to poring over my email and figuring out what sort of time machine I need to build in order to catch up to the workload backlog. Or I can avoid that rabbit hole fantasizing and just get back to the grind. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Off to get some sleep now. I’ll be back in a few hours after waking up and soaking my eyeballs in a cup of coffee. Or trying out the Uptime energy drinks I got in the post last week to write about. Hmmm… there’s an angle right there to work, right?

#TBT: The Perfect Storm Knocks Me For A Temporary Tech-less Loop

Status

Let’s see now:

My laptop’s power supply blew out very early Sunday morning while doing a backup to an external drive and some article writing (whee!), and in the mad scramble to recheck/restore stuff and order a new power supply I lost a ton of mostly old data (whee!), game saves and I think some pieces of digital art (whee!). Normally, I’d just shift my workload over to the desktop, but the other two PC’s here are dead. One has been for a while and the other was running when the power went out and now won’t boot up properly at all. (Whee!).

I’m also having some pesky issues with getting the new phone I got up and running, and one of the consoles I just had repaired a few weeks back un-repaired itself in a spectacular, noisy fashion. I think all of that counts as five impossible things happening before breakfast. Amusingly enough, thanks to all the password changes I’ve done so far this year, the only ones I recalled off the top of my frazzled head were my PayPal, bank and ebay accounts (all of which came in handy as some old books and games I’d posted sold and needed to be shipped out). Just so you know, Whenever I change my passwords I email a few of my email accounts with the updates just to have a few places to check should I need to. Of course, forgetting one’s email account passwords and/or log in info doesn’t help (*beet!*), but I just KNOW you’ve done this as well.

In the midst of all that nonsense… I got a LOAD of stuff to review from a few nice folks. Thank you, nice folks! In the meantime, I’ve been taking notes longhand while waiting for that replacement power supply to arrive and pretty much having as much fun as I can traveling back in time to 1995 as I could under such short notice. That power supply got here just fine about a half hour ago, so I’m now back in action. A little crazier and busier than usual and nope, not having enjoyed my unexpected “vacation” one bit. Granted, I did get kind of lazy at one point on Monday evening, crawling into bed to play catch up all that rest I missed over the long weekend of worrying about whether I was going to be needing a new laptop or not. Well, I do kind of need a new one, but I just can’t afford a replacement at the moment.

Anyway, how’s YOUR week going? Back in a bit. I just glanced at my inboxes and think I have something like 3000 emails to read and a lot less to respond to (thankfully). Eeek.

New Terminator Genisys Trailer: Blasts From The Past And Future Get The Internet Somewhat Nuts


 

What’s been interesting about these Terminator Genisys trailers is how the internet whiners has reacted to the reboot without realizing that the new film is playing them like violins. The time-bending going on here and all the plot twists see as spoilers might not even be the big things the movie is bringing to the table. Me, I like the idea of taking the first two films and remixing them so Sarah Connor knows what’s coming and prepares for it before finding out things aren’t as she planned for.

I’m really curious to find out what type of Terminator John has turned out to be as well as seeing if the process can be reversed (remember, we’re dealing with time travel and its many possible ripples) by the time those end credits roll. That and hell, it’ll be fun hearing whatever goofball quips Arnold comes up with as the film progresses. It looks as if Emilia Clarke has got some of his better quotes from the first two films down pat. Eh, we’ll see (as usual). I don’t expect him to survive this flick either, but I have the feeling that even if he does… he’ll be BACK. Well, at least for one more go-around.

PSN April Flash Sale: Some Decent Deals For All Tastes

PSN April Flash Sale

 

I guess it’s now a once a month deal or so over at the PlayStation Network when it comes to finding quickie weekend bargains available for a short time. This month’s big deal PSN Flash Sale is a nice lineup of PS3, PS4 and Vita digital games plus a bunch of movies at okay to excellent prices. Don’t forget to poke around the site and look up other deals, as there are some cool titles not part of THIS sale that are part of other promotions. You never know what you might find outside the box, right?

Star Wars Battlefront Trailer: Yes, The Force Is Strong With This One

 

SW Battlefront EndorWell, it looks as if some of you holding out on getting that fancy gaming PC or new gaming console may want to consider upgrading if you’re wanting a new Battlefront to play in. While this isn’t actual gameplay footage (“not actual , this Star Wars Battlefront trailer uses the in-game engine to spectacular effect and shows how developer DICE intends to bring the look and feel of classic Star Wars to the masses this November 17. PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC via EA’s Origin service only on this one, meaning you old console owners are going to have to make some new friends or finally retire your old beasts to a closet somewhere.

This one’s going to be huge. HOW huge? Well…

SW Battlefront Art BIG

 

Is that huge enough for you? I thought so.