30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 7

Movies movies movies.

I didn’t watch a lot of movies growing up . I was always too busy doing other things.

But as of late, I have discovered somer really good ones.

The transporter series? Awesome.

Mr. Roberts? Dr. Strangelove? Crazy good films that are humorous in such an innocent way. More or less.

Well, while I was thinking about this post, I had to narrow my selections down to three films.

Three movies that I enjoy for completely different reasons each. So, here they are. Garen’s top three favorite films. (Oh yeah, click the posters to see their page on IMDB).

#3 Operation Petticoat

This was the first of the movies I discovered from the 50s. WOW! Great acting, good storyline, plenty or re-playabilibty. This movie was jsut fun to watch. I really enjoyed it. Right down to the pink submarine.


#2 The Abyss.

Long before he ever made Avatar, James Cameron made the abyss. It was filmed in a flooded nuclear cooling tower over the course of 9 months. Not one person on the crew said they would ever consider returning for a second film. It was over budget, stupid difficult to film, and I consider it one of my favorite films of all time.


#1 Disney’s Robin Hood.

Oo-da-lolli! This is the gold standard by which I measure all other robin hood films on the planet.  I love the music, the color, the humor, the animation, and the voice actors. This movie is GREAT.


So, that’s it. Those are my three favorite films. Watch them. Their good. 🙂



30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 6

Okay, day 6 states that I have to post a picture of somethign that makes me happy.

I looked at that challenge and said, “This is simple. BAM! A picture of Andrea”.


But I realized that this is what I ALWAYS do. No, not this time.

As much as I LOVE and adore my wife and children, this time this will be about something other than my family that makes me smile. Don’t get me wrong, my family makes me happier than most anything on this earth, but since we assume that this is a given, we’ll move on to the next best option.

 What you are seeing here is a rendered version of a scene from Descent. Now, it isn’t this game in particular that I want to write about. The shot is more of an analogy. Maybe a metaphor. Possibly some other word that says it means something other than it looks like. I forget, but that’s not important.

The thing I’m trying to represent here is video games in general. I play them. I enjoy them. Some of them make me smile. Some piss me off. Some make me think. Some I just like to look at. Others I am finally begining to play.

There is so much of my life that has been affected by video games.

I have a few that top my list of favorites and those I believe I will point out in the future.

Well, it’s TECHNICALLY the future now from when you read those last lines, so I guess I’ll tell you about them now.



5. Super Mario Bros. series on NES

I spent way too many summers playing this bugger. Be it with or without cheats, I enjoyed it. I played with my brothers and sisters in nearly every house I lived in growing up. This is the epitome of nostalgia in my book. LOVE IT!

4. Metroid

Metroid is one of those games where I love the premise of the game. I love the physics. I love the controls. I love the exploration and the ability to wind up in some really strange places…. but…. I never beat the game. Hell, in all reality, this game scares the ever living daylights out of me. Dunno why. But it’s still one of my favs.

3. Tribes

“Trust me, I work at Gamestop”. Worst words ever to hear. Best game that could have ever been suggested by that guy. I still think he was a tool though.

2. Warcraft Series

From RTS, to point and click, to MMO… The warcraft and Starcraft universes  make me smile. I love the lore. the storylines. the graphics. the ideas behind the game. And hey, Jaina is kinda hot. LOL. Regardless, with the amount of time invested in this series, it’s up there in the top 5 for a reason.

1. Descent

I played descent for way too many years. I still pick it up from time to time even. The game makes me sick to play. It’s scary at times. And no one I know plays because they were never able to get ansy good at it. Let’s not forget though, I have the super power known as ADD, so a lot of things like this I wind up being really good at. Take battletech for example. I’m CRAZY GOOD at that game.

But that isn’t the point. The point is that I enjoy video games, and some board games. And it is those forms of entertainment that give me the opportunity to escape the real world for a little bit, enjoy some time either alone or with others, and let my imagination run wild.

So, what is it that makes me happy? (Other than my family which is my true #1)

Video games.

Sorry, it’s true



30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 4

Day four is “Your Parents”.

So, without any fanfare, we will discuss my parents. Since I don’t find stats to be nearly as impressive, I’ll most likely tell a few stories.





My parents were married well before I came around. Which, in my mind, is exactly how it should be.

My father is an accountat by trade, at least, after 30 years of watching him I THINK that is what he does. I’m still fuzzy on this one belive it or not. He recently retired.

Mom was a housewife by trade. But the thing about her as a housewife is the fact that she was involved in crafts, small businesses, candies, festivals, auto repair, rubber stamp making, people management, all sorts of just randon things that she could market for nearly any purpose. She was a real jack of all trades. Best part of that though is she was REALLY GOOD at everything she did. Sadly, Mom passed away a two years ago.

I had never really bothered to ask much about when they were married. I think dad was a cop, and mom was a hitchhiker. I’m pretty sure there was a divorce in there somewhere, but I wasn’t around yet. There was a little time where dad wasn’t home. Other time where it seemed like he was ALWAYS home. Hindsight being what it is… I have no idea what the hell dad did for a living. That’s going to bug me. I’ll ask him when I get back in to port.

I have fond memories of going out and selling candy with my mother. We would work door to door on business streets hocking our wares. She’d feed us lunch on the cheap and put us right back to work. She taught me to deal with people. To handle money. She taught me how to sew, cook, clean, throw a party, move a house or a family across the country, how to play piano, how to win an argument, and how quiet dignity worked.

My father taught me how to turn a wrench. He taught me how to mow a lawn, sell the services of mowing that same lawn to my neighbors, and how to shutup once the deal was made. He taught me to drive a stick. He taught me how to bullshit with the best of them and how to get away with it. Of course, as they say, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, so he’s mostly immune to my charms.

They both taught me how to do a long road trip. How to tear down from a party. How to kick people out of the house. They taught me a love for pepsi products and the joys of 7 layer dip.

Mom and dad taught me all sorts of cool stuff. I realized this after I was about 24 years old. Since that point, each time something in my life happens where I realize that they taught me the skill required to get through that tiral, I always call one of them and say thank you. They have saved my butt more than once and I figure that warrants a phone call.

Mom and Dad are pretty cool. I’ll give them that. I love them to death. I’ve looked past the flaws in my growing up, so it’s all pretty good in my eyes.

I know I can still call for help or advice as needed, but I try to avoid it as much as possible. They raised me well. I try and build off of that legacy. Honestly, it’s a tough couple of pairs of shoes to try and fill. Heaven knows I’m trying though.


Anything you can do I can do better

Okay, This is the precursor to what I’m working on.

I will take pictures. 

I will post instructions.

I will give links.

I will make sure that everything I do on this upcoming project is outlined so you can do it yourself if you want to.


So, the question is this… Garen, What are you building?




I am building a combination NES/SNES from scratch!

I’m including 40 or 50 games from each system, using retro controllers that I picked up off amazon.com, and I’m compiling the entire system in to a wooden box that will be painted, prined, and badged with my own knockoff flair.

It’s a personal project, but I’m quite excited for it.

It’s okay, you can be jealous.

More info to come soon. Just wait and see.