Sunday, December 28, 2014


I've been playing Far Cry 4 and Borderlands: The Pre-sequel lately. And I've been making use of NVIDIA's GeForce Experience Shadowplay utility to record some gameplay. Check out the videos below.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Success and final Upgrade

The motherboard installation was a success. The best part was not having to reinstall Windows 7. I simply had to make a few adjustments in the ASUS UEFI and then the machine just booted to the desktop. Sure I had to verify my copy of Windows, but that was hardly an inconvenience. I also had to make some minor tweaks in the Task Scheduler, but overall it was a delightful experience.

A few weeks after that change, I implemented two other upgrades to complete my ideal machine.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Changing of the Guard, Part II

My ASUS P8P67 and  Intel i5-2500 have served me well, but it's time for an upgrade.

I'm installing an ASUS Maximus Hero VII and an Intel i5-4690k. Wish me luck; it's my first install.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Garbage or Art?

I did a little decorating in my new apartment recently.

Check out the EZ-Mode Unlocked blog for details.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rainy Tuesday Tunes

In keeping with today's weather (which I thoroughly enjoy), here are some tunes about rain. Hit the jump to find them.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Big Crowds and Powerful Moments

I love it when the crowd gets into it. And I have to wonder: what does it do to a man when a stadium full of people sings the song that he wrote? Gallagher might have the answer at the 5:50 mark of the first video.

"Feel free to join in on the chorus", he says, and the crowd sings the entire effing song. Powerful stuff.

I love the guitar work in that song, and the enthusiastic crowd.

Wembley stadium, a packed Wembley stadium, joining Dave Grohl on "Everlong". Music moves everyone.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Games and Writers

I'm always amused by the video-game articles that appear in the so-called mainstream media. The writers attempt to help those who don't play video-games (i.e., parents) understand both the appeal and the effect of the games on the players. But they are far from helpful. They generalize and simplify and show that they don't really 'get' either the specific game they are discussing, video games in general, or the people who play them.

Fortunately, there are a few that do get it.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

This Happened

The wind came

And it made me sad.

I Turned My Head for Just a Moment

And this happened:

1)  Sunderland drew with Man City at the Etihad and then drove down the road to London and defeated Chelsea at Stamford bridge. I relished watching Mourinho suffer his first ever defeat at home --- to a team at the bottom of the league!

2) David Moyes got sacked with just four games remaining in United's season. Apparently there was all kinds of dissatisfaction at Old Trafford, and by all accounts, Moyes was the wrong man for the job. To be fair, though, who would be the right man for the job? Anyone coming in after Sir Alex Ferguson would have a tough time of it.

3) Bayern Munich got its teutonic ass kicked hard by Real Madrid in the 2nd leg of their Champions League semi-final --- and I loved it. In what seemed like a role-reversal, RM played an attacking-style, while BM settled into tiki-taka courtesy of former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola. It was such a devastating loss, Guardiola has challenged the club to keep him on as manager.
So Real Madrid goes on to play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon, on May 24, after Chelsea gave it up at Stamford Bridge. Atletico was just too stylish and skilled for Mourinho's bus-parking tactics. The Special One, as the The Guardian's The Fiver refers to him, blames Eden Hazard and David Luiz is sad.

4) Everton crept ever closer to 4th place Arsenal (whose terrible form put their 17th straight Champions League qualification in jeopardy), but managed to lose to Southampton on April 26th. That gave Arsenal a bit of breathing room as they prepared to face Newcastle at Home. The return of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey (and Lukas Podolski) resulted in a 3-0 win and a 4-point cushion.

5) Liverpool visited Stamford Bridge, Mourinho parked the bus, and now Man City is in control of the Premier League title-race. The Reds' 2-0 loss to the Blues now forces the Citizens to win their remaining games to claim that title.

6) Around an hour ago Sunderland beat United at Old Trafford, Cardiff lost to Stoke, and Fulham lost to Newcastle. So, Sunderland, who looked to be on it's way down to the Championship League, is safe from relegation, and both Cardiff and Fulham are officially sunk. There is one more team to be relegated, and that will likely be Norwich.

So all of this sets up a very interesting scenario. Everton is playing Man City today. If it wins or draws, it moves to within one point of Arsenal and, essentially, hands the title to Liverpool, who has two games at hand. Everton doesn't relish handing the title to its main, local rival, but I doubt it would deliberately tank the game; its hunger for the Champions League is too strong.
However, Arsenal has two games at hand --- it plays West Brom tomorrow --- and it only has to win one to qualify, mathematically, for the last Champions League spot. Poor, poor Everton is in a tight spot.

All in all, it's an exciting penultimate week in the Premier League. I like neither City nor Everton, but I'm going with Everton on this day because I would love to see Liverpool win the League. Scouser for a day, I am.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I enjoy video games for many reasons. One is that they allow me to avoid the great, stinking, unthinking horde of humanity outside of my door.  "But what about multi-player?" you may ask. Well, I do not participate in multi-player gaming at all because it involves interaction --- however indirect it may be --- with people. People ruin everything; I want to enjoy my videogame time. So I keep my virtual worlds free of them.

Premier League Update

Well, it's looking like Liverpool will take the League title, and I'm happy about that because the Reds are a great side. Better them than City or Chelsea.

As for Arsenal, a disappointing, injury-riddled smear of a season could have one bright spot on it. The Gunners actually managed to make it to the FA Cup final --- although they had to rely on penalties to overcome Championship side Wigan Athletic to do it. If they can pull off a win against Hull City at Wembley Stadium on May 17th it will be a relief for a team that's had a frustrating season and that hasn't collected any silverware since 2005. BUT there is still much work to be done. Dropping important games to Liverpool, City, Chelsea, and Everton by upwards of 6 goals shows that Arsenal can't play against the big teams and can't win the crucial matches. An overhaul is needed --- and I think it should start with the manager.

Saturday, April 05, 2014


Wow, there is a dearth of new releases, and all I hear about is Titanfall. Titanfall this, titanfall that, titanfall titanfall titanfall.Yawn, yawn, double-yawn. Just another boring shooter dressed up in fancy digital pants ($60-digital pants! For an online-only game. Fat chance.)

Fortunately, I have many unplayed games clogging up my library to keep me interested, and Giant Bomb Quick looks to stem the tide of boredom. Sometimes, those guys have a sense of humour about games that I can get into. Check out the Quick Look for Goat Simulator to see what I mean.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Video Games?

Yeah, I still play them. Recently I started Telltale Games' The Walking Dead, Season One. Although I'm only two hours into it I have to say I'm not impressed. I've found a few moments unintentionally funny and the few moral-choice moments I've encountered contrived and unsatisfying. I'm hoping it'll change as I get further into it.

Premier League Update

The Idiots Gunners missed a great opportunity to pull even with Liverpool today. They managed a draw with fucking Swansea City after a Mathieu Flamini-own goal. Sigh. Two precious points tossed into the rubbish because of a stupid mistake. Instead of looking ahead, Arsenal is now looking over its shoulder at the fast-moving Everton FC. I think it's time Mr. Wenger stepped aside and allowed someone with some fresh ideas to helm the listless Gunners.

Another manager who may have to step aside is Alan Pardew. Newcastle United's loss today to Everton is its 5th in its last 8 matches; it has failed to score in each of those five losses (which includes a 1-0 loss to the hapless Fulham FC).  In fact, in its last 14 matches --- from December 29, 2013 to March 25, 2014 --- it has won only 4, scored only 10 goals, and allowed 22 goals; resulting in an unimpressive -5 Goal Differential. With stats like that, I'm surprised Pardew is still around.

Last Saturday featured a very entertaining El Classico --- Real Madrid vs. Barcelona. Today featured a classic of a different type --- a Manchester derby. City came out firing on all cylinders and scored at the 47-second mark of the first half. Although it dominated the entire game, City didn't score again until the 56th-minute. Those two were scored by Edin DzekoYaya Toure added a third at the 90th-minute to complete United's embarrassment at Old Trafford.

So, as an Arsenal fan it was a disappointing day for me. And, I'm not looking forward to the weekend because the Gunners face Manchester City at the Emirates. Arsenal is a weak team caught in a slide; whereas City is strong and on an upward swing. I can only hope it won't be a massacre.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Premier League Update

After Arsenal lost 5-1 to Liverpool a few weeks ago, a Scottish co-worker of mine said, "Arsenal doesn't lose by 1 or 2 goals. It loses proper --- by 4 or 5 goals, at least." I laughed because I knew he was right. Many weeks before that, after Arsenal could only manage a draw against Man United, one of the pundits on BBC's Match of the Day 2 said Arsenal wasn't a title contender because it "couldn't beat the big teams". I didn't want to believe it then, but after this weekend's embarrassment at Stamford bridge --- which dropped the Gunners to fourth and out of title contention --- I'm afraid I have to.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Premier League Update

Liverpool almost ruined my Sunday by defeating Man United 3-0 today. But, the Gunners quickly saved it by scoring a 1-0 win over Tottenham. I wish I could say I watched the matches, but I missed them because I had to work today. I did, however see a few matches yesterday (Saturday, March 15, 2014).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday Music

How about a tune a heard at the gym? I Didn't recognize it when I heard it. So, I hauled out my phone and put Soundhoud to work. It came up with Cayucas, "High School Lover".

Good tune. I love that bassline. Enjoy

Monday, March 10, 2014

EPL Update

Arsenal and Manchester City's respective weekend EPL matches were postponed due to their FA Cup quarter-final matches. So, that left only a handful of yawners to catch on the tube.

Cardiff City faced a dreadful Fulham FC and pushed it deeper into the relegation zone with an easy 3-1 win. Both these teams are terrible, but I'd rather watch hapless EPL clubs than any MLS team, or any CONCACAF match.

The toughest match of the weekend was Chelsea vs. Tottenham. It was tough because I couldn't figure out whom to support. Both are Arsenal's rivals. A win by Chelsea would put more distance between Spurs and Arsenal, but allow the Blues to move further ahead of the pack at the top of the table. A win by Tottenham would keep Chelsea still, but move Spurs closer to the Gunners. A true dilemma because neither outcome would be favourable. In the end, I hoped for either a Spurs victory or a draw, but Chelsea dashed it all. Eden Hazard and the boys made Spurs look like a Football League Championship side. So, Chelsea is now 7 points ahead of both Liverpool (2nd) and Arsenal (3rd), and 9 points ahead of City (4th).

Both Man City and Chelsea have some easy matches this weekend, so they could both move up. But Liverpool and Arsenal have difficult fixtures that could change the top four just a little. The Reds face Man United at Old Trafford --- always a difficult place to grab an away-win --- and Arsenal take on Spurs at Whitehart Lane. Facing their Northern London rivals away from home will certainly test the Gunners as they continue to chase Chelsea and a spot in the UEFA Champions League

For the 2nd consecutive year, Wigan Athletic pulled off a shocking defeat of Manchester City to advance to an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium in April. Not even the return of Sergio Aguero could help City solve a tight Wigan defense (although, the Citizens did rattle the woodwork a few times) and keep alive the dream of an English football treble (Capital One Cup, FA Cup, Premier League title). So sad, so sad.

An Olivier Giroud brace helped lift Arsenal to a 4-1 victory over Everton in their FA Cup quarter-final. The Gunners will face Wigan Athletic --- the current Cup holders --- at Wembley Stadium in April as it continues to capture it's first piece of silverware since 2005. Go Gunners!

English Premier League table

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Premier League Update

My beloved Arsenal blew it big time on Saturday, losing 1-0 to Stoke City (after a questionable penalty call in the 70th minute). Both Liverpool and Chelsea won their matches. So now the Gunners sit in third, four points below the top and a mere two points above fourth place Manchester City. Arsenal's next four EPL matches see it face Everton (away), Spurs (away), Chelsea (away), and Manchester City (Home). With a leaky mid-field, a lack of strikers, a lack of offensive aggression, an injured Aaron Ramsey, and an injured Theo Walcott, the Gunners will have to dig deep, deep down if they wish to stay in the top four.

But Chelsea is strong with Mourhino on the sidelines and Eden Hazard in top form on the field.

And Liverpool? Well, who can stop that front four? Sterling, Sturridge, Coutinho, and Suarez are lethal when they're on their game. Suarez, that man is possibly the best player in the world right now. He's an artist with the ball.

Premier League Table

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Pets

It's great to have pets hanging about the house when I'm just relaxing.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Music

New week, brand new track from The Horrors.

The opening is promising, but then the song becomes bland and repetitive. I hope the new album is more energetic and adventurous.

Here's a band I heard on the Danger Radio podcast. East London band Splassh with "Need It".

Do you like mild psychedelia crossed with a little Grapes of Wrath? Then have a listen to Montreal band Elephant Stone, "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin".

And finally, another Montreal boy, Sam Roberts, who, I think, has been listening to a little Manchester, circa 1990.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Premier League Update

A day that featured 7 matches saw little change at the top of the Premier league table. Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City are still one, two, three respectively, and Liverpool sits at 4th, 6 points behind Chelsea and 3 points ahead of Tottenham.

Although tied with Everton at 45 points, Man United moved up one place to 6th, by virtue of goal differential, after defeating a motivated Crystal Palace.

Arsenal took it to a hapless Sunderland side --- which now sits at 24 points in the relegation zone --- and cruised to a 4-1 victory. That put them one point behind Chelsea and two ahead of Man City. It was a good win, but if the Gunners truly want to take the league title, they have to show a similar form against the big teams.

Chelsea tops the table, but looks less impressive with each passing week. The Blues could only manage a 1-0 win against Everton --- and it took them 93 minutes to do so.

Man City has also slowed its roll ever so slightly. It could only pull off a 70th-minute, 1-0 win over relegation teasers Stoke City. Perhaps the Citizens are missing Sergio Aguero?

Tomorrow's matches could see some interesting movement in the table. Liverpool faces Swansea City at Anfield --- a win would pull the Reds within a point of Man City; Tottenham looks to make a move on Liverpool as it squares off against Norwich at Carrow Road; and Aston Villa will try to create more distance between itself and the relegation zone with a match against Newcastle United at St. James' Park.

I hope you'll be watching the matches. I have to work during the day. So, I'll take in the highlights on BBC's Match of the Day 2.

Barclay's Premier League table

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Tale of an Excellent Game

The title screen displays the game's simple, but impressive art style

Giant Bomb's Game of the Year podcast compelled me to purchase Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons. I'm glad I did because it's a wonderful game. Everything about it is simple and uncomplicated, but evocative and moving.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Another Game Finished

After 70 hours of play (according to Steam) I finished Sleeping Dogs and all of its DLC (Year of the Snake, Nightmare in North Point, Zodiac Tournament). Although there were a few moments in the Zodiac Tournament I disliked immensely, I have to say that, overall, I loved the game. The combat is straightforward and fluid; driving is a blast; character and story are moderately cliched, but enjoyable; the city of Hong Kong is vibrant and colourful; graphics are excellent. If you take time to explore and just screw around, though, you find a lot of what you see in the picture below.

But, considering the size of the game, and the fact Wei Shen is always on the move, it's not surprising the developers (United Front Games) chose to use such assets. I certainly would not expect them to make every building and store in the city accessible. Imagine how long that would take to create and how much space and memory it would require. The game doesn't need that kind of detail and doesn't suffer without it. It's excellent, and I can't wait for United Front's next Sleeping Dogs game.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Premier League Update

It was a bit of a disappointing football weekend for me. Arsenal lost, Chelsea won, and Manchester City played to a draw. So, in the tight, topsy-turvy title race Chelsea moved into first, Arsenal dropped to second, and Man City dropped to third. That's not entirely disastrous for the Gunners because they trail their London rivals by only a point, but the manner in which they lost puts their title chances in doubt.

The Gunners lost 5-1 to Liverpool --- 5-1! I think it was 3-0 after only 20 minutes. The lads looked shell-shocked and in complete disarray. As the announcer pointed out, Arsenal were "still on the bus". Defence was non-existent; Mesut Ozil seemed to lack motivation; Jack Wilshire could do nought but chide his teammates. I guess, if you're going to lose, you might as well lose to a big club to mitigate the embarrassment. (Unlike Manchester United, which played to a draw against bottom-feeding London club Fulham. That was probably the best thing to come out of the weekend's fixtures.) But if Arsenal wishes to silence its doubters --- e.g., the pundits on BBC's Match of the Day --- it must tighten up its defence, be more aggressive downfield, and start defeating the bigger clubs. They have yet to defeat Chelsea, Man City, and Man United. They'll have to put those clubs behind them to capture the title. I hope they do this for tomorrow's match against Man United and end the day back at the top of the table. Go Gunners!

Barclay's Premier League Table

Friday, February 07, 2014

Killing Time

The other day I found out that Borderlands 2's fourth Headhunter DLC-pack will be released on February 11. "Fourth", I thought to myself, "Where was I doing when the other three were released?" Well, let's look into that.