Category: Misc

The PA Report investigates advertising on Xbox Live

We’ve been fans of Ben Kuchera’s journalistic and investigative skills since his early days at Ars Technica, and have continued to follow him since his move to Penny Arcade’s PA Report. Mr. Kuchera has written a LOT of great articles in his time, but I think he’s finally outdone himself: a behind-the-scenes look at how advertising on Xbox Live is done. This includes costs, placement, ad development, and everything in between.

This may not sound exciting to a lot of you, but I very highly recommend you read the entire article…it’s fantastic stuff.

Still no power

This is a screenshot I grabbed off my phone the day after an insane storm blasted through Maryland. What you’re looking at is an outage map for the immediate area around where we live. Each of those blue triangles represent multiple outage points…in all, our power company ended up reporting a total of 19,727 individual points of failure throughout their system. Some of these problems were as minor as a power box that needed to be rewired, while others were as major as entire substations that were decimated.

Hello, dear readers! It’s been four days since the crazy storms came through Maryland, and our apartment complex is still without power (we had multiple trees down on multiple power lines, and they didn’t get the trees removed until yesterday, so it will probably still be another day or two before we get power back.) Naturally, now that my hand is feeling good enough to type up articles, I haven’t been able to do so! I’m writing this update on my phone, and if there’s anything it’s proven to me, it’s that I hate writing with a touchscreen -_-;;

Brittnie has spent a bunch of time on her Japanese lessons, while I’ve been playing through Unchained Blades on my PSP. We’ve also been playing Skip-Bo on our DS’s together, as well as playing rummy by the light of an LED lantern. Everything has been kept charged up thanks to our UPS. (Side note: for tips on how to keep living the nerd life during a power outage, check out this article we wrote early last year after a snow storm knocked out our power for three days.) Once our power is restored, the Nerd Cave will be back in business, and we’ll start getting some articles posted up. There’s a metric buttload of them floating around my head, so stay tuned!

I’d like to close out this update by taking a moment to give a HUGE thanks to the line workers, tree cutters, call center agents, and everyone else that have been doing 16-hour shifts in 100-degree heat in an effort to get everyone’s power back. Your hard work is highly appreciated!

There will be updates. Oh yes…there will be.

Pictured: my injured hand. Well, not really. But yeah…really.

Good morning, dear readers! Just wanted to provide an update on what’s going on. My hand still hurts like hell, but it’s healing quickly: my fingers can move again, and the swelling has gone WAY down, but I still have limited motion in my wrist and thumb. I’ve spent a lot of my time watching things, since I haven’t been able to game at all (except for Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, since it can be played one-handed.) Expect a deluge of movie/TV show reviews once I can type with both hands again.

When will that be? Well, I’m hoping to start posting again on Monday, but it all depends on how things go. In any event, once I’m able to type again, there will be a lot of back-to-back posting days, something that we haven’t had in a while around here. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!

“OOO, that’s doubley painful!”

In a moment of sheer stupidity, I suffered a hairline fracture in the first metacarpal in my right hand, with the possibility of a hairline fracture in one of my carpals. Suffice it to say, it will probably be another week or two before there’s another post here. The good news is that I’ll have plenty of time to watch and read a bunch of stuff, so when we do return, it will be with a vengeance! I’ve already got articles in my head for the original V mini-series, a series review of The Wire, a series review of every PvP strip Scott Kurtz has put out, a review of horror classic Die Monster, Die!, the return of our Weekend Album series, and much more. In the mean time, check out these posts you may have missed:


More beef stew adventures!

I got a surprise four-day weekend, so I decided to use the time wisely and make some hearty stew!

You’re looking at 2.5 lbs of chuck dredged in seasoned flour, paprika, a dash of chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper, then seared in a little bit of olive oil, butter, Worcestershire sauce, and some crushed rosemary. As for the rest of the ingredients: 16 oz of beef stock, three russet potatoes, three cloves of garlic, half an onion, half a ginormous green pepper, a ginormous portabella mushroom cap, and one jalapeno sliced into quarters for easy removal/avoidance by Brittnie.

As for spices in the stew itself: kosher salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, three bay leaves, tarragon, paprika, thyme, cumin, and a ton of crushed rosemary. It all spent about 6.5 hours in the crock pot on low. I just gave it a taste test, and it’s freakin’ INCREDIBLE.

Plague Tea, Batarians, and Time Travel! Oh my!

I was pretty sick last week, hence the lack of updates on the site. It felt like it was a cold on steroids…definitely not the flu, but still quite nasty. It wasn’t until late Friday that I was feeling well enough to do some gaming, but I did a TON of it over the weekend.

I started up Mass Effect 2 again so that I could complete a playthrough with my Female Renegade Shepard (I’ve got 13 hours and 54 minutes on the savegame) Even though it’s been two years since I wrote it, my original review for ME2 still represents my opinion today. I find this to be quite interesting…I figured I would view the game differently now, but that’s apparently not the case.

On Friday, I also got started on making an additional dent in our 2012 backlog by loading up Chrono Trigger when I wasn’t sleeping or playing ME2. I’ve got a little over 10 hours on it, and just beat the Guru on Mt. Woe. It’s really odd: I’m trying to go through it as if I were the age I would have been when it was first released (I would have been 11), and it’s really cool, but I feel like Final Fantasy VI and Secret of Mana/Evermore were better (which I was busy playing when Chrono Trigger originally released, hence why I didn’t play it back then.) Don’t get me wrong, I really like (love?) the game, it’s just that it hasn’t been the earth-shattering experience I’ve been told to expect. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any nostalgia attached to it? ::shrug:: Who knows. It’s definitely good though, and I look forward to going through it again at some point after I finish it. Ironically, it gave me even MORE appreciation for Radiant Historia, which quickly became one of my favorite games of all time.

Over the course of this week and the coming weekend, I hope to finish off both ME2 and Chrono Trigger, paving the way for more backlog goodness. Hmm…perhaps L.A. Noire will be next? We’ll see!

Gift Guide: Not Normally Considered Edition

It’s that time of year again: whether you want to call them holiday gifts, Christmas lists, or Hanukkah wishes, you’ll be able to find the same sort of article all over the Internet. We here at Living With a Nerd would be remiss if we didn’t offer up one of our very own!

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Pojut’s simple chicken chili for Skyrim

2.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast
14 oz of chicken broth
1 can of Campbells cream of mushroom soup
1 can of water
1 can of whole kernel yellow corn
Sliced green, red, and yellow peppers
Sliced green chilis
Sliced jalapenos
Half a packet of McCormick’s “hot” chili seasoning mix
A few shakes of worcheshire sauce
A few sprinkles of thyme
A few sprinkles of oregano
A few sprinkles of cumin
A couple sprinkles of nutmeg
A tiny pinch of cinnamon
Add whole grain brown rice and macaroni elbows about six hours in
Add pepper, a dash of honey, and sriracha to taste

4 quart crock pot, on low heat. Not sure how long it will take, but likely in the 7-10 hour range.

Bringing Skeksis back

On a recent episode of the Nerdist Podcast, a discussion was had about The Dark Crystal and the lack of parody videos/songs based on it. One of their listeners took it upon themselves to put together this simple yet hilarious video as a response. Check it out below:

Here’s a link to the original post that appeared on the Nerdist website. In case you’re a Nerdist novice, don’t miss our favorite episodes article.

I heard you like to bulldozer and thuban

Earlier today, someone on the [H]ard|Forum was talking about how AMD’s Bulldozer architecture is forward-thinking. Their reasoning is that because AMD can fit more Bulldozer cores than Thuban cores on a single wafer, they can theoretically have really high-yield, high-quality runs once the manufacturing kinks get straightened out. Given Bulldozer’s lukewarm reception and the poster’s…unique…sentence structure, I couldn’t resist making this picture in response. FSM forgive me.

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