One Geekified Interview: Michael

Are you ready for yet ANOTHER interview!!! I just have to tell you that I love doing this, super glad I got the idea to pursue this maybe one day I’ll be an expert interviewer! Thanks to all those who have volunteered to join me on this journey. Its fun getting to know all different kinds of people even nerds~
Lets get to it with Michael’s interview, be sure to go look him up on twitter @ZeroFortitude and check out his podcast as well
zf Tell us a little about yourself. Anything u would like to share?
My name is Michael and I’m a 37-year-old geek.  I’m married and have two awesome daughters.  My main hobbies are playing games, watching anime, podcasting, and hanging out with my family and friends.  I’ve been a huge Batman fan since I was little.  I am a host and founder of the Zero Fortitude podcast.
Tell us about Zero Fortitude. How did it come to be? Were any specific shows influential? 
Zero Fortitude is a fun and entertaining podcast/blog for whatever we want to geek about.  We started out in 2010 as a tabletop game podcast and because we couldn’t play games all the time we eventually made the move towards geek topics.  I zf4got introduced to podcasts four years ago and listened to a lot of gaming ones.  The more podcasts that I listened to the more I wanted to start one.  There are too many podcasts to name but every podcast influenced me to start my own.  I asked my friends that since we were getting back into the gaming hobby what if we recorded our adventures on a podcast.  They agreed and so Zero Fortitude was born.
How has social media impacted/improved your life? If it has been affected negatively how so?
I would say social media has definitely impacted my life.  It helps me stay in touch with family and friends I don’t get to see often.  Social media has also given me the opportunity to meet many new people.  It also seems like social media is how I get a lot of my news now.
 Do you have any secret projects your working on that you could share?
I wish I did have a secret project but for right now I don’t have any secret projects.  My one project usually revolves around making Zero Fortitude better and I’m always doing that.
 If you could give a geek from this generation advice what would you say?
If there is something that you like to geek out about don’t be afraid to show it.  Being a geek today is a lot more accepting than what it was when I was in school.  If you keep your interest hidden you might miss out on meeting others that share that same interest.
 How do u balance family time and podcasting? What’s your secret
Well since we release a new episode every two weeks it’s a little easier.  We try to record on every other Friday so I try to plan around recording days.  If something comes up we try to record earlier or use Skype.  I’m very lucky in the fact that my wife understands my podcasting and supports me.
 You mentioned that you share your hobbies with your zf2daughters, what is one hobby you bond over the most? 
The hobby we bond over the most is gaming.  I’ve always loved to play games and since doing the podcast got introduced to many different games.  It is an awesome feeling to share the hobby with both my girls and show them new and different games.  We try to have a family game night twice a month and it’s always a great time.
 If you could give up one geeky hobby which would it be and what would you replace with it?
I don’t think I could give up my main geeky hobbies.  Right now I would say that I would give up reading comics and books.  I get my comic updates through podcasts I listen to.  At work I have the opportunity to listen to audio books.  With all of that I think I could give up reading comics and books.
How do you feel about Ben Affleck being the next batman? What do you think of the batman pictures that have been released?
I was a little shocked when Ben Affleck was announced to play Batman.  I can’t see him as Batman but I will give him a chance and decide after I see the movie.  I didn’t think Heath Ledger was a great choice for the Joker either when he was announced but man was I wrong.  The pictures that were released looked like a different Batman than we are used to seeing in the movies.  It looks more like a bigger suit than armor like he usually has on.  I always liked his cowl with longer ears too.
zf5If you could have any of Batman’s Gadgets which would u choose and why?
There are a lot of tools and vehicles that I would love to have, but if I had to choose one gadget it would be the Batarang.  Batman is always using the Batarang in some way plus it looks bad ass.
Since you were a child you loved batman which tv show(s) and movie(s) are your favorites?
Well, the Adam West Batman will always hold a special place in my childhood since he was my first Batman.  My favorite tv show would be Batman The Animated Series.  It was a lot different from the other cartoons at that time.  I have two favorite Batman movies.  I like the animated movie Mask of the Phantasm and the Dark Night with Heath Ledger as the Joker.
Which actor so far has played a better Bruce Wayne/Batman in your opinion?
I have two answers for this question too.  I will say Christian Bale and Kevin Conroy.  Christian Bale played a really good Batman in the live action movies minus the voice.  With all of the animated shows and video games it’s hard not to say Kevin Conroy as a favorite Batman/Bruce Wayne.
 What makes a great table top game and what are some of your favorites?
For me a great tabletop game has to have two things.  It has to have a setting that I will enjoy playing with.  It also has to have a game system that works for me.  An easy system is a plus but it’s not good if it doesn’t support the theme.  I hope that makes sense.  My favorite right now is Call of Cthulhu.  I love the setting zf6and the system is great for me.  My family likes to play it too.  Some of my other favorites are Fiasco, World of Darkness, Dread, and Mutants & Masterminds.
Who inspired you to be the geek you have become? how so?
I don’t know if any one person inspired me.  I was always the different one in my family and my parents supported me in anything I wanted to do.  My friends have also helped me get into most of my geeky hobbies.  Without them I might not have gotten into gaming,anime, and podcasting.
 
 If you could change one thing about the geek/nerd culture what would it be and why? 
If I could change one thing it would have to be for all the judgmental people out there to stop.  I see it all the time where geeks have to tests each other’s so called geek cred especially for girls.  I hate when guys call girls fake geeks because girls can’t be geeky.  If you wear a Batman shirt there will be somebody that asks if you are a real fan and asks what you know about Batman.  They also judge other people’s fandoms and call them stupid just because they themselves don’t like it.  We as geeks should be kind to other geeks and not hate.
 Tell my readers how they might find you
They can find me at these places
And email me at zerofortitude@gmail.com
zf3
Have a wonderful day and until my next interview! If your interested you can contact me via twitter @GeekyGamerchick (I deleted my @GameHuntress account) or shoot me an email at Thegamehuntress@gmail.com
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One Geekified Interview: Jeff

Welcome once again, We all know what time it is so lets just jump right in with this awesome interview with Jeff King Host of the All Us Geeks Podcast!! There will be links at the end. Be sure to hop onto twitter and follow @AllUsGeeks!

jeffTell us a little about yourself. Anything you would like to share.

I currently live in Minnesota, but I’m not a fan of winter, or most winter related activities (go figure). Before I found my current employer, I was a very nomadic person by nature. I lived all up and down the East Coast and various points in the Midwest as well. Sometimes I miss that, but there’s something to be said for employment security as well. ;-}

I have geek level passions for a variety of things: movies, television shows, board games, video games, music, reading (books and comic books), writing, podcasting, etc… I’ve been involved with helping start conventions and game organizations to assisting Fantasy Flight Games at Gen Con as a demonstrator and tournament assistant for the A Game of Thrones card game. There’s a reason my main podcast is about “All things geek.”

Tell us about your podcast All Us Geeks for those who haven’t listened?

I’ll give you the elevator pitch first.

All Us Geeks is co-hosted by Jeff King & Jordan Steinhoff and is the flagship podcast for the Geekcast Network, discussing board jeff3games, movies, television shows, books, comic books, Kickstarter, and all other aspects of geek culture. All Us Geeks also includes regular quarterly segments on LEGO and anime from contributing guest hosts. All Us Geeks explores all the geeky goodness out there. We’re here to give voice to your inner geek.

So at the core of the main podcast, we review tabletop games. But we’re also huge geeks on a variety of topics, so we cover as much of geekdom as we can. Those areas that we don’t have a lot of knowledge on; we encourage others to reach out to us to cover areas of geekdom we might not be knowledgeable about. So the quarterly anime segment is a local listener and friend of ours who is deep in the anime culture. The LEGO segment is a listener that reached out to us and it was definitely a genre we couldn’t talk about on our own. For the record, and for anyone that might see this, we would LOVE to have someone discuss cosplay; even if it’s just to come on for a single interview, but we’d love to turn that in to a quarterly segment as well.

We also have a stand-alone segment called The Game of Crowd Funding. This segment covers two things really: Every other week Sarah (listener turned podcaster) & I do a fantasy football league style draft pick for tabletop game projects on Kickstarter and match them up for points based on: Total number of backers, total money raised, and percentage overfunded. It’s our way to get the word out about projects, without just simply reading off the stats for each project. Beyond that, I also do interviews with past, present, and future Kickstarter project owners. We discuss those projects, the people behind the projects, and lessons learned going through the Kickstarter process.

 How did you come up with the idea for your show was there any specific shows that helped inspire you?

I’ve only sort of joked that the show started because I was sick as hell and on cold medicine! If you listen to some of the early shows, there were three of us hosting the show. These days it’s just two of us.

But the original idea came after attending Con of the North, one of our larger local gaming conventions. I got a serious case of con crud and had been knocking back a lot of Dayquil/NyQuil by the end of the convention. Michael, the host that’s not on the show at the moment, asked if I wanted to start doing video reviews for tabletop games. Michael and I had worked together in the past on an e-zine we put out for our local gaming organization and we both did written game reviews for that. So hopped up on cold medicine, parts of it sounded like a good idea to me, but I wanted nothing to do with video. So I chewed on the idea for a while and started researching the possibility of us doing a podcast instead. This was more in my wheelhouse, having some DJ experience in my past. I also talked to my fiancé about her thoughts on it and eventually brought the idea back to Michael and he agreed.

The core focus was always about reviewing games. But we basically approached it as letting people in on the conversations we have around the gaming table. So we also discuss comic books, books we’re reading, shows we’re watching, etc…

Jordan (aka The Canadian) came on as a guest during our 1.5 special episode. He enjoyed the interaction and the format so he never left. I think after 4 or 5 episodes, we finally stopped referring to him as a guest and made him a full co-host of the show. Side note: The podcast is also about Jordan and I becoming friends, because we never really hung out prior to the podcast. I had actually just met him maybe once or twice before he came over the first time.

The Game of Crowd Funding came about because I talked Kickstarter a lot on the main podcast, but my other co-hosts really didn’t follow Kickstarter like I did. So I took that out and gave it a life of its own.

Ironically, we have started offering videos on YouTube now as well.

As for shows that inspired or helped us; I have to be honest. It wasn’t until well after we started a podcast that I started listening to any. So, while the other two did listen to podcasts and maybe had some ideas coming in; we never openly referenced another show while building the original framework. We really just approached it as, “We’re having this conversations around a table anyway; grab some microphones and record!”

 If you could give a geek from this generation advice what would you say?

It is a HELL of a time to be a geek! Seriously, look at the comic book movies we’re getting today. The board game industry has had a great boom. Video games and consoles are doing amazing things. The list goes on. So my advice would be embrace it!

And if a younger generation of geek is still getting slammed by peer and social pressure: We did too. And you know what? We’re still here. We still love all things geek-related. And some of us make decent money from following our geek passions.

I’ve always said, that I try to live life without regrets or playing the “if only I changed x” because everything I’ve gone through. Every experience, positive and negative, I’ve had in life has led me to who I am today and what I’ve accomplished. Yeah, things suck in the moment. Stress and drama will attempt to overwhelm you. But once you make it over that hurdle, and you look back from a distance, you almost laugh at how the world didn’t end like you thought it would. So again, if you’re a geek: Embrace it!

 Who helped shape you into the geek you are today? How/Why

There is only one person I’ve ever given credit to for allowing me to explore being me: My grandmother. She’s no longer with us, but she was in many ways a mother, father, and best friend to me.

I’ve told the story on my old blog, and I think I shared it during our 30 days of podcasting. But my grandmother was the only person that ever truly allowed me to be me. I use to spend summers with her, and looked forward to it every summer. She put up with every obsession I ever had with a smile on her face and a sincere attempt to be interested and learn about it.

I went through a huge dinosaur phase when I was a kid. And she sat through every lecture, every name, every fact I memorized. I really loved chess when I was younger too, and she sat through learning (and in some instances relearning) chess so we could play it together while I was there.

I was staying with my grandmother when I saw the red box Dungeons & Dragons set in the store. I was instantly intrigued and she saw that, so she bought it for me. I stayed up that entire night reading those rules and coloring in my dice; for those of us that remember when you had to color your own dice in with the provided crayon. I never looked back after that.

Every time I game in some form, I feel like I’m using a gift that my grandmother gave to me.

 In your opinion what makes a good horror flick

Can I just go with when you see it you’ll know it? I can’t believe how hard of a question this is for me to truly answer.

jeff4So one of the other podcasts I do is a monthly review of a horror movie with another game reviewer; Cyrus Kirby (aka Father Geek). It’s sort of our passion project that allows us to explore and discuss another geek passion we both share. I know we’ve praised movies and I know we’ve trashed movies, and in the moment I know why, but I don’t know if I’ve ever sat down and made myself think of the generic why one way or the other for myself.

I would maybe say, overall “fun factor” when watching it. I can really enjoy a badly made b-movie if it is so over the top that it comes back around to just being fun to watch. These are the type of movies that maybe you break out at a Halloween party and crowd watch.

For general viewing and enjoying, I’m not looking for Oscar level jeff6performances or near perfect plot/writing. But the actors in it should do a great job of portraying the characters, the story should be decent, the pacing (this has become huge to me lately) should make sense and keep the story moving properly, and the effects need to work. Unfortunately, special effects can sometimes be where a movie gets dated the quickest. For instance, original Hellraiser is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. We reviewed it for the show, and I still love it but the special effects do not hold up well. It’s actually one of the movies that Clive Barker has been talking about remaking and I’m all for it. I want to see that story told with today’s special effects and Clive Barker at the helm.

 What kind of music do you listen to? How has your taste changed over the years?

I listen to just about every kind of music in some form or fashion. If something appeals to me, I’ll give it a shot. Some of that comes from DJing, some of it is just how I’ve always been. I’m usually drawn to something with an energetic beat. I’ve been known to “car dance” when a good song comes on.

My primary listening usually surprises people who don’t know me well. And that’s Hip Hop. Hip Hop makes up the majority of my music collection. New school, old school, it doesn’t matter.

As for changing over the years, it really hasn’t. I’ve often joked about that point I’m certain to reach (maybe I’ve already reached it and just don’t know it) where I’ll be “that weird guy” that’s listening to stuff that’s still current, instead of fading in to get off my lawn and let me only listen to what I did when I was younger!

That said, not DJing anymore and not listening to radio (replaced by podcasts) like I use to; I don’t really pick up as many new listens these days. So maybe I will fade off a bit because of that.

What was your favorite thing about being a DJ?

My answer is really a running theme for me: The people. Yeah, I love music. I love the emotion it can provoke. But DJing is a form of social interaction as well.

I have done DJ’d for parties, weddings, etc… I even once did a few skits working with a local radio station. But interacting with people, even getting pulled out on the dance floor, and seeing how you make people feel and react by the music you play; that was a cool thing.

I also got to work with some cool people over the years. I don’t know if you’ve ever attended a real party until you’ve attended an after work party by a bunch of DJs getting back from a job.

One of the things I don’t always miss: Party/Wedding DJing can pretty much take over your weekend life.

 How has social media impacted/improved your life? If it has affected you negatively how so?

I’ll be honest. Even as someone that works in an ever changing technology field; I originally avoided social media like the plague. This was from a personal perspective though; pre-podcast and other things.

I finally dipped my toe in when the gaming organization I co-founded was looking to have more of a social media presence. So we had an old MySpace page for a while. Eventually I reluctantly signed up for a personal Facebook account; because at that time it was the only way to create a fan page.

On the personal side; I eventually came around as I started reconnecting with a lot of people. I enjoy the interaction I get to have with those people I wouldn’t otherwise be in contact with.

From a promotional tool; it’s vital. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the podcast. It has allowed us to interact with listeners and it’s made it easy to not only promote what we do, but help promote other people. The majority of the people I interview for The Game of Crowd Funding probably came on because of some form of Twitter interaction first. I also am a chat moderator over at The Game Crafter. And that social interaction has been amazing as well. I know a lot of great designers because of our social media efforts. And I have a direct connection with many listeners that are willing to chat with us via social media and/or email.

Also, it took me awhile to warm up to Twitter (and I still curse it out at times) because of the 140 character limit. And my one hold out, which I keep getting invites to, is LinkedIn. I’ve always thought of it as social media for jobs/job hunting. I have no desire to leave my job and I’ve never seen the need to create an account. But I’ve heard there’s a thriving board game and podcast community there, so I might need to give in on that one someday; but not just yet.

. If you could change one thing about the geek/nerd culture what would it be and why?

I think one thing we’ve attempted on All Us Geeks is to give equal time to all forms of geek culture, even ones we don’t necessarily agree with. That’s why we started asking people to let us know if they had geek topics they’d be willing to cover in quarterly segments. And one of the reasons we really want to give time to cosplay.

So if I could change one thing, I’d maybe say the “elitism” that sometimes come out of thinking one subset of geek culture is better/greater than another subset. Some of us spent our early years being bashed for being geeks in general. Do we really need to bash each other?

I’m not saying you have to like it. There are parts of geek culture that I’m not a personal fan of either. But that doesn’t mean someone else can’t like it. And it doesn’t mean I have the “one true geekdom!”

And I’ve been guilty of bashing in the past as well. Who knows, on a bad day I might again. But I try not to, at least not seriously. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll know that Jordan and I are both smart asses. But we’re just as likely to point it inward as outward, and we sort of live by the philosophy of “we kid because we care.” Or I hope that’s Jordan’s philosophy, because if not we’ll have to have words when I’m done here!

 What are some of your favorite:

video games?

My favorite genre of video game is RPG and my least favorite is jeff5probably First Person Shooters.

Skyrim, The Witcher series, Grand Theft Auto series, Saints Row series, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, most fo the LEGO games, Alan Wake, Telltale’s The Walking Dead game, State of Decay, Banished, and Shadowrun Returns; just to name a few.

tabletop games?

Oh man, can I break down genre of tabletop games? And again, I’ll have to limit myself on each or we’ll be here forever.

RPG: Shadowrun, Savage World, Mutants & Masterminds, Contagion

Miniatures: I’m not really a big miniatures fan, but I loved Heroscape and wish someone would revive it. Also, I have a friend that puts together very impressive Starship Troopers games at conventions and I’ll play that when I get a chance.

Card Games: Android: Netrunner, Dominion, PULL!, Race for the Galaxy, Cards Against Humanity, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Board Games: Mage Wars, Descent, Last Will, Last Night on Earth, Escape: The Curse of the Temple, Disk Wars, Alien Frontiers, Hoplomachus

And in your opinion what makes a great game in both categories

Videos games come down to two things with me it seems: If it’s a lighter game, then is it enjoyable and easy enough to get in, play for a while, and get out. Or, if it’s a meatier game, can I enjoy and immerse myself into the story. I am willing to put up with things I don’t always enjoy if the story keeps me around. For example, Telltale’s The Walking Dead game; I strongly dislike the controls interface on that game, but it is such a good story that I just sort of deal with it as a necessary evil to play the game.

I play board games a lot for the social aspect. And I play a lot of different types of games. When we review games we look at the following categories: Components, Mechanics, Rules, Teachability, Theme, & Fun Factor.

Lighter games should not attempt to get too complex and should lend themselves well to the players being social while they are being played, but also not become multi-player solitaire either. Heavier games should have solid mechanics that make sense with the game and the chosen theme for the game. Rules should be readable and clearly understood. A complex game really needs a good rulebook, and a good reference/index for quick reference. If you can walk away from a game, thinking about what you did right and what you did wrong, and are planning for your next game; that’s a winning game in my book. If you also have a game where even if losing badly; people are smiling, laughing, and immediately want to play again that is a great game.

 Do you have any secret projects you’re working on that you could share with us?

Secret projects? We’re pretty open about what we’re working on at any given time. On All Us Geeks we are booked out for primarily “coming to Kickstarter” game reviews through early August. The same goes for my interview spots for people running Kickstarter projects. We’ll be mixing in our normal initial impression videos in there for certain games, and hopefully we’ll get a game play video or two in there as well. As far as the rest of the Geekcast Network: The horror movie review podcast, Two Bald Geeks, is in a bit of flux right now as I just moved and my co-host is moving this summer. But we’ve both gone on record as saying we want to keep that going. The Almost Podcast is going away simply because the Almost Human show didn’t get a second season. But you can still go check out the episodes if you were at all interested in Almost Human. Royal Monster Battalion, the first podcast to launch on the network that doesn’t have my voice attached to it, has launched and they’ve just recently put out their 3rd episode. I’ve been talking to another group that is looking to start a new podcast and if they do they will be part of the network as well. And my fiancé has come up with an idea for a podcast that we’d do together, so if we can flesh that out some more we might launch it.

I suppose one not well kept secret is that I do Kickstarter consulting on the side. At the moment it is mostly from referrals and people I already know through the podcast. But there are plans in the works to flesh out a website for it and make it a more publicly known service.

I’ve also had a few people approach me about either consulting on a game or outright co-designing one. I’m seriously considering one or two of them, but nothing is definitive on that front yet.

jeff 2How do you manage family, podcasting, and everything else you do? What’s your secret?

First and foremost: I have the most awesome fiancé ever! She understands the time commitments I make, because she has her own that she is actively involved in for our local community.

So one of the big tools we use is we have a shared Google Calendar. I actually have one that I share with my fiancé and one I share with my co-host. So my three golden rules are: 1. Always check the calendar before committing to anything. 2. Always add it to the calendar the moment it is confirmed. 3. If real life screws with #1 or #2, real life wins and adjustments should be made. The 3rd one is reserved for life events that we simply can’t work around.

Beyond those rules, if I think something is going to be a bigger time commitment, or I think something might be coming for our calendar that hasn’t been added yet, I confirm with my fiancé about the time commitment before agreeing to it. I also had to slot specific days for podcast recording. I try to stay within those days, unless I have something come up that makes it so I’m the one that needs to reschedule an interview, etc… If that happens, I might open up extra days for the person to select to reschedule. For a while, I was flexible with my scheduling and it almost got to a point where I never had time for myself or editing. So I scaled back and we looked at the calendar and chose days that I could easily say are recording days. My fiancé and I try to always take the shared calendar in to consideration whenever we plan things. We’ve had months where we’ve gone day by day on our shared calendar to see when we’d have time to cook a meal together. That doesn’t happen all the time, but it has been known to happen.

Jordan and I also compare schedules a lot, especially when trying to get in-game plays so we can feel comfortable enough to record a review. The calendar helps us know what reviews are coming up, what days we record, and when we need to have those game plays in by so we are able to record that review.

As far as editing goes, I’m a night owl by nature. So once my fiancé goes to bed on the weekends, I’m usually up editing until 4am or later. Or if she’s got one of her commitments, I’ll use that time to edit.

Pre-interview you mentioned you used to write what made you stop and do you ever plan to pick it back up?

Mostly for the same reason I don’t dabble in-game design as much as I use to: Time. At some point along the way I made a conscious decision that I enjoyed my small part in the gaming community via the podcast. A lot of people have been willing to let me play in their sandbox and I’ve really enjoyed the ride. I’ve met some amazing people and I’ve been able to introduce good people to one another and watch partnerships form because of it.

That said I do miss writing quite a bit. I have a few written game reviews sitting on the website in “draft” format that have been there for a long time. I don’t know if I can get back to them, but I also can’t seem to make myself delete them.

In the past, I had an English teacher take notice of my writing and she worked hard on my behalf to get some of my poetry published. That was a great feeling in a lot of ways. I’ve also had a story that I was actively writing several years ago, but I sort of lost my main cheerleader on that one that I was letting read it as I created it, and was constantly prodded for more pages.

When we did the e-zine, I wrote reviews and articles for that as well.

But right now, I believe strongly in the podcast format we’ve created. That has become my outlet. And All Us Geeks has led me towards starting the Geekcast Network to try to give other geek-centric podcasts a place to come together.

Will I ever pick it back up? If it calls to me, you bet. I’ve got plenty of stories to tell, it’s just a matter of what medium they decide they want to be told.

 What comic books/books interest you?

Comics: Bedlam, Crossed: Badlands, Fanboys vs. Zombies (except the ending, I hated the ending), Rat Queens, Saga, Sex Criminals, Superior Spider-Man, Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth, & The Waking

Books: A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin & The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. I read a lot of other stuff, but those are the two I’m invested in at the moment.

If you could give up one geeky hobby which would you drop and what would you replace it with? 

This is a cruel, cruel question. I almost have to work backwards and play the process of elimination game. I can’t stop being a movie/television geek because I think my fiancé would disown me. Podcasting has been amazing and I’ve met a lot of cool people, so I can’t give that up. And since I primarily podcast about tabletop games, those stay as well. Also, I’d never give up the gift my grandmother gave me.

It almost seems like a cop-out, but I guess collecting movies. My movie & television show collection is in the thousands. I have backed off a little, but I still add to the collection on a regular basis. I don’t know if there’s anything I’d replace this with though. We just bought a house, so I’m not looking for extra avenues to spend money at the moment; those just find me on their own.

If I could give up a subset of a hobby, I’d happily give up all the editing I do for the podcasts. But I’d have to make sure it’s in good hands before I ever did that. But without editing I could probably at least start writing reviews again.

 What’s the best/worst experience you have had as a geek?

Best: There are a lot of good things from being a geek. I’ve met some awesome people. I’ve run gaming conventions and helped start gaming communities. I get emails and feedback off and on about helping people get through their day, or helping them make a decision about a game, because of the podcast. All of it is amazing and humbling to me. One of my favorite memories was from when we use to run a gaming picnic. We use to rent out an enclosed shelter, sell food, and teach people games. We had a grandmother and her two younger grandchildren, just out enjoying the park, come in and see what we were all about. I sat down with them and taught them a game. I saw the kids separate and learn other games from other members. They ate hotdogs and played games. Eventually, I saw the kids get back together with their grandmother and attempt to teach her a game they had just learned. To me that was an awesome memory. They weren’t going to join our organization, but we gave them a day in the park that was special and different. I thought that was one of the coolest things and I got to be a small part of it.

Worst: I spent a good portion of my childhood being the “odd person out” when it came to activities and hobbies. As a younger kid I was once told by a family member, with an angry and deadly serious tone, I should have been a girl because I liked to read so much.

 Growing up as a child were you a proud geek or were you the type to hide your geekiness to try to fit in?

Honestly, I just was. I never tried to hide my passions. I was also one of those kids that had friends on all sides. So that meant I had a fair amount of friends, but I could never be considered popular because I didn’t stay within one group. I had my share of fights growing up, but I also wasn’t defenseless. There were a few times I earned some respect just for standing my ground.

I once ran a secret Dungeons & Dragons game for two of the popular kids. It was sort of funny. They enjoyed the hell out of it at the time, but no one was to know. Shhh…

What made you start coding? Do you do it on a regular basis and what advice could you give other coders?

Again, you have to love my grandmother. She bought me my first computer. Also, computer related classes had just started to trickle in to schools. I took every class I could. I also started grabbing books along the way and learning different things. I use to combine hobbies too. Like I use to code mIRC script to make things like RPG-bots that could be used to roll dice, talk like NPCs, etc… in chat. I got in to web design and web hosting for a while. These days, I don’t code as much as I would like, but my job is in IT. I’m more of a problem troubleshooter and software support person these days, but we do have a couple of languages that we get to code in from time to time.

I don’t think I have much advice that most people who like to program don’t already know. If you’re doing it as a hobby, just keep at it and keep learning. Dig in to code and see what makes it tick. If you can combine passions, that’s even better. I’ve written scripts, databases, and websites all based around various hobbies and interests. It helped to focus what I was trying to work on. I wrote the entire registration system for our old gaming convention from scratch because I knew exactly what I wanted it to do, and not do, based on experiences with other conventions.

If you’re looking to do it as a profession, get the degree. I got lucky and was around when just knowing a program language was enough. I got my degree after I had my job. But these days, a lot of employers won’t hire you without the degree and possibly certain accreditations. It’s worth putting in the time to give yourself any edge possible in the job market.

 Tell my readers how they can find you!

The easiest thing to do is check out: http://www.allusgeeks.com

That contains all our social media links, podcast links, YouTube channel, contact form, etc…

You can also check out www.geekcastnetwork.com

Right now it’s just the links to find all the podcasts in the network, but that site will be growing and have a contact form as well for people who might be interested in joining the network.

jeff8

Watch Dogs: Act 1

Been too long since I have had any reviews of video games so the other day I decided to review my newest grab but instead of waiting to beat the whole game, I figured I would just review it by the acts! So lets start with Act 1!  No spoilers I promise

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Of course I had this game preordered! Honestly I almost cancelled my preorder because they were sketchy on a release day. Glad I voted against that idea because its a great game thus far.

Story wise I feel like it needs to pick up pace but I’m not even halfway done yet so I can’t get too impatient just yet! Aiden Pearce is a great protagonist just haven’t quite grasped what he’s all about just yet! I dig his character design and his voice!! (Noam Jenkins)

Controls are pretty easy but I must admit I still haven’t gotten them down fully but each time I play it gets a little easier.

Driving is a pain in the butt for me but that’s probably just me haha You should have seen me in Sleeping Dogs hahaha I was terrible took me forever to get good!

Hacking is super fun and super exciting plus it hasn’t been too difficult. Games like Deus Ex gave me more of a hassle when it came to hacking but not watch dogs. But I am sure each hack I do is gonna get a bit harder as I go along throughout the game.

You can hack people on the street, take money from them, hack traffic lights so people run into each other, pull up barriers and other grest stuff maybe I’ll be a genius hacker one day!!

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Be sure you play the Digital Trips they are extremely fun so far the obly one I have done is SPIDER TANK! You terrorize Chicago in non other than a giant spider tank!! I must check out the other trips!!

That’s all for now Enjoy!!

X-Men Days of Futures Past

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Another awesome X-Men movie if I do say so myself! Bryan Singer does it again. I know some may not agree but I enjoy Singer!

Right off the back this film grabs you and pulls you into an awesome fight sequence, which was done very nicely if I do say so myself!  Throughout the whole film there was more great fights between mutants and Sentienals, mutants and mutants, and of course the constant struggle between Mutants and Humans. I know I will be coming back for more once this film is available to buy!

There are also great laughs along the way! You may or may not see Wolverines Buns 😉

I kind of like how there really wasn’t any romances involved to heavily anyways. There of course is the continued feelings after the events that took place in First Class between Charles, Raven, Hank and Eric.

I don’t feel like Wolverine took over the show, don’t get me wrong I love Hugh Jackman I just feel like this movie was less about him and more about Charles struggle to get his mind in the right place. 

You should definitely see this movie and give it a chance whether you like Singers universe.  Look forward to what he does next with this franchise. 

Side note: Channing Tatum for Gambit? Seriously? Barf!!
That’s all folks. 

25th Birthday Shenanigans

Enjoy some of my birthday photos!

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I feel pretty oh so pretty

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25 baby!!

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Goofy girls! Girls are Girls we have a good time! 🙂

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Thank you Tina, JR & Braxtin. Ok squealed like a little kid.

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Thank you brother for the next book in the Divergent series!

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Me & Natasha!! 🙂 ♡♥♡♥

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I appreciate all the love I got today via Facebook & my Twitter Page!!

Stay tuned for the return of Movie Club with a new format and my geeky interview with Jeff King from the All Us Geeks Podcast.

Inspirational: Fireproof

fireproof_desktop3_1280Monday night we were talking about families and how its important that a well established family has good communication. Our roommate mentioned this movie (which we found on Netflix) and said how it had a really great message to it and that we should watch it as soon as possible. So last night before passing out we decided to turn it on and check it out. Boy am I glad that I did. Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow.

Fireproof is about a husband and his wife who seem to have fallen out of love with each other and even at times can’t stand to be around each other. They fight and fight, getting into screaming matches over the dishes, bills and occasionally his choices of internet sites. Caleb goes to his father and tells him that his marriage is over and that his wife never respects him. The father then ends up giving him this book that has a 40-day- step-program to fixing his sons marriage.

This movie did have some religious aspects to it but it wasn’t really preachy. I ended the movie with tears gushing from my eyes, Fireproof is a movie that everyone should watch because I strongly believe that you will take at least one thing from it. The message was clear to me and it makes me want to keep my happy marriage just that happy. We all know that there is temptation in us all to maybe look at someone outside of your marriage, for an example but the thing to remember is to never act on that temptation. Take the time to reflect on what you’re contributing to the relationship and if you’re affecting it negatively try to find some way to make it more positive.

Hope that maybe it will bring a tear to your eyes!! Hopefully I’m not the only one to cry! lol

Gameboard of the Gods

Check out this awesome new blog by my friend Stephanie! U can learn more about her from my latest Geekified Interview!

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FINALLY finished this book last night. It took me two weeks to read. The most I’ve ever spent reading a book.

I was excited to read this because I LOVED Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy Series. Well, I wasn’t as impressed with this book. To me, she does not explain things very well. I was so lost for the first half of the book, not a lot made sense. I almost didn’t finish reading it; however, I’m glad I did. After I got through the the first 200 pages or so, the rest of it was smooth sailing. The second book, The Immortal Crown, comes out May 29th; a week from tomorrow. I am excited to read that book now that I know what’s going on in the series.
Have you read Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead? What were your thoughts?

Btw: ONE WEEK UNTIL CITY OF HEAVENLY…

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