POF Archive: September 2013

I have been writing this drivel for decades. Browse through my archives by clicking the links below.

Let it Come Down
Spiritualized - CD (10/10)

I was never much into this band when they were making waves in the late nineties. At some point I decided to give Ladies and Gentleman we Are Floating in Space a listen and I was hooked... at least for a little while (recent releases have been a bit ho-hum). I think we can safely say that on Let it Come Down the band has completely abandoned the "space rock" sound that defined every release before it. There are a few moments of repetitive structure, but for the most part these are longer format pop songs. I really love this record. In a strange way, this record reminds me of Pet Sounds. Now, I…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 10:36

Let's Tell a Story Together by Jimmy Maher (8/10)

I'm a regular reader of Jimmy Maher's blog The Digital Antiquarian which documents the history of the early days of home computing with a focus on gaming and interactive fiction. This ebook sticks to the interactive fiction side of things and gives a well-rounded overview of the major players from the days of Zork/Adventure all the way to Inform 7 and the modern IF hobbyists. I really like reading about interactive fiction much more than actually playing the games. I am terrible at text adventures. My attention span is just too small. However, I find the story behind the classics and the all…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 22:39

Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher Masoch (7/10)

After seeing Jess Franco's movie of the same name, I noticed that this ebook was available for free at Amazon. The book and the movie have nothing to do with each other. This is the story of a man so devoted to a woman that he'd rather be her slave than ever be apart from her. I guess this is where the term masochism comes from? It's not as dirty one might expect. Instead its a surprisingly engaging and well-written tale that is, however, completely unbelievable in its premise.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 22:16

Break Like the Wind
Spinal Tap - CD (4/10)

I so much wanted this record to be more than it was. The original Spinal Tap soundtrack was legendary and, even if this didn't quite live up to the original, it was destined to be great, right? Turns out, Spinal Tap's music detached from the comedic sketches becomes what it originally set out to parody: boring hair metal. I always felt Spinal Tap was only a metal band because metal happened to be popular at the time. A Spinal Tap record in the nineties should have been about the band trying to make it as a grunge band and then failing miserably. The CD's only moment of redemption is the…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 14:19

The Last Hydronaut

This print was created to be used as a back cover illustration for Nonagon's The Last Hydronaut EP. After incorporating the image into the layout I editioned the print to be given out as a freebie with the first fifty copies of the record.

Nonagon - The Last Hydronaut - Back Cover

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 09:18

Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PC (8/10)

Deus Ex, Detroit Has a Skyline Too...

While Invisible War was not without its merits, it really lacked the depth of the original Deus Ex. This third installment attempts to amend some of that and bring the series a little closer to its RPG, stealth-centric roots. For the most part it succeeds. The levels offer all sorts of play options and paths. Also, the third-person perspective stealth system works much better than the hiding in shadows ever did in the original game.

Personally, I think the original is a tad bit overrated. I attempted to play it a again before diving into Human Revolution and found it doesn't really hold up…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 22:38

My Pet Fish
Malka Spigel - CD (8/10)

Being as it's the same two people making music, My Pet Fish is a nice complement to Colin Newman's, Bastard. Both records combine guitars with loops and electronics back with throbbing dub-style bass lines. Malka's vocals play a much larger part here but the overall feel is the same.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 20:53

Now I Got Worry
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The - CD (8/10)

This record doesn't reach the level of greatness that was established on Orange. There's a level of polish or, dare I say, professionalism on many of the tracks that just lose sight of what makes the Blues Explosion the raw and fun band it can be. They've been hanging out with Beck for too long.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 15:42

The Ajenda Playroom

The Ajenda Playroom

This is a wrapper I created to launch promotional animations for Ajenda Interactive Media. The idea was that you could scroll through the dozens of animations we created and launch them from this page. Unfortunately, we only had one animation to feature at the time this was launched. Be sure to click everything you see.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 09/11/2013 - 19:14 in

Rambo: First Blood Part II on Apple ][ (5/10)

Rambo: First Blood Part II by Angelsoft

This is another game, like Dream Zone, that I owned for years (decades actually) and was never able to finish. Now, thanks to the Internet and instant walk-through availability, I finally was able to continue past the point where I was stuck nearly twenty years ago. I had originally bought this game thinking I was in for some intense, four-color, commie-killing run-and-gun action on my Apple ][+. Imagine my disappointment when I got home, popped in the disk, and discovered that this was the text adventure adaptation of the film. Having bought this game at a B. Dalton's book store in the mall…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 09/11/2013 - 17:29

Is Anybody There?

Okay, how about this: I just spent around a week updating this site and, in order to celebrate(?), I'm going to hold a little contest. I get a little trickle of traffic every day and I am always wondering if anyone actually reads this stuff. So here's the plan, I will send an original print, The Politics of Against, to the first person to send me an email using my contact form with the subject "Send Me Free Art!" Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address on the form and I will contact you if you are the winner. Check back here and I will post in the comments if the prize has been claimed. This contest ends midnight CST on Sunday, Sept. 15. Ready... set... go!

The Tiny Bang Story on PC (6/10)

The Tiny Bang Story

The Tiny Bang Story is a small puzzle game that I think is designed more for younger players. Most of the game-play is in the vein of I Spy and other hidden object games. You look at a wonderfully illustrated setting and then click around trying to find a given number of similar items like apples, toy boats or gears. Once you have found enough objects a puzzle is unlocked. Complete all the puzzles and then you move on to the next setting.

I didn't find the puzzles that difficult. Actually, the only parts of the game where I got stuck were a couple of the hidden image sets. Here's a hint: click…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 09/08/2013 - 22:17

Upgrading to Drupal 7

Well, I've finally decided to upgrade this site to the latest verison of Drupal. The actual process of migrating to version 7 wasn't too bad. The majority of issues came from Views and fields not being named or typed the same way they were in Drupal 6. Changing all the views by hand was not that difficult and it allowed me to do a bit of how cleaning withing views. Views in Drupal 7 is sooooo much better!

The biggest challenge has been recreating the site's theme. Although the general look and feel is more or less the same as before, I have made some visual tweaks here and there. The biggest change has been the fly-out menu and the switch to a responsive, mobile-friendly layout. I'm still working on getting that finished, but for the most part the site looks good on just about any size…

Pages o' Fun Version 5.5 - 2011-2015

This is yet another iteration of the previous design. By 2011 I had a much better understanding of how templating worked in Drupal and made a somewhat slicker template that adhered to 960 grid-style layout. Sometime during this period I did an upgrade to Drupal 7 and had to reworked the layout to be compatible with 7. In the process I made the site mobile-friendly with a responsive design.

Pages of Fun 2011 Design

Videodrome (7/10)

Videodrome always seems to turn up on lists of the best horror films of all time. While it was visually and conceptually interesting, I was not that enthralled by it as much as I thought I would be. Whatever appeal it has lies in its art film style. There's a dreamy and confusing narrative that has more in common with Mulholland Drive or other puzzle movies than with a straight-up fright film. I may revisit this movie again. I suspect it gets better on multiple viewings.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 12:25