Robert Wm. Gomez's

Scarecrow Contest Entry

Medusa ScarecrowThis weekend the family dragged me to a scarecrow building contest. This is a contest intended to allow kids to be creative and show off their stuff as budding young artists. Of course, my wife decided it would be a great opportunity to kick some underaged-art-noob butt. Pictured here is her winning entry in the category "most likely to scare a crow."

The Exciting Sounds of Model Road Racing by Phantom Surfers, The (9/10)

Format: 
CD

This is probably only the second record ever made of instrumental surf music devoted to the hobby of slot car racing. The first was the 1965 classic, The Go Sound of the Slots by the Revells. As usual, the production quality is absolute crap but the schtick quality is top-notch. For the most part these are surf standards with slot car noises and the occasional slot car terminology vocal line. A handy glossary is provided in liner notes in case you don't know what a turn marshall or flutter finger is.

Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian by Petty Booka (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Cutesy ukulele pop from Japan. Half the songs are just the two girls, their ukes and some sweet vocal harmonies. The rest of the songs are more fleshed-out with a full honky-tonk backing band.

Futuremuzik by Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra (10/10)

Format: 
CD

Peter Thomas' arrangements live somewhere between the wacky space-age pop of Esquivel and the brassy action movie scores of John Barry. Here is a collection of his soundtrack music from various German television show from the 60s. I love the crazy sound effects and vocal instrumentation. This is some swinging stuff. A really great CD!

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (6/10)

After the first three rousing volumes of the Song of Fire and Ice series, this book is a huge disappointment. I get that it's really only half of book four in the series, but even if you set aside the fact that it focuses on way too much on new characters and points of view (as a reader, I  really only want to hear about the Stark kids and maybe Tyrion), the character arcs really don't seem to go anywhere. I am assuming the book is more of a set up for future events and I may grow to care about the Martells and Ironmen.

Buy My Art!

After more than a dozen years of maintaining a personal Web site, I have finally decided to monetize this thing (well, okay, that doesn't count the Google ads in the sidebar, but those barely earn any money anyways). I have gone through my gallery and enabled a PayPal shopping cart system to take orders for my art. Currently, there are about twelve prints for sale. So, start shopping now!

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (10/10)

I had thought that this was the conclusion of the entire Song of Fire and Ice series, but aparently this is book three of seven. In any event, the story picks up right where A Clash of Kings ended and then proceeds to barrel forward with a renewed energy that seemed to be missing in the second book. The main story is nowhere near done, but many of the characters finally seem to reach a major goal/pay-off in the end. Onward into A Feast for Crows!

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (9/10)

Not quite as gripping as the first book in the series, but Martin maintains much of the same level of quality throughout this second novel. I guess I am am just disappointed that many of the story lines do not reach a satisfying resolution. A Storm of Swords eventually makes up for that shortcoming.

The Conduit on Nintendo Wii (7/10)

The Conduit - Cover

The Conduit is one of the few games for the Wii that makes an honest attempt to appeal to hardcore gamers. It boasts graphics that are about as good as you can get on the Wii's dated hardware, online multiplayer, and lots of first-person shooting and killing. Unfortunately, the game comes across more as a tech demo rather than a truly compelling action game. Don't get me wrong, the game can be fun and the Wii control scheme is about as close as you are going to get to the twitch responsiveness of a PC based FPS, but it suffers from uninspired level design and a by-the-book game plot: An alien invasion? Ya don't say. Government conspiracies? Who'da thunkit? This game had a lot of potential, and I hope the developers will concentrate a little more on variety and story for the sequel.