Sunday, December 25, 2016

Tumblr Doodles 24/12/16

The first of two freshly-posted festive doodles from my Tumblr. Happy holidays, everyone!

For more doodley nonsense, check out

Friday, December 23, 2016

Cooking: JiliK's Pork, Onion and Apple Stuffing

With Christmas now an inevitability, I'll shortly be whipping up another batch of the stuffing I've been perfecting over the last few years, ever since I overthrew the stodgy bread and onion stuffing that had been a mainstay at our family's Christmas dinner since the 90's. This is a much more flavoursome, meaty and moist stuffing, one that tastes great cooked separate from the turkey, which is a huge bonus because goodness knows, there's no way I'm getting elbow deep into that thing. :D

Here's what you'll need:
  • 5 large onions
  • 5 bramley apples
  • 5 large sticks of celery
  • 700g pork sausage meat
  • 550g breadcrumbs approx.
  • A handful each of fresh parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage OR 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Sorry about the quality of some of these photos. These are all basically spy pics snuggled out of the kitchen while nobody was looking. With it being Christmas, there are inevitably family members hovering around any time I'm making this - ones whose very minds would shattered by the concept someone hunching over food, carefully taking pictures to post on the internet. :D

1. So, first up, dice your onions and celery, making sure to top and tail everything and to peel the skin, and  any tough outer layers off the onions. You don't have to dice these super finely. Not where this recipe is headed anyway.

2. Next, take a generous chunk of butter and melt it in your pan. I'm using pure, salted butter here (the kind you get in 1lb/454g blocks, at least in in Ireland), probably about 2 tablespoons (hey, I never said this would be healthy :D). Any type of butter (or oil) should do the job okay though, but you'll probably need to add some more salt later.

3. Add your diced onions and celery to the pan and soften them over a low to medium heat, stirring regularly. You don't want them to get burned, or even browned if you can avoid it, just soft.

4. Once your veggies are soft, take them out of the pan and set them aside for the moment

5. Next, peel and dice up the apples. Add another 2 tablespoons of butter or so to the pan and let it melt.; then add the apples. Again, cook them over a low to medium heat until they're soft, stirring regularly.

 Pre-chopped. I'm using my own herbs from the garden here. The sage (bottom) I've actually had in the freezer since the summer. Come December, sage leaves are hard to come by but I find this is an okay workaround.

6. If you're using fresh herbs, before you take the apples out, chop up your herbs finely, stripping the rosemary and thyme from their stems before you start. Then add them to the pan with the apples and let them cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

7. Take your apples out of the pan and set them aside for the moment. Now, add another well, let's say tablespoon of butter this time (the sausage meat will be fatty already so you won't need as much), let that melt and add the sausage meat to the pan.

Tee he!

8. Cook the sausage meat through over a low to medium heat once again, stirring more regularly this time because it'll burn faster than either than the apples or veg.

9. When the sausage meat is cooked, take it out of the pan and set it aside too. It's time to bring everything together...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Den Magazine Issue 9 - December 1994

It's been a while since I scanned of these, but just in time for the holidays, I present the Christmas 1994 Den Magazine for your viewing delight. In this issue: All the hot scoops about Nightmare Before Christmas, and Nintendo's replacement for Super Mario Kart (???); searing festive insights from Ant & Dec; the gripping conclusion of The Work's A-Z of the Human Body; an even less cool environmentally-themed super hero than Captain Planet; a crossword that I'm pretty sure is unfinishable, despite this issue carrying the lamest apology for last months's one also being unfinishable; and, for those looking to chill out at Christmas, boy, does this magazine have the Bon Jovi and East 17 VHS tapes for you!

Like last time, I've bundled this issue into a CBZ file for downloading and comic viewer apps, and for the less committed Den Magazine fans out there (boo! hiss! unthinkable!), I've also made an imgur gallery this time. Please enjoy.

Download (CBZ, 63 MB) | Imgur Gallery

And now, a bunch of recycled stuff from this issue that I already posted on Tumblr. :D

So, who wants to win a fantastic CD-I system?….. Anyone?


Searching for that perfect look for the holiday season? While also being trapped in 1994, and a child? Boy, have I got you covered!

I love how defiantly one of the kids must have protested the outfit he had chosen for him for it to get mentioned twice. Rory Murphy: truly the hero The Den Magazine needed.

Also, what’s with the quotation marks around The Prodigy but nothing else? *air quotes* Dance music? Whatever, kid. Now Boyzone: there’s real talent for you.

Dad jokes! You know, for kids!

You know, it’s only by scanning in these old magazines that I’ve been reminded of the travesty that Bird’s Double Thick Milkshake Mix is no longer a product. I never had the chocolate one much, but hot damn, the strawberry was freakin’ delicious, genuinely thick, AND you got to use a plastic shaker to mix it up like a cocktail. This was highly exciting stuff for an eleven-year-old fat kid. :D

Tragically, I don’t think this was actually available for very long though, maybe just a year or so, but it certainly left an impression - so much so that I’ve been desperately craving some ever since I laid eyes on this.

I wonder if thin Angel Delight would would do the trick. I’m guessing that’s pretty much what this was anyway…… Don’t judge me!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Not-so-live-impressions: Emergency NX Reveal Edition


Well, maybe. With this being billed as a preview trailer, and a three minute one at that, I'm not really expecting a whole lot out of it. They'll show the console, or at least the main component of it. I think we'll get the final name here, at least a definitive release month, and a bunch of design philosophy / marketing spiel from Reggie. Ultimately, I think this is going to leave a lot of aspects of the machine up in the air until a later date. Not because there's any good reason for that. Because Nintendo. :D

Probably no new games popping up here either. If they need to show something in action, they already have Breath of the Wild. With such a short running time, I don't even think they'll be squeezing any kind sizzle reel in here.

Well, let's get into it:

  • 0:03 - Boy, YouTube, you really know how take the excitement out of these kind of things. :D So it's the Nintendo Switch, releasing in March 2017. It's a better name than Wii I think, even if it is kind of generic and probably has an very silly concept behind it - one I'm sure Reggie will relay to us in the not too distant future.
  • 0:08 - Boom! Breath of the Wild. Man, I'm good! :D Also, TV connectivity. Hooray! I'm guessing we're about to see this dude take the game on the go, thus blowing everyone's minds.
  • 0:13 - Controller confirmed. Looks kind of Gamecube-ish. Or am I crazy?
  • 0:18 - Yes! Do want.
  • 0:20 - "My god, it's full of moblins!"
  • 0:22 - "Dog problems? Try Nintendo Switch." Yeah, decent logo I think. Is it just me, or does the "Nintendo" here use a similar font to the "Nintendo" on the Gamecube logo. Man, I really have Gamecube on the brain tonight.
  • 0:26 - So, this is it: the dock. Well, it certainly won't be mistaken for a Wii peripheral. :D Eh, it's not the most elegant-looking thing, but it could certainty be worse. *cough*PS4 Pro*cough* Two USB ports on the front there, if I'm not mistaken.
  • 0:28 - A better look at the controller. Uh oh, that looks like a split d-pad on left. People aren't going to be happy.
  • 0:31 - So you slide the sides of the controller into the sides of the handheld to remove it? That's kind of wild, but kind of neat. That's definitely a split d-pad though, plus two analog sticks and four face buttons. Eh, I think we'll be okay. I see a button on the side as well, across from the left analog stick. Is that ZL or are there three bottons in the shoulder area of this?
  • 0:35 - Breath of the Wild! On a handheld! My mind is blooooooooown! If only there hadn't been so may leaks befooooooooorehaaaaaaaaand.
  • 0:45 - Sitting on the seat of a bench? Not for this guy. He's able to play big boy games on the go. He's an individual. He operates outside the restrictive conventions of society. Also, has this been filtered through the Wii U's NES emulator? Because it's really fuckin' dark? :D
  • 0:46 - If the footage here is to be believed, this looks like a real improvement over the quality of the Wii U pad's screen. Oh, just noticed the plus and minus buttons at the edges of the screen. Cute!
  • 0:55 - Cartridges confirmed. And is that a headphone jack? Uh! In your face, Apple! :D
  • 0:59 - Well here's a scenario that's never going to play out in real life. Side note: freakin' ripped jeans again? Why?! What's wrong with you people? :D
  • 1:16 - Man, that window seat guy is just staring into the abyss. :D So again, the leaks were true: you can detach the controller bits and play on the screen Wiimote and Nunchuck style. Why ever you'd want to, who knows - this guy's got to look like the biggest doufus on the plane right now.
  • 1:25 - Oh snap! A wild classic controller appears, d-pad in tact and looking very PS4-ish.
  • 1:26 - Huh? Is this still Zelda? Looks like Skyrim.
  • 1:43 - Mario Kart! Looks like MK8. So the side controller bits will work as horizontal controllers too? I could see that being neat at the likes of PAX, or for kids on long car journeys. Not so much for freakin' One Direction here.
  • 2:01 - And I guess you can link up two Switches for four player stuff. I'm sure that'll get a bit of use in Japan for Monster Hunter. (And nowhere else.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pick-ups: So, XVMarketplace Had a Liqudation Sale

I may have gone too far in a few places.

"XVWhat?", you ask. As far as I can tell, they were an arm of Xtra-vision* that dealt in used (and ex-rental) games and DVDs. Hearing that they were liquidating their stock of PS3 and 360 games for €3 a pop, I hopped on to see if they had anything decent left. I was not left wanting, ending up with close to a hundred freakin' games by the time I was done. (I haven't even counted them yet!) Let's take a look.

*Kind of the Irish answer to Blockbuster, and doing just about as well at the moment. Yikes.

Somewhere Bobby Kotick is crying into a big pile of money. (Not because of this. Just in general. :D) With even used CoD games going for up to €20 still, €3 each was a steal for these. Having just played through the first Modern Warfare (Only the most current, cutting edge, tripe A games for me. As always.), and having quite enjoyed it (I guess I would have preferred it to be a little more open and a little less "cinematic", but damn, did it play well.), I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into these. Gears 2 and 3 less so, but like I said back at E3 time, they were €3; I couldn't resist! Haze, much like Perfect Dark Zero back in the day, I just need to know. I was a big fan of Free Radical's stuff in the early days; I need to see how it all fell apart, or hey, how Haze is actually a totally under-appreciated FPS gem. (It's not though, is it?)

More top-quality man-holding-gun cover art. With the exception of Quantum of Solace, this is all pretty well-regarded stuff. I do have a weird fascination with Bond games, so I had to grab that one no matter what though. Sadly they didn't have Blood Stone (RIP., Bizzare Creations). Quite interested to check out the 2009 Wolfenstein here - a game that's very much been overshadowed by The New Order, I think, but I remember the Giant Bomb guys at least liking it a fair bit. I think it's got some open world stuff too; should be interesting. Finally, Shadows of the Damned. Love me some Suda 51, not sure why I never got around to buying this back when it came out.

Yes! Finally I can weigh in that still-contentious Infamous v. Prototype debate. (Not even sure if Sony and Activision care at this point though. :D) Fleshed out my last-gen Rockstar collection a bit here too. After loving Read Dead, and being super bummed with the direction they took GTA IV, and even the DLC packs in, I'm not sure what to expect out of L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3. (Is it just me that finds that that guy holding the gun on the cover super out of place, and hilarious for some reason?)

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I hope is working, because it's one of the more scratched-up discs of the lot, but also one of the games I'm most looking forward to playing (even if I never did get around to firing up the original on Steam). Also, a bit of Clanc. Like I've probably mentioned before, I've always liked the idea of Splinter Cell; it's the strict stealth that's always put me off. My understanding is that Blacklist is old Splinter Cell for babies who like Assassin's Creed, so maybe this is finally the Splinter Cell for me. (To be fair, I still need to try Conviction though.)

I told you I went too far! Yep, I picked up some Kinect games. And I don't even own a Kinect. And I'm positive that I don't have enough room for one. AND why would I ever want to play Fable: the Journey in the first place!? I can't even refuse to sign the wall at this point, and just write "NOPE" across Peter Molenuux's big bald head. :D

I do own a Move though, and all the associated paraphernalia. Still trying to justify that purchase, I picked up The Shoot and Sports Champions. (Tragically, they were sold out of the Danny Trejo pièce de résistance, The Fight: Lights Out.) Hey, I'm no motion control hater, but the Move is also no Wii Remote. I've got it to work great as a pointer in the few light gun games they put out for it, but anything requiring other motions? Forget it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything, but I thought both Child of Eden and Kung Fu Rider controlled like trash with the Move.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Another Bloody Reblog: Pick-ups 12/02/16

Originally posted on JiliK's Tumblr.

Had a couple of hours to kill last week, so I ventured into a GameStop for the first time in ages. Expected to find a lot of last-gen stuff going for clearance prices. But nah, not so much. €11/€12 was about the norm. If you were after uDraw games for the Wii though, boy did they have you covered. Nevertheless, I turned the place over in search of bargains.

Pretty happy to have turned up Singularity and Syndicate for €3.99 each. Of the myriad of shooters last gen, these were two of the few that piqued my interest. Grabbed Resistance too for €1.99. Not expecting much from that, but eh, €1.99. And for ninety nine cents, I picked up a copy of the XLBA compilation disc, that I think shipped with units of the Xbox 360 Arcade unit. Not exactly a knock-out collection, Pac-Man CE aside, though I’ve always been a bit curious to try out Boom Boom Rocket. Plus, there’s a demo for Surf’s Up apparently, so that’ll be exciting.

From the small shelf of PSP stuff remaining (Pour one out for UMD Video, you guys. The only thing left: a sole copy of Family Guy: Blue Harvest. :D), I picked out Wipeout Pure for €1.99, and coming in at the same price, I rounded things off with Project Rub aka Feel the Magic: XY/XX. I actually had a DS on me for once, so I managed to play that for a bit afterwards while I continued to kill time. That game is gloriously weird. Where’s it been all my life?

Can you tell I’ve been on a bit of a Doctor Who kick lately? :D From a very rocky start with Series 1 of the new show a few years ago, I’ve come to really love Doctor Who. Now that I’ve finished Series 9 (A few dodgy episodes, but very strong overall, I though. Not too upset to see Clara go though. I just never liked her much. *runs*), I’m slowly making my way through the Third Doctor’s run, and it’s great. It’s not so easy to come by though. I’ve recorded every episode the Horror Channel have the rights to at the moment, but to watch the serials in order, I’ve had to resort to buying some of the DVDs, which do have some great extras, but cost-wise, they really start adding up after a while. To make things worse, a bunch of them seem to be out of print now. Come on BBC, you’ve been milking cash out of these discs for aeons. How about putting together some larger, more budget-friendly sets? And I mean a seasons’s worth of serials for a reasonable price, not two for a few pounds less.

Also decided that I’m going to finally take the plunge watch Torchwood, which now that it’s left Netflix, is only possible on disc it seems. Haven’t started it yet and I’m not quite sure what to expect, to be honest. I really like Captain Jack as a character, but generally, people seem kind of down on the show, aside from the two mini-series. No turning back now though.