New Geek on the Block
Technology, Sci-Fi, Gadgets, & Geekery.

Dec
09

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted anything here in a while, that’s because I’ve been testing out a new site that I’m building using Squarespace.com. If you haven’t heard of it check it out, it’s extremely customizable and really slick once you get over the small learning curve.

Check out the beta version of my new blog at http://greg2point0.squarespace.com/

I’ll probably be remapping the domain newgeekontheblock.com to my squarespace site once I get a few more things worked out.

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Nov
29

A few years ago I was working for a small Southern Ontario newspaper and was asked to write an article about what highschool kids wanted for Xmas. Needless to say this didn’t excite me at all, and instead I convinced the editor a better idea would be to write about the increased security at my former highschool and the ethics of security cameras.
Now, no longer binded by the constraints of an editor I’m actually willfully writing a holiday gift guide of my own. Whodathunkit!?!
I’ve also noticed a lot of the gift guides online are ridiculous in that they list stuff well beyond most peoples budget, I’m going to pick things that are affordable (no Macbook Pros or Canon EOS 5D Mark II on this list).

ingenuitea_starter_set
For the tea lover in your circle of friends/family a Starter Set from Adagio.com is perfect. This set comes with the IngenuiTEA pot (which I’ve praised before), a guide to tea, and a sample pack of four teas (either black, green, flavor, or herbal). Adagio sells only the highest quality teas and tissanes which any tea lover will appreciate.
http://www.adagio.com/misc/no_risk.html?SID=de4b172f9a99e2b6a986a8020dfef81e

buy-and-redeem-gifts-from-audiblecom-gift-center-audible-audiobooks-audiblecom
For the booklover on the go a gift certificate to Audible.com is an excellent present which allows them to choose from any of the thousands of audio books available from Audible. You can get gift certificates ranging from $10 to $250 depending on how much you are willing to spend/love.
http://www.audible.com/adbl/site/GC/GiftCertificates.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes

incase-slider-for-iphone-3g-matte-green-apple-store-canada
For the iPhone user the Incase Slider for iPhone 3G is a cool case for protecting your beloved Jesus phone. Personally I haven’t been using a case for my iPhone (most of them are ugly as sin, or big and clunky) but the Incase Slider actually looks good, and is thin enough that it doesn’t add too much weight, or width to you phone.
http://store.apple.com/ca/product/TU063VC/A?n=iphone2&fnode=MTY1NDA0NA&mco=Mjg1MDYzNg it’s available for $34.99 from Apple.ca/store

itunes-gift-cards-apple-store-canada
For music and movie lovers I recommend iTunes gift certificates. Nothing is worse than getting a CD or DVD of something you just aren’t into, and seriously who buys physical media anymore? Let them choose what they want to listen by getting a gift certificate to the iTunes store. They come in $15, $25, and $50 donominations (and can be ordered online with free shipping or you can pick them up at most drug stores ie: Shoppers Drugmart).
http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/home/giftcards/itunes

yhst-79908670051176_2025_2078878
Do you know someone who looks comical T-shirts or webcomics? Is their apartment lacking wall ornaments? I suggest picking something up from the Hijinks Ensue Store, where there are a variety of shirts and comic prints available for resonable prices (plus artist Joel Watson is awesome and you should support him). http://www.hijinksensuestore.com/

Nov
27

Remember when you used to actually get excited for the holidays? In those days Christmas was something to look forward to: presents, candy, food, and a couple weeks off school to play with your sweet new toys. These days the holidays just stress me out, so in the spirit of not being a total downer I composed this list of the most awesome toys/gifts I received in my younger years.

  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Thrower


TMNT was basically the coolest thing ever, and when I was young nothing was more awesome than getting a new TMNT action figure or accessory. The Pizza Thrower was a small vehicle the one of the four turtles could sit on, it had moving wheels and shot tiny pizza projectiles. This thing was powered by a pair of D Cells and was LOUD, it seriously sounded like a vaccum or a blender. When I was turned on it would move forward and if you hit a button on the side it sent a barrage of plastic pizzas at a surprising speed. And if you were anything like me you didn’t use this to knock down just action figures. I’d run around the house with this things blasting the shit outta everything: pets, parents and fine china. Did I mention that the pizzas were made of hard plastic, and propelled by an electric motor? Getting hit in theĀ  face with one of these wasn’t like a Nerf dart, it hurt.

  • Ghostbusters Firehouse

I remember sitting on the floor of my grandparents house this large present in front of me, anxious to open it and see what treasures it contained. Well it turns out it was one of the coolest action figure playsets EVER. Not only was it almost 2 feet tall, and had a firepole that Egon, Ray, Winston or Peter could actually use to get to the lower level, it also came with a jar of red slime. The red slime was the best because you could place an action figure on the bottom level and pour the slime on the roof, it would seep through the floors and down onto unsuspecting bystander IN THEORY. In reality you’d douce that sucker with slime only to have the vast majority of it pour all over your grandmother’s rug, leaving a permanent red stain, and you without the coolest part of your new toy. (This incident would later be repeated with a jar of TMNT Ooze).

To be continued…

Nov
27

Unlike the majority of Americans I did not get to spend my day watching football and filling my face with turkey and beer (in fact I actually don’t like any of those things, except the beer), because I’m Canadian, which means today is completely meaningless. But the not stop train of tweets about Thanksgiving got me in the mood for some at home comfort food, so I decided to steal something from my mother’s repertoire.

When I was still living at home my mother would make “Cheesy Chicken Casserole” and it was delicious. But now that I no longer consume the flesh of the living (or recently living I suppose) I had to make some slight modifications to her recipe. Here is what I was able to concoct.

Cheesy Not-Chicken Casserole

  • 2 cups diced fake chicken (I used “Veggie Patch Meatless Buffalo Wings” cut into small strips, but you could just as easily use TVP, or tofu).
  • 1 8 oz pkg. of uncooked macaroni.
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom (or celery or broccoli soup).
  • 1 cup broth (you can get vegetable oxo cubes).
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I probably used about 4 cups of cheese).
  • 1 onion, diced.
  • 1/2 cup diced celery.

Saute the celery, onion, and fake chicken. Partially cook the macaroni and set aside. In a large bowl mix the soup, broth, and grated cheese. Once the celery, onions and fake chicken are sufficiently cooked mix into the large bowl. Combine all ingredients in a large buttered (I use margarine) casserole dish and cook for 25 minutes on 425.

[NOTE: I haven’t been completely honest. I was given these measurements by my mother, but I didn’t measure anything. Firstly I don’t own any measuring tools (except a measuring cup, which I mostly ignore), if you are lazy like I am just go ahead and eyeball those ingredients.]

Nov
17

I mentioned the theatrical trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek that premiered with Quantum of Solace, well now it’s online in glorious High Definition.

star-trek

You can check it out at Apple/Trailers. (I recommend the 1080p version).