Showing posts from October, 2013

Happy Halloween!

When the leaves turned and began their slow deathly descent to the ground, that is when they came.  Through the rolling mists and under the encompassing cover of night they came.  We knew not whence they came or their purpose.  We only knew to barricade the doors with strong oaken boards and light the jack-o-lanterns.  Those who failed to heed the warnings would be drug from their homes with horrified wails of unearthly terror.  Terrible talons and gnashing teeth would tear at their flesh and rend it from bone while we listened on. That is where the tradition began.  Those who carved the pumpkins with ancient runes and lit them with the fire of our ancestors were safe.  For hundreds of years we had lived like this.  Beyond this one awful night we lead ordinary, pleasant lives.  But this night always came.  It always returned like a bad dream, wrapping up the village in its brutal embrace. In the week prior, we had carved our ancestral runes into the pumpkin.  It was someth

Lucky Star's Mushroom and Swiss

Place: Lucky Star Pub & Eatery Location: Burlington, WI Ingredients: Mushrooms, Swiss cheese Verdict: I've always loved a good mushroom and Swiss burger.  It's a brilliant combination.  And while Lucky Star gets the burger right, and there's no reason not to, the problem that continues to plague them is the meat used.  It's bland, dry, and uninspiring.  The restaurant showed so much promise when they opened, but the continued cuts to the menu and the increasingly bland offerings are wearing the initial charm thin.  Don't get me wrong, the burgers aren't terrible, but they're just so plain.  There's nothing to them and as such, there's nothing to get excited about when eating them. On the Side: Soggy, un-seasoned fries

App of the Week: Authenticator

Image Authenticator Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Platform: Windows Phone Price: Free! Security and convenience.  You can have one or the other, but never both.  This is especially true when it comes to online accounts.  Players of any MMO are well aware that there are those who would love to steal their accounts to sell them or turn them into gold farmers.  Fortunately, the developer/publisher for some of the world's best MMOs, Blizzard, has given players the ability to add an authenticator to their account for years now.  There has been an app available for Android and iOS for some time now.  Windows Phone users are no stranger to apps taking some time to see life on this platform, but the wait is usually worth it.  And until now, there have been the keychain authenticators which serve the same purpose.  The Windows Phone app does exactly what it needs to.  It generates unique, one-time use codes that work in conjunction with the account.  That way if so

Steak 'n Shake's Triple Steakburger

Place: Steak 'n Shake Location: Bourbonnais, IL Ingredients: Lettuce, onion, pickle, tomato, American cheese Verdict: If there were such a thing as a "classic burger", the Steakburger would be the embodiment of that ideal.  And when it comes to a good thing like that, you really can't have too much.  In the case of the Triple Steakburger, may the sun always shine on its creator.  Steak 'n Shake has nearly perfected the "classic" diner with impeccable burgers and rich shakes.  I've not been to one and seen it at less than full capacity.  It's because of their ability to consistently produce delectable burgers. The burger is full of juicy flavor and everything a burger lover should expect.  The toppings are fresh, with the onion adding just enough bite but not enough to overpower the rest.  Each flavorful patty holds grilled perfection within its meaty embrace.  The Triple Steakburger is great at what it does.  If it were any better, it

Fix It! Nokia Lumia 920's Disappearing Screen

Recently, as misfortune loves me, I had the pleasure of figuring out why my Nokia Lumia 920 screen would turn black when receiving a text or phone call.  Anytime a text is received on Windows Phone, it displays along the top of the screen in a toast notification.  This notification also displays on the lock screen. While I would hear the chime that a text had been received, the screen would be dark until I turned it on and unlocked it.  Days later, the problem escalated and began affecting incoming and outbound calls.  I could dial and answer fine, but the screen would go black immediately afterwards.  This prevented me from getting back into the phone until the call was over. As it turns out, this issue is related to a larger problem with the once-flagship Windows Phone.  The Lumia 920 has a notorious problem of dust getting in the front of the phone through a small space just above the camera.  The dust embeds itself in the front facing camera.  I never used the front facing ca

App of the Week: Facebook

Facebook Publisher: Facebook Platform: Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 Price: Free!     The one glaring omission from the Windows 8 app store has always been Facebook.  It's a service with so many users that itself is tied into so many other services.  Until this co-release with Windows 8.1, Windows 8 users had to either trust third party apps or resort to using the actual site.   The Windows 8 app shares a similar design to the Windows Phone app, which itself bears a strong resemblance to the apps on the Android and iOS platforms.  That's all thanks to the uniform design from Facebook.    So if you've used the Facebook app for mobile platforms, you'll be familiar with their latest release.  Because desktop users will probably still use the actual site, I don't know how necessary the app actually is as it doesn't provide any additional functions.  While the same can be said of Windows RT devices, since RT is only available on tablets, the touch c

Infinite Crisis Giveaway

Some time ago I had the opportunity to play Warner Bros.' upcoming title, Infinite Crisis .  Since then, I've received a few codes for Crisis Coins and Merit Grants.  I feel they should go to players more deserving, but they're first come, first serve. Code #1 (Unknown) ZCMYT232Z4NDT9ADL7QXRE7E9Y Code #2 (3000 Crisis Coins and 9000 Merit) TQQHLWPN32WLX3H49DTHK7NRZ

Fix It! Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 Won't Open PDFs

In my line of work there are what I like to call the "monsters of the week".  These are the problems that have no clear solution and require me to scavenge the bowels of the Internet for an answer.  When I find said answer and its cousins, something else inevitably goes wrong.  This week involved Internet Explorer 10 not opening PDFs within the browser on Windows 8. Now, this was a fresh load of Windows 8 Pro (64-Bit) on a brand new machine.  I went through the usual of checking the add-ons, reinstalling Reader after performing a complete uninstall, checking Safe Mode, running a virus scan, performing a SFC, etc. What ultimately fixed the issue was adding a Registry key.  A reg key that doesn't exist on any other Windows 8 machines that don't have the issue.  The common answer I found was modifying the TabProcGrowth key within HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.  The default value is 0, but needs to be set to 1. This key also controls IE

Lucky Star's Bourbon Street

Place: Lucky Star Pub and Eatery Location: Burlington, WI Ingredients: cheddar cheese, bacon, onion strings, and bourbon sauce Verdict: To be honest, I've had this burger twice now.  The first was as leftovers.  It was very good as the bourbon sauce had marinated the beef overnight, soaking into every nook and cranny.  The fried onion strings had gone limp and added nice contrast to the saucy burger.  It was probably one of the best re-heated burgers I've ever had. When it came time to eat the fresh burger, it was another story.  The construction was the same, but instead of a soft, flavorful burger, the fresh Bourbon Street was very dry.  This is something I've noticed with the burgers at Lucky Star.  The meat is drier than most and there is little to no seasoning.  The dryness of the burger stood in stark contrast to the meager helping of bourbon sauce on top of the trimmings. The closest comparison I can draw is to Friday's Jack Daniels burger.  The recip

App of the Week: Reaper

Reaper Publisher: David Peroutka/Hexage Ltd. Platform: Windows Phone, Windows 8, Windows RT, iOS, Google Play Price: Free Trial, $2.99 - $4.99 When purchasing a game for either my phone or tablet, I'm hesitant to purchase games without the Xbox Live moniker.  For reasons I'm not entirely proud of, I like getting the achievement points that come along with playing an Xbox Live game.  But as I perused for something to kill my already non-existent free time, Reaper's intriguing art style caught my eye.

App of the Week: Steam Tile

Steam Tile Publisher: Element26 Software Platform: Windows 8 Price: Free! One of my favorite features of Microsoft's latest OS is the Metro interface (Yes, I know that's not the name anymore, but it stuck.  Deal with it.).  This exploded Start Menu displays all of my applications with beautiful Live Tiles that continually update with new information.  It's as if my PC came alive! Well, I also play a lot of games.  Many of these games are stored within Steam.  Up until now, my only way of accessing these games was to either launch Steam or pin the game launch to the Metro interface with a bland tile. Element26 Software has decided that isn't enough and release Steam Tile .   Steam Tile  connects directly to your public Steam profile and pulls down your game information to add new, attractive live tiles to the Start Screen.  The tiles will update with achievements unlocked and time played.  Opening the app allows users to pin the games of their choice so it

Release Calendar: October 2013

October 01: Assassin's Creed: Ezio Trilogy (360) Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (3DS) NBA 2K14 (360, PS3, PC) Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Trilogy (360) Travel adventures with Hello Kitty (3DS) October 02: Rune Factory 4 (3DS) October 04: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U) October 08: Beyond: Two Souls (PS3) Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition (PC, PS3, 360) Capcom Essentials (PC, PS3, 360) Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PS3) Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition (PC, PS3, 360) F1 2013 (PC, PS3, 360) Just Dance 2013 (PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii) October 12: Pokémon X (3DS) Pokémon Y (3DS) October 12: Skylanders: Swap Force (PS3, 360, 3DS, Wii, Wii U) October 15: Cabela's African Adventures (PS3, 360, Wii) Hometown Story (3DS) Pinkalicious/Silverlicious 2 Pack (DS) Wipeout: Create & Crash (360, PS3, 3DS, Wii, Wii U) Worms: The Revolution Collection (360) Zumba Fitness World Party (Wii U) Valhalla Knights 3 (Vita) Oc