The Professional Gamer - September 26, 2016

Hello readers! Sorry for missing my article last week. I was making a hard push to get the last of the Nan Desu Kan 2016 interviews finished up. No that I've done that, I can get back to living the geek life and writing about it for you.

Let's start with some anime. I've spent most of the past few weeks plowing through Food Wars (Shokugeki no Soma). And then, when I sat down tonight to write this article, I realized that I've actually been taking advantage of a Crunchy Roll simulcast show. This is a strange place for me to be, as I am often very late to every party. I had been warned that the show had a bit of cheesecake in it, but it was not as much as I had anticipated, much to my relief. The show itself fullfills many of the over-the-top shonen tropes, except that the battles are waged in the kitchen. The main character is Yukihira Soma, the son of a diner owner, and follows his experience at a super elite and super intense Japanese cooking school. I very much enjoy that Soma's "special power" is simply his prior experience and his willingness to work hard and persevere through all of the challenges that are thrown at him. Food Wars is simulcast on Saturdays, with the last episode schedule for September 24. If you haven't taken time to watch it now, give it a chance.

In normal Jim fashion, it's now time to talk about something that I'm very much behind on: Saga. I'm finally getting to reading the copy of Saga: Book 1, that my brother-in-law lent to me at least a year ago. Again, I'm very much behind the curve here. Anyways, Book 1 is great. I love Fiona Staples artwork, and the narrative method is very interesting as well. I have always been a sucker for the stories where several groups of people are on periodically intersecting storylines. At this point, I'm three-quarters through the hardback and making steady progress.  However, I'm still about 3 years behind on the series, and have some series catching up to do. 

And last, I've played a little bit more Elite: Dangerous. I'm enjoying my new ship, the Python, and at this point mostly taking my time earning the credits that I need to further advance myself. However, I am holding off on working through the recent "Engineers" expansion material in order to get myself into a top tier ship sooner. Frontier has released a beta version of the next expansion: The Guardians. The idea of carrying some small fighters to help defend my hulk of a cargo ship sounds like a great plan, as well as the ability to carry passengers around the galaxy. We'll see how that goes.

That's all that I have for this week. Game on!

The Professional Gamer - February 22, 2016

Hi everyone! I've just got a short post this week.  I've got a major post on Colorado Anime Fest in the works, look for it on Wednesday.  In other news, I borrowed Heir to the Empire from the library.  After trying to read Shadows of the Empire, this was such a breath of fresh air.  I mean, maybe its not classical literature, but the caliber of writing is phenomenally higher.  I've also watched several more episodes of Snow White with the Red Hair and am rapidly approaching the first season finale.

I hope everyone had a great week, and I'll see you here again next time!

The Professional Gamer - December 7, 2015

Hello everyone!  I hope all of my American readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  For any international readers, now you know why there was no article posted last week.  You might think that with some additional time off, that I would have played some games or something.  But that's kinda not the case.  What have I been doing for the past week?  Read on to find out!

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The Professional Gamer - November 2, 2015

I can't believe that we are already in November.  Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.  But lets not look too far ahead.  What have I been doing this week?  More of the usual, I have to say.

Watching:  I may have mentioned this earlier, but America's Test Kitchen is one of my favorite PBS programs.  I recently found out that last year's season of ATK is available on Netflix, and have been watching through that.  Netflix recommendations being what they are, I also discovered The Poisoner's Handbook, which is a wonderful documentary about the birth of forensic science.  I love seeing the evolution of science, especially in it practical application.  In this case, we get to see the development of methods used to detect poisons (or the metabolites of poisons) in the human body.  They also discuss the presentation of scientific evidence in court, and the challenge of convincing judges and juries about the degree of certainty in the evidence.

Playing: This week has again been a very limited gaming.  Just a small amount of Guild Wars again.

Reading: I haven't ended up with much time for reading this week, and have opted to read news and opinion articles, rather than fiction.  If you're interested in looking through my reading list, go ahead and follow me on Twitter or Tumblr.

That's all for this week.

The Professional Gamer - October 26, 2015

Hi everyone! I hope you all have had a great week and enjoyed your weekend. We're getting close to Halloween, which of course leads to this:


This week has been a lot of fun, watching some fun TV series and reading some great comics.  

Playing: In terms of gaming this week, all that I've done is playing a few hours of Guild Wars 2.

Watching: This week I spent time watching through the Green Lantern: The Animated Series that was produced recently.  It's very much a kid series, but is still a lot of fun.  As hinted above, I also re-watched the entirety of Over the Garden Wall this last week, and it is still an amazing series.

Reading: This week, I read the first volume of Mystery Babylon, which I purchased at Denver Comic Con due to a strong resemblance to The Slayers.  The series so far is a lot of fun, but I feel like I need to read some more to develop a more informed opinion of it.  I've also started reading The Thrilling Adventure of Lovelave and Babbage, a mostly factual comic of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, the world's first computer scientists.  This book is dense, with lots of historical references and footnotes.  I've not even made it through one chapter yet, because I've had to spend so much time reading through all the notes.  But, I'm loving every minute of it.

The Professional Gamer - October 12, 2015

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Professional Gamer.  This week I've been on the giving and the receiving end of media sharing.  But have also found myself a bit preoccupied during most of the evenings.  I managed to find some time to enjoy myself, so read on to find out what I did.

Watching: This week I only was home for one evening where I could watch some television.  And that time was spent sharing Steven Universe with some friends.  I have to say, I miss getting to watch something new to me at times, but I also really love the feeling of sharing something new with a friend.  

Playing: This was another week where almost all of my video gaming time was spent on Guild Wars 2.  However, I am now also working to get a tabletop RPG ready for my friends.  I ran a long term game using the D&D 4th Edition rules.  My group (and me) got a little tired of how long combat tended to take in that system, and have opted to try continuing the story using the Pathfinder rules.  But, I haven't run a game in that system yet, so I'll be learning the rules a bit as we go along.

Reading: I spent my reading time this week with Volume 11 of Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon, and have now started into the "Stars" arc.  After the fun and uplifting story of the "Dark Moon" arc, this one has been rather tough.  Warning: spoilers on a 10 year old series ahead.  Momoro's death in the first chapter is really rough.  Especially the way that Usagi blocks it out.  If she had confronted this event dead on, I feel like things would seem less tragic.  But, now it just feels like a scab that can't be left alone.  I've got to hurry my way through the rest of the story though.  All of the library books are due back next week and I have run out of renewals!

That's all I've got for this week.  I'm very close to releasing some new podcast episodes featuring our interviews from Nan Desu Kan 2015.  Look for those to start appearing this week.  Have a great week and game on!

The Professional Gamer - October 5, 2015

Many weeks, I sit down to write this article feeling that I have precious little to talk about with you.  I've had to stay long at work, or been busy with garden chores, or run into another of the myriad distractions that can suck away my fun times.  But, in spite of some cat issues, I had a whole lot of fun this past week.  Read on to see what's been happening in my life.

Reading: I'm currently in the taper prior to my half-marathon run (which is on Sunday, but since I'm composing this on Friday, I won't be able to tell you about my results.  Spoilers, yo!)  But, with less time required for running, I've had more time to read.  I've nearly finished another volume of Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon.  But, I've left off in the middle of the climatic battle with Nehelenia, Queen of the Dark Moon.  Soon, I'll be into the ultimate story arc, and then finished.  And, my local library has Lumberjanes available for digital loan.  Which led me to reading two more issues last night when I should have been going to bed.

Playing: My gaming this week was again limited to a few minutes of Guild Wars 2, but that's probably not really worth reporting on.

Watching:  First, lets discuss the TV that I've been watching.  I decided to start watching through Doctor Who from the beginning.

No, not that beginning.  This beginning:

Original Doctor Who is somewhat of a mixed bag.  The writing is reflective of its time (i.e. strong white man is basically the hero, while the women are basically left to scream about things).  Sometimes the plots are a bit clunky , and could have been better paced.  However, there is some gold in there.  As silly as they are, the Daleks are still frightening enemies.  And the Doctor is still a mad man with a box.  So far I've watched the first two serials "The Unearthly Child" and "The Daleks", and much prefer these two to "The Aztecs", which I watched last year when it was released on Netflix.  I do wish that the writers had written Susan and Barbara as a bit more clever and brave, but that, maybe, is simply my expectation as a modern viewer looking back on an older work.  I'm going to keep working my way through as many episodes as I can, and we'll discuss them here.

Lastly, I had an opportunity on Wednesday to attend a lecture by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  His talk was entitled "Cosmic Bizarre" and focused on all the weird things that existing in our galaxy, from tardigrades to black holes to dark energy/matter.

That's all I've got for this week.  I hope you all have some geeky fun.  Have a great week and game on!

The Professional Gamer - September 28, 2015

Hello, fellow geeks and other interested parties.  I've finally got that tough project done and am enjoying my reduced workload.  I may still be using most of my lunch time for running (and hence not getting in my usual reading time) but I'm still having a lot of fun with my other activities.  Read on to see what I've been doing.


Playing: I haven't had a huge amount of free time for video games this week, but I did spend some time playing Guild Wars 2 after I'd had enough with work last weekend.  Sometimes, I feel like GW2 is the methadone to the heroin that is World of Warcraft.  At least I'm avoiding an expensive habit.

Watching: I've nearly finished watching the Good Eats episodes that are available on Netflix.  All that remains is Pumpkin Pie! But, I also found out that the latest Doctor Who Christmas special is now available, so I will be watching that very soon.  And, I watched the latest episode of Steven Universe: "Catch and Release".  I have a lot of feeling about this episode.  I feel like this is our first chance to see Peridot as more than a threat/annoyance; and that's a really good thing.  I'm also glad that Steven's constant kindness to her seems to have paid off in some degree of trust.  Also, sounds like there is some spooky stuff going on with Earth, and some sort of experimental gem  thing may blow the whole planet up.  We can only hope that the Crystal Gems will be able to avert disaster.

That's all I have for this week.  Come back next week, and I should have a bit more for you to read.  If you haven't already, have a listen to our conversation with Laurissa and Crystal about their experience at Nan Desu Kan 2015.  Have a great week, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - September 21, 2015

After 60+ hours of work this week, I haven't had a lot of time to myself.  I did manage to get out for my lunch time running on Monday - Thursday.  As of Friday night while I'm writing this, the only other thing that it feels like I've done this week is watch a few more episodes of Good Eats.  I will be heading over to the Denver Small Press Fest tomorrow, and will report back what I find later.  Hopefully, I can find some more time next week to have fun.  Check back here again next week.