Month: September 2016

Dungeons and Dragons – Starting Your Game

Dungeons and Dragons – Starting Your Game

So, now that it’s been a while and you’ve had a chance to create your own town and get your own story squared away in your head, you are going to start your adventure. Here are some tips and tricks for starting your game. These […]

Book ‘Em, Nerd-o: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)

Book ‘Em, Nerd-o: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)

We’re back in urban fantasy land today with Storm Front, the first installment of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. But while this series belongs to the same genre as Little (Grrl) Lost, the tone couldn’t be more different, and the stakes in these stories couldn’t be higher. It’s a […]

Eating Nerdy – Dead of Winter

Eating Nerdy – Dead of Winter

Welcome to the final installment of Eating Nerdy (for now). I’ve been going through and going after those weird nerdy things that you kind of want to make a big thing out of, but just don’t quite know how to theme a meal around them. Thanks to @BeskarTom for the suggestion this time with Dead of Winter.

Dead of Winter is a horror themed survival game (and a game that Kristen and I just played at Insight Brewery so we could learn the rules better), where the zombie apocalypse is upon the human race. There is a band of humans, controlled by the players, who are trying to find food, fend off zombies, and generally just survive through the winter in hopes that things will get better. So, how do you theme a meal around a world where food is supposed to be very scarce, you can start starving, and generally it’s all canned goods?

Image Source; Geek Alert
Image Source; Geek Alert

Dead of Winter

My thought process for this isn’t that it should only be foods that would survive a long time, but also foods that are going to keep you warm through the Dead of Winter, and being from Minnesota, that can be just terrible.

Drinks

Hot Toddy & Hot Chocolate with Bailey/Kahlua

Tea & Hot Chocolate

These are two great wintery drinks. The Hot Toddy warms the soul through hot tea with honey and lemon fighting off any cold that you might be coming down with, and then adding a little bit of fun with your choice of brandy, rum, or whiskey. And the Hot Chocolate can be turned into an alcoholic dessert easily with the likes of Baileys (or any Irish Cream) and Kahlua. If you aren’t a drinker, just take out the booze and you have some more great winter drinks that are going to keep you warm in the evening while you listen to the zombies moaning and shambling outside.

Image Source: Bon Appetit
Image Source: Bon Appetit

Appetizer

Roasted Nuts

For this you can go a couple of directions, you can go salty and sweet or salty and savory. For an appetizer I would look at doing something like rosemary roasted pecans or walnuts or if it just a snack for while you play the game, maybe go with sweet and spicy roasted pecans with cinnamon and a hit of cayenne to give it that good kick. Once you roast the nuts they get that nice toasty flavor, so while they are a bit better warm, you can definitely make them ahead of time and have them sitting out to snack on as you play and to welcome the other survivors when they arrive.

Main Course: 

Stew

If you want to be really thematic, consider going with a venison stew. Now, you probably need to be a hunter or know someone who hunts to easily get your hands on venison, but beef stew works as well, even though slightly less thematic for the whole survival aspect of the game. Load up your stew with a lot of root vegetables that would be the most readily available during the winter, and you’ve got yourself a zombie survival meal. It’ll keep you warm, stick to you for a while, and give you energy for when you run out to find some more food,  maybe that gas station over there has some frozen pizza’s left, it is the dead of winter, after all.

Image Source: Simply Recipes
Image Source: Simply Recipes

Dessert:

Baked Apples

Simple and nice.  Again, apples are going to be able to be stored through the winter, so you can reasonably get your hands on some of them, and while the best eating apples are probably gone, the heartier baking apples will be available. Find a good baking apple, put some butter, cinnamon, and sugar on it, and get a nice warming tasty dessert. You can also class it up to something a bit fancier, maybe make your own ice cream, or those canisters of whipped cream probably have survived in the grocery store, make a daring run out to get one of those to top off your dessert.

So, how would you survive the winter? Are you going to theme it for winter or for the apocalypse? It’s certainly possible that all you have left is canned foods and maybe should just break into that can of pork and beans, it probably doesn’t even need to be heated up because you don’t want the fire to attract any more zombies than are already there.

If you have suggestions for future Eating Nerdy articles, e-mail them nerdologist@gmail.com and let us know what want to tackle.


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Dungeons and Flagons Episode 39: Well, That Escalated Quickly

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 39: Well, That Escalated Quickly

This episode of Dungeons and Flagons is coming to you from Moose Lake State Park in northern Minnesota. We hopped into the camper and recorded the fallout of Nim’s prophecy and interaction with the Seer. What does the prophecy mean in the Fey Wilds, and […]

Eating Nerdy – Ideas on a Theme – Pacific Rim

Eating Nerdy – Ideas on a Theme – Pacific Rim

Continuing my series of three articles (for right now) on theming your nerdy fun, we are going to move into the the world of Pacifc Rim. If you aren’t familiar with Pacific Rim, it’s basically Power Rangers or pretty similar anyways. Giant monsters are attacking […]

Book ’em, Nerd-o: Little (Grrl) Lost

Book ’em, Nerd-o: Little (Grrl) Lost

Image Credit: Charles de Lint website
Image Credit: Charles de Lint website

Little (Grrl) Lost is one of those books that I’ve run into repeatedly for years — like it was following me. Whenever I saw it, it would taunt me from library and bookstore shelves, saying “read me, reeeead meeee!” (anyone else have this happen to them regularly? No? Just me? Okay, cool, just checking…). But it either didn’t quite seem like the right time for it on these occasions, or I was in college and didn’t have time to do more than look longingly at it while shelving books at my library work-study job. Eventually, though, I stumbled upon a used copy of it at a book sale a couple of years ago and had to pick it up, and I’ve now finally got around to reading it. I’m happy to report that my imaginings of how great it was were not disappointed!

Here’s the gist–in the world of the book, Littles (creatures similar to the Borrowers we know and love from childhood) are real, and often live secretly in the suburban homes of the middle class. In one such home lives T.J., a recent farm-to-suburb transplant whose family had to move when they lost a great deal of their savings in a stock market crash (here I’ll mention that this book was published in 2007…apropos much?). A farm girl at heart, T.J. hates everything about her new home. That is, until she stays up one night to figure out where the strange sounds behind her walls are coming from.

That night, she meets her first Little–Elizabeth, a punky teenage runaway with attitude for days. When Elizabeth’s family overhear her befriending a Big (what Littles call humans, naturally), they pack up and move out of T.J.’s house, leaving Elizabeth stranded and alone. After trying unsuccessfully for a little while to live free-range on her own, as she had set out to do in the first place, Elizabeth reluctantly retreats to T.J.’s room for help in looking for her family.
During the time Elizabeth is gallavanting about, T.J. uses the time to do some research. She finds that there’s an author by the name of Sheri Piper who’s written stories all about Littles. Elizabeth has heard of her (or her stories, at least), and knows enough about the books to know that while they embroider the truth a bit, they’re close enough to make one wonder whether Piper is just a great storyteller…or whether she’s met Littles herself.

Soon after, the girls happen to find out that Piper will be doing a reading at a local bookstore. They plot to go to the reading to observe Piper, try to talk to her, and see if they can find out, hopefully as obliquely as possible, whether Piper might be able to help Elizabeth find her family. Will the girls succeed? Will Piper have the answers they seek? Or will T.J. just get branded a crazy person and get taken away somewhere, leaving Elizabeth to fend for herself in the Big, wide world?

And there is where I’ll have to stop, lest I tread right into spoiler-zone — from there on out, things get a LOT more interesting, but you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out how!
As I mentioned, this book pretty much lived up to all my expectations for it (though whether that’s bad or good, you’ll have to decide). I’m a sucker for this style of urban fantasy, in which a teenage protagonist either discovers that supernatural beings are real, or that they are/will become one themselves. It’s such a great analogue for growing up and figuring out who the heck you really are, and it never gets old for me. This one in particular captured the teenage experience perfectly — it just felt so real. Any book that can make me remember exactly what it felt like to be fifteen is a well-written book, in my opinion. Mind you, this wasn’t always super pleasant — there was one scene in particular during which the secondary embarrassment just about did me in. However, that speaks to the author’s skill just as much, even though it made me sweat a little to read it.
I do have to note that this story will probably seem a little hackneyed in spots to those of you who have read a lot of other books in this genre. There were a few moments where I found myself thinking, “Welp, seen THAT one before…” However, I don’t think this detracted overly much from the story, especially because it was those sort of moments that helped this story hit all the right urban fantasy notes for me. And it’s important to note that, as a 20-something, I’m not part of the target age group for this book (regardless of the fact that the majority of the fiction I read is YA…) — for a lot of readers, this will be the first time they’re encountering some of the tropes in the books, and they won’t feel common or hackneyed to them.
In short, this book is a great choice for both readers who are new to urban fantasy and for those who are looking to climb back inside that world once again and get comfortable. If you’re a non-teenage reader like me, it’ll make you relive those years for better or worse, and if you are an actual young adult, I think you’ll find a lot to resonate with in this story.
So, friends, have you read Little (Grrl) Lost? Would you add it to your list? If you’re an urban fantasy fan like me, what are some of your favorites of the genre?

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Dungeons and Flagons Episode 38: The Seer

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 38: The Seer

The Adventuring Party, Nimrose, Finja, and Tate, have dinner with the Mayor of the town they are in. He is called away suddenly and Nimrose gets a chance to find out some about her past. If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails […]

Eating Nerdy – Ideas on a Theme – Arkham Horror

Eating Nerdy – Ideas on a Theme – Arkham Horror

We’ve talked about hosting parties and cooking both briefly before, but it was time to dig a little bit more into the idea of theme-ing your food with a movie, event, or other nerdy bit of business. Food and drink is something that people can […]

SciFi TV: Killjoys

SciFi TV: Killjoys

As the second season of Killjoys has just wrapped up and the upcoming third season has been announced (huzzah!!), it seems like a great time for a review! Pretty much right when it aired last year, Killjoys found a place on Peder’s and my list of favorite shows, and it’s continued to be every bit as awesome as it was at the start. Peder mentioned it briefly in his post about great sci-fi shows, and I thought I’d take some time to go a little more in-depth.

Image Credit: Subscene
Image Credit: Subscene

Killjoys is a SyFy channel show that’s set in a distant galaxy, where a civilization of humans lives on a four-planet system called — fittingly — the Quad. The principal characters are Dutch, Johnny, and D’Avin, a trio of bounty hunters who work for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition, or the RAC. The RAC is the organizational equivalent of a chaotic neutral-aligned character — they’re out for whatever is in their own best interest, whether or not others consider their methods reputable. The RAC’s primary function is to put out warrants at the request of high-paying customers. The warrants might be anything from a request to play escort the surrogate mothers of one of the nine royal families of the Quad to a request to carry out a hit on a seditious criminal. And, as one might expect from an organization with such…diverse interests, it soon becomes clear that there’s more to the RAC than meets the eye.

Similarly, Dutch, Johnny, and D’Avin might be the “good guys” of the show, but they come in many shades of grey. Dutch works for the RAC both as a way to use her razor-sharp assassin skills and as a way to escape the past that keeps coming back to haunt her. Dutch and her best friend, Johnny, start out as bounty-hunting partners who work together flawlessly, but when D’Avin, Johnny’s estranged brother, teams up with them, their small world aboard Dutch’s ship, Lucy, is dangerously shaken. Like Dutch, D’Avin comes with a mysterious past — but his tends to come back in the form of violent blackouts, the cause of which even he can’t guess at. Dutch and Johnny soon find themselves trying to keep each other safe from D’Avin, and D’Avin safe from himself. As the three chase down warrants together, they try to figure out what happened to D’Avin to cause his blackouts, and what it might mean for all three of them.

Image Credit: The Mary Sue
Image Credit: The Mary Sue

Killjoys is a fast-paced, gritty, and extremely addictive show. For those of you who don’t tend to like shows with lots of violence, I’ll say right now that this might not be the one for you. And it’s pretty close to my threshhold, I’ll admit, but the story is so good that it’s well worth a few cringes along the way. The characterization is great — the characters are believable and easy to root for, and I can’t get enough of them. And the setting is everything a sci-fi show should be — just similar enough to our world to be relatable (and scarily prescient, as sci-fi is wont to be), and just different enough to stretch the mind and fulfill those space-cowboy daydreams we all know and love. If you’re any level of sci-fi fan at all, I would highly recommend adding Killjoys to your to-watch list!

So how ’bout it? Are you hoping to watch Killjoys? Have you seen it already? What are your thoughts? Share with us below!

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Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at @NerdologistCast
Message me directly on Twitter at @Kefka73
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Dungeons And Flagons Episode 37: The Invitation

Dungeons And Flagons Episode 37: The Invitation

Finja, Nimrose, and Tate are led by the Satyrs out of the woods and to an Elven village. There they receive an unexpected invitation. If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll […]