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Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast Episode 42: Defenders of the Triforce Real Escape Game and Trevail Kitchen

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Cody reviews his experience playing The Legend of Zelda themed Real Escape Game “Defenders of the Triforce,” and Jon explains why his birthday meal at Trevail Kitchen was one of the most unique dining experiences he’s ever had. Plus: a SPECIAL SURPRISE ENDING!

Show Notes:


Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast Episode 41: Jon’s layover fail and Cody’s weight loss win

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Jon explains why he will never risk flying with a layover while in the company of a small child ever again, and Cody shares his weight loss success story and the secret to how he lost 18 pounds in 6 weeks.

Show Notes:

  • Life Stuff
    • Jon explains why he will literally never accept a layover when flying with his kid ever again
    • Cody talks about how he lost 18 pounds in about 6 weeks by doing a lot of DDP Yoga and going on the Whole30 diet for a month
  • Current News
    • A guy got to level 99 in Final Fantasy VII without cheating while still in the Midgar Reactor at the beginning of the game… and both Cody and Jon find that incredibly stupid and hate everything about it UNLESS HE WAS DOING KEGELS THE WHOLE TIME
    • EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: you can tweet clips of a fully transcribed episode of Game/Life Balance U.S. using the brand-new podcast platform Signl.fm: https://share.signl.fm/gamelife36
  • Balancing Act
    • Cody has been playing the new Hearthstone expansion, Journey to Un’Goro, and it has not made the game any more fun than it used to be
      • Cody explains the new “quest” mechanic and explains that deck experimentation is literally the only good thing about the game right now
    • Jon hasn’t actually played the recent Steam release of Bayonetta, but he still has a lot to say about how awesome the game is; however, Jon has actually been playing Kingdom Rush
  • Learn how to connect with us on the GonnaGeek Network, syndication on WGN Plus, our YouTube channel, and more!
  • Podcast theme song intro/outro credit: ‘Unity‘ by TheFatRat with permission
  • Game/Life Balance AUS official web site: http://www.gamelifebalanceaustralia.com


Introducing #GamerGreat, a way to spread love of Gaming!

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The boys over at Unqualified Gamers have decided that it’s time to instill some of their gamer positivity as a counter to some of the Twittersphere negativity in recent surrounding #GamerGate by introducing a new movement – #GamerGreat.

Jon and Cody want you to take a moment to talk about what you love about Video Games. It doesn’t matter if it’s a company, a game, a studio or anything else in between – just tweet SOMETHING positive about gaming and add the hashtag #GamerGreat.

It’s important to note that the guys don’t necessarily want you to forget about #GamerGate – as Cody says it’s ok to continue “engaging in #GamerGate, if that’s your thing”. Get the whole scoop from Cody himself in his #GamerGreat introduction video…

Edit – October 7, 2014 9:25AM PST – The original title and article didn’t accurately convey the overall feel of #GamerGreat as discussed in the introduction video.


Bachman’s Best – SDCC 2013

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SDCC logo, San Diego Comic Con InternationalThe San Diego Comic Con International, or SDCC 2013, known to some as The San Diego Comic Con, and to others as simply, THE Con. Each year it has grown and grown to become a media juggernaut with epic TV and movie announcements from all the big studios, tons of exclusives, and the greatest geek waiting room in the world, Hall H. For me, the best thing last week was SDCC 2013 and a big part of that, was that I wasn’t there.

Allow me to explain. In a very general sense, I don’t like people. Individuals are great; people are usually stupid, obnoxious, and loud. One on one you can almost always be civil and find the good side of a person, but when you get us in groups, man can we ruin things. So after a few years in military service being crammed into sleeping quarters with far too many people and now spending eight hours a day in an office I usually enjoy the quiet peacefulness of my office when I get home each day.

However, SDCC is the biggest thing each year in the geek world. So with no real love of large masses of humanity waiting in lines, how do you try to get the good without the bad? For me, it’s social media.

Honestly I thought Twitter was one of the dumbest things I had ever heard of when it came out. Then I realized that quite a few comic artists were on Twitter and were using it as a way to share pieces that they were currently working and a large group of them were using it to send out images of the commissions and sketches they were doing at conventions. And here I was living in Idaho without the resources to attend all these lovely conventions, so I got a Twitter account and started following a lot of artists. Pencilers, inkers, colorists, illustrators, cartoonists, a really large amount of artists.

Many of them also have Facebook pages set up. A good place for artists to share artwork, stay in touch with large groups of admirers, and update people on things like their con schedules for the season. Especially for the ones that don’t have dedicated web pages. Between the two, Twitter and Facebook, I see posts and tweets from all of my favorite artists and publishers and keep a fair track of what is going on in the comic book industry. This is never more evident than the weekend of the San Diego Comic Con.

It’s so crazy there that I have actually heard complaints that the people attending now head home usually knowing less than those sitting comfortably at home in the air conditioning watching their computer screens. Is it a great way to keep up? I think so. Is it as much fun as actually going to the con? Probably not. But I have no sunburn or swollen feet. I have not contracted a case of the con crud. And yet I still know that Avengers 2 is going to be The Age of Ultron. The cast for Guardians of the Galaxy looks amazing and specifically Karen Gillan even looks good bald. Plus I know that Zack Snyder made 5000 geeks heads explode when he showed the teaser logo for the second Man of Steel film showing the world that we will indeed finally get a World’s Finest movie. Great stuff all around.

So I didn’t get to go to SDCC this year, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Also, if your Twitter feed and your Facebook page isn’t constantly bringing you the things you want to see and the things you want to know about, maybe it’s time for a change. Fill your life with the stuff that makes you happy, and excited, and giddy with anticipation. Me, I’m gonna go watch the Riddick Red Band Trailer again.


Twitter Doing Music Now?

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Some of you Twitter addicts might have noticed that Twitter has just launched a new page over at http://music.twitter.com.  If you go to that website you’ll be given the chance to login to the #music app.  Sadly once a Twitter account is connected there is nothing a user can do.  The web-site just says that the service is coming soon.

The question is, what is that Twitter #music service going to be?  Is Twitter going after Apple’s iTunes or Amazon’s MP3 Store?  I hope not because Apple is the behemoth in the digital music world and Amazon has a strong hold on the second place position.  Personally, I don’t see this as a new music store.  I think Twitter is developing a music discovery service to help people find new and on the rise musicians in addition to the current stars of the industry.

If this is the path Twitter goes then it kills off MySpace since they have just re-branded themselves to be a music discovery hub.  What I would love to see in Twitter #music is embedding the Shazam app within.  That way a person can easily identify the music they are hearing and then tweet out the song.  All of that being said I really don’t know how successful the #music app will be.  It seems to be a bit outside of Twitter’s current use.  Perhaps Twitter is looking to find the ‘next big thing’ to continue growing their presence   I just don’t think this will be it, but I have been wrong before.


iOS Must Have Apps

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During the holiday season I’m sure that Apple iOS products are going to be popular gifts.  These devices are pretty cool on their own, but to really unlock their potential there are some apps that are incredibly useful to have.  Since I’ve been using my iOS devices for a few years, I thought I’d take a chance to share what some of my ‘must have’ apps are.  Most of the time I look at the free apps, but there are a few apps on this list that will come with a price tag attached to them.  This list is the top 13 apps you will want to load up as soon as you can.  Trust me, these apps will just add to your device.

  1. Facebook (Free) – In today’s world almost everyone has a Facebook account. In fact, Facebook support is baked into iOS 6.  But, in order to make use of the native OS support for Facebook you first have to install the app.  With the app in place you can use Siri to send Facebook updates, or even update your status from the notification bar.  The Facebook dev team has done a good job of improving the app so that now it works pretty smoothly.  Gone are the days it would take 30 seconds to refresh your news feed.
  2. Tweetbot ($2.99 iPad, $2.99 iPhone/iPod) – Yes, I know it sucks that there are two versions of the app.  In fact I held off on getting this app for a long time because I didn’t want to pay for the app twice.  I was lucky and found the iPad version on sale and then made the leap to Tweetbot.  If you use Twitter a lot and have multiple accounts Tweetbot is a power tool.  If you use Tweetbot across multiple iOS devices there is a feature that you will love.  Tweetbot uses iCloud to sync your timeline across your devices.  This means regardless of the device you use your timeline will always start where you left off.  Believe you me, this is very useful.  Another feature I love in the Tweetbot app is the ability to mute users or even hashtags.  For example if you follow someone who is going on a tweet spree you can use Tweetbot to mute them for as short as a day or as long as forever.  I’ve looked long and hard for the perfect Twitter app, and this is best one I’ve found so far.
  3. Google Chrome (Free) – If you aren’t a fan of the native Safari browser then Chrome is the browser for you.  If you’ve used Chrome on a desktop computer then the iOS version will be very familiar for you.  Some of the great features here are the ability to sync your Chrome bookmarks via the cloud across all of your devices.  This means if I bookmark something on my laptop the next time I open Chrome on my iPad this bookmark will show up on the tablet.  Chrome also lets you see what tabs are open on your other devices and then open them on your tablet.  This is incredibly useful if you looked up a restaurant on your laptop and then forgot to e-mail the results to yourself.  Just open the remote tab and then you have the same information.
  4. Google Maps (Free) – When Apple removed Google Maps from iOS devices in the iOS 6 update many users were upset.  The Apple Maps app just wasn’t up to par with what Google had been offering.  Well now you are in luck as Google just recently released the Google Maps app on iOS.  This app has all the features you like in the browser version of maps but in the palm of your hand.  Go ahead and try Apple Maps but make sure you have Google Maps as a backup on your device.
  5. YouTube (Free) – When Apple updated to iOS 6 the native YouTube app was removed from iOS devices.  Users could still reach YouTube via a web browser but the user experience wasn’t quite the same.  Google has released an app that influenced the redesign of the YouTube homepage. The app will track all of your subscriptions and provides a better full screen experience than my Google Chrome browser provided.
  6. Netflix (Free) – Keep in mind the app is free but you have to subscribe to Netflix to view any streaming content.  This app lets you stream over Wi-Fi and cellular data so wherever you are you can be entertained by the vast streaming library.  If you have Netflix then this app is a must have.
  7. Amazon Instant Video (Free) – Much like the Netflix app this is the most useful if you have an Amazon Prime account.  However, you can buy/rent Amazon videos via the app interface as well. This app was just released for iPhone/iPod devices so you can watch Amazon content on any of your devices.
  8. Stitcher (Free) – If you listen to a lot of podcasts like I do, then this app is going to be useful.  So long as a podcast is cached on Stitcher you can listen to it at anytime.  Not only that, but you can bookmark where you are in a podcast and then continue from that bookmarked location on any of your devices.  A lot of newer cars are coming with built in support for Stitcher in the stereo system.  In fact, I use this app to listen to podcasts on my commute to and from work.
  9. TuneIn Radio (Free or $0.99 for the Pro Version) – If you like to listen to conventional radio then this app will be one you like.  A variety of radio stations are listed within this app and you can listen to them via an Internet connection.  This app even allows you to pause a stream temporarily.
  10. Flipboard (Free) – I love this app, in fact its one of my favorite ones.  If you like to read up on a variety of topics then Flipboard is the app for you.  The app aggregates stories via RSS and then arranges them in a magazine like fashion on your devices.  You flip through pages of topics that interest you.  For instance I have categories for technology, movies, and comics on my account.  The app lets you add from a variety of categories and has a fantastic user interface.
  11. Pocket (Free) – This app is incredibly useful when used in conjunction with Tweetbot and Flipboard.  The basic premise is you can save stories to read later.  Support for Pocket is baked into Flipboard and Tweetbot, but once you have a Pocket account you can e-mail articles in that you want to read later.  When you have time to get back to your saved stories just open up the app and they will all be available for your reading pleasure.  I use this app a lot to save news stories I want to write/talk about later.
  12. Find iPhone (Free) – This is a must have for all of your devices. Simply put, it use the location services, aka the GPS, to find any of your iOS devices if they should go missing.  The app places all of your devices on a map and gives options to have them make a noise, display a message, lock the device, or in a worst case scenario wipe the device clean of all your data.
  13. Skype (Free) – If you use Skype this puts it right on your device.  The app allows for both voice and video calls on any kind of data connection.

If you’ve read through this list, you’re probably thinking ‘where are the games?’  Well stay tuned for a later article where I’ll cover some of my favorite iOS games.