Top 10 Baddies of the Buffyverse

Yes, another Buffy one! As anyone who has watched Buffy knows, there is generally one Big Bad per season, sometimes two. But there are lots and lots of ‘little’ bad guys too. Now, while I am sure there are quite a few very cool villains out there (Joss Whedon has a tendency to make those), here is my list of my top ten favourite baddies from Buffy (along with their first appearance on the show), all the way to my number one! And obviously, possible spoiler alert!

NUMBER TEN – THE GORCH BROTHERS (BAD EGGS)

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Lyle and Tector Gorch, brothers and mass-murderers even before they were vampires. I thought these guys were hilarious, especially their exchange in the sewers while waiting for night. Brotherly love sticks past death – even if that happens more than once! So redneck, so run-of-the-mill evil rather than ‘destroy the world with big plans’ evil…but so memorable, and sometimes even likeable.

NUMBER NINE – DRACULA (BUFFY VS DRACULA)

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I think if you’re doing a show focusing heavily on vampires, and there isn’t at least one Dracula reference, you’re doing it wrong. Joss Whedon addressed this with his usual wit and creativity, and I think it worked very well considering what was needed from this episode. Dracula was pretty much a smug little brat, as one would be after a century of hearing their name almost everywhere. I think another reason I love this villain is the opportunity it gave Xander to shine (Xander-heavy episodes are often the funniest), and because this is a very talented actor. Firstly, because this character could have come off as completely ridiculous, but somehow it didn’t. Also because the only other role I know I have seen him play is as a Middle Eastern terrorist in NCIS, and he managed to pull that off convincingly as well. So that definitely contributes.

NUMBER EIGHT – THE GENTLEMEN (HUSH)

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My goodness were these guys creepy! Not being able to scream, not being able to hear them coming….and those grins! Eesh! If what you want from your TV villains is a chilling creepiness and an episode of hilarious misunderstandings, these guys rock. I believe this episode was the only one of the series to be nominated for an Emmy, and was actually up for two - Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series. It definitely deserved it! These villains are one of the handful from the series that have a definite actual creep factor (see also, Der Kinderstod (Killed by Death) and The First Evil (Conversations with Dead People).

NUMBER SEVEN – ZACHARY KRALIK (HELPLESS)

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Brought in by the Council as a test for Buffy on her 18th birthday, this insane serial killer vampire had a sense of humour and a problem with mothers. I think this is another one where my love of the actor also impacts upon my love of the character…but who doesn’t remember crazy Kralik and the ingenious way Buffy used to kill him? This episode also cemented her more father-daughter like relationship with Giles, rather than the impersonal Watcher-Slayer one the Council expected.

NUMBER SIX – THE TRIO (FLOODED)

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The first Big Bad on my list, the Trio is a, well trio, of immature boys who decide they want to be supervillains in season six. They are funny (sometimes unwittingly so), and I really don’t believe Andrew and Jonathon are actually really evil…just misguided, lonely and occasionally angry at their lot in life – which is essentially just being nerds. Warren, on the other hand, pretty much deserved what he got. Warren and Jonathon both featured in earlier episodes, but the only link they have to Andrew is his brother Tucker was the bad guy in the episode The Prom.

NUMBER FIVE – CALEB (DIRTY GIRLS)

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Played by the ever-amazing Nathan Fillion (another villain with an actor I love), and technically one of the Big Bads of season seven (the other being his boss, the First Evil), this character was terrifyingly realistic – a man with severe psychological issues doing what the evil voice in his head tells him, essentially. The only difference is that in Buffy, the evil voice is real. Although other baddies have appeared to have bested the Slayer in earlier episodes, Caleb does it multiple times, as well as also beating Faith and Spike, seriously injuring Xander (NOOOO) and killing multiple potential Slayers. VERY scary.

NUMBER FOUR – ANGELUS (INNOCENCE)

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While he is evil and sadistic, he has a sense of humour that is to be admired. Angelus is cruelly creative, and as one of the Big Bads of season two, definitely makes an impact. I remember after watching the season two finale for the first time, I was distraught for weeks. While Angelus is an excellent cautionary tale about having sex in high school (‘he just wasn’t the same after that’), he is also one hell of a villain.

NUMBER THREE – ETHAN RAYNE (HALLOWEEN)

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Ethan Rayne is a self-serving, smug little sorcerer who wreaks havoc wherever he goes and tends to err on the side of extremely cowardly. He is, however, rather creative, and uses his ingenuity and powers for evil every chance that he gets. He’s the rapscallion you love to hate, although rapscallion does seem rather tame for some of the shenanigans he gets up to. Actually, shenanigans seems rather tame too. He does a lot of damage to many innocent people, and yet people go, “oh that scallywag”. Obviously, he pulls it off with boyish charm.

NUMBER TWO – MAYOR RICHARD WILKINS III (HOMECOMING)

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“What? There must be some mistake,” cry the people who haven’t seen the series, “that man obviously couldn’t hurt a fly, let alone be a notable villain!” Firstly, stop reading you fool! If you haven’t seen the series, you shouldn’t read a post with spoilers in it! Secondly, oh he is definitely a villain. Although, if you take away the need to become a giant demon and devour a whole town (look, I told you to stop reading, not my fault if that’s a spoiler for you), he is really a nice guy. Conscientious mayor, family man…but, then there’s that pesky evil villain thing. The Big Bad of season three, Mayor Wilkins giggles his way into our hearts along with his dislike of germs and swearing, and his assertion that “there’s nothing uncool about healthy teeth and bones!”

NUMBER ONE – SPIKE (SCHOOL HARD)

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Come on, who doesn’t love Spike? He is a big softie in some ways, but starts out as one of the leanest, meanest bad guys around as one of the Big Bads of season two. I love his relationship with Buffy’s mum as it grows over time, it’s an incredibly human side to an otherwise larger than life character. James Marsters did an excellent job with this role. I can’t think of anyone who did not, at some point, absolutely love him. In the Vampires Special Edition issue of SFX (Special Edition 39), Spike was voted by readers as the number one greatest screen vampire of all time.

In case Buffy fans were wondering, other appearances on that list were: Angel/Angelus at number 3, Drusilla at number 10, Darla at number 25, Harmony at 31 (what?!), Vamp Willow at 32 (how did Harmony beat her??), and the Master at 39 (she beat the Master?).

Runners up on my list here were Adam (The I in Team), the Master (Welcome to the Hellmouth) and Faith (Faith Hope and Trick).

What about you? Who are your favourite villains from Buffy, and why?

July Loot Crate Unboxing – VILLAINS

Oh man, I was really looking forward to last month’s (July’s) theme! Everyone loves to hate a villain, and sometimes we just plain love them. There were so many rumours going around about the contents of this box, and the only one I knew for sure was true was that it would contain a t-shirt! But what was in the box all up?

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First thing was this ‘Joki’ t-shirt, the one thing I knew would be in the Loot Crate. Well, I didn’t know what the design would be, just that a shirt would be present. If you can’t tell, it’s an amalgamation of the Joker and Loki…arguably the most popular DC and Marvel villains at the moment both represented in the one image. Also, they’re two of the villains that enjoy tricking people the most, which I think is neat. Love love love this shirt!

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This is part of a Rocket Raccoon variant cover that is Loot Crate exclusive. I always feel a bit weird sharing people’s art, especially when it is supposed to be exclusive, so despite the fact that I know it is likely all over the Internet from the moment the boxes start arriving at Looters homes, it’s one of my charming idiosyncrasies. I am super happy with this!

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Two posters in this one, each poster is approximately A4 sized. These are going up in my living room. I was going to put them in my bedroom, but figured that Joker one would give me some awful nightmares! They are, however, beautifully done. I do love Harley Quinn.

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Deadpool socks!!! Look! Deadpool socks! Despite the fact they are a little thin, I still love them a lot. In the first pic there is also the collector’s badge that comes in every Loot Crate! I have five on my tote bag so far…I wonder what I will do when I run out of room…

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A Darth Vader keyring…this is made of a good quality bendy plastic, and was on my key chain approximately 17 seconds after I took this photo!

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An adorable Bowser magnet and a documentary on the villains of the DC Universe. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet but will report back when I do :)

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THIS is the inside of the box! Normally it’s just the orange with some white writing, but this time, apparently the villains went a little crazy and graffiti-ed my box! My goodness, of course they weren’t all printed this way, I must have just been unlucky enough to get the one that was so terribly defaced.

I jest, of course. But I am impressed by adding in the extra little detail like that, kudos to Loot Crate!

For the $30 this month, this box came to almost $60 of value, at a quick estimate…definitely delivering value as well as amazing cool stuff!

This is definitely my favourite Crate so far…however this month’s (August’s) theme is Heroes…can they top the awesomeness of the Villains one? Tune in at the end of this month to find out! Same Nerd time…same Nerd channel :D

Top 10 Fictional Heroines

We all have our favourite heroes…well I know I do, I just kind of assume that everyone else does too. But today I want to talk about my favourite heroines. A lot of different factors were considered for this list, and I know many people likely won’t agree with some entries (or omissions) but this is my own list of my top ten favourite fictional heroines all the way up to my number one. Also, dare I say, possible spoilers…maybe…

NUMBER TEN – PRINCESS LEIA (STAR WARS)

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Princess Leia, apart from shooting way better than the many Stormtroopers she encounters, is apparently well-entrenched in the Rebel Alliance when the saga first begins. She’s fighting for a cause, using her position to help people. Even when chained up to Jabba the Hutt, she still manages to kick butt.

NUMBER NINE – MULAN (MULAN)

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She saved China. Mulan proved a gal can be as mighty a warrior as a guy, although to be fair she did do it with a platoon backing her up. She defied expectations, and used her brain, her guts and her heart to win over her fellow soldiers and all of China, as well as winning the battle.

NUMBER EIGHT – HERMIONE GRANGER (HARRY POTTER)

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Hermione gave up literally everything to help save the day. She was smart, accomplished in a field where she was ridiculed, had a love story without being wishy-washy or overly sexualised and basically just owned everything she tried. She went through quite a bit and came out the end even stronger.

NUMBER SEVEN – CLARY FRAY (MORTAL INSTRUMENTS)

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Adapting remarkably quickly from the mundane world to the lifestyle and dangers of the Shadowhunters, Clary thinks on her feet, learns fast and changes lives. Sure, the whole love story arc is a big thing for her, and is for most heroines. But unlike, say for example Bella of Twilight, she actually gets off her laurels, learns a few things, saves a few lives and grows as a person.

NUMBER SIX – MAGGIE GREENE (THE WALKING DEAD)

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Maggie is surrounded by death and horror, being that it is the zombie apocalypse. But she gets up and kills the bad things til they’re really dead, then snuggles up to her honey, and looks darn fine doing it. She doesn’t wait around for people to do things for her, she sets out to do them for herself. She’s just such a strong and realistic female character.

NUMBER FIVE – KATNISS EVERDEEN (HUNGER GAMES)

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Katniss dodged the law and provided for her family, offered herself in place of her sister to save her life, and used her gifts and skills to help others. This is before she inadvertently started a revolution to free a whole country of people from the tyrannical rule of the Capitol. And while she definitely didn’t want to be the face of that revolution, she took the knocks and kept on fighting.

NUMBER FOUR - FAITH LEHANE (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER)

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Yes, I know, technically Faith was a bad guy for a while there. But to begin and in the end, she was a heroine. She was strong, sassy, self-reliant, and a bunch of other s-words. She knew how to “find the fun” (albeit sometimes a bit too much) and seemed to live for the moment (again, sometimes a bit too much). If she had been slightly more steady and a little less extreme, she would have been a great role model. And she whined about a million times less than Buffy did, making me prefer her a bit over the titular character.

NUMBER THREE – RIVER TAM (FIREFLY & SERENITY)

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Despite her mental instabilities, River is sweet, funny, incredibly smart and pretty much lethal. She is a crack shot without looking, calculates unimaginable mathematical odds, remembers basically everything, takes on ridiculous amounts of people alone and wins. She outsmarts pretty much every one, has what amounts to psychic powers, and manages to be a graceful whirling dervish of death.

NUMBER TWO – ANITA BLAKE (ANITA BLAKE SERIES)

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Created by Laurell K Hamilton, and the subject of books and comics (and the on and off rumours of a TV series), Anita is a vampire hunter and animator of the dead. I really only like to read around about the first ten books (or maybe less), because later she becomes less a heroine and more of a really slutty hybrid of everything she comes into contact with, full of self-loathing and anger. But to begin with, oh man she kicked so much butt. She is strong and independent, feels the fear and fights anyway, is attractive but not annoyingly so, and just stomps in a fight. But only early on. Stick with the early books, unless you’re looking for True Blood meets Dr Doolittle. But more pornographic.

NUMBER ONE - HELEN PARR/ELASTIGIRL (THE INCREDIBLES)

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Being a mum myself, I admire Helen/Elastigirl as a mum and a heroine. She is holding a family together – especially one with that particular make up of people – while dealing with her marital issues as best she can. She beats up on criminals, protects her children while also encouraging them to grow as people, and maintains a sense of humour. If I weren’t a mum myself, perhaps she might not have made the list, but Elastigirl is a Supermum!

Other heroines that almost made it but not quite included Trinity (The Matrix), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), and Black Widow (Avengers).

Who are your favourite heroines? Share in the comments!

Top 10 Powers I Would Like to Have

So they have just opened up the new complex across the road from us and the exchange box has been sooo congested it’s been useless (hence the extra week off), but it seems to be all sorted now.  Fingers crossed, touch wood, all that jazz.

So without further ado, on to this week’s top 10.  This week: the Top 10 Powers I Would Like to Have.  You know, if I were to be a mutant, or be bitten by something radioactive, or shot by a magical powers gun or something.  From ten all the way up to my number one!

NUMBER TEN – SUPER SPEED

While I can see this being really handy, I can also see it having three very distinct disadvantages.  Number one, everything would feel super slow and boring if I were to slow down to the same speed as everyone else.  Number two, if I didn’t slow down, it could be potentially dangerous.  I mean, I am really clumsy at normal person speed, I can’t imagine the damage I could sustain (or inflict) going super fast.  Lastly, if I ended up for some reason working as a contractor I would finish so quickly I would lose all those hours of pay.  But still, this makes it to my list – only 5 minutes every morning doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms?  Yes please!

NUMBER NINE – FLYING

Who doesn’t want to fly?  Not only would it be a free and environmentally friendly method of transport, but it would be super fun.  Although see above re being clumsy; I can’t imagine my landings would be anywhere as spectacular as the concept of flying.

NUMBER EIGHT – CONTROLLING THE ELEMENTS

The ability to control Earth, Air, Water and Fire, would come in handy no end.  Can you imagine being able to weed the garden without climbing in there with the spiders?  Rinsing plates without having to put down a glass of wine?  Drying your clothes after a rainstorm so you don’t freeze your toes off in the air conditioning at work?  This has myriad practical as well as epic uses.

NUMBER SEVEN – TELEKINESIS

The ability to move objects with one’s mind.  Just float things around, no worries.  Yes.  The first thing that always comes to mind with this is picking up a phone book with the powers of my mind and squishing the giant spiders we often find in our homes here in Australia without having to go near it and freak out when it chases me after I miss.

NUMBER SIX – SHAPE-SHIFTING

By this I mean free-form shape-shifting, the ability to turn into any living creature and back again at will.  Run with the wolves, fly like a bird, swim with sharks…all without the limitations of the human body.  Plus, you get to be a fly on the wall of all those situations where you say, ‘oh, if only to be a fly on that wall.’  Of course, I would only use my powers for good, not evil, or even kinda naughty.  Only good.

NUMBER FIVE – INVISIBILITY

With some of the benefits of shape-shifting, plus numerous practical applications, this is the lowest to make it into my top five.  Although this one depends on the type of invisibility.  Is it the type where your clothes go invisible with you, or would you have to be running round buck naked all the time?  Because for me that would severely limit the situations I would feel comfortable using this power is.  If I were to end up in a situation where my powers don’t work or someone has a power that lets them see through mine…well, awkward wouldn’t begin to cover it!

NUMBER FOUR – IMMEDIATE LEARNING

I don’t even know a name for this, so if someone can help me out in the comments that would be appreciated.  But I am thinking something along the lines of Neo learning kung fu in The Matrix, or like that girl in Heroes who once she sees something done, even on TV, she knows how to do it.  This would make me so happy.  I love learning new things, so anything that makes that speedier, allowing me more time to learn even more new things, would be great.

NUMBER THREE – REGENERATION

Not to the point of living forever, because then it would just be sad watching everyone I know grow old and die, not to mention the lynch mobs because they think I am a vampire.  But simply speedy healing, not getting sick, slightly prolonged lifespan (so I want to look at most 35 when I am 50, sue me).  Minor injuries a thing of the past, and being back on my feet in record time after major ones.

NUMBER TWO – PREMONITIONS

Kind of like Phoebe from Charmed, I would love to be able to tell the future on things.  Although preferably not limited to just innocents that need saving, I don’t know if I have time for that to become a full-time thing.  But some things would be good to know ahead of time, both silly little things like whether this boyfriend is going to be a big cheater, and big things like whether to get on this plane or wait for one that won’t trash.

NUMBER ONE – MIND READING

This would be my number one power I would like to have.  Not in a Buffy going crazy because she can’t tune it out kind of way.  More in a Matt from Heroes squinting at someone and hearing their thoughts kind of way.  All that squinting might give me wrinkles really early in life, but come on….who wants to look 35 at 50? ;)

What about you?  What powers would YOU like to have?  Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Non-Weapon Items

A little back story here – I have recently dipped my toe into the world of podcasts.  One of the ones I absolutely love is Top Five, by the awesome people over at Major Spoilers (who also bring you Critical Hit, Zach on Film, and several other super fun and interesting podcasts).  I could listen to these guys all day, and sometimes have!  Head over to their site and listen to some of their stuff, there’s something there for everyone and it’s all incredibly entertaining.  If you like what you hear, definitely donate or grab some of their merchandise, it’s amazing.

But anyway, Top Five is probably my absolute favourite podcast of all time, and the latest one released was their “Top Five Practical Sci-Fi or Fantasy Items that are NOT Weapons“.  This got me thinking about my Top 10 of those (since I do Top 10 posts), so here for your enjoyment are my Top 10 Non-Weapon Items from Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fiction, in order up to my number one.

 

NUMBER TEN – PORTAL GUN (PORTAL)

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While I currently can’t see a practical application as to how exactly I would use this on a day-to-day basis, I still really want one.  I am sure I could think of something.  Perhaps easing the ‘roll out of bed and be standing beside the coffee’ process.

NUMBER NINE – THE NEURALIZER (MEN IN BLACK)

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I do a lot of embarrassing things, so the ability to make everyone in the immediate vicinity forget what just happened would be pretty handy for me!  I am sure there would be better, more refined uses for it, but that would be the most common one for me if I had one.

NUMBER EIGHT – A RING OF SUSTENANCE (D&D)

An awesome and quite popular magical item in Dungeons & Dragons (or Pathfinder, or other RPG), the ring of sustenance means not only do you not need to eat or drink, but you only need two hours of sleep per night.  Imagine all the time this would free up!  Now all I need is 2500 gp and I am set!

NUMBER SEVEN – THE POINT OF VIEW GUN (HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY)

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Technically this is a gun.  However you couldn’t actually injure or kill someone with it (as far as I can imagine) so I feel like it’s allowable, like the Portal gun.  If you shoot someone with the point of view gun, they instantly see things from your point of view.  This would be beyond helpful, this would be awesome.  I would use this all the time.  This doesn’t force someone to agree with you, just allows them to see your point of view, which would help negotiations without removing free will.  I am sold on it.

NUMBER SIX – BAG OF HOLDING (D&D)

In D&D, Pathfinder and other RPGs, a common item is the bag of holding, a bag that opens into a pocket dimension, rendering it capable of carrying 40 times its own weight (the usual measurement).  I really need one of these because being a mum I am usually required to carry about that much stuff in a bag that doesn’t open into a pocket dimension, and that makes the bag rather heavy.  Similar to Mary Poppins’ carpet bag and Hermione’s little beaded handbag with its Undetectable Extension Charm.

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Although, the closest I will get to that is the above bag from Cafepress for $41.  Sigh.

NUMBER FIVE – HYDRATOR (BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 2)

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This is pretty cool.  A lot of people are all, yeah let’s have nutrition cubes or three-course-meal gum, but I like the actual eating and tasting process too much to lose it.  But spending ages cooking when it’s not by choice is not much fun.  So the Hydrator from Back to the Future 2 is number five on my list.  It looks like something I would use a lot.

NUMBER FOUR – THE DREAM POD (SIMS 3)

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I know, sci-fi/fantasy is the theme, although I feel this fits the theme being advanced technology from the Sims future, and the Sims is fictional.  So it feels like it fits.  Not only does the dream pod look super comfy, but they come in some pretty cool colours, you don’t need to sleep for as long to be fully rested, and whatever you dream about actually improves your skill or feelings in some way.  Bonus!

NUMBER THREE – THE BATMOBILE (BATMAN)

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From the Michael Keaton Batman.  Michael Keaton is my second favourite Batman and this is my favourite of the Batmobiles.  I don’t have a licence, so the whole ‘it drives itself’ thing would be super awesome.  Plus it’s a sexy car.  And has various gadgets that I love, including holographic projectors.  Also I discovered in real life this is actually a Chev Impala under all those Batman add-ons, which is even better.

 

NUMBER TWO – PERKINS’ TENT (FIRST APPEARANCE HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE)

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Thought to be made possible with the use of yet another Undetectable Extension Charm, this is one of my favourite useful items from a sci-fi/fantasy setting.  Words cannot describe how much I love this tent and fervently wish I had one of my own. Right now. If I had this tent I would want to go camping 50 million times as often as I will once I get a boring old Muggle tent.

NUMBER ONE – THE OASIS (READY PLAYER ONE)

First the OASIS itself (a truly actually massive MMO system that the whole world uses with virtual reality goggles and haptic gloves to do absolutely everything from school to shopping to recreation) would need to be real.  Then I would want the system to access it.  And none of this shoddy Stacks stuff, a good rig.  Then I would need unlimited credits.  I could visit all the fictional worlds I want, hang out and do basically everything, all from the comfort of my own home.  If you haven’t read this book by Ernest Cline, you must.  Not only that, but the audiobook is narrated by Wil Wheaton, which is awesome.

So that’s my Top 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Non-Weapon Items!  Go listen to the Top FIve podcast, and then comment there with your Top 5!  Then comment here as well and let me know!  If you only have one absolute must-have item, or think you can make it to ten, I would love to read that too!

April LootCrate Unboxing – DRAGON

So this month the theme of the Loot Crate was Dragon (wooo!).  While I am still searching for my video camera, I tried to make a video unboxing with my phone but it was a bit….bad.  So another picture post unboxing this month…still got some moving boxes that were never unpacked to look through for the camera as well as the dreaded spare room closet.  But anyway…

I was super-excited to get this crate, and it arrived here 3 business days after it was posted from America, which is even better than the 6 days it took last time!  I keep expecting I will get it something like two weeks after people start tweeting about theirs (considering I am in Australia), but this is great!

The first thing I found in my crate this time (after the interview/overview booklet with its beautiful artwork) was a little Elder Scrolls figurine.  The box said they were LootCrate exclusive, which I think is great – this is stuff that generally speaking you can’t go out and buy just anywhere.  I got a little Nord fellow, so he’s sitting here at my computer watching me type this.  His helmet and weapons are separate pieces and his arms and head are movable.

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Then there is a Game of Thrones vinyl figurine.  I didn’t open this because I don’t actually watch the show (I know, I have heard the disbelief expressed repeatedly) so I am keeping that aside for a possible future giveaway.  I have a friend who is subscribed who got Tyrion, and apparently that’s a good thing, and I saw a few people on Twitter lamenting the receipt of a character named Joffrey…so it seems there are favourite characters and not so favourite ones in the boxes.

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I love the next item – a big orange d20 stress ball!  I also received a normal green d20 as well, and one can never have too many of those, so that’s pretty good.  The 20 on the stress ball is a little picture of the LootCrate logo!

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I am not sure about whether to use the next item or not – a dragon shield screen cleaner for my phone.  I would hate to lose the sticky even though it says it is restickable, but really if I don’t use it because I don’t want to end up not being able to use it, then it just sits there being…not used.  Either way, it’s very pretty, and potentially useful.  The design is a dragon around its treasure – a LootCrate!

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The edible item this month was quite surprising – as far as I have heard it is usually sweets, however this month it was different.  It was dragon jerky.  I kid you not.  It took me a little while to decide whether I wanted to eat it.  I love jerky.  But not only was I not sure whether it was a gimmick or real food, but the concept of eating a dragon (however fantastical) was still disturbing.  Even though I am obviously aware it is not made of dragon.  In the end I ate it, and it was pretty good.  Not the best jerky ever, however it was still quite nice.

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The next item is a cute little novelty dogtag and I really like it.  I am considering having it be a traveling trophy within my Pathfinder group when a dragon is killed during combat.  But that would mean I would have to give it to someone else.  So I will probably end up being selfish and keeping it all to myself.

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There was also the collector’s pin, as there is every month, and that went straight onto my tote with last month’s.  I wonder what I will do with them when I run out of room!

If you want to subscribe, head on over to LootCrate and choose a monthly, 3-monthly or 6-monthly subscription.  I have to say, as far as I am concerned it is definitely worth it.  This box was $30 and it contained almost $50 of value, which is great!  Best feeling to open my door and see that sitting there.

In the interests of full disclosure, the above link does give me a small discount to my next box when people use it to subscribe, and if you sign up make sure to share yours too!  So thanks to anyone who does use it!

Gaming Day Chicken Casserole

So for Foodie Friday this week (yes, I know, Wednesday Board Game issues again, sorry), I wanted to share something I use quite often.  When I have people come over to play games, whether they be video, board or RP, I like to feed them.  Call me old-fashioned.  But I don’t like to stop playing to go cook dinner.  So one of the things I make is this chicken casserole – it’s delicious, I don’t have to stop playing to cook I only have to spoon it into bowls and keep going, and most people like (or at least don’t hate) chicken and vegetable casserole.  Not only that, but it makes about six servings, so it is the perfect amount of food.  This is a slow-cooker recipe, which is why I don’t have to get up to cook – it’s been cooking all day.  It has the added of bonus of the house smelling a-frickin-mazing when everyone arrives as well.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1kg chicken thighs or breast, cut into large chunks (I like to use thighs because the cuts are cheaper, but when cooked in the slow cooker are tender and delicious)
  • 1 kg brushed potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks….I literally only just noticed the recipe calls for them to be peeled as I was typing.  I haven’t been peeling them, just washing and chopping, and it has actually worked fine, so if you want an extra time saving tip for this, that works
  • 2 x 420g tins of Cream of Chicken condensed soup
  • 1 tbsp. chicken stock powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 500g frozen chunky vegetable mix (if you use those Steam Fresh bags that you would usually microwave, use two, and obviously put them in still frozen lol)

METHOD:

  1. In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and fry the chicken pieces until golden on each side.  This can be done the night before and refrigerated to same some time on the day, if you like.
  2. Place the chicken in the slow cooker with the potatoes, condensed soup, stock powder, water and vegetable mix.  Combine well.
  3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
  4. If you like bacon, fry some with the chicken and add it (I keep forgetting to try this!).

I found this recipe on Kidspot, and it is attributed to Jennifer Cheung as being created for that site.  I leave out an ingredient here, do something a tiny bit different there, but essentially, this is someone else’s recipe, so I just want to give credit where credit is due. I <3 this recipe, and so does everyone who has eaten it when I have made it, so in my opinion, this rocks!

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