Monster Hunter: World – Early Impressions

First off, My Palico is cuter than yours.

Okay, that’s not true.  All Palicos are adorable in their own way… but look at that little tuft of purple fur around his eye!  What a stinkin’ charmer!

I’ve spent about 4 hours with Monster Hunter: World (playing on a launch model PS4), the first hour was spent creating my character and my Palico.  Honestly, that’s been my favorite part of the game so far.  There are certainly other things to like strewn about the world, especially once it opens up and you can start exploring freely and doing side-quests (something that I’ve only just now unlocked and started to tinker with), but the combat isn’t gelling with me yet (that might be my fault, I picked Bow and Arrow) and the game throws about a million new systems at you all at once.

I’ve spent some time today watching tutorial videos on some of the systems that the game decides to just fluff past with a quick two-screen info dump of a “tutorial”, but I still feel a little lost when it comes to upgrades, money, leveling up and crafting.  I haven’t even touched the online component, but that all seems needlessly complicated as well.

I also understand that these games have a very passionate fanbase that wants exactly what this game is offering, and considering this is supposed to be the “approachable” one for new-comers, I guess I’m just glad this is the first one I’ve tried.

If nothing else, my driving force of getting my Palico the cutest possible outfit should propel me to getting at least 20 hours out of this game.

Last night I got him a mustache:

God damn that’s cute.

Shohei Ohtani Baseball Cards Are Going To Bankrupt Me

You might be thinking to yourself “Why, that’s a silly title. What reasonable person would become bankrupt by some baseball cards?”

That’s where you’re wrong.  I am not a reasonable person.

Back in Early December, when the Angels signed Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani, I went through two phases:

Elation.  Oh my god.  The Angels did it.  They put their resources into a smart baseball move and pulled it off.  This is a very exciting day for the baseball team I love so dearly.

Damnation.  Oh my god.  The Angels did it.  They got the hottest 2018 baseball rookie and their price in the baseball card market are going to skyrocket.  I’m going to spend the entire year chasing his jerk’s autographs and be lucky to have a handful of Parker Bridwell autographs and a shitty grey jersey card.

2018 Donruss Baseball

Don’t get me wrong.  I collect Angels baseball cards.  I’ll be happy with some Parker Bridwell autographs.  But the investment into those Bridwell cards is going to be insane because of Ohtani (and the Angels were always overpriced thanks to one Michael Trout, despite his cards being some of the rarest in the hobby).

I’ve already got my 2018 in baseball card collecting slightly panned out, but now I’m calling audibles… looking at boxes of garbage (also, that’s not fair.  Donruss is a really good product, it just doesn’t have much re-sell value thanks to Topps monopoly on the MLB license and logos) because I MIGHT get some Ohtani cards.

It doesn’t help that he is also going to be signing some product in both English and Japanese.  I obviously need to get one of each.  I NEED it.  Both displayed proudly next to each other.  This is my life now.

I can’t let him win.  I need to control myself.  I’ve got a future to think about.  A new car.  A house.  Vacations.

2018 Topps Heritage Baseball

Ok… I’ll buy another box.


NOTE: This is a post from my Angels specific Blog over at  I’m considering moving everything over here full time, or at least playing with the idea of double posting.  In the meantime, here this is in both places!

Is OK Go the Last Music Act to Cash in on the Music Video?


So… in the 80’s and 90’s, at the height of MTV’s popularity, it would happen all the time where a sorta-catchy song that wasn’t really working on the radio would have a weird or fun video that would shoot the song to the top of the charts. Now that music videos don’t really get a lot of play on television and most of it is done on YouTube, it takes a lot for a weird, unique music video to give a song success it wouldn’t have otherwise.

So is “Here it Goes Again” the last time this is going to happen? OK Go were a decently known indie rock band with little-to-no radio play and almost no chart success. But with “Here it Goes Again”, they wanted a fun video to put up on the internet and maybe get some buzz for their new album. So the no-cuts, dancing on the treadmills video was born. It goes viral and you hear that song everywhere.  OK Go sell millions of copies of that album, millions more downloads of that song on iTunes and boom, they’ve made it… even if just as a “one-hit wonder”, there is nothing wrong with that.

For conversation’s sake, I included “Gangnam Style” by Psy here as well… even though it really isn’t in the same spirit here as OK Go is. “Gangnam Style” would have literally  zero chance on American Radio if it wasn’t for the video (whereas OK Go MAYBE would have had a shot if Alt Stations picked up that single). The video blows up, breaks all kinds of YouTube records, that’s great for Psy and probably changes his life. Not quite the same, but I know if I didn’t include this bit, most of you would probably just be thinking “yeah, OK Go sure… but what about Gangnam Style?”

The video made the song a hit, but it’s such an internet-only anomaly that it never would have happened on the highly meticulous MTV in 1985, as edgy as that station was at the time (or so I’m lead to believe).

Are these the last musical acts that will be “made” by their music video? The way people listen to music now is already so splintered and varied. There are a dozen or so genres that all have devoted followings, and many of those have even more varied sub-genres and the like. Some people just listen to what they know or hear on the radio, others let Pandora feed them what they might like, and even others seek out the newest and most unique music they can find (and some people do a combination of everything). From there, some people use YouTube to queue up a bunch of music videos, or use Spotify to listen to the newest music. And from time to time, in a dusty, dank warehouse somewhere, people are looking at album art in a record shop. It’s going to take a lot for a music video of some unknown act’s never-before-heard song to push them to the big time, especially without the help of a big record label or radio station backing them.

OK Go struck gold while YouTube was in it’s infancy, but now that the video streaming service is rapidly changing and feeding you videos of what it already knows you like, is the opportunity still there for the next band to make a unique video and have it transform their lives? Probably not, I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.

Dinosaur of the Week – Triceratops


There are probably two or three dinosaurs that you immediately think of upon hearing the word “Dinosaur”.  One, for sure, is the T-Rex, another might be the Brontosaurus (even though that’s an Apatosaurus, dawg.  We’ll get to that another time, don’t worry).  But perhaps the most instantly memorable dino is the Triceratops.  Known for it’s three horns and hard bony shell atop it’s head (it’s name literally translates to “three horned face”), Triceratops makes a great case for being so damn popular.

First discovered near Denver, Colorado in 1887 (although at that time, it was just a few spikes that the paleontologists at the time had no idea belonged to this new classification of dinosaur), the Triceratops was indigenous to what is now North America.  Fossils have been found in Colorado, the Dakotas, Montana and parts of Canada.  There are two verified species of Triceratops that have been discovered (T. horridus and T. prorsus), although dozens of other specimens have been unearthed over the last 130 years.  Triceratops is unique in that its one of the few dinosaurs that has verified fossils of almost every life stage from birth to adulthood.


While on the topic of stages of the Triceratops’ life, it was recently reported though fossil evidence that Triceratops could be a younger-still version of a similar ceratopsid (horned dinosaur) Torosaurus.  I don’t buy it, seeing as the skulls don’t really seem to indicate that the two were that similar, but paleontologists are continuing to study this finding, and hopefully soon we will have a strong enough hypothesis one way or the other.

Top: Triceratops skull fossil. Bottom: Torosaurus skull fossil.
Top: Triceratops skull fossil.
Bottom: Torosaurus skull fossil.

In pop culture, the Triceratops shows up EVERYWHERE.  One of the earliest dinosaur scenes in the first Jurassic Park featured a sick Triceratops.  Animated films like We’re Back and The Land Before Time series both featured Triceratops’ in a major role.  Earl’s boss from the 90’s sitcom Dinosaurs, B.P. Richfield, was a Triceratops.  Basically, if you are making a show or a movie with dinosaurs, it’s gonna have a Triceratops.


Perhaps the most well known facet of the Triceratops is it’s assumed rivalry with the major predator of the Late Cretaceous period, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  From movies, television or even on display at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, we’ve had this vision of T-Rex battling Triceratops ingrained in us for decades.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  They lived in the same part of the world, at the same time in history.  The largest predatory dinosaur squaring off with one of the largest and more fearsome herbivores?  Awesome.


So, if everything we know now is to be believed, the Triceratops was one dope ass dinosaur who had a history series of classic battles with the biggest land predator of all time.  They also have become synonymous with the word “dinosaur” and have been a fixture of pop culture for 120 years. Hell, it could even turn out that in the next 5-10 years, we could learn that this wasn’t even the Triceratops’ final form, and she gets even bigger and more impressive an animal as the Torosaurus.

What a cool freaking dinosaur.

In Which I Obsess About Uniforms (NBA Season Preview Edition)


Back when I wrote exclusively about the Los Angeles Angels over on Angels Nation, I had a semi-recurring series where I put aside everything else and just focused on Uniforms and why I love them so much.  With the Anaheim Ducks recently unveiling their new Third Jerseys and the NBA season right around the corner, I thought we’d take a look at the new looks in the NBA this season!

  1. Milwaukee Bucks


It seems like every year the Bucks get new jerseys or some new alternate… just last year they had updated all three of their jerseys.  Those were alright, but these new ones are fresh as hell.  A nice simple approach with a superbly basic color scheme.  Gone is the Christmas Red that plagued this club in the past.  Instead, you get green on white (or vice versa at home) in some great blocky-type lettering… some clean blocky numbers and a really vintage approach with some modern touches.  These could be a top-five look in the league now.

2. Los Angeles Clippers

*sigh*  At least they didn’t go with the black monstrosity they were rumored to have back in April… It looked like a bad create-a-team jersey in NBA 2k14.

Even so, these new jerseys (along with the new logo) are just ugly as sin.  I know the new ownership group wanted to distance themselves from the losing (and racist) history of the former owner, but holy hell, just move the team to a different city… don’t do this.  These are the basketball jerseys of some alternate history where Michael Jordan played soccer instead of basketball, the sport never took off and miscreants were allowed to run teams.

I hope this is a one-and-done situation for the Clippers, or I’ll have to start blindly following another NBA team whose games I never watch.

3. Atlanta Hawks

knxv atlanta hawks new uniforms_1435185426539_20290805_ver1.0_640_480

Yikes, and I thought the Clippers had it bad.  Actually, with a nice, plain material on each of these uniforms, these wouldn’t be AS terrible (just regular terrible), but whatever weird Q-Bert block design they chose to go with… just yuck.

I do like the re-introduction of the old “pac-man” logo, but to slap it on these monstrosities is an injustice on the levels of the steroid bird logo the Blue Jays had for ONE season.

I feel like the Hawks need to drop the Yellow from their pallet completely, embrace the red, white and black… maybe stop using “ATL” as an abbreviation on their jerseys (there is enough room there for “Atlanta” or “Hawks”)… and go back to a simpler material.

4. Toronto Raptors


Alright… okay… this is better.  Nice and simple.  There might be a bit too much of an arc on the lettering, but it’s a step in the right direction.

It does come with a fancy new logo and heightened expectations on the team last year (after falling a little flat in the playoffs despite a nice regular season, a fact I only know because I follow so many damn people from Toronto on Twitter).  But I’m sure whomever is actually playing for the Raptors these days (probably not Vince Carter anymore, right?) will looks pretty good in this solid jersey.  Kinda wish they’d go back to the old Purple scheme… but I suppose purple is a Lakers thing.

5. Philadelphia 76ers


Alright… new plan. If you can’t manage to fit the name of your city on your away jerseys… move the team to a city with less letters in it’s name.  If you are in a city with an common acronym (see: LA, OKC, DC, NY, etc), okay… you get a pass… but this is getting out of hand.  With Philly, it’s even worse, because if they had put “Philly”, I probably wouldn’t have had a problem!  At least that’s a nickname for the city!

I know this is what the Sixers used to do, but just because we used to do something doesn’t mean we should keep doing it… (see: inequality, Jay Leno hosting things, etc)  These jerseys are also too reminicent of the “retro” jerseys the Sixers have been going with the last few seasons.  There are two GREAT “retro” jerseys in Philadelphia’s past:  1. The one Allen Iverson wore and 2. These patriotic masterpieces they had in the early 90’s.

These are boring, plain and don’t have enough going on.  Take some risks, and I don’t mean the thirteen stars on the players crotch.

Overview: Basketball jerseys are probably my least favorite jerseys in all the sports I follow… but there are some fantastic exceptions out there (Lakers, Bulls).  Obviously, the Milwaukee Bucks run away with the “Best New Jerseys of the 2015-16 NBA Season” Award, but the Raptors gave a decent effort as well.  Worst New Jersey would disappointingly have to go to my beloved(?) Clippers.  It’s gonna make it really tough to watch the first and last five minutes of their games this year.


Basketball sucks.

Dinosaur of the Week – Utahraptor


Hell yeah, Dinosaurs!

This is a new Weekly(ish) segment where I school all ya’ll on a specific type of Dinosaur!  I figured for the first segment, I’d go with what is probably my favorite Dinosaur, the Utahraptor.

You remember the really cool Velociraptors from Jurassic Park (and World)?  Well, those were PROBABLY actually closer to what would have been a Utahraptor in real life.  Velociraptors were roughly the size of a turkey, while Utahraptors were the more familiar 8-foot tall set of teeth and claws.

The different sizes of the Raptor family, with a particularly dapper human for scale.
The different sizes of the Raptor family, with a particularly dapper human for scale.

The first fossil evidence of the Utahraptor was found in 1975 in, you guessed it, Utah (near Moab).  They later found enough Utahraptor specimens to give them their official classification (Utahraptor ostrommaysorum).

What makes the Utahraptor particularly special (and thus my favorite Dinosaur) is that was essentially the biggest, toughest Raptor on record.  When you consider this species commonly hunted in packs, it makes them even more interesting.  Most large dinosaurs were theorized to have hunted alone (similarly to your biggest Sharks today), so to have such a skillful predator running around with half a dozen buddies… man, what a cool freaking dinosaur.

The Utahraptor was also the main character of one my favorite dinosaur books growing up, Raptor Red. Raptor Red worked a fictional tale from what the paleontology world was learning about the Raptors of North America in the Early to Mid 90’s. It was a book told from the point of view of the raptor, which completely changed my view of how to write Dino books (and led to about a dozen short stories and comic books I wrote growing up where the lead protagonist was a Dinosaur of some sort).  Written by famed paleontologist Robert T. Bakker (remember the paleontologist who gets eaten in the waterfall by the T. Rex in The Lost World: Jurassic Park?   That was basically Spielberg’s homage to Bakker), Raptor Red remains one of my favorite pieces of Dinosaur fiction to this day.

In short, the Utahraptor was easily one of the dopest Dinosaurs to ever exist, and is one of, like, three cool things to actually come out of the state of Utah (the others being Fry Sauce and Steve Young).


Want to recommend a future Dinosaur of the Week?  You can either comment on this article or send me a suggestion over at Twitter (@JoshCantBlah, or @JoshCantBlog after November 1st).

Star Trek Diaries #8 – Star Trek: Episode 8 “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”


Feels so good to be back!  Still not sure what format this is gonna take, but within seconds of hearing the classic theme, I’m super happy to be doing this again.  September is a pretty nothing month, so maybe we can get through all of season one!  Continue reading “Star Trek Diaries #8 – Star Trek: Episode 8 “What Are Little Girls Made Of?””

Star Trek Diaries #7 – Star Trek: Episode 7 “Mudd’s Women”


(Editor’s Note: This will be the final Star Trek Diary pulled from my Tumblr page from many months ago!  The series will be resurrected on Monday, August 31st!  Still not sure which format I’ll use, or if I’ll make up a third format, or whatever, but the series WILL be back on Monday!) Continue reading “Star Trek Diaries #7 – Star Trek: Episode 7 “Mudd’s Women””