January 2012

Magic The Gathering: The Official Encyclopedia

Before there was Pokeman and Yugioh, there was Magic: The Gathering. There were collectible card games before it, but Magic set the bar for obsession and card count. Hundreds of thousands of people spend thousands of dollars to collect thousands of cards.


Magic is a prolific game and created the collectible card game craze that swept the nation. With so many cards out there, a collector would have a difficult time knowing exactly what cards he has left and their value in the game. That's why they created Magic The Gathering: The Official Encyclopedia. These books cover more than five volumes and include every card every produced by the Wizards of the Coast's Magic:The Gathering.

Carnival Secrets: How to Win at Carnival Games

So, you have a new girlfriend and you want to impress her at the state fair by winning her one of those ridiculously gigantic stuffed animals that there's absolutely no use for. But, how? You can either walk in cold and lay down a small fortune, only to come home with a two cent plastic snake, or you can prepare, prepare, prepare.

There's a reason why people never win carnival games. They're rigged so the mullet-bearing carnie always comes out on top. That's right, they're purposely built to make you lose, time after embarrassing time. And, unless you know the secrets to each of the games, chances are you'll walk away with a little less pride and a lot less cash.

This is just the humiliation that author Matthew L. Gryczan is prepared to spare you with his book Carnival Secrets: How to Win at Carnival Games. Gryczan investigated these frustrating games through interviews with carnies, law enforcement agents and game manufacturers for a couple years as well as collecting his own statistics and measuring out to games to build replicas of his own. Then he took everything he learned through his study of the games and a boatload of practice on the ones he made himself and took it to the carnival circuit, boasting 10 big wins in the first year and a whole lot of money saved.

Dad, Teach Your Child (Ages 2-6) About Football

When it comes to home entertainment, I've always leaned more towards books, video games, movies and television, rather than sports. I know, I know. I should have my dude license revoked, right? It's not that I don't love a good football or baseball game, but I'd rather enjoy them in person than sitting in front of the television. There's just something about a cold brew and uncomfortable seat in the nosebleed section that appeals to my manly sensibilities.

Still, when I do sit down with my kids to catch the occasional Bears game on the TV, I think it's important that they understand what's going on. And, when I'm engrossed in the game, it can be hard to think of how to explain what's going on in terms that they'll understand easily.

I personally learned everything I know about the rules of football through gym class and watching hours upon hours of games over the course of my lifetime. I thought it would be cool to spend time with my boys specifically teaching them the rules of the game and what to watch for, but didn't know how to go about it, especially with them being so young.

Final Fantasy XIII Strategy Guide

Final Fantasy has been a staple of video gaming since the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It has become the flagship of role playing games with eye-popping graphics and more than 100 hours of gameplay.

The main role playing games of the series have long been a franchise of Playstation, but Final Fantasy XIII was the first to be released both on Playstation and Xbox 360. There is an official strategy guide for the game available in stores and amazon.com. It is designed to provide every single secret the game has to offer, so players can get maximum playability.

Final fantasy games have never been extremely difficult. They are all rather linear on the main plot, but they are filled with tons of extra quests and special weapons that are only available if you go off the primary quest and do some roaming.

This game proved no different, but the linearity was a major fault this time. A player almost doesn't need any kind of playing guide to find the majority of secrets, but since I have a collection of strategy guides dating back to Final Fantasy VII I had to make sure and complete my collection.