And a Very Mery Christmas to You All

 "You didn't post the Christmas video this year"

"Well, yeah. Dude, it's 2020. I don't think anyone is going to miss my usual shenanigans this year."

"That's why we need it more than ever!"

From the mouths of red shirts...

Man, 2020 sure seemed like the best time to throw everything in the burn bin and get on with new stuff to me. But we were both right. The bad needs to go, but we should hold on to the frivolity. If there's one thing we could always use a touch more of, it is silliness. And maybe going through some of those old traditions we might rediscover what made them special earlier. I mean... probably not, but, hey, it's worth a shot. At least you're making someone else's day special.

 Also, it isn't just about you, is it? A lot of folks have been pretty depressed and withdrawn, but that's a poor excuse to ignore that folks a little worse off might be counting on you to spread a little joy and sunshine. After all, we're all in this together :)

And thus, in the spirit of togetherness, I want to wish each and every one of you (Probably not many, since I think the security cert on the site is busted and I'm not sure what to do, lol) a spectacularly magical Christmas and hope that you're all doing much better than out friends out on Chiron Beta Prime.

On behalf of the cast and crew of GUO to you: Merry Christmas! We love you!


PS: I finally got my own 3D printer !!!!!!!




PPS: Yeah, I'm more than a little out of practice at bloggery ;)

Mojo del Diablo : A Bolder Take on Mojo Marinade and the Miami Sloppy Joe

It had been months of research and experimentation and I was still no closer to the flavor I was seeking. I had been through dozens of recipes, generations of tips, a score of regional variations, and yet the particular potion to perfectly prick my pallet proved puzzling.

It's not like I was new to wrangling pork (Insert ex-wife joke here ;) ). I had roasted the perfect loin, smothered chops so richly they had to pay taxes, and stuffed dozens of pounds of homemade sausage. But really good mojo pork... Vexing. Too sweet, too weak, just plain wrong. A had a half-dozen less than near misses under my belt. Maybe this time...

I glanced over at the notebook on the counter. It was covered more with scribbles and scratches from previous attempts than ingredients still in the running - The battle scars of a recipe in the making. My eyes flitted across the field of slashes and question marks looking for the next-

That's when I thumped the cumin bottle just a wee too hard. A large clump barreled from the jar, bounced off the measuring spoon, and gleefully splashed into the lemon juice below.

Well... That was certainly too much.

I watched the brown powder dissolve into the liquid for a while, my face slowly falling from frustrated determination to resigned catharsis.

I guess we're trying this tonight. And, ya know, while we're at it, let's just kick up the pepper too. Hey, it worked on the Italian sausage! Actually, maybe we should go back and try...

Mistakes are, after all, an opportunity to grow in new and unexpected ways.

Happy Valentines Day - Skyrim Style

While this may not be my newest piece of content, it has indisputably been my most popular. And what better day to revisit this little ode to love than today. If there's one thing 1.3 million views has taught me, it is that people love love. And comedy. And Skyrim.

A Merry Christmas to You from All the Cast and Crew!

Greetings and salutations from a chilly location in the northeastern United States as this year finds me on a rare sojourn away from the GUO homestead. But, of course, I have not forgotten about you on this most merry of days! And I haven't forgotten about our holiday tradition of checking in on the denizens of Chiron Beta Prime where the inhabitants have already achieved the dream on selflessly laboring under the caring eyes of their vastly superior robot overlords.

Here's wishing you all the merry and jolly you can suffer this magical holiday season!

As always, thanks for reading! We love you!

Mozilla's Holiday Gift Guide Ranks Gadgets Based on Privacy and Creepiness

Non-profit privacy crusaders at the Mozilla Foundation (Firefox) have released a special flavor of gift guide for this season of giving. *Privacy Not Included examines 70 online connected gadgets and scrutinizes them for security, privacy, and disclosure before assigning a "creepiness" rating ranging from Not Creepy (Nintendo Switch) to Super Creepy (Anything from Ring (Yeah, you really should hit both those links)).

Each item on the list gets a full breakdown listing security features, privacy policies, surveillance features, sensitivity of data gathered, and even includes contact information for manufacturers. The cherry on top is a delightfully written hypothesis on worst case scenario.

So maybe you're not too concerned about Fluffy's poop schedule getting out into yonder Digiverse, but ask yourself: "Do I really want to give my money to a company that can't be bothered with writing a privacy policy at all? Do I really want their app on my phone?"

Check out the full guide here.

Public Domain Horror for Halloween | Top 5

Begun anew these streaming wars have!

With the VOD landscape once again becoming fractured as every media conglomerate attempts to wall off their own little garden of content, it has become a whirlwind of inconvenience (and expense!) to get eyes on a bit of pop-culture schlock with which to get your shiver on for Halloween. Well, be afraid, dead reader! Be very afraid, for your enterprising (and cheap!) friends over here at GUO have compiled a Top 5 list of horror movies anyone can watch.

This Halloween, GUO is proud to serve up five horrible tales of terror and the macabre whose copyright has, either due to age, bankruptcy, or incompetence, slipped beyond the grasp of corporate bean counters. All of these titles can be freely downloaded from The Internet Archive and can be owned and shown without fear or reprisal or DRM. No trick, these are a real treat!

Take your blood pressured medication, dig your nails into your favorite armchair, and join us on a journey into the dark.

5. Spider Baby or The Maddest Story Ever Told

This gem of a film is, depending on your past experience, either a dark, gritty take on The Addams Family or a lighthearted peek at the family freak show from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Toss in a delightfully whimsical theme song crooned by Lon Chaney Jr. himself, and you've got a fun-filled fright fest from a family you'll be dying to spend time with.

Following the death of the patriarch of the genetically cursed Merrye family, distant relatives arrive with legal council in tow to take the children away. It is up to the family's loyal manservant Bruno to straddle the line between these folks from the city and his murderous wards to do what is best for the family. What follows is classic Old Dark House story featuring this macabre family attempting to... entertain for the night while Bruno wrestles with what fate is best for his adopted kin.

Lon Chaney Jr. (Larry Talbot (aka The Wolfman)) is charming as ever as the morally torn Bruno. Sid Haig (Captain Spaulding of The Devil's Rejects) gives a mesmerizing performance and the mute man-child Ralph.

Part humor, part horror, all fun, Spider Baby pulls off an ending most will be unlikely to see coming. This one certainly has the cred to pull of its subtitle of The Maddest Story Ever Told.

It's Okay to Stare Longingly at My Sausage

Groovers and hoppers, pushers and poppers, put your hands together for the super bad, intestine clad, wish you had, cover your eyes dad, miracle of homemade sausage!

But, in proper dramatic fashion, let's roll back before the beginning of our tale.

This Far, No Further

I have become increasingly frustrated for what the passes as the 'fair price' of beef in this area. While most of my roasting and grilling needs are easily subbed out for various cuts of pork or chicken, my ground meat needs were somewhat harder to manage. The premium placed on grinding up even the more reasonably priced meats really stuck in my craw. So, I began to consider a meat grinder.

Then there was the particularly upsetting episode where the supermarket ran out of the hot Italian sausage I like. Frustratingly, this was the second time in as many months I couldn't get my hands on a decent sausage! On the first occasion, I settled for... sigh... Johnsonville. I opted to walk away this time, my hands sadly empty rather than tightly gripping the spicy Italian I craved.

Needless to say, my patience for hot meat was wearing thin.

IT DOESN'T SUCK!!! Safari Mixer for Google Assistant

I have had the dubious 'pleasure' of encountering several of the 'games' released for Google's voice enabled personal assistant, humorlessly dubbed Google Assistant (Because giving an AI you're supposed to identify with a name like Alexa or Cortana to make a human connection is, obviously, beyond the capabilities of Google engineers).

My initial encounters with Assistant games were promising. Perhaps the first one I stumbled across was Google's own Riddle Rooms, an quirky, atmospheric, and psychedelic journey narrated by the default Assistant voice.  I also had some nostalgic fun playing Dungeon RPG, a voice controlled remake of the classic text adventure Zork. It is not the ideal way to play Zork, but it was fun to wander around Flood Control Dam #3 while cooking dinner.

Most of titles take the form of quizzes of varying quality. Diving deep into the library of shovelware in this voluminous category of software is not for the faint of heart. Outside of the most popular entries, you'll find scads of broken, incomplete, and just wrongly labeled trash. Modern History featuring questions on Waterloo and The Crusades; World History that focuses exclusively on modern politics in India; Quizes from popular TV shows featuring a whopping 3 questions in total. Naturally, spelling, grammar, and capitalization (if you are playing on a phone instead of a smart speaker) and all implemented to varying degrees at random. There's even a "Fun Quiz" that is nothing but math word problems ripped from a textbook somewhere (Probably India). Fun indeed.

And I guess we should have a special shout-out the the small category of love-starved, offensively robotic, and completely inane 'virtual girlfriends'. No, Chatbot Julie. No matter how many times you ask, I do not want to kiss you. Yes, I'm glad you find that "Interesting".

But, just like real life, if you sift through enough crap you find... Umm...

"Okay Google, what is something good you can find in poop?"

Yeah... Let's not and say we did. I have Safe Search turned off. "Hey Google, abort metaphor."

Anyhoo, Safari Mixer is a breath of fresh air in the fecal stench filled world of Assistant games.

More toy than game, Safari Mixer asks you to name 3 animals which it then blends together and presents to you with a silly name, fun fact, animal sound, and a delightful image of your Moreauvian beast (Sorry smart speaker users, you're missing half the fun).

Much to my surprise, Safari mixer is no slouch on content. There are a number of animals included and the app will offer suggestions if you're drawing a blank or asking for an unsupported critter. There is also a remix option for the creature you just created, but I had problems with app crashing trying to use it.

It may not be the most riveting of pastimes, but is a light delight to mix up a mutant freak when you have a minute to kill. I can imagine young children getting a huge laugh out of this. I know I did.

Much like the advent of touchscreen gaming, it will take a while for designers to crack the code on what a virtual assistant game can be, but Safari Mixer is a shining beacon of hope in the primordial morass of smart speaker plug-ins. It is charming, accessible, and, most important of all, entertaining.

Try it for yourself by cuddling up to your favorite Google Assistant enabled device and say "Okay Google, let me talk to Safari Mixer".

Some Crap Pictures

Oh, no! A fragment of a Mechanoid hive has crash landed near the colony!

Wait... I'm not feeling the physic drone... Oh, okay, it's just the septic tank. Wait, what?!

Last month the GUO homestead became more civilized. Thanks to an annexation deal with the city, we now have access to a real sewer system! Yes indeey folks, we're getting all 800BC Rome up in here. Toga, toga, toga!

As part of the deal, the old septic system got ripped right out of the ground and hauled away. If you were ever wondering what exactly a septic tanks looks like, well, here ya go.

 Also, what is wrong with you?!

Now if they could just do something about all those boomalopes in the neighborhood!

*For everyone who cares about getting all the Rimworld references in this post, you may be interested in our 2016 Game of the Year feature.

Cooking à la CPU

Its' summer. And, boy, is it hot! Have you ever thought that your PC was was hot enough to fry an egg on when you heard the fan spin up? Well, it is.

This feature comes straight from Japan courtesy of Captain Taremi. Enjoy!

Want some steak to go with your eggs? Not a problem!