Welcome to Pages of Fun!

This is the personal Web site of Robert Wm. Gomez. I am an artist, musician and nerd living in Chicago, Illinois who has been maintaining this site (in one form or another) since 1996. Enjoy your visit!

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (5/10)

This book started off okay enough and was pretty interesting for the first hundred pages or so. The premise was that a man and wife lose their cat and proceed to hire a psychic to help them. Things start to get weird and I thought this was going to lead to something more but it never goes anywhere. It's weird and dreamy without any real explanation. At best it's just an excuse to tell small tales about World War II. These sub-stories can be good, but they never really get tied together in a way that clicked for me.

Major Chaos! by Untamed Youth, The (9/10)

Format: CD

This is a great collection of rarities from The Untamed Youth that I was hesitant to buy for a long time because I thought I owned all their singles. However, turns out that most of the songs aren't on the band's own singles. There's a few alternate takes and plenty of tracks that came from various compilations. Missing from here is the band's wonderful cover of "Tube City" from Ultra Punch Deluxe.

At The Fabulous El Morocco Lounge by Untamed Youth, The (7/10)

Format: CD

This is far from the best starting point if you want to listen to The Untamed Youth. It's a live recording from Las Vegas that sounds like it was recorded on a handheld dicta-phone. The performance is fine, but I have a much, much better live recording from a show I saw in Bloomington, Illinois back in the late nineties.

Zero Charisma (9/10)

I rather enjoyed this comedy about an angry tabletop gaming nerd who loses what little social standing he had when a hipster geek joins his gaming group. Scott is not a very likable character but the performance manages to capture a little humanity around his edges. I was also glad that, even though it has its share of nerd-mocking, the movie understands subject very well.

Hercules in the Haunted World (6/10)

Mario Bava directed this early sixties Italian Hercules film and his colorful style is all over the place. It's not his finest work but he keeps the silly, relatively dull story bearable and somewhat fun.

Tomb Raider on PC (9/10)

Doom Raider

I guess they are rebooting Tomb Raider again? I really liked the last two games in the series and I don't really think this is a franchise that needed to get dark and gritty. But, there you go. These days, f-bombs and blood are what the kids want in their action platformers.

Labour of Love by UB40 (5/10)

Format: CD

Okay, I'll give them credit for having the balls to misspell "labor" in their record title (USA! USA! USA!), but other than that, this record doesn't move me that much anymore. This one of the first CDs I bought back when there wasn't much released on CD except Beatles records. This was a "Well, I'm here at Musicland. I gotta buy something" record. If you are going to own a single reggae record, I suppose this is an okay one to own especially if you are a fan of Brit-Synth music from the same era.

System Shock 2 on PC (4/10)

System Shock 2

Well, I tried. Three times I have started playing System Shock 2 and each time I just get frustrated or bored and just give up. This game just has not aged all that well, especially when compared with its Bioshock successors.

Day of Anger (6/10)

A goofy but entertaining spaghetti western featuring Lee Van Cleef as a gunslinger who inspires the town garbage collector to take up his gun and show those snooty townspeople who's the boss. The music is pretty great, but the film is stylistically not too interesting.

Call of Juarez Gunslinger on PC (9/10)

Gunslinger Screenshot

I thought the original Call of Juarez was a better-than-average shooter that was bolstered by it being set in the Old West. I'm really surprised by the lack of western themed games given that for seventy-five odd years that was the go to "universe" for pulp stories and films.

Replicas by Tubeway Army (9/10)

Format: CD

After having owned and loved The Pleasure Principle for years, I finally expanded my Gary Numan collection with this CD. Numan hadn't quite fully embraced synthesizers at this point in his career (he was about 90% the way there), so the music still has a guitar-based punk rock feel on many of the songs. Some people will rejoice in this. Me? I kinda favor when things go full synth-tard.

Sniper Elite V2 on PC (7/10)

Sniper Elite V2

This was a free game on Steam on the day of the sequel's release. I grabbed it without knowing anything about the game. Apparently, the distinguishing feature of Sniper Elite V2 is its over the top x-ray view gore simulation. Make a head shot and watch as the bullet shatters bones and eyeballs. This adds absolutely nothing to the game other than a novelty cool factor and it starts to get in the way when you are trying to make successive shots quickly.

The Blackwell Deception on PC (9/10)

The Blackwell Deception

The fourth Blackwell game continues to make improvements over its predecessors in terms of technical polish. There is also a bit more depth to the puzzles and game play. This is still no where near the brutal difficulty of an old school point-and-click game, but it's nice to have more options in terms of combining inventory items, switching characters and querying your in-game search engine to advance the game.

Horsepower by Triple Whip (8/10)

Format: CD

What do you do when your guitarist/singer packs up and leaves town? You soldier on as an instrumental bass and drums duo! Obviously, this is a very different sounding band than before, but I do like this incarnation too. I like hearing a little more attention paid to the tricksy drumming now that the sound has been stripped down.

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