Saturday, April 27, 2013

Portal, Blogging, Supernatural

Woke up at 5:45am to say goodbye to Chris and Kody. I could have said goodbye last night, but of course I'm me and couldn't do that.. I had to be there to see my best bud one last time as I may not be seeing him until July and comic con. Got to spend 15 minutes with him while he packed up. 6am, I gave him a big hug and said goodbye. I remember the first time I had to say goodbye to him after driving with him up to Montana and helping him get established for several weeks.. I weep and it was very tough. But subsequent visits to Montana and him visiting here in CA there has been no tears. I mean I'm sad that he has to go but I know we have many years of friendship left and that this parting won't be our last. But it's always hard saying goodbye. After they drove away I jumped back into bed for an hour and tried to sleep... with no luck.

Found a very cool "Portal" video that I had not seen before. It was released last year on You Tube and I don't have a clue how I missed it.. but it's pretty EPIC!!!

My internet has been acting up lately but today has been the worse.. it was down for over four hours. Luckily I have my iphone but I'm about to go over my 2g data plan which of course means I'll be paying $10 additional for every 1g used. Luckily it's close to the end of the month so I shouldn't go over to much.

While the net was down I wrote a few blogs offline so I could just copy and paste them when things were back up and running again. I really tried to motivate myself to do some podcasting as I don't need internet for that but atlas no luck. 

I did manage to watch the latest Supernatural episode with Felicia Day. I watched the first two seasons of Supernatural but gave up mid season. I have watched the previous two episodes with Felicia and loved them so I was really looking forward to this one... and I have to say they did not disappoint. This was by far my favorite of the Felicia Day episodes. I was crying by the end. I love Felicia's character Charlie and this episode really fleshed out her character. The hug with Dean was precious.. her saying "I love you" and him saying "I know" ala Star Wars was fantastic.. I love that she ready the Hobbit one last time to her mother before pulling the plug.. so heart wrenching. Felicia gave an amazing performance. I really do hope they make her character a regular or semi-regular next season.. would love to see more Charlie.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Magic Mountain Thrice

Today I went to Magic Mountain for the third time in three weeks. This time I went with my best bud Chris and his friend Kody. Kody is a huge roller coaster fan, since they were in CA Chris told him that they had to go to Magic Mountain for the best roller coasters around. Both guys crashed at my place the night before so we could get up early and head over.

But before we headed to the park we had to stop by one of Chris' favorite places.. Vasquez Rocks. He wanted to show his buddy the famous peaks and climb the tallest one. So we were up at 8am and out the door around 8:30. Got to Vasquez and the guys immediately started to climb the peak. I hung back as I didn't have the correct shoes but I also wanted to get some pictures.

After Vasquez we ran over to Denny's for a quick breakfast before heading to Magic Mountain. They opened at 10:30am and we got there just before 10:30.  The guys already got their tickets (on the Military base, discounted). So we got in line and was in the park in less then 10 minutes.

I wanted to do the most popular rides first since the lines would only get worse as the day went on so we went over to X2, but it was currently closed and I didn't want to waste any time waiting in line not knowing if it would open anytime soon. So we moved on to Tatsu and literally walked onto the ride. Kody is hilarious when he rides a roller coaster.. he giggles like a mad man the entire time... it's pretty awesome. After Tatsu we hit X2 (now open), Viper, Ninja, Superman (I haven't been on this since the changed the direction of the car and reopened it... it was pretty awesome), Jet Streamer (of course I got the wettest) and Apocalypse.

We then had lunch, crowds were very low today and we pretty much walked onto all the rides.. X2 was our longest wait at 40 minutes.. but everything else has been cake.. my goal is to have Kody ride every single Roller Coaster in the park.. so far we are doing pretty well.

After lunch we hit Riddler's Revenge, Tidal Wave (the guys did as I didn't want to get soaked again), Green Lantern First Flight, Batman, Colossus, Scream, Lex Luther's Drop of Doom, Goliath and Revolution. That was every coaster at the park with exception of the kiddy roller coaster and Gold Rush which was shut down when we were near it.

I couldn't believe we did every available coaster at the part and it was only 4:30pm.. still had an hour and a half to kill before the park was closed so we re-rode Kody's favorites. First up was Tatsu again, this time we rode in the very back and I have to say compared to riding in the very front it's a completely different ride in the back.. alot more intense, especially the back loop.. crazy cool.

We were close to Roaring Rapids when we got off Tatsu and Chris was bugging me all day to go on it and I kept refusing (but I knew I would be riding it) as I always get soaked on that ride. So the time came and of course I got hit left and right with waves.. but I have to say poor Kody on the last dip got the worse as a wave came over the raft and drenched him from head to toe.

Afterwards we rode X2 and Superman for a second time. The park was closed but we were passing by Gold Rush and it was still running so we jumped on so Kody could say he rode every roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

It was a bit confusing as the park closed at 6pm but rides were still going and folks were still riding.. come to find out that there was a special event going on and that you had to have a yellow wrist band to ride after 6pm. So we made our way out of the park and back to the car. It was the best day I've had at the park in terms of riding rides. I've never walked onto so many rides or rode so many rides in a single day.

After MM we headed to a local In-n-Out, as the guys wanted to have it since they don't have them in Montana, but the place was packed and Kody has had it before. So we opted to go to one of my favorite burger place Islands. Obviously Chris has been there many times but this was Kody's first.

After dinner we headed back to my place and played a game of Cards Against Humanity with Anthony and Michele. It was a fun game and though Kody was a noob he did really well at figuring out what cards to play for each person.

We called it a night around 10:30pm as both Chris and Kody had to be up at 5:45am to hit the road back to Montana.

Had a great day hanging with my best friend Chris and my new friend Kody.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Boldly Go...

Tonight I got to see one of my all time favorite Star Trek The Next Generation two-parter episodes "The Best of Both Worlds" on the big screen. Joining me for this event were my buddies Sebastian and Aaron.

Here's the details..

Special Fathom Features: The Best of Both Worlds – the two-part storyline comprising the third season finale and the fourth season premiere of the beloved series Star Trek: The Next Generation. For the first time ever, it will be seamlessly tied together as one continuous and uninterrupted story digitally restored with new CGI effects… on the big screen! Audiences will also see special clips from “Regeneration: Engaging the Borg”, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Best of Both Worlds. There’s a gag reel culled from recently discovered original negatives. As well as a preview of the blu ray for season four.

I was super excited for this they aired two episodes for season one and season two blu ray releases and I missed both of those.. I was not going to miss this one. This was like an actual movie event. Only part one is the season 3 finale and part two opened season 4 so it surprised me that they chose these two episodes to represent the season three blu ray, but I'm glad they did.

As I mentioned the previous two times the event didn't sell out and I heard there were plenty of seats left so I didn't bother to get a ticket, but earlier today I saw on twitter that the theater I had planned to see it at were sold out (AMC Universal Citywalk) I quickly went to plan B (AMC Burbank) and purchased a ticket. I noticed that they had two showings listed at the same time. Come to find out that they sold out as well but were able to play it in another theater and I managed to get a ticket for that one. Now the second theater was about half the size of the first one and the screen was about 2/3'rds the size of the larger room.. but you know what it's much bigger then my TV at home so I was happy. It was also nice being in the overflow room because it wasn't packed, but it was pretty close.

So they started the night off with the very cool behind the scenes of Best of Both Worlds called Regeneration: Engaging the Borg. I assume this will be on the blu ray as well.. it was fun hearing folks remembering shooting these two episodes and knowing then how important they would become. It was nice to hear how the Borg came into being and the over all experience working on the show.

Next were the two episodes.. they were completely remastered and looked amazing, the sound was also perfect it was a fantastic experience. The only thing was the end of the first episode. I mean it ends was a loud swelling of music, black screen and the words "To Be Continued" well now they blended the two episodes seamlessly together and it was awesome but I must admit I miss the black screen after Riker says "FIRE". I think I missed it because that is how I've watched it for years.

When the episodes were over everyone applauded.. it was pretty epic.

They then shared the recently found gag reel and I have to say OMG that was one of the funniest gag reels I've ever seen and I really hope it shows up on the blu ray as well.

Afterward they played the final promo which was for the upcoming blu ray for Season Four.

Now that I have been to one of these events I hope they continue to have these for each of their season blu ray releases. 

It was an awesome night to be a Trekkie!!!

Knights of the Guild #49

Finally motivated myself to get another Knights of the Guild podcast edited and released... woohoo. I also announce the end of the podcast... well kind of. I don't have a specific date but the podcast is coming to an end. I have a handful of interviews left for season six. Once those are done I plan on doing a big "goodbye" episode. I plan on bringing back my co-host Jenni as well as some very "special" guests. Want to go out with a bang. But for now here is the latest podcast... Knights of the Guild #49

Download from itunes, Listen on Stitcher Radio or Listen and gek Direct Download on our main website

In this episode I sit down with Corey Craig (Donovan), Sajana Day (Sula), Alex Hoover (Theodra) and Derek Basco (Roy) as we discuss how they got the role and episode one of season six.

Hope you enjoy the podcast and stick around for the grand finale of Knights of the Guild podcast.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's Slayer Time

Our weekly Buffy Rewatch/1st Time started a bit earlier then previous viewing, but in the end it didn't matter as work things popped up for Robert that paused our viewing so in the end we watched our regular four episodes tonight.

First up was Season 5, Ep 11 "Triangle" The two most important women in Xander's life: his girlfriend Anya and his best friend Willow, jealously squabble and bicker. However, the escalating aggression between them causes them to accidentally summon Olaf the troll, who wreaks havoc throughout Sunnydale, forcing Willow and Anya to work together to stop him.

This was a good episode.. kind of a stand alone episode as it really didn't have anything to do with the current "Glory" storyline. But it was fun to watch.

Next was Season 5, Ep 12 "Checkpoint" The Watchers Council comes to Sunnydale to tell Buffy what they know about Glory, on condition that she proves herself worthy. She refuses to go through their tests, and they tell her Glory is a god.

This is a favorite of mine.. I hate the watcher council and when they were giving demands to Buffy and Giles I turned to Robert and said, why are these guys still together.. I mean Buffy quit a year ago and until Faith is dead there won't be another Slayer for them to assist. So when Buffy comes to the realization and says the exact same thing I thought to myself... right on!!! I love that Buffy got the upper hand on the council. I like that she has rejoined them and that Giles is a watcher again.. best part was we find out the Glory is a God... now how is Buffy going to defeat this big bad?

Third episode of the night Season 5, Ep 13 "Blood Ties" Dawn makes a profound discovery about herself and her origin. Ben is revealed to share a body with Glory.

Again one of my favorites as it was all about Dawn and Glory. Dawn finds out that she is the key and has a total meltdown (to be expected). We also find out that the mysterious Ben is actually "family" to Glory, the two of them share the same body. Dawn is almost caught by Glory when she confesses what she is to Ben.  And Willow preforms a "teleportation" spell on Glory and the spell almost kills her. The first sign of Willow's true magic powers.... good stuff

And our final episode of the evening is Season 5, Ep 14 "Crush" Drusilla returns to Sunnydale and walks back into Spike's life, causing Spike to re-examine his relationships with the three women in his life: Drusilla, Harmony, and Buffy.

Not much Glory stuff in this one but alot happens. Spike's crush on Buffy is revealed to Buffy's dismay. Dru is back and crazier then ever and you think Spike is turning evil again but nope his love for Buffy is stronger. Lot's of great Spike moments.

We are now just past the halfway mark.. so may great episodes to come before the huge season five finale... oh I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

San Diego Zoo

Woke up around 7:30am, Nicki was already up and ready so I jumped in the shower and ate a little breakfast. We headed over to the San Diego Zoo around 8:30 and got there just before 9am. We were to meet up with Chris and Kody at 9. Nicki and I sat out front and chatted for bit. Nicki and I never seem to be at a lose of things to talk about.. I love that about her.

The guys showed up around 9:30, we got to meet Kody. He's one of Chris' friends/co-worker in the Military out in Montana. He drove down with Chris for the military seminar. Nicki got me into the park for free and both Chris and Kody got in free because they are military ( I think it's cool that the San Diego Zoo let's military people in for free).  Now I haven't been to the SD Zoo in over 30 years so I was looking forward to this. Nicki comes all the time so she played tour guide. We had a few other folks who planned to join us later.

We walked around checking out the Giraffes, Kangaroos, Rhinos, Elephants, Llamas, Camels, Pandas, Hippos, Tigers, Flamingos and then Tortoises. 

Our friend Ruben showed up and joined the party. We went and grabbed a bite to eat and then Rachelle and Anne joined us. We walked around a bit checking out other animals and then jumped on the sky tram thingy that takes you to the other side of the park. We checked out the kids section and a few more animals that we missed in our first go round.

By 4pm we were tired and my back and ready to call it a day. It was a lot of fun and it was great having Rachelle, Anne and Nicki as our tour guides. 

Chris and Cody were heading to a baseball game, Ruben was heading back to the Zoo to see the stuff he missed. Rachelle and Anne were heading back to her place so I caught a ride back with Nicki. Once back at her place I didn't want to get on the road as traffic would be horrific so I hung out with her and eventually Anne before leaving their place around 6:30pm.

Jumped on the road and went about forty or so miles outside of SD before stopping for dinner. Traffic wasn't that bad and I made it home by 10pm. I was exhausted from the drive and from walking around the Zoo all day. But it was totally worth it as I got to hang out with a bunch of good friends and made a new one with Kody.. but my favorite part of course was getting to hang with my best bud Chris.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Who, Trek and More

I watched the latest episode of Doctor Who called "Hide". I really enjoyed this episode. This new season has kind of been lackluster for me. Not that they haven't been good Who episodes.. I mean any Who is good Who but there hasn't been an episode were when it was finished I thought to myself.. wow that was great. But tonight's episode changed all that. Here's a brief synopsis: Clara and the Doctor arrive at Caliburn House, a haunted mansion sat alone on a desolate moor. Within its walls, a ghost hunting Professor and a gifted psychic are searching for the Witch of the Well. Her apparition appears throughout the history of the building, but is she really a ghost? And what is chasing her?

This was a very creepy and spooky episode. What you think is a cool ghost story turns into something completely different (I won't spoil it). One thing I really loved about this episode is that I couldn't predict what was going to happen next. Every twist and turn was a surprise to me, even in the last few minutes.. I didn't have a clue what was going to happen.... loved that. Got a bit more into the whole "who is Clara" storyline which is my favorite of this season. I hope this upswing continues in the next episode.

Today a scene from the upcoming Star Trek movie Star Trek Into Darkness was released. If you know me you know I'm a huge Star Trek fan. I very much enjoyed the new incarnation of Trek but it's defiantly not my Trek of old... but it's still great in it's own right so I'm looking forward to this movie but this scene really got me excited and I can't wait for May 17th. Check out the scene here:

During the evening I got my oil changed on my new car.. first time ever.. I've already hit 5000 miles and it's only been a few months. 

I had dinner with a good friend of mine Christopher. We met up in Burbank at Zanku Chicken. I rarely eat there so when I do it's a real treat. It was great hanging out with Christopher and catching up on each other lives. We use to hang out all the time but life and work has kind of gotten in the way, but we do try and see each other as much as possible. 

After dinner I drove down to San Diego to crash at my friends Nicki and Anne's place. My best bud Chris was down here visiting for a business trip and we planned to hang out tomorrow at the Zoo. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beach, Buddies and Buffy

Today I spent 12 and a half hours with one of my favorite people on the planet... Robert. First thing was breakfast.. I drove to Robert's place down in the Santa Monica area, we went to a local IHop. This had to be the smallest IHop I have ever seen but it was also the busiest... it was pretty crazy but also very tasty. First up on today's agenda was to visit a beach. I wanted to take Robert to a cool and very secluded beach that I've been to a few times. I thought it was Leo Carrillo state park in Malibu, but as we were driving a saw a sign for El Matador State Park and I had been to that one as well so it may be the one I was thinking about. About an mile down we came to Leo Carrillo beach and I realized that it was El Matador that I wanted to take him to so we turned around and headed back. Unfortunately we couldn't find a parking spot. I had thought I saw a sign about a half mile away for a second parking lot but when we got there I found out that it was for La Piedra State Beach. We figured what the heck, there was parking and if worse comes to worse it was only about a half mile from El Matador and we could walk there. We found our way down to the beach with the help of a fellow beach goer.

It was quite a hike down but there were stairs embedded in the side of the hill until you got to the last five or so feet where it was just boulders that you have to climb down. We got to the beach and it was very secluded. When we got there there was only two other groups on the beach with us. There weren't as many rock formations as El Matador state beach but it was a nice area.

It was still very foggy and we were hoping that it would burn off fairly soon. It was warm outside, even with the fog but it was cold to go into the water. After several tries we found a spot that with the least amount of bugs (it was fun watching Robert battle it out with ants and gnats).

We chatted, laughed and just laid in what sun there was for over an hour and a half. The fog did lift for a bit and then would return. It got super hot and then warm again. The important thing was that we had a nice time hanging out at the beach. Afterwards we headed back to his place so I could shower and get all the sand off me.

Second thing on today's agenda was to go see a movie. We were trying to decided between Oz, Oblivion, Evil Dead or GI Joe Retaliation. In the end we decided on GI Joe Retaliation. We drove to Century City AMC and picked up our tickets. I was a bit hungry so we went to the food court and I got some Panda Express while Robert grabbed a snack. We still had about 45 minutes before our movie started so we walked around the mall for a bit before heading to the theater and taking our seats.

I know some folks bad mouth the first GI Joe movie but I actually enjoyed it. It was a fun action packed ride and I was expecting the same from GI Joe Retaliation. And guess what.. it was exactly what I was expecting.. a fun action packed roller coaster of a ride experience. I am a huge Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) fan so it was great seeing him take the lead in this movie. I loved some of the camera work as they would go fast then slow mo and zoom in, then zoom out and speed up again. The action scenes were amazing. The story was good and defiantly sets it up for a third movie. I got what I paid for and very entertaining two hours. I give GI Joe Retaliation a solid B

While we were at the mall the topic of Ferngully came up and the fact that I have never seen it. It's always been on my list of "must see" movies but I just never got a round to actually watching it. Well Robert was shocked and said if it was on streaming that when we got back to his place we would watch it.

But before we got back to his place we picked up some Taco Bell for dinner. Once at his place we found out that Netflix did have Ferngully on streaming so we started it. Over the years I have heard so many great things about this movie so I was expecting big things. After watching it, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in it. The "hit you over your head" story didn't bother me, but that was really the only story. The 80's rock music was a bit eh and I had no idea that it was a musical (but I should have guessed). It bothered me that when the fairies flew they didn't flap their wings. I know I'm being petty and I know that this is a well loved movie from alot of people's childhood and maybe I would feel differently if I had seen it as a child but it doesn't hold up over time (at least in my opinion). I was expecting this awesome fantasy movie and all I got was a PSA for the deforesting of our rain forests. I wanted to love it, I really did, but I couldn't. I give the movie a C.

We still had a few hours left in the day so Robert and I continued our Buffy Rewatch/First Time. We are in the middle of Season Five. First up was "Listening to Fear"   Ben summons an extraterrestrial Queller demon in order to "remove" the large number of mentally ill people that Glory has created. However, a side effect of Joyce's illness puts her in the Queller's sights.

Not a favorite of mine for season five but it does expose Ben's roll somewhat.. we now know his is involved with Glory somehow. The bulk of the story was about Joyce and her illness and Buffy finally breaking down from all that is happening.

Our second episode of the night was "Into the Woods" Riley is invited to join a new Initiative-like organization which would require him to leave Sunnydale. He gives Buffy an ultimatum: Give him a reason to stay or he will be gone from her life forever.

I enjoyed this episode more then the previous one. Joyce questions Buffy about Dawn not being her daughter and Buffy tells the truth that she is not. But Joyce reinforces that they need to protect her at all costs. But the big thing that happens in this episode is the break up of Riley and Buffy.  Had some great Spike moments but the best scene was when Xander talks to Buffy about her love for Riley and realizes his love for Anya. He makes Buffy realize that she truly loves Riley but of course she is too late to tell him this as he flies away in a helicopter never see her again.. such a heart wrenching moment.

I was a fantastic day spent with my best friend. Robert and I are like two peas in a pod. And we realized today that we've actually only known each other for just over a year... though it feels like he's been part of my life forever.... and he will always be part of my life... forever.