Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dinner with Anne & A Movie in the Park

Today I got to see my friend Anne who I haven't seen in a while. She lives down in San Diego and isn't up here that often so when she was planning a trip up we made sure to set some time aside for us to meet up and have dinner. We tried a local BBQ place that I had never been to. It turned out to be pretty good.  It was great catching up with her. Hopefully it won't be months before we see each other again.

During the evening they were showing a movie in the park... the North Hollywood (or NoHo) park which just happens to be right across the street from my apartment. So of course I had to go. Joining me for this adventure was Jen, Sean, Robert and Cait. They were showing Jurassic Park. It was suppose to start at 7:30 but it was still way to light outside so they pushed it until 8:30pm. They gave out free popcorn, chips and water. They screened the movie on an inflatable movie screen.

My buddy Sean was shooting some PSA's for the city with the new unofficial mascot for North Hollywood, the NoHoBot. Which is this really cheesy looking robot that Sean made but I have to say the kids loved him. He helped pass out popcorn and chips.. it was very amusing.

There were over a hundred folks out there with us, laughing, ew-ing and ah-ing along with the movie. It was a fun experience. Though next time I'll know to dress warmer as the sun goes down so does the temperature.

They plan to do this once a month, I look forward to seeing what the next movie will be and hopefully I can get more friends to join in the fun.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Surprise gifts

The past few days I have gotten several "surprise" gifts in the mail.

First my buddy Erik sent me some really cool stuff. I was talking to him last week about beard oil and how expensive it is for such a small amount. He mentioned that his friend Donna actually make personal hygiene products and that he thinks she might have a kind of beard oil that could work for me. I said that I would look into it but this week a box arrived at my front door and I opened it to find some sandalwood bar & liquid soap, sandalwood beard oil and some peppermint lip balm. There was no note but of course I knew who it was from... Thanks Erik for this awesome gift... BTW I love the beard oil.

The second surprise came from my buddy Ken Todd. He mentioned it to me a week ago that I might be getting something (for a very early birthday present) and he couldn't pass up shipping it early. So today I got that in the mail. It's this amazing and beautiful 20th Anniversary Babylon 5 Visual Companion book.

I haven't finished the series yet so I haven't really looked over the book as I don't want to spoil anything but I can't wait to crack it open and read it from beginning to end. Thanks Ken for always being so generous.

Judging Podcasts & Uploading Vacation Pictures

I spent the day preforming my duties as a judge for the upcoming Geekie Awards. I was a last minute replacement judge last year for the Geekies in the category of Podcasts. This year I am judging Podcasts, Vlogs and Cosplay. There were over 80 entries for these categories. I had done the coplay entries a few weeks ago and I started working on the podcasts/vlogs, but I was far from finishing them all. Since judging has to be done by the end of June it didn't give me much time to finish them all so I set aside part of today to do that.

I have to say there are so many great podcasters out there. I've always thought my podcasts were well done and that I was a fairly competent podcaster but man some of these hosts sounds amazing (great radio voices). The production values are fantastic and the podcast concepts themselves are interesting. I'm definalty going to have to step up my game to compete in the big leagues.

I also spent a big chunk of today uploading vacation photos. I've decided to break the over 5000 photos down into small groups for each particular thing. I currently have photo albums on Facebook for Edinburgh Castle, Sherlock Holmes, and Stonehenge. There are still so many more pictures that I hope to get up on Facebook in the next few weeks. You can click on the links above to see the pixs even if you're not on Facebook.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spending Time With Family

Took my dad home today, we had a nice time hanging out at my place (mostly TV watching). Before we went back to his place he had plans to have lunch with friends that he hadn't seen since 63'. They were the sisters of his best friend Ronnie who died recently.

Dad asked me to join them, which I was happy to. It was a nice time, the two sisters were very sweet and kind. I got to hear about my dad and how he was back when he was a young teenager. Both ladies have had interesting and exciting lives. I got to hear a bit more about their recently departed brother. It was a nice time.

Afterwards I took dad home and my brother and his family had just gotten back from Vegas so I spent about five hours hanging out with them and playing with my niece and nephew.... It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Gay Princes, WWofHP, & Arrow

First I want to wish one of my best friends Chris a very Happy Birthday. I wish you weren't stationed in Montana so we could properly celebrate but I'll be seeing you soon.

My friend Olivia posted about this new children book on my Facebook timeline and I had to check it out. It's called “The Princes and The Treasure". It's the story of undefeated champion Gallant and shy bookworm Earnest and their quest to rescue Princess Elena. Along the way, the princes realize “the greatest treasure in the land” is not what they expected.

Written by a gay man when he wondered 'Why aren’t there any gay princes or lesbian princesses? Why can’t the handsome prince marry another handsome prince? Why can’t a damsel in distress be rescued by a beautiful princess?' So he wrote the story. This is the first of a trilogy that he plans to write. I think I'll pick this up not only for me but for my niece and nephew as well. It's never to early to start teaching them that princes and princess' come in all shapes and sizes and sexual orientations. Here's a link to where you can buy it on AMAZON.

The Wizard World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley announced their opening date. It opens July 8th 2014. That's only a few weeks away. Wish I could go but like with the opening of the original park it will be a few years before I get to attend. But that's okay with me since I tend to avoid the "opening" crowds which I'm sure will be just as crazy as it was for the first WWofHP.

Only downside to this whole thing is that if you wish to go from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley (or vice versa) via the Hogwarts Express you'll need to buy a park to park ticket, so you can get into both parks. And the worst part is that they are not allowing you to go back and forth on the Hogwarts Express. So you either go from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley or Digaon Alley to Hogsmeade. If you wish to go both ways (which I heard are different experiences) then you have to purchase 2 days park to park passes. I think this is ridiculous and hopefully enough people will complain about this that they'll change it by the time I get there.

Spent some of today editing the next MASH 4077 Podcast.

Took a break from editing the podcast and went to watch Arrow with my Dad. He's a huge fan as are many of my friends and since season one is on Netflix I figured I'd watched the pilot and see if it grabbed me or not. Well six episodes later you could say that I'm hooked. I kind of knew I'd like it so I was prepared to watch many episodes tonight. And I could have gone more but had to get back to editing my podcast.

I really like the main character and his bodyguard (now partner). His sister is whiny and waste of space, she's my least favorite.. I hope something happens to her character soon. I like his ex-girlfriend/possible love interest and his best friend but I feel like his best friends is going to turn on him at some point... don't know why.. just a feeling.

Luckily for me I've stayed fairly spoiler free so I really don't know what's going to happen. I hope to have watched all of season 1 and 2 (which is not on netflix yet) before season three starts in the fall. So far it's living up to all the hype!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lego Star Wars, Skyping with a Friend & Visiting Dad

They released another of the Star Wars LEGO movies, it's the fifth installment of the Yoda Chronicles titled "Race for the Holocrons". This is the seventh "special" overall, starting with Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace, then Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out and then the beginning of Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, which included "The Phantom Clone", "Menace of the Sith", & "Attack of the Jedi". Then Disney purchased Star Wars and Cartoon Network owned The Yoda Chronicles so they altered the name to Lego Star Wars: The NEW Yoda Chronicles and released the fourth episode "Escape from the Jedi Temple" and finally the fifth episode "Race for the Holocrons" tonight.

That's all that I have heard about but the way the ended the fifth episode of The New Yoda Chronicles you know they are going to be making more. It's a great series. It's all written by the same man Michael Price who does an amazing job at blending humor with the Star Wars world. If you're a Star Wars fan, then these are must sees.

Skyped with my buddy Matt today. I haven't "seen" him since we met up in Cambridge, England and hung out for a few days while I was visiting in April. We've Facebooked text messaged a few times but this was the first time that we were really able to catch up on each others lives.. it was a lot of fun. Need to make it more of a regular thing.

Picked up my dad today. My brother and his family are going to Vegas until Thursday and I didn't want my dad to be alone in the big house so I decided to invited him to stay with me for a few days while they were gone. So I drove down to Riverside to pick him up, we had a nice lunch, did a bit of shopping and then headed back to my place.

This was the first time my dad has seen my new place, he liked it. He had purchased The Lego Movie for my nephew Kenobi so we watched it as my dad hadn't seen it yet. Spent the rest of the evening just hanging out.

Monday, June 16, 2014

LOTR/Hobbit Lego Mini Movies

Came across these very cool Lego shorts. I was searching for something on YouTube and saw a Lord of the Rings one so I watched it, and the next thing I knew I watched everything on their channel. They are produced by Brotherhood Workshop. If you click on the link it takes you to their website with a "coming soon" page but there are links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as their You Tube Channel.

Not only do they do Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, but also Star Wars, among others things. Each episode is only a few minutes long and I love the "quote" at the end of each one. They are all stop animation and watching the behind the scenes video (also available on their channel) you can see how long this process takes, it's pretty awesome. Here's one of my favorite episodes below.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

MASH 4077 Podcast Episode 81

Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or Listen, get direct download from our main website

Show Notes

Kenny Mittleider from Knights of the Guild, Alien Nation: The Newcomers Podcast & My Gimpy Life Podcast and Simon Meddings from Waffle On Podcast discuss one of the most successful and longest running television series in history.. M*A*S*H

Today we cover Season 4, Episode #9 - The Kids

81st Episode Overall
Directed by Alan Alda
Written by Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell
Production code G511
Original air date October 31, 1975

Set during the Korean War in the 1950’s

Plot Summary: The 4077th takes in Nurse Cratty's Korean orphans during a shelling attack, including a pregnant girl with a bullet wound. But Frank accuses one of the orphans of stealing his newly (and dubiously) awarded Purple Heart.

Toys, Friends and Movies

First I want to wish my Dad a very Happy Father's Day.

This morning I went through my closet looking for several action figures that I knew I had and that I must have put into one of my office boxes by mistake. Well I did find the figures but I also found two big boxes of various other action figures. I mean I'm happy I found them but I have no room in their section of the wall to display them. I assumed that I had everything and moved onto the next subject. So now I have the task of trying to rework or squeeze them into the their sections on the wall or put them somewhere else apart from the bulk of the others which will make me crazy as I'm very anal about things like this.

Frustrated I gave up on trying to figure out what I was going to do so instead I took a break and watched a movie. I started with a movie that I had heard of when I saw it's remake called "Delivery Man" last year. The original French-Candidan movie is called Starbuck and came out a year prior to Delivery Man. Here's a quick synopsis: As his lover announces her pregnancy, a fortysomething slacker receives other life-changing news: 142 people, all of them the result of artificial insemination, have filed a class action lawsuit against him, their biological father.

Starbuck is almost shot for shot identical to Delivery Man (I guess that would be vice versa since Starbuck came out first, but you know what I mean). You can read my review of Delivery Man HERE...

Starbuck, like with Delivery Man was fantastic. It was funny, sweet and had so much charm. I didn't know any of the actors but they were all perfect for their roles. I found this movie very heartwarming and it brought me to tears several times. It is in French and there are English subtitles but that didn't take away any of the charm of the movie. I think it actually helped me that I had seen the U.S. remake first because if I missed a subtitle I still knew what was going on. I give Starbuck the same grade as I did Delivery Man.. B+

In the afternoon my friends Dave and Kevin paid me a visit. They were married yesterday (read previous blog post) and are heading back to Florida tomorrow so I was happy that we were able to hang out for a few hours and catch up. I haven't seen these guys in eight years so we had a lot to catch up on. One of our main topics of discussion is the fact that both of these guys are part of the 501st... which is awesome. We hung out and chatted for about 2 hours before they had to get going. Hopefully it won't be another 8 years before I see them again.

After the guys left I continued with my movie watching. Next up was a documentary called We Were Here. Here's a brief synopsis: A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

As expected it was heartwrenching and upsetting. I was brought to tears many times while watching.  All of these poor men were dying and not knowing why. People shunning them, saying they should be separated from the populaces. But with all the heart ache you have the savors, the volunteers and a community who stepped up to support these men in their time a need.

I'm so thankful that I missed this epidemic, I was only 10 when the first cases of AIDS started sprouting in the US. I didn't come out of the closet until 17 years later (age 27) so by then we were well aware of the disease and what caused it. I often wonder what my life would be like if I had come out at 15/16 and was sexually active then.

We Were Here is a very interesting and educational documentary.

My final movie of the night was Christopher and His Kind. Christopher and His Kind is a 2011 BBC television film. In 1931 budding author Christopher Isherwood goes to Berlin at the invitation of his friend W. H. Auden for the gay sex that abounds in the city. Whilst working as an English teacher his housemates include bewigged old queen Gerald Hamilton and would-be actress Jean Ross,who sings tunelessly in a seedy cabaret club. They and others he meets get put into his stories.

It was interesting seeing Matt Smith in a different role other then The Doctor. When I watched this I didn't realized it was a British TV movie. I enjoyed the story, it was interesting seeing Berlin before Hitler from an outsiders perspective. I enjoyed all the interesting characters that crossed his path. Lots of very cute boys, got to see some skin. The acting was great, I knew Smith had some acting chops from his role on Doctor Who but they really shined here. I give Christopher and His Kind a nice B.