Saturday, September 20, 2014

Family BBQ & Who: Time Heist

Today was my brother and sister-in-laws annual friends and family BBQ. I arrived a few hours early so I could have some time with my niece and nephew before the crowds arrived. I played with the kiddos and helped family set up things for the party. My mom and aunt Joyce arrived about an hour after me so I got to hang out with them for a bit before the party... it was nice.

Once the party started I prepped the water slid for the kids and sat there watching so everyone would play nice. It was a good party, 'm not really close with any of Mikes friends but they are always very nice and welcoming. I had some tasty food and a good visit with family. I left around 6pm and made my way home.

Once home it was time for the new episode of Doctor Who. This episode is titled Time Heist, here's a brief synopsis; The Doctor turns bank robber when he is given a task he cannot refuse – to steal from the most dangerous bank in the cosmos. With the help of a beautiful shape-shifter Saibra and cyber-augmented gamer Psi, the Doctor and Clara must fight their way past deadly security and come face to face with the fearsome Teller: a creature of terrifying power that can detect guilt…

I loved this episode... it was one of my favorites in a long time. Last weeks was all about story and characters this one was all about the adventure and man was it loads of fun, and it had a very cool story, and yes I figured out some of it beforehand but not all. That didn't take anything way from the episode for me. It's one I can watch over and over and honestly I can't say that about any episodes since Tennett's Doctor.

I also enjoyed the new "companion" characters (Psi and Saibra), I hope we see them again in some future episodes, especially Psi, I really enjoyed his character and it doesn't hurt that he's nice to look at. Can't wait for next weeks episode.

Friday, September 19, 2014

B-day Countdown Continues & iPhone LCARS Wallpaper

Gonna start this blog post with Day 39 and Day 40 of my "pic a day" until my 44th birthday. It's getting closer and soon I will be 44 years old. The pictures on the left is from Age 39, I think I look extremely fat (in the face) and what's funny is this isn't even close to the heaviest guess it's the lighting and shadows of the beard.

The pictures on the right is from Age 40, yep the big four zero which really wasn't a big deal. I was happy to be turning 40. I had the best years of my life in my 30's so why would 40's be any different.

Update on my latest tattoo. It has entered the itching stage and the scabs are beginning to come off. This is good as it means it's healing properly but man is it tough not to itch it. Hopefully this stage won't last to long.

A friend posted this on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you all just in case you didn't see it there. If you're a Star Trek fan and own an iPhone 5 or 6 then you might want to download this. I did and I loved it.

It's a simple thing.. I mean it's just a picture/wallpaper but the way the made it, it allows the time and date to line up perfectly. If you follow this LINK it explains how you can add it to your phone. It's quick and easy.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Selfie, A to Z & Red Band Society Pilot Reviews

Today I watched several pilots. It wasn't my intention but I recorded one as it aired Wednesday and the other two don't air until next week but I was able to watch them On Demand at TWC. Anyways let's start with my least favorite of the bunch.

"Selfie" ABC, Social Media superstar Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But after a workplace mishap goes viral, she quickly realizes that being "instafamous" isn't all it's cracked up to be and being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She enlists co-worker and marketing guru, Henry (John Cho), to 'rebrand' her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world.

I'm a fan of Karen Gillan and to be honest it's the only reason I am watching this pilot. After watching I have to say it was cute, both Gillan and Cho's characters are hard to like but that's the point of the series to watch as they change but I don't know if it's worth adding to my list of shows to watch. I'm currently watching a ton of TV and at the moment I have the time but when I get a job and time becomes more precious then I'll have to start dropping shows. 

The other half hour comedy that I watched is called "A to Z" NBC, The series will follow the lives of Andrew (Ben Feldman), an employee at an internet dating site who dreams of meeting the girl of his dreams, and Zelda (Cristin Milioti), a no-nonsense lawyer who was raised by a hippie mother and carries a rebellious streak. By an accidental chance of fate, Zelda meets Andrew to resolve a mismatch dating dispute and these two single people suddenly find themselves falling for each other. From there, the series chronicles their relationship timeline "from A to Z"

I wanted to see this series as I'm a huge fan of Cristin Milioti since she was the "mom" on How I Met Your Mother. There is something about her that makes her so adorable. And I have to say this pilot did not disappoint. The male lead Ben is a romantic at heart and I see myself in him and as I mentioned the female lead Zelda is just so darn cute. This is a series that I will continue to watch. It's been added to my list of things to watch this fall.

And the final pilot that I watched was "Red Band Society" on Fox and I LOVED IT!!! So much so that I watched it two more times in a row. If you haven't heard of it here is a descriptions of the characters.

Twelve-year-old narrator Charlie is in a coma and introduces us to this band of unlikely friends, including the “new kid,” Jordi, a 16-year-old who comes to California to seek out treatment at the renowned hospital. What Jordi soon discovers is that it's not his illness that's going to change his life, but his new friends. Also at Ocean Park is Leo, the 16-year-old, charming and independent “leader” of the group. Leo's best friend is Dash, a 16-year-old “rebel” with a big personality, who is determined not to let his cystic fibrosis stop him from living his life. Also on the ward is 15-year-old “know-it-all” Emma, Leo's on-again-off-again girlfriend who is coping with an eating disorder. Rounding out this group of patients is Kara, a “mean girl” cheerleader who shares a room with Charlie. Although her heart is failing, she is realizing for the first time that she actually has one and begins opening it up to her new friends.

The pediatric ward is run by Nurse Jackson, a caregiver with a take-no-prisoners approach to helping these teens get the most from their lives. Little do they know that she puts her own life second, and her stern manner hides her incredible heart that secretly makes their lives more ordinary. Overseeing much of their treatment is Dr. McAndrew, the country's top pediatric surgeon.

Nurse Jackson
This series was on my radar because of Octavia Spencer who plays Nurse Jackson. I've been a HUGE fan of Octavia since The Help and I loved her bit on CBS's Mom. So I figured I'd give this series a chance and I'm so glad I did. To me this pilot episode felt like The Breakfast Club in a hospital. I connected instantly with each and every character. You start off with Octavia character who seems like a hard nose, no nonsense kind of nurse but you know she had a heart of gold. Then we meet "mean girl" Kara who is absolutely the worst person on the planet.. she is horrible and when she finds out that she has a bad heart it was tough to feel any sympathy for her, but I suspect her character will change the most over the season.

Next was Charlie "coma boy" who is actually narrating the series. Don't know alot about him yet but look forward to finding out more of his background as the series progresses. We then meet Leo, he lost a leg to cancer and is still fighting it... he's starting to turn inward and folks are worried about him so they team him up with new patient Jordi, a kid who is completely alone in this world and also has bone cancer in his leg and is about to lose it. These guys strike up a budding friendship after a rocky start.

Then there is Dash who I have to say is my least favorite character. He's a wanna be player/gangster and I just didn't feel anything for his character, at least not like the other characters. And finally the last of the main kids.. we have Emma who is the "girls next door" type of character with an eating disorder. She had a relationship with Leo but looks to like Jordi now.. should be interesting to see how things play out.

Dr. McAndrew
Besides Nurse Jackson, we also have a few more adults like naive Nurse Brittany, rich hypochondriac Ruben and of course the very cute Dr. McAndrew, we don't know alot about him but we do know that he loves his patients.

 I found this pilot funny, sweet, sad (I cried several times), heartwarming, informative and entertaining. This is defiantly going on the top of my "must see" TV list. I can't wait for the next episode. And until then I'm sure I'll be watching the pilot episode a few more times.

Phineas and Ferb Star Wars & Touching Videos

So I finally was able to watch the Phineas and Ferb Star Wars special. It came out a few months ago and I had several friends tell me that I should watch it. Now I've never seen any Phineas and Ferb before. I had no idea who or what they were. All I knew is that it was a cartoon that aired on the Disney channel. And now that Disney owns Star Wars it seems like we are seeing more and more of these crossovers.

I liked how they integrated the characters of Phineas and Ferb into the Star Wars universe. This entire episode takes place at the same time Star Wars A New Hope happened. I mean it's called Episode 4a. Most of the stuff is happening simultaneously or just after a scene from Star Wars. The entire plot of this special is that R2 drops the Death Star plans and Phineas and Ferb find them and try and get them back to R2 but seems to always be just a step behind. It was fun seeing animated versions of the Star Wars characters. I mean I've seen then in Clone Wars but that's a very stylized version of them. In this episode they looked pretty much like the actors did. The voices are great and I enjoyed the over all storyline. It was a fun watch and I'm glad my friends suggested that I watch it.

There are several videos that I want to share with you guys. The first one is a well made animated short about a lonely robot. You can't help but feel bad for this little guy.

The second video is about helping the people around you. We can accomplish so much more when it's not all about you. This video is very short but still was able to bring me to tears.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hobbit DOS Extended Trailer & Another Random Geek Question

Today is day 38 of my "pic a day" until my 44th birthday. Here I am at age 38. This picture is from my commitment ceremony with Harry. We had been together for five years and figured since we couldn't officially get married (at the time) we'd have a ceremony to celebrate our love. We lasted a further three years before calling it quits.

Warner Brothers released a trailer for the upcoming release of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Blu-ray. There is actually 25 additional minutes added to the movie as well as 9 hours of behind the scenes. Man I love Peter Jackson not only for making amazing movies but for all his amazing behind the scenes stuff.  I'll be buying this blu-ray on day of release.. it's a must have for me.

I posted a Random Geek Question, one that I may have asked before but I couldn't remember and was too lazy to look up. Needless to say I didn't get many responses but I did want to share the ones that I did get. So here was the question. Science Fiction or Fantasy, which do you prefer and why?

I got a few responses on Twitter.

@TheRobZone @Geekyfanboy Science Fiction, because futuretech and the endless possibilities of "science"-based tech really interest me.
@Aradinsc @Geekyfanboy These days I tend to be more split down the middle, although I would say I have a slight preference for Fantasy in general.
@JediRach @Geekyfanboy SciFi -> Star Wars 
@ tamarcurry @Geekyfanboy fantasy, probably because blades appeal to me more than futuristic guns.

@mrfatelurk @Geekyfanboy Sci-Fi hands down, because of Star Trek

On Facebook I got a few response as well.
Erik Nelson - Even though I love Sci-Fi, I tend towards Fantasy, or things with an element of it. Probably one of the reasons I love Doctor Who so much! As far as why...I think part is that Science Fiction is quickly working its way toward Science Fact. The elements of Fantasy though have a magic about them...oh and dragons!

Anthony Mangano - Both, I can't pick one.

Jennifer Luchsinger - All of the above

Angelia Weitzman - Classic Sci-Fi for me.

Ken Todd - Impossible to choose.

Doug Luberts - Yikes... BITD (from about 7th grade to Junior year in HS), I was primarily a hard-core SF reader. Asimov and Heinlein were my two favorites.Then I started getting into Tolkien and spent years just focusing on reading his work over and over, again. After college I shifted into horror and mystery for a bit, and was really into Stephen King. Now I'm into both the Sword and Laser genres, but tend to lean towards the sword because of an affinity for dragons and wizards. Also, it is something I can do that is 100 degrees in the opposite direction of what my work like is life.

As for me I love both Fantasy and Science Fiction equally. But I guess if push came to shove and I could only choose one it would have to be Fantasy. I mean two of my four favorite things of all time are Fantasy; Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. And it's debatable weather Star Wars is Fantasy or Sci fi. I consider it both actually. Star Trek is the fourth one and is my only true Sci fi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Am Groot & Mockingjay Trailer

It's day 37 of my "pix a day" until my 44th birthday. Here I am at age 37. This was taken at my buddy Chris' wedding. I had the honor of being one of his groomsmen. It was a beautiful ceremony on a cliff side in Malibu. I was looking pretty good.

During our D&D this pass weekend my buddy Aaron gave me a birthday present. As you may know, if you're a regular reader of my blog I collect Pop! Vinyl figures. So I was thrilled to see the special "Loot crate" exclusive Groot figure and the newest Man of Steel Superman figure. I've been wanting a Groot Pop figure since I went to Comic con earlier this year, but they are extremely hard to come by and I knew Loot Crate released their glow in the dark version but never in a 1000 years did I think I'd get one. As for the Superman he's fantastic and I actually already have one of those but I'm more then happy to get a second one so I can put him in my car. I think he'll make a great companion. Thanks Aaron for being so sweet and for being an awesome friend.

One last thing.. they released a full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1. It looks really good. I have enjoyed the previous movies so I'm looking forward to this one. I am wondering where they are going to split the book, guess will have to wait and see... check out the trailer below.

Monday, September 15, 2014

MASH Podcast & Getting My Star Trek Tattoo

Released a new episode of MASH 4077 Podcast, in this episode we cover Season 4, Episode #15 - Mail Call... Again, it's the 87th Episode Overall, Directed by George Tyne, Written by Jim Fritzell & Everett Greenbaum, Production code is G518 and it originally aired on December 9, 1975

Plot Summary: The daily mail brings its usual batch of good news and trauma. Colonel Potter finds out that he is about to become a grandfather and spends the day trying to find out whether or not his daughter-in-law has delivered his grandchild. Radar gets a home movie from his mom in Iowa, which causes Radar to shed a few tears. However, the most emotionally troubling mail is for Frank as his wife reveals that she found out about his affair with Margaret and informs him that she is filing for divorce.

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It's day 36 of my "pic a day" until my 44th birthday. So here I am at age 36. I actually like his look with the goatee and all. I may shave down my current beard for a goatee.

Today I had lunch with my dad and then spent about five hours with my brother's family. I love spending time with them. My niece is getting cuter and cuter. Every time I walk in the house and she sees me she yells "Uncle Kenny" and then will proceed to tell everyone that Uncle Kenny is here. She then comes and runs into my arms for a hug. Love that little lady.

During the evening I went to my friend Moose's house to get my 4th tattoo done. I didn't think I'd be able to get this tattoo done before my next birthday (only a week away) but talking to my buddy Moose he offered to do it for free as a birthday present. I couldn't say no. I got to his place around 6:30pm and chatted with his wife Jojo as Moose was still at work. He got home around 7:30, and then we ate dinner. Thanks Jojo for making a tasty dinner. He then prepped his equipment and was ready at 9pm. So began tattoo #4, Star Trek

We had put some numbing ointment on the area of the tattoo while we ate dinner so it had time to go into effect. He started the tattoo and the numbing solution wasn't really working. I got my tattoo of R2 on my left calf and it was the most painful tattoo that I have gotten to date so I knew this was going to be rough but I had no idea it was going to be this tough.

Some of the skin was numb and the pain wasn't that bad but in other spots I though I was going to pass out. Two hours in and I knew I would have to stop for the night. I was in so much agony. And to tell you the truth I really don't know how I made it another hour but I did.  It took a total of 3 hours to complete this part of my 4th tattoo.

Of course as soon as it's over and I see the final product I think to myself that this was totally worth it... and it truly was. But this was the absolute worse tattoo experience that I have ever had. I don't know if my pain tolerance has lowered or that calf was particularly sensitive, but it was so painful that my leg kept jerking, involuntary. 

This is only the first part of the tattoo, I still have to do the background and make the tubes and clamps look like they are going into my skin. I'll be going back in two weeks once this one is healed to finish it up and I honestly don't know if I'll continue with the others that I had planned.

Getting tattoo is kind of an addiction but the pain is just to much. If I do continue with my tattoos I'm going to have to really pick and choose which one's will be worth the pain. 

Become a Patreon of Mine

I created a Patreon account, to help pay for my podcasting hobby. Between URL fees, Podbean fees, equipment updates and various other podcast related items I have spent over $10,000 the past five years. Luckily I've been very fortunate that "listeners" have helped alot with donations. But since I've been out of work for over a year it's getting harder and harder to justify spending what little money I have on this hobby. But with that said I love doing podcasts and creating other types of online content.

That's when I came across Patreon. It's kind of like Kickstarter/Indiegogo which enables fans to give ongoing support to their favorite creators. Unlike Kickstarter which is a one time donation this is a monthly thing. You can donate any dollar amount and at the end of every month you will automatically donate that amount to help keep me creating new online content/podcasts. So if you enjoy my podcasts, blogs or various other online things I do then please consider becoming a patron of mine. Thank you. Here's the link to my Patreon account.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Outlander Ep 6 & A Fun D&D Session

It's day 35 of my "pic a day" until my 44th birthday and like with all my other posts here's a picture of me at age 35. This was taken up at my mom's cabin in Green Valley Lake. That's my doggie Daisy who is now living in Austria with Harry.

Today I watched the latest episode of Outlander. This was episode 6 titled, "The Garrison Commander" Among the Red coats, Claire thinks she has found her way back to Inverness — until she is reunited with Black Jack Randall, who will stop at nothing to learn what she is hiding.

Most of this episode takes place in one room and with two talking heads, normally not a good combo for TV but with this amazing writing and these fantastic actors it's one of the most intense, chilling and compelling pieces of drama that I have seen in a long time.

There is also this crazy flogging scene, Jamie, our dashing hero gets 100 lashes on top of already getting 100 lashes. His back is filet opened and there are chunks of skin hanging off of it. It's extremely hard to watch but it's not gratuitous and I think that makes it even harder to watch, with the realism.

In order for our Heroine to survive she has to marry and of course it's going to be with our dashing hero Jamie. We did find out that Jamie is not only kind, chivalrous and tough as nails, but he's still a virgin which makes him even more adorable. I look forward to next weeks episode to see how this story plays out.

I heard that they will only be airing the first 8 episodes of season one in 2014 and the remaining 8 episodes of season one in 2015. Hopefully we won't have to wait months to see the back half of season one.

The majority of my day was spent playing D&D/Pathfinder. Our dwarf adventures continues. We are well below the surface in caverns close to the planets magma. There were two major battles and both were hard fought. The first was a lot of fun as we were in a cable car of sorts trying to get across a large chasm, while Derro's were in two other cable cars coming down towards us and a group were on the cliff side where we were heading. Dash did pretty good with several fireballs that took out about half of these creatures.

During our second battle, again with Derro's but this time there was a sorcerer as well who had mind controlled Dwarfs attacking us. Again it was a tough battle as Dash tried to charm this sorcerer several times but he was to powerful and kept throwing the charm off. In the end we manged a win but our success was in vein as it looked as though the items (bracers) we were looking for were destroyed when the person holding them fell into the lava. Nar and Borin (our company dwarves) were well compensated. Dash also picked up a nice cloak that gives me some pluses to my roles.

Before the session was over Arethal found a jet black cloak, put it on and turned to us saying he was sorry, then black arms came out of the rock face, grab him, pulled him in and he was gone.

This battle set a new record of rounds played, our previous record was 10, this battle took 13 rounds. 

Both battles were loads of fun, they were tough and several of us, well almost everyone lost a huge amount of HP points. Once again I want to thank our DM Dallas for making all this possible. Couldn't ask for a better time. Can't wait to see whats in store for us next as we find out what happen to Arethal.

Lego Star Wars TV Series

If you're a Star Wars fan and you haven't seen any of the Lego Star Wars "movies" then you are really missing out. First we had stand alone episodes, Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace and Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out. After that they turned it into an ongoing series titled Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles (aka The "new" Yoda Chronicles) and this looks to be an ongoing series. They released three episodes in 2013 and three episodes in 2014. I haven't heard any news about episodes in 2015.

But today I watched the latest Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles that aired earlier this month. This is episode 6 of the Yoda Chronicles titled "Raid on Coruscant". The Emperor uses the information on the recovered Holocrons to launch devastating attacks on planets sympathetic to the Rebellion. Luke knows there's only one solution: a daring raid on Coruscant to get the Holocrons back.

All of these Lego Star Wars movies/episodes are written by Michael Price. They are hilarious and good fun. These have nothing to do with the movies (canon) other then the characters being used. These are defiantly made for kids but smart enough for adults to enjoy. I've loved every one of them and this latest one is no different. I think these are a perfect entry into Star Wars for a younglings (ages 2 to 6). I look forward to future Lego Star Wars episodes.