Archive for June, 2012

Nerd Lunch Episode 43: Salty Snacks

Posted in Cheetos, food, podcast, snacks with tags , , , , , , on June 27, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Welcome to Episode 43. Hope you have your taste bud seat belts on because this episode we are joined by Steve from the blog Food Junk to discuss tons of salty snacks.

Wasabi Mayo DoritosGarlic Seafood PringlesHerr's Crab ChipsCheetos EnchiladaBlack Pepper Jack Doritos

We cover everything from Doritos and Ruffles to pretzels and crackers and we even cover little seen foreign snacks like Clam Chowder Doritos and Garlic Seafood Pringles.  It’s a veritable cornucopia of awesomeness for your mouth.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

Or, you can listen to the show online here

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1992 USA Olympic Dream Team 20th Anniversary collector cans from 7-Up

Posted in basketball, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, NBA, pop culture, soda, sports with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

This summer is the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Olympic Men’s basketball team. The original NBA “Dream Team”.  To commemorate this anniversary, 7-up products have a set of 7 collector cans featuring 5 of the legendary team’s members.

2012 Dream Team collector cans

Here is the lineup of cans available.

2012 7-up cans

The five players chosen to represent the “Dream Team” for this set are Magic Johnson (Sunkist), Larry Bird (7-Up), Patrick Ewing (A&W), Scottie Pippen (Sun Drop) and David Robinson (Canada Dry Ginger Ale).  As I said, there are only 5 of the 12 players represented, but there are 7 different cans.  Consequently, Magic Johnson is also on Diet Sunkist and David Robinson is also on Welch’s Grape.  I’m surprised they didn’t go for the full player roster and have 12 collectible player cans.  When I found out about this I was actually concerned that I would have to hunt down 12 more collector cans so soon after my last hunt for cans (see Avengers cans) just ended.  I need not worry now.  I’d like to get all of these cans but I think I’m only getting the Bird and Magic cans.  And I’ll probably get only the Diet Sunkist Magic can.

Larry Bird can Magic Johnson can

Honestly, I’m not surprised about Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley being absent from this set.  They have separate likeness deals that have always made including them in NBA deals dicey.  Jordan rarely showed up as a playable character in NBA Live games in the 90s.  However, why not include cans of Stockton and Malone, Chris Mullin, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler or Christian Laettner (not really missed, btw)?  I’m very saddened by the absence of Stockton and Malone especially.  I was a big fan of the Jazz in the late 80s – early 90s.  I’ve even seen them play at The Delta Center in Salt Lake City.  Next to Larry Bird, John Stockton is my favorite NBA player of all time.  I had planned on just getting the Stockton, Bird and Magic cans, but now, like I said, I’ll have to settle for only the Bird and Magic cans.  Which is fine by me, but I would have really liked to have a Stockton can.

So, the actual anniversary of the selection of the initial 10 Dream Team players is September 21.  I’ll be back then with a small retrospective on the team.  I had planned on doing this retrospective anyway, but it’s nice to see 7-Up, ESPN and the NBA have also remembered the anniversary of this most historic basketball team.

Oh, and NBATV has also been running an hour and a half documentary called The Dream Team.  It covers the selection, practices and tournament play of the team with footage and interviews.  It’s been running several times a day every few days.  Check it out if you get the chance.  Here’s the trailer.

Bionic Reviews: Cyborg by Martin Caidin (1972)

Posted in Bionic Man, books, pop culture, reviews, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by Paxton

Bionic Review
SMDM Book

This is the first of an ongoing feature where I read, watch and review books, comics and TV shows featuring The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman.  Click the Bionic Review banner to see the Bionic Review archive page.  Click the smaller banner to see only those specific reviews.

The Six Million Dollar Man began as a 1972 super-spy novel called Cyborg by Martin Caidin. It was a classic 70s spy book but with the added fantastical elements of human biological enhancements (called bionics).

Cyborg #1a Cyborg #1b

Above are two paperback covers for the book.  I own both.  On the left is one of the original paperback covers with no mention of The Six Million Dollar Man on the cover.  On the right is a later paperback edition with not only a bolded and underlined mention of the show at the very top, but Lee Majors’ face in the lower right.  The cover on the right would actually be modified and used again for the sequel novel, Cyborg 2: Operation Nuke when it hit paperback.

Cyborg would not be the first time Caidin wrote about bionics.  In 1968 Caidin wrote The God Machine which dealt with the topic of bionics and artificial intelligence.  Caidin would incorporate those aspects into this novel.  Caidin wrote Cyborg as the first in a series.  The book was picked up and adapted into the first Six Million Dollar Man TV movie in 1973.  The studio made a few small changes to the character of Steve Austin for the TV show.  The biggest change would be to Austin’s bionic eye.  In the novel the eye is blind for Austin.  However it is outfitted with a microfilm camera and a laser.  Yes, he can shoot lasers out of his bionic eye, which is crazy-awesome and I wonder why they didn’t incorporate that in the show (well they did, but only in Austin’s son during one of the reunion movies).  Also, the TV version of Austin is much more powerful and can run faster than the book version.  They also toned down the hardcore grittyness of the spy novel for the TV series.

Cyborg UK cover Cyborg novel

So, how is the book?  It’s actually a pretty good 70s spy novel.  It sets up the origin of Steve Austin and his accident in much the same way the TV show did.  It spends a believable amount of time on the bionic surgeries as well as his rehabilitation both physically and mentally to his new bionic parts.  If anything is different than the TV show it’s that you don’t get the awesome “bionic sound” whenever Steve uses his abilities and, like I said, the performance of his “bionic parts” is slightly different.  Steve gets the same bionic parts in the book that he does in the show (right eye, left arm, both legs) but he also gets a steel plate in his head and a radio transmitter in one of his ribs.

There are two good missions Steve goes on in this novel.  One is a “water mission” so we see Austin’s bionic enhancements helping him in the ocean.  He gets to use his “critical mission” limbs that let him swim faster and and breathe underwater by hooking up his scuba breather to his leg.  Pretty awesome.  Steve also goes on a desert mission where he’s stranded for what seems like days.  Many good uses of his bionics in this book.

So, yes, this book is pretty good.  Typical 70s spy novel.  It’s a bit slow in parts (as 70s novels tend to be), but intersting enough for me to keep reading.  I definitely look forward to reading more about the literary Steve Austin.

Caidin wrote three sequel novels to Cyborg.  All of Caidin’s Austin novels stay true to the original and do not incorporate the character elements of the TV show.

Check out other Bionic Reviews on the Bionic reviews archive page.

Nerd Lunch Episode 42: Scheduling the ultimate nerd weekend

Posted in podcast, roadtrip with tags , , , , , on June 19, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Welcome to Episode 42 of the Nerd Lunch podcast. This week the three of us ride with an empty fourth chair.

Gameworks

The topic this week is “Nerd Weekend”. The three of us have a discussion about what we would do if the three of us met up for the weekend.  We talk about places to go, games to play, movies to watch and of course, copious amounts of hossin’ to hoss.  Want to know what a Nerd Lunch Weekend would entail?  Then you’ve come to the right place.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

Or, you can listen to the episode right here:

http://player.wizzard.tv/player/o/i/x/134006790026/config/k-28fb6c171299270f/uuid/null/episode/k-7bf3f0de1d843a2a

New Feature: Bionic Review

Posted in Bionic Man, nostalgia, pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , on June 14, 2012 by Paxton

Bionic Review

I’m going to start up another feature on this blog. Thanks to CT over at Nerd Lunch I was able to acquire a very cheap set of The Six Million Dollar Man Complete Series DVD collection from Time Life.

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I’ve been a huge bionic fan since I watched the show in reruns while I was growing up. I have VHS copies of some of the more famous episodes like the original Bigfoot episodes, the original Bionic Woman episodes and The Seven Million Dollar Man episode.  But ever since Time Life released this set, I wanted it.  The asking price was a little out of my price range though, but I maintained hope that it would go on sale at some point.  Then CT spotted a coupon code on Facebook for the set that gave me over $80 off the price so I pulled the trigger and got the entire set with free shipping for a price that fell smack dab in the middle of my desired price range.  YES.

So now I have the full set at home.  It’s awesome, it comes in this collectible box with a lenticular image of Steve Austin on top that actually runs when you move the top up and down.  Also, when you open the top, you hear Oscar Goldman say, “Steve Austin.  A man barely alive…”  Like I said, AWESOME.  My son loves that the box talks when you open it and he also likes looking at the Steve Austin lenticular “run”.  Maybe sometime he’ll watch these episodes with me.

So now I want to start watching the episodes of the show.

Secret of Bigfoot Pass Cyborg IV

At the same time I’ve been trying to get this DVD set, I’ve also sort of quietly started collecting the novels that are based on the show.  There are four novels written by Martin Caidin who created Steve Austin in his first novel, Cyborg.  There are also a bunch of novels that adapt episodes of the show.  I got the original Cyborg novel as well as it’s two sequels; Operation Nuke and High Crystal.   But it was taking me for-f**king-ever to find the final Caidin book, Cyborg IV.  Then I finally worked a deal with a guy online and acquired pretty much the entire run of Six Million Dollar Man novels as well as the two Bionic Woman novels.  So now I have those to read.

Since I plan on consuming all of this pop culture bionic awesomeness, I figure I’ll chart my progress here on the blog in much the same way I’m doing my Oz books read through.  I’ll start reviewing the books, then I’ll start reviewing the TV episodes.  I haven’t figured out how the episode reviews will work.  I probably won’t put up an article for every single episode.  I’ll probably group episodes together in twos or threes and leave the big two parters and the more significant episodes (Bigfoot, Bionic Woman, Death Probe) with their own articles.  We’ll see how I do that when I get there.

Currently, right this very moment, I’ve read the first two Caidin novels and watched the first two Six Million Dollar Man pilot movies (there were three movies in 1973 before the series began in January 1974).  I’ll slowly start to post these reviews without any type of regularity at first.  The Oz read through stuff will take priority right now.  But I’m looking forward to starting and sharing this journey with everyone.  It should be fun.

Nerd Lunch Episode 41 – Would You Rather?

Posted in podcast with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Check yourself. Episode 41 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast is now LIVE. This week we are joined by Andrew Bloom of The Atomic Geeks.

Delorean Batmobile

Andrew breezes in on his Atomic Geek motor scooter and subjects CT, Jeeg and Pax to a series of Would You Rather? questions. Will CT kill Kermit the Frog or the Star Trek franchise? Will Jeeg die at the hands of Snuffy the Snuffalupagus or Big Bird? Will Pax erase the existence of the Star Wars prequels from everyone’s memory or just his own?  These questions and more await you in episode 41 of the Nerd Lunch podcast.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

Or listen right here:

http://player.wizzard.tv/player/o/i/x/133946375268/config/k-28fb6c171299270f/uuid/null/episode/k-5c8be9c9dad0fcd8

Review of Oz Book 5: The Road to Oz (1909)

Posted in books, Classic literature, pop culture, Wizard of Oz with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2012 by Paxton

Following the Yellow Brick Road

One year after Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, Baum released the fourth Oz sequel; The Road to Oz: In Which Is Related How Dorothy Gale of Kansas, The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome the Rainbow’s Daughter Met on an Enchanted Road and Followed it All the Way to the Marvelous Land of Oz.  Yes, that is the “official” title.

Road to Oz
(Via pixiepalace.com)

Like the other books in the series, this book is a “road trip” book. A bunch of characters start off walking and meet a bunch of other crazy characters before eventually arriving in Oz. And in this book, that summary is literally what happens. There’s really no villain in this book. No threat or conflict to resolve. The characters just journey from Point A to Point B and end up in Oz for a celebration. That’s it.  So, the story is a tad thin. However, the illustrations by John Neill throughout the book are gorgeous and very detailed.  In fact, in the front of the book, we are treated to a really nice illustrated map of the land of Oz and the surrounding magical countries that Baum keeps adding to the landscape in each successive book.  And I’m sure this map will change as I get further into these books.

Oz map
(Via Oz-central.com)

So, the story starts off with Dorothy back in Kansas. She’s out strolling around the Kansas plains with Toto (who returns for the first time since Book 1). Dorothy bumps into a wandering vagabond called The Shaggy Man. Obviously not fearing for her life that a disheveled hobo has shown interest in her, Dorothy begins giving him directions but stops because she believes this hobo to be stupid. Dorothy, again, in this book is kind of a dick. She corrects people’s grammar and, like just happened, she tells people they are too stupid to understand certain directions she is giving them. Anyway, the Shaggy Man is in possession of something called a “love magnet” (yeah, I know) that causes anyone that sees him to fall madly in love with him. Where he got it, he doesn’t say. Dorothy leads the Shaggy Man to a crossroads that should lead him where he wants to go, but as she turns to leave, the crossroads multiplies from 2 to 7 to 18 to infinity. Confused, the travelers decide to just pick a road and begin their journey to wherever the hell they are supposed to go. Along the roads they meet Button Bright, a child in a sailor suit who is anything but bright, and Polychrome, the rainbow’s daughter. It’s this group that will travel the fairy roads to Oz.

The first stop is in Foxville, home of a bunch of anthropomorphic foxes. The Fox King magically turns Button Bright’s head into a fox as a reward for being “clever” but doesn’t know how to turn it back when Button Bright objects. So the group leave and end up in Dunkiton, where a similar fate is bestowed upon Shaggy Man, except it’s a donkey head. The group is told that the only thing that will fix them is the Truth Pond, only found in Oz. So the adventurers head towards what they hope is Oz.

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