Archive for December, 2013

Nerd Lunch Episode 113 – Movie Menus II

Posted in fast food, food, movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , on December 24, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 113 of the podcast has dropped. This week we are joined again by food blogger extraordinaire Jasmin Fine from 1 Fine Cooke.com. And this week, with the return of the Denny’s The Hobbit menu, we are also returning to a topic inspired by that menu, Movie Menus. Which we did back in episode 83.

hobbit_menu4

We all assign other people the restaurants and movies and then we create the menus and themes found within. Expect to see the movies Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Princess Bride as well as the restaurants PF Chang’s and In-n-Out Burger. Lots of awesome stuff lies within.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online here.

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A review of L Frank Baum’s The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)

Posted in books with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2013 by Paxton

Following the Yellow Brick Road

In 1902, just two years after writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but 2 years before the first Oz sequel, L Frank Baum wrote The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. It was illustrated by Mary Cowles Clark.

Life and Adv of Santa Claus cover

This was Baum’s attempt to tell the origin of Santa Claus and explain the beginnings and reasons for all of our different beliefs and practices around Christmas time. It was a very ambitious undertaking.  But Baum does it in his usual dreamy, fairy tale-like manner and, for the most part, it works.

Baum sets up the world by describing all the magical immortal creatures that oversee various aspects of Nature.  We see creatures such as Fairies who watch over humans, Wood Nymphs who watch over forests, Gnomes who watch over the rocks and Ryls and Knooks who watch over the flowers and animals, respectively (along with many other creatures I’ll not name).  All of these creatures are presided over by the Great Woodsman, Ak.

One day Ak stumbles upon a lost child and allows a Wood Nymph, Necile, to adopt him.  Necile names him Neclaus (Nicolas).  Santa is raised by these magical, immortal creatures in the forest until Ak decided Claus must learn more about his own people and takes him on a trip into the human world.  Santa is shocked and frustrated by the wars, greed, child neglect and child abuse he witnesses.  Ak encourages him to not forsake the mortals as he is one of them.  Santa decides to do something about what he’s seen.

Santa moves to the nearby Laughing Valley where all the magical creatures help him build a workshop and get him started making toys.  The idea Baum posits here is that toys don’t currently exist.  Santa invents them when he makes his first toy which then transfixes the children.  So he continues to do it and his operation becomes bigger and bigger as he tries to help more and more children.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 112: Secret Santa Gunpoint Review

Posted in Christmas, holiday, movies, nostalgia, podcast, pop culture, Santa Claus with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Welcome to our annual TAG Christmas crossover. CT, Jeeg and I are visited by The Atomic Geeks; Digio, Downs and Christian, for a friendly round of Gunpoint Reviews.

Secret Santa Gunpoint Review

For this week’s show, the Geeks assigned us a secret Christmas movie and we assigned them a secret Christmas movie. We both watched the movies and had to review them to each other on the show.  We assigned the Geeks the Mexican holiday movie classic Santa Claus (1959-60) and they assigned us Santa Claus vs The Martians (1964).  Much fun is had trying to describe the absolute lunacy of the movie plots to the other members of the show.  Come on over a take a listen to some holiday hijinx courtesy of the TAG network.

The closing song in this episode was done by none other than former Atomic Geek Andrew Bloom!

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to this train wreck online here.

I visited Barnes & Noble for Star Wars Reads Day with my son

Posted in books, movies, Star Wars with tags , , , , , on December 12, 2013 by Paxton

Star Wars Roadtrip

My 3 year old has been slowly getting into the concept of Star Wars. He hasn’t seen any of the movies, he just knows some of the characters because he has several books I read to him at night featuring the more popular ones. Not surprisingly, he gravitates to the more visually interesting ones; Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Yoda, etc. And, of course, he loves lightsabers.

So, back in early October, when I saw that our local Barnes & Noble store celebrated Star Wars Reads Day with costumed characters, book readalongs and lots of fun activities, I knew I had to take PJ.  He already loves Barnes & Noble, but to go there and see Darth Vader?  Yeah, this had to happen.

Star Wars Reads Day sign

We got there around 11:30am and there were several costumed characters. First PJ and I got a pic with one of my favorite types of stormtroopers, the Biker Scout.

Biker Scout

PJ was a little shy at first seeing these giant, life size representations of the characters in his book, but he was sort of giggling with happiness as well.

Next we saw a Sandtrooper.

Stormtrooper

And then finally, the man himself. Darth Vader.

Darth Vader

PJ was in Heaven at this point. He loved Vader. Later on he would walk up to Vader and the other stormtroopers and tell them that “his name is PJ”. So cute.

There was only one character PJ was actively afraid of.  That was the Jawa.  I don’t think he’d ever even seen a Jawa before, so it scared him.  Consequently, he wouldn’t get a picture with it.  However, afterwards, that’s the one he asked the most questions about.  He wanted to know more about the Jawa.

Whenever we’ve gone back to Barnes & Noble after this, he asks if Darth Vader and the Jawa are going to be there.  He also has been showing lots of interest in my Star Wars figures.  I have a bunch of loose ones on display upstairs as well as a bunch stored away in plastic divider boxes.  I’ve given him about 4 figures to play with; a stormtrooper, Darth Vader, Darth Maul and The Emperor.  He also wants a Boba Fett really bad, but I don’t actually have one at the house except for a vintage one that is on display.  I’ll have to dig into my stored boxes to find one.

I can’t wait until he can actually see these movies.  I’ll probably show them to him sometime in 2015 right before the new Disney Star Wars movie is released.  He’ll be five.  I think that’ll be PERFECT.

Nerd Lunch Episode 111: Guilty Displeasures II

Posted in comic books, Mountain Dew, soda, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 111 of the podcast features the nerds in what the TAG Network likes to call a “3 Way Dance”. No 4th chair this week. CT, Jeeg and I gather to discuss a topic that we haven’t done since WAY back in episode 4; Guilty Displeasures.

Love/Hate

Guilty Displeasures; things we think we should love, but don’t. Expect us to discuss things like Mt Dew flavor extensions, comic books, zombies, peppermint and lots more. So come join us for some fun in discovering things that we all hate.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online in your browser here.

Ninja Day 2013: Scene by Scene: That Transformers episode with the female robot ninja

Posted in cartoons, holiday, Ninja Day, ninjas, Transformers, TV shows with tags , , , , on December 5, 2013 by Paxton

Ninja Day Banner

Today is Ninja Day, my friends. I celebrate it every year. It’s one of my passions. So, in the spirit of the scene by scene movie reviews I did for Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination, today I’m going to do a scene by scene review of the Transformers episode “Enter the Nightbird”. You know, the one with the female robot ninja.

Nightbird 000 Nightbird 001
This is Season 2, episode 6.  Here are the opening titles and title card.

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In the beginning of the episode, we see the Autobots installing new sensor pads on their floors. Wheeljack tests them by saying, “Look how they react to metal”, he touches the surface and then the sensor pad lights up. So the Autobots are putting metal detecting sensor pads in their headquarters?  METAL DETECTING SENSOR PADS IN A HEADQUARTERS FILLED WITH ROBOTS.  That makes sense.

Nightbird 004
This is Dr Fujiyama, “the famous scientist” (all the explanation we are given).  He calls the Autobots because he needs their help guarding his newest invention, an advanced form of robot.  Optimus Prime is talking to Fujiyama on a standard two way video communicator you see in TV shows and cartoons all the time. However, they way it’s drawn, it looks like that’s a window and Fujiyama is in the next room.

Nightbird 006 Nightbird 007
What is Fujiyama’s secret robot? Fujiyama introduces it as “The world’s first female ninja robot”.  He actually says that.  Not sure why the sex needs to be addressed since it is, you know, a f**king robot.  And maybe in this universe a MALE ninja robot has already been created.

Nightbird 008
This is the moment in the cartoon in which Optimus Prime awesomely says, “What is a ninja?”  Prime, you’re adorable.  Jazz actually explains it to him.  Not one of the human characters.

Nightbird 009
During the Q&A, this guy stands up and asks, “Why build a robot ninja, doctor?” He is then promptly escorted from the premises and beaten amongst the head and shoulders with heavy clubs.

Nightbird 010
Here’s the full pan up of the ninja robot. Thought this was a cool shot. The robot is christened Nightbird. The Autobots are here to protect Nightbird from being stolen by the Decepticons. How the Decepticons know about this robot or why they would even care when their own robotics are light years ahead of anything even in this robot is never really explained. But it is a ninja, so, I can’t blame them for wanting it.

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