Archive for February, 2015

Nerd Lunch Episode 167: Drilldown on Infomercials

Posted in advertising, nostalgia, podcast, pop culture, TV, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by frequent guest Tim Lybarger from the Neighborhood Archive to talk all about infomercials.


We discuss some of our favorite products, some of our favorite pitchmen and then we spend a moment discussing some of the more ridiculous products we remember seeing info ads for. Also find out if any of us actually bought any of this crap. You’ll be surprised.

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

Or listen to it online here.


Movie Man-a-thon 2015: Magicians, gunfighters and devils galore

Posted in movies, TV shows with tags , on February 19, 2015 by Paxton

As happens every blue moon, the wife went away for the weekend a few weeks ago and left me watching the kids.  So, when the kids were put to bed, I had a chance to engage in one of my patented movie man-a-thons.  I picked a bunch of movies Steph would never want to watch and I gave them a spin.

Let’s see how I made out.  This list is in the order that I watched the movies.

Houdini (2014) – The Lionsgate/History Channel 2-night mini-series all about the life and career of Harry Houdini, one of the greatest magicians of all time.  I love magician movies and I love the lore that’s built up around Harry Houdini.  This is a pretty solid mini-series retelling the life of Houdini.  Brody does a great job inhabiting the character and it covers Houdini’s life, while not exhaustedly, but, entertainingly.  Worth a watch.  We even get a quick scene with Rasputin when Houdini performs for the Russian royal family.  I didn’t know he had met Houdini.    Rasputin is another historical figure besides Houdini, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, that I have a sort of mini-obsession with.

The Watcher (2000) – This was a re-watch for me. I originally watched it when it was first released on DVD back in 2000-2001.  I’ve always loved James Spader and I’ve been loving Keanu Reeves lately in stuff like John Wick and Man of Tai Chi.  So, I thought I’d revisit this serial killer movie that features Spader as a burn out police detective being sent clues of murders by a serial killer played by Reeves.  Honestly, it doesn’t live up to what I think this movie could have been in my head.  If this were re-made now with Spader and Reeves as they are today, I think it could be incredible.  I don’t necessarily remember it being better when I saw it originally back in the early 2000s, but I was still disappointed.

Pale Rider (1985) – I love Clint Eastwood and especially his westerns.  Surprisingly, I’d never seen Pale Rider before.  So, I caught it on AMCHD with my DVR and decided to give it a shot for my man-a-thon.  And it’s AWESOME.  This is a much better version of High Plains Drifter (and don’t get me wrong, I like HPD).  Eastwood is excellent as usual and so are the plethora of bad guys in this one.  Just a really good gritty western with a hint of possible supernatural goings on.  And the daughter, Megan, as played by Sydney Penny, was embarrassingly attractive.  I say embarrassingly because she was 14 at the time the movie filmed.  But she’s STILL smoking hot today.

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Nerd Lunch Podcast Episode 166: Movie Menus 3

Posted in Burger King, fast food, food, McDonald's, movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on February 17, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by perennial foodie favorites Nick from Dude Foods and Jess from Burger Mary and we let the food experts take a ride on one of our favorite topics, Movie Menus. This is Part 3 of the Movie Menus.


We are all assigned movies and restaurants by someone else and we have to come up with a themed menu to go with that movie using the existing menu of our restaurant.

Lots of fun movie menu choices including movies like The Goonies and Karate Kid Part II as well as restaurants like McDonalds and Outback Steakhouse.  So download this episode, sit back and let us take you on a trip for both your ear holes AND your mouth holes.  Trust me, you’re mouth will be watering by the end.

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

Or listen to it online right here.

High Fantasy Month is back to slay some dragons

Posted in books, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , on February 16, 2015 by Paxton

High Fantasy Month

The last time I did this was back in July, so I thought it was time to knock out a few more fantasy books.  Next time, I may switch up the media and do High Fantasy movies instead of books only.  I’ve been sort of dying to see Sword & the Sorceror.

Anyway, recently I bought a few fantasy books I’ve been eyeballing during a fire sale on Google Play and Amazon. So let’s see how I did.

The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two (2011) – Patrick Rothfuss – I read the first book in Rothfuss’ series, The Name of the Wind, back in January 2014 and I enjoyed it. It was very story heavy with lots of characters with weird names but the book is well written and I was very interested in the world that Rothfuss had built.  So, when I found the sequel on sale for super cheap a few months ago on Google Play, I snatched it up. It continues the story of Kvothe, a legendary arcanist (ie magic user) who is relating the unbelievable events of his life story to a scribe.  Overall, this book is good.  However, it’s LOOOOONG.  The eBook is 875 pages long.  And it feels every bit of that length.  And I didn’t realize this, but it’s also a road book.  The main character, Kvothe, is sent out on a journey that lasts FOREVER.  He finishes the initial task on the journey and then goes off on an interlude. And then another interlude.  And another.  To infinity.  I was ready for the book to end.  But the book is written very well and is set in an interesting world with an interesting take on magic.  I just think, since we KNOW this book is continuing into a third book, that Rothfuss should have ended it a little sooner.  And I feel this is a gripe I have with many books in the fantasy genre.

Troll Mountain: The Complete Novel (2014) – Matthew Reilly – I’ve read most of Matthew Reilly’s books. He’s a great action adventure author who’s most famous series involves a special forces officer code-named Scarecrow.  So, this was a bit of a genre departure for Reilly.  It’s a junior fantasy adventure.  Very simple.  Short.  The novel is in three parts and each part is only about 50 pages long.  I actually liked it quite a lot.  It reminds me of L Frank Baum’s fantasy stories.  Like this could have been a lost fantasy fable found in his papers after he died.  It has that type of heart and charm with a touch of morality and lessons to be learned.  The story involves our hero, Raf, who has a sister that has fallen ill to a disease that is plaguing the land.  There are trolls living in a nearby mountain that have an elixir that will cure it but they require a high payment.  Raf, who is poor, decides to travel to Troll Mountain, sneak into their vault and steal the elixir in order to save his sister.  It’s a pretty fun, quick and light read that I highly recommend.

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book 1) (2006) – Brandon Sanderson – I’ve had my eye on Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy for a while.  Finally Amazon put the Kindle versions on sale for a song (all 3 books for less than $6) and I snatched them right up.  So, I read the first book in the trilogy and it’s pretty damn good.  The world Sanderson creates is interesting and he has filled this world with interesting characters and a very interesting system of magic.  And the setup is similar to something you’d see in another fantasy series I like, The Lies of Lock Lamora by Scott Lynch.  It’s a group of thieves and cons who are hired to perform an impossible heist.  Exactly the type of plot I love.  I will definitely continue this trilogy.  However, I have a similar gripe about this book that I had with the first book in this list.  The book is a little bit too long.  The first book in this trilogy is nearly 700 pages.  Knowing there are two more books in this series, reading through to 700 pages starts to get a little tiring.  And slightly annoying.  Even when I enjoy the characters and subject matter, story fatigue sets in around 600-700 pages.  However, that being said, I really did enjoy the book and would recommend it.

The Second Book Of Swords – Fred Saberhagen – You’ll recall during my last High Fantasy Month that I read Fred Saberhagen’s First Book of Swords. I actually have the compilation of all three of the original swords books, so I thought I’d pick up the book and read the second book in the series.  But, alas, I didn’t get much further than 4-5 pages.  I just couldn’t get into it.  I kept glazing over reading the pages and nothing would stick.  Not sure what was wrong.  I’m close to saying I’m not reading this series anymore, but I may give it a few months and try again.  When I couldn’t finish this book, I started to read Mistborn instead.  And you see how that turned out, so clearly it was an issue with this story and not with me getting tired of reading fantasy books.

Nerd Lunch Episode 165: Syfy Pitch-nado

Posted in monsters, movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , on February 10, 2015 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Ladies, gentleman and gentle-monsters, this week we are joined again by show favorite Jon Cross from the After Movie Diner podcast. And this week Jon is here to help us pitch a new monster movie to the Syfy Channel.

Monstergeddon WI

We all start crowd sourcing ideas for monsters, locations and C-List celebrity cast for our monster movie and what we come up with by the end is one of the most amazing monster movies ever conceived of by man.  400 years from now bands will sing songs about our pitch.  It’s that good.  So hop on the blue steampunk Harley named Babe and check out the latest episode of Nerd Lunch.  You’ll be glad that you did.

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

Or listen to it online right here.