Monthly Archives: July 2014

Weird Al Wednesdays 7-30-14

Welcome, friends, to another Weird Al Wednesday!  Today, I have selected one of my favorite of Al’s original songs: “Hardware Store”.

This song really showcases Al’s ability to sing really well.  I still haven’t memorized the lyrics to the list of all that stuff in the store, and the song is over ten years old!  I’ve never seen him do this song live, so it stands to reason that he doesn’t sing that whole list in one go, but it’s still a rather impressive thing.  Another thing I love about this is the rich harmonies in the chords at the end of each chorus.  I have always enjoyed rich, thick harmonies in songs, which is likely a contributing factor to why I was in band all the way from 5th grade through graduating from college.  Then, of course, there’s the comedy of the sheer topic of this song: the person telling us about this lives in a town so boring, that the townsfolk all get excited about a new hardware store opening up.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s selection.  Leave your thoughts, or suggestions, in the comments below.

Weird Al Wednesdays 7-23-14

Hello all!  I am beginning a new regularly scheduled post: Weird Al Wednesdays.  Starting today, I’ll be sharing a different Weird Al song with you every Wednesday and share a little about why I like that particular song, what makes it a good song, and so forth.  Without further adieu, I present this week’s choice: “The Saga Begins.”

I like this song for several reasons.  First of all, it’s about Star Wars, the first real nerd-passion I ever had.  It’s also a great summary of The Phantom Menace that Al wrote from spoilers online before the movie even came out.  You also have to commend Al for choosing the parent song (“American” Pie by Don McLean), especially given the difference in age of the two versions.  I do enjoy when Al goes back to classics like American Pie to pull from.  I speaks to the timeless nature of the original song, and helps ensure a long life for the parody.  This song also has special place in my musical heart for being the first Weird Al song I ever heard.  After my mom called me in to see the video played on TV, I was hooked.  I now own every standard, 12-track studio album he has released.  This includes his most recent release, Mandatory Fun, which I spoke about here.  I hope you enjoyed the song and will continue to follow this recurring post.

Loot Crate Unboxing – July 2014

Greetings, friends, and welcome to a double first!  Not only is this my first Loot Crate unboxing post, but it’s my first unboxing ever!  I have been hearing about Loot Crate for some time now, and seen some of the very cool stuff they send out every month to their subscribers.  So, I decided it was about time I signed up.

For those who don’t know, Loot Crate is a subscription to a mailing service that sends you cool stuff once a month.  Each month has a different theme to the contents, which come from a variety of fandoms and showcase various big-name and small-name artists and companies.  For this month, the theme was Villains, and my first Crate does not disappoint.

July 2014 Loot Crate Swag!   Picture taken from my Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/JediRayNos)
July 2014 Loot Crate Swag! Picture taken from my Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/JediRayNos)

The Joki t-shirt is an original design by Zack Finfrock, an artist who also does the cover art for the Loot Crate magazine included in each box, and the pin inside this month’s box.  It’s a brilliant combination of Loki and the Joker, and perhaps the greatest incarnation of a chaotic evil character in all of comic history.

Keeping with the Joker theme, the two posters on either side of the shirt are from DC Comics & Trends International and feature some fantastic artwork of Joker and Harley in a style very much in the vein of the popular Arkham video games.

The comic fun continues with an exclusive cover of a new series following Rocket Raccoon.  I look forward to reading this issue and finally picking up a comic from the beginning.

I’m not normally a fan of socks with stuff on them, and especially don’t buy any such socks myself.  However, the Deadpool socks from the Crate look pretty nice and feel comfy, so they will likely see some wear.

The Darth Vader key chain by Lucas Film & Plasticolor is a very well done piece.  Again, I don’t normally add a bunch of key chains to my keys, but I’m sure I can find some place to proudly display this item.

That blue and white square in roughly the middle of the picture is a DVD containing a documentary about DC Comics villains.  The magazine says it’s narrated by Christopher Lee, who excels as playing villains himself.  This should be a fun thing to watch!

Last on the list is the Bowser ‘I Want You’ recruitment magnet.  It’s got some lovely artwork of everyone’s favorite royal Koopa.  It will make a lovely addition to my already nerd-magnet-covered refrigerator.

Do you subscribe to Loot Crate?  If so, tell me what your favorite item is from this month’s crate.  If not, and you have the means, I recommend signing up ASAP!

Uber Geek Cosplay

One of the cosplay original ideas I have is to build an ‘uber geek’ that combines different aspects of multiple fandoms. To that end, I have amassed the following items:

1. Lightsaber – a ForceFX replica of Luke’s lightsaber from Return of the Jedi
2. Comm Badge – a magnet pin replica of a comm badge from Star Trek: The Next Generation
3. Sonic Screwdriver – a decent replica, with lights and sounds, of the Other Doctor’s sonic screwdriver from The Day of the Doctor
4. Wand – a replica of Harry Potter’s wand from the popular book and movie series
5. Colonial Military dog tags – replicas of Colonel Saul Tigh’s dog tags from Battlestar Galactica
5. Ultra Ball – a foam replica of an ultra ball from Pokemon.
6. Diamond Sword – a foam replica of from the popular Minecraft game
7. 4 Star Dragonball – an acrylic replica from one of the best anime shows of all time, Dragonball & Dragonball Z
8. Cap’s Shield – an aluminum replica of Captain America’s shield that I plan to modify slightly

Today, I purchased an addition to the costume: a Jayne hat, from the cult classic Firefly.  As you can see, I’m bridging quite the array of nerd cultures here. If you have any suggestions as to other items I could add to this, please let me know in the comments!

 

*I would like to say a few things about the links, and apologize for not having one for the Cap Shield.  For the most part, I got these items for about the same price as listed on the links.  Some of them even came from the exact link I’ve given above.  However, when I bought the Col Tigh dog tags, they were not nearly that expensive.

A Quick Word on “Weird Al” Yankovic

I have been a fan of Al Yankovic’s career from the first time I heard “The Saga Begins” back in 1999.  So, as a true fan, I went out Tuesday and bought his newest, and last under contract, studio album: Mandatory Fun.  I have listened to the whole CD a few times now, and have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Admittedly, I do not love every song on the album, and I can sympathize with some fans longing for the good old days before YouTube made parodying a quick and multitudinous thing.  None the less, I recommend the album and suggest checking out the videos Al is releasing all this week (8 videos in 8 days, starting 7/14/14).

Cover art from Weird Al's last studio album under his contract.  Image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/32/MandatoryFun.jpg
Cover art from Weird Al’s last studio album under his contract. Image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/32/MandatoryFun.jpg

Are you a Weird Al fan?  If so, what’s your favorite song of his?  Also, am I the only one that thinks it would be  awesome if he, or at least someone, did full polka versions of some of the songs from the polka medleys?

The New Jedi Order

Here’s my first sci-fi post over at Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts. Give it a read, then check out the original blog! It’s chock full of great nerds and their thoughts.

quaintjeremy's thoughts

Hello all!  For my first sci-fi post here at the Thoughts, I wanted to tackle the book series from the early 2000s called The New Jedi Order.  I was always under the impression that this book series was not well-written and generally not a good read.  However, some time ago, I decided that it would behoove me to know more about the details of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.  This seemed to impact so much of the Star Wars galaxy that I felt under-accomplished as a Star Wars nerd for not having read the series.

Image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/51/Vector_Prime.jpg Image from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/51/Vector_Prime.jpg

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

…if you haven’t read any of these books or been on Wookiepedia at any point in time.

The series begins with a book by R. A. Salvatore titled Vector Prime.  This is Salvatore’s first Star Wars novel, and he does a fantastic job.  I doubt very much that…

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The Doctor and Rose

I’ve been re-watching Doctor Who with my wife recently. She didn’t start to get into the show until the later part of the David Tennant years. I would make references to things she hadn’t seen, forgetting for a moment that she didn’t know what I was talking about. Last night we got to the end of Series 2, where the Doctor and Rose say goodbye. Just as it did the first time, re-watching that two-parter brought tears to my eyes. Though I like Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amy Pond, and Clara Oswald, Rose Tyler will always be my favorite companion.  Who’s your favorite companion?

The Doctor and Rose at Bad Wolf Bay.  Image from http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g246/sey115/burningup.jpg
The Doctor and Rose at Bad Wolf Bay. Image from http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g246/sey115/burningup.jpg

Hey, Listen!

I posted this ‘about me’ sort of thing over at Quaintjeremy’s Thoughts. I am starting as a contributor there and felt this an adequate way to verify my nerd credit.  Be sure to check out the the Thoughts for other great nerd postings!

quaintjeremy's thoughts

My Editor-In-Chief has asked that I give you all a sort of “about me” blog entry.  Well, here it goes.

I’m 26 years old and have lived in Indiana all my life.  I have been married for nine months to my wonderful wife, who is pregnant with our first child!  Like the EIC, I attended Wabash College.  Unlike the EIC, I do not have a Bachelor of Arts in English.  My degree is in German.  I have never really had any idea what to do with it, as I was not an exceptional German student.  None the less, I have managed to survive pretty well so far.

My nerd credentials are somewhat extensive.  Star Wars was my first science fiction memory and love.  I couldn’t have been much older than 8 when I first saw A New Hope, in its original release edit.  We were over to dinner at…

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The Cephalo-Pope

Friends, Cephalopods, lend me your ears…or statocysts!Cephalo-Pope Hat - resizeSo, a group of my friends has long entertained the idea of this squid hat being the hat of the Cephalo-Pope.  So, when I won it in a drawing from Petty Torture Productions, I thought, “Hmm… Maybe I could make this a real thing through the media of cosplay.”  I have things in the works as far as the physical accoutrements go, but have not really put any thought into the dogma of the Cephalo-Pope.  What would make up the Trinity?  What kind of Christ-like figure would this religion have?  How would they refer to whatever god this religion worships?

What I need from you, my friends, are suggestions to build this theology.  I was thinking of loosely basing it on Roman Catholicism, as much of the structure is there to modify.  I am also weary of the deity of this religion being the Great Old One, as he may lead to too much insanity.  So, please, share this post with as many potentially interested people as you can think of.  I will take some of the more favored ideas to form the basic dogma and go from there.  To start things off, what say you to Communion being fried calamari and black currant liqueur?

DISCLAIMER: I would like to state for the record that this is an exercise in frivolity and amusement.  Any persons offended by this whole notion are more than welcome to discontinue reading my blog.  I ask only that any hurtful thoughts be left to verbal concourse betwixt you and your computer, and not in the comments below.

Hello Internet!

Greetings all!

I would like to begin with the obvious: I am a nerd and proud to be so.  I am completely new to this blog thing, despite being a modern-day 20-something.  I plan to use this page as a way to post my thoughts and share nerd knowledge.  There will be a lot of blogging done for a friend’s page, with the main intent of this page being my personal thoughts.  I will link from my page to all of my posts for the quaintjeremy blog, mostly to have some content on here until I get my own things going.  I will also likely use this as a vehicle to help promote my stepping into the realm of cosplay.  That venture is in its very, very, VERY early stages, and in much need of work. However, it’s something I have considered for some time and I am finally reaching a point where it is possible to attain.

Anyway, stay tuned and enjoy!