Monthly Archives: August 2014

Weird Al Wednesdays 8-27-14

Greetings all, and welcome to another Weird Al Wednesday!  For today’s selection, I went with one of his original songs from his album Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D!: Nature Trail to Hell.

I really like how this paints a horror movie as a family-fun type of movie that is, of course, released on Christmas.  This plays on something I have never understood: Why do people release horror movies on Christmas Day?  That seems like Hollywood just does that to be contrarians, but I digress.

Being the music geek I am, I do love the rich harmonies in the chorus of this song.  There is also something to be said for the sound effects Al uses, which are both cheesy and effective.  Writing the song/movie to be about a nature trail is also a play on a major horror genre trope where the kids get killed in the woods.  Then, of course, there’s the 3-D aspect.  Yes, they had 3-D in the 80s.  That’s what those red & blue glasses are for, children.

I often find this song stuck in my head for no reason, with the chorus repeating in my head.  This speaks to either my strange obsession with Al’s music, or the superior quality of his music…or both. I’m going to go with both.

Loot Crate Unboxing – August 2014

Hey everyone! It’s time to unbox another great set of swag from Loot Crate!  This month’s theme follows up on last month’s Villains: Heroes.

August 2014 Heroes Loot Crate - Photo by me.
August 2014 Heroes Loot Crate – Photo by me.

In support of the new movie by Michael Bay, this crate includes a pretty cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figure with some glow-in-the-dark to it.  It’s a pretty cool looking figure by Kidrobot based on the new series on Nickelodeon.  I haven’t seen any of the new show, but it seems to be doing well for itself.  Personally, I’m a fan of the live-action TMNT movies from the 90’s.  Remember, go ninja, go ninja, go!

Also from TMNT, there are some pretty sweet mask sunglasses from H2W.  Like the figures, they are randomized for each crate, which is a nice touch.  I would have matched the glasses to the figure, but that’s because I got the Leonardo figure, who wears my favorite color, but the Michaelangelo glasses.  But don’t get me wrong, Mikey is hilarious.  I wear perscription glasses, so I may not sport these often, which kind of bums me out.

Another big item this month is a Loot Crate exclusive Funko POP! figure of Groot.  What makes this figure special, is his one arm glows in the dark.  I believe most of you know by now that Groot can release luminescent spores from his left arm.  You guessed it, the figure’s left arm glows in the dark.  I often find these Funko POP! things creepy looking, but Groot will be proudly displayed at my house.

The lightning bolts are a cool shoe accessory by Schwings.  They lace to your shoes and, presumably, help you run faster.  Ok, that second part isn’t true.  However, they are awesome and make you look kind of like the Flash.  I may have to go buy some lace-up shoes again.

One of three different air fresheners from Sega and Epic Scents also comes with the Crate this month.  I go Mega Man, who is scented as Cool Rush.  I like Mega Man, but kind of wish I had gotten the Sonic one.  Growing up, my brother and I would play Sonic 2 for hours on our Sega Genesis.  Although, once we got a PSOne, we did play quite a bit of Mega Man.  My car will soon smell like speed and heroics.

Making a re-appearance from last month, we have some Deadpool swag.  This month, he breaks the fourth wall with a magnet for what is likely his favorite cereal: Chimichang’Os.  Most Deadpool fans should know of the Merc with a Mouth’s love of chimichangas.  This anti-hero-approved magnet will adorn my fridge proudly next to Bowser from last month.

Finally, we have some digital loot.  A card with codes for cool stuff in Doctor Who: Legacy, Defense Grid: The Awakening, and Gauntlet comes to the Loot Craters this month.  With codes for free swag, I may just have to get a Steam account.  I will also have to look into the free Doctor Who: Legacy app, as the code unlocks 11 Doctors, Rose Tyler, Clara, K-9, and more!

All in all, another great month for Loot Crate subscribers.  Let me know which of the Turtles figures and masks you got, along with the air freshener, in the comments below.  If you aren’t signed up for Loot Crate, but think, ‘Yeah, this thing is for me,’ check out their website here.

Weird Al Wednesdays 8-20-14

It’s that time gain, for another installment of Weird Al Wednesdays!  This week, I present a song who’s title probably makes it one of the most ironic songs of Al’s repertoire: Don’t Download This Song.

The irony of this song is that it was, in all likelihood, downloaded several thousand times.  I’ll grant that some of those were likely to be legitimate downloads through iTunes or Zune.  However, for every legal download of this song, there is probably at least 10 illegal downloads.  Personally, I buy every album Weird Al releases from an actual store…or at least Amazon.com.  I strongly believe that something I enjoy as much as Al’s music deserves my patronage with actual money.

Speaking of money, the humor of this song is in the bridge where he talks about the pains that artists go through if you illegally download their music.  The examples that Al throws out are absurd and a little farfetched, but falls to his old adage of exaggeration to prove his point.  In fact, it points out how ridiculous it is that artists who make millions of dollars from CD, concert, and other merchandise sales spend their time and money on lawyers and lawsuits to go after people who clearly just enjoy a few of their songs and might not want to buy an entire album to get that one song.  It is my opinion that these actions and the big whine session that artists had about music downloads in the early 2000s is a direct cause of the mediums on iTunes, Amazon, and the like to buy digital versions of a single song from an album.  This, to me, expresses the music industry’s realization that people will pay for things they enjoy, if they are given the choice to buy only what they want.

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts?  What does this song say to you about the music industry?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and remember to be weird today!

GenCon 2014 Summary

I had a great time this past weekend at GenCon 2014!  My wife and I went all four days this year, which was a big undertaking.  This year, they had the entire convention center!  I have never been to a con that big!  We got to spend time with some friends, play some cool games, buy some of those cool games, meet a couple ‘famous’ cosplayers and see some great cosplays.  I got a few of my Magic: The Gathering cards signed by artist Terese Nielson.  We got to see Wil Wheaton and a couple producers from the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel’s TableTop at a cool and hilarious panel.  We bought some nerd-tastic baby stuff for the coming nerdling.  I got the chance to meet and get photos with a couple cosplay ladies I follow on Facebook, Toni Darling and Envy Us Deviant.  You should check out their pages, as they are awesome and a good at what they do.  I was able to have a different cosplay every day, myself.  Granted, a couple of them were last-minute and not overly phenomenal.  But, I had folks asking for pictures all four days, so that was nice.  I will see about starting a public page to share pictures with you guys, as my personal Facebook page has some high privacy settings.  All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and four days off with my lovely wife!  I can’t wait until next year!  Stay tuned, as I got the August Loot Crate today, so an unboxing post should be up in the next couple days.  Also, don’t forget that Weird Al Wednesday is tomorrow!

Weird Al Wednesdays 8-13-14

Greetings friends!  Welcome to this week’s Weird Al Wednesday post!  For this week, I have chosen a classic hit in both its original form, and Al’s version: “Fat.”

One of the greatest parts about this song, is the music video and how closely it mirrors Michael Jackson’s video for “Bad.”  If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.

The link above doesn’t have the whole “Bad” video, but has enough to convey how good Al is at his craft.  From recreating the clothes Michael wears to the set itself, Weird Al shows his chops by taking the parody all the way.  He goes the extra mile to poke fun at the ridiculous sound effects from Michael’s movements and the shouting as the guys move through the subway station.  This is also one of several Weird Al songs on the topic of obesity.  Al uses this subject pretty regularly, seemingly jabbing at Americans in general.  Not only do his parodies on obesity lend themselves to social commentary, but they remind us to laugh at ourselves.

 

GenCon 2014

I’m looking forward to GenCon 2014 next week.  My wife and I are actually going all 4 days this year!  It will be exhausting, but a welcome escape into the safety of the nerds.  Since we are going all 4 days, we are looking at going to some of the events going on this year.  One event we are definitely going to attend is the Tabletop Panel of Awesome, hosted by Geek & Sundry.  If you aren’t subscribed to their YouTube channel, then what are you waiting for?  Check that out here.

Anyway, I’m really hoping that Wil Wheaton comes to the panel.  I know he usually attends GenCon, being the avid tabletop gamer he is.  I’m also anxious to find out who the Media Guests of Honor are going to be this year.  So far, none of them have been announced.  It’s to the point that I’m starting to wonder if they are even having any this year.  I am excited to see Terese Nielsen, the Artist Guest of Honor this year.  She has done a lot of work for Magic: The Gathering, as well as book covers for Del Ray, publishers of the Star Wars expanded universe novels.

Are you going to GenCon this year?  What are you most excited about?  Who do you think the Media Guests will be?  Chime in with a comment!

Weird Al Wednesdays 8-6-14

Welcome to another installment of Weird Al Wednesdays!  For today’s post, I decided to go with something from his newest album, Mandatory Fun, which I spoke about here.

Al’s song “Tacky” is, as you’ve heard, a parody of Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy” and is about people who are, well, tacky.  But it doesn’t just cover people who dress tacky, it covers actions people do that are tacky.  This was the first song the world heard off of Al’s last album under contract, released as part of his massively successful 8 Videos, 8 Days promotional campaign.

This song is a brilliant parody of Pharrell’s widely-popular hit song.  It also does a brilliant job at pointing out the bold ‘couldn’t care less’ mentality seen amongst a lot of today’s youth.  It’s amusing that a man who has branded himself as weird for roughly 30 years is poking fun at how shameless some people are nowadays.  The irony is quite striking.

What are your thoughts on this selection?  Do you have the new album?  Have you listened to it all the way through 20 times, or is that just me?  Let me know in the comments below!

Uber Nerd Update

Greetings all!  I meant to post this picture a while back, but have been having computer problems.  I made these as part of what I previously called my Uber Nerd cosplay.  I have since decided to change the name to Geek Supreme.  I like the sound of it better than Uber Nerd.  It just seems to roll off the tongue more easily.  Anyway, I made these using Perler beads.  The mushrooms and star I actually found the patterns for online, but the rupees are my own design.  I combined a couple different ideas for the mushrooms to give them a good feel, color wise.  Also, I used the more translucent beads for the rupees to give them a gemstone-like quality.  Have you ever made anything with Perler beads?  Was it nerdy?  Or have I inspired you?  Whatever your thoughts on this topic, please let me know in the comments below!  Thanks for taking the time!

Mario Power Ups and Zelda Rupees!
Mario Power Ups and Zelda Rupees!

Rage, rage against the dying of a planet.

Here’s my 2nd post for the Thoughts on Quaint Jeremy’s blog. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

quaintjeremy's thoughts

In my last post, I commented briefly on how Chewbacca’s death had set a grim tone for The New Jedi Order book series.  I would like to take some time now and examine that a little more in-depth in the first post on this topic.

In Vector Prime, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and his son Anakin Solo, go to the planet Sernpidal at the request of Han’s “old buddy” Lando Calrissian.  Lando has asked them to pick up a shipment for him, but things are not well when they get to Sernpidal.  The moon, Dobido, looks awfully large and seems to be moving awfully fast through its orbit around the planet.

They are approached by the former mayor, who tells them the moon is on a collision course with the planet. Then Han and Chewie begin loading up people onto starships to get as many folks off the doomed planet…

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