Monthly Archives: September 2014

Loot Crate Unboxing – September 2014

Hello all!  I’m back, and it’s time for another Loot Crate unboxing!  I realize I’m a little behind the 8 ball, but this is really the soonest I had the time (and energy) to get back to the blog.  So, without further adieu, the September Loot Crate!  This month’s theme: Galactic.

The great stuff in my September 2014 Loot Crate!  Please ignore the cluttered computer desk in the background.
The great stuff in my September 2014 Loot Crate! Please ignore the cluttered computer desk in the background.

I’m going to start with the xenomorph and move in a clockwise-spiral through the picture.  So, the xenomorph.  One of the most terrifying alien species ever to grace the silver screen and haunt our nightmares.  This was actually one of the available figures available to Looters from ReAction Figures, so of course I ended up with the scariest one.  I’ll be honest.  I was actually afraid of the movie for a long time and would refuse to watch it.  I still need to watch it with all the lights on and caccooned securely in a blanket, but I do enjoy watching Alien from time to time.  I haven’t decided if I want to risk letting it out of the packaging…

Next, we have a Loot Crate exclusive Tribble from Qmx.  The packaging on this is lovely and quite amusing.  It includes warnings to “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF KLINGONS” and “DO NOT BLOCK VENTILATION GRILL”.  This little fuzzy guy is adorable, but I haven’t heard any squealing yet, so I’m probably going to leave him in there.  I’d rather not be eaten out of house and home.

Following the Tribble, we have a cool vinyl figure of Captain Tightpants himself! Malcolm Reynolds!  Another line from our friends at Funko, this box is usually a mystery sci-fi legend, and Captain Mal is usually holding his sidearm.  However, in the wonderful Loot Crate exclusive, he’s wielding his over-under double-barrel.  It’s a great Firefly treasure that any Brown Coat can appreciate (since we don’t get very many anymore).

We have a poster this month and it enshrines that fateful moment in Cloud City when Han and Leia kind of said ‘I love you’ for the first time.  It’s a fine piece of carbonite that will look good somewhere in my nerd den.  I just need a cargo hold to store him in…

Moving down to the Halo postcard, we have a digital download for a new run of Halo comics that follow the events of Halo 4 and the intrepid crew of the UNSC flagship Infinity.  It looks like it should be a good read, as many of the familiar faces of Halo 4’s Spartan Ops missions are seen.  There’s even a few of the old favorites.  I look forward to diving back into a world that’s been so prevalent in the lives of popular culture for the past decade and then some.

Then we come to another wonderful Firefly bit: money.  It seems that Looters have been gifted that which the fine crew of Serenity struggle so hard to find and keep.  Jayne Day would be long celebrated with this fat stack of cash.  On a personal note, I will probably add this to the Geek Supreme cosplay I have in mind, as well as my Jayne cosplay that will continue to develop.

Next we have something that every galactic traveler needs: cool snacks.  OK, so they’re just Pop Rocks.  That doesn’t diminish the fact that every Looter who ate bag after bag during their childhood isn’t filled with nostalgia.  And while it’s been proven that mixing them with soda won’t make your stomach explode, I can’t think of any soda that might go with apple flavored Pop Rocks.

Finally, we come to another fine mash up bit of swag.  For the third month in a row, Looters have been gifted a magnet.  If this keeps up, we’re likely to run out of space real fast.  This month’s magnet clearly looks like an early Star Wars arcade game crossed with the always classic Asteroids arcade.  The primary difference is, you’re a Star Destroyer looking for the Millennium Falcon in the Hoth asteroid field.

And that pretty much wraps it up for this month.  All in all, this was a pretty awesome crate.  It was also probably worth the most since I started my subscription.  I hope you all enjoyed your crates.  If you aren’t subscribed, I highly recommend it.

And to my regulars, I should have Weird Al Wednesdays back up and running this week.

Weird Al Wednesdays 9-10-14

Welcome wierdos, to another Weird Al Wednesday!  For today’s selection, we have the big single from his album Alpocalypse: Perform This Way.

I think it’s safe to assume that, even if you haven’t heard any of her music, you know of Lady Gaga and her strange attire.  This song perfectly captures Gaga’s wild and exceptionally individual wardrobe, even showing off some of her more famous, or infamous, outfits that she has actually worn.  It’s surprising that some of the outfits used in the video haven’t made it into Gaga’s lineup yet.  Who knows? Maybe they’ll make an appearance yet.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this video is the visage of Al being superimposed on a woman’s body.  This shows that Al is truly committed to his art, in much the same way that Lady Gaga is to hers.  Al shows in this video that he is willing to go the extra mile to give his fans an unforgettable performance, just as Lady Gaga does with her fans.  It is also worth noting that Al was originally told by Gaga’s people that he didn’t have permission to put the song on the album.  Al released it on his YouTube channel anyway, as a freebee to his fans.  Within a few days, and before the album’s release, Lady Gaga had actually seen the video herself and gave Al permission to put it on the album.  Clearly she’s more willing to laugh at herself than her staff.

I realize that this song might not appeal to folks who are anti-pop music.  However, I find both Al’s version and Lady Gaga’s original catchy and entertaining.  I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but it amazes me every time Al releases a new album just how wide a range of music he and his band can do.  I got to see this a few years back when he came through town on his Alpocalypse Tour, and the live performance did not fail to impress.  In short, I love this song.  It’s hilarious, clearly endorsed by the original artist, and just plain fun.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below and stay weird folks!

Deep Breath – The New Doctor Begins

So, we have the first Doctor Who episode with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (yes, I know it’s been a couple weeks).  I have to say, I was intrigued by the choice to go with an older actor.  However, I fully reserved my opinions until I saw him in action.  I have seen the Series 8 premier and my patience has been rewarded.  Peter Capaldi is an excellent choice to succeed Matt Smith.

One of the best lines from the episode.  I believe this to be a point of foreshadowing for the series to come.
One of the best lines from the episode. I believe this to be a point of foreshadowing for the series to come.

I have to say, that I embraced the move to an older doctor pretty much from the start.  I haven’t seen much of the Classic Who, but what I have seen of Doctors 3 and 4 are rather good.  Capaldi also does well at capturing the essence of the Doctor.  Once his brain gets starts to fall into sync, he displays the same plain-as-day, matter-of-fact demeanor when making certain points, as we often saw with Christopher Eccleston, and to a lesser degree Matt Smith.  We see the wide-eyed craziness that David Tennant brought to the show when the Doctor decides that exiting through a door is boring, and definitely “not me.”

I also see some some of the sternness from Tom Baker, John Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, and William Hartnell.  The early Doctors had much more of a fatherly/grandfatherly feel to them.  This is  much different style than was seen with Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith.  Capaldi gives me the sense that he will bring some of the classic feel of the character back to the show.  It helps, I think, that Capaldi has watched the show for a long, long time.

I very much look forward to this new Doctor, with his new look, sort of new T.A.R.D.I.S. control room, and the new series.  I especially can’t wait to find out who put the advertisement in the paper and how Stephen Moffat explains Capaldi’s “reappearance” in the Who-niverse.

Are you looking forward to the rest of Series 8?  What are your thoughts on Peter Capaldi?  Do you think we will see any new enemies?  How many of the old ones do you think will return?  Who the bloody hell is Missy?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Weird Al Wednesdays 9-3-14

Welcome all to another installment of Weird Al Wednesdays!  For this week’s selection, I have chosen one of Al’s biggest hits of the 90s: Amish Paradise.

One of the things that makes this a great song is the subject matter: the Amish.  Most Amish have probably never heard this song, as they don’t electricity.  While some might be offended, it is important to remember that the song isn’t made to poke fun at anyone.  Al is a parodist; none of this is anything personal. The video for the song is also a well-done parody of Coolio’s video for Gangsta’s Paradise.  From the profile shots of Al sweating (shots are of L.V. in the original), to the blonde woman in the chair getting mad and flipping it over, the video runs the gambit of Coolio’s original.

As my readers may have picked up on by now, I love full, rich harmonies.  Amish Paradise delivers such harmonies in the chorus backup vocals, just as can be heard in the original.  Al, of course, has to put a spin on it and makes it an Amish choral group.  This is the kind of attention to detail Al puts into his music.  It is another thing that makes him stand out as an artist.  Doing a rap song like this also shows Al’s versatility as an artist, not to mention that of his band.

Do you like Amish Paradise? What do you like about it? Perhaps you prefer Gangsta’s Paradise. If so, why?  Let me know in the comments.  Stay weird!