30 July 2014

Under the Dome: Episode 205

Can someone please tell me what happened during the last fifteen minutes?  For some reason it did not record, I am guessing there was a storm or something.  I am kidding.  Not about the final minutes, but about telling me.  I looked it up, seems like I was spared a few moments of stupidity.

I do not even know where to start with this episode.  Okay, how about the trial?  I love how they are worried about due process and all that stuff.  Obviously the most important thing here is having representation for Big Jim.

Also, I loved how Joe and the kids tell Julia about Melanie being resurrected and she is like "oh, that's neat, I will help you later, but for now I have to organize a trial."  Ummmmmm, are you serious?  You don't think a girl coming back from the dead, who just so happens to be the person who found the egg and has a weird connection to the Dome.  Yeah, that would not be important at all.  We need to focus on giving Big Jim a proper trial.

By the way, how can he have a proper trial?  There is no magistrate or judge present.  Just some lady, who says the Dome chose her to lead the people.  Maybe Sheriff Phil can preside over the trial.  Oh wait!  He was fired after killing a guy.  Who knew that a DJ is not qualified to be sheriff?  Everyone knew that?  Weird.

In other stupid character developments...Junior.  Ugh, could he be any more of an idiot?  Probably not.  He tells Sam (who murdered Angie) that Joe, Norrie, and himself are the remaining Hands (dumb term).  Then, he allows his uncle to get him really drunk.  Yeah, he deserves to take a bullet to the head.

At least the kids decided to take matters into their own hands.  They ignore Julia (smartest thing anyone can do) and try to have Melanie touch the Dome.  Nothing happens and she thinks that she is some UnDead Zombie freak or something.  She is not.  She and Joe kiss, Norrie is jealous...blah blah blah.  Did I miss something?

Julia and Barbie are back together.  Yay!  Remember, the Dome has been down for two weeks.  They have went from looking for Julia's husband (who Barbie murdered) to banging.  To being in total love with each other.  Then she does not trust him because he was going to side with Big Jim to making up and realizing they are totally right for each other.  IN TWO FREAKIN' WEEKS!  I know junior high kids who have a more stable relationship in two weeks.

Mad Max Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road, which looks pretty awesome. 

29 July 2014

Mistborn: The Final Empire

This is the second novel by Brandon Sanderson.  You could see that he got some of the kinks out of his system and this one became a little more solid.  Although, some of the world was still quite simple, but that might be since this was only the first part of the series.  I am hoping that we explore more of the world at some point.

I will say that he definitely likes to give you the rules of his magic system.  Allomancy is this magic that allows certain people to "burn" metals that they have ingested and use the power that each metal gives off.  For example, pewter makes a person stronger, but you have to burn more of it to be stronger, which causes it to burn faster.  I can definitely see how this is the precursor to his Stormlight magic system (and yes, I realize all these magics will be tied together with the larger Cosmere).

One of the things I really enjoyed was the growth of the main character, Vin.  Her growth is not complete though and I hope the next book explores her dilemma further.  Is she Vin the street urchin or Valette the minor noble woman?  I would guess that she is a combination of both, but she needs to find herself.

I also did not see the death of...this is a spoiler...Kelsier.  His plan was pretty insane.  He allows the Lord Ruler to kill him, which brings hope to the people.  That was well thought out, but very risky.  I guess it would not have  mattered if he was dead. 

Another shock was the emergence of Marsh as a Steel Inquisitor.  Definitely did not see that coming!  Hell, I was sad when it seemed like he had been flayed.  One thing that did not shock me was the revelation that the Lord Ruler is not the author of the journal, but instead the Terris packman, who hated him.

I liked this book.  It is interesting to see the progression of Sanderson's writing.  I look forward to the next book in the series.

The New Wonder Woman

This is the image of Wonder Woman that Zack Snyder released the other day. 

My initial reaction was "huh, grim and gritty", but then I realized that all of his still still shots and posters look like this.  He only has one filter.  So I guess there is no reason to be surprised.

I read some of the many complaints fans have raised about this image and decided that I should post my thoughts about them:

1.  She is not built enough.

I guess people expected her to get completely ripped and look like a female body-builder.  They keep saying "she is an Amazonian princess."  That's cool, but her powers are supernatural.  Depending on the origin they use, she most likely has a connection to the Greek gods.  She does not need to do squats in order to lift a car with ease.

Also, they keep forgetting that she is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world (and do not start giving me crap for not thinking a muscle-bound woman is beautiful).  Gail Gadot fits the bill.  And it's not like she is totally tiny or anything.

2.  High Heels

High heels are impractical in a fight.  That might be true, but we are talking about a super-powered alien, a guy dressed up in a bat, and a girl who could be the daughter of a god.  And people are worried about realism?  Get fuckin' real here.  If she has super-strength, super-speed, and super-agility, then I am sure she can handle fighting someone while wearing stripper boots.

3.  Why does her outfit not cover her thighs or shoulders?

I don't know!  Again, she is mostly invulnerable, does it really matter where the armor covers her body?  And yet again, we are hearing about realism in a movie about comic book characters.

4.  What's with all the fire and ash?  Looks like a poster for Sin City or 300.

Hmm, yes, what is with all the fire and ash?  Where could they be fighting that is like this?  Could this be a hint that we will see our heroes at Apokolips?  Does that mean Darkseid will be coming???  I hope so!

28 July 2014

2014 Fantasy Baseball Week Sixteen


Okay, I think I am done freaking out.  Good for her on beating me.  I am happy that her team has managed to make a bit of a comeback.  And my team is starting to go down in flames.  So many guys have minor injuries, like not being on the DL, but missing games all week.  Eric Hosmer, Yasiel Puig, and Hanley Ramirez all missed time.  That is not helping me out.  Especially when it seemed like Hosmer and H-Ram could have been poised to heat up.

Also, how can a team have 13 holds in one week and the next only pick up one?  That does not even make sense.  At least my starting pitching was fantastic.  Everyone pitched remarkably well.  You know your starters are good when the worst week is Adam Wainwright because his ERA was 3.09.  Greinke, Kluber, and Duffy all managed to pitch shutouts (well not complete game shutouts, but they did not give up a run).

I really need some help in the closer department.  Steve Cishek had all five saves.  I cannot rely on one guy to do all the work.  Especially if the other guys are not picking up holds.  That is just a rough week.

I am still leading my division with a record of 100-82-10.  Fortunately for me, Pat also lost so he stays three games behind.  Overall, I am still in third place and 12.5 games back of first.  Gideon holds the top spot with Ryan now 3.5 games behind.  This week I take on Stallions, who is in 11th place.  I need one of those big wins.

Lindsey is 86-93-13 and still in 7th place.  She takes on Ryan this week and I need her to crush him.  Please my dearest, make Ryan look like a fool...

Under the Dome: Episode 204

Wow, this episode was so great that it took me like six days to muster up the energy to write about it.  Seriously, I was more interested in writing about the alien hunter than this show.  The bad part is that the characters just do ridiculously stupid stuff, but then we learn something interesting that makes me want to keep watching.

We learned that Melanie was from the past.  She was part of a group of friends, Junior's mom was dating Lyle, and Sam was with Melanie.  They found the mini-dome and pink egg back in the olden days.  Melanie felt like she had to protect it, but during a struggle, it looks like Sam may have pushed her and she hit her head and died.

That was interesting.  How did she come back?  Interesting that Sam pretended not to recognize her (although, I think I mentioned that he seemed like he was hiding something).  This still continues with the question of what is the egg and what is the miniature dome.  These are the things that we should stay focused on.  Instead we get...

Rebecca deciding to unleash swine flu on the town.  Unfortunately, her strain is mutated and will probably kill everyone.  She ends up not being able to go through with it.  Big Jim is linked to the plot and Sheriff Phil has to arrest him.  You know, a week ago, Big Jim is savior and now he is town villain again.

I also enjoyed that our wonderful new sheriff had to solve the problem with vandalism on the bridge.  That seems like the most important thing to worry about when a giant dome encapsulates your town.  Either that, or maybe having the town's DJ become sheriff is a terrible idea.

There is also the horribleness of Julia's decisions.  She brings Sam back to her place and invites him to stay, but then pushes him away when he tries to kiss her.  Although, what was his plan?  Leave his shirt on during sex?  Since he scratches at his chest and we see the claw marks, which must have been from Angie.  Or does he plan to kill Julia?  That would probably be a good thing.

Hopefully the next episode will be somewhat better...

24 July 2014

The Alien Hunter and Lake Michigan

Remember when I wrote about Derrel Sims, the Alien Hunter?  Well I was watching a crappy UFO show called Uncovering Aliens and Sims is one of the investigators.  Just watch these clips to witness his badassery (I invented that word).

Look at the way he throws that branch out of the way or how he kicks that stick that was dumb enough to stand in his way of finding the alien base hidden in a tiny stream.

I love that he is using a UV flashlight.  Isn't that what all those investigators use to show how much semen is in a hotel room?  So basically, either there were aliens in her room, or she needs to stop giving guys HJs when her mom is at work. 

And his advice for how to stop an alien?  Think of something silly, that will confuse them.  Or, put your arm around one and while it is freaked out, rip off it's eyelids.  That works all the time.  The way he says it makes it seem like not only does he know one woman who has done this, but that it happens so often that it is old news for him.

23 July 2014

The Emperor's Blades

I finished Brian Staveley's debut novel, The Emperor's Blades, which is the first book in The Unhewn Throne series.  It was a great book, I could barely put it down.  There was fighting, betrayals, complex politics, deaths, gods, ancient powers, and giant birds.  What is there not to like?

The story is about the three children of the recently assassinated Emperor.  Kaden is the heir, but he is off learning from Shin monks.  They are trying to teach him to tap into the ancient power of the creators of humans (the Csestriim), who were defeated in some kind of war.  They could be back though and Kaden's father wanted his son to be prepared.

Kaden's younger brother, Valyn, is on an island training to become a Kettral.  These are the elite of the elitist soldiers in this world.  They train for like eight years before they take a brutal test.  The work in teams that fly on giant hawks called, Kettrals.  The majority of the book focuses on Valyn, who not only has to prepare for his test, but learns of his father's death and discovers that the assassination was part of a larger plot and he (and his brother) could be in danger.

Kaden and Valyn have a sister, Adare, who is back home as one of the ministers in the government.  I think of Finance.  She is the only woman in the position and so she has to deal with that, as well as finding her father's killer.  I hope we see more of her story in the next book.  I especially enjoyed how the different religions affect the society and the empire.  Very fascinating.

These three children are the Emperor's Blades.  He must have had a purpose for sending two of them away to train and keeping one close.  By the end of the book, we learn that their plots are very closely tied together. 

If you like fantasy and want to get in on a new series, this is one I would definitely recommend.  And now, here are some of the things I enjoyed, which will contain spoilers.

-Balendin is a Leech, and when we learn that he draws his power from human emotions, I knew that Kaden would finally tap into the vaniate and be the one to defeat him.

-I definitely did not see the ending coming that way.  It was cool having Valyn and Kaden reunite, but did not think Kaden would want to leave and go with Tan to discover more about the Csestriim.  I guess what I expected was for everyone to go to the capital and then we get the whole Kaden adjusting to being the emperor (which I am sure will happen).

-I wonder if the gods that people are descended from, like Kaden, are actually the first children of the Csestriim? 

-I also did not see the General being a bad guy.  It seemed like an obvious choice at first, but then I dismissed it because I figured Staveley was going with the love interest for Adare, you know someone who would help loosen her up (pun intended).  I guess he decided to make him both...

For those of you that read it, what did you think? 

One Year Ago

Last year on this day I was nervous about asking Lindsey to marry.  I was pretty sure she would say yes, but it was still nerve wracking.  You can read the entire story here.

It is funny how when we told people that we would be getting married in 2015, that seemed like so far away.  Now it is almost one year away.  I guess there is not really all that much left to do.  I am excited for it.

How couldn't I be excited?  I get to spend the rest of my life with the woman I love.  Happy engagement anniversary Lindsey! Thank you for saying yes and making me the luckiest guy on the planet.

21 July 2014

2014 Fantasy Baseball Week Fifteen

Damn, nothing like getting your ass kicked by Ryan.  That is always the worst feeling in the world.  I also hate the stupid All-Star Week.  We had a full week, then you get to add the rest of that short week.  Ryan had such a commanding lead that even though my team played very well the last three days, it did not really matter.

Eric Hosmer was my best hitter for the week (8/2/7/0/.436/.500).  He blew up during the second half last year, so it would be very nice if that happened again.  Obviously Jose Altuve (8/1/5/3/.325/.333) was fantastic, he has been fantastic all season.  Yasiel Puig had a decent week as well, but nothing spectacular.  The rest of my guys were pretty crappy.

My pitching was pretty good, but Ryan's managed to be just a bit better.  We traded off on Holds and Saves and I beat him on the Wins, but he destroyed me on Strikeouts.  Also, his ERA and WHIP were phenomenal.  For me, Corey Kluber was great:  two wins, fifteen strikeouts, 3.68/1.23.  Pat Neshek showed why he was an all-star, two wins and two holds.  Jason Grilli also picked up a win and two holds, nice to see him having a good week.

I am now in third place with a 96-75-9 record.  Ryan is back in first place with Gideon technically tied with him, but I am guessing division record comes into play.  Gideon beat Lindsey 8-3-1, which keeps her in 8th place.  I take her on this week, so it should be a tense week at our place.  Hopefully I can survive and defeat her enough to make up the 7.5 games I am behind those two...

20 July 2014

The Future is Here

Sometimes I think we take for granted how this world is now so futuristic.  We have unlimited information at our fingertips, hell, we can just speak into a little box and learn about any subject we want.  That is amazing!

What got me thinking about this was making coffee today.  I remember watching sci-fi movies and the characters would hit a button and a drink would just magically appear.  As I made a cup of coffee today with our Keurig, I realized this is the future.  I hit a button and boom, I have a coffee.

Granted, making coffee is not a very time consuming, difficult thing, but if you wanted to make one cup, it was usually a bit of a pain.  Now you just pop in a little cup and then a few seconds later, you have a cup.

So what are some of your favorite technological achievements that make you feel like you live in a science fiction movie?