Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog #35: The Best of 'The Sopranos'

Aside from being a geek about sci-fi another TV series I am geeky for is 'The Sopranos'. It was a great series, which had it's ups and downs, but for the most part it was a great TV series and worth watching. Anyway I have come up with my favorite moments from that series.
My Top 10 Soprano's Moments Countdown

If you have not seen "The Sopranos" and you want to watch the show from the beginning do not read the following. What made "The Sopranos" a great show was there were memorable moments that rocked the show and its characters. I have selected the Top 10 Soprano's Moments in my opinion. Warning there will be SPOILERS!!!:

10- Big Pussy is put down to sleep with the fishes (Season 2):
Big Pussy was busted by the FBI for dealing heroin. They gave him a choice: 30 years to life in prison or turn rat for them and help to put Tony Soprano behind bars. He decided to help the FBI. All of season 2 we viewers watched the torment that Big Pussy endured, Tony was like his brother and they had spent all their lives together and now he was betraying him. Tony knew something wasn't right with his friend but wouldn't let himself believe what his instincts were telling him. But on the season 2 finale Tony had the proof he needed and he invites Puss to come with him and test drive a boat he wants to buy. Paulie and Silvio are on the boat too. They confront their friend and he confesses. Tony takes the lead and puts the first bullet in his friend. They wrap up Puss and dump him in the Atlantic ocean. Not a surprise but truly sad cause Puss was one of the best characters on the show.
9- Christopher gets gunned down by his "Friends" (Season 2):
Chris brings in these new guys Matt and Sean who want to be gangsters into the business. They get fed up with Chris ordering them around all the time and decide to step up themselves. Capo Richie Aprile meets with Matt and Sean and makes some negative remarks about Chris and the way he treats his niece Adriana. Matt and Sean decide to do Richie a favour (without consulting Richie) and surprise Chris outside a building and shoot him. Chris is wounded lying on the ground but manages to fire back killing Sean, Matt runs away and is eventually tracked down and killed by Tony and Sal. But the episode where Christopher is shot ends with Chris in a coma on life support and a shocked Tony sitting there saying "How could this happen, how could this happen?"

8- Livia green lights the hit on Tony (Season 1):
Livia is probably the meanest mother in history. She was mad at her son for putting her in an old folks home instead of bringing her to live with him and his family. She had the ear of her brother-in-law Junior Soprano who was being played by Tony and the other family Capo's. Livia knew this and revealed what Tony was doing against Junior knowing Junior would have to have Tony taken out. I thought my Mom could be rough at times but she never tried to have me killed....Livia was one cold hearted bitch, played to perfection by the late lovely actress Nancy Marchand.

7- Adriana La Cerva gets taken out to the woods and is put down like a dog (Season 5):
Most wives and girlfriends of mobsters stay out of the way of the men's work. But Adriana was different, she did drugs and ran a night club for her love Christopher and friend Furio. The FBI knew she was a weak link and sent an undercover agent to befriend Adriana and get enough evidence to turn her against Christopher and the rest of the the mafia. On the second episode of the 4th season the FBI bring Adriana in and give her a choice, either help them build a case against Tony Soprano or she and Christopher are going to jail. She then becomes their snitch. On the second last episode of the 5th season Adriana gets herself into even more trouble and the FBI finally have had enough and tell her to bring Christopher in and they'll take Tony to trial. She tells Christopher who is furious but then seems to be OK with it and then goes out for a pack of smokes. Adriana begins to pack their bags when she gets a call from Tony who tell her Christopher was found in a gas station washroom having tried to commit suicide. Tony sends Silvio over to pick her up and bring her to the hospital. The always gullible Adriana goes with Silvio, Silvio decides to take a short cut to the hospital and then drives out to the woods. He then stops the car in the middle of nowhere, drags Adriana out of the car. As she is crawling away on the ground Silvio pulls out his gun and we hear the kill shots off camera.

6- Tony kills his cousin Tony Blundetto out of an act of mercy by shooting him in the head with a shot gun (Season 5):
Tony B was released from prison and wanted to leave the mafia world behind, but was drawn back in when he tried to go legit. Tony B went rogue and killed/wounded 3 members of the New York family. Tony S agrees to hand over his cousin to the New York boss. But when he finds out they intend to torture him before killing him Tony S decides to kill his cousin himself. As Tony B returns to his safe house with groceries Tony S comes from around the corner and shoots his cousin in the face with a single barrel shot gun, in an act of mercy.

5- Tony kills Ralphie in an act of pure "Soprano rage" (Season 4):
Tony stole Ralphies girlfriend and Ralphie acts out. He arranges a fire at a horse stable where Ralph and Tony have a race horse together in order to get $200,000 in insurance, knowing that this would upset Tony who loves their race horse. Tony figures it out and confronts Ralphie, they get into a heated physical fight and Tony brutally kills asshole Ralphie with his own bare hands. Much to the surprise of the viewers....I did not see that coming at all!!!

4- Janice kills her love and fiance Richie Aprile in an act of "Soprano rage" (Season 2):
Richie and Janice were high school sweethearts, but they went their separate ways in life. Janice became a government scamming hippie and Richie went into the mafia and spent the last 10 years in prison. But they both ended up back in New Jersey and rekindled their love. Richie was having a bad time dealing with his new boss Tony (Janices little brother) Soprano and one night he was just in a bad mood. Janice and Richie get into their first argument over the fact the Richie's son may be gay and Richie punches Janice in the face. This was their first fight but it ended in a very memorable way, Janice after being punched and mocked by Richie leaves the room. Janice returns with a 9 mm gun and shoots Richie dead. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned....

3- Uncle Junior shoots Tony (Season 6):
To avoid going to prison the elderly Uncle Junior acted senile because you cannot put a man with dementia into prison. But what the viewers suspected and what the characters didn't fully realize was that Juniors senile "act" stopped being an act and he was losing his mind. Junior became convinced that a mobster he had killed, "Little Pussy Malanga", was after him. Tony goes to his Uncles house and begins to cook him supper. The demented Uncle Junior comes downstairs and shoots Tony in the stomach and goes upstairs tossing his gun under his bed, and hides in his bedroom closet. Tony is left bleeding on the floor and he must crawl to a phone for help. Tony manages to get to a phone, dial 911 but passes out when the operator answers, and that is how the episode ends....

2- Tony kills Christopher (Season 7):
Christopher has always had a problem with drugs, in season 4 they even had an intervention for him. But in the mafia if an associate is even suspected of being on drugs they are killed. A junkie will always make mistakes and sell out to the authorities to save themselves. Tony loved Chris as a son and hoped he would be his heir to the crime family. But Chrissy often fell off the wagon and on the last occasion of falling off the wagon Chrissy caused the vehicle he was driving in with Tony to go rolling down a steep ditch. Chrissy sat in the drivers seat wounded badly and coughing up blood, Tony had only minor injuries. Chrissy reveals to Tony that he is high and will never pass a drug test if they are found. Tony has had enough and closes Chrissy's nose and hold his mouth shut until he suffocates to death.

1- The New Jersey and New York families go to war with each other, Bobby and Silvio pay the price (Season 7):
Since season 4 a war between the New Jersey and New York crime families had been brewing. On the second last episode of the series it finally broke out. Bobby Bacala was first introduced in the second season and was an over weight bumbling idiot. But as time went on he eventually married Tony's sister Janice and became one of Tony's most trusted and loyal men. He even became the Under Boss for the family and thus became a target for the New York family. He was brutally gunned down in the day light inside a collectibles store while buying a model train set. Silvio in the very next scene was gunned down in a car outside the "Bada Bing" strip club which served as an office for the family. Bobby died and Silvio was left in a coma at series end.
As a die hard fan I freaked out and went ballistic, throwing the remote control to the ground. Crystal had to calm me down. That's just how powerful that scene was and why it is #1.
To quote the great Jerry Springer "Take care of yourself, and each other."
- Chris

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weight Loss: It's Time!

Recently on Facebook someone posted pictures of me at a family event. It occurred to me as I looked at the pictures: I really need to lose weight. Weight has always been an issue for me ever since I was 12 and half years old. But recently I know I have put on weight and I am probably the heaviest I have ever been. I had been losing weight and putting in a lot of time at the Barrhead walking track, but it's been months since I have had a chance to walk there. Probably the fact that this year alone thus far I have worked 452 overtime hours at work, doesn't help my walking cause. But it is not just the fact I work a lot on my days 'off' its also that I have not been eating as healthy as I should. I've decided to take some steps to gradually lose weight, no quick fix diets for me. It's about eating healthier and being more active. I just downloaded 'How To lose Weight The Healthy Way' from netdoctor, and their suggestions seem reasonable to me. They break it down as follows: Energy needs and weight loss, Introduce changes gradually, Increase your activity levels, Reduce your calorie intake, Write down your plan, Be patient and persevere, and Healthy benefits of weight loss.

With my families history of heart disease, cancer, strokes and diabetes: it's time to grow up and take my health seriously. I want to be around to see my Grand kids and Great-Grand kids.

And since I am a blogger I'll be reporting my progress as I go along. Hopefully you'll be seeing 'less' of me in the future.

Me and my wonderful nephew Damien Rydvall

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunday Night On The 'Tube'

Sunday Nights seem to be a great time for new cable TV series. Here's a few to talk about:

- 'Breaking Bad' is back and just as great as they enter their 5th and final season. Apparently season 5 will be split in 2 8 episode segments with the last half of season 5 airing next summer. I kinda hate when shows split seasons, why not just call them season 5 and 6 instead of season 5 and 5.5. anyway 2 episodes in and so far it is still a great show. Hopefully Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul win Emmy's again for their performances because it is well deserved.

- I am still watching 'True Blood', why exactly I don't know. This show has such great potential but it never reaches it in my opinion. Hoping one day HBO will just give Eric Northman his own TV series spin-off.

- 'Hell On Wheels' starts again with season 2 August 12th on AMC. Looking forward to this show returning. TNG & DS9 veteran Colm Meaney has a major role on this series. He's kinda the bad guy. Still it is a great series, love TV westerns when they are done right.

Bryan Cranston as 'Walter White' from AMC's 'Breaking Bad'

Monday, July 23, 2012

For The Record: Smoking

Recently I posted a Tweet which was automatically shared to Facebook that went something like this:

"Trying to sit outside A+W and have a nice lunch with Shelby. Then some inconsiderate smoker decides to blow our way. She's not even eating!"

Then a Facebook 'friend' took offence to my tweet and basically accused me of attacking smokers and smokers rights. Just thought I would write the following to clarify some things. My tweet was just me being ticked off at a person who was blowing cigarette smoke in the direction of my daughter and I. I have no issues with smokers and my tweet was not intended to be 'Non-Smokers versus Smokers'. I just consider it rude when someone blows cigarette smoke at others, especially when they are eating. If you want to smoke that's fine and all, but please be mindful of others around you whether they are smokers or not. My daughter and I had just as much right to eat outside as anyone else. And to be technical I believe that smokers are required to be 5 meters away from a public entrance when smoking, which this lady who blew the smoke in our direction was clearly not. 

Again I have nothing against smokers. If you choose to smoke that is your right, and being a non-smoker I appreciate the sacrifices smokers have had to make in the last few years in regards to where they can smoke, etc. Anywho that's all I got. Peace & Love, Peace & Love!

The Comic Book Pile: Summer 2012

As you no doubt know I am a huge comic book fan. I order most of my comics on line from a company out of Quebec called 'Comic Pull'. I also have a 'pull list' at the 'Comic King' comic book store in West Edmonton Mall. I read a lot of comics in a month so I've decided to do a quarterly update segment where I tell you what I feel is the best of what I read. some titles will not change from month to month because my favourite titles are pretty solid, but I'll try and include something different. If your thinking about picking up some comic books to try I hope this segment will help. in my opinion this truly is a great time to be reading comics.  
Top 10 Comic Books (In my opinion)
1- Batman (DC). Best written and drawn book out there!!
2- Invincible (Image). Created and written by Robert Kirkman (creator of 'The Walking Dead' comic and TV show)
3- Daredevil (Marvel). Written by the great Mark Waid. This book is a lot of fun.
4- Fantastic Four (Marvel Comics). Jonathan Hickman is a great writer and this is a fun thinking man's comic book.
5- Earth Two (DC) Still a new title but this is a great read by James Robinson (Starman)
6- FF (Marvel) This is the sister book to the Fantastic Four and is written by Hickman. Fun book.
7- Saga (Image) Written by Brian K. Vaughan this is a cool sci-fi comic book. Romeo & Juliet-ish it is.
8- Justice League (DC) Written by Geoff Johns, art by the legend Jim Lee. The back up 'Shazam' story is great too.
9- Aquaman (DC) Written by Geoff Johns. This really is a fun book to read and yes it is Aquaman.
10- Flash (DC) I was a fan of the Flash but with the relaunch of the 'New 52' this book got really good.
Mentions: Swamp Thing (DC), Secret (Image), Action Comics (DC), Hulk (Marvel), Batman Incorporated (DC).
Trade I'm reading: Starman Omnibus 1, paperback from DC comics. Reprinting this series from the 90's written by James Robinson (Earth Two). this is a fun book to read. the art is not the best but it suits the story I think.
See you in the fall for 'The Comic Book Pile', but see you next week for more blogging goodness!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blog #34: The Goose Lake Music Connection

For those of you who do not know the Goose Lake Music Connection was a live concert for volunteer performers at Goose Lake, Alberta Canada and it was held on August Long Weekends. The music started Saturday morning and continued through out the day into the wee hours of the night. The stage was a huge rented stage and they had a rented state of the art sound system. Individual people and bands volunteered their time to play music there. They played everything from country to metal, from a guy playing the fiddle to a guy playing the flute. From people who could sing to people who should never sing into a was a fun time. It was a family event and there were a lot of kids there. But it was also for adults too, they had a beer gardens there and many individuals who preferred the 'herbal' alternatives...put simply there were a lot of people smoking doobies and eating magic mushrooms. It reminded me of what I would imagine Woodstock would have been like, except there were no big name bands there. But there were a lot of hippies, drugs, face painting, munchies eating and hippies. I loved going to the music Connection, it was an annual event for me. The connection itself was held at the Goose Lake hall grounds, which was right across the way from the Goose Lake Campground, where the after parties were always held. Sadly the Music Connection is no more, in its last few years they began to attract a bad crowd, people came and fought and caused nothing but problems for the organizers. To be honest the 'bad crowd' was all young people from Whitecourt, Mayerthorpe and Barrhead...the connection became ground zero in a turf war between young dick-wads from those towns who had nothing better to do than fight and ruin a good time. It was never the locals that caused problems, we were there for a good time and that was all. But as we all know there is always someone who has to ruin it for the rest of us....Anyway the following is a small collection of memories (or rather fuzzy memories) of the good times I had at the Goose Lake Music Connection:

* 1996 *

96' was the first year I attended the music connection. My buddy Dennis was the one who took me there and we had a blast. I was drinking 'Rockaberry Wine Coolers" and trying to look cool. It was really the first summer I ever partied. I remember a big party after the Connection in the early hours of Sunday morning at Schuman Lake. I remember there were probably at least 50 of us there when the cops showed up. Some of my friends hid in the bush in fear the cops would bust them for pot possession. They didn't hide the fact that they were hiding when they started throwing food and other objects from the bush at the cops car....not smart but they got away. The cops kicked us out of there and we moved the party to the Goose Lake campground and partied till dawn....drinking rockaberry coolers....and maybe smoking some 'wacky tobaccy' too...

* 1997 *

97' was a crazy connection year for me, I got crazy drunk that Sunday, and got into some mis-adventures. That was the year I met Rob "The Puking Guy", this guy could literally puke on command which was disturbing yet cool at the same time, especially when you are drunk and/or high watching him do this. That Saturday night we watched my new friend Jodi play with his band on stage and they were the last band to play. My cousin Tyler, with friends Jamie and Fred, with Rob the puking guy came out that weekend from the city and partied with us like old times. That Sunday me and some friends decided to get as drunk as humanly possible and we did just that. I got super drunk and wanted to get on stage so bad that I volunteered to play the spoons for some dude singing the newfie tune "What would you do with a drunken sailor", the guy got such a kick out of my drunken spoon playing he changed the song to "What would you do with a drunken spoon player" which I thought was awesome, but I'm sure I annoyed the crowd. Then he made the mistake of giving me the microphone after the song to say a few words. They went something like this:
(Me to the crowd) "Are you having a good time out there?"
The crowd responded by yelling "Yeah!!!"
And I responded by saying "F#^@in A !!!" , totally forgetting that this was a family setting. The guy wisely took away my mike and that was that. Although I did manage to get back on stage when they asked for volunteers to help sing the final song...can't say they were too happy or impressed to see my drunk ass up there singing....

I was so drunk that I passed out on the hood of someones car...and I was like a grumpy bear when they tried to wake me up so they could drive their car home. I just rolled off the car and slept in the ditch. then I remember getting awoke and riding on the roof of Shanes car...But the worst of it was that that Sunday was my Mom's birthday and I forgot in my drunken stupor. The next thing I remember it was dark and I was sleeping in the bush at a campsite and hearing my sister Brianna calling my name from the campground road. I got up and followed her voice and I could see her and someone else walking down the road looking for me. I walked up to Brianna but couldn't see who it was with her so I asked Brianna "Who's your friend?" and her 'friend' replied "YOUR MOTHER !!!"....I was in supreme shit. Mom and Dad and Brianna came out there to get me and bring me home, Sorry Mom. I was super hung over the next day. Dad decided to torture me by making me change the oil in the old k-car. I was so hung over and my reflex's were so slow that I drove up the ramps and drove over the ramps, with the car landing right on top of them. "A little hung over are we?" Dad asked me and I couldn't argue with him, it was a long and hard hang over day. 

* 1998 *

98' was another great year for drunken adventures. Friday night my cousin Lenny and I partied it up till the early morning. Saturday morning we all started drinking very early, very very early. 9 AM see my friend Tyler purchased a Texas mickey of white rum and we had to drink it before it expired you see....I was pissed and passed out by 4pm that afternoon. Tyler was found passed out in an outhouse, in the middle of taking a 'poop' holding his bottle of white rum at his side. Thankfully some people were there working security and they helped him out. They escorted him back to our campsite and he slept it off in my car. We didn't actually have a tent set up that weekend, we were all too drunk to set up a tent, our cars were our tents that weekend. They stayed parked there all weekend thank god. Some friends from work, Jill and Don arrived at our campsite Saturday night at 8 pm and they got my drunk butt up and back to the party. I partied all night and had a blast as always there. At some point I think it was early Sunday night a young and good looking hippie chick approached Tyler and I near the Goose Lake beach. She asked us if we would want to go skinny dipping with her. Tyler and I looked at each other and said "yes" to her request, she was hot after all and we were young horn dogs. We told her that she would have to undress first, which she did, it was starting out to be a story for "Penthouse Letters" and she had our full attention. She lifted her flower dress over her body and we were left horrified...our "attention" becoming very limp very quickly. She had more body hair than I do...hairy arm pits, hairy legs and what is commonly referred to as "Afro Bush". The dream of skinny dipping with a hot girl died right there, and also she smelled like b.o., the reason why she wanted to go into the lake was to bathe herself...we politely turned away and left but other less picky gents soon showed up to take our place. That Sunday night I remember cooking bacon and eating taco chips with Tyler and Lenny. We told stories and had a great time just sitting there under the stars. 

* 1999 *

99' I feel was really the year when everything changed for the worse for the connection. That was the year when the young guys from Barrhead, Mayerthorpe and Whitecourt started to out number the local crowd. Aside from my cousin Lenny most of my friends did not attend that year, I felt very alone that year. Add to the fact that 2 different dudes tried to pick fights with me that weekend for no good reason other than I was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone also went into Lenny and I's tent and stole all our beer while we were at the music grounds, that really sucked. That was the year I also bought my first car and my hours at work had been cut back so money was tight...I went home on Sunday afternoon feeling empty inside. My beloved Music Connection had turned into something very different and it was starting to look ugly. 

* 2000 *

To be honest the only thing's I remember about that music connection was picking up a radio station from Sioux City Iowa in my car. Hanging out with a group of friends from Swan Hills, and also my friend Clayton being there. Other than that I don't remember much, not because I was too drunk, but because I was only there for one night and even more non-locals had showed up and were causing fights and disagreements. I only stayed the one night because the fun I used to have there was gone, that and I was worried my car would get targeted to be vandalized. It was really starting to get out of hand. 

* 2001 *

I did not go that year. I'm pretty sure that year they had it the weekend before August long weekend because some family had booked the campground and hall for the long weekend. Plus I was told that the campground people were getting fed up with all the young people acting up in the campground from the year before and they wouldn't rent out sites to anyone under 30. I was told they also got strict with the noise and partying and the cops were out in force more that year. I went to the city and partied with my friend's Jon, Clayton, Jen and Tyler. Jon was a bouncer at the "Silver Bullet" bar and Clayton was the DJ. I danced with Jen and drank with Tyler. From what I was told about the connection that year was there was a lot of fights and almost none of my friends were going anymore. 

* 2002 *

This was my last year attending. I went with my sister on the Saturday night and we camped out in my car because we could not get a site at the campground. I had a good time that year because there were more of my friends attending. My friend Jeff and his band were the closing act that night and we partied into the wee hours. It was fun, almost as fun as the old days. 

* 2003 *

I never went that year and I am sure it was the last year of the connection at the Goose Lake Hall and campground. That weekend was the marriage weekend of my friends Jon and Jen, plus my buddy Ardy and I went to WWE Wrestling at Rexall Place that Sunday. From what I was told the connection's beer garden storage trailer was broken into and many thousands of dollars of booze was stolen which is why they chose to end the Goose Lake Music Connection. I heard they had a Music connection at someones private property in 2004 and that it was invitation only, but after that I heard no more about it. 

* Here and Now in 2012 *

I wish someone would bring back the Goose Lake Music Connection like it was in the mid-90's. I hope that the young douche bags who spoiled all our fun are now grown up and gone or would behave themselves now. I loved August Long Weekend because of the Goose Lake Music Connection. Even if they do not bring it back at least I have my memories...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tax Man Being a Bully

Apparently Revenue Canada is going to be going after waiters and waitresses who do not claim their tips as income. Really big brother, is that really necessary? Most servers in the food industry make not much more than minimum wage, do you really need to dig deeper into their pockets? Servers who do get tips typically work hard for them, leave them alone. If the Government of Canada wants more tax money coming in I have a couple of suggestions:

#1: Legalize Marijuana: This is an underground industry that makes billions upon billions a year of tax free income for drug dealers. Legalize it, control it, tax it. in all honesty I believe pot to be less harmful and destroy less lives than booze, and booze is legal. People will be smoking pot from now till the end of time, accept that and make it legal and taxable. And all the money saved by law enforcement not having to focus on marijuana can be used to fight the deadly drugs like meth, E, Coke, etc. 

#2: Legalize Prostitution:  It is referred to as the world oldest profession because as long as people have had money there have been people willing to sell their bodies for it, and pay for bodies to have sex with. It will always be a part of our world so why not accept it and tax it? Get working women (and men) off the streets and into brothels. Make it legit, secure and documented. Billions of dollars are changing hands in this industry every year, and all of it tax free. Why? We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend it is not happening right now but it is, accept it and tax it. 

Big Brother/Tax Man: Stop worrying about servers tips, there are bigger fishes to fry. 

Beer Goggles: July 2012

Beer Goggles: July 2012   
As part of my 'Random Nerdness' Blog I have included a monthly update I am calling 'Beer Goggles' where I will share a brief outline on what I am drinking, reading, viewing and listening to for the month.

Beer: I am drinking some Rickards. I am a huge fan of the Red, but I decided to buy the sample pack and it included Rickards Dark, Blonde, White and Red. there really is nothing better than drinking a Rickards Red on tap. I also purchased some Sleeman's Cream Ale and Coors Light Iced T. 

Comics & Books: I am almost a year behind in reading 'Catwoman' and 'Supergirl' from DC Comics. I keep ordering it every month and the pile keeps on getting bigger so this month I intend to get caught up on the adventures of those fine women.

I bought the first 2 novels in Peter David's 'The Hidden Earth Chronicles' at the Calgary Expo, from Mr Peter David himself and I even had them autographed. I'm not a big fan of fantasy novels but given that this is written by Peter David it should be an enjoyable read. I had intended to start reading Book 1 in May, but I got busy with work and such so maybe this summer I'll get cracking.   

 In March I bought and continue to read the 'Compendium' of the comic book series 'The Walking Dead'. In March I finished the first trade and I was blown away by what I read and saw. I loved it so much I went out and ordered the first Compendium of this comic series, and I will buy the second one when it is released. Robert Kirkman is perhaps one of the greatest comic book writers in history!
Also a Trade I'm reading is the 'Starman Omnibus 1', paperback from DC comics. Reprinting this series from the 90's written by James Robinson (Earth Two). this is a fun book to read. the art is not the best but it suits the story I think.

Viewing: I'm still very much behind in my DC Animation viewing so this month I will be watching for the first time the 'Batman Year One', 'Wonder Woman' and 'Batman/Superman Public Enemies' DVD movies. DC has done an excellent job with their movies that I have already seen so I'm sure to be pleased. 

Listening: Having a long drive to work every workday I tend to do a lot of listening. 'The Atomic Geeks', 'Nerd Lunch' and 'Classic Film Jerks' are all great podcasts I love to listen to. Some other great podcasts I listen to are: 'Nerd Hurdles', 'Starbase 66', 'iFanboy', 'Comic Geek Speak' and 'I Sell Comics'. I've also downloaded some great audiobooks I hope to crack open this month: 'Bradbury 13', radio-like drama's about some of Ray Bradbury's classic sci-fi tales. Also 'World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War'. I also have William Shatner's and Leonard Nimoy's autobiographies to listen to. 
Well that is all for July's 'Beer Goggles'.

Poutine Quest Part III: Bacon & Onion

Today I had a poutine at Ramzi's Restaurant, unlike any other poutine I have eaten before. This one had your regular ingredients  such as fries, gravy and cheese. But added to the mix were real bacon and sautéed fried onions. WOW this was the best poutine I have had so far in my travels. They actually have a number of other poutine varieties which I will be sampling in the not too distant future. They are a little expensive but well worth it at $8.95. Ramzi's is a local chain with a restaurant in Barrhead, and another in nearby Westlock.

 My Wife Crystal too is enjoying the same poutine, while our daughter Shelby eats a banana split.

I also bought some 'Coors Light' iced t. It's alright, Crystal liked it but I don't think I'll buy them again. The bottle is awesome, but it is too expensive. Give me a real beer anytime.

RIP Ernest Borgnine

RIP Ernest Borgnine
I always liked Ernest Borgnine. As a kid one of my favourite movies was Disney's 'The Black Hole', in which he played astronaut/reporter Harry Booth. I remember him being one of the first celebrities to do a 'Simpsons' cameo appearance, and now that I am a father of kids myself I have heard his voice on several occasions as 'Mermaid Man' on 'Sponge Bob Square Pants'. I most recently seen Ernest Borgnine on the Bruce Willis flick 'Red'. I admired him for the fact he was a man in his 90's and still acting and still being very active. truly inspirational. He seemed like a real down to Earth nice guy, too few of those these days in Hollywood. He will be missed.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman? Worth seeing?

Has anyone seen this new flick? I am debating whether it's worth my time to go see. Mike from the 'I Sell Comics' podcast is a guru of comic knowledge and he did not give it a positive review. I trust him if he ways he doesn't like it it probably ain't that good. I may be going to the city on Tuesday to watch this film, because I need to pick up my comic books from my store anyway. Mike also mentioned that the 'bonus' scene in mid-credits made no sense. Very sceptical about this film the more I think of it.

Without having seen this film here is a list of my pro's and con's going in:

- Casting seems solid. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Denis Leary seem to be perfect fits for their roles.
- Special Effects look great. The Lizard looks very cool.
- Great to see 'Spiderman' back on the big screen after 5 years. Yes it has been 5 years!!!

- Despite 'Spiderman 3' being less than stellar I enjoyed Sam Raimi's take on the wallcrawler. Had he stayed with the series I'm sure he would have taken us to some very cool places. I had hopes that by film 6 we would see 'The Sinister Six'  take on Spiderman, but now with this reboot we are starting from scratch.
- With the first 3 Raimi films we saw Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman... will we see new versions of these characters in future 'Amazing' sequels or will they be lost. Alfred Molina was superb as Doc Ock, it's gonna suck to see that role recast.  
- Tobey Maguire was excellent as Peter Parker. Wish we could have seen him grow with the role.
- Despite 'Spiderman 3' being less than stellar do we really need a reboot so soon? We've already seen the origin of Spiderman, his origin was told 10 years ago. Do we really need to go there again?
- The Lizard is the big bad for this film? As far as Spiderman rogues go he is not one I really cared to ever see on the big screen. I would rather have seen The Scorpion, Mysterio or the Rhino in this film.

Well what do you think? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On The Menu #5: Local Fast Food

I live in the town of Barrhead, in the province of Alberta located in the great nation called Canada. Barrhead is a smaller community, about 4432 people call it home. We have some fast food establishments such as KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken), A&W, Subway. We have a few smaller fast food chains such as Burger Baron and Ramzi's. I'll break down these places and give you my 2 cents on them as I have ate at everyone of these places many times.
KFC: I do love the KFC chicken burgers, nuggets, poutines and chicken bowls. But the chicken itself is very very greasy, it is very expensive and I have had issues in the past with the service at this particular KFC. I'll grab a sandwich from time to time from them, or a poutine/bowl but other than that I avoid KFC. I have a family of 5 and it is almost impossible to afford to feed them all there without spending less than $50 bucks. The pricing is outrageous as far as I'm concerned. And as I said i have had issues with the service there. On one occasion in particular they over charged me and when I pointed it out to them they really made me feel like crap for having pointed it out to them. They have drive thru but most times the speaker doesn't work so you have to order from the window.

A&W: I love me a Teen Burger more than any other burger. A&W does have good food, prices aren't that bad and the service there is very good. Probably the place I frequent the most. They have drive thru too.

Subway: Eat fresh indeed. I love eating there. It can get pricey especially when buying for the family but sometimes its worth the expense. Service is good and so too is the menu.
Burger Baron: They have great food, I especially loved their grilled club house. They also have a great selection of ice cream both hard and soft. They make DQ style 'Flurries' which are awesome. They even have had contests to create your own 'Flurry'. The service is great, the owners are very nice people and it is a great place to visit when in Barrhead. This is a family run business.
Ramzi's: They are another great establishment that makes great burgers and pizza. They also have a great menu of ice cream. Another bonus is that they have drive-thru and the owners are very nice people. This too is a family run business.  
Well if your passing through Barrhead I hope this has helped you out in deciding where your gonna eat. TTYL!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Poutine Quest, Part II: A&W

For supper tonight I have bought myself a poutine from A&W, with a couple of 'Papa Burgers' that were on sale 2 for $7. As mentioned before and important element to a great poutine A&W is good gravy, which A&W has. However I feel that the cheese should be melted more, which is a failing with A&W poutines. However it still is a great eat, and speaking of which I am now going to eat the food pictured.