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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Maaah Guuuuuuuy Verrrrrrrr The Sequel

My disdain for remakes and updates are pretty well known here.  I cannot stand how Hollywood decides to just throw away any attempt at original thought and just reboot something that was popular once.   Case in point, Michael Bay and… well, Michael Bay.   It’s like someone is holding a doll with the head of Jason Voorhees, the razor gloved hand of Freddy Krueger, the other hand holding Leather Face’s chainsaw, the shell of a ninja turtle, and the legs of Optimus Prime.  Then the therapist asks me where on the doll did Michael Bay inappropriately touch my childhood.

However, looking at the small screen, I could see a reason to update one of my favorite shows.  Actually, it was all because of this 10 minute long advert for a Mercedes-Benz Citan.

MacGyver and the New Mercedes-Benz Citan
Yes, that’s Richard Dean Anderson, aka MacGyver.  He’s strapped on the Swiss Army Knife one more time in an advert for a handyman vehicle from Mercedes-Benz.  And who else could play the ultimate handyman but Mac?
OK, the production value is pretty much on par with a movie on SyFy starring half the cast from Stargate SG-1 and half from the guest stars list of Supernatural, but the spirit is still there.   The mullet is missing but the wit and style that made MacGyver the biological father of Burn Notice is there.   There’s even Mac’s voice over narration which, to be honest, shows signs of RDAs 63 years.   
I’ll admit, it’s sad to see your heroes get older.  Your father is mortal, Han Solo is now a septuagenarian, and MacGyver, while still able to deactivate a murderous robot and thwart knock out gas with a garbage bag, probably can’t find the TV remote or grasp the concept of a DVR these days.  But, how cool would it be to see Mac back at the Phoenix foundation, taking on bad guys with really bad wigs, accents, and aim… and that’s just his arch nemesis Murdoc.  It could work. 
Hollywood would need to check their egos at the door, though.  They tried to pull a James Bond Jr. with Jared Padalecki playing Young MacGyver, Mac’s nephew, in 2003.   It was a pilot which, thankfully, never got picked up.    They just don’t get it, do they?
But in my world, the one where Jar Jar Binks never existed, Indiana Jones is still riding out of the desert with his father, and Optimus Prime and G.I. Joe were only ever in the theater as cartoons, Macgyver in 201X could exist.  RDA would have to be back on board and in the field, even though he is in his 60s.     Yes, he’d be older than Dana Elcar was at the beginning of his run as Pete Thornton, but RDA could still do it, if he can get into serious shape.  I don’t know about bringing on a child element in that the kid would be barely out of high school.    The doomed continuation starred Jarred Padalecki as his nephew.    However, a younger, more hot headed agent might have a good foil in the pacifist Mac showing them to use their brains instead of a gun.
Of course, the problem these days is the climate for such topics.   Towards the end of MacGyver’s run the episodes began to take on an “Environmental Cause Of the Week” feel, having Mac try and save the world from ourselves instead of Latin American dictators or crazed megalomaniacs with daddy issues.   How do you reintroduce a hero that hates guns and abhors unnecessary violence in the post 9/11, gun control debate American landscape?   And how does he take on international issues where there is much more scrutiny and the world is under a 24/7 news media cycle microscope?   Can that much suspension of disbelief exist?
The easy part is the MacGyverisms.  Those are universal, though I would suggest hiring the guys from Mythbusters to test out the tricks to see if they can work.   Today’s audience is much smarter than it was 20 years ago, before Google existed.
Still, a show on USA or TBS could work given the right ingredients, maybe some duct tape, a paper clip, and a Swiss Army Knife.  No mullet Required.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

History Incorporated

It’s no mystery that I am a purist.   I love my favorite shows and movies right where they were, in the past.   Remakes. Adaptations.  A purist craves not these things.  That’s how the blog started.   Someone in Hollywood was making a remake or something and I felt a great disturbance in the pop culture force.  I opened an email and began typing furiously to… no one.  Then, I joined blogger and shared all the crap that’s inside my head.  Now, five years later, you’re all worse people for enjoying it.  ;)

However, there are few times when something gets remade or rebooted and it is phenomenal.   It doesn’t happen very often.  It’s about as frequent as Haley’s comet around here.  But it happened recently and I cannot be happier with the results.

Let’s go back to the 60s. 

A little cartoon came along about a mystery solving gang and their beloved Great Dane.    Scooby-Doo Where Are You? debuted in 1969 and has run in some incarnation all the way through 2013.   That’s 44 years.    And while some instances weren’t all that great, *cough*Flim Flam*cough*Scrappy-Doo*cough* the show has managed to maintain a central theme since the original show.

It’s one of the few shows I have been able to enjoy all over again, thanks to my kid and DVD collections.  She loves the old episodes along with the Blue Falcon ones, as well.  But when Mystery, Incorporated came on Cartoon Network in 2010, I was skeptical.   It was the first time a Scooby-Doo show didn’t take place on Saturday Mornings.  Not only did it not serve as a continuation of the original series, more of a reboot, which angered me, but it also introduced elements of relationship drama that never existed before.   It used to always be the running gag that Fred would go off with Velma and Daphne, leaving Shaggy and Scooby to fend for themselves, cementing Fred’s pimp status.  And if he didn’t take Velma, it was a joke that she was a nerd and therefore, Fred wouldn’t be interested anyway.   However, in the new series, the relationship between Fred and Daphne is laid out, humorously at that and the real triangle occurs between Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo, oddly enough.  Nothing disgusting, more a “Bros before Hoes” mentality.

I gave it a shot, though.  My daughter and I would load up some OnDemand Doo and watch.  While she just enjoyed the show, I carefully scrutinized the plot and the connection to the canon of Scooby-Doo.

I.  Became.  Hooked.

Not only was this new incarnation smart and witty, but it dovetailed into the old series nicely and stood as a companion to the old episodes.   The only thing that changed was the timeframe for Mystery, Inc. coming together.  They made nods to every old “guy in a rubber suit” character and even self deprecated themselves by calling out how bad Scrappy-Doo and Flim Flam were perceived by fans.

The show also makes a lot of pop culture references to other movies and television shows that aren’t so blatant that you go “I see what you did there”.   It’s more like, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe they worked that into the plot.”  For example, a recent episode saw Scooby-Doo attending a side-kick competition with all of the other Hanna Barbera side-kicks like Jabber Jaw and Speed Buggy.  There are other cross-over episodes, just like the older series, but with a twist.  Instead of the usual Blue Falcon persona, we are given a somewhat bad ass  ex-security guard turned vigilante.  The real twist is that Dog Wonder’s cybernetic components are a product of Quest Laboratories.  He still retains the somewhat dim personality.    In the same episode Zin shows up. 

Even the voice casting is a reference in and of itself.   While Matthew Lillard reprises his Shaggy from the Live Action films, Casey Kasem plays his Dad.  Grey DeLisle reprises Daphne, and Mindy Cohn reprises her role as Velma, but Linda Cardellini, who played her in the movies, becomes the hilarious Marcy Fleach/Hot Dog Water.  Jeffry Combs from the Re-Animator shows up as H.P. Hatecraft.  Even Vincent Van Ghoul comes back, albeit voiced by cartoon everyman Maurice La Marche.

The show also introduces an arc, which crosses the complete series.  A mysterious artifact seems to be tied to the history of Crystal Cove as well as the emergence of mystery solving teens, complete with an animal companion, in various decades.   There is even an overall villain, the previous Mystery Solving Club’s anthropomorphic side-kick, Professor Pericles, played by scenery chewing Udo Kier.

In the end, though, the storyline comes to a close and manages to effectively tie in all the history surrounding the various incarnations of the show.   They’ve been here before.   In each generation, the mystery solving group has never been able to free the demonic entity controlling their fates.   Much like the ridiculous plot to LOST, the latest version of Mystery, Inc. serves to meet that end, and they do.  But they also defeat the demon and reboot their own history.   All of the bad things never happened.  All of the masked monsters never got caught because they were not brought together to solve mysteries.  They were just kids in a town that was no longer the Most Haunted Town in America.  Except that Harlan Ellison, playing himself noticed, as did they.   He said they changed something that affected them remembering the alternate timeline.   He asks them to come to… get ready for it… Miskatonic University.  So, in essence, they set out on the road, just like they did in every iteration of Scooby-Doo.   Sometimes they are with Fred and Velma… sometimes they are with Flim Flam or Scrappy-Doo.  Sometimes they are with guest stars.   In any case, the explanation for all the different versions of Scooby-Doo cartoons are contained in this one episode. 

Pure. Genius.

I usually hate this kind of thing.   You know.  The turtles are aliens.   Yeah, but it totally works in this fashion.  In fact another full length movie that came out recently was very well done.    Mask of the Blue Falcon went for that crossover feel once again, but sort of went meta on the fact that Blue Falcon was a television show in their world, but not an actual superhero that the gang interacted with, when in fact the first episode of Blue Falcon indeed had the gang helping Blue Falcon catch the same villain in this film, Mr. Hyde. 

Jeff Bennet provided the voice of an elderly Owen Garrison, a play on the name Gary Owens, the original voice of Blue Falcon.   His take sounded so much like Adam West, that I In fact thought it was Adam West.

The references to HB properties are a plenty as Frankenstein Jr. and the Herculoids make an appearance at a ComiCon style convention where Blue Falcon was featured, signing autographs and waxing nostalgic about the good old days.  The theme builds on the apathy towards remakes of old cartoons and comic books that I feel every day.

As much as I don’t like my childhood being rebooted and retconned.  I like the direction some of these folks are taking.   Perhaps one day, we can catch Hollywood in a complex trap and they can give up their crappy ways, while exclaiming they would have gotten away with it if it weren't for us pesky pop culture kids.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Coach Bully

There’s been a lot of talk about the firing of Mike Rice from his coaching position at Rutgers.   Video leaked out of him berating players, throwing balls at them, pushing them, grabbing them by the jersey, and calling them derogatory names.  He was suspended in December by Athletic Director Tim Pernetti .   In April, the tape came out to the media and Mike Rice was fired.  Soon after, Tim Pernetti resigned.   Now, a lot of this could point to Eric Murdock retaliating for being fired last July.  He gave the tape to Pernetti.   

But beyond the scandal and the suspension and the firing lies a bigger question.  Did Mike Rice bully his players?  Did Mike Rice deserve to be fired?  Was Mike Rice’s behavior taken somewhat out of context and made to look worse than he was?

When I was in Junior High we had a gym teacher that was less than smiles and rainbows.   I called him Coach Bully.  The first day of gym class, we had to bring in a white t-shirt.   He would then take a black magic marker and write our names on the front.   It was for his sake, of course.  He had to remember 30 kids' names.  Don't want to yell at the wrong one, right?   The manner in which he wrote our names told us from day one what kind of teacher he was going to be with us.   He wrote in my name and  dotted the “I” with the same force that John Travolta used to deliver the adrenaline shot to Uma Thurman’s heart in Pulp Fiction.   There was a nice dark welt on my chest where the marker made contact.  

The days in gym class, as a 12/13 year old, were not fun for someone who was on the pudgy side.  Constant remarks made about weight and physical aptitude were thrown about as I struggled with running a mile or climbing a rope.  I did get it done, but it took a lot of work. 

Once, I even attempted to be so brazen as to throw a comment back my teacher’s face.   “So-and-so, you must have thought they said trains when they were giving out brains and took a slow one.”    He told this to one of the other unfortunate fattys in the class.  Somewhat under my breath I chirped, “Yeah and when they gave out looks, you thought they said books and got a scary one.”   He shot a look down the line where he met with some stifled giggles and smiles but I managed to escape detection.

I feared gym class that first year.  I prayed for rain when it was time to run the mile.   But after awhile, I got used to his barbs and managed to get Bs and a few As in those three years I was in his class.

Was he a bully?  It could be argued as such.   If we had cell phone and digital camera technology then, someone could have easily of filmed our classes and put together a pretty damning video of his behavior.   Do I think he was a bully.  Ehh?   Maybe, but it didn’t bother me.    I’m sure some of the other kids, the ones who weren’t used to the abuse took it harder but we all survived.

The thing is, that kind of behavior has been around since the dawn of athletics or exercise.   Any time you have a group of younger players on a team, their coach or teacher is bound to be rough on them to get certain results.   Bobby Knight was infamous for his behavior on and off the court.   But, perhaps the problem with the Mike Rice case is, no one asked the players how they felt about.

I’m sure some of the players would like nothing more than to burn him in effigy for his behavior towards them, but on the whole I think they got it.  I think they understood it was a style of coaching.   Not everyone is like that and not everyone responds well to it.  

Were Rice’s tactics needed?  Of course not.   No one deserves to be treated like that and there are probably more effective ways of being tough and getting results without having to throw balls or insults around.  Look at Herb Brooks at the 80 Olympics.   He wasn’t exactly a peach, but he also didn’t call his players, “F**king Fa**ots.”

Part of the problem my generation faces as we head into parenting is that we tend to want to give our kids a better life than we had.  The issue is that we had a pretty decent life.   Our kids have it a hell of a lot better than they should and that’s the problem.   This generation of kid is too entitled and expecting of instant gratification.   If they don’t like the way they’re treated, the other person, teacher, coach, whatever needs to be fired.  It’s never their fault or their responsibility.

Kids playing soccer these days are not subjected to competition.    There is no score.   Everyone wins.  Everyone gets a trophy, including the kid who rode the bench all season.    The truth is, everyone is not the same.  Everyone is not the best.  Someone has to lose once in a while and that someone needs to be your kid on occasion.   

Now, like I said, Eric Murdock could have orchestrated this whole thing to look worse than it was in retaliation for being fired.   Mike Rice is his own worst enemy when it comes to his behavior  but it was contextually damning.

I think the suspension and mandated anger management class would have been sufficient.    Unless there were conversations behind closed doors that showed he had no intention of changing his ways and was not remorseful for his representation of his University then firing might have been the right choice.   However, considering what happened at Penn State, administrators are not willing to risk sanctions and punishments handed down by the volatile NCAA powers that be.  The public is keeping a close and watchful eye on their investments.  Parents will pull up their kids recruiting tent stakes and go somewhere else if there is a possibility that some harm may come to their precious snowflake.

Then again, maybe Rutgers did this as a way to not lose money.  Hide the scandal in order to keep Rice coaching as he was doing a pretty decent job there.   When it came out,  scuttle the mess to avoid recruiting losses and NCAA punishments.   In the end, the business of being a big name basketball program tarnishes the image of trying to foster and mentor young student athletes. 

In the end, none of us died at the hands of Coach Bully.   Some of us got a little more motivation to succeed.   Granted, we weren’t vying for a national title, but seems like our little egos were strong enough to overcome the hot air ramblings of a guy we only saw twice a week for nine months.   Maybe, we need to give our own kids a chance to rise to the occasion.  Maybe we need to let them make it better for themselves before we swoop in and save the day.    Maybe, that welt on my chest healed just fine with no scar or permanent damage left behind.  Know your kid.  Know their limits.   Know when to catch and when to release.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Phone Lines to Take Care of One Cable Bill

Back in January, Comcast was nice enough to fry my DVR with their updates.  Then, they sent the tech out to the wrong house, leaving me without cable for a week.  That wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a five year old that can’t understand the concept of “Shit happens in services”.

And the wonderful guy on the phone assured me they would credit my account for the loss of service.   So, each month I waited to see my bill reflect said savings.

This month, I saw a change to the usual $178 for Regular cable plus three Encore channels with LOTR on 24/7, Internet that sometimes works, and phone.    There was a $30 difference.   Except, it was in the wrong direction.

My new bill reflects improvements and expansions to the services I have, to the tune of $10 a month, with tons of extra movies OnDemand.  None of which anyone wants to watch.   Oh, look Beauty and the Beast…  Yeah, it’s a knock off cartoon that’s like 45 minutes.  Same with Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.     And they’ve added $1.99 for each of the little crap boxes we were forced to use if we wanted to watch TV after everything went digital.    So, now my bill is $210.

So, I spent an hour on the phone with Customer service.    And I couldn’t even get them to reduce my bill.  That was just to explain my bill.  You see, in their Xfinite wisdom, Comcast decided that it would be better to have one line handle bill questions and one…. Totally different 800 number to reduce your bill.   Lein… yes that was his name… and he was American from what I could tell, told me that “With all the calls they received, they had to use a separate number.”    In other words, all of the angry customers that can’t stand this ComCrap they get for a ton of money,.

Look, I know NBC sucks.  Hell, even the guy they screwed everybody over for to keep on The Tonight Show hates them, now.  He can’t wait to be replaced.   But, does that really mean we all have to pay more for your crap?   I wish I could go to FIOS, even if it sucks just as much, if just to bargain for a lower bill… but guess what?   My borough or township won’t get it in anytime soon.   I wish I could go to something like DirectTv, once again it may be crap, too, but guess what?  I can’t put a dish on my house because of line of sight.     So, I can’t even choose which crap I want to watch, I am stuck with one version of crap. 

But when you have to have a separate phone line just for people who are fed up with the costs, what does that tell you?   It tells you, your business sucks and you are just making money hand over fist so, why should you change it?  Exactly.  If I could have a business and charge people an exorbitant amount of money for basic stuff and raise it continually over the years without really having to give them anything better than they already have and no one would leave because of the lack of choices,  it might be tempting.   Then again, I don’t have a business degree which tells me all I need to know about people in big business.   Satisfy the shareholders, screw the customers,  and dine on the souls of innocent children and lambs with gold plated utensils with a fat profit.  

Well, done.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tekkoshocon and other objectifiable things

Ah yes, Pittsburgh, home to the furries and also Tekkoshocon

Now, this may piss off one side or the other, I’m not sure.  In any case, here goes.

I’m a guy.  I’m as red blooded as the next stereotypical version of a guy.
I watch Game of Thrones for the breathtaking locales and expositional dialogue as much for everything else.
I’ve played video games for decades and I loved Tomb Raider when it came out. 

All of these ideas are pointing towards the sexual objectification of females in media.

(This is the point where I totally get shit wrong about cons and manga and anime and comics but bear with me.)
If I were to walk around Tekkoshocon, I’d be looking.  First, because I’m not used to seeing people dressed up in costume outside of Halloween.    Secondly, because well…  It’s gonna happen.  You know it is.  And by that definition, shit be effed up. Necessarily

Let me put it this way.   And, I know this is the wrong genre, but let’s say a girl dresses up for a con like Power Girl.  Does she warrant unwanted behavior based on her clothes?  Will she receive unwanted behavior based on her clothes.

No. Probably. 

Now, take that same girl and put her in a costume she found on the Internet under the “Sexy (Insert Benign Occupation Here) Costume”  and do you think that changes anything?

My point is that one, the system is broken.    

Whether or not that girl chooses the superhero costume or the sexy garbage worker costume, she is opening herself to unwanted negative behavior.  Does she deserve it?  No.  But if I were to walk around some neighborhoods with hundred dollar bills hanging out of my pocket, I should expect some unwanted negative behavior.  Doesn’t mean I deserve it.    It’s totally my right to do it, but shit may happen.  I should be ready for it.   If I just happen to walk around a neighborhood that I don’t belong in, everything tucked in my pockets, I may get some looks, but the chance of it ending badly is probably lessened.

The system is broken in the objectifying case because media is to blame.  The artists, the writers, the game developers, actors, directors, all of them have held such a male centric target demographic for so long that they need to evolve just like everything else in this world does.   Comic Book artists created girl protagonists that are strong, but a majority of them are drawn with rather improbable proportions.    Power Girl is probably a great role model.  Powers, abilities, does good deeds.  She just happens to be drawn with a large chest and most of her top missing in key areas. 

And while I am still missing the point between comparing comic books to anime or manga in this case, my point is universal.  There will be people who dress up for these cons as the characters they identify with or want to emulate.  Some will dress to impress, either with complexity or… simplicity in their costume.    Unless they dress to conceal their entire body, say in a full costume with mask, they want to be noticed.  They want to be looked at.  Maybe for thumbs up on their creativity or effort in constructing said costume.  Yet, some will be there to get the nerd juices flowing.   Be ready for some of that unwanted negative behavior, though.

It’s 2013 and we still don’t get it yet.  Men still run the world.   If a woman does it as well or better, she’s either a heartless bitch, a fake, or a lesbian.    I know that sounds horrible in that context but think about it.    If a woman created a comic book character or whatever and it was purely for reasons of strength and intelligence, and did not show up scantily clad to save the day, people would assume she’s a feminist or one of those people who spell women wrong.    Whether or not  the material was top notch, it would get panned or not receive the following it would deserve.

Look at Ripley from Alien.   The character wears a jump suit for the entire movie.   Loses everyone on that ship to the Alien.   Faces down certain death.  Survives. Wins.  Spends the end of the movie in a tight tank and a pair of panties while duking it out with a giant creature with a phallic chomping second mouth.    Even the inspiration for Alien came from the Sci-Fi monster movies of the 50s and 60s, most where the monster is carrying the damsel, who is objectified by her manner of dress and restraint.

Horror movies use the concept of the final girl.  Halloween sort of sparked that idea with Laurie Strode.  The final girl is usually virginal and pure... because that's sexy while maintaining an innocence.   The monster is there to take her innocence, in which we mean kill her.   The promiscuous girls get killed.  It's almost somewhat religious or allegorical in nature.  Yet, most movies have final girls that are the embodiment of what sells, which is sex.  Ripley at the end.  Jessica Biel in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. 

The gaming industry introduced Lara Croft, much to the delight of gamer boys in their teens and 20s.   Over the years, as the technology rendered a more lifelike Lara, her dimensions changed.  Her shorts got shorter.  Her tops got tighter.   Even Angelina Jolie helped boost that image as did the promotional models who appeared as Lara at cons and events.  With the reboot, they’ve toned down the image of Lara, but really all they’ve done is made her younger.    Lara had become Demi Moore and the fans (Ashton Kutcher) still wanted the same looks on his gal, just 20 years younger.  

Girls who play video games have a lot of stigma to overcome either through the industry’s male centric characterization or the few brash and stereotypical representatives who ruin it for the core subset of the gender.

Girls either get picked on for trying to play the same games as boys or they get hit on or objectified.   Quite frankly, you have to understand that for every nerd who is a nice guy, there are ten others who are too socially awkward to understand that just because a girl plays video games, it doesn’t mean they stand a chance.   Common interests don’t make up for lack of chemistry and compatibility.    And both genders have to also realize that anyone who plays games can like any game and still be considered a gamer as much as the core subset of gamers need to realize that yes, in fact, Angry Birds is a game.  As much as they hate that Farmville gets used to denote a gamer.  I  know.  I don’t get it myself, but whatever.

The point is, don’t objectify the person you see.  Do see the person, objectively.

And don’t stare at the girls in cosplay.  They don’t like it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WUMF: March 2013 Edition

I know. I know.  I missed another WUMF Deadline.

<insert Blues Brothers’ quote>

Truth is, I had the plague at my house since last week.  So, everything today revolves around that issue.

The Streak
The Pens finally lost, ending their streak at 15.   Now, if you are scratching your nugget, trying to figure out how that info equates to me being sick, realize that I was unable to eat anything for three days, and I did my own laundry last night to spare my wife the ick factor.   I’ll let your mind wander on that one for a bit.

Yeah, I went there.

OK, so the Pens lost.  The world has not come to a screeching halt, people.   We are still in it to win it.   The Pens losing signifies one thing.  They are human.  They have rough outings.  They have three people out with injuries.  Now, at least two radio stations summed up the reasons the Pens lost included the lack of Paul Martin.  That makes some of my friends twitch a little, but when you figure that LeTang is also one of the injured, you have to realize that without LeTang, all you have is Martin… and without Martin you have even less and that is saying a lot.

The Pens will be fine and this will give them some perspective towards that goal of hoisting and toasting Lord Stanley.  The pressure is now off of them for the rest of the season to be perfect.  They just need to be great as we know they can be.  They can play smart  hockey and not balls deep, blazing, hockey as if the fate of the world rests on a one timer from Sidney Crosby.  

The addition of Jarome Iginla was pretty sweet.  There is a level of gravitas this team now has with these editions.  I think the only Captains were missing are America and Morgan.   Shero probably has that on his list of things to do before the deadline.  Which is now at least 2 hours old.  But if anyone can make a trade beyond it, it’s Ray Shero.  I think he managed to trade a shoddy bomb casing full of used pinball parts for some plutonium for his time machine.

The Buccos
Once again, it shouldn’t be hard to make the connection between them and what I was doing all weekend.   They lost their home opener.  Let’s start the 21st season off right and not have any expectations.   Mr.  Shero, meet Mr. Nutting.  Mr. Nutting, meet Mr. Shero.  Now, the two of you stay locked in this room until Nutting understands how to put together a team, not a business model.

This Illness
So, yeah, I had it.  I don’t know what it was, but it was bad.  Sunday morning I woke up a little fuzzy.  By the middle of the day, I made the decision to not eat anything.  I wasn’t vomiting, but I was in the bathroom every 20 minutes.  At its worst, my fever was 101.3.  I managed to drink some water and eat Italian Ices.    That sucked huge time because Easter dinner is one of my favorite holiday meals next to New Year’s.   We have ham, kielbasa, sirecz (Hunky Easter Cheese), corn casserole, and sweet potato casserole. 

I called off Monday and finally had some toast in the afternoon.  That was the turning point, I thought.   I was fine, with no incidences all day.  Even went out to dinner with my family and had a steak sandwich and fries.

That was my biggest mistake.  I was up at 4AM, then at 4:30.  Then at 4:55 and 5:55AM.   I opted to work from home and after a magnificent feast of toast, water, and another year old Italian Ice, I was fine again.   For dinner, I took it easy, having some chicken noodle soup, pineapple, watermelon, and Jello.  

Today, I’m back to full strength.  And the only silver lining was that I lost 6 lbs. during the week.  That brings my total from December 20th to today to 34 lbs. lost.  I haven’t done any exercise yet.  LOL.  I know it’s coming, though.

I’ve been posting videos, weekly, to TheAngryCast and viewership is anemic.  I admit, I was hoping there would be a jump after I expanded to SimCity Playthroughs and The Design It series.   But, it’s still only a month in and I need to refine my processes.   I will say that I had to make another expenditure.   I managed to chew through 560gb of hard drive space in a month, so I bought a 1 Tb drive off Amazon for $80.   Now, I can move all my raw footage to date to the drive and keep the laptop hard drive for stuff I’m currently working on.    I better hurry because Dead Island Riptide is coming.   The connection… walking dead is what I was this weekend.

Like a Boss
So, here I was stuck in my house eating toast and year old Italian Ices, drinking water and avoiding dairy and people all be mixing it up and getting arrested while standing in line for free cakes in Market Square.  And, from what I heard, police were called to stop fights in line. What the hell?

Seriously, some drunk guy stole a case of cakes from the Cake Boss giveaway while people from North Carolina drove up here and stood in line since 7AM to get one.

Again, people, I ATE TOAST AND DRANK WATER FOR THREE DAYS.   And when I didn’t, I paid for it dearly.

How friggin’ good are these cakes?  Oh yeah, they’re free. 
I don’t watch the show and quite frankly, I wouldn’t stand in line for a free pizza let alone a cake.  I’d rather stand in line and pay for something from The Oakmont Bakery or Moio’s.  

And how bad does that make Pittsburgh look?  We get all these awards for livable city and tech jobs and sports and we can’t handle free cake lines?  Portland is telling us to suck it.

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