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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

     Today is what we estimate is Tango's 6th Hatchday. We always celebrate that on Thanksgiving too.

     These last few weeks have kind of kicked my ass, but I have a lot to be thankful for. An affordable Oxygen concentrator when I needed it, Doctors with an interest in making me healthier, who understand and sympathize with my limited insurance.

     A roof overhead, good neighbors above, good friends around. A neighborhood full of magpies, blackbirds and doves to watch. and one scrub jay who just moved in.

     My reliable little Honda and a good, trustworthy mechanic who keeps him in good running order.

     My Roommate, the house Flock,

     My family, sharing their own thanksgivings with thoughts of me and I of them.

     My entertainments(t.v., movies, toys, books)

     The fish tank I love to watch with Tango

     And last but definitely not least, my best buddy and favorite co-conspirator, Tango

May everyone reading this have a happy Thanksgiving day and a healthy and happy holiday season

and here is one of my new favorite songs, sort of themed to this day

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Toysday: Attack of the Clones

     Back in 1987, Hasbro released two sets of Clones: the story is that they were two pairs of brothers, with the same robot modes and different alt-modes. One pair sympathized with the autobots, the other leaned towards the decepticons. Friends from a young age, they turned foe.

     This year in the titans Return line, They paid Homage to these figures. Hasbro did so in a less than convenient way however. While Takara's plan is to release each pair of clones as a two-pack, Hasbro put Fastclash(Fastlane) in the Chaos on Velocitron gift set. They put pounce in the Siege on Cybertron giftset. Then they released Cloudraker and Wingspan as a Walgreens exclusive two pack.

    I think you know, my collection is primarily autobot focused. I found the Walgreens exclusive two-pack, and I wasn't so concerned with Pounce as I was Fastclash. One trip to ebay later, I found someone who had broken up his giftset and had the piece I wanted for sale at a reasonable price.

    So without further Ado or telling of tales, here they are.

Now for a bit of serious business- A friend of mine is in trouble and possibly looking at losing her farm, or having her rescues starve- times are tough, but if you can help a little, help. if you can spread the word further, spread the word. Thanks folks!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Media Musings: Teaming Up

     Sam and I caught Justice League yesterday.

     I found it a good Flick. The breakout fun character was Ezra Miller's The Flash, who was quirky, optimistic, and enjoyable to watch. Second choice for Fun character to watch was Jason Momoa's Aquaman, who was a hard drinking loner, reluctantly drawn into the team. The cast was all great, and I'm sure it's not a spoiler to say Superman's return is among the worst kept secrets in movie history. The interesting misdirections around it all involved the manner of his return, and whether he would be bearded or clad in black.

     It made me think of other team-ups, of a less obvious nature than The Avengers, which has been discussed to death on these posts.

     The current CW Arrowverse is rife with teamups, from the infamous back-door pilot(Arrow Ssn2.8) that forever intertwined Barry Allen with Oliver Queen, to the Supergirl/Flash Crossover (World's Finest) in Supergirl Season 1 to the big 3 part/3 show Invasion! crossover of 2016. With more to come.

    The predecessor to the Arrowverse, Smallville, had an amazing number of hero team ups:

     There were two big teamup events, Justice (which united the Justice League) and Absolute Justice (Which introduced the Justice Society). Clark also teamed up with three members of the Legion of Superheroes.

     I have stuck with DC heroes so far but I would truly be remiss if I skipped this Gem of a cult classic.

     The story revolves around three street level superheroes/vigilantes who put together a team to save their city from the worst arch criminal it has ever known- Casanova Frankenstein!
     The heroes/powers are:

  • The Shoveler/He shovels well- he shovels very well
  • The Blue Raja/He throws forks with deadly accuracy
  • Mr. Furious/His power comes from his boundless rage
  • The Bowler/She has the skull of her murdered father in her bowling ball
  • The Spleen/Combat flatulence
  • The Invisible Boy/He is invisible when no one is watching
  • The Sphinx/Circular Aphorisms plus he is terribly mysterious
     This movie is basically the perfect origin story/underdog story. It's a fantastic piece, well worth watching if you haven't seen it. the cast is wonderful, the story imaginative, the atmosphere of Champion city weird and eclectic. 

Now for a bit of serious business- A friend of mine is in trouble and possibly looking at losing her farm, or having her rescues starve- times are tough, but if you can help a little, help. if you can spread the word further, spread the word. Thanks folks!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Body

     I have been at war with my body for a long time. These last few years, it's been counterattacking. The latest act of Guerrilla warfare involved a referral to a pulmonologist, a blood test, and some fun to come. 

     At the appointment monday, my pulmonologist described my breathing tests as "really crappy" but I am not sure what that means in layman's terms. He wants them to draw a couple of pints of my blood so I can make new blood. Apparently my blood is too Ironic. That is to say, it contains too much iron. He also wants me on supplemental Oxygen when needed- more on that later. 

    In Addition to the blood draw next week and the blood test that led to it, I get to do a sleep study this weekend, and the findings will most likely be that I don't sleep well in strange places. 

     So I stopped at my primary physician to discuss changes in medicines and she wanted to do my A1C for my diabetes control. She prescribed me an anti-anxiety and here is the part where it starts getting surreal. As I am leaving the Doctors parking lot, I get a notification from CVS pharmacy that my prescription is ready. I asked them when they merged with Jimmy-Johns, because the fill was freaky fast. 

     And then on Friday. I get a notification from CVS that my presciption is ready-Metformin this time- so i call my doctor, and sure enough, my A1C is up. So I plan to pick up what will henceforth be know as My Surprise Metformin. 

     So Saturday, I take my car in for an oil change, and to look at the choppy acceleration. The choppiness is old plugs, but we found out my radiator is leaking, as is my valve cover gasket. so $30 becomes $338.

     Sunday, i find an oxygen concentrator for supplemental oxygen on craigslist, so we truck up to Longmont in my Honda, which is now performing smashingly, and pick up the device. it needs service before I can use it, but...

     what a week. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Media Musings: Style and Substance

     I saw three films last week for the first time. All three films had a lot of style. To me only two of the films had substance to go along with it.

     Last Sunday, Sam and I caught Thor: Ragnarok

     It was a fun ride, kind of eccentric and quirky, and excellent in it's characterization. Surprisingly the character who stole the show for me was Korg, who was a good-natured stonegladiator who befriends Thor on Sakaar. It was interesting to see Thor being in his own way as manipulative and duplicitous as Loki. It was also really nice to see Hulk have more lines than "Smash". All in all, an excellent film.

     The second film was Baby Driver, a film not even on my radar until Sam rented it.
     A highly entertaining crime thriller about Baby,(real name Miles) a getaway driver who uses his MP3 player to block out his Tinnitus. Excellent performances all around. Kevin Spacey, whose delivery is almost poetic, is the boss who recruits crews to pull heists, and baby is his getaway driver every time. The films use of action choreographed with the soundtrack in Baby's ears gives it an added touch of Charm.

     And then there was the film I really wanted to like...
     You ever see a trailer and know that you have seen the best parts of the film? Have you ever seen a trailer and not realized you have seen the best parts of the film? This was example 2...
     What I liked:

  • the action scenes; there was no problem with those at all. 
  • Every time Idris Elba was on screen. The man has a stage presence that is awesome. 
  • Matthew McConaughey was fun to watch as the man in black, even if I was still picturing him in  Dallas Buyers Club
     What I didn't:
  • A muddled story that relies more on action sequences than character to drive it.
  • A mix of western, fantasy and sci-fi that doesn't really make sense. There was so much material here, as there is in most King novels that they could have built a more convincing mythology. 

To paraphrase the movie...

I do not Make a film with my marketing crew.  He who Makes a film with his marketing crew has forgotten the face of his father. I direct with my heart.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Toysday: Veteran

     I got Fanstoys Koot(masterpiece Kup) yesterday about an hour after I came home from the Pulmonologist. (side note: if the doctor uses medical terms like "crappy" in reference to your breathing test, ask him to explain it in layman's terms)With the receipt of that shipment and my fun doctors visit, Old age and treachery are on my mind.

     This is a great figure, excellent in alt-mode and in robot mode- Getting him from one to the other can be challenging, but it gets easier with practice. 

I started off picturing him with Hot Rod

And Springer

But then I decided he would prefer to hang out with someone he can swap stories with

Hanging with the other veterans...

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Funnies: Gags of our Fathers

     So this ties back to Monday's post as well as a few other random bits of business here and there about town. I have posted before about my tendency to joke with/nearly get myself arrested for joking with various stores about town.

     That has not stopped. And apparently I have moved into what are called "Dad Jokes" which are a form of pun banned by the Geneva Convention.
     So to the meat of this post.
     When Sam and I were out to see Geostorm, I happened to ask the ticket taker(after giving the statutory dad joke incoming warning) how he was like a Greek playwright? when he could not come up with an answer, I held up my ticket and said "Because Euripides".

     Recently I was at Del Taco(they still allow me in there) and they were advertising "Queso Blanco" so I asked if that was the one with Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre. Guy behind me in line was dying, while the girl at the register was staring at me in incomprehension.

     One of the grocery stores near me is in the midst of a big expansion, and they are moving item locations all over the store to fit the new plan. I warned a couple of the Clerks that they cannot move where the office supplies are located, because they have to remain stationary.

     Step out today, visit somewhere and be someones weirdest customer of the day story. In a good way.

     I was at Toys R Us and the checkout clerk asked me if I was a rewards member by chance, and I told her that Yes I was a rewards member, but it was by design, not by chance.

     Happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Toysday: In the Dark of Night

     Happy Halloween, everyone. I hope everyone is having a good day and month. I hope if you want to be in the spirit, you are. And I hope the spirit and spirits of the season are with you.

     So what to post that is dark and spooky? that I haven't ever posted before?

     After All, I posted Zombie Cliffjumper back in the day

     I have no place in my collection for a Nemesis Prime. I don't much care for the concept, just like I am not that interested in a Bizarro Superman(or as Bizarro would put it: Me am totally interested in Bizarro!) The best enemy for a hero is not his complete opposite from a dramatic standpoint. In my opinion, it's just an excuse for a lazy black repaint.

     So that being said, I pulled the trigger on Striker Noir, when I never bit on Striker Manus. Striker Manus is an excellent figure, but his alt-mode doesn't quite say Optimus to me. And then I saw Noir, and his freaking arsenal.
Mega-Sword and windvane gun. 

Curved blades

Star-Saber and Prime blaster




Axes combined

Axe extender

And Alt-mode
     I like Prime to have either a full earth mode or a non-earth mode. this is between. This guy actually gives me a good snake eyes vibe. In my headcanon, he's a commando, maybe a mercenary, but tending toward the autobot cause. A silent lone commando. A Dark Knight, if you will.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Media Musings: Geomovie

     Sam and I caught Geostorm yesterday, and it was surprisingly enjoyable.

No, not this Geo Storm.

This Geostorm

     This was a very calculated movie. I say calculated in the sense that you could see where they planned to hit all the appropriate feels. And I don't mean that as a negative. they hit those feels. Even down to the boy reuniting with his dog after the tornadoes. Because who doesn't love a dog(except me...I am kind of indifferent if there's no feathers.)? The movie has clear opinions- it clearly believes in human caused environmental change. It takes a poke or two at the current political leadership

     The title comes from the theory that if there are a certain number of extreme weather events, it will cascade into a "Geostorm" and it will cover and destroy the world. While this may or may not be true, what was certainly proven is that if you put enough pieces of other movies into one film, it will cascade and become pieces of all other films you never intended- I saw bits of Armageddon, Gravity, Iron Man 2... and a lot of the music sounds like transformers 2. Just to name a few.

     What I learned from watching this film...(with possible spoilers...WATCH OUT!)

  • If you are led to believe that the democratic sitting president is the bad guy, bet that the conservative secretary of state is actually the villain. 
  • The pretty blonde secret service agent is badass.
  • Satellites can be piloted from within. they make great escape pods.
  • The modern space suit is highly durable and will not tear or rupture even as it's wearer smashes across what appears to be 30 miles of random space station parts and barely catches himself on the last pipe on the very edge before flying off into infinite space. 
  • We now know what "hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement" actually looks like. 
  • The international space station is surprisingly roomy inside. they make weather satellites there.
  • while extreme weather can kill cats and seagulls, the dog survives because that's what we want to see. 
  • As much as we might want him to, Gerard Butler Can't say "Madness? THIS IS SPARTA!!!" in every movie. 
  • At the end of the day, when the hero and heroine are in danger, count on a Mexican to save them. Seriously. 
     Would I recommend it? it was a good watch, and worth bargain-priced entry. My Roommate is a connoisseur of disaster flicks and her criteria for this one was that she enjoyed it for that price and she would buy the DVD when it hits Walmart's $5 bin. 

     All I know for sure is that I can picture a room full of hollywood typed and probably losts of quinoa salad and someone saying..."well, what if we put in a scene with a dog? that'll hook'em"

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Toysday: The Last Titan

     Today I am featuring three titans return decepticon seekers, all using the original Triggerhappy mold.

Three Titan Masters...

That makes this post...


     Triggerhappy with Blowpipe came first- Blowpipe as a titan master gives Triggerhappy's guns a concussion blast. I love the vehicle mode

     Then we got Misfire and Aimless- Aimless gives Misfire an ion Particle blast, but does not improve his shooting one Iota. Alt-mode is even better here, and much more magenta

     And they gave rise to the final retail figure of the line, making us wait all the more impatiently for the power of the primes line. 

     Slugslinger and Caliburst- Caliburst gives the ability of ultra-high speed shooting to his partner, Slugslinger. I love th double-cockpit ship, was very pleased to acquire him. 

Cappy sat in on this. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday Media Musings: Accidental Activism

     So I am taking a little departure from my traditional format to talk about how I accidentally became a social activist this week.

     I was watching one of my T.V shows and a commercial came on for PayPal. Understand I have no issue with PayPal, I think it's a wonderful service. It's just that in this case, in my considered opinion, someone in their marketing department didn't review a commercial closely enough, possibly because he was looking at it through his belt-buckle.(draw your own conclusions about where that places his head at).

     So the Commercial in question opens on a woman entering a kitchen. there is a note there, that says "Welcome Janice. please feed Skipper". We see that Skipper is a Jenday Conure (I Believe) in a less-than suitable cage(a round canary type cage)
Jenday Conure

     So Janice, apparently a house-guest, made responsible for the bird, opens the cage to feed Skipper right in front of the open kitchen window. And Skipper is true to his/her name, and skips. Straight out the window. Janice calls Skipper back...once... and goes to PayPal. And we hear "need a new Skipper before anyone notices?"

     Yes. Janice furtively replaces Skipper, via Paypal, with this:
Cinnamon Green Cheeked Conure
     So we have a bevy of bad messages, from Bird neglect to one bird is just like another. If you're a dog person, and you had someone watching your golden retriever, and then presented you with a cocker spaniel, and tried to pass it off as your baby... you would be as taken aback or more than I was at seeing this commercial.

     Folks, you know me and birds. I stared at the scree for about 30 seconds going "what the hell did I just...I couldn't have seen...what the HELL???"

     There were a lot of ways that commercial could have been done with or without a bird, to not make it offensive. And yep, I know it was an attempt to be humorous, and I can take a joke, but you can tell a joke or make a funny commercial without treading on the loss of a treasured family member, or the fear of that loss. For more of my thoughts in a similar vein... check here. People are weird about birds as pets.

     So I posted on PayPal's general feedback forum, called their customer service, and finally went to my bird groups on Facebook. I got a lot of responses there, but was also asked...

     So I created a petition. I'm including it here if you feel this was a wrong message to send, if your conscience leads you to sign, sign.  I am going to include a link to a video someone put up of the commercial, but it's on Facebook, so I am not sure it will work if you are not. 

     Usually I don't let stuff like this bug me that much...but My birds are a soft spot, and I am not alone in that. 

 Hashtag social bird justice warrior. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Toysday: Upgrades

     I've mentioned before here, that I love Dr Wu products. So when I saw that he was coming out with a set for the already excellent TLK Voyager Optimus...I had to. And it does not disappoint, not one bit. Introducing Dr. Wu M08 Judgement!

     Bigger and more detailed than the shield and sword that came with him, they store in the same places and fit great.

     The shield expands and the gun barrels flip out. 
The Sword looks great, and stands up beautifully against Megatron's sword

     If you have this figure, the upgrade is highly recommended.