Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Ringer Vs. Nurse Betty

* = If you don't Respect Neil Fallon's Beard, then I'm not sure you should be allowed to continue your existence. In fact if you can't respect Neil Fallon's Beard in a Storm Trooper costume doing the metal sign meme, then how are we even friends? HOW!?

I don’t have a ton of exciting stuff to really blog on this week. However I have watched and read a lot, so this will mainly be reviews. I know some of you don’t care, so I’m anticipating some check out, I mean c’mon would you rather read about crap I watched or me talk crazy? No one likes a ‘know-it-all’ whereas we all want to see the car wreck. So without further ado, allow me to bore you to tears with crap I read & watched.


The Daleks’ Master Plan (Infinite *’s out of 5)

This is a 12 part, 22 minutes per episode, extravaganza! For that many episodes I have to say it never really lags, with the exception of the bizarre Christmas Episode mid-serial, that doesn’t match the story or the tone of the rest of it at all. This is the follow-up to ‘Mission To The Unknown’ (aka The Dalek Cutaway). We finally find out that the Daleks are making sort of an Evil United Planets. In the process they are joined by Mavic Chen, supposed Guardian Of The Solar System, who really only wants POWER! Chen is a GREAT villain and really chews scenery with gusto every moment he’s on screen. If you aren’t anxiously awaiting his death by the end of this episode then you have no soul. So The Doctor, Steven, and Katarina (the new companion from the end of the Myth Makers episode) land on Kembel where they encounter a few ‘Space Agents’, including Bret Vyon, played by Nicholas Courtney who will go on to play the Doctor Who mainstay Brigadier General Alistair Lethbridge Stewart. He helps them get Steven off his death bed, meanwhile The Doctor fakes his way into this E-V-I-L council meeting. Once there he steals the power source to the Daleks ‘Time Destructor’ weapon. All together they escape Kembel in Chen’s ship, but are forced to land on the Prison Planet of Desperus, where they pick up an unwanted traveller. This leads to one of the most shocking moments I can remember on Doctor Who. This escaped prisoner takes Katarina hostage and escapers to the airlock and demands that the crew take him back to Kembel. As Vyon argues with The Doctor & Steven about ‘the life of one versus many’ Katarina activates the airlock and shoots herself and the prisoner out into space. There is a slow pull away shot of Katarina’s body floating through space, it IS SPOOKY! So Katarina was the first ever Companion to die. She died in a noble fashion, but also in a huge shock. I didn’t see that coming at all. Vyon, Stephen, & The Doctor rush back towards Earth to warn it’s people of Chen’s betrayal and of the Daleks. Once they get there they find out they are now ‘Enemies Of The State’. In the process Bret is killed by Sara Kingdom, the head of Chen’s security. She orders ‘shoot to kill’ for The Doctor & Steven. She eventually catches up with the duo who have trapped themselves in a strange room, little do all three know is that they’ve stumbled into an experimental long range transporter room. They are shot across the cosmos by the experiment and land on Myra, a planet with a nasty surprise. After awaking and disarming her Steven & The Doctor are able to convince Sara that Chen is ‘The Bad Guy’. They also find out that Bret was her brother. COLD BURN! So she killed her own brother at the behest of her political & pseudo-religious leader and has now found out he’s sold out the human race, at this moment I expected her to sort of break down. I was really wrong, Sara is a tough S.O.B., in fact she is the first female Companion who isn’t sort of a 60’s stereotypical ‘woman’. She’s a fighter, and a professional one at that. The Daleks are informed of where The Doctor is, and go to ambush him on Myra. Once there they find the residents of the Myra are invisible monsters. They occupy the Daleks while The Doctor and friends steal their ship and head back to Kembel. Steven helps The Doctor make a ‘fake’ weapons core for the ‘Time Destructor’ and almost kills himself powering it and sealing himself in a force field. This turns out to be fortuetous as his force field saves him when the Daleks attack. They get the ‘fake’ power core and The Doctor, Steven, & Sara escape in the TARDIS. The Daleks quickly follow in their own Time Ship. This is where we get the strange & dis-jointed Christmas Episode. After that bizare side treck The Doctor and pals escape to pre-history Earth and try to hide from the Daleks. There they run into the Meddling Monk! At about this moment I was officially squeeling with joy. The Daleks, The Meddling Monk (another Time Lord), the new villain in Mavic Chen, and a story that is cruising along I was in Doctor Who Heaven. So The Monk & The Doctor talk about how their last encounter went, but only after The Monk has screwed with the TARDIS. The Doctor and pals escape and follow The Monk to ancient Egypt. There we get Chen & the Daleks fighting Egyptians, forcing The Monk to help them, and The Doctor at his devious best. In the end The Doctor screws The Monk by making his TARDIS look & work (which means it doesn’t work like it’s supposed to) just like The Doctor’s, but in order to save Sara & Steven he had to hand over the real power core. The chase is back on as now it’s The Doctor & pals trying to catch up with Chen before he and the Daleks can activate the ‘Time Destructor’. From there the pace gets crazy as the Daleks betray their ‘Allies’, Chen fakes his death, and then returns to claim absolute rulership over the Daleks. They respond by ‘EXTERMINATING’ him. The Doctor activates the ‘Time Destructor’, since it keeps the Daleks from attacking, order Steven & Sara back to the TARDIS, and tries to stay alive long enough it back to the TARDIS & deactivate the weapon! The ‘Time Destructor’ ages everything around it rapidly making the jungles of Kembel begin to decay. The Doctor struggles through the decaying landscape. Sara goes back to help him, but as they almost reach the TARDIS the inevitable happens. Sara literally ages to death, eventually becoming dust. Steven rushes out and pulls The Doctor to the TARDIS as the Daleks close in. Even the Daleks are not immune and succumb in a cool sequence to the power of the ‘Time Destructor’. In the TARDIS The Doctor recovers and states they just need to wait for the ‘Time Destructors’ power to run out. Eventually it does, but by then the surviving Daleks have fled, the persuing Daleks are dead, and the planet is an uninhabitable wasteland. WHEW! This was an incredible series. It’s like four and a half hours of craziness that never lets up, with the exception of the Christmas Episode in the middle. As far as Classic Who goes this is, so far, my favorite episode.

The Massacre Of St. Bartholomew’s Eve (*** out of 5)

Let’s be honest here, you can’t follow up The Daleks’ Master Plan with anything that will compare. It’s just to good. It should have been a season ending rather than in the middle of a season. Additionally, if I was The Doctor WHY would I ever go back to France? The last time he was there he was almost beheaded. Suffice to say this isn’t much different. He and Steven land smack dab in the middle of the theological conflagaration between the Hugoenots & the Catholics. This one is entirely ‘reconstruction’, it’s full of court intrigue, The Doctor is absent for an entire episode, and it is a DOWNER of an ending so my review will be short. It’s not a bad episode, it’s just that it comes after such an amazing one. What I really took away from it was that The Doctor can be a stone cold bastard when he needs to be, as he leaves Steven’s friends, including the young gal who BEGS to go with, to die at the hands of the Catholic mob. He basically gives the “you can’t change history” speech, but at this point Steven has had enough. He chews The Doctor a new asshole and demands to be dropped off at their next destination. They really had me here. I thought Steven was done, and I LOVED the two speeches here with The Doctor defending his position and Steven blasting him on his calous nature and of their recent losses. In the end though Steven comes back, and just in time as when they land on Earth a young lady stumbles into the TARDIS looking for help. She, Steven, & The Doctor fumble off into space & time. We find out that she may be the ancestor of the young lady from France that Steven couldn’t save. So we get a bit of a forced happy ending. Again I have to state this isn’t a bad episode, it’s just lost in the wake of the one before it.

The Ark (*** ½ out of 5)

The Doctor, Steven, & Dorothea, who wants to be called Dodo, land inside a jungle. However it turns out this jungle is actually inside a massive space ship filled with the last survivors of Earth as well as another race the bizarre looking Monoids. The two races are working together to travel to a new inhabitibal world that is 700 years away. The first two parts of this episode deal with The Doctor and pals discovering that they’ve accidentally poisoned both the Humans and the Monoids with the common cold. Of course there is a trial, and yadda, yadda, yadda The Doctor saves the day. This in itself is decent, but the follow-up two episodes really make this episode special by having The Doctor & pals follow-up trip be 700 years into the future but landing on the same ship! In the time since their last visit the Monoids have assumed absolute control of the ship and the Humans are a slave caste. They finally reach there destination and find out that the inhabitants are bodiless energy who WANT new living beings on their planet, but only if they are peaceful. The Monoids have no intentions of even letting the Humans off the Ark as they’ve left a fission bomb inside a statue to destroy the vessel and all the Humans on it. Of course there plan is thwarted, but only after there is a Monoid ‘civil war’ on the planet & the Energy Beings force the statue of the Ark. In the end the remaining Humans & Monoids are forced to live in peace or be destroyed by the benevolent Energy Beings. I liked this episode, the premise was fantastic, the Monoids were goofy & yet creepy, there was solid action, and the resolution was nice. However, the reason I didn’t rate it higher was that The Doctor really seemed like a passanger in his own adventure here. Steven was physically ineffective, and Dodo is just sort of ‘meh’, I mean let's be honest she's no Susan or even Vicki, for me right now after we lost the Awesome Sauce that was Sara. Next up is the Celestial Toymaker, who I know has made a few issues for the Modern Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith.

Looking at that, THAT is a LOT of Doctor Who. You’d wonder how I’d have time for anything else. I do and I did. I also finished the book Mordenheim (**** out of 5) by Chet Williamson which covers the D&D Ravenloft world’s version of Doctor Frankenstien.
I’ll keep this brief since I’m sort of starting a jittery coffee induced freak out. The book is good. It’s actually damn good after the first half. Once we get into Mordenheim & Adam both telling their sides of the ‘story’ the book really takes off as both are sympathetic in their own light, while both are repugnant to anyone with a moral compass. I liked the two lead characters for what they were. The Barbarian & his affliction was interesting, but seemed to serve the plot more than the character. I really loved the ending. A bitter comeupance and illustration of what Ravenloft means to me. See, in this campaign setting you never win. Even a large victory is pyrihic at best, as it’s saddled with sorrow or disappointment. I’ve started another Ravenloft book, ‘The Dance Of The Dead’, and thus far it’s intriguing. I’m hoping to find the next book that deals with Mordenheim & his Monster, ‘Adam’. In the meantime this has given me a bit of fodder to continue the slow crawl towards finishing my D&D Adventure System ‘Module’ Domains Of Dread: Lamordia dealing with these two antagonists.

It’s another week so that means more Pathfinder Rise Of The Runelords Minis PREVIEWS!
First up is Aldern Foxglove. He’s a NPC in the Adventure Path, a bit of a handsome dandy, who had a way with the ladies. As for the mini I really like it. The colors are perfect, big bold blue and gold. The cane gives you an interesting option for a ‘cane sword’ for perhaps a ‘bad guy’ in a campaign. I even really like the pose, with the one hand behind the back. I hope that he has a smirk on his face, from this picture I can’t quiet tell. Overall it’s a great mini, the problem is it’s a Rare, so unless it’s cheap I most likely will be passing.

The Skinsaw Man
is up next. Intriguing how it’s outfit looks similar to Aldern Foxglove isn’t it? Foreshadowing or coincidence? Anywho, I love the colors again, they come off as regal. On top of that the blood spatters all over the front it spectacular, really giving it a grisley look. The details are sort of poor in this size of photo, but it looks like they did get the long nasty tongue in there, and if my eyes aren’t completely ineffectual it looks like he’s holding a severed arm! If that’s true, then kudos Wizkids, KUDOS!
In Lucretia you have another mini that is duel purpose. It’s great for village filler, but if you’re playing the actual adventure then it’s very important for the second half of The Hook Mountain Massacre. Is it me or does the goblet look ‘blobby’? I’m not sure they’ve really got a handle on the lithe ‘beauty’ of the original art work for this character, but it’s not bad. In fact for a pre-paint in a non-action pose it’s nice. I like the color. Again as with these other ‘named’ characters it’s a Rare, which means it’ll either be a no purchase or a future purpose for me.
Last one this week is the Lamia Matriarch. This one is a BIG baddie, and if you know the story directly connected to the previous mini. The thing about it is, in my games I don’t use the Lamia in this form, that’s a Pathfinder thing. However it would be PERFECT as a Yuan-Ti or even as some sort of Demonspawn, possibly a half-breed daughter of a Maralith. Again, I wish the picture showed me a little more facial detail, but if they can keep up the level of facial quality on humanoid faces that they had in the previous sets then I feel that I’ll be getting my money’s worth. Now I’m not sure if this is a ‘Must Purchase’ for me. It’s nice, and fits a potential need, but again I’m basing a lot of my Pathfinder purchasing off of cost.

Overall I really like how the set is shaping up as well as what appears to be a strong partnership and commitment to quality that Paizo & Wizkids have. I’m just curious if we’ll be getting any Inbred Ogres from this set. I think if we don’t then it’s a missed opportunity, as well as a TREMENDOUS let down for me, since I think my PC’s will eventually be heading back to Moma’s homestead to get bloody retribution.

In Fake Sports News, I’m back to my Dynasty on NCAA College Football 2007. I played three games the other day and won each handily including a win at #3 West Virgina where I trailed at the half. I have to say the fact that both my player & Pat J., my Left Tackle keep getting into trouble with the NCAA is pissing me off. I missed three games during a NCAA investigation, & Pat missed one. Sure I won all those games, but they were much tighter than they needed to be. For one Dave, my Middle Linebacker, has been ineffective as teams are now attacking me over the middle with spread offenses. West Virgina, Missouri, & Balor all used a TON of crossing patterns, wide receiver screens, and draws to really put my freshman & sophmore heavy defense on it’s heels.

The good news for my defense is that Ant J. off the edge is a HOLY TERROR! If he’s not getting a sack, he’s getting a pressure, and he’s solid against the run. Basically he shuts down the left side of the field when it comes to sweeps, option, and off tackle plays. On offense Mighty Mike became my go to guy, ERUPTING for record breaking yardage and receiving numbers. He’s now the number one contender for the Heisman Trophy. It’s also helped that my weak side, freshman TE, who had to start when I was suspended, on the strong side, is a pass catching machine, and the other freshman wide out, who was a Blue Chip prospect, has come into his own. I now have an extremely dangerous passing attack. Unfortunately my Offensive Line is littered with injuries, and I’m young so my running game has suffered. Joe K. has become a ‘three yards and a cloud of dust’ type of bruising back, while the other back he splits time with is now the change of pace threat. The worst news is my starting Quarterback, my brother Sean, is on the shelf for 2 more weeks with a deep elbow bruise. I have been baffled though by how well my back-up, who is a slow footed pocket passer, has played. I went from having a strong-armed multi-threat quarterback to a big, slow, but insanely accurate freshman at the helm. It’s hurt my run game, and therefor my ability to grind out wins and get shut outs, but at the same time I can easily score quickly and in bunches as long as my Defense gets stops. The nasty part of my Conference Schedule is coming up with a trip to ranked Texas A&M, top ten ranked Colorado at home, and a trip to #5 Nebraska. If I can get through the first two relatively unscathed I’m confident that I’ll be healthy going into Nebraska which will be the first in a trifecta of season changing games. If I win there I have two easy games and then the Big Twelve title game, and most likely the National Championship Game against potentially Ohio State. Yes, I’m a giant nerd.

You know even when I say it’s going to be short it just goes on, and on, and on, and on utnil all that’s left is…


- Last night was Twin Peaks Tuesday, and I watched S01E01 (DDDD out of 5D’s). I’m officially roped in. This episode had a lot less of the characters I’m disinterested in like Laura’s mother. It did however have an EPIC moment with Bobby’s dad, which made me totally love that guy! Which says a lot because even though Bobby is an evil S.O.B. I dig his weird, jock beatnik thing. Oh and Dave, I get it now. You are Doctor Jacoby.
- Watching Dave watching The Daily Show last night was awesome. It’s always nice to be able to give a pal some comedy joy.
- Knowing that Mizzou was denied a chance to win the Big Twelve one last time before they exit to the SEC like the lilly bellied cowards they are was sweet. Knowing that they had a 19 point lead on KU at Lawrence, and BLEW IT, is sweeter. Knowing that losing in overtime to a team you’re ranked in front of for the regular season Big Twelve Title is SWEETEST. F’ you Missouri, and while your at it you can take Colorado & Texas A&M with you. WE DON’T NEED YOU! On a positive note, I hope you watched long and hard TCU & West Virgina, because although you might whup KU’s ass in football for the next few years, until Charlie “I ate a baby” Wiesz gets that program up to snuff, your asses are going to get OWNED in basketball. And as for the whiners who want KU to continue to play Mizzou in The Border War even though they LEFT the conference, F’ You. Maybe if these teams hadn’t fled the Big Twelve for money I’d feel different, but since they did they don’t deserve to play the teams in the conference. Not to mention if your Mizzou why would you want to guarenteed loss ever season? ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!
- The tax return was the best we’ve ever gotten. It means barring a disaster the basement will be done this year!
- Holy crap is R.G.III fast! He's got an amazing arm, he's accurate, he can run, he's smart, and he's a hell of a leader. I think in ten years this draft will be remembered for not just one great Quarterback, Andrew Luck, but TWO!
- I received Justice League: Doom from my lovely wife for Valentine’s Day. I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s on the docket this week. It looks solid, the reviews are good, and it has both members of the League I’m interested in, like Cyborg, but also some villains that I look forward to seeing in this animated format like Vandal Savage. Not to mention I really enjoy the work it’s based on, Mark Waid’s ‘Tower Of Babel’ story.
- Ant & I had Asian House on Saturday, and it was blissful.
- If we go to Kansas this year I might see if some of my ‘Old School’ Peeps might want to get together and play a nostalgic game of D&D.
- That snow is FRIGGIN’ heavy!
- I watched the new trailer for The Avengers today, sans sound because the computer here at the place that pays me is atrocious. It looks pretty B.A. I have to admit though that I’ll be even more sold once I can hear what people are saying. On a nit picky note Cap’s costume looks lame as opposed to the one from the Captain America movie. As a balance to that was The Hulk looking Incredible chasing Black Widow and saving Iron Man’s ass. This could be the movie that makes me feel like I’m 10 again.
- On another movie note I read a review of John Carter that called it ‘this generation’s Star Wars’. I’m sure that’s hyperbole, but either way I MUST see this in the theatre. I think it looks spectacular.
- The new Fairly Secret Army tune, an ode to Neil Fallon of Clutch, is going to be F’ing amazing.
- Monday I made a chili out of ground turkey, andouille sausage, & black beans. It’s our meal for Friday. I’ve tasted it and I’m surprised at how mellow and yet flavorful it is. I love the idea of chili being a culinary vehicle to make of what you will. Wow, that sounded ridiculously pretentious.
- Tonight is Video Game Night, and my wife has chosen to go with Baldur’s Gate. I’m thinking an hour or so is good enough. I can’t tell you how excited I am to play this with her.

My lord am I long winded…

"I got no problems with vegans. Let's be clear on that. But have you ever met someone who has concocted his or her own convenient first-world philosophy? Cherry picked all those bits of radicalism that appealed to them and threw out the ugly bits? Someone who thinks they're enlightened but are really jut a victim of the own peer driven self-congratulatory bullshit? I have. There's lots of those types in Washington D.C.

How's that hardcore fanzine? Still take the piss?
Y and T got records, demos on cassette.
Summer of the seven inch. Too cool for school.
Manifestos at Kinko's, pinko commies play no fools.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights.
It's hard to smoke 'em when you got to be runnin'
Congressional and D.C.P.D.
Lafayette Park undercovers,
The saddest sight you ever see, ever see.
Tear gas electric! You know I can't quit this riot.
Strictly professional insurrectionist kid, and I can't deny it.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights .
Freshmen in fatigues. You know he's fighting for his right.
Copious note taker. American Spirit Lights.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights .
Freshmen in fatigues. You know he's fighting for his right.
Copious note taker. American Spirit Lights.”

* = That's for you Dave. And maybe me...


  1. I loves me some Neil Fallon beard, but I would rather wear Jeulz as a beard!

  2. Would you be a guy if you didn't? I think not, I THINK NOT!