Monday, December 28, 2009

What a Christmas haul for me and mine

2009 'twas a good year and it ended with a great Christmas. I have a lot to be thankful for, in many, many ways ... some of which may not seem obvious or out there for all the world to see (or read about on this raggy little blog o' mine).

Now for some good old consumerism: wow, I thought last Christmas was awesome! This year was just as electrifying: a new HD Sony Videocamera, awesome Wii and Xbox games, plus tons of Blu-rays. The kids got great toys and my favorite gift of all: footie pajamas. Wifey gets her shopping spree and all should be right with the world. Perhaps the funnest part of all the greedy consumer-mania is bundling together all the after-Christmas-returns of the stuff you aren't thrilled with for schwag you can really use.

Return policies are our best friend, true believers! Get out there and support the economy with those gift cards and gift receipts. Here's one of the prizes I netted during happy returns:

Some Cap movie news ... more like crumbs

Captain America Targeted for a June Start (From
Source:Fangoria December 28, 2009

Director Joe Johnston, whose next film The Wolfman hits theaters on February 12, revealed to Fangoria that Marvel Studios is planning a June start for The First Avenger: Captain America. The start is mentioned in an article on Johnston taking over as director for The Wolfman:

Principal photography was now less than four weeks away. “By the time I got on a plane and arrived, it was three,” recalls Johnston, speaking from the art department of THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA, which he’s readying for a June start."

Paramount Pictures will distribute The First Avenger: Captain America on July 22, 2011. No cast members have been announced yet.


O-dogg says: cast the character already ... unless of course they're thinking about some 40-yr old burnout like Matthew MacWhatsHisFace ... in that case take your time, Marvel. Pick the right guy ... a young guy somewhere in the 20-28 yr old range that can truly play Steve Rogers as closely as he is supposed to be in the origin story.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My 400th Post: Man, I LOVE Christmas Break

I'm floating on a cloud right now. The Christmas tree is lit, Star Wars is on TV, gifts are being wrapped and I have a the lastest Captain America comic book in hand. I'm sipping orange-flavored Sunkist soda with a splash of my favorite spirit (to add some holiday cheer to the mix, true believers).

Earlier, my daughter and I had a lightsaber battle with my life-like Force FX lightsabers (I had red, she had blue ... then we switched and she demanded that Princess Leia is allowed to use a red sword, so I allowed it). After that, I read her a new comic book version of Alice in Wonderland and she was off to bed.

I'm having my cake and eating it too. I had a good day at work, tied up a TON of loose ends and got out of there early enough to beat the insane mall traffic that jams up the parking lot in my office complex. It feels like a weight is off my shoulders and I can enjoy the next 10 days to eat, drink and be merry without work, e-mails, voicemails and everything else that comes along with a corporate gig.

Tomorrow I'm free to enjoy Christmas Eve with just my immediate family ... it's what I've always wanted. My parents have to wait till Friday, the inlaws get Saturday, then I get Sunday for my boys to come over to eat, drink and play with all of our new videgames and Blu-ray movies.

To top this off, I'm ONE WEEK AWAY from being able to exercise again, after an unexpected surgery and recovery. All is right with the world ... thank you Baby Jesus, 3 Kings and dude that allowed Mary and Joe to stay in the manger.

Here is my gift to you, friends. Check out the AWESOMENESS of this fan-made Star Wars video told by some random chick that has kind of, sort of seen Star Wars ... but not really. May the FORCE and CHRISTMAS be with you!

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas, True Believers

'Tis the season for Mexican hot chocolate and store-brand Oreos dipped in fudge.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Jon Gruden: All (The Raiders) have to do is ask

So, I hear that former Raiders coach (and current ESPN Monday Night Football rockstar) Jon Gruden was back in Oakland yesterday to host a reunion for players and staff from his era (1998-2001) at Ricky's Sports Bar.

Supposedly Ricky himself asked Jon if he'd ever consider coaching the Raiders again and Gruden replied "all they have to do is ask." You heard it here first: if Al Davis brings Chucky back, I will have a heart attack. I don't think it'll ever happen due to the largess of Davis' ego against the popularity of the snarling Chucky-look-a-like Gruden.

Here's to a silver & black fantasy: a second time around would be sooooo sweet.

Dream about that, true believers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Balloons make me happy - THE POSTMARKS

As seen on TV's Yo Gabba Gabba!, the Postmarks with a nice little pick-me-up tune, "Balloons."

I couldn't find the full-on video, as I suppose it's too recent. Oh well, this is better than nothing.


Heisman Hoax

What a joke. Stanford's Toby Gerhart should've won the Heisman. I'm no Stanford fan, either - I love me some Cal Bears.

I take nothing away from the kid from Alabama, but just look at the stats: Gerhart led the NATION in yards, touchdowns, runs over 10 yards and basically did his biggest damage against the biggest and best opponents. Ingram is from Flint, Michigan, and back in the day, he'd have been a Wolverine ... but there's not a prayer of that type of running back coming to Michigan to play in Rich-Rod's spread offense. Too bad, Michigan used to run the Oakland Raiders offense: power running with two backs, deep passing on the outside with WRs, hit the tight end on 3rd down, move the chains by hitting a full back in the flat with an outlet pass. Now it's all WRs with virtually no room for Tight Ends and Full Backs on the roster.

But enough about the woes of my Wolverines. Here's a hearty congrats to Gerhart, who came in second in the closest race in the history of the Heisman Trophy. Too bad there is so much voting bias around the country, otherwise whe would've won ... and deservedly so.

The rise and fall of N.W.A. - the world's most dangerous group

VH1 is running the dopest documentary about the rise and fall of N.W.A - The World's Most Dangerous Rap Group. Fascinating stuff about the humble beginnings of N.W.A. and how unlikely it was that they came together ... and how they eventually fell apart. Sadly, the documentary ends on the sad note of Eazy E's death from AIDS. It's worth a watch, true believers.

Here's a sneak peak from VH1:

Can't forget about the timeless spoof from Dynamite Hack:

New STAR WARS Game: The Force Unleashed 2

Just as I finally took the time to finish and beat 'The Force Unleashed,' I caught the world premier video for the sequel on Spike TV's Video Game Awards.

Can't wait. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Raiders defeat Steelers 27-24

Eat the Silver & Black shorts, all of you annoying, band-wagon Pittsburgers!

It reminded me of the good old days; the glory days when the Raiders/Steelers rivalry dominated the NFL for years and years. A nice bit of living in the past today ... I'm going to savor every delicious memory.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday morning cartoons and afternoon matinees

When I was a kid, getting up on Saturdays to watch cartoons was like the proverbial fruit at the bottom of the yogurt cup. Nowadays, cartoons are on 24-7 on cable, not to mention OnDemand and the advent of the DVR. So, cartoons as a Saturday treat has really gone by the wayside.

But every now and again, I'll stumble upon something that reminds me of what Saturdays are all about. Take today for, example. I caught one of my all-time favorite flicks from childhood, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure on cable, in HD no less. In the words of first-time director Tim Burton, "it's the perfect movie to watch on TV on a Saturday afternoon." The movie is packed with Burton's signature aesthetics - a make-believe fantasy world full of wonder and all things fantastic. Burton's vision is so clear and well defined, that within 10 minutes, one of my kids asked "Are all the grown ups really kids in this world?"

So, with that, I salute you, Tim Burton. Thanks for making such an enduring classic to be enjoyed while snuggled up on the couch on a Saturday afternoon in December.

With that, I also salute the obscure Captain America cartoons from the 1960s. I used to watch these at 6 am on an even more obscure Asian-language UHF channel back in the 1980s ... and that was long before cable and the VCR (or Beta-Max)!

Just for good measure, here's Hulk and Spidey too:

Ahh, what the heck, here's Iron Man and the Fantastic 4, for your Saturday Morning Viewing Pleasure:

If you really want to dig around, you can find similar YouTube videos for Sub-Mariner and Thor ... meh.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The GREAT Christopher Walken performs "Poker Face"

The man is pure genius, plain and simple. Now that I'm laid up for a week, I'm totally catching up on the gold of the Earth, such as this video and Season One DVDs of: The Transformers, Voltron, Ultra-man, Mad Men and Sons of Anarchy.