Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What difference do you and I make?

How much are you worth? How much am I worth? How large is the ripple we've caused? What would the world be like without Captain Hook...errr...Me/You?

This is one of those alternate reality questions that can never be answered but it is fun to think about it on occasion.

The ground rule is: Not a scenario where the premise is "If I died today." because that's really depressing. Plus most of your scenario would be about people mourning you and that's just downright sad.

Ask yourself these questions:

What would my family be like without me? If you are the oldest, what would your closest sibling act like if they were the first instead of the 2nd child?

Where would my spouse be? I assume she'd be married to someone else...would she be happy?

What would my friends be like? If you are the glue that holds the group together, you have to consider that they'd have all hung out with different people. Maybe your friend who ended up going to college and getting a degree would have ended up hanging out with the wrong crowd, gotten involved with drugs, and OD'd before they were 17.

Would the population of the world be differnet? For example, because you were driving to the mall at age 16, was there a car that missed a light, which eventually led to them getting in to a car accident 3 hours later and dying? If you had never been born, would those people in the accident have had 3 more kids by now?

There are so many different questions. The Butterfly Effect that you produce can be simply amazing.

One of the best X-men story arcs of all time was "The Age of Apocalypse." This was where Legion went back in time and murdered Professor Xavier. Because of this action, the future was altered and Apocalypse ruled the world. Magneto led the X-men. Cyclops and his Brother Havok (along with a Darker version of Beast) worked for Mr. Sinister (one of Apocalypse's 4 horsemen) and Sabertooth fought for the good guys. Wolverine was missing a hand due to a duel with Cyclops who in turn was missing an eye from said duel.

The point is, there was a difference of peace or nuclear holocaust based on the presence of one man.

I like to think that as an English Teacher I've made a difference in some of my student's lives this year. It was nice to see so many old students come BACK to see me before they graduated this week. May we all make sure that our existence, our presence here isn't wasted. Be a positive ripple in the space time continuum of life- JR

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


In April of 2009 I started this blog. 2 years later and a lot of "what the heck is he talking about" later and here we are. 100th post! This could be wrong though, I'm not sure. At some point I went through and deleted a few posts that were politically charged. I've decided that politics have no place on my blog, nor anywhere on facebook. Just as teaching a Sunday School lesson in a crowded McDonalds is a poor choice of venue, so is Facebook for posting political rants and videos. So it's possible that a few posts ago was "really" my 100th post, but whatever here we go, let's celebrate life!

List of 100 great things (in no particular order):

100. Family
99. Friends
98. Food
97. Music
96. Sports
95. Comic Books
94. Movies
93. The Great Outdoors
92. Video Games (classic Video Games)
91. The great outdoors with family friends and food and physical activity. While listening to music, Playing Video Games, watching movies and reading comic books in the tent at night.

And that's pretty much it...the list stops there. Did I miss anything? Cause I'm pretty sure that everything great about life is covered right there. I'm sure there's ONE unmentionable that we'll just leave to reader's imagination. Wink Wink giggle giggle geeky snort.

I just want to thank the readers. The people like you who have dropped by and checked out what I have to say about various topics. Some of you even post comments! Do you have any idea how much better my day is when I see that people hath commented on my stuffs?

I went back and read my first post. It says that I'd end each post with, "out." Well that faded pretty quickly, but what the heck. Here's to 100 more posts and more time spent with family and friends...eating food...after playing sports...in a tent with comic books, video games, music, and movies. OUT

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Geek Week

Great week for Geeks. Yep I just capitalized "Geek." Midnight Thursday: THOR!
As stated in my review last week, it was epic. The review touched on the film itself, but the viewing experience is so much more. I love getting together with fellow "Geek" friends and hitting up the premiers of these movies. I know I know, "can't you just wait to see it tomorrow at a normal time?" Well yes I could, but I guarantee that your showing didn't have as much cheering and applause as ours did when Thor totally did that big beasty thing in. Yeah. Also, how many people showed up in costume for your 7:15 show Friday night eh?This Schism poster was free at Free Comic Book Day... The colors messed up on the scan but how cool is this picture? (for those of you who don't get it, Wolverine just off'd Cyclops)

Then on Saturday: Free Comic Book Day! I headed over to "Dragons Keep," in Provo. That store has been in the valley since I first started collecting back in the early 90's. The guys who run the store are very cool and it was nice to see so many people out. I was able to snag some really cool free comics such as "The Dark Crystal."

I also grabbed some back issues of X-treme X-men and Uncanny X-men. Mostly for the artwork by Salvador Larocca.

I found a gem in the original mini-series of "The Last Starfighter" from 1984. Classic 80's flick, which I've also blogged about. I scanned the covers to make a montage of awesomeness. All in all it was a great geeky weekend. My buddy John lent me the first season of "The Big Bang Theory." And that pretty much topped off a perfect trifecta of Geekdom... Carry on True Believers...carry on.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Movie Reviews: Fast 5 and Thor

It's the summer movie season. I think that this season I'll write reviews for each film I see and maybe you'll find yourself in the theater seeing something you might not have otherwise?

Fast 5 (Fast and the Furious part 5)
Saw it last week at midnight on the Imax big screen. Now to be honest I've never seen the 1st Fast and the Furious. I saw the 2nd one once with some work buddies. Never saw the third. The 4th one somehow got me interested and it was a fine fine movie. Fast 5 takes place immediately after the events of the 4th installment. This film was ridiculously awesome in that every chance to blow something up was taken advantage of. Vin Diesel's character got to tussle with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Paul Walker and Diesel at one point drove a car off of a cliff for a long...long...time. This is one of those movies where someone can say, "but the acting was cheesy!" Well yeah...but you don't go to these movies to see Shakespearean acting, you go to see stolen street racing cars drag a multi-ton safe through the streets of Rio while being shot by drug cartels. I saw this movie with my buddies: Kelly, Clint, and Robin. I couldn't have seen it with a better group. If you see this, make sure you've seen the 4th one first (it'll fill the story in for ya) and then stay after the credits for one of the best surprises EVER. Not only is this the best Fast and Furious movie, it is also one of the best action flicks I've seen in years. 5/5 stars

Thor...let me try that again...THOOOOORRRRR!

Saw it at midnight last night and it's fresh in my memory! Forgive my bias. I'm a comic book fan who is as loyal to Marvel as I am to my wife. I love that brand the way some may love "American Express" "Pepsi" or "Nike." Thor is the 2nd to last piece that must be placed delicately into a much larger picture. The Avengers is slated for release next May. So far, both Iron Man movies were incredible, the 2nd take on Hulk was unbelievably cool, and all we need is for Thor and Captain America to hold their own. Avengers is currently shooting and may very well be the biggest movie...ever. Of all of these characters though, THOR is the one I was the most concerned about. He's not just a super hero, he's a God from another dimension with the powers of Norse deity. It's a hard pill to swallow, luckily though Kenneth Branaugh gave us a spoon full of sugar to help that medicine go down. First and foremost the acting was insanely good for a comic book flick. Chris Hemsworth stole the show as Thor, while Tom Hiddleston played a very dubious "Loki" and Sir Anthony Hopkins played "Odin" to perfection. Stallin Skarsgard and Natalie Portman were fine in their roles as mortals wrapped in Thor's story but they were kind of outshined by all of the other worldly action. Half of the movie takes place in Asgard while the rest takes place on Earth. Thor's armor looks right at home in the other dimension, but a little out of place on Earth. Hopefully the Avengers movie somehow addresses this. The director for some reason likes to do this weird diagonal shot which was cool a couple of times, but quickly got annoying. Despite its flaws it is one of, if not THE best Marvel movie to date. I can't wait to see how Iron Man interacts with Thor in team up flick. I loved it. Go see it. 4.5/5 Stars

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Revenge: A dish best served with noodles

What is it about our basic human nature that makes revenge so sweet? Sweet is a bad word, how about, "positively stimulating."

We like revenge.

Revenge of the Nerds

Revenge of the Sith

Reve....Return of the Jedi

Taking out Osama Bin laden. etc etc etc

Sunday night was interesting. I'd like to say I was watching something manly when the news broke, but I was watching Desperate Housewives with my wife.

I was 19 when Bin Laden orchestrated the attacks that brought the Trade Center down amongst the other attacks that day. I was old enough to know what was going on and I was really REALLY mad. I wanted revenge. I've wanted revenge for almost 10 years. Now that I know Bin Laden is dead and at the bottom of the ocean finding Nemo, I feel pretty good.

We gave the guy a proper Muslim burial, and while some are complaining about this (and I can see their point of view) I think it's really cool that our worst enemy, the man our country absolutely hated, wasn't paraded through the streets, wasn't posted all over the Internet, and wasn't treated the way the enemy had treated some of their US prisoners. We actually washed his body before comitting it to the deep.

I just finished reading Uncanny X-Force issue #9. In it, Magneto hands an envelope to Wolverine and asks for him to eliminate the target. The target turns out to be a Nazi war criminal who had held Magneto captive in a concentration camp when he was a boy. Wolverine hikes into the mountains of Brazil (P.S. go see Fast 5, it's AWESOME) and finds a house in the jungle. An old man is there to greet him. The old man says, "I knew this day would come. I moved here like many of the war criminals, I married, and knew that every day of happiness that I enjoyed was not deserved." Wolverine does his thing (he's the best at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice) and walks away.

Vengeance is an interesting concept. I'm not sure where I come out on the subject, suffice to say that vengeance only occurs in reaction to an initial trespass. May we all be chill. I'd hate to think that somewhere out there, someone is plotting revenge for something I did out of my negligence, not of my purpose.