The Walking Dead Season Finale!!! (SPOILER ALERT)

Lake Charles, LA


Well, well, well…….The Walking Dead shut the door on another season last night, and I have to admit that it was one of my favorite season closers so far.  A ton of issues were resolved in the second half of this season and quite a few more issues were opened up or left hanging in the final episode. 

Last night’s episode gave us the never-quite-mentally-stable-all-season Rick finally coming unhinged with an extremely violent defense of Carl, Michonne, and Daryl when the gang of marauders finally catch up to him looking for revenge.  For those of you who have not seen the episode yet DO NOT READ ANY MORE OF THIS POST!  It contains spoilers!!  I can’t say that I blame Rick for his extreme reaction to what was happening to his friends and, in particular, his son.  I loved how the gunshot and headbutt seemed to jar farmer Rick out of his funk and he turned into raging Rick!

Those poor guys didn’t know what to do when Rick took a bite out of their leader’s neck and spit it to the ground.  It was the reaction of a man who had had enough with being the good guy or the moral thinker trying to bring some type of normalcy to this crazy new world he found himself in.  He ditched the shovel and picked up the knife, so to speak. 

His actions gave Michonne and Daryl the small window they needed to dispatch the rest of the baddies excepting one, Carl’s would-be molester.  I loved how Rick’s face flooded with anger when he said, “He’s mine.”  I honestly can’t say that I wouldn’t have the same reaction that he did to some sleezeball trying to do that to one of my own children.  It was violent, yet well deserved.

After cleaning up a bit, the gang of Rick, Michonne, Carl, and Daryl headed for the too-good-to-be-true land of Terminus.  As expected, they found trouble.  They also found most of their friends (minus Tyreese, Carol, Judith, and Beth), and a few new friends in the form of Abe, Rosita, Tara, and Eugene.  Of course, meeting them by being forced to shack up with them in a railcar isn’t the best thing in the world, but it’s a start.  That start, in true TWD fashion, ended the season and now we have to look at unanswered questions new and old.

1.  Where’s Beth?  Did the group from Terminus kidnap her, or perhaps another group (friend or foe)?  Did she become lunch for Tasha Yar?  I’m guessing we’ll find out later this year.

2.  Are Carol, Tyreese, and Judith already at Terminus or are they even going to end up there?  My guess is that they will eventually show up, and when they do, they will cause a lot of trouble for the Terminus bunch.  I also believe that Carol will be fully forgiven by Rick for her actions at the prison.  Why?  Because I believe that after his throat biting/molester gutting incident, he finally realizes that she was simply doing what she thought had to be done, good or bad. 

3.  How are Rick and company going to break out of that railcar?

4.  Which, if any, of the group will end up as the main course at a Terminus dinner on the ground?

5.  Will Tasha Yar die in this series as well?

6.  Is Morgan going to return?

7.  Finally, and quite possibly most important of all, will Eugene keep that sweet mullet, or will he pull a Shane and shear off those lovely locks?

Thanks for reading, gang.  Feel free to leave any guesses, answers, or theories below.  Did I miss any questions left open after last night?  Be sure to toss them in the comments section as well.

Peace out.

Knights In Satan’s Service?????

Lake Charles, LA


The following story happened to me quite a few weeks ago, but with all of the hype surrounding KISS’ induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (long overdue, by the way), old memories were drawn up from the pit of my brain.  So, here it goes…..

I was strolling through a local department store minding my own business when a smiling gentleman in a cowboy hat walked up to me.  I gave him a smile in return and considered our little encounter complete, but he then pointed at my shirt (which had the KISS band logo on it) and asked me, “Do you know what KISS stands for?”  I replied half-questioning, “Keep it simple, stupid?”  “Nope,” he said, “It stands for Knights In….”  I cut him off as politely as possible and finished the phrase for him, “Satan’s Service, right?”  I figured that that was what he was going for, but I mentioned “Keep It Simple, Stupid” hoping that I was wrong.

I wasn’t.

He said that the members of KISS were evil and worked for the devil.  Being a lifelong Christian (and a Roman Catholic convert since 2000) who just so happens to be pretty well versed in both the Bible and KISStory, I simply replied, “Have you ever heard the story of Gene Simmons?”

He seemed a bit taken aback by my response.  I didn’t lash out at him or ridicule him for what he had just asked me, but instead I went into a very brief history of the life, hardships, and charity of The Demon and eventually the good works of KISS in general.  I mentioned how Gene and his bandmates have donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, give free concerts to soldiers overseas, and discount military tickets stateside.  I also mentioned how Gene doesn’t drink or do drugs and outside of his love of the ladies, manages to be a fairly devout Jewish boy.

The man wasn’t ready for that response.  He started to say something else, but I politely cut him off again with a pleasantly stern “No, they aren’t Knights In Satan’s Service.  They’re a rock band,” and walked away.  He stood there for a couple of seconds and then shuffled off.

Once I got back into my car for the ride home, my little encounter with this guy was spinning around in my brain.  I wanted another chance to talk with the guy.  Not about KISS or Satanism, but about judging people based on their clothes.  He obviously assumed that I was an unsaved heathen rocker because I was wearing a KISS shirt, but I am actually a former Southern Baptist/Congregationalist/Pseudo-Evangelical/Catholic convert that has done his homework when it comes to his own faith.  I wanted to tell the guy that I could have made quite a few judgement calls myself.  He was wearing a cowboy hat and boots, so automatically I could assume that he listens to country music.  Also, based on his age, I could assume that he doesn’t listen to bro country or the pop with a fiddle in it that passes for modern country music these days.  Nope, he looked like a hardcore Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Hank, Jr. kind of fella.

Then I started to think how I could tell him that if he did listen to such music, he’s listening to nothing better than rock n’ roll, since country music deals with drinking, cheating, stealing, and a whole ton of other topics (including murder).

Why do I let such things get to me?  Why didn’t I tear into him like I knew that I could?

If his intention was to somehow save my soul or convert me, he went about it the wrong way.  Telling someone to their face that they are wrong (whether they are wrong or not) is not the way to get them to change their ways.  Ridiculing or (and this rings particularly true for people claiming to be Christian) judging someone and then “calling them out” on this judgement is DEFINITELY NOT the way to convince someone to join your team.

I’m sorry for going off on this tangent, but it really, really bugs me.  I don’t go about pointing out the shortcomings of other people, nor do I correct them if what they believe is wrong in my eyes.  I try to open up a discussion with them.  Not with the intention to convert them, mind you, but to get their perspective.  As long as they respect me, I’ll respect them, even if we disagree.

Again, I’m sorry for blowing off a bit of steam with this post.  I promise I’ll get back to Insanity and my nerd musings soon enough.

Thanks for reading, friends.  Comment below if you’ve had a story similar to this one.  I’d love to hear it.

Progress And Nerd Thoughts For The Day

Lake Charles, LA

I’ve dropped a couple of more pounds since starting my second consecutive round of Insanity.  I’m now at 215 lbs.  I started this wild ride at a whopping 244 lbs.  I’m starting to experiment more with my food choices, as I’m starting to drop my caloric intake more with each pound lost.  I use the Lose It! app to log all of my food intake for the day, and I’m nearing the 2000 calorie mark.  I started with an allowed amount of 2379 calories and now I am down to 2221 calories per day.  I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but considering the fact that I’m averaging 500 or so calories per meal and trying to thin out my snack choices to just veggies and fruits, I don’t have a lot of “breathing” room snacks.  Consider that one banana can run up to 110 calories, and you run out of calories real quick!

I’ve been eating a lot of Asian food lately.  I find it to be very filling for the calories it contains, and it is so varied that I don’t see myself running out of options any time soon.  I’m also fond of Mexican food, but that’s a big no-no for the most part.  I’ve cut out all fast food with the exception of the oatmeal at McDonald’s in the morning and the occasional sub from Subway.  I’ve also eaten a few of the Smart Choices frozen meals, but I’m really not a fan.

I’d love to hear some of your food choices or any advice you can give me on what to eat.  I’m still losing weight and still watching my intake, but it would be great to have even more options than the ones I’ve already discovered.

On the nerd front, I’ve noticed a lot of people on Facebook complain about spoilers.  I’m a huge The Walking Dead fan and one of my favorite things to do is hop on Facebook and discuss the latest episode with friends who also watch it.  I’m part of a group on Facebook called Southern Geek, and we have one specific post that we place comments on that contains spoilers, opinions on the episodes, musings on what might happen next, and your standard nerd discussions on such topics.  This particular post is specifically for those of us who have seen the episode and there is a nice big spoiler alert warning at the top of the post for people to see.  It has worked quite well so far, but I also like sharing memes that are often related to recent episodes on my personal page.  While I don’t post many of them, I will share one on my wall.  I try to share only vague ones, and I haven’t had any complaints yet, but I have to ask:  When exactly are spoilers allowed on Facebook pages?

I know people who are two or three seasons behind on certain shows.  They will often gripe that people shouldn’t post any spoilers on their wall because they are so far behind.  Guess what?  It has been two or three years since whatever episode someone is talking about occurred!  Is it the fault of a person posting that Shane is dead on The Walkind Dead that you haven’t caught that episode yet?  NO!  What about films that have been out for a year or more?  Is there a statute of limitations on them as well?  If I post that Darth Vader is Luke’s father, is that considered a spoiler since it has been common knowledge for nearly forty years????

My point in all of this is that Facebook and other social media sites are SOCIAL.  People will want to talk about their last vacation, recall memories of high school dances, and maybe even share photos of their family.  They also might mention what happened on the last episode of Doctor Who.  Are they out to intentionally ruin your weekend because you were at work when that particular episode ran?  No.  They are being social.  It’s what people do. 

Granted, I personally try to shy away from posting major spoilers for a few weeks after an episode has aired, but sooner or later myself or one of my other friends will mention what happended to Amy and Rory.  It’s up to the person who did not see the episode (at least in my opinion) to do their best to avoid the spoilers.

Okay, I’m off of my soapbox.  Much love and appreciation for reading my ramblings.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Looking Like Thor By The Summer

Lake Charles, LA

Thor is a character that I’ve loved since I was a youngster.  He’s never really been the it hero for me, but he’s always flying around with Mjolnir in the background.  What’s not to like about the guy?  He’s a little bit cocky yet still has a down to Earth (technically I think it would be “down to Midgard”) attitude.  He’s handsome, has awesome hair, is totally ripped, and manages to learn something in just about all of his encounters with other heroes, villains, and commoners like myself. 

I will often post photos of Chris Hemsworth’s version of Thor with his shirt off on my Facebook page and jokingly refer to the photo as being one of myself during my Insanity workouts.  Sadly, these faux “selfies” draw more likes and comments than actual photos of myself or of my family!  Oddly enough (but not that surprising), my female FB friends like or comment on these photos the most.  In fact, only one male friend of mine consistently likes these photos and he does so because he’s a nerd like me and gets the joke. 

Now I know that there is no way on God’s green earth that I will ever look even remotely as ripped or as handsome as Chris Hemsworth unless God allows my thin hair to miraculously start sprouting again and he gives me a bank account that will allow me to have a personal trainer and/or major surgery, but I can definitely strive to look like the big guy and keep moving towards that goal.

How do I do it?  By getting off my bottom, exercising (even when my lazy engine is telling me not to), trying my best to eat right, and, most importantly, enjoying my life.  I’ve struggled with my weight for all of my life, and with forty years of age just two years away, I’m finally making a concerted effort to get into shape and possibly add a few more years to my life.

What I have done is set what I call the “idiotic goal” of looking like Thor.  Sounds crazy, right?  But that is my ultimate goal.  I know that it’s almost impossible, but it’s a goal I’ve intentionally set so that reaching smaller goals seems much easier.  It’s a mental trick that I’ve thrust upon myself to keep me motivated.  I’ve set this goal to look like the God of Thunder, but before I reach that goal, I know that there are many smaller goals that I have to achieve first.

I’ve actually reached my first goal, which was to lose twenty-four pounds.  I did that with the help of Insanity, willpower, and good old fashioned support from family and a wellness coach.  With that small goal out of the way, I’ve set my sights on losing twenty more pounds.  I started out as a major fatty at 244 pounds.  220 was my first goal and I reached it.  I’m now at 216 pounds (I’ve actually lost a pound since my last post!), and I have 200 in my target zone.  Once I reach that goal, what will I do next?  My plan is to lose ten more pounds to reach 190 and then another ten to reach 180. 

Why did I drop down to a ten pound goal when I reach 200? Because by losing more weight I’ll have less to lose.  Plus, I’m building muscle the entire time that I’m working out, so eventually I hope to reach a point where gaining weight becomes a good thing due to building muscle. 

So, will I look like Thor by summer?  Probably not, but I do hope to be a little bit skinnier and a lot more healthy.  Who knows?  I might just post a picture when June or July comes around to show you all how much I’ve progressed. 

As always, thanks for reading my rambling thoughts.  I really do appreciate it. If you’re a nerd like me who’s fighting with their weight, or just a nerd in general, please feel free to leave a comment about your own weight struggles or goals.  I won’t mind a little encouragement from anyone either!  If you’re a fitness buff or happen to not be a nerd but might be doing the Insanity program or any other exercise program, I’d love to hear from you in the comments as well.  Maybe we can all look like Thor by summer?!?!?!? 


Insanity, Clif Bars, And Captain America

Lake Charles, LA

For those of you that aren’t exactly personal friends of mine, you might not be aware that I’ve been doing the Insanity exercise program for the last sixty-three days.  Last night was my final night of my first round of Insanity for 2014.  I’ve done Insanity in the past with varying degrees of success.  When I first received the DVD set in the mail, I had a number of start-and-stop rounds until two years ago, when I managed to do three rounds back to back.

Now, doing that many rounds was great for my health, as my endurance shot throught the roof.  However, I did not change my eating habits and I only lost about twenty pounds total.  That’s not very good.  Still, I proved to myself that I could at least complete the program, so I started once again with a lot of start-and-stop rounds until the beginning of this year, when I decided to not only do Insanity, but also change my eating habits.  To date, I’ve lost twenty seven pounds (seven more than I did with three previous round of Insanity without changing my diet) and my BMI has dropped by four points.

I’m quite proud of myself for managing this feat, and I am looking to lose at least seventeen more pounds before I consider myself a real success.

Part of my success came in the form of Clif Bars.  If you don’t know the story of the Clif Bar company, I highly recommend that you check out their website at  Not only does this company keep your health in mind, they also help out the environment.

I enjoy eating Clif Bars as part of my diet each day for the simple fact that I know I’m going to be consuming roughly 240 to 260 calories per bar.  In my line of work, I often find myself in locations where lunch just isn’t an option unless I bring it with me.  Keeping Clif Bars in my backpack helps get me through in situations like this.  I’ve started trying all of their many flavors, and so far I’d say that White Chocolate Macadamia Nut is one of my favorites.  

I’ve also enjoyed the fact that losing twenty seven pounds so far has allowed me to go down a size in clothing.  While I still have plenty of XXL shirts in my closet, I’m once again adding a few XL shirts to the pile.  On top of that, I’ve gone down two sizes on my pants and three slots on my belt.

I’ve recently had my on a couple of Captain America shirts in the XL range.  Why?  Because Captain America:  The Winter Soldier is roughly one month away, and I can’t wait for it to get here!  I have an old XXL Cap Shield shirt that I’m now swimming in, so I definitely need a new one to wear to the movie when I go with my kids.

I’m really excited to see the new Cap film.  The Winter Soldier is one of my favorite characters in Cap’s world, and I can’t wait to see him fleshed out on the big screen.  Once I’ve seen the film, I’ll definitely post a review in my blog.

Well, that’s all for now, true believers.  Thanks for reading.  Feel free to comment below on anything I’ve posted so far, whether it’s losing weight, Clif Bars, or ol’ Cap.

To Collect…..Or Not To Collect


Lake Charles, LA

I’ve been a collector of many things over the years. I have bags and boxes full of things ranging from PEZ dispensers to comics to action figures and toys from various films, cartoons, books, etc. What I tend to do is find one or two items that pique my interest and then buy nothing but that particular item for weeks or months at a time.

Two things that I consistently collect are Star Wars action figures and KISS related items. I still have most of my Star Wars toys from when I was a kid (at least the action figures) and I have a multitude of KISS items in my home ranging from KISSmas ornaments to t-shirts and boardgames.

I’ve amassed a very decent collection of recent Star Wars figures thanks in part to following Facebook pages like Yakface and The Jedi Temple Archive. Both of these pages and a few others have turned me on to figures that I might not have otherwise known about.

Hasbro is the primary source for action figures in the Star Wars universe, and last year they did something that has many critics and collectors cringing in horror. They decided to take their fairly successful (but overly prequel bloated) Saga Legends line and reduce the articulation in the figures to five points (head, shoulders, and hips). They also released a line of figures known as the Black Series that features 6″ and standard 3.75″ figures that feature multiple points of articulation and greater attention to detail…..or so we were lead to believe.

In all honesty, the Black Series has been something of a disappointment in my opinion. The packaging has literally been falling apart on store pegs (although this has improved somewhat with the newer waves), and many of the figures, particularly the Biker Scout, are wretched looking for what retailers are asking collectors to pay for them. The paint jobs vary from figure to figure, with Biggs Darklighter being one of the best sculpted and painted figures and the aformentioned Biker Scout being one of the worst. To top things off, retailers seem to be ordering smaller supplies of the figures which means fewer of the really good figures are on shelves, and that leads to jerks who care nothing about the actual figures to scoop them up and sell them for two, three, and even four times what the retail price is going for.

The Black Series figures clock in at roughly ten bucks for the 3.75″ and twenty bucks for the 6″ figures. At Christmas time, many stores and Amazon were having excellent sales on these figures, and I purchased many for less than two bucks. With Christmas way back in the rearview mirror, though, the Black Series price has gone right back to its ten dollar comfort zone.

The Saga Legends line, on the other hand, is pretty good in my opinion. Sure, the 5 POA is a let down for many collectors, but for those of us who grew up with the Original Trilogy and those wonderful 5 POA Kenner figures, a little bit of nostalgia kicks in. Hasbro claims they reduced the articulation because children don’t care about POA and the price could be cut back to half of the Black Series price. Also, Hasbro has packaged Mission Series dual packs featuring the 5 POA figures and they’ve actually got some decent sets out there. The first wave of Saga Legends figures included a nicely sculpted Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda figure and the Mission Series had a rather nice looking Jango Fett figure and some decent Clone figures as well.

Of course, many collectors screamed in horror at the reduction of articulation and also at the paint jobs (justifiably so) on many of the Saga Legends and Mission Series figures. I’ve found, however, that going to a brick-and-mortar store to purchase figures in the SL and MS lines is advantageous, because you can pick and choose which figures you want. I did this because I noticed that many of the SL and MS figures had terrible paint jobs, but they varied from figure to figure. I found a number of excellent figures, but I have yet to find a decently painted Mace Windu.

So, the real question is should I continue to collect the Saga Legends and Mission Series figures or attempt to find the rare decent Black Series figures? My son loves the Saga Legends line and, quite frankly, I like it as well. Do any of you out there collect any of these particular figures? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about them in the comments below.

Also, I’ve recently noticed that the new waves of SL and MS figures are finally showing up in my local stores. I’ve already grabbed the SL Stormtrooper, Captain Rex, and Commander Cody, as well as the MS Han Solo/Chewbacca and R2-D2/C-3PO pack.

The photo above taken from Brian’s Toyz of most of the SL figures:

Thanks for reading.