Avengers, Conventions, Weight Loss! (All Spoiler Free)

Lake Charles, LA

I’ve been out of the loop for a bit.  I must apologize for that.  After CyPhaCon back in April, I became extremely busy with both work and family life, so I haven’t been able to blog as much as I have wanted to recently.  A few things have passed and a few more things are on the way that I’d like to cover, so I won’t waste any more of your precious time.  Let’s get to the good stuff!

Avengers:  Age of Ultron recently came out, and I managed to see it on the opening weekend.  The theater was packed (as expected) and apparently everyone enjoyed the film.  It featured loads of action, a brief bit of romance between two core characters, and a few surprises that I managed to avoid right up until I saw them revealed to me on the big screen.  Hopefully I can avoid spoilers with the upcoming Star Wars flick as well.

While I enjoyed Age, I have to admit that having had a few days to let it stew over in my brain, there was nothing extremely memorable about it.  In all honesty I enjoyed Captain America:  The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy a whole lot more than this film.  I also prefer the first Avengers flick to this one.  Why?  I can’t really pinpoint one specific reason.  I enjoyed the film to be sure, but it didn’t stick with me like the first film.

I’m more excited about the upcoming films Ant-Man, Captain America:  Civil War, and Thor:  RagnorokAge of Ultron ended with a couple of open ends and teased the next chapter in the Avengers’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it just isn’t as excellent in my opinion as a lot of other people seem to believe.

In other news, I’m going to miss out on Comicpalooza in Houston this year.  They’ve loaded up their media and comic guest roster over the last couple of weeks, and I’m really agitated that I can’t make it to the convention.  Space City Comic Con is also looking like another convention that I’m going to miss even though they have an excellent guest list as well that includes cast members from Star Trek:  Voyager and the captain himself, William Shatner!  They also have Lori Petty listed as a guest and I would LOVE to meet her!

Hopefully I’ll be able to swing at least one day at Space City, but things aren’t looking too good for me so far.

The only other convention that I will definitely be attending this year is Bayoucon, which might be better called NomadCon, as it is changing venues once again.  This time around, though, the convention will not take place in Lake Charles, LA.  Instead, it is going to be held at the West Cal Arena & Event Center in Sulphur, LA.  I’ve attended a few rodeos at this venue, but have never ventured inside the event center.  The rodeo arena is definitely nice, so if that’s any indication, the event center should be excellent as well.

The convention takes place in late June (right after my birthday) and features media guests like Anthony Montgomery (Star Trek:  Enterprise), Robert Axelrod (Power Rangers and lots of anime voice work), and Alex Zahara (Once Upon A Time).  Also featured are Todd Haberkorn (Star Trek Continues), John Mangus (actor and stuntman on a number of projects including Jurassic World), and many local and regional artists, actors, and writers.

I’ve hosted and participated in panels at this convention in the past, but I decided against doing any panels this year.  I’m just going to walk around and catch up with any friends that happen to attend.  My favorite green ladies, Orion’s Envy, will also be in attendance, so that right there is reason enough for me to show up at this convention.

In other news, I’ve started working out again.  I’m doing Insanity and am also experimenting with whey protein for the first time.  So far I’ve seen noted improvements in my muscle mass (I am by no means a bodybuilder, but my little bicep bumps make me proud).  My waistline is finally starting to go back down after a six month expansion that was entirely all my fault.  I have friends who are fighting their own weight right now and I’m using their successes as motivation for my own struggle.


Gotham recently finished up its first season and I must admit that it was excellent for the most part.  There were a couple of stumbles (Fish and Barbara) and some of the episodes were duds but, overall, Gotham has proven that a world without Batman can be just as interesting as a world where he patrols the night.

The Flash has been almost perfect all season long.  Three of the last four episodes could have been season finales in my opinion, but there are still two episodes left before the season wraps!  Grant Gustin and the gang have made me huge fans of the show, and I can’t wait for next season.

Well, that’s about all I have for now.  As we near the midpoint of the year, I need to sit down and take a long and hard look at my life.  There are a few things that I definitely want to change about my current situation, but some of those things are out of my control.  I’m hoping to start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and I pray that it doesn’t turn out to be a train.

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope that all of you have an excellent rest of the year.

Getting Up To Speed With The Flash, Gotham, King of the Nerds, And More!

The World Of Television

The CW has a definite hit on its hands with The Flash.  Much like Arrow (which I seriously need to catch up on), it has taken a character that could have become either extremely excellent or terribly silly on the small screen and turned it into one of the most enjoyable new shows of recent memory.  The CW took more of a lighthearted turn with the Scarlet Speedster when compared to Arrow, and I’m glad that they did.  With so many recent heavy-handed shows and films centered on superheroes (Gotham, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, etc.), it’s nice to have a few laughs while watching the blurry one bring justice to Central City.

Grant Gustin has won me over as Barry Allen/Flash, and I look forward to seeing him interact with his brilliant costars on each episode.  The special effects are very good for the budget, and as long as the show is successful, I see these effects getting better.  The writing is superb, easily navigating the waters between young adult drama, superhero action, the ever-present danger of making a hero or villain look hokey or silly, and moving the story along with just enough laughs, thrills, and suspense.

Also, considering the fact that most of the Flash’s enemies have names like Captain Cold, Heatwave, Pied Piper, and Weather Wizard, this makes the writing and acting that much more important to a story that is trying to reach beyond the comic reading audience.  Overall, The Flash is no flash in the pan.  It’s going to be around for awhile.


Fox has a hit of its own with Gotham, although that show definitely has a few wrinkles to iron out before it becomes a sure thing.  Much like The Flash, a second season has been ordered.  Unlike the speedy series, however, Gotham still seems to be finding its footing, especially with writing and a few of the characters and/or actors that portray them.  Robin Lord Taylor is the breakout star of the series.  His portrayal of the Penguin has made me look forward to his presence in the show.  He’s intelligent and lethal, but just enough of of goof up to sometimes get in trouble with Fish, Falcone, Maroni, or others.  He’s still learning the ways of being a crime lord, but he’s well on the way to becoming the villain that runs the show in Gotham City.

Ben McKenzie does a solid job as Jim Gordon, as does Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock.  However, the writing for these two characters sometimes gets jumbled in my opinion, and leaves the actors’ performances a bit wanting.  Sean Pertwee is brilliant as Alfred, and the younger cast portraying Bruce Wayne, Ivy Pepper, and Selina Kyle are also excellent.  The bulk of the supporting cast, particularly Cory Michael Smith (Ed Nygma) and John Doman (Falcone), are also coming into their own and I expect more of them as the series rolls along.

Unfortunately we are still having to put up with the train wreck that is Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney.  While it appears that her character is meant to be a cornerstone in the rise of the Penguin, I feel that Fish is just too outrageous and unnecessarily overacted.  Now, whether or not Smith is directed to overact is unknown to me, but she’s definitely not helping her career with this role.  Erin Richards is also rather disjointed as Barbara Kean.  I feel that it’s not so much her fault, though, as the character itself (so far) is bland.  She’s basically the polar opposite of Fish.

I will say that recent episodes have shown that the writing is starting to develop a solidity that was lacking in early episodes.  The direction is also improving.  Hopefully we’ll see these improvements continue as the show goes into its second season.


The last show that I’m going to talk about today is TBS’ King of the Nerds.  The first season was fun until the finale, in which the “king” was determined not by the actions of the final nerds, but by a popularity vote.  It left a lot of fans with a bitter taste in their mouth,  especially those who felt that Genevieve Pearson was robbed considering the fact that she competed in (and won) more nerd-offs than any other nerd.  She’ll always be the king of season one in my opinion.

The second season attempted to somewhat remedy the whole popularity vote situation and succeeded to a degree, but it also introduced a “villain” element in the program with certain nerds.  I understand that first and foremost this show is a game, but to make certain nerds look like villains (intentionally or unintentionally) seemed a bit too much in my book.  It felt like the show was hoping to make viewers cheer harder for certain members of the  cast than others.

The newest season seems to be cranking up the villainy a bit as well, but there’s no definite villain yet (there’s only been one episode).  However, Ori seems to be well on his way to being a potential thorn in the side of some of the nerds and Kaitlin’s attitude seems ripe for villainy as well.  Hopefully things will even out a bit and we’ll see nerds leave the show with no ill feelings towards any of them.

In other news, I’ve been a bad boy when it comes to my exercises lately and, as a result, have put a few pounds back on.  I’m jumping back on the Insanity wagon again and hope to get myself back on the straight and narrow soon enough.

Next month I’m headed to Louisiana Comic Con and Mary Kate Smith of the second season of King of the Nerds will be there.  That in and of itself is pretty cool.  I’ll give a full report after the convention.

That’s all for now folks.  If you agree (or disagree) with anything I’ve posted, lemme know!  Thanks for reading.

“Weight” A Minute!

Lake Charles, LA


I haven’t posted anything on my weight loss struggles and victories recently, so here’s a brief update.  As of today, I’m actually gaining weight.  It’s not all muscle, either.  Ever since I returned home from Missouri back in July, I’ve been having this on again/off again relationship with my eating habits, exercise routing, and willpower.  At first I thought it was just me becoming bored with Insanity because I’ve done so many rounds, so I grabbed T25 in the hopes that a new routine would kick me back into overdrive.

Well……it hasn’t.  In fact, I’m less enthusiastic about T25 and have been debating on whether or not to start up the old Insanity routine again.  I’ve tried to integrate jogging into the picture, but haven’t been very successful due to the fact that the roads by my house are rather traffic-heavy and I don’t have time in the evening to drive down to a park.

My appetite has gone bonkers over the last couple of weeks as well.  I’m eating a lot more, working out a lot less, and have lost pretty much all desire to lose more weight despite seeing the scale creep back up on me.

So, with all of this said, I come to you, beloved reader, and ask you what do you think I should do?  Also, words of encouragement are also welcome.  I’d rather not use supplements (although I have been known to use raspberry ketones and pre-workout powder recently), but if any of you know of a decent one, I’ll give it a shot.

Thanks ahead of time for any and all comments.

Convention Panels And Weight Update

Lake Charles, LA

On the weekend of June 20-22, I’ll be at a local convention in the Lake Charles area called Bayoucon.  I’ll be hosting two Doctor Who panels (one on Saturday at 3PM and the other at noon on Sunday).  The Saturday panel will be focused on the Doctor while the Sunday panel will be about the Cybermen.  If any of you happen to be in the area, feel free to come to the Lake Charles Civic Center and check out the panels.  I’ll post photos after the event (and also a review of the convention itself).

It will be nice to attend a convention again.  The last one I attended was the excellent CyPhaCon, also in Lake Charles.  It’s a growing convention, and has done so each year.  Bayoucon is a very small convention, but it brings in a lot of my good friends who I don’t get to see very often.  Sometimes these smaller events are some of the best ones, because you can actually move around the convention center and talk at length with friends.

As far as my weight goes, I’ve lost fifty-one pounds!  I have three pounds to go in order to reach my next goal of 190 lbs, and from there I’ll be shooting for 180 lbs.  After achieving that goal, I’ll slow down a bit on losing weight, and focus more on maintaining and increasing muscle mass.

As always, thanks for reading.  Next time I hope to have a brief review of the latest X-men flick and possibly a look at the recent Darth Maul:  Son of Dathomir comic releases.

Weight Update And A Few Thoughts

Lake Charles, LA

For anyone who might be following my attempt at losing weight, I am currently at 206 lbs.  I started my current weight-loss journey at 244 lbs, so I’m quite proud of myself so far.  I want to make it to two hundred pounds before I dial back on the goals a bit.  When I reach that magical two hundred number, I plan on shooting for ten pound goals until I’m happy with what I see in the mirror every day.

How am I losing the weight?  I’ve been doing Insanity since January (I’m on my second round now) and about two weeks in to my first round I started using the Lose It! app on my phone.  Insanity works, period.  If you apply yourself to it and follow the program, you will see results.  I’ve done Insanity in the past and while I didn’t lose as much weight (I wasn’t really watching what I was eating), my body became more tone and my endurance shot through the roof.

Lose It! was recommended to me by my wellness coach, who is provided through my insurance provider.  She checks on me every three weeks by phone and gives me tips and ideas to help me on my journey.  She has recently started to encourage me to add weight training to my repertoire and I must admit that I’m giving it a lot of thought.  If any of my readers know of some simple weight training plans, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.

In other business, I’m growing very fond of a small group of Trekkies that I’ve joined.  They are called the USS Lafitte and are based in southwest Louisiana.  I have attended many of their meetings and while I’m not as hardcore when it comes to Trek, it’s nice to be surrounded by people that get me.  I’m completely comfortable nerding out in front of them and they get almost all of my nerdy jokes.  I’m also a member of another local group called the Doctor Whooligans.  I’m a Who fan from over thirty years ago, and this group makes me feel pretty old since most of them are into New Who.  However, the group’s founder hosts monthly meetings focusing on each Doctor from the classic series, and the newbies seem to really enjoy the old stories.  I hope to become more involved with this group as time goes on.

I mentioned Jennifer Lawrence in my last post, and I have to bring her up once again.  There are rumors floating around that a Mystique movie could be coming at some point in the future.  To be honest, I hope that Fox backs off of the X films for a while.  While I love Jennifer Lawrence (and that open invitation to come out at my house with me and my family is still open, Ms. Lawrence), I’m afraid that the X franchise is a bit too excessive, especially in recent years with the seemingly endless amount of Wolverine focused stories (including his solo flicks and the recent anime version).  I want the focus applied to characters like Gambit, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Banshee, and especially Beast  and Colossus.  While the two latter guys are getting more attention in the newest film, I want some solo adventures from them both.  However, I’ll happily wait three or four years for a really good solo outing from any of these characters instead of one mildly enjoyable flick each year.

Disney has their Marvel properties locked in, and they are doing a brilliant job with them.  They put out more films than Fox and Sony when it comes to Marvel, but the difference is that their films have all been excellent (except for the misfire that was Iron Man 3).

Well, gang, thanks for reading.  I really do want to hear from you on any and every topic, and if you happen to know Jennifer Lawrence, tell her that I would really like to have her check out my blog and/or hang out with me and my family!!!!!



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 www.clifbar.com.  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.