Sep 192020
 

Completing any race has been extremely challenging this year, for obvious reasons. All the usual races I run were postponed and ultimately cancelled (i.e. Red Legs and The Flying Pig). I have always wanted to run the Race to Wrigley Charity Race but I could never arrange to make the drive to Chicago. So I was very excited when I found out I could complete the race, virtually, this year. While I won’t be finishing inside the Friendly Confines, I’m still glad to have the opportunity to participate.

The race is only a 5K and I run farther than that 5 days a week, during my lunch hour, so this is a fairly easy race for me. Since this is for charity I feel that I needed to do something to try to make this a challenge. I decided that I wasn’t going to be lazy and submit one of my normal workouts. Instead I suited up and completed the 5K on a Saturday morning.

My total run time was 35:57, which is just under a 12 minute mile. Considering some of the hills I had to tackle on the route I chose, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

Sep 152020
 

If you haven’t checked Facebook, or Twitter, or any social media today then you may have missed “The Mandalorian” Season 2 trailer unveiling. You can watch it right here, right now.

After 7 months of virus’s, protests, election propaganda and all the other 2020 dumpster fires, Baby Yoda is here to save us! There are many burning questions (mostly among Star Wars fans). Is Ahsoka really in this season? What about Bo Katan? Will “Baby Yoda” finally have a real name? As an avid fan (I use “avid” lightly) the one thing I don’t want them to tell us is the species; that’s been Lucas’ best kept secret since 1977. Yoda’s species needs to stay in the black vault with the formula for WD-40 and who killed JFK.

Episodic Directors

The confirmed list of directors for season 2 are:

  • 🎬 Jon Favreau
  • 🎬 Dave Filoni
  • 🎬 Bryce Dallas Howard
  • 🎬 Rick Famuyiwa
  • 🎬 Carl Weathers
  • 🎬 Peyton Reed
  • 🎬 Robert Rodriguez

Two directors are not returning from Season 1. Deborah Chow, who is probably working on the Obi-Wan series, and Taika Waititi who is probably working on his own Star Wars project (the next movie or movies). It is pretty cool to see Carl Weathers, aka Greef Karga, on the list. The other names you might not recognize is Peyton Reed, who directs the Ant-Man movies, and Robert Rodriguez, who is usually in the role of the producer.

Season 2 of “The Mandalorian” premiers October 30th on the Disney+ streaming service (no, Disney did not pay me to add that, although it would be pretty cool if they did).

This is the way.

Sep 082020
 

My motivation behind these posts is to shine a light on some of the unsung, underrated and/or under appreciated actors in the Star Wars universe. I feel like, somewhere in the mire of sequel trilogy discontent, so-called fans were whining about voice dubbing. Actually it might be The Mandalorian. While Pedro Pascal is credited as playing the Mandalorian, he isn’t always the man in the costume. It’s really quite hilarious to be critical of voice dubbing in Star Wars. If you’ve seen a picture of James Earl Jones then you know damn well that man did not squeeze his husky ass into that Darth Vader costume. Then it was during my previous post about Denis Lawson that I thought more about voice dubbing. Perhaps, instead of focusing on one individual for this topic, we take a look at a couple of these voice talents.

First A Few Exclusions

I’m going to exclude James Earl Jones. If you didn’t know he was the voice of Darth Vader then you don’t really know much about Star Wars. If you don’t know who he is, then go educate yourself. I’d start with Field of Dreams, The Sandlot and Patriot Games. David Prowse was the man in the suit during the original series. I’m also going to exclude Pedro Pascal. While he is somewhat of a new comer to the Star Wars universe, the attention The Mandalorian is getting will make him as big of a house hold name as Mark Hamill and … James Earl Jones 🙂

Lastly, I’m also going to exclude the animated series. While the voice talents of those in The Clones Wars, Rebels and Star Wars Resistance definitely deserve their 15 minutes, that is outside the scope of this post. I want to specifically focus on voice dubbing in live action film.

David Ankrum/Wedge Antilles

David AnkrumI figure I might as well start with the one I’ve already mentioned in HMDYK About Denis Lawson. This guy is pretty much a nobody. He had bit roles for 5 years prior to Star Wars. His recurring bit roles continued all through the 80’s. In fact, while looking into his roles I learned that there was an attempt at a Bewitched spin-off series called Tabitha. It only lasted for one season.

David wasn’t completely forgotten about though. In 2016, 40 years after voice dubbing Wedge in Star Wars, he was called back to do it again for Rogue One. He even gets to utter the phrase “May the Force Be With You”.

Jason Wingreen/Boba Fett

Jason Wingreen

There were many men to don the Mandalorian armor of Boba Fett but Jeremy Bulloch did it first. However it was Jason Wingreen that gave us his voice in Empire Strikes Back. While I’m sure nobody has heard of this guy but he has quite an extensive career. I almost feel like I should have given him an entire HMDYK post. His first credit, based on IMDB, was in 1955 but his notable roles, to me, were Harry Snowden from All In The Family and Judge Arthur Beaumont in Matlock. Sadly, Jason Wingreen passed away in 2015 at 95 years old.

Peter Serafinowicz/Darth Maul

Pretty much everyone knows that Darth Maul was portrayed by martial artist and Wushu master Ray Park. However, if you’ve ever heard Ray Park speak you know that Maul did not have that distinctive cockney accent. That’s because the voice of Darth Maul was provided by Peter Serafinowicz. Depending on your movie IQ that name may not ring any bells however I’m sure his face does. In fact I probably could have written an entire post for him as well.

You might know him as The Tick or perhaps as the pretentious Denarian Saal in Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s had his own comedy sketch series named after himself and written by his brother James. He’s also popped up in a few other places such as Parks and Recreation, Doctor Who, and the IT Crowd. I’m actually a fairly big fan of his work.

That’s about all I could find. Lucas is pretty big on using voice dubbing to get the right sound. Everyone knows I’m a big advocate and supporter for the prequel trilogy but IF I had to nitpick I’d say Hayden Christensen’s dialog is a little cringe-worthy. However his facial expressions, especially in Revenge of the Sith, are great as Anakin becomes Vader. In typical Lucas fashion, he should have chosen a voice dubbing for Hayden. Perhaps even Matt Lanter; but I digress.

/MTFBWY

Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.

Sep 052020
 

Top 5 Movie Trilogy'sBack to the movies. This time, instead of individual movies, let’s talk about trilogy’s. Another hard one to ponder as there are many great trilogy’s. I’m sure a couple of my choices might confound some people. I know at least one of these trilogy’s has been met with quite a bit of criticism but to each their own. My blog, my choice and you don’t have to agree. Also, I know a couple of the items in this list have a 4th movie or will have a 4th movie, however I chose to include them because they were originally a trilogy. So here are my top 5 movie trilogy’s.

  • Lord of the Rings – (Sans Hobbit). I think Peter Jackson did an amazing job! Extended Editions are incredible.
  • Matrix – I suspect this is unpopular but I really enjoyed all of these movies (and a 4th is apparently in the works).
  • Dark Knight – Of all the Batman movies, I think Christoper Nolan’s stands out as the better film series. Heath Ledger (RIP) and Tom Hardy are fantastic.
  • Back to the Future – These movies are so iconic and, therefore, a fairly obvious choice for this list.
  • Indiana Jones – While there are 4 of these films now and (unpopular opinion alert) I did enjoy Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the original movies are also a fairly obvious addition to this list.

As I mentioned, there are many great trilogy’s so I do have a couple of honorable mentions. My daughter loves the How to Train Your Dragon movies and, in all fairness, they aren’t bad movies. The companion TV series and books actually creates quite a bit of lore and depth to these movies. Of course, the Godfather Trilogy is the obvious honorable mention (the best for last, as it were). I’m a sucker for mobster movies and these movies are the iconic mobster flicks. They are a little slow in places, which makes them feel long, but they are classic.

(See last month’s Top 5)

I Have Spoken!

Aug 312020
 

the teacher-child vicissitudeI learned a new word today: vicissitude (/vəˈsisəˌt(y)o͞od/). It means an unexpected and unwelcome change in circumstances. The word is fitting for my recent random thought. This week our daughter is losing another teacher to a change in circumstances. It’s unexpected and only unwelcome because they are a damn good teacher and those are hard to come by. As a parent it can be difficult to help your child navigate unexpected change, especially when your child refers to said teacher as “one of my favorite teachers”. It’s already difficult to quell their emotions at the end of each school year, but that is an expected turn of events. However the teacher-child vicissitude is one of the harder life lessons children have to endure early.

Social Media Can Be Helpful

As ugly and condescending as social media can be, it has its merits. Using programs such as Facebook to keep in touch with these teachers makes it easier to help your child accept change. It also allows us to continue to share our child’s development and growth. After all, these are the teachers that helped to influence said growth and development.

I’ve been reluctant to “friend” my child’s teachers because I didn’t know if it crosses some kind of parent-teacher separation of concerns barrier. I feel like I’m more encouraged to do it anyway. If the teacher isn’t comfortable with that kind of social commitment, I’m fine with that. This is a new area where I’m still feeling like a bit of a newb parent. When I was growing up I never saw my parents socializing with my teachers. Whenever we would encounter a teacher outside the classroom, it felt as though the exchange was kept professional. However that was the 90’s; the world is different now.

If you’re a teacher, I’m curious about your thoughts on this. Also, for what its worth, thank you again to all those amazing, under appreciated teachers (both school and daycare). I couldn’t do what you do!

On a final note …

Yea, you know who you are. 🙂

The things that go through my mind when I’m alone with nothing but my thoughts for entertainment is dangerous. Some might even say eccentric. Consider this your warning about today’s Random Thought of the Day

 

Aug 312020
 

Covid MLB SeasonI don’t talk a lot about sports on this blog; it’s not really a genre that is common in the geek and gaming subculture. However sports is heavy on statistics and numbers, which is right up the geeks alley so I guess it’s not that far out of reach. The baseball season this year is unique because of the covid (much like everything else). I’m having a hard time deciding if the covid MLB season is even worth it. In the end, will it even mean anything?

The Pros and Cons

cardboard fans in the stands

Bernie and a Stormtrooper catching a Royals game

It does feel a bit normal to have baseball on the television again. Hearing the crack of the bat and the cheer of the crowd always makes me think of summer. However, this year the crack of the bat is met with silence. The lack of a crowd in the stands reminds us again of the state of the world right now. I do admire how the ball clubs are trying to have a little fun using cardboard cutouts and teddy bears to fill the seats for some much needed levity.

There are only 60 games this season; that’s 102 games fewer than a normal season. Initially I thought removing that many games cheapens the season. However my brother-in-law pointed out that now every game has meaning. This is true and something I hadn’t considered. Everyone watches the first 20 or 30 games of the season. Around the time of the All-Star break everyone’s interests peters out a little bit. As we approach the end the season everyone’s interest is restored, especially if your team has a shot at the playoffs.

A Cheapened Championship

However, without a full season and only 7 innings per game, a championship will feel ill-gotten and unearned. Players are getting sick and games or entire series are getting postponed. How can it feel like an earned win when you aren’t playing a team at its best. There are some teams that are so far behind their 60 games I don’t know how they are going to catch up. Will some teams only play 53 games?? That doesn’t seem fair.

As a baseball fan, I get it. We’re just glad to have some baseball to watch (or any sport for that matter). However, even if the Cubs were to win the 2020 World Series, it just won’t feel as glorious. I will feel “meh” about it. In the history books it will forever be known as the shortened, pandemic season. I also get it from a corporate perspective. Baseball is also a business and a business, just like all the other businesses in the country, has to meet certain stakeholder obligations. Honestly, this baseball season is more about the corporate bottom line and less about the fans.

After much consideration I’m still of the opinion that the 2020 MLB season should have been cancelled. At the minimum they should have at least cancelled the championship. I’m not excited about it, even with the Cubs in first place. I don’t care about the World Series. I waited 108 years for the Cubs to win, I’m content with skipping it this year. We didn’t have one during the 1994-1995 Baseball Strike, I think we can manage not having it again.

/cheers

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!