Jun 162018


Last week was a rough week. I was sick about half the week and on the day when I was vomiting and running a temperature of 102, we lost Gromit. He had a mild seizure in the kitchen, we rushed him to the vet and they found a weak pulse. They then instructed us to take him to the emergency vet where he went into cardiac arrest upon arrival. They revived him but explained that there is fluid around his heart and he is likely to experience repeated issues. The most humane thing to do, for him, was to let him go. It was really hard for me not to be there. Tuesday, June 5th 2018 is one of the worst days of my life.

Just Don’t Laugh Too Hard

Gromit came from a pet store in the UP Mall in South Bend; he was about three months old. However, he was still younger, by about three months, than our other dog Gus. They are also completely different breeds where Gus is about half the size. Despite the difference in genetics, they were brothers at heart. I may even be so bold as to say they were figuratively and literally akin to Lenny and George from Of Mice and Men. While he was trainable, Gromit wasn’t the smartest dog I’ve had (although he was house trained sooner than Gus). However his vapid demeanor was part of his charm. You knew when he was a happy dog, although behind that smile you can tell it was a thoughtless void.

The dog loved to give kisses. If he sets his mind to licking you, he will find any exposed skin to complete his mission. If you found yourself in a vulnerable position (ex: on the bed or the couch) and laughing hysterically, you may soon find him in your face. I was the common victim of Gromit’s tongue bathing. He was maniacal about it; literally pinning me down thus making me laugh harder. The experience was never too awful, aside from the fact that his breath smelled awful! I don’t know if gingivitis is or halitosis was part of the breed but there were other health related issues common to Wheaten’s.

Life with a Soft Coated Wheaten

He was afraid of everything, even Sphero BB-8

Gromit was a pure bred Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Unlike Gus, whom we researched before we bought him, Gromit was on a whim. We didn’t know anything about Wheaten’s prior to bringing him home. One thing is certain, he was afraid of everything. My little Sphero BB-8, dish towels, anything that made a noise (so just about every toddler toy we own).

An ailment common to Wheaten’s was a sensitive stomach. It’s highly recommended not to suddenly change their dog food. He did seem to suffer from stomach issues; acid reflux seemed to be a something we dealt with regularly. Unfortunately his solution seemed to be swallow anything he could find lying around on the floor, including our toddler’s socks.

Wheaten’s are hypoallergenic but he had allergies, which may have been something that contributed to his stomach issues. He had a mild allergy to yeast, which is often found in dogs skin. Yes, he was literally allergic to his own skin.

The older he got he did become a bit more aggressive, especially toward other dogs. He was not aggressive toward our other dog until starting about a year ago. Apparently this behavior is common in the breed. We had to be careful if he was around any other dogs; unfortunately he was in his kennel often during visits. Despite his bizarre allergies and his weird temperament when he was older, he was a good dog. We miss him and the house does feel emptier.


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


Jun 112018

I am still fuming from the news that Kelly Marie Tran was driven off social media because of bullying. Whoever these “manbabies” are have no place among Star Wars fans (or human beings). It’s all right to like or dislike the prequels or the new movies, but it’s utterly despicable to use racist and sexist language to force someone from social media. Especially someone as charming and wonderful as Kelly Marie Tran.

“Manbabies” is an accurate description for these alleged “fans”, a label applied by Rian Johnson in a tweet. Actually there are a few tweets in which Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill shutdown all these awful haters. You can express your disagreement of the new movies without resorting to bigotry and racism.

“Give Us Legends” the Scapegoat

The group of cowards responsible for this atrocious behavior attempted to throw “Give Us Legends” under the bus. I appreciate what GUL wants to do and I am more inclined to believe they were not involved with this act of bullying. A few days after the story broke, the website “Making Star Wars” published an article that implicates “Give Us Legends” as the culprits behind the racist attacks. While I could not find any source to back up the article, I found several sources that exonerated GUL.

If you are unfamiliar with “Give Us Legends”, they are a group of avid Star Wars fans that are respectfully urging Disney to continue the Legends canon. When Disney “debunked” the Expanded Universe, they coined the debunked canon as “Legends”. The article from “Making Star Wars” is successful in skewing your perception of GUL, however, their Facebook page absolves them. I initially thought they were among the group of whiny “manbabies” wishing to stop Disney from rewriting EU canon. However, they are simply asking for Disney to continue expanding the “Legends” canon as well as their new post-Jedi canon. I support that notion!

Kelly Marie Tran is Amazing

In a more recent post I discuss how Star Wars is more gender neutral because of strong female characters. Now I’m not going to preach about gender equality. An actor or character’s gender, race, creed, color or sexual orientation are irrelevant to the story. I don’t know why any of those characteristics need to be singled out in any capacity.

Be that as it may, Kelly Marie Tran’s character is Rose Tico (if you didn’t know). Rose is a mechanic on the Raddus, the cruiser that becomes the flagship for General Leia during the evacuation of D’Qar. While a good mechanic, she stays below the radar until her sister is killed during the bombing of the dreadnaught. Rose rises up to become another strong female character in the Star Wars universe. She is a welcome addition to the likes of Daisy Ridley, Ashley Eckstein and Carrie Fisher.

Since the disgusting display of human indecency, there has been a huge outpouring of support by the actual Star Wars fans. It’s unfortunate that Kelly Marie Tran has left social media because I think she would appreciate it. I hope she sees it eventually, because I look forward to seeing more Rose in the next movie.


The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.


Jun 042018

Solo A Star Wars StorySolo: A Star Wars Story

Directed By: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke

My Rating: 

Let’s face it, this movie was doomed from the moment it was announced. It’s poor opening weekend is as lackluster as the fan reaction of the original announcement. Critics are all pathetic so I could care less what they think; and I generally ignore the fare-weather fans. Admittedly, I have been skeptical of this movie since its announcement, but I prefer to keep an open mind.

For what it’s worth, calling it a “flop” seems a little harsh and unfair. How can you expect a movie to succeed when it was mired in doubt and disappointment since its announcement? Obviously people made up their minds before the movie was even released. It’s destiny was determined before it even had a chance. Ranting about fake fans aside, time to discuss what I think of the movie.

Biggs Review

This line from ESB has a much deeper and humorous meaning, now

**Spoiler Alert** Han, Chewie and Lando survive! Haha. I couldn’t resist. The negative expectations for this movie are completely unwarranted. If you have not seen this movie because of a preconceived notion that it’s a flop, then stop listening to the Internet and go anyway. I really enjoyed this movie! Much more than I was expecting. Alden Ehrenreich isn’t as terrible as he was in Beautiful Creatures, he actually does surprisingly well (maybe even better than Hayden Christensen). Donald Glover is a brilliant Lando Calrissian, I am really looking forward to see him in the Lando movie! Honestly, Donald Glover’s performance isn’t surprising, Woody Harrelson, however, is the biggest surprise. I cannot recall too many action rolls for Woody Harrelson but the battle sequence on the tram is really impressive. He makes a better Beckett than he does Haymitch (sorry Hunger Games fans).

There are two things I have to criticize about the movie, which is why I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5. First, I did not find Lady Proxima terribly impressive or intimidating. A large, purple alien worm is not a scary crime lord nor does she fit the Corellia fauna. I’m sure they wanted to use something other than a Hutt as a crime boss, but even a large slug appears more menacing. The second thing, Han actually attempting to speak Wookie the first time he meets Chewbacca. I understand his predicament warrants an alien language, but it didn’t feel like a “Han” thing to do.

And then there is the music.

The Soundtrack Is Amazing

The music is just as important to a movie as the acting, plot and story. If the soundtrack is excellent, 9 times out of 10, so is the movie. The one exception, in my experience, is Ang Lee’s Hulk movie (amazing soundtrack, mediocre movie). Now when you think Star Wars soundtrack, everyone always thinks John Williams. The man IS Star Wars music. You may be surprised to learn that John Williams did not compose this soundtrack. In fact he only composes for the main saga (FYI, Michael Giacchino is the composer for Rogue One).

John Powell is the composer for Solo A Star Wars Story. Powell is mostly known for his work on the How To Train Your Dragon movies and the Jason Bourne movies. I bought, and listened to, the soundtrack a week before I even saw the movie. The music draws you in so quickly it amazes me John Williams isn’t the composer. However, he clearly collaborated with Powell as there is a track that is a montage of some of the original music. In fact, I may be so bold as to say this soundtrack is better than the Rogue One soundtrack and the John Williams montage gives credence to that assertion.

This movie is definitely worth seeing at least once in the theater. Ignore the trolls, the fake fans and the critics and go with an open mind and I think you will find it very entertaining.


Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

May 302018
Mount Hunting the Remainder of Legion

Spawn of Galakras – Awarded for Glory of the Orgimmar Raider

There is still about 10 weeks before Battle for Azeroth launches and if you’re like me, you’ve cleared Heroic Antorus. So now what? My raid team did go back and try to complete all the raid achievements starting with Emerald Nightmare. We have done all that our patience and sanity have allowed us. (Side note: some of these raid achievements are ridiculously hard and not much fun at all.) So while we wait we have to ask ourselves what is there to do for the remainder of legion?

If you are an “alt-aholic”, like me, then one of the obvious tasks is to finish leveling your alts. Perhaps even complete their respective Order Hall, Artifact and Class Mount campaigns. I’ve talked about this in a previous post. I do have a couple of alts left to level; 2 warlocks and a warrior. I am also leveling two of the allied race factions to unlock their unique looks.

Achievements and Mount Farming!

Mount Farmers Waiting for Nalak

Perhaps the most common activity for the remainder of legion will be completing achievements. Granted achievements is something that can be done anytime during the expansion; so why wait until the end of it? Well, your item level will be about as high as its going to get, which will be helpful depending on what achievements you are doing. Also, if you are raiding regularly, you may be spending your off nights doing World Quests and dailies to improve your gear; or farming materials for consumables. Or, as I alluded to earlier, you are leveling alts. This is usually the time I do some of the less exciting achievements, such as exploration and quest achievements. I will also go back and farm old content achievements as well.

Which leads to mount farming. Several mounts do come from larger achievements, such as the Spawn of Galakras pictured above. However, there are some mounts that come from different sources. Probably the most common mounts to farm are the Pandaria world bosses – Galleon, Nalak, Sha of Anger and Oondasta. I’m not going to lie, farming world bosses and old raids isn’t the most exciting of tasks, and will feel quite boring for 10 weeks. So some nights I may not even log in and, instead, play other games or catch up on some TV shows.

Blizzard seems to struggle with that balance of too much time before the new expansion, and too little time. Although we know that there is one more event coming prior to BfA, the final chapter of our artifact weapons.

What will you be doing for the remainder of Legion?


duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!


May 282018

Executed (Extracted Trilogy, #2)Executed by R.R. Haywood
My rating: 

The first thing I learned from reading the second book is that I waited too long to read it after finishing the first. It’s also possible I read too many books between the two. I don’t want to get into too many details about this book because I don’t want to inadvertently spoil anything from Extracted.

Executed really starts getting into the time travel aspect. In other words, book two delves much deeper into the science of science fiction. Our time traveling heroes will go to extreme lengths to avert the end of the world. New team members will aid in the mission and world governments will find themselves thrust into the middle of a power struggle.

The end of the book is quite intense and the most interesting use of time travel. I was not expecting the book to end the way it did. It leaves me wondering what the third book will entail. Ultimately, at the end, it might leave you saying “Mother ….!”

View all my reviews

diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


May 252018

Welcome to Geek Pride Day 2018! This is a day of jubilation starting back to 2008 in which we celebrate geek culture. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are all geeks about something. Anything that you enjoy doing or something you are passionate about earns you the geek moniker. Many of us probably started earlier, like high school (or even prior to that). Back then the geek label often indicated how much smarter you are than your classmates. It also marks you as someone who may lack certain social skills, primarily because our interests were esoteric and unorthodox (comparatively speaking).

Be that as it may, there are two significant geek events that marks this day with Geek Pride. The twenty-fifth of May is the anniversary of the release of Star Wars (A New Hope) and it’s Towel Day. Also this year, we mark Geek Pride Day with the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story!

WTF is Towel Day??

I shouldn’t need to elaborate on the anniversary of Star Wars A New Hope. If you don’t know what that is, return to your planet because you’re not human. Some of you may know what Towel Day is, especially if you saw any of my previous Towel Day posts. For those that don’t know, it is the day we celebrate the work of Douglas Adams, he is the author behind the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books. The easiest way to celebrate Towel Day is to simply carry a towel with you, wherever you go. Why a towel you ask? Well, according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value.

If you check out on the Towel Day Wikipedia page the guides goes into much more detail. The movie is a decent interpretation however, I highly recommend reading the books. Just keep in mind that Douglas Adams is pretty wacky, and utilizes quite a bit of dry British humor. Therefore, as a final homage to Geek Pride Day, I leave you with more Vogon Poetry, entitled:

Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning

Putty. Putty. Putty.
Green Putty – Grutty Peen.
Grarmpitutty – Morning!
Pridsummer – Grorning Utty!
Discovery….. Oh.
Putty?….. Armpit?
Armpit….. Putty.
Not even a particularly
Nice shade of green.
As I lick my armpit and shall agree,
That this putty is very well green.

So long and thanks for all the fish. MTFBWY.

When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it’s a point of pride in a weird way.” – J.J. Abrams