Archive for the ‘Geeks, Nerds and those ashamed to admit it’ Category

sons_of_anarchy_promoHoly shit!  People worry about drugs , alcohol and smoking because of it’s addictive demands.  Many people do not realize that technology can also be addicting and bad for your health.  For the past two nights I have been awake until approx 3am watching Sons of Anarchy (SOA) on my IPAD.  A friend of mine loaned me season 1 on DVD just before Christmas.  I blew through those episodes in a couple of nights, watching on my laptop while my Wife watched whatever she watches on TV.

After Season 1 I needed more..and I needed it FAST.  I threatened my friends and family that if they didn’t get it for me for Christmas I would tell all their kids the truth about Santa… well, that didn’t work.  I thought I would just go out and buy season 2… until I saw how the crooks wanted me to pay $50+ for a God damned TV series that would not have cost me anything if I was on the ball a few years ago.  Then I remembered Netflix.  I asked my friends if they could confirm that SOA was there.. and it was.. EUREKA!  One of my buddies broke my balls a bit because its only $8 a month for a subscription.  The cost isn’t the factor for me.. I just didn’t realize how far along it’s come since the shipping of DVDs years back.  I even thought you needed a game console to work it.. but boy was I wrong.. it’s been my savior.  I am 2/3 of the way through Season 2 now and I have watched them all exclusively on my IPAD.. WIN!

sons

Now.. about the Sons of Anarchy franchise… Kurt Sutter is the creator of the show..and he’s nothing short of a television genius.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t realize until just now as I write this and research at the same time, he plays the role of Otto and now I like that character even more.  I first heard of Kurt and started making all the appropriate connections when caught him on Howard Stern.  At that time I had not been watching SOA.. only saw a few episodes here and there, but I almost immediately became interested in him.  He was a great interview and had a great story.  I reccomend you check out the interview if you can (I hyperlinked a youtube clip to “howard stern” above).

If any of my readers have not yet been exposed or even only to a limited degree to the SOA.. I’ll give you a few highlights based on what I know so far..

First off.. it’s on FX.  This should tell you right away that it’s going to be edgier than a normal network television show.  FX has put out some really good TV series over the years.. anyone watch or know about Rescue Me, Justified, American Horror Story, The Shield & Nip Tuck?  All of these are fantastic and well worth the time if you are a TV buff.  They usually do not skimp on paying for quality actors and they do not shy away from gritty material.  So far I have heard words like tits, pussy, shit, prick, dick and they are just the ones I can recall.  Funny references to things you would hear in a locker room.. like one scene where Jax (the show’s protagonist) is laying on a blanket with his girlfriend..she says she is having a craving for a steak and he says.. “I have your T-bone right here” .. or something like that.  Not only that, every FX series I have watched thus far has gratuitus nudity and sex scenes that are only a few shades off from an R rated movie.

Ok..so enough about the childish cool stuff .. What is the show about?  I am only 1 and 1/2 seasons in.. so what I know most avid viewers have already forgotten.. but you have a Harley motorcycle club that is operating out of a fictional town in California called Charming.  The simplest way for me to describe the show is to tell you to think of the Sopranos but in the genre of a Motorcycle gang.  Their main business is illegal gun trade and they spend an absorbonant amount of time trying to keep the town of Charming under their thumb.  They constantly have to battle with rival gangs (Latinos – the Myans, Blacks – One Niners, White supremacists – Nords, Chinese Mafia and even the Irish – IRA).

When I first started watching and I saw that Ron Perlman (Clay Morrow) was one of the leads.. I think that is what threw me off.  I was never a fan of his.  I couldn’t see him in this role and just thought it would suck.  However, now that I came back and really “watched” the show.. I have to admit he does a fantastic job.  He really makes you hate him when you should and I find myself feeling sorry for him at times too.  Even Charlie Hunnam who plays Jax, does a great job.  When I first saw him walking through the scene with that goofy strut that he has.. I didn’t have high hopes..but again, the guy wins you over just like the old man Clay.

Probably the biggest surprise for me so far is Gemma played by Katey Segal.  All I knew her from was Married with Children..and I would never have expected her to succeed in a role like this.  In just one season I went form hating her to actually liking her and rooting for her.. and Im just getting started.  The rest of the cast will have me writing forever..so I’ll leave you at this point.  I strongly encourage anyone that is not sure about the show.. go spend a few mins on their official website (linked above) and also check them out on Wikipedia.. they write up is pretty good as far as I can tell.

funny-Netflix-guy-comic-next-episode

Just be warned.. if you find yourself liking the show.. there is a Netflix/SOA marathon in your future.. you might find yourself like me.. clicking “go” on “just one more episode”.. before you know it.. your battery indicator on your IPAD will be bitching at you telling you it’s about to crap out and your clock will be telling you to go to bed… and even though I can hardly keep my eyes open, I still find myself pissed off that I don’t have enough juice for the next one.

Zombie mode… ON

frozenWent to see the movie Frozen with my 8 year old daughter, my 4 year old son and my Mom.

I was hoping it would be a great family movie but I was kind of disappointed because it was more girly than some of the last few Disney movies we went to see.

Me and the boy need to go watch an episode of Sons of Anarchy to get our manhood back.

The movie theater was JAM PACKED too.. but what should I have expected for a rainy Saturday.  We got there plenty early to scope out a nice mid-row set of seats.. and I had everyone perfectly spaced out so that we had a nice spacer between families until the large fat guy in his rugby shirt shows up 5 mins into the previews and messes that all up.

Now that I was annoyed.. he had to throw fuel on the fire as he turned around to scold the child behind him for kicking his seat.. he proceeded to turn around and bark at the kid a few more times.. I was soo close to grabbing him by the Popcorn shovel he called a arm and reminding him he’s at a children’s movie.. and please Chill the fuck out!  But.. he finally settled in and we were able to watch.

Ok.. back to the movie..

The movie was really put together well.. there was plenty to look at in typical Disney fashion.. but OMG the singing!!  My daughter and Mom liked it.. but about 10 mins in.. the boy was moaning “I want to go home”.  He and I should have snuck out to go watch The Wolf of Wall Street.

What would one of my stories be without at least one more gripe about the general public?  Maybe you guys can help me out.. what happened to the everyday common decency that people used to exude when interacting with other humans?  Like holding doors for instance?  I have two small kids and a 70 year old woman in my crew.  As we are exiting the building, I am juggling an umbrella, a 4 year old and the buttoning of jackets.. I’m holding doors for people yet not ONE, but TWO women in front of us let the double doors slam on us.

I think they were just living in their own bubble because they didn’t even hear me when I said (rather loud) “Why don’t people hold doors anymore!”  I think the holidays also sap peoples driving in parking lot etiquette as well.  Once again, when you see a family herd crossing over to another section of the parking lot YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO STOP!  Those big white blocks crossing the road are there for a REASON!!!  My toe still hurts from kicking the woman’s back tire.. I think I almost made her drop her IPHONE though.. it’s the small victories that keep me going.

Oh well.. you win some and lose some as a movie going Dad.. I’ll make it up to my son and take him to see the LEGO movie that is coming out soon .. and I’ll be sure to kick the doors open so I don’t have to count on common decency next time.

Pinterest for men

 “What’s all this noise about Pinterest?”

I have to admit.. I was one of those guys that just didn’t get it.  The only people that seemed to know about it when I asked were women.  None of my guy friends knew what it truly was.. or just didn’t give a shit.

The web definition per Wikipedia is as follows:

“Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinterest).  Ok.. sounds interesting, but I still don’t get it.  So I went to the actual Pinterest site to check it out.  They have a very convienet “basics” section of their site for slow pokes like me.

Ok, so now I think I understand.  It’s like a virtual bulletin board where you can collect and share pictures of whatever you find interesting.  I can browse other peoples “boards” and choose to like or share their cool pictures and ideas.  If I like them enough I can take them and pin them on one of my boards.

So I started to browse.  It quicly became evident why I had sterotyped Pinterest as a “woman thing”.  The predominant themes were fashion pictures, recipes and work out pictures.  How many pictures of high heels and wedding cakes can one guy stomach?  After about 10 mins of surfing I was convinced that men would not spend more than a mouse farts worth of time using this thing.  I mean Jesus Christ, how many before & after pics can you tolerate in one sitting?

I figured I was done with Pinterest at that point… until I decided I wanted to create my home office/man cave.  Im one of those visual people that needs to see something first to inspire ideas.  My wife is amazing in that she can see something in her head and then convert that to reality with little effort, but not me.  So I took to Pinterest again.. I remembered they had a search function so I said what the hell and gave it a shot.  I started with searching for “home office” and “man cave”.. and boy was I rewarded!

For example.. if you go to the search bar and type in “home office” you will find a TON of pins from others who had the same idea.  You can see the pics that I have accumulated here on my board “My Home Office“.

After realizing how much cool stuff can be found just by altering your search criteria.. I started putting in other interest areas of mine.  I happen to own and love a Jeep Wrangler.  Big surprise, so do many other people.  You can go here to see my Jeeping stuff.  I’ve also created some other boards that you can check out and even follow if you want.  Here is a link to my boards: http://www.pinterest.com/mtornettajr/boards/

If searching for what you care about isn’t enough… the big brains at Pinterest also added a feature called “related pins”.  The back office technology behind the page goes out and finds similar pins to what they see on your boards and suggests them automatically.  This allows you to MORE EASILY find new boards and pins that you might like.. keeps you coming back for more.  I found a cool little blog post over at Digital Trends that explains a bit more about this.

If you have a jealous significant other or kids with access to your computer or IPAD, be CAREFUL!  You will quickly find that you can find some pins that are not work safe or family safe.  Just like any other internet outlet there are ways to find pics of your guilty pleasures.. anything from half naked men/women, guns, adult humor, etc.  One cool thing though is an ability to create private boards that are only available to YOU.

So, by now some of you are saying.. I hope Mike doesn’t think he’s the first GUY to discover this.. I know Im not.  I just wanted to share one of my latest guilty pleasures 🙂  Im having a lot of fun with Pinterest.

(Cover photo compliments of : http://www.verticalmeasures.com/social-media/pinterest-for-men/)

I never fancied myself a huge TV guy..

I love to go to the movies.. but TV was pretty much a news box for me and a place to watch sports.  I remember complaining that with hundreds of cable channels there was never anything on TV… but that seems to be changing.

I’ll chalk it up to HBO and their AWESOME series.  I know they have a ton..but my favs are/were:

  1. The Sopranos
  2. Boardwalk Empire
  3. True Blood
  4. Game of Thrones – I strongly suggest you read the books..EVEN if you are watching the series on HBO

I’ve even enjoyed Entourage, Deadwood and occasional my Wife’s favorite “Big Love”.

In my opinion, HBO has ruled this category for a long time.. but now I have to say the other Networks are starting to offer competition.  I am also an avid watcher of “Spartacus” and formerly “Dexter”.  As a matter of fact the competition has gotten so fierce that some don’t make it beyond their pilot season.  I read a stat somewhere that if a network can’t draw x% new viewers due to a new series.. they cut it.. (think HBO’s “Luck” and I think it was Starz who had “King Arthur”)

Just when I think it can’t get any better.. the non-pay channels decided to throw their hats in the ring.  Shit, even the HISTORY CHANNEL is puffing out their chest with last nights debut of “Vikings”.

Probably one of the most popular free channel shows making waves is “The Following” with Kevin Bacon (FOX).  I listened to Howard Stern interview Bacon recently and that is what turned me on to it.  It was interesting to hear Kevin Bacon (normally a Movie guy only) talk about how network TV series are becoming a viable venue for Movie stars.  It no longer should be shunned.

Lets not forget that Alec Baldwin has reinvigorated his career through Television commercials and “30 Rock”.

The dawn of DVR (at least in my household) has made it so much easier to stay on top of your fav shows.  Shit, between travel for my job and 3 kids I almost can’t live with out it anymore.  Here are a list of my favorite Network TV shows:

  1. The Following (Gets better every week) – Mondays on Fox
  2. Vikings (so far.. Ep 1 was good, verdict is still out) – Sundays on History Channel
  3. The Walking Dead (who the F**k doesn’t like Zombies now?) – Sundays on AMC
  4. Southland (Think modern day Hill Street Blues or End of Watch for the younger peeps) – Wednesdays on TNT

I am probably forgetting something.. but those are the hottest ones for me right now.

I’ll save my rant on reality shows for another post.. but I have to admit there are two that I really like right now.  I am a HUGE UFC/MMA fan!  If you never watched TUF (The Ultimate Fighter- FX channel- Fridays) then you can’t appreciate the endless entertainment you get from putting 30+ fighters into a house and have them fight every week for a 6 figure contract with the UFC.

It’s such a mixed bag of personalities that you never know what you are going to get.  Stereotypes aside when you mix money, testosterone, low gray matter, egos, starvation and extreme sports into one show.. it’s gotta be TV gold!

My other (NEW favorite) is “Boston’s Finest” (TNT- Wednesdays).  It’s like the show “Cops” but it stays put in Boston and seems to follow around a select group of  officers.  I have only seen the season premiere so far..but it’s worth a second look.

So.. tell me.. I really want to know.. What are YOU hooked on?  What do you DVR weekly because you can’t miss it?

Post your comments below