of Vikings

March 30, 2016

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At last count, I own 314 documentaries.
They range on subject matter from Ken Burn’s Baseball to Sir David Attenborough’s, epic, Life series. What you will not find in this library, nary a one, is any documentary produced by the History Channel.
Because the History Channel is to recounting history, what Ross Dress For Less is to haute couture.
The History Channel is where battle reenactors ply their trade because no one else cares to.

So, you can imagine my scorn when a Friend recommended the series “Vikings” (a subject matter of huge interest to me), once I learned what network it was a attached to.
Yet, there I was again, one Spring evening, fresh out of content for viewing pleasure and, also, unwilling to make better use of my time…tuning in. For roughly ten minutes.vikings

I lasted only that long because in episode 1 of the 1st season, we are introduced to a character played by Gabriel Byrne, of whom I’m a big fan.
Sadly, he was not enough to carry the day. Once they threw Lagertha The Shield Wife at me, adding the distinct, unpleasant, odor of Xena Warrior Princess to it, I was done.

Fast forward another year, another Spring evening.
Needless to say, I waded through enough to commit and, at times, didn’t regret it.
The central character, Ragnar Lothbrok, played by Travis Fimmel, is genuinely well delivered and almost worth the effort. He will unavoidably remind you of Charlie Hunnam‘s character, Jax Teller, in Sons of Anarchy but, surprisingly, with less camp.

The actual history portrayed is loose at best and why, once having watched BBC’s Last Kingdom, I felt shame for ever being a party to it.

Now, BBC’s Last Kingdom…
That’s some Viking history right there.
Based on the Bernard Cornwell Saxon series, of which I devoured, this worthy endeavor has us joining the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons at the start of Alfred the Great’s reign.

It’s a fine adaptation of the novels and really the only complaint I have is that this guy…5312

is played by this guy…

Not by any stretch a deal breaker but once seen, it can’t be unseen.
The first season finished way too soon, and if BBC does what it has with Peaky Blinders, it’ll be years before we have another. Sadly.

As far as “Vikings”, I’ll likely finish this season if for no other reason than to see Loki die a  horrible, slow, death.cast-floki

March 30, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 2.36.41 AMAs I wait for the start of Game of Thrones sixth season to begin in April, I am currently only watching three other series regularly. 

All three are grossly subpar in comparison but even if made to answer for themselves, they are all found wanting.

As TV is largely the reason I find to avoid facing the challenge of sitting down to write, I thought I might incorporate the two and write a number of reviews. Allowing me to both continue mass murdering brain cells whilst devising convenient, made to order, topics for this absurd challenge I’ve accepted. 

                                                  ***SPOILER ALERT***


The first of the three and the more popular by far, is The Walking Dead.

I’ve found that I am only current on this network (AMC) production because, as it’s been through all six seasons, I only catch up out of desperation, when, during the Spring time lull, there is virtually nothing else to watch. 

This season finds Rick and largely the same crew from last season, save a few Alexandria residents of note who perished during the last siege of both Wolves and undead, doing much the same as they’ve been doing for six seasons.
Jack shit.

Rick is humping Michonne. Abraham is humping Sasha. Carol is humping the road. 

This season seems to be trying to get us closer to the core characters by revealing more of their psyche and motivations beyond simple survival. Yet, beyond perhaps Daryl, there isn’t a single other character I care to know more about and, even less, who they might be humping. 

Even Carol, who had showed great promise as the nurturing cookie maker by day/step up on me and I’ll end you by night baddass, seems to have come unstuck and is pursuing a Morgan-esque hugs all-around, no matter the cost, personal re-invention. We’ll see, I suppose.

The single redeeming season six change in direction, for me, would be a scaling back of the gratuitous Walker gore that, by the end of season five, just seemed silly. The-Walking-Dead-_-Season-5-Episode-14

I have quit watching TWD mid season a couple of times, picking it back up later, as I said, out of desperation, and so far this season has me wonder why I bothered.

It’s Sister project, Fear the Walking Dead, was much more compelling with it’s premier and  I’m looking forward to it airing again in the second week of April.
I’ll let you know.

Tomorrow, the History Channel’s Vikings.

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I’ve noticed a growing, particular, subset of city dwellers lately.

I say city dwellers but it’s more likely they dwell everywhere but that I so rarely wander these days.

The most recent sighting was at a local pub where three of them had sat at an outside table and jointly began puffing on what looked like an elongated fuel filter from an old motorcycle. Within minutes I almost couldn’t see them anymore for the huge, dense, but “innocuous” fog engulfing them.

Often, when I see them, I can’t help but be reminded of Goths in the 90’s and how the harder they tried to be noticed, the more outraged they claimed to have been, when people did.

Obviously, these folks, this trio, were much more mainstream, looking much like everyday pub attendees on a Friday afternoon. 

Yet, I couldn’t help thinking that they were purposefully trying to collectively draw attention to themselves with the sheer volume of vapor they were producing, that seemed to increase until heads began to turn.

If I were to generalise, and God knows I love to, I’d probably guess they were, as a group, rabid gamers, work in tech, and live in their Mom’s garages and basements.
I would further guess that, for entertainment, they LARP on weekends and attend RenFaires as vacationers. 

Historically, I’d venture that they are direct decedents of D&D dorks. Without exception.

The very worst offenders, having leapt from the edge and lost to us forever, are likely civil war battle reenactors, spending their huge tech salaries on uniform and armament minutiae.
I guarantee-damn-tee they are hitting that douche flute habitually.

Of course, that is all total horseshit.
I am not direct decedents of anyone that’s even heard of D&D, I don’t LARP or live with my Mom and I most certainly do not battle reenact (though do own and look for occasions to rock my kilt).
And recently started vaping.

Please don’t misunderstand, I would never consider doing it outside the confines and privacy of my home. 

No, it’s a simple, traditional looking pipe.
Not any steampunk contraption I saw hanging from the walls and in the display cases I saw at the shop where I had to, horrifyingly, patronise in order to get the juice for it.

I got it as a curiosity, really.
My Friend Jim smokes a pipe and having fond memories of my Fathers habit, I thought I’d try this variation and, honestly, there is something to it.
Though I couldn’t say what exactly.acolorstory

I already smoke and have no interest in stopping so it’s not in hopes of a substitute.
I don’t inhale the vapor and, even if I did, I opted for the nicotine-free juice anyway. So there’s no connection there in my nicotine addiction.

I think I just like sitting in my corner chair, reading, drinking coffee and puffing away on this device that has immediate and dramatic results.
Say nothing of the little light the glows where there would be tobacco embers.

If I worry at all that it’s part of some metamorphic altering in my persona, that I work in tech, live in the Bay Area and call a host of avowed communists Friends…it’s that I have also adopted a bi-weeky endeavour with my Boy, Jack Lloyd Clark III (Trey for short, the Third, get it?) and others to play The Game of Thrones board game, the D&D version of Risk.

Need I worry?
Looking for a Friend.

of Starts

March 26, 2016


I am here against my will.

Consider me a hostile witness for the defense.

My good Friend, Chad, whose own inability to see things through is legendary, has recently launched a campaign to have the rest of us join in a challenge that will purportedly inspire us to write more, solve world hunger, stop global warming, and increase testosterone.

All for the low price of just three sentences a day

Every day, for a year,

Admittedly, I am as gullible as Bloom County’s Opus when it comes to carpet bomb marketing but I’m not that  stupid.


“One day at a time!”, “Rent to own!!”, “Just the tip, I promise”.

For fucks sake.

“Just three sentences and a job? You could drive off the lot in this new, shiny 2016 Self Esteem!!”

Yeah, because somehow, sitting down everyday, turning off my many devices, in the serene quiet of the morning, drinking coffee with Handel and banging out three sentences, will invariably lead to realizing much more. Somehow the three sentences will magically transform into paragraphs, chapters, essays.

Somehow, doing this will erase my inability to spell. Somehow, by the third sentence, I will suddenly be able to look up from the keyboard as I hunt and peck out my consistent thirty words an hour.

Chaaadd, probably types as fast as a court reporter. Chad probably doesn’t harbor an innate neurosis that stops him from just writing whatever he’s thinking, for fear of grammatical errors, returning again and again to edit.

Chaaaddd, went to Berkeley. Chaaaddd, has a degree in rhetoric.


Whatever, dude.

I see right through your thinly veiled attempt to enrich my life by challenging me to take back up a passion that has laid dormant too long.

Sell that shit to someone else, shyster, I ain’t buying.

Finish your Harvard Classics challenge, then we’ll talk.

I showed him, huh?