All posts by Greg Mehochko

Nerds United 94: SPOILER FREE Avengers Infinity War Review

Let’s face it…you hate spoilers. I know this because I too hate spoilers, and I feel like we think alike on this subject.

Avengers – Infinity War has only been in theaters for about a week, and that’s not enough time for everyone to have seen the movie. But I moved Heaven and Earth to be able to watch the newest offering from Marvel Studios this past weekend, and I am sure glad I did.

What I have for you in this episode of Nerds United is a SPOILER FREE review. And truth be told, it’s not even much of a review. I hit a few high points. I don’t spoil anything. And I just say “this movie is amazing, you need to watch it!”

Is that something you feel you can get behind?

Good.

Because TOMORROW I will drop another brand new episode where I talk all about the movie and spoil it up the wazoo! So listen to this episode, go give Marvel/Disney your $10-$15, and then come back and listen to the episode all about Avengers – Infinity War!

Five Heart Podcast Episode 67: Spring Game, Tunnel Walk, and Guilty Pleasures

There’s a lot to discuss after last week’s Spring Game. How did the quarterbacks perform? How about the running backs? How much combined muscle mass did Zach Duval put on Devine Ozigbo and Mikale Wilbon? How electrifying was Greg Bell?

Who stood out on the defense? What are some of Hoss’ guilty pleasure songs, and why does Greg have a special place in one of his five hearts for musicals of all varieties? What sweep option play had Hoss completely baffled to the point that he sought wisdom from the Twittersphere?

Over all, how did the Huskers look on Saturday? How did Scott Frost handle himself and his team in his first Spring Game in Lincoln since the Spring of 1997?

Since there has been talk of changing the song for the Tunnel Walk, the guys offer their suggestions and show how old they really are.

And for the life of me, I don’t remember how I made a Homestar Runner reference, but I did. And in case you wanted to be cheaply entertained, please watch this video.

So that’s the show. Hope you enjoyed it. We had a blast recording it. And we do it for you. So keep that in mind when you head to the comments section.

And remember that we’re on PodBeanApple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher. When you subscribe, you can take us with you anywhere you go. And you get the show downloaded to your device automagically.

Thanks for listening. Rate/review.

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Nerds United Episode 93: Cape Comic Con Review & More

This past weekend was the annual Cape Comic Con in Cape Girardeau, MO. I once again made my yearly trek to my once-upon-a-time town to visit friends and walk the floor of the Con, seeing familiar faces, supporting vendors, and doing all with my wife and son.

This episode is broken up into three sections. The first segment has me joined once again by Cape Con Director Ken Murphy, as we talked about the Con weekend, special guests Lou Ferrigno and Reb Brown, several artists and writers, as well as numerous vendors. We also talk about the wrestling aspect of the comic con weekend, which included global stars like Tommy Dreamer, Hangman Page, the Besties in the World, Thunder Rosa, Dan “The Beast” Severn, and “Cowboy” James Storm joining Cape Championship Wrestling favorites like Austin Lane, Brandon Barbwire, Farmer Billy Hills, Sarah Summers, the Pinnacle, the Crowleys, and many more. It was a night of blood, sweat, tears, betrayal, revenge, and triumph.

The conversation continues with Jay Noel, a St. Louis author who has written two trilogies and whose newest novel, “Gateway Mothman,” is available now on Amazon. Check out his series that begins with “Dragonfly Warrior,” a steam punk Japanese setting in an alternate history.

And finally, I talk with Scott Reed from BurgComics.com, an online retailer who not only attends Cape Con, but also hosts his own Con in Harrisburg, IL. In a few minutes, we learn a little bit about Scott, the collection he shares with the public and the one he keeps just for himself. And we find out about the 2018 Burg Comic Con.

The 2018 Cape Con is in the books. And I am already eager for 2019. Mark YOUR calendars for the 4th weekend in April, 2019. And I’ll see you at the Cape Comic Con.

Five Heart Podcast Episode 66: Spring Game Preview

This week on the Five Heart Podcast, Hooch and Hoss talk about today’s Spring Game. The guys review the Red and White rosters. Who has the advantage in each position? Why do we think some of the roster decisions were made, and what does it mean for the overall depth chart going forward?

Also, Scott Frost was interviewed by Bruce Feldman for Sports Illustrated this week. While the straight-shooting coach didn’t say anything particularly inflammatory, was it particularly his place to speak out against previous administrations?

The Spring Game is mere hours away, so hopefully you have time to listen to this before the 11:00am kickoff. It has taken a Winter Frost to reignite the fires of the fanbase, as Husker fans like yourselves are expected to put more butts in seats than any other Spring Game in the country.

I tip my cap to you.

Also, and this is a serious question…who the hell (besides Hoss) mixes beer with orange juice?

And remember you can find the podcast the on PodBeanApple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

And you should know by now where to find us on social media. Expect some Spring Game thoughts on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow.

GBR!

Nerds United Episode 92: Angels of Hell Writer Chris Reichard

It’s another new episode of Nerds United this month. I know what you’re thinking. Three consecutive weeks of new episodes.

Hell has not frozen over.

In fact, it’s Hell on Earth as I am joined by Chris Reichard, writer of Angels of Hell #1: An Apocalyptic Tale feat. the Four Horsemen.

Chris is from the St. Louis, MO area, but spent eight years in the US Army. His creative writing, in fact the early ideas for this story, go back to his high school days. And his love of comics dates back even further.

In this episode, we’ll learn about Chris and his origin story, as it were. We talk about Chris’ take on the apocalypse and the Four Horsemen and the quest they find themselves on in an effort to save the world.

The book is available to order on Kickstarter. I definitely recommend looking it over and throwing a few dollars their way. Support Indy Comics! I really can’t stress that enough!

Five Heart Podcast Episode 65: Things Get Weird

This episode is brought to you by Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (until Ty tells me where I can find Blue Blood Brewing Company products in my area).

In this episode, we talk about the departure of Patrick O’Brien from the Husker football team after he asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship. That really throws the QB picture into chaos as we had him pegged as the season-opening starter. So where does that leave the QB position and players like Tristan Gebbia, Adrian Martinez, and, dare we say, Noah Vedral?

Also, plenty of talk this week on the receiving corps, what could be a bright spot for the Husker offense. Stanley Morgan returns and could easily be Nebraska’s first 1,000-yard receiver. But JD Spielman is a returning freshman All-American, and Tyjon Lindsey is a dynamic playmaker and both figure to be key pieces to the Nebraska offensive unit.

And we’re trying to get Hoss a girlfriend, gosh darnit! So if you like long walks on the beach, a glass of moscato once a year, dogs, and a fella who can squat over 300 pounds, reach out via the social media access points below.

Thanks to Tom and Jim’s Top 5 for recommending Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. And to the good folks of Nebraska City for their contribution to trees and clean air and…arbor.

Enjoy the show!

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Nerds United Episode 91: Reviewing Justice League with Tom Skull

Shows in back-to-back weeks. I don’t know how far back you’d have to go in the archives to find when that happened last.

Joining me this week is Tom Skull, co-host of two of his own podcasts, the Skullbuster Wrestlecast and Tom and Jim’s Top 5. Several weeks back, Tom was a guest on Chad’s first edition of “Question Everything,” his new monthly interview segment. But the day before that, Tom, along with his brother Jason, was on My 1-2-3 Cents to talk wrestling with Kevin. It was unofficially “Tom Skull Week” here at the Jittery Monkey Network, and the continuation of that is this episode where Tom and I talk about the Justice League movie, a movie neither of us had seen when I first asked Tom to be on the show.

So we will talk about Justice League, what we liked and what we didn’t like. And the DC cinematic universe in general.

That’s it, boys and girls, that’s the show. We’re reviewing a movie from last Fall, drinking beer, and having a good conversation. I can’t emphasize enough how much you should get the Podbean app and listen to each and every episode of Tom and Jim’s Top 5. I only have a few more to go before I’m caught up fully. And that’s saying something, because I got on board after they’d had a year full of shows. Truly entertaining and hits you right in the nostalgia!

Five Heart Podcast Episode 64: Husker Offense – Frost vs Everyone Else

What happens when you get two guys together at 11:00pm on a Friday night to record themselves talking about Husker football?

NO, THEY DON’T STILL LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS!

It’s late – this may not be the most coherent write-up. Blame Brian. BT always said to make sure the write-ups had at least 150 words in them so they’d be picked up by Google or something. Otherwise, at 1am, I’d just say:

Here’s the new show. I’m going to bed.

Brian wouldn’t want that. And you deserve better.

Unfortunately, this episode is the Tim Beck offensive game plan of podcasts (no offense, Mister Beck).

Not this Beck.

By that I mean…we have a good football-related conversation for the first portion of the episode, and then, without warning or provocation, we just switch it up to something that doesn’t work as well.

But we do get in some talk about Scott Frost’s offensive philosophy, starting with the quarterback position and then the parts of Frost’s game plan that set him apart from his peers.

We also reference this article on Corn Nation, and a much appreciated shout out from my colleagues who excel with the written word.

Don’t forget that the podcast is on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. David even told me that it’s on an app called OverCast, so check it out there if you use that app. More ways to listen. All for your convenience. All of the other podcasts I mention in the show are all on Apple Podcast and I’m sure the other formats as well. I know they’re on podbean.

That’s it. I’ve got nothing left to say. Goodnight, everybody. Yes, even you, reading this at 8:30am. Don’t judge me. But you can @ me, at the social media links below!

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Nerds United Episode 90: Stache Publishing and Colossal Chaos

In this brand-new episode, I’m joined by Stache Publishing’s Anthony Mathenia and writer Alex Wills as we talk about comics, creating comics, publishing comics, shipping comics, and getting comics funded on Kickstarter.

Stache currently has a new anthology live on Kickstarter, and you have until the end of April to support this *gigantic* project…because they’re giant monsters and robots and such. Get it?

Alex contributes a story to the book, titled Attack on Bug City (see the featured photo), a unique twist on the whole kaiju genre. I talk with him about his life in comics both from the fan perspective and as a writer.

And then, point blank, I ask the guys how one would start to write a comic book. You see, I have a story in my head that I want to tell. So Alex and Anthony give me some pointers and a brief idea of what I – or anyone looking to become a writer – should do at the start of the process.

Remember to check out Colossal Chaos, the fourth anthology in the Out of the Blue series from Stache Publishing. As I said at the end of the episode, I gave them some of my money, and I encourage you to do the same!

Next week, I’m bringing in another guest in Tom Skull of Tom and Jim’s Top 5 Podcast and we’re reviewing the following movie…so be ready!

Five Heart Podcast Episode 63: Hoss and the O-Line

It’s time to scratch that itch! Football conversation triumphantly returns to the Five Heart Podcast as Hoss and Hooch talk about some of the news and notes from the Spring Practice.

Tanner Farmer taking snaps at Center. But he’s not alone. Young’n Will Farniok is also getting some time there. Not bad for a kid who was taking high school classes in December.

And what centers in the NFL would Hoss show to his hypothetical son, if his son were learning the art of being a center?

The podcast is on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. David even told me that it’s on an app called OverCast, so check it out there if you use that app. More ways to listen. All for your convenience.

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Five Heart Podcast Episode 62: Hooch’s Solo Flight

Due to a scheduling conundrum, you have the joy of listening to I (Greg) bring you the latest in Husker athletic news and notes. We’ll do it up right next week and get more people back on the show, but for a Saturday morning, sometimes one is enough. But fear not, my son pops in a couple times to say hi.

Here are the Husker sports that get mentioned:

  • Men’s Basketball
  • Women’s Basketball
  • Wrestling
  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Beach Volleyball

I hope to get someone from the Club Hockey program on the show in the near future. If you are involved with that or know someone who is, let me know so I can get that sport on the show.

Next week we’ll talk football, because it seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve done that and I’m sure you’re all itching for it.

The podcast is on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. David even told me that it’s on an app called OverCast, so check it out there if you use that app. More ways to listen. All for your convenience.

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Positive Cynicism EP 36: Question Everything; So, Is He Captain America?

On the latest installment of the popular interview segment, @chadsmart is joined by @bls419 to discuss her podcast, So, Is He Captain America? If you’re a die hard superhero fan, you may want to approach this episode with caution. In addition to discussing the podcast, we play the game “Which Chris” and “Marvel or DC.” Ultimately the discussion derails from superhero to discussing the greatness of Grease 2.

@chadsmart will attempt to run a half-marathon in October. His goal is to raise $1000 for St. Jude’s. If you are interested in making a donation or spreading the word to help raise money, please click HERE!

Positive Cynicism Ep 35: Don’t Spread Hate

Ever had ideas floating through your head held together by a tiny string? That’s what this episode of Positive Cynicism is like. @chadsmart gives a soliloquy about negative social media posts. Why do people post negative or attacking comments to people they don’t know? What is gained by insulting people? If you can answer these questions, Chad would like to hear from you because he doesn’t understand why people choose to spread hate instead of positivity.

Five Heart Podcast Episode 61: Men’s and Women’s #Nebrasketball

Hello again and welcome to a new episode of the Five Heart Podcast. Thank you ALL for downloading our last episode, our Top Five Most Agonizing Football Losses episode.

Some of you didn’t want us trudging up such painful memories. But it was very cathartic, and will a few adult beverages, a lot of fun. It was also our second-most-downloaded show in the history of the Five Heart Podcast. So…no pressure to outdo that one.

This episode features two Corn Nation contributors talking Husker men’s and women’s basketball. Up first is Patrick Gerhart as we complain about the Selection Committee and talk about Nebraska’s game tonight in the NIT against Mississippi State.

Then Jill Heemstra is back to talk about the Husker women and their upcoming game against Arizona State. Find out also why there are Nebraska ties all over the Women’s NCAA Tournament, and we’ll also check in with our neighbors to the north (not Creighton, never Creighton) and see what the Jackrabbits have in store in their quest for a championship.

Plus, there’s this challenge we laid out for our fearless leader:

The podcast is on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. More ways to listen. All for your convenience.

USE THESE SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS to interact with us. Good times, noodle salad.

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Five Heart Podcast Episode 60: Top Five Most Agonizing Husker Football Losses

Hello again.

Hoss and Hooch are back with another Top-5 list. Last week we talked about good things. This week…AGONIZING DEFEAT! Relive the dark days (and nights, oh so many nights) of Husker football, but do it with a laugh and, if you’re anything like these two, an alcoholic beverage or two.

Spoiler Alert: We really don’t like losing to ________.

Don’t forget that the podcast is now on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. More ways to listen. All for your convenience.

USE THESE SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS to interact with us. You complete me.

And many thanks to Tom and Jim’s Top 5 for inspiring the list!

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Five Heart Podcast Episode 59: Top 5 Favorite Husker Football Wins

What is your favorite Cornhusker football victory in a non-championship season? Why did I have to get so weirdly specific there? 

Do you have one? Could you come up with a top five? That was the challenge Hoss brought to the Five Heart Podcast this week.

Nothing from 1994, 1995, or 1997.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t extremely difficult coming up with my list. And it was Hoss’ idea, so I’m guessing he already had a few in mind. Remembering specific details or the emotion of a game was easy. Getting into the nitty gritty of what the game meant in the broader picture was fun.

Also, (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Joe Bauserman pass chart!

We also got some input from the CN crew, and encourage you to leave your top 5 in the comments.

GBR and WTDG!

Don’t forget that the podcast is now on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. More ways to listen. All for your convenience.

USE THESE SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS to interact with us. Not saying I’m bored or anything… just… okay, I’m bored without you.

And many thanks to Tom and Jim’s Top 5 for inspiring the list!

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Positive Cynicism EP 34: Wonder Why: Believe It Or Not

The second installment of Wonder Why is here. @chadsmart and @mikedekalb break down the one and only album by Joey Scarbury to see if any other song on the album lives up to the standard set by Joey’s hit single, “Believe It Or Not (Theme from The Greatest American Hero).”

I hope they talk about the song being referenced on Seinfeld.

And don’t forget you can subscribe to the show on any (or all) of the following platforms:

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Five Heart Podcast Episode 58: More Hoops Talk with David McGee

You know you’re enjoying this. The Husker Men’s Basketball team finishes the regular season tomorrow at home, with a chance to avenge a loss to a Penn State team playing without one of their star players, in sophomore Mike Watkins.

In this week’s episode, Corn Nation’s David McGee is back to talk about the win over Indiana on Tuesday and to preview the game against the Nittany Lions. The win over the Hoosiers was a great bounce-back after the road loss at Illinois. And a win Sunday would ensure Nebraska stays in the top tier of the Big Ten and solidifies the double-bye for the Big Ten Tournament. And it’s always good to visit with David.

Also along Good News Avenue, the podcast is now on Google Play and PodBean, as well as Apple Podcasts and Stitcher as it has been. More ways to listen. All for your convenience.

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Positive Cynicism Ep 32: Question Everything with Tom Skull

Positive Cynicism’s new monthly interview segment kicks off with the Co-Host of two of @chadsmart’s favorite podcasts. Tom Skull (Tom and Jim’s Top 5, Skullbuster Wrestlecast) takes the hot seat to answer all the deep questions. Topics range from podcast inspiration to independent wrestling to goals for the future.

Tom and Jim’s Top Five
Skullbuster Wrestlecast

Five Heart Podcast Episode 57: Patrick Gerhart on Nebrasketball

Six in a row. Keep that in mind. There are some men’s basketball teams that don’t win three games in a row. So Nebrasketball’s loss Sunday at Illinois isn’t the end of the world.

But damn…I live in Illinois. Do you know how many Illini fans are going to greet me by rubbing this win in my face?

None. Because no one cares about Illinois basketball. Illinois basketball is and has been irrelevant for several years.

Wait…that makes it worse.

IT’S NOT THAT BAD! Two regular season games and then the Big Ten Tournament.

This episode, I’m talking with Corn Nation’s Patrick Gerhart about how the Huskers have been playing the last few weeks and what the post-season could look like.

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Positive Cynicism Ep 31: Run Forrest Run

@chadsmart has come up with a crazy idea for 2018. He will attempt to run a half marathon in October. Is it possible to go from couch potato to runner in eight months? He’ll either succeed or have to listen to @kevinhunsperger mock him for the next 10 years. In the latest installment of Positive Cynicism, Chad tells why he’s setting this goal and what he hopes to accomplish. It’s not just a personal goal, he’s also hoping to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. This is step one on a thousand step journey. Question Everything. Do something positive.

Five Heart Podcast: Putting a Bow on National Signing Day

Well folks, another National Signing Day has come and gone. I know you stayed up to date on all of Wednesday’s happenings with the terrific coverage on CornNation.com. In this week’s episode, a three-way dance (a triple-threat match, if you will) has Hooch and Hoss joined by Corn Nation’s Recruiting Correspondent Rick “Ugly Dog” (his words, not mine) Cone to talk about the young men who decided to wear the N.

From the guys who signed scholarship offers to the largest walk-on class in recent memory, this coaching staff did something really incredible, and they deserve all of the accolades they receive.

You know who else deserves our appreciation? Joe Bauserman. Remember his outing in Nebraska those years back?

Yeah…that got brought up again. Thank you, Stanley Jean-Baptiste.

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Positive Cynicism EP 30: XFL and Golden Knights surprises

At the request of Jittery Monkey Godfather Greg Mehochko (@thehooch36), @chadsmart is joined by Positive Cynicism unofficial co-host @mikedekalb (hockeytransplant.com) to discuss the first half of the NHL season. What’s has been the biggest surprise of the first half of the season? What team has been the biggest disappointment? Chad and Mike discuss this and more. Then Mike turns questioner and ask Chad his thoughts about his first five years of NHL Fandom. Oh, and there’s some comments regarding the 2020 return of the XFL as well.

Five Heart Podcast Episode 55: Husker Women’s Hoops with Jill Heemstra

This is a conversation a little too long in the making. Corn Nation’s Jill Heemstra joins Greg to talk about the Nebraska Women’s Basketball team.

The two cover the transition from Connie Yori to Amy Williams, the departure of Nebraska’s own Jessica Shepard and how it was not only the right move for the young lady, but how it also may have been the best outcome for the Huskers.

How does this squad look heading into the final month of the regular season (16-6 as of this recording, before the Illinois game)? And how did whispers of a post-season appearance in the WNIT transform into talk of a Women’s National Tournament berth? (Spoiler: May have had something to do with three consecutive wins over ranked teams.)

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Nerds United Episode 89: Gunpowder Witch Creator Jordan Williams

Welcome to the first Nerds United episode of 2018. It’s been almost two months since the last episode. Hope you had some good holidays there.

My guest for episode 89 has been on the podcast before (it’s in the archives…somewhere between Numbers 1 and 88). Jordan Williams is a cornerstone of Stache Publishing, frequently discussed here on the show. Jordan has written, drawn, and released two issues of his book Gunpowder Witch already. But all during the month of February, you can support his Kickstarter campaign to fund his entirely finished four-issue graphic novel for Gunpowder Witch.

Gunpowder Witch, in its simplest form, takes the historical accounts of the Salem Witch Trials and fictionalizes them by making the “witches” super-powered individuals who are misunderstood by their Puritan peers.

The conversation also takes a tangential turn to talk briefly about religion, but not in any way that is condescending. In other words…there’s a little something for everyone.

But the main thing is to support the Kickstarter. And I’ll update this post with the link tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the show!

Positive Cynicism Ep 29: Wonder Why; Safety Dance

On the inaugural installment of Wonder Why, @chadsmart is joined by hockey and music enthusiast @mikedekalb (www.hockeytransplant.com) to try and figure out certain bands only mustered one hit throughout their career. The fans voted and the first subject of discussion is the Canadian synth heavy band, Men Without Hats.

They didn’t care about friends who didn’t want to dance but danced themselves to a number 3 hit with “Safety Dance.” What other songs on the album Rhythm of Youth had the potential to be hits? Chad and Mike break down the album debating the merits of the other songs while projecting their version of history to see what could have been.

Five Heart Podcast Episode 54: Heart and Beating Iowa

When we publish a new episode on a Monday, you know that the train has essentially jumped the tracks. How and why we ended up recording at about 11:00 on a Sunday night definitely is mentioned. But what wasn’t mentioned was the fact that we should really try to plan better.

BUT TODDLERS DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR PLANS!

Moving on…a new Husker commit sent out an interesting tweet in response to “keyboard tough guys” (my word, not that of Cam Jones, a new commit at Safety who, according to Hoss, could transition to linebacker if necessary). He’s a big body, physical playmaker. But less about that and more about the tweet…copied and pasted here.

It hearkens back to why Brian and I named this show the Five Heart Podcast in the first place. “Stars” and ratings don’t tell the whole store.

Moving on…

It was a successful weekend for Husker Basketball, as the men and women both took care of #EvilIowa. And the Husker Wrestling team celebrated Senior Day with a win on Sunday at the Devany Center.

But we all know why you’re really here…to hear how Hoss would book a Wrestlemania Main Event if he could. But you have to stick around to the end for that gem.

Have a great week, everyone. GBR! WTDO!

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Positive Cynicism 28: State of the Podcast

In the annual State of the Podcast address, host @chadsmart (follow him) lays out the plans for Positive Cynicism in the year 2018. New features. New focuses. What does the year have in store? It’s going to be an interesting ride.

Five Heart Podcast Episode 53: How to Date in 20-1-8

Hoss and Hooch are back in an all-new episode. Now don’t let the name fool you. The guys are talking a myriad of topics this week, including the cold winter weather’s effects on every day life like work and gym habits. Fellas, what length shorts do you like to wear to the gym? Did you know what one of the guys on this show is a short-shorts type of guy? And what role did short shorts play in Nebraska basketball’s twenty-point win over #23 Michigan?

The guys also question why baseball coaches still wear uniforms like they’re about to take the field to play and wonder if/when the manager’s attire will evolve.

And not to bury the lede, but since one of the guys is single, we do discuss dating in modern times. Things used to be so much simpler.

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Five Heart Podcast Episode 52: Hooch and Hoss Sit in a Diner

At least that’s what it feels like. Two not-so-old guys sitting in their booth drinking coffee, talking about the weather and then current happenings with our favorite team.

That is probably a conversation that happens all across the Great Cornhusker State on a weekly basis with farmers and ranchers, bankers and hobos alike. But we have microphones, so they can suck it!

In this week’s episode, we talk a little bit about UCF’s Peach Bowl win over Auburn, and now that makes them the best team in the country, since Auburn beat Alabama and Georgia (transitive property, y’all). Scott Frost is bringing his entire undefeated staff to Lincoln. We talk about some of that coaching staff, like the recent addition of Barrett Ruud.

And there’s a mention of another “Rude,” Ravishing Rick, and the time he wore tights with a woman’s (Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts’ wife) face on them. INSTANT HEAT!

Related image

And the weekly wrestling report that didn’t involve ring ropes, but rather, names like Taylor Venz.

In other words…I need a flannel shirt, a Carhart coat, and a John Deere hat and “my booth” at the diner.

I can’t wait to retire!

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 51: Nebrasketball with David McGee

It’s a new year, yes it is!

(These are the jokes…you can laugh or you can sit there.)

Don’t look now, but the Nebraska Men’s Basketball team is faring pretty nicely in the 2017-18 season. *knocks on wood*

After a one-point loss to freakin’ Kansas, the boys have started a little winning streak, up to and including the 70-55 win at Northwestern this past week. In this episode, Greg visits with Corn Nation’s David McGee. He’s not on the masthead…but neither am I. Anyway, aside from being one of our best photographers, David is also a huge Nebrasketball fan, and has contributed plenty of hoops pieces over the years.

So we talk about the win over NW, the overall look of the team this season, and what lies ahead.

And as a bonus, we spend a few minutes at the end making fun of Iowa. So there’s something for everyone!

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Positive Cynicism Ep 27: Charitable New Year

Kicking off 2018, @ My 1-2-3 Cents podcast host @kevinhunsperger joins @chadsmart to spread some positivity. The two discuss Kevin’s recent Ugly Christmas Suit fundraiser as well as the importance of donating time in addition of money to help make a difference. In a society filled with hate and anger, it’s important to keep the cynicism to a minimum and remember a little positivity can go a long way.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 50: Tanner Lee, O-Line, and NFL Playoffs

Well, Husker fans got some news Thursday that may or may not have been expected.

Of course, that’s no longer news to you. But it did mean fodder for the conversation on this week’s episode of the Five Heart Podcast. What are Tanner’s chances of being drafted, and where does that leave the Huskers’ depth chart with Patrick O’Brien and Tristan Gebbia in Lincoln and now Adrian Martinez headed to the Great Cornhusker State.

Also, what can former Husker player and new Offensive Line Coach Greg Austin do to rebuild the much-maligned offensive line, and how will he utilize the players at his disposal to put the best group together?

There’s also some NFL talk as the League approaches the playoffs. And Greg goes on an anti-Patriots diatribe that should make most fans happy (assuming you aren’t a Patriots fan…but how can you be a Patriots fan and also have a soul?).

And at the end, just before signing off…HUSKER WRESTLING MAKES AN APPEARANCE! Is it worth it to stick around for that blurb? Maybe not. But hey…it’s wrestling.

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Positive Cynicism EP 26: Is The Last Jedi that bad?

Eric Bennett returns to the show to continue the discussion of Star Wars. Eric and host @chadsmart look at fan criticism towards The Last Jedi and discuss if it’s warranted or another example of social media fauxrage. One thing they can agree on is the Star Wars universe needs more focus on 4-LOM and Zuckuss.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 49: Talking Championships and Recruiting

In this week’s episode, not only is Greg back, but he has two great guests lined up.

First, we’ll sit down once again with Ty Peteranetz, the Corn Nation Volleyball Guru. The guys talk about Nebraska’s dynamic run through the final four on its way to claiming a national title last Saturday night in Kansas City.

Part of the discussion is about the young ladies who made up this championship team. Women like Briana Holman, who graduated from UNL earlier in the day and won a championship that night. Women like Kelly Hunter, who received post-season accolades. Women like Mikaela Foecke, who was seemingly unstoppable throughout the tournament.

Then we switch things up and Corn Nation’s newest contributor, Rick Cone joins the show in his debut appearance. We talk all things recruiting with the first ever early signing period for college football this week. Who is N? And what do they bring to Lincoln?

Another solid show for your weekend enjoyment. Merry Christmas from everyone at Jittery Monkey and the Five Heart Podcast.

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Rick Cone

Positive Cynicism Ep 25: Awakening the Force

On the eve of the release of The Last Jedi, @chadsmart is joined by Eric Bennett to discuss Disney taking over the Star Wars franchise. The anticipation and reaction to The Force Awakens. Speculation of what will happen in The Last Jedi. Subtle digs at the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All this and more in this episode. There are no spoilers for Last Jedi so listen without fear if you haven’t seen Last Jedi.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 48: Hoss and Ty Talk VB Final Four and Scott Frost

For the first time in Five Heart Podcast history, Greg is not on the podcast, at least in a verbal form. Due to “technical difficulties,” Greg is only on the show as a producer, feeder of information, and fact-checker.

In other words, this will be the best episode yet!

It’s Hoss and Ty, and the guys are talking about the Husker women’s volleyball team trip to Kansas City and the Final Four that begins tonight. What makes this team special, and how does Ty see the final three matches of the college volleyball season going?

Then the two talk about the HUsker football program, Scott Frost, and his coaching staff. There’s also been a recent uptick in recruiting as Frost and his coaches have been hitting the trail hard to make the most out of their short time before the early signing period.

And to put a bow on this episode, and to tie in with a pop culture global phenomenon, Hoss and Ty pair up the Big Ten footballs programs and coaches with what they believe to be their Star Wars universe counterparts. It’s a great way to finish the episode, and the guys have a lot of fun with it in advance of the film hitting theaters this weekend.

Enjoy the show, share with your friends, and May the Frost Be with You.

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Positive Cynicism EP 24: Star Wars Fandom

After an extended hiatus while the Positive Cynicism podcast studio was built, @chadsmart is back with the first installment of a year-end series looking at the popularity of Star Wars. Stan Young, a Star Wars fan for 40 years, joins the show to discuss why Star Wars appeals to him and what crazy lengths he’s gone to over the years to feed his fandom.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 47: Nebrasketball, Fatherhood, Feeling Frosty

This week, Hoss is busy with finals. So Greg has brought in another name from Corn Nation, Patrick Gerhart.

Patrick specializes in #Nebrasketball, so we talk about Tim Miles’ tenure, off-season attrition and addition of personnel, and this week’s win against Number-14 Minnesota. The guys talk about Pinnacle Bank Arena and what some athletes may see in the program that would bring them to Lincoln.

Since both Greg and Patrick have children under two, and since Ty just became a dad for the first time this week, the guys share some of their experiences, fond memories, and helpful hints.

Lastly, there’s a new head coach. In one of those moments that you’ll never forget where you were, Greg was on his friend’s roof hanging Christmas lights. But the Sunday of the introductory press conference, all eyes were glued.

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Nerds United Episode 88: The Nostalgia Pop with Chad Smart

Which decade was better? The 1980’s or the 1990’s?

That was the question Positive Cynicism’s Chad Smart and I set out to debate in a Jittery Monkey Crossover. The conclusion we came to was that just like discussing politics on social media, no minds were going to be changed. So instead, we just talked about “the good old days.”

Music, television, movies…nothing was left untouched in the realm of pop culture. But you have to forgive our memories to an extent. As the old saying goes whenever I forget something, “I’ve slept since then.”

So come with us as we travel back in time (in a DeLorean or a TARDIS, I don’t care which) to relive some of our favorite memories. And be sure to join us on social media to share your favorite memories of the 80s and 90s. We all hit childhood at different times, so I’m curious to know what was popular when you were younger. Remember to Like and Share so others can have that nostalgia as well.

You are appreciated.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 46: Times are Changing

Well, there was a football game on Black Friday and it didn’t go well. By that I mean it didn’t go well for anyone in the Great Cornhusker State.

“The best part of Iowa is I-80 West.” – Hoss

The bigger news happened the next day when Athletic Director Bill Moos announced changes to the coaching staff, relieving Mike Riley (and most of the assistants from their duties.

So when the new coach is hired this weekend, we will certainly have more to discuss.

Don’t forget – my wife is running in the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k (I don’t know which one she is running). And she’s raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Can you help her achieve her modest goal?

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Nerds United Episode 87: A New Premium Service?

This episode is born out of my friend Josh urging me to see Justice League. He saw it and, in his words, “dug it.” He said I need to see it right away so we could discuss it.

But there’s a little obstacle in the path to the movies, snack bar, and the silver screen.

My wife and I have a son and little free time. I’ve been to the theater just a handful of times since he was born, and my wife even fewer times. But the genre movies don’t stop being released. So I have an idea that would be great for consumers like me – but pretty horrible for movie theaters. Two words…digital streaming.

So give the show a listen and then utilize the comments section and tell me if you agree with my idea or not. I’m looking forward to your response.

Thanks for listening and sharing!

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 45: An Extra Helping of Podcast

How long are you in the car? This episode gets you over the river, through the woods, to grandma’s and back.

So we start with some post-game thoughts from Saturday’s debacle in Happy Valley, as the Husker football team got down big early, scratched and clawed, only to lose 56-44. Hoss and I discuss coaching scenarios and “rumor and innuendo.”

The coach talk carries over into the second half of the podcast, as I get Ty’s take on the whole fiasco. Plus, naturally, we talk about the Husker women’s volleyball team, and how they are cruising along and finish the regular season Saturday against Iowa.

It’s #EvilIowa week, so get all your hatred to the surface and unleash it in the comments.

And it’s Thanksgiving, which you knew. So we also talk about food.

And finally – my wife is running in the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k (I don’t know which one she is running). And she’s raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Can you help her achieve her modest goal?

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 44: Where Do We Go from Here?

I’m going to let Good Ol JR call that one…

Ohio State loss was expected, maybe not to the extent it ended up. But Minnesota? MINNE-FREAKIN’-SOTA???

So this is what it has come to. Nebraska is not good at football in 2017. The signs were there. All the way back to the close win against Arkansas State in Week One. We know change is coming. We know it won’t happen during the season. We don’t know who will be taking over in 2018.

What we do know is that we sure as hell better beat Iowa. But hell, even that match-up depresses me.

I want to stress a few things again:

A. Don’t tweet at the players. Don’t do it. Tweet at me. Tweet at Hoss. Tweet at the Big Red Cobcast folks. And share that info with the angry people on twitter. I like to think that the people who take the time to listen to this show aren’t the same people who tweet at players. Don’t do it.

2. This is the hard lesson for many of us, but remember that there is more to life than college football. We at Corn Nation know that more than anybody.

D (to make you smile). We live on the most boring street in the United States of America where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen. Period.

We’ll all stick together…in all kinds of weather.

GO BIG RED and WTDG!

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 43: Reuter’s March to UCF

When I hear or see “scorched earth,” I immediately think of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s “March to the Sea” in the Civil War. But after the overtime loss to Northwestern, it was time for Hoss Reuter to go scorched earth.

The only problem is that after six days, even that was tempered a bit. While Hoss believes the end of the Mike Riley era is nigh, his scorched earth approach was quite mild. I’m no historian, but if Sherman would have marched to Savannah like Hoss railed on the coaching staff, the North may have been turned away in Macon.

That being said, we believe a change is in the air. And after talking about the loss to the Wildcats, we discuss the “rumor and innuendo” that surrounds the Husker football program. And what can be done to get the best in-state athletes to play for Big Red, so that the Noah Fant’s of the world rip apart Ohio State while wearing the Scarlet and Cream?

Also we hit up the Facebook page and talk about the Tunnel Walk and playing for pride, if nothing else.

And stick around to the end to find out how to win a FREE box of food from Hello Fresh! Lots going on this week and we do appreciate you listening and sharing the show with the Husker fans in your life.

Here are the links!

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Nerds United Episode 86: A Collection of Musings

When you haven’t recorded a new episode in almost six weeks, some thoughts accumulate.

In the new episode, I talk a little bit about Stranger Things. I can only talk a little bit about it because I’ve only seen one episode. Hence, I’m “late to the party.”

I’m also late to the party because I didn’t realize that the new seasons of many comic book tv shows had started, those being The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, etc.

I AM UP TO DATE ON THE WALKING DEAD!

And I am really enjoying Seth MacFarlane’s ORVILLE on FOX. And I break down a recent episode and how it pertains to modern society. ORVILLE is a sneaky smart show that is more than 10% funnier than Star Trek.

Towards the end, I throw out some secondary and tertiary comic characters I’d like to see on the big screen. So in the comments, tell me if you agree or who you’d like to see get their big shot.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast: All the O-Line Talk

It started with a simply question about the injuries to center Michael Decker and right guard Tanner Farmer. But that led into a 30-minute discussion about the offensive line.

There is only one reason this conversation could have happened. And his name is Hoss Reuter! But we had a great talk about Nebraska’s offensive line philosophy now as well as what it used to be. What approach is working in the conference and what could Nebraska do to improve that aspect of the game?

And then we talk a bit about Tanner Lee’s masterpiece of a fourth quarter at Purdue, leading the good guys to two touchdowns and a one-point win. I believe Hoss called Lee a “virtuoso.”

And Northwestern is in town for a game this week, so hopefully we have more positive to talk about than negative next week.

Just remember GBR and WTDG!

And now…the links. Use them. Like us on FB. Follow us on Twitter.

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 41: Visits from Coug Center & Hammer and Rails

But fear not, Hoss is also here to drop in some of his acquired wisdom.

This three-segment episode may be our longest yet, measuring in at about 90 minutes.

In the first portion, Greg visits with Jeff Nusser from Coug Center to get some more information on the new Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos. Get the cliff notes version in written form here from Coug Center’s Brian Floyd.

Then Greg is joined by Hammer and Rails’ Travis Miller as a preview to this weekend’s game in West Lafayette. The Huskers are an underdog at Purdue. Does Miller think the home team can pull it off? (Spoiler Redacted) Plus, how are things going under Jeff Brohm’s first year at the helm?

And in the finale, Hoss is here to get us ready for Saturday night. But you won’t find him on social media during the game. And if Greg isn’t done helping to move his friend in his new house, you won’t find him on social media either.

And at the end, 1980’s WRESTLING COMPARISONS TO 2017 BIG TEN FOOTBALL!

Complete with the most awesome spinebuster in the business.

Lots of additions in this week’s links.

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Positive Cynicism EP 23: Halloween

Jumping on the October podcasting bandwagon of doing a Halloween themed episode. The guest host this episode is college friend and former Planet Boom co-host Jeff Maher. Jeff has a love of all things Halloween. In the episode, Chad and Jeff discuss the Halloween holiday as well as fascination with horror films.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 40: Bye Week Banter

7-5? 5-7? 3-9?

Which is best for the Huskers? Which is worst? And where do we fall in those categories? In this week’s episode, Greg and Hoss talk briefly about the game last week, particularly what Hoss saw from inside Memorial Stadium.

And what does the future have in store for Nebraska Football? What does new Athletic Director Bill Moos mean to Mike Riley’s time with the Huskers? And what is reasonable for the remainder of the season?

And we get anecdotal about fires, first responders (we’re big fans, by the way), and enduring Christmas with Iowa fans.

Here are your links – we removed Ty, but it should be noted that he wrote about the Nebraska women’s volleyball team beating Northwestern last night!

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 39: Husker Football and Volleyball

Well, we had certainly hoped that things would have gone better for the Huskers in the last week, but we are faced with a reality that there is still work to be done (shocking, I know).

I’m thrilled to bring you a split show this week as I have two guests, two great contributors from Corn Nation, Hoss Reuter and Ty Peteranetz. The first half of the show, I’m talking Hoss all things football as we get to the meat and bones of the 38-17 loss to the Ditch Weasels last Saturday night. And we get talking about this Saturday’s night game against Ohio State, and Hoss’ “weird feeling” (don’t look at me, I told him not to over-indulge on Chipotle).

Then in the back half of the show, Ty joins me to talk about Husker women’s volleyball, and how they were steamrolling opponents until they went on the road to…you guessed it…Wisconsin. So that’s fun. 0-2 in the week to damn Wisconsin. And we talk about the evolution of the knee pads, because I was genuinely curious.

We also, and this is important, do not endorse or condone drunken spelunking. It will make sense when you listen to the show. I’m pretty sure.

And as always, WTDG!

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 38: Beat the Ditch Weasels

It’s a new episode as Hoss Reuter sits across the table (a couple states away) to talk some Nebraska football.

On this episode:

  • The road win at Illinois, and Greg’s super good time.
  • Looking ahead to the Wisconsin Ditch Weasels.
  • Hoss and several other members of the Corn Nation family getting together this week.
  • Chili and cinnamon rolls and why it’s are WRONG (and why it should remind you of Wisconsin running all over Nebraska in 2014)!

Wrong John C Mcginley GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

  • What’s Hoss’s favorite “unsung hero” offensive scheme?

It’s a big weekend in Lincoln with a look at the past (the 1997 National Championship team being honored) and a glimpse into the possible future with some big-name recruits in attendance.

https://twitter.com/Micah_parsons23/status/916069504668655617

Last but certainly not least…WIN THE DAMN GAME!

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Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 37: The Broken Heart Podcast

Corn Nation was rocked this week with the news of the passing of one of our own as my “good friend, fellow Husker fan, and longtime broadcast buddy” Brian Towle passed away unexpectedly overnight.

To say we were not prepared for that is an absolute understatement. Brian not only did so much writing for Corn Nation, but was a key figure in the behind-the-scenes operations as well.

In the newest episode of the show, I am joined with Corn Nation’s head honcho Jon Johnston as we talk about Brian’s joining Corn Nation years ago, bringing me in, and all that he did for not just the site, but the community around it, his fellow contributors and all of the people he interacted with online.

I also have a few special compilation pieces in honor of my dear friend. Rest in peace, Brian.

There is a GoFundMe for funeral expenses and such for Brian. Every little bit helps, and Husker Nation has already risen to the occasion in great capacity, but there is still a bit that needs to be done. If you can help, please do.

The links don’t change.

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Positive Cynicism Ep 22: You Know, For Kids

Getting back to the original idea behind the Positive Cynicism podcast, @chadsmart is joined by For Kid’s Sake Director Shema Ruperto to discuss the organization helping orphans in Bangladesh as well as their upcoming Superhero 5K fundraiser. For more information check out www.forkidssake.net.

 

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 36: Huskers Lose to NIU and Drop Eichorst

Well, it has been a busy week. Not much good news emanating from One Memorial Drive. After Nebraska’s shocking loss to Northern Illinois, we were able to put a “former” in front of “Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst.”

So…it’s been a busy week.

In this episode, Greg is joined by Hoss Reuter as the two discuss the early-season woes of the Big Red. The loss to the Huskies hurt, and there is significant offensive line talk. We talk about what else went wrong last week and where the program may be headed.

Make sure you stay in-the-know with all of Hoss’ “Decoding…” posts on Corn Nation. The guy is ridiculously smart and calculating.

All the links you need to pass the time!

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Featured Photo: An Integrity statue in front of the stadium before the game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Nerds United Episode 85: Smallville, Multiversity, & More

In this all-new episode of Nerds United, I’m revisiting one of my favorite television shows from the early 2000’s, Smallville. Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, and a whole host of others made this a really memorable show, and opened the door for the CW shows and other comic book adaptations on the small screen.

I also talk a bit about a trade paperback from the “Distinguished Competition” that I’m reading, and while enjoying, for a long time felt was over my head. Few writers could spin a story in such a way that it takes me some time to grasp the direction it is going. But that’s Grant Morrison for you.

And how about an Image Comic that you should be reading if you aren’t. It’s a fun read with plenty of twists and turns of its own:

I’ve read Volume 1 and recently picked up Volume 2 to continue the journey.

If you enjoy the show and want it downloaded directly to your mobile device, please check it out on iTunes or Stitcher. Rate and review and maybe someday we’ll see Nerds United garner a little extra attention.

Your support is supremely appreciated.

Positive Cynicism EP 21: 1991 Year in Music: Country and Grunge

As the three part series looking at the changing musical landscape of 1991 wraps up, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb examine the popularity of Pop music along with the resurgence of Country music and emergence of the Grunge movement.

Nerds United Episode 84: Return to West of Oz

You remember Return to Oz, right? Well in Episode 84, I’m joined by two previous guests, Sean Benner and Nick Winand, we return to their project West of Oz.

I backed their Kickstarter in the Spring for Issue 1 and read it upon its delivery. It’s a fun read, and when I talked with the pair, they emphasized that they wanted to keep the book light-hearted and steer clear of any “gritty” filters commonly used.

We hear about the reception to West of Oz #1 both from fans and other creators. Hear tales about taking the book to various comic cons (and a great story from me about Cape Comic Con), including Portland this past weekend.

Now you have the opportunity to back the next two chapters of the story – Issues 2 & 3 – in trade paperback form.

http://kck.st/2gcTXd6

This project is mostly funded and you can help push them over the edge. You have until Sunday September 24 to back this book. It’s right there. Help them see it through.

And stay tuned to the end for a brief tragedy and the recovery. All is well.

Positive Cynicism EP 20: 1991 Year in Music: Hair Metal

Continuing the review of music released in 1991, @chadsmart and @MikeDeKalb (www.hockeytransplant.com) turn the attention from rap to hair metal and discuss a genre on its last legs. With an emerging change in musical landscape as well as lack of album releases from major hair metal stalwarts, looking back it’s easy to see the writing was on the (bathroom) wall. Even with Guns N Roses and Metallica releasing three of the biggest albums of the year, party rock was about to be replaced by a more somber ideology.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast: Huskers Take 1-0 Record to Oregon

The Huskers are undefeated…after one game. And it was closer than we’d like. Brian and Greg saw some things we liked in last week’s game. Like the kick return for a touchdown, the improved play from the quarterback position, the myriad of Nebraska receivers, and a young man by the name of Tre Bryant.

We saw some things we didn’t like. For example…the muffed punt returned for a touchdown, and…the defense that bent but didn’t break when it counted the most.

And then there’s the trip to the West Coast where an estimated 25,000-30,000 Husker fans are preparing to descend upon Eugene’s Autzen Stadium, where the Huskers will take on the Oregon Ducks.

It’s not nuts – it’s Quackers!

All the links you need to stay in-the-know!

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Nerds United Episode 83: Jason Copland…FINALLY!

It’s the podcast three or four months in the making. Hear the tale about why it took us so long to hook up for a recording and why the night we did record was so disadvantageous (but we made the best of it, because Jackie rocks).

We talk about Jason’s early years as a reader of comics, and how he went to art school and the advice he was given. Anthology work begat an opportunity to work with one of the best writers in the business on Daredevil (seen in the featured photo…DD #33, for you readers there).

We get more info on Kill All Monsters – available now pretty much everywhere – and what Jason has been doing since Kill All Monsters wrapped up.

Jason did a three-issue stint on IDW’s Judge Dredd:

Issues 3-5

And now he’s working on writing a story of his own for which he will also do the art, so there’s a great opportunity to have him on the show again in the future to talk about Full Tilt.

Enjoy the show. Like, Comment, Share, and rate/review on iTunes. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Positive Cynicism EP 19: A Look at 1991 in Music Part 1: Rap/Hip Hop

On the newly revamped Positive Cynicism @chadsmart is joined by @MikeDeKalb (www.hockeytransplant.com) to examine the impact music had in 1991. First up is a breakdown of all the major Rap/HipHop albums released during 1991 and how these releases fit into the changing landscape of the genre.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast: Welcome Back

Hello again! It’s been far too long since Brian and I got together to talk some Husker athletics. But hey, it’s the day before the first football game of 2017, so this is as good a time as ever to get the proverbial band back together and present you with…INFORMATION YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNEW BUT ARE LISTENING TO AGAIN ANYWAY IN VERBAL FORM BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH HUSKER CONTENT!

Not much peripheral chat this time, as we just try to get today’s episode recorded in a timely manner. But while we were recording, Ohio State took a commanding lead against Indiana and went on to win big.

Greg has a new job, which also hinders his ability to stay up late to record, which is another reason why we haven’t done this in three months.

And now here are those dadgum captains we mentioned but failed to go into detail about.

https://twitter.com/Coach_Riley/status/901573422324617218

And now the links you missed in our absence:

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Brian Towle 
Greg Mehochko

Feature Photo: Tanner Lee sets to pass in the 2017 Spring Game at Memorial Stadium. Photo Credit: David McGee/Corn Nation

Nerds United Episode 82: #AskNerdsUnited

I put out the call for your questions and you came through. In this episode, I field questions about Image Comics’ Cowboy – Ninja – Viking (coming to a theater near you in 2019), Ready Player One (coming to a theater near you in March), and my overall thoughts on the DC Cinematic Universe. There’s also a question about books I would recommend that aren’t of the comic book variety, and I provide a dramatic reading of my son’s favorite book.

Be sure to check out Kickstarter for the “Project We Love,” West of Oz.

http://kck.st/2gcTXd6

And as promised, here’s the trailer to Ready Player One.

 

Positive Cynicism Ep 18: Under Construction

On this episode, @chadsmart gives an update on the status of Positive Cynicism. Due to political fatigue, Positive Cynicism is moving away from any political talk and moving on to breaking down specific topics in a more detailed manner.

Nerds United Episode 81: Michael May and Kill All Monsters

Episode 81 is here and I’m thrilled to sit down with writer Michael May. I get a bit of Michael’s own origin story as well as some good conversation about Kill All Monsters, available now wherever comics and most other books are sold, as well as the interwebs.

Kill All Monsters started as an idea May had with artist Jason Copland (my chat with him in the very near future). How’d the project begin? Where was it originally found? And how did a successful Kickstarter campaign help these two see their creation get picked up by Dark Horse comics?

Michael and I also talk about the current state of the comic book industry, and why it’s important to support stories you love and their creators. Like Captain Planet would say:

Image result for the power is yours gif

What’s next for Michael? Working on Kill All Monsters Vol. 2, naturally. You can check out Volume 1 using the link below.

Jason…you’re up next!

Positive Cynicism Ep17: Hate is Not a One Way Street

While it’s easy to condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA as the result of Nazi scum unfortunately the hate has been building for years on both sides of the political spectrum. On this episode of Positive Cynicism, @chadsmart looks at the hatred that flows on a daily basis through social and mainstream media. Hatred that is not exclusive to one side.

WARNING: EPISODE DOES CONTAIN SOME LANGUAGE THAT IS NSFW.

For the record, Racism of any kind is unacceptable. White Supremacists and Nazis have no place in a productive society. (Just in case there was any confusion)

Positive Cynicism EP16: Greatest Performers

What do Garth Brooks, Butch Walker and Prince have in common besides being musicians? Judging by the title of this episode of Positive Cynicism, you can probably figure it out. @chadsmart gives his take on why he considers these three artists three of the greatest performers he’s seen live. In addition, Chad pimps some of his favorite podcasts to listen to at work.

Nerds United Episode 80: Alberto Pessoa on Primas

Meet Alberto Pessoa: writer, artist, researcher, and creator of Primas. Primas is an original graphic novel based on true stories from research Alberto did over a three year period in a poor region of Paraiba, Brazil. While there, Pessoa talked with local women who earned their living in “the world’s oldest profession.”

In Primas, Pessoa takes the stories of three women and combines them into one tale of the fictional “Rosa.”

I ready the PDF version of Primas in about 40 minutes in one sitting, as I found it wholly engaging and riveting. It’s not a superhero tale. You’ll find no capes or cowls. Only real stories told with a vivid art style. I love the art on this book. It’s simply yet effective. It gets two thumbs up from me, in that regard. The honesty with which the story is told is both brutal yet refreshing. It makes the book all the more desirable to read.

http://kck.st/2vj4NUu

I highly encourage you to check out the Kickstarter and throw them a few bones. Having read the book, I’m confident in saying you won’t be disappointed!

Positive Cynicism EP. 15: San Diego Comic Con Recap

The largest Popular Culture convention of the year, San Diego Comic Convention recently wrapped up it’s 2017 edition. Host @chadsmart is joined by a panel of Comic Con attendees to discuss how this year’s Con compared to previous years and why people spend up to 16 hours in line to see presentations they could have watched on YouTube . In addition to panels, the discussion touches on topics ranging from all the non-convention center attractions, collectibles and a run-in with Andy Serkis.

*Editor’s note…this is till my favorite moment from Hall H a few years ago. – GM

Positive Cynicism Ep 14: Feminism – Expert Opinions

On this week’s episode, host @chadsmart is joined by Nerds United host Greg Mehochko and My 1-2-3 Cents host Kevin Hunsperger to discuss the rise of feminism in society.

The first half of the show focuses on the DC cinematic universe and whether Wonder Woman is actually a good movie or if it is given more leeway due to being the first female driven superhero movie.

Second half discussion looks at the online outrage of WWE’s recent first ever women’s Money in the Bank match.

Nerds United Episode 79: Broderick Writer Ron Bryce

Broderick is already a success story. The Kickstarter launched and has met its initial goal.

Now I’m thrilled to sit down with Ron Bryce, the writer of Broderick. Fun fact: Ron has known longtime friend of the show (and current record holder of most guest appearances) Jay Peteranetz from the very beginning. So after Ron wrote and published his novel (Thirty Days from Sunday), he started working on a novella, and thus, Jack Broderick was born!

 

From comic cards to Kickstarter, come with us on the secret origin of Ron Bryce.

And if you’re going to Denver Comic Con this weekend, be sure to stop by Booth M20, see Ron and Jay, and give them a dollar. I want this project to be fully funded, but I need your help!!! Hardcover, t-shirt, all four issues…it can all be ours! And it could only cost you $1!

Positive Cynicism Ep 13: Is College Worth It?

On this week’s episode, @chadsmart is joined by Associate Professor of Communication, Travis Yates as they discuss if college is worth the cost or if everyone even needs to go to college. Several pros and cons are discussed as they try to determine what is the best option for today’s students.

Nerds United Episode 78: Jay Peteranetz on Broderick

It’s new episode day! Jay Peteranetz returns to talk about his new project on Kickstarter, Broderick.

Broderick is an original comic drawn by Jay, written by Ron Bryce, and colored by Tony Zollo. It’s a noir story about a mob hitman who is “too violent” (Jay’s words) for the mafia. That’s saying something. I mean, the mafia was notoriously violent. YOU’VE SEEN THE MOVIES! YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WERE CAPABLE OF!

But I digress. I’ve read the Broderick preview, available now on the Kickstarter site. In it, Broderick wakes up in Trinity, New Mexico (the real site of the first ever atomic bomb test) – having been dropped there by the mafia overlords he used to serve. Getting a firsthand account of that first blast also comes with, as we come to find out, some damn radiation poisoning.

So – what does Broderick do with his remaining time? Revenge or redemption? And did I open up an existential can of worms with my interpretation? WHO KNOWS?!?

So – check out the Kickstarter. Throw a few dollars their way. Check out all the reward levels. Let’s SUPERFUND this book!

Follow Jay and Ron on twitter:

Jay Peteranetz
Ron Bryce

Also – why will this show never get a sponsorship deal with Taco Bell? It’s all inside!

Positive Cynicism EP 12: Be Excellent to Each Other

After a week that saw a “comedienne” post a picture of her holding the severed head of Donald Trump then play the victim card after near universal backlash, and another terrorist attack in London, host @chadsmart has reached his breaking point with the level of hate in the world. Instead of going with the initial reaction of being “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” Chad implores listeners to “be excellent to one another” and tells a story about how seeing New Kids On the Block at the Hollywood Bowl helped erase negative feelings and spread positivity.

Nerds United Episode 77: Game of Thrones, Castlevania, and Acting

All right kids, so here’s the new episode. It’s another road recording. And admittedly, it’s not nearly as thorough and complete as I’d like. But…it is what it is.

So earlier in the day, we received a trailer for Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. So I’m excited about that.

We also received a teaser trailer for a new project headed to Netflix later this year. And though I shared a different version on Facebook earlier in the day, well, I like this one more.

Last but certainly not least, is a response to this article from ComicBook.com, on what had to be a slow news day: The Fifteen Most DESPISED Comic Book Movie Performances.

I take great issue with this, based just on the first two actors listed. But the point is this:

More blame should be levied on the director/producer than the actor portraying the role. And who are you as the author of that article to speak for everyone when calling those performances the most despised? Maybe they were more disappointing to you than other performances. But that’s more your fault based on your expectations of A abd receiving B.

But I digress. There’s more for me to get into on that subject, but that is – I think – more of a blog post when I have the time to disagree with most of the author’s points.

Enjoy the show and we’ll catch you again soon.

What Did I Just Do?

Seriously – what did I just do?

I’m not opposed to shaving for good causes. Here’s when I shaved my head for the Bald Men Walking Relay for Life team five years ago.

Backstory: If you recall a recent post, you’re aware of my love of shaving. It’s not a chore anymore, it’s an event. And this is a great community of people who share the hobby.

I’ve not met anyone in the wet shave community that I didn’t know before I got into it. That will change in a few weeks when I attend the STL Wet Shavers Meet Up. That will be awesome.

But still, it’s a great community. We have good times and plenty of laughs. We have memorial shaves, we have congratulatory shaves for weddings, graduations, retirements, etc (I know I had a helluva shave when my son was born), and we have shaves just to show support. So when it was learned that one of our own was going through something major (learned his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer), one of our fearless leaders created a shave event in her honor. Predicated on her favorite scents, citrus based

Now I don’t know him and I certainly don’t know her, but “when in Rome,” right?

So the event is technically Sunday. But some of us are doing citrus shaves all week long. I began tonight.

 

Now a normal shave would be just fine. But dammit, I had an idea.

AHH! My boobs are on the Internet!

That’s right, kids. I did the unthinkable.

I SHAVED MY CHEST!

#ShaveTheTatas

The band-aid? I had a mole right in the center. And it’s not perfect, but I’ve never shaved my chest before.

And I never will. And yeah, I left the hair around the nips. You saw the razor in the feature image.

As an unforeseen bonus, now my boy can’t pull my chest hair.

Melinda, our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue your fight

But I hope to God that no one gets testicular cancer!!!

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast: Baseball Champs, Waffle House, and the Alamo

There’s reason to celebrate today. The Nebraska Cornhusker baseball team is Big Ten regular season champions. That’s a thing. It happened. First time since 2005. And it was

Here’s a little video of the boys celebrating.

THAT CHAMPIONSHIP FEELING!!!

Posted by Nebraska Baseball on Saturday, May 20, 2017

So we talk about that, Penn State’s live stream of the games this weekend (which was 100-times better than the Big Ten Network’s coverage), and the upcoming Big Ten Tournament (Huskers play Wednesday at 4pm Central – AND WE TOLD YOU WHAT TIME THE GAME IS!!!).

Waffle House, Mount Rushmore, and the Alamo are all brought up, as well as a quick football recruiting note.

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Featured image: Nebraska sophomore Jesse Wilkening confirms that he’s safe as sophomore Angelo Altavilla (7) and senior Alex Raburn (14) signal with the home plate umpire in this file photo from the Minnesota series last month. Credit Jon Johnston – Corn Nation

Positive Cynicism Ep 11: Politicalamity

Given the political dealings of the past couple of weeks, @chadsmart invites My 1-2-3 Cents host @kevinhunsperger to join the show to discuss the hypocrisy of both political parties. Over the next hour they discuss why the political climate is so hostile and try to figure out why people don’t listen to each other.

Nerds United Episode 76: Star Wars, Logan, FCBD, and More!

Heeeey I’m back, recording from the road. It’s safe, I’m fairly certain.

Plenty to talk about in the 76th episode of Nerds United. I’ve been reading comics (SHOCKING, I KNOW!), so there are a few titles I’m talking about, and a reminder to you that this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day (hit that hyperlink to see what books are available this year).

Today is May the Fourth…Star Wars Day. What’s your favorite Star Wars moment? I have a few myself.

Whose names get mentioned here? Let’s see…Logan, Taskmaster, Moon Knight, Crossbones, Captain America, Daredevil, Darth Bane, Darth Vader…I mean, it goes on and on.

I also recap my day at the Cape Comic Con a couple weeks ago!

Also starting a new feature on Facebook today, and every #ThorsDay. An image of the god of thunder from a talented artist on DeviantArt. Give it a look, and all credit to lukealderson1898 for the first Thor image used for this weekly feature.

Hey, if you like the show, if you like Nerds United, please share it with your friends and fellow nerds. I would really appreciate it!

Positive Cynicism EP. 10: Exploring Fandom

What is fandom? What effect has geek culture going mainstream had on fans who were reading comic books or into superheros before it was cool? These questions and more are discussed in the latest installment of Positive Cynicism. Host @chadsmart is joined by Eric Bennett to try and understand what motivates someone to have extreme fandom. Along the way they discuss what Marvel is doing right and DC is doing wrong to create their cinematic universe and how it reflects on the comic book source material.

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 32: Spring Recap and Bowling Psychology

This week’s episode has a little rundown on the Red/White Game from a couple weeks ago. What did we see, what didn’t we see? Did it all meet expectations?

Plenty of bowling talk, like match psychology. Does the bowler take into account their opponent, or do they bowl with proverbial blinders on?

And Texas is a massive state that you should never feel obligated to drive across. Speaking of bowling (and speaking of driving across Texas), Brian outran a tornado! Seriously. He tells the story in this week’s episode.

Also, if you were one of the first 400 Ohio State students going to Friday night’s baseball game against Nebraska, you were treated (??) to a Brutus Buckeye “dab” hat.

Old Man Greg says it’s time to retire the dab.

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DC’s Titans Headed to New Streaming Service

Earlier today, we learned that Warner Bros./DC is moving forward with a live-action version of the Teen Titans.

Honestly, it’s a brilliant idea. It hits home for the generation that grew up with the Titans on Cartoon Network (even if they didn’t pick up a comic book). But they will also capture the audience that has brought continued success to the CW shows in the “Arrow-verse.” It gets top billing because it was the first, followed by The Flash, Supergirl (an acquisition from NBC), and Legends of Tomorrow.

Greg Berlanti, the mastermind behind the success of these network programs, will once again be at the forefront of this DC property, working with Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, and Sarah Schechter.

This will also mark DC’s first venture on their new, yet-to-be-launched streaming service. So it won’t be a full week of Berlanti shows on the CW. Just, you know…four. Or whatever it is now. I guess Legends is on after Flash. I don’t know…I DVR everything and zip through commercials.

In a press release from Warner Bros.:

“Titans” follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven and many others.

One recruit that is already established that I’d like to see pulled over to Titans is a Titan himself, Kid Flash.

Keiynan Lonsdale portrays Kid Flash on the CW’s hit show The Flash.

Now, I’m a little behind on my Flash-watching, but it just seems like Wally West/Kid Flash is sort of just there. He doesn’t have too much to do since you still have the titular character on the show. So it would work. Plus, as I mentioned above, he’s an established character and would likely draw his fans, and fans of The Flash into this new project.

Titans as a live-action production seems like the next logical step in the process of bringing these characters to a new audience. The same press release that brought the news of the Titans live action show also held an announcement that Young Justice was making its return. And with the success of the DC Animated universe titles like Justice League vs Teen Titans and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, live action was just the next evolution. And since Titans was brought back to the dance after being neglected by TNT, it looks like it will finally be done right.

I look for more Titans news in the future. I’m guessing they already have an actor in mind to play Dick Grayson, but who do you see in that role?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

Nerds United Episode 75: Talking Smit and the Cape Comic Con

This weekend is the 12th Annual Cape Comic Con in Cape Girardeau, MO.

This year’s Cape Con preview episode features two of my favorite people and best friends, Jared and Nia Smith, of Talking Smit fame. We’re talking about some of our memories of recent Cape Con’s, the mistake that I made once and the good times had by all.

Learn about their favorite memories of their trips to Cape Con (spoiler, this pic place a part):

Cape Con 2017 will once again reunite me with my good friends, but we also talk about what is anticipated the most for them this year. Being that they’re both big wrestling fans, they’re eager to see two great nights of wrestling at the Arena. It’s Girl Fight and the Luna Vachon Memorial Tournament Friday night and the CCW Super Show Saturday night. Big names are brought to Southeast Missouri for a great weekend, and you can see them all (and the CCW talent) at the Con itself.

Enjoy the show. We get a silent cameo from my son who walked over to the broadcast area late in the show (he was a little more vocal about midway through).

 

 

Positive Cynicism Episode 9: Can’t We All Be United

After a two week hiatus (aka mandatory therapy), @chadsmart returns with the latest installment of Positive Cynicism to share his slanted views on society. This week Chad looks at the United airline overbook flight situation which saw a passenger dragged off a plane instead of leaving voluntarily when asked. In typical cynical fashion, Chad explains why he thinks the general public overreacted and why viral outrage reflects poorly on society.

Fresh Content Day 46: The Kevin Smith Post

Where do I start? Let’s see…I got a late start on Kevin Smith fandom. Clerks came out in 1994, but I didn’t see it until 2000 or 2001. Oddly enough, I heard of a little movie called Dogma before I heard of Clerks, Mallrats, or Chasing Amy, all of which were before Dogma.

Let’s start at the beginning.

I graduated high school in 2000 and stayed home and went to a community college. The plan was to knock out my general courses and get my Associate’s Degree on their dime (academic scholarship) and then go on to a university and finish my Bachelor’s Degree and become a teacher. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way and instead, after finishing my Associate’s, I went on to broadcast school. But the friendships I made at small Kaskaskia College in Centralia, IL were some of the most important of my life, and I’m still friends with many of those people today.

One kid I met in college (we’ll call him Billy, since that was his name) introduced me to a couple of characters named Jay and Silent Bob. Billy let me borrow Clerks, and from there I borrowed Mallrats, and Chasing Amy. I was hooked. I loved how all the movies were inter-connected (before there was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was the View Askew-niverse). I should clarify that I borrowed these movies originally, but later purchased them. I had the first four movies on video cassette.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was different. I recognized at that point that the industry was changing. Actually, it had changed, I was just behind the times. My last semester in college, I took a Film History course, and one of our assignments was a video report on a movie, actor, director, etc. I chose Kevin Smith. I pieced together bits of the videos from the five movies mentioned above, talking about how they were all connected, how he used actors in different roles (Brian O’Halloran being my main example), how there was a nerdy theme throughout all of the movies.

https://youtu.be/GYHP101Owy0?t=21s

Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back was my first movie on DVD before I had a DVD player. I bought it on vacation in June of 2002 and didn’t get an XBox for probably six months. I would watch it on my mom’s old laptop that she wasn’t using anymore.

I’m going to make a HUGE step forward now and say that without Kevin Smith, Nerds United wouldn’t be a thing. I wouldn’t have a podcast. I wouldn’t have started my own podcast network. You wouldn’t be reading this at all…if not for Kevin Smith.

It was February 2012 and I had just upgraded to an iPhone 5. I had been watching Comic Book Men on AMC for a few weeks and assumed that when the guys (Kevin, Bryan, Walt, Mike, and Ming)  were sitting around the table talking, that it was an actual podcast recording. So I went to find it on my new iTunes podcast app. I didn’t find it, but I did find a little show called Fatman on Batman. I remember the first episode I listened to was Part One of the Grant Morrison two-parter. I did that on the way to and from Effingham, IL to broadcast some high school boys basketball.

I was instantly hooked to the show and would go back and listen to all of the previous episodes. Those early episodes with Mark Hamill, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Tara Strong, Kevin Conroy, Adam West, Scott Snyder…I mean…people who have worked on or been a part of Batman lore – some of the best podastin’ I’ve ever heard. When he sat down with my favorite author, Brad Meltzer, I was quite simply in heaven.

But the reason I’m here (and the reason you’re here) is because, in his own inspirational way, Smith said (and I’m paraphrasing) “if you’ve got something you want to say or create, just do it.” I had something I wanted to say. So here we are. I later found his weekly podcast Hollywood Babble-On, and that’s a go-to every Monday morning, when I update my podcast downloads and hope to see it there for its regular laughs.

Smith gets a lot of heat online anytime his name is mentioned. Any time his name pops up on a headline, often the comments include “who cares what Kevin Smith says,” etc.

My problem with that is 1) Kevin Smith isn’t in charge of news sites writing about him and B) people are just some jealous bastards.

The guy has legitimate geek cred. He wrote for Marvel and DC (Daredevil, Batman, and Green Arrow runs come to mind), as well as Green Hornet. He has directed The Flash and Supergirl. But my takeaway from Smith is “find something you love doing and find a way to make a living from it.” Here’s a guy who wrote and directed a movie on a budget of about $27,000. And from those humble beginnings, is a household name and a global brand.

His more recent stuff, the “True North Trilogy,” is a little off beat and left of center. Tusk was a really messed up movie. Yoga Hosers was an oddball teen comedy. And I enjoyed them both. MooseJaws (like Jaws, but with a moose) is the third one in the lineup and should be a fun picture as well.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Smith is that he marches to the beat of his own drum and doesn’t care. He said (paraphrasing again) that by and large, the public wasn’t going out to see the movies he made that he thought they wanted, so he just started making movies that he wanted to see. Tusk originated from a conversation on one of his podcasts.

Regardless of your opinion of Smith, his “I’m going to do it my way, with or without you” attitude is to be commended. He sees your “that can’t be done” and responds with a “watch me do it.”

It was just announced on a recent episode of Fatman on Batman that Smith was tapped (he’d find that dirty…and hilarious) to write, direct, and produce a Sam and Twitch series for BBC America.

The guy travels the world with his friends doing live shows of his various podcasts. Despite his detractors, he has a loyal following of fans. He has enriched my comic book appreciation by recommending titles and arcs I may not have picked up otherwise.

Kevin Smith is my spirit animal if ever I had one.

When Nerds United was in its infancy, I reached out to Kevin to see if he’d be interested in being a guest on the show. That request was greeted with crickets. Maybe…MAYBE…Kevin will see this and open a dialogue. I’d love to have the type of chat with him that he had with the likes of Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Neal Adams, and Denny O’Neil (two of the best storytellers of all damn time). I’ve read his comics and I have seen his movies. I know there’s a ton of dialogue. A four-part series with Kevin Smith?

So, Kevin Smith, if you read this and got all the way to the end, thank you for inspiring me to get out there with a microphone and my friends and create something. Now…would you like to be a guest on my podcast?

 

 

That’s it, folks. We made it through Lent with new content every day. WHEW! I’m tired. I’m still going to write for the site, but probably not every day. I’ve been sacrificing a lot of sleep to try to meet these self-imposed deadlines (and even then, I sometimes missed them). I’m excited to go to bed early tonight and prepare for Easter tomorrow with my family. I’m pretty pumped to eat Garrett’s candy, HA HA HA HA HA!

I thank you all for reading these posts, whether you read one, ten, or all 46. I try not to think that I’m just yelling into a big empty room and that someone is out there enjoying what I do here at Nerds United. Hope to have a new podcast up this week with the organizer of the Cape Comic Con. I’ll be there a week from now, seeing old friends and making new connections. If you’ve enjoyed these posts, tell your friends about it. This is a pure grassroots effort here with no budget. It’s a hobby, not a job.

Thank you all again, from the bottom of my nerdy heart!

Corn Nation’s Five Heart Podcast Episode 31: Husker Spring Game and More

After a week off, Brian and Greg are back with an episode that’s full of Husker topics.

We talk about NCAA Women’s Bowling National Championships and the Huskers competing down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We talk a little about Nebraseball and their Friday night loss in ten innings to Iowa (#EvilIowa).

Friday saw Nebraska get a verbal commitment from a top-5 cornerback from Calabasas.

https://twitter.com/Bookie_44/status/853035609891405825

What do the guys want to see from the Red/White Game, and what sort of impact will 70,000+ Nebraska faithful have on the scores of players in Lincoln for the game?

More recruiting notes and philosophies as the rules have changed, allowing early official visits and an early signing day!

The plugs are almost as cool as Bookie.

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Fresh Content Day 45: Breaking Down Star Wars Ep VIII – The Last Jedi Trailer

The Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm wiseguys decided one awesome trailer this week wasn’t enough. So they graced us with one of the most anticipated trailers in recent memory.

Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Let’s break down this one just like we did the Thor trailer earlier in the week.

It opens with a rock. Or rather, a rocky surface. And then suddenly – BAM! Rey drops on screen.

She looks like she’s sweating and she’s gasping for air. She reminds me of how Luke looked in Empire Strikes Back when Yoda was training him in the ways of the Force.

Show the classic Lucasfilm emblem we’ve seen for so long. Aaaand now we’re flying over water.

That is one picturesque island. And it’s not some random place in the south Pacific. NAY! It’s a real place off the coast of Ireland called Skellig Michael, and it’s a must-see place without the high-quality production camera.

IRELAND – MARCH 17: The small island of Skellig Michael, Skellig Islands, County Kerry, Ireland. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Next we see a cove and Rey looking out over the water. It cuts to her hands on the ground and using the Force to lift pebbles off the ground. Again, reminiscent of Empire.

When the screen goes black, we hear Luke’s voice saying “What do you see?”

Rey answers “Light” as we see a Rebel Command Center and what is clearly the backside of General Organa (Carrie Fisher had concluded filming her scenes for this movie before she passed away in December). When the image changes to a broken and for some reason smoking Kylo Ren helmet, Rey’s coinciding response is “darkness.”

In another cut away, we see darkness surrounding a lit area, a hand on an old text or scroll, and more words from Rey.

I have listened to it several times, but I don’t know if she says “imbalance” or “and balance.” If you have an opinion, voice it in the comments on Facebook.

As we hear the voice of Luke say “It’s so much bigger,” we see a distance shot of Rey getting some quality time in practicing with the light saber.

After it’s announced that we can expect Episode VIII “THIS CHRISTMAS,” we see some speeders kicking up a bunch of dust on the desert, and one clearly has a little problem on the approach.

A quick glimpse of Finn asleep, dead, I don’t know. He looks at peace. That’s more than we can say about most of the galaxy far far away. A quick cut to Poe and BB-8 on the run from an explosion.

And then…

SPACE BATTLE!!!

Complete with the Millennium Falcon. Now if you remember the end of The Force Awakens, you’ll know that [OMG IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET, DON’T READ THE FOLLOWING] Han Solo is dead. Last we saw, Rey joined Chewbacca on the Falcon. And they flew that hunka junk to Luke’s position. So seeing it being shot at by the First Order’s version of the TIE Fighter is interesting. I would assume that means that the Falcon left Luke, and not that they were followed there by the First Order. Rey is seen briefly running with her lightsaber extended.

At the 1:29 mark, we get our first look at Kylo Ren.

And he does not look happy. Of course, he was just PWNed by a n00b. (Is that right? Am I saying that right?) I’m really looking forward to the rematch.

We see Luke and R2-D2 standing side-by-side, looking at a burning structure. Based on the shot immediately following that, with Kylo Ren leading some troopers towards our viewpoint, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a conflict between Ren and Skywalker at that place.

More space battle. I gloss over it briefly because it’s just there. It will play a part, but I don’t think it will be the focus.

Then the cryptic words of Luke Skywalker: “It’s time for the Jedi…to end.” No idea what it means but eager as heck to find out.

After another viewing of the trailer, here are a few things I missed:

  • There are soft voices in her light/dark segment. Online speculation hints at maybe Obi Wan Kenobi from the prequels. There is also allegedly the voice of Princess Leia from A New Hope.
  • Something I missed in initial viewings of the teaser were the AT AT’s in the background when the fighters take to the sand (around the 1:16 mark).

So…is it December yet?

Of course, here’s the trailer in its entirety:

Fresh Content Day 44: Marvel’s Ultimatum

Now before you start wondering, let me clear the air here.

  1. I’m not giving Marvel an Ultimatum. I’m not saying “put Steve Rogers back in the red, white, and blue” or “for crying out loud, please cast Nathan Fillion in something more than voice work!”
  2. Marvel isn’t handing out ultimatums to Sony or 20th Century Fox or anything lile that regarding any of their properties.

This is about “Marvel Ultimatum,” a five-issue mini-series that was published in 2008-2009. Best I can tell, it takes place in Marvel’s Ultimate universe. Written by the incredible Jeph Loeb and penciled by David Finch, it is a Marvel comic event that, I think, caused everyone to look around and say “well, I think we’re all glad that didn’t happen in the main continuity.”

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

To put it mildly, it’s a damn bloodbath. The story opens with a swell of water that floods New York City. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe is covered in a deep winter that kills man, woman, and child. Earthquakes in Wakanda. Volcanoes in the Amazon. In the first issue, the death toll reaches the millions.

And no one is immune. Throughout the series, heroes are offed left and right. Some from the initial natural disasters, but most from the ensuing conflicts.

Now I fully admit that I only read the core Ultimatum story, without going into the Requiem tie-ins or any other titles. But it was a relatively easy book to digest, and I was able to finish it in one sitting. Truth be told, it wasn’t on my radar initially, and I only knew about it from a YouTube video (I don’t remember which one now). But it did give me a pretty sweet #BOOM! picture I was able to use after selling a car.

But here’s a list of Marvel characters who are killed in Ultimatum:

  • Beast
  • Nightcrawler
  • Dazzler
  • Franklin Storm
  • Emma Frost
  • Wasp
  • Blob
  • Hank Pym
  • Longshot
  • Forge
  • Doctor Strange
  • Cannonball
  • Professor X
  • Spider-Man (he would later be revealed to be alive)
  • Angel

There are more. But it’s almost as if George RR Martin wrote the story. And here’s the thing. There are A-list names above. But what I haven’t told you yet is Thor sacrificed himself and stayed behind in Hel to save Valkyrie and Captain America.

So let’s let the story unfold. It is realized that Magneto changed the magnetic fields at Earth’s north and south poles. That caused all the destruction and devastation. It’s learned that he’s essentially punishing mankind for the death of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. So all the heroes go to his floating fortress for the confrontation. That’s where Angel dies. It’s where Magneto kills Wolverine and where Cyclops returns the favor.

A few days later at a press conference, while Cyclops is addressing the crowd on the steps of Congress he’s assassinated. After that, Doctor Doom has his head crushed by the Thing.

Like I said, there is an unnerving amount of death in these five issues. But the most gruesome death is that of Janet van Dyne aka Wasp. Hawkeye turns the corner and sees Blob feasting on her torso. Blob meets his end when Hank Pym picks him up and bites his head off, then spitting it out and dropping Blob from a very high distance.

I mean…it’s gratuitous. It’s unnerving.

It’s Rated T for Teen.

Now Ultimatum is not the best comic book out there. It’s not one of Jeph Loeb’s best. That’s on the other side of the Marvel/DC aisle:

And that’s just my opinion. But that is a great story.

So where does that leave Ultimatum? Well, I read it out of morbid curiosity. I think we all do that from time to time. But this is a unique story that shows the demise of a good portion of the Marvel Earthly heroes. If you’re curious and didn’t see my [SPOILERS] as a bad thing, I encourage you to seek it out, borrow it from a friend. If you’re not curious, well the good news is that there are a lot of comics out there to scratch almost any itch you might have. Go to your local comic book store, tell them where your interests lie, and then listen and honestly consider their recommendations.

It’s a big beautiful world of comics out there, kids. Go get you some.

Fresh Content Day 43: Life with a Toddler

I know it’s crazy, but I don’t bring up my son a lot on social media. I do here and there, of course. I don’t ignore the fact that he exists. But I have several friends who would love to have children of their own, but for one reason or another, the Good Lord hasn’t provided them with that blessing yet.

I was in their shoes once. My wife and I tried for years to start a family. While we had our struggles – including losing one pregnancy about twelve weeks in – our friends were having their first kids or their second kids. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t hurting. That behind the smiles and tears of happiness there was also anger and tears of sadness. So with those memories always in my mind, I never want to feel like I’m rubbing it in my friends’ faces that I have a child while they wait for their prayers to be answered.

So on Day 43, when I didn’t see any headlines today that brought with them some inspiration, no new trailer to break down, and nothing left to say about tornadoes (sorry Jay), I turned to my wife and said “what should I write about tonight?”

She said “write about living with a 15-month-old.”

So…let’s see. Our son is up and running and playing. He loves to be outside. We have a playset in the backyard that was here from the previous owners. We ordered a toddler swing for it so he can swing anytime he wants to.

I’d say overall, he’s pretty good with our two dogs. But he accidentally stepped on Lucky’s tail last week. She didn’t appreciate that. He made it up to her by dropping food from his high chair down to the floor. I’d say all was forgiven after that.

As I said, he’s more mobile now. We’ve had to make adjustments to how we store things, like our/my expansive movie collection. It used to be in alphabetical order. Now I’m just happy if he hasn’t chewed on any cases that day.

He likes to play ball, either rolling it back and forth or picking it up and bringing it back to us, so we would roll it and he’d go get it and bring it back. Yes, our son is good at playing fetch.

Some days he doesn’t feel so good. A couple weeks ago he had a temperature for a few days straight. It’s times like those that I’m happier than normal to be married to a nurse, because when I would have freaked out, she kept a level head, and “Lil Man” pulled through just fine.

It’s amazing what we have found that he enjoys. I mean, he’s a little kid, so Mickey and Elmo are right in his wheelhouse. But we also will watch The Muppet Christmas Carol every week. It’s a good show to capture his attention, and as such, I now have many of the songs set to memory.

Here he is watching The Muppet Christmas Carol during dinner.

Lately, he’s been practicing for Easter Sunday. We went to two Easter Egg Hunts (you read about one ten days ago) and will do Easter and Grandma and Grandpa’s on Sunday, complete with a little egg hunt there. So he’s been picking up things and putting them in his Mickey basket (he doesn’t know he has a Yoda basket for Easter).

Here’ what I know…we have a super little boy who likes apples almost as much as he likes saying “apple.” He says “appy” because he’s a happy kid (or because he’s going to be the next great app developer…I’m all right with either). He runs to meet me at the door when I get home from work. He doesn’t like it when mommy leaves for work in the evening.

Truth be told, we couldn’t ask for a better child. He makes us laugh every day.

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Fresh Content Day 42: The Podcast That Will Never Be

So I’ve dropped this topic on a few recent episodes of the podcast, I’ve hinted at an upcoming episode I’d like to have where I discuss some parts of some classic Disney movies that are overlooked in the grand scheme of the story. At the time, I told you to give me a classic Disney feature animation, and I’d find at least one thing to complain about.

Well, y’all forgot to submit your entries to be a part of the show, so I’m taking matters into my own hands.

There may be more to this down the road, but these are two big issues I have with two high-profile Disney cartoons from my childhood. But they are things I didn’t really consider until recently.

In 1989’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel escapes to her cave of wonders, where her collection of human trinkets is, well, it’s massive. She has more crap that she found on the bottom of the ocean than I packed up and put in the moving truck last year when we relocated. In her song Part of That World, she sings:

Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold. How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Lookin’ around here you’d think ‘Sure, she’s got everything,’

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
I’ve got whooz-its and whatz-its galore.
You want thingamabobs? I got twenty.
But who cares? No big deal. I want more.

Now, I’ve never been a sea princess. I haven’t been a land princess for that matter, either. But what does it tell the young, impressionable children watching this movie? “No matter how much you have, it’s not enough.” Now that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. You can work hard to achieve your goals.

But that’s not how the movie plays out. With the help of the sea witch Ursula, she trades her voice for some legs. And then with the help of her friends, she tries to get Prince Eric to fall in love with her. It is complicated when Ursula shows up, yadda yadda, you know the story.

It just seems to me that the “I have so much, but I need more to be happy” mentality is part of this wave of entitlement that has been around out society for much of this millennium. Now I’m not blaming Disney, but it could certainly be a factor. Also…that’s very old-man of me. And I get that. And it’s not a plot hole, unlike our next venture.

The second part is this post centers on Beauty and the Beast, and is all plot hole. Recall if you will that Belle leaves the castle to go check on her father. While there, Maurice is about to be taken to the asylum. Belle pleads on behalf of her father, who had already claimed to see a beastly, monstrous creature. No one believes him. So when Belle whips out the magic mirror to prove her father isn’t crazy. They see the Beast in the viewer, and of course, it’s the wild-eyed, evil Beast. Not the calm, more sophisticated Beast that Belle grew to love. What happens next?

Gaston whips the mob into a frenzy, saying the Beast needs to be killed before he wreaks havoc on the village.

WHAT?!?

That spell has been on the castle for a decade, and the villagers didn’t even know about it. They had no idea there was a Beast. They go from clueless to concerned in just a few seconds. Aside from a couple images of a creature on the magic mirror, there has been no proof that the Beast is dangerous. Furthermore, the Beast has no history of attacking the village.

Seriously…with absolutely no cause other than to puff his chest out and add a trophy to his wall, Gaston incites a riot and marches on the castle, and his undoing.

It’s just a problem I’ve encountered with Beauty and the Beast. It unnerves me more than the Stockholm Syndrome aspect.

So that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

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Fresh Content Day 41? – Thor Ragnarok Trailer Breakdown

Well, let’s get the math out of the way right away, before I catch any grief.

In the Christian calendar, Lent is 40 days. This is Post 41. IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!

But wait, the forty days is from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday. Now we’re in Holy Week. We are not yet to Easter, so you still get posts (if you want them…and based on the numbers, you do).

So today we had a little [teaser] trailer drop for Thor: Ragnarok. Now I just talked about Norse mythology on Saturday. I thought the first Thor movie was brilliant, and Thor: The Dark World had its uses, as it brought us another Infinity Stone. Plus, there was more from the fan-favorite Loki, and the Captain America cameo.

https://youtu.be/lpy22Yosp04?t=41s

The trailer opens with Thor in chains taking a very painful looking, chain–like drop into Hel. Thor’s voiceover says “Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘How did this happen?’ Well, it’s a long story.”

While the voiceover is happening, the scene changes to Thor throwing Mjolnir at an unknown entity. And also, Led Zeppelin starts to play. (Click the link. I swear, it’s all I hear when I think of The Immigrant Song.) So Mjolnir is thrown. But here’s a swerve…Mjolnir is caught. Or maybe the better term “stopped.”

Look, I know that’s Cate Blanchett, but for a minute, minus the nose, it looks a lot like Eva Green.

And then the unthinkable happens (see the featured image). She breaks the damn thing.

Now here’s what you need to know about Mjolnir in the Marvel Universe. It’s not just a magical hammer that only Thor and Vision can hold. Paraphrasing Marvel.Wikia.com:

Odin defeats the God Tempest and traps it in a chunk of Uru, then gives the stone to dwarves who star-forge it into the hammer. The forging took seventeen weeks.

So anyway, Hela destroys Mjolnir, and next we see Hela in her full antler regalia about to bring destruction to Asgard. It takes nine seconds. And Thor is cast out of his home, and is found on a new world. He is quickly captured and shown in captivity.

Next we see the Grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum, asking what was brought before him, and the response given is “a contender.”

We see what appears to be Heimdall in the forest fighting for survival. Quick cuts about a second or so apart until the 1:06 mark when we finally get our first look at the prodigal son himself:

Wielding a duo of daggers and the most wicked helm in the realm.

I don’t know whose side Loki is on. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was on his own side in this mayhem. As you’ll remember, when last we saw him, he was impersonating the Allfather and sitting on the throne of Asgard.

Fast-forward a few seconds and we see Thor finally entering the gladiator arena.

Hey Thor, did you get a hair cut?”

“No, I got them all cut.”

His new helmet drops into place. The Grandmaster is introducing the opponent when “BAH GAWD, KING! IT’S HULK! IT’S THE INCREDIBLE HULK!”

Which brings about probably the only moments of levity in this trailer.

I mean it. Just look how happy he is. That is one jubilant God of Thunder. It’s almost like he forgot that time Hulk punched him in his head!

After a triumphant “YES” from Thor, the crowd and the Grandmaster are puzzled. Thor calmly, coolly explains “We know each other. He’s a friend from work.” Because…#Avengers.

Hulk straight up doesn’t care, and quickly engages Thor. Thor runs at Hulk. Our “teaser trailer” (that lasts almost two minutes…so I’m calling it a trailer) ends with an awesome, 1980’s Saturday Morning Cartoon style graphic.

It’s a little bit Masters of the Universe, a little bit Silverhawks.

So that’s the trailer. Or should I say “Here’s the trailer.”

I’m digging this trailer big time. I’m pumped for another Thor movie. I’m pumped for another MCU movie. And I’m excited to see the only two guys not invited to Captain America: Civil War to do battle with each other before restoring order in Asgard (speculation…they don’t tell me anything, obviously).

Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters in November!

What’d you think? Sound off in the comments on the Facebook page.

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Fresh Content Day 40: The Ten Commandments [Movie]

It’s a classic. The Ten Commandments came out in 1956. I saw it decades later. It is still probably a top-twenty film for me.

The Cecil B. DeMille production had a budget of $13 million (adjusted to $116,619,639.62 in 2016) and took in $122.7 million ($1,100,709,983.17 adjusted) in its initial box office release.

Three hours and forty minutes. That’s the runtime. It beats Avatar by an hour. And let me say that it’s worth every minute.

That’s not coming from Greg the Catholic. That’s coming from Greg the Movie Fan. I will spend time looking at IMDb.com while watching a movie and look at the Trivia section to learn the ins and outs of the production. This movie was the work of thousands of people, extras, etc.

The sets were massive. And this was before green screens and CGI.

Thanks, Google!

The exceptions I know of are the Parting of the Red Sea and Raising the Obelisk of Seti’s Jubilee.

 

You can see in the beginning of this clip the variation of foreground and background image quality. Charlton Heston and Vincent Price (and later Yul Brynner and Cedric Hardwicke) are there in front of the camera, while the background of the laboring crews is clearly added in post-production.

The reason I’m writing about this today is today is Passion (Palm) Sunday, and tomorrow is the first day of Passover. I always thought that this was the night of the yearly telecast of The Ten Commandments, but in my research, I learned that they always played it on Easter. Since 1973, this film has been on ABC each year (with the exception of 1999). So before it was even a twenty-year-old movie, it was getting the same annual timeslot. That’s good exposure.

I try to watch this movie each year. I really love it. As far as biblical epics go, this is the golden standard. Maybe that was all a part of the plan – get this movie in front of the viewing public regularly. Get them to love it. Get the ratings each year and the advertising dollars.

I don’t know. All I know is that sometime between now and next week, I’m going to watch this movie and thoroughly enjoy it.

Fresh Content Day 39: Marking Out for Mythology

…I’ve had a vested interest in ancient mythologies.

I love their stories. I love their characters. And because of that lifelong appreciation, I tend to enjoy mythology-based enterprises more than some.

I talked about it in my post about video games, but PlayStation’s God of War was a game that really caught my interest when I saw it talked about on X-Play.

But before I could *see* these ancient worlds in a video game, I would read about them. There was a book in my school library with an old and tattered red cover. I don’t know its name (though I borrowed and read it twice), but I really think it was called “Norse Mythology.” And that’s what it was about. It was the Norse mythology, cover to cover. It talked of Asgard, Odin, Thor, Loki, the frost giants, and in the end, Ragnarok. But it was no Marvel-spun tale. Thor had a fiery red beard and wore animal hides.

I know that Neil Gaiman provided the world with his re-telling of the famed Norse Mythology.

Like Gaiman, I had knowledge of Jack Kirby’s Thor, and had that picture in my mind when I first delved deeper into the Norse gods.

I don’t know if we’ll ever see an epic movie (franchise) based on Norse Mythology. I’d pay to see it, though.

My initial exposure to Greek mythology came about thanks to cinema. It was from 1981’s Clash of the Titans. I don’t remember the exact year I saw the film, but I was still in single digits. There was something about the tale of Perseus, overcoming the Fates, vengeful goddesses, a swamp-dwelling monster, gigantic scorpions, Medusa, and of course, the recently released Kraken.

Because of my love for the source material, I’m also in the minority when it comes to the 2010 version, as I’m a bit more forgiving. It told the story. They even threw in a quick shot of Bubo (which does exist in Greek mythology, as it was a mechanical replica of Athena’s owl of the same name – take THAT, Bubo haters).

2010 also gave us another movie based on Greek mythology, and based on its own series of books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. If you’re uninitiated, the series is like Harry Potter but with Greek mythology and not witches and wizards. The titular character, Percy Jackson, learns he is a demigod, a son of Poseidon. He goes to Camp Half-Blood, befriends other demigods and a satyr, and begins an adventure to prevent war between the gods.

I watched the movie, then bought the box set of all five books. I don’t remember how long it took me to read The Lightning Thief, but I read the second book, The Sea of Monsters, in an 8-hour span one night when we were without power and I couldn’t sleep.

Again, because of my appreciation for the origin material, I’m a little forgiving with the movies. But I did enjoy the books more. Here’s a fun fact if you have not read the books. In The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends actually visit St. Louis and the Gateway Arch. While there, he encounters an old women with her dog, revealed to be Echidna and her “pet,” the Chimera.

Pictured are Echidna and Chimera from the Percy Jackson graphic novelization.

After his Percy Jackson series concluded, author Rick Riordan wrote two different series set in the same universe, The Kane Chronicles (which I have not read) and Heroes of Olympus (which I have). The Heroes series ties in very well with the Olympians series, and borrows more from Roman tradition. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a series that first began in 2015 and, you guessed it, borrows from Norse mythology. I will have fond memories of the first book in the series, The Sword of Summer, as I read that on my tablet while at my son’s side in the hospital in the days and weeks immediately after he was born. I have not yet read the second book, The Hammer of Thor, but I’ll get it on my kindle eventually.

Readers of the site or listeners to the podcast know how far behind I am on my reading.

Admittedly, as you’ll notice, the mythologies that have held my attention are western mythologies. I couldn’t tell you anything about eastern civilizations and their ancient mythologies.

But these are just a few examples of my mythological nerdiness. Anyone out there share my appreciation for these ancient tales?

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Woo Woo Woo. You know it!

Fresh Content Day 38: Classic Game Shows

I’m not going to go into the details about how inspiration found me this day. Let’s just say that I was sitting there and the phrase “big bucks, big bucks, no whammies” popped in my head.

So that kicked off a trip down memory lane, sitting on the floor of the apartment on a summer day eating grapes by the mouthful and watching Press Your Luck. 

But the quick-moving squares weren’t the only game show gimmicks I remember. There was the tic-tac-toe board of Hollywood Squares and the big orange (I think it was orange) clock of Name That Tune. I always enjoyed that show because it was “put up or shut up,” and if you thought you were smarter than your opponent, you had better be able to prove it. It was, for a grade-schooler like I was at the time, a reminder that I needn’t rush into voluntarily raising my hand in class.

What’s that old saying? “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

Another I remember from my youth was Supermarket Sweep, and as a grocery-getter, I totally understand why contestants ran for the turkeys, the hams, and the large containers of laundry detergent. And who can forget “Win, Lose, or Draw?”

Many game shows have come and gone in the last thirty years. The only ones I know of that have stayed on the air in that time are Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and The Price is Right. If I’m forgetting some that have had that type of success, I apologize.

So here’s a little nugget I came across while “researching” this topic. In 1984, on what was supposed to be a 30-minute episode of Press Your Luck, a contestant by the name of Michael Larson ripped off over 40-straight whammy-free turns. In the end, he tallied over $110,000 in cash and prizes, and the 30-minute episode needed a “To Be Continued.”

In recent years, my wife and I have enjoyed Lingo. That’s a random tidbit for you.

You can catch a lot of reruns of classic game shows and new (maybe?) game shows on the Game Show Network.

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Fresh Content Day 37: Danger Zone

All right, I have a confession.

I’m a complete and total mark for the show Archer.

I can’t explain it. But I’ve been on board with this show since almost the very beginning. I’d say I became aware of it in Season Two and watch it on Netflix. I watch new episodes shortly after they air. I DVR…I have zero patience for commercials.

I know it’s crude. I know it’s immature. I know all of these things. But…

Damn it’s funny. I mean, I laugh my ass off (that’s a quarter for the Swear Box, I know).

If you’ve been living under a rock and are unaware, Archer is an animated series (brilliant art, in my opinion) about Sterling Mallory Archer, a secret agent, who works for the spy agency ran by his mother. The agency used to be called International Secret Intelligence Service, or ISIS. But with certain groups in operation in a certain part of the world, the writers of the show obviously and wisely wrote the show to explain a name change. In other words, we can’t have nice things.

ARCHER — “The Figgis Agency” — Pictured: (l-r) Cyril Figgis (voice of Chris Parnell), Malory Archer (voice of Jessica Walter), Pam Poovey (voice of Amber Nash), Agent Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin), Agent Lana Kane (voice of Aisha Tyler), Cheryl (voice of Judy Greer), Agent Ray Gillette (voice of Adam Reed). CR: FX

Archer is surrounded by other (former) employees of the spy agency, his on-again, off-again love interest and baby momma Lana Kane, her ex-boyfriend and company accountant Cyril Figgis, a good agent, Ray Gillette, Mallory archer’s secretary Cheryl (sometimes Charlene…or Carol), and HR’s Pam Poovey, who had a horrible cocaine addiction in Season 5. I’m leaving out Doctor Kreiger, because he’s batshit crazy (another quarter).

The thing about Archer is that the team is highly dysfunctional. Honestly, if not for Lana and Ray, they’d be screwed. Archer’s not the worst spy, but he is a prime example of “it’s better to be lucky than good.”

Season 8 began last night. I’ve watched the premiere episode three times. Archer: Dreamland is a throwback to 1947, with Archer serving as a private investigator. This season takes place entirely in Archer’s mind, as he is in a coma.

Maybe it’s just my affinity for the fine automobiles made by Dodge.

But seriously, if you take nothing else away from watching this show, I hope you take away a greater appreciation for the exotic ocelot, aka the fox-eared asshole (and another quarter into the box…this is what Archer does to me).

Check out new episodes of Archer Wednesday nights on FXX (check local listings). Check out old episodes of Archer on Netflix.

The man shaves with a brush and a straight razor. HE’S A REAL MAN!

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Fresh Content Day 36: The Defenders Don’t Need Defending

Yesterday, we received a little teaser for the Defenders series coming to Netflix, and in its simplicity, set the stage for what Marvel has been building since Daredevil debuted on the streaming video service in 2015.

It’s hard to believe it was only two years ago next week that the Man Without Fear came to life once again.

If the teaser for Defenders is to be believed, we are a mere four and a half months away from the series dropping.

Honestly, they look exhausted. And if you remember the second season of Daredevil, you’ll remember “Midland Circle” is the organization behind the giant hole (I’m going to call it a crater) in Hell’s Kitchen.

So here’s the thing. Daredevil (both seasons), Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage are pretty well loved across the board. But Iron Fist hasn’t reached that point, and likely never will. I initially wasn’t sure what to think of the Finn Jones casting. I think that of the four, he may have been the easiest to cast away from the traditional look of the character (ie the whitewashing everyone is claiming). I believe it was Kevin Smith or Marc Bernardin on the duo’s Fatman on Batman podcast that suggested an Asian-American actor be given the chance to be Danny Rand. I don’t mind the show staying more true to the origin of the character, but I do wish the actor chosen for the role had some martial arts background. Jones has a zen-like quality about him, and aside from the fighting scenes, I don’t have any complaints.

But those fighting scenes. Yeesh!

I truly think that Iron Fist was doomed from the beginning, but not from any shortcomings it has. Rather, the almost unattainable standard set by the three previous shows put the arrival of the final Defender behind a sizable 8-ball.

So when Defenders hits in a few months, I fully expect Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) or Luke Cage (Mike Colter) to steal the show. Jessica Jones‘ first season was about a victim overcoming her past of abuse and her former abuser. We’ll get a second season of that show as well. Luke Cage was a really enjoyable show with a unique setting in Harlem. It was different to see the villain [SPOILER ALERT] die midway through only to be replaced by a more conniving, manipulative villain. And we’ll get a second season of that in the future as well.

Daredevil will also get a third season, and I’m sure we’ll see a Punisher series based on the popularity of the character from his run in Daredevil S2.

The fact is – the Marvel Netflix shows are wildly popular. Defenders will be huge when it drops, despite the lackluster reception of Iron Fist.

Now, The Defenders in the comics has a long history dating back to the 1970s, and has seen many many incarnations through the years. However, a team consisting of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Power Man (Luke Cage), and Iron Fist has not appeared in comics, based on my limited research. Marvel and Netflix announced in 2013 that the Defenders were coming, and named four characters that would make up the team.

But if you want a solid Defenders title to read, I’m going to throw out at you the 2011 series written by Matt Fraction with art by Terry Dodson.

Otherwise, we’ll talk more about Defenders when the show arrives in August.

Fresh Content Day 35: Writer’s Block

Well, it finally happened.

I’ve talked about comics and movies, video games, music. I’ve talked about my family, my life, and shaving.

I’ve sought topics from my wife and friends.

So today I fixed our Playstation 4. It wasn’t connecting to the internet. I had to watch Wrestlemania on a mix of may laptop and the PS3 upstairs in the bedroom (first world problem, I know). But we were sans network connection since sometime Saturday. So I called Playstation and they talked me through a process, and that process worked.

So now I have Scrubs on Netflix. And I went with Scrubs instead of Iron Fist because I’ve seen Scrubs a few times through, and I am on episode 4 of Iron Fist. It’s a means to an end. I know Iron Fist has been universally panned by almost everyone. That being said, the other Netflix Marvel shows set the bar rather high.

Scrubs is a timeless comedy that follows a group of young doctors as they begin their professions in a hospital (Sacred Heart). It ran for nine seasons (182 episodes) and starred Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, and Donald Faison as the three new doctors. Honestly, while I enjoyed all three performances over the years, my favorite character on the show was the no-nonsense Dr. Cox, John C. McGinley. Actually, he and the Janitor (The Middle‘s Neil Flynn) were both great.

What I liked about Scrubs among its comedic chops and slight irreverence is that it was said to be the most medically accurate of all the tv medicine shows.

No, it’s not House, the tale of a misanthrope who happens to be a doctor. It’s not Grey’s Anatomy, a torrid romance novel disguised as a medical show. It’s not even the recently departed ER, which broke television ground with its realistic gore. It’s Scrubs.

Scrubs, or [scrubs], is a show that I could watch on endless loop. But after I finish this round of it, I’ll probably return to How I Met Your Mother, another sitcom that showed its longevity.

And I always keep Futurama in my back pocket…always.

In the meantime, I’ll just hold out hope that the Cardinals come back late tonight to beat the dreaded Cubs, and now I’m going to head to bed since I have to get up early tomorrow and have labs drawn before work.

That’s one old-man phrase right there.

Fresh Content Day 34: The Lost Art of the Finishing Move

This is going to a) sound old-manish, and 2) possibly infringing on the Kevin’s gimmick over at My 1-2-3 Cents.

I was watching Wrestlemania 33 last night and today over my lunch hour. What I learned – among other things – is that a finishing move isn’t much of a finisher anymore. This isn’t news. It’s just becoming more and more obvious as time goes on.

I remember a time where a big boot and running leg drop was all it took to fell an opponent.

And when the Undertaker gave you a Tombstone Piledriver, you stayed driven heaped in a pile (okay, that one didn’t make much sense).

Right now, I’m going to make the HOT TAG to Kevin Hunsperger for his 1-2-3 cents.

Finishing moves still have a place in wrestling, but it seems on big shows those finishers are often as effective as a screen door on a submarine. Now wrestlers kick out just before the referee’s hand hits the mat for the third time. This type of storytelling is very frustrating as a fan of the old school days of the business.

False finishes are okay from time to time, but at WrestleMania for example, I think a Superstar either kicked out of or broke the finishing maneuver of their opponent in every match. It’s come to be expected these days.

We all know professional wrestling is a show. But I think when you start watering down the moves the men and women have made their signatures it takes away from the realism of the contest at hand. When the Undertaker hits his opponent with a Tombstone, I want the referee to then count three. A kick out on a rare occasion is fine as long as it tells the story at hand. When Kane did it for the first time ever, it was special.

But then Batista, Edge, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns have kicked out of the finisher at WrestleMania. Some of those mentioned Superstars have kicked out of more than one Tombstone in a match. I suppose this would be fine because there’s a year of separation between incidents, but Seth Rollins kicks out of Triple H’s Pedigree, Kevin Owens escapes the Wall of Jericho and Shane McMahon gets out of the Styles Clash all on the same show. It’s exhausting.

I realize I’m out of the WWE’s target demo. I also realize a lot of indy shows use this style of booking. But I’m from the school of thought when you’re hit with the finisher, you’re done. 1-2-3.

I’m in agreement with Kevin, here. I think the use of finishers has gone by the wayside because no talent wants to look weak in their match, so they all have to kick out at least once (unless it’s “enhancement talent”).

If these moves are no longer finishing off opponents (which is why they’re called finishing moves in the first place), just call them moves, or signature moves, and let’s be done with it. They should be special moves used once to finish the match, or in a crazy twist, as KH said, a false finish once in a while to build up a talent would be smart. But overuse has diminished these moves.

In other words…I’m old and set in my ways.

Fresh Content Day 33: A Great Sunday

Today was a good day. No, today was a great day.

Dear Diary…

I kid. But This will be as close to a diary post as you’re likely to find here.

But everything I did today was with a purpose and satisfied a particular aspect of my life.

I started the day with a hot shower and shave. Then I got our son ready for church while my wife prepared herself. He hasn’t been feeling well, so I put him in a shirt that says “Always By Mom’s Side,” because that’s where he likes to hang out when he’s under the weather.

We go to church, and as always, he’s a good boy, albeit a little talkative. Then as we’re heading home, and admittedly almost home, my wife reminds me that there’s an Easter Egg Hunt being held at Eckert’s Orchard. So we swing out there. I’ll say this – I’ve ran some Easter Egg Hunts in the past, but this was organized like a well-oiled machine. Granted, Eckert’s has the resources we didn’t have at that time. But it was a great time. The youngin’s 0-2 years old went first in their zone (it was roped off by age group), so we took our time and let Garrett explore.

But then we saw no one was going after the eggs waaaay out there. So I picked up the G-Man and we took off to the edge, and got our dozen eggs. Then we got a picture with Peter Cottentail, got a little treat, and boogied on outta there.

So Friday was my friend Jared’s birthday, and I had worked it out with his wife to run down to surprise him for nine holes of golf and dinner. So after I got home, I needed to change, make my coffee for the road, get my golf clubs together, etc. The problem was I’m unorganized as hell, and I couldn’t find my wallet (yeah – I left the house and drove without my license – oops). Also, I was looking for a particular shirt, and a golf hat. It threw me off my schedule, but since Jared didn’t know I was paying him a visit anyway, it was all good.

So I get on the road, I knock out some podcasts, and surprise my friend. His reaction was pretty good. He lives about an hour and a half away, so we don’t see each other all that often. So he wasn’t expecting me, and that made it awesome. We went to Perryville to get nine holes of golf in. We came to the conclusion that between the two of us, we’re a pretty good golfer. My strength is the tee shot and Jared’s good at everything else. I can occasionally putt halfway decent, but this was our first time golfing together, and we tied. We both shot a 49. Hell, I’m thrilled with a 49. First time out in almost a year, a tightened and sore back. I’ll take it.

After golf, we went for a burger. Now, it wasn’t JUST a burger. Jared’s been talking to me for over a year about Mary Jane’s Burgers and Brew there in Perryville. The food did not disappoint, and the atmosphere was tremendous. Even for Sunday around 4:30 or so, no problem getting a table or anything. I had the Cowboy, a burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, an onion ring, and homemade bbq sauce. I got it with the onion petals. And as an appetizer, we got the poutine, complete with fried cheese curds.

Man, I tell you this, I probably waddled out of there.

So to recap the day, I had a great time at church, made memories with the family for our son’s first mobile Easter, got to golf and had great food with my friend. Now I’m watching Wrestlemania on my PS3 because the PS4 isn’t picking up the interwebs. So…confined to my bedroom to write to you.

And now – good night.