Friday, November 21, 2014

List O' Links for Friday, November 21st, 2014

This is the last weekend of the year before the holiday season. There's something significant about that, even if I'm not exactly sure what that is. Regardless, here are some fun links to amuse you as you wait for the The Most Wonderful Time of The Year to begin!

The Den of Geek has done us all a favor and created a handy guide of as many Christmas movies and TV episodes as they could find. What a great holiday hook-up!

Would you like some cool Batman wallpaper for your desktop computer? Of course you would! Thanks to Neato Coolville for this!

The Peanuts Movie just released its first full-length trailer this week, and I couldn't be more excited about it. Here are some still images released from the film courtesy of Geek Tyrant, as well as the trailer itself. Coming to theaters November 6, 2015!

Automaker Honda is tapping into the fact that Generation X is now the breadwinner of America by using 80s-era (mostly) toy characters to encourage the purchase of their vehicles. Nicely done, and shrewd! The Skeletor one is my favorite.

Add this to the collection of holiday music sites worth visiting regularly--My Festive Fizzy Pop, poster of cool new Christmas songs!

Finally, Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s blows our minds with his Back to The Future theory. Behold: The Other Marty McFly Theorem! Great Scott! This is heavy!

Have a great weekend. See you in the future!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Automan

This week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV doubles as a tribute to the late Glen A. Larson, who passed away Friday, November 14th at the age of 77. Larson created some of the most popular action/adventure series of the 70s and 80s, including the original Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, BJ and the Bear, Quincy, M.E., and McCloud, among others. One of those "others" is this week's installment.

Automan starred Desi Arnaz Jr., as a computer programmer who creates a super-sophisticated hologram for use in solving elaborate crimes. The hologram was played by Chuck Wagner, who wore a special suit which special effects teams highlighted with starry imagery to give the illusion of a computer generated figure (except for Wagner's head). Automan was accompanied by a 3D cursor that could created any number of weapons, vehicles, or other tools that were needed. Adventure ensued.

The premise is certainly incredulous, but for the early 80s, the effects were unusual and exceptional, especially for TV. However, the expensive costs of the series combined with lukewarm ratings (not terrible, but not spectacular either) led to the series' premature demise, being canceled after 13 episodes.

It was corny, it was wacky, it was kitschy--so of course, I enjoyed it. I was also 8 at the time.

Here is the series' opening sequence, followed by an hour-long featurette starring Arnaz, Wagner, and other cast members reminiscing joyfully about their experiences making the show. This was featured on a DVD release of the series in the UK, the only nation in which the series is commercially available on DVD.


Friday, November 14, 2014

List O' Links for Friday, November 14th, 2014

It's Friday, and I haven't posted anything since Sunday. Should I post a List O' Links? Why not?

Skeletor is really good at insulting people. Really good.

Someone has uploaded the entire 1967 Spider-Man cartoon series to YouTube--in one 7-hour block. Well, get to it!

The business world is frought with cutthroat competition and shrewd gameplay. For a small example, just look at the seedy world of--fruit flower arrangements. You'll never look at pineapples shaped as sunflowers the same way again.

Don't let it be said that this blog doesn't provide a public service. Here are 17 things we learned from cartoon public service announcements. Be the change to want to see in the world, people!

Finally, if you're a dude--scratch that, if you're a man--you may want a resource to help you be a better one (however you define that). An interesting and fun resource is The Art of Manliness, a long-running free online magazine that features articles, podcasts, and videos of ways in which men can improve themselves as fathers, husbands, and men in general. From grooming to dress to behavior, this site covers all the bases. Highly recommended!

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Packing On The Pounds

Dude--I'm fat.

I've had bouts with chubbiness most of my life; certainly when I was a boy and teenager, followed by a skinny phase in college, then back to pleasingly plump when marriage and kids came along. Back in 2011, I joined Weight Watchers and stayed in the program for 2 and half years. My starting weight was 203 (my height is about 5' 8"), then I dropped some off, with my lowest weight at 182; then it started creeping back up. It was in the mid-190s when I dropped out over a year ago, and now I find myself at 206. Yeesh!

I enjoyed being in the program, but increased work responsibilities made it more difficult to attend regular meetings, which is why I stopped going altogether. I don't see me returning to Weight Watchers anytime soon for the same reasons, but I have to do something. I just turned 40 back in September, and it's only going to get more difficult to lose the weight as I age, so the time is right. But how?

The first thing I want to do is get back to exercising. I have a Nintendo Wii Fit in my basement, which I've always enjoyed using, so that's a good place to start. There is a set of 3 lb hand weights in our house, so it wouldn't hurt me to use those as well. Plus, there are some free workout videos available on demand on our cable system, as well as DVDs available from the public library. Finally, I should take my dog for more frequent walks, since her vet said she needs to lose weight as well, so the walks will be good for both of us. Based on the above, I certainly have the tools at my disposal.

Then there's the other side of the equation, eating. I loves me some fast food. Especially meat. Boy, do I love meat. And french fries. French fries. And cheese. Delicious, artery-clogging cheese. Tomatoes? Pshaw! Beans? No thanks. Do you see my problem now?

I know this post is atypical of the usual fare you'll find here, but I had to get this out of my system. Thanks for letting me vent. I'll let you know if I manage to take some positive steps toward a leaner, meaner blogger. In the meantime, I'm going to find something to eat. I'm hungry.


Friday, November 7, 2014

List O' Links: Christmas Prep 2014 Edition

I know what you're thinking: "Oh no, you haven't succumbed to Christmas Creep too, have you?" Nope! I'm very much in a November state of mind. However, it is a good idea to at least plan ahead for the holidays now. Planning and celebrating are two different things! The more planning you do now, the more time you'll have for celebrating later. Isn't that how you'd rather spend the season?

These links we'll help you get your holiday house in order, from buying gifts to preparing meals, and even for finding out what the coolest new holiday music is. Surf away!

If you plan on visiting the Philadelphia area this Christmas, we in the City of Brotherly Love have amazing holiday events. Check out this link for 15 of the best!

A great one-stop shop for preparing for the holidays is Organized Christmas. They have several plans you can use to budget for gifts, clean your home, entertain guests, and prepare food for the season. There are great ideas here!

A great Christmas site that I've been following for years is Xmas Fun. They have recipes, crafts, video channels, music, clip art, and fun games and programs to download (including an awesome Christmas Lights program for your desktop that I've been using for over a decade now). One of my all-time favorite Christmas sites!

If you're a subscriber to SiriusXM satellite radio, as I am, you may be happy to know that they start airing two of their holiday channels, Holly and Holiday Traditions, next Tuesday, November 11th! More holiday stations will be added next month. Click here for the details!

For all things Christmas, but especially news and streaming of the latest holiday music releases, you must follow Santa's Working Overtime. If it's holiday-related, and it's new, this blog will mention it. It also has cool links to other great sites--sometimes, it even mentions my blog!

For the passionate Christmas music lover, look no further than the awesomely named Mistletunes. This site does a great job of highlighting the latest and greatest releases, especially some obscure ones. I never celebrate Christmas without it!

OK, you can look further, because I also must mention Stubby's House of Christmas. Everything I said above applies here too. Stubby doesn't miss a thing when it comes to great new Christmas music. I can't praise it enough!

Lastly, I suggest you bookmark Amazon's Holiday Digital Music Store. It always has good deals on Christmas music, and they change frequently, so check back often so you don't miss anything. I especially enjoy their 25 Days of Christmas event, in which they offer one Christmas song a day for free from December 1st to the 25th. It's a great way to freshen up your holiday music playlist!

Of course, I'll have other great Christmas links when the season is in session, but until then, I thought it a good idea to bring these sites to your attention now so that, when the time is right, you can hit the ground running. Happy Holi--I mean, have a great weekend!


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