Surface Pro 3 Updated Review

Just a quick update on my feelings towards the Surface Pro 3 (original review can be found here https://thegeekregistry.com/2015/06/15/surface-pro-3/).

In have had this device for over a month and it is still amazing. The one thing I originally had issues with is the battery life which at first did not seem to live up to Microsoft’s claim (9 hours of web browsing). Light use with just basic web browsing and e-mail checking seems to corroborate a 9 hour battery life, but anything else you do on the Surface will drain that bad boy quickly. I just try to remember to bring my power cord when I take it with me out of the house and it is a small inconvenience for a great device.

I was very fortunate to get one for free since this particular model goes for quite a bit of money and would have been out of my price range. If you have the funds though to buy a high end tablet that works like a high end PC then you need to get this device.

Games work perfectly, productivity programs work great, and I use it just like I would a PC.

I am still very grateful for this awesome prize and strongly recommend getting one for yourself.

Puppet Master

As a long time fan of horror in all it’s entertainment forms (movies, television, novels, comic books, et al) I have seen many of movie studio Full Moon’s mostly horror movie offerings. My favorite property in their catalog is Puppet Master by Charles Band. Watching people get killed by homicidal dolls is mindless yet brilliant fun. These may not be Academy Award winning features, but the insanity and mindless fun has been much appreciated by this viewer.

A while back I went to a local comic book store and saw a new number one issue of Puppet Master published by Action Lab Comics. There have been other Puppet Master comics from other publishers in the past, but this was the first in a while plus, even though I have heard of Action Lab, I had never purchased one of their titles before. Puppet Master is the first for me and I enjoyed the title immensely and will definitely check out Action Lab’s other offerings.

I always appreciate when a writer (Shawn Gabborin in this case) seems to know his material and does not try to “recreate the wheel” when giving his own spin on the property. Gabborin does a great job of giving us a brief introduction to the main characters without boring everyone with a long, drawn out ‘previously on Puppet Master’ explanation. It is done very organically with a group of young people going to spend the weekend in the house from the movies and one of the characters naturally explaining the history of said home. Things quickly go awry and the puppets show up and start to graphically take out some of the visitors in brilliant Full Moon style.

The artwork by Michela Da Sacco is perfect for the title and fits the property perfectly. Crisp linework that gives the impression of gritty/dirty horror captures the eye and makes you really want to see what horrible thing happens next.

Fun read, perfect for any horror fans, and a title that I hope has a long shelf life.

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A Hodge Podge

Over the next couple of months my blogging will be a bit different than normal with a lot more random thoughts, comic book discussions, etc…

I still need to re-watch Wrestlemania 30 and give my new review on that plus this years amazing 31st edition, but lately my mind has been everywhere at once and I have had more to say than normal.

I still prefer to focus on reviews and the giving of my “humble’ opinion on various things with a strong desire to never get too political with topics, but we do seem to be in a period of monumental change in our society and it is hard to keep quiet.

I will never force my opinion down anyone’s throats and I will always respect other’s opinions, but sometimes the right thing must be said even if some people may be slightly offended.

I am still going for an overall fun, light read, but occasionally I just have to get something off my chest 🙂

Here’s to a lot of fun blogging and occasionally some respectful discourse!

Invader Zim #1

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One of my all-time favorite animated shows is Invader Zim, created by Jhonen Vasquez.

The show has a unique animated style and some of the most irreverent stories/episodes that you will ever see on television. The show only lasted 2 seasons with 27 episodes total, but left a long lasting impression on all of it’s fan and did not overstay it’s welcome like many shows have.

The show was last on air in 2006 making it nearly 10 years without any new Invader Zim material, that is until now.

Oni Press has recently released issue #1 of Invader Zim by it’s original creator Mr. Vasquez and it did not disappoint. The comic book continues with the storyline we saw in the animated series which was essentially the human Dib trying to out the fact that Zim is an alien trying to take over the Earth despite the fact that no one believe Dib’s rantings.

This first issue starts with Dib living in seclusion looking like he has not showered in 9 years and is still obsessed with Zim, but has sort of given up on everything else.  When Zim suddenly reappears Dib snaps to attention, cleans himself up, gets back into ‘shape’ and the end of the issue triumphantly announces his intention to finally get Zim.

This first issue is a short read and serves the purpose of reintroducing the key characters to the readers and letting us know that the battle is back on and we can look forward to more crazy antics from Zim, Dib, and the rest of the cast.

It is definitely a must buy for fans of Invader Zim, but those who are new to the character may want to watch the original show to better understand the goings on.

From Vasquez’s writing and Aaron Alexovich’s art this series has tremendous potential and will undoubtedly be faithful to the characters.

Definitely a must buy.

WWE Female Roster

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The last week of straight wrestling talk is about how the female wrestlers in both NXT and the main roster are treated. This is something I am extremely passionate about, so just like the others, this will be just as long- maybe even longer.

Before anyone says it; I do not actually dislike Paige or any other Diva as an actual real person. When I talk about these women it’s about their characters.

I am not happy with the main roster’s Diva’s division. I haven’t seen a soul – other than Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn – that is content with it.

It almost feels like we’re going backwards with the Diva’s division. We had a six woman tag match just a few months back and it was twelve minutes long, and during all that, Natalya and Naomi were constantly interfering in the Superstar’s matches. It felt like we were getting somewhere – especially when the hashtag #Givedivasachance started trending, and Vince McMahon said, “We’re listening. Keep Watching.” A lot of us finally had a lot of newfound hope for the main roster’s Diva’s division. Apparently we were wrong, since we’re back to barely even five minute matches, and most of the time only a promo for Smackdown.

I don’t know what else I would expect from a seventy year old man and a fifty-eight year old man, but the things they are making Paige say are awful. There is no other word for it. Having her come out week after week saying that she’s “not like the other girls/Barbies” and therefore better is overall sloppy writing. When Paige comes out and body shames Tamina, calling her a man, it startles me. When the heels are the one that are saying that it’s okay to like traditionally feminine things and the faces aren’t, that’s confusing and very half-hearted writing. If you want to get more into just the writing, this is honestly exactly what AJ Lee did in the WWE. Paige is not AJ Lee and I don’t know why they’re acting like she is. As of late, Paige isn’t Naomi either- Her coming out and saying she wants to get what she deserves and wants to knock the Bellas off the top of the ladder. It is almost exactly what Naomi was doing, but because they have edged her out of the picture, they’ve had Paige take it on.

I feel like I can truly speak for a fair amount of people when I say this; I am a young woman, and I need role models. I need people to look up to. Of course I can always look up to my mother – she’s a strong woman, she has herself stood up in the face of inequality and adversity many times – but it would be nice to have other role models as well.

I can relate to Nikki Bella, I have the same sort of personality, I vaguely look like her, and she is definitely someone I admire and look up to. When everybody is constantly insulting her body, her looks, the clothing she wears, (by other people I absolutely love too) it becomes very, very tiring – and it makes me not like a lot of people. When I relate to a person that is constantly bagged on by things that I can relate to, it doesn’t just hurt the fictional character – it kind of hurts me. I relate to the material things about her – I cannot relate to her having a twin sister she needs to keep an eye on, or her backstabbing side, her two-faced side, her lying, cheating side. I cannot relate to her inability to fight her own battles. These are all things Paige, Naomi, AJ Lee, and others could have told her – but instead they comment on her tan.

Isn’t the WWE supposed to make me like the faces, not the heels? Aren’t the heels supposed to have unpopular, rude opinions, and the faces have words of encouragement and (mostly) respect? Most of the time I can barely even figure out who’s the heel and who’s the face in a Diva’s match, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I completely agree and believe that the NXT Divas are the future of the division- but we cannot let the twelve women we have on the main roster disappear or become even more buried than they already are. We all know that Paige, Nikki, Brie, Naomi, Tamina and Natalya are main eventers. We need to either let Alicia Fox, Cameron, Layla, Rosa Mendes, and Summer Rae train and get better or actually let them shine if they already can. The same four or five divas – and sometimes not even that much – is not enough.

The Diva’s division on the main roster must change before the NXT Divas come up, or it’ll be just like Emma except with Sasha, Charlotte, Becky- Divas we’ve come to love and Divas that don’t deserve to be buried. I don’t mean that Emma deserved to be buried or anything, but her character was very silly before her return to NXT – I am sure that a lot of fans have loved her through and through, but the goofy personality combined with not being told to put on a match longer than five minutes didn’t really do well with me.

Going back to Paige’s writing, I don’t want Sasha Banks and Charlotte coming up to the Main Roster and being told to say the same things that they’re having Paige say. Considering what’s happening in the storyline right now, and the fact that Vince McMahon is definitely fond of Banks and Charlotte’s in-ring abilities, it makes sense that they would be teaming up with Paige. The idea of two of my absolute favorite female wrestlers saying misogynistic things (E.G., “Because of who they’re married to?”) makes me feel very uneasy. I would be fine if it was that they team up with Paige, but they then take her down themselves.

In the end, whether it’s Charlotte or Tamina or Paige, I just want these female wrestlers to be written well. I want their characters to have depth, just like the male wrestlers.

On a bit of a side note though; I understand that the WWE crowd has been rough and mean since the dawn of time, but the NXT crowd booing Eva Marie out of the building was seriously rude and uncalled for. It seems that the people that are complaining about her are also people that are body shaming her, calling her derogatory names, and questioning whether or not she “deserves” to wrestle- even if she hasn’t even had a match yet. They don’t seem to realize that Eva has been training with Brian Kendrick and that there is video evidence that her abilities in the ring have improved greatly since we last saw her.

WWE fans need to remember that NXT is a developmental brand, this is a place for Eva to get better. They can’t boo her when they haven’t seen her wrestle in almost a year. Some WWE fans really need to remember that.

Finally, a note to the commentary crews; Women do not naturally hate each other. Yes, wrestling is a competition, whether they’re male or female everybody has to watch their backs if they have a title but women do not naturally hate each other – And please, comment on the power of the Bella Bomb, not how gorgeous she looks while she performs the move.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

NXT

A Modern Archie That Actually Works

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This week I am taking a brief break from discussing the WWE to talk about another one of my favorite things, comic books. In particular the re-launched Archie Comics.

Archie is a character that debuted in the early 1940’s and has been a mainstay in the world of comics ever since. I am a big fan of every genre of comic books you can imagine with a preference for horror and super heroes, but every few years as I check out of a nearby grocery store, I see the latest small digest collection of Archie Comics and buy myself a copy and enjoy the simple innocence of it all.

For the better part of more than 7 decades Archie has not changed except for some crazy recent crossovers with The Predator (yes, the one that went up against Schwarzenegger at first and the xenomorphs more recently) and some tweaks here and there. Well, the publisher decided to end the original long running version of Archie and the Gang and completely re-launch the comic with an all new Archie #1. It was a big risk and it paid off.

Part of me was concerned they might try to introduce the world to a glum Archie dealing with ‘modern issues’ and completely re-work his look along with the rest of the cast, but that was not the case. Issue #1 has a great look to it with top notch artwork from Fiona Staples (featured above) and a solid script from legendary writer Mark Waid. The story and artwork have a modern day feel yet did not get away from the ‘fun-loving’ aspects of the characters. Yes, the first story may seem like a little bit of a bummer (no spoilers), but it works and makes sense, plus leaves you waiting impatiently for the next issue to arrive.

For $3.99 you cannot go wrong with this book. It is well written, well drawn, true to the characters, and an exciting new chapter in the story of one of the longest lasting characters of all time.

Murder She Wrote

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I pride myself on being a peculiar fellow with some strange, eclectic tastes. I love the WWE, Phoenix Suns, Indianapolis Colts, comic books, Legos, etc… I can now add to that list Murder She Wrote.

Starring Angela Lansbury it lasted 12 seasons ending in 1995. I remember my Mother watching the show when it aired and I never paid much attention. Now with it streaming on Netflix it has become one of my all time favorite shows. I am a huge Star Trek fan, loving every iteration of it (with Enterprise getting a mild ‘like’) and MSW is right up there. The show is actually quite complex with the various twists and turns during each episode with the climax finally revealing the usually out-of-left-field murderer.

Angela Lansbury is simply awesome. She is an absolute legend and a delight to watch on this show. I am on season 5 with ‘only’ 7 more to go and I don’t want it to end.  My family and I watch on average 4-5 episodes a night and all three of us love the show.

Simply put, if you have a Netflix subscription you must give this show a shot. Yes, it may seem like an odd choice for a middle aged man who listens to Rob Zombie and plays Mortal Kombat to love Angela Lansbury and Murder She Wrote, but I do and I am not ashamed to admit it.

NXT

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Before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, I honestly had no clue what was going on with the WWE main roster. From the women to the men, to the Diva’s Championship belt to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt. Even during MITB, I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then, the next night on Raw, Brock Lesnar came out, and it all started to come into place.

There’s a lot to talk about, so this will be just like the NXT post- very long and very rant-y. I won’t be talking about the Divas here, but I will in another post – I’d love to start with the Kevin Owens and John Cena feud for now.

Owens VS Cena has been so great. I have loved every moment of it – I’ve loved seeing what Kevin Owens can do in the ring and at the mic and I’ve loved seeing John Cena push him more over than he already has been. I don’t hate John Cena, I never have and I never will. I’m not going to shout “Cena sucks” or be one of those major haters online. Of course though, I can understand both sides of the Cena haters and the Cena lovers – if both of them have actual reasons as to why they like him or don’t like him.

Kevin Owens really should win the United States Championship belt and go on to have a feud with Samoa Joe. It’s the best decision, in my opinion. When Sami Zayn comes back, I’m pretty sure they’re going to have him feud with Owens for the US belt. I think that was what they were going to do, honestly, was move up Zayn and Owens at the same time so they could feud after Owens and Cena were done. If anything, I think we’re going to get a Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens match at next year’s Wrestlemania- but hey, maybe I’m just really optimistic.

On another note, I have literally no clue what is happening with Sheamus and the MITB briefcase right now. I understand that the original purpose of the briefcase was to push midcard wrestlers up – Like Jack Swagger, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan. It’s so they can get their shot at the WWE Title if there really isn’t another way to get them into a WWE WHC storyline. I argue with my own point that Sheamus has already had the belt – and the worst part is that so many people talk about his title reign like a horror story. Very few people have been unsuccessful with cashing in the briefcase – Mr. Kennedy lost the briefcase to Edge in 2007, John Cena was unsuccessful in 2012, and Damien Sandow lost in 2013. Three people out of fourteen – the statistics don’t show that Sheamus will be unsuccessful. It’s a shame that I want him to be unsuccessful, I love Sheamus. He’s a great wrestler, a great performer, but him winning the briefcase is just a bad idea to me.

Sheamus being the winner of the briefcase makes no sense to me. Adrian Neville could have won, to show what winning that ladder match is all about. Randy Orton could have won and shown that he isn’t boring. Kofi Kingston could have won and gotten the chance to finally be champion. Dolph Ziggler would have gotten another great title run (He is such a great and hard worker, he deserves another run). Kane would have gotten revenge on Seth Rollins, and Roman could have gotten his revenge on Seth too. Roman, Dolph, and Neville were the safest and smartest choices – And yet they went with Sheamus. It just doesn’t make sense to me, and I hope we don’t have a moment of wrestling history repeating itself.

Now, about the Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt feud. I really am fond of this feud, but Roman really should just barrel over Bray at Battleground. This really shouldn’t go any farther than that. I definitely do think this is kind of like commentary on the fans. What with the ‘Anyone but you’ written on the walls, – representing what the fans were saying. The eyes and mouth cut out of every picture of Roman – representing the fans complaining about how his promos were, and some fans did complain about the color contacts. The word ‘liar’ written on the wall – ‘I CAN and I WILL.’

The feud is great, but like I said, it can’t last longer than Battleground. They have two obvious options for Roman right now – Him winning the Championship, or him with a reunited Shield.

I feel like it’s obvious that Seth is going to lose the championship at Battleground – Then again, I thought it was obvious that Roman and Dean were both going to win at MITB, so I might be jinxing it when I say that. But, if Brock does win, I think that Seth is going to be rejected from the Authority. When Seth is mouthing off at the Authority, he’ll end his speech with, “There’s always plan B” and Roman and Dean appear beside him. Obviously Roman would take pity on him- He’s certainly more forgiving than Dean is. I think the fact that they just won’t let go of Seth breaking up the Shield, showing it almost every time Seth does a promo, it’s kind of obvious that if anything they’re thinking about reuniting the trio.

It’s either that, or Seth retains, and Summerslam there’s a Triple Threat, with Roman, Seth and Brock. Maybe Brock doesn’t win again, and we get a Wrestlemania Championship Triple Threat, with Dean instead of Brock. I’m relatively sure that Roman would come out on top in the end either way. If anything, I really do want him to. They’ve put Roman in so many good spots just to take the win away from him.

Finally, the person I choose to talk about last, is Adrian Neville. He is in my top three for favorite wrestlers right now. He’s an absolutely amazing wrestler, an amazing performer, and great at the mic. Adrian is one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen, especially with being so new to the WWE. I know he isn’t new to wrestling itself, but I’m still amazed by him. I truly think he was the best person to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, if not Reigns. He was fantastic in the match anyways, I think later in his WWE career they might find that ladder matches are where he does his best work – like the Hardy’s or Edge and Christian. I hope they find Adrian a solid storyline and that he can really find his place in the WWE.

Thank you for reading, I cannot wait for the Live Tokyo Event on July 4th, and I hope you all enjoy the show and have a great weekend!

Wrestlemania 29

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The 29th installment of Wrestlemania was a solid show with many highlights and was one of the very few I had not seen. It was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and was billed as a co-location event between New York and New Jersey. It was the fifth Wrestlemania held outdoors which added a Super Bowl-type atmosphere to the proceedings. WWE has held to this new tradition of holding the biggest wrestling event of the year in big stadiums and it really adds to the atmosphere.

The highlights of the night are as follows:

Randy Orton/Big Show/Sheamus vs. The Shield – This was the first Wrestlemania for all three members of The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) and was a solid start to the show. The highlight of the match was when Rollins attempted a top rope maneuver and Randy Orton caught him with an RKO. The match ended with a spear from Reigns to Orton and the pinfall was secured by Ambrose. Great match and The Shield were very over with the crowd.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback – A little underwhelming since the match featured two big, slower guys and the crowd was not very interested in this match. It was not horrible, just kind of a throw away match. Henry secured the win after a failed Shell Shock attempt from Ryback.

Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler/Big E – A solid match that featured a very fun team in Daniel Bryan and Kane that I miss since they not only had solid matches, but their vignettes were hysterical with the two of them always being at odds. Ziggler and Big E (with AJ Lee in tow) were a very solid team as well. The match was fairly quick, but exciting with Team Hell No retaining their Tag Team Titles.

Fandango vs. Chris Jericho – This was Fandango’s debut match and the fact that it was against Jericho made it appear that Fandango was set for a big push. It was a fairly good match with Jericho having to carry the night since Fandango was more than a bit green. I could not help but feel that a debut match should not be held at the biggest event of the year. Not fair for a talent to have that kind of pressure put on them. Amazingly enough Fandango got the win, but surprisingly he was not really pushed that much after Wrestlemania. Seems a waste of such a notable victory.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger – This was was kind of an ironic match since both men are known to be very reckless in the ring and have both caused multiple real life injuries to their opponents. The match itself was fine with Alberto retaining his World Title, but I had one HUGE issue with the entire storyline, the racist aspect of it. During this time Swagger came out with Zeb Colter (formerly known as Dirty Dutch Mantel) with Zeb constantly attacking immigrants and mentioning how ‘those people’ should not be in our country. I have loved wrestling since I was a kid and even though I have seen my fair share of embarrassing moments on the screen most of it was fairly benign. This particular angle went too far in my opinion and with racism being a big issue in our country this was one area the WWE should have stayed out of. It got uncomfortable hearing the things that were spewing from Colter’s mouth and made the match less enjoyable.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk -Once again, another great match from The Undertaker with CM Punk being that year’s victim of the streak. They both worked a solid, hard fought match with plenty of moments that made you think Punk could have been the one to end the streak. After a lot of back and forth The Undertaker hit Punk with a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar – This match was brutal with both men beating the hell out of each other. Triple H has always been and always will be a solid in-ring performer and he and Lesnar really worked well together with H Securing the victory via his patented Pedigree.

John Cena vs. The Rock – The big rematch from the previous year’s Wrestlemania. Both men had legitimate animosity towards each other and were able to channel that heat into an excellent match with plenty of action and false finishes. John Cena won the WWE Title with the AA and both men embraced after the end of the match showing true respect for each other.

Overall, a good show that was fun to watch for the first time even though I already knew the outcomes of some of the matches.

Next week I will be watching Wrestlemania 30 again and even though I already reviewed it last year, I am looking forward to a second viewing and seeing if my opinion has changed on any of the matches knowing some of the real life stories behind them, especially The Undertaker/Brock Lesnar match which I was not thrilled with a year ago.

Remember, you can watch all of these shows yourself and so much more by subscribing to the WWE Network for only $9.99 a month!

Common Sense

My goal with this blog from day one has been to steer clear of political/sensitive issues. I look at this blog as a way for me to share my life experiences, promote the heck out of professional wrestling, give my teenage daughter a venue to share her opinions and improve her writing skills, and various benign reasons. It has been getting more and more difficult for me to keep silent with all of the goings on in this crazy world we live in, both positive and negative. So, without being too obvious I am just going to generalize how I feel about where we are headed as a society.

Just a little background on me first…I am neither liberal nor conservative, just a guy with opinions.

My opinion on everything that has been going on recently can be summed up in one simple phrase, common sense. What is wonderful about being a human being is that we are able to live our lives in any way we choose as long as we do not hurt ourselves or others. Having differing opinions is a good thing since life would be mundane if we all agreed on everything.

I am perplexed when people get outraged by the way others live their lives. Common sense dictates that what someone else does in their personal lives usually will not affect me. As long as you are a good, decent person whatever lifestyle you live is your business and does not negatively impact me. I get beyond frustrated when someone gets angry about what other people do in their private lives. Common sense would tell these people to get over themselves, but they rarely do. I have family members and friends who I strongly disagree with on certain topics, but I do not think any less of them and they do not think less of me.  We are all allowed to have our opinions and share them, but we should never tell someone else their feelings are wrong, unless it is something harmful to them or others.

Also, why is it considered oppressing someone when they come out publicly with an opinion and I come out in opposition to it? I cannot stand it when people get up in arms when you disagree with someone else and act like you are trying to oppress them in some way and not allow them to share their feelings. Isn’t the whole point of freedom of speech the fact that if you come out and say one thing that I have the right to give a dissenting opinion? I am baffled when people act like I am taking away a person’s right to free speech when I disagree with that person. That is what free speech is. I am not telling the person to shut up, I am just giving my opinion on the matter.

Plain and simple, common sense is one of the most important skills we must all learn. With it, I think the world would be a much better place and our stress levels would decrease dramatically.

Remember, we are all equal, we all have the right to free speech, we should feel comfortable sharing our opinion, and we all need to get over ourselves just a little bit.

I have now stepped off of my soapbox. Carry on…