Posted by: WebHobbit | September 11, 2020

Diabetes 2, Low Carb Life & the Cardboard Screen Mount

Because I’m one of those Fat (gun-toting) Americans I’ve managed to become Diabetic…or at least Pre-Diabetic. I was actually prescribed meds for this. But in addition to being a Fat American I’m also a somewhat Stubborn Hobbit. I decided to go strictly Low Carb and commit to riding my recumbent bike 30 minutes a day rather than take the meds.

I choose not to call this Low Carb thing a “diet” as in many people’s minds this implies some sort of temporary situation. I’m smart enough to know this must be the way I eat for the rest of my life. I’m NOT going full-blown “Keto” but I am staying around 50 grams of carbs a day (and usually a LOT less than that). This was no small thing. I did have to give up many of the finer things in life….IF you count consuming the following as some of the Finer Things:

Hamburgers with buns
Hot Dogs with buns
Pizza with a real flour based crust
Doritos
Corn Chips
Potatoes (of any kind – Fries, Baked, Chips, etc)
Croutons in Salads
Crackers in Chili
Popcorn
Pie

At first I was reading while riding the bike every morning. After a while I realized that reading was actually too distracting for me and I would SLOW down at times. This would cause me to fall short of the goals I had set for myself. Right now that is 30 minutes…and at least 6 miles with a level 5 resistance (the bike has a 1-8 scale). Once I start to reliably hit 7 miles I will increase the resistance another notch. As of this writing I can usually hit about 6.5 miles on average.

So since reading during this is out I started bringing my phone and watching some YouTube and this works pretty great. Except for figuring out how to prop it up for a good view. So I built this mount out of scrap cardboard and tape:

It’s ugly but it works well.

Now I’m actually considering getting a tablet for this…and constructing a better mount for it…perhaps out of thin/light wood. May go with an Amazon Fire Tablet. This would sort of give me a chance to dip my toes into Android (I know Amazon does their own thing over it..) as I am getting tired of some of Apple’s shenanigans and I may finally go with an Android smartphone in a couple of years. We shall see.

Posted by: WebHobbit | November 18, 2019

Deathlok Action Figure

Picked up this great Deathlok action figure at Meijers today. It’s a Marvel Legends Uncanny X-Force series figure with the cool grey/black/brown suit the whole team wore versions of in the Rick Remender run. Really well done figure. Stands well and looks fantastic. Take a look at these shots I got of him standing atop my Yamaha Receiver. Click the thumbnails for high rez versions.

 

Posted by: WebHobbit | March 9, 2019

Captain Marvel the Movie

I got to see the latest Marvel Movie on Friday. It’s a little difficult for me to even attempt an objective review of ANY Marvel film as I have lived and breathed Marvel Comics since I was 10 or so. And as of this writing I am 50…so that is a very long time. I guess reviews can’t really be “objective” anyway as all humans bring their own bias and expectations no matter how hard they try to suppress them.

I grade movies like this similar to the way I grade comicbook conditions. I try to be as optimistic as possible….but also as honest as possible. All movies start out as PERFECTION – a 10 out of 10…then I detract points or half points for everything I think was “wrong”. For me this movie is a solid 6.5. So what cost it 3.5 points?

Brie Larson – often there is a very fine line between Stoic and Wooden. Seems to me she hopped over that line. In a film with acting power houses like Annette Bening, Jude Law, Samuel L Jackson and Clark Gregg she was the weakest link. She was a bit robotic. Hopefully she loosens up and gets more comfortable in the role when she appears in the next Avengers movie. I have to detract 2 points for this.

So if I can attempt to separate the lifelong comicbook fan from the “Film Reviewer Guy” then we would probably stop right there and say this is an 8 star movie. But that just isn’t going to happen. I AM a comicbook fan….and I cannot and will not ignore decades upon decades of comicbook source material.

Before the most recent comicbook run Carol Danvers did not have the Captain Marvel moniker. First she was Ms.Marvel.

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After that at various times she was known as “Warbird” and “Binary” and possibly some I’m not aware of.

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The character above on the right is Monica Rambeau the FIRST female super-hero to go by the Captain Marvel title. Her powers were totally different and unrelated to the alien Kree race. Like Carol Danvers she was a bad ass and an Avenger. She even led the Avengers for a time. In the movie Carol’s friend’s daughter is called Monica Rambeau for reasons still unrevealed. For many fans this is perceived as quite a slight to the source material and I agree to a point. This cost the film a half a point in my view. I would take away a whole point but it IS still possible to see Monica become a hero in her own right in future films.

Now I am about to reveal a major surprise plot point so -SPOILER ALERT-! If you haven’t seen it yet and don’t wanna risk a spoiler stop reading right here.

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Long before Monica Rambeau came along the FIRST Marvel character called Captain Marvel was Walter Lawson. He was a renegade Kree warrior. His Kree name was “Mar-Vell”. Late in the film we learn that Annette Bening’s character Wendy Lawson is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s incarnation of “Mar-Vell”. So not only do we have a sort of pointless character sex-change but we also effectively flush down the toilet a wealth of great comic stories and plots that could have been used in future films. The first Mar-Vell Captain Marvel series ran over 60 issues and included a lot of GREAT work by the legendary artist/writer Jim Starlin. His plot and character development on Captain Marvel (and many other Marvel Cosmic characters)is a seminal and very important part of Marvel lore and continues to inspire plots and stories decades later. Jim Starlin’s work with Mar-Vell culminated in Marvel’s very first Original Graphic Novel – 1982’s “The Death of Captain Marvel”.

With this film’s completely reworked version that NEVER became a costumed super-hero before her death the possibility of seeing these great stories in movie form are pretty much ZERO. THIS is the film’s greatest tragedy. What a terrible decision. What a complete waste. This cost it another whole point for me. This is how I arrive at a 6.5.

But there IS much to like about the movie. It does have a pretty positive female empowerment vibe that is obviously inspired by the comics both old and new. There is a very cool feline character named “Goose” that is too awesome for me to give anything away here. The alien shape-shifting Skrull race are handled PERFECTLY both in looks and powers. The 90’s setting is used to great effect with good music and plenty of nostalgia from VHS movies to early Windows PCs (ya gotta wait for those CD-ROMs to load!). The action is fun and it has several plot twists you probably won’t see coming. CGI effects are fairly seamless including some convincing de-aging for Fury and Coulson. I enjoyed the movie a lot despite the Mar-Vell and Rambeau slights.

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