Friday, November 30, 2012

A Pictorial Tale About Life as a 11 Month Old

Starring Everett, of course.

The Final Hours of the Furry King's Reign Over the Upper Lip Kingdom

But he will leave the world knowing he was magnificent.

Though my wife may not entirely agree with the word "magnificent".  She'd probably think of something closer to "stay away from me until you shave that thing off."  Which is happening once this day ends.

That is right, today is the final day with my dear furry friend.  It has been a fantastic month of weird looks, strained soup, and wife avoidance.  It was a month of bonding with facial hair that hasn't rocked the world properly since about 1989 or so.

But all furry things must come to an end, and that end is today.

You still have time to make a donation, and help me kick prostate cancer in the eyeball.

I know I have a few readers and friends that can donate.  I don't want you to be intimidated by the more generous donations.  I am happy with any amount.  Any small amount can help with the cause of defeating prostate cancer.

Though if we're going to talk about super generous donations, then I must mention my magnificent mother.  She donated a wonderful $100.00, and now has lifted my funds up to the $480.00 mark.  A pretty impressive amount for a guy who spends most of his day by himself in front of a computer.

I once again want to thank everyone for their kind donations, and helping make my Movember a success.

I'm glad I could raise $480.00 in honour of my father-in-law, Peter Ho, and my grandfather, Harry Bowen.

But the month isn't done.  You can still donate.  So, please check out my site, and consider giving any amount you're comfortable.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Donations Continue to Kick Prostate Cancer in the Eyeball

Because that is what the awful disease deserves.

I've been sincerely touched by all the money I've been able to raise, and I thank everyone who has donated so far.

My awesome neighbour, Angela Bayley, even joined in the donation action.  I am only $20.00 away from $400.00.  I know we can make it.  Actually, I know we can raise even more than that.

Please head over to the site, and consider giving any amount you feel comfortable.

Seriously, any amount really helps the cause.  If you're tight, I'll accept anything you can give.  It is not only for a great cause, but I'm doing this in the memory of my father-in-law, Peter Ho, and my grandpa, Harry Bowen.  It would mean so much to me if you'd consider donating.

You can think of it as my late birthday gift, or as a way to thank me for all the free content I've given you over the last few years.

The Fur Beast's Upper Lip Reign is Coming to an End

This is a good thing, because this sucker is getting mighty powerful.

Movember is done in two more days, and my wife will finally be willing to kiss me again.  I also assume the public park ban will be lifted too.  It will be a joyous day all around.

I really want this mustache to mean something.  The best way for that to happen is to raise even more money towards the goal of kicking prostate cancer in the eyeball. 

My brother-in-law, Eric, and his wife, Layla, got into the spirit, and donated a generous $50.00 in the memory of our dad, Peter Ho.  I am really thankful for all the amazing donations I've received this month, and it really is money towards a great cause.

I know we can raise more.

So, please head over to my Movember page, and consider making a donation.  Any amount is great, and I'll just be thankful you've donated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life of Pi Review: Ang Lee Enhances a Canadian Classic

Life of Pi is a beloved modern Canadian classic novel.  There was a lot of apprehension when talk began about making it a film.  Many critics claimed it was an unfilmable novel.  Ang Lee made it his goal to prove these critics wrong.  I analyze if he was a success in my latest film review for Collective Publishing.

This Dad is Not a Pushover

When some people learned that I was a dad, they instantly thought, "Wow, what a fun, amazing and handsome father you must be!"  They were, of course, 100% correct with those thoughts.  Then some added that they felt I'd let my child get away with things or not be able to enforce the rules.  This is an absurd thought.  I prove this belief to be completely wrong in today's Dad's Eye View. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Addendum to Last Night's Walking Dead Recap for BuddyTV

My deadlines for my BuddyTV articles are pretty short, and I'm often churning out the copy before I've even had a chance to work out all my thoughts.  My BuddyTV overlords also prefer my articles to be relatively short rather than the walls of verbiage that rule the land over here.  I also don't want to just provide a straight recap, because you can find that in countless other places.  I tend to analyze the major plot points of the episode, which also means that it is easier to keep a tight and short article if I just focus on a few key scenes.  This strategy causes a major scene or moment to sometimes get cut from my recap, so that I can declare Rick insane or foam about Michonne's awesomeness.

In last night's review, I inadvertently left out a significant scene.  A moment that resonated with me, and connected with me emotionally.  I even left a note to mention it in my recap, but then the Glenn stuff happened and there was that odd cabin scene and I started to get pumped for the Woodbury showdown, thus momentarily forgot about this sweet little moment.

The review is already posted and done, but my blog is ready to house my feelings just fine.  The most powerful non-Glenn being battered and crazy hobo being killed scene was when Carol returns to the group.  There wasn't any dialogue, but the emotion and feeling was so powerful and ended up being heightened based off the subtle performances.  Rick displayed so much gratitude and renewed faith in his face when he saw Carol.  It was a moment of hope that things will be okay, and that the dreadful day he lost his wife was not all a disaster.  One life survived that day, and it means they can overcome adversity. 

The moment between Carol and Rick where he communicated through facials that Lori was dead was the profound but nuanced acting that is rare in this show.  Carol knew it hurt too much to say the words.  She has experienced loss more than almost anyone else on this show.  She has lost her entire family, and went through the loss of her daughter on two occasions (she went missing, then needed to be killed as a walker).  Their hug was a touching and sweet moment that unleashed several messages.

It was one of the better moments of the entire series, and it was done so well because they underplayed it.  It just needed the subtle facials.  You knew a thousand things were being said.  It was a scene like this that showed this is a series that is more than just zombie beheadings.

It was such a great scene that I went on to completely forget to mention it last night. 

But honestly, it was way better than the crazy hobo.  Trust me. 

The Walking Dead Episode 7: Glenn Goes Bad Ass

This episode is all about the emergence of Glenn as the ultimate bad ass.  Well, it isn't all about that.  It also starts to set up the titanic confrontation between Rick's crew vs. Woodbury.  You can catch all the best parts in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Revenge Episode 8 Review: Deceiving Like It's 2006

Revenge takes us back to 2006.  The year where rich Hampton girls seeking revenge fought Russisns on the dance floor, wealthy woman shamed their mothers during Thanksgiving dinner, and fathers burned their kids poetry.  Oh what a time to be alive.  I recap all the great moments in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Your Get You Through Friday Without Me Question

Why does the genius villain always need to detail his master plan before going to run errands and leaving the hero with the most incompetent and likely to shoot his own foot member of his organization?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Remember How I Didn't Blog on Tuesday?

Consider today to be Tuesday, except we'll call it Thursday.

I had the choice to write on here or have my son splash me with soapy water.  My pants can tell you who won that battle.

Hope your day has been wondrous. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Next Step Towards Becoming Magnum P.I.

It just needs to get a little fuller, and then I can start shopping for Hawaiian shirts.

If I discover a time machine in the next week or so, I'll definitely fit right in with the '70s and '80s now.  I think those ladies would appreciate my facial hair a bit more than my wife.  I've been asked to confirm that my upper lip friend takes a long vacation on Dec. 1st a few time now, so you better all enjoy the 'stache's magnificence while it lasts.

You know how you can really show your appreciation for my mustache?

You can donate to the great cause of kicking prostate cancer in the eyeball.  My funds have been stuck at $320.00 for a little awhile now, and I'd love to be able to raise more.

So, please head on over to the site, and consider giving any amount you feel appropriate (even $5.00 or $10.00 would be amazing).

Flight Review: Denzel Washington Soars with a Tale About Crashing and Burning

Denzel Washington is one of the greatest actors in modern cinema.  His performances are what make good films turn into great ones.  In Flight, he tackles his most complicated character, and has material that really tests his versatility.  I'm sure you already know that Washington nails it.  But is it a film worth checking out for that performance?  You can find out in my latest film review for Collective Publishing.

What This Dad is Thankful for Having in His Life

The American Thanksgiving is almost here, and I write for an American parenting magazine.  I decided it would be appropriate to look at some of the things I'm thankful for having, now that I'm a dad.  You can check out my choices in the latest Dad's Eye View.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I Should Have Warned You at the Start of the Day. . .

Not likely to find time to blog today.

But of course, you would have figured that out by now.

Hope your Tuesday has been wondrous. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

My One Word Thought on Tonight's Bears Game


Looks Like My Last Resort Reviewing Gig Was Doomed Anyway

Last Resort has officially been cancelled by ABC.

I haven't seen an episode of the series since I experience my own cancellation from Road Runner.  I did actually plan on catching up on the episodes that I missed, and I wanted to follow the show (and possibly move my recaps to this site).  It is just a little harder to stay loyal to a show when I have to watch it for free and already have enough shows that I'm incredibly behind on. 

The series did seem to peak with the amazing pilot, and none of the following episodes were able to keep that intensity and drama.  I still enjoyed the show, and was intrigued with where the direction was heading.  Unfortunately, I seemed to be in the minority as the ratings were dismal and the cost for the show was likely very high.

Last Resort is sticking around to finish its 13 episode order.  The funny thing is that would be a full order for a cable series, but it is a sign of lack of faith from a network.  Now, I need to decide if I allocate an hour a week to stick with a series that is destined to be ushered off to the graveyard by the start of next year.  If the entire 13 episodes are not already filmed, then there is a chance the writers have a chance to offer up some resolution to storylines and turn the whole thing into a miniseries.  There is also a strong chance they are done filming, and even if they aren't, they'll likely keep things unfinished in order to shop the series around to possible buyers for next year.  It was a solid series with a novel concept, but the ratings likely mean it doesn't have life anywhere.  It is unfortunate, because it was something very different than the glutton of procedurals.

666 Park Avenue has the exact same fate as Last Resort.  I'm a little relieved about this series' cancellation, because now it is one show that I don't need to bother catching up on.  I watched the first two episodes and didn't love it, but was interested enough to let things play out.  But not interested enough to find time to actually watch any episodes.  It remained on a "Shows to Watch List" for the last month and a half, and I'm now happy that I can just scratch it off.  There is no point following a show that I'm sticking with just for the answers, when it is clear they won't have the time to answer them anymore.

The downside is what this may mean for future show pickups.  Both shows likely had a pretty large budget, because they relied on special effects for several scenes.  They also tried being a bit higher concept than usual network fare.  I'm a little worried their failure means ABC is going to order up a slew of dull police or medical procedurals next year, because those continue to be the safe bets.  I am as interested to watch that type of dull pap as much as I want to see Honey Boo Boo dance or the life of a baggage handler.  TV has some crap, and it sucks when unique shows fail thus encouraging the continuation of brainless but decently rated junk.

I prefer mediocre or flawed shows with unique concepts over the reliable but painfully predictable programming dominating the network ratings.  Hopefully, the successes over on FX and AMC will be enough for network TV to take a few more chances next season when it comes to dramas.

The Walking Dead Episode 6: Taking Calls from the Other Side

It was a doozy of a Walking Dead episode this week.  It offered up some gore that almost made me turn away.  It also had several moments of powerful human drama.  It is setting up some really cool things for the future.  I analyze all of those elements in this week's review for BuddyTV.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Everett Starring in Bath Time!

Because nothing is more grand than some quality time in your blue tub.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Return of Darth Vader? My Interest in the New Star Wars Has Just Plummeted

There is a rumour that Darth Vader may be resurrected for Star Wars Episode 7.

If this is true, then apparently I was a moron about being optimistic about the new trilogy.  Because resurrecting Darth Vader so that he can be an integral part of the new franchise is a slightly better idea than making it a heartwarming tale about Jar Jar Bink's descendent scouring the galaxy for true love.

The reason they want to bring back Vader is apparently based off the fact that someone believes the entire series is about him.

This is an excellent argument, if it wasn't for the fact it is full of shit.

The prequels are all about the Anakin Skywalker story.  I won't dispute that.  If you watch the original Star Wars film you'd have a hard time thinking Vader is the focus of the narrative.  I'm not entirely convinced George Lucas even knew that Vader was Luke's father when filming the first (and he definitely didn't know Leia was going to be Vader's daughter until the third film).  The original trilogy wasn't written as a tale about Vader, because he wasn't supposed to be the central character.  His redemption story was entirely reserved for the third film, and that was really the first film you could see him as more than just the antagonist of the series (with the Emperor taking over that role).

The new trilogy doesn't need Vader.  To be honest, it doesn't need any of the original characters.  Or at least, they shouldn't be the main focus.  They can be there to pass the torch to the new blood, but it shouldn't be their story.  They had things nicely wrapped up in Return of the Jedi.

If Star Wars is to become a franchise with a different film every 3 years or so, then the universe needs to expand.  It needs new characters to help continue the series.  The franchise is going to be in a lot of trouble if Star Wars is nothing more than the Anakin Skywalker story.

I'm not saying that he shouldn't be in it at all.  I'm fine with him as a ghost.  It has been established that Jedis become blue spirits after death.  A cameo from ghost Anakin is cool.  The story can't be about him.  The less lines that Anakin has is the better (especially if they opt to have Hayden Christensen return).  There really isn't anything compelling or left to be said about the Anakin story.  Plus there has never been any sign that a Jedi can rise from the dead.  No one has shown the power to raise the dead either.  If they could, it would have been rather helpful if Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda did that right after Revenge of the Sith.  This resurrection would muck up canon more than the prequels did, and it would serve absolutely no purpose.  Well, it would allow Disney to sell Zombie Anakin dolls, but I need to stop giving them horrid ideas to make money.

At this point, this seems to be nothing more than a rumour.  There isn't going to be any confirmation of this until Christensen gets rehired or the marketing material starts coming out.

Plus even if this is the plan, the studio still has a chance to realize it is awful.  They can scrap the current putrid script that suggests this idea, and then start making a Star Wars that people want to pay money to see.

Don't get me wrong, Disney.  I want to give you money for this.

I am practically begging you to give me something that I can throw money at.  I want to love this.  I want to spend a ticket for the premiere night, and then buy another the next week to take my kid.  I want this to be a movie that reminds me how much I loved this series in my childhood.  I want to be someone that helps you make billions of dollars.

I'm just needing a reason.

Zombie Anakin is not the reason.  We don't need any more parallels to Jesus Christ.  The virgin birth was enough.  Besides, I don't remember the "Christ needs a breathing apparatus and chokes generals with his mind" period of his life.  The analogy to a major religious figure dies pretty quick.

Keep Darth Vader's corpse on Endor, and make a fresh and awesome Star Wars.  The draw to the film has never been one character, but rather the entire rich and imaginative universe.

Ron Swanson Encourages Us to Mo' Forward

This is pretty much the most awesome motivational mustache video ever.

It reminds me that I won't always look like the creepy guy who lives under the playground slide and drinks from expired milk cartons.

One day, my 'stache will contain unlimited power.

If you want to follow Ron Swanson's command of supporting me, then you can go here.

The Face That Makes Small Children and Pets Cower

This one.

I hear the children and pets are forming a rebel alliance to overthrow the beast that resides on my upper lip.  Emily is also pretty sure my 'stache made a move on her last night.  It is a tough life being the owner of an upper lip cover.

You can make it all better by donating at my Movember site.  Together we can kick prostate cancer in the eyeball.

I've received two awesome donations since we last spoke.  My wife donated to the cause, and you may think that doesn't count.  You could argue it is just like if I donated to myself.  I do want to add that I've also given donations to some friends that are part of this fundraiser.  I am practicing what I've been preaching this month.

I also received a super generous donation of $60.00 from a fellow Mo' Bro, Matthew Caldwell.  It was an unexpected but much appreciated offering.

I know we can Mo' past the $320.00 I've raised.  We can make even more.  I would really appreciate it if you would consider donating, and remember, any amount helps the cause.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Skyfall Review: James Bond for the Next Generation

Skyfall marks James Bond's 50th year in film.  Where does the most recent film rank among the classics?  I answer that question in the latest Collective Publishing film review.

Everett's Writing Debut

I've been buried in pay copy and other writing projects lately.  I let Everett take over the writing duties for Dad's Eye View for the week.  He shares with everyone the best spots to hang out in our house.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

35 Years Old

But I don't look a day past 10 and a half months.  I credit it to all the bacon and Pop Tarts.

My birthday has been spectacular so far, because the morning was me and the boys.  It was a quality time of making motor boat noises and chewing on stuffed horses.  Everett and Summit did eventually tire of my gnawing on their toys though.

It has been a marvelous 35 years, and I'm looking forward to many more.  For today, I just plan on relaxing and spending time with those I love.

But of course, birthdays are also a great time for gifts.  And you know what would be a great gift?

A donation to Movember.

If I have to spend today with an upper lip fur coat, then I should at least make money to kick prostate cancer in the eyeball.

I'm off birthdaying now.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good Bye Monday, I Hardly Knew You. . .

You may have noticed I didn't blog here today.

Remember my other project for November?  

I was busy doing that along with pay copy.  Because sometimes it is nice to get paid for things I write.  My entire day mostly consisted of me being glued to the computer and typing like a mad man.

I have feeling I won't have much to say tomorrow, either.  You've been warned.

The Walking Dead Ep. 5 Review: Is Rick Still Fit to Lead?

Rick had a rough time last week.  Has the tragedy made him an unfit leader?  I answer that question in my latest The Walking Dead review for BuddyTV.

Revenge Ep. 7 Review: Treadwell Learns the Truth is Tough

Revenge did the predictable thing and was unpredictable.  I have no clue where the current stories are heading.  I still have lots to say about them.  You can read all about them in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fu Manchu is So Close That I Can Visualize It Straining My Soup

But for now, you can look at this.

I am only $150.00 away from turning this creepy mustache into a "my son will pee himself because he is so scared" Fu Manchu.  Of course, Everett is only 10 months, and pees himself all the time.  It still will be a magnificent way to spend November.

I need to raise $400.00 by 9am tomorrow morning.  I know we can do it.  I've had several very generous donations already.  I'm sure a few of you still want to contribute to this cause.  Remember, any small amount helps in the quest to kick cancer in the eyeball.

Please head on over to the Movember site and consider donating to this cause.

I Still Remember. . .

And I am thankful.

Two years ago, I wrote the reasons I remember in a post appropriately called "I Remember. . . "

The thoughts are still exactly the same except for one thing.  My understanding of needing to protect what you love has increased incredibly now that I am a father.  I may hate war, but I love freedom and peace for Everett and Emily.

Hope you take some time to remember those that have fought for this country. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Journey into Being Captain Creepy

Because how else would you describe this?

I'm so creepy that my wife left town and even took my son.  Oh what a hard life it is for me.

But you know what makes it easier?  Raising money for a great cause like finding a cure for prostate cancer.

My amazing sister-in-law Catherine helped my campaign by giving me a super generous donation of $100.00.  She did it in honour of her father and my father-in-law, Peter Ho.  I am doing this fundraiser to honour both Peter and my grandfather, Harry Bowen.  Both these great men were lost to the awfulness that is cancer, and my grandfather actually passed away due to prostate cancer.

You don't need to give me a donation as huge as Catherine's.  I'll accept any amount.  I just want to raise a large amount of funds for this great cause.

My birthday is this Tuesday, and so it would be a wonderful gift to raise more money for Movember.

If that isn't enough to inspire you, then remember I'll transform my mustache into a glorious Fu Manchu if I raise $400.00 but 9am on Monday November 12th.

Please drop by my Movember site and consider giving any amount you can afford.

Friday, November 09, 2012

A Man and His 'Stache

Or as the cool kids keep calling it, a mo'.

My upper lip's fur coat is growing in "nicely".  Of course, in this sense "nicely" means I'm not getting kissed again until December 1st, and my wife now address me by looking at her feet.  It is a tough life growing a mustache for a good cause.

It is worth it.

Because my amazing sister-in-law Carolyn joined in and donated a generous $50.00.  I've now raised $150.00 towards the goal of kicking prostate cancer in the eyeball.  I am truly touched by the great donations from dear friends.

The donations don't need to end.  You really don't need to donate something as high as $50.00.  Any amount helps this worthy cause.

Remember, if I raise $400.00 by 9am on Monday November 12th, then the spiffy mustache up there will be transformed into a cancer fighting Fu Manchu.  We've got the weekend to make this happen.

If you need more convincing, it is my birthday on the 13th.  It would be a grand gift to raise a large amount of money for Movember.  It would be more awesome than a show tune dancing warthog to end up raising $1000.00 by the end of the month.  It is my goal, and I know we can do it.  Please consider donating and hop on over to my Movember site.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I May Eventually Be a Hermit: A Movember Update

My wife has officially declared that she no longer wants to look at my face.  When she does sneak a peek, she is appears to be mocking me.

Yes, the 'stache is making its presence felt on my upper lip.

The 'stache has also raised me $100.00 for the great cause of kicking prostate cancer in the eyeball.  But I want to raise more.  I want to raise more because it is a great cause.  I want to raise more in order to honour the memory of my father-in-law, Pete Ho, who I lost to brain cancer and my grandfather, Harry Bowen, who I lost to prostate cancer.

Plus if I can raise $400.00 by 9:00am on Monday November 12th than I'm turning the mustache into a glorious Fu Manchu.  It will also ensure that Emily will force me to wear a burlap sack over my head for the remainder of the month.

Please consider donating to this great cause.  My previous donators gave $50.00 each, but I don't expect such a generous amount from anyone.  Any small amount helps the cause.

Check out my Movember site, and consider giving whatever amount you wish.

Thank you so much.

Survivor Philippines Knows Crazy Tribal Councils

Because episode 8 just trotted out one wild tribal council.  This may have been the first time when I didn't even have a clue of who would be sent packing in the end.  This was one of the most chaotic and delightful councils I've ever seen.  I hope the end result leads to more strategizing and big moves.

This season has been awesome.  There are so many castaways that actually want to win and are willing to make the moves to get ahead.  The past few seasons had a bunch of players that just stuck to one leader and hoped it would be enough to get them to the final three.  Half the time it didn't even appear like they cared if they won.  It is great to see players flip flopping and trying to come up with a strategy to get in charge of the game.

Anyway, I never could have predicted a tribal council like this one.  Malcolm essentially outs himself and his idol right away.  I assume he feels he has to do, because he senses the major alliance is planning to blindside him.  From the edits we see, it appears Pete still trusts Malcolm, but then again, Malcolm doesn't have the benefit of being able to watch everyone's confessionals before a tribal.  I'm guessing, Malcolm effectively bumps himself out of Pete's clique now that it is uncovered that Malcolm has been hiding things.

Lisa is suddenly a ring leader and a master Survivor player. I really didn't think she had it in her, and I'm now a fan.  Her best move was to blindside Malcolm, and then try to drag a member of the terrible threesome to the finals with her.  After tribal, it looks like she'll need to make some alterations to that plan.  I'm thinking she also plans to hold Skupin's hand the whole way and make him her pawn for the finals.

Abi is crazy.  I knew that from weeks ago.  Somehow she confuses tribal council with "show and tell."  Why does she ever think there is a need to reveal her idol?  Her strategy seems to be batshit insane, which is great to get into the finals but no crazy has won the million.  I also have a feeling that Pete is going to get tired of her pretty quickly, even if she is his best chance at winning.

The forming of two alliances and essentially switching their votes out in the open is surreal.  The even crazier thing is that what could have been the clear majority alliance of six doesn't even stick together for the vote.

I understand why Skupin flops back to his original tribe.  Lisa is his strongest alliance, and at this point he likely needs her to stick around.  Plus it makes sense to be the bottom five rather than the bottom six.  At this point, Lisa is a stronger ally than Penner, who is still the most targeted player in this game.

As for Penner, I don't quite understand the logic of forming an alliance in front of everyone, but then he votes for someone totally different than the rest of his group.  Is he knowingly eliminating Jeff, but doing it in a way where he can claim he didn't vote for him when it comes to the final tribal council?  Jeff is obsessed with eliminating returning players, and he has already tried to blindside Penner in the past.  But Penner also has the chance for the first time ever to be in a majority alliance and ruins that by betraying Jeff.

I'm sad to see Jeff go, because he was one of the really hardcore players.  But it is also at a point in the game where it makes more sense to knock out the strategic threats rather than the deadwood like Carter and Artis.

Now, I just hope it isn't a majority alliance picking off the remaining four.  There is a good chance for more unpredictability, because three of the four minority alliance members are incredibly smart and strategic players.  The majority alliance not only has flip floppers, but some paranoid nutbars that are likely to have a meltdown before the game is done.  Plus I get the feeling a good portion of the majority alliance hates each other. 

It is now down to the final nine.  Here is my quick analysis of remaining players.

Lisa:   Definitely emerges as the puppet master this episode, and she is by far the strongest player at this point.  Even though she is so vocal and public in the string pulling, I don't think she creates any kid of target on her back.  Pete's alliance realizes they're now reliant on her sticking with them, and the Penner alliance (if it even exists) knows she, along with Skupin, are their best chance at taking control of this game.  Plus she is super likable and is a student of the game, and is more than willing to do a blindside if it will get her to the end.  She has to be the favourite at this point.

Skupin:  There is an invisible leash on him, where he'll follow Lisa wherever she goes.  She intends to take him to the finale with her.  He could be final three, but I don't like his chances of actually winning.  This cast seems very bitter towards returning players, which will harm his chance.  More importantly, there is the fact he has done absolutely nothing so far.

Denise:  She is another really strong player, and has a solid alliance with Malcolm.  At this point, she needs to expose the cracks in the Pete alliance in order to stick in there, since she is in the minority group at the moment.  This season keeps on shifting in power, and I think, that will continue.  She also has the benefit of being a little quieter and not getting on people's nerves, but she is also a smart player who makes moves.  I can see her making quiet alliances and doing some background string pulling, and then sneaking into the final three.

Malcolm:  I love this guy, and I want him to squeeze into the final three.  The tribal council didn't go well for him, and he is likely on the outs with the majority alliance.  He is likable and a smooth talker, and along with Denise, I think he can still form his own powerful alliance.  I also don't think Pete's alliance is gunning for him next, but Pete probably isn't in love with the fact he was lied to either.  By the next episode, we'll have a good idea of his fate.

Penner:  I love Penner, and I'm begging for him to mastermind one blindside this season.  I don't see him going to the final three unless something drastic happens.  He is being targeted by every side, and I'm not sure if anyone actually wants him in this game still.  Even if he can form the next majority alliance and get people like Lisa and Skupin to switch, I don't see his own alliance keeping him around to the end.  But he also has a reputation of being a strong player for a reason.

Pete:  He is in the majority alliance, and he believes he is the ringleader.  He is also paranoid, and he seems obsessed with turning into the next "mastermind" of Survivor.  Plus his strongest alliance is with a nutcase, and I am pretty sure he despises her.  I see him getting blindsided at some point or just having a major meltdown.

Abi:  She is this year's Phillip or Brandon.  There are several players that want to take her to the final three, because she has no chance of winning.  She also may be one of the most annoying players ever, so there is a chance people can't put up with her that long.  She is a wild card, and will flip flop at a moment's notice, which also makes her dangerous.  I see her sticking around for a bit, and possibly backdooring to the final three.

Artis:  The crab has a stronger game than Artis.  He is in the majority alliance, but I've already predicted that group to implode.  When it does, he'll likely be one of the first victims.

Carter:  He may only be vaguely aware he is on a game called Survivor.  His main man went home this week, which means he is toast.  Penner and crew need him to take the majority, but I don't see him getting past final five.

The preview promises a shake-up next week.  Of course, that doesn't actually mean it will happen, since the preview is always deceiving.  If it is anything like this week, it should be a doozy of an episode. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Few More Thoughts On Last Night's Victory

I talked about the American election for the first time last night.  I didn't hide my joy about Obama's re-election.  I wanted to add a few more thoughts before we all move on with our lives.

One term Presidents are always considered flukes and failures.  I dare you to try to come up with a President that failed to get re-elected that is considered a success.  It has been GOP's mission to ensure Obama's 2008 election be seen as an anomaly.  They shaped a narrative for the past four years of a guy who was over his head and not fit to be President.  Last night, Obama received a decisive victory and permanently erased any stigma of being a fluke or failure.

GOP and their propaganda machines like FOX News spent four years trying to make Obama's first term a disaster.  The reality is that Obama was elected into a mess back in 2008.  The country was in two wars and the economy was in the shitter.  It was going to be four tough years for any President, and GOP used it as evidence that Obama wasn't fit.  GOP not only trotted out endless smear campaigns against Obama, but they also openly shot down anything he proposed even if it would be something they normally agreed with.

Obama has had to remain moderate and slowly push through his reforms.  He has been successful on many fronts.  His achievements will start coming through in these next four years.  GOP will still wage their little war, but it is also clear their agenda was a failure.  They're stuck with a centrist President for another four years rather than someone willing to pander to the far right and the corporations.

This election screamed out the message that the Presidency is not just for "rich, straight, white, old guys" and that this isn't the only demographic with a voice.  GOP should change their strategy in the future, but I'm not totally convinced they will.  They've been grounded in this thought for a long time, and they've proven to be a stubborn lot.

I have to admit I was worried Romney might sneak in.  Obama was elected with a lot of unfair pressure in 2008.  Liberals believed he'd birth unicorns and throw out free puppies.  They wanted instant change and radical change.  The reality is that Obama isn't a liberal but a centrist.  He was never going to make the changes they wanted.  He was stuck in a spot where he'd never be able to make them fast enough.  I feared there would be disillusion and a lack of voter turnout from the left.  I was happily proven wrong.  The voters proved they are willing to allow Obama to see things through to the end.

I also hope people realize they're still getting the same President that they had for the last four years.  He is still competing with the same GOP and their allies.  If people haven't realized positive changes have been made these past four years then they're in for a shock.  They still won't be getting their unicorns and puppies.  If they've noticed a gradual progress, then this second term should be satisfying.

This is a greater victory than the one in 2008.  The critics claimed it was just voters running on emotion.  The doubters believed Obama would be exposed and we'd be back to the status quo by 2012.  It didn't work out that way.  America proclaimed that they don't want the far right candidates the GOP are flinging at them.  They are ready for a different America, and want to see the change continue to move forward.

I'm relieved.  I'm happy.  I look forward to seeing progress over the next four years.

Congratulations, Mr. President.

Wreck-It Ralph: Will It Smash Disney's Image of Being Second String?

Wreck-It Ralph serves up several iconic video game characters and is a fun piece of nostalgia.  It looks like it can be a film that will appeal to both children and adults.  This is exactly what puts Pixar films at the top of the mountain.  Can Disney finally make a film at the level of an animated studio they own?  I answer that in today's Collective Publishing film review.

How Did Everett Become So Well-Behaved?

I've said over and over that Everett is super easy going.  He also makes me look like a good parent.  I'm not sure if I deserve that credit.  We will often get compliments for Everett being so well-behaved in public.  Did Emily and I do anything to help that?  I try to figure that out in today's Dad's Eye View.

If I Can't Get the Government of My Choice in Canada, Then I'll Live Vicariously Through America

The US networks are declaring Barack Obama repeating as President. 

I haven't mentioned much politics over the last year.  Despite that fact, America still decided to have an election.  It doesn't mean I don't have opinions on the matter, but it does mean that I haven't been paying as close attention this year as prior.  I blame it on Everett, because he is too young to defend himself.

I'm overjoyed that Obama is President.  I didn't vote for him, but that is entirely due to being a Canadian and not eligible.  I'm glad that America did the job for me, and Obama has four more years to put things in the right direction.  Or at least try to put things in the right direction and to create a positive legacy for himself.

I'm also ecstatic that the GOP smear campaign was a monumental failure.  The public was smart enough to see through them.  It also looks like a good portion of the voters realized that repeating "I'm a businessman" over and over again isn't an effective campaign.  Mitt Romney didn't run the greatest campaign, especially since his goal was to say things that constantly contradicted everything he has done in the past.  The man wasn't the future of a stable economy, even if that was his entire selling point.

I think the biggest thing going against Obama last term was all the hype surrounding him before he was even sworn in.  Yes, he was the first Black President, and that is awesome.  There was so much pressure on him from the left, and this idea he was going to transform America into a paradise where everyone has jobs and puppies was never going to happen.  Especially since the GOP was out to get him from the very beginning, and they were going to shit on everything he tried.  Obama already came into a situation where the economy had tanked and the country was at war.  He has gradually tried to steer things right, and it was always going to take longer than four years.

This is the term that will cement Obama's legacy.  It will also be the term that FOX News and other far rights will distort every fact into "Obama is the antichrist."  If you're far right then you'll hate what he does no matter what.  Because damn does it suck when a President looks after the working class and tries to allow everyone a chance at proper medical care.  And yes, that last line was pure sarcasm, but would be something stated by certain GOP public figures.

This is a good thing.  America doesn't need a President pandering to corporations and giving more tax breaks to the rich.  Harper has tried the same thing here in Canada, and it hasn't caused an economic explosion despite what some have claimed during this election cycle.

I realize some are going to hate the Obama term no matter what because he is a Democrat.  Just like how Republicans like to claim they're the best things for the economy, despite the fact America's greatest time of financial prosperity over the past 30 years was under Clinton.  The stories will be spun to downplay and harm Obama's second term as well.

I'm looking forward to it.  It is a chance for some of the slow work to turn into major payoffs.  I think it is a very good thing that the first Black President won a second term, and be able to avoid being a "one hit wonder."  I don't think the win will shake up the GOP or knock significant wind out of the far right.  It won't kill racism.  It does give some much needed momentum to Democrats and the left.  It is nice when that occasionally can happen.

At some point, I may have some more significant thoughts.  Even though I'm stuck with a Prime Minister that makes me want to run full force into a brick wall, I'm given some hope that America has a President I actually would have voted for.

If I could.

Which I couldn't.

But I can still blog on and on about him, at least.

Thanks America, for letting me vicariously live through you.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

How Powerful Is My 'Stache?

This powerful.

My fundraising hasn't been too shabby either thanks to two amazingly generous donations.  I already mentioned Diane Bertolin's awesome $50.00 donation.  Steve and Beth Archibald matched her offer, and have now given my fundraising a grand total of $100.00.

This means that I need to raise $300.00 by 9:00am on Monday November 12th, so that I can transform my 'stache into a magnificent Fu Manchu.  If you want to see it, then please consider donating.

You can head on over to my Movember site to make a donation, and help me kick prostate cancer in the eyeball. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

My Second November Challenge: National Novel Writing Month

You already know about my goal to cover my upper lip and raise funds to kick prostate cancer in the eyeball.

Since the mustache growing magic can happen while I do other things, I decided to join a second challenge for the month.

I'll be participating in National Novel Writing Month.

What is this crazy event?

Well, the title gives you some pretty solid clues.  Essentially it is an event that many all over the world participate in, where they attempt to write an entire novel in a month.  The goal is to reach 50,000 words by 11:59PM on November 30th. 

I spend a few hours every month going on and on about how I should write a novel.  This was supposed to be the novel writing year.  Well, the year is almost over, and so it made sense to join up with this competition.  It is a great event, because it encourages writing and creativity.  If you're ever going to get that novel finished, then this is a great community and support structure to help that happen.

I realize it is already five days in, but if you always wanted to write a novel, this may be the month to do it.

I also have to admit that not only have I not started on the novel, but I also haven't even decided which of my ideas will be transformed into a novel.  You wouldn't be the only person behind in the game.

I'll keep you updated on the progress of my novel.  Hopefully, at the end of this month I'll have something in semi-readable form that can eventually be shipped off to publishers.

If I don't, then you'll never hear me speak about this again.

Movember Progress and My Sweet 'Stache Deal

As of noon today, this is what my lip is sporting.

It isn't a glorious Magnum P.I. 'stache, but I also started two days late.  My lip is slowly getting prepared for the cold Movember weather.

I've currently raised $50.00 thanks to my awesome editor, Dian Bertolin.  You can track all that progress on my official Movember site.

I want to raise more than $50.00.  Here is my deal to get this number higher.

If I raise $400.00 by 9:00am on Monday Nov. 12th, then I'm transforming my mustache into a Fu Manchu.

You know the world needs to see a magnificent Spicer Fu Manchu.

It can happen if those funds jump up to $400.00.

We can raise the money to kick prostate cancer in the eyeball. 

My Final Plea to "Like" the Cuteness

If every person who viewed my prior "plea" posts actually "liked" Everett's picture, then he'd be heading down the road to an army of glorious toys.

Don't you want my son to have a toy army?

Yes, you do.

Or maybe you want me to shave my head, and post a video of me and Everett dancing to Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music"?  I'll do it if Everett wins the contest.

Click here and "like" the cuteness.

The Walking Dead Ep. 4: The Most Heart Breaking Episode About Zombies Ever

A HUGE event takes place on this week's The Walking Dead.  This was the biggest episode ever, and one that made my wife a sobbing mess.  You can read all my spoiler heavy analysis in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Revenge Ep. 6 Review: Rocky Relationships

A huge part of Revenge is relationships.  More specifically, dysfunctional relationships.  This week's episode has loads of dysfunction and relationships.  I discuss all the major moments in my latest review for BuddyTV.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Everett's First Halloween Continued

You've already seen Everett's adorable costume.

But you haven't seen his adorableness beside my sister's magnificent jack o'lantern.

Remember, this very cute young boy can win $50.00 worth of toys if you only "like" his photo right here.

Don't You Want This Bundle of Cutness to Have Toys?

Can you really say "no toys" to this guy?

I've had a rather large amount of views for my "Vote for Everett" plea post.  But those views haven't translated to the same number of "likes" for Everett's picture.

But I know you want this guy to have a $50.00 Toys R Us gift certificate.

All you have to do is click this link and "like" it.  But today is the final day of the contest, and Everett is in second place.  Though we need lots of votes to jump into first place.  Feel free to get your friends to join in.

Do you know how happy Everett would be if he gets in first?

This happy.

I've given you years of blog content and almost a year of Everett cuteness.  You can now show your thanks by giving Everett a "like."  Right here.

If you "like" him, then Everett has promised to share his new toys.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Addendum to Movember Announcement

In my previous post, I mentioned I am dedicating my Movember campaign to the memory of my father-in-law and grandfather.  Both were lost to the horrible disease of cancer.  I wanted to add that my grandfather actually passed away from prostate cancer.  It adds a personal element to what the funds will be going towards.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should donate.  It would be awesome if you would.  It really is for a good cause.  If you want to prove that the 'stache can conquer cancer then please hop over to my site and donate any amount you're comfortable with.


Harnessing the Power of the 'Stache to Defeat Cancer

Cancer is the worst.

We all want to find some way to defeat it and save our loved ones.

There is one thing that I can do really well.  I can grow facial hair.  So, for one month, I am going to grow the mightiest mustache known to mankind.  I'll be joining up with the Movember organization in an attempt to raise funds for research and organizations in men's health and prostate cancer.

I'd love it if you would consider donating to the cause.  You can help out by checking out my Movember site here.  I'll also use that site and this blog to track my progress and show pictures of my sure to be glorious 'stache.

I am currently clean shaven, and ready to rock the lip whiskers.

I'm also dedicating my campaign to the memory of my father-in-law, Peter Ho (2011) and my grandfather Harry Bowen (1983).

Friday, November 02, 2012

Everett's First Halloween

We got our camera back.  So, you now can see how Everett looked for his first Halloween.

No, he isn't a vampire.

He is a ventriloquist puppet.

This is proof that we did actually dress him up for Halloween, so feel free to "like" his Facebook contest picture so that Everett can win a $50.00 Toys R Us gift certificate.

Now time to commence with the cuteness.

A Pictorial Tale of Everett's First Circus Adventure

Remember when I said Emily surprised me with a trip to Cirque du Soleil?

Well, here is the pictorial proof.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Time for Everett's Cutness to Pay Off

We took Everett "trick or treating" to a few homes of friends and family.  We even took photos, but apparently, thought it would be best to forget the camera at his grandparents.  You'll have to wait for the detailed Everett Halloween pictures, but right now on Facebook, there is one Everett picture.

The problem is that Everett wanted to hide the makeup that revealed he is a ventriloquist puppet.  But he is Everett, so he is still cute.  Definitely cute enough to "like" the photo.

Why would you like the photo?

Well, Everett likes toys.  But toys cost money.  It would sure be easier to get some toys if we had a $50.00 gift certificate.  That is exactly what we would win if we get the most Facebook "likes".  You can have your daily dose of Everett cuteness, and then declare how much you like him.  I'm sure Everett will share his toys with you out of appreciation.