My 30 Day Blitz Pt 1 Back In The Groove 

OK, so as Summer kicked off I started noticing that the lack of a manual labour job had started to affect me in the wrong, sure my nagging injuries that I worked through had begun to feel better but the pounding away on key boards as not burned the same calories as walking ten thousand steps in 9 hours and lifting heavy things while doing it and frankly the hustle of picking up slack for a very lazy co-worker was better cardio than I had thought. I am not super happy with the mirror  recently and I finally got up and dusted off my DDP Yoga discs and got in a work out. So I am going to track 30 days worth of various DDP Yoga workouts it all for you. I am not aiming to get ripped or bulk up, what I am doing is committing myself to getting myself back in to a form I am content with and doing to by keeping accountable to you readers.

July 26 Day 1: Fat Burner (24m37s). The house is hot so this sweat was easy to break. Had to pause twice to catch my breath.  Scale says I’m 193lbs…2lbs shy of my heaviest ever but I was working out 4 or 5 times a weeks then. Diet and alcohol intake are going to come in to play at some point. I had to take a 20min break to type this and catch my breath before I do Red Hot Core (12m35s) That got me in the ego, clearly this is where I need a lot of help.

July 27 Day 2: So sore from yesterday, chest, quads, core. Since my knees are bad I am trying the Stand Up (30m16s) today to hopefully get them in better shape. Added RHC to the end.

July 28 Day 3: Everything hurts, the just got back to exercise soreness has me gripped like Daffy with the Abominable Snowman, it loves me and hugs me and pets me and beats the holy crap out of me at the same time. Today I decided to try the Strength Builder  (38m9s) muscle failure has set in. I collapsed at the tail end of a 3 count push up segment. 12m41s of a workout and my body simply can’t continue. I don’t know if it the soreness or the moving of furniture I did all morning but I’m done. Feeling low but dripping sweat.

July 29 Day 4: My left knee is killing me, had a couple sprints last night and it did not react well. Not a lot of time to get this in today and I ‘m tired from a late work night. Energy (21m45s) today.

July 30 Day 5: Have to help people move the next couple days, Energy again this morning. Body has recovered from the initial strain of starting this in time to lift furniture for two days.

July 31 Day 6: Busy day moving friends and then work. Snuck in RHC before I left though.

Aug 1 Day 7: Fat Burner stretched me out pretty good after a long day yesterday, getting more flexible but my left knee doesn’t like supporting a lot of weight still.

Aug 2 Day 8: Ended up helping build a fence today. Squeezed in RHC before I head to work. Starting to feel more core strength.

Aug 3 Day 9: Very stiff and sore. Fat Burner is on deck, need to get more intense after a few lighter days even though there was a lot of other exertions.

Aug 4 Day 10: Fat Burner to start the day. Feeling more flexible and stronger. The scale said 196.2lbs this morning and 200.2lbs last night. I am officially at my heaviest ever, my diet and beer consumption has been off the rails the last week as I helped friends move and there was a LOT of fast food and extra beer in my life.

Well there is the first phase of this 30 day challenge complete. Next I will start to be more careful about what I put into my body and start getting on to the more difficult workouts. I am feeling less out of shape and my flexibility is getting better.

Advertisements

At My Geekiest

Over the years I have been accused of being a nerd, that doesn’t bother me much but it is not accurate either. It isn’t that I am not smart, the last ten years and many IQ tests later I am actually ashamed and my school work since I realize I am not as dumb as I thought for decades, lazy, unfocused, petulant, insecure and bitter…sure thing, just not dumb. However there is a difference between being a nerd and being a geek, a nerd will apply towards the sciences while a geek will apply intelligence towards certain subjects. Nerd is subculture of geekdom, whose intelligence and obsession is in the science realm,  Jocks are sports geeks but not all sports geeks are jocks. It can get quite confusing but the basic concept is that we are all geeks some how. Each of us has a hobby, life style, habit, maybe even a career that we can attach the word ‘geek’ to to accurately describe us. The more pretentious of us prefer to use the suffix ‘phile’ as in audiophile, cinephile, technophile, bibliophile and others. Sure it makes people seem extra intelligent and cultured but let’s face it those are fancy words for music-geek, movie-geek, tech-geek and book-geek. I’m not calling anyone out on this, call yourself what you want but remember each of us is a geek in something. If that all makes sense to you then you now get that I am not a nerd, I have several geekdoms to my name but nerd isn’t one of them.

Those close to me know I have a list of geekdoms I inhabit, I am a comic-geek, a colletion-geek, a film-geek, wrestling-geek, probably a few others I wouldn’t consider myself on this side of my sparkling blue eyes but others would see. When I was in school all of this was embarrassing, the most difficult thing i ever did in class was stand in front of my English 12 class and admit, voluntarily, that I made weekly trips to Talkin’ Illustrations on the corner of 120st and 95a Ave in North Delta to get my comics, in fact there was on jackass that responded to my speech with his own opinion on spending his time drinking  was a better escape from reality. I damn near broke down but managed to refrain and get through, according to Facebook that person is sober and doing far better in life than I would have predicted in the late 90’s, while I am loud and proud about my comic collection (7826 issues).  In fact recently I have awoken to the fact that I could make a lot of money with my excess books since the Internet is basically a huge market place and I would like to unload about 4381(ish) to the right buyer as a lump or several smaller chunks (hit me up if you want a look at the list)

I do not care which geekdom I live in at any given point, that is a huge change from my younger years and I’m not sure what to credit. I have certainly grown as a person, more confident and less concerned with the opinions of others. Then there is the internet factor, it is so much easier to find people interested in the same things these days, all of our geekdoms are out there in the open and we have no trouble finding a community. It’s probably a combination of both really, most people that were in my house in the 90’s new there were hundreds of comics books and that I was usually unavailable Monday nights. I grew comfortable with my geekiness and some friends would partake of them with me, I found that some of their own obsessions appealed to me on a lesser level in return. That’s what friendships are built on isn’t it, overlapping and acceptance of each others geekdoms. 

As I type this at 10:52pm Monday night I have had 2 separate discussions on WWE and text lesson on the recent Batman vs Superman movie and how they fit into the Avengers story (they don’t) and which side are the X-Men on. Things like that give me a smile, I can use my geekiness to enlighten folks on things they don’t know, we all should b grateful when our friends and family know where to go for the educated opinion or history. There are other things I get asked about, my geekiness extends to some financial matters, music, far more films than the recent super hero craze. I am not unique in this, we all have our things, the rabbit holes of hobbies and work we can fall into and lose hours, days and weeks, our friends call us to settle bets or fill in information. Spread your geekiness around, you may convert some people or find out that they needed a nudge to turn a minor interest into a bigger part of their life, over the years a lot of my friends found themselves watching more wrestling after asking a few questions and getting into longer discussions. I’ve found myself drawn into the same conversations and developed new tastes in music, beer, technology and other things some have stuck others not as much. The beauty of being a geek (or a ‘whateverphile’) is sharing it no matter what it is someone is into it as much as you are and others still enjoy it or will enjoy your expertise. In this day and age it is the geek that has enheirited the Earth. 

 

 

 

 

Evolution Baby

Pokemon Go. Well isn’t that a strange phenomenon. I won’t lie to you, I never really understood the Pokemon thing, I was a few years too old to get fully hooked on the craze when it debuted in 1996, missed by a frog’s hair really. I had friends that got it that were a few years older but for some reason I just didn’t pick it up, which has surprised many people given my tastes in entertainment. On Sunday my fiancee and step-son were watching a friend’s baseball game in Abbotsford and decided to download the game and see what was in the park, off the boy went and collected several, 6km of walking resulted in (seven?) captures and this picture of fellow Pokemon hunters. I was curious so like many people I know I too downloaded the game that has been all over the internet and gave it a whirl. I still don’t get it BUT I love the concept and execution. What an ingenious game this is, you can go search out the mechanics or download it yourself and see but this piece is not about Pokemon or Pokemon Go, there is no review or opion past what you just read and definitely no hints or tips. What I have spent some time thinking about in the last few days is the evolution of video games, Pokemon Go has brought us to a brand new level and I suspect the clones and rip offs are coming very quickly.

Those of us that remember the dawn of the video game know that these addictive little time killers go back to the early 1970’s when simple squares and rectangles did little more than criss cross a screen and get faster as they awarded us arbitrary points. The highest ranked players got a few letters to put in a score board to claim glory until the next player came along, we even figured out how to make cuss words and the talented ones could even turn a top ten list into a sentence usually involving something you cant say on TV. As the 80’s rolled in Intelevision and Colecovision began the trend of having a home video game system, the easy access of the living room was not as inviting as a giant room filled with video games and people to play them with though. In my youth a pocket full of quarters and a few spare hours meant finding an arcade, they weren’t always the environment our parents would encourage us to be in but they were fun.  The simple cube shaped pixels were getting smaller and more details were coming out, new genres were being established and game play engines developed, variety was gaining ground and with that ground came new demographics. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) debuted and the silly red and blue man with the hammer from Donkey Kong became a cultural icon, he seemed to be in every game for a while. The Sega Master System stepped up to compete with Nintendo as Coleco and Intelevision fell to the wayside. Then there were the gadgets, innovation at it’s finest with a vast array of joy stick and controllers, light beam pistols, a head set light gun, the precursor to the Wii Fit called the Power Pad and of course the highly sought after and much maligned Power Glove (I should apologize to my parents for that waste of money)

It was the Super Nintendo (SNES) and Sega Genesis era where most of my gaming life lived, depending on which game was hot and which system it was available for my friends and I would pack up our entire system and head for the house with the most snacks and least supervision. Street Fighter 2 tournaments, double elimination NHL round robins, binge playing the next great Role Playing Game (RPG)we lost weekends and entire summers to these machines, once in a while the girls would get involved and embarrass a few of us. Every year the games got more detailed, repetitious levels that got faster and faster until we couldn’t possibly keep up were replaced by in large by story based adventures with an ending and if we were lucky a secret or two (remember the surprise reveal at the end of Metroid?) It seemed that the possibilities we had dreamed of about multiple controllers, detailed sports seasons, unlockable content and never ending sequels for our favorite characters. Movies, TV shows, books, comics anything that could be programmed was being licensed and released, not all of it good. All the while the arcades were becoming monstrous rides and more than a quarter a piece.

The arcade hit it’s death throws in the early 2000’s when home game play sky rocketed. Sony’s Play Station series, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Game Cube were in a three way race and eventually the manufacturers added the internet connection. Console gaming was now on par with PC gaming. In the mid 2000’s on a whim i plugged a Play Station 2 into a digital projector at work and my childhood dream of playing video games on a movie screen came true, it would be a few more months before Cineplex caught on to the concept and sanctioned it. Things have really picked up speed since then, motion capture, downloadable add ons,  vast tournaments for games of all kinds with big money prizes and the biggest evolution the smart phone, more games and better quality than I had access to for most of my life.

I look back aghast at how far we have come, it boggles my mind to remember Frogger on my Coleco and have this funny little game on my phone. It integrated the camera, GPS and map functions turning my entire world into a game. The little animated creatures around me are only visible through the lens of a mobile device but video games have now come into the real world, our entire planet is now a video game and this is just the first game, I can’t wait to see whats next.

CSB: The Prophecy

“It’s not as good as it used to be.” That statement is one I hear a lot when someone finds out I’m a wrestling fan. Life is a roller coaster though, everything involved in it rises and falls. . Film franchises and genres go from insanely popular to passe. Sport teams ride dynasty years until the eventual decline starts and then it is years near the bottom of the league before they start to see the playoffs. WWE and professional wrestling as a whole is no different, as a genre it has its slips in popularity and as a team/company/promotion they can be out manned, out written and out done. It has happened before, those circumstances sparked the rise of Hulkamania and the Attitude Era, both of those are held up as the peaks of popularity and quality. The popularity is beyond doubt, Hulk Hogan, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and The Rock transcended the industry and became pop culture icons. Then the bubbles burst.

The Hulkamania era hit a wall as the early 1990’s saw steroid scandals change the industry as the giant athletes literally shrunk and were pushed aside for the ‘smaller’ (230lbs is small?) talents with a better grasp of psychology and technical aspects came to the forefront. The media scrutiny and the confirmation of professional wrestling being a show tore the spot light away and a tremendous amount to incredible matches were missed by the mainstream audience as performers were swallowed by cartoonish roles that had remotes clicking before the entrances were over and talents like The Undertaker, Scott Hall, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels produced matches that wouldn’t been seen by a vast audience until the era of DVD, wrestling was in its shell again and the few remaining companies limped along with a fraction of the fans. The two major promotions in North America WWE (WWF at the time) and WCW competed with each other and a handful of small independent companies funneled talent through, wise performers took advantage of more prosperous lands like, Europe, Japan and Mexico to hone their craft. The industry was like a covered pot simmering to perfection. It would boil over in summer 1996.

There were more than a few factors at play that year. International companies had been grooming North American performers for years, the talent pool the was beginning to seep into the larger companies were getting noticed, a small eastern US promotion known as ECW was turning heads and an edgier style of match and interview was garnering attention of the die hard fans who were telling their friends. I got one friend of mine to go with me to WWE/F International Incident in July of that year right at the start of the Attitude era, on that card was a veteran talent that had just made his mark with an off the cuff remark after winning King of the Ring “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass.” There it was, the detonator for the explosion of pro-wrestling. A few weeks later the last generation’s icon Hulk Hogan dropped the red and yellow fan friendly demeanor for black and white with a venomous interview style and the revolution was on. Nearly two years later another young talent looking to find himself sat down at Wrestlemania 14 and with a wink and a smile “If you smell what The Rock’s cooking.” was a quiet line that you would have missed if not for the fact that it highlighted a dick joke. It would be  years before the industry would see a true down turn.

The point of that entire recap is this, there are two factors in the resurgence of pro-wrestling to the mainstream. 1) the proper environment. There is a vibrant pro-wrestling scene just outside of the main stream, WWE is not the only game in town. Ring of Honor (ROH), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Total Non-stop Action (TNA/Impact), Lucha Underground and dozens of other companies are out there providing a working environment for performers. WWE is taking advantage of it again like they did in the early 80’s and 2000’s  the NXT roster and the current main event picture of the WWE and you’ll see the best of many companies under the WWE umbrella. There are hundreds of young and veteran talents out there waiting to get the chance to be the next Hulk Hogan, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin or Rock. The internet and hundreds of TV channels have exposed the hardcore fans to the talent out there and they in turn are talking and sharing on social media. Make no mistake the pot is boiling. 2) Someone needs to say something. I firmly believe that the final element is sitting on the tongue of a performer and it needs to be spit out, the draw back is that by all accounts the WWE writers are more harm than good. Every week some talent active or retired points out that there are a lot of verbatim scripts making it to television. Sooner or later someone with enough slack to speak from the heart or enough balls to go off script on TV will utter another line that will strike a chord with the collective audience and the hardcore fans will share and the casual fans will be drawn back in for a time. CM Punk had it, the unfortunate part is that the run he had after was all too short.

I don’t know who it will be, or when it will happen but I am sure at this point that all the pieces are in place for the next ‘chosen one’. Like any film about an unlikely hero the prophesy I give to you is this; there will be a remark that strikes a chord with the audience that burns through the fans and through them the casual fans will return to fold an for a few years all professional wrestling will prosper and be more popular then ever.

 

Juneuary

“My favourite thing about winter is watching it on TV from Vancouver”

That phrase circulates the social media realms from October to March as we here from Squamish to Chilliwack endure little more than cold air and rain while most of the country is buried under the snow. Sure we were embarrassed a few years ago when the world showed up for the Olympics and we were busy manufacturing ice and snow. How’s that for breaking the stereotype?

We are not the typical Canadian as far as the world knows, the snow and ice covered landscape of reputation is not our life here in the GVRD. We are a land of early Spring and late Autumn.locked in combat to see which season would rule our land, not unlike Narnia and it’s unnatural Winter (that’s the rest of the country). Every year we gloat our way through lack of snow and ice where for a few days we are blessed with weather more fitting in May or June. I have friends across the country that I giggle at as they complain about the true Winter as I put on short in February and go for a bike ride or sit in the yard. To be honest there are two that I love sending pics to because I delight in their urge to move back to our lovely area and am trying to inspire them to get after it.

There is a down side though, we sacrifice at least a month of summer weather to Mother Nature in trade. It’s been many years since the herald of hot weather and blue skies was the last day of school. The month of June has been laid upon the alter of the sun and offered to the skies as payment for our early Spring days which we rave about to the world and piss off a lot of snowed in friends and relatives. Rejoice winterized countrymen for your time is nigh for Juneuary and Julember are here. We are not at the beaches daily now, the last week has been dominated by rain, every time I go to mow my lawn the clouds open up and end the dream of a neatly trimmed lawn are dashed for another few days, meaning a simple trim and mulch becomes a far heavier and longer affair. Planning on the beach or water slides? Have a backup my local friends, maybe a movie marathon or monopoly tournament ready to go.

To all those out there getting a good giggle at our prolonged Spring feel free to be loud about it, we will be in December, this is your time to bust our balls, bring it. Personally I will stay here and endure the wet days of early summer and the cold rain of our winters, while I hope a couple friends find there way out of the frozen prairies of Calgary and Winnipeg. While I wait I will be packing the cooler and drying the BBQ while I wait for the customary heat wave that will roll through. I see friends readying tents and boats, lawn furniture poised to be untarped, we are ready to go and we are patient, after all it’s not like they have been in storage for long.

 

 

CSB: The Draft Pros and Cons 

July 19th the WWE takes a run at a concept they attempted twice on purpose and once by accident. They are going to do a brand split, Monday Night Raw will have a distinct roster and (possibly) look. In 2002 the WWE created a sort of in house competition. ECW (hence forth to be refered to as REAL ECW) Had gone out of business, WCW was sold to WWE, there was no competition in the North American market, all due respect to the Lucha libre companies but they don’t get a mass market as easily as they should because good Lucha is a great show. For several years Raw and Smackdown were in a neck and neck race for quality and ratings,  then WWE split again and resurrected ECW (hence forth referred to as FakeCW) like an episode of Walking Dead there was a zombie that looked like a loved one but there was no heartbeat, not soul, no spark. It was shortly after that third split that the concept imploded. So as I’ve been in several discussions al ready here are my thoughts.

PRO: More roster space. There is only so much room at the top. Rollins, Reigns, Ambrose, Cena, Styles are all bona fide main eventers but that doesn’t leave much room to shuffle the deck with and raise new talent. Part time Brock Lesnar has rolled the dice on a UFC fight before his next WWE match but win, lose or draw Brock is a guy that can produce and he easily fills a roll as a money draw and legit bad ass at the top of any marquee. Randy Orton is due to return but much like Bret Hart, HBK and Randy Savage before him he needs new opportunities and opponets to remind the fan base he is still a very young veteran with a lot of miles left to go.

CON: There is only so much available talent. The current roster has an abundance of top level talent but to cut that in half would mean the main story picture suffers for a few months as far as build up goes but as 2002-3 proved both rosters will eventually produce enthralling content. I expect a few returns of former major talent and several call ups from NXT to boost the products. The biggest part of that is the out right stripping of the NXT roster, there is a tremendous influx of talent to NXT recently that could mean NXT has a cushion to keep the brand alive or it could mean they are a staging area to acclimate talent to the system. Time will tell.

PRO: Larger spotlight for the other titles. Back in the day there was prestige to the Intercontinental, Tag Team and United States Titles. While each has enjoyed a resurgence of late they are not what they once were by far. IF the WWE keeps the status quo as far as the championships go it would make sense to me to have certain title story lines alternate the shows. The prestige of each belt goes up because there are more solid contenders and fewer chances.

CON: WWE doubles the title count. Returning to two Tag team Tiles, Two WomenI titles and Two World/WWE Titles. I am not a fan of this concept. It didn’t work during the last brand split because after a while the roster couldn’t support it. The titles, most particularly the Tag Team Titles on each show became unimportant. The potential to establish dominant teams that could collide for a big money match to see who was the best never materialized and the unification of that the duplicate titles was less than climactic, there each had lost luster by the time the dual brand concept had imploded, each title was slowly merged and the title picture became more competitive. It has taken years to get the titles back to a place of prestige again and frankly the IC and US are not quite there yet, expanding the number of championships can’t help anything.

PRO: Returns? There is a very competitive scene out there on the independent scene. A number of former WWE talent are out there doing great things in the US and abroad. Could we see the return of former superstars? I think it is undoubtedly so. The rosters could only benefit from some more seasoned performers to help the newer talent on and off screen. Lots of names are being batted around, Kurt Angle, Ken Anderson, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison. Do I know for sure? No, am I reading a lot of rumor and fantasy pieces? Yes. Whether or not any of these come to pass is beyond me and just about anyone not involved in contract negotiations too. Take anything ou read with a grain of salt and let’s see what is in store.

CON: Returns…the thing about the fanfare of a return is that if you do too many too close together someone suffers. The free agent market on former stars has some depth to it and IF there are to be superstars coming back to WWE they should pick very carefully which ones and when. I suspect that all the lobbying for a Smackdown GM role will produce a return and there will be at least one main event level return to the roster, my fear is that their will be too many returns too quickly and the fans will lose that special moment of excitement because one out shines the others.

I could go on forever about this and I am sure the WWE officials have as well, the bottom line is that the brand split needs to happen because too many extremely talented wrestlers are being lost in the shuffle already. I’m not advocating a slew of returns or call ups, I hope they are selective and time things out properly. I am very very against more titles, I firmly believe that the WWE creative staff can use the fewer titles to the advantage of the story lines and make the titles special again by writing in a ranking system and having highly competitive matches involved with it, very easy to turn a simple battle for a title shot into a personal issue that develops into a compelling feud. The last brand split left a legacy of success that is undeniable, the breathing room on the roster gave the chance to shine to young talent. The brand split era gave rise to more min event talent than any other era in WWE, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Rob Van Dam, Edge,Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Batista, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk

 

My Online Learning Experience

bookshelf3

By the time this reaches your eyes I will have completed my first SmithsonianX  course; The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture. My good friend Josef, who you may recognize from some of his own blogs I have reposted, suggested it to me as I am a huge comic book fan. I signed up and decided to write a weekly summary of the course and share it with you all.

WEEK 1: I opened the first module and found that the free online course was a little more in depth than a few videos and some multiple choice questions. I had to really think just to decide if I wanted to take the creative track or the historical track. Do I write a paper on a character or do I build my own? I had a cup of coffee and debated my choice. If I choose the history I build a dossier on a character starting by identifying the mythical parallel of the character and examining it, research and lots of I haven’t done that in 21 years, judging by a few projects from high school even longer than that. If I go creative I would be creating a character or fleshing out one I already had in mind and making it public, do I want to put my intellectual property out there uncontrolled? I was barely half way into lesson one of six and my brain was racing…this is awesome. I chose. With great hesitation but I did it, I had a character in mind and when I thought about it I was too enthralled not to chose the track to fully flesh him out. Research it is.

Also noticed that I can get a certificate of completion for a relatively small fee…could be worth it. Let’s see how the next week of research goes.

WEEK 2: Well research sucks. Plus I chose a character who parallels a not so easily defined mythological figure. I have learned a great deal and read a ton of scripture, so Mom would be proud. I should probably explain to her further my vague questions. I haven’t submitted last week’s homework yet but my morning coffee and a good night’s sleep will fix that. Then by lunch I will get into the next module.

Next on the list us the early creators and the evolution from pulp magazines to the first superhero. Anyone care to guess who that was? Here’s a hint Superman. The evolution of the creative process and the absolutely baffling price Superman was sold to the publisher for stunned me. $130 dollars and it would be decades before the creators got anything more for the most profitable character in comic history. The era between WW1 and WW2 and the shift from pulp fiction stories to super heroes and the creators has me thoroughly engrossed. The assignment is to do a dossier on a creator. I’m torn do I go with Chris Claremont and tie into my week 1 assignment or do I go with Frank Miller my favourite creator….

WEEK 3: Uh…fuck….how did I get this busy? Golden Age of Comics has always fascinated me, birth of Superman, Batman and Captain America…I’ll get to it tomorrow I hope.

WEEK 4: Ok So I cleared 48 hours (good movie maybe I should grab the remote…no! FOCUS!) I catch up. I chose to take a historical track over creative and that means research. This time is a hero, Daredevil, I got this…right? OK turns out not so much, there was a great deal of stuff to learn, so awesome and filled in a few holes in my knowledge, which means I need to fill a few holes in my comic collection, later though. On to the fourth project! Super Villain, no brainer for me, the baddest mother fucker in the Marvel Universe (Hi, my name is Matt I am a Marvel Zombie…) Thanos, the big purple dude in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers. This one should be easy. Damn, I must stop saying that, granted it was probably the easiest of the four so far but also the least history given his less than constant history. I caught up! WOOOOOOOO! 26 hours until Week 5 drops. Side note the Comic Code Authority was a jaw dropping revelation. How did that come to be in a democratic and free list of countries again?

WEEK 5: I’m so all over this. Right here on the day it drops and ready to go. We get into the emergence of the super hero genre in the late 50’s early 60’s. This is what I love, the dawn of the pop culture super hero. I probably know more about this era than any other, the infancy of the creative that would be come industry juggernauts (bitch) of Marvel and DC comics. The mimicry of each other and process differences really explain the wide gap in the story telling, art and themes over all. I have to pick a team to profile now, it isn’t easy I have several I would like to do. In the end I chose the early 1990’s X-Factor team, the second team if you will, I loved that title since it was a new approach to the racism theme the X-Books tackled and the team was recast in new roles based more on potential than history. One week left then two weeks to finish the last project, due July 5.

WEEK 6: Wait where did that go? Fuck.

36 HOURS BEFORE DEADLINE: Well shit. Did anyone see the ball I dropped? Okay, two paragraphs left on week 5 then a quick week 6, I skipped ahead and saw…oh crap I skipped to far, there is some more to it than I thought. Well it’s my own fault.

26 HOURS BEFORE DEADLINE: I managed to squeak out the last two paragraphs with my notes and the final unit was incredible. I think my favourite part of the whole course was the three screen break down of the car fight in Deadpool, they show the CGI rendering, the live action shoot and the finished film in a picture in a split screen fashion, incredibly fascinating. I’m a little sad the course is ending as we get into the film era, the comic history sort of dropped of in the early 1990’s era. The project is to profile something in m life that has been changed by the pop culture explosion of comic books…that’s my book shelf, not the comic boxes but the one in my living room. I had to go back and cut out vast swaths of text because I rambled on.

So there it is, my first SmithsonianX course. If you like to learn or have something you want to explore more be it a hobby or life time passion I highly recommend you scroll though the website and see what you find. There is an extension of two more units that I signed up for but the don’t begin until later and I decided to let this release on schedule.  My friend did not find the time in his life to fit this course in and I had to cram a few times but I can’t say a bad word about this course or the program offering it. I am going to complete the next units and perhaps Ill write about it in a few weeks, but don’t sit around waiting to see what I have to say, go find a course for yourself and enjoy, i may be more work than you expect but you will find it very worth while it the rest of the courses are as well put together as this one.

Here is a link to their home page. If you sign up post on The Matt Harding Blog Facebook page (like it while you are there too https://www.facebook.com//TheMattHardingBlog )and tell the readers what you are doing, maybe you’ll find a learning partner.  https://www.edx.org/school/smithsonianx