Peyton Manning’s 2013 Records Chase (after 15 games)

Peyton Manning did it. He broke the single season record for TD passes (even if one wasn’t a complete pass), and he did it in game 15 (just like in 2004). He’s still on pace to break the single-season records for passing yards and he might just add 3-4 more TDs to his total. Let’s take a look at Peyton Manning’s 2013 stats compared to those of other QBs after 15 games in their own record-setting seasons. I’ll probably post a season post-mortem update to this after next week’s game. As always with this football statistics stuff, I never claim expertise, I just do it for fun. Along with whatever’s new,  there’s still some stuff here from last week’s look. Continue reading

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Dead Season Discussion: Knocking Over the Board in Game of Thrones Season 3 (Part 4 of 4)

GoT

Welcome to the second installment of Dead Series Discussion, where Patches of Nothing but the Rain and I will discuss Season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Not only is Game of Thrones more popular than our first effort, ABC’s Last Resort, but we also like it more, meaning we probably won’t spend 2,000+ words discussing what we didn’t like about the show. Like our previous Dead Series Discussion, this is a multi-part series. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 are already up. You’re reading Part 4.

If the title didn’t make SEASON 3 SPOILERS obvious, then you need to start paying attention while you read. There are also spoilers for the first two seasons of Game of Thrones and the first 3 books of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. There are, however, NO spoilers from books 4 and 5, beyond one mention of the general timeline for those books and what season 3 of the TV show covers.

SPOILERS ABOUND!

For the last three days, we’ve discussed Game of Thrones’ third season and talked about some of our favorite/least favorite parts of the season. Today, we conclude with some “Reviewer’s Choice” superlatives for the season. Enjoy, and thanks for reading! Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 3 – “Walk with Me”

I’m playing catch-up with The Walking Dead because I’ve just been a bit busier than usual, so apologies if this post (and perhaps the next post) is shorter and less focused than you’d like. Yes, I’ll make the assumption that some people actually read this and enjoy what I have to say, if not care about it.

So, episode 3. It’s all about the Governor, baby. I suppose you could say it’s all about Andrea and Michonne as well, since we don’t spend any time with our usual gang at the prison. The episode opens with a military helicopter going down and Andrea and Michonne (and Michonne’s pet walkers) going to investigate. When they arrive on the scene, Michonne finds a dead crew member or two. It also appears that another one of the crew has split.

“Hey man, you wanna go halfsies on whatever I find in this chopper?”

She can’t look around further because some guys in trucks show up. They kill the bisected soldier who has turned (though not technically into a walker, I suppose) and they rescue the pilot who is still alive. Our ladies are almost found out when Michonne’s pet zombies start making noise, but she decapitates them to keep them quiet. Unfortunately, none other than Merle Dixon shows up, complete with new-and-improved battle hand. Merle takes the ladies as “prisoners.” I think it’s too bad they didn’t make Merle’s return a surprise. Sure, we were all expecting him back at some point, but they shouldn’t have showed him in the “previously on…” segment or put his name in the opening credits. I’m guessing SAG rules or something required Michael Rooker to be listed in there, so, no surprise.

Buster Bluth let me borrow his combat hand (Army had a half-day)

Another new name in the opening credits is David Morrissey. Morrissey plays The Governor, the apparent ruler of the gated community of Woodbury, where he and Merle have taken Andrea and Michonne. It’s a nice little walled off neighborhood with 73 (soon to be 74!) residents and bunch of extra guns and ammunition. Andrea and Michonne are not technically prisoners in Woodbury, they can leave at any time. However, if they choose to stay, in a place with food, water, showers and a Caribou Coffee, they can’t have their weapons. I got a definite Stepford vibe upon first seeing Woodbury, and while that may not be entirely accurate, there are definitely darker things going on here, as this episode reveals.

After Merle removes his battle hand and shows off his stump (a touch I quite enjoyed because it’s pretty much impossible for a TV show to have a character lose a hand and keep it from looking like the actor is tucking his arm into his sleeve or the actor is hiding his hand inside its extra-long prosthetic), we actually get to meet The Gov. There’s no way we’re actually supposed to trust this guy, but he’s not a huge jerk right away, which is nice. He even keeps Merle in line and has a nice sit-down breakfast with the ladies where he talks about his grand plan to bring civilization back.

But, of course, there’s a dark side to the Gov. He has a secret lab complete with a mad scientist who examines Michonne’s pets and finds that when deprived of arms and lower jaws, walkers are quite docile. The Gov also believes that walkers still have a trace of the person they once were inside of them, which raises the question about Michonne’s pets, Perhaps they knew her, which is why they kind of obey her. Maybe they were family members or ex-boyfriends. The Gov also has a model of Woodbury in the lab, but for what purpose remains to be seen.

“Please excuse the crudity of this model as I didn’t have time to build it to scale or paint it.”

Perhaps the worst thing the Gov does involves the rescued helicopter pilot. The Gov visits him in his “hospital” room and questions him about the accident. The pilot, who kind of looks like a chubby, young William Shatner, reveals that there are more military men out there. The Gov promises that he’ll bring them into Woodbury.

There was…something…on the wing

However, the Gov’s idea of bringing them in is a bit different than most people. He arrives at the military camp alone, waving a white flag, but then, after a short exchange he and his hidden squad of goons murder every last one of the soldiers. He steals all of their stuff and drives their vehicles back to camp. Then, standing atop one of the new trucks, he addresses the townsfolk of Woodbury, lying to them about the soldiers.

Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today.”

After his speech, the Gov talks to Andrea. She asks him what his real name is, but he refuses to answer. “Never say never,” she somewhat laughingly tells him. “Never,” he quite seriously responds. Still, it seems that Andrea is starting to drink the Woodbury Kool-Aid. I think she may also be headed for a falling-out with Michonne. As for the Governor, he goes home and unlocks a room with a special key he has around his neck. Is it going to be a zombie sex dungeon? Will he reveal that he’s actually been bitten a bunch of times and is immune somehow? Nope (at least not yet). He sits down in his easy chair and basks in the glow of his collection of severed heads, staring back at him from several aquariums on his wall. He’s got Michonne’s pets in there, and, alone at the top of his creepy pyramid, is the head of the helicopter pilot.

They don’t say much, but they sure are purty to look at

This episode had a very different feel than either of the last two. I can’t say that I was particularly excited to be following Andrea and Michonne, despite the mystery surrounding the latter. I do hope we get to learn more about her as the season progresses, however, I get the feeling that even Andrea doesn’t know much about her mysterious rescuer. Working in this episode’s favor is the strong introduction of the Governor and the community of Woodbury. Morrissey is a good addition to the cast as a potential Big Bad for the season (or longer) and Woodbury gives us a brand new setting that could potentially work as a nice counterpoint to the prison. No longer is the entire gang stuck in one location like last season on the farm. Now we get a couple of different places between which to move back-and-forth. The only thing that holds the episode back is the shortage of characters we know and care about. Yes, we have Andrea, plus we’ve already met Merle and Michonne, but I don’t care about any of them on the level of a Rick, Daryl, Glenn & Maggie, or even Lori and Carl. It is really nice to meet new people and see new places, though, and the Gov really has me intrigued. Also, the Prison and Woodbury stories have to come together eventually. The Governor has too much space left in his aquarium room for that not to happen, right?

Next week on The Walking Dead: Woodbury High holds a bake sale for their marching band

Happy Birthday

This blog was created on my birthday, but just barely.

I’ve been considering starting a blog on and off several times over the past 6 months or so, but I have not found the motivation to actually start it, until now, it seems. I set the goal a couple of weeks ago that I wanted my blog to be born on my own birthday, but this post just a bit late late. So much for plans. I just consider it an accomplishment that I’ve actually come to this point, and I hope to go much further.

I wasn’t sure what the best way to introduce my blog might be. Should I do a statement of purpose? Should I simply ramble on about things that might appear here? Should I clearly set a format and tone right away? Should I try to make the posts as polished as possible, or should I be unafraid of poor sentence structure and the possibility of spelling errors, rampant informality or odd tonal shifts? At this point, I’m just going to wing it (in a semi-organized fashion) and just see where this takes me.

There are some things I want to achieve with this blog:

1. I want to use it as a place to exercise and hone my writing skills

2. I want this blog to be a challenge for me to commit to something

3. I want this blog to function in some ways like a journal. Journaling is something I regret never doing regularly in years past.

4. I want to share my interests with others (who will, at least initially, be friends and family)

That’s a good start I think. I may get to a manifesto eventually, but I’ll keep it loose for now. As for the content of this blog, I expect most of it will be centered around popular culture and entertainment in some way, particularly the realms of film and television. Other topics that will likely appear include music, the NFL, history, books and anything else I might think of.

So there’s that. Here’s to trying something new and hoping it will be fun, productive, lasting and worthwhile.