Saturday, November 27, 2010

Walking Dead Kill Counter: Episode 4

I'm only counting on-screen kills, and only when zombies kill humans or humans kill zombies.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen this episode yet!

Episode 4: "Vatos"

The Walking Dead: Episode 4
First off, I wasn't a big fan of this episode. There were some nice scenes, and they did a good job balancing between character development and zombie horror. But I was a little dismayed by the "gangbangers with hearts of gold" reveal, and they laid it on a little thick with Jim's "now I remember my dream" ending.

I like Redneck Daryl a little bit more every episode. Loved this exchange with Glenn:

Daryl: "You got some balls, for a Chinaman."

Glenn: "I'm Korean."

Daryl: "Whatever."

First kill this episode -- other than Amy and Andrea taking down a bunch of fish -- goes to Daryl, nailing one with his trusty crossbow inside the building, then we see One-Handed Merle had killed two on his way to the kitchen and his self-cauterization. Does this violate the on-screen kill rule? I don't think so... he was the only one who could have done it. What I meant by that was I don't want to give credit just because a guy says, "I killed fifty zombies." I want to see bodies. So let's give Merle those two.

During the scene when Glenn gets grabbed, you see one of the Vatos slash a zombie across the face with a knife or something, but it clearly didn't kill her -- you can even see the zombie trying to get up as they leave.

Then we get a lot of stand-offs and stare-downs, but no actual killings 'til we get back to camp and the big zombie attack starts. (I thought they'd show up a little earlier, with the tied-up Jim getting eaten to make everybody feel guilty.)

But finally the zombies show up and bag their first human, as Wifebeater Ed gets chewed up in his tent. Then they get the first of several bites of Amy (whose last words are, "We're out of toilet paper?")

Then Shane finally gets on the board, hitting four zombies with his police shotgun, and then we hear a fifth shot off screen. Five kills? Well, I'm sorry, Officer Shane, but those don't all look like headshots -- are you still aiming center of mass? We know all those zombies die eventually, but I'm not sure it was all his doing. Let's say he kills three with those five shots.

Gravedigger Jim shows he's good for something other than digging holes, putting a Louisville Slugger to good use on a zombie. There's a gunshot -- from Dale, I think? -- but you can't see if he hits anybody. The zombies bag another humie with a double-team. At first I thought it was Morales, but it was just some NPC, as in the very next scene Morales making like Gallagher on a zombie. Dale gets off another shot with his bolt-action rifle, but again, can't see the results. Let's say he went 1 for 2?

Jim takes out the zombie chowing down on Amy, then we hear four more gunshots (let's give one to Shane, one to Dale?). Cut to a zombie grabbing on a brunette hottie they'd somehow hidden away until now (guess she wasn't part of the laundry detail), then Morales again doing his A-Rod impression with his second kill of the night. Another mystery gunshot as we see a zombie eating who I guess must be Wifebeater Ed judging from his size. Morales nails another one. Shane fires two more shots, and once again, the second shot appears to hit a zombie in the stomach. Come on, Shane! That's just going to make 'em mad. Just to be nice, let's say the first shot was a kill. Two more shots soon follow, but you can't tell who pulls the trigger.

At this point Morales is standing by himself swinging away as everybody else backs toward the RV. Thought for sure he was going to eventually get mobbed and, Elias in Platoon style, get eaten as everyone else watches from the safety of the RV. He nails three with his baseball bat as Shane -- with a shotgun, remember? -- sticks with the women and children. Nice.

But Morales is saved by the timely arrival of Rick, Daryl, Glenn and T-Dog, who make good use of the bag of guns. Rick gets six -- five with the shotgun, one with the revolver. Daryl, wisely switching from crossbow to shotgun for this kind of crowd control, gets at least five. Glenn gets four. Give two to T-Dog (one he shots, another he appears to be bashing on the ground.) There's a few more zombies who get shot in the head and you hear a few more gunshots during Rick's reunion with Carl and Lori, but it's impossible to say who did the killing.

Obviously, it's a season-high for humans getting killed as we hadn't seen any bites up 'til now, but the 34 zombies killed also is a season record, beating Episode 2's 31.

By the way, someone's going to have to put down Amy, Wifebeater Ed and the two NPCs before they reanimate.

This episode:
Humans Killed: 4

Zombies Killed: 34

Season Total
Humans Killed: 4

Zombies Killed:

Season Leaderboard: Rick 39, Daryl 8, Morales 7, Glenn 6, Merle 6, Shane 5, Morgan 3, T-Dog 3, Jim 2, Dale 2

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Choose Your Own Apocalypse

I found this amusing:

Which Apocalypse Would Be the Most Fun? -- powered by

If given the choice between zombies, killer robots, or earth-destroying asteroid, I guess I'd choose zombies as well. I like an enemy you can smell from a long ways away.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Is A True Yankee?

Alex Rodriguez. Hall of Famer, yes... True Yankee, no.People used to say that Alex Rodriguez wouldn't be considered a True Yankee until he won a World Series. Well, he did that last year -- and had a .973 OPS in the World Series, and 18 RBIs and 7 HRs in 15 post-season games that year -- but he's still not considered a True Yankee.

He has now played more games as a Yankee (1,028) than he did as a Mariner (790); he has over 1,000 more plate appearances as a Yankee than he did as a Mariner. He has scored over 100 runs more as a Yankee than as a Mariner, has 171 more hits, 246 more RBIs, 79 more home runs as a Yankee. He has accumulated more Wins Above Replacement as a Yankee (40.9) than he did as a Mariner (37.1). His only World Series ring, so far, came as a Yankee. He has two MVPs as a Yankee, one as a Ranger, and surprisingly, none as a Mariner. He will undoubtedly go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee.

But will he ever be considered a True Yankee?

Alas, no.

Derek Jeter: The Truest YankeeThe best way to become a True Yankee, of course, is to come up through the system (Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano) and never leave*. If you do that, you're in.

*(Note: Some players can retain True Yankee status even if they leave the team. That's The Andy Pettitte Exception: If a True Yankee goes to another team, he can resume True Yankee status by not being too good with his new team, then returning to the Yankees and being good again. Hideki Matsui: The porch light is still on, my friend!)

A-Rod didn't come up through the system, but wait a minute -- there are some players considered True Yankees who didn't come up through the system either. That's The Paul O'Neill Clause: A player who improves dramatically once he puts on the pinstripes can assume True Yankee status. (See also Brosius, Scott. Nick Swisher appears to be on this track.) It helps if you arrive via trade as opposed to free agency, so we don't have to hear all that crap about how we just bought the highest-priced player. (Sorry, Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia.)

The problem with A-Rod -- he was already a superstar before he got here. Like Roger Clemens or Reggie Jackson, if you're a marquee player before you come to New York, you'll never be good enough. Hit a home run? That's what why we brought you here. Strike out? You suck!

Oh, we'll cheer when you hit a home run -- but a few 0-for-4s and you're a bum again.

Sorry, Alex. I guess you'll just have to be happy with Cooperstown.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Would You Watch This?

Jason Jones's Bayonne:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jason Jones' Bayonne
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

(The Bayonne part starts about 5 minutes in.)

As a Jersey guy, I would absolutely watch this. Fuhgeddaboutit!

Of course, most people who actually live in Bayonne weren't too happy about the segment. But trust me -- most people who actually live in Bayonne aren't too happy about anything.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lock phasers, Mr. Sulu

George Takei calls out a homophobic asshole.

Way to go, Mr. Sulu!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Walking Dead Kill Counter: Episode 3

I'm only counting on-screen kills, and only when zombies kill humans or humans kill zombies.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen this episode yet!

Episode 3: "Tell It To The Frogs"

Episode 3 of The Walking Dead - 'Tell It To The Frogs'

After last week's 31-zombie kill-a-thon, not much blood this week. Once again a tremendous effort from Michael Rooker as he starts begging Jesus or Aqua Buddah or whoever for help, then curses out the Almighty and says he'll do it himself. (And boy, does he.)

I'm giving both kills to Daryl. Yeah, the deer-eating zombie was catching a beat-down from everyone (and got its head chopped off by Dale), but as Daryl points out, even chopping their heads off doesn't kill them. Daryl puts it away with a crossbow bolt through the eye. Considering the zombies are attracted by sound, a crossbow seems like a pretty useful weapon to have, and Daryl so far has looked like a great shot with it.

Speaking of Daryl and his crossbow, he also nails the second zombie in the episode, taking out the only other zombie in the store. Where'd the rest of them go? I guess they got bored and went home.

Third straight week of zombies eating animals (horse, rat, deer) but they're still getting shut out when it comes to humans.

This episode:
Humans Killed: 0

Zombies Killed: 2

Season Total
Humans Killed: 0

Zombies Killed: 46

Season Leaderboard: Rick 33, Merle 4, Morgan 3, Daryl 2, Glenn 2, Morales 1, T-Dog 1

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Would You Watch This?

Television, for the most part, sucks. I'm doing my best to unsuck it.

Title: Butch and Moan

Concept: Buddy cop show set in the 1970s

Starring: Tough-guy actor Michael Rooker and former porn star Katie Morgan

Michael Rooker stars as Shamus 'Butch' McGillicuddy. Did you say something about my bow tie, punk?

Shamus "Butch" McGillicuddy Jr. (Rooker) is a fifth-generation cop in Jersey City, N.J. In 1951, Butch disappears while tracking down a perp in the Garden State Fluorocarbon Factory. Twenty years later, as the factory is being closed by the recently-created U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Butch is found somehow alive at the bottom of a vat of experimental chemicals. Woken from his 20-year coma, he's informed he still needs five more years on the job to get his pension. The detective returns to the force in the strange new world of 1971!

Things aren't any easier back home for Butch, as his hot young wife from 1951 is now going through menopause (by law, this role must be played by Kim Cattrall) and remarried (since Butch was declared legally dead) to his straight-laced, by-the-book police chief (Mitch Pileggi). And the baby boy Butch hasn't seen in 20 years is now a pot-smoking, draft-dodging hippie (the all-grown-up kid from Jerry Maguire, Jonathan Lipnicki). With no where else to go, Butch has to live in the garage.

Katie Morgan as Monique 'Moan' Kasatkin after cracking The Case of the Chilly Chihuahuas

Butch needs help adjusting to the new rules of modern police work, like Miranda rights and integration, so he's partnered with the JCPD's hotshot up-and-coming detective: Monique Kasatkin (Morgan). Monique has some of the biggest busts -- ha ha, get it? -- in department history. But she's having a tough time breaking into the all-male world of police work circa 1971. It doesn't make things any easier that the other cops call Monique "Moan" because she looks just like stag film star Robin Swallows. It turns out she looks just like her because she indeed was Robin Swallows before being convinced to do something better with her life after a tearful reunion with her father, the tough, lovable and recently widowed Rabbi Mordecai Kasatkin (in a scene-stealing role by Dwight Schultz).

But Moan's home life also is turned upside down when she not only has to share her one-bedroom apartment with her father, but also her ex-husband (and former pimp), Slick Truelove (Shavar Ross, aka Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes). Slick is a wanted fugitive but says he wants to turn his life around -- and if Moan doesn't hide him, he'll tell every cop in the precinct about her sordid past. Complicating matters, Slick gains an unlikely ally when he tells Rabbi Kasatkin he wants to study Torah and convert to Judaism!

With personal lives like these, the mean streets of Jersey City will be a piece of cake!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Walking Dead Kill Counter: Episode 2

I'm only counting on-screen kills, and only when zombies kill humans or humans kill zombies.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen this episode yet!

Episode 2: "Guts"

Lots of dead zombies in this one. Do you think Rick killed the zombie on the tank with the shovel? (I know, I know -- it's an entrenching tool.) I'm going to say yes -- the zombie drops away either dead or stunned, and I dunno if you can stun a zombie.

Then he's out of the tank and running -- how many does he kill? He tells Glenn he has a Beretta with 15 rounds, and he runs out of ammo just before climbing the ladder, so we know he fires 15 shots. How does he use them?

After he gets up from the pavement, his first two shots are definite kills (zombie by the car, zombie in a long skirt). Then there's maybe a gunshot or maybe an echo, but nothing hits the ground; I think that's an echo. He definitely nails four on the sidewalk, but then there's two or three shots where we don't see if he hits anything. Then he shoots one just before running into Glenn.

While running for the fire escape ladder, he turns and fires twice; the first one definitely is a kill, the second one it's hard to see what's going on. Considering he fired into a mob of zombies, I think we can credit him with two more kills. Then he fires one last time (we don't see where the bullet goes) and the gun is empty.

So, I'm going with 10 kills at this point (including the one on the tank). If Rick never misses you can give him 16 kills, but that seems overly generous.

Morales and T-Dog each bash in a skull in the alley.

Merle fires seven shots from the roof, but we only see one kill. I'm sure Merle is a good shot, but I want to see bodies. Want to give him four?

During the run to the construction site, it looks like Rick kills seven with his ax, and Glenn kills two. By the way, what's up with Rick not taking along the ax? He goes through the trouble of throwing it over the fence, then just leaves it there. Seems to me an ax would come in awfully handy when you start running low on bullets. I hope they remembered to bring along Merle's rifle.

Rick then fires nine shots from what is either his police revolver (love those nine-shot revolvers) or the soldier's Beretta (which he said he only had one clip for, and had already emptied). Well, either way, he definitely kills three; probably nine, given they're all bunched up there against the fence. Let's say he got six. That'd be 23 for Rick this week.

I was hoping for some zombies getting run over Death Race 2000 style, but I didn't count any.

Another bad showing by the zombies as for the second straight week they come up empty. Last week they got a horse; this week it's a rat.

This episode:
Humans Killed: 0

Zombies Killed: 31

Season Total
Humans Killed: 0

Zombies Killed: 44

Season Leaderboard: Rick 33, Merle 4, Morgan 3, Glenn 2, Morales 1, T-Dog 1

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Other Things Rush Doesn't Believe In

Not that anyone was rushing to get diet advice from Rush Limbaugh anyway, but he is advocating the so-called Twinkie Diet -- which isn't eating nothing but twinkies, but don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. Anyway, Limbaugh used the Twinkie Diet as an opportunity to bash Michelle Obama. It seems that Mrs. Obama's latest liberal cause is to combat obesity. (Who would have thought that being against obesity could be controversial, but...) The First Lady thinks you can fight obesity through diet and exercise. Limbaugh, of course, thinks diet and exercise is not how you lose weight.

I'm not kidding.

One of the reasons I know what I know is that I know liberals, and I know liberals lie, and if Michelle Obama's gonna be out there ripping into "food desserts" and saying, "This is why people are fat," I know it's not true. "Rush, do you really believe that? It's that simple to you, liberals lie?" Yes, it is, folks. Once you learn that, once you come to grips with that, once you accept that, the rest is easy. Very, very simple.
If a liberal believes it, it's wrong. Michelle Obama believes diet and exercise will help you lose weight; ergo, they won't.

A brief list of other things that liberals believe and therefore must be wrong:
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Don't run while carrying scissors.
  • Split aces and 8s.
  • Women and seamen don't mix.
  • A bad day fishing is better than a good day working.
  • Shave with the grain.
  • The ground can't cause a fumble.
  • Never fight a land war in Asia.*
*Apparently this one is no longer believed by liberals either.

Coming soon to a cop show near you

Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down, Killing Pablo) is an amazing journalist, and he hits another home run with this incredible story about a private investigator who just refused to give up on a seemingly impossible case.

After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras? The author follows Brennan’s trail as the P.I. worked a chilling hunch that would lead him to other states, other crimes, and a man nobody else suspected.

Read the whole thing over at Vanity Fair.

I'd imagine someone is already writing a script for Law & Order: Special Victim Unit based on the story.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Walking Dead Kill Counter: Episode 1

I'm only counting on-screen kills, and only when zombies kill humans or humans kill zombies.

Warning: If you haven't watched this episode yet... spoilers ahead!

Episode 1: "Days Gone Bye"

Morgan kills 3 -- we first meet him walking up to a zombie in the street and shooting it in the head, gangsta style; later on, he picks off two with his rifle. Rick kills 10, starting with the little girl in the cold open. Do you think this is the first time in television history that the main character has shot a little girl in the head, 4 minutes into the first episode? I'd have to guess yes. But of course, the little girl is a flash-forward; he actually kills his first zombie with his Joe DiMaggio impression outside the house. He also shoots the idiot deputy, the lovely crawler in the park pictured above, five while under the tank, and finally the soldier in the tank.

Oh, and also: 12 shots fired, not a single wasted bullet.

Humans Killed: 0, Zombies Killed: 13

Missing a missile?

This is a little odd:

First off, if this hadn't been captured on film by a reputable news organization, do you think the military would even admit it happened? Five thousand people could have said they saw it, there could be dozens of fuzzy videos from iPhones, and the military would be saying it's a cloud or a flock of birds or whatever.

I love this:

In a statement released Tuesday, Northern Command said they were continuing to investigate the origin of the apparent missile launch, but said they had determined "that there is no threat to our nation..."

We don't know what it is or who did it, but it's not a threat! Convincing.

Some experts say they think it's a contrail from a jet -- really? -- while others say it couldn't be a jet. Who knows.

It did remind me of this:

Investigators in Texas say a flying object that narrowly missed a Continental Express plane last month may have been a large model rocket.

The jet's pilot and co-pilot spotted the object and a long white vapor trail shortly after they took off from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport on May 29. The plane was bound for Greenville, South Carolina.

Here's where the latest mystery missile event happened:

View Larger Map

Near Catalina Island, about 35 miles west of the coast, fairly close to Los Angeles. This isn't some remote area in the desert, so I can't really imagine the military is testing secret weapons Monday at 5 p.m. near Los Angeles.

In other news...

Happened Monday, off the coast of Baja California? That's not... it couldn't...

Nah, it happened about 12 hours before the mysterious missile launch. Ah, man! Way to kill a good conspiracy theory.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Walking Dead

Two episodes into The Walking Dead, and I'm still loving it. I thought the first episode was better than the second, but it's compelling -- and, what the hell, it's better than the latest cop/hospital show on every other channel right now. AMC gets points for doing something different.

I don't consider myself a big horror fan, but I do read The Walking Dead comic book. I've also read World War Z and a few of the more recent movies -- 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Shaun of the Dead, and of course the original Night of the Living Dead. And while purists wouldn't consider it part of the zombie canon, who doesn't love Army of Darkness?

If you're familiar with the genre but not the specifics of Walking Dead, these are your old-school, Romero-style zombies -- walk slow, crave living flesh, can only be killed with a shot to the head, and if you get bit and you become one. (However, although the Walking Dead groan a lot, they don't say "braaaains.") So don't go expecting the 28 Days Later, fast-moving "rave" zombies. That aside, however, the overall tone is more like "28 Days" than "World War Z" in that society seems to have completely broken down, and the world is populated by hordes of flesh-eating zombies and isolated handfuls of human survivors. Also like 28 Days Later, the human survivors can be as much (or even more of a threat) than the zombies are.

Ah... minor spoilers ahead from the first two episodes. If you haven't seen the show yet, go ahead and watch them. I'll wait.

One big difference from most Romero zombies -- even from the original comics -- is that the Walking Dead seem to have some rudimentary intelligence. They turn door knobs, use rocks to smash windows, and climb over fences. Two episodes in, it also appears that zombies remember at least a little of their previous lives? (I'm thinking of the little girl that picks up the teddy bear and the woman who keeps trying to get back into the house where she died.) They also can start moving in a hurry when there's some fresh meat around.

I'm not faulting the show for trying something different from the comics, even if it totally ruins my plan of surviving the zombie apocalypse by hiding in the Marvin Windows and Doors Warehouse. In fact, I think people new to the series are going to complain about two scenes that come straight out of the comics:

Rick waking up in an empty hospital after a coma after zombies have overrun the world: "That's from 28 Days Later!"

Rick and Glenn blending in with the zombies by covering themselves in gore and walking like zombies: "That's from Shaun of the Dead and/or Zombie Land and/or the zombie kid who likes turtles!"*

*(Although The Walking Dead comic with that scene came out before Shaun of the Dead and Zombie Land, it had been done before. But even if Walking Dead did it first, it's been parodied enough times over the last eight years that maybe the TV show should have tried a less mocked tactic.)

Those two complaints sum up my concern for the show -- the zombie concept has been done so many times, and parodied so many times, that it has become hard to take seriously. If you jump into the middle of an episode, you just might start giggling.

But if you watch it from the beginning -- or if you watch the scene with Lennie James trying to pick off his wife -- I think you'll stop laughing pretty quick.

Oh, and while you're waiting for Sunday, you can kill some time (and some zombies) by playing Shattered Colony.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My name is Butch and I like to bitch

Despite the name of this blog, this is not a blog about a lesbian and her two female dogs. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) My name is Butch and I like to bitch, so this name seemed appropriate. I thought about "Butch and Moan" but that sounds like a 1970s cop show.

So, there you have it. Let the Butch bitching begin.

P.S. Dogs and lesbians welcome!