Nobody has ever said “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been”, Right?

Seriously, I just coined that phrase right?

7 years ago today I was bored on a car ride and made this dipshit little video.
https://youtu.be/OBrVxZaKcT4
If you had told me all the shit that would follow I probably would have said “AHHHH, WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!?!?” mostly cause I can’t remember if I knew you way back then.

Over the course of the last 7 years everything has changed, for me personally and for the world at large.
In that time, I’ve gone from decidedly friendless, but I’ve made and lost quite a few folks that I thought were friends, I’ve said goodbye to family members, and I’ve watched things on this planet take dangerous turns.
Sometimes, it truly does seems like we live in the darkest of all possible worlds.

But for these last 7 years, to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, “I have tried, Ringo, I’ve tried real hard to be a shepard.”
I’ve spent hours writing, talking, recording, editing, worrying, and doubting myself, alone and with good Ol Fitz (& others), because the world (and life in general) can be a harsh, unrelenting, shitty place and it has knocked me and many others that I know and care for on our asses and dared us to stay there.
But most people, when they get knocked down like that, go looking for something to make them feel better.

5 and a half years ago, I wrote a piece for my TS-D/JA Productions blog titled Then Why Do It?, in which I explain why I kept going.
But just incase you don’t want to reread it, I will reiterate here just exactly why.
When you hear from somebody that they have had a shitty day and were the lowest they have been in a while, but that all changed because they read a dumb little book review I wrote and could feel my passion oozing through their screen, or they listened to a podcast and we made a joke that made them laugh for the first time in days, or they watched or heard a skit we put out somewhere and it gave them a little boost…that shit is powerful, man!

Selfishly, hearing shit like that pulls me up, even if only a little bit, from whatever I’m going through.
But taking that out of it, and to go back to what I used to say when I wrapped up almost every post on the old site, the world can be a terrible place so do whatever you can to change that, no matter how many people that hits.
I’ll keep trying to improve the day of the 50-60 people that regularly listen to the pod or read this site.

Alright, gang, WHORE TIME!

And if you want more of us and our goofy ass stylings, don’t forget to read & answer a brand new edition of The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week every Tuesday, a New Fitz’s Toy Chest at least 1 Thursday a month, New installments of The Nerd Blitz Book Review usually once or twice a month, continuing New episodes of the 3 shows (The Nerd Blitz, The Nerd Blitz Book Club, & The Nerd Blitz Commentaries) we’ve always done!

The best ways to support us would be spreading the word on Twitter or following us there @NerdBlitzPod, subscribing, rating, and reviewing where ever you listen to podcasts, getting yourself a shirt over at our RedBubble (we hope to have new designs coming soon), buying any of our albums on our Bandcamp page, or by going over and kicking in to our brand new Patreon page Patreon.com/NerdBlitzPod (where we will be posting podcasts, new & old, and creating brand new skits).

Thanks for reading, gang.

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #97

97 weeks in and still going strong!
Will we hit 100!?
Well, yeah, probably, it’s only 3 weeks away.
Why wouldn’t we?

We’re changing things up and trying something new up in this piece, son!
This week, we pose this scenario to you: You are walking along a empty beach and you get your toe caught and trip on a little golden hook sticking out of the dirt, you bend down and pull it out of the sand to inspect.
You brush the sand off of the outside of what looks to be some sort of incense holder and in a puff of smoke, a genie pops out and says “To receive 3 wishes, you must first do something to improve and protect life for the entire planet, chose wisely!”
You ponder this for a moment and decide the best way to do that would be to make superheroes real and tell the genie.
He then says Pick 4 heroes!”
So, What 4 Heroes Do You Pick To Protect And Improve Life On Earth?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it over to us on the Twitter @NerdBlitzPod or by using the hashtag #TNBQotW

Special thanks goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified QotW logo.

Day By Day Armageddon Beyond Exile Review

Ya know, sometimes it’s truly fucked up the way that life can imitate art, and this novel/series is a perfect example of that disturbing little notion, given our current global situation.
But let’s not get into all that, we’ll instead stick to…*swallows hard*…fiction?

As this is a sequel, the near inevitable comparisons to the original (which you can read my Review of right HERE!) book are bound to happen.
So how does it compare?
Let’s find out!

As per the usual round these parts, this is your official ***SPOILER ALERT***

Picking up after the battle that closed out book one, we learn more about the carnage and aftermath.
Things soon ramp up again as a militarized group appears, wanting to take Hotel 23.
This forces our main character to out himself as a Naval officer, and unexpectedly take command of this remnant of the US Military.
After a few missions to fortify the missle silo, and collecting quite a few new survivors, our main character heads out in a helicopter to scope out Shreveport, Louisiana.
The helicopter crashes and sets us up for the body of this journey in to the wastes of the now zombie infested US.

I forgot most of this book in the ten years since I first read it, and I’m really glad I did because it made the suspense of it hit as well as it should all over again.
That wondering if the narrator has the skills and grit to survive through the ever growing onslaught of zombies that have been mutated & irradiated thanks to a drastic attempt to save the world in book one.
And the introduction of a new advanced military-esque group and their tech adds a new player to the universe, bringing with it a strange glimmer of hope in an incredibly dread filled world.

One of my only complaints from the first book does get addressed…sort of…?
After receiving a drop of gear from the new Remote Six group, and in an effort to cut weigh in his trek back to Hotel 23, our main character finds a house and leaves one of his guns in the fridge with a note and the old military graffiti Kilroy Was Here.
Once a man tracking the narrator catches up, our main is known as Kil from that point on.
We even have a higher ranking military leader mention/threaten that he found the narrator’s name on a list of people who didn’t show up on base when the shit hit the fan.
I’d still prefer to have an actual name, but I guess that works well enough.

One of the great things about zombie fiction is knowing what the cause of the infection is.
Sadly, more often than not, we normally don’t really get one, but we do here!
I won’t flat out spoil it here, but I will say that I wonder how much the origins of The Walking Dead played into the reveal.
If you know what that means then, you are pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down.

Bottom line: These books are as easy to read as blinking.
The pages fly by quick and before you know it it’s all over, leaving you intensely curious to find out what happens next.
I have the same feeling I did when I first read both of these back to back a decade ago, I’m hungrily on the hunt for the next installment.
My hope is that I can find the next two books soon, because I don’t really want to leave this world hanging for another ten years.

Let us what you think of this review in the comments below or share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

TNB Commentaries 046: Star Trek The Motion Picture

51AkWCCY69L._AC_Please turn off your cellphones and divert all auxiliary power to shields as we maintain red alert status and head into the final frontier of space and technological advancement, at the same time as fashion kicks it back to the nineteen hundred and seventies!

For our 46th Commentary, we go maximum warp back to 1979 for the first big screen voyage of the star ship Enterprise starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, and a host of alien critter types!

We’re scoping out nipples, and dicks, and shoes, oh my, as both of us are waving our dicks in the ultimate Trek Trivia Tussle and Doom starts acting all pissy about some pacing issue while Fitz shields his childhood from the onslaught of angry from the crabby old bastard to his metaphorical right, so strap in, gang, it’s gonna be fun!

Nerd Blitz ยท TNB Commentaries 046: Star Trek The Motion Picture

URL: TNB Commentaries 046: Star Trek The Motion Picture
Direct Download: tnbc-046-star-trek-the-motion-picture.mp3

This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2019

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #96

Hey you, long time no see!
How’s it goin’?
Wanna have some fun and such?
Then, for the 96th straight week, let’s dive into the Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week, gang!

This week, to tee you up for this weekend’s brand spankin’ new ep of The Nerd Blitz Commentaries, we are talkin’ about the Star Treks!
We’re askin’: What Is Your Favorite Star Trek Series/Era?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it over to us on the Twitter @NerdBlitzPod or by using the hashtag #TNBQotW

Special thanks goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified QotW logo.

Fitz’s Toy Chest #16: Dengar

The Empire Strikes Back expanded the Star Wars universe in enormous ways when it debuted in 1980, from the saga’s first on screen land battle to the revelation of a main character’s parentage.

One of the more subtle, yet equally impactful moments of the film has to be the brief introduction of Boba Fett and his crew of bounty hunters. Fans already knew to expect the debut of Boba Fett, but we had no idea the motley assortment of unsavory characters that would be joining him.

In just a few seconds of screen time an entire underworld subculture was introduced, mysterious and intriguing. No explanation was given, no backstory, not even names, but these new villains’ brilliant designs were seared into my 7 year old brain.

One of those new characters is the focus of this edition of the Toy Chest. The battle scarred bounty hunter with a bandage wrapped head and repainted Imperial armor pieces, Dengar.

Dengar
Company: Kenner
Acquisition Year: 1980
Acquired via: Christmas gift?
Years In Possession: 40

If having a name that if you swap 2 vowels literally spells “Danger” isn’t reason enough to steer clear of this guy, his grizzled appearance definitely is.

Is he human? Is he part robot? Is he…wounded? Why is his head wrapped up like that? Should he really be out working with a head injury? These are all questions I asked myself the first time I saw Dengar. Long before a younger version of the character appeared in the Clone Wars and we were shown that indeed those head wraps are a fashion choice, there were all manner of fan theories and EU stories about his headgear and face scars. Kenner managed to do a pretty decent sculpt of Dengar’s head and wrappings, it’s one of the more accurate looking human figures they did.

The first time I saw this figure was at a friend’s birthday party. One of his gifts from another kid was a package containing 2 Empire Strikes Back figures. One of them I cannot for the life of me remember, but the other was Dengar. I’m able to remember that because I can still hear the kid who gave my friend that present frantically trying to explain to my him “That’s Dang-gar! His name is Dang-gar!”.

Regardless of how he butchered the guy’s name, I was way more interested in these toys than in playing outside with the rest of the kids. It’s a bit pathetic looking back on it, but my action figures really were my best friends. They were usually way more fun than playing with other kids.

Dengar was one of several figures to come with a very distinctive long rifle accessory that was brand new for the Empire toy line. He shares this same rifle design with the Hoth Snowtrooper and his fellow bounty hunter the intimidating droid IG-88. (None of whom actually had a weapon like this in the film)

In fact this rifle to me is one of the hallmarks of the Empire line. When I think of the ESB figures I always think of this gun. It was so cool looking, nevermind that it was so long and the figure’s arms so unarticulated that it was impossible to have him hold it in anything remotely like a realistic position. Raising his arm to aim that thing always looked ridiculous and made it incredibly difficult to get him to not fall over.

Very much like my Han Solo in Hoth gear figure, Dengar’s skin has not aged well. The paint has faded and discolored considerably, and the white parts of his outfit have also yellowed with age. (Growing up in a house with two parents that smoked did my toys no favors and many of them suffer from nicotine yellowing)

So while Dengar had shamefully short time on screen, we were able to fill out his personality with our own imaginations thanks to this awesome figure.

That’s all for this time gang, thanks for reading. Come back next time and watch this middle aged man gush over childish nonsense while refusing to stare into the oncoming train that is old age.

Share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBToyChest, and let us know what you think! And if you want, let us know what some of your favorite toys were growing up!

Five Decades Of The X-Men Review

A collection of short stories following the most marvelous merry mutants mankind mustered are meticulously mashed together into one mega mob of miscellanea!
Thank you thesaurus.com for the help in keeping that amazing alliteration going in true sensational Stan style.

Anywho, the question I pose to you and yours is this: does this collection of short stories give a good taste of the X-Men, their universe, and their various storylines through the five decades of their existence up to the point this book was published?
Let’s cut the chitter chatter and find out, gang!

This is your obligatory ***SPOILER ALERT***

I’m not sure why, but diving into this I was weirdly uncertain if I would like it.
But there was one lone name that gave me the courage to do so: Sholly Fisch!
Long time listeners of the main show should recognize that name as the genius behind the damn superb Scooby-Doo Team-Up comic, so seeing he was involved gave me a tremendous amount of hope.
But I was not prepared for what else lie ahead of me.

The initial story, covering the ’60s, “Baptism Of Fire, Baptism Of Ice” by John J. Ordover and Susan Wright, is a tale of Charles Xavier’s first class of X-Men, through the eyes of Bobby Drake, A.K.A. Ice Man.
As they are training for their first mission we see Bobby’s frustrations with being the new kid on the block and not getting many challenges or much time to shine in the Danger Room when they get a new team/class mate in the form of one Jean Grey, the first girl on the team.
It’s a simple yet effective story of the earliest days of this groundbreaking institute and its founding members as they struggle with their burgeoning powers and raging hormones.

Story two, set during the ’70s, “Firm Commitments” by the good sir Sholly Fisch, sees a guy named Jay make a gigantic scientific break through at think tank Genetech that leads him into a twisted underworld of mutant hate that he can’t get down with.
He takes the bull by the horns and actively works against this nutso group in the only way a relative nobody can.
Sholly has a voice that’s so incredibly easy to read, on the level of some of my other favorite writers and this story alone makes me want to hunt down any and all other prose work he has.
He seems the most comfortable with the X-Men and their world, and the outsider perspective of them feels real, well thought out, and solid.

The third tale, taking place in the ’80s, “Up The Kill Backwards” by Tom Deja, might just be my second favorite story here.
And it’s definitely one of the least complicated stories in this volume.
A new class of X-Men are thrown together and tasked to take over while the big guns are off on their own disparate personal sojourns.
Their new trainer, Sean Cassidy A.K.A. Banshee, is trying to whip them into shape and make the brother of a legend get out of his familial shadow and step into the role of leader.
To try and force some like mindedness on them, Cassidy sets up a training exercise with a secret government organization and things go badder than batshit as things go sideways!

The fourth story, getting us planted firmly in the ’90s, “The Cause” by Glenn Greenberg, delves into the darkest areas of the X-Men world.
We see news reports of hate crimes against mutants spiking as Reverend William Striker, the poster boy and leader of one of the most well known anti-mutant hate groups is set to be released from prison.
Greenberg takes us inside this group and shows us, through one of fictions greatest allegorical set-ups, the inner workings of the group and the stupid bullshit that the morons that inhabit it believe in.
This one is not at all my favorite, but it’s definitely the most weighty and sadly still relevant to the times we live in, further illustrating the versatility of these characters and their little corner of the Marvel universe.

The fifth and final story, set in the early ’00s, “Gifts” by Madeleine Robins, covers relatively similar ground as the first story in that it’s dealing with teenage romance and flourishing powers, but still manages to eek out a fun story of its own.
The highlight of this story is definitely the badass climax in a cemetary with Psylock trying to talk down a teen who’s telekinetic abilities have caused catastrophic damage to a New York airport and highway due to factors beyond her control.

From the near goosebump inducing intro by the legendary Stan Lee (that feels like a loving and warm hug from the universe) to the two hundred and sixty-first page of the final story this book was the one thing I crave in these superhero novels, it was sheer fun.
All five stories have the big splashy set piece superheroics you expect from comic books, but with the added benefit of your mind’s eye being the artist.
The world of the X-Men, and all of the ups and downs of real life that that entails, is captured in the most loving detail by these six authors.
And whomever came up with the concept to do five stories set in five different decades is goddamn brilliant!
The big touchstone moments in the illustrious history of the X-Men are hinted at, if not flat out mentioned.

The only real problem I can point to would be an issue I’ve found in a lot of these late ’90s/early 2000’s novels of this ilk, they are riddled with typos.
Missing words and letters that are particularly troublesome and occasionally pull you out of the story as you try to figure out just what the hell the author meant.
It needed another thorough pass by a good copy editor to clean up some unfortunate sloppiness.

The bottomline, gang, this is a perfect collection for old fans wanting fresh stories from these different eras or new fans trying to find a way into the notoriously daunting X continuity.
No character feels out of step with my experience with them, even the characters I have limited exposure to.
Prices online can be disrespectfully overpriced, but if you just so happen to stumble across a decent priced copy, I’d highly encourage you to pick it up and give it a chance.

Let us what you think of this review in the comments below or share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

And finally: If my count is dead on, this is my 40th book review in just over two and a half years.
So to all of you that dig these and keep checking them out, thanks.
Reading has always been one of my main joys and it has been incredibly fun sharing it with you, gang.