It’s Super Sunday

The eyes of the sports world shine on Houston today. No annual event can attract the number of eyeballs this game will, though with ratings declining this year could be a bit down.

I know many of you don’t care for sports but I also know this game isn’t really about sports fans. People watch even when they have no idea which teams are playing or who is favored.

I’ll take the Pats. Because I’ve learned that you simply don’t pick against them in this game when Eli isn’t on the other side. Who ya got?

Also, I’ve already seen several commercials I thoroughly enjoyed.

Something fun Today

I wrote recently about who I’d like to see write a book. My choice was Katie Nolan. I think people would call her a sports personality, but I said before that she isn’t afraid to express her opinion on a wide range of topics.

Turns out the week before the Super Bowl has some perks. Sure there’s music, the NFL Experience, and other festivities going on this week in Houston. But Fox is also broadcasting several of its shows live from Houston. 

I’M GOING TO SEE GARBAGE TIME WITH KATIE NOLAN LIVE IN THE AUDIENCE TODAY.

I’ve attended three concerts in my life and dozens of sporting events. This will be the first time I watch a taping of a show in the audience. And I’m excited!

Which show would you like to see from the audience if you could pick any one?

2016 Reading Challenge: The Strain

Guys, I’ve held off with my reading challenge update because it’s going to come down to the wire! I know no one really cares if I complete it or not, but I came up with it. I want to finish! So I won’t tell you how close I am just yet.

My latest read was The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The story is eerily similar to that of I Am Legend. A virus tears across NYC and causes people to morph into vampires. Only in this story they are all controlled and connected to one another via The Master. A vampire hundreds of years old who can move from one host body to another whenever the need arises. An old pawnbroker, two epidemiologists, an exterminator, and a not-so-hardened criminal lead the fight against the vampire outbreak. But their most difficult opponent may very well be a wealthy businessman who has assisted The Master in exchange for eternal life.

First, I’m a big fan of the TV show based on this trilogy of books. So I did not go into this blind like I imagine readers before me did. But I still had some problems with it. The difference between this book and the other two vampire novels I’ve read (Dracula and I Am Legend) is that it goes from unbelievable to acceptance very quickly. The basis of the spread of the virus is a plane that arrives in NYC full of dead people. All but four people on board appear dead, except they’ve only been turned and not actually killed for good. It was only a night or two after this that the main characters of the story accepted that vampires were overrunning the city.

While reading this book I never felt invested in any of the characters. Which is saying something because it took me nearly 11 hours to finish! I didn’t like how chapters jumped from one perspective to another without any warning. I usually don’t mind if it’s done in different chapters rather than the same one. There was at least one 75 page chapter that I found ridiculous. 75 pages!

You’re reading this thinking I hated the book. I didn’t. I enjoyed it. The vampires are different from just about any I’ve ever imagined, which I already knew from the TV show. They had to be my favorite part of the book. Their brutality and gruesomeness is awesome, but so is the manner in which they’re killed. You have this old guy who walks around with a cane that isn’t really a cane. It’s a sword he uses to decapitate the vampires. He has an armory of weapons and devices he’s put together over the years as he waited for the war to begin.

I applaud the authors for their modern take on the vampire, but it did feel more like a copy than an original. The Count is still the greatest evil I’ve ever read in any book and Robert Neville fought the good fight ON HIS OWN. Those two books are simply on a different level from this one. This book wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t great. Maybe the other two books in the trilogy will be improvements. Overall I’d rate it about a 3.8 or 3.9 out of 5.

This book satisfied the requirement to read a book that’s your favorite color of my 2016 reading challenge.

What’s your favorite vampire novel!?

Amazon Launches Prime Reading

If you have a Prime account like I do, then you’re likely already aware of the many perks associated with the subscription. And now Amazon adds to it again.

Prime Reading is exactly what you’d expect it to be. You get to read any book that’s included in the service. I believe it’s currently over a thousand titles at launch. You also get free access to current magazines. I haven’t subscribed to a magazine in about a decade, but I’ve really been considering subscribing to Sports Illustrated or National Geographic. And they’re both included!

There is no subscription service that gives you greater value for your money than an Amazon Prime menbership. There’s books, movies, TV shows, two-day shipping, Prime Now, and I bet members will one day get to fly into space before nonmembers. HA!

Does Prime Reading make you want a Prime membership any more than before? Or if you’re already a Prime member, will you take advantage of the new program?

Saturday Selects: Bill Nye Gets a new Show

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I usually write on the first Saturday of each month outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today we’re talking Bill Nye’s new show!

I don’t think there’s a millennial in America today who doesn’t remember his previous show in which he made science both enjoyable and interesting for a young audience. And now he’s back. He’s partnering with Netflix on a new show to once again bring science to the masses. Each episode will focus on a particular topic. Vaccines. GMOs. Climate change. You can expect all of this to be discussed and so much more.

This type of show is important in any time period, but we have celebrities and politicians today peddling in “science” that has no basis in fact. If we’re to save and preserve our planet then we must accept and embrace science. Bill Nye is the perfect person to lead the charge.

The show premieres in early 2017, and I can guarantee I’ll be watching as soon as it’s available.

Also, could this be a precursor for a Bill Nye – Neil Degrasse Tyson 2020 presidential ticket? It’s never too early to lay the groundwork for a White House bid!

Will you be watching Bill Nye’s new show?

American Crime

I’m a big TV guy. But I’m not a fan of comedies. I watch dramas. And only two crime shows because they’re all so fake and illogical. I feel the need tonight to talk to you about American Crime. I can’t remember if I’ve written about it on here before or not, but it is extraordinary. The season 2 finale aired tonight. I won’t get into specific details about the story or the cases involved. But I do want to tell you the kinds of things the show makes a point to address.

American criminal justice system.

Homophobia.

Racism.

Rape.

Gun violence.

Victim shaming.

Right to privacy.

Class system.

Drug use.

Bullying & cyberbullying.

Suicide.

High school.

Entitlement.

Public and private education.

I’m sure there are themes that are directly addressed I’m just not thinking of at the moment. But this show is so much more than just about crime. I tweeted immediately after I finished watching the finale.

There was no exaggeration when I wrote that. This is the kind of show that gives you an idea as to how someone like Donald Trump could become a front runner to be President of the United States. It’s because of the ideas and ideologies not much different from the show’s characters. But what the show really does well is it (in my opinion) gives great insight into different perspectives from different groups of people. People in power. Minorities. Victims of crimes. Teens. There are so many different perspectives on things that most people only pretend to understand. And there are so many perspectives that are completely ignored. To me, THAT’S what the show is all about. Perspectives.

Look. There are plenty out there who refuse to believe in reality. There are plenty of people who blatantly deny reality. But American Crime is as real as any thing you can see or feel for yourself. There are A LOT of bad shows on TV right now. There are A LOT of mediocre shows on TV right now. There are some good ones. But there are very few truly remarkable shows on the air right now. American Crime is one of those shows that is simply more than a TV show. It’s a message to every viewer in every episode. It’s a portrayal of American life. It’s real.

I only see the two seasons available for purchase from Amazon. They may be available from other retailers like Google or Apple, but Amazon has both seasons available to be purchased for $19.99. But most of the second season can be streamed through ABC.com, the Watch ABC app, or ABC on Demand. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how you should spend your money. The first season was nominated for awards every which way. And I imagine season 2 will be no different.

Have you watched American Crime?