Throwback Thursday: Cold weather music edition

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You are all probably wondering what the idea with the picture above is.

It is simple.

I am officially declaring that the word captured in this image become an actual temperature reading. Yes my friends I would like that when the thermometer plunges to a certain number that “brick” pops up. I know that I am not alone in using this hip hop colloquialism to describe extremely harsh winter conditions. As to the origins of this term those are up for constant debate as to when it was first used and what part of the United States it originated. Although I cannot lay claim as to exactly when this began I will go on record as at least saying it had to occur sometime in the early 1990s and it most certainly came from inner-city youth living in New York’s five boroughs.

With that said and done I will switch gears in this post ever so slightly as to not lose the overall winter theme on this Throwback Thursday. I just want to take time to focus on those musical gems of the cold weather variety. Those tracks who regardless of what genre the belong to make us think of tundra that is beyond frozen. Those songs that can also get you through the madness that is winter.

We all have our favorite classic winter songs. For the old souls in the audience “Baby It’s Cold Outside” may be up your alley. While classic rock fanatics still cannot get enough of Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice” a song that lyrically has nothing to do with a deep freeze. And then you have my personal favorites Lord Tariq’s “This Cold World” and Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal” both are hip hop classics. However, neither has anything to do with winter themes of any kind when it comes to their subject matter. Nonetheless they are referenced as being winter tracks due to a Sammy Davis, Jr. sample hook (“The Shelter of Your Arms”), being released during the cold weather months and a video shot during cold weather. If you don’t believe me you can look and listen for yourselves.

So for this Throwback Thursday I will leave you with audio and video of these songs for your winter time inspiration. What are some of your favorite winter songs? You can let me know right here on this platform.

That is all for now. Try and stay warm folks. And always remember if you can’t, you must.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Rawan Hage

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Snowmaggedon 2015 was something to behold wasn’t it?

Okay maybe for some of you it was downright brutal and for others we can laugh it off. At least many of us got a good snow day. But on the other hand now we have to deal with the deep freeze that follows.

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Nonetheless I have something or should I say someone who can most certainly thaw out more than an igloo. Today’s mission for Woman Crush Wednesday is twofold. First I would like provide you with more heat than a furnace. The second is to provide you with some substance. And by the end of this little read you’ll realized that I have accomplished both.

And I personally do not care if I get backlash for this post.

Now I am just like any man who takes a look at a good looking woman. Like I always say looks, no matter who you are, is what gets a person’s attention. I liken it to window shopping. You see something in the show window and it peaks your interest. What leads you to go in the store and make a purchase or not is the information on the product that made you go bonkers upon site. The very same applies to a person. You may find someone attractive but it is ultimately their qualities which become the deciding factors as to whether or not you will buy into them. This seems to be the case with Instagram model Rawan Hage.

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I will be completely honest on this platform and state that I do follow this woman on the social media channel. I am one of the more than fifty thousand people who marvel at her photos. How can one not? But I must also declare that this is the only Instagram beauty I follow. Yes you all can check my profile to see if I am being truthful about that. The reason for this is because I have never thought much of Instagram models of any kind due to my skepticism as to whether they actually exist.

In Ms. Hage’s case she’s not only real but is spectacular in many ways. She really knows her audience, has command of it and is not bashful when it comes to the content she doles out on a daily basis. The woman has no qualms when it comes to using her platform to speak her clout when it comes to what is on her mind. In addition to documenting her jet setting life and photo shoots on her account she has captured her trips to impoverished regions to help build homes for the nonprofit organization One Small House. She also is not afraid to post on social issues such as bullying and female body image. If I were a betting man, in my case I am, I know I would be spot on in detecting that this woman is no closet nerd too. I will also say she is what KIm Kardashian wishes she could be.

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So there you have it. Beauty meets the geek. This is why Rawan Hage is perfect for Woman Crush Wednesday.

Enjoy the stills and video. And remember if you can’t, you must!

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Toy Tuesday: Toys for Snowmageddon 2015

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It is not every day that I start out with a cliché theme in post but yes the weather outside, at least in my neck of the woods, is frightful. And depending on what the conditions are you may have no place to go. That is unless you’re brave enough to face the elements. Now I am not encouraging anyone to be a daredevil. So please leave that sort of thing up to Winter X Games athletes. I am, however, appealing to those who do not like being cooped up and are overgrown children like myself.

Admittedly I am not exactly a fan of winter weather. I will gladly trade the current conditions here in Gotham for those of America’s Finest City. And I know for a fact many of you feel the same. But despite my sentiments I cannot lie that I do enjoy activities in the snow from time to time. I have no qualms about playing football or sledding in the snow.

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When it comes to the latter I was a bit curious to see what is being used these days to have some fun with the packed power on the ground. I know sleds, tubes and snowboards have evolved over the course of time. Yet I cannot help but feel in awe at what I found on the internet.

There are some rather interesting contraptions out there to one can use to have fun in a winter wonderland. So for Toy Tuesday I decided to pull some up from the World Wide Web for all of you to take a look at. I know I would like to use some of these to have some fun of my own.

Which of these do you like?

cool_sledge_001   Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge Snow Sled

Do you have any personal favorites from today or from when you were growing up?

Drop me a line here and feel free to share your thoughts.

Stay safe and warm. And remember if you can’t, you must!

Music Monday: Mariko

Mariko continues to perfect her craft all around the New York City Subway System. Photo: Daniel Rivera

Mariko continues to perfect her craft in the New York City Subway System. Photo: Daniel Rivera

Hello everyone it’s the start of another week and you know what day it is out in the Twitterverse! Yes it is another Music Monday installment and you know I am going to bring you something that will please your ears and sooth that beginning of the week angst we all go through.

As many of you know I have a penchant for snapping photos and capturing video of street performers whether they are dancers of musicians. In this case this post will concentrate on the latter. And all of you know I have a knack for spotting talented individuals and showcasing them.

In this case I am specifically speaking of Japanese born pop singer-songwriter Mariko. Obviously she is not the first pop act to hail from the Land of the Rising Sun. We cannot forget the likes of Shonen Knife and most recently X Japan has hit the U.S. playing to crowds at New York Comic Con 2014. To those who question who she is although she does not have the lengthy resume as the aforementioned acts Mariko is not exactly a rookie.

She has performed at such venues as the LAUNCH Music Conference, The Yellow Phone Music Conference, The VANS Warped Tour and Summerfest. Mariko as also released 6-track EP titled “On With The Show” which she toured extensively to promote after its release in July of 2012.  Recently I had a chance to hear her perform during my travels in the New York City Subway System. It also happened that she was in town for a few club dates to continue her musical efforts.

But enough about what I know about Mariko. I want you the viewers of my blog to take a listen for yourselves. Here is some footage I managed to capture of her most recent subway performance.

Enjoy.

I hope you Monday gets better as the minutes pass on.

And remember if you can’t, you must!

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Throwback Thursday: from days of long ago

The defender of the universe The ultimate defender of the universe.

The defender of the universe
The ultimate defender of the universe.

Hello fellow geeks the weekend is almost upon us! And I cannot wait to venture out and see what is out there. But before this day turns into Friday and then Saturday I want to put out a quick musing for those nostalgia heads of the Throwback Thursday crowd.

Yes it is that one day of the week where I like many of you wax poetic about pop culture memories from the days of way back. This post will be the first of many when it comes to just that. In fact this one is centers around matters from days of long ago.

Yes I am talking about the ultimate defender of the universe.

That is none other than Voltron!

Now we all know of how long things have taken to get all the legal particulars sorted out with regard to licensing and film rights. Apparently as of last year these issues have been resolved and nothing is standing in the way of a film being finally made based on this classic cartoon. Or at least that is what is being told to us.

Here is some material I have found with regard to this possible project:

http://www.vulture.com/2011/03/voltron_movie.html

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=63946

http://screenrant.com/voltron-movie-bidding-war-schrad-105107/

http://www.movieinsider.com/m2902/voltron-defender-of-the-universe/

Most of the information in these posts and articles are accurate but if you the reader of my blog have more then I encourage you to bring it on.

With all that mentioned allow me to move on from the concern with legal matters when it comes to this subject. That is not my worry in discussing this wonderful piece of intellectual property. No my anxiety, as a lifelong fan, is over how it will be depicted across 3-D and IMAX screens across the globe.

I am wondering how the story will unfold. The most popular and albeit cute idea is that the Lion Force (Voltron Far Universe), the most popular of the Americanized series, is set to defend the five boroughs of New York City from an attack outside of the Milky Way. Even more interesting is that each lion lives underneath a borough.

Nice try. I mean really that is a decent ploy but not a cool one by any stretch of the imagination assuming this is the actual intended plot. I would find this a bit insulting if this were to go down.

Why?

This is because the five lions should be defending planet Arus as we all saw as children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that idea whatsoever. There’s room for Keith, Pidge, Lance, Sven, Hunk and Princess Allura in the franchise. You most certainly must have them battling King Zarkon, his son Prince Lotor and their fleet which should include Robeast’s that look like something straight out of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. The love affair between Keith and Allura plus Sven being captured and enslaved by Zarkon are subplots that must be included because they will only add to the longevity of this potential franchise.

I can honestly see two or three films being pumped out by a machine who handles the material given in a proper manner. Mind you I have not even mentioned my thoughts of revenue based on the merchandise licensing for any of this. And you can best believe that is one spicy meatball to say the very least.

Well that is my bit of musing for this Throwback Thursday on this topic for now folks. Let me know what your thoughts are on this subject. Do not be afraid to post what you think about this potential project.

It’s been fun throwing it back with you. Until next time. And remember if you can’t, you must!

Woman Crush Wednesday: The Ladies of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Today may be the twenty first day of January but we all know what day it is out there in social media land. Yes it may be hump day and know you’re all having a happy one. But if you are not my friends I just have the cure for those blues since it is Woman Crush Wednesday!

Now we’re all privy to this sort of thing. Man or woman we all know that there’s some famous, smart and attractive woman out in the universe we are all crushing on. There are no exceptions to this!

And speaking of the cosmos last week I tapped in to Marvel’s via my Instagram account to show some love to Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell. So this week I figured on doing the same. Yes when it comes to this subject you can go to the well over and over due to the endless possibilities. But let us keep in mind we can saunter from galaxy to galaxy in order to keep things fresh.

Since Agent Carter has made a huge splash, as expected, I got to thinking like many of you about how I am also missing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. No worries folks the show is set to return on March 3rd last I checked. That information should prevent any distress signals from going off.

So in anticipation of its return I will pay homage to the gorgeous and smart ladies of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Yes, I decided I cannot speak of just one agent over the other. I had to give everyone a trifecta of beauty, brains and brawn. As these women can swing with the big boys any day of the week.

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Take your pick my friends. You have Agent Jemma Simmons played by the lovely Elizabeth Henstridge. Then there’s Agent Melinda May portrayed by the ageless Ming-Na Wen. And finally you have my personal favorite Agent Skye as depicted by the stunning Chloe Bennet.

Now there’s three and no one here can be greedy. You cannot have them all. We all have a favorite.

Who is she and why?

Tell me here. And please be nice with your comments here folks.

With that said enjoy the video tribute I found on YouTube.

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Changing Troll Tuesdays

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I am on a mission!

Yes I am determined!

What am I determined to accomplish?

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Well I have set out to accomplish many things in my personal and professional endeavors. I have shared many of them with you who come across me. But I have decided to add one more to the list.

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What is it you ask?

I really want to change the meaning of Troll Tuesday. Why? Because even I get annoyed with the insidious creatures who prowl the internet looking to incite fear and anger amongst the billions of people who use social media in their daily lives. I for one am sick and tired of these individuals who wish to point out every flaw in existence, bully unsuspecting groups in their respective threads and cause outright chaos just because they feel they can. Look I understand that the world was never meant to be perfect and I get that we all have our man made rights to express ourselves depending on what corner of the planet we hail from. But enough is enough.

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What do I plan to do about this?

Again I am one man and I most certainly not end all the lunacy. However I can make a concerted effort to shine the spotlight somewhere else. I know I can direct it on far more fun positive things. And I know just how to do that and make it fun for all!

Instead of focusing on the aforementioned trolls on every second day of the week I am starting something called Toy Tuesdays. No this is not a movement dedicated to slamming those who disrespect the fine work of street artists across the globe.

Yeah, I just had to stick in a hip hop reference.

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But no I will concentrate Tuesdays on my obsession with toys. Yes I am well aware that I am an overgrown child. But who isn’t one?

Every Tuesday I will spotlight at toy or a bunch of them, depending on what the mood calls for, so we can all get our collective geek on. As you know I am obsessed with collecting figures and toys of all kinds. It does not matter whether it is of the plush stuffed variety, those awesome Pop Vinyl figures or my all-time favorite Skeletor. You’ll never know what I’ll put up on this site.

I know I will not be alone in creating this movement but I will enjoy leading the charge.

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Finally I wish to share my secondary means of inspiration for this project. My friend and fellow geek Nicole “Nikki Siixx” Gonzalez, who is on a cross country trek at the moment, is always brandishing her latest wears from the likes of Loot Crate. So I have to playfully up the ante when it comes to this stuff. I have a ton of respect for her credibility when it comes to nerdy matters. So maybe some healthy competition will arise. Hopefully, I have started something so awesome that it goes global.

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And while I am at it I will close this post on an extreme pop culture note. Why not? I leave you with what else, Cantos Profanae from the 1986 classic film Troll. **Dying with laughter**

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