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Messages - Nicklab

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Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 16, 2016, 07:44 AM »
Always have to remember that Targaryen house motto:  FIRE AND BLOOD!  You had to know that Dany was not going to suffer slights from the Dothraki for long.  But I just DID NOT see that coming.  And that's one of the great things about this season.  Because the element of surprise is back and it gave the fire in that Dothraki tent so much more impact.

It looks like Jaime and Cersei are trying to play the Game of Thrones together, by using the Tyrells to take down the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant.  And I have to suspect that this may make the situation in Kings Landing ideal for Dany to finally cross the Narrow Sea.

Good to see Littlefinger back in the mix, too.  He's got Robin Arryn wrapped around his finger, ready to throw ANYONE through the Moon Door.  But the upside seems to be that he's sending Lord Royce north with the Knights of the Vale to help the Starks.  And they're going to need it against that bastard Ramsay Bolton!  I really thought that Osha might have had the drop on him, but it looks like he was wise to a possible plot as soon as Rickon and Osha arrived at Winterfell.

The reunion of Jon and Sansa was absolutely one of the most heartwarming moments we've had in the series in quite some time.  Especially after all the hell that they've both been through.  Jon seems fully prepared to leave the Watch, even though they probably need him more now than ever before.  He's even got a full Stark kit on now, too.  I have to wonder if Jon, Tormund and their 2,000 wildlings plus Lord Royce's Vale knights can take down the Boltons.  I suspect we're going to be looking at a great battle for the North!

Gentle Giant / Re: Kylo Ren Mini-Bust
« on: May 13, 2016, 09:39 AM »
I checked out on the GG mini-busts a few years ago.  Seeing the price on this Kylo Ren bust, I'm kind of glad I did that.  And it has nothing to do with the quality of the product, or being critical of customer service, etc.  It's the prices.

I got into the Gentle Giant mini-bust line shortly after it launched.  And what's alarming is the price creep that's been happening with Gentle Giant as well as Sideshow Collectibles.  They  both launched their Star Wars lines with much more reasonable pricing.  Like you mentioned, Rob, prices for mini-busts were around $45.  And Sideshow was selling their 1/6th scale figures for around the same price, too.  Now you can't touch either of those for under $100.  Mind you, I make more money now than I did in the early 2000's when these lines launched.  But I also have a family now and far more financial responsibilities now than I did then.  Gentle Giant became a victim of my own cost cutting, and so did Sideshow for the most part.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 13, 2016, 07:39 AM »
Yeah.  In the books there are rumors of a Direwolf leading a pack of wolves in the vicinity of the Riverlands.  That's roughly where Arya set Nymeria loose after her run-in with Joffrey. 

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« on: May 12, 2016, 12:09 PM »
My job often requires me to get up for work VERY early.  And quite often that means leaving the house for work an hour or two before sunrise. 

This morning I went outside to see some amazing stars since it was a totally cloudless sky.  Mars was in full view and on the verge of setting.  But then I caught sight of something moving overhead from the Southwest.  While I do regularly see air traffic on approach to Newark airport and some of the private aviation fields, there's not too much traffic at 4 AM.  Plus, there were no blinking lights.

That's when I remembered seeing something about NASA's Spot The Station page which they provide if you want to catch a glimpse of the International Space Station.  You enter your basic geographic location and the app will let you know when you might be able to see the ISS passing overhead.  I put in my own information, and sure enough the ISS was passing overhead at my location at 4:16 AM.  I was genuinely surprised by how bright it was in the night sky.  I had seen a satellite pass overhead once before at night over the east coast of Florida, but the ISS was far brighter and bigger than that previous sighting. 

In retrospect?  I'm kind of glad that I was completely tied up with work on May the 4th.  Despite what any Walmart press release may have indicated, there's NO SIGN WHATSOEVER of Black Series wave 4 in my area.  Lots of wave 3 (minus Rey) plus ROTJ Han Solo. 

Yeah.  Great.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 12, 2016, 11:01 AM »
It was nice to see GRRM release that new excerpt yesterday.  Although how that might tie into the show remains to be seen.

A couple of questions have popped up for me recently.  Such as?  Whatever became of Gendry?  Ned Stark seemed to think that he could become more than an armorer's apprentice.  Will he return at some point?

I've also been wondering about the Waif.  She seems to be tapped into the events of Westeros.  And I got to wondering if her character may now be a combination of the Waif in the books and Mya Stone, another of Robert's bastards.

Scott, I like the way you think!  Seeing the dire wolves take apart Ramsay Bolton would be poetic justice.  Presuming that there are any of them left by the time Jon Snow gets to Winterfell.

Star Wars Anthology / Re: Rogue One (SPOILERS)
« on: May 11, 2016, 12:22 PM »
The ROGUE ONE trailer was attached to Captain America - Civil War when I saw that film on Monday.  And seeing this trailer on a big screen was a lot different from watching it on my laptop or my TV at home (love that YouTube app on my TV!).  It got me that much more excited about this movie!

A new excerpt from The Winds of Winter has been posted on George RR Martin's website.  Read it here.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Captain America (Movie & Sequels)
« on: May 11, 2016, 08:18 AM »
Agreed.  Seeing it laid out like that does give us some clarity on the chain of events.

There's another question that I'm left with following the movie that a friend brought up.  That being the super soldier serum that Howard Stark was transporting in his own car.  Was Howard trying to duplicate Professor Erskine's work and develop a new Captain America?  Was this something of a callback to when General Ross told Emil Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk that people had been working on replicating the Captain America super soldier serum?  Was this one of the attempts?  Howard seems like a prime candidate to try to replicate the experiment since he took part in the original experiment.

As for HYDRA learning of this new development and putting a hit on Howard Stark?  It seems that if HYDRA went after someone as high up in SHIELD as Howard Stark, it seems pretty likely that HYDRA had already infiltrated the upper echelons of SHIELD by that time so that they were able to gain intel about this new development.  From the footage of the tests in Siberia, it looks like the serum was not quite as successful, since the new Winter Soldiers seemed violent and out of control during that training session.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Captain America (Movie & Sequels)
« on: May 10, 2016, 10:43 AM »
I think it was implied that Zemo accessed the Hydra/Shield data that Widow dumped public at the end of Winter Soldier.

Thanks for jogging my memory.  Zemo did get a little bit confessional at some point and now I remember him talking about decrypting some of that data.  That being said, the movie was pretty dense in terms of communicating all of these plot points, and I could see the potential for the audience to walk away a little bit confused.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 10, 2016, 10:35 AM »
Who is the M?

That would be Meera Reed.  Her father was the only other survivor at the Tower of Joy.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 10, 2016, 10:34 AM »
I really hope that it wasn't Shaggydog.  The size of that wolf's head seems like the only possible clue that it might not have been that of a dire wolf.

I hope you're right that the Umbers and Osha are engaged in some plot to take down the Boltons.  I had to search back a bit, but it seems like it's possible that the Frey's may be holding GreatJon Umber hostage, and that he may have been taken captive at the Red Wedding.  Probably so that the Boltons might try to hold some sort of sway over the Umbers if they want to hold the North.  Rickon was probably added to the mix to sweeten the deal and make it more believable.  But it is definitely a very dangerous game to play when you're dealing with Ramsay Bolton.

I'm still left wondering if the Manderlys are going to factor in here.  And there was also the original plotline of Osha taking Rickon off to Skagos to hide, not among the Umbers at Last Hearth.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Captain America (Movie & Sequels)
« on: May 10, 2016, 08:38 AM »
I saw it yesterday, and there was so much to take in.  It was very much multi-layered, and I appreciate that it took something of a slow burn approach to letting this story build. 

I went into this thinking that Stark was going to be portrayed like he was taking some kind of heel turn, but it was written and performed much better than that.  The reasoning and argument behind the Accords seemed very much legitimate.  And it was easy to see how characters like Stark, Black Widow and the Vision could be swayed to get on board with Ross and the Accords.  I have to say, I really appreciate that Marvel & the Russo Brothers would offer up a story where there is such a great degree of moral conflict between the heroes of a  story like this one.  Life and politics in general are complicated.  And putting a story like this out there where the justification for those diametrically opposed positions have some moral basis is very welcome.

Black Panther's story was very well developed.  And I think Chadwick Boseman did a fantastic job.  I thought his motivation was spot-on, and when he decided that he was going to take his vengeance I don't know what could have stopped him.  My one gripe?  It had to do with Black Panther, Cap and Bucky.  Notably the chase scene in the tunnel in Germany.  When they were running through traffic it took me out of the movie.  Simply because the speed of both the running and the cars seemed off.  This is really my only gripe with the film, so take what you will from that.

I liked seeing the budding relationship between the Vision and Wanda.  That seemed to hold true to the comics in a way.  And seeing the two of them fight?  Remind me not to get on the Scarlet Witch's bad side, because I don't want her altering my density so much that I fall through several floors of a building.  There's also the matter of the Mind Gem.  I suspect that Vision's doubts about his ability to control the Mind Gem were foreshadowing to what we may see in the Infinity War films.

But the airport fight?  Wow.  That was just great!  Spider-Man was awesome.  I really like how he was characterized this time around.  Peter Parker became Spider-Man when he was a kid in school, and seeing him like that was refreshing.  Likewise, seeing Stark be protective of him because he recognized that Peter was a kid added something to Tony's character as well.  And what about Ant-Man?  I loved seeing him get into Iron Man's suit and messing with it.  And then going big and becoming Giant Man?  I really didn't know what to expect because we're still learning what his capabilities are.  I was a little surprised to see him actually tear the wing off of an airliner and swing it around like a giant club.

It was a little odd to see how Zemo's story weaved it's way through the overall story.  But by the end it certainly made sense.  As did *MOST* of the Howard & Maria Stark plotline.  I could certainly see why HYDRA would want to have some video of that incident on file.  But I was left wondering how Zemo came to know that the Winter Soldier had a role in Howard Stark's assassination to begin with and knew to search for the files on that particular date.

Overall I thought that this film was really strong.  And it left me wanting more from the MCU, as well as the Russo brothers.  I think they know and appreciate the source material in a big way.  The future of the Avengers certainly seems like it's in doubt, since half of its members have some sort of outlaw status now.  But I think that things are going to require them to come together for the Infinity War storyline.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 10, 2016, 06:19 AM »
I thought it was well established that Varys's little birds were street urchins.  It certainly seemed that way to me from reading the books.  They were all over Kings Landing, beneath the notice of most and in positions to overhear conversations.  And you can see them in the show as well.  Plus, when you take into account the scene from book 5 when Varys killed Kevan Lannister with the crossbow in an effort to further destabilize the Lannister hold on the Iron Throne.  Varys was surrounded by his "Little birds".

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: A Game of Thrones (HBO)
« on: May 9, 2016, 07:58 AM »
Another solid episode.  Jon seemed genuinely shocked, as did Melisandre.  Although since I saw this coming I don't know how shocked everyone in the audience might have been.  As for the events of last night? For a moment, I thought Jon was going to have some measure of mercy on the men that killed him. But that didn't happen at all.

The green sight scene of Bran travelling back to see the events at the Tower of Joy was definitely something to behold. Ser Arthur Dayne was a badass! And I thought Ned was in some serious trouble there. I did not see that engagement ending the way it did. But Ned clearly owed his life to Howland Reed, no matter how he took out Dayne. As for when they left that scene? It was telling that they want to stretch out Bran's visions. But the dialogue leading up to the fight between Ned and his men with the Targaryen Kings Guard was even more telling. When Ned said that the Mad King was dead, and Prince Rhaegar had died at the Trident, I'm pretty sure that I heard Arthur Dayne say something to the effect that they were there at the Tower of Joy to protect their prince. That lends a lot of weight to the whole R + L = J theory.

Arya seems like she's turned a corner with the Faceless Men. Especially with the Waif, who's just been merciless with her. Although the Waif did seem to have an odd level of fascination with Arya's death list. it seems very likely that she's also originally from Westeros, and may be of a similar mind to Arya.

And just when you thought that the Starks were becoming resurgent, what happens? Rickon Stark and Osha wind up in the hands of Ramsay Bolton. And that f***ing traitorous Lord Umber killed Shaggydog! The show has really been brutal towards the dire wolves. But you have to seriously fear for Rickon's safety.

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