Dear Nerd Lunch: CT

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Dear Nerd Lunch,

Where to begin?

Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. I have you. Sure, I have a family, church, job, and recently school. But with all those things, it's not easy for me to get away and run off to a physical location where I can surround myself with my nerdin' activities. With you, I have a place to go and be a bit nerdy (even if you are not an actual place). Although, that's not what you are about.

Through you, I have been able to document and share my ideas for the past five years on various topics. That may not always be a good thing, but I like the idea of my words out there even if they are just floating around in space like a Star Wars opening crawl. Still, while I like looking back on the things I've said, that's not what you are about.

When you were conceptualized, I had no idea what you could grow to be. And in your growth, I grew, too. You started out a blog, but in pushing you to be more, we did videos together, I made funny Photoshop pictures for you, started an audio podcast with you, and to promote all of that I delved into social media. You have given me a platform to expand my skill set and do some truly creative work that I am proud of in spite of the fact that I am usually my own worst critic. While I have honed my skills, that's not what you are about.

I look at your stats. You don't have a huge amount of traffic. You don't get a ton of comments on each post. I know that your reach isn't as far and wide as I might like it to be at times. Do I wish more people read your posts and listened to your podcast episodes? On some level...yes. Do I wish that more people watched The Web Series? Certainly. Although my enjoyment of you is not based on your reach because that's not what you are about.

What are you about?

I am lucky to have the long-time, strong friendships in Jeeg and PLee. When we started started you, it was to help me keep in touch with them, two friends that I no longer got to see in person nearly enough. But in the last five years, much to my surprise, the focus widened. Mostly because of social media, but also because of "random" clicking on "next blog" buttons or word of mouth. So suddenly I'm hanging out on Skype with four guys up in Canada, I'm running around town shooting video projects with a relative newcomer to town, I'm sitting around every Tuesday night talking to fellow bloggers and podcasters from all over the continent (some I have never even met in person and likely never will!), and I'm hanging out on Twitter with anyone and everyone cracking jokes and having conversations--things I likely would not...or even could not have done five years ago.

The great Doctor Buckaroo Banzai once said, "the world is full of friends we've never met." Nerd Lunch, you've helped me uncover those friends and in turn you've helped make me a better person. That's what you're about.

Thanks for the last five years. I look forward to many more and seeing who else you bring into my life.

Happy birthday.


Yours truly,

Carlin "CT" Trammel

Dear Nerd Lunch: Jeeg

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Dear Nerd Lunch,

 

dearnerdlunchHas it really been 5 years already?  I know I don’t write as much as I should these days, so let me apologize.  I am devoting a lot of attention your little brother, Podcast, and Twitter can be a hell of a distraction, but you’re still just as important as ever.

 

In the summer of 2007 I was in the process of moving to Chicago and CT had been in Florida for a couple years already.  The opportunities for me, CT, and PLee to nerd out together were effectively coming to an end.  We had talked about doing a blog mostly to preserve the witticisms we were exchanging daily via e-mail, but you became the place for our musings that used to be exchanged over gyros, Quizno’s sammiches, or the D&D game table.  And in that regard you’ve been more successful than I could have imagined.

 

This place provides a long distance connection like what grandparents and grandkids now get using video chat, except we’re middle aged men whose bonds are strengthened through reviews of The Goonies or bacon sundaes.  It’s obvious that without you, Nerd Lunch, I wouldn’t have had the occasion to get to know Pax, The Atomic Geeks, our superfan Jack, or all the great bloggers we’ve crossed paths with the last 5 years.  What might not be so clear are the other benefits you’ve afforded me.  It would have been very easy for me to be consumed by the “real life” stuff that has happened during these years and I honestly don’t know if I would have kept up on my nerd interests or stayed as close with CT and PLee. 

 

So thank you, Nerd Lunch.  Thanks for what you’ve brought into my life, but more importantly what you’ve kept in it.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jeeg

Dear Nerd Lunch: Pax

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Dear Nerd Lunch,

Sup, bro?  How you doin’?  What did you say?  You’re 5 years old?  Wow, that’s crazy. Time flies.  I remember when I first met you.

I first discovered you in early 2011.  Your funky attitude about pop culture and hossin’ (good eatin’) drew me back to you again and again.  You covered pop culture subjects right along my interests.  And you were funny.  So funny.  I enjoyed reading you on a semi-regular basis whenever CT or Jeeg decided to post.

Then in the summer of 2011, we were finally able to meet face-to-face.  That historic first meeting in the dusty ridiculousness that was the Tallahassee Auto Museum would shake the foundations of pop culture nostalgia to the core.  We would discuss many aspects of our favorite movies, TV shows, movies, comics and cars and then seal the deal with the only thing that could properly mark the occasion.  A KFC Double Down Sandwich and the largest f**king soda I’ve ever had in my entire life.  I could seriously have bathed in it.  We walked away from that historic meeting not only full in our bellies with chicken, cheese and soda, but full in our heads of dreams.  Dreams of the future as at this summit we started discussing the beginnings of what would become the Nerd Lunch podcast. The rest, as regular people say, is history.

It has been my sincerest honor to be an “unofficial” part of the Nerd Lunch family for the last year or so.  It was also my sincerest honor to accompany you on that roadtrip to Amsterdam.  And don’t worry, I will consider it my privilege to take the burial location of that dead prostitute, the seven bags of Dutch gold coins and the video footage of that “donkey show” you participated in to my grave.  No one will ever know about that Guinan lower back tattoo or the old lady you straight up punched in the face for saying that Deep Space Nine was derivative sci-fi.  It's those times that we'll remember for the rest of our lives...without telling anyone else anything about them.

So, it’s your 5th birthday, Nerd Lunch. Enjoy yourself.  You've earned it.

Your awesomest friend,

Nerd Lunch Podcast 43: Drill Down – Salty Snacks

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We gather around the lunch table this week with Steve from foodjunk.wordpress.com.  On the menu is a discussion of our favorite salty snack foods from chips to pretzels to crackers.  We can't seem to agree on many snack food picks, but perhaps we'll concur on favorite high blood pressure medicines in a later episode.  In our Nerd To-Dos, we hear about Steve's run through the Godzilla movies, CT's third viewing of The Avengers, Pax's review of Solomon Kane, and Jeeg's glacial progress through Angel and Farscape.

Nerd Lunch Podcast 42: The 48 Hour Kit

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It's a three way dance as Pax, CT, and Jeeg plan out 48 hours of a nerd weekend.  Where would we go?  What would we do?  What would we eat?  Listen to find out if our perfect weekend looks more like The Hangover or Weekend at Bernie's.  This week's Nerd To-Dos are a who's who of sci-fi franchises with nods to Prometheus, Planet of the Apes, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Nerd Lunch Podcast: Second Helping of Episode 41

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Because the people demanded it, one more round of Would You Rather questions with Jeeg, CT, Pax, and Andrew Bloom. Actually nobody demanded it, but the conversation does include more Mark Dury talk and that alone is worth a listen.

(Nerd) Lunch Special: BK Bacon Sundae

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I have said before that I think cream cheese is the perfect food stuff. I can't think of anything, salty or sweet, that cream cheese doesn't go with on some level. After cream cheese, there is a huge drop off on things I think work well with almost any other food. But second on that list is probably bacon. The idea of combining bacon with something sweet isn't new at all. I have long enjoyed bacon with maple syrup. But as a dessert ingredient, bacon is becoming more and more common. So common that now mainstream Burger King has decided to jump on the bandwagon and ask people to fork over their hard earned cash for a bacon sundae.

I don't always go for these novelty items, but this one had to be tried despite some level of trepidation. It's Burger King which isn't known for their ice cream. And besides that...it's Burger King. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Burger King, but gourmet food it is not.

Nerd Lunch lives to serve so I thought it was my duty to try this for America and let you know if you should give this a shot.

First, let me talk about the price point of this thing. The price is not listed anywhere on the menu at the BK I went to. Of course not. It's $2.50 for this thing in the face of their usual sundaes only being a dollar. So I paid a dollar for a sundae and $1.50 for a strip and a half of bacon. Without the feeling of needing to serve our faithful fans, I would have passed on this.

Overall, this wasn't horrible, but I don't recommend this iteration of a bacon sundae. There are all kinds of recipes and places out there you can go to try something that I'm sure would be better. Where this failed for me was the combination of the bacon and the ice cream. Not from a taste perspective, but a temperature one. The coldness of the ice cream made the bacon extra chewy and detracted from it. However, as the ice cream melted and I got to the bottom of the sundae where a bunch of the sauce was, the bacon was much better.

My ultimate recommendation? If you're super curious, give it a go. If it's a combo you are interested in but don't really trust Burger King, follow those feelings and find a better alternative for a bacon sundae.

Nerd Lunch Podcast 41: Would You Rather?

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The Atomic Geeks very own Andrew Bloom takes over the fourth chair this week and runs Pax, Jeeg, and CT though a little game of Would You Rather.  The questions cover topics that are fun for all ages: the Nerd Lunch crew dying in various ways, the Nerd Lunch crew killing various pop culture heroes, the Nerd Lunch crew in ambiguously gay situations, and CT’s beard.  The only question remaining is would you rather keep reading this description or listen to the episode already?

LXB: Top Ten Movies I Can't Wait to Watch with My Kids

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It's well past time for me to participate in a League post again. It's long overdue so I thought I'd chime in on this week's topic which is to pick the top ten movies. The specifics are left up to us to decide. We've done some lists before on the blog. Almost five years ago, I planned a weekend home alone around ten of my favorite rewatchable movies. We've also ranked the Pixar movies and our favorite comic book films. Even though the comic book list has changed since 2009, there is too much on the horizon for me to deal with that list again right now. We also tackled an existing sci-fi movies list and busted that on the podcast.

My daughter recently turned 8 and my son is 3. As they get older, I am allowing them to watch more and more things. My daughter and I already have plans to check out Avengers soon and then we're going to read through a Narnia book or three and watch those movies. She has not watched PG-13 movies yet, but I've deemed these as okay for her. That said, I'm still hesitant to break out certain films with them for various reasons. And while I am in no hurry for them to grow up, I am looking forward to watching some movies with them when they get older if they are still interested in hanging out with ol' dad.

(Note: I'm sure I'll be thought of as a bit old-fashioned or an old fuddy duddy or not having let my children watch some of this stuff yet, but so it goes.)

10. Mean Girls
I thought this was a phenomenally well-written movie that had a great message of self-respect and how to treat others. Lindsey Lohan impressed me in this movie and I had hoped she would go onto greatness. Tina Fey put together a great script and what could have been a silly, little high school rom-com became so much more. But my children, particularly my daughter, are not ready for the themes and language of this movie. But at some point in their high school years, this might be a good one to break out and enjoy watching with them.

9. Buckaroo Banzai
I mentioned this in my last League post so I thought I'd mention it again in this one. This very well could be the kind of movie that my kids will hate the first time I show it to them. I don't want to introduce this too early and have them develop a nostalgic hatred for it. Instead I want to develop an appreciation for the roots of Buckaroo Banzai over the next few years so that when I break this one out, they have a head start on getting it.

8. Super 8
I really dug this movie and the whole time I was watching it, I thought my girl would enjoy the aspect of this kid trying to make a movie in the midst of wackiness. It's a modern-day Goonies and in a couple years, she may be ready for the level of suspense in this movie.

7. The A-Team
I have enjoyed sharing The A-Team television series with my children already. The content in this movie is turned up a few notches so I don't think they are ready for it, but once we've worked our way through the series (could still take a few years at the pace we're going), it will be time to share this one.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
This is one I'm more excited about sharing with my son some day. My daughter may like it, too, but just seeing the track my boy is on, he'll be all over this movie once he's ready for it. I think it would be lost on him somewhat now (as Star Wars was when I first showed it to him) and he gets a bit too animated after watching things that I fear what will be turned into a whip after he watches it. Just a few more years yet on this one.

5. Serenity
Not really sure when the kids will be ready for this one and the Firefly series. Not really going to worry about that right now, but in several years, after they have seen Firefly, we'll check this movie out. (TV shows I want to watch with my kids could be a whole separate list.)

4. James Bond
So this one and the rest of the list refer to not just one movie but a franchise. With this franchise, I could probably start introducing some of the movies now, but I fear it would be lost on them. The Roger Moore movies might be okay to introduce, but I'd hate to make that their first Bond. But that said, I'd love to sit around all day some Saturday with the kids and just watch Bond movies.

3. Lord of the Rings
As with the Bond films, I'd love to waste an entire Saturday and just watch straight through these films with the kids. 

2. Spider-Man
This one actually might encompass more than just Spider-Man, but Spider-Man is the one I would start with and relatively soon. Frustratingly, most of the comic book movies of the past few years have been PG-13. This is mostly because of action, but other elements as well. (The MPAA rating system really needs an overhaul.) Anyway, my kids would love to see some of these movies and while I'm ready to show Avengers, some of the other super hero movies I'm not ready to share yet. But I'll have Spider-Man and a whole stack of others to share soon.

1. Back to the Future
One of my all-time favorite film franchise, this might be the one I can't wait to share the most. I'd be keen on sharing it now except there is quite a bit of language in this movie that I'm not ready for them to hear. So a few more years or maybe try to catch a TV version. I've also been wondering if this is a movie that would be a bit lost on my children's generation. I could relate to the 80s being a child of the 80s and then enjoy the fish out of water aspect of Marty being in the 50s. Maybe a remake of this movie is in order with a 2015 version of Marty traveling back to 1985 and seeing his parents. That might appeal much more to my children than the original. I don't know. Seems sacrilege to suggest, but I think BTTF is a movie that brings generations together and an updated version could do the same for the next generation.

Check out some other LXB posts:


Nerd Lunch Podcast 40: Drill Down - Saved By The Bell

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Casey's sweaters are cooler than you

This week CT and Jeeg have to soldier on without the Nerd Lunch ironman, Pax, who has been kidnapped by our arch-rival Valley High.  But it’s all right, ‘cause we’re saved by the bell and two returning guests:  Aaron Nix of Movie Hodge Podge and Jay from The Sexy Armpit.  We spend the episode reminiscing about our favorite moments, the most attractive female cast member, and Casey Kasem’s epic Cosby sweaters.  Be warned, it’s such a lovefest that we're not even fazed by the fact that the show also sounded the death knell of Saturday morning cartoons.  In our Nerd To-Do’s, we get some love for TV’s Dallas, Sherman Hemsley, Taco John’s restaurants, and the Back to the Future iPad game.

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