Walking Dead Weekly

I have been watching The Walking Dead for only 2 seasons now. Season 5 has rocked pretty much from start to finish. The season premier was fantastic. Last episode was season finale worthy. The finale? Holy sh-t dude. We got a lot to talk about baby, but first–

*****Spoilers Ahead*****

Morgaaaaaaaaaaaan! F-ck yeah! That was so worth the wait. I cannot believe how it went down. He goes ninja turtle™ in the first five minutes and that only sets up what has to be the biggest–baddest move to date. I mean he practically walks on water. Now you guys (who have been reading me) see why I was calling for Morgan all season. Only, I just thought he would be a cool character to add. I didn’t know he was secretly Jedi knight like his father before him. I was on the edge of tears so many times tonight–mostly because of happiness. Things worked out well on several levels.

I didn’t see the Glenn/Nicholas showdown coming. I suppose I should have, but I didn’t. I heard some rumors about Glenn, and I am glad those didn’t come true. There was also the drama over Norman Reedus putting his house up for sale. I promise not to read that BS going forward.

The Sasha/Gabriel thing was an interesting dynamic. First we see Sahsa making an bed of the dead undead while Gabriel goes out for an unarmed walk. I thought he was going to sacrifice himself to the walker, then he kills it, then he kills another. I cheered him on. I thought, “way to nut up”. Until he lays down and starts crying. He’s on my short list of characters I want dead.

Morgan- It wasn’t until the second time I watched “Clear” that I became a Morgan fan. The actor and the character. I think everyone likes a good comeback story and his is one of the good ones. Like Rick said in season 3, “everyone gets to come back”. Morgan is back and ten times better than before.

I loved the Bob tribute. As Rick is getting ready to go to the “trial”, he remembers Bob telling him how things would play out. If you watched the season 5 marathon, you might have got that fresh in your memory (I did). It was really cool to throw in. No surprise to see that Greg Nicotero directed this episode. It was a simply fantastic and classy touch.

Deanna: I am both surprised and pleased at the way things got resolved with her. I don’t like the fact that it came at the loss of her husband, Reg, who seemed more level headed, but that’s how lessons are learned in the zombie apocalypse. No mulligans. I like the fact that she finally realizes sometimes you need to kill people to save the majority.

The Wolves: We got introduced to the Wolves tonight. Not having read the comic, I only heard about them in passing. There was much speculation as to whether the “W” on the walker heads were for them or an “inverted M” for Morgan. I think we can safely say it was the Wolves. Morgan squared off against their leader, who possibly is a former member of Alexandria. Either way, they had the pictures Aaron and Daryle were going to use to recruit and will no doubt be coming for them in season 6.

Carol is a force to be reckoned with. We had her becoming zombie apocalypse “Rambo” with the season opener, then she dialed it down and played Martha Stewart while sleuthing around in Alexandria. She then held the hulking spouse abuser, Pete under her knife while she told him she could kill him and no one would think twice. The Pete threat is disabled, but keep an eye on Carol.

Questions: Well, some of the biggest questions were answered, which totally rocks. I am a little surprised Alexandria is still standing and our band of heroes are still in it. Morgan appeared at the gates as Rick took care of Pete–on Deanna’s orders. Which was kind of chilling on a couple fronts. How will this play out? Will Rick be handed over total control? I could see Deanna stepping down or at least stepping back.

Sasha was trying to confess to the good father Gabriel that she wanted to die and he basically told her, “yep, you should die”. Maggie was there to take her rifle away and actually offer the father some comfort as he was breaking down again. Will they help him or exile him? He is clearly not of sane mind.

We got a nice glimpse at the Wolves, from Morgan’s dealing with them to the trap that Daryl and Aaron walked into, and finally the clever way they lured the walkers back into the trailers with bad music. Clearly they are a force to be reckoned with. I’m sure they will be one of the main threats in season 6.

What will happen to Nicholas? It looked like Glenn was bringing him back to Alexandria, even after he tried to kill Glenn. I like the fact that Glenn held on to his beliefs and didn’t kill him. I am wondering if he gets exiled and ends up leading the Wolves back to the sanctuary.

Rick and Michonne: They had a really great moment together when Rick came clean about the guns. Michonne tells Rick she knocked him out, “for him” and that she is with him no matter what. They need to be a thing. It’s like cosmic love. I’m not getting all sappy or whatever, they just seem to fit. Michonnne and Carl get along well. He needs a strong female figure for a mom. I’m not sure it will ever happen, but it should.

Zombie kill of the week: So many good candidates. Lots of zombies being taken down. Morgan’s head shot with his bo-staff was impressive. He is quite impressive with it. I give it to Daryl with his whip chain, taking out 3 walkers.

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Blackrock Mountain launching April 2

The next Hearthstone expansion was formally announced Friday at Pax East. It will be Blackrock Mountain. In a similar fashion to Curse of Naxxramas, it will be a PvE encounter. Even though, it went by quick, I really liked how Naxx was. I am very excited for this new chapter in Hearthstone’s history. The expansion was announced to go live on April 2nd.

Blackrock Mountain

Blackrock Mountain is the next Hearthstone expansion!

Start saving your gold! I only had about 350 gold saved up for Naxx when it went live. I was able to get in and check it out (there was a free wing). It was a lot of fun. I even managed to save up enough over the next week to open the second wing on time. After that, I quickly fell behind as the dailies got stingy, only rewarding 40 gold most of the time. It wasn’t terrible but I had started a post called “This week in Naxxramas” in which I talked about that week’s wing and the cards it unlocked. Something I plan on doing for Blackrock as well. This time I will be a little better prepared.

For those of you who did not run Curse of Naxxramas yet, here is a little preview of what this style will be like:

There will be 5 wings. Each wing will have 3 bosses (this time there will be a total of 17, so 2 wings might have 4). There will be a total of 31 cards unlocked (6 a week–7 with the added card, probably on the last week). Each week there was class challenges that unlocked a new class card. Many of the class cards were superb, such as Webspinner for hunters and Duplicate for mages. There will be a heroic mode, which will open up another card back, that will let your opponents know you mean business!

Pricing will be $6.99 a wing or $24.99 for the whole expansion (prices are USD). 700 gold a wing, if you choose to go that route. Unfortunately, no gold pre-order. So no free cardback unless you pony up real world cash.

This time they added a new card just for pre-orders, which I think is a little bit of a dirty trick. I happen to really like the card but have not spent a dime of real money on Hearthstone to date. I’m at a dilemma.

Will you be saving up for the new expansion? You should. The cards look like they will be fun. There were some really great cards in Naxx that you will find in many decks today, including everyone’s favorite–Kel’Thuzad!

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Redial

Redial

3-28-15

“The number you have reached, ###-#### has been disconnected”

The voice says, so you dial it again. Making sure this time, it is correct. The same recording pops up. One more time with the same result, you finally realize someone has slipped out of your life. Changed numbers and didn’t bother to give you the new one.

It stings for a little while. The knowledge that somehow all the years you spent together meant next to nothing. The laughs, the walks, the talks. Late hours. Early mornings. Gone. So you move on. Even though I have a handful of close friends, I can’t help but think of those who simply dropped out of my life.

Is it something I said? Something I did? Do they think they are not good enough? Do they think I am not good enough? Life is funny this way. One thing though, if I ever did call you friend, chances are I still regard you as such. If we ever do reconnect, we will pick up where we left off. Friends.

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What makes a deck, a good deck?

I got into Hearthstone, like many–just to get my Hearthsteed. I figured I would play a few games, enjoy the artwork and get out. That was about 1,494 wins ago. Not bragging, I’m sure I have at least 1,300 losses. Point is, I’m still here and I’m loving it more each day. Why? What makes this game so good? What makes a deck good?

To me, a deck has to be fun to play. Right now, it’s easy enough to head to a site and look up any amount of successful decks. I play a variation of the “Mad Trapper”. I subbed in some cards because I didn’t have certain ones, and subbed in a couple I think are better. It’s a great deck and really fun to play.

I like making decks on my own though. I try out certain things and try to implement them when I play. True enough, most of the time they don’t work out how I intend them to.

My criteria would be this:

  • Fun to play
  • Versatile
  • Cool minions
  • Not boring
  • Has to win

I’ll be honest, the deck needs to win. I’m not asking it to be dominant, but if I need to win 2, 3, or 5 matches with one class, I’d like to be able to do it and not take 2 hours. I don’t know what the average win rate is, but I’d like to be around 55%-60% if I can help it.

I also don’t mind playing a “losing deck” as long as it’s fun and I can still do some dailies. I will make a “2 cost” or a “5 cost” deck when you get the quests to play those minions. My current mage deck is a “spell” deck, that was made with “cast x spells” daily in mind.

Three amigos

I like to use Faceless Manipulator to “steal” other players legendary cards or copy my own!

I have also made a “basic” deck of every class for beginning players. Those decks were actually a lot of fun to make and test out. I have this nasty druid deck right now, when it hits, it really hits, when it misses, I still manage to make a game of it.

Nasty Druid deck

One of the dangers of so many powerful cards is that they can be stolen by priests, mages or players with Faceless Manipulator. Be warned!

One of my biggest requests is that we can save more than 9 decks. I know there are web sites or other things you can use. I have enough passwords, so I just screen shot them for now and have them to go back on if I need to.

So what makes deck a ‘good deck’ for you? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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Bears signing of Ray McDonald ‘bad news’?

On Tuesday, the Chicago Bears signed former 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald. The same player that was cut after being arrested for domestic battery. This is the same club that, in an apparent maneuver to “clean up” the locker room, sent Brandon Marshall to the Jets.

It’s a curious move to me on two fronts. Sending Brandon Marshall away was a clear signal that certain behavior would not be tolerated. Even though Marshall was a model citizen off the field, and seemingly turned his life around after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, it wasn’t good enough for the Bears or his teammates. Marshall got his second chance and used it not only to better himself, but try to help others in the process. So much so that commissioner Roger Goodell has sought out Marshall’s audience to help him better understand how he can help troubled players.

I’m all for giving players second chances. I was all for Michael Vick rejoining the league after he paid his debt to society. I think Adrian Peterson should be able to rejoin the league. When it comes to the repeated violence towards another member of society though, I have a problem. I kind of have a zero tolerance policy on it. Especially when it comes to women.

At 30 years old, I don’t think McDonald is in a place where he is going to suddenly change who he is. I certainly don’t think it’s worth the risk. Are the Bears going to be held liable if he assaults someone in the Chicago area while he is a member of the team? They probably should be held accountable for it.

Am I being too hasty in my judgment? Perhaps. Football is a win now business. You either win now or you become part of it’s illustrious history. Another notch in a very worn belt. I can only go by my instinct and gut reaction in light of a verdict that may never come. I’ve dealt with enough criminals and liars in my life to know that there are very few coincidences in life. Charges were dropped in his domestic abuse case because of lack of evidence after his fiance decided to stop cooperating with investigators. The facts surrounding is alleged rape case are even murkier.

As I am writing this post, I came across a brilliant article written by longtime Chicago football guy, Hub Arkush. He makes a compelling case for McDonald. Makes me feel a little guilty for my hasty reaction. Just the same, the Bears didn’t have to attach their name to this man, they chose to. They must carry the burden if this deal goes south. I’m hoping it doesn’t. Just as much as I am hoping Ray McDonald is not the guy who has been charged with two acts of brutality.

Even if he is innocent of the latest two incidents, he still has a pretty detailed record of run ins with the law, including a DUI. My biggest question is why even bother with a person with so much drama and negativity surrounding him? John Fox and Ryan Pace have a clean slate here in Chicago. A chance to put their fingerprints on the team. Do they really want to start out with someone as murky as Ray McDonald?

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Catch The Walking Dead season 5 marathon

The Walking Dead season 5 marathon will start on Saturday night at 8 PM Eastern (7 PM central) on AMC.

Tune in or set your DVR to record the action. What was your favorite episode so far? What do you hope happens in the finale? Feel free to let me know in the comments down under!

You can also check out my top 10 episodes of The Walking Dead.

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Walking Dead Weekly

Holy knuckle sandwich Batman! What an episode! Welcome back to Walking Dead Weekly. I watched the last few seconds of last night’s episode with my mouth hanging open. Literally. It hung open a good 30 seconds or so after it ended. For a non-season finale to end like that is quite impressive. So much to talk about, but before we get started–

*****Spoilers Ahead*****

Try, started out being very annoying thanks to the “Run mix” featuring Nine Inch Nails. I appreciate what Trent Reznor did for music but that song just grated on my nerves. I commend the Walking Dead sound staff if that’s the effect they were going for. I absolutely loved how they had Deanna watching Nicholas’ interview while Glen was letting Rick know what really happened.

Sasha, I love you but I am officially on the “Sasha needs to die” bandwagon. Seriously. Shape up or let’s have Michonne take you out. I get that she has to work things out, but she is wasting a ridiculous amount of ammo in a world where resources are not all that plentiful.

Carl and Enid sitting in a tree. I think that whole deal was well played. They didn’t go for the traditional kiss. There is definitely something she is hiding. Not sure totally what it is yet. I’m thinking we might find out next week.

Rick’s collision course with Jessie’s husband, Pete, came to fruition and in grand fashion. I was sure Rick or someone else was going to kill him. I didn’t want it to be Rick. Especially after he told Jessie about his feelings for her. I think Rick went right to the edge and actually held on to the last shred of his humanity. I was shocked at the one who ended the situation, but understand fully why she did. Next week’s finale should be amazing.

Questions: So what happens now? Daryl and Aaron are close to finding out who is butchering and torturing people in the forest. It looks like Rick might be put on trial to see if he should stay or not. He openly challenged Deanna’s authority, waved a gun around, and threatened pretty much anyone who stood against him. What about the good doctor? I’m not sure how they plan on trusting him, especially with Tara. Speaking of trust, where was the minister of deception? Gabriel was absent. Why didn’t Deanna interview Glen? (perhaps she did off screen)

Deanna seems a lot more shrewd then she let on. I think between her son dying, Gabriel talking trash and Rick’s  rumble in the middle of happy town, she has probably had enough of the entire group. I am going to call my shot that Rick’s trial gets interrupted by hostile forces. Either walkers or the people who have been mutilating them.

Will we finally see Morgan in the season finale? He could come in handy right now. Perhaps he could get Sasha back on track. I mean, if he came back from losing his wife and son, maybe he could help her. He could also talk some sense into Deanna. I have a feeling things will end like all the other sanctuaries: being over run by walkers.

Zombie kill of the week: It’s kind of a tandem win this week. The scene where Sasha was shooting walkers in the head while Michonne was having flashbacks of beheading them with her katana was beautiful. Well, I mean as far as killing walkers can be.

That’s it for this week’s installment, hope you liked it as much as I do. See you next week!

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