I’m about to do something no blog before me has ever attempted. I’m actually going to say something nice about Wal-Mart. Personally, I’m pro "mom & pop" stores all the way. However, recently while surfing the mega, super-smiley-faced Walmart.com (yes I'm that lame) I did find something that was kinda cool – The free trial & sample section. An area of the site that offers free trials on everything from music to paper towels to “quit smoking” gum. Is there a catch? Sure. That goes without saying in corporate America. Some of the samples are only available in store. And some you need to fill out a 5 hour survey (ok, more like 3 ½ hr) to claim your product-prize. But still, one can’t argue that the stuff is free. Yes, you’re probably getting a teeny-tiny size, but hey, it’s still a way to stick it to the MAN. Sorta.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Everyone has that “Garage Sale Found Money" fantasy. You prod and poke through somebody’s old junk sale and come across a stamp with an upside down airplane or Action Comics #1. Both of which would bring you quite a financial windfall. Though, those days are probably long gone. However, you might have found money right in your pocket and not even know it. Coins. Specifically, quarters (ok, nickels too, but this article is on quarters.) From 1932 to 1964 quarters were made from a decent percentage of silver. After ‘64, silver was replaced with zinc. If you find a quarter (from 1964 or earlier) it could be worth anywhere from $2 to $160. However, before you rush to Mr. Coin Collector or ebay you should know a couple of facts. Value is primarily judged on two things: quality of the coin and where it was minted. You can find that mintmark on the back of the quarter (eagle side) in the form of a tiny letter. Currently, the 1932 D quarter leads the pack with around a $160 price tag – excellent condition of course. Happy hunting!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Personally, I kinda liked the bubble-gum pop, syrupy sweet, mega-ballads and anthems that came from the hair metal bands of the late 80s. Warrant. Winger. Poison. Totally my cup of Kool-Aid. Ok, I can maybe see the critics’ point of view about the lack of substance.
Of course, Operation: Mindcrime was totally the exception to the “teased up hair, head-banging” rule. Penned by the band Queensryche, Operation: Mindcrime is a dark, political intrigue-ish thriller set to music, with some spoken word. The main plot deals with Nikki, a former heroine addict who gets turned into an assassin by the mysterious Dr. X. Other characters include an evil priest and a prostitute turned nun. Honestly, it’s the opera version of The Manchurian Candidate (without the hooker-nun part).
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Bachelor pads have certainly evolved over the years. However, one thing SHOULD always remain a staple of the perennial "dude" dwelling! Nope, not the giant flat screen. Waterbed? Meh. To me, one is not a true bachelor of the arts until there is at least one black velvet painting proudly displayed. Sure, you could go with a cheap imitation of Dogs Playing Poker, or Elvis. Though, if you got the cash, I’d splurge for a Los Hermanos Velezquez orginal. Twin brothers from Tijuana that hand paint each and every museum quality masterpiece. Two true pioneers of this art form. Any of their paintings would make a fine addition to a home. But, if you really want to make a statement (to me), it’s Akbar all the way. Boba Fett is a close second.
Just ‘cause it’s a plush toy, doesn’t mean it has to be loveable. The folks at Teddy Scares have seen to that with their line of cuddly corpses. Each one comes complete with its own ghoulish back-story. Like Mundy Drudge, a bear that was left mangled in a garage. No issues there. Teddy Scares prices range from $14 - $40. But wait, that’s still not all, they also offer apparel, a fan club membership, comic books and yes, Tofu the Vegan Zombie.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It’s the law of 1980s Hollywood. A big movie with a Brat-Packish cast comes out. It does well at the box office. Then, each actor of “said movie” goes on to do their own pet projects. The movie, Pretty In Pink did just that for a young Jon Cryer (of 2 ½ Men fame). He went on to star in the 1987 high school comedy – Hiding Out. Cryer plays an investment banker that stumbles on to some financial wrongdoings. To escape from the baddies he winds up Hiding Out (nice, huh?) at his cousin’s (Keith Coogan / Adventures in Babysitting) high school. True to “80s screwball comedy” form, madness ensues. Cryer runs for class president, dates popular beauty Annabeth Gish (from Shag: The Movie, if you care) and fights the underworld. Totally corny. Totally over-the-top. Yet, somehow, Cryer and the rest of the cast seem to make it work. Hiding Out never won any awards, but if you're looking to satisfy your cheesy 80s movie fix, this flick will definitely win your heart. Yes, it's available on Netflix.
Snow Car Towing (to me and 160,000 + viewers) is one of the all-time classic “youtube” comedic videos. At first glance, one would think the disastrous outcome (not giving away the surprise ending) would be the pinnacle of the hilarity. However, here I’d have to give the real credit to the cast and the filmmaker. The camera angles the director chose really brought out the anguish and the intensity of the characters. All of which makes for a great build to the ending. However, I feel like the surprise best performance is done by Angry Teen #5. When he pleads the truck drivers to heed his warning (before & after), nothing less than Oscar gold. Right up there with Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. Sure you could plunk down twelve of your hard earned dollars to see some summer sophomoric comedy. Though, this reviewer is just fine watching 2 plus minutes of this comedic gem. Unless it’s The Hangover. %$^ hilarious!
Monday, July 27, 2009
That’s right! The fine folks at Diamond Vodka are giving away coupons for (1) FREE mini-bottle. There are (8) premium filtered vodka samples to choose from. Just click on any bottle and you’re good to taste, that is if you’re over 21.
Sure you look in the mirror and see yourself as buff, good looking, perhaps chiseled. BUT, are you action figure worthy? Well if you have some cash to spare, that’s all you need to bring your superhero-envy to life at Herobuilders.com. For a little over $400 bucks (and a photo) you can design “YOU!” the action figure. Dress it up. Add a cape. Weapons. Spandex. Whatever you want. You can even add a sound chip.
NWM Tip: For a little extra you can also customize the shirt or add a tattoo of your own design.
Check out the hottest new Herobuilders action figure...
So you’re out with the guys and knocked down a bunch of brews. Of course by the end of the night the unavoidable hits you – THE MUNCHIES! Well thanks to master homebrewers Tom and Athena Seefurth, one swig of their ale will satisfy both cravings – MAMMA MIA! PIZZA BEER. Ok, so maybe it wouldn’t exactly take the place of that hot, greasy slice. What you do get is a honey golden beer with hints of basil, tomato, oregano, basil, garlic – and no chance of scorching the roof of your mouth. Pairs perfectly with a pepperoni and cheese slice to go.
NWM tip: Chill before serving.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
BETWEEN TWO FERNS, WATCH IT on the web!
Some comedians are in-your-face-funny. Big jokes. Big laughs. Some comedians are heavy into props. Gallagher and his Sledge-O-Matic. Howie and his rubber glove (before Deal). Ok, now I’m dating myself. Then there are those that, well, you can’t really place their comedic style, like Zac Galifinakis (aka the brother In-law from The Hangover). One could describe him as a mixture of Andy Kaufman, Stephen Wright and John Belushi. Subtle, character driven humor with a hint of crazed unpredictability. Between Two Ferns is somewhat of a Zac G. talk show. His guests/ victims include Jon Hamm (of Mad Men), Natalie Portman and Jimmy Kimmel to name a few. Each 3 minute show has Zac probing his guests on subjects ranging from dog genitals to porn names. Check it out.
NWM WARNING: Zac tends to be on the dirty-side, so you might not want to watch at work without the headphones.
Ex Machina! Imagine a world where the mayor of NYC used to be a crime fighting, fly-through-the-air superhero. That’s the basic premise you’ll discover within the pages of (LOST writer) Brian K. Vaughan & (artist) Tony Harris's epic. That’s right, I said epic. Each issue Vaughan delivers a crackling, good read that delves into the inners of NY politics with supernatural, super-sadistic crazies thrown into the mix. Your typical New Yorkers. Tony Harris masterfully brings these characters to life with each stroke of his pencil.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Dear Lord (and the folks at Boar’s Head) we thank you for this bounty we’re about to receive – Boar's Head Blazing Buffalo Chicken.
NWM Lunch Tip: Try it on a wrap with blue cheese crumbles, spicy mayo, lettuce and tomato. Delish.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
For my money, I’d go with the true crafters of crap, Gagworks.
I mean c’mon, just look at it. Perfect color. Just the right shape. And most important, it’s the perfect size. I feel like a lot of “Dog Poo” manufacturers seem to screw that one up. Too much poop is just plain offensive. Plus, the joke is over too fast. They’ll see it coming from a mile away.
Price Per Poop = $2.99
NWM Tip: Make it seem fresh and wet by dabbing a little cooking oil on it.
We all know the unwritten guys' codes when it comes to using the men’s bathroom.
1- Never make conversation at the stalls (unless you’ve had 3 or more beers).
2- Stare straight-forward (or straight down at the urinal cake.)
3- And if there’s only one other person, NEVER, I mean NEVER pee or dump right next to him (there needs to be a one toilet/urinal buffer zone.)
Ok, my question is this – What if the only stall you can use (to satisfy rule #3) is a handicap stall? I’ve always been attracted to the luxurious space it offers. But hey, it’s not for me, just like the handicap parking spots. Guy code and smell be dammed, I believe the correct etiquette is in fact, use the adjoining stall.
By grown men, I’d say the late 30s range. Honestly, I think we all have a “what the F am I doing, goof off” pass ‘til at least 42. Actually, with this economy, I’d push it to 64. So yes, in my opinion, it’s ok, to ogle the cosplay girls. Get pumped for the press conference panel for the latest installment of Battlestar-LOST. Or, totally lose it at the site of a 10 second trailer glimpse of any Fandom movie.
I read somewhere that LA is bidding for next year's con. To that I say an emphatic – "REALLY?" Last time a checked LA has a zillion studios, a winning basketball team and not 1, but 18 Apple Stores. What does San Diego have? An In & Out Burger and a zoo. Pretty lopsided if you ask me. Let the Diego-ians have this one thing. Keep their economy afloat in this troubled time. I'm sure that's what the Governator would want.