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The JAG18 Stronghold


Music Games

Posted by JAG18 , May 19 2019 · 24 views
(Sorry I haven't updated this recently, but I joined Reddit recently and was reminded how much fun it is being on a active forum can be)

I like music. I like board games (both playing and making them). But, trying to make a board game involving music has always been a challenge for me.

-Music Questionnaires can be fun, except I only have three and they get old real fast, plus it's more a solitary activity than an actual game.
-Music Top Trumps is a real thing and card games are the easiest to make at home and I'll admit I have a draft for a set written up on my computer, but the "War" card game with cool pictures is only so much fun.
-Music Trivial Pursuit? Eh...
-Something I tried recently with my sister is I guess "Shazam!" the game. One of us plays a song and the other person has 25 seconds to guess what it is. After each song write, down the time and after ten songs each the person who has the lowest time is the winner. I'm this isn't some revolutionary thing, but we had fun.

That's all I got. Do any of those ideas sound interesting to you? Do you have any music games you play with your friends or game group?


Who Should I Give Money To? (Charity Suggestions)

Posted by JAG18 , May 05 2019 · 82 views
real life
To be as direct as possible, I got $40 that I need to give to some charitable organization and I don't have any idea as to who it should be. So go ahead and write any and all suggestions you have in the comments and I just might donate to it!


I saw CHVRCHES the other night

Posted by JAG18 , Apr 30 2019 · 49 views
So, this past Sunday night I got to see CHVRCHES, one of my favorite bands of all time, play and Karzahni yeah it was great! This was my first time seeing them in concert and also my second concert ever since really getting to music (my first was Haim around this time last year) so that made this a little extra special.

The Build Up:
My night, of course, started with a lot of waiting. I was in line a half-an-hour before the doors opened, although in hindsight that might have been a little unnecessary considering I had an assigned seat in the baloney and it was pretty empty up there for a while, but c'est la vie. At eight, the opener Cherry Glazerr came on. Now, I'll be honest and say that I didn't know who the opener was in advance although I had been seeing on Facebook the kinds of bands CHVRCHES has had opening for them this tour and they have been some really good ones (Pale Waves, Sasha Sloan, Let's Eat Grandma).
I didn't know who Cherry Glazerr was at the time, but I will say I enjoyed their set well enough (I thought their drummer especially was real good). They played for about forty minutes, then there was another half-an-hour or so of more waiting and then...

The Track List (I wasn't taking notes, but I think this is pretty close to what it was):
Get Out
Bury It
We Sink
Under the Tide
Leave a Trace
Clearest Blue
The Mother We Share
Never Say Die

Thoughts on the set:
-Again, I'm a huge CHVRCHES fan and I love all their songs, but if you check out my playlist on Youtube ranking of all their songs (and you totally should) you can tell that a lot of songs they played were more towards the bottom of the list. I mean, I knew they weren't going to play, "Playing Dead" or something like that, but it's just an observation.
-The high point of the whole night, for me, was the middle part of their set when they played my two favorite songs off their last album ("Deliverance" and "Forever") back-to-back and then followed it up with 2 more really great songs.
-They ended their initial set with my least favorite song off album two ("Clearest Blue") and while "The Mother We Share" is good enough to make the whole night they also finished with a more "meh" song off album three.
-You know, when Martin came out from behind the synths I thought they he might start singing "High Enough To Carry You Over" (one of my favorite songs of theirs) and instead they played "Under The Tide" (one of my least favorites), but dang it if Martin still didn't give a great performance.

Other Random Thoughts:
-It's true what they say: CHVRCHES do put on a killing light show.
-It was cool seeing Ian show off his guitar god skills many times through out the night.
-The show banter mostly revolved around "Game of Thrones", how Lauren was surprised not only that people showed up, but also that Ian and Martin showed up (the two have a lottery going on how the show will end). Lauren herself admitted to not being a fan. The subject of cheese was also discussed. Considering what she talked about at the very last show they put on I'm kind of glad that nothing super serious was brought up.
-I think I'm going to take to heart something Lauren said while putting in her earplugs before starting the encore ("Safety first.") Both because she said that and because of the aching in my left ear that I had for a few hours afterwards.
-I just love how before playing, "Deliverance" Lauren said it's one of the songs that might upset people because I'm one of the people who should be upset by it, but instead it's my favorite song off their last album and one of my favorite songs of last year.

And that's all I have to say. I had a great time, again it was awesome seeing one of my favorite bands live and I'll probably have their music on non-stop for the rest of the week.


An Ankylosaurus With a Parachute

Posted by JAG18 , Apr 15 2019 · 75 views
Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs, Movies

"Unfortunately Nublar is now controlled by the evil Grindel corporation who have taken over the island and cloned their own batch of new Deinonychus which actually follow human commands...This team of raptors would come with their own unique names based around ancient greek heroes...Now eventually (of course) something goes horribly wrong, but not before the Greek raptors, two spitting dilophosaurus, and an armored ankylosaurus parachute out of the sky onto enemy territory and do battle with a ton of bad guys.


Apparently, this was the idea for Jurassic Park IV as envisioned in a script written by John Sayles, years before Jurassic World was a thing.

Now, despite being someone who rolls their eyes every time someone in the "Jurassic World" movies brings up the idea that dinosaurs have any military value what so ever I just love the idea of a scene where an Ankylosaurus is sitting inside the hold of a C-130 Hercules, the door opens and an army guy shouts, "GO, GO GO, GO!" Prompting the dinosaur to jump out the aircraft and three big ol' parachutes deploy causing it to fall safely to earth.

And don't forget the priceless reactions of the poor guys on the ground looking up as an eight ton dinosaur gets dropped on their heads.

I just thought everyone's life would better with that imagery in their brains.


Twilight Zone Abridged

Posted by JAG18 , Apr 10 2019 · 76 views

Not too long ago I was re-watching (or watching for the first time more often then not) all 5 seasons of the original run of "The Twilight Zone" (I talked about it here when I started) and while making my way through I was reading A.V. Club's reviews of each episode. The recent talk of Jordon Peele's reboot (which I haven't seen) made me think back to the review of "To Serve Man" mostly a point the author made about how the episode was basically a plot twist in search of a story, which lead to the following discussion in the comments section:

"To Serve Man" fits the theory that some TZ episodes are best used as anecdote fuel, like the conversation between Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd at the start of the Twilight Zone movie; you have to spend thirty or so minutes with this stuff, it can wear thin, but at as a story you tell your friends at two in the morning? It's dynamite. (See also: "The Box.")

Some of the lesser TZ episodes are like the Kilgore Trout books Vonnegut refers to; they work fine as a two or three-episode summary but you can't figure out how the actual story would work (or, in this case, the story's kind of flat and dull aside from the twist).

The Scary Door bits from Futurama were based on the idea that the Twilight Zone would be the best show ever if every episode were 30 seconds long. It's not always true, but…

I'm just wondering if this would be a good idea for a zero budget "Twilight Zone" adaption made by a bunch of broke high school/film school students. You know, 5 minute or less minisodes uploaded straight to Youtube, with the whole point being to get to the twist as quickly as possible. Now, I'd be the first to argue that "Twilight Zone" was more than it's twist, but as a cheap spin-off it might be fun to see. I'd watch it.


Alien Vs. Predator Universe

Posted by JAG18 , Apr 04 2019 · 81 views

Alternate Title: The Tommy Westphall of Sci-Fi
Alternate Title #2: Take It Off Predey Boy!

A while ago I was watching the kill count video for "Alien Vs. Predator" and after doing some reading on the AVP wiki I got the idea for this entry, but decided to wait until I had watched all the AVP movies at least once. That meant had 5 or 6 movies to watch; well, last Monday I watched "Alien vs. Predator: Requiem" so here we are.

Note: I will not be spoiling any movies worth seeing, but if for some reason you want to watch all the AVP movies then in that case spoilers below for "The Predator" (2018), "Alien Vs. Predator", "Alien Vs Predator: Requiem", "Alien 3", "Alien: Resurrection", and "Alien: Covenant". Although honestly, if you haven't seen most of these movies then this won't make any sense.

Main Movies:

"Predator" (1987) - 1987
Bunch of muscular special forces dudes in the jungles sprout off action one liners while being hunted something that ain't no man.

Predator 2 - 1990
The Predator moves to the city and some weird stuff goes down; stuff a BZP Lovers organization would rather not anyone know about. Please note, Aliens and Predators had already crossed over before a Xenomorph skull appeared in this movie.

AVP and AVP Requiem - 2004
The CEO of a company called Weyland enterprises, Charles Bishop Weyland, leads a team to Antarctica to investigate some strange happenings and get caught in the hunt of three Predator young bloods (Celtic, Chopper, and Scar). In flashbacks, we learn that the Predators taught humans how to build pyramids and used them as hosts for the ultimate sport, xenomorphs. After the battle, an alien/predator (Predalien) hybrid bursts out of the chest of the last surviving Predator of the last film (Scar) causing the ship to crash in a small town on earth. Another Predator (Wolf) now has to go to Earth and preform one of the worst cover ups in history and this three way war ends with the secret government agency nuking a Colorado town. Ms. Yutani appears in the last scene.

Predators - 2010
A bunch of killers and warriors get kidnapped and dropped on a Predator game preserve. Doesn't establish anything new except maybe that they're super Predators, but whatever just get to the choppa.

The Predator - 2018
So many stupid things happen, but the stupidest might be the "revelation" that Predators hunt in order to collect the DNA of the best warriors as opposed to, you know, cause of the fact that they're sport hunters. Also, this is why Predators have an obsession with ripping people's spines out (what's Sub-Zero's excuse?) Also that BZP Lovers organization is back with the actually props from all the previous movies. Finally, the humans get a secret weapon--an Iron Man suit, which might help explain...

Blade Runner - 2019
Yes, tenuous evidence suggests that "Blade Runner" and "Alien" share the same universe; the only important thing established is that androids exist although they're not on the best terms with humans right now. Also, this creates the biggest plot in this whole thing, which is trying to explain the biggest tech jump in all of human history.

Soldier and Blade Runner 2049 - 2036 and when the heck do you think?
These both exist in this timeline, but I don't have anything to say about them because I haven't seen either so we are leaving.

Promethes - 2092
First, I'll say up front that I think this never should have been an alien movie, but that being said this does give us a lot of back story.
In flashbacks we see a new Weyland was running the company in the early 2000s (probably the son of Bishop Weylind who died in AVP) and we learn that another race of aliens The Engineers created humans (and maybe Predators and Xenomorphs?) And fun fact, Elien Ripley was 1 year old during the event of this film.

Alien: Covenant: 2104
Um, android David recreated Xenomorphs (but we are trying to keep things consistent, then Engineers, Predators, and David all re-created the Xenomorphs from the same black goo) and before this movie he used The Engineer's ship to destroy a world of aliens created by The Engineers. I want to say that Ridley Scott will fix the timeline with the next Alien prequel, but if this movie is anything to go off of then probably it will only mess the timeline up more and suck at the same time.

Alien: 2122
A bunch of space truckers find an old Engineer ship with a xenomorph on it.

Aliens: 2179
Ripley and a team of Colonial Marines fight xenomorphs and Bishop shows how far androids have come since "Blade Runner".

Alien 3: 2179
You know, Ripley killing the last of the aliens isn't all that important if it's true that xenomorphs exist elsewhere in the universe. Also, we meet a scientist named Bishop who, no joke, is theorized to just look a lot like the Weyland from AVP; yeah assuming this guy is who he says he is.

Alien: Resurrection - 2379 (ish)
I can't believe that in the two centuries that have pasted since the last film that humanity hasn't found any xenomorphs on other planets OR the Predators. But this is the end of the timeline so that's that.

Here's the whole thing in video form (make sure to watch that video on 1.25 speed; trust me you'll need it).

But we're not done yet.

Crazy Comic Crossovers:
Batman vs Predator: see here for an epic animated version of this comic in which Batman defeats a Predator with his greatest gadget...the bat. Yep, Batman beats up an alien with a wooden baseball bat. This combined with "Batman vs. Aliens", "Superman vs. Aliens" and "Superman vs. Predator" (and others) means the DC universe is connected to the AVPverse (somehow).

Judge Dredd vs. Alien: Incubus: see here for how awesome this story actually is. Also, since multidimensional travel is a thing in 2000 A.D. this means that most of these shared universe can be explained as taking place in different dimensions that the Predators and Aliens keep stumbling into.

Archie vs. Predator: Yep this is a thing and since "Archie vs. The Punisher" is also a thing that means that technically the DC and Marvel universes are connected.

Alien vs. Predator vs. Terminator: alright I'm done (although this is obviously non-canon). This comic does include a hilarious bit where the writers try and sell the idea that Dutch was the inspiration for the Terminators.

See here for even more crazy comic crossovers.

Mortal Kombat:
So, Jason Voorhees, Alien, Predator, Freddy, Kratos have all been guest characters in MK over the years, but I'll yet you figure out the implications of that. Plus, don't forget the DC universe crossover. Mortal Kombat (like Dredd) can make sense of all these connected universe using the idea of realms, but that is probably unnecessary because...

In Conclusion: A Few Take Aways
1) I think Warner Bros and Dark Horses may have too many licenses on their hands.

2) I don't (and would encourage everyone) not to take all this too seriously. Like the Tommy Westphall theory, this all shows how ridiculous it is to assume that universes are connected just because of one guest appearance. Heck, it's an argument against making overly connected universes in general. But, whats more...

3) Making good art is more important than canon.
Crossovers can be fun (and like some of the above realy good), but valuing canon over art can sometime be really dumb. Ultimately, Disney did the right thing with the Star Wars EU.

And I think that's all that needs to be said about that. I hope you learned something important from this or at least got a good laugh out of some of those hilarious attempts to maintain continuity.


So Grimes is Releasing a New Album This Summer

Posted by JAG18 , Mar 25 2019 · 77 views
Music, Grimes
So, I was reading my indie mixtape e-mail today and I saw them suggesting Grime's new demo "Pretty Dark". Of course, I didn't need them to tell me because I've had that song on repeat all week, but I also noticed them attaching a name to Grimes' new album that I hadn't seen before. Apparently it's called "Miss_Anthropocene".

This necessitated a google search and I found that Grimes just did an interview with the Wall Street Journal, but since it's hidden behind a subscription wall I suggest everyone just do what I did, which is google it and go to news and read what everyone else is saying about it.

Also, the new album is about climate change...which I guess means it's time to buy Marc Marano's new book.

In the mean time, I think it's time to revisit "Oblivion"


What If Movies Were As Good As Their Memes?

Posted by JAG18 , Mar 13 2019 · 123 views
So, last month after "Green Book" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards I was made aware, through headlines like, "Green Book worst best picture since Gladiator", of the fact that people don't like Ridley Scott's "Gladiator".

Now, my first reaction to this news, of course, was, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!" Which, despite Zoey Deutch saying it in "Vampire Academy" (one of the most cringe worthy moments in any movie from the last 20-ish years) is one of the best lines in cinema of all time.

After that, I did some looking to see what movies "Gladiator" was competing against and found that "Cast Away" is probably my next favorite film from 2000 although I can't say whether I like it more than "Gladiator". When I told my sister about this, her response was something to the effect of, "So it's 'are you not entertained," vs. "Wilson"?"

That made me wonder, "What if movies were as good as the memes they inspired?" Then the Star Wars prequels would all be masterpieces! "Taken" would be worth watching more than once; "The Dark Knight Rises" might actually be better than "The Dark Knight".

I could sit here and think of some more, but I'll let anyone in the comments work out the implications of living in such a world.


I Think I Found The Blaze of Bionicle Today

Posted by JAG18 , Mar 04 2019 · 116 views
Although I did consider calling this entry "The Slender Man of Bionicle" I think Blaze from Mortal Kombat is a better fit here, but if anyone thinks they know what the character I'm looking for is then go right ahead and tell me in the comments.

So, this is a promo picture of Iconox as seen on Strakk's canister:
Posted Image

If you know me you know I had the closer Glatorian in the foreground (who I've dubbed "Snow N. Ice Oakenshield") as my avatar for years and considered it my calling card. In fact, I have a whole block dedicated to this guy in my blog here.

I wish I could say that I came up with this idea all by myself, but I remember seeing someone with this image as a banner back in '09, although I don't think I remember seeing anyone use it as an avatar. I don't now why I was drawn to Mr. Oakenshield, but when I become a member and was trying to think of a cool avatar I thought back to that banner I saw once and the rest is history.

Now, here are the instructions that came with Malum:
Posted Image

Yep, nothing out of the ordinary. Wait, what's that in the background? Let's zoom in a little.
Posted Image

I found this today while looking for images for the Bionicle Caption Contest. Now, these instructions are from 2009 and this image was uploaded in 2016, but I've never ever seen this guy before in my entire life...If I wasn't so attached to my coat of arms, I'd considered making this guy my new avatar both as a throwback to my old avatar and because I think he also looks pretty cool.

And that is all. I hope I was the first one to point this guy out to you and that now your life is a bit better for having spotted him. Now excuse me while I try and think up a way to honor these guys probably either in moc form or in a short story where these guys fought each other in the Core War or something.


The Song That Describes How I Feel Right Now

Posted by JAG18 , Feb 28 2019 · 71 views

I wish I said this, I wish I said that
But I kinda froze in my tracks
I wish I said this, I wish I said that
But I kinda had a panic attack
I wish I could talk good
I wish I could talk, I wish I could talk
I wish I could talk good

(Although honestly this is how I feel most days. :/ )

Welcome to The Stronghold

Posted Image
Name: JAG18
Joined: February 20, 2014
Premier From: July 3, 2016-
July 3, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2019-
Location: Texas
Gender: Male
Interests: Music, Bionicle, Movies,
Star Wars, History, Board Games
Last.fm: JAGeighteen

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