Friday, September 28, 2012

Boston Red Sox Beckett Jersey

I picked this jersey up during the Labour Day long weekend when clearance items had an extra discount on a website that I shop from.  I was excited because they had a Josh Beckett jersey in stock.  I have been a fan of his ever since he won the World Series back in 2003 with the Marlins.  That series was extra special because he also beat the Yankees.  Becket was impressive in pitching two games in that series.
Although I’m not a fan of the Red Sox either, I still respect their greatness in baseball history.  While their use of math and statistics based on Bill James’ sabermetrics has brought them success in the past, this year the Red Sox haven’t been so lucky.  This awful season was the cause of Boston trading Beckett to the Dodgers.  Lucky for me though it also meant I could pick up his jersey for really cheap.
This is a Majestic replica jersey, and it’s made out of polyester.  I bought it in an extra large because I prefer more space around the collar.  Replica jerseys tend to be on the lower end as far price, so there aren’t many details on the jersey besides the team and players name.  My only complaint about my jersey is that some of the stitching wasn’t done very well, so eventually I might have to re-stitch those areas in the future.  Other than that, this is an excellent jersey from Majestic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Collector

Title: The Collector
Author: John Fowles
Publisher: Back Bay Books
The Collector is a really disturbing book about a man (Fred Clegg) who kidnaps a woman he is obsessed with.  He recently won the lottery and as a result is able to buy a small cottage and keep the woman hostage.  His interests include collecting insects, such as butterflies.  He is a collector and somehow comes to view the woman the same way he views his butterflies, as objects that are best enjoyed captive.

While I do consider Fred’s actions irreprehensible, I read the book with a fair amount of sympathy towards him.  I think this is necessary when reading any book, regardless if the main character is good or bad you need to be able to relate to them.  From this point of view I was able to see how unfair life can be in matters of love and the characteristics we are born with.  Fred had a terrible life growing up which I think was the reason for his low self-esteem and his nonchalance towards life.  Then one day he meets the girl of his dreams, but is disappointed in recognizing that no matter what he does a girl like that would never love him.  To remedy this acknowledgement, Fred creates a world (thanks mostly to his money) where reality can no longer divide him from his obsessions.  He is now in full control. 

The dangers of isolating one’s self from a reality one is disappointed with, is a very common motive for reckless actions from criminals.  Many people who seem to think they are failures in life, will either go out into the world and harm others or will hurt themselves.  The Collector takes a look at the ones that harm others.  I think this book serves as a way to understand why certain people commit crimes against others, their motives and their illusions.  This is a very intriguing book that I first heard about on a show based on real crimes.  The real crime was about two men who after reading this book, actually started to kidnap women and hold them hostage as sex slaves.  I don’t think the book actually made them go out and commit crimes, but it did give them ideas.

The second half of this book takes the point of view from the girl who was kidnapped by Fred Clegg.  If the first part was about understanding the predator’s perspective, the second half was a sober second thought on the crime.  It serves to put humanity back into the crime. The victim was somebody who had family and friends, who loved life and wasn’t just an object to be contained.  This is the part of the book where you start to hate Fred for what he is doing, because he has gone beyond anything that he is entitled to in life.  While life did suck for him, he had no right to take his pain out on others like a coward.  Instead he should have looked for treatment for his depression elsewhere.  I really enjoyed this book because it showed that love must be mutual, and if it’s not you must not destroy it for others.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Breaking Bad Paper Dolls

I usually like to Google random stuff that’s on my mind when I’m bored.  This one time though, I was watching part 1 of season 5 of Breaking Bad when I decided to do a search on Breaking Bad art.  I found a lot of really cool art inspired by the show, but the one piece that really got my attention was paper dolls from the show.  The artwork is done by illustrator, Kyle Hilton.  His artwork reminds me of artwork from GTA Vice City and San Andreas. They both have this cel shading type of effect.
Kyle is very talented and likes to create various paper doll characters from TV and movies.  On his website you can find paper dolls from movies such as Pulp Fiction, Drive, and from TV shows such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Eastbound and Down.  You can tell Kyle is a true fan of these movies and shows because of all the detailed accessories he adds to his printouts.  In fact if you’re a fan of these shows too, you’re bound to get a laugh when you see them and they remind you of certain episodes.
Each paper doll character consists of one full color printout.  The cutting is pretty easy, although certain areas require more skill (such as the holes in a ski mask).  Once the cutting is done, each piece of clothing (i.e. pants or suits) adds on pretty easily and cleanly.  I like to use painter’s tape to attach pieces, because painter’s tape holds on pretty well and doesn’t rip paper.  I had fun playing around with this quasi-papercraft, and hope Kyle keep’s up the great work.  (I would also suggest he do characters from the Wire.)
Breaking Bad:
Kyle Hilton’s website:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mighty Muggs Star Wars Darth Vader

Mighty Muggs was Hasbro’s vinyl toy response to the whole vinyl toy craze from a few years ago.  It was a time when indie toy manufacturers got together with artists to produce high end designer toys. These toys were released in limited runs, which contributed to high mark ups in resell values.  I personally I never understood this fad because everything was over-priced beyond what you were actually getting.  What you got was a piece of vinyl or plastic that seemed pretty warped and simple.  The worst part was when some toys came blind box, so you didn’t even know what you were getting.
I did buy a few vinyl toys during those years, but I generally stayed away because of how over priced they were.  Seeing the dollar bills in this culture, the big toy manufactures decided to take a piece of the pie.  The advantage they had was the money to buy the major licences.  I know most people that collect vinyl toys didn’t like it when Hasbro started to release vinyl toys but I did.  Although it did saturate the market, it also made toys easy to get and affordable.
My first vinyl toy from Hasbro was this Star Wars Mighty Muggs of Darth Vader.  I bought him when the toy first released in 2007 and paid retail for him.  The toy is very simple in design, and also very cute to look at with his fat stubby shape.  The only accessory he comes with is a red lightsaber.  The box it comes in is nicely designed with a Star Wars theme and perfect for mint in box collects because the plastic window shows off the toy.
Might Muggs Wiki:
Hasbro Mighty Muggs:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sons of Anarchy

I decided to start watching Sons of Anarchy after going through the mall one day and passing by the 4th person with a t-shirt from the show.  I figured if that many people are fans, it must be good.  Like most TV shows I blog about, I usually like to watching them after a few seasons have gone by.  If a show is good, then I want to watch each episode continuously non-stop.  So where do I rank SAMCO among the greats of The Wire and Breaking Bad?  Well, I wouldn’t say it’s up to par with them, but it still is a pretty good show.  I think the problem is, its broadcast on a major TV channel, and not cable (if it’s still even called that).  The advantages of cable are that you’re allowed to say whatever word you want, and show whatever nudity you want.

Now obliviously, this isn’t a necessary ingredient for a show to be good, but it just seems like a show about a biker gang shouldn’t be restrained.  It’s like watching the Sopranos on A&E, it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth when the good parts are edited out.  Another issue I have with this show is that (granted I’m only on season 3 so far), it seems like all the Sons ever do is deal with problem after problem.  What’s the point of joining any social club, if all you ever deal with is heartache?  But I guess that’s what the writers wanted people to see from the show, instead of making a biker gang seem like an awesome experience, they chose to show the reality of issues these people have to go through.  One thing is for sure, I would never join a motor club, but I’m glad I have the Sons of Anarchy to live vicariously through.