Out with the New Nov11

Out with the New

Newer isn’t always better. Just ask all of the loyal Samsung customers who ran out and bought the new Samsung ‘splody phone. They thought they were getting was new-and-improved technology. What they actually got was the choice between keeping a pocket bomb or trading it back in for last year’s phone. They also got a stern warning not to carry their new phones on airplanes. If you’re not a Samsung customer, don’t feel too smug. If you’ve got Windows 10, Microsoft has been quietly force-feeding your computer the Anniversary Update, which might improve your device. Or it might turn your perfectly functional computer into a giant paperweight. Don’t even get me started on iOS 10. I miss the slide-to-unlock feature desperately and wish my iPad and I could just go back to the way we used to be. As a geek, I should know better than to expect good things from an upgrade. If fiction has taught me anything, it’s that upgrades are usually a very, very bad idea. Upgrades are bad, right? When Rose wanted to save the Doctor from the Daleks, she exposed the heart of the TARDIS and was infused with the Time Vortex. Like the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it wasn’t exactly voluntary. It also didn’t go well. The power was too much for Rose and the Doctor sacrificed his incarnation to save her. Oh sure, we got David Tennant out of the deal, but… actually, that is a pretty good deal. But as for unnecessary upgrades… do you remember what happened to Lt. Barclay in Star Trek: The Next Generation? He and Geordi went on a little away mission to see why the Argus Array wasn’t working. He got knocked out by an alien probe and woke up greatly...

Chuck Bartowski: A Humble Hero May30

Chuck Bartowski: A Humble Hero...

“I just know what an incredible guy Charles Bartowski is, and sometimes I’m not so sure that he knows it,” says Ellie Bartowski in the third episode of Chuck. And she doesn’t even know that Chuck is taking down dangerous killers, defusing bombs, and saving innocent lives on a daily basis.  Chuck’s opinion of himself leaves me asking the question: What is so great about Chuck and why doesn’t he know it? Any time someone mentions “the greats,” they’re usually talking about the rich, the powerful, and the famous. Alexander the Great conquered large swaths of Asia. Wayne Gretzky (The Great One) still holds most of the scoring records in the NHL. The Great Gonzo has had a long and storied career on The Muppet Show, even though no one really knows what he is supposed to be. Wealth, power, and fame are probably what Chuck hoped for after graduating from Stanford. He was supposed to have a successful career in software and retire early. Along the way, that dream shattered and so did his self esteem. That’s why he can’t see the greatness he has achieved working alongside Sarah and Casey, and even before that. While many people define “greatness” as being wealthy and famous, I like Chuck’s style of greatness much better. You see, Chuck is a hero. Even before he knew what the Intersect could do, he was saving people from electronic disasters; everyone at the Buy More knows Chuck is the best at what he does, and we see him go above and beyond when he arranges an impromptu, in-store ballet performance for a little girl whose father didn’t tape the real thing. Everyone loves Chuck, except for those who are intimidated by his authenticity. Add the Intersect to the...

Episode 28 – Board Games / All About Chuck Apr19

Episode 28 – Board Games / All About Chuck...

Roll 3d6 for initiative, it’s Infinity +1! This week Allison and Jason and joined by two new guests, Mike Penner and Amy Roebuck, to talk about their angriest moment at a board game and share some saved files. Amy and Mike are also on board as experts on the second segment topic: Chuck. The spy action comedy holds a special place in a lot of geeks’ hearts and this week the team explores what exactly made it such a cult hit and why the ending had the fans so divided. Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes now! Feedburner link:...

Lessons of the Emotionless Jan13

Lessons of the Emotionless...

In “Chuck Versus the Three Words,” when Sarah is trying to train Chuck to be a spy, she tells him, “You need to learn to ignore your emotions. Spies do not have feelings. Feelings get you killed. You need to learn to bury them in a place deep inside.” I know exactly how Sarah feels. Well, maybe not exactly since I’ve never been a spy (or if I have, I certainly wouldn’t admit it here. Shhh.). But I understand. I experienced both ends of the emotional spectrum growing up via members of my family. I had a couple extremely unemotional family members, who kept their feelings buried deep inside, and a couple extremely emotional ones, who let out their pent-up feelings in outbursts of anger and shouting matches. As a quiet introvert myself, I decided the latter didn’t look healthy or fun, and I would join the ranks of the stoic flag holders in my family. I came to believe that letting people know how I felt was a weakness; it made me feel vulnerable and I didn’t like that feeling. Crying in front of someone was an absolute no-no. If you loved someone, you didn’t tell them that; and you especially didn’t tell a guy you had feelings for him. That was just giving them the opportunity to hurt you…   Read the whole article from Christ and Pop...

Happy endings aren’t all that Jul20

Happy endings aren’t all that

As with most TV show finales, some people loved the ending of Chuck, and some people hated it. Personally, I love the traditional happy ending. It gives me warm fuzzies when the criminals are dealt with, the best friend is alive, the guy gets the girl (and vice versa) and the show ends on a positive note with them facing life together. The ending of Chuck is not like this. I think most viewers who had journeyed with Chuck and Sarah thus far expected them to end up together in the white-picket fenced home that Sarah imagines. They would live happily ever after and have little spy babies. What happens instead is something that I think is even more beautiful, though it is devastatingly sad. He is willing to sacrifice everything for the ones he loves Sarah loses all her memories of her life after meeting Chuck. She doesn’t remember knowing him; she doesn’t remember the battles he fought to capture her heart; she doesn’t remember marrying him; she forgets that he is her best friend. In the series finale, Chuck has the opportunity to get Sarah’s memories back by using the Intersect glasses. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief at that point. Here it was: the solution that would tie the ending of the show together in a nice, neat little bow. The answer to our favourite couple’s last conundrum. But then the unthinkable happens. A bomb is about to destroy hundreds of people, and the only way for Chuck to save the day is to use the Intersect glasses on himself. He has to choose: does he bring back Sarah’s memories or save hundreds of lives? It’s not much of a question for Chuck, though that doesn’t make it any less hard for him to do or diminish his sacrifice. He chooses to use the Intersect glasses on himself and diffuses the bomb. The day is saved, but there are no downloads left on the glasses, the Intersect is no more, and Sarah is left without her memories. Every time I see a story emulate this theme of sacrifice, it speaks to me about what is important in my life, about what I put first. Giving up your innermost desire—in effect, sacrificing yourself—for others is the most admirable and loving act I can think of. And Chuck does it without complaint. Sacrificing yourself for others is the most admirable and loving act I can think of. If Sarah can’t see what an amazing guy he is just by that single act, regardless of whatever else she remembers, then she needs to have her brain examined. The show doesn’t end there, though. Morgan persuades Chuck to go find Sarah, and he tracks her down at the beach where they first became friends. There she asks him to tell her their story, and he does. Through her tears and laughter, we see Sarah begin to reconnect with Chuck. We’re also given hope that her memories might come back because of a few tidbits earlier on in the episode. But even if they don’t—and even if their magical ending kiss doesn’t jolt Sarah’s memories back into her brain—if Chuck has demonstrated anything in the past, it’s that he’s willing to fight for her to the very end, and that he is willing to sacrifice everything for the ones he loves. That, in my books, is a truly meaningful...

Our favourite comedy TV shows Jul17

Our favourite comedy TV shows...

Geeks are no longer stereotyped as socially-inept computer whizzes with allergies and glasses, but have taken over the silver screen as intelligent nerds with a vision. While we might still laugh at Moss for blurting out whatever he’s thinking or Chuck for being nervous around Sarah, we more often laugh with them than at them. These shows are some of the geekiest and funniest we’ve ever seen. 1. The IT Crowd Roy: Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again? Uh… okay, well, the button on the side, is it glowing? Yeah, you need to turn it on… uh, the button turns it on… yeah, you do know how a button works don’t you? No, not on clothes. A show about tech support, the most indispensable of geeks. It’s dry wit is why we love it. 2. Community Jeff: For your information, I don’t have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape. Maybe not branded as a “geek” show, but they do their references right. The paintball and D&D episodes are our favourites. 3. Chuck Lester: You’re out-gunned, out-manned, out…side, and it’s a lovely day, so throw down your gun and nobody gets hurt. It’s got action, romance, spies, drama, crime, wit, and a dash of nerdiness. It’s pretty much the perfect show. 4. The Big Bang Theory Sheldon: Interesting. You’re afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic. Lots of geeks don’t like The Big Bang Theory because it seems to be made more for people like Penny rather than for people like Leonard or Sheldon, but some of us find it amusing nonetheless. 5. The Guild Codex: So, it’s uh Friday night and… still jobless, yay. I haven’t left the house in a week. My therapist uh, broke up with...

TV themes that we sing along to May22

TV themes that we sing along to...

Since May is our music-themed month, we will be regaling you with fun playlists every Friday. These are the geek television intros that are songs with lyrics by various bands.   “Big Bang Theory Theme” by Barenaked Ladies (The Big Bang Theory) We’re going wherever the music takes us, kitten. “Short Skirt Long Jacket” by Cake (Chuck) The first song in our stakeout mix. “Save Me” by Remy Zero (Smallville) This one is not in our stakeout mix. “Carry on my Wayward Son” by Kansas (Supernatural) This song reminds us we’re hungry for pie. “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett (Freaks and Geeks) You know what happens to people with bad reputations, don’t you, Sam? They end up getting killed in...

Remember Chuck? Prove it. Feb27

Remember Chuck? Prove it....

When the Geekdom House small group embarks upon a study series, it is rare that there is one show that everyone gets excited about. We all have our likes, dislikes, and preferences. But there was one show, for some reason, that every single member agreed on: Chuck. Whether it was the love story of Chuck and Sarah that evolved past the Ross and Rachel (or Dawson and Joey) will they or won’t they merry-go-round, the growth of an everyday hero with a pure heart, the one-liners of Jayne Casey (or John Cobb) or Jeffster, this show resonated with all of us. After the five week study, Commander Allison threw together a “Chuck Trivia Night” for us to enjoy. 42 questions that ranged from as easy as eating cheese balls to requiring an intersect to know the answer. Here is a snippet (20 of our favourite questions) of the quiz, shall we see how well you do? Onward to Buymoria! [WpProQuiz 1]...

Opening a geek (not greek) pizza shop… Feb13

Opening a geek (not greek) pizza shop…...

The best pizza shops name their pizzas so we decided to give it a go. Not that we have any intention of ever opening up a pizza shop.. or do we? So what did we miss? Any further suggestions?

Real Heroes: The Morgan Grimes Theory Feb09

Real Heroes: The Morgan Grimes Theory

I am tempted to say that Chuck is NOT the true hero of Chuck. It’s hard to admit because he is one of my favourite TV characters of all time, but the more that I think about it the more I realize that Morgan Grimes is the true hero of Chuck’s story. There, I said it, and after admitting it I have come to realize that the same is true for Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Buffy, and even the Doctor. May I present: The Morgan Grimes Theory. I’m quite certain that Chuck would not be sane without Morgan by his side, keeping him together during difficult times (like when Sarah’s AWOL and the CIA dumps Chuck like a week-old Subway sandwich). “Bag ’em and tag ’em, Sarah. I mean, Agent Walker.” —Morgan GrimesOne of the most heartbreaking moments for me in the show is not when Chuck breaks up with Sarah,  nor when Sarah won’t talk to him, nor even when Sarah hooks up with too-good-looking Shaw instead of our beloved Nerdherder. Nope, the moment that gets me most is when Morgan says these seven words (words we never dreamed he would utter): “I’m firing you as my best friend.” And it’s not getting back together with Sarah that puts Chuck at ease and reinstates his ability to flash. It’s when he’s finally able to tell Morgan everything about his spy life and Morgan instantly forgives him. Not only that, but Morgan thinks it’s awesome that Chuck is a spy. You can just feel the tension drain from Chuck as Morgan rehires him as his best friend. The real hero of Chuck: Morgan Grimes. Frodo: “Go back, Sam! I’m going to Mordor alone.” Sam: “Of course you are, and I’m coming with you!”I can’t talk about best friends without mentioning The Lord of the Rings. The true hero of this story might be overweight, easily scared, and not too bright, but he also takes on a giant, man-eating spider by himself, storms a tower full of orcs out to eat him for second breakfast to save his friend, and carries a hobbit on his back up the side of a volcano when all seems lost. NBD. Tolkien himself has referred to Sam as the “chief hero.” I like how Tolkien tips his hat to Sam by giving him the final scene and last words in The Return of the King: “Well, I’m back.” The real hero of The Lord of the Rings: Samwise Gamgee. I’ve applied the Grimes Theory to other franchises, and it  continues to hold true. Who’s the true hero in Harry Potter? Is it Harry? Or is it the one whose wit is constantly getting him out of impossible situations? The one who realizes knowledge is power and even time travels to study more, the one who helps Harry pass his Tri-Wizard tasks, the one who forms Dumbledore’s Army, the one who is always prepared to the point of packing a complete home in a handbag… I could go on. She pretty much keeps Harry and Ron alive throughout the entire series, no question about it, and Harry is lost without Hermione and, to some degree, Ron by his side. The real hero of Harry Potter: Hermione Granger. And let’s talk about that teenager who slays vampires like it’s going out of style: Buffy Summers. Who talked Willow off of her murderous rampaging ledge? “I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me.” —Xander HarrisWho survived numerous apocalypses with no slayer powers, no demon powers, and no magic? Where would Buffy be without the beloved Xander? There are two characters Buffy couldn’t do without. The two that who stayed by her side when the going got rough (and boy, did the going get rough). They even fought her battles for her when she tucked her tail between her legs and ran away to the hallowed life of working at a diner...

Unlikely Friendships that Should Have Been Feb05

Unlikely Friendships that Should Have Been

We all know (and love) the many friendships that are exhibited within a variety of shows: Han and Chewy, Frodo and Sam, Mega Man and Rocket, Blanka and your face, you get the idea. But sometimes those friendships are just not enough and we need to reach outside their respective genres for the friendship matches made in heaven. Here are our top 10: Calvin & Chewbacca “You know, Chewy, some days even my lucky Millenium Falcon underpants don’t help.” Hermione Granger & Twilight Sparkle They’ll form a group called S.B.E.W. (Society for the Bookworms of Equestria and the World). Edward Elric & Gimli Sometimes dynamite comes in small packages and can explode at anytime, especially if you mention anything about being short. Tony Stark & Tali-Zorah “Testing rocket boots, Day 11, Test 37, Configuration 2.0. For lack of a better option, Tali is still on fire safety.” Arya Stark & Toph Beifong We just want to see these two take on an army together. Master Chief (John-117) & John the Baptist “But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, one who wears the spartan helmet of salvation and wields the energy sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Sephiroth and Scar Scar would get some much needed perspective—“You wanna be king of a rock? Well I wanna destroy the world with a giant meteor”—and Sephiroth can stop being jealous that he doesn’t have a pet lion like the other side. Mal Reynolds & Doctor Horrible So Doctor Horrible can’t be friends with Captain Hammer, but he can darn sure be friends with Captain Tightpants! Caprica Six & Seven of Nine Separated from the hive collective with a strong desire to gain some form of humanity. It’s kind of true for both. Although Seven of Nine definitely has better taste in men. Jayne Cobb & John Casey “Do you know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go and get to beat you with until you buy this washing machine.” Certainly we missed a bunch. Which unlikely friendships would you...