March 11, 2018 Word Nerd

Today I will be a bit of a word nerd, then we take a look at a beautiful CCG based in Middle Earth, lastly we will look at the comic book Invincible.

Word Nerd

George Orwell put the point simply: “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

The words you say can make a big difference in how others perceive you and your ability to convey exactly what you are thinking. Substituting a word for another can make a big difference. For example using the word think, know or believe for the word feel conveys a more steadfast rational tone. “I feel this issue of X-Men is the best.” Try substituting the word know instead. “I know this issue of X-Men is the best.” Do you hear the difference? I believe the word feel is less firm than think, know or believe.

When you decided your significant other was the one for you did you say “I feel you are the one for me.” or “I know you are the one for me.” See the difference?

I understand for some this may be a petty issue, however if you want to convey to people how strongly you believe in your convictions this is a simple way to do it.

I am not saying never use the word feel, but try using the word when it’s more appropriate. For example. “The movie made me feel happy.” Or “the book I read made me feel inspired.”

If you are offering your opinion instead of using feel use the word opinion.

Here’s another example, instead of saying “don’t forget to pick up your prescription today.” Instead say “Remember to pick up your prescription today.” Subconsciously you are telling the person to remember instead of forget. Obviously you want them to remember, consequently telling to remember will increase the likelihood of them remembering.

Another phrase to readjust is instead of saying “can I ask you a favor?” say “can you help me with …?” This is the reason why, when someone hears you want to ask them for a favor that means they want you to do something, which usually involves more work on their part. When someone ask for help most people want to help other people. Most people are willing to help a person when they need it.

I know this is something we have all had happen to us, you are listening to a podcast and the person says “uhm” over and over again argh! It’s so distracting you struggle to listen the great content they are giving you. Other words are like and you know. These are what are called crutch words, it’s a subconscious way to buy your brains time to think of what you want to say next. It’s hard to not use crutch words, especially if you are in front of a group.

I am not perfect at this, however I am getting better. How? I joined Toastmasters several years ago and have had time to practice my speaking skills. For some of you your skill set be different and you don’t struggle with these communication issues, good for you, however most of us could use a little help.

I have always thought if you compare two people one with good content, but using excessive crutch words. And another person with not as good content, but no crutch words narrows the gap between the two people. Either way both people can take their communication skills to the next level. Imagine for a moment a person you know who has amazing stories, but constantly says the word like. Think of how more amazing their stories would be if they cut out their crutch word. Imagine if that person is you.

Like I said I am not perfect at this, but I am getting better and that my friends is the key. Getting better a little each day and you can too.

If you want to sharpen your communication skills then use these simple ideas to help you out, be more aware of what you are saying and how you say it. Try only one of these subtle changes for a week and see what happens. I know you will start to notice a difference in how others perceive and respond to you. Did you see how I did that? Let me know what happens.



back in 1996 was the first time I sat down and read LOTR, I happen to find the Hobbit and the LOTR set of books at a book/cd store called Hastings when I was in college. I had never heard of Tolkien up to that point or at least not enough to want to sit down and read his works. Immediately I was hooked.

A few weeks later I went back to the same store and saw the METW CCG game on clearance. This huge bin like the ones you see at Walmart with the $5 Blu-ray discs. This bin was full of the 15 card packs of the game for only a $.50. The bin also had other CCG like rage and Star Wars which several classmates were into. The 15 card booster packs didn’t come with instructions, I had to buy a 60 card starter deck. This game was so cool the art and quotes on the cards was amazing. I bought as many packs as I could afford, probably more than I could afford, but I knew at .50 these wouldn’t last long. Evidently a manager over bought for the amount fans they thought they could sell. Oh well I took advantage of the situation.

The basic setup is you have four types of cards. Hazard cards which are negative events for your characters, like orc attacks. Type two of card is resource item like a dagger or elven cloak. Type three are site cards, like Rivendell or Mount Doom. Type four are character cards like Gandalf or Boromir. There are many rule variants, but one of the ways to win is to get the one ring and travel to mount doom and destroy the ring. When I got the game I didn’t have anyone to play with so I used the solo rules to play, which had the same end game of finding the one ring and taking it to mount doom. Of course you have to travel to many locations “site cards” and encounter many enemies and hazards and find many items before you get there. Plus your fellowship has to survive too. The rules can be a bit complicated at first, but any Tolkien fan will enjoy the game. The first series to come out was METW, which was mainly based on the LOTR series. Another expansion was METD which had more focus on the Hobbit book.

Like most CCG the idea was to try and get a full set. About a year later I was on EBay and found someone selling boxes of the decks. These are the ones the stores would sell from. Each box had 20 decks in them. I bought two boxes which got me almost a full set, and plenty to play. Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) is the company who made the game and other types of games based on the Tolkien universe. They seemed to do a good job of trying to stay true to the Tolkien literature. It had a similar feel to the books. I highly recommend you pick up a set on eBay. You can get a complete set of METW for around $60

I spent many hours the first year I got those making decks and playing adventures. At one point my wife had to tell me to stop playing so much. Eventually it got put away and untouched for years. I get it out every once in a while and play, with nostalgia flooding me back to days gone by. I immediately get immersed in the Tolkien world. Remember this game predates the movies, and therefore stays closely to the books. Very different than the CCG that came out with the movies.


Comic Book Commentary: Invincible

Lately I have found Image has some great super hero stories. In the early days of Image I liked Youngblood, Spawn and Wildcats. I quite collecting for a long time, then a few years ago I got back in comics again. Two titles I found early on were Mark Milars Jupiter series and Invincible. Both are fantastic, you can’t go wrong with either. However today I want to talk about invincible. Invincible is written by Robert Kirkman who you might know as the creator of the famous walking dead comic book and also Cory Walker.

Invincible is the teenaged son of Omni-Man, an extraterrestrial superhero of the Viltrumite race. Invincible inherited his father’s superhuman strength and ability to fly and he has sworn to protect the Earth. He has had trouble adjusting to his newfound powers and coping with the reality of his origins.

Mark Grayson “Invincible” is the son of Nolan Grayson, who is the superhero Omni-Man as well as a successful novelist, and Deborah Grayson. When Mark was seven years old, Nolan reveals that he is a member of a race of peaceful alien explorers called Viltrumites, that he had come to Earth to help mankind and that one day Mark would develop super powers. Mark's powers manifest at the age of 17 while he is working at his part-time job.


His powers, which increase with use, are: great strength, speed, flight, some invulnerability and fortunately fast healing as despite his chosen name, he is severely beaten (even once having his entrails spilled out) many times, almost to death. Also an ability to hold his breath for very long periods as he flies through space at faster than light speed.

As of this recording I have only gotten to issue 17, of the 144 issue series, but so far I like it. Yes, it’s a little bit of the overly used teenage kids tries to deal with the fact he has super powers and the complexities of dealing with teenage stuff like prom, girls tomorrows history exam. But it seems to be able to capture my attention. It has some plot twists and turns with unexpected events form people you thought he could trust.

The art was done primarily by Ryan Ottley and is very good. This comic can be a bit gory at times, and may not be appropriate for young readers.

You can still pick up all the issues in the Invincible Ultimate Collection Hardcover Vol. 1-12, there is also an Invincible motion comic for Android and IOS. Plus On April 4, 2017, it was announced that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will write, direct and produce an adaptation of the comic for Universal Pictures to be produced by Point Grey Pictures and Skybound Entertainment. We will see if this happens since it’s still very early stages. Check out the comic and let me know if you liked or not.


Podcast: Grawlix podcast

A podcast about comic books, web comics, and other geek culture media. We love to talk comics and Doctor Who and the podcast is an opportunity to do so on the regular as well as a great excuse to discover and read new comics. We also extend the conversation beyond ourselves to include reading suggestions, questions, and input from listeners/visitors and feature interviews with guests including comic creators and others working in our favorite of geek industries.

If you are wondering what the term grawlix is, grawlix is a sequence of typographical symbols used to represent a non-specific, profane word or phrase. You see them in TV or comics when someone swears. Being a child of the 80’s I think of the Qbert video game when he dies the little air bubble shows ups with all the symbols in it.

Melanie Randy and Jesse are great, their chemistry and knowledge about all the nerdy stuff they like is fantastic. They’re amazing ability to expound on details from the comics and subjects they cover is incredible. I have read many comics they have suggested and liked them just as much as they did. Go to to find out more about them.

Thank you for listening, please subscribe using the Apple podcast app, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Podbean or go to on the right side of the page you can see subscribe on android icon click on that and will find dozens of other podcast apps you can pick from to use and subscribe. If you want to be on the podcast email me your audio clip at or on the webpage click on the Speakpipe icon and record a message I would love to hear from you. Also please rate and review on iTunes.


If you like this show please share on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.