gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
As Hollywood has completely run out of ideas, we're seeing more and more reboots of older shows, and not so old shows as now there a proposed reboot of Babylon 5. Which I won't watch without Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas playing Londo Mollari and G'Kar.

But why, I ask, aren't the show makers looking back farther? To a property that is perfect for episodic television because it was episodic? To a glorious vision of good vs. evil, strong-jawed heroes and magnificent villains? A story that can last for years written on a broad stage?

I'm talking about Flash Gordon. The tale of a trio of humans who find themselves trapped on Mongo, fighting the evil Ming the Merciless and his plans to add Earth to his empire! My updates to the classic characters:

"Flash" Gordon - Former USMC fighter pilot (call sign Flash) veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Expert fencer from his days on the USNA Fencing Club's team. At the start of the story he's trying to get into NASA.

Dale Arden - Journalist with extensive field experience. Met Flash in Iraq, where they started a casual relationship. Very capable and has a reporter's eye for details. At the start of the story, she and Flash are dating.

Dr. Hans Zharkov - Ex-NASA/DOD scientist. Considered a kook by most of his contemporaries. Manages to salvage a Mongo scout ship's drive and computer. Pretty much kidnaps Flash and Dale.

Mongo itself? I'm thinking mega-structures orbiting the stars in a K/M binary system. Not a ringworld or full Dyson sphere, but enormous platforms, thousands of miles across, each harboring a different race or culture. This also adds a potential plot point: the platforms are all ancient tech, and they are beginning to fail. Ming uses his monopoly on understanding the technology to keep the platforms enslaved by playing the various factions against each other. If only some hero would come to unite the peoples of Mongo and lead them to freedom!

Yeah, I'd watch 110 episodes of this, plus a few expanded universe movies. It's also make an excellent game setting.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
And now a minor rant about television.

Back in the good old days of VHF, UHF, and actual dials that we were warned not to touch, television season started in September and ran until June. Show that premiered in January were called "mid-season replacements."

The British, not locked into this calender year, call their runs of a show "series." The BBC had no problem with premiering a show in August, having it run to November, then starting it up again in May.

Now American shows, especially on the cable channels, are doing the same thing. You get weird breaks, "mid-season finales", and other weirdness. Even on the networks we're seeing that. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on a long break, with the Peggy Carter miniseries slotted for a midwinter replacement.

I think it's time for American television to give up and adopt Series as the default for a bloc of a particular show to be shown in order. It would simplify things.

Now back to binge watching Arrow.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Keep Calm)
During slow times at work, I've been catching up on past Hell's Kitchen seasons on Hulu. So I guess it wasn't surprising that I had a dream about it.

Some HK geekery )

Got it?

OK, in the dream I was my age, but I was a retired Special Forces Master Sergeant with an artificial right leg. I had taken up cooking after being injured. One of the other blue team chefs, an arrogant young jerk, had decided I had been an Army cook, and constantly tried to ride me for that. The actual dream was in the dorm after a spectaculary bad dinner service where the arrogant young jerk had screwed the team. We had to choose two to be up for elimination, and I suggest AYJ for his poor performance. AYJ got pissed off, and tried to threaten me. That's when I got in his face and told him that I hadn't been an Army cook, but rather a Green Beret Operations/Weapons specialist. That's pretty much where the dream ended.

What's weird is I'm rather phobic about cooking, and even if I had gone career I would never have qualified for Special Forces. Also odd was I was seeing the action like it was in a show being broadcast, complete with narration, music, and changing camera angles.
gridlore: The word Giants over a baseball (Baseball - SF Giants)
The Giants have released their commercials for the 2013 season. This year, they're really emphasizing the link between the fans and the team.

Last season, outfielder Hunter Pence became legendary for his clubhouse speeches. He coined what became our post-season mantra: 25 guys, one goal: win today.

So naturally the Giants took advantage of the Reverend Pence's inspirational talks...
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

  • Back when I worked for Lord&Sons I had several pairs of good work gloves. Today? Can't find any of them.

  • A trip to OSH is in order.

  • Or back to L&S. Be nice to see people again.

  • On the other hand, a culling of my socks is in order.

  • Have to get rid of the odd ones, worn ones, and the few that just don't fit right.

  • Still wondering what happened to one of my awesome fuzzy socks.

  • Our TV decided to die.

  • No Earth-shattering kaboom, just refused to turn on.

  • Luckily, [personal profile] kshandra was on the job and found us a new set on Craigslist.

  • Got for way cheaper than what it was going for online, and we have a proper, if small, widescreen at last.

  • Of course, this means I need to save up for another Ikea run now.

  • Needed a new set for several reasons. Mostly that playoff baseball is beginning, and the Giants and A's both won their divisions!

  • The A's did it by sweeping the Texas Rangers in the final three game series of the year. Very dramatic and a great story.

  • But over on the SFGate, when Giants fans tried to congratulate the A's and their fans, we got attacked.

  • I have never seen such an inferiority complex before in sports.

  • I blame Bud Selig.

  • The 49ers are doing well, the Sharks are locked out, and I couldn't care less about the Warriors.

  • Oh, and the Raiders SUCK! (again)

  • Going to see the restored Lawrence of Arabia tonight as part of the 50th anniversary celebration.

  • I got to see this years ago in a restored 70mm print. Unbelievable.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Thoughtful)
I watched the pilot for this new weird drama yesterday (hurray for DVRs!) and was mostly impressed.

The basic plot is that one night electricity stops working. Anything requiring electrical power suddenly and irrevocably stops working. The opening sequence shows that at least some people knew what was going to happen in advance and the immediate aftermath of the lights going out. Then we get a voice over covering the next fifteen years bringing us up to the time of the show.

Massive spoilers follow )

I'll keep watching for at least a few more episodes to see how this develops.

But I have one huge problem. No, not with the electrical failure, even the characters admit that it shouldn't have been possible, but with the weapons. It makes sense for the small farming communities to make heavy use of bows and crossbows (especially as it is stated that inside this particular police state owning firearms is a hanging offense) but seeing the militia using swords, bows, and freaking muzzle loaders made me laugh.

There are dozens of books about how to make smokeless gunpowder and primer. Handloading cartridges is common today. It would be far more labor intensive to clean used casings, but there's no reason why the militia shouldn't be carrying salvaged M-16A2s, or at least bolt-action deer rifles.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Budweiser)
Dishes... DONE
Kitchen Countertops... DONE
Three loads of laundry... DONE
Getting rid of old wire hangers... DONE

Now I want to watch Monster House. Which doesn't seem to be available on DVD. Bummer.

I'm also out of beer.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Sleepy Kitten)
We accomplished a lot today. We're finally able to get AT&T Uverse out here, and today was the installation date. I wanted to clean at least the area around the TV for the technician to work. Ended up getting 90% of the front room cleaned, mostly organized, and vacuumed. But in doing this I did over-extend. It's barely 1930 and I'm ready for bed. The Uverse installation is done. We now have better net access and better channel choices with a DVR. For less money.

In Giants news we won in the weirdest way I've ever heard of today, 1-0 over the Indians. An error and two walks gave us loaded bases, and then the pitcher balked in a run. No hits.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - CAR -15)
"Siege House"

Sixteen people are put into a building.. and have to fortify it and defend it. Each episode features an assault challenge. Use MILES for the gunplay. Winning the challenge results in rewards like comfort foods, better protective materials. Each episode would also have an individual challenge for immunity, and at the end of the episode the "After Action Review" where one defender is voted out. But here's the twist. The person voted out goes to work for the aggressors. They know your defenses, know who the leaders are, and help plan the next assault and can win their way back into the game by accomplishing a specific task during the assault. This would force two people to be voted out.. one permanently! You could go the two-team route with the winner of each siege challenge determined by the number of "survivors." I can see the merge episode.. the two teams have five minutes to salvage materials from their house before the bulldozers move in! Of course one episode each season would feature a zombie attack

Hosted by Jesse Ventura.

I'd watch it!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
I think I've seen every single TV show Gordon Ramsay has ever appeared in. Just finished watching the first US season of Master Chef on Hulu. Very interesting, sort of a foodie American Idol. Amateur cooks are given a chance to cook for three great chefs in a series of competitions. The only thing these people have in common is a love of cooking and raw talent. The series was a mixture of high-pressure competition and teaching and encouragement by the judges. There were some amazing moments, like a contestant who was Hindu being faced with a live crab, and a contestant who had never made a cupcake before winning a cupcake competition.

One thing I really liked was that when a contestant was eliminated, the judges praised them for what they had accomplished and encouraged them to keep cooking. It really brought home that these were not professionals.. heck, one of my favorites was a guy who was a construction worker and truck driver! You really got into the stories of these people, and how they came to love cooking.

The finale was heart stopping. It came down to a 29 year old software engineer against a 22 year old student from Mississippi. David's style was adventurous and dangerous, while Whitney specialized in modern takes on traditional southern foods. With eight minutes to go in the final cook off, Whitney dropped her entrée, a pan-friend chicken breast, on the floor. She had to make a whole new entrée in seven minutes. It was perfect. I understand there's a new season planned. I will be watching.

It's funny. I'm the fussiest eater ever. I am in no sense a foodie in the traditional sense, yet I love all the Gordon Ramsay shows, Top Chef, the original Iron Chef, and other foodie-type stuff. Even though I wouldn't touch 90% of what they make, I love watching the creative process and seeing just how much an art form cooking can be. Call me when someone makes Top Burrito. I'll be a judge.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Dr. Who - The REAL Master!)
I hear any of them, and I'm 14 again, watching KTEH at 11:15PM on a Saturday night. Greatest theme music in history.

So, which is your favorite? You never forget your first love, so the first Tom Baker intro is a special thrill, but either the second Jon Pertwee or Sylvester McCoy's are my favorite.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Army - Infantry)
My account is now paid up through 201316. You folks rock.

While I'm feeling mushy, I'll share one of the few things that makes me cry every single time I see it:

The Marine funeral for a homeless Korea War Veteran in the episode In Excelsis Deo of The West Wing.

Quick synopsis: Toby Ziegler (Director of White House Communications) is called by the DC police. A homeless man has died, and had Toby's business card in his pocket. Toby recognizes the coat as one he gave to Goodwill, and also sees a tattoo for the 2/7 Marines. He tries to find some family to tell, and eventually locates the Marine's mildly developmentally disabled brother, who is also homeless. Toby uses the name of the President to arrange a burial at Arlington National Cemetery. When called on this, and told that this precedent would bring every homeless veteran in the country out of the woodwork, Toby replies "I hope they do." As Toby is leaving for the funeral, the President's personal secretary, who had earlier told another character how her twin sons had died in action in Vietnam on Christmas Eve, 1970, asks to join him.

The scene is made more poignant because of the complete support given to the production by the Department of Defense and the United States Marine Corps. The funeral drill was performed by Marines from the Washington Marine Barracks; troops who are rivaled in precision drill only by the Army's 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard)

Watch the clip. It's an example of television at it's absolute best.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Very Small One)
Steve Landesberg has died. A long and successful career, but for me he'll always be Detective Arthur P. Dietrich, the unflappable, all-knowing master of the one liner on Barney Miller.

In other news, Abe Vigoda is still alive and working at 89.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • The biopsy, take 2, has been scheduled for next Monday.

  • It was funny speaking with the scheduler. The appointment is an exact duplicate of the last one.

  • So I still had all the information written down in front of me.

  • I had to keep telling her that this was a second procedure, and I knew the rules.

  • Hopefully, this time they'll hit lymph node.

  • Other than that, I'm wandering between just feeling dragged out and outright miserable.

  • There is something wrong, that's certain. It's just figuring out what at this point.

  • A question for the local gamers (here he goes again.) How many of you have heard of the Pathfinder RPG?

  • Described as "D&D 3.75" it was produced by Pazio after WotC dumped their support companies and came out with D&D4e

  • I liked D&D3e, and have heard incredible things about Pathfinder.

  • I really want to run a game again.

  • I'm thinking of a Lost World/Cities of Mystery style campaign set in the Caribbean and Central/South America...800 years after scattered bands of dwarf and elf refugees fled a magical disaster and a century after the Genoese Navigator-Mage Christoffa Corombo managed to break the spell that blocked passage across the Atlantic.

  • Yes, Elvish Pirates of the Caribbean!

  • Just watched two hours of Pawn Stars on Lifetime. I love that show.

  • These days I hardly watch any scripted shows at all. I'm all about things like Top Chef, Tabitha's Salon Takeover and other reality and semi-reality shows.

  • Mainly because most television is crap.

  • An unexpected present arrived today. Thanks [ profile] mikkop, I can hardly wait to see what it is!

  • I refuse to believe that after winning the World Series the Giants open 2011 with a five-game road trip. That's just not right!

  • Am I the only person on Earth who is kept awake by vicodin?

  • Terrifyingly, the 49ers are still alive in the race to win the NFC West.

  • The Niners are 5-9. And one game back of the division "leaders."

  • If they win their final two while the two teams currently sharing the lead lose one each...

  • Wow. We're meat in the playoffs, and the whole thing shows just how bad the NFC West is, but it could happen.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Good Grief Watchmen)
In the wake of the shooting of the man holding hostages at the headquarters of the Discovery networks, the following appeared in an thread on the situation.

(Astronaut #1: It never gets old, huh?)
(Astronaut #2: Nope.)
(Astronaut #1: Kinda makes you want to…)
(Astronaut #2: Take a hostage outside the Discovery Channel building?)
(Astronaut #1: Yep.)

He loves explosives
He loves his handgun, too
He hates the teevee
And what it says to do
He’ll take a hostage
And make them save the world
Boom-de-ah-da, boom-de-ah-da…
Boom-de-ah-da, boom-de-ah-da…

A riff, of course, on this:

Sick and wrong, but when you have a guy carrying a gun and wearing explosives demanding that Discovery stop making shows about war, all you have left is the snark.
gridlore: Old manual typewriter with a blank sheet of paper inserted. (Writing)
The main characters gather and walk down to the beach. A seaplane sits at the end of a long pier. Mr. Roarke is waiting (pick either one). He asks if they were satisfied with their fantasy of survival, mystery, and conflict. The castaways agree cheerfully, drink their fruity drinks, and get on the plane.

Roll credits.

In other news, I just spent five minutes searching for vegan potato salad recipes. Don't ask.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
There's a ad campaign aimed at getting people to quit smoking. It shows people doing things that they used do while smoking, but without a cigarette they are comically inept. By the end of the commercial, they are starting to get back in the groove. A good message, and i applaud anything that helps people quit smoking.

But... this commercial features a forklift operator working at what appears to be a garden supply place. He can't control the lift, pushes a pallet of pots off a rack instead of lifting them, etc. At the end, he gingerly puts a pallet with a single ceramic sheep onto a truck bed successfully while the voice-over talks about being able to this without cigarettes means being able to do anything without them.

The problem is this voice over happens as the driver is driving the forklift away from the camera. With the forks raised to chest level. This is a disaster waiting to happen. You always drive a lift with the forks as low a possible. You can kill people with those forks at 5mph.

Just one of those little things. But it should be a lesson to me and all my fiction-writing friends: if you're writing about something that's in real life, or could be related to a real life activity, do your research.
gridlore: Photo: penguin chick with its wings outstretched, captioned "Yay!" (Penguin - Yay!)
If for nothing else, than for my news fixes.

But going a week or so without the net wasn't an absolute horror. Just some moments that I thought "I really should post about this when I get home" and then remembered that I couldn't. But Uverse has been installed, and holy crap is the net connection fast now! Our television picture is much sharper, and we now have a DVR along with a larger channel selection. All along with saving about fifty bucks a month.

So, I miss anything important?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
[ profile] kshandra and I have decided that we've been paying to much for cable and internet, and today signed up for AT&T service to handle these important parts of our lives. Saving a good amount and getting better services as well.

The downside is were going to be off the net for a few days until the switch is made. Not sure when the blackout period will start, but it will hopefully be later today.

Anything vital comes up, and Kiri can post it from her job. I'll be going cold turkey for the most part.

Since I use gmail for everything, the dberry49er(at) address will not change. Anyone who uses [ profile] kshandra's mindspring account to contact her needs to check her journal for her gmail.

4-6 days without the net. This could be interesting.

This is could be considered part of the de-cluttering process. Part of the whole plan is not just getting rid of stuff, but simplifying your entire existence. Reducing costs and turning two bills into one definitly counts. Along those lines, we dumped two more boxes of books (the rejects from the used book store) at Goodwill. Today's plan was the kitchen table, but has been changed to digging out around the TV and the path the cable takes out through the bedroom.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Space - Fling!)
Spike is running all three Star Wars prequels. Yeah, crap, but shiny crap.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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