May 18th, 2013
|02:06 am - GETTIN' MAD BOUT SCIENCE-FICTION|
IF YOU COULDN'T TELL BY ALL THE CAPS I WENT AND SAW THE NEW STAR TREK FILM TONIGHT AND THEN I WENT TO REDBONES AND DRANK SOME VERY GOOD BEER, NOT KANAR, AND ATE SOME VERY GOOD FOOD BUT MY MOUTH IS STILL TAINTED WITH THE TASTE OF SOME VERY STUPID FILMMAKING
Let's get this out of the way first, then, before delving into the spoilers:
Star Trek Into Darkness has a running time of one hundred thirty-three minutes. The first one hundred and thirteen minutes aren't all that bad; in fact, I was rather enjoying the film. As with the 2009 JJ Abrams Trek, I was perfectly happy settling into the new film. Okay, this is new Trek, let's have some fun with the new characters, let's give them new space adventures and stuff, let's watch as our New Kirk and New Spock and New Bones and New Uhura and New Sulu and New Scotty and even New Chekov do their New Thang.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED
AND THE ENTIRE THEATER DID NOT ACT AS JJ ABRAMS WANTED US TO ACT
NOBODY WENT "OH MY GOD WOW THAT IS SO AWESOME, TOTALLY UNEXPECTED, AND JUST WHAT THIS MOVIE NEEDED"
EVERYBODY PRETTY MUCH GROANED
AND I SAID OUT LOUD "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME"
AND NOBODY TOLD ME TO SHUSH SO THE AUDIENCE WAS BY INFERENCE IN AGREEMENT OR SOMETHING
( HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED WITH A TON OF SPOILERSCollapse )
May 17th, 2013
April 11th, 2013
|03:55 am - All season in a game|
It was one of those days.
Sonya and I were deciding how to spend our afternoon and evening. I'd been ensconced in some decidedly anti-social creative work for the past two days, trying desperately to refill my Interaction Tolerance before going back in for three more days of Red Shift performances starting tomorrow. (It's the Spring Sci-Fi Spectacular, running this Thursday, Friday and Saturday! We're doing a new Red Shift episode and then an adaptation of the classic ant sci-fi flick THEM! See if it you can! Or come to the special event at the MIT Museum on Sunday the 21st!)
At any rate, today was the first day I felt like I could conceivably go out and do things and actually hold conversations with people instead of merely grunt-whimpering and ducking back in my room for to stare at a computer screen, so we decided to have a grand day out together. We planned to head out around 3:00 or so, and had very much wanted to visit a museum. Unfortunately the Museum of Science, which we can walk to from Sonya's house, closed at 5:00 and it seemed like a waste to just go for an hour or so. The Museum of Fine Arts stays open until 9:00 or so on Wednesday nights, so we got the idea to go eat in the Back Bay and then walk over to the museum.
"Ooh," I said, "We can walk into Kenmore and then take my favorite shortcut past Fenway Park to Park Drive, then walk across the Fens to the museum... oh, wait, that's only if it's not a game day." Kenmore is an absolute zoo on game day, and so is Yawkey Way, the thoroughfare that goes right by the park. I did what any good Internet-using person would do, and checked the Red Sox website. Sure enough, there was a game today, the second game in their opening week series against the Baltimore Orioles. On a whim, I checked the tickets page and found tickets available in a price range I felt comfortable in. This was very surprising for several reasons, the first of which being that there was a price range at Fenway I felt comfortable in. Being the smallest and oldest ballpark in America, tickets don't come cheap.
The second reason this was surprising was that the Red Sox have sold out every home game since May of 2003. I've never checked the ticket office on the day of a game. It's always felt like a foregone conclusion. Doubly so if the Yankees are in town; those games sell out quicker than ice cream on a hot day as soon as tickets go on sale in the winter. I don't truck with ticket brokers even after having worked with them on a business-to-business basis for four years; they're banking on you thinking you can't acquire tickets any other way. (And yet I felt it was a foregone conclusion...) This, however, felt like another stroke of strange luck to me, and I decided we most certainly should take advantage of it. Sonya, who hadn't been to a home game in years, thought it was a terrific idea, so we immediately secured two grandstand seats and felt pretty damn chuffed about the whole thing.
Dinner was at the Salty Pig in the Back Bay, a place Sonya and I went to on one of our first dates last year. It has since become one of our favorite places to go when we're feeling a little flush and want to eat pig parts and smelly cheese. (No, really. That's how the menu lists their offerings.) I'd tell you what we had but it would turn into some kind of Redwall chapter only with meat instead of acorn pie with clotted cream or whatever it is those nutty rodents are eating this time around. We did, however, have some awesome bone marrow in a huge cross-section. After dinner it took us around twenty minutes to walk down Boylston to Fenway Park, bypassing Kenmore Square by way of Ipswich. It's quicker and you don't have to brave that bridge across I-90 teeming with insane hawkers, touts and scalpers, and you don't have to step around people cramming themselves into the Cask 'n Flagon. This put us in about an hour before gametime.
( This is the best time of all.Collapse )
March 20th, 2013
|04:43 pm - "HUSTLER COMING THROUGH!"|
Imagine my joy when I learned that Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC has a video editor and that you can save tons of wacky clips any time you like.
BEHOLD, THEN, the all-action sometimes-cussing epic NIKO BELLIC PAYS A VISIT.
The Director's Cut may include an actual ending!
March 17th, 2013
|02:24 am - THIS IS TOTALLY HOW IT WORKS ON THE INTERNET|
And now it's time for
ANITA SARKEESIAN READS INTERNET COMMENTS
by AngryVideoGameMRAGuy69, age 28
INT. STUDY - DAY
[ANITA SARKEESIAN reads COMMENTS posted on the INTERNET.]
ANITA[ANITA changes her OPINIONS right away.]
The guy who spelled "feminazi" with two Zs sure made some salient points. I'm going to change my opinions right away!
PLANET CRACKPIPE REDDIT PRODUCTION
March 14th, 2013
|12:18 am - And then Jefferson says "The darker the berry the sweeter the juice, amirite bro?"|
Last night I started playing Assassin's Creed 3 on account of it somehow finding its way into my Steam library earlier this year. I've enjoyed the Assassin's Creed series for its fun gameplay, a nice combination of building-hopping parkour and stab-you-in-the-face sneak attacking, but mostly I really appreciate the world design in the games. The developers have gone to great lengths to replicate historic cities, including Renaissance-era Rome, Venice, and Constantinople (not yet Istanbul). While not to scale, all the Important Landmarks are anatomically correct and more or less in their place so you can, say, climb around the Hagia Sophia all you want and honestly, who hasn't wanted to?
This made me excited for AC3, as its setting is the American Colonies in the 18th century. More specifically, it's set in Boston, Philadelphia and New York, with Boston being the first city you play in. Hot damn, said I, it'll be a lot of fun running around Colonial Boston, climbing on Faneuil Hall and such!
The Boston in the game did not disappoint. It's a compressed version of Boston circa 1755. As with the previous game worlds, the streets aren't entirely accurate, but much of Boston's colonial landmarks are faithfully recreated and located in their proper places. Look west-southwest from the top of Faneuil Hall (curiously missing its grasshopper weathervane, though the in-game encyclopedia mentions it) and you'll see the State House, King's Church, and the Old South Church where they should be in relation to one another. Beacon Hill is a loaf-shaped grassy hill crowned by a huge iron pot full of tar suspended from a tall wooden pole. Since this is Assassin's Creed, you can climb to the top of the beacon, look all around, then take a graceful swan dive off the top and land safely in a pile of hay below. It's called a Leap of Faith. You get to perform many of them.
Even smaller landmarks from which you can't exactly jump are included, and the game happily unlocks encyclopedia entries upon your first encounter with each. You can run across the Causeway past the old Mill Pond to get to Copp's Hill and Christ Church in the North End. (Christ Church is now known as the Old North Church; the first Old North Church was dismantled by the British during their siege. They needed the wood for fuel.)
You'll also find the Bunch of Grapes tavern, the Old Corner Book-Shop (even back then things in Boston were old) and the Liberty Tree in your travels. Many of your Boston-based missions start in the Green Dragon tavern. I think I saw Cambridge across the Charles, but I don't know if I'll actually get to run around Harvard Yard or if it's just backdrop decoration. I have ridden to Lexington and Concord, though. (That's as far as I've gotten in the game and I'm trying as best I can to avoid spoilers.) I really can't wait to see how Philadelphia and New York measure up to this level of verisimilitude. I'm not as familiar with those cities as I am Boston, but I do know my way around all three fairly well.
( The game's writing, sadly, is not as sharp as its world design.Collapse )
Anyway, such details might be considered inconsequential when inserted into a videogame. It's true that a fictitious Benjamin Franklin's opinions aren't technically affecting the gameplay one way or another. But when such care has been taken to re-create and interpret historical locations in a game engine, surely the historical figures could be portrayed and interpreted accurately as well. AC3 is trying very hard, even through a contemporary filter, to maintain some kind of historical and cultural balance, tipping neither towards traditional, hackneyed stereotypes nor out-and-out revisionism. This just makes the discrepancies that do slip through all the more glaring.
I wonder what else awaits. Personally I'm hoping for a rapping Sam Adams.
March 5th, 2013
|10:59 pm - Unrelated cat!|
Abbie and Figment are friends.
|10:43 pm - And I, the Tomfool, love you.|
Tonight Sonya (known on this site as sovay) and I proposed to each other on the first anniversary of our being Together as a Couple. I don't think I would have thought a year ago at this time that we would end up like this, but here we are and I could not possibly be any happier.
We knew this was going to happen for a while now, but wanted to wait until we had survived at least one year together before making it Official. By Official I guess I kind of mean "announcing it to the Internet" but also actually performing a ritual. It's not The Expected Ritual; neither of us are sticklers for tradition, especially for tradition's sake. I did not want to be The Guy and be the only one asking so as to put her on the spot, as we are equals in all that we do. Sonya didn't want any of the traditional engagement stuff involving diamonds, and she also really wanted to propose to me as well. There really was never any question of "who gets to propose to whom". We just Knew.
That is what draws us together, and that is what we celebrate every time we kiss, murmur affectionately to each other, or even just glance over and smile.
We went out for dinner tonight, first at Cambridge Brewing Company for dinner and then The Friendly Toast for dessert. These restaurants were not chosen for any special significance other than the fact that we like eating there. Ascribing anything more would have been superfluous. We have shared plenty of incredible meals together in the past year and we shall have plenty more. After a terrific dinner of duck cassoulet and mussels in a mustard-bacon sauce, plus some nice beers, we sauntered over to the Toast for dessert and drinks.
( Pictures and stuff within.Collapse )
Details schmetails will be forthcoming. Except for "sometime in 2014" we have not set a date but we plan to have a small interfaith ceremony for our families with my father and a cantor friend presiding, and then hold a screwball film festival at the Somerville Theater for our friends. How can you pass up the opportunity to hold a wedding with program notes, for crying out loud? Weddings in general give me hives, so I want to make sure everybody who wishes to celebrate with us has the chance to do so, yet without the social obligations that usually go along with that kind of thing (table placements, overly-elaborate RSVPs, registry-related guilt, the Goddamn Chicken Dance.)
The fact of the matter is that I love Sonya very much and she loves me very much and we love who we are together. We wish to share a future together and this is just our way of saying all of that.
Also hey, LJ and how you doin.
February 15th, 2013
|12:59 am - Minecrafting: The Chamber of Science|
Ever since more-or-less finishing up the dark ride Jinx I have been working on a second Minecraft dark ride project. The current project has taken on the name Chamber of Science due mostly to the fact that I've been doing all my fribbulous redstone circuitry work, including the light displays and adding machine, in that flat world.
Naturally one must apply the principles one has learned to one's dark rides.
THE CHAMBER OF SCIENCE AWAITS
This circuitry is part of the innards of the third stunt (that's dark ride lingo for "something cool happening", more or less) in the Chamber of Science.
The ride's layout passes through these innards, a eight-bit memory array, so you can relax undt watchen das blinkenlights. The white light cubes on the left are just for illumination, though the columns strobe very slowly since they're connected to the circuitry what drives the lights for the stunt.
The stunt itself is an eight-character message board which cycles through eight cheery messages as your cart goes past.
( MORE PICTURES AND STUFF INSIDE INSIDECollapse )
February 4th, 2013
|04:32 pm - This is what happens when we skive off actual Red Shift work|
The Internet just gave me this pulp cover generator and so naturally I threw stuff from the REDSHIFTIVERSE (pat. pending) into it just to see what would happen. Otherwise known as FOR SCIENCE.
I think I got it all out of my system. For today.
EDIT: Not quite; here's one more for Billy THE DEMANDING LITTLE SO-AND-SO.
November 22nd, 2012
|12:23 pm - as is the tradition around these parts|
Town Transfer Station
1 West Stockbridge Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Monday thru Friday 7:30am - 3:30pm
Saturday 9 - 3:30
Sunday's from May through October from 11am - 1:00pm
( it don't say nothin about holiday closureCollapse )
November 17th, 2012
|08:22 am - Sometimes you have to make your own story, sometimes you have to shoot the storyteller in the neck|
Sonya and I caught SpeakEasy's production of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON on Wednesday night. I also caught it during its brief Broadway run in 2010 and both times was as thoroughly entertained as one can be with a musical which raises an interesting question: "What if Andrew Jackson, our seventh President, was a young emo rock star?" (Asked by the show's creators, one day, over coffee. Things don't get any higher concept than that.)
They've got a point, a very good one: Jackson was a political rock star, the first President who wasn't made by the caucus-loving political elite, a populist whose followers created a new political party for him and then trashed the White House during Jackson's open-to-the-public inaugural ball (a scene not included in the musical, but its spirit is definitely there.) And emo? He was definitely emo. He came from Circumstances which one would call Pretty Bad. His father died three weeks before he was born, his two brothers died during the American Revolution, and his mother died of cholera when he was fourteen. That's pretty much the perfect age for our musical Jackson to declare in song "Life sucks, and my life sucks in particular."(1) Jackson grew up hardened in battle, many battles really, and practiced ritual bloodletting with his wife. The dude was a cutter. I don't even know why I'm still pressing this point.
This, then, leads us to a very youthful musical about a youthful country performed by Kids These Days. I'm trying not to be dismissive here, I'm really not, but upon leaving the theater in 2010 I remarked "I think I know how thirty-somethings in 1968 felt when they saw Hair."(2) This youth culture is not mine; my youth culture was not this. This is the culture of bros, hipsters, fauxhawks and duckfaces. I am okay with this. The show requires brash, invincible twenty-somethings to put over the portrayal of a brash, invincible early 19th century country. When they collectively sing about taking the land "back" from the British, Spanish and natives, they need to believe, however naively, that they are "pretty sure it's our land, anyway." The musical is loud, angry, energetic, and in places sexypants as befits its slogan. In one of many wonderful anachronistic moves, our stage version of Andrew Jackson does not age beyond, say, twenty-three.
It's all a mish-mosh of period and contemporary, never trying to maintain one century over the other. Waistcoats, watch fobs and neck ruffs mix chaotically with t-shirts, tight jeans and eyeliner on everyone. Benjamin Walker, who originated the role of Andrew Jackson all the way from the show's first workshopping to West Coast tryouts to off-Broadway to Broadway, had the Billie Joe Armstrong look down pat. The score echoes Green Day in parts, but it also echoes Kander & Ebb: the backroom "Corrupt Bargain" which gave the 1824 election to John Quincy Adams when Jackson had won the popular vote is presented in a doodle-doo doodle-doo number which would have fit quite easily in Chicago. The next number goes right back to Green Day.
It's madness. There is no fourth wall; a contemporary narrator is shot in the neck before Jackson even takes office, which as Sonya pointed out to me, beats Assassins' record of early narrator removal. A song entitled "Illness as Metaphor" begins by refuting Susan Sontag but ends when it realizes "her cancer wasn't metaphorical at all... sorry." The Washington elite are preening runway queens. Henry Clay wears a weasel ascot with weasel head attached. Jackson has a Wii in his Oval Office and receives tour groups from Tennessee wearing orange "GO VOLS" shirts. James Monroe shows up in one of the show's final scenes, as Jackson receives an honorary doctorate from Harvard, and defiantly stays after another cast member informs him that he's dead by this point. Anachronisms, schmanachronisms, the musical just doesn't give a fuck and that's what makes it work.
( Mostly.Collapse )
September 19th, 2012
|06:29 am - DOCTOR WHO AND THE ESCAPE CLUB TO ROCK IT SO RIGHT, SAAAY|
Dear god there's a new LJ editor window thingy and since it doesn't look like the one that I've been using for nearly the past ten years, I HATE IT. I hope LJ doesn't pull a Google and end up forcing me to use the old one because well THAT'S JUST MEAN. IN ALL CAPS.
Well look what snuck up on us while we weren't looking:
A new QI series A new cartoon called Gravity Falls New Doctor Who! I think this series has been one of the most hyped up in a while because of The Thing What Happens In Episode Five, which we shall not discuss here since A. while we know more or less what happens we don't yet know how, and B. if you do know how and explain it all, we will send this fine twenty-pound cat over to your house so he can pee all over your floor, Clarissa.
( Spoilers below, etc. So here we are already at the third episode.Collapse )
July 20th, 2012
|05:57 am - This is some Minecraft.|
This is a bit. Or a switch. Whatever you like.
This is a bit when it's on.
If you're really clever, you can chain them together.
And then you can count to seven.
July 12th, 2012
|04:00 pm - Ed note: Enough boldface there, Standwick?|
Every now and then, since we owe him a favor or two, this journal thingo will feature the writings of Standwick Mushmeyer. Mr. Mushmeyer is a columnist at the Slimy Falls Times-Shopper, the only newspaper covering that corner of the tri-county area. We are assured by Mr. Mushmeyer that while he describes himself as "generally dissatisfied with just about everything", his local slice-of-life ponderings aim to entertain as well as enlighten. So without further ado, here is his latest column.
By Standwick Mushmeyer
Wednesday, July 12, 2012
Greetings, fellow Times-Shoppers. If you turned to this page expecting Gladys Hazelton's gardening column, and it's a mystery to me why anyone would, I am afraid your expectations are now ruined. Our two columns have switched places. This now means, as you have just discovered, that your humble columnist's weekly ponderings are now to be found right here in the back of Living, just after the Novenas to St. Jude, and "Growing with Gladys" has moved up to Op/Ed. Far be it from me to question the infinite wisdom of the Times-Shopper editorial staff, but if you sincerely want to know Mrs. Hazelton's "opinions" on potting soil and junk from which to make planters, you'll need to go back.
This is the third week that I have had to explain this change. I do not know how I can make it any clearer. Please stop sending me letters. Gladys is on Page 5; go find her there.
Speaking of time elapsing, here we are in July of 2012 and that pothole on East Sycamore still has not been filled in. If anything, I think it's grown since I first reported on its car-jostling effects in March. Exactly how large must this asphalt hole become in order to be noticed? Large enough for a car carrying a baby to fall in? You'd better sit down for the answer, because it is most likely yes. I've gone through some scenarios in my head and the baby-carrying car is the worst because it's the most embarrassing. While the infant would undoubtedly suffer no injury, the incident would make Channel 8 News, the networks would pick up on it, and before you know it, we'd be known as the City with the Baby in a Pothole. This simply will not do. We all know how long it took to shake off the reputation after the mishap with the carillon at Closkey Park.
So where, I ask you, is the Department of Public Works? I can only conclude that they are working on a top-secret project somewhere in another town. This project must be so important to the tri-county area that all other works have been temporarily put on hold. It is the only way to explain the continued existence of not just the pothole, but the broken walk signal button at the corner of Beecher and Dwight and the misspelled signs on Harrison. (Gentlemen, the correct spelling is "SCHOOL ZONE" and I have never been more embarrassed by proxy of a civic department in all my life.)
A wise man once said "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." Well, I don't want it done right, I just want it done, so this is where you, dear readers, come in. If you really want to show the DPW a thing or two and you have a shovel, a wheelbarrow and/or some macadam, kindly bring them on down to East Sycamore next Saturday or any time you like, really. I'm not picky. The pothole's located just a little bit before the dump after the corner with the roadside memorial on the left side.
And on a lighter note, sure looks like the Burger Whizzard in the mall is closing. I can't say I'll miss it since I haven't been since the summer of 1996. I can say, however, that it seems karma has finally caught up with the restaurant which refused to serve breakfast even if it was clearly 10:28. Godspeed, Burger Whizzard, and may your replacement be one which serves pop in a small size. Your "medium and large only" nonsense only added to my suspicions.
Confidential to "J. Doe": What in creation is a blog and why should I acquire one for myself?
|02:38 am - oh valve no you dint|
Hello, Source Filmmaker.
Goodbye, free time.
July 7th, 2012
|06:56 am - Because nobody asked for it|
THE WORST EPISODES OF DEEP SPACE 9 ACCORDING TO THE INTERNET
As determined by searching for "worst episodes DS9" and applying math to the findings
Presented in order from Sucky to Suckiest, with commentary, by somebody who needs sleep
Otherwise known as The One Where There Was A Ship Full Of Cadets. Earns ire for, and inspires fear of, a ship commanded by YA clones of Wesley Crusher and Marissa Picard, Stephen Ratliff's legendary Mary Sue. The episode earns points in my book for realizing halfway through that perhaps this idea wasn't so hot in the first place so let's not have a spin-off, thank you very much.
9. "IF WISHES WERE HORSES"
Otherwise known as The One With Rumplestiltskin Yes Really Go Look It Up No I Don't Know What They Were Thinking Either. First season episode where the holosuites go crazy due to $SCIENCE and start pumping out versions of people's dreams. There were a lot of stinkers in the first season, and this was one of them.
Little Wee Molly O'Brien dreams up fairy tales to drive her dad crazy and Dr. Bashir, who was still being written as an obnoxious horndog, dreams up a Dax who is, like, so totally into him it's embarrassing. Viewer goes all Joan Rivers and does the finger-down-the-throat-aghk-aghk-aghk thing. Repeatedly.
Otherwise known as The One With Q, because... it's the one with Q. They had to have him on at some point, so they did it as quickly as possible in the first season to get ratings. See above in re: first season stinkers. I actually like the ending of this one, if only because Q has a nifty little revelation: It takes the perspective of one of those silly mortals to make him realize that all the things he's seen and done are TOTALLY AWESOME because he's Q. He snaps out of the episode slightly less blase, and that's fine by me.
Otherwise known as The One Where Dax Goes Into An Alternate Dimension And Falls In Love. I didn't hate this one and honestly don't have much to snark about, but the Internet sure detested it enough.
Otherwise known as The One Where Lwaxana Troi Shows Up And Makes Everybody Fall In Love. I admit I have a soft spot for Lwaxana because when she shows up, it's simply to troll the heck out of the episode. Who else can drive Picard crazy? Oh, that Lwaxana. She has a problem, though: if the episode she's in stinks, she's usually written as completely obnoxious. When the episode isn't so bad, like the one in which she gets stuck in a turbolift with Odo (and let that fact sink in: "Fascination" is worse than a stuck-in-an-elevator episode) she drops the obnoxious caricature and turns out all right. In the turbolift episode she's maternally kind to Odo and I like that relationship. In "Fascination", however, all Lwaxana does is go nuts with the innuendo.
5. "LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN"
Otherwise known as The One Where They All Go To Risa And Worf Becomes A Total Downer. The general consensus of the Internet is that this episode stinks because A. it's all about sex but had to be toned down to the point where backrubs are scandalous and B. Worf is a big stinky party pooper with more issues than the New Yorker. While everybody else is swappin' backrubs, Worf turns prickly and joins up with a group of similar malcontents with a plan, obstensibly thought up by a Batman villain, to ruin Risa by controlling the weather. They attempt to make it rain all the time, because as we all know you can't give backrubs while it rains. Worf's a wet blanket through and through, but going in with these jerks is a bit too much, even for Mr. Grumpyface.
4. "THE STORYTELLER"
Otherwise known as The One Where If We Believe Really Hard, Boys And Girls, We Can Make That Monster Go Away. Bashir and O'Brien visit Gullible Town, a backwater Bajoran village where the inhabitants are periodically menaced by a big evil cloud and to drive it off, a spiritual storyteller leads them in what amounts to a collective Care Bear Stare. The Internet doesn't like this episode mostly because these are some of the first native Bajorans we meet in the series and, well, they turn out to be as dumb as rocks and ready to believe anything as long as it's said by some guy standing on those rocks. Not the best introduction but fortunately this characterization of Bajorans was quickly forgotten. In place of the yokels we instead got the likes of Vedek Bareil and Louise Fletcher's Kai Winn, whose character easily ties Gul Dukat for Best DS9 Villain.
3. "PROFIT AND LACE"
Otherwise known as The One Where Misogynistic Quark Becomes A Fe-male And Learns Valuable Lessons Which Won't Be Retained Into Next Week. Even us smart, discerning science-fiction fans who like the Ferengi episodes ("The Magnificent Ferengi" is absolutely brilliant) can't stand this one. It's another frustrating exercise in Ferengi misogyny which begins with Quark sexually harrassing a Dabo girl and ends with Quark having a change of heart about all fe-males everywhere. I believe this episode inspires his fourth or fifth. Wallace Shawn also doesn't bother to help as the screechy Grand Nagus Zek. It's clear he's having the time of his life playing a Ferengi, but man oh man he's irritating.
2. "THE MUSE"
Otherwise known as The One Where Jake Sisko Gets Seduced By A Creepy Creative Vampire. Oh, look, Jake is being a struggling writer. Oh, look, a mysterious woman from out of nowhere gives him a magic pen and inspires him. Oh, don't look, it's unsettling watching her "inspire" him. Oh, look, his writing's not that great but now it's supposed to be terrific. Oh, look, she's dangerous. Oh, look, Jake's out cold in the infirmary. Meanwhile, Lwaxana and Odo get married. (Long story, but better than the one Jake's writing.)
1. "MOVE ALONG HOME"
Otherwise known as ALLAMARAINE, COUNT TO FOUR, ALLAMARAINE, THEN THREE MORE. Another ludicrous first season episode where the gang gets sucked into a living board game thanks to $ALIEN_OF_THE_WEEK, and have to play their way out by solving puzzles, playing hopscotch, and not choking to death on poison gas. At the end it's revealed that they weren't really in any kind of mortal danger, so the life-or-death struggle which was so cool in the malevolent board game resignedly flops to the ground and stops speaking to anyone. I liked the concept of the game, however, and think Sisko and Kira grudgingly doing the Allamaraine Dance is absolutely hilarious. Otherwise, pbbbththth. The "Worst Of" lists I found differed wildly in some cases, but this episode was the one everybody agreed on.
* THE ONE WHERE KIRA MEETS SEXY EVIL MIRROR UNIVERSE KIRA
* THE ONE WHERE BASHIR FALLS IN LOVE WITH THE STUBBORN WOMAN IN THE WHEELCHAIR
* THE ONE WHERE WEE MOLLY O'BRIEN FALLS INTO A TIME VORTEX AND COMES OUT ALL L'ENFANT SAUVAGE AND STUFF
NOT ON THIS LIST BECAUSE NOBODY REALLY LISTED IT AND BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME
* THE ONE WITH THE BASEBALL GAME
June 25th, 2012
|06:36 am - "This is an outrage!" "This is an inrage!"|
Well, now, this is something I didn't know about: When Things Were Rotten, Mel Brooks' 1975 sitcom based on Robin Hood. A proto-Men In Tights. And from what I read in the Wickerpedier, the show's cancellation in the face of decent reviews turned out to be a boon to popular culture because it let two of its stars, Dick Van Patten and Bernie Kopell, free to do Eight Is Enough and The Love Boat. Respectively.
YouTub has the theme song right here and yeah, it's Mel all the way. There's even a Teri Garralike.
Only one episode exists on YouTube (the kids call it The Y.T.) in two parts: A-One and A-Two. The episode is directed by Jerry Paris, who has a sitcom pedigree a mile wide. He played Dr. Jerry Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show and directed tons of stuff. Go look him up.
And in case you were concerned, and I know you can be so very concerned sometimes, the very first scene is a bunch of crowd response gags. That's our Mel.
I discovered the theme on a 9-minute compilation of intros to one-season wonders from the 1970s. It features Quark, of which I have the series run because you can never have too much Richard Benjamin, but most are mysterious surprises to me. I think that's mostly because these failures didn't quite make for cheap syndication fodder in the 80s, when I would've picked them up from any number of independent UHF stations in the area. Gotta miss those stations. WTXX and WSBK represent.
Among the finds in this compilation there's a 1979 Burrows (James) and Brooks (James L.) sitcom starring Wilfrid Hyde-White and Martin Short whose intro would have fit right in with the Murphy Brown era. There's also Dom DeLuise channeling a little Jackie Gleason in a 1974 times-are-tough sitcom called, and this is where I firmly began to believe that the clip fell from an alternate universe, "Lotsa Luck!"
I do so enjoy combing YouTube for old TV stuff. I'm glad I found this stuff to share because other than that, I've been taking comfort in the fact that in these uncertain times, one can watch a full hour of local candlepin bowling from 1982, commercials included, thanks to some obsessive on the Internet.
Insomnia is a terrible thing.
June 24th, 2012
|12:21 pm - Minecraft Dark Ride Project: I AM THE DISPATCH MASTER|
I've been working steadily on the Jinx dark ride project in Minecraft, leisurely enjoying as is my right as a hobbyist the luxury of re-building, tweaking, and adding things as I see fit. Last night I finished the ride circuit and took the very first full ride. The scenery for the last few scenes aren't in place, one transitional corridor doesn't even have a building around it, and the finale is going to need some tweaking, but this does not detract from the awesome facts, some of which are shown in the video under the cut, that:
1. You can walk through the ride queue, press a button on the loading platform to summon a cart, hop in the cart, press another button to dispatch the cart, ride through the entire ride, arrive at the offload platform, then step off and walk through the exit while the cart is sent backstage to await another summons.
2. With three other carts.
3. In a nifty little dispenser thingo I made.
( There might also be a WATER STUNT.Collapse )
And here is a modified version of the Cart Dispatch System Thingo, without the automated return feature, in action on the updated Jinx ride platform. Look at it go! In this version, the signal light means "CART'S A-COMIN, HOLD YER HORSES". I am very proud of it. The dispenser holds four carts and, as the video shows, it doesn't know when it's empty. I suppose I could link a delay loop to the cart-triggered signal light, turning it off if enough time has gone by. Yes I could, I'll just go back and do that now ARGH SEE THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH MINECRAFT, TOO MANY IDEAS AND NOT ENOUGH VIRTUAL DESKTOPS
May 7th, 2012
|04:29 pm - More Minecraft dark riding|
I've gone and named the dark ride project Jinx, and have added a whole bunch to the 1.5 build:
Fun fact! Maybe! The ivy on the side of the wall was originally in the shape of Tetris pieces but then they grew.
I've also got a small Picasa album up with a current layout map and some construction pics with nifty bits of circuitry.
This little experiment thingo is turning into a spot of fun. There's still a lot to go, but I think I've got a very good idea for the finale.