Thursday, March 31, 2011

BSG S04E18 - Islanded in a Stream of Stars

Alas, poor Galactica. I knew her, Saul!
I know I'm almost at the end of the series, because this episode was pure set-up.  Nothing actually happened in the episode itself except to set the stage for the finale.  We learned a couple of things, but nothing of importance.  The episode was just filler, the show runners giving us just a taste of things but delaying the final answers.  If you haven't figured it out by now, I didn't really like the episode.

Well, I liked parts of it.  I liked that Kara finally came to terms with the fact that she really DID die and come back - and that it was confirmed in the same episode that she's not a Cylon.  Unfortunately, the best answer we get as to what she is was that she's an Angel - which I don't think is the case; there's a larger, better answer coming up in the finale, but again, this is just a tease to set it up.

I think that's why I didn't like the episode.  Everything was just so blatantly prepared for the finale.  We learn that Sam, while hooked up as a Hybrid, controls the Galactica's systems (AND its FTL drive) because of the Cylon technology.  So they unhook him; but then guess what!  Kara hooks him back up at the end; of course she doesn't know that it's possible he can make the Galactica jump into FTL.  She just wants answers.

And of course Adama just decided to evacuate the Galactica moments before Sam is reconnected.  It's all a little too perfect, at least for my liking.  I don't know what I would prefer though, because you do need to set things up somehow.  I think I would have preferred something a little more subtle, maybe?

Maybe something more like what Doctor Who manages: insert a tiny clue early, and then completely blow your mind when it becomes evident how important that clue really is.  Yeah, I think BSG is a little short on mind blowing than its earlier seasons.

Still, looking forward to the last two episodes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Doctor Who - The Eleventh Hour

When do I ever write about Doctor Who?  Not nearly enough times is always the correct answer to that question.  Over the weekend I finally watched the first episode of the Eleventh Doctor (also known as Matt Smith, the 26-year-old wonder child), appropriately titled The Eleventh Hour

I think I am what you might call a "casual" Doctor Who fan, in that I really like the show, but haven't thus far gone out of my way to make sure I've seen every episode.

I've really wanted for a long time to watch all of the David Tennant Who shows, but never got around it.  Thankfully, Mark Watches went and did that for me, and gave me a general gist of what went on over four seasons in marvelous style.  So now, while I don't have an exact history of what went on during the 10th Doctor's run, I have a brief history.

Before I continue, please allow me this brief digression concerning "my" doctor.  Fans of Doctor Who will often tell you who "their" Doctor is - that is, the Doctor they identify with the most and like the best (which is the really cool thing about different actors bringing in different angles to the same character).  For a long time, I always thought I liked Christopher Eccleston the best; he was my first introduction to the character.  And then I got to know David Tennant's Doctor, but I still preferred Eccleston.  I guess you could say, Eccleston was MY Doctor.

I'll just say that after seeing only ONE episode with Matt Smith, I can say with certainty that he is my Doctor now.  There's more to it than just his personality - the production values on his run are through the roof.  I like high production quality.  A lot.  But it really does say a lot about the actor and the team behind the show when one episode wins me over.

Either that, or it says I'm really fickle about my Who actors.  Either answer is probably true in a way.

Back to The Eleventh Hour.  I really liked this episode on a number of levels; mainly though, I appreciated how it acted as an introduction to new viewers, while at the same time giving a nod to existing fans that have been following the show for years.  It establishes rather quickly that this is a Brand New Doctor, and things are going to be a ltitle different.  It says, "Sure, you loved David Tennant.  But you're really gonna love Matt Smith.  Just look at his bowtie.  C'mon, look at it and tell me you don't love it."

You know what else I loved?  It showcased the Doctor's ability to think on his feet and solve a problem without his trusted tools (namely, the TARDIS and his sonic screwdriver).  Without spoiling anything, he had twenty minutes to save the world even though he was still adjusting to a new body.  Fantastic fast-paced action in this one.  In fact, the 'Prisoner Zero' plot wasn't even the central focus - that was just a nice McGuffin.  It was all about introducing us to the New Doctor and his new companion.

Anyway, I will very likely end up waiting until this season is on DVD before watching more, but this season looks extremely promising.

Friday, March 25, 2011

You know what I miss?

I miss:
being a part of things like Mulder & Scully's Bogus Journey (thank-you very much Wayback Machine)
the long-defunct star wars rpg the Bounty Hunters' Guild

in short: being a part of a like-minded community.  Sure, I'm a member of a few forums here and there but they are largely non-specific beyond one common thing (i.e. Notebook in Hand's common theme is Creativity - but that is a very broad connecting theme.  Not complaining a lot, mind you, it's a fun community!).  However I don't think there's anything out there right now that I can jump into.  No fandom that I'd like to join.

Perhaps though, that might change if I can be on the ground floor of that Blood & Chrome series comes out, I can get into that.  Although to be honest, I'd rather it be something like a new Star Trek or Star Wars series, or something.  As much as I like the Battlestar Galactica franchise, it feels like something with a concrete end, rather than something open* like those other two franchises (or even Stargate - and I tried and horribly failed to get into THAT community when Universe was launching).

I really didn't have a grand point to make in this post, except that I think my lack of a community to participate in amongst peers is leading me to try and fill that void by becoming Internet-Famous; I'm constantly trying to think of cool ideas to pull off after seeing something particularly neat that someone else has done.  And then I remember I need actual artistic skills to become "Internet-Famous".  I'd much prefer being the second kind of "Internet-Famous":

Obscure around the globe, but at least well-liked by members of a like-minded community.  Is that so much to ask?

* Pardon my stealing of your trademark asterisks, Sarah, but you touched on this very topic a while ago so I thought it was fitting.  I can't find it, but I assure any outside readers that it exists in some form on

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Android on the iPod Touch?

I was browsing a forum sometime last week (this forum: Notebook In Hand) and there was a topic about iPhone / iPod Touch owners.  I mentioned that I had an iPod Touch "1G", and that while I was looking for an upgrade, it was still serving me quite well.

That triggered a response of "Well you should jailbreak it!  AND install Android!"

Wait, what?  Android on an iPod Touch?  What a crazy world!  It turns out that it's fairly simple to do this, so last weekend, I fiddled around with my iPod, and, lo and behold...

Now don't get me wrong - this is not a very functional version of Android.  It doesn't make calls, but it does connect to wifi perfectly fine and you can browse the web, etc.  But it's slow.  Way slower than the iOS.  And it overheats and causes the iPod to shut down. 

But it does one thing very well: it gives me the opportunity to play around with Android in a way that's sort of similar to using a tablet.  And it's not permanent, as I can switch back to iOS very easily.

And it ALSO speaks to my penchant for doing geeky things with my devices, like installing Android on a platform not designed for it.  Woohoo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Irrational Hatred of Kevin J. Anderson

The first time I was introduced to the work of Kevin J. Anderson was also the first time I read a lengthy novel, which was ALSO the first time I ventured into the extended Star Wars universe.  The book was Dark Apprentice, the second book of the Jedi Academy trilogy (I think I picked the second book because of the cover).  At the time I think I enjoyed the book, but mostly because it was a book about the Star Wars universe that I so loved growing up.  I should point out that I was fairly young when I read this book.

Since reading that book, I eventually acquired a taste for what I liked in books, movies, anything with a plot, etc.  I later read Anderson's next Star Wars book, Darksabre.  It was that book that really gave me the whole "I hate Kevin J. Anderson" point of view; I really didn't like the story in that book, nor what he did with the characters.  Going back to Dark Apprentice, I realized I didn't like what happened there, either, especially when compared to a fantastic trilogy like Thrawn trilogy Timothy Zahn put out earlier (which I must re-read).

I've always said - "I hate Kevin J. Anderson.  I don't like his stories."  I now realize that I'm being completely unfair to the man.  I've only read two of his major novels, and a small handful of his Young Adult Star Wars books (which are actually pretty good for kids books).  I've never read anything else by him.  Who's to say that he's not actually a good writer outside of the Star Wars universe?

I recently both read and heard him state how hard he works as an author.  He did the math, and figured that the average writer might take 1 full year to complete a novel.  He is able to do that in 5 weeks (and I believe him - do you know how many novels he's written??).  It's given me a new respect for Kevin J. Anderson.

Mind you, that doesn't mean I'm going to rush out and buy his stuff.  But I am more likely to consider reading his books now that I don't irrationally hate him.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bloggable Topics

Last night, I finished a complete draft of my nefarious "Pocket Watch" story!  And in actuality, it's not about a pocket watch anymore.  It's quite different.  It's also quite weak - but the point is that the story is on paper (well, computer) and just needs some editing.

Some other stuff:
  • I finally got a hold of the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica - look for some reviews, probably around March
  • I finished watching Dexter!  I didn't know the last season was only 12 episodes.
  • I have a review to type up of that Star Wars book that I finished less than a month ago
  • I have some things to say about Kevin J. Anderson
  • Currently I am reading John Scalzi's Agent to the Stars and am enjoying it.
So look for all that and more coming this month on my blog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Movie Reviews...

So once upon a time I ran this movie review blog called Quick & Dirty Movie Reviews.  I had fun putting it together, and apparently it has over 13 thousand all-time hits, if I believe the stats.  Of course, most of those hits are from porn-related search results, with the most popular being "Anita Briem's nipples" (which is in response to search results for this post).  There wasn't actually anything "dirty" about the site, but I wrote it in a different voice than what I usually do.

The other fun part was that there was nothing serious about it whatsoever.  Most of the time I wrote what I truly thought about a film, distilled from wordiness and right to the point - plus some sort of joke that seemed witty to me at the time of writing it.  Other times I exaggerated what I thought about certain films, which was fun too.

The point of this post: I've been feeling restless creatively.  A lot of it has to do with that short story anthology I'm trying to complete (I'm getting frustrated - love the story concepts, but not my execution), but the other bits of it is that I've realized (yet again) that I have more fun writing "quasi non-fiction".  I call it quasi non-fiction because while I am expressing my personal opinions, I am doing so through a specific character, and not really as myself.

Boy am I long-winded.  So I think I'm going to pick this up again, but this time I'm going to use Tumblr.  I don't know if there are any mechanisms in existence to transfer a Wordpress Blog to Tumblr, but if not then I will just start from scratch.  Because there is no way I'm re-typing all of those reviews.