Tuesday, July 31, 2001

How you can tell it is too damn hot
Right now, my dining room table is directly in front of my window air conditioner -- the only A/C I have, and it usually manages ok, especially when I run ceiling fans. But I noticed today that it's clearly not perfect, and my cat has discovered it as well -- I found her parked, clearly sitting right in front of the A/C, enjoying the cool air go by her.

I think if I remember, I'll try and get a picture if she does that again...though I believe it's supposed to cool down tomorrow. I hope so, I need to mow...

The Millennium Philcon Draft Schedule - 7/30/01
I've never been to a Worldcon -- given the economics, I may never *go* to a Worldcon -- and certainly not this one -- but the draft panel schedule has some interesting ideas to feed into my own brainstorming machine, and look really good if you're going... (after all, they're doing a Redemption in Angel panel as well; which was by far the best content-wise panel (in my opinion) that I was on at CONvergence this year, and it's a great way to discuss the series.)

It'll be a challenge for next year!

Plot Holes: Planet of the Apes - Why Tim Burton's ending makes sense. by Josh Daniel
If you haven't seen the movie, DON'T FOLLOW THIS LINK. However, if you saw it, go ahead -- it pointed out one thing I hadn't thought of, and I had an "a-ha" moment (as opposed to a "Duran Duran" moment, I suppose), and some things did make at least a little bit of crazy sense...

Supercomputer May Unlock Secrets of Universe
Did they name the computer Deep Thought?

Scientists Claim Evidence of Life in Outer Space

( blogdex ) is a MIT Media Lab project that scans weblogs and posts the top ten most popular links over the last 24 hours or so. It's still can't be that many yet -- if the top site for the last 24 hours appears by only getting 4 links, all it takes is a couple of friends to conspire...

(I don't think I'm being scanned by them yet, but I can't be sure, and haven't looked that hard...)

Monday, July 30, 2001

Leisure Town
This is funny, especially if you're in a software job...

Lucy Lawless on X-Files?
Lucy Lawless switches X-gigs... (what next, appear in the next X-Men movie?) :)

(I never really watched Xena though..a couple times when it was before Babylon 5 in Milwaukee, but that was it...)

I finished Father Time today -- it's my favorite Doctor Who novel I've read in years, and lived up to the very high expectations I have for Lance Parkin. It may be because that this is Doctor Who as my biography; the Doctor's daughter, mentioned in the blurb, so I'm not spoiling there -- is of my (and Lance's) generation. And the book takes place during the decade of the 1980s -- while it's the UK of the 1980s, it's all very much taking part in a time I'm familiar with, and from a perspective of history that I recognize and share.

Certainly one of the reasons why I regularly follow Doctor Who is that it's an old comfort to me -- it's a world that I've escaped to for nearly 20 years now. And perhaps this combined to make Father Time just about the ultimate in comfort read for me right now, which was, if you pardon the expression, probably exactly what the doctor ordered...

Also saw Planet of the Apes, which was ok, not great....


Sunday, July 29, 2001

Diversicon 9 program schedule is online -- looks like I'm on a Buffy panel.

Saturday, July 28, 2001

and fortunately, it appears to have been one of those 24-to-36 hour type bugs, as I think I'm more or less back to normal. Though Friday was bad. very bad. slept through most of the day. but (knock on wood) I'll be completely better tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2001

I hate being sick. Came down with a harsh little fever tonight. Part of me is concerned that it's some sort of allergic reaction to some of the stain proofing on my new furniture.

Going to try to get a lot of sleep, I think....

Thursday, July 26, 2001

Heroes and Legends and Heroes and Legends Volume 2 -- some online story thing that I got e-mail about, and might read someday.

The Agile Manifesto
For software developers....

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

I caught about half an episode of the new Big Brother -- enough that I probably won't watch anymore, and I won't pay for web access. But I was amused to discover Josh's Big Brother 2 Commentary, for someone who was on the show last year.

My comics choices for today were excellent. I got new furniture today, and it was nice to sit on my couch for a while and read on some better furniture.

The best choice, was, of course, Grant Morrison's Fantastic Four 1234 #1. They were sold out of it in the first store I went to, so I went to another. It meant a longer trip home -- probably a good hour later. But it was worth it. Boy was it worth it.

X-Men Unlimited #32 was ok. Amusing, because it had an inevitable Behind The Music style parody with Dazzler as the central character. She's so obviously a dated character, despite having come from the best run of the X-Men ever, that it's very, very funny.

X-Force continues to have the highest body count in comics. It's a very odd book; not at all like any Marvel comic ever. It's fascinating to read, especially as it shows no shame in being a more mature book than you'd expect from a mainstream Marvel title. It's hard to connect with the rest of the Marvel universe, but that's part of the fun.

Green Arrow #6 continues the fascinating Kevin Smith run, with CONvergence 2002 guest Phil Hester doing some really interesting art. Out of Kevin's comics work, I think this is his best stuff -- better than his Daredevil run, which sometimes got a little wordy.

Last is J. Michael Straczynski's Midnight Nation is alright. I'm not really on all cylinders on it -- I think it might be something that will work better when it's collected.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

More CONvergence 2001 pictures have been found....


telos.co.uk has info on the first of the Doctor Who novellas. The first of which is called Time and Relative, is by Kim Newman, and will be released on November 23, 2001. They're a bit pricey, and are very much intended as a high-end collectible.


Monday, July 23, 2001

CNN.com - Ex-Beatle strongly denies near-death report - July 23, 2001
Oh, I hope so...

Chicago TARDIS
Have I mentioned this before?

Might go to it this year; it's over the Thanksgiving weekend, as Chicago-area Doctor Who conventions traditionally are.


Sunday, July 22, 2001

George Harrison 'Knows He Will Die Soon' From Cancer
How very sad. I think if everyone has their "Beatle" -- they're either a John, Paul, George, or Ringo - I'm probably a George. I've got a fairly reasonable -- though not complete -- Beatles collection.

I remember the day John Lennon died; I was only nine or so years old, but I knew instinctively that it was a Big Deal. My parents weren't big Beatles fans -- my mom said that it was her college roommate that had all of the Beatles albums. (And actually, considering there are still some CDs that my roommate had that I don't, I can perhaps understand that.) And one of the first CDs I bought when I got a CD player was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and I've got most of the other Beatles albums.

And I remember being in art class in elementary school, and the cover for that album was out there, and it was probably the first time I heard the classic "Paul Is Dead" urban legend. And a bunch of other stuff as well.

And of course, George was partially responsible in helping to fund all of the Monty Python movies and The Rutles and stuff like that.

I finished up reading Endgame today, in a fairly lazy day of reading, looking around at furniture to get, and catching up with old friends. It was alright, not as good as the last couple of Doctor Who novels I've read, but ok, and part of a good storyline of books.


Saturday, July 21, 2001

I found the first issue of Doctor Who Magazine I ever purchased (#63) today at the neighborhood half price books today for $.50 -- my version had long since lost its cover, so I had to get it. Nostalgia took over.

My, Davison looks so young....

(also found DWM #47, DWW #34, and DWW #3, and a used copy of Ken MacLeod's The Cassini Division, to go on my stack of to-be-read-someday pile.)

And I saw Galaxy Quest, clearly the best documentary ever on Science Fiction Fandom. :)


Friday, July 20, 2001

Once again, on line webzines appear to be fanzines in disguise, with slate doing the politics in The Planet of the Apes and an article on why Akira is classic anime.

My Jurassic Park 3 Review

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

From the Slashdot file: News: Microsoft pulls back on Java support
Very interesting....

I'm not that surprised. Really, if you are seriously interested in running Java, you want to download one of the more recent runtimes from Sun, not use the one that Microsoft includes. It's a more up-to-date and better version of Java.

And based on what I've seen, C# is so obviously influenced by Java, and the whole .NET technology is strongly rooted in Microsoft's experiences were with Java, it's not surprising at all. Not at all.

I've described -- and probably stole at some point, and forgotten the attribution -- Java as being C++ - C. That's of coursenot really accurate since Java has the garbage collection built into the language, which C++ doesn't naturally have . And C# has the garbage collection, so it's probably better described as Java + C. But that's still a greatly simplistic outlook on it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

One of the best things about this site is like Bernice Summerfield, I can sort of put post-it-notes over what I write, and correct any mistakes I find, or things I don't like, by just updating past entries.

Though I don't have the sorts of things Benny has here, since this isn't a diary, and is public. So all I ever correct are typos and mispellings, mainly....

Minnesota people can figure out their Sales Tax Rebate 2001.

all right, bits of it are funny...

TheForce.Net has a tv commercial for the DVD release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (which, to tell a dirty little secret, I actually really enjoyed.)


Monday, July 16, 2001

Is Your Club Dead Yet?
Surfing the web on some general SF links I found this interesting article.

prog rock dock - your site for reviews and commentary on progressive rock, past and present
argh. had a big essay wrote up to attach to this link, and then my browser crashed. Doesn't that suck?

It's a pretty cool site with some Marillion videos, news on a Genesis DVD, and other prog-rock junk.

Ah....just that I realized that I'm not nearly as successfully obscure to be a very good fan. I'm too pop, even with this marginal stuff. Far to pop to be a good progressive rock fan. (If there is such a thing)

When it comes to SF, I'm much too much the media fan to really be part of that scene, and there are other differences I've noticed in philosophy and outlook that sometimes make things difficult as well. Even though I love getting together with other enthusiasts of the genre...

It's probably true with computers; as I'm not very dogmatic on what OSes to use, or what languages to use.

I'm even far too moderate politically.

But it doesn't really matter. I'm generally happy with how I approach these things... One of the reasons why I think I've got this site is to have a bit of all of that out there, I suppose, and collect my hobbies in one place.

Sunday, July 15, 2001

I saw Cats & Dogs (2001) today. Funny, cute little kids movie.

And I'm going to be off to see Doctor Who (1996) pretty soon.

And you know what's sad? I was able to link the two by one person. (John Debney composed the music for both.) Even worse? Didn't need to check IMDB.


Friday, July 13, 2001

It is very dangerous to go through usenet archives with old e-mail addresses

BBC News | NEW MEDIA | Fans applaud Doctor's return
Still need to listen to Death Comes To Time though... (which can be found here) And don't forget the Sci-Fi channel on sunday!

The Snark Hunt 2001
Congrats to the winner of the 2001 MISFITS Writing Contest -- and it looks like an interesting site too.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | Who does Buffy have to slay to get an Emmy nomination?


I pretty much agree with Tim Wick's Final Fantasy Review. Impressive from the technical side, but that was about it. Of course, I was really wiped out when I saw it -- it had been after a long weekend and then a long day out in the sun, so I was very, very tired.

more CONvergence 2001 pictures


The Buffy Shooting Script Site
It also includes the original second episode script for Angel called Corrupt, but production was halted on it because it was too dark.


Buffy was robbed of an emmy nod for The Body in this years selection of Prime-Time Emmy Nominations

(also see official emmys site)


Someone else's Convergence 2001 pictures.... The three pictures that start from here feature me during the opening ceremonies Douglas Adams tribute. (a 42 towel salute)


Hollywood talent giving comic books a boost
I've been following most of the creators mentioned who have been moving into comics -- but then, I was a fan of Buffy, Babylon 5, and Kevin Smith's movies partially because of the clear influence of comic books on them, so seeing them do comics is all for the best.


Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Actor Harrison Ford Plays Hero in Real Life
He is just too damn cool.

Marketing 'Narnia' without a Christian lion
I'm kind of disgusted. I read The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid -- it was probably one of the first book series I ever read. And I've been slowly re-reading it this year as an adult, since I got it again last year for Christmas. And I think the connections with Christianity are really what a lot of what its about -- they're enjoyable children's stories, certainly. But I think they use a relatively light touch on the religious meaning, and I think anyone -- including people who aren't at all Christian -- can read and enjoy them.

And I think hiding what influences something is a bad idea -- should Sandman deny its historical and mythological roots? The best part of it -- Season of Mists -- is filled with it.

And Narnia's influence on other works -- including Gaiman's A Game of You, or from what I've understood of Lance Parkin's Father Time. (I still need to read that one) -- it's all important, I think. But the religious imagery is *part* of that influence. (And it's true when other stories are clearly influenced by religious stories as well...)

I'm not strongly religious; but this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

I just put up some CONvergence 2001 Pictures


I understand that you'll be able to download the Spider-Man Movie trailer from Columbia Pictures starting this Thursday.

I got my CONvergence photos developed, but it might take me some time to scan them in....

Monday, July 09, 2001

BBC to make British ``Buffy'' spin-off
Not much more information than what we had earlier; and we discussed this a bit at CONvergence this weekend.

The convention was fantastic, by the way. I don't really have much to say on it right now, maybe once I get some pictures developed. I had a real good time though, talked to a bunch of people. Died of laughter during the Soylent Theater show, as they had a "Doctor Who Drinking Society" sketch, which hit pretty close to home.


Thursday, July 05, 2001

I don't know if I'll watch the TV version (and won't until sometime well into next week), but despite how awful the show was, I was kind of perversely amused by Big Brother last summer, and CBS has the website on line for the new version. I'm a bit disturbed that they're saying "Free Trial" for the live video feed though --- I might sign on the video feed out of curiousity, but I'm not going to pay for it!

Well, CONvergence day -1 is over. (Like the Common Era, there is no CONvergence day 0; though I suppose the Thursday before a con really does qualify. It certainly will when it's next year, and the thursday before is the 4th of July.)

Today was a lot of driving around friends, picking up some at the airport, and going around shopping at various book, comic book, music, and video stores. I picked up Ultraviolet, as I just loved it when I saw it on the Sci-fi channel last year. Then it was check some friends into the hotel, hang out at the hotel for a while and go home. Things are really coming together -- I love going to a convention on a Thursday night, as you see the con slowly come together; it's not yet crazy like it will be this time tomorrow.

Well, I want to charge up my sleeping batteries, as I imagine I won't get much for the rest of the weekend....


Wednesday, July 04, 2001

CONvergence is on my mind, of course. It's this weekend. Since I put the schedule on line, it's even more so, as I've looked over the programming items quite a bit over the last couple of weeks.

I've been going to Science Fiction conventions for fifteen years now, my first was TARDIScon 1986 in St Louis, a three day Doctor Who convention; where I was moved by what weekend long conventions were all about. It got me into some trouble as I got more and more involved in local Doctor Who fandom, which was peaking at the time, and we were at the center of it. And various Minicons through the years; and while I was never involved with it, it provided my connection to any sort of fandom through much of my college years. It was the Minicon in 1997 where I realized that I really wanted to move back here, it was home. And while I was a little stunned the following year to discover that my home wasn't really Minicon, it turns out that I wasn't the only one, and CONvergence was welcoming us home.

At the time, I think there was every reason to believe that things would go horribly wrong. Lots of divisions that exist in local SF fandom were revealed -- there are generational issues and cultural issues involved; silly non-words like "sci-fi" and "fen" became fighting terms. And while Minicon has radically shrunk in size, the people who wanted it that way got what they wanted, and perhaps next year it'll be something that will appeal to me more. Especially since I know more people from minn-stf now then I did before this years Minicon. Though it took 15 years in fandom to actually have a conversation with an active and identified minn-stfer Hmm.

But enough of that. I think things are better than ever in fandom, at least for me -- I went to a Minn-stf meeting last weekend, as it was pretty much in my neighborhood and I was free, two things that don't happen very often, and had a real good time. It was a bit odd; as one thing they don't tell you is that people show up a whole lot later than the posted start time. I picked up some information and registered for Diversicon, so CONvergence won't be the end of my convention calendar for the year. But the meeting was a good warm up for the convention, I think...

And just when I think it can't get any better, MISFITS goes ahead and gets the original Superman back on the big screen for a week in August.

And I might go down to Chicago for Chicago TARDIS, if a critical mass of my friends go.

As I go through the CONvergence week, I'll keep this all going with "My CONvergence", in the tradition of my Minicon and Marscon reports. Though it may be a while before I get to it, as there is more going on for me as far as this one goes...

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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Delia Derbyshire, who performed the initial, classic version of the Doctor Who theme, passed away.


developerWorks : Web architecture : Server-side scripting languages
found this while on a search for other things -- it compares PHP, Perl, and Java Servlets, and it looks interesting. I'd also cross ref with various Microsofty solutions like ASP (and I suppose ASP.NET), and of course JSP as a variation on Java Servlets.

SCIFI.COM / The Legend of the Rangers
includes real video trailer (which I haven't watched yet) for the new B5 made-for-sci-fi-channel TV movie.

Monday, July 02, 2001

I see that Cinescape has somehow managed to regenerate after the death of fandom.com (and I'm not really upset with that loss, as they were being silly thinking they could "copyright" fandom.) We'll have to see how this new incarnation is.....

Though I can't believe that there is going to be a new Battlestar Galactica series.

I disagree a bit with the Unbreakable review -- I picked up the DVD last week, and saw the movie again and watched a bunch of the additional features. I think the movie is really good -- it's main weakness is that it isn't The Sixth Sense but clearly by the same director, but it's still fantastic. And I think the additional features on it are fantastic, and make it for an excellent package.


This rocks. I just found out that MISFITS is going to be doing the midwest theatrical premier of the special edition of Superman in August. (This is the new version that is on the DVD, but it'll be on the big screen, with a fresh print, and they'll be showing it for a whole week.)


SCIFI.COM lists the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie in their event log for July 15, 8 PM CST! [see the review I wrote of it back after it originally aired in 1996.]


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