Friday, August 31, 2001

Google Groups - Help Us Complete the Usenet Archive
The idea of having early 1990s usenet posts is really disturbing... I hope they are successful though, and I know there might be some old posts I'm interested in seeing with what they already said they had.

Yahoo - TiVo Delivers Strong Subscriber and Revenue Growth in Second Quarter Of Fiscal Year 2002; Dramatically Lowers Cash Usage
Eeek. I think my biggest concern about getting a TiVo is that they stay in business. But it looks like they're getting cash as they grow their business, and I'm sure that the technology is here to stay.

I really hope the dual tuner upgrade shows up for those of us that have a standalone TiVo at some point in time -- that would really solve all of my television needs and desires. (From what I've seen, I suspect it can't, as it'd require two tuners... too bad!)

Ananova - Jogger has rabies scare after bat incident
I had a bat sighting earlier in the week, so I had this article forwarded to me...

Thursday, August 30, 2001

Laurel pointed me to another TiVo article on teevee to feed my need for more information on my new little wonder toy...

I got a TiVo, feeling that my duty was to spend my federal tax refund on something technological. And I can already tell it's way cool and I'm thinking why didn't I get one of these months ago. (Reason: I'm going to be watching more TV.)

I've been also looking at the TiVo FAQ. My hardware karma is bad enough that I doubt I'll need the Hacking the TiVo FAQ or other sites concerning such things, but I'm amused that you can do it. Accessing the controls of your TiVo over the web. Though I can find out everything that happens in the TiVo world on a forum about it.

NOBODADDY looks like a companion site to what I previously mentioned...

The Official NoMemberProject Website
While that Marillion plan of selling their last album worked out very well, another band that I pre-ordered an album for has had a more mixed reaction, and it's shows that it isn't a risk free sort of deal, and I don't know if we'll ever see anything because of it....

The Doctor Who News Page at Outpost Gallifrey has the press release for the future of Death Comes To Time at BBC Online.


Wednesday, August 29, 2001

This week's comics: new issues of Green Arrow, Fantastic Four 4321, Uncanny X-Men, and X-Force. Pick: Green Arrow, which starts to answer many of the mysteries that have been a part of Kevin Smith's storyline. X-Force continues its high body count.

cool little online toy that lets you make shapes that bounce around and stuff.

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Kevin Smith's Date With Destiny!
A comic showing how Silent Bob and geek hero Kevin met his wife. With art by pizza delivery boy Joe Quesada.

FARGUIDE - A Farscape Episode Guide
I watched the first two episodes of Farscape since they are starting nightly repeats on the scifi channel, and so I was looking around for an episode guide and this looked like a pretty good one.

I'd never actually watched whole episodes of the show before -- but I'd heard mainly good things about it, and I don't think it's bad at all.

Monday, August 27, 2001

Mister Rogers to Retire; Show to Live on in Reruns
It is probably horribly unfashionable to admit that I watched and loved his show when I was a very young child. For many years one of my treasured toys was a mom-made Purple Panda. [It's possible that this would have been my first contact with a sf concept, as Purple Panda came from the Planet Purple. Purple was also my favorite color for many years, and it's probably difficult to say whether I like Purple Panda because it was Purple, or that I like Purple because that was the color of Purple Panda.]

But as Mr Rogers retires and puts on his shoes for the last time, it's time to give him a big thank you for his contribution to my childhood. Hopefully it'll still be in repeats when (and if, I suppose) I have children of my own....

Sunday, August 26, 2001

It looks like it's been linked to before in places, but I hadn't seen it before, and I'm kind of shocked to discover that the actor who played Wesley Crusher has a weblog.

Doctor Who News
Interesting Doctor Who news site that I hadn't looked at before.


Saturday, August 25, 2001

I saw Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I've rarely seen a big screen movie that is so filled with inside jokes to their previous movies like that. It's sort of the motion picture version adaptation of Kevin's Chasing Dogma comic, which tells how Jay & Silent bob got from Chasing Amy to Dogma.

This movie is also The Five Doctors of the View Askew series of movies -- nostalgia held together with the simplest of story, where part of the thrill is seeing old characters in color that were originally only in black and white.

There's something really appealing about all of that. It's not a movie for everyone, but for those movies it is for, it is definitely for in a way movies rarely are. I think one of the reasons why Kevin Smith's films are appealing is that he's so clearly "one of us" really.

One thing that was also impressive is that he's improved his directiorial skills -- it's his best directed film yet. (Probably not his best film -- but I don't think it was trying to be.

But it's really good fun, and I really enjoyed it. It was good to spot some cameos -- I didn't even recognize Marc Blucas when he appeared.... Though you can't miss Eliza Dushku..

I wondered, as one does late at night, if there was any fan fiction for reality tv programs. I should have known better than to ask, because there is Survivor fan fiction.

I don't think that's the scariest fan fiction category out there, but it's close. minesweeper is up there, but I think N-Sync probably wins the scary contest.

Friday, August 24, 2001

I'm going to see Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back tonight. I can't wait -- I've got all of the other Kevin Smith films as DVDs, and so I'm definitely in his target market, and the reviews make it sound like if you are, you will. (MISFITS review says much the same.)

Thursday, August 23, 2001

It's been a busy week for me -- this is the first night I've been home all week. And I toyed with going out tonight as well, but decided that I needed to stay in for a change.

It was a light week for comics (& related stuff) -- a new issue of New X-Men and The Brotherhood, and issue 307 of Doctor Who Magazine (which I didn't know had a website until right now!)

sort of disappointed by the two comics. I'm not a big fan of Quitely's art, I think. But the storyline is ok, and there are some things that make me very glad to be buying X-Men titles, as one of the reasons why I stopped reading it years ago was removed.

DWM is ok too -- I think they're doing a little bit better job as far as balance goes, perhaps leaning a bit to heavily in the audio direction still at times in their previews. The article about the NAs is fantastic though, as David J Howe turns his skilled eye at the true legacy of 1990s Doctor Who.

Though I'm thrilled they listed the American Doctor Who DVD releases -- I preordered my copies of Spearhead from Space, Robots of Death, and The Five Doctors earlier this week, and I'm really looking forward to them. It doesn't hurt that they're all truly classic Doctor Who, but they also look like they're really putting together DVDs that take advantage of the format.


Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Number of Laid Off Workers Jumps
And from personal experience -- where I think there are more people who have been laid off of work now than I've ever known before in my life, it's not very surprising at all. But still scary & frustrating.

The International Crop Circle Database has some pictures of a really neat one. I was also curious to see if there had been any in Minnesota, and they list five.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

The Comic Wire is reporting that Kevin Smith and CONvergence 2001 guest Phil Hester will be moving from Green Arrow to a revival of the Batman team-up title Brave and the Bold. Could be cool.

John Cleese Says U.S. Comedy Better Than British
Sadly, I think he's right that British TV isn't what it once was -- they just aren't producing much television anymore. (And I'm not just talking about Doctor Who). He gets cast alot as John Clesse in the things he does in the US (see the last James Bond film) -- so he's a bit exceptional in the work he gets, but still...

Sunday, August 19, 2001

I picked up The Norm : Ball Collection Boxed at a local store today, and I just finished re-reading all of 2000's strips. I've said it before, but The Norm is probably my favorite comic strip today. It was somewhat nostalgic to read last year's strips, when the internet economy was still booming.

A really nice CONvergence 2001 write up, with some pictures (including me) too.


Saturday, August 18, 2001 - Are you a progfreak?
some stuff on progressive rock -- some things that are a bit more obscure than my interest, but they've got a neat Marillion section.

Friday, August 17, 2001

Couple weekend notes -- MISFITS Movie Night is doing a special presentation of Superman. But it's going to be playing all week, and not just the late night showings, so there are lots of chances to check it out.

Also there is a Minnesota Doctor Who Viewing Society extravaganza on Saturday to look forward to.


Thursday, August 16, 2001

Similar solar system reflects Earth's universe
very interesting -- and "only" 45 light years away. -=- anoraknophobia single
will only available on the website. But you can get two. It's got the two radio-friendliest tracks on it. And the Crash Course CD that you can get with it for a buck is good too.

PvP - Player Versus Player - The Daily Online Comic Strip
This one is funny and oh-so-true.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Today is comics day.

I got: Dork Tower #14, Ultimate X-Men #8, New X-Men Annual 2001, and Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine! #9

The FF mag is what is described in the Doctor Who fan community as "fanwank" -- it's self indulgent, greatest-hits stuff. I mean, next issue promised Doctor Doom vs. Galactus. It's over the top, nostalgic, and very silly. But I recently read some of the oriignal Stan Lee and Jack Kirby FF that this is imitating, and it's only slightly more exaggerated than this, really.

New X-Men Annual 2001 is slightly disorienting, because it's done on it's side in a sort of "wide-screen" type format. It's also been released out of order from the main run, so it's a little confusing as it takes place after some stories we haven't seen yet.

I think I liked the first arc of Ultimate X-Men more than this one -- i'm losing track of the plot a little bit, and they're throwing in too many of the old characters too quickly -- a fatal flaw in revamps, I think, especially when the revamped characters are similar -- but not identical -- to their original versions.

Dork Tower rules. If you're a fan, of any of those geeky types, you should check this book out. Especially if you're a gamer, but I haven't been for a long time, and I still think it's great. For a sample, two characters have this discussion in this issue:

"Can Fanboys find love, Ken?" - Carson

"Hmmm... You know, they might possibly be the best people to be in love. Think about it...we're devoted to games that go out of print as soon as we learn the rules! We adore science fiction series that television stations will cancel as soon as they gain any kind of following! We Feverishly await movies that Invariably bite, and we follow comic book characters even if the companies treat us like dirt and trash their own creations!" - Ken

"In other words, we know we'll be dumped eventually" - Carson

"It's a more useful outlook than you might think..." - Ken

ha! Seriously, check it out. I had this recommended to me a couple of months ago, and I've got both trade paperbacks and you can pretty much get everything still. Lots of the strips are available online.

(My life can probably be understood by combining Dork Tower with The Norm, with a very light touch of Dilbert.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Montykins: VH-1 Is Stupid
I've said several times before that I could tell I was getting old when I was VH-1 and not MTV. But Monty has a good point -- and I think what it says is that the people choosing the list are people that fixed a lot of their musical taste in 1970 or so; probably a lot of people that are 45 or so. (Or people who worked so much with older journalists that their tastes were dominated by those older than they are.)

I'm actually not much of a fan of "greatest" lists -- that's far more objective than I could be about something like music (or anything else really). The reasons we like or dislike something tend to not just be something about the work itself, but how it interacts with the person you are at the time you encounter it.

I know that my default musical selections tend to come from my junior high, high school, and college age -- you probably get exposed to the most music then.

More "Buffy" Fansites Slayed

I would have liked to have talked about this sort of stuff at the CONvergence fan websites panel, but we found out more about Harry's website and other activities instead, which is a different beast entirely from this stuff. Some other day, perhaps...


The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is coming up. I haven't decided when I'm going yet; I'm sure I'll go sometime, it depends on when people I know go as well, I suppose. (I mean, there are people I know that work there, of course, but....)

Monday, August 13, 2001

BBC Online - Cult - Doctor Who - Telepress
The e-mail newsletter about Doctor Who books has moved to the BBC website. It contains interviews & cover previews & other good things.


Friday, August 10, 2001

There is some info about the new Tori Amos album
it looks like it's the usually- risky (and sometime contractually obligated, but maybe not here) Cover Album. But there are some interesting songs that are being covered there, and she's done interesting covers since very early in her career, with a wonderful Nirvana cover. And she's doing a Joe Jackson cover, and I've had his greatest hits album living on my laptop all year.

But the picture of her... oh no, i'm shocked....the red hair is gone....

Ventura on UFOs: 'There's got to be somebody out there'
Well of course, we all know that Jesse is a MIB, we've all seen that episode of The X-Files :)

Thursday, August 09, 2001

Willy Wonka in Widescreen Petition
I'd kind of feared this might happen -- with DVD becoming more and more mainstream, I've heard that the studios have some research that "the masses" would actually prefer pan-and-scan instead of widescreen, and the studios will therfore go that route. Ick, ick, ick -- I want my movies on widescreen please, so we see the *entire* movie! Especially on something like DVD. Technology | No laughing matter
While it has the horribly-cliched "Bang! Wow! Zap!" header, it's sort of an interesting article about what direction on-line comics have. I'm all in favor of the net for comic delivery -- but I think it tends to work best for comics like you'd see in the newspaper, and I read most of those three-panel ones there. But I think you're getting longer storylines as well -- like what GPF has been doing recently, or even some of the threads that show up in a strip that goes into the paper like the norm. I think it's all going to be a lot more complicated than anyone would imagine....

Russian fans oppressed by police...
spooky. very spooky.

Wednesday, August 08, 2001 Books | Lost in translation
An amusing little article about books that become movies that are then novelized again. I almost picked up the original Planet of the Apes book over the weekend, and I still might do that, as I'm curious about it.

Harry's thoughts on Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Well, yeah -- I think we're somewhat jaded these days to these titles. I'm not excited about it really either, but it is a standard serial title, certainly -- as Harry points out.

And I think there is some wisdom of having the word Clones in the title -- they were mentioned in A New Hope, after all, and since they're very topical, it dovetails very nicely. And I'm not sure if the obvious The Clone Wars makes sense, since the movie series is called Star Wars.

But still, it is a blah title. But we'll get used to it. (And I think The Phantom Menace is a good title now.)


Actor wrestled armed robber over son's birth video
heh heh.

Some Cinescape articles of note:

Babylon 5 on DVD
Yeah! And actually, I don't want them to release them to fast, I'd like to be able to digest them all. But I haven't taped the widescreen editions on the sci-fi channel because I want them on DVD.

And then Ewan McGregor slams the new Star Wars title
but with a title like Attack of the Clones, can you disagree with him? And the whole story is available here, apparently with video footage.

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Years ago, when I was first discovering Doctor Who, The Universal Databank (and its predecessors) were an invaluable guidebook to the series. Especially back in the day when I thought I'd never see a story that didn't feature Tom Baker, or perhaps Peter Davison. Before these books, I didn't even know about them. I knew that Jean-Marc Lofficier had put it online, but I don't think I've mentioned it here before. So here goes.


Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Some very nice new Doctor Who covers -- considering they sometimes aren't so good, it's good to see that The Adventuress of Henrietta Street and Dying in the Sun have such good covers.


Doctor Who named cult favourite
In the UK, of course....

Labels: On TV : NEXT: The Future Just Happened should have the story tonight about how Marillion went to their fan base to fund their last record instead of getting an advance from a record company. (you can see more on the bbc website)

On A&E tonight, 8 PM CST. There is also an accompanying book.

Monday, August 06, 2001

Salon has an article about the whole "George Harrison is Dying" story
And one of the problems of the modern era is that rumors quickly get thrown on the web, and while no one should believe a thing I say, it also gets on news wires that should be believable as well....

I have no neck: What Rocky Horror Character are you?

# 1 the Criminologist
# 2 Dr. Scott
# 3 Brad
# 4 Riff-Raff
# 5 Janet
# 6 Eddie
# 7 Magenta
# 8 Frank N. Furter
# 9 Rocky
# 10 Columbia

Star Wars: Episode II | Special Announcement: Episode II Title
ewww. Attack of the Clones. And I like The Phantom Menace as a title....

Maybe we'll get used to it...


Star Links
fun if you want to check to see what the degrees of seperation between two actors are -- like how you get from Star Trek's William Shatner to Doctor Who's Tom Baker

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I, Cringely | The Pulpit
This was a popular link according to blogdex, and I can see why. I think the problem with this thought is that it's still the case that many servers are on some UNIX variant, and will continue to be for lots of reasons (including security). I'm sure MS would love a "better" network protocol -- and they could try something, certainly.

I am disturbed with the idea that XP makes all of the sockets available though.

Sunday, August 05, 2001

I just got back from Diversicon, a fun little low-key convention. I love the hotel -- it's fantastic for a small 200-person convention, and very comfortable, and has a lot of charm. Had lots of fun conversations, from Buffy and Douglas Adams and costuming and bizzarre muppet discussions and minesweeper fanfic and jumping the shark and convention programming and whatever else really.

Saturday also had a MISFITS meeting. Ok turn out -- but I think we still need to do better at promoting meetings, and we had some problems with parking and the like. I gave away some Avengers and James Bond videos that I had upgraded to DVD and a bunch of books in a "book/video" swap -- I came away with less than I brought, but I expected as much, and I figure it'll work out karmically in the end anyways. I think it's a good idea for the meetings. Though my problem is that I tend to want to "collect" things I like -- so if it's a book I've read, I'll keep it, even if I'm unlikely to read it again. And I'm not so out of hand yet where I have to get rid of stuff just to get rid of it.

and I just noticed that my duplicate Avengers tapes may increase -- I see that I can get every Emma Peel episode in one DVD package, and I probably will have to do that.

Friday, August 03, 2001

Ok. I've seen some of the trail of the infamous Code Red worm around, in log files and the like. But look at how quickly it spreads and then it's really disturbing. But the patch is available, so go ahead and fix it already you IIS people!!! [via Looka ]

Edina prepares for huge turnout for Stringer service
And this is right on my way home....I don't think I'm going home after work tonight.

Neo Fan Manifesto
yes. yes. yes.

Thursday, August 02, 2001

I always forget to read Red Meat, and I shouldn't. I can remember to read my daily comics, but the weekly ones are more least they archive them, I just went through two months worth of them...

I've seen this survey on a bunch of sites lately, and figured it was my turn.

Michael Gordon Philip Lee

Living Arrangement:
Two bedroom house in suburban Minneapolis, with one cat Gustav.
The second bedroom is filled with a 23 year long comic collection, but nothing there is really that valuable, because I'd rather have them to read than to collect.

What book are you reading right now
I finished Father Time by Lance Parkin earlier this week. I haven't decided what I'm going to read next. I really should re-read Flatland so I can move on to Flatterland, which I should review for the MISFITS site.

What's on your mousepad?
The Micron mousepad I got with the computer.

Favorite Board Game?
Trivial Pursuit , when I'm winning. Monopoly otherwise, especially the Star Wars original trilogy version.

Favorite Magazine?
Salon or Slate when I'm online. Newsweek perhaps if I'm looking a print magazine.

Favorite Smells?
I could identify it if I smelled it, but I don't know the name.

Least Favorite Smells?
Eww. Anything rotting.

Favorite Sound?
Evening rain. But that could just be this humid weather lately.

Worst Feeling in the World?
loss of control

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
How long until I need to get ready for work.

Favorite Color -
as a kid, it was purple. Now I'm much more split into it's components; red and blue.

How many rings before you answer the phone?
As soon as I get to it, usually two.

What is your biggest fear?
long term chronic illness at my age.

What is most important in life?
Happiness. Friends & Family.

Favorite Foods?
Mexican, Italian, Chinese.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Do you like to drive fast?
When the circumstances call for it.

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

Storms - Cool or Scary?

What type was your first car?
I drove my parents 1980s cavalier in high school, it was pretty effectively mine during those years. My first car was a 1995 Saturn.

If you could meet one person dead or alive?
My great-grandfather, because one of my earliest memories is of visiting him in a nursing home at about 2 years old or so, before he passed away. I had a little donald duck finger puppet that I was fascinated with during one of my visits.

Favorite alchoholic drink?
Rum & Coke. White Russian.

What is your Zodiac Sign?

Do you eat the stems of Broccoli?

If you could have any job, what would it be?
Something that was varied and changing and let me do the other things I want to do.

If you could dye your hair any color?
Red, probably. Maybe blond. It'd be super scandinavian either way then...

Ever been in love?
I don't know.

Is the glass half empty or half full?
Both, of course.

Favorite Movies?
this still works

Most recent movie you've seen?
I watched a little bit of The Living Daylights, but the last whole movie was the new Planet of the Apes.

Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?
Not perfectly -- but it's always worked well enough for me, and I had worked out my own system at an age well before they taught typing courses, and at that point I was more effective with my system than I would be with any new system.

What's under your bed?
some comics and magazines. my room needs to be cleaned in the worst way.

Favorite Number?

Favorite Sport to Watch?
Football the last couple of years.

I heard that Neil Gaiman should be on MPR's Midmorning this morning, either at 9:00 or 10:00. And the show should eventually be archived there, so if you, like me, won't be in front of a radio at that time...

(later addition: it's an interesting interview, and is available on their site at the current moment...)

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

It's one of those days.

Science fiction legend Poul Anderson passed away -- [Windowseat will be listing some obits and the like]. What's frustrating is that he's yet another one of those authors that I'm much more familiar with by reputation than by actually reading his works. One of my initial thoughts, and this is a terribly sad sign of a Doctor Who fan, was "oh, he's the writer Chief Mover Poul from Robots of Death was named after". And I'm a bit embarassed and saddened by that. That clear tributes and references like that -- which you've known about for years -- weren't followed up on, and should have been. And you want to go and read a bunch of things, but you should have done that years ago...

Also, Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings died of heat stroke after practicing in yesterday's weather. It's perhaps a bit odd linking a science fiction legend and a young football player, and it's really only a tragedy of timing that links them. The friends, families, and fans of both will miss them terribly, and forever, and my thoughts go out to them. There's just never enough time.


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