Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Ha!

See, I knew Former Student A (of the very, very fast feet, if that helps, since I've had many As) could have a future as a paper shredder.  :-)

Of Course

Because what you expect just after having your car checked over from front to back in preparation for a road trip is to have a dead battery.


More on Evan

MOM-NOS has a lovely tribute here.

Having been involved in online stuff for a while, you can feel very connected with people.  Blogs have made that easier in some ways, and harder in others.

For instance, I rarely leave comments, even though I often want to, because I think, "why would this person care what I have to say?"

(And, often, because people seem so much more clever in their comments than I could ever be.)

(And, often, because I'm a sibling and not a parent, I don't feel quite qualified to say something.  On the rare occasions that I do, I generally preface the comment with that fact.)

So a reciprocal relationship is something you have to work at in blogging.

But at the same time, perhaps because I'm just the type to remember what I read, if I hear the name of a certain country star, I think of MOM-NOS's son.  Because she lives nearby, I always harbored the secret thought that maybe I'd run into Vicki and Evan when they were out and about.  The last time I rode the subway, such as it is here, I thought of Charlie.  I've given some serious thought to attempting to learn at least a little Japanese, in the hope that someday I can take Patrick to DisneySea, so I thought of Brandon and his mom learning Japanese for their trip last year.

Blogs like Vicki's, and Kristina's, and Lisa's, and MOM-NOS's, and Niksmom's, and Casdok's, and Maddy's, and Daisy's...the stories about their lives, their kids...they leave a mark.

And so, even though I'll not run into Evan on his adventures, I'll remember him, too.  Particularly when I see a child swinging.


At Disney World last year, I spent some time hunting down elusive plus-sized clothing at the World of Disney store.  I didn't have much luck, though I did get one dubiously-sized shirt that seems bigger than it said it was, which kinda-sorta fits.

Guess what I found?

No, it's not quite the's not, say, a Mickey's PhilHarmagic t-shirt...but it means I can now have a Dory only dilemma is...should it say "Just keep swimming?" or "It's a blue and yellow whale!"

The first is a movie reference, and the second is from the new subs.

On second thought, the second makes it feel more like a theme park shirt.


This comes on the heels of finding a shirt at the Star Trek Experience that just called to me.  I've more or less made peace with the fact that size 2 shirts are not in my future, but that one...that one was enough to make me stop and have my "what if" moment.

It was a cartoonized, stylized Orion Slave Girl (shut up), and the caption was "It's not easy being green."

Heh heh.

ETA:  Officially licensed Yoda shirts!  That come in my size!  Oh, I think I'm in love....

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Am Beginning to Love Comics

It seems strange to be squeeing over fandom stuff when an online acquaintance is going through such a sad time, however...

I have to say that this makes me very happy.  (That drawing of Scorpius is just beyond awesome.)

I came to Farscape late (as in, the show had just been, or was just about to be, cancelled), for the most absurd of reasons.

See, my first real foray into online fandom was Babylon 5, in a quiet, more or less easygoing corner of the web called the John and Delenn mailing list.  As B5 drew to a close, many people on that list began to get into Farscape.  In fact, the person who ran the mailing list added a John-Aeryn section to his original website.

Why Babylon 5?

Well, for one thing, it was more or less my favorite show at the time, though Deep Space Nine was getting really good right at that point, as all the Dominion stuff began to happen.

Also?  My first few tentative searches into Star Trek fandom were...well...scary.  Flame wars upon flame wars upon flame wars upon arguing about tabling a discussion that caused flame wars erupting into more flame wars.

Did I mention the flame wars?


Anyway, I tend to be kind of contrary when it comes to my TV.  I like to discover things on my own.  The more people gushed about Farscape, the less interested in it I became. I made an aborted attempt to watch one episode (which, admittedly, did stick with me until several years later when I caught a re-run on Sci-Fi).

Anyway, the same has happened with several shows over the years -- when a friend mentioned Buffy, I watched an episode (which, sadly, must have been one of the sillier first season ones...because it made no impression whatsoever) and that was about it.

So, I did have the advantage of watching most of Farscape in one fell swoop.  I may have felt differently if the whole John-Aeryn-Talyn!John thing had been strung along over long, endless months, but by and large, I was captivated.

I've been buying the Buffy comics as they come out in multi-comic volumes (trade paperbacks? I think that's the term)...but the Farscape ones...I may have to buy as they come out.

I highly recommend the show, if that's not obvious by now.  You do have to somewhat engage your suspension of disbelief, because of all the muppets, but the ultimate effect once you let go of wondering how the guy running Rygel managed to stay out of sight, is far more immersive than Star Trek.  Aliens are actually aliens, and look like it.

Also, in case you hadn't noticed in my Stargate commentaries, I am a huge fan of Claudia Black's.  In Aeryn's case, she did an excellent job of creating a believable journey as Aeryn struggled to break out of the mold she'd been forced into.  Claudia is a master at hinting at hidden vulnerabilities -- with Aeryn, it takes the form of bluster, bravado, and aggression; with Vala, it mostly takes the form of snark and sarcasm.

But the effect is the same -- it makes for a truly three-dimensional character.

It's later in the series, but one of my absolute favorite moments of hers (as well as Ben Browder's) comes after she has been tortured to the point of breaking (which, in itself, is a character "development," but I don't want to give too much away).  She wakes up in a panic, and the look on her face...speaks volumes.  Encyclopedias.

Anyway, I'm losing track of things, but suffice it to say that anyone looking for a "new" show to tide them over through summer re-runs might want to give Farscape a try.

The Spear in the Other's Heart

"The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own; you are he.  There is no wisdom, and no other hope for us but that we grow wise."  -- Diane Duane

Rest in peace, Evan.

Although my thoughts are with Evan's whole family, I'd like to especially send my karmic good wishes to Evan's sister Josie.  She's in a position I try actively not to think about.

ETA:  More about Evan here, here, and here. These are blogs that I read (err...lurk, I suppose; I rarely leave comments); if you read the post on Vicki's blog, you can link to many more tributes.  I'll add more as the news trickles out to the blogs I do read.

Packaging Ridiculousness

Just to clarify, the little box from Canon came in the big box from Amazon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Eyes Have It

Yes, it's a bad joke.  So sue me.

I got my new glasses Tuesday, and boy, did the eye doctor change something.  The first night, I thought my head was going to explode.  (This is a bit unusual for me, but I quite often have a breaking in period for's just usually more like, "Hey, wait, how far away is that?"  In other words, my depth perception gets...weird.)

Anyway, as my eyes adjust, the headache has been less and less intense each day, but...eesh.

I got the super-flexible ones...which does not make them Bulldozer-throwing-proof, but it might prevent badness from when I accidentally step on them afterwards.

For those that want to boggle, my left eye is 20/175-ish, and my right eye is 20/550-ish...which means that I have to be twenty feet away from something to see it as clearly as you would from 175 and 550 feet, respectively.

And, no, that does not make me legally blind.  Legal blindness means that with the best possible correction, you see 20/200 or worse -- so if I were wearing the strongest glasses I could get and still only saw 20/200, then I'd be legally blind.  (Or if my field of vision were 20 degrees.)

Just clearing that up, as that's almost always the first comment I get, and I'm a stickler for accuracy.  :-)

(I do, however, have a restriction on my driver's license that I must wear my glasses to drive.  Fair enough...although in an absolute, utter emergency, as long as I knew were I were going, I'd get there without hitting anybody...I just couldn't read street signs and would have to remember that my depth perception is all wonky.)

Meanwhile, "The Island" is one of the most melancholy songs I've ever heard, and the guy I'm listening to right now can't sing it.  This guy can.  Of course, he wrote it.

And, really, it's not that he technically can't sing it -- it's that he has no idea what he's saying.  He says "so we sacrifice our children to feed our worn out dreams of yesterday" with no more feeling than "this wasn't meant to be no sad song" (which he sings without irony, except that it's...ironic).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Minor Whining Rant

Point the first:  When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, he said that the reason he chose EDGE over 3G and chose not to include a GPS antenna was that both would (a) drastically reduce battery life or (b) require a much larger battery, thus affecting the form factor of the device.

Cue a year of whining and complaining about not having 3G and GPS and furious speculation over when the iPhone would, in fact, include those technologies.

Point the second:  The new iPhone 3G has (duh) 3G and GPS.  It also has a shorter battery life while both are turned on.


I just....

I just....


Disclaimer:  I have an original iPhone and have yet to procure a 3G because I am too lazy to wait in the lines.  I did try one evening, gambling on the line near the mall's closing time not being too bad, and missed it by 5 people.  I just can't take the whining anymore.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One of Those Days

From the old to the young.

It would have been Katie McCarron's sixth birthday today.

Wherever she is, I hope she is surrounded by people who love her, and that she gets cake in her favorite flavor and two of every present she wants.

Wherever you may fall in the (many, sometimes contentious) debates in the autism world, please take a few minutes to think of Katie.


R.I.P., Estelle Getty.  Patrick is going to be crushed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Glimpse Into My Sense of Humor

The joke is below, but to make it make sense, you should to read this.

I've posted before about how my interest in Stargate SG-1 waxed and waned over the years, and I'm fairly certain I mentioned how much I liked the note of whimsy that Claudia Black's Vala brought to the show in the last couple of seasons.

(It should be noted, however, that I feel that one of Claudia's strengths is an actress is to show a character's subtle weakness -- and as the series went on, I felt that much of Vala's wisecracking was hiding some of her inner torment.)

In any event, driving home from Vegas the other night, Patrick watched the two-part episode "The Quest," in which the Stargate team is trying to find a weapon to defeat the bad guys.  They have to go through a series of puzzles, and the last one is to say the protector's name.

The protector is a mechanical dragon.  When it appears, the following exchange takes place, loosely quoted until the row of *****, at which point, it's an exact quote.

Ba'al:  I may have exaggerated when I said I knew its true name.

Vala:  Maybe it's Darrel -- Darrel the dragon.

Mitchell:  Or Smokey.

Teal'c.  Perhaps Puff.

Mitchell:  Okay, well, we know bullets bounce right off of Darrel --

(Vala preens.)

Mitchell:  (blah blah blah flawed plan blah blah blah)

They discuss some more, until Daniel realizes that the dragon is merely a device, and that the real protector is Morgan LeFay, whose name in her own language was Ganos Lal.

Vala takes off running into the open field.


Vala:  (triumphantly)  Hey!  (with emphasis)  Morgan LeFay!

Dragon:  (roars)

Vala:  ... Darrel?

Daniel:  Ganos Lal!

Dragon:  (goes away)

The point of the joke, of course, is Vala's plaintive yet hopeful "Darrel?"

And, yes, I find the whole thing hysterically funny.  And yet, comedy movies like...say...Adam Sandler movies or Will Farrel movies...not so much.

I must be weird.

Actually, I just like word play and situation-based humor, instead of...slapstick.

Hailing Frequencies Closed, Sir

So, a while back the news broke that Star Trek: The Experience was closing on September 1.

Patrick adores the place, even though he doesn't like the food, because there is a large-screen TV and a wandering Klingon that will sing his beloved "'ej HumtaH 'ej DechtaH 'Iw," his favorite Klingon song, with him.

Of course, having no idea that I would not feel too well, I agreed that we could go one more time after summer school was over.


That is at an overlook at Lake Mead (Hoover Dam), which is only about half an hour outside of Vegas.  I just liked the way the lines of the road and the hill intersected.

I took the picture to show how much the water level has gone down, but it turned out really pretty to boot.

(Note:  This is the first time I've shot for a whole day in RAW.  Yay me.)

I really liked the pattern of the little waves on this one.

Who needs a tripod when you can lay your camera on its back on a camera case and use the self-timer?

(  That kind of limits what you can shoot.  :-)  Fortunately, my dad had two, one of which was more easily accessible than I thought...which I found out after the fact.  Oh well.  Also, I learned that my limit for hand-holding a shot is about a third of a second.)

Patrick's restaurant.  There are rumors of the concept being shopped around to other casinos in Vegas (Planet Hollywood seems a good fit to me), plus there's the Sci-Fi Museum in Seattle.

(Also, it is a travesty that there is no Planet Hollywood restaurant in Planet Hollywood.  They have the best Caesar salad....)

Maybe the salt monster can kill the Gorn before he throws any more fake foam boulders.

I cropped this one about ten different ways before I found an image I liked.  I wish the huge crane weren't there, although continual construction is part of Vegas, I suppose.  Note the colored monorail blur.  This was about a ten second exposure, as I recall, sitting on the railing of the Hilton's parking structure (yes, I was holding the strap to prevent disaster).