Let’s Get Geeky #3: The Invisible Man

January 21st, 2011

I don’t remember when I first watched The Invisible Man or which episode it was but I do recall pretty much being hooked from the start. Not only was it an intriguing concept with well written scripts but even I (who can be oblivious to such things at times) could tell the cast had amazing chemistry together. There was a good mix of drama as well as heart and humor.

The show was also involved in a lot of firsts in my geek life. It was the first show where I actively looked for other fans online. The first television show fan club I joined was dedicated to it. The first non-generic geek convention I went to was devoted to the show. and lastly it was the first show I was active in the grassroots campaign to try and get it back on the air after it was canceled. Granted, most of those firsts are also the only time so far that those things have happened, but they are still firsts.

Speaking of conventions though, that is another awesome thing about the show. It wasn’t always possible but when the fan club had their annual convention if they were able the cast would not only show up but would also go to dinner with us afterward. My favorite memory though actually spans 2 conventions and about 3 years. At the first convention I went to I met Mike McCafferty and found out he grew up in the same area I live in. He wasn’t able to make it to the following convention but the one after that he did and he remembered me. Granted it could be due to both being from the same area, or to the fact I was one of the few male members of the fan club. But still, being remembered two years later by a celebrity is a really awesome feeling.

Another nice thing that came from my fandom of the show is the fact that had I not been going to the conventions I might not have ever gone to San Diego Comic Con. Except for the first two cons the fan club would hold them in California about a week before San Diego since a number of the group went to both. One year I was able to stay as well and room with those people. I highly doubt I would have been able to afford a hotel room without sharing and didn’t really know anyone who not only went but that I’d feel comfortable sharing a room with.

Sadly, there hasn’t been an I-Manicon in some time, but I hope if there is another one that I’m able to attend. Thankfully the internet is around to be able to keep in touch with the friends I made due to the show.

Let’s Get Geeky #2: Mythbusters

January 14th, 2011

I’m not sure if the Mythbusters have the best job ever, but I am pretty sure it is in the top five most awesome jobs ever. Granted I’m sure there are some days that aren’t looked back on favorably (e.g. swimming with sharks for Grant Imahara or the Cold Feet myth for Kari Byron) but overall from watching the show and reading the twitter accounts of some of the cast I really get the impression they love what they do.

And really, who wouldn’t love to get paid to not only do science but also to blow things up. Yeah, demolition workers get to do that too, but the Mythbusters get to blow up things that normal people probably can only dream about (or go to prison after the explosion…).

And as amazing as it might sound it’s not just the explosions that make the show so great. I also enjoy the use of the high speed camera to see things (yes, even the explosions) in slow motion. Plus, the cast really seems to have great camaraderie together. Some shows you watch you can kind of tell that the people on the show don’t really like each other and it makes the show less enjoyable to watch. Yes, sometimes they might argue a bit, but who doesn’t argue every now and then with friends or family? And the friendly teasing and ribbing they sometimes do just adds to the fun.

Overall I think this is a great show not only for the entertainment value but also the education value as well. Every episode not only has the potential to teach you something you might not know but it also shows people (especially children) that science can be, and is, cool.

Let’s Get Geeky #1: Transformers

January 7th, 2011

For the most part this writing project won’t be in any particular order but I decided to start with the thing that had this just been a top whatever list would have been number one. The first thing that I really geeked out about and was probably the first stepping stone on my way to geekdom; Transformers!

I’m not sure if my exposure to Transformers began with the toys or the cartoon but I’m leaning more towards the latter. I was only a little over one year old when the cartoon debuted so I don’t know exactly what it was about it that captured the imagination of young me. Perhaps the sci-finess aspect of giant robots, the idea that a car or plane or anything really could be something else, or perhaps it was the stories. Or some combination of those and other elements.

I also don’t recall this since I would have been three at the time but I’ve been told when it came out my parents took me to see Transformers: The Movie. While I don’t recall any of the experience I’m pretty sure this would have been my first movie in the theatre. From the stories I’ve heard some people told them I was too young to go to see a movie, that I would fidget and distract the other patrons, but from what I’ve been told I sat quietly and my attention was focused on the movie pretty much the entire time. I’m glad to know that even back then I had good movie-going etiquette.

I also had quite the collection of toys, toys that got played with quite a bit so were battered by the time all was said and done. Not necessarily because I mishandled them, but because they were just used so often and had a lot of wear and tear. Another story I’ve been told about my youth is that grown-ups would often watch me playing with my Transformers and be amazed I knew what to push, pull, rotate, etc. to change the toy from a robot to a whatever and back again.

I don’t believe this collection was as large as the toys, or that it grabbed my attention as much as the cartoon, but I know I also had some of the comics so this most likely would have been my first foray into the world of comic books. Again I don’t recall much about them, but I do know I had them. This time not due to stories told to me but because I’ve found the evidence. Sadly, much like the toys they were well used so when I found them they weren’t in the best condition. And yes, I’m chalking that up as well to wear and tear from excessive reading and not just ripping covers and pages just because. From a very early age I was taught to respect books. To this day I cringe at the thought of dog-earing a page, or breaking a books spine or even writing in a book (even one with spaces specifically for that purpose).

My enjoyment of the francise isn’t just memories though, I still have a fondness for it. I know the cartoon was only a twenty-two minute commercial for the toy line and that sometimes the stories could be cheesy, but sometimes I still enjoy going back and rewatching through the nostalgic eyes of a child. I still consider The Transformers: The Movie one of my top movies of all time. And even the comics are still a part of my present geekhood as I read and collect the current ongoing.

Let’s Get Geeky!

January 1st, 2011

A while back I listened to an episode of Earth-2.net the Show (warning: the show isn’t necessarily kid safe) where the hosts did a top 50 list of their favorite geek related things (each host had 25 items). Well, I was inspired to do something similar but my problem was I couldn’t narrow my list down to a reasonable number for a top whatever list. So the idea just sat unused for the longest time. Well, I think I might have a solution. After much deliberation I’ve decided I’m going to take a stab at a weekly writing series. Each week I’m going to take one of the things on my list and write a post saying what it is that makes me geek out about that particular subject. Sometimes the topic might be something that I currently geek out on while others might be something I geeked out to in the past and although I may not be as into it as I once was still helped shape the geek I am today.

I can’t promise every post will be what one might call a full length article, in fact I’m thinking it’s almost guaranteed that many won’t be. In fact some might only be a paragraph, if that. I also can’t say how long this series will last. Right now I have enough topics to last a year, but as time goes on some topics might get merged together and some might get scrapped. Of course, there is also the possibility that new topics will be added. Also, I reserve the right to decide what constitutes “geeky”. The plan is to have a new post up every Friday. So look for the first one next week. And in this new year… Let’s get geeky!

Under the Sea

November 21st, 2010

Went to Nassau, Bahamas today and did the Sea & See Tour. First part of the tour was a boat ride aboard the catamaran Ballyhoo to get to a semi-submarine. On the way there we got a harbor tour from Slim who was very entertaining. When we got to the semi-submarine we went down stairs and took seats by windows to see outside. Saw a lot of turtle grass and coral, ballyhoo (which are long, skinny silver fish that look like mini swordfish), snapper, and puffer fish. Some people saw starfish and a turtle, but they were on the other side of the vessel.

After a bit on the sub we got back aboard the Ballyhoo to head back to land, once there we got on a bus for a tour around the island. I definitely wouldn’t want to live there, the drivers are crazy, plus people just walk out in the middle of the street without really looking. We stopped at Fort Fincastle for about 15 minutes to look around and take photos and then headed back to the pier where the cruise ships were docked.

Two (Or More) Heads Are Better Than One

August 12th, 2010

I came in late to the DC Team Books panel but here are a few things I did learn.

  • Damian Wayne will be showing up in the Teen Titans and there will be some interesting dynamics/scenes between him and Ravager.
  • Issue 88 of Teen Titans hits the ground running and will be a good starting point for new readers.
  • The Teen Titans will not only be getting a new villain but also a new member, who is also completely new to the DC universe.
  • The big seven of the Justice League will be out of the picture for a while.

Better a Late Post Than No Post at All…

August 12th, 2010

Here are a few items learned from the DC Nation Panel. There is one semi-major spoiler at the end just to warn you.

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Superman Panel!

August 3rd, 2010

Here are some informational tidbits I got from the Superman: Man of Tomorrow Panel.

  • They’ve done lots of big intergalactic stories in Superman lately so they felt it was time to bring Superman more down to Earth. Literally. They wanted to do more personal character driven stories. Superman will come across a myriad of real life problems including (but not limited to) suicide, poverty, casual cruelty, self-destruction, child abuse and immigration.
  • Superman 702 is shift from 701. Even though they share the same main story of Superman walking he won’t be encountering the same things every issue.
  • Superman 702 also contains a conversation between Lois and Clark.
  • Superman 703 guest stars Batman who shows up to talk with Superman. Batman thinks Superman might be having an emotional breakdown.
  • Story line after Grounded is the one J. Michael Straczynski always wanted to do.
  • When asked what the difference between writing for Thor vs writing for Superman is J. Michael Straczynski said that Thor is writing from the outside in. Starting with the Norse mythology and going from there. Superman is writing from the inside out. Starting with the character.
  • Action comics will be Lex Luthor vs. DC Universe. 10 – 12 villains (one a month).
    Some of which will be Mr. Mind, Deathstroke, Gorilla Grodd, (Neil Gaiman’s) Death and the Secret Six.
  • David Finch’s cover art for the issue featuring Death was instrumental in getting Neil Gaiman’s permission to use her.
  • Lex will be staying out of jail for the time being.
  • Lex will be changed by his journey and won’t be the same man when it is over.
  • Paul Cornell will be writing Superman in Action Comics after Lex Luthor story arc is over.
  • Smallville and its community are the center of the Superboy book.
  • Superboy will be fighting Parasite in issue one and Poison Ivy in issue two.
  • Superboy will also be getting some new villains.
  • Phantom Stranger will be an important guest and will reveal secrets about Smallville.
  • Phantom Stranger’s appearance in Superboy will tie back to 1960′s Phantom Stranger stories.
  • Big clue in issue two of Superboy of another supernatural character appearing.
  • Issue three is a Superboy/Kid Flash race which will be covered by Lois Lane.
  • Supergirl will be having a bizarre time. Bizarro Supergirl. Bizarro Metropolis. Bizarro World.
  • Supergirl will also be getting some new villains. As well as an old one that will be dusted off for the annual.
  • There wil be a Supergirl/Legion of Super-Heroes story referencing pre-crisis Kara Zor-El
  • Superman related titles will reflect each other but there are no plans for crossing over in the near future.
  • A prestige hard cover novel will be coming out. It doesn’t take place in the main DC universe.
  • It focuses on Clark before he is Superman and will show him revealing his powers to the world for the first time.

Holy Comic Con Panels Batman!

July 27th, 2010

Next up on my write ups from San Diego Comic Con 2010 is info from the Batman: The Return panel.

  • Grant Morrison is working on a new Batman team book called Batman, Inc.
  • The book will consist mainly of 1 or 2 issue story arcs, with occasionally 3 at most.
  • Catwoman will be appearing in the first issue.
  • Detective Comics will be getting a Commissioner Gordon back-up feature that will tie into the main story.
  • Paul Dini is working on House of Hush which is a continuation of Heart of Hush. This story arc will go back further in time than previous stories.
  • The identity of the White Canary will be revealed in Birds of Prey.
  • Batgirl will be getting her own original rogue’s gallery.
  • Stephanie Brown’s first year as Batgirl was her telling others “I’m Batgirl, deal with it.” Her sophomore year will be her saying to herself “I’m Batgirl… now what?” and proving herself to not only the greater DC universe but to herself.
  • A Knight and Squire mini-series is coming, with Wildcat appearing in the first issue.
  • In response to a question on if Black Canary and Zatanna would be teaming up anytime soon Gail Simone and Paul Dini said they were in discussion on something but wouldn’t go into details.
  • Cassandra Cain could possibly show up somewhere in November.
  • Batman will be getting a costume redesign.

I think the best way to sum it all up is with a quote from the panel.

One of the best Bat years ever.”
-Gail Simone

The Brave! The Bold! The Young!

July 26th, 2010

Went to the Batman: The Brave and the Bold panel at San Diego Comic Con 2010. Along with the panel they also screened a premiere of an upcoming episode of the show.

Present at the panel were

The episode that was screened was “Emperor Joker!” and some of the highlights of the episode include

Some of the other information given during the panel were

  • Due to the popularity of the “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” episode they’ve added more songs to episodes
  • There are only 13 more episodes of the episode left.
  • There was a hint that “a masculine and a feminine character people have been waiting for” would be appearing.

Before the panel was over Greg Weisman came in and they gave some info on the upcoming Young Justice show that will be premiering on the Cartoon Network. I’ll admit I’d seen character design sketches and I wasn’t impressed but they also showed a trailer for the show and I have to say they look great animated.

They May be Going Rogue, But They Look Great Doing It

July 26th, 2010

Went to the City of Heroes: Going Rogue panel at San Diego Comic Con on Thursday. Most of this stuff is probably already on the internet but just in case you haven’t seen it yet here are some highlights.

  • The Cathedral of Pain is returning in Issue 18.
  • New mission features including:
  • If you kill/defeat a contact in a mission you won’t get any more missions from that contact.
  • Sabotage & subterfuge missions where once you’re in a mission you can call another contact to get a different objective to do while inside.
  • Tip missions where choices you make inside will either take you morally closer to good or to evil.
  • The tip missions are used when choosing whether or not your Praetorian will end up as a hero or a villain, or for when your hero or villain wants to either make the switch to the other side.
  • Of course you can also keep on the side you are already on and those who do will get rewarded. At least one of these rewards is access to special purple Invention Origin Enhancements.
  • Two new mission map sets, The Underground and Praetoria Tech sets that will eventually also be available to use in Architect.
  • Seven new costume sets including:
  • Overguard
  • Resistance
  • PPD
  • Clockwork
  • Alpha
  • Omega
  • and one other that I can’t recall at the moment
  • All auras will now have the option to be combat auras.
  • New zones in Praetoria including
  • Nova Praetoria
  • Imperial City
  • Neutropolis
  • and The Underground, which like the sewers in Paragon City will have corresponding areas underneath each of the top levels.
  • There are also no War Walls in Praetoria so you can see from one zone to the next, I am however not sure if there are still loading screens or not.
  • Protests is going to be a new zone event in Praetoria where you have the option to either help the cops stop the rioters or help the rioters.
  • They didn’t say what it was but they did say they are working on more Super Boosters.
  • New factions including:
  • Loyalists: They are loyal to Emperor Cole and have two sub-factions:
  • Powers: These loyalists crave more power.
  • Responsibility: They want security and peace.
  • Resistance: They see Cole as a tyrant and also have two sub-factions:
  • Wardens: They want a normal uncontrolled life.
  • Crusaders: They want freedom, no matter what it costs.

I had a great time meeting and talking with Matt “Positron” Miller, Melissa “War Witch” Bianco and David “Noble Savage” Nakayama who are all extremely nice people.

I also got a chance to try out Going Rogue on one of their demo computers and I have to say the graphics look awesome! I reallllly need to upgrade my gaming setup…

Good-Bye Carnival Miracle

November 12th, 2009

Had to leave the ship today :( Since the people we were travelling with are now Carnival V.I.P.s we got to leave the ship earlier, but since we didn’t know that at the time we were booking flight home we booked a later flight so we spent about 3 hours waiting to check-in and then after we checked-in we waited about another 4 hours or so on the other side of security.

The flight home was one of, if not the worst, flight I’ve ever been on. The overhead bins were full when I finally got on board so had to put my carry on in seat in front of me. I wear about a size 13-15 (depends on shoe) so not having any where to put my feet was not fun. If that wasn’t bad enough the woman in front of me had her seat reclined the entire flight. Even during take-off and landing when they tell you to make sure it is in an upright position. What’s worse is that after both announcements the flight attendants did a walk through to make sure things were in order and never said anything to her about putting the seat upright.

They Did It Their Way

November 11th, 2009

Last full day of the cruise and I’m sad. Played a few trivias today and won another medallion for Crazy Cartoon Trivia. Also went to dinner late to watch the Liar’s Club. Didn’t miss much in the way of dinner either, I figured by the time I got there everyone else would be on or near dessert. Seems it was going slow that night tho, I was about 45 minutes late and they were still on the appetizers.

After dinner went to the Carnival Legends show, which is where some of the guests perform on stage as certain musical entertainers, including but not limited too James Brown, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks and Frank Sinatra. Have to say the person who played Frank Sinatra did an amazing job this year.

All Feet on Deck!

November 10th, 2009

Today on board the ship they had the On Deck for the Cure walk to help support breast cancer research. Was enjoyable, however since I bought my shirt just before it started I didn’t have time to change so put it on over the shirt I had on, let’s just say it wasn’t a good day to be wearing layers.

The after dinner show tonight was Ticket to Ride which is a tribute/music revue of the Beatles. I’m not really a Beatles fan, plus I’ve seen it before so I decided to pass on the show. I’ll admit it’s a nice production, but not really liking the Beatles I didn’t feel the need to see it again.

(Mostly) Keeping on Track

November 9th, 2009

Went to St. Kitts today and took the Scenic Rail Tour which I thought was the best excursion of the cruise. Although considering the only other one I did was the Whale and Dolphin Watch sans whales and dolphins, that wasn’t hard. But even with that it was still a great tour. The first part of the excursion was a van ride to the train station. Our driver was very knowledgeable and nice. The train ride was nice as well, the cars had a lower portion was enclosed and air conditioned and there was also an open air area up top. The group I was with sat downstairs at first and we were the only ones there so it was also quiet. Although the view down there wasn’t the best since along many parts of the rail the vegetation grew up taller than the windows. So after I had my complimentary banana slushee I decided to go upstairs to get a better view. The view up top was absolutely beautiful and amazing. Sadly, I didn’t think to check my extra batteries before the tour so I wasn’t able to take too many photos. Saw lots of animals including goats, sheep, donkeys, chickens, pigs and monkeys. Part way along the rail there was a bit of a snafu with one of the cars so we had to stop and move people from the last two cars and leave the cars behind. This made it a bit more crowded in the other cars which made it a bit more crowded. Some of the people were complaining about this but I figure considering we stopped just before going over a bridge it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Before dinner I went to play Last Man Standing Trivia which unlike normal trivia the people playing stood on stage and the questions were multiple choice and each corner of the stage was a different letter, so you could tell what you answer was depending on where you stood. Those in the wrong corners got off the stage and went back to sit down.

The after dinner show was going to be a comedian but due to flight complications he wasn’t able to make it so they did an impromptu show. The two production singers got to sing some songs of their choice, which they liked since normally all they get to sing is the songs in the production shows which are obviously picked out for them. The second part of the show was a Silent Film Skit where the cruise director picked people from the audience and had them do silly stuff on stage a la a Charlie Chaplin film.

Guess They Didn’t Get the Memo

November 8th, 2009

Arrived in St. Lucia today. Unlike St. Maarten we did an excursion here, Dolphin and Whale Watch Safari. Sadly, while the boat ride was nice, and we got some nice views of the island, seeing any dolphins or whales wasn’t guaranteed and we didn’t spot any.

Played trivia today (“World’s Most Simple Trivia”), which is anything but simple. But, I won, and was told by the trivia host that my score (17 out of 20) was the highest he’s ever seen for that category. So, I want to thank all the various trivia podcast I listen to that helped me learn/memorize many of the answers ;)

The show after dinner was a hypnotist, which was ok, but wasn’t my favorite show on the cruise.

I Should Have Had a Bad Feeling About This…

November 7th, 2009

Went to St. Maarten today. None of the excursions really interested me, or any of the rest of the group, so we just decided to walk around a bit and check out the shops. Sadly none of the stores were really interesting, mostly jewelery. There was one store that sounded interesting “That Yoda Guy: Planet Paradise” which is owned and operated by someone who worked on Star Wars. But it mainly just some pictures and props and a museum in process that will be done in about 5 years. I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but I would have taken pictures of the Yoda statue but you could only take pictures if you bought something. Also, the museum in progress might have been interesting since it had more than just Star Wars stuff in it, but not for $39. Granted it was technically included if you bought $39 worth of merchandise, but nothing was really worth that to me. Not to mention I had people waiting outside for me.

After getting back to the ship we had lunch and then I went to play trivia, didn’t win, but had fun. Was semi-close to winning tho, winners only had 4 more points than me.

The show after dinner was “Singin’ with the Big Band: A Tribute to Frank and Sammy” Which I really enjoyed since I like that sort of music. Don’t recall all the songs sung, but some were Candy Man, The Lady is a Tramp, World on a String, Bo Jangles and of course, My Way.

More Than Impressions of Fun

November 6th, 2009

Second Fun Day at Sea. Not much trivia, which was disappointing. Only general knowledge in the morning and TV Theme at night. Dinner wasn’t too appealing. Show was a vocal impressionist/singer named Karen Grainger. Thought I wouldn’t like it but decided to go and check it out anyway and was pleasantly surprised. Afterwards decided to check out the 80′s Flashback party in one of the clubs on the ship, didn’t stay too long, but did watch the 3 contests (Air Guitar, Big Hair and Michael Jackson dance impersonation).

Talkin’ ‘Bout Our G-g-g-generations!

November 5th, 2009

First Fun Day at Sea. Lots of trivia, the two entertainment staff I met today were awesome. The after dinner show was called Generations which was a Broadway-esque musical revue. Wasn’t the best show I’ve seen on a a cruise ship but it was enjoyable. They had different types of music from different decades. I think it spanned the 220′s or 30′s all the way to the 80′s, possibly the early 90′s.

We’re On Our Way

November 4th, 2009

Got to the airport and through security without a hitch. Flight was ok I think, slept through most of it. Also since two of the people I’m on vacation with are now “V.I.P.” guests with Carnival we got to go through the express line for security and check-in to get aboard the ship. I’d been up since about 5pm the day before so I didn’t stay up much past eating lunch and thus didn’t see the ship leave port. I did however get up in time for dinner which was good.

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