mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 07:49 @starstryder That's right! you need Katamari Damacy instead: tinyurl.com/iPrince #
  • 07:51 Wow. Absolutely exhausted yesterday, nearly wrecked on the way home. Think I'm feeling better this morning. #
  • 13:33 @queenofpith If a Richmond Dave & Busters installs the VWE MechWarrior simulation pods, I am so there! #
  • 14:56 Job perk: had lengthy hallway discussion with boss this morning about Dollhouse, Dr. Who, and BSG. Local PBS may be showing 4th Doctor eps! #
  • 17:30 Just watched Blizzard's Uldar preview video. Holy smoke! For the first time ever, I'm really sorry that I've never done endgame raiding. #
  • 18:42 OMG, this History Channel program on the secrets of the art on the dollar bill is complete bunk. #
  • 19:42 Microsoft will ban you for XBox Live for being out as gay. Not that my money matters, but they won't get a gaming dime from me now. #
  • 20:55 This History Channel program on Atlantis is also bunk, but at least I expected that going in. #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (passing)
Had a chance to sit down and think about my answers to [livejournal.com profile] gryphynkit, and so here they are:

(Rules thing first: to be interviewed, reply to my post asking me to interview you. I then reply to your post with five questions. You should post your answers and this meme on your LJ, because thinking up these questions is hard, daggonit.)

1. What is your favorite episode of anything?
I choose to parse that as "Pick something you really like, and talk about your favorite episode of it." My favorite episode of Classic Trek would have to be "The Doomsday Machine"; I loved episodes where we got to see other Starfleet vessels, making it seem less like Earth had only the one ship. There's some (very one-sided) space battle stuff, excellent lines from Kirk and Scotty in places, and that cool pounding 'space-predator' soundtrack. Absolutely grade-A stuff. The digital revision isn't bad at all, either.

2. Given the chance to meet *anyone*, real, unreal, living or not, who would your top 5 be?
1. If there's a Creator(s) of the Universe, with a form that I can perceive and understand, then I have quite a list of questions.
2. If there are friendly, advanced alien civilizations somewhere out there, than I'd like to meet a member: I have a list of questions.
3. I would like to meet a book publisher who thinks my science-fiction novel is awesome, and wants to give me a six-figure advance on the sales. (The fact that the novel doesn't yet exist in any coherent form is immaterial.)
4. I would very much like to have met Douglas Adams. We could talk about music and Mac stuff all day.
5. I want to meet the people on my Friends List that I never have in person. I generally friend people because I find them interesting, and most of the time, people turn out to be more so face-to-face.

3. What is the Question?
Who are you, and how do you plan to evolve into who you want to be?

4. What person/char/entity would you most like to be like?
Fictionally, I think I'd like to be somewhere between Buckaroo Banzai and the Doctor I mention below. Realistically, I'm pretty happy with who I am at base level, though there are a few qualities - mainly, ambition and drive - that I'd like to have more of.

5. Who is your favorite Doctor?
Oh, I've had my brief flings with Nine and Seven, but there's really no contest: the Fourth Doctor will always be tops in my book. Never afraid to take a stand, never at a loss, fiercely loyal to his companions, unafraid to take the most disastrous situations lightly. Some might say that he's less complex and ambiguous than his later incarnations, but that in itself is pretty interesting when one takes in his background and position.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
Since my 'Net connection is still wonky, I may be reduced to watching this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special on SciFi. The horror.

On the other hand, I received a nice Who fandom Xmas present in the from of this Livejournal artwork post by [livejournal.com profile] _tonylee_. The image linked at the bottom cheered me greatly; the likenesses are a bit off, but it's still my desktop wallpaper for a while. (One of them. The other wallpaper is the Apollo 8 "Earthrise" shot right now.)

As Starr works tonight and tomorrow, we finished the majority of our own gift-giving last night. Among other things, I received two hardcovers: an H.P. Lovecraft collection, and a Hitchhiker's omnibus of all five novels and the short story. In each case, these will supersede paperbacks already on my shelf, thus retaining the integrity of the Stuff Reduction Plan. Starr, on the other hand, got a gift card for plenty of crochet yarn, and a brand-new toolbelt to aid in her remodeling projects (she's already done a den and a bathroom). She wore the toolbelt around all evening to 'break it in', so I think it was appreciated.

I am messing with my co-workers today, playing Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra with album breaks provided by cuts from the "Sailor Moon SuperS Christmas For You" album.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (gaming)
Okay. I have owed my sister a phone call for several days, and perhaps if I post it here, I will be looking at it tonight and go, "oh yeah, I really need to do that".

We actually managed to get out of the house for a bit on Friday night - we've not been good at that for the last couple of weeks. It's so easy, when one of us doesn't get home until 7:30 or 8, to say "screw it" and vegetate for the rest of the evening, but we made ourselves go out with friends, and had a sorely-needed good time.

After a Saturday full of more moving and cleaning, Starr and I got our WoW characters each halfway to level 67, at which point they will have passed my poor gnome mage I've been leveling since long before The Burning Crusade. There was debate over whether we'd stick around Outland once we hit 68, and quest a bit in Shadowmoon or Netherstorm; but the urge to take off to the Great White North is strong. We'll see.

Along those lines, I need to contact my gaming group - our session three weeks ago was cancelled due to host illness, and I never even heard whether or not we scheduled a session last week. I was prepping to start a Shadowrun for the group, and I assume there is still interest. I've also got a box full of giveaway gaming material from the Stuff Reduction Plan, and I'm hoping that they'll want some of it.

Tensions are still cooling slowly on the cat front. Early this morning, Midori and Precious repeatedly chased each other up and down the house stairs, which I think may actually have been play instead of attempted murder. The welcome absence of hissing and yowling is the peg I'm hanging those hopes on.

The 45th anniversary of the Doctor Who TV show passed this weekend. I had to check out a YouTube video of the days when the Doctor was a cranky old man with a hyperintelligent granddaughter, and certain walls of the TARDIS control room were simple photographic blowups. Dig the 1962-era special effects:

Classic stuff.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rogue)
On Friday, one of my co-workers walked into the room looking for another of my co-workers. Seeing him at his desk, she said, "Hey Dave, it's Joan. I have a question for you..."

I thought to myself, "Errr, Dave probably knows it's you, seeing as you're standing right here." Of course, the next thought that flashed through my head: "Harriet Jones - Prime Minister." "Yes, I know who you are."

Bummed to have once again missed Rising Star. I had a nice streak of attendance, reaching past the first RS in 1992 to 1982's RoVaCon 7. It sounds like the convention's doing incredibly well these days, but I just can't swing the travel (seven hours one way). Yes, I feel guilty about that. Hope everyone who went had a good time.

I myself am packing up for another move. This has a lot to do with the Stuff Reduction Plan - at least this time, there is noticeably less stuff to pack, and I'm Freecycling / eBaying / giving away even more stuff in the next week or two. Weirdness. Didn't change living quarters for decades, and now I'm in my fourth move in 5 years.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)

  • 21:53 @meiran Eccleston rules, as far as I'm concerned. However, Tennant does get 2-3 awesome episodes per season. #

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
The British Broadcasting Corporation puts on yearly classical music concerts known as The Proms. This year, they've added a Doctor Who Prom to the lineup, and you can hear it online at the BBC iPlayer site until August 3rd.

The concerts are audio broadcasts presented by Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), and include performances of soundtrack music from the new series as well as classical music that "you might find on the Doctor's MP3 player". There will also be a special short TV episode on the BBC website called "Music of the Spheres" which, if it's like the other online trailers and specials, can technically only be watched from computers in Great Britain. (I'm quite sure that my fellow Whovian geeks are working on that as I type this.)

There's a program online listing the included compositions. If you're interested in orchestral music, enjoy!

EDIT: Aaaaand the online player just locked up on me. I am having a day of Internet servers crashing repeatedly. With luck, they'll get it fixed.

EDIT 2: 'Tis back. Clearly, the server couldn't handle the Doctor spamming Moonfire.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (whovian)
I recently finished Series 4 of the revived Doctor Who. In many ways, the finale wrapped up and tied together the last four years of programming, as Russell Davies is moving on to other projects. The finale was a slam-bang affair, one comparable to ST:TNG's "The Best of Both Worlds" in breathtaking moments and an edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger. However, the finale underscored certain themes of Davies that I hope to see put to rest.

Originally, the Doctor was a political fugitive from his people, but he eventually evolved into a crusader of Time and Space, saving individuals and entire planets from oncoming disaster. His fourth incarnation sacrificed himself to save the existence of the universe from one man's foolishness. The Doctor was clearly fulfilled by his never-ending quest.

When the Doctor returned to television, he was in some ways a broken man. He had been at least partially responsible for the destruction of his race in an attempt to prevent an apocalypse (a futile attempt, as it turned out). Other characters made much about the Doctor as the bringer of Death. Of course, he repeatedly staves off even greater death and destruction, but apparently one gets minimal points for that.

Rose Tyler's love healed the Doctor, and in fact he began to return the emotion openly for the first time in the 40-year history of the show. But he then regenerated into a new body and personality, and Rose was forced to leave him, and he sank into depression and despair. The crusader of Time and Space was replaced by a sad, lonely immortal who kept on keeping on mainly because he didn't have anything better to do.

When the villain of the finale mocks the Doctor for creating a band of "Children of Time", willing tools who will aid our immortal in the destruction of lives and worlds, it's completely unfair, and yet the Doctor shows hurt and shame. What he's really done, of course, is give a succession of companions a broader perspective, the skills and the confidence to defend themselves and their loved ones, and the ability to make the awful decisions at times when the Doctor isn't around. They are "Grown-ups of Time" now, but the Doctor is too busy wallowing in failure to deal with that.

The new helmsman, Steven Moffat, has written episodes that temporarily bring back the crusader. While Moffat's Doctor in these tales retains a vulnerability that the older series did not give him, he remembers his role as the defender of Life, and revels in the challenge. I absolutely hope that future seasons return to that philosophy, as the worn-out, depressed Doctor is a shadow of the beings he once were, and I become sadder with every episode in which he flails about desperately.

Why have I gone on at length about this? Because the older Doctors, the Fourth especially, represent in many ways the person I've always wanted to be. Assertive, cheerful, full of wonder, and up to the challenges of life. Frankly, the Doctor these days has a far emptier life than I do, and it's hard to see the fictional hero I've felt so connected to suffer so. I guess this is something of a "Get Well" card to my old hero.

Further points, with spoilers, below )
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] lemonlye:

When you read this, quote Doctor Who in your LiveJournal.

The Doctor: I don't suppose you've completely ignored my instructions and secretly prepared any Nitro-9, have you?
Ace: What if I had?
The Doctor: And naturally, you wouldn't do anything so insanely dangerous as to carry it around with you, would you?
Ace: Of course not. I'm a good girl and do what I'm told.
The Doctor: Excellent. Blow up that vehicle.

- "Silver Nemesis"

(I resisted the urge to quote my own fanfic. Aren't I well-behaved?)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
"Midnight": the most excruciatingly painful 43 minutes of Doctor Who I can remember watching.

I'll be kinder to the science flubs from now on. This episode had no science issues, no overt plot stupidity, no unreasonable characterizations, no bad acting... and yet I can assure you I'll never watch it again if I can help it.

The episode is a cheap "bottle" show, intended to save money (I'm sure) for the Library two-parter and what I suspect will be another three-part finale. One set, and few actors: a futuristic tour bus with a small group of tourists aboard. The episode may have been a bargain for the writing budget as well, because very little happens.

Spoilers ) Sorry for all the vitriol, but I've had a pretty nice weekend, and I needed to get that out of my system as quickly as possible :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cyberpunk)
Found Iron Chef Japan on the Fine Living Network. Now I need only suffer through the occasional Martha Stewart commercial to get my fix. Sadly, NBC / Universal came down on them about the Backdraft music, and the whole show's been re-scored by someone who didn't really get it; but it's better than nothing.

There's a tire fire in North Carolina this week, and the smoke's traveled all the way up here. The air in Portsmouth is nasty. I feel like someone in a cyberpunk book who should be walking the city streets with a small respirator. Sucks, because otherwise the heat's much more tolerable today.

Thank goodness for the Baen Free Library and the Baen CDs. Because of those resources, I didn't pay any money for John Ringo's The Hero. Now, I enjoyed his first "Posleen" books well enough, though the ending of the war was unsatisfying; but this book pretends to be one story for 100 pages (!) and then, without warning, changes its mind, abandons nearly everything, and becomes a completely different story.

Imagine you're watching the second Trek movie, getting into the story, and the first face-off between Kirk and Khan has just ended. Suddenly, a renegade cadet from the Enterprise steals the Genesis Device plans, uses the prefix codes to cause warp core breaches and destroy both ships, and hides in the Mutara Nebula in a 72-hour survival spacesuit to wait for an arranged Romulan pickup. Unknown to him, one of Khan's men got out in a similar spacesuit, and is hunting him down as the only chance for survival.

While the "hunting each other down" part of the movie might be gripping, I assume most people's reaction would be, "WTF? What happened to the plot I was just watching? Who are these people? I don't even like these people." That was my reaction to this book. Ah, well, it's not like I don't have lots more to read, including In The Serpent's Coils, Grave Peril, and Little Brother (yes, it's a free download).

Oh, and while I'm reviewing things, have I mentioned that I am now quite the Steven Moffat fan? The ending of "Forest of the Dead" had me saying to myself, "Bit of a downer, but everything lined up properly, lotsa neat stuff, some good lines. Good episode." Then: Non-specific Spoiler ) Well done indeed.

Speaking of which, the reason there's not going to be much 2009 Who is that David Tennant will be playing Hamlet on stage that year, which I'd love to see. Here is Neil Gaiman writing Tennant's Tenth Doctor as Hamlet:

"To be, or not to be, that is the question. Weeelll.... More of A question really. Not THE question. Because, well, I mean, there are billions and billions of questions out there, and well, when I say billions, I mean, when you add in the answers, not just the questions, weeelll, you're looking at numbers that are positively astronomical and... for that matter the other question is what you lot are doing on this planet in the first place, and er, did anyone try just pushing this little red button?"

I'd so watch that.
mikailborg: Chris drew this picture of my first Starfleet character for a newsletter cover, years ago. (kriet)
My old Trek fanfic character, the one in this usericon, started as Chief Navigator on the USS Heimdal, and eventually worked his way up the ranks to Captain of the USS Yeager. "Grin'elle Kriet" was half-human, half-alien, and spent most of his Starfleet career as a Chief Engineer.

Grin's dark secret? He was also an exiled quasi-Time Lord from the Doctor Who universe. (The concept worked better in the fic than it does in this paragraph.) He and I haven't spoken as author and character for many years; I wrapped up all the important bits of his story arc back in the Nineties. Grin helped me begin working out some personal issues, for which I'll always appreciate him.

Without warning, Grin'elle woke up last night, after I'd wrapped up watching "Forest of the Dead". The conversation, expanded into English sentences, went something like this:

Hey... hey, I just heard something I don't know if I believe. Are all the Time Lords dead? Is Gallifrey gone?

"What? Oh... er, yes, apparently so. They were all destroyed in a Time War with the Daleks... The Doctor was the only survivor. Except a few Daleks, and the Master. But he's dead now too, as near as we can tell."

Holy... are you kidding? I lived there for decades... I had roots there.

"You hated them. They were embarrassed by you."

Not all of them.

"You left their universe, left it for good. Heck, you've set up shop in a third one for the time being."

I know. They show Who here. Just like Trek, I make sure never to catch an episode.

"So, what do you care?"

... I'm not really sure. I'll have to get back to you on that.

... and then he was gone, and I was left wondering where the hell all that had come from.

Stay Cool

Jun. 10th, 2008 06:22 pm
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
Wow. I was sick yesterday, and Starr's sick today. Awesome. It might very well have been dehydration on both our parts, though I drink more water these days than I have in years.

I'm From The Future!I need to watch the latest Doctor Who very soon, it is apparently most excellent, and the net is bursting with spoilers that I am carefully avoiding. Stephen Moffat may be the best Who writer on the new show, responsible for The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances, The Girl In the Fireplace, and Blink; I'm not displeased at all that he's in charge of 2010's Series Five. The "Everybody lives!!" line still gets me right 'there'.

And now, this year's zombie meme:

You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:
1. one weapon.
2. one song blasting on the speakers.
3. one famous person to fight alongside you.

* Weapon can be real or fictional; you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.

1) Phaser II, set to "vaporise". With endless ammo, I can just hold down the trigger and sweep.
2) Queen, "Flight of the Hawkmen" (starts at about 1:08 in the video)
3) Tim the Enchanter (I think his skills would be well matched to the situation.)

Starr's list:

1) Sonic Screwdriver ("I'm sure it has a 'defeat zombies' setting.")
2) Meredith Brooks, "Bitch"
3) Kal-El
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cyberpunk)
Hmph. The Microsoft Office 2008 icons are kinda ugly.

Listening to some Vangelis music at work this morning. "Alpha" is one of those tunes that sends tingles up my spine when I listen to it, and awakes wonder and potential in my mind. If only I could stay in that headspace for days at a time... it probably wouldn't be good for me, but I feel that I'd get a lot done while I could stand it.

I wonder where the 'tingles' come from? It's absolutely a physical sensation to me, but I have no idea what produces it.

Far more importantly, my mom is walking now without human assistance. She's still using a walker or crutch, but given that she couldn't even move the leg two weeks ago, this is an absolutely awesome development, and I joked that she's making far better progress than I did. If any of my friends have ever wondered where my buried stubborn streak came from, this may provide a clue. I am thrilled for her - and while she's there, they think they may be able to correct a nerve issue that's pained her for about 20 years, so, silver lining!

And speaking of doctors, it took me a visit to Wikipedia to learn that the awfully-familiar looking archaeologist on Doctor Who this week was Dr. Corday on ER for seven seasons. Cool.


May. 4th, 2008 11:44 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (whovian)
The Sontaran two-parter from this Doctor Who series really pleased me. Lots of fun things happened, the production design of the alien battlesuits and technology looked great, and we got a somewhat more mature Martha Jones back for a couple of episodes. There were a few rough pacing moments - as if the script worked out about 10 minutes short overall - but nothing fatal.

Donna remains an excellent foil for the Doctor, freaking out in fear one moment and standing up to him the next. It's a lot of fun having grownups aboard the TARDIS, and even when Donna must leave, I hope they consider continuing the trend. At no point did the episode get stupid (well, there's an atmosphere bit near the end which is a little brow-raising, but not too bad), and UNIT gets to show that, in the 21st century, they're actually good for something.

I'd put in a request, if I could, for the Beeb to fund some more space episodes, as Earth is getting invaded now every month on the first Wednesday. It's like paying bills - "Let's see, cable, electric, water, and oh yes, alien invasion due tomorrow. Must call in sick to work."

Everyone caught the face that shows for a split second on the TARDIS console screen, right?

We're picking up spoilers on scan... )

So yes, I'm a happy Whovian today.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
This weekend was good. I got to chill a little bit, which I'd long needed. Had caviar for the first time ever; it tasted mostly of salt, and slightly fishy. I've heard it's served on buttered toast, and I think that would improve it quite a bit.

I also tried the Lord of the Rings online role-playing game. The first thing I noticed is that it's certainly prettier than WoW (and therefore needs more video processing power than, say, my desktop can handle). I enjoyed the Minstrel class I tried - there's something entertaining about whipping out a lute in the middle of a melee and dealing damage with a few bars of a song.

But, when all's said and done, I enjoy the slightly surrealistic graphics of WoW - they seem to fit with a world which has so many fantastic shorthands for everyday actions - and the LotR game takes itself fairly seriously, which also isn't really what I'm here for. I might play it if there were a Mac version and no other competitors, but my subscription will stay with Blizzard for now.

This week's Doctor Who episode brings the Series 4 average down to .667. Even discounting the goofy, thoughtless science - which is hard, since one element is a major plot point - there wasn't much special about it. Donna was great; her emotional arc about the future of humanity and our ethics, and the conditions of the Ood provided a welcome touch of development.

But overall, the episode was fairly formulaic, including at least one completely gratuitous CGI death, and someone trying viciously to kill the Doctor for no reason at all. One touch I did like: minor spoiler )

Fun fact: the episode was filmed in sweltering heat - yay for fake snow. And I'm looking forward to seeing some old foes of the Doctor next week!
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
The latest Who made me happy for the second time in a row, hitting all the right notes. Not only was the script intelligent, irreverent, and snappy, I didn't have to sit through any groaningly silly pseudoscience. Plus, we got a quick shout-out to a First Doctor story - now there's research!

And Donna's honestly winning me over: anyone who can give her captors a tongue-lashing while tied to a sacrificial altar is worthy company for the Doctor. And she once again shows him, in the climactic scenes, exactly why he's taken her aboard. I wanted to cheer for both of them.

Next week we get the return of the evil (misunderstood?) Ood from Series 2. I can't honestly say I'm thrilled... but then, I couldn't say I was eager to see the Ferengi on their second appearance, so I'll give the writers a chance. Perhaps I'll get three for three.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (whovian)
Back on the fandom front, I finished watching the Series 4 premiere of Doctor Who last night. I have to say I was enormously pleased. I have learned to stop worrying about the comic-book science of the new show, and was able to focus on the acting and writing, which satisfied me fine.

David Tennant's mentioned that his favorite Doctor was the Fifth, and his version shares a certain tendency to be swept along helplessly by events. It's no coincidence that his catch phrase is "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry." as he observes another loss he could not prevent. The Tenth Doctor rose above that in this story, and I hope he'll continue to do so in this year's plots.

The Doctor's at his best when he's facing down a villain and stating, sociably, "I'd advise you not to be fooled by your first impressions of me. You're hurting innocent sentients here, and I'm going to ask you nicely, once, to stop." Tennant nailed that note this episode. spoilers approaching )

So, good start. I hope this series goes well, since I'm told that Series 5 won't be released until 2010.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
He heard what now?

Scream of Agony and Terror

I'm amused that, in my opinion, that caricature doesn't look much like Tennant, yet I knew immediately who it was supposed to be before reading the dialogue :)
mikailborg: Chris drew this picture of my first Starfleet character for a newsletter cover, years ago. (kriet)
Got some cool stuff from Starr for my birthday... a refractor telescope, a black tee with a handcuff graphic ("I can't believe I'm buying you another black t-shirt") and... this!

Can you guess what it is (besides an afghan, of course)?

Fourth Doctor Afghan

The answer's behind the cut )


mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)

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