Archive for January, 2008

Kitty & the Midnight Hour!

January 30, 2008

One of the many benefits of attending an SF con is the people you meet.    Back in 74 I walked up to a fairly new writer, told her I really liked her books and bought her a drink.  We are still friends and she, Anne McCaffrey, will be my guest at ALBACON 08, www.albacon.org .    During my trek down Rt. 66 last summer [07] I dropped by BUBONICON in Albuquerque.  I had never been there.  I’m very happy I did.  I met a number of new folk and had a great time.  I highly recommend the con.    Also at the con was Carrie Vaughn.  We chatted on a number of things including her novels.  The first in the series is “Kitty and the Midnight Hour.”  I usually don’t read fantasy or what I perceive as fantasy.  Oh well, she was persuasive, intelligent and quite good looking which had nothing to do with my decision to buy the first novel and get her to sign it.    At COPPERCON in Phoenix two weeks later I bought the next two books in the series.  Yes, I did like the stories about a cute werewolf named Kitty & is a DJ on a midnight talk show.    the 4th book in the series is just out and  was very enjoyable.  – I recommend the series to you.  This is a slight departure for me from David Weber, John Ringo, Lois McMaster Bujold, David Drake, etc.    I’m curious to see if my question to her about non-Christian werewolves, vampires, etc., will be taken up in book 6 [5 has been already written] or 7.

Advertisements

Something to consider!

January 30, 2008

Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the
tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b.
1928)

Go and nominate “World Enough And Time” for a Hugo!

January 28, 2008

I wish to note a few things up front.  Having not lived in a house with a TV for about 40 years I’m not much of a TV media fan nor do I go to a lot of movies.  I guess, I like to do things rather than sit and watch them happen.    Have I ever watched Star Trek either on TV or the films?  Yes.  I’ve even attended a few ST cons; I was Toastmaster at Toronto Trek.  🙂  Am I a “big” fan of ST, no, not really, tho I’ve enjoyed the episodes and films I’ve seen.  —  That being said, I had the chance to work as a Production Assistant [read gopher] on a recent 2-day reshoot for the current STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES, http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/ , episode.  I had a great time.  It was neat watching the scenes shot  on the set I helped put together.  The people I met were super.  The Ghreat Wombat willing and the crick don’t rise I’ll be back at the principle photography shoot as a PA or other grunt job for 2 weeks next June when the next episode will be shot.  I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.  Oh yes, I get to pay for the experience totally out of my own pocket.    I would like to remind one and all, we will be having a panel on STNV at ALBACON 08, http://www.albacon.org .  Cpt. Kirk, er, Mr. Cawley, is slated to be one of the panelists along with 4 other members from the cast & crew.  I’m also hoping a number of additional members of the cast & crew will attend.    The reason I mention all this is that LASTSFA, and it came to me, received the DVD of “World Enough And Time” starring George Takei.  STNV , see above, is sending the DVD to fan groups around the country, maybe the world in an effort to get the episode on the Hugo ballot under “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.”    So with my biases intact I sat down to watch the episode.  This was the first time I had watched one.  On the set I had seen some outtakes from the upcoming episode and was impressed. The short review is “Yes, do nominate it for “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.”  There is no doubt in my mind it will stand up to any other entry in the category. The longer review and comments:  Production values:  Considering that this was done out of Mr Cawley’s pocket and what donations were received, the film looked as if they had some big bucks behind them.  The camera work and continuity are excellent.    Acting:  Mr. Takei was superb in the episode.  However, what made the episode so much fun to watch was that the other actors were right up there in performance.  This was a professional film from the word go.  Yes, George stood out.  His “daughter” was outstanding and hot.  Hey, I may be 28 [in base 30], but I can appreciate a good actor who is also a delicious babe!  The rest of the main crew acted well and interacted with George exceedingly well.  Yes, Mr. James Cawley does a fine Captain Kirk.    Script:  The dialog and plot and pacing all worked very well.  This is to be expected as the director Marc Scott Zicree and the writer Michael Reaves may well be SF fans, but they both have a long list of credits on IMDB.  This in not fanfic.  And the ending worked!    Set & costuming:  The set was very accurate from what I could see & remember.  The costuming was pretty spot on, tho several bits of both looked inexpensive.  This is not necessarily a criticism.  It is hard to produce expensive looking props and set for nothing.    Special Effects:  They were pretty good.  Maybe not up to network or studio level, but quite good.  They were done by students at DAVE [The Digital Animation & Visual Effects] School at Universal Studios Florida as their graduation project.  [Hmm, I may have to drop by there on my Southern Tour after RAVENCON.]    Please remember there is NO income from the sale of the episodes.  They can’t make any money this way.  The shows come out of folks’ pockets.  If you’ve seen the episodes and liked them, you could do worse than to go to their web site and donate a few bucks to making subsequent episodes happen.  Make it so!    All in all I very much enjoyed the episode and look forward to viewing the others when I can pick up the DVDs. Go and nominate “World Enough And Time”  for a Hugo!

Arisia

January 28, 2008

G’day,    A short note on my being at ARISIA, an SF con in Boston, 18-20 January.   On the 18th up & out for ARISIA.  The forecast was pretty nasty, but the reality was very different.  The drive was on wet roads, & it was sunny by the time I got to Boston.  I had a good time = no sleep!  Did some panels, passed out lots of miniflyers on ALBACON 08 & had lots of chats with interesting folk.    I wasn’t staying for the 4th day of the con.  I had a tech meeting on my con with some of the folk there.  Interesting.  ALBACON 08 will have a more complex & complicated tech system than in previous years.  We have good people signed on to help.

One way to look at it.

January 23, 2008

Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction. -Francis
Picabia, painter and poet (1879-1953)

Sounds about right!

January 21, 2008

The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain
other sets of people are human. -Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

Ain’t this the truth! 2 Thoughts to Ponder.

January 17, 2008

“Hard work never hurt anyone, but why take the chance?”    

“If hard work was really so good for you, the rich folks would keep it all to themselves.”

Crossing the border

January 17, 2008

I was reading about the new rules coming into play this year for crossing borders.    I have a suggestion for Homeland Security to ease border crossing congestion.    Create special lanes, like the “easy-pass” lanes on Toll roads, for those persons who have passports.    I remember crossing one day.  It was taking forever.  Every car was being inspected.  When I got up there, I gave the agent my passport.  He asked the usual questions and then handed me back my passport and said, have a good day.    Why should I have to wait in line because people won’t follow the law and get a bloody passport!    Oh well, it is a nice idea, but I don’t’ expect to see it happen.

X-Prize – #1

January 17, 2008

There is a lot of merit and value to X-Prize type challenges.  Often the value of the prize is far below the cost of developing the winning item.    I’m going to mention a few “X-Prizes” the government could offer.  The amount of the prize is high, but the value of the item makes it a good bargain.    Obviously, the government would get back it’s money by taking 1% of the net profit of the sales and leasing of the item.    The prize would go to the team, not the company, which develops the product.  I’m more than willing to entertain corrections if what I think is hard to do is not.  This way I learn. My first X-Prize is for $1,000,000,000.  Develop a battery that has 10 times the capacity of a standard car battery: same size, cost & weight.  This would have a large variety of applications. Your comments & suggestions?

Social Security – My Approach!

January 16, 2008

Of the comments about Social Security I sort of like Obama’s the best, tho it is anything but complete.    Yes, I would remove the cap on SS taxes or at least raise it up to one million dollars and have the cap go up by 3 times the rate of inflation in following years.    This would increase the total amount of money collected by SS.  Now we all know, giving Congresscritters extra money is like giving an addict more of the same.    My solution to the extra money is to NOT collect it.  How?  Easy.  Using what was collected the previous year as a baseline lower the tax rate, yes – a tax cut, so that the monies collected are equal to the monies collected the previous year.    What would this do?  It would give a tax break to millions of tax payers, middle-class tax payers.  It would also give companies an equal tax break.  This money could go to hiring more employees, giving current employees a pay raise, increase the dividend, increase R&D, etc.  I’m sure some of you could think of ways to make use of the windfall.    Will this “solve” the problems with Social Security?  I doubt it.  However, it would ameliorate it.  Not really sure there is any definitive answer.  Now you won’t hear a politician say this.