Archive for September, 2011

Terra Nova Review

Posted in Rant, TV on September 28, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

I found the premier episode unimpressive and rather bland.  If it isn’t cancelled early, I predict it only has one, or maybe two seasons in it.  As it stands, I see no reason to continue watching this show.  I may watch another episode or two just to fuel my rage at stupid TV, but that’s the only reason I can think of to watch it.  I don’t even remember what the names of the characters are, and I don’t feel looking them up.

Here are some of the issues I had with it:

Why – unless it changes and they didn’t want to add even more exposition in the first episode – is the portal so far away from the fort?

If nobody is accustomed to the bright sunlight, why don’t they wear sunglasses?

Why are there trees growing right outside the fort?  If you’re concerned with terrorists infiltrating your camp, you would clear the area around the fort so they couldn’t sneak up.  While it is a fast growing jungle, you would certainly cut down any nearby trees, so there shouldn’t be any plant eaters munching on trees right outside the walls.  You also wouldn’t want plant eaters right outside because plant eaters are followed by meat eaters.

Speaking of meat eaters, how was that stupid girl able to elude them?  You would think that an unarmed, wounded, little morsel of meat staggering along would not last long around a pack of hungry meat eaters.  Unless they read the script and knew she had to survive.

Why would a doctor walk away to have a little chat with her husband about their son while her patient – who almost certainly is going into shock – lies on the ground bleeding and in need of surgery?

Of course, this is the same doctor who when she sees a giant leech on a guy’s back just pulls it off without – apparently – knowing if that is the best procedure for Cretaceous leeches.  It’s my understanding that if you just pull leeches off their heads could break off and stay in your skin causing problems.  But if you put salt on them or burn them with a cigarette, they’ll detach and fall off on their own.  Plus, if it only takes five seconds to pull this thing off, why did the guy have to sit there for, what was it, half-an-hour?  I’ve never had a giant leech stuck to my back, but if I knew the procedure to remove it was to just yank it off, I’d contort myself until I could get a hold of the thing and rip it off myself.

In a society that can produce miniature lasers that can cut through metal cups, and which you would think they could beef up into laser rifles that could slice dinosaurs with ease, do they stick with guns that fire bullets?

How was the Sixer prisoner able to escape without the guard raising an alarm?

And wasn’t it convenient that the Sixer prisoner just happened to walk by the former police officer who noticed something wasn’t right about him?

Of course, that was just one in a long line of happy coincidences.  Like when the main character just happened to walk by his son when his son was skipping orientation.  Like when the two guys climb a mountain to overlook the fort and they just happen to see the Sixers coming.  And then they were able to make it down the mountain and back to the fort, just in time.  And when the Sixers leave, they just happen – naturally – to find the rover of the kids.  And once they strip it they just happen to be attacked by the Slashers.  Who manage to damage the Sixer rover.  Who don’t attack – at first – the kids when they are right out in the open.  And then the stupid girl runs off into the dinosaur filled jungle, only to almost be run over by the rescue team.  And of course, the old cliché, of everything is okay, get down, there’s a dinosaur behind you!  I count that as a coincidence in that this interaction occurred between two of the main characters instead of a couple of unnamed extras.

So there is some conspiracy going on.  Okay, but either it will be this grand conspiracy that only grows in depth and complexity never to be solved and just annoying the viewers, or it will be solved and then … well, then what?  What will be the driving point of the show if the conspiracy is gone?

There be dragons. Maybe. I don’t know

Posted in Humor, Religion on September 22, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

One of the best things about moving is finding things you had forgotten about.  For example, a notebook I had started years ago.  There was a guy where I worked who was a Born Again Christian and we would often talk.  Usually about non-religious stuff, but on occasion the conversation would go that way.  I got the impression he was trying to convert me, so I decided I should try to convert him, so I started a notebook of things to try.  Unfortunately, probably a few weeks after I started this notebook, he got a better job offer, so I never got much to put in my notebook.

Now the reason I’m writing this blog is because of something that happened with this guy.  At one point he asked me to read the Book of Revelation.  I had tried to read the Bible before, but had never gotten very far because it’s dry and boring: So-and-so begat So-and-so, who begat So-and-so, who ad nauseam.  So – after several prompts – I started reading it.  The end of the book isn’t much better than the beginning.  I was still part way through when we talked next and he asked me what I thought.  I said I wasn’t impressed.  “Isn’t it scary,” he asked.  “No.” He then asked if I had gotten to the part with the dragon.  I had not, so he told me to read that part and then we’d talk again.

The part with the dragon – in case you forgot – is Revelation 12:3.  In my King James Version it reads:

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

After I read the part with the dragon (who I guess is supposed to be Satan), I went back and talked to him.  He asked if I was scared now, and I said, “No.” I told him it was my understanding, that Revelation had been written in code for Christians of the third century who were being oppressed by Rome, not for the people of today.  It was to be read symbolically not literally.  He wasn’t sure about that, so I asked him if he seriously believed that during the end of the world, a dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns would physically appear.  He didn’t answer me, and it was my impression that question had never occurred to him before.  We only had a few more conversations after that before he left for his new job, so I never got an answer to my question, which is why I gave this post the title I did.

Listen to my story “Housebreaking”

Posted in Writing on September 17, 2011 by oneoveralpha

My flash fiction story “Housebreaking” was published in issue 159 of AntipodeanSF. They also have a podcast where the author can read their story. But since I’m a better writer than a reader, someone else read my story. You can hear it on AntiSF Radio Show 159 Gamma. It begins just after the 29 minute mark. Enjoy.

I did not think that

Posted in Humor, Odds, Politics on September 16, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

Lately, I had been thinking about writing a blog about commercials.  It was going to be about how there seems to be a lot of commercials for these four services, which would lead you to suspect Americans are in desperate need for these things.  These four services are: dating sites, energy drinks, new cars, and car insurance.  It seems like in every commercial break there will be a commercial of at least one of these things.  I was thinking about this when a thought I did not want popped into my head, namely, it won’t be long until their concentration will be diluted by political commercials.  Did I think political commercials are a good thing?  Nooooo!

Conflicted by 9/11

Posted in Odds on September 13, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

I had planned on writing up a blog about what I did on 9-11.  I started writing it out, but after a few paragraphs I ran into problems, in large part because I just sat on my ass and watched it all on TV.  It’s tough to expand that into several paragraphs.  Another problem I had was that I was just a distant, faceless, spectator; I didn’t know anyone who died.  Part of me felt that by trying to “make something” out of sitting on my ass and watching TV, I was trying to step out from the distant, faceless, crowd into territory where I don’t belong.  Anniversaries should belong to the people directly affected.  Some may say that by not making a big deal out of it I’m belittling the memory of the victims, but I say I’m not sticking my nose into other people’s tragedy.  And to those who say that I should take the time to remember because it changed the world, I say, “Why should a world changing event be thought of just once a year?” I’m willing to face the social and political ramifications of that event any day of the year, but again, the anniversary should belong to those directly affected.  That’s why I waited until after the anniversary to post this blog instead of trying to catch the wave of blogs about 9/11.

An open letter to Colonel Gaddafi

Posted in Odds, Writing on September 3, 2011 by The Prince of Pithy

I wrote a story several months ago where I wanted the main characters to talk about something happening “currently.” So I had them discuss the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. The story then sat aside for several months, and when I was revising it, the Libyan rebels were just entering Tripoli. So I cut out the Mubarak part, and added in you Colonel Gaddafi. I figured you would be dead in a few days, and that would fit in nicely with my story. But it’s been almost two weeks now, and you’re still at large. For reasons that I can’t explain – without telling you the entire story – I can’t do a final revision until I know your fate. So please, give yourself up, or blow your brains out, or something. Please, let me finish my story.