Monday, February 23, 2009

Who's on First

Most of the time when I watch TV or Movies I'm on the look out for actors I've seen in other things. This may seem odd, or maybe everyone does it and I'm just odd for writing about it. This came to mind when I went to see The International. The previews I saw looked somewhat generic but it had Clive Owen. On him alone, from Children of Men and King Arthur, I wanted to see it. Sometimes my plan backfires, like in this movie, but other times I just enjoy seeing an actor doing something else. Case in point is Summer Glau in Terminator: TSSC.

Why do I do this? I think of it as building up "Geek-Cred". The more roles I see an actor in the more I want to see him/her do other things, for example, Harrison Ford. He's got more "Geek-Cred" as Han Solo and Indiana Jones than anybody else, but I'll add in Jack Ryan and Richard Kimball FTW. So who are the pantheon of actors and actresses I follow? Here's a list, with some descriptions of who I like:

Any of the main actors from the five Star Trek TV series. William Shatner is on par with Harrison Ford just for being Kirk, but I'll add in Twilight Zone, TJ Hooker, Airplane 2, Dodgeball and Boston Leagal. George Takei as Hiro's father in Heroes. Walter Koenig in Babylon 5. Patrick Stewart did Excalibur and Dune before TNG, but then we can add X-Men, Eleventh Hour and Robin Hood: Men in Tights; as well as voice work for Anime movies Steamboy and Nausicaa (ironic since Picard is stabbed by a Nausicaan in TNG episode "Tapestry"). Brent Spiner shows up in Independence Day, Phenomenon and an episode of Leverage; as well as voice work in the South Park movie and Gargoyles. And the list goes on. Connor Trinner even showed up last week on Terminator. As you can see Star Trek is a no-brainer when it comes to following actors.

Star Wars is another good one, Carrie Fisher stands out in The Blues Brothers, Austin Powers, and Fanboys. Warwick Davis shows up in everything from Time Bandits and Willow to newer fare like Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Hitchiker's Guide. These are cult actors I like to see pop up elsewhere. Billy D. Williams could have been Two-Face from the 1989 Batman but I also liked him in The Ladies' Man. Liam Neeson is worth seeing in just about everything, but he does an awesome version of Jason Bourne in Taken.

From other shows I love seeing anyone from Firefly, like the afore-mentioned Summer Glau. Adam Baldwin is now in Chuck, but he gets points for being a presidential bodyguard in Independence Day. Jewel Staite does some Stargate: Atlantis (as well as The X-Files), and Gina Torres can do no wrong in Xena, Hercules, Cleopatra 2525, 24, and The Matrix sequels, among others (she's even married to Mr. Fishburne).

The show John Doe is an odd one, but I became a fan of both Dominic Purcell (who went on to be in Blade: Trinity and Prison Break) and Sprague Grayden (who pops up in Jericho and this year's season of 24). The X-Files of course has Gillian Anderson (who did voice work for Princess Mononoke and as Data Nully in ReBoot) and the awesome David Duchovny, who was already known for Twin Peaks but gets to add Evolution and Zoolander to his geek-cred. Both MacGyver and Quantum Leap gave us leading actors to follow; Richard Dean Anderson (Stagate SG-1) and Scott Bakula (Enterprise).

In movies everyone from TRON gets points, but especially Bruce Boxleitner for showing up in Babylon 5. The whole cast of any sci-fi movie made by James Cameron or John Carpenter. Kurt Russel gets high marks for Escape from New York/LA and The Thing, then you can add Death Proof, Soldier, and Stargate. Ed Harris just dominates his roles from movies like The Abyss, Apollo 13, The Rock, The Truman Show, and A History of Violence. Michael Biehn gets lots of geek-cred from his roles in The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, The Rock, and Planet Terror. I can't forget the cast of any of the Matrix movies. Ifyou like Keanu Reeves or not he ranks way up there with movies like Bill & Ted, Point Break, Speed, Constantine, A Scanner Darkly, and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Oh, and Bill Paxton should never be forgotten in The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, True Lies, Twister, Apollo 13, and U-571. In fact he's the only actor to play a character killed by a Terminator, an Alien, and a Predator.

Some are just individual actors whose careers add up to lots of geek movies. Vin Diesel stands out with Pitch Black (which also gave us Claudia Black in Farscape) and The Chronicles of Riddick, but adds to it with The Fast & The Furious and xXx. Hugh Jackman gets it from X-Men, Swordfish and Van Hellsing. The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) gets it for just being himself in The Rundown, Doom, The Scorpion King, and a quick episode of Star Trek: Voyager. Any of the 80's action stars get it for nostalgia's sake, but I like to give Arnold lots of credit for the two Conan movies, The Terminator franchise, Red Sonja, Predator, The Running Man, Total Recall, and True Lies. Brad Pitt for Se7en, Twelve Monkeys, Fight Club and Troy. Wesley Snipes primarily gets my vote from the Blade movies but I'll add Major League and Demolition Man. Sean Connery gets all the points he needs from James Bond, being Indy's dad, and The Rock, but I'm subtracting a couple for being in Zardoz. Shia LaBeouf gets some well deserved credit for I, Robot, Constantine, Indy 4, and Transformers, as well as an appearence in The X-Files. I'll let you figure out on your own why I like Keith David.

I'm giving Will Smith his own paragraph here. He gets Bad Boys I & II, Independence Day, Men in Black I & II, Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West, I, Robot, I Am Legend, and Hancock; not to mention a little TV show he did. I would like to see him do something in space next.

It's sort of like a game I play. Where have I seen this actor before? But, it is also a kind of barometer I can measure an unknown quantity of TV or Movie time. This may seem an exhuastive list but there are many more I'm leaving out. I could spend a week adding up Star Trek alone. I want to show you how I approach new shows and movies. Last example will be Dollhouse. Created by Joss Whedon who gets huge points for creating Buffy/Angel, and Firefly/Serenity. The star is Eliza Dushku who was in True Lies, Bring It On, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Buffy/Angel. Guest starring Harry Lennix from The Matrix sequels and 24; Tahmoh Penikett comes from the new Battlestar Galactica and Smallville; Olivia Williams has done The Postman, The Sixth Sense, and X-Men 3; Amy Acker did some Alias, Justice League, Supernatural, Angel, and Special Unit 2. This all adds up to a pretty good sounding show. Logging out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just a Quicky

I decided not to blog on Monday, as it was a day off, but I wanted to say a couple things as an appetizer to a future blog. I have a crush I developed last year, thanks to Penny Arcade. And the focus of that crush is Felicia Day, and her Knights of Good. This weekend I caught up on The Guild season 2 which is a free HD download on Xbox Live. Tonight is the finale of season 2, and to celebrate, Felicia Day ran a live Ustream video of a party at her place. I think it's her place. I've never watched a live streaming anything on the internet, and that includes the panda cam.

This is still like watching the characers of The Guild on my computer, but they are live. The only person missing was Tink/Amy Okuda. I think the live show was actually longer than the combined two seasons, including the 2 christmas specials and four blooper reels. These are inspired comedian/actors in a niche web comedy. If you have ever been addicted to an MMO you owe yourself this series.

This Saturday I caught up on all my TV for the week (see previous post for viewing habits) and the shows I regularly watch that stand out are 24, Fringe, and Terminator. These are the only shows that are getting anywhere. I've decided Heroes is on a slow burn. It's a pilot-light of a plot that just burns and slowly moves the story forward. Very slowly. I was pumped when Michael Dorn was the President at the last episode of December, but where is he? 24 is the exact opposite of Heroes. There is more done between commerical breaks than in whole episodes of Heroes. Even Knight Rider gets more done.

My last problem I'll aim at Heroes is Matt's precog powers. SPOILER WARNING: Matt can see the future and can see that Speedster Girlfriend will get shot by the tail of the plane. Matt then goes there just to see her die. He never tried warning her or nothing. What is the point of seeing the future if you can’t do anything about it. I know that Heroes started on the premise that Doomsday is approaching unless everyone can stop it. So obviously, the future can change. Matt draws a picture of himself being shot, then he gets shot. That’s a great power since he drew himself getting shot right before he got shot. Maybe if he left his apartment instead of drawing he wouldn’t have got shot, he wouldn’t crash in a plane, and Daphne wouldn’t have been shot either. This is a great power. Your own power is just effing with you. Otherwise, Matt’s a cool character.

I haven't watched much CSI in the past couple years, but now that Morpheus is on the show it actually has my attention. I'm back with it. I even watch CSINY off and on, I just can't watch Miami. I want more Fishburne face time in the show, because I care less about everyone else, except Catherine; I still like her.

I gave up on Call of Duty 5 this weekend for the Minesweeper: Flags on XBL. Minesweeper is generally about logical and careful plotting to clear the board. CoD:WaW on Veteran is so random when it came to engagements you can't work through it slowly. CoD 2 on Veteran was a slow process but you could still be patient and work. On some boards in World at War you can't hold still. Even if you take your time the game spawns enemies behind you, just to kill you. But if you watch your back, nothing happens. I spent an hour trying to get past one part. That's my due diligence. I moved on to the first Russian mission that pits you against a sniper. No matter what I did the sniper killed me. After a half hour I looked up on a forum and it turns out I have to shoot him more than once. But his bullets kill you instantly. No effin' way. I'm out. Gonna play Minesweeper, where I die on my own terms. Logging out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Joss Whedon fills my Friday night TV needs, again

Everyone tells me that putting a show on Friday night equals the death of a show. Maybe this is true, it certainly killed Firefly, but I seem to remember a little show called The X-Files. As I was in college when it first started, and an active social life (yes, I used to have those), I was riveted and started rearranging my schedule to be at home at 9pm to watch it. Then it moved to Sunday, and it never felt right to me. Maybe, somewhere in me, I associate a day and a show on a strange, instinctual level. At the time of VCRs I still wanted to see it as it was broadcast. This feeling is still strong in me with today's technology of TiVo and DVRs, streaming Netflicks and iTunes and Xbox Live. I still enjoy watching a show in its time slot. My days/tv shows of the week have been colored by past watching habits. These include Sunday for Quantum Leap and MacGyver, Saturday for Star Trek and Farscape. Enterprise even felt right on Wednesday, and Thursday gets CSI. This helped me associate Friday with weird, creepy TV.

This year's TV season has been one of the best, with something to watch every day. My viewing habits are as follows:

Monday- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 24, Chuck, Heroes

Tuesday- Fringe, Leverage

Wednesday- Knight Rider

Thursday- CSI

Friday- Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Tonight, things changed for the better. Fringe doesn't "feel" like a Tuesday show but more of a Friday show. I'm not really complaining though as Friday's new line up is awesome. Terminator is back from its December hiatus and Joss Whedon's Doll House follows at 9pm. Terminator was a decent episode and has renewed my faith in the series as I felt it beginning to slide at the end of last year. This episode in particular had a guest star spot by "Trip" Tucker from Enterprise, which is great. As a geek I enjoy seeing actors cross pollinate between shows, especial Star Trek and Firefly, like Data showing up in Leverage, or more importantly, River as a Terminator. I just wish John Connor would man-up and change the subtitle of the show to The John Connor Chronicles. It's a subtle difference that could move the show forward towards Salvation. BTW I love the musical cues that remind you that you're watching a Terminator story.

But tonight's Doll House is the big deal. This put Whedon back on Friday nights. I don't know how he can take so many ideas from so many different sources and cram them into a series, giving the appearance of something fresh. This is equal parts La Femme Nikita, Total Recall, Men in Black, The Island, Zoolander, and True Lies. Maybe even a little Dark Angel and My Own Worst Enemy. Coincidentally or not, the main character, Echo, is played by Eliza Dushku who was in True Lies. For a show with, what I thought, was a terrible advertising campaign, it's actually quite good. Whedon has me hooked; I am definitely a fanboy of his and I love Friday nights, again.

However, during commercials, Summer Glau and Dushku talked to the audience, which seemed really staged and stilted. On a positive note I think the opening credits are great. A few years ago Discover magazine did an article on a photographer who took real world images and did some Photoshop magic to make them look like toy models of reality. When you looked close you could see it was real. Doll House does this with even greater effect, especial considering the irony of the title.

As I write this blog, Enter the Dragon is on and I just love the "Charlie Brown" sound when dudes hit the ground. Since I haven't mentioned Star Trek for the last few minutes I came across this tidbit. One less thing to worry about. Thanks JJ. See you next broadcast.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Windows Vista? I hardly know her!

Yesterday, after a cheap screening of Push, a friend of mine said he's got a problem with his laptop. He asked if I could get my geek on and fix the problem. So I innocently headed over to his apartment to solve the issue.

Here's the deal. He bought a Dell laptop a few months ago and has it wirelessly connected to an AT&T router/cable modem thingy. I took a quick look at the laptop and I couldn't find any icons that helped find his wireless settings. It suddenly dawned on me, "This is Vista". Oh, crap. I've never used Vista, like I've never used acid to clean my eyes. There was a preference window for his network stuck on the desktop that wouldn't go away. I couldn't even click any of the buttons, it just chimed at me. I was a stranger in a strange land.

I recently upgraded my mac at work from Tiger to Leopard, but the transition was a bit more seamless (after a punch in the face during install that I'll post in the future). In the back of my mind I had always hoped Vista was a better tuned version of XP but I was sadly mistaken. I tried shutting the computer off but the stupid icon that looks like an on/off button is just a hibernation switch. Who does that! I eventually stabbed at the correct combination of buttons and icons to get a summary; that he had local access only connection status with his Wi-Fi. Something was up.

A forum search over the next hour unearthed this nugget. These is a bug/flaw/feature in Vista where it randomly stops communicating wirelessly. This has been going on since 2007? You mean there's no service pack or patch in almost 2 years that addresses this issue? WTF!!?! I did find one helpful piece of advice and that was to go into the Wireless Connection properties (which I found by chance/The Force) and disable the IPv6 setting.

Upon a fresh reboot the thing stalled in log-out for more than 10 minutes. In that time I learned why I don't like Nip/Tuck but graciously it ended and my buddy had to pull the battery to stop the laptop. Pull the battery? For real? Is Vista that effed up? Then he got it running again, and I'm beginning to question where he got is info; you shouldn't have to pull the battery. But then, it worked perfectly. Go me. The forum that helped me out is here.

In the end I learned I hate Vista. I'm sure it was built with the best intentions but XP is just fine and I ain't playing with Windows 7 Beta. F*** that. He also has the latest version of Internet Explorer that is so muddled and confusing I couldn't find the Internet Options menu to set his home page for him. Microsoft, here's a message, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Today I needed to clear my mind of PC Windows stuff by trying to figure out how to make an RSS feed out of an XML page for our new Podcasts on the website. I went to an eHow page that steered my wrong but I found my course on the Apple help page. It took some time to learn XML coding for iTunes, because, as it turns out, they have specific tags for coding all the metadata. But, in the end; mission accomplished. Submitting to iTunes caused me grief when the system clock upset the process. I kept geting a session timout error. After following yet another forum I got it working and suddenly it was submitted.

I received an e-mail saying, standby for a confirmation e-mail while we review. Now its out of my hands and up to the Apple Podcast Gods. And, if you are wondering if I liked the movie Push, you'll have to wait for next weeks podcast. BTW, I wish Dakota Fanning would hurry and grow up, because it seems creepy that I like seeing her in movies. She's almost 15 and I think I started seeing her on TV at age 8. See you next broadcast.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Red Ring of WTF!!1!

This is my 50th Blog and this week is about Death and Birth. The Blessed Exchequer signed a Death Note with my Xbox 360’s name (probably its serial number) and it Red Ringed Friday night, right after I bought Call of Duty 5. Unlike a Terminator, the red light stays on in death, mocking me. I believe it died a quiet death. As the GPU slowly melted, it uttered the words “contact Microsoft” and “E74” and “there is another Skywalker”, then finally “Rosebud.” Luckily my Birthday was Saturday and I got a new one. In the Phoenix ashes of my 3+ year white-and-chrome 20GB model a new beast was forged; the black-and-chrome 120GB console of the Gods. I shall name it Mjolnir, for references to both Thor and Halo; and I guess Stargate, Matrix III, Too Human and Tomb Raider Underworld as well.

I was worried about migrating my GamerTag over to the new system, as a friend of mine, whom I will refer to as RW15F, had corruption issues doing the same thing a couple year ago. After watching a progress bar for a while it worked. Now I need to find a way to copy all my save files from my old 20GB HDD to the new hotness. So I turned a Red Ring WTF into a Black Elite FTW! I’ll try to get my older one fixed and bring it to work so I can play in my cubicle, too. Don’t tell no one.

The Army kept me busy this weekend so I didn’t have to much down time to dwell on my broken hardware. But, I did catch up on my reading. Almost done with A Singular Destiny, which, as a Trek geek, is making so much out of old and new peoples and places in the Star Trek universe its beginning to outshine the TV versions. It’s a great political tale on par with the best of Deep Space Nine. Read my last blog for more info. Now, instead of forging ahead with new books, of other franchises (Magic: The Gathering or Star Wars), released this year I’m going to dive into the Destiny Trilogy which set the stage for this book.

On Friday I went to my local Comic Book store and picked up some random titles. Of those was a new Star Trek title from IDW named Countdown, an “official prequel” to the new movie this year. I’m not giving up any spoilers but this comic is awesome. I have so many questions from the 2 previews (and 1 teaser), and some get answered, or at least made clearer. Get this! Unless, of course, you are under a Star Trek embargo because I think it is going to ruin a few surprises. I’ve already seen a couple panels that I wish were in the movie. However if this comic blows all the movie surprises, I’m going to be royally pissed. I don’t think I can resist reading this thanks to the last page cliff hanger. Damn comic books. In Japan you get a new story every week. Here I gotta wait a whole month.

I also read some Detective Comics, Thor, and Cable. Just a quick impression of each:

Cable #10: Great artwork, really like the airbrush quality. Bishop is a dick.

Detective Comics #849: Part 5 of a 6-part death of Batman tie in involving Hush. Hard to rate without reading other parts. Okay.

Thor #11: 1 year anniversary of the death of Capt. America. Thor visits his grave. Interesting issue. I like the Thor parts but could care less about any other god. xxSPOILERxx. The fact that Thor can talk to Cpt. A in the afterlife is interesting but begs the question, do all Marvel characters that die still exist for the Gods to commune with?

Thor #12: Loki is a dick in Las Vegas and I just don’t care about a story without Thor. Not even Balder is present.

On the Marvel subject I watched the first episode of the new season of Heroes last week and it kind of reminds me of Marvel’s Civil War from ‘06. I loved the Civil War, please see previous blog, and any reference to it is much appreciated. Since Marvel will probably never do a movie depicting those events, maybe Heroes can do their own version. See you next broadcast.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Chronicles of Star Trek: Escape from Butchered Canon

I called in sick yesterday with some kind of sniffling/ sneezing/coughing/ aching/stuffy head/fever kind of illness only one brand of terrible tasting liquid can cure. So, instead of drinking something green, I chose a Microsoft brand cure in the form of an Afro Samurai loaded Xbox to pass the time. I am late in the game, near the end, fighting the Empty 7, when the actual issues of this game rear their ugly head. I got just far enough to face the final bad guy today and I decided the system for boss-fighting is way too broken and I’ve put the game back on the shelf never to be played again. Unless DLC comes along. I do like the Chambara-style killing moments, though, which is strangely the best part of this game.

Maybe a passive experience will make me feel better so I put in the original Director’s Cut (ie not the Spike TV version) and watched the first three (of five) episodes. It is so much better than I remember it on TV, but it was edited back in 2007. I started comparing the plot points and character moments between the show and the game and I found that I really like the story told in the game better than on TV. Now I need to read the Manga to jack my whole experience up. The different levels of the game are set to different moments in the show, but a bit rearranged and drawn out for gaming purposes. So, my recommendation is if you like the show get the damn game, just hit the forums for ways to get past the cheesy bosses.

When I wasn’t napping during a CSI:NY marathon I continued reading a new Trek Book that came out last week, A Singular Destiny. What struck me in this book was it’s weaving of TV, movie, and book plot points, creating a much better tapestry of the Star Trek universe, post-Nemesis, than I expected. The main characters are Mining company heads, diplomats, Klingon ship captains, Federation bureaucrats and the like, all set as a sequel to the Destiny trilogy released last year. The book does a good job of keeping me informed of past events from older books, while creating a desire to read them anyway. You can easily step back into Trek at this point and not feel left out of 4 years of storytelling. If this new Trek movie is successful, hopefully we could have a new show to watch. And, I hope that those writers take cues from these books and not re-hash old treaded ground from the previous series. In fact, a new series based on these books would be awesome.

For those that might not have any idea what I’m talking about, here’s the scoop. Star Trek books have never been canon with the show or movies and usually not even canon with each other, The Shatnerverse not withstanding. I’ve noticed of late the current batch of books dating back to the era around Star Trek: Nemesis started a perpetual thread of a story telling that continued well past this point, with more books to come this year. This is as close to canon as you can get from books and since we don’t have an post-Nemesis TV shows, why not read these. Here is a list I have compiled, in roughly chronological order, of novels to read of the continuing voyages.

Prior to Nemesis:
A Time to Be Born
A Time to Die
A Time to Sow
A Time to Harvest
A Time to Love
A Time to Hate
A Time to Kill
A Time to Heal
New Frontier: After the Fall
A Time for War, a Time for Peace
New Frontier: Missing in Action

After Nemesis:
The Next Generation: Death in Winter
Titan: Taking Wing
Titan: The Red King
Articles of the Federation
Titan: Orion's Hounds
The Next Generation: Resistance
The Next Generation: Q & A
The Next Generation: Before Dishonor
Titan: Sword of Damocles
The Next Generation: Greater than the Sum
Destiny I: Gods of Night
Destiny II: Mere Mortals
Destiny III: Lost Souls
A Singular Destiny

This roughly runs from late 2378 to mid 2381. See Memory Beta for a complete chronology of novels. Now I want to drop all my planned reading for the next couple months and just read Star Trek. There is also a series of “re-launched” books for both Deep Space Nine and Voyager which I believe also work as prequels to the above. I’ll list those in the future. Also, crew members from the IKC Gorkon/Klingon Empire novels are referenced adding them to the new book-canon as well as events from The Lost Era novels and Peter David’s series, New Frontier. As he is my favorite Trek author I have no problem added his work into the mix. More on all that in the future. Happy Waitangi Day everyone. BTW, check out the Weekend Ronin unnamed Podcast at its test location here. Click around the site if you'd like, but keep in mind it's in its Beta phase and not a lot is going on. See you next broadcast.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

That New Blog Smell: Blog 2.0

It's been a long time since I last posted here (sorry friends) but I wish to make amends and try a new regular blog schedule. And by that I mean I'll try writing again. In the past year I’ve wrapped myself in my “geekness” and played many video games, read many books, watched many movies, and seen much TV.

Microsoft got its fangs into me when it invented the Gamerscore and Achievement Points system, so I spent 99.9% of my gaming time getting as many points as I could. Labeling me "Achievement Whore" wouldn’t be out of the question. I finished out 2008 with 31,660 GS. The last game I finished up in December was BioShock, which I received for X-Mass last year and I’m thankful I finally played it. If you haven’t you gotta play this, unless you hate original FPS ideas with an Art Deco 50’s flavor, wrapped around genetic experiments and life-or-death choices with Little Sisters and Big Daddies. Your psyche will thank you after this game. PLAY IT. My New Years resolution is break 60,000 GS by the end of the year. I’ve currently pasted 35,000 with Afro Samurai on Sunday, so my pattern is clear.

On TV I was late to the show with Jericho, but at least I saw the last season, which brought me to the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The new Doctor Who has really impressed me of late as did Robin Hood for a brief time. And thank god for South Park, as I’ve been catching up on all the episodes thanks to XBL. I tried Reality TV for a few months but left me feeling cold and shriveled. 2008’s fall season came in like a lion with a show almost every day of the week to watch. So far I’ve been following Terminator: TSCC, Heroes, Fringe, Knight Rider, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. After the Christmas hiatus I added 24, Leverage, CSI: Morpheus and Chuck. Hard to find time for games with these on.

I read through a number of Star Wars books including Darth Bane: Rule of Two and Deathstar. I always have to read Star Trek books so I tracked down some of the novels from the 70s, before ST:TMP was released, and came to the conclusion the Pocket Books era novels (and beyond) are so much better. The books I liked were the Titan series, the Klingon Empire series (especially A Burning House), and the Terok Nor series of prequels to DS9. Star Trek novels have never been canon (like Star Wars) but these novels are fitting a larger Narrative Canvas I find very pleasing since we have no new Star Trek on TV. The futurist Ray Kurzweil wrote a book called The Singularity is Near, which is quite interesting, about the future of tech and humanity. According to him Skynet may be the least of our worries. The Zombie Apocalypse has never been better told than in World War Z. Get it, read it, and be very scared. I also “knocked out” some early Michael Crichton novels from the 60s and 70s that I never read. Then he died and now I have nothing more of his stuff to read. RIP Mr. Crichton.

Movies for the most part were good last year with the likes of The Dark Knight, WALL-E, Iron Man, and Deathrace. However I did see some really bad ones like The Spirit, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and 10,000 BC. I’m still on the fence about Quantum of Solace and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I love Star Wars but Lucas “kid-ified” it again, with likes of Ahsoka Tano, so I’m having issues with it (that also carry over to the TV series). I’m not even going to mention Indy 4. We could have had Star Trek around Christmas but they bumped it to May and I’m still incredibly impatient here.

In my most impressionable years I discovered D&D (Basic and Advanced) way back when before the invention of the computer RPG. Since then I have had an almost instinctual desire to collect D&D manuals of any sort, so I immediately descended on my local Comic Book store and consumed any and all books they had. I don’t even play, I just like the books. Last week I bought the Open Graves guide to undead campaigns, with thoughts of running a game about a zombie apocalypse. Sadly, I don’t play anymore but I love collecting the books. If only the web resources we have today were around when I was in High School running games. RIP Mr. Gygax.

The biggest news I can think of from late last year was a decision of me and a few of my friends to start a Podcast. I had just bought an iPhone 3G and Bwane introduced me to podcasts. (GamerTags used to protect the innocent.) Once he had me on board we agreed to do it with a couple other friends, R moe nay and KILLAB, and I started learning HTML and how it works with DreamWeaver and started a website to support it. The Weekend Ronin site in its “under construction” phase. We have recorded 5 podcasts so far but those haven’t been “migrated” to the real internet yet (or iTunes) so please stand by. In fact just today I started a Twitter account to facilitate (I think that’s the right word) our combined efforts but also to be a mini-blog in between regular blog entrees.

For tech news I upgraded my Mac OS from Tiger to Leopard with not a few initial issues but I’ll save that for another Blog as well as trying to integrate Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac into the flow. Stupid “.docx” files. That’s about all I remember in my beer-addled brain. See you next broadcast.