Netflix reboots Lost in Space

First, let me warn you, this contains spoilers.

Second, you need to understand this isn’t your father’s Lost in Space (in my case, I am your father, so this isn’t the LiS I grew up with). I liken this remake to the remake of Battlestar Galactica. The original BG was silly, yet a fun, lighthearted romp through the galaxy trying to find home while attacked by silvery robots with strobing eyes and cool voices. The remake was grittier and darker.

The same with LiS. The original was sometimes a silly, light-hearted, sickly-sweet pull-at-your-heartstrings family melodrama, that was still a fun adventure as they traveled through space trying to find Alpha-Centauri. And this new version is grittier and darker with a dysfunctional family.

Let’s compare the characters.

John Robinson. In the original, he’s Zorro and Father Knows Best rolled into one. He always has a great family speach ready after he just kicked some alien’s ass.

The new John Robinson is a U.S. Marine, but is a little self-absorbed, not very family-oriented, and is essentially a stranger to his wife and kids.

Maureen Robinson. June Lockhart was the all-American mom and essentially played the same apron-wearing, hand-wringing character she did in Lassie, merely swapping a collie for a robot, and spends every episode worrying about what sort of trouble her son and robot were getting into.

The new Mrs. Robonson seems a little angry, a little cold, and very much in charge where her family is concerned (and who can blame her since John seems like a selfish dick). She gets things done even if it means selling government secrets if she thinks it’s what’s best for her family (in this case, having Will’s rejection status to go to the new colony changed).

Judy Robinson. The original Judy was just eye-candy. Her part was to blend into the background, when she wasn’t helping her mom with domestic chores or being the love interest to Don West. Her and her sister Penny were often damsels-in-distress.

The new Judy is from Maureen’s previous marriage and is intelligent, is a doctor, and very self-sufficient and self-assured. When the Jupiter 2 sinks deep into glacial waters, John demands Will to jump in to get a battery pack they need to survive because Will is small-enough to fit in a hatch that was partially jammed open. Will is terrified, so Judy jumps in to both protect Will and to show her step-father up (or to show him she exists). The action almost gets her killed but it shows her head-strong attitude.

Penny Robinson. The original Penny was an annoying, whiny girl whose only purpose seemed to be the target of Will’s brotherly misogyny, “Girls!” She spent most of her time with the women being subservient to the men.

New Penny is a feisty red-head with a wonderfully sarcastic personality. When she gets it into her head that something needs to be done, she does it, consequences be damned. At one point, her parents are off exploring, having given orders to Judy and her to stay put. When she sees an impending storm heading where her parents are, she takes it upon herself to assemble the chariot and rush to their rescue. Easily my most favorite character.

Will Robinson. The original was a precocious child prodigy, and really, just a little too unbelievable for a 9-year-old. He was the focal point of the whole show. He and the robot were the main characters, always getting into some sort of jam because of Will’s curiosity.

New Will so far seems to think before acting, is aware of the dangers, and is a little more hesitant to rush headlong into a situation. He also acts more like his age, being afraid of situations he doesn’t understand or are out of his control. In other words, he’s a little more believable than old Will.

Don West. The original West was hot-tempered, ready to fight, and served no purpose on the flight except as pilot, or co-pilot as John always seemed in charge. He was also the only one on board who never trusted anything Dr. Smith did, unlike the rest of the family who all seemed to have short-term memory.

New West is scoundrel. He’s a mechanic and a petty smuggler. He is very much a narcissist, but despite his bad boy exterior, he is caring. He takes care of a chicken he saved from the crash, and later, despite the danger it puts him into, he carries an unconscious survivor over rough terrain to safety.

Dr. Smith. The original was a saboteur who became trapped on the Jupiter 2. His character slowly transformed from selfish and uncaring, willing to put everyone else’s life at risk just so he could return home into a selfish, uncaring, yet silly characture of himself.

The new Dr. Smith is a criminal on Earth, ineligible to be a member of the colonists heading to Alpha-Centauri and start a new life. Her real name is June Harris. She drugs her own sister and steals her identity to join the colonists. She makes it successfully onboard until her sister’s boy friend discovers who she is, threatens to expose her, and she promptly ejects him into space. In other words, she’s selfish and uncaring, willing to do anything (even commit murder and leave people to die) to achieve her own ends.

The Robot. The original robot, the B-9 Environmental Control robot, was programmed by saboteur Smith to destroy the Jupiter 2. “Crush! Kill! Destroy!” (One wonders why an environmental control robot would have such destructive military-capabilities in the first place). In later episodes, thanks to Will, the robot became sweet and lovable and protective of the family, except when Dr. Smith rewires him.

The new robot. It’s an alien robot, not something provided to the Robinsons for their journey. Will finds it after becoming separated from his father and getting caught in the middle of a forest fire. The robot is broken, torn in half when its own ship crashed, and is dying. Will helps it and in turn, it helps Will, even uttering the famous expression, “Danger. Will Robinson.” The robot then goes on to help Judy from her predicament (she was frozen in ice trying to bring back the battery pack), helps the family get the Jupiter 2 back into working order, and so on.

The premise. The original premise was the Robonsons were going to be the first family to colonize Alpha-Centauri. Why just one family? Who knows, but they were elected, and would spend the entire trip in suspended animation until they reached their destination. Dr. Smith programmed the robot to destroy the ship (never really explained why), but the ship blasts off before he can make his escape. The robot wakes up and starts smashing things, and because Dr. Smith can’t stop it, he wakes everyone up to help him. The robot’s rampage sends them zipping wildly off-course and out of control, unable to correct their course, becoming Lost, in space.

The new premise. Spoilers alert! Instead of just one colonist family, there is a whole colony of people seeking a new life on Alpha-Centauri, but only those who test in as worthy can go, while those left behind get to die from an impending extinction event on Earth. The Robinsons are but one family among many. They get to leave on the 24th colony ship. (The Jupiter crafts are essentially used as transport vessels to the planet’s surface once they reach their destination and also as their homes once there).

John is on another deployment when he gets a call from Maureen wanting him to sign permission slips for the kids to join the colony, without him. John, somehow, ends his deployment early and shows up at home, really pissing Maureen off, who wanted to start a new life without him.

Once in space, the colony mother ship is attacked by aliens, robots like the one Will finds and tames, and the Jupiters are ejected so they can reach safety. In the confusion, June/Dr. Smith escapes detention, meets the real Dr. Smith (played by Bill Mumy), who is wounded and needs help. She pretends to help him, but only steals his coat and I.D. She attempts to get on-board a Jupiter when she meets Don West and his companion. Don naively helps her into the Jupiter, and Smith invites them along realizing she has no training in flying. The escaping Jupiters end up crashing millions of light years from Alpha-Centaur. Now the surviving colonists must find each other to survive because they’re all lost, in space.

We learn much of this through flashbacks as the series progresses. In the first episode we know nothing of what’s going on as we first meet the Robinsons nonchalantly (or so it seems) playing a game of Go Fish.

Then all Hell breaks loose and doesn’t let up as the Robinsons go from one danger to the next, complete with episode ending cliff-hangers, just like the original.

Final Thoughts.

As I said in the beginning, this isn’t your father’s Lost in Space. In many ways, it’s so much better. For one thing, it has stunning special effects and breathtaking landscapes.

Now, I loved the original series. I was eight when the show debuted. There was no other show like it at the time. The ship, flying through space, the laser weapons, aliens (even if somewhat cheesy), and the robot all sparked my imagination unlike anything had up until that time.

I still have a soft spot for that show. And I often get very upset when someone remakes something I used to love as a child and turns it into a complete mockery of the original (intentioned or not) as if they had never watched an episode. I can think of several movies that angered me no end, such as Wild,Wild West, Dark Shadows, and Starsky and Hutch. Those movies were lampoonish and offended me.

This reboot, however, doesn’t do that. It doesn’t seem like a cash grab at the expense of our childhood memories.

In many ways, while it’s a completely new, and updated version, it is also an homage (complete with Easter eggs) to the original. The real name of the Dr. Smith character, for instance, June Harris is a nod to the original Dr. Smith actor, Jonathan Harris. At one point, Don West is wearing a flight jacket with “Goddard” embroidered on it, a nod to the original actor Mark Goddard. Plus, if you listen carefully, you’ll catch some refrains from the original show’s music score, which had been written by the great John Williams.

At first blush, the new LiS might seem dark and cold with unlikable characters but as the series progresses however, they flesh-out, we learn their motivations, and they become more of a real caring family, with heart-warming moments, and we begin to see that this new show also has it’s own charms.

I’m enjoying it and I hope it has a successful run.



Writing Wednesday

This weekend that just passed, Decades TV had their weekend binge, where they show an old television show all weekend long. This time around they showed whatever it is — 40 hours? — of Lost in Space, one of the great sci-fi television programs of all time.


There is no argument about that.


But seriously, if you grew up in the 60s, the first sci-fi space adventure television program that aired was Lost in Space. I was at the perfect age where I was mesmerized by lasers, force fields, the Jupiter 2, and of course, the greatest robot ever created, the Robot, or B9 as some of us call him.

Jupiter-2 168 10-9-11

And because I had fallen in love with the concept — a family of space pioneers setting off to colonize Alpha Centauri, who were unfortunately sent astray by a saboteur, who they then welcomed into their family with open arms — I was able to simply accept the fanciful silliness .

It’s been many years since I’ve watched it. I caught an episode now and then when MeTV was airing it several years ago, but not since they changed their lineup. When Decades aired it this past weekend, we had our television tuned to it for the duration.

And you know what? I still love that show. Even with all the pseudoscience and over-the-top fantasy elements of pirates, knights in shining armor, hillbillies, and a talking carrot, I still found the show very enjoyable to watch.

In fact, something strange happened while watching it.

I started to get the itch to write about it. I mean, if you’re a fan of Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars, for example, there are tons of authorized novels out there to satisfy even the most voracious reader.

But Lost in Space? Nothing.

Well, OK, there was one book, published back in 1967 or so, which I read when I was 10.


But that’s it.

And without even consciously thinking about it, a story, a novel of Lost in Space has begun to formulate in my imagination.

Personally? I’d rather it just go away because what could I do with it? Who would buy a novel about a television show that only aired 83 episodes and went off the air in 1968?

I’d rather write something marketable.

I’d rather start the final polish on my own urban fantasy fairie tale.

Or start working on the sequel to my urban fantasy fairie tale.

Or even finish up my two weird westerns.


But so far, all I can think about is Lost in Space, and the story keeps growing and growing and at this rate, it won’t be denied.

Maybe I should write it just to make it go away.

Lost in Space is suited to my writing style, however, because it is as much fantasy as science fiction and it’s science is often somewhat fudged. In that way, Lost in Space is more akin to Star Wars than Star Trek.

Lost in Space can best be described as pulp fiction style space opera. More ray guns and monsters than quarks and string theory.

So in that regard, Lost in Space is almost a perfect venture for me.

Let me mull it over some more.

Stay tuned. Same time! Same channel!


Friday randomyness

A Friday Haiku

Star Trek: Discovery
I saw just one episode
I won’t pay blackmail

Growing up blond

I was a towhead kid. Very light-colored hair. Most of my friends had dark hair. I hated them for it.

Why? Because all the cool television characters at that time had dark hair and the dorks had blond. So when we’d get together on the playground and oretend we were, say, The Monkees, all my friends were Davy, or Micky, or Mike, the cool guys. So who got stuck being the idiotic Peter? Yes. Me.

Starsky and Hutch? Starsky was the cool guy who drove the cool Torino. I got stuck being the sappy Hutch.

All the shows we watched, the cool guy always had dark or black hair. Captain Crane on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? Black hair. Jim West on Wild, Wild West? Black hair. Don West on Lost in Space? Black hair. Jim Kirk on Star Trek? Not black, but a darker brown than blond and then as T.J. Hooker, it was black.

OK. OK. Sergeant Saunders (Vic Marrow’s character) on Combat! had blond hair, but it was always covered by an Army helmet. So although Saunders was cool as hell, he was an outlier.

My point is, for role models, us blond kids didn’t really have any. And yes, it still bothers me all these years later. Woukd it have killed TV to have a few more blond heroic characters for us to identify with?

The Silver Age: Thor

I’m current reading the very first stories of The Might Thor. The original ones plotted by Stan Lee, written by his brother Larry Lieber, and drawn by Jack Kirby. These first few stories are almost laughable in their simplicity. In Journey into Mystery #83, we are introduced to the lame Dr. Don Blake, who is vacationing in Norway. He is hiking (with a bum leg and a cane) in some wilderness and comes across an advance scout party of aliens from Saturn here to invade Earth.

He steps on a twig, which the rock creatures hear and chase him. On his bum leg. In the pursuit, he loses his cane, but manages to climb some rocks and hides in a cave.

In the cave, he finds an old gnarly stick, which he uses to try to move a boulder blocking the back exit of the cave before the aliens find him. He strikes the boulder in anger and he us transformed into Thor, the Norse god of thunder and his stick is now Mjolnir, the enchanted uru hammer.

On the hammer are inscribed the words, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of… Thor.” Words I don’t believe we ever see again. One also wonders, does this mean anyone could have picked up the cane and become Thor?

Now Dr. Blake has all the immortal powers of the thunder god until he strikes the hammer and resumes his mortal form again. However, if he is separated from his hammer for longer than 60 seconds, he becomes the frail doctor again.

So as you can guess, many of the early stories use that weakness to create tension. “It’s almost been 60 seconds! If I don’t touch my hammer soon, I’ll be at their mercy as Dr. Blake.”

In the third issue, Journey into Mystery #85, we meet Loki and some of the other gods of Asgard. But Thor himself doesn’t appear in Asgard until the tenth issue, Journey in Mystery #92.

So far, I’ve noticed several interesting things. First, Dr. Blake and Thor aren’t two different people. Blake becomes Thor when he strikes the cane, but he just seems like Don Blake with muscles and powers.

So the question becomes, where was Thor all this time? Odin, Loki, Heimdall all exist on Asgard, but what about Thor? And why was Mjolnir disguised as a stick in that cave?

When Blake becomes Thor, he still thinks and talks like Blake. They haven’t yet introduced the strained Shakespearean speech Thor is known for, with thees and thous and anon.

As Dr. Blake, he’s very much in love with his nurse, Jane Foster, except he’s afraid to profess his love for fear as she will either laugh because he’s frail and handicapped, like a grown-up Tiny Tim, or he fears she’ll only pretend to love him back out of pity. So he says nothing. All the while Jane Foster is in love with Dr. Blake, but thinks he beyond reach because he’s cold and impersonal. Then Thor appears and she’s all, whata guy! If only Blake was that exciting.

The whole thing is very reminiscent of the Clark Kent/Superman/Lois Lane schtick.

I grew up a child of the Silver Age, but I didn’t become aware of Marvel Comics until 1965 or so, three or four years after these stories came out. By then, many of Marvel’s characters had already gone through their growing pains.

I was more familiar with DC, which was better established and had a stranglehold on the distribution system, making it difficult for Marvel to reach many markets. I can’t even recall seeing their comics early on, just DC, Gold Key, and Dell.

So, I’m finding these early stories fascinating from a historical perspective and I can’t wait to watch how Thor evolves into the character I remember reading in the late 60s and early 70s. Verily.

I might also mention that, in the comics at least, there were several blond role models for a kid to look up to, including Thor and Captain America/Steve Rogers.

Weigh-In Friday

I didn’t. It was a busy week, workwise. I only ran once, on Sunday. So, it’s probably just as well I didn’t step upon the scale.

The Orville

I admit, I wasn’t going to watch this. It just didn’t seem interesting. Most sci-fi comedies are more corny than interesting. I also have no idea who this Seth McFarland guy was, so that didn’t pull me in.

But, given the fact that CBS fucked us over with Star Trek: Discovery, I decided to give The Orville a shot.

I was going to DVR an episode to watch, but discovered that there is this thing called Fox OnDemand. I can watch all the episodes.

I gave the first episode a shot at impressing me.

And you know what? It was good. I mean, really good. Sure, it had it’s flaws, but overall, I was impressed.

The special effects are as decent as any serious sci-fi show out there. The story took a while to build, but it entertained. The acting was good. The characters, although at times their parts seemed a bit forced, were relatable and likable.

I’d say, overall, The Orville is a very good sci-fi program and unlike the first (and only free!) episode of Star Trek: Discovery, it managed to make me want to see more. (I’ve already posted why I didn’t care for ST:D.)

I will be making The Orville a regular viewing habit. Good for Fox. Shame on CBS.

Halloween at Frankenstein’s Castle

Every Halloween, one of WTMJ-AM radio personalities, Jonathan Green, would play a recording from Armed Forces Radio of a Halloween prank recorded in “Frankenstein’s castle.” Green retired many years ago, but I found the recording on YouTube.

The premise is that Armed Forces Radio program director Hunt Downs took three announcers to spend the night in the castle, explaining the myth that the monster’s ghost returns to haunt the castle every 100 years and this was that night.

Each was given a small flashlight and a walkie-talkie and sent to different parts of the castle.

The following recording was unscripted and are the true reactions of those announcers.



Forgot to title this

A Friday Haiku

The weather is nice
73 degrees out
Is this October?

My viewing habits

I don’t know why I have cable, except for baseball and basketball seasons. I enjoy watching the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks and unfortunately, they aren’t shown on over-the-air TV any more. Not like the good old days when Channel 18 had broadcast rights. We can only see them on Fox Sports Wisconsin on Spectrum. Which means, we have to have cable.

(I’ll refrain from a rant on how tje greed within professional sports has pushed the common man out so they can’t even watch it for free any longer.)

Outside of baseball and basketball, there isn’t much on cable that interests me. Nothing new, that is.

I pretty much enjoy mostly old classic reruns from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. And those programs all appear on all those over-the-air channels that cropped up when television went digital and more bandwidth meant say, Channel 6 could now also have a Channel 6.1 and 6.2 and so on. My cable provider hides them all up in the 980s.

Channels like Decades TV, Heroes and Icons, Laff, Comet TV, Grit, MeTV and so on, which feature some of my favorite old shows and allow me to discover new old shows I hadn’t seen before.

Favorites like Combat! which is a great WWII drama which aired from 1962 to 1967. It is a realistic portrayal of the grim reality of war as experienced by a squad of Americans in France after D-Day. Most of the cast were actual veterans.

Vic Marrow as Sgt. Saunders

Combat! is one of the best war series ever produced. Sadly, Heroes & Icons only shows it once a week.

Another WWII show H&I airs is Rat Patrol, which is silly in concept and execution. It follows the adventures of the Rat Patrol, four soldiers (three American, one British), who drive two jeeps around the Sahara Desert harassing the Germans.

Coming over a dune machine-guns ablaze

Its silly because you have these two standard jeeps armed with mounted machine guns battling entire convoys of Germans including halftracks, armoured cars, and the occasional panzer tank and winning! They often leave the convoy vehicles in smoking ruin while they come away nearly unscathed despite all bullets and artillary shells the Germans fire at them. We are to believe, no matter how implausible, the jeeps are just too fast and agile.

In fact, only one Rat Patrol member was ever killed and that was in the first episode, which brought in the Brit soldier as his replacement.

Yet, despite, or because of, the silliness, it is my guilty pleasure show.

H&I also features the entire lineup of Star Trek shows every night except Saturday. They also air Tarzan with Ron Ely, Batman with Adam West, the Adventure of Superman with the greatest Superman of all, George Reeves, and several classic westerns, such as Have Gun, Will Travel, Cheyenne, Rawhide, Wagon Train, the Cisco Kid and many others.

Without cable, H&I alone would be enough to satisfy my entertainment needa, but I need my Brewers.

Weigh-In Friday

OK. Now I’m pissed. I gained 2.1 pounds this week.

I’m going back to tracking calories. I stopped that because 1) it’s a pain in the ass, and 2) I figured I eat pretty much the same thing every day except for dinner, so what was the point. My calorie consumption doesn’t vary the significantly.

Bit I snack at night. It’s my one weakness. Salty chips. Sometimes ice cream. And I don’t paynattention, but I need to. Using a calorie tracker like MyFitnessPal (which now syncs with my Misfit–it didn’t used to), forces me to be aware of what I’m consuming.

Obviously, I can’t be trusted on my own.

Speaking of fat heads

Everyday, I get more and more outraged over another lie or other act of ignorance perpetrated by that big orange turd in the White House.

As a veteran, a lot of it has to do with his sheer stupidity involving military protocol. There’s a video, easily Googled, of TheRump being interviewed by Sean Hannity on military base and when Retreat is sounded (the solemn lowering if the flag at dusk), TheRump is heard saying, “Are they playing that for you or for me? [To the crowd] They’re playing that in honor of his ratings, did you see how good is ratings? He’s beating everybody!” Yes, they’re playing Retreat for you, dumbass.

OK, I get that he’s inside a hanger so he didn’t have to follow protocol, but I doubt he even knew what the protocol was! He certainly had no clue what the bugle was playing or what it meant. He has no respect for anything but money and himself.

He has no empathy or compassion. It took him 12 days to make any public acknowledgement of the fallen soldiers who died in the October 4, 2017 Tongo Tongo ambush in Niger. And then, only because he was oressed by a reporter. When he called the widow of Sgt. La David Jobnson, he said, “he knew what he signed up for.”

When his lack of tact was revealed by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (who was a mentor to the Sergeant and happened to be in Mrs. Johnson’s car at the time of the call), TheRump, had he any sort of compassion (or intelligence), could have simple admitted he misspoke, apologize for the error, reiterate that Johnson had served his country with pride and dignity, and moved on.

Instead, in typical TheRump fashion, he attacked the Congresswoman, attacked the “fake news,” essentially called Mrs. Johnson a liar, dragged General Kelly and his late son into the whole mess, and had another twitter meltdown.

TheRump is a dangerous, unstable little man-child, who has a complete lack of understanding about government, the military, politics, society, international affairs, and and pretty much everything a President has to deal with on a daily basis.

He needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible.

That’s all for now

Enjoy the weekend. Punch a Nazi, if you can.


I usually leave you with a song, but today I’ll leave you with a Public Service Announcement called, “How to Punch a Nazi.”



It is Random Friday, where I cover a lot of topics in a short time. Hang on.


When I first started driving, I got into the habit (some might say weird compulsion) to keep a notebook in the car to keep track of fuel and mileage. Its something my mom did, and still does. Whenever you fill up your car with gas, you note the date, odometer reading, how much gas you put in, and then you can figure out how many miles per gallon you’re getting.

This is useful because it often can indicate if there’s a problem with the engine if the MPG starts dropping radically.

I got away from this a few decades ago, but I just started up again recently. I found a phone app called “Fuel Buddy” and it tracks all the fueling information and even calculates the MPG for me so I don’t have to wear out any brain cells.

Fuel Buddy also allows you to track several vehicles and has options to automatically sense what gas station you are at. You can set service reminders for various components, like the battery, engine oil, spark plugs,  tire rotation, etc.

So far I’ve found on our last fill up that our 2004 Pontiac Vibe got 26.27 mpg, which is pretty good for an older car that does primarily city driving, and the 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge got 33.35 mpg. I might have been driving it a little aggressively since I first got it, so I’m going to see if I can better than on the next fill up.

First Outdoor Run

Yes, you read that correctly. Tuesday, I went out for the first outdoor run of the year. We finally had nice weather, no rain, and it was in the low 80s.

I wore my Hoka One One Clifton 3 and they were so cushiony, it felt like I was running on a wrestling mat instead of a cement sidewalk.

I did fairly well, and ran well over a mile and a half before I had to rest walk for about half a block or so. It seemed like I was always running uphill. How is that possible? I’m pretty sure M.C. Escher did not design my neighborhood.

I’ll have to relearn to pace myself, but it was nice being outside instead of on the treadmill watching TV.

I ran a total of 3.14 (pi!) miles in 36:13. Way off my personal treadmill best of 28 minutes and change for 3.11 miles (5k). My average speed was 5.2 mph, which isn’t bad since I had about 4 walking breaks thrown in there. And my fastest pace was 9.1 mph! Call me The Flash! Or maybe The Flash’s older, out of shape brother, The Slump.

The only drawback to outside running is my shoes got dirty. They don’t pick up dirt and grass and debris when I run on the treadmill. I’ve grown accustomed to having my shoes looking like new, so seeing the sole no longer pristine white sort of depressed me. Oh, well.

Took the Plunge

My phone did, that is. Fell right off my belt and took a half gainer into the toilet bowl at work. I guess the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge really is waterproof because it wasn’t harmed at all.

Luckily, the water was still disinfectant blue from when it had been cleaned the day before, meaning no one had used it yet.

I wiped it off, smeared some hand sanitizer on it, and it was good to go.

Weigh-in Friday

Sorry. I didn’t weigh myself this morning, which is probably just as well. Despite returning to salads for lunch this week, (the last several weeks I was eating PB&J or lunch meat sandwiches), I ate a lot of junk food the rest of the time: pizza (three times, restaurant and frozen, and leftovers), burgers  (twice, both at restaurants), a shake, cheesecurds, and heavily salted snack foods. So I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d climbed back over the 200 pound mark.

First Place!

Thought I’d mention it, since nearly every baseball pundit predicted we’d be in last place,  the Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in their division, leading the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.

Nyah! Nyah!

Star Trek Discovery

By now, most trekkies have seen the first real trailer of Star Trek Discovery and pissed their pants. Amirite?

Or you’re in a state of quiet uncertainty. You dont want to get too excited in case it sucks, but you’re still eager for anything new from the Star Trek franchise.

Or you’re one of those skeptics who are trying to figure out, if this is supposed to be in the Prime timeline 10 years before Kirk, why does all the equipment and special effects look like they’re from the Kelvin timeline?

I’m actually part of a fourth group. The ones who are angry as Hell that CBS isn’t airing Star Trek Discovery on over-the-air network CBS, but instead has chosen to hold the franchise hostage and extort money from loyal fans by forcing them to watch their pay service, CBS All Access.

I don’t know about yoo, but I don’t deal with terrorists. Why should I pay for a service that has only one watchable show on it? I mean, I can’t even name another television program that airs on CBS.

Fuck you, CBS.

If I have to, I’ll wait ten years for the show to make it to Netflix.

How the Elimination of the Fairness Doctrine Fucked Over America

I read something appalling recently. Although that the approval ratings for the Orange Turd are the lowest in the history of approval ratings, there are 96% of those who voted for him, STILL SUPPORTING HIM!

Are you fucking kidding me?

So you have to ask yourself Why? And the only answer possible is they are uninformed on the issues, they only hear one side of the argument, the side they already agree with. There is no critical thinking involved. They are spoon fed their opinions from Fox News, Breitbart, and conservative talk radio.

There was a time in America where the people were better informed. They could make better decisions because they were more knowledgeable about current events and understood both sides of an issue.

If you’re old enough, you probably remember when news programs had Point-Counterpoint discussions where they’d discuss both sides of an argument.

They did that because it was an FCC  requirement.  They had to give equal airtime to opposing views to keep their broadcast license. During elections, if they had one candidate on, then the station was required to give equal time to their opponent.

It was called The Fairness Doctrine and it became law in 1949. And it worked. Most Americans, if they regularly watched the news, had a basic understanding of issues and could make informed decisions. It helped Americans to think for themselves.

But then, in 1985 under Ronald Reagan, that rule was rescinded. Without the requirement to present both sides of an argument, conservative talk radio was born and its angry,  one-sided ignorant rhetoric quickly found an audience among white bigots who felt disenfranchised by a progressive America.

Talk radio hosts were able to inflame these white Americans into believing all their supposed woes were because of illegal immigrants, non-Christians, libtards, feminazis, ecoterrorists, gays who were forcing their lifestyle upon them, and the like.

And their hate and ignorance continued to grow because now they could feed their ignorance by listening to only one side of the news–conservative–and they lost the perspective to see things from the other side. It became easier to name call than have an open mind.

And the Orange Turd found he could capitalize on their hate, their bigotry, and their ignorance, and he road a massive wave of racial, homophobic, sexist prejudice into the White House.

And despite his every lie, every scandal, every illegal activity, his supporters still love him because they are completely uninformed about these activities and have the opinion (handpicked by the Orange Turd himself) that everything negative said about him is “fake news” and all part of a witch hunt to tear him down.

And that is why we need The Fairness Doctrine back: to try to bring some sanity back into politics, to gradually re-teach people how to think for themselves, and to inform them of all sides of the issues.

Resist to stay informed.

/rant over



I usually don’t remember my dreams. I wish I did. I wish I was one of those writers who keep a pen and notepad by their bedside so when they wake up they can jot down every juicy detail and use it for fodder for their next story.

But my dreams are like an ephemeral mist that dissolves when exposed to warm rays of the sun.

But last night’s dream has lasted, or at least a part of it has and its odd enough that I thought I’d share.

I was assisting special agent Jethro Gibbs of NCIS (the TV show). I wasn’t an agent, but for some reason I was helping him. He had even given me his gun.

I had trailed the bad guys back to their lair and decided to apprehend them myself.

I quietly entered through the rear door. It was dark and hard to see, and I moved cautiously, holding my gun out before me as I entered the next room, like they do on cop shows on TV. From out of another room, one of the bad guys appeared, firing at me.

I returned fire and he fell. I kicked his gun away, then kneeled down to check him. He was dead.

From another doorway, the second baddy rushed me. I tried to fire, but the gun jammed. I looked at it and saw that it was stuffed with tiddly-winks.

What the heck? Somehow Gibbs had kept his gun in his pocket and also kept tiddly-winks in it, which got into the gun, jamming it.

OK, let me pause a moment here and explain the gun. It didn’t shoot regular bullets, instead you loaded these metal discs into it. It didn’t fire the discs, like one of those plastic toy guns that launch plastic discs horizontally from the barrel by a spring. No, these were metal discs, like slugs (those stamped metal discs that you have to pop off of a metal electrical outlet to run the wires through). Like slugs, these too were about the size of a quarter. You loaded them into the gun vertically so when the gun fired, the hammer struck the face of the slug, firing the bullet.

You can see how tiddly-winks could screw the whole thing up. The plastic disc would come between the hammer and the slug, preventing the gun from firing.

And all this made sense to me in the dream. It wasn’t anything unusual, this disc-firing gun. On the contrary, it seemed oh so normal.

So back to the dream. The baddy is attacking me, knocking me around, and all the while I’m struggling with this gun, cursing Gibbs, and trying to remove the tiddly-winks and reload it with the slug-bullets.

Again, in real life this would be impossible: to fix a jammed gun while under attack. But this was my dream, and this too seemed normal.

Finally, I was able to clear the jam and reload the gun. I leaped clear of the attack and fired several shots at the baddy. Several were body shots but I saw a hole appear in his forehead.

He should have gone down. Heck, with a head shit, he should have died instantly. Instead, this was dream-reality and he kept coming.

He picked up a large tube TV that had been sitting on one of those 1960s metal stands with the spindly legs where the TV sat on a lazy-susan spinning center. He raised it over his head, about to smash me with it, when finally his nervous system shut down and he crashed to the floor, dead.

Then my alarm went off. So I never did get to chastise Gibbs for giving me a gun jammed with his tiddly-winks. Which is probably for the best, he would have just Gibb slapped me anyway and said something terse like, “Next time, check your weapon beforehand.”

And DiNozzo would have called me a proby and compared my situation to some movie.

Or something like that, and it would have all made perfect sense.


Viggle is a poor substitute for TV Tag

So I’m trying, I really am, to like Viggle, the television app, as a replacement for TVTag, but it just isn’t the same.

For one thing, Viggle isn’t a social networking app. If it is, I don’t see where I’m supposed to connect with other lovers of the shows I’m watching.

For another, you have to physically check-in to each show, which means, you have to hold your smartphone near the TV so Viggle can “hear” the show, then it checks you in. But unlike TVTag, it has to be a current broadcast. Viggle won’t accept DVRed shows. It won’t acknowledge DVDed shows. It has to be on-the-air NOW. Which really limits its use for those of us who watch most of our TV either through the aforementioned methods or even via online sites like Netflix or Hulu.

So for that reason alone, Viggle is a big waste of my time.

But the real deal breaker for me is, it doesn’t recognize any of the shows I watch. I’ve tried “Have Gun, Will Travel,” “Adam-12,” “Bat Masterson,” “Emergency!” and so on and so forth. The little Viggle timer spins around, listening, then it goes, “Hmm… Let’s try that again.” So you try it three times, then it gives up and lets you do a search for the show. Then, yes, it does have those shows, but you know what? It’s a pain in the ass to go through that process each and every check-in because their sound database is so restricted. Heck, it didn’t even recognize “Toy Hunter” on the Travel Channel and that’s a current show, not a classic from back in the dark ages of television.

So what is Viggle good for? I don’t know. Honestly. It bills itself as “rewards destination.” You get points for each check-in, for each minute you’re watching (how it knows this, I have no clue), or for each activity around the check-in, like watching their stupid ass ads. What do you do with the points? Hell if I know. To be honest, I have points coming out the yin-yang. I get points from Best Buy rewards. Points from some new Verizon Wireless thing. Points accumulating from Game Stop. And they all keep sending me emails saying how I should use them, but you know what? I’m not interested. It all seems like some foolish gimmick, like the old S&H Green Stamps my mom used to collect when she went grocery shopping. I don’t believe she ever got anything worthwhile when she redeemed hers either. So why bother?

And really, I don’t give a damn. I’m looking to replace TVTag, which is a social media networking site where I can discuss favorite television shows, not turn my television viewing into some sort of coupon-clipping-like job.

Viggle equals a great big Fail.

Edited to Add: Oh my God. The stupid program doesn’t even recognize the “M*A*S*H” theme song! What a waste of space.