Showing posts from November, 2014

For my wife, Amy...there's no escape from people!

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Star Trek episode "A Private Little War"

"A Private Little War" Season 2, Episode 19. Kirk says the planet they are on is the first planet Kirk ever did a planet survey on thirteen years ago. Starfleet says "NO INTERFERENCE" on this planet based on that survey. Spock is shot by an old flint-lock rife. Bones says, "It's lucky his heart is where his liver should be or he'd be dead already." The Klingons who have no such Prime Directive, help one group on the planet to create arms in order to disrupt the balance of power. There are a couple of inferences to Klingons breaking the treaty without mentioning the term "Organian." We learn of the medical necessity of Vulcan-slapping to help them regain consciousness. Bones and Kirk debate over Kirk's decision to give the other hill people guns in order "to equalize" the balance of power. Kirk gets seduced by the witch doctor woman by some kind of plant fragrance. She's conniving; she only wants his phaser. Sh

Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?"

"Who Mourns for Adonais?" Season 2, episode 2. They meet the Greek god Apollo! That "What If?" aspect to this episode is cool, the possiblity of an advanced alien race coming to ancient Earth and being seen as gods is extremely intriguing. In a monotheistic aspect, showing the relation of religion to Star Trek in one sentence, Kirk says to Apollo, "Man has no need of gods--we find the one quite adequate." On another note, I was thinking during this episode that it would be kind of cool to have some Star Trek omnipotence battle. The Organians, Q, Trelane, the Talosians, these Greek gods, could all vie for power or something. The Enterprise could prevent it all. Might be worth a revisit in a Star Trek novel.

It even comes with overlays!!!!

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Intellivision Flashback with 60 built-in games!

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Week 13 NFL picks

Picks for week 13. And I ain't no idiot--I'm not picking the Bears. Detroit Philadelphia Seattle Baltimore Cleveland Houston Indianapolis Jacksonville Minnesota Pittsburgh St. Louis Cincinnati Arizona Green Bay Miami Denver

Madison says, "Happy Thanksgiving!"

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Hollywood game night with my fellow teachers tonight. Hope I planned it well enough!

November 25, 2014 at 04:36PM via Facebook

Jay Cutler is a league leader! turnovers!

November 23, 2014 at 12:28PM via Facebook

Star Trek episode "The Savage Curtain"

"The Savage Curtain" Season 3, Episode 22. Another super-entity! This one is Abraham Lincoln in space! Literally, he is Lincoln, sitting in a chair in space. "I am Abraham Lincoln." WTF? And Gene Roddenberry wrote this one. Can you trust Honest Abe? Kirk and Spock beam down and the aliens somehow prevented the beaming of their phasers and tricorders. They also deprive the Enterprise of almost all its power. Spock meets the great Surak of Vulcan on the surface. We find that they have been brought here by powerful rock-beings! Genghis Khan, Colonel Green (who led some genocide war on Earth), Zora (some evil alien scientist), and Kahless the Unforgettable (a terrible Klingon) are all on the surface of the planet too. And it's all set up as some kind of battle to watch and test them. The whole episode reminds me of a child's toy box, mine especially--different toy lines have been merged to make a cohesive story. I remember playing with Indiana Jones (fro

Hey! ESPN's Tom Jackson is leading their overall pick game at 64.8%. I am picking 65.63% just picking for myself. Should I be on ESPN?

November 23, 2014 at 11:10AM via Facebook

My NFL pick stats

Just picking winners. I am no expert by far. Just a casual observer. I watch three games (or more) on Sundays, the Monday night game, and I would watch the Thursday game if it wasn't on the frigging NFL Network. (How the hell isn't that on basic cable? It is a commercial-ridden channel, for Pete's sake.) After 11 weeks, I am 105-55, or 65.63%. I went 8-7 week 8; 8-5 week 10; 10-4 week 11; and only 6-7 week 9, my first under .500 picking week this season and for several years, I believe. Contrast this to the picking leader on ESPN as of today, Tom Jackson at  64.8% and I could be sitting right there next to these guys analyzing and kibitzing these games. That's another reason I like the NFL--any team can win with really unpredictable results. I mean, who would have picked Oakland to beat Kansas City this past Thursday? No one but a Raider fan, I'll tell you that.

Hiyah, Amy cutie!

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Week 12 NFL picks

Picks for week 12. Kansas City Cleveland Buffalo Chicago Houston Indianapolis Green Bay New England Philadelphia St. Louis Seattle Denver San Francisco Baltimore Dallas

Week 11 NFL picks

Week 11 NFL picks. I don't get the Thursday game so I didn't see it, but I already picked it when I picked my picking game. As I write this, I actually have no idea who won. Miami Atlanta Chicago--and I am dreading this pick Cleveland Kansas City New Orleans San Francisco Denver Washington San Diego Arizona Green Bay Pittsburgh New England

Old paper on Machiavelli

Matthew Butcher History 102 Unit 5 paper August 1, 1995 Machiavelli's The Prince Renaissance Italy had many new startling political developments in the fifteenth century.  Italy saw the expansion of smaller city-states as the major governing powers.  There were five major powers and some independent city-states that dominated the peninsula.  These provinces had the same notable factor:  a strong ruler that governed with the express idea of improving his kingdom.  The Italian Renaissance was thus preoccupied with political power.  Italians remained loyal to their own states.  This brought about the birth of modern diplomacy, where the pursuits of the individual state took precedence over any other interests.  This individualism of the state also produced the power struggle over the peninsula by the Italians and the French and Spanish monarchies.  Wishing to help only the individual state, Italian rulers fought with each other and with the other Europeans.  This eventually brou

Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" Season 3, Episode 15. This episode opens with a rogue shuttlecraft that I swear looks like a tissue box. Two aliens have been chasing each other for 50,000 years. There is a form of racism involved here. They are both half black and half white, symmetrically, but white and black on different sides. This is a decent example of the stupidity of racism, much like Dr. Seuss' The Sneetches . They are quite powerful too, as one of them beams through deflector shields, has an invisible ship which would be a technological marvel, can mentally take control of the Enterprise , and burns out memory banks just by pointing. They also have personal shields that can prevent a phaser stun. When talkng about racism, Chekhov says,"There was persecution on Earth once. I remember reading about it in my history class." (SIDEBAR: I had a similar memory with this as the first time I taught To Kill a Mockingbird at South Kitsap when I swea

Star Trek episode "Court Martial"

"Court Martial" Season 1, Episode 20. As it opens, the Enterprise has been through a "severe ion storm" in which one crewman, Lt. Cmdr. Finney, dies while out in a pod taking readings. They put in to a Starbase for repairs and for filling out a report on Finney's death. Kirk "had to jettison" the pod during the storm. Kirk and Finney had served together on the Republic . Kirk solved a negligent problem of Finney's and Finney has hated him ever since. Kirk's actions are under examination, and his lawyer is Samuel T. Cogley. This guy made this episode. He has to be one of the simply coolest secondary characters that has ever been on Star Trek. The prosecutor is an old lover of Kirk's, Lt. Shaw. One strange thing that seems to be the crux of the argument--Kirk presses the yellow and red alert buttons on his command chair? Only in this episode. After watching all 80 episodes, I never saw him turn the alerts on--someone else always did af

Star Trek episode "And the Children Shall Lead"

"And the Children Shall Lead" Season 3, Episode 4. Kirk and company investigate what's left of a scientific party on the planet Triakis. All the adults are dead from an apparent mass suicide. The kids just keep playing, immune to any kind of grief. As the crew tries to figure out the mystery, the kids on board try to take over the ship. See, the kids brought aboard some kind of ghost-alien that wants the Enterprise to take them to another planet. The ghost-alien has given the kids remarkable thought-powers. They are able to make the crew change the ship's direction and see things that aren't there, like the planet when they leave orbit. Sulu sees a wacky "tunnel of daggers" in space. Kirk and Spock and the deluded transporter operator beam two redshirted crewmen into space, killing them. Kirk posts a 24-hour guard on the kids really early in this show, actually exhibiting good foresight for once. The kids make everyone else see things except Kir

The last episode of Battlestar Galactica "The Hand of God"

"The Hand of God" The last episode of Battlestar Galactica. Whether or not they wanted this to be their last episode, it is what it is. It may have been a forced conclusion because the plug was pulled to give a hell of a series finale. This show must have been somewhat successful enough to allow for a spin-off series, Galactica 1980, no matter how ill-conceived or ill-perceived it was. That spin-off will only last ten episodes. But we'll get to that another time. To me, this is all just a duplication of the Battle of Yavin (the first Death Star battle at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope). You'll see. Starbuck gets a cheap look up Cassiopeia's skirt as they and Apollo and Sheba climb to the highest point of Galactica's interior to look at the stars. While there, we hear that Galactica launched over 500 yahren ago (that's about 342 years ago according to my calculations). They pick up a TV signal on an unused gamma frequency

Battlestar Galactica episode "Take the Celestra"

"Take the Celestra " No Cylons again! When was the last time we say a Cylon? Way back in "Fire in Space" NINE episodes ago. I don't count those two in "Baltar's Escape" because they were dismantled and hastily put back together, presumably dismantled again after Baltar's re-capture. Those don't count as they were no threat. Nine episodes ago. I guess that kind of gives a bit of crediblity to the suicide attacks of that episode being some kind of last ditch effort. Captain's Log: Adama talks about the increasing number of inhabited planets they are discovering. Starbuck sees a long-lost love, Aurora, when the Commander Kronus of the Celestra is being given an award. She's pissy that Starbuck never looked for her. Kronus has a list of accomplishments that would put him above Adama, but he retired and only became active again after the Cylon decimation when they needed people. He even remarks that Adama was once his aide. Starbuc

Battlestar Galactica episode "Experiment in Terra"

"Experiment in Terra" Now we come to the Quantum Leap episode. I don't know if anybody noticed this before--this is my independent conclusion but this must have been noticed by somebody before (I edited the Battlestar Wiki page on this). One of the writers and producers of Battlestar Galactica is also the creator of Quantum Leap , one Donald P. Bellisario. The situation is just way too coincidental. This horrible episode of BSG was also even made into a longer movie-of-the-week. OMG, is all I have to say. If this is the episode of BSG that they made into a longer movie, they had no idea what they were doing. First of all, it amazes me how they are still giving acting credits to people who aren't even in the show any more. There's no Boxey or Athena and they get "Also Starring" credit. Jolly, that fat pilot who is barely in the entire frakking series, is in it for all of ten seconds. Captain's Log: Galactica is

Battlestar Galactica episode "Baltar's Escape"

"Baltar's Escape" Captain's Log: The Fleet is buzzing about the opressive Eastern Alliance. Have they traded to Cylons for another bad guy? Adama does not want to release the prisoners from the Alliance because he does not want a rehash of the Cylon "peace" mission that went horribly wrong. Adama, Apollo, and Starbuck go to interrogate the prisoners. The Alliance Commandant says, "We are at war with the Nationalists...people who want to change the natural order." Baltar on the prison barge joins the Borellians in a jailbreak to get on the shuttle that is due to take the Alliance prisoners to the Galactica . The Borellians can fake death. The Council of Twelve wants to give Adama the Star of Kobol, but he refuses because he knows it is just to take away military control, something he does not think is wise in their present situation. The Council does it anyway, taking away martial law. One of the Council, Sire

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

Two photos of Patrick McGoohan

Star Trek episode "This Side of Paradise"

"This Side of Paradise" Season 1, episode 24. They travel to Omicron Seti III, an agricultural colony that is supposed to be dead from something called Berthold rays. Then this episode becomes a space version of that segment in The Odyssey entitled "The Lotus-Eaters." The colony is staying alive and drugged by plant spores. Spock knows one of the colonists, a girl named Layla, apparently a previous love interest. Spock is overtaken by emotion after ingesting the spores of the flower. Everyone becomes infected, all 430 of the ship's complement. Kirk is the only one immune, and if he had become infected, it would have been all over. Fascinating debate on whether ot take paradise or struggle. Kirk says,"Man stagnates if he has no ambition, no desire to be more than he is." Sandoval of the colony says, "We have what we need." Kirk replies, "Except the challenge!" Is it better to live in oblivious bliss if all your needs ar

Star Trek episode "Operation--Annihilate!"

"Operation--Annihilate!" Kirk's brother Sam is dead. He's a research biologist whose planet of Deneva was on the route of some kind of space plague, like locusts. Kirk has a nephew named Peter Kirk. Amazingly, no one dies while Kirk is in command of the situation. Nothing more to say on this episode. Trek fights space plague.

"I have to wear this skirt to Kaitlyn's party tomorrow because I have to bring the wow factor." --Madison

November 07, 2014 at 06:27AM via Facebook

Week ten NFL picks

Last week was a bad week. I went only 6-7. A lot of upsets, if you ask me. Cincinnati Baltimore Kansas City Miami Dallas New Orleans Pittsburgh Tampa Denver Arizona Seattle Philadelphia And I hate myself for this but I am officially picking Green Bay over the Bears. Sorry. I can't stand Cutler anymore. He is happy being the number one quarterback on a mediocre team. I think he doesn't want to make the playoffs because then he has to play fewer games.

Star Trek episode "Journey to Babel"

Season 2, episode 10 "Journey to Babel" featuring Spock's father Sarek, one of my favorite Trek characters. Fabulous episode with all sorts of Trek aliens that also introduces us to Spock's mother. You gotta love an episode with Andorians, those blue aliens, and especially fake Andorians with communicators in the antenna. No crew member dies. And this was the first time we ever got to see the blue-skinned Andorians. And I may be nitpicking, but it is amazing that our biblical allusion of the tower of Babel could be another planet. I mean, the author was clearly drawing upon the fact that it is very hard for different races or tribes to work together with all of the differences. Why wouldn't the place be named Cucamonga? I love the allusion though.

Battlestar Galactica episodes "Greetings from Earth"

"Greetings from Earth--Part One" and "Greetings from Earth--Part Two" Another Captain's Log entry from Adama reveals that they are "looking for signs that we are getting close" to Earth. I wonder how the plan for the series changed when they knew the show was getting cancelled. After this two parter, there are only four episodes left. That's just the part of me that wonders at creative changes due to ratings, and remember that writer's strike one year that supposedly changed the plot of the TV show Heroes , filming alternate endings in case of strike? I wonder if that affected Battlestar Galactica ? While out on a long range patrol, Starbuck and Apollo discover a sub-light ship with a family of humans in suspended animation. The whole Colonial fleet gets excited. Why didn't they get very excited at all those other human settlements? But they are hoping it is their "first contact with an Earth vehicle."

Battlestar Galactica episode "Murder on the Rising Star"

"Murder on the Rising Star " Adama mentions that they will observe Earth before just landing and scaring the hell out of Earth. For these last couple of episodes, Adama is speaking into his microphone as a sort of Captain's Log, and we watch the words come up on the screen sort of like Doogie Howser. Starbuck and Apollo are in some kind of Triad tournaments on the Rising Star . That's that game that's a cross between basketball and racquetball. It is much more physical than we saw before, with punches and elbows. Starbuck and Ortega fight and get kicked out of the game. (Apollo tells Starbuck, "Go take a turbo-wash and cool off." Don't you just love it when they make a new name for common things? Turbo-wash = shower.) Ortega winds up shot to death in the locker room. Starbuck is seen running away from the scene, nervous. Adama wants Starbuck's laser gun checked. The laser has been fired. They run a laser ballistics check and

Battlestar Galactica episode "The Man With Nine Lives"

"The Man With Nine Lives" Adama is using the coordinates and directions given by the Beings of Light to make the way to Earth. Adama mentions "following the trail" left by the 13th Colony on their way to Earth. I guess that kind of solves my problem of what all these humans are doing on all these different planets all over the place. However, now aren't there many more such "colonies"? Starbuck is interviewed for a TV show to recruit new pilots. He is an orphan, his parents supposedly killed during a Cylon raid on Umbra on Caprica when he was a baby. There's an old con man amongst the fleet who decides to take advantage of that and "become" Starbuck's father. His name is Chameleon--but pronounced SHA-me-le-on. Amazing how all the information he has is exactly just what Starbuck did in his interview and he never wonders, but I guess he wants to believe. Of course, everyone is going gambling and dancing! I know they

Battlestar Galactica episodes "War of the Gods"

"War of the Gods--Part One" and "War of the Gods--Part Two" Now this is where the casual viewer probably stopped watching back in the late 1970s. This is just either weird or way ahead of its time. Four Vipers while out on patrol come across strange moving lights in space and disappear. Apollo and Starbuck finish playing that weird space game called Triad (a cross of basketball and racquetball, it looks like) and then they go out to look for the missing ships on a planet that they just came across. On the planet, they see the wreckage of a spaceship and meet a mystery man named Count Iblis (pronounced ib'-lee). He offers to help them on their quest for Earth. "My knowledge of the universe is infinite!" They take him back to Galactica . Iblis knows a heck of a lot and seems to have strange powers, can offer and do just about anything, including increase the food supply. He says he has enemies that are worse than the Cylons. He knows all about Eart

Battlestar Galactica episode "Fire in Space"

"Fire in Space" It's got a regular opening because, hey!, it's a one-part episode! Imagine that. The regular opening takes 2:40. I guess it can be seen as sort of introducing you to space for the episode, but since each opening is the same... This one is actually a cool concept, although it fails horribly in execution. Two Cylons get past defenses and kamikaze into the Galactica. Now the ship is a burning wreck in space. So the crew all have to work on putting out the fires and saving people. Commander Adama, for one, has some "fragment lodged in the wall of his heart" that the doctor has to operate on. One group is closed off and suffocating. Now, that part is good, but this is also where it immediately went wrong. According to the radar-thing, the Cylons are dishing up an all-out assault, with multiple BaseStars. Cool, they got through and hurt the Galactica . Now I couldn't help but wonder why the Cylons called off the attack. Why di

Battlestar Galactica episode "The Living Legend"

"The Living Legend--Part Two" Just because I can tally this watching it through, the opening credits and music last for a whopping 1:37, then the update on what happened last episode lasted until 4:29. The Cylons, with Baltar in that weird headgear, retreat when they see the Pegasus. I still want to know how the hell they weren't seen "coming around." How did they sneak up? Prepping an offensve attack on the old Colonial fuel outpost known as Gamoray, now a Cylon city, has Adama and Cain argue a bit. Cain says, "As you know, Cylons have no independent initiative. Their control circuits are always centralized." So what, are they like Star Trek's Borg? And does this really make sense with the episodes we have seen so far? What about the IL-series (those Lucifer look-alikes)? They all figure Cain is planning something crazy. So the Galactica ground force has Cassiopeia join as a med-tech with Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, Sheba (Cain

Star Trek episode "That Which Survives"

"That Which Survives" Season 3, Episode 17. Something instantly hurls the Enterprise 990.7 light years away, stranding the landing party. Kirk, Bones, Sulu, and a geologist named D'Amato get stranded on a mystery world. The transporter officer is killed by a strange woman, who then also kills D'Amato on the surface of the planet. Then the strange woman is on the Enterprise again, one thousand light years away. She kills an engineer named Watkins. Then she is back on the planet--the tech, or magic, or whatever to instantly transport a thousand light years? Wow. The landing party discover that it is an outpost for a long dead alien race. It's almost exactly like that one Next Generation episode "The Last Outpost." Indeed, that TNG episode seems to be a sort of remake. Speeds of warp 11.9, 13.2, and 14.1 are mentioned. It is a completely forgettable episode.

Star Trek episode "The Conscience of the King"

"The Conscience of the King" Season one, episode 13 Even though that title is a reference to Hamlet , the play produced at the beginning is Macbeth but we won't go there because they did mention that they would produce Hamlet for the Enterprise , but I digress. This was a great episode with a fantastic twist at the end. This was the episode that directly ties in with that book The Lost Years by Dillard that I read a few months ago. It has that Lt. Kevin Riley that was so prominent in the book, as he escaped the terror of Kodos on Tarsus IV. (Don't ask--it takes me longer to explain than just admitting I am a geek and getting on with it.) Kirk's friend Tom Layton dies but isn't his fault. Kirk must catch Kodos in the act, much like Hamlet . Great episode.

The Prisoner board game

Found these pictures somewhere on The Prisoner board game. Wish I knew the rules.

Don't be formal, baby! Just call me Butch!

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Doctor Who transfers

From the cover of an old Doctor Who magazine.