Went to Miranda's ballet recital. Each of the student's performed a one-minute piece they choreographed themselves. Miranda's was called "A Bird's First Flight" about a baby bird learning to fly. She wore one of Whitlock's old blouses along with scarves as wings. The music was Bach's Brandenburg Concert No. 1.
Miranda's pretty good in terms of strength and jumping, not so much in grace and flexibility. One girl had "The Ride of Valkyries" to accompany a dance about a garden. I thought, this is where the Apache attack helicopters come in.
May 16 Permalink
Cut the grass short in the front and long in the back in an effort to slow down the weeds. Call it a mullet lawn. Also saw my first cicada. People have told Whitlock that because our house is so new, the cicadas are either dead or wherever they dumped the original soil. But that still doesn't explain why we haven't seen much from the undisturbed woods.
Watched the Cold Case episode "The Plan". A mysterious note arrives from a boys military academy with the words,"The Plan. 1.Ignore 2.Reward 3.Secret 4.Test 5.Escalate 6.Destroy." In 1999, the swim coach died in what was termed an accidental death.
It doesn't take long to find out the victim was molesting boys. Three of them each admit to killing him. Turns out they did it together. But he wasn't quite dead. The older cadet who found him was also a victim of molestation and dealt the killing blow. He sent the note because he wanted the coach's crimes to be exposed. Only the older guy is charged, and two of the kids go free. The third shot himself and the episode ended with him in intensive care.
May 15 Permalink
Another taping of Silver Screen Test. Overall it went well. There are some problems I'll have to fix in editing. My thanks to the crew of Jimmy Albert, John Buckley, Yen-Ming Chen, Bill Davenport, John Eftimiades, Adam Fine, Mariusz Korwin-Piotrowski, Andrea Lamphier, Bob Mattia, Tchad Moore, Larry Sheingorn and Jennifer Walden.
Finished the Angel episode "Time Bomb". Illyria rescues Gunn from his suburban basement hell. Now the demon that's been cutting him up wears the necklace and is cutting itself up. So back at Wolfram and Hart, Wesley's trying to figure out what to do with Illyria and Angel keeps asking. She is suffering through some weird timeslip, but ends up killing, Spike, Wesley, Lorne and Angel before going back in time again, sweeping the living Angel along in her wake. It ends up with this gun that we thought was going to kill Illyria, but really eased the pressure by taking away some energy from her and making her more physically stable. Yeah, I know, it was just an excuse for splashy special effects and thinking that the main characters were killed off early.
In the B-plot, Jamie Bergman, Miss January 1999, Mrs. David Boreanaz, comes in pregnant, saying her spawn is holy to the Fell demons. In exchange for the child, the demons promise to make whole her brain-damaged husband. Gunn gets some idea that it would be helping the bad guys to do this. At the end, Angel comes in and lets the demons have the baby.
Watched the Tru Calling episode "D.O.A." A doctor dies on the street of a heart attack. Tru and Jack discuss both reliving days. She's relieved to know she's not alone. The doctor asks,"Help them," and both Tru and Jack go back.
Jack gets the location wrong and they're unable to stop the doctor from dying. Davis is very suspicious of Jack's mistake. Tru goes back and finds several lives the doctor touched. There's his receptionist, the junior college student and his son. The receptionist was really in love with him and the juco student tells her that he was also in unspoken love with her. Jack and Tru stop the bus the juco student rides from getting into a traffic accident. The son was an art painter who had become estranged from his father because the profession was not believed to be proper. Then the son finds his father had been buying up his paintings in secret. So he is a better father for not accepting his son, then secretly propping up his career?
The last person was a patient who got a misdiagnosis. Tru gets to her before she dies from a suicide attempt. Jack tries to stop Tru and reveals his true colors as her evil opposite.
In the B-plot, Lindsey gets a marriage proposal from Randall, the Irish investment banker. It's only been a week since they started dating again, so the first time around she turns him down. In the replay, Harrison confronts Randall at his office to discover the Irishman will be transferred to London in a week and wants Lindsey with him. Harrison tells Lindsey to marry Randall.
So I didn't know it was a two-episode night and missed the finale.
Which brings us to the CSI episode "Dead Ringer". We see the CSI crew running at night. Through exposition we find out it's the Law Enforcement Desert Relay whereby different units from various cities form 20-person teams running 6 miles each. At first I wonder why they are running in the dead of night when I realize nobody wants to run in Nevada during the day.
With the pack spread out, Grissom is in a pickup accompanying Willows when he sees the inert body of one of their competitors off the road. The victim is a badass from the Los Angeles County Police Department Special Enforcement Squad AKA SES. We meet this guy Mendez from SES who explains that Coleman, the dead body, just came into SES and Mendez is being kicked upstairs to lieutenant.
Coleman died of cardiac arrest and dehydration from a drug called furosemide. Catherine meets up with a red herring who kept trying to get into SES, but Coleman got in because he was good runner, just a ringer for the race. Turns out Mendez did the deed by planting the drug in the energy bar. Later, off the record with Grissom, Mendez says he didn't mean to kill Coleman, just make sure he didn't run a better time than he did in the leg of the race he'd run for eight years.
In the B-plot, a Laughlin, NV cop named Senteno is found shot to death along with Fielding, a female cop from Bakersfield. It looks like a murder-suicide with her holding the gun.
Senteno's widow is brought in and she readily admits to putting up with her husband's indiscretions. Cute moment where Warrick says the woman always knows, but Sara thinks not. It doesn't look like Fielding is Senteno's lover because her fingerprints are only on the door, the doorknob and the gun. On the other hand there a lot of other fingerprints from Lopez, another female Bakersfield cop.
Lopez's room is a mess and a very expensive nightie is torn to shreds. She turns up in LVPD and is very surprised to find Senteno is dead, as well as Fielding. Lopez admits to the same time next year affair with Senteno. She adds that her husband Archie is also in town and he trashed the room and the negligee.
Archie is in the drunk tank and admits to the trashing, but not to murder. He saw Fielding in the bar and got very annoyed that she was keeping his wife's secret as well. While trashing the rooms, Archie had gotten Seteno's home phone and had a long talk with Mrs. Senteno. She sped to Las Vegas and shot her husband and Fielding. Fielding was only there to warn Senteno that Archie was loose and got shot because the wife thought she was the other woman.
In the C-plot, Coleman's ATM was used to withdraw $300 nine hours after his death. At first they get a fast food worker, but he only admits to getting the money for a quickie with a hooker. I just want to know how a married burger flipper has $300 bucks to blow. Turns out the clocks were messed up by daylight savings time and there was a guy running a scam on an ATM machine. He had a device to read the cards and to videotape the pin number. With this info, he'd skim $300 at a time. Turns out he stole them all from cops in town for the con.
May 14 Permalink
One of Al Franken's memes was that Colin Powell could have been elected the first African-American president because he was a general. Al thought the Jews should try to find a candidate of their own from the ranks of the military and groom him for a presidential run. Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba has made news for Filipino-Americans, but he is junior to Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano. Unfortunately, like me, they were born in the Philippines and do not fill the natural-born citizen requirement. Until a Schwarzenegger Amendment is added to the consitution, Filipino-Americans will have to look elsewhere.
May 13 Permalink
I've been calling Fraught on the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, but now they have a blog where you can follow every fraught-filled day.
May 12 Permalink
From Greg Costikyan:
Literature is another one of those value-laden terms that applies to an artform. Terms like these come in threes, invariably: They read sci fi, you read science fiction, I read speculative fiction. They write doggerel, you write verse, I write poetry. They go to the movies, you watch films, I enjoy cinema. They read trash, you read fiction--I read literature. It's all the same stuff; the different terms imply value, nothing more--and value is inherently subjective.
May 11 Permalink
I read Serial, a graphic novel by Max Allan Collins, Gabriel Rodriguez and Ashley Wood based on CSI. The A-plot is a series of murders patterned upon the Jack the Ripper spree. With my knowledge of the case, it was fun figuring out where the killer would strike next. In addition, there's a Rippercon going at the same time and all the attendees are suspects. It kept my interest, but it's not worth $19.95. It's not something you can look at over and over again for the details like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Read it at the comic book store.
May 10 Permalink
Finished reading The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. The set-up is a murder committed in a society with telepaths that make getting away with a crime impossible. Although information gathered from a telepathic probe is not admissible as evidence in court, such probes can lead to evidence which is admissible.
With my standard of police procedurals being CSI, I think this novel fell short. The Freudian explanation for the motive seemed contrived to me. The killer is a plutocrat who seems too unstable to effectively run a business.
On the other hand, the style is breezy and cinematic so this is not a difficult slog to read. I can imagine how the story might be updated for a current film with the emphasis on the privacy issues of telepathic authorities. Though I can't say I liked it, the experience was innocuous enough and I'm intimidated enough by the book's reputation to recommend it as "required reading" because it is one of the classics of the field. I'm not saying this emperor has no clothes, but you should judge for yourself and it's probably a sign of literary diversity in the genre.
May 9 Permalink
For Mother's Day, Whitlock and I walked through downtown Rockville while Miranda was in Sunday school. This entry from last October pretty much covers what we saw.
We rented Brother Bear. It's set in an Inuit type community before the extinction of the mammoths. A young man gets magically turned into a bear and learns lessons of responsibility.
Given the year of release, there are the inevitable comparisons to Finding Nemo. The fish story was a greater technical achievement, packed in every second with something funny or interesting that you have to see it more than once to catch everything. In addition, this sheer volume of content, makes it appealing to a wider audience. On the other hand, the bear tale had more fully-fleshed three-dimensional characters.
In addition, there was no real villain because the conflicts were largely internal. Brother Bear was classically the Joseph Campbell journey of the hero as the journey of self-exploration. Although the characters practice a shamanistic religion, you can easily make parallels to Christian sacrifice.
If you read most reviews, the film was panned, which I just don't understand. It's not Finding Nemo. The songs are kind of weak musically. I like it better than The Little Mermaid. In terms of solid family entertainment, Brother Bear hits the mark.
The DVD contains commentary by two moose voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas in their MacKenzie Brothers mode. It's Mystery Science Theater 3000. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to watch it. This may be worth buying the DVD for.
May 8 Permalink
Cut the grass. There was sod behind our neighbor's yard that was dumped by someone else in the neighborhood. The dumpers are having a deck built and had to get rid of the grass. I've appropriated some of it to fill in the bare spots.
Another depressing performance for DC United. They let 90 minutes of great play get washed away by a penalty kick in stoppage time.
Watched the Tripping the Rift episode "Power to the Peephole". The crew visit Floridia 7 where there's an election between the Dark Clowns and the Confederation. The Clown has hired Chode to find dirt on George Goodfellow, the Confederation candidate.
While Gus, Whip, Chode and Six work on getting compromising photos, T'nuk is taking the Monica Lewinsky route. In the throes of passion, Goodfellow puts a loyalty disk in Six. T'nuk discovers that Goodfellow has replaced his real family with robots, which is what eventually does the candidate in.
Went to the Enterprise episode "The Forgotten". The ship meets with Degra and a Xindi arboreal council member. While Archer convinces them about what's really happening, they are interrupted by a Xindi Reptilian ship that Degra blows up. Meanwhile, Tripp has to write a condolence letter to the family of a dead crewman, but his feelings towards his dead sister get in the way. Nice acting by Connor Trinneer.
May 7 Permalink
Spider-Man ads on bases don't fly. They backed off on this one just like the plan last year to put the All-Stars in the same uniforms.
Went to the Ginohn First Friday gathering. Saw John's brother Tom who is getting more media attention since the recent article about his reign as King of the University of Maryland. Also saw Marlene and met her boyfriend Kevin. Cooperjohn read a political parody of "Jabborwocky" by the campfire.
May 6 Permalink
Sunderland is in the playoffs. They beat Norwich who celebrated anyway because they won First Division when West Bromich Albion lost.
I really haven't got much of a problem with the Spider-man promotion except for advertising on the bases. Spider-man could throw out the first pitch for all I care.
Finished editing two more episodes of Silver Screen Test.
May 5 Permalink
The Revenge of Bingbong. This is why Doug Glanville and Curt Schilling are two big leaguers with geek cred.
May 4 Permalink
Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti
Watched the Tru Calling episode "Rear Window". Tru meets a woman at the diner named Chris Berenson. That night, a man is brought into the morgue, also with the name Chris Berenson. Tru and Davis suspect identity theft on the part of the man.
The woman admits to the identity theft. When Davis and Tru confront the man, he claims he's the one being robbed. Davis checks the DMV and Jack follows the woman. This confirms that she's the thief.
The woman gives a sob story and Tru has her give lots of cash to the man. But the man discovers the cash is counterfeit. He returns to the woman's apartment where he's confronted by Tru's upstairs neighbor who has become obsessed with the identity thief. Tru stops the fight. The woman is arrested at a rent-a-car where she's trying to use Tru's credit card.
Davis finds out Jack got a letter from the Schenckman Center, a mental institution. Davis calls a friend there and finds out Jack had told them he also re-lived days.
As this series winds down, Whitlock has been impressed with the acting of Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves and Zach Galifianakis. I like that Davis is sort of like us, a nerd who can live in the real world.
May 3 Permalink
Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!
May 2 Permalink
My foot's much better. The bugbite part went away and it just looks like an ordinary mild case of athlete's foot.
Harold Reynolds did some insane diatribe against on-base percentage by saying Corey Patterson, Juan Pierre and Jimmy Rollins were better than Frank Thomas and Jason Giambi because they scored more runs and scored more frequently per time on base. He left out that there may not be anybody behind Thomas and Giambi to drive them in.
So the entire point could be boiled down to that Patterson, Pierre and Rollins are better than Thomas and Giambi because they're not as slow. Never mind that Frank and Jason have won 3 MVPs and are building Hall of Fame resumes. C'mon Harold, those three guys aren't even better than you or Kruk!
May 1 Permalink
Even the playoffs look seriously in doubt for Sunderland. The home team that's really around home has hopefully bottomed out by rallying from an awful first-half performance. Meanwhile in baseball, this game appeared to take about the same time for each inning as a half in the soccer game. The play of the game was when Alex Escobar threw out Tejada attempting score on a fly out. Harold Reynolds noted that Jody Gerut waved Escobar to catch it since he had the better arm. At that moment, though, it looked like Gerut was flailing and had lost the ball.
Watched the Cold Case episode "Maternal Instincts". In 1989, a mother goes to answer the door, then we find her son crying over her bleeding body. The case is reopened because the now 17-year-old boy, a juvenile delinquent, has some memories that might solve the case.
Inquiries in the neighborhood reveal she came from Virginia, but a woman from Virginia with the same name died seven years earlier, so the woman was traveling under an assumed name. When they find her real name and her husband, he claims to be infertile and that any child she bore was not his. Also the autopsy determined she never gave birth.
So the trail leads to a couple who lost a child at about the right time and who are the biological parents of the juvenile delinquent. The victim convinced the husband to kidnap the boy, but left him behind. But the killer was a doctor who had an affair with her several years earlier. Now he was divorced and wanted her to run away with him. He strangely left the boy alive.
The murder victim had a manipulative chameleon-like personality. To a grocer in Philadelphia, she appeared an innocent in distress. To the doctor, she was an insatiable sex addict.
The investigation was supposed to prove to the juvenile delinquent that people actually cared about him, but he steals he a car anyway. He meets his biological family while being frogmarched.
Went on to finish Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness. Samira, a Bosnian immigrant is found brutally tortured and murdered. Tennison takes over the investigation from Finch, one of her subordinates. After the body is identified, he links it to Kasim, a small-time Bosnian cigarette smuggler whose girlfriend, Jasmina, was the sister of the victim.
Careful viewing of closed circuit surveillance tapes leads to Zigic, a security guard and former Serbian soldier. The sister identifies him as a soldier who saved both girls lives by telling them to hide in a pile of dead bodies. However Tennison also learns that before her death, Samira called to Jasmina to say the she saw "The Devil", the head of the Serbian Paramilitary Unit that continually raped them both.
The first half ends with Jasmina killed in the hospital where she works despite all the police around. Tennison suspects the interpreter Lukic, is the Devil. Police get a tip to the whereabouts of Zigic and they managed to disarm and capture him.
Tennison's boyfriend Robert has a tip verifying Jasmina's story of a previously unreported massacre. At this point, British Intelligence steps in to say that Lukic has brought in bigger war criminals and is in the country under the protection of the government. Tennison and Robert go to Bosnia and Jane gets a severe reprimand when she returns.
Zigic confesses to both murders. Tennison's travels in Bosnia lead her to suspect that Lukic is actually named Jankovic and that he killed the real Lukic whose identity he took. Jane tricks Lukic's wife into revealing his British government protection. She plays the tape for Zigic who then reveals where the real Lukic was buried.
Meanwhile, Robert attends the funeral of the sisters and hints to Kasim that Lukic/Jankovic was behind the murder of Samira. Kasim's gang kidnaps Lukic/Jankovic, with the intention of putting him on trial in Bosnia. The police catch up with them, but Tennison arrests him in his house for the murder of the original Lukic. He makes a vain attempt at escape by holding his stepdaughter hostage.