Thursday, February 22, 2018

Update: Ebay Oops Sort Of

EBAY Oops Sort Of: An Update

Well I got a bit of a surprise on this almost mistake. A while back try late April last year (2017) I made a bid on Ebay for an autographed Wes Unseld Basketball trading card that was coming from China! I originally had missed that part. When I did notice it upon seeing the "item has been shipped" notice I started to get concerned. What with all the counterfeit cards that come out of Asia, and the various shipping problems people have had with stuff coming from overseas yadda, yadda, yadda I thought I would have to chalk this one off as a loss.

Just as sometime between late September to late December of 2016 when I had two packages that I suspect were snatched from my apartment's front door step. I thought that this would never arrive. Of the two missing packages from 2016 one I know for a fact was actually delivered because I was given a tracking number and after a few days I checked on a Thursday to check on the status of the package and it said the package had been delivered to the unit on that Monday. That one stinks because it was a full Score 1989 Baseball set. The other package was supposed to be 600 Nationals cards from a trade never got a tracking number but it sounded like it was shipped around the time I had shipped out my end of other teams for them. But I digress.

I started the tale of these cards back in April on this my regular blog because I needed to post something that month here for my minimal personal posting quota of one post per month. It so happened that this drama that ended up being non-drama and nothing to worry about was what was going on in my life at that particular moment.

Anyway since this is a card related story it is posted Here on: CaptKirk42's Trading Cards BlogOK so the story was explained mostly here on my regular blog, but the bigger pictures of the card is on the card blog.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

State Of The Blog: 2017 Recap

2017 Edition

2017 Joins last year and the year before in the growing number of Republican Red years in my annual State of The Blog tally. 

Here are the monthlies from 2017:

January: 1
February: 1
March: 1
April: 1
May: 1
June: 1
July: 3
August: 1
September: 1
October: 1
November: 2
December: 1

Monthly Average: 1.33

Yet again this past year I FAILED my yearly goal of 32 posts per year. That is three years in a row.
Now lets look at how the 2017 blogging matches up with past years:

2006 - 32
2007 - 43
2008 - 36
2009 - 34
2010 - 18
2011 - 20
2012 - 38
2013 - 93
2014 - 57
2015 - 24
2016 - 29
2017 - 16
Yearly Average: 36.66

Sigh - The LOWEST year to date. I am barely keeping up with my bare bones minimum of one post per month. If the current trend keeps though even that will get more and more difficult to achieve. My first year of blogging 2006 met and set my self-appointed blogging quota of 32 posts per year. My all-time high was in 2013 with 93 posts. That was in part due to some semi-regular post series FryDay Fourtoon and Myka Monday. I somehow managed to keep up with posting and had more motivation to blog that year. I need to recapture that motivation. At one point I felt that I was going to reach 100 posts that year. Some year maybe.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2017 to 2018


Over the years I have tried to be consistent with making a New Year's post. Preferably getting it tacked onto the blog in the late hours of 31 Dec not the wee new ones of 01 Jan. I seem to have been inconsistent with the post time. Sometimes not anywhere near the witching hour.

In a few days in Jan 2018 I will make my annual "State of the Blog" post. 2017 continues the barely getting a post per month trend I have had in the last few years. I think it is an all time low like the approval ratings for the President. My overall average is getting worse and worse.

While many people this year have been moaning and groaning about POTUS Trump I have been trying to keep a level head about things. Like with previous administrations I have tried to not let Donald Trump's stress me out. Way too many people are letting his words and actions get to them in upsetting ways. Yes some are deserved and warranted, but not everything is bad. Many are blinded by their hate for him. I am not a hater. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at first. It was difficult and eventually became virtually impossible. I won't go any further down this political slippery slope.

So how about them Rams?

Just one more game to play, which will have been played by the time this post is published. This post was drafted a few days ago. The Redskins on the other hand. are currently just 7-8 a loss to the Giants would really stink I'm hoping a win so they will finish out the season even 8-8.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Name Game: We Need A Real Earthy Sounding Name This Time

Well I thought I had seen, heard, and otherwise all the different ways to mess up my name. Never say Never and Never think you have heard the last butchering of your name. The usual suspect a cashier at a food place where they ask for your name to identify your order. This time early in November I must have listpth or sthumthing because the name sounded like Mork & Mindy's Offspring Mearth as played by Jonathan Winters.

The name this time was Kurth for what it was worth. Hmm sounds like a Klingon actually.

Captian K'rth

Thursday, November 23, 2017

UPS Access Point Locker

Well that was a new experience. On Friday 03 Nov or maybe Saturday 04 Nov I received a letter from Comcast telling me that my current modem would be obsolete in Jan 2018 and they would be sending me an upgraded modem complete with wi-fi router built in. They said "they" would be sending an email soon giving me the shipping and tracking info. Well they didn't send an email but UPS sent me an email on Sunday 05 Nov stating that my package was scheduled for delivery on Monday and that a signature was required. Monday came and went and I had one of those handy "We Missed You while trying to deliver your package to you" notices. The notice was marked with the address of a UPS Access Point Locker for the pickup location. I wasn't quite sure what the deal was. I was thinking it was the same as the pickup/distribution station about 2 or 3 miles from me that I had been to once or twice. I guessed fairly close but not exactly. It was some kind of holding/storage area to pick up my package along the lines of their distribution centers. It is a storage/holding area like a bus station locker. It is all self serve and open 24/7. The photo above is a generic UPS Locker photo looks similar to one I used. Same sort of situation up against a wall with parking nearby.

OK so on Tuesday (07 Nov 2017) during the day I looked up the address and it looked close to where the regular UPS shipping center near me was, but not exactly. Since I had a vague idea where the thing was I planned on picking up my box that night after work. It was a dark very rainy Tuesday night here in Suburban Silver Spring, MD. Technically the UPS Locker is in the Burtonsville area of Silver Spring (very North Silver Spring) near where I live, and the UPS center I had been to is technically in Laurel.

So I go to the UPS center, but of course it is a little farther than what the directions had said, and the center isn't on the street mentioned. So in a nearby parking lot I breakout my portable GPS, Yes my GPS is separate from my 2002 Ford Focus but that is beside the point (and another indication of how often I do upgrades. Its mostly due to the costs of upgrading and the "if it ain't broke" mentality). I enter the address and I'm about a mile maybe less from where I should be. So I do my turn around since I had overshot the thing and while returning I overshoot the other way. It is dark hard to see and I'm not sure where this UPS thing is. I suspect it is near the building with a self storage center. Turns out it is the same address but sort of next door. Anyway I go into a shopping complex area parking lot do some more turnings around. My misdirections included getting a little turned around and being on the wrong side of a street with an island divider in the middle. I am ticked at myself for doing that, again dark night hard to see and I thought the middle island was the side of the street with a side service area. Oops a few honking cars and then wait for traffic to go by to make a safe Ubie (U-turn that is).  Don't know why I started going in that direction anyway. I wait for a long time at a traffic light to turn left, behind a big tractor-trailer truck in the right most left turn lane, which can also go straight.

I then got on the proper road and GPS told me I was at my destination so I made the next available right turn into the parking where some Self Storage unit center that was part of some industrial park thing was, the one I thought was near my destination. It had the proper address but I didn't see the UPS thing. I make my way to the other side of the storage area building and get to an area where there is a gate for storage sheds and on the other side of a small fence I see the UPS Locker. I drive around the other side of the building and get to the UPS Locker and park.

Since it is about 7:30 PM on a dark rainy November evening the Locker is pretty dark. The website said it was open 24/7 didn't look like it. The building it is up against but not associated with was obviously closed and very dark, the only real lighting was the UPS Locker's User interface screen. No employees required total self service with a computer terminal.

The thing was actually very easy to figure out, a bit hard to see in the light of the terminal screen. So first step is to scan the bar-code on your pick-up notice, or enter in the tracking number or some source code on the dang thing, with no light scanning was the only way to do it. It took a few tries to get it to scan. Then you have to insert your valid Government or other valid form of ID (driver's license) into the card slot like a credit card and hope it doesn't eat your card like ATMs sometimes do. After it verified my ID to make sure I was me, it indicated and unlocked the locker my box was in. It asked for signature using finger on the touch screen. My onscreen signature is NEVER the same as my real "pen in hand" signature. It often looks like stick figure drawings. I think it asked for the signature before unlocking the specific unit my box was in. The graphic display shows which locker is "yours" in a diagram of the setup when it unlocks it. Then you open your locker, grab your package and make sure to close the locker. After signing and closing the locker, which I left open and it ordered me to close the locker, it indicates that the transaction is concluded.

I have since hooked up the modem and am using it in normal "wired" mode which due to my ancient Windows XP computer still seems slower than molasses most of the time. I haven't gotten the wi-fi service to start up correctly yet.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Book Update: Biography Read Starting Rare Doctor Who

UPDATE: 31 OCT 2017

OK so after a few months, the first few not cracking open the book at all paused at the end of the first chapter, I finished reading The Ted Williams biography Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir by Claudia Williams. For baseball fans, and Ted Williams fans it is a wonderful read. It clarifies the media hyped misinformation about Ted's death and emphasizes the loving relationship he had with his son John-Henry and his youngest daughter Claudia (the author). From a previous marriage Ted had daughter Barbara "Bobby Jo" Joyce, who was a bit estranged from the rest of the family in part due to her husband. It is nice to read a biography from someone who was close to the person who is the subject of the biography. There is no speculation and very little if any is exaggerated. I could relate to many of the family memories as I come from a loving family and being about six years older than the author I can relate to some of the time/era specific stories. I haven't written a review of it yet. Hopefully I will soon and post it here. I want to get back to doing semi-regular book reviews on this blog. It helps with my personal posting quota.

Not wanting to sit too long without a "currently reading" book in my hands. I began reading:

The New Doctor Who Adventures: Human Nature by Paul Cornell. For some reason this particular Doctor Who book is difficult to find and is often super expensive. I managed to get a copy from Ebay for a little over $10 it has ugly corner damage on the bottom corner for 30 pages or so. Did a dog try to bite it? Fortunately the damage doesn't effect the reading of any of the pages. I think it did help the starting bid of only $5.50 or something. My wining bid was the 2nd bid.

Human Nature comes from the Non-Televised years of Doctor Who when the show was a thing of the past with no indications of any sort of revival. This title has increased popularity since there was a David Tennant episode that uses the title and the main plot. Doctor Who producer Steven Moffat gave the author some ideas that also drifted to the latest television incarnation of the show. Still I don't see any reason why copies of this title (or the title Lungbarrow) should be so dang expensive. As part of the 50th Anniversary of the show there was a recent reprint of Human Nature with a completely different cover and format. I think the reprint was available as an E-Book before being physically published.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Spaced Out Badges

I don't normally like to mention work things on-line. I definitely don't like to get into specifics since I work for a company that contracts to the US Government with the Department of Defense and US Navy.

Part of my job is boring receptionist work which in part means being at one of the reception desks to greet visitors and to get them to sign in the visitor's log and get a visitor's badge. Also from time to time I have to sit out in front of a meeting room checking visitor badges and having the meeting attendees sign in for the meeting. I call it meeting babysitting. If it is a classified meeting then they have to check all their electronic devices and leave them outside the meeting room and someone MUST be monitoring the area at all times during the meeting. To insure that only those people who are supposed to be in the meeting are in the meeting, no walk-ins. During the classified meetings the table or desk outside the meeting room or hall looks like some sort of flea market with boxes of cell phones and a bunch of backpacks, purses, laptop bags and other stuff strewn about or lined up against a nearby wall.

In general the generic badges for the meetings are the same as the general visitor badges. Sometimes they have a specific badge number sometimes not. Sometimes the specific group or department that is holding the meeting has their own special badges that are meeting specific.

The badge numbers usually are in some kind of logical sequence. At one time each floor had a specific series of badge numbers. The First floor would have numbers 100 - 199, Second Floor the 200-299 series etc.

Microsoft Word has a general badge template to match up with the card stock from Avery labels. Our badges are usually just simple card stock with the company logo on top or bottom. Marked "VISITOR: Escort Required" and maybe a badge number.  Possibly with the building address. Regular visitor badges are usually a little more permanent, plastic, laminated and more specially made than generic meeting badges.

After one meeting about a month ago, maybe longer, whoever had supplied the meeting badges left them on the regular reception desk. One day I was sorting through some badges separating specifically numbered ones from ones with no badge number. It was at this time I ran across a badge with the following number "THX 1138". I thought "Wow that's from the Lucas film" I double checked the film title because I often forget if it is 1138, 1139 or some other similar number. Digging a little further I noticed the entire batch of badges were numbers or letter sequences were mostly from the World of Popular Science Fiction. There were a few real navy ship numbers mixed in either to appear normal or they were from a different batch of badges. I'm thinking the latter.

Obviously someone was having fun when they made up the badges. They also are widely knowledgeable with the science fiction genre. Actually I'm a little surprised there wasn't a "TARDIS"  badge. I guess that one got time-locked.

Any way here are the fun numbers I found on these badges.

Battlestar Galactica:
BSG 75

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

War of 1812 or 1812 Overture

James Bond Franchise:

Marvel Comics:

A47 could be for AK-47 gun or AC-47 plane
P2501-  Not sure what they were referencing here
R237 - Not sure what they were referencing here

Pop Culture or Alternate SubCulture:
Leet 1337

Robocop Franchise:

Robotech Franchise:

Sherlock Holmes:

Star Trek Franchise:
7 of 9

Star Wars Franchise:

ACR-1 or ACR-1 More likely the latter since it is Navy related.

Terminator Franchise:

*Updated 05 Oct 2017. I noticed a new one the Battlestar Galactica one. Hmm it should be 78. Maybe I saw the number wrong.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bitch Slap DVD Review

Bitch Slap (2009) - R
 (DVD Unrated Version)
"What can I say? We're all just bitches in the end."

WARNING: This review might contain SPOILERS!

Where to begin? The beginning? Well the movie itself doesn't begin at the beginning so why should this review. HA! In a nutshell the writers/producers wanted to make a movie with the world's longest chick fight aka "Bitch Slap" for the soul purpose of their own enjoyment. Well I think this film achieved that. I'm not sure if it made the record for being the longest chick fight in cinema history but it is basically just a long drawn out chick fight with some flashback exposition in the attempt to give the long chick fight some storyline. Of course most straight male viewers (and a few female viewers) between the ages of say 12 to 35 (the target audience) wouldn't notice if there was a plot to this thing. It does manage to keep the fight relatively "clean". The only nudity in the film is topless dancers in a flashback scene, the fight itself doesn't have any nudity. The only real wardrobe malfunctions if you can call them that would be a very quick crotch shot (nothing shows) and maybe maybe a nipslip or two. My TV is only 20" at the most so there could be more. I don't have all the hi-tech super duper "toys" so what?

One of the main reasons I picked up this DVD as a blind buy was because of the Cameos of Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst (Their parts are a little more than just cameos) from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor from Xena: Warrior Princess (Whose cameos are just cameos). Bitch Slap Producer Rick Jacobson directed some episodes of those two fantasy/adventure shows. He also directed six episodes of the sci-fi adventure Cleopatra 2525 another slightly larger than shoe-string budget television series filmed in Ozland that I enjoy. I have the DVDs for that as well, but not Herc and Xena. Their original DVD releases were by season and too expensive at the time.

Also appearing in this film is stunt woman/actress Zoe Bell and Ausie native who worked on all those other shows mainly as a stunt woman her main role in the entertainment world. She plays the character Rawhide in this as well as doing much of the stunt work and the main choreographer of the stunts. In one of the behind the scenes segments on the DVD or in the commentaries maybe in both either Zoe or Erin Cummings gives a shot by shot commentary of when Zoe was doing the fighting for the characters in the final battle. To see more of Zoe watch the Death Proof segment of Grindhouse (2007) she plays herself. In some countries the segments were shown as two separate movies (Death Proof and Planet Terror) in others they were shown together.

I don't want to spoil to much even though I posted a spoiler warning, but come to think of it there is somewhat of a storyline that involves stolen diamonds, weapons of mass destruction and spies and stuff. OH and lots of scantily clad Girls Women Chicks Babes Sluts Bitches fighting each other. There are loads CGI/green screen special effects many of which are totally ridiculous, but that is all part of the name of this game.

So an intellectual cinematic masterpiece this is not. It is also not a family movie. It could be viewed as sexist and juvenile. However, it is entertaining, and in places quite funny.

Directed by: Rick Jacobson
Bombshell Pictures, IM Global
DVD Release Date: 02 Mar 2010
Region 1
1 Disc - 109 Minutes (Unrated) / 106 (R)

I gave this DVD 4 stars ****

Friday, July 28, 2017

Mid Year State Of The Blog: July 2017

Mid-Year State Of The Blog: July 2017

Well it is the halfway mark of this year. Technically a bit past the midway point. With this being only the 10th post of the year I've made then I will be well less than half of my personal yearly quota by years end. 😢 I personally don't like when I'm this low. If my low trend continues this will be the third year in a row and the 5th year total that I've been below my yearly posting goal. My other personal goal with this blog is to try to at the very least make one post each month. 

At least for this blog I have not missed a month. I did a quick check it looks like I've hit each month. Many many months I have had only one post that month the bare minimum. I don't want to accept going more than that without blogging. I feel terrible when I see the low numbers. I have never been so proficient that I would have multiple posts per day. Some people can write that much and do. If they miss just one day of posting they feel even worse than I do just missing one month. On my trading card blogs I have missed a month once or twice each. I have made a personal vow to never do that again. Sometimes the evening of the last day of the month I have had to tweak my posting time slightly if the blogger system has already crossed over to midnight.

Before this post is published I have two posts for this month here. On my Trading card blogs nothing in July yet. I have plenty of posts in draft on them, but for some reason or another I haven't published any. I will even if it is on the 31st at 11:50 pm and I have to fudge the time to 11:59 pm on the 31st instead of 12:03 am 01 Aug.

Maybe I should start showing sexy photos of scantily clad women on a regular basis to up the viewing numbers and to up the posting quota. I probably could, but I would soon bore of it. It doesn't say that "this is MY Blog". I also might be accused of stealing someone Else's material.

I forget the source of that "writer" image. I got it from one of those social media quizzes that show what job/career you should really be doing. There are times I would love to get paid as a writer. However, to quote Douglas Adams "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." I have never been good at meeting deadlines. I have perfected the art of procrastination. In school I used to wait, waiting isn't the right word but whatever, til the night before something was due sometimes before even starting the dang thing. Often with English classes if an essay, book report was supposed to be over 1,000 words or at least 10 pages I would often fail to get even that. My word count even using a ton of "and"s and "the"s along with many other filler words I would still only manage to get only about half of what the requirement was. If I had a professional writing gig I don't know how I would manage to get things in on time. Especially if I had a weekly or monthly deadline. Maybe if there was a loose deadline I might make some of those.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Doctor Who: Who Is New?

ON Sunday 16 July 2017 the internet was all ablaze, at least the Sci-Fi part of it, with news of what actor would take on the mantle of the title role of The Doctor on the long lasting British Science Fiction Television show Doctor Who. The announcement was made after the Wimbledon Finals in the form of a video teaser trailer. One of the big questions was would they make the risky decision to cast a woman in the role? The announcement would answer that as well one way or the other.

In a risky casting move The BEEB Chose actress Jodie Whittaker to portray the 13th (well technically 14th, or 15th) incarnation of The Doctor. Not to be confused with American actor Johnny Whitaker who s famous for playing a character named Jody. Jodie is most known for the BBC Series Broadchurch which was produced by on-coming Who producer Chris Chibnall it also stars Doctor 10 David Tennant with another potential choice for first female Doctor Olivia Colman, as well as Who Alumni Arthur Darvill, and the sci-fi movie Attack the Block. I have wanted to see Broadchurch which has ended after 3 series (seasons) but haven't gotten around to it or the made for American TV Gracepoint which as far as I know is a complete remake using Tennant and maybe a few other of the original actors but not many. I've been meaning to pick up the DVDs. I am also a several series/seasons behind in picking up Doctor Who DVDs.

It would be best if they don't make any obvious comments about the sex/gender change in dialog. However during her "just after the regeneration" scene when she is checking out what has changed. At some point she will notice her breasts probably very casually and will have to make some kind of acknowledgement that she is now female- "face, smooth skin, delicate features, small ears, firm breasts, (checks hair and sighs) pity still not ginger..."

It might be interesting if they do visit it when she meets the Daleks for the first time. After a couple of skirmishes The Doctor and her companion(s) are captured by the Daleks. The Doctor is taken for interrogation.

DALEK: I-Dent-Ti-Fy! I-Dent-Ti-Fy Your-Self!
DOCTOR: I'm the Doctor.
DALEK: The Doc-Tor? But you are a Female. The Doc-Tor is Male!
DOCTOR: Check your files I do change from time-to-time.
DALEK: Yes it is true The Doctor does change his appearance often.
DOCTOR;  His? Oh Well, there you have it. I've changed again. Silly me.
DALEK: But you are still...
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, yes I'm still a Female and I AM The Doctor. Imagine that. Now here's the part where you tell me all I need to know about your plans of domination of this planet, and don't forget the clever bit where my companion(s) and I make a daring escape and ruin all those maniacal plans of yours before you can say "Ex-Ter-Min-Nate".

Now a few years ago I was in the "Never A Woman" camp. Partly because of Tradition and probably more so thinking that if the producers made that change they would be caving into the PC crowd that wants to change sex, gender, orientation, race, ethnicity, everything and anything about a character just for the sake of changing it that way. Or that they were doing it as a gimmick.

I realized that it doesn't matter for the Doctor what his/her sex or gender is. It is their character, and good quality writing. Now for a character like James Bond switching to Jane Bond is a No-No. Having another 00Agent sure fine, but Jane Bond is a different character than James. Hmm I wonder has there ever been a case of an established female character switched to male? There have been a few where the original draft, or source material like the original novel, or maybe even a draft script was originally written as a female. For instance in the Original Star Trek series the original vision had the 2nd in command as a woman. Number One in the originally un-aired "The Cage" played by Majel Berrett (Roddenberry). Before the series started regular production the character was changed into Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

There have been some very successful male to female changes to characters. Starbuck and Boomer in Battlestar Galactica. In the James Bond films they changed Bond's boss M into a woman. I recall in Comics Marvel gender-swapped their Capt. Marvel after they had killed him and made her Ms. Marvel. Recently the entire Ghostbusters crew was swapped. Many fans of the original hate the all-female version, but I like it. Loved the cameos from the original actors Dan Aykroyd as a cabbie was great. I don't love it like I do the original but I enjoyed it, except for the hippity-hoppy music during the end credits with their silly dance moves an establishment of the situation is OK but a full blown full "music video" performance ah no. It is like when songs add an all music break, or a solo in the middle of a song, often it breaks it up too much.

There have been many nay-sayers who have said they will no longer watch the show because of this decision. Over the years there have been fair-weather "fans" like that before, even as recently as when Peter Capaldi took over the role 3-4 years ago because he was TOO OLD. bah. I will still watch the series for as long as it lasts, or for as long as I last which ever comes first.

Here is a fun video that is worth a few laughs:

Some more fun was done for one of the Comic Relief specials Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death. Parodies the Doctor regenerating and of course a gender-swap. At the time Joanna Lumley had been mentioned as a possible female Doctor.

I am fine with the decision. It surprised me at first, but I am OK with it. If this had been 4 or 5 years ago I might not have been, but I don't think I would have abandoned the series. I hope Jodie has wonderful writers for her stories and that she blows everyone away with her performances.

Just remember the first producer for Doctor Who was a  woman Verity Lambert.

The Announcement Videos:
13th Doctor Announcement Teaser
13th Doctor Announcement Reveal