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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMSIe6WfXYE


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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

R.I.P. Zombie King


On Sunday 16 July 2017 Movie producer, director, writer George A. Romero passed away he was 77. He is best remembered for being the creator (writing and directing) of the cult horror classic Night of the Living Dead. He continued with zombie horror for several other films.


Hearing/reading about his passing reminds me of one of the first times I watched Night of the Living Dead all the way through. It was late on a Saturday night (maybe a Friday) late 1970s I was either in late elementary school or early junior high. My older brother was in High School. On one of the local independent television stations they were showing NotLD on their Creature Feature type show. I'm not sure if I had watched the movie before, I think this was my first time. I was really getting into the movie. It had my full attention. Now days I don't like Zombie movies much and get turned off of them very quickly. I think it was because of the Craze for Zombie movies in the 1980s through 1990s. Plus the gore still tends to gross me out.

Oh so I'm watching this film in all it's glorious Black and White glory, in the family room in the basement of my childhood home. For most of it I'm lying on the floor probably with one of the couch cushions or a pillow under me so my torso doesn't hurt from the pressure of lying on the cold early 1960s tiled floor. There is a large area rug there as well but it is old and doesn't add any comfort. I might even have a blanket wrapped around me. Actually it might be Summer time so it might not have been that cold.


Near the end of the movie as the Zombies have surrounded the house and are breaking in. I'm not sure if the token black guy has gotten killed at this point or is about to be killed. The Zombies are starting to break in and.... Commercial break... at that exact moment...


...there is a knocking on one of the front basement windows. I got super freaked out and must have jumped in shock about 10 feet, OK maybe not that high as I would have hit the ceiling I think it was a little over 10 feet high. I'm not sure if I screamed or yelled but I was super startled. Turns out it was one of my brother's friends who came over and knocked on the window to get my brother's attention. Since it was late night he didn't want to disturb our parents who I think were already in their bedroom sleeping.

At the time my brother used one of the basement rooms as his den/alternate bedroom, he had a bedroom upstairs but used the basement room most of the time and was his "den of inequity". He did all his socializing in there (and entertaining the ladies). In later years I used that room as a den but not as a bedroom. His friends when they would come over late night, they were teenagers after all, they would knock on one of the windows to my brother's den then he would let them in the front door. Actually our house was designed in such a way you could hear the front door opening most of the time, or people clomping down or up the wooden stairs so it wasn't a perfect system.

At the time of the window knocking my brother was in the family room with me. I think he was also watching the movie until his friends came over.

Man was I super freaked as I said. It was perfect timing and the perfect set up for the scare. It was totally unplanned on any one's part. I don't think I had originally been planning on watching the movie but decided to anyway.

There are very few moments of the film that I remember in detail. Sure there was a lot of scenes of zombies walking around the cemetery and them trying to get into the house. I even have memories of the people in the house sitting around wondering what to do and jumping at every little sound. But there is very little of the plot I remember. I don't even remember if they explain "HOW" the zombies start stirring. I don't even remember the ending exactly. The only thing that really sticks in my mind is getting such a damn big startle from knocking on the basement window.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Blog Update: Getting A Bit Drafty

I have noticed that in all of my trio of blogs I have a number of backed up unposted drafts. Currently this blog has 7 posts in the queue (8 including this post at the time of drafting this post) and my two card blogs have 10 or 11 posts in the queue. It has been worse at times with 14 or 15 per  blog. Some of the posts are awaiting scans or photos to be attached, others need the actual idea of the post in text form. Some the story needs to be finished. Yet others I scratch my head at sometimes wondering when I'll get around to doing whatever it is that I had planned on doing for that post. Sometimes even figuring out what I was trying to say in the first place is the mystery. Some of those really oddball ones end up getting deleted. Ditto for ones whose relevance has long expired.

When I first discovered the draft post queue I used it pretty much as it was intended as a holding area for completed posts you don't want to post quite yet or posts that nearly done. I still use it in that way, but I tend to take to long to getting back to posts started back whenever. I am tired of seeing some of those posts that have been in the queue for a year or more. I need to stop procrastinating and finish the dang things. I am an unpaid professional first class procrastinator.

For older posts it often includes a major editing overhaul. Making sure that time references are updated, or sometimes eliminated completely.

For this blog there are a couple of book reviews. One I just need to find an appropriate quote and the other I need to scan the cover, and find a quote. I also have a DVD review from a movie viewing from a few years ago. If it wasn't a review I might consider it one of those long overdue expired reference things.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Update: One Book Two Books Red Book Blue Book

BOOK UPDATE: One Book Two Books One Buck Two Bucks

On Tuesday 25 April while on a quest to my neighborhood Dollar Tree for some much needed paper products, Kleenex facial tissues for backup and TP (toilet paper) of which I was down to the last part of the next to the last roll, I picked up a couple of books. Yes you guessed it for a $ingle Dollar a piece. One of them is a mystery type story that sounded so cool. I discovered it is the second book in a series of at least two books.


OH according to my Goodreads there are four more books in the series. The other book I got is a memoir/autobiography/biography relating to baseball.

So the book that is part of a series is called The Madness Underneath from the Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson.

I went back a few days later (Saturday 29 April) because I thought I had recalled seeing one of the other books in the series on that first trip. I didn't see any of the other books the second trip. I checked another neighborhood dollar store a Family Dollar store but they didn't have any books other than a handful of kids books and coloring books. Through Ebay I have ordered book number three The Shadow Cabinet for $6 Free Shipping. and received it.


Not sure why I'm attempting the full series before I've even read one of the books. Wait I do know. I had found book number two and thought the synopsis of it sounded fun, and then realized it was a second book in a series after bringing it home for a closer look. Often individual books in a series will have the same sort of feel even though the plots are completely different. They are related because they follow the same characters on another adventure or the continuation of the same adventure.

The other book I got was a memoir slash biography slash autobiography of sorts. It is Ted Williams, My Father: A Memoir by Claudia Williams.


Claudia is the last surviving child of baseball great Ted Williams. He played 21 years for the Boston Red Sox and then 9 years later returned to baseball to manage the Washington Senators for their last 3 years and the first year when they moved to became the Texas Rangers.

On my second trip I bought two more books. These two are written by comedians slash actors. The first one is the novelization of a comedy film the second one is another sort of memoir slash autobiography.


The film novel is A Million Ways to Die in the West by Seth MacFarlane the creator of the television show Family Guy.


The second and final book of this update is Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film by Patton Oswalt.

The book cover images in this post I got from Google image searching. I was too lazy to scan my own copies. I have enough things to do and to scan than to worry about scanning my books. It also helps me to publish these posts quicker. I have already delayed putting the finishing touches on this post and wanting to include the book covers added at least another week or two.

OH and just today (Thursday 11 May 2017) I ordered a book from Ebay for $13.60 Free Shipping by an author who is now one of my faves. Greg Cox and his latest novel in the based on the television show The Librarians. This is his second book from the series The Librarians: And The Mother Goose Chase.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ebay Oops Sort Of


The other day I bid on an auction at Ebay in a knee-jerk reaction. Hunting for a similar item that I had already won an auction on earlier in the day. The items I bid on were autograph cards of basketball player Wes Unseld from the Washington Bullets.

My homie basketball team that changed their name to the Washington Wizards in 1997.

They are cards that are sort of cheap because the autograph is on a clear sticker and then placed on the card. The athlete, celebrity or whoever never even sees the final product with these "on sticker" cards produced by the thousands by the trading card companies. The signer is handed (or sent) a roll, or sheet of the blank stickers that are the size of a small band-aid to sign usually in black or blue sharpie pen (magic marker type ink) I prefer the "on card" autograph cards but those are sometimes harder to find and depending on the product are often more expensive.

Well my mistake was not paying attention to WHERE the card was coming from. The auction plainly shows that the location of the item I was bidding on is in CHINA I think because the item location reads "China, UT, China" I just saw the UT part and thought "Oh its in Utah!" I got overexcited and was trigger happy.

Normally I pay very close attention to where something is located and ALWAYS try to avoid the problem countries in Asia, mostly because of the proliferation of counterfeit  products, especially collectibles coming out of those countries. Particularly China and Japan.

Fortunately the seller ships internationally and the card has now been marked as "shipped". Unfortunately the estimated delivery date ranges from 04 May to 09 June. Hopefully the card will arrive much sooner, but I tend to doubt it. I have had items come from Canada that took a month or more so getting a shipment from the slow boat from China in anything more than a month is wishful thinking.

Overall the cost isn't too much it was $1.99 (opening bid) for the card itself plus $4.99 shipping. The other card's opening bid was also $1.99 opening bid and I won it for $4.90 just under my max bid of $5 bucks. That first card is in the US fortunately and its shipping is only $3.25.

Oh well mistakes happen and this time it gave me a subject I could make a semi-quick blog post about. As an after thought it reminds me some of the times when I have ordered a book on Ebay and not noticed, that the copy is marked as previously being a public library copy. With that though sometimes the sellers are not forthcoming in their listings, they just say it is a used copy. However, there are several book sellers that seem to specialize in reselling library copies. I try to stay away from those because of all the markings and stickers left on the books.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Blogging: Lack Of Motivation Mind Blank


This is sort of a blogging rant to myself for being so unproductive on the blog front for the last several months. Maybe even for the last several years.

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis will have noticed that for quite sometime now I have barely been keeping up with my blogging here on my self appointed 1 post a month quota. My last few annual "State of The Blog" year end posts and occasional in-year updates have shown my lack of activity here. Sometimes I have the dreaded writer's block and can't come up with something interesting. Ironically I do have 6 or 7 in process posts in my draft queue. Those drafts include a couple of book reviews and a DVD review or two. For the most part my reasons for not publishing some of those is either I haven't chosen a quote for the review or I haven't scanned the cover of the DVD or Book, or I haven't gotten past the initial setting up the page for the review.

I sort of tossed around the idea of just abandoning this blog, or going into a blogging hiatus. I do after all have two trading card blogs that I have the same 1 post a month personal quota for. I really hate going a month without a post for any of my blogs. This blog seems to be the most difficult to come up with stuff for of the three. I guess my regular life is just that dull and routine.

I do occasionally have ideas for posts to do. Some of those ideas I have written down a few keywords for the idea, or the basic synopsis of the idea. I just haven't gotten around to putting "pen to paper" or rather formatted text saved into binary code on computer data storage drive.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Random End Of Month Post


Eek another Month gone, and I didn't really blog about anything significant here. Typical Typical so typical of me. Well football season is way over the Super Bowl was both exciting and disappointing. The New England Patriots are #NOTMYSUPERBOWLCHAMPIONS. I am glad that it wasn't a Patriots Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl like many had been predicting.

We enter March now (well in a about 12 hours after this gets posted) and "March Madness". We shall see where that leads us and which Cinderella team wins the NCAA Championship. For me Baseball season is beginning. The Spring Training Pre-Season games are in full swing which means opening day is right around the corner. This Winter has been a pretty warm one here in the greater DC Metro area. We only had one real snow storm but it didn't last but a few hours.

Maybe I'll get around to finishing some of the posts I have had in my draft queue for ages upon ages. Then again maybe not, maybe they will stay there for another couple of years.

Monday, January 02, 2017

State Of The Blog: 2016 Recap

State of The Blog
2016 Edition

It looks like for 2016 yet again I DID NOT meet my minimum posting quota for blogging. Lets see how I did anyway:

January: 3
February: 2
March: 1
April: 3
May: 1
June: 1
July: 1
August: 3
September: 5
October: 4
November: 4
December: 1

TOTAL: 29
Monthly Average: 2.42

Again this year I FAILED the yearly goal of 32 posts per year. That is two years in a row.

Now lets look at how the 2016 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
Yearly Average: 38.55

2016 brings the yearly average from 39.50  down to 38.55 a 1 post drop per year.Not as bad as last years almost 2 post drop.

I hope to improve on my blogging this year in 2017. I'm already close to my monthly average with this being the 2nd post of the year. OK so these New Year/Year End posts for this year 2017 I semi-planed and scheduled them. I had to keep them semi-automatic due to not knowing the exact year end total until I was sure I wasn't going to post anymore for 2016. The new format for the blogger dashboard has made this process less user friendly than in years past.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year: 2016 Into 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I begin this New Year's post in a similar fashion to last years. I basically just cut and paste the previous year's post and then edit the heck out of it.

In about 12 hours we will go A few seconds ago we went through the annual ritual of recognizing another full orbit of the Earth Around the Sun by changing the entire time keeping book on the wall (aka: Calendar). At this time of year many people make resolutions and vows to supposedly change their life for the better. Many more people will break those vows and many people like myself will not even attempt doing either.

Just as I did last year and the years before that, I will make my annual January "State of the Blog" post where I examine my posting history of the last 12 months, and see if I met my personal posting quota goal of a minimum of 32 posts in the year. For 2016 despite auto-posting a dozen or so Fryday Fourtoons I once again fell short of 32 posts. It was close though.

Well for many people 2016 was a BAD year. There were many A-List Celebrity deaths of many long-time icons and a few short time Celebs (including a few minor celebs and quasi-celebs known from Reality TV).

It was also a big year for some. 2016 was the year of The World Series heard round the world. Two teams with very long droughts of post-season success. The Chicago Cubs beat the Goat Curse by beating the Cleveland Indians in a full 7 game  World Series. The Cubbies were down 3 games to 1 and made a stunning comeback. The Indians last world series win was in 1948 and of course most people knew of the Cubs 108 years of disappointment. 1908 being the last time the Cubs had won the WS.

There was also the Presidential Election. Which depending on your hopes and dreams, and the candidates promises was either very bad or very good. I was not fond of either candidate and tend not to discuss politics. Definitely not here and rarely on Facebook or social media.

Wow I didn't mean to end this on a bummer of a note.