Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-16 The Galileo Seven

The motor!  We've thrown a rod!
Is the episode title a riff on the Mercury Seven astronauts, or The Magnificent Seven, or Seven Samurai, or Seven Up?

I'll stop that now...

Spock crashes a shuttle, the stranded crew get testy and insubordinate (again!), then they wait for enough guest stars to get killed by giants so the rest can take off and be rescued.

The goofy monsters are effective as omnous sounds, oversized weapons, and quick glimpses, but in full view, less so.  The B plot with the snotty bureaucrat drags this one down in my book.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-15 Shore Leave

The trouble with tribbles?
There sure are plenty of naive super-advanced humanoids in the galaxy!  This episode's species is eager to manufacturer your idle thoughts into physical objects, which have a tendency to kill.  But it's ok, it's a temporary sort of death.

Impaled Mcoy, and the plastic knight in armor really disturbed my younger self.  Have I mentioned I was scared of everything as a kid?  Because I was scared of everything.

I wonder if the federation quarantined this planet too?  It makes Rhysa seem like a dentist's waiting room.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Glyos Customs: Dice Heads

Some day, I will learn how to take a good picture.

For some reason, I like dice.  I don't play RPG's, which multi-sided dice are most commonly associated with, but I lurv the little jewel-like dice produced for RPGs and Strategy Gaming.

I also lurv Glyos!  So I combined them!  Glow-in-the-dark Zocchi GameScience dice, painted with Tamiya Clear paint, and with a custom peg added.  They still glow!

I'm zany! Which results in creativity.

Trekathalon TOS: 1-14 The Balance of Terror

Hail Ming!
Despite the IMDB screen-grab, I watched this one on DVD.  Was I disappointed with the updated effects?  Of course.  What's the point of doing an updated Romulan Warbird if you're still going to repeat the footage three or four times?!  Plus I didn't see a good view of the bird of prey livery on the bottom of the ship.  Either I wasn't paying attention (probable), or that was a major oversight.  At least for a spaceship nerd like me.

As episodes go, this is another one that's gotten creaky in comparison to later, better, takes on the destroyer vs. submarine-style starship duel.  I did get a chuckle out of the 'silent running' on both ships, complete with whispers.

Mark Lenard (Sarek!) does an excellent job as the Romulan Commander, and Lawrence Montaigne is this weeks insubordinate officer.  Those guys were a dime a dozen back then!  Also, widows.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-13 The Conscience of the King

23rd Century Denny's.
Old hammy actor Karidian (Arnold Moss), feels threatened by younger hammy actor Kirk, menwhile
Karidian's ca-razy daughter (Barbara Anderson) uses exploding phasers and Windex to silences people who don't enjoy their Shakespear troupe.

Karidian is also Kodos (where's Kang?), a mass-murderer.  All the guest stars end up dead, just like Hamlet!

Can you tell I was bored with this episode?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I need this chair:

Meet the Verte' from Anthro.  From the back, it looks like something HR Gieger would create.  Only it won't frieghten co-workers (that may be a drawback), and is likely is incredibly comfortable.  I've been searching for the perfect office chair since I was 17, and this may be it.  At $1500 (or only one penny with purchase of a $12,000 desk), it's going to take a while to save enough money.

Anthro's headquarters are nearby though, maybe if I stand outside begging, they'll give me a discount.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Week of Dec 20, 2010 - My butt smells like flowers

  • Trekathalon is on Hiatus again, I watched a bunch of episodes out of order, and OCD compels me to go back and do it properly.
  • Should have my opinions of RealD 3D up soon, know you all were holding your breath for that.
  • I bought some Febreeze Glade Fabric Refresher to take the stink out of my hand-me-down office chair, and now my cube, and my person, smell like the cheapest perfume imaginable.  Spring Breeze apparently equals "Watermelon Jolly Ranchers dissolved in bleach."
  • I really miss Original Scent Febreeze.
  • Should have some more project and travel pictures up this week as well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best to avoid Tron: Legacy

Plodding, humorless, and excessively gruesome, Tron: Legacy is best avoided.  Garret Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Bruce Boxlightener do a decent job with a terrible script, while Jeff Bridges takes The Dude up to eleven for his Kevin Flynn performance.  He may be doing an ok job as CLU, but the digital youngified Jeff Bridges is to awful and distracting to notice anything else.   Lets make a deal Hollywood: Never use CG to make a young version of an old actor again, and I'll consider going to more movies.

While the plot, and the rules of the digital world make no sense, I found it more offensive that the special effects and production design were incredibly boring and derivative.  While the first Tron featured groundbreaking production design from visionary artists, Tron: Legacy has nothing you haven't seen before, and most of the sets, designs, set-pieces, and even dialogue are lifted from other movies (Wargames, Blade Runner, 2001, the original Tron).

Finally it's oddly grisly for a PG movie.  Limbs are severed, combatants are decapitated, and characters dissolve into gouts of electronic blood, and cubes of digital gore.   A scene of a woman sobbing as she held the remains of a slaughter loved one felt particularly excessive, and tone-deaf.

It's not Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, bad, but it's best avoided.  I did enjoy the Cillian Murphy cameo.

I'm also apparently allergic to Real3D, as it gave me a blinding headache, but that's for another post.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-12 The Menagerie Part II

"I spilled my oatmeaaaaaal!"
Not much to say on this one, the Enterprise crew finishes watching the old pilot episode's footage, and dumps Pike on Talos.

I'm pretty sure the Talosians just let Pike imagine he walked inside, and he's still sitting out in the cold.  Poor guy.

Trek? Trek! Toys? Toys!

Trekathalon resumes today, I had a hard time getting the exact right screengrab for the second half of The Menagerie.  It doesn't really matter, but it was enough to completely derail my efforts.

Work has also been incredibly busy, but yay, I still have a job!

Despite being rather broke, I still spend money.  And on completely useless things!  Like these lovely customs from Onell Design:
Mini-Pheyos, and Vegibrain Trooper

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-11 The Menagerie Part 1

Meet George Jetson!
Watched this one on IMDB, so no mewling over updated effects!  Instead I will lavish praise on the old ones.  See that landscape?  That is beautiful.  The matte painter did an excellent job.  It's that kind of thing that fires a kid's imagination.

The episode?  Not bad for a bookended-clip-show.  All this time, I thought Kirk was being court-marshaled for causing Pike to be horribly burned.  None of that is accurate.

Oddly enough, I think I've seen The Cage more then either of the episodes that proceeded it.

I made this!

Well, some of it anyway.  The base figure is an Onell Design Glyos Founder.  I sculpted the head, hands, and feet from Sculpy Primo.  The paint job is a mix of spray enamel and acrylics.

It's got it's messy bits, but I'm very happy with it, and I think the figure's recepient was too, as this was part of the 2010 Glyos Exchange (they called it secret santa, but I don't celebrate christmas. Also, most of the exchange figures won't be shipped until after the holiday anyway).

The design is a sort of hybrid between the Dr. Who Mondas Cybermen, and their White Robot servants.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trekathlon TOS: 1-10 The Corbomite Manuever

"This way to the probulator!"
Yay, a classic episode I that surpasses my recollections!  Very enjoyable, even Anthony D. Call, as the insubordinate Lt. Crazypants, who redeems himself by volunteering to keep Clint Howard company.

Was there any paperwork with that?  Did they leave him some food?  Clothes?  Cursory review of Clint Howard's cultural practices?  No?  Ok then; the Federation played fast and loose those days (It's never been called the federation yet, wonder when that became a series staple).

An aside about the updated effects: I still dislike the updated effects.  The new cube-probe-thingy looks like the old cube-probe-thingy, so why do it?  Clint Howard's Disco-Death-Ship is now a well defined metallic sphere, covered in yellow domes and ductwork, removing the ominous mystery of the original effect.

There's Ted Cassidy again as the voice of Balok's puppet.

Why I should Never Start a Business

So that tidy profit I made on ebay?  Funny story: the one big Transformer that I had made the profit with?  Turns out, I had super glued parts of it together, making it useless as a Transformer.

Of course, I only remembered this when I was packing it to ship out.  Now my Japanese buyer is most likely very confused by his refund, and I'm in the red.

Sometimes I wish I was smart.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ebay Follow up.

Thanks to everyone who bid on my last round of ebay items.  I offered free international shipping, so I'm going to lose my shirt on a few items, but made a tidy sum on some others.

Also I will be shipping to Italy for the first time.  I am filled with trepidation on that one.

Live and learn!  Thanks again.

Nostalgia buttons

Hahaha, yesterdays post, whew.  So sad and dreary.  Sorry.  How about some nostalgia:

At a Target near you.
A reproduction of circa 1980 Star Wars packaging, with modern day action figures.  I have a sinking feeling I'm going to buy this, despite have no money or space for it.  Just look at those clean, beautiful graphics!  And there's a Lando!  And Luke's arm comes off!  Sure hasbro has done the retro thing before, but this time, they went whole-hog.
Picture from, head over there for a complete review.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Momentum Loss

It's been a dark winter in my corner of the pacific northwest, and inertia builds up fast.  Our Winter Death Blast 2010 didn't materialize, it's just our usual damp and cold.  You would think I would be used to it after 29 years.

The nights seem darker somehow. The road swallows light like a black hole, reflections look greasy and mean.  The night is malevolent, and I simply want to stay in bed.

Trekathalon resumes soon.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Glyos Customs are Fun!

Custom Crayboth, Retnox, the Dice Heads, and Regent Phanost

I've been smitten with Onell Designs Glyos figures.  The concept is an open source toyline, inspired by 70's and 80's classics like Micronauts.  They're fantastic fun, reconfigurable, and made with a great deal of care and imagination.  The community also encourages customization.  I've always been artistically inclined, and these are a great way to work on something creative when one is low on space or funds.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Benefit from my Buyer's Remorse: Ebay

I just dumped a bunch of collectible flotsam on ebay.  Star Wars figures, Transformers (including my Classics Devastator), some Godzilla bits (Adowable Bullmark Mini-vinyls? Check!), and a few other miscellaneous items.

My my world of ebay wonders

A lot of that stuff, I have to wonder what I was thinking when I bought it, especially the Serenity Money pack.  I love Firefly, but what did I plan on doing with that thing?

Trekathalon TOS: 1-9 Dagger of the Mind

"Blue paper bits down three, yellow up one..."
Man, if Kirk isn't getting his shirt ripped off, he's being strapped to some mad-scientist's diabolical thingy.  Today's diabolical thingy is a mind-wiper designer to pacify criminals.

Guest stars include the lovely Marianna Hill (who may have been in Cheif Zabu, which may or may not actually exist, but she was neither Zack Norman, or Sammy, so who knows), as ship's psychiatrist and woman-of-action; and Morgan Woodward, who is seriously uncomfortable to watch, as he conveys the effects of the mind-wiper by gagging and choking painfully.

Star Trek sure started out heavy with the mad scientist, and intruders running amok on the ship.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today's Entire Productive Output:

Hot Wolverine-scratching-Hulk's-back action!

Sticking Handful of Heroes figures on my monitor at work...  Ok, that wasn't my entire productive output, but it sure feels like it.  Day before a holiday, just enough people in the office working that I can't tinker with the license servers like I need to.  Not quite enough people to keep me busy with random tasks.

Other pathetic things: I had to buy four packs of these little buggers to get a color mix (and no duplicates) that I was happy with.

And buy double-sided tape specifically to stick these things up there.

And I don't really like superheros, or marvel in particular.


Onslaught's pose makes me smile though.

Trekathalon TOS: 1-8 Miri

Say G'rups again, and Imma smack ya.
Between the Twilight Zone, and Trek, CBS had creepy children down. Even as a kid myself, these kids irritated and unsettled me.  I was suprised how the scenes of unseen children taunting managed to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

But then I start thinking about the episode, and it maked very little sense.  How come the planet was exactly like Earth?  Why did the town resemble Paramount Backlot Earth in 1950's America, complete with period cars?  What were the kids eating? How did they survive winters?  How come they hadn't even built a couch-cushion fort in 300 years?  Oh well, creepy kids are kreepy, and the whole G'rups (that's the only part of their speech that's devolved?) thing irritates me more then I'm willing to admit.  Bonk! Bonk! Bad Kid Indeed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-7 What Little Girls are Made Of?

It's like a Postcard from my Subconscious.
Robot Parts?  Are little girls made of robot parts?  I think that's the theme of this episode, it's unclear though.  What is clear is my recollection of this episode from childhood: Naked Shatner on a spinning plate, with a haemonculous, beautiful women in revealing space overalls, giants in puffy costumes, bottomless pits, robots.  That's TOS in a nutshell.

Ted Cassidy is great as Ruk: big, menacing, yet stealthy, and he does a fantastic job with his dialog.  As well as being the original Addam's Family Lurch and Thing, he did a bazillion voices for Hana Barbara (Godzilla!), and the Martian in Angry Red Planet.  We'll see him again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Portland has odd feelings on the Weather. Part 1

In my corner of the screaming moist  the Pacific Northwest, this is how we react to the prospect of snow:

Courtesy of The Portland Mercury.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Man or Astro-Man? is going to play the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland...  I may cry.  So beautiful...
Thanks to for the tip, more West Coast tour dates here.

 Now The Epoxies just need to get back together, and everything is golden.

Trekathalon resumes next week, sorry about that, things got really busy at work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday odds and ends

Dishwater, Despair, Disappointment...

  • Mini is doing it's best not to tempt me away from my 2006 Cooper S, the Countryman configurator went up, and it's glitchy.  The car itself appears expensive and dull.
  • Remember when The Amazing Race was still amazing?  It's been a while, I'll admit.  Reality Blurred mirrors my feelings on last night's episode: Clue-Eating Goat Most Endearing Part of Race.  Can we start a petition to ban awful dating couples from future races?  Also, I miss the old Television Without Pity.
  • Trekathalon should commence tonight.  I know you were all really missing it. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

McRib: The Liveblog

Blur-B-Q (TM James Lileks)
Once every three years, I try the McRib.  I'm due.  Hit the break for the full rundown.

Kolorful Kaiju!

Still waiting on Netflix.  How about some brightly colored mini vinyls to tide everyone over?

Bullmark legends, most of the HMV series 1, and all but the regular colored Hedorah from series 2.

Mogura is the only disappointment, he should be much chubbier.  Otherwise these are some of the most charming toys I own.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Brief hiatus to the Trekathalon, as I wait on the next disc from Netflix, and haven't had time to watch an episode on IMDB.

To busy to watch TV on the internet?!  Unpossible!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The AutoExec!

Looks like we have a new 'Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt' on our hands.  Presenting: The AutoExec Steering-wheel mounted desk! AutoExec

The customer reviews and user pictures are hilarious.  The steering wheel in the product photo is also upside down.  Designed by a person who has never operated a car? Perhaps.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-6 Mudd's Women

I don't really want to know What Memory Alpha
has to say about this...
I really shouldn't be having this much trouble with an old Star Trek episode: The Enterprise burns out their lithium supply (when did it turn into dilithium?) saving the crew of an unidentified ship.  The captain is a conman, Harry Mudd, and three mail-order brides he was taking, errm, somewhere.  He's giving them a pill that makes them hypnotically beautiful (as I kid I thought it was an anti-aging serum, and that the women were incredibly old).  Mudd decides to marry (sell?) the women to the lithium miners where the enterprise is going to refuel.  Hijinks ensue, one of the women realizes she was beautiful without the pill, and Mudd is taken to jail. I think.

But the gals are still married (sold?) to uncouth dilithium miners (who performed the wedding, Kirk?), and I'm not sure what Mudd's scam was in the first place?  Was he human trafficking?  I don't get it.  And what did the 'Venus Pills' really do, since one of the women made Bone's medical scanner go wonky?  And Uhura is wearing  yellow uniform.  I haz a confusion.

Plus the new effects shots look terrible, jarringly so.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-5 The Enemy Within

This plot.  Jimminy, this plot.  A transporter accident [splits Kirk into a good but ineffectual twin and evil but charismatic twin], the crew has to [convince weak kirk and strong kirk to hug it out on a transporter pad] before [Sulu and an away team freeze to death]. A valuable lesson about [human nature] is learned.    Replace the variables, and you've got three dozen other Trek episodes over the next fifty years.  I shouldn't fault this one for being the first, but I can't help it.

Though we do get the cocker-spaniel-with-crap-stuck-to-it spacedog, and some very effectively creepy lighting and direction.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-4 The Naked Time

It's confirmed.  Death by flocking gun.
Star Fleet really needs to work on their hostile environment training.  While investigating a mysteriously perished science team, a redshirt takes his gloves off to pick his nose, and is immediately infected by evil red water.  Evil red water makes everyone act drunk, and is passed through physical contact.  Everyone but Bones (who is bright enough to wear gloves), and Scotty (who only touches control panels) are infected, and the Enterprise is going to crash!

Bones and Scotty save the day, and hurl the Enterprise away from a disintegrating planet so fast they go back in time.  That makes complete sense...  Wait, what?

Episode highlight: shirtless, fencing Sulu is subdued on the bridge, and Spock quips: "Take D'Artanina away!"  The writers needed to give Spock a sense of humor more often.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-3 Where No Man Has Gone Before

Attacked by Difference Clouds!
 It's yellow shirt day on the Enterprise, and special guest victims Gary Lockwood (two years to 2001) and the gorgeous Sally Kellerman (four years to MASH) get bad contacts and demigod powers after a trip outside the galaxy. Lockwood gnaws scenery something fierce, but the episode is entertaining. Shatner also gets to wield the nifty Phaser Rifle prop.

So did everyone with enhanced brains turn evil? It looks more like Lockwood is possessed at the end, after the fight with Shatner. Oh well, heavy handed point noted, absolute power corrupts...

Again, the enhanced Matte paintings on the planet are nice, but the space scenes look simultaneously cheap and over done.

I don't think ESPers are ever brought up again.  Probably for the best.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Atomic Toasters!

The nice chaps at Hooniverse started a new blog in October, Atomic Toasters.  I'll let them explain:

"We set this site up as a refuge; a hiding place for those who are tired of being harassed to buy the newest, the latest, the greatest, and the highest-tech. It’s a place for people to learn to love technology all over again. It’s a place for people like us. "

I didn't learn about it until today.  That's an oversight on my part, I've got some catching up to do...

Mystery Science Theater Volume XX Announced

Satellite News has announced the titles for Volume XX of the continuing Shout! Factory Mystery Science Theater releases:

Project Moonbase
Master Ninja I
Master Ninja II
The Magic Voyage of Sindbad

The two Master Ninja episodes are a surprise, as they were mashed together episodes of a failed TV series, and the studio that did the mashing has long disappeared.  They tend to put me asleep, but the riffing is solid.

Project Moonbase is kinda hard to watch, as the male characters heap abuse on the lone female space commander.  I love the Commander Cody serial though, and this one includes a double dose.

 Magic Voyage of Sindbad ("He's not Sindbad!") is one of the incomprehensible, but stunning Russo-Finnish productions that are some of the Best Brains most outstanding work.  Highly recommended.

Note - I completely stole the spaghetti ball globe from Satellite News. I hope that's ok.

Trekathalon TOS: 1-2 Charlie X

Go cry emo demigod!
Is it pronounced Charlie X, or Charlie 10?  Either way, a nice script completely undermined by Robert Walker's creepy Charlie, and the fact that he doesn't look 17.

I'm amused by the thought of ultra powerful aliens giving a child demigod-powers to entertain him; like a bachelor uncle jingling keys for a baby.

Something else interesting, Spock and Uhura are practically flirting here, so their relationship in the JJ Abram's Trek is less out of left field then I thought.

To be fair to Charlie, that was an irritating song...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: 1-1 The Man Trap

Meanwhile...  In Photoshop.
Ah, the Salt Vampire.  Unique to me as one of the few TV monsters I wasn't terrified of.  I was scared of anything vaguely monstrous on TV, but more on that in later episodes.  It's an testament to the writing of the episode that even as a little kid, I got the point that the creature was more to be pitied then feared.

I shouldn't be surprised that William Shatner was actually a good actor, once upon a time.  But it's still a bit of a shock. His current person and parodies of such have overwhelmed my perception.

As for the updates, they're a mixed bag.  The new opening sounds to much like the TNG theme, and on my TV's speakers, Shatner's voice-over appears to be coming from a bathroom... In the next building.  There is definitely something off with the new CG space scenes, they look flat and cheap.  I haven't pinned down my objection.  On the other hand, the new enhanced matte-paintings look nifty, and I think they add richness and scope without being obtrusive.  The cleaned up picture makes everyone look sweaty.  Not sure that's a good thing.

Unanswered plot questions: Did the Salt-Sucker's build those ruins and shouldn't away team members be bright enough not to wander off by themselves?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trekathalon TOS: Introduction

Growing up, two shows defined my Saturday evenings, and since I don't want to revisit Hee Haw, I'm looking to Star Trek for a hefty dose of nostalgia.

This was prompted by an increasing disappointment with my Netflix selections, and the realization that, while I've seen most every episode of Star Trek, I don't actually remember them.

Odds are I'm the gazillionth nerd to blog a Star Trek re-watch, but I'm not going to be deterred (I consider it a geeky rite of passage).  I plan to follow a format similar to Scott Hamilton's 100 Movies, 100 Days features. Id est, nothing too in-depth, and more focused on impressions then anything comprehensive.

Netflix only stocks the HD remake of the original series, so expect much griping about poor CG as we forge ahead!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun with Templates!

Having a wonderful time playing around with the Blogger template designer.  So many creative people have contributed such nifty stuff.  What do you all think of the new Science! background?

I'm asking a question, as if I have a readers.  Ha ha ha, Delusional!  

Edit: Replaced a stock Google picture with one of my own.  A nuclear jet engine prototype parked outside EBR-1 in central Idaho.

Nuclear. Jet. Engine.  Science doesn't get much madder.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Purged the blog today.  None of it was good.

So what now?  Reviews!  Science proves the Internet needs more review and commentary on irrelevant things!  It's a fact!