Thursday, February 24, 2011

This one is About Space Kittens

Last night's Man or Astro Man/Octopus Project show rocket shoes, and socks off.  Pictures later, but I just wanted ya'll to know.  If they're playing anywhere near you, you owe it to yourself to go.

I'm also partially deaf today.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Glyos Custom: The Light Rig

Matt Doughty continues to consistently release awesome figures in his Glyos series.  One of the last waves included a clear-vinyl rig, that just begged to be lit up.  So I obliged:

Trekathalon TOS: 1-27 The Alternative Factor

Is it bigger on the inside?
The universe winks out of existence for a few seconds (didn't seem to have any adverse effects though?), and an alien named Lazarus and his Spaceman Spiff Saucer/TARDIS are responsible.  Or his alternate universe counterpart.  I think.  They both end up trapped in a dimensional corridor eternally fighting each other, or else the Universe will cease to exist.

Nerd time!  How come Kirk and alt-lazarus are able to exist in their respective anti-universes?  Shouldn't the matter-antimatter reaction have caused very big kabooms?  Oh well, it's not like physicists understand antimatter all that much.

I enjoyed the 'music of the spheres' eerie-background-noise in the alt-universe.

I also liked this episode better then all of Fringe.  Makes as much sense too.

Trekathalon TOS: 1-26 Errand of Mercy

They're upset I stole this image from Wikipedia
Wow, TOS Klingons seem so much more nuanced!  I really only remember them from The Trouble with Tribbles, so this was a bit of a revelation.  All the performances are solid, with John Colicos (Baltar!) standing out as the Klingon Commander.

The plot is another Godlike Alien deus ex machina (the Organians this time), with the real highlight being the interplay between Shatner and Colicos.  Organians were retconned into Enterprise (poorly), but otherwise they were only referenced in passing after this.

So by TNG, Klingons had gone shouty and brutish, while all the sneaky subtleties had gone to the Romulans and Ferengi?  Going to be interesting to compare.  For me anyway.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Toys, Craftsmanship, and Happiness

Why am I so down about my continued interest in toys?  It's obvious: I'm living with my parents right now.
Will have for about a year in May.
In the room where I grew up.
Cramming what had been a full life down to one room.

I haven't felt like socializing, crafting, or communicating.  I've given up on most of my hobbies, due to lack of space, time, money, and biggest of all, energy.  I've been struggling with a really brutal depression.

Toy buying has been my hardest compulsion to give up, and the lack of space compounds the self-loathing after I buy something. Every little set of plastic eyes condemns me:  "You could have used this money to pay down debt."  "You'll never be happy again, stunted manchild." "We're why you will never have a meaningful relationship." etc.

I have to look at the bright side.  My life won't always be like this.  My debt was unexpected (herniated disk, unemployment), EVERYONE is getting hit by the recession.  It's not just me.  Toys aren't any less unworthy then Sports fandom, or fishing, or video games, or any other society-approved grown-man-hobby.  Ten dollars on a transformer every month isn't going to break me.  And I'm in a good place.  I had a welcoming home to fall to.  I have a roof, and food, and people who love me.

And if I do buy a toy now and again?  I remind myself that a toy isn't just a disposable plaything.  Toys are works of art.  I'm fascinated by the thought and effort and engineering that goes into each one.  The influences and inspiration, the marketing versus the concept.  This goes on to inspire and encourage my own creative projects.  This fascination I share with many other people.

I am better for it.

Trekathalon TOS: 1-25 The Devil in the Dark

Creeping Terror
I keep mentioning how I grew up afraid of everything. Well, the Horta was in my top 5 Things-to-Be-Terrified-Of (#1: Yip Yip Martians).  I knew that evil lump was not to be trusted, and would  burn it's way through my wall as soon as I wasn't looking...


What was I saying?  Oh!  Devil in the Dark.  Great episode.  I'm shocked how well it holds up, even knowing how everything turns out, there's still suspense and intrigue in spades.  Much credit has to go to Shatner and Nimoy especially.  Nimoy completely sells his mind-meld with the Horta.  That scene could have been so awful.

The Horta has grown a subcult in trek fandom; Hortas have appeared as Federation crew members in several novels, and there's also the Trek Punk band: No Kill I 

While the Horta does look cheap, it could have been so. Much. Worse.

Classic TWOP recap is here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toys, Materialism, and Sadness

Looking at Toyfair images, thinking how broke I am, and how no plastic intrigue is going to make me happy, no matter how well engineered it is, or the quality of the paint application.  It may make me happy for a little while, but then there's still the nagging thought that I'm a grown man, looking wistfully at, and buying, toys.  And now I'm a grown man who can't afford frivolities, and I'm filled with self loathing.

There's also this:

Blogkeeping: Wednesday Feb 16

This week is going by a little to fast.
  • My Mom had minor surgery this week, so my over-excited 'Devil in the Dark' post will be up tomorrow.
  • ToyFair 2011 tempts with plastic delights.  LEGO, in particular, wants me to be forever broke and sad.
  • I want to jump on this Neo - M.U.S.C.L.E.s bandwagon
  • Other sources for episodic 'Trek commentary: Keckler's  great Television Without Pity Recaps.
    Another favorite is James Lileks.  He's Bleated about Trek often.  I'm still looking forward to the Perry Mason/Star Trek page.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Trekathalon TOS: 1-24 This Side of Paradise

Mr. And Mrs. Green Jeans.
I know this episode as a Mystery Science Theater punchline.  The Best Brain's used "I'm in love Jim!" as a riff, almost as much as "I am Kirok!" There was even a sketch.  But how does This Side of Paradise hold up as drama?  Not bad.  Everyone sells their role's, and the sound design is fantastic.  The sound of constant rushing wind makes Omicron Ceti VIII feel completely desolate and lonely.

One nagging flaw:  It seems like a plant that can cure all disease, and make a human resistant to radiation would be pretty useful.  Especially if the perfect health it grants sticks around after a spell of anger banishes the side effects.

Now that I think about it, was the happy-plant an analogy for marijuana?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trekathalon TOS: 1-23 A Taste of Armaggedon

I accidentally a hat.
I've never seen this episode before, and it both bored me, and brought out my pedantic geek side.  HARD.  Did the  Eminiar or the Vendikar take into account the Enterprise defensive capabilities?  What happens when people don't show up for disentigration?  Who monitors compliance of the excecutions?  Is it a lottery, or is everyone on the planet tracked?  How can a civilization suvive the loss of 3 Million people at a time?  Much less a city?  Is there an arms race to develop better defenses or weapons?  Are they tested in some Consumer Reports test kitchen for lethality?

See, my incredulity at the particulars outweighed my interest in the heavy-handed "A war that is to clean  will go on forever" message.  But then the war wasn't clean 3 Million people just reported to disintegration.... GRAAAGRH!

See, pedantic and geeky.  I apologize.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blogkeeping: 2/8/2011

Sorry, slight emergency yesterday, new Trekathalon is below.

I marked the Packer's Superbowl win by watching Giant Spider Invasion (and Monster a Go-Go).  I wasn't the only one:

Trekathalon TOS: 1-22 Space Seed

So pointy! I hope she doesn't run with those.
I can't watch this episode without the perspective of Wrath of Khan (AKA: Dirty Dancing for boys, see the third comment),  which I've seen dozens of times, while I've only seen Space Seed twice, maybe?  Wrath of Khan makes it look like Kirk never followed up on any of his missions:

Genocidal Superman and historical figure worthy of study?  Just put him in the corner somewhere.
Benevolent Godlike Aliens?  Junk drawer.
Plant that cures all disease?  Box in the garage.

Oh and there's no way that was 100% Montalbán chest in Wrath of Khan.

Alternate captions: "You'll shoot your eye out kid!" and "Front Torpedo bays loaded."
I'll be here all week, remember to tip your waitress.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Roundup - Friday Febuary 4

Well, the nothing happened very quickly this week.  I'm sorry for that.  Lets shoot for Monday on Trekathalon?

And I bet you were asking yourself if I have a pimple in my nose.  Well I have a pimple in my nose, and it hurts.  IN MY NOSE folks.

I am also sorry you read that.