lordandrei: (Obama)
I got this video from a link on one of my news feeds (not where I originally posted)

It took me a few minutes to find it on YouTube. Then about 30-45 to caption it for people.

A shot of impressive Nostalgia. And an admission by the Fonz that he was Wr - r - r

lordandrei: (My Zen 1)
Yesterday, I mentioned news that a gentleman I respected had passed. The full details have now been posted.
lordandrei: (The master teaches....)
Saturday I made a post concerning coming to terms the changes and evolution of Sesame Street by using the Kübler-Ross stages of grief.

The post was spawned on after getting to a point where you can only see the sardonic and subversive, politically incorrect humour potential in the show. That comprised the second half of the post. I note that it was the second half of the post because the first half of the post got posted to LJ's metaquotes

As of this posting it now has 212 comments. Making it the 3rd most popular thread of the month.

Granted most of the thread is (as Robin Williams put it so well in "Dead Poet's Society") a trip down 'Amnesia Lane'

Nostalgia is running rampant on the threads discussing what sections and pieces of Sesame Street that they miss the most.

I am so happily amused at this. When I tuned into Sesame Street in my early 20s (let's say late 80's into the early 90's) it felt NOTHING like the show I'd grown up on. I hated it. Grover had been replaced with Elmo (who so sorely needed to die), Kermit and Ernie were gone. The show just felt wrong.

Now the beauty right now is not just seeing the number of posts on the metaquote thread who happily support my views. What makes me giddy is the number of them from people who are currently about 24-28. Let's do the math. 24 years ago is 1984. Peak age for Sesame Street is 4-8.. So that'd be about 1988-1992.

That's right.. the people who absolute agree with me today about how much the show isn't Sesame Street (and let me tell you I've had two declarations of love for me for my post)... are making their judgement based on the airings of the show that were not my Sesame Street.

It's amazing to contemplate that the importance of my post wasn't so much the anathema and anger towards the changes but towards the path to accepting why the show must inevitably change and it's okay.

Well, not that I mind becoming the target of affection for disliking the show at one time.

At Least Doctor Who has been improving with age :)
lordandrei: (Default)
...should be utterly excited about the following news. I say should because you really hate to chase someone off with good news despite themselves...

The following guests have been fully confirmed and lined up to appear together in a panel session with Q&A at Comic-Con in San Diego, Friday, July 25, 7:15 p.m.

On the panel will be: Trace Beaulieu, Paul Chaplin, Frank Conniff, Bill Corbett, Joel Hodgson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Bridget Nelson, Mike Nelson, Mary Jo Pehl and J. Elvis Weinstein. Wow.

The moderator will be Patton Oswalt.

To explain to the rest of you; that is the ENTIRE group behind Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Including those who 'washed their hands' of the show and said they'd never look back.
lordandrei: (Default)
This was a part of my weekend, every week when I was a kid.

lordandrei: (Gnostics go PING!)
Came across this video this morning while laid up on the couch.

It's really not what you think. And you will want audio. It's utterly safe for work.

lordandrei: (Dalek)
Why do you like Doctor Who?

Bless you to the person who wrote this.

I was a kid in the 70's and Early 80's. Let's just start there. Cartoons really had gone to complete sh*t by the time we hit 1984. I knew that Warner Brothers cartoons were 'way old' and that the 70's hey day of Bullwinkle and Rocky and other such shows were being replaced by He-Man. And no matter how much we joke. He-Man really was a crap of a cartoon.

So let's look at science fiction in the 70s and 80s. Star trek was history and all we had was the filmation Star Trek cartoons. A wonderful article posits:
Between groundbreaking classics that were light years ahead of their time ("Star Trek," "The Twilight Zone," "The Prisoner"), envelope-pushers that were canceled far short of their creative peak ("Battlestar Galactica," "V"), and overcooked turkeys that should never have been green-lit in the first place ("Galactica 1980," "Automan," "The Starlost"), Phillips and Garcia give each of the successes and the failures their balanced, fun and informative due.

And I remember all of these very clearly. I should point out... Prisoner came out when I was about 5... Way over my head. Similar with Galactica. It was ships. That's the most I really remembered until I rewatched later. V was historical SF.

So there wasn't a whole hell of a lot.

And one weekend around the age of 10 or 11 I was watching TV. My friends and I liked "Benny Hill" and "Monty Python" because... well, the Brits were cool. Well, the shows weren't on. What they did do was run 2 of 4 episodes of Doctor Who. "The Pyramids of Mars". Fortunately the first 2.

A side note here. You know when you've been into a long running show... you catch episodes in syndication. You ever notice it's like the same 5 stories out of 100 that you always see? For Doctor Who it was "Pyramid of Mars"

So here I was... 11 years old watching this cool guy in a big scarf. Mummies, pyramids, egyptian gods... I hadn't gotten anything like this since The Shazam and Isis Power Hour or even Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. (The latter of which I loved and I will not take any more SHIT about it)

But this... this was magnificent. Even if the interiors were all shot like TV and the exteriors were all shot like a movie. (Yeah, the 11 year old figured this one out) There was story, there was character... It went somewhere... And after 90 minutes on PBS (back when the single episodes were 45 minutes but part of a story).....GAH CLIFFHANGER. Backed into the corner... bad guys attacking cliffhanger!

I was going to be back... Then I started looking up where it would be airing. And then were cons. And helping pledge drives. And mom getting a friend to make me a scarf. And buttons. And collecting the novelizations, and fact books. And all the stuff. It was awesome.

But the one thing that is amazing is having a child. You see, you don't buy stuff for the toddler. You buy stuff to feel your own childhood again. It's why I bought my favourite books for 'him'. "Are you my Mother" "Monster at the end of the Book"... I bought 70's kid shows to share with him.

So then the amazing thing happened. The BBC after 15+ years said.. they were bringing Doctor Who back.

And yeah... I was terrified. This was not just 3 years of my life. This was 12 up to my late 20s. This was well over 10 years of learning a mythos, finding old episodes. I was terrified what they'd do to "MY DOCTOR WHO"

Imagine what would happen if Tim Burton announced that he was doing a Babylon-5 movie without JMS? Um...scary.

All I knew was that the guy that invented "Queer As Folk" was going to be reviving Doctor Who. Not that QAF was a bad show. I've seen a few and it's deep. I saw a few before Doctor Who. So I was terrified.. but admittedly excited.

I was so excited that I grabbed the leaked to the net pilot and burned a DVD with extras and watched it 15 minutes before the show aired in Britain.

And I was THRILLED. The show lived up to the past. It stayed pure to the things I needed to feel. But was deeper. It'd grown up with me. It didn't show the world thru the eyes of a 12 year old.

But the thing that will now always cement the show with me is two fold. One a fact.. one a spoiler.

We watched episodes with our infant. The first season ended before he was born. We watched on DVD. I remember the day we put on an episode and our child got excited to hear the theme. Many friends have seen Aiden to the "Doctor Who" dance. He loves the theme. I honestly think the show is just noise to him. But the theme. Music that is updated but unchanged from my childhood, connects to my son. And this thought alone really makes me begin to sort of get misty. Because it's a kind of bond. It makes me foolishly happy.

The second comes from a short Holiday special that American's are not likely to see until the new season releases on DVD in about 8 months. The show acknowledged in the special and does so in all the extras... that the people working on the show now are there because they loved the show as kids. The current star who plays Doctor Who got into the acting profession because he loved this show and wanted to be the Doctor one day.

It's a show of wonder and dreams. It's a show of magic and science.

It's a show that makes you want to tell your high school friends that your car is your Tardis and the trunk is really bigger on the inside than the outside.

I love the show... I hope this explains why.

It's not just entertainment. It's a fundamental building block of who I am as a person.
lordandrei: (Default)
So... last weekend (Et al Croce: Seems like such a long time ago...) we went to NorWesCon.

On the one hand, internally I was giddy like a little kid. [livejournal.com profile] shimmeringjemmy gave me several hours free time on my own at the con. This was exciting in theory.

Unfortunately, my con experience wasn't like the ones I had as a 15 year old. NWC seems to be far more based in the social clumping. Seeing friends you don't get to see except at NWC. Hanging with friends at sessions. Going with friends to gatherings.

I'm still new to the area so my social experience consists of
    seeing about 10 people in the weekend that I kinda know...
    Admiring their outfit if they are wearing it...
    Asking how they are enjoying the con...
    waving as they head off to (sdkfuwef)

This is an odd feeling.

When I went to Dragon*Con in Atlanta about 4-5 years ago; I actually knew nobody there. There was the friend from online who invited me to crash on the floor of her shared hotel room. There was the 'daughter of a psychiatrist' (a common bond) that I'd bonded with in IM that I'd met thru LJ. That was it.

However, at D*C I met a tonne of people. People knew of me from the net which really kinda freaked me out. And the scary part was; I got invited on the spot to be on several panels. The funny thing is I actually met [livejournal.com profile] s00j at this con and chatted briefly with her... but never really filed it away beyond, "Really hot and talented drummer from the circle"

So back to NorWesCon. It's a larger con, but a large area con. It's obvious that this is 'da sh*#' when it comes to Seattle area SciFi. I don't want to hazard a guess on the size. Now... it's not a WorldCon/Dragon*con... But the good news is... it's not a ComicCon either. Comic Con is a trade show...not a con.

So... Art show.. nice. I'm saddened by how much the scifi fan is economically not in a place to buy art. Yes.. I'm biased. Went to a couple of sessions. I found myself pining to be on panels because sometimes the crowd would pull the panel waaay of topic. And like many cons. I leave with about 5-15 panel ideas.

One panel was about good and bad characters. It was observed that the most interesting good characters tend to behave at times like a**holes. The further observation is that everyone at one time has been an a**hole. So the question was posed to the room, "Has anyone in this room never actually been an a**hole". So I lifted Aiden above my head and raised his hand. Okay... so maybe I got to be an a**hole myself.. but it's worth it for the sake of a good joke.

At one point we got on an elevator with two women dressed in the style of Eliza in My Fair Lady. Swooping huge hats with flowers. I mean huuuuuge hats. I got on the elevator and joked, "Dear diary. Wife brutally killed today on an elevator. Really can't go into the details...they are just too... hard to explain." Good laughter on the elevator. Then someone added, "I'm really sorry I sent flowers to the funeral, he looked devastated."

There was also a poker tournament. There were ongoing satellites to win a seat at the final main tournament. I inadvertently won a seat. It was a massively short stacked tournament. (200 in chips, initial blinds 10/20).. but the fun was going to the final table with 1 1/2 blinds... Quinting up, then tripling up and finishing third. No.. I'm not going to explain what that all means here.

But I never really felt connected to anyone at the con. Maybe over time. Maybe I'm too old. Maybe I've out grown the 16 year old who wants to take over a panel with hir fanish experiences and then demonstrate the worst british accent ever (Standard Fan Type X13)

A good con. I just want to know if I'm outgrowing cons or just not close enough to this one yet.
lordandrei: (Work)
This email or things like it go around about once every 3-5 years. This one is entertaining because it talks about how easy things are today by comparing it to about 20-25 years ago. To be honest; things weren't that miserable 30 years ago either. They were different; but I'd still take the creature conveniences of 30 years ago over the lack of conveniences of say... 90 years ago.

So... this is a fun walk down amnesia lane for the 30+ crowd. (I know some of you have already seen it via email and blog)


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears
with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were
when they were growing up; what with walking
twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways

yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
there was no way in hell I was going to lay
a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it
and how easy they've got it!
But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of
thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!
And I hate to say it but you kids today you
don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The
Internet . If we wanted to know something,
we had to go to the damn library and
look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!
There was no email!! We had to actually write
somebody a letter .with a pen!
Then you had to walk all the way across the street and
put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to
steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!
Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the
beginning and @#*% it all up!
We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you
were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was!
It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer,
a collections agent, you just didn't know!!!
You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!
We had the Atari 2600!
With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square!
You actually had to use your imagination! !
And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win.
The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!
Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating!
All the seats were the same height!
If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see,
you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that
was only like 15 channels
and there was no on screen menu and no remote control!
You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!
You were screwed when it came to channel surfing!
You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the
channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons
on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?!
We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat
something up we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire .. imagine that!
If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing
and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about!
You kids today have got it too easy.
You're spoiled.
You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd
lordandrei: (Default)
This occurred on March 15th (The ides of March), 1998.

Very busy 4 days ago. I forgot to remark that I have been an initiate of OTO...

For 10 years.


Aum Ha
lordandrei: (Default)
Do you know what a Snowth is?

Thanks to everyone that played:

Now presenting the muppet known as "Mahna Mahna" and his backup singers 'The Snowth'

lordandrei: (Default)
I have often posted about probably my all time favourite film. "Escape to Witch Mountain"

Thanks to a link by [livejournal.com profile] shadesong it looks like Disney is going to take another poke at the venerable film. Like anyone else who loves a classic film or book... this makes me fidgety in a 'not so good' way.

There are so many pieces of this original film that just work so well together. The original preview for the film was pretty much excerpts from the intro with several clips cut in. The music was haunting and riveting. This coupled with the simple images left me (at about the age of 8) contemplating the mystical symbolism of the title, the children running, and of course the animated dogs.

For those that haven't seen this (and those that just want the nostalgia rush); I attach the opening 3 minutes of the film. This is predominantly the film intro with credits. I suggest headphones or a quiet room.

This is a film that lives in my library and I am MORE than happy to show it to anyone who is curious.

P.S. This one stands alone. The sequel, the remake, the pilot. None have the magic that this film carried.

Final note: This isn't so much trivia as I don't know the answer; but I'd be thrilled if someone out there did. The original film is credited to be based on the book of the same name. I, however, remember that there was some legal fluff that the book itself was based (plagiarized) off another story. The title was along the name of, "The People"... It's about a woman (School teacher?) who comes to a quiet town and discovers a quiet bunch of folks. The interesting characteristic is that everyone in town shuffles their feet. She later discovers this is out of fear that they will fly (from Telekinesis) A town full of people hiding and ashamed of their abilities.

Any info on this story (which was became a made-for-tv movie) would be VERY appreciated.

That's all for this morning.
lordandrei: (Default)
Dungeons and Dragons' creator Gary Gygax botches saving throw at age 69

Thank you for several years of fun geekdom.

Edit: [livejournal.com profile] princekermit beat me to the joke by about an hour.
lordandrei: (Gnostics go PING!)
Sci-Fi Channel announced today that In April this year they will show Doctor Who Series 4. Thiw will run nearly concurrently with the British airing (I believe)

Sci-Fi has also announced that they will be picking up the Sarah Jane Adventures this year as well.

So ....

(And I don't do this often)

lordandrei: (Default)
Part of being on Livejournal.com is inevitably gaining a number of LJ buddies. Unfortunately, as time wears on, it's easy to forget where all of them came from. Post this in your journal and have your friends respond with how they recall first meeting you.
lordandrei: (Default)
(Preface: this post is seasoned with a bunch of links. I recommend taking the time to look at the links because it helps explain and compliment the post)

Occasionally, I post strange fun facts that seem to come out of absolutely nowhere.

For example: The term "Pediddel" (Meaning a car missing a headlight) in fact originates to a 1984 episode of "Not Necessarily the News" with its usual segment of Rich Hall's Sniglets.

Some of you may think... What the hell is 'Pedidel?'; Some might think, "Pedidel was a sniglet?'

The real question is, "This is the sh&# that Andrei researches?"

So... If you've ever seen the episode of Pinky and the Brain where the response is, "I think so, Brain, but what if the hippopotamus won't wear the beach thong."... or even if you haven't...

Here's where my brain came from.

I was flipping thru youtube videos and saw a shot of a young girl. Maybe 13-15. It made me think of the one young girl I'd seen on TV that I'd really like to see again. Mary Lou Retton in 1984 taking a perfect score of 10 on the vault. Well, from there it was Torvill and Dean skating to Bolero. This got me wanting to find "ABC's Wide World of Sports."... I knew I'd see "Agony of Defeat" but... I actually wanted to see the whole thing.

I found it, But it was part of an interview with Jim McKay concerning "The agony of defeat." This took me to WikiPedia to look up more about Vinko Bogataj, the man known to most Americans (Over 25) as "The agony of defeat."

This is where I felt inclined to make one of my posts. Talking about the famed "Agony of defeat." A man who received a standing ovation at a high class banquet for the 25th anniversary of ABC's sport show. The ovation confused him, because in his native Yugoslavia he never really got a lot of notice. In the States on the other hand... living legend.

It turns out that Bogataj's mishap is commemorated with a sniglet "Agonosis" meaning, "The syndrome of tuning in on Wide World of Sports every weekend just to watch the skier rack himself."

Well, okay.. an accidental click there in wikipedia on Sniglets and there it is. "Pediddel"

My first thought was, "So that's how it's spelled."

I think it was one of those driving games I learned by rote... And by an ironic twist was a word I discovered that until now, I'd never... um... "Wrote".

The next thought was, 'So it actually started as a sniglet. That's kinda cool.' Well, cool from my point of view.

And this is what I do when sick on the couch.
lordandrei: (Default)
Was the Locnar truly and simply a MacGuffin?

Discuss... )
lordandrei: (Default)
Yes, I was raised on television. I had one in my room as a kid. This probably had short and long range bad effects on me.

That being said... I am always happy to discover something obscure. Even more so because I've made one of my first posts to Wikipedia

When I was a kid... (Let's avoid the references to when the rocks were soft) there were 3 main stations. ABC, NBC, and CBS. (There was PBS, and a bunch of hard to tune UHF stations as well)... Oh yeah.. there was a lot of fuzzy white-noise space between them.

My one thrill a year was a program called, "Battle of the Network Stars." Back before greed had gotten out of control, the three networks would collaborate to host a series of fun physical challenges between teams made from the stars of their prime time shows.

The show stared Howard Cosell as sports commentator. Cosell was a television institution that I regret is slowly fading from memory and history.

The show was fun. There was an obstacle course, tug of war, swimming, even one year a pinball contest (which ironically was quickly lost by Elton John) But my fondest memory was of "Simon Says." Not even really a part of the competition it was one man calling the game vs. most of the stars. And the caller was deadly. For years... I've tried to remember anything I can about it. Some of my friends have even fallen prey to my ability to make them lose "Simon Says" in less than 5 moves.

Well tonight while YouTube surfing on my AppleTV (A prize I won at work for helping to test our software), I found a video of Simon Says. The video gave me the master's name. "Lou Goldstein" (Who despite being probably 80 may still be travelling and entertaining. Damn those Borscht Belt mensches!)

So, I appended the article. There was no information on Goldstein. The article now references him and includes an external link to the footage.

In some ways it may seem dated. But it's a pearl of history. And I'm very, VERY, VERY happy to see it still exists. I wish I could explain the really warm feeling I got... get from putting this piece of Television history in Wikipedia.
lordandrei: (Default)
For the first time in quite a while I watched "The Breakfast Club"

This film released my junior year of High School. To most people my age this was film was 'our voice.'

Most people I know can tell you who they identified with in the film. They were either one of the leads or some combination of 2 maybe with just a hair of the third.

Most people also agree on one important fact. Ally Sheedy was hotter before they made her up at the end.

But watching the film I was especially struck by one passage.

"So this is it. We're going to turn into our parents?"
"It's unavoidable"
"When you grow up, your heart dies."

some thoughts... )
lordandrei: (Default)
I really enjoy "House". Granted.. since watching the show I've begun to dread anything that might be considered a symptom.

Once you get sick on the show, there is an array of diagnosis while we wait for newer symptoms (that personally look impossible).. We know it's never Lupus. And eventually it comes down to something really weird.

It took me a while to even try on "House".... Similar to Doctor Who.. I'm an 'old' fan.

I remember "Fry and Laurie"... I adore the film "Peter's Friends"

And first and foremost...

This... This is the way I remember Hugh Laurie:

#2 is just beautiful for timing:

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