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Archive for April, 2008

my favorite time of the year: NBA and NHL playoffs

I’m in Dallas blogging from my blackberry which my friend Craver thinks is essential. I am at BJs sports bar. While I am waiting for the Rockets to begin their comeback on the jazz, I am treated to the following:
- Dallas Mavs losing to New Orleans in the 4th quarter by 10; if Dallas loses the series is over and New Orleans moves on;
- pistons over 76ers by 20, taking a 3 to 2 lead in their best of 7;
- san Jose sharks are up 1 to 0 going into the 3Rd period, sharks down 2 to 0 in the series;

The only way it could get better is with the Rockets and Sharks both winning the series!!!!

April Fool’s jokes I fell for this year

Normally, I don’t fall for them, I inflict them. My wife and I had our combined bachelor/bachelorette party on April 1st, and some people didn’t show because they thought we were joking (we weren’t….at least I wasn’t, my wife some days reserves judgment).

But this year: Hakeem’s return and The Legend of Zelda…both nailed me (and my son, for the second one). (more…)

Shadow Divers

bookrev: Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

Kurson’s Shadow Divers (loaned to me by my friend Charles, thanks Charles!) is a well written and thoroughly researched non-Shadow Diversfiction story of two divers pushing themselves physically and mentally to discover the truth behind the World War II U-boat they find off the coast of New Jersey. The tale combines the intricacies and technology of attempting scuba at depths of 230 feet in 1991 (when diving at that depth was relatively unheard of) with historical research on what really happened to certain WWII German U-boats. The author also paints an excellent picture of many of the characters, both from the time period of the dive and from the crew members of the U-boat.

Bill Nagle, a legendary wreck diver, gets a set of “numbers” from a fisherman, numbers referring to the coordinates of a secret fishing spot which must have a wreck at the bottom responsible for the gathering of fish. Nagle recruits divers to come with him on his charter boat to explore the possibilities…it could be nothing but a barge or a pile of junk. One of those recruited is John Chatterton, Vietnam vet, commercial diver and wreck diver extraordinaire.

On the first dive, Chatterton identifies the wreck as a submarine. (more…)

The Real Story

bookrev: The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict by Stephen R. Donaldson

Book 1 of The Gap Cycle 

I thoroughly enjoyed The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (and the Second Chronicles as The Real Storywell) by Mr. Donaldson,  about Thomas Covenant, leper and unbeliever. I’d pick up this book, the first book in a new series about a decade ago, and made a couple of attempts to read it. But it didn’t strike me much as science fiction or fantasy, or much of anything.

I happened to read my friend JP from SF Signal’s article on Space Opera series that he enjoyed, and The Gap series was on the list, with the suggestion that “If you thought the first book was too cliched and simple to read, then you probably missed out on one of the most challenging rewarding space operas out there.”

The first book is indeed cliched and simple, but it sets up a triangle of characters that the reader wants to know more about. And Mr. Donaldson’s “Afterword”, where he talks about his motivations for the book and compares it to Wagner’s “Ring” opera classic is in and of itself worth the time reading the book. (more…)

Three Stooges

Candidates on Wrestling?

With the Democratic candidates appearing on Wrestling last night, in advance of the interminably long wait for today’s primary, this picture (from David Dees, thanks Bob) echoes how ridiculous a lot of this campaign has become. Sure, presidential candidates need a sense of humor, but wrestling? How un-elitist! I’m ready for the primaries to be over, because I’m sure McCain and whomever will appear in an Mixed Martial Arts match.

Three Stooges

Live Free or Die Hard

Die Hard gets me charged up for Indy

What could possibly increase the hype in anticipation of a 65Live Free or Die Hard-year old Harrison Ford reprising his role as Indiana Jones? Some critics are saying he is too old to play the Indiana Jones roll he made famous.

Try watching 52-year old Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard. If Bruce can kick butt this good with his bald head fighting the bad guys, think what Harrison can do with a full head of hair and a decade more of experience!

Other than the somewhat advanced age of their superstars, the Die Hard and Indiana Jones franchises do have a few things in common. Both are action flicks, albeit situated in different historical time periods (the Indiana Jones series is fighting Nazis and Soviets, Die Hard is fighting terrorists). Both feature “good guys” played by very recognizable stars. (more…)

Sands Of Oblivion

Guest Review of “Sands of Oblivion” at SFSignal.com

Those wonderful boys at SFSignal.com had a contest to giveaway a movie called Sands of Sands Of OblivionOblivion, with Serenity stars Adam Baldwin and Morena Baccarin and somehow I won a copy.

They posted a guest review I wrote of this SciFi channel DVD. (here’s a clip below):

BOTTOM LINE: I’m glad I didn’t pay for it (thanks, SF Signal) but the Egyptian lead in and theme creates an interesting premise; just keep in mind it was free on the SciFi Channel and worth every penny. (more…)

Stargate Ark of Truth

movrev: Stargate – The Ark of Truth

My son and I have watched every single Stargate episode (and have all the season except the last one) and my wife is not far behind. We are LARGE fans. But, lately, the show and it’s sister, Stargate Atlantis, have been spotty, with some major quality hiccups. I Stargate Ark of Truthalmost quit watching Atlantis when they had an episode where three characters fall into a hole in the ground and spend the whole episode trying to get out…very little SF, very little excitement (except with Rodney almost convinced Jewel Staite to take her shirt off to build a rope). That gets followed by an excellent “Teal’c meets Ronin” episode.

The addition of the Farscape due of Ben Browder and Claudia Black, while necessary, never matched the quality of the Richard Dean Anderson era shows. Browder and his character have come along, and the Ori vs. Ancients story arc was actually showing some promise.

Thus it was with high and low expectations that we watched the first of two (planned) direct-to-DVD movie “Stargate – The Ark of Truth” (the second is Stargate: Continuum, with Richard Dean Anderson supposedly back!). Since, for some reason they could not close out the Ori storyline in the final SciFi Channel season of Stargate, they wrapped it up in this 102 minute movie.

And it was not bad. Not bad at all. (more…)

Hakeem the Dream

Congrats, Hakeem Olajuwon

Hall of fame recently and statue honoring his career dedicated today.

And impeccable taste in hardware.Hakeem the Dream

After the break is a video of my favorite Hakeem moment (and, as we had season tickets through his entire Houston career, there were many): taking David Robinson to school on the day the Admiral (or the Seaman as we called him in Hou) won the league MVP.
(more…)

On Writing

bookrev: On Writing by Stephen King

On WritingThis book has been around for a while, but it is a must read for anyone interested in writing, and anyone interested in Stephen King. It is a quick but valuable read. Since Mr. King stresses brevity, here is a quick (and hopefully valuable) review/summary.

The book is divided into the following sections: (more…)

Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

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Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo

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