Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Music Retrospective: The Police - Ghost in the Machine

Well, this was quick! I actually wrote a majority of this at a really dull time. There wasn't much work that could be done, so I thought it was time to finally work on getting this done. 

Today's album is Ghost in the Machine, an album that has an normal, interesting name. It’s the Police’s fourth album and it was released in 1981. It produced a lot of single hits and the biggest ones are actually the first three songs on the album. It’s also the album that may be the most 80’s thing the group has ever done. It may be even more 80’s than their last album. Without further ado, here is Ghost in the Machine:

Ghost in the Machine

Weird Star Trek Eps. - Code of Honor aka "Planet of the Black Folk"

Welcome to Season 1 of Star Trek: TNG. By looking at the title for this episode, you might think that it's a Klingon episode. You would be totally wrong. The much better Klingon episode, "Heart of Glory," comes later on in the season. I recently saw this episode on Netflix for some reason and decided that it was worthy of being added to the list of weird episodes. It surely won't be added to the "Best Episodes" list! I can tell you that!
Lutan: Picard! I did not know you knew our "Talk to the Hand" greeting!

The basic plot for this episode is this. The Enterprise has to travel to the non-Federation planet  Ligon II in order to receive some emergency medical supplies. The crew try to make relations with the Ligonians in order to get the medicine. Lutan, The leader of the Ligonians, takes a liking to Tasha Yar for some weird reason. He decides to take her for a wife by force, so the crew has to deal with this predicament and get the medical supplies to the endangered planet. After some Federation know-how and a "babe-on-babe" battle to the death, the Enterprise gets Tasha and the supplies.

It's been said that this episode is one of the worst ever. I think it's not as bad as some other episodes, but I do think it's not a good episode. The whole episode feels like an homage to the original series and it wasn't a good homage. It's like someone watched the bad parts of the Original Series' Third Season and decided to homage it. Who thought having a planet full of black people was a good idea? I mean, something just feels weird about that. It may be the fact that they feel like stereotypes. What's next? The Asian planet? The Irish planet? ...(Thinks for a minute)...Oh crap, they end up doing that in the second season!
One example that definitely sets this in the 80's. 

Other than the somewhat blatant racism, this is just a dull episode. This is an episode I have really only seen either once or twice. It may be the fact that it plays a lot like a below average episode of TOS. It also seems like they were trying to get a good grasp on what the show should be about. I'm not sure. All I know is this: this is one episode that I won't be seeing anytime soon. If you're wondering why people think the early seasons of TNG suck, this may be one episode to watch.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Music Retrospective: The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta

Well, it’s another day and another Police album. If I had to ask Sting one question, it would be this: what’s up with the weird titles to your albums? I know I could check Wikipedia for the answer but anyone could have put that there. Oh well, I guess I can live without the answer. Zenyatta Mondatta was the Police’s third album and it was released in 1980. Like the others, it was a success. A couple songs from the album even won Grammys in the following years. Does it actually deserve the praise it got? Let’s find out, shall we?

Zenyatta Mondatta

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 6/Conclusion

"It's been a long road,
Getting from there to here.
It's been a long time
But my time is finally here."

Don't worry, I'll stop there. So, who really thought that "Faith of the Heart" would make a good theme song for a Star Trek TV series? I'm just wondering, that's all. Anyway, here's the last part in the long, long list of my favorite fictional heroes. I could list them, but this post is already going to be long enough. So, here are some links on what you might have missed:
  • Part One - Popeye, Goku, Duncan McLeod, Billy Cranston, Jack Knight, and Sarah Connor
  • Part Two - Robin Hood, Goliath, Hercules, The Prince from Prince of Persia, Storm, and Captain America
  • Part Three - Angel, Teal'C, Vash the Stampede, Dick Grayson, Gandalf, and Harry Callahan 
  • Part Four - Atticus Finch, Admiral Adama, Wonder Woman, Solid Snake, the Hulk, and the Flash
  • Part Five - Sherlock Holmes, The Doctor, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,  Rocky Balboa, Spider-Man, and Luke Skywalker
With that out of the way, let's see who made into the top six spots.

6. Wolverine
He’s the best at what he does and what he does isn't really nice. Wolverine (Logan) is Marvel’s premier mutant. Born as James Howlett in the 1800’s, it’s fair to say that the character has been through a lot. He’s has adamantium claws that come out his hands, he has heighten senses, a ridiculous haircut, and he has a pretty overblown healing factor.  He’s virtually immortal… insert random Highlander joke here. Logan’s pretty popular with Marvel by being a leading X-Man and by being a part of the Avengers. He’s also the main guy in just about all of the X-Men movies.

So, what does make Logan a cool character? Is it the fact that he’s a killer, a loner, and somewhat of a douche? I think it’s some of those things, but there is more to the character than that.  If anything, he’s the best to me when he’s not most of those things I listed. While he can speak his mind a bit too much, he sometimes knows the right thing to say. He may be a loner, but the guy’s still a team person. He even mentors teenage girls on the side… well, someone has to! Lastly, he may be a killer, but even he knows when not to take a life. When it comes to movies and TV, Hugh Jackman and the 90’s animated show did it best.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 5

I'm almost there, folks. I start today's post with a shocking omission. I didn't even realize I left this person out until yesterday.

12. Sherlock Holmes
You know, I thought I had this list ready when I wrote it a few days ago. Then, I remembered a certain detective. Sorry, Aang. Anyway, the famous Sherlock Holmes is a personal favorite of mine. I haven’t read many of the books, but I plan to one day. The guy’s a freaking genius in figuring out different mysteries and crimes. He’s also a master of disguise and is supposed to be a good fighter. While his digging and prodding can be annoying to people, Holmes is cool in my book.

When it comes to TV and movies, there are a few I like. Recently, there’s been Benedict Cumberbatch’s version of the character. If you haven’t seen the show Sherlock, what are you waiting for? It rocks! There are also the recent movies with Robert Downey Jr. as the character which bring a different look at the character. I’ve only seen the first movie and I enjoyed it. Lastly, there’s Basil Rathbone’s portrayal of the character. Yeah, I’m going old-school on this. It’s probably the definitive version of the character in general.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 4

Man, I'm running out of intros. After a little snafu where I noticed I accidentally deleted a couple of spots, welcome to part 4. Today, I start with a lawyer of all things.

18. Atticus Finch
Next up, we have a southern lawyer of all things. Luckily, he’s one of the good guys. Atticus Finch is the father of Jem and Scout Finch in the book To Kill A Mockingbird. In the book and movie, he’s a defense attorney who’s involved in a case that revolves around a bit of racism. He also serves as the moral center for Jem and Scout. So, why did I decide to include this character? One reason is that I really wanted to include some normal fictional heroes on here too.

Also, Atticus is a good character in general. Recently, I have been reading the book again for the first time in about a decade. His character is definitely one of the highlights. He’s a good single father who’s trying to raise two kids. As I said before, he’s also got good morals. He tries to stand up for people who can’t stand for themselves. The biggest example is the trial where he’s trying to help acquit a man from a crime. Another one comes at the end where… well, that would be spoiling. He was well acted in the movie by Gregory Peck.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 3

It's part 3 of my long list of my top 36 heroes. Well, I might as well start with a vampire... no, not that Cullen boy.

24. Angel
Well, if I have to throw one vampire on here, it’s going to be the tortured one with the soul. Sorry, Blade.  Angel, aka Angelus, is from the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. As Angelus, he was a simple vampire who did some bad, bad things in his time. When Gypsies restored his soul, he gained a conscience and over time decided to atone for his past sins by becoming a champion for the innocent and changing his name to Angel.

He’s willing to risk everything in order to save innocents. Just watch the series finale to Angel for that. There’s also his constant battle with his own dark sides. Most of all, he’s well acted by David Boreanaz. He’s just a cool character in general. The character may be why I stopped watching Buffy after he left. It just didn't feel the same.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 2

Well, it looks I got six more heroes for the day. I don't have much too much to say, so let's get to it!

30. Robin Hood

Next on the list is the old-school archer himself. He’s the man who steals from the rich to go give to the poor. If that’s not a thing to like about him, I don’t know what is. So what’s so cool about Robin other than the fact that he uses a bow and arrow? Well, as I said before, he’s a man of the people. In most iterations, he wants to help the poor and stick it to “The Man”, man!

I haven’t seen too many versions of Robin Hood in the media. I do remember seeing the Kevin Costner version once long ago. I also haven’t seen the Russell Crowe version yet either. You know, I just noticed that Superman’s fathers were Robin Hood at one point. Strange. Anyway, my favorite iteration of the character would be the Disney version from 1973. That movie was and still is cool.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 1

Now that I’ve done a “Top Villains” list, I guess it would be good to do a “Top Heroes” list as well. So, what is a hero? The hero is described as someone of distinguished courage and ability. Sometimes, they’re well-regarded for their brave acts and upright qualities. The hero has so many good qualities that he or she is looked at as a model or and ideal. For me, there were a lot of people that I’ve looked up to as heroes.  Some examples include my dad, some uncles, Jesus Christ, and most figures from history.

Today, I’m talking about fictional heroes. They’re usually the protagonist, the leading character in some sort of story. They may even be the sidekick. Instead of doing honorable mentions for this part, I’m just extending the list to 36 heroes this time. Why stop at 36? It's simple. Forty’s too much and I’ll be turning 36 in about nine years. Anyway, it was originally going to be 30, but I just want to get as many of my favorites on the list. Besides, I have a lot more to say about heroes than I do about villains. So, let’s start this engine and go to warp factor 1!

36. Popeye
That’s right, folks! The sailor man with an addiction to spinach has made the list. All I know Popeye from are the 5 to 7 minute cartoons I used to watch when I was little. I kind of still enjoy them now. They’re just freaking hilarious. So, why did I choose Popeye? Well, that’s simple. It’s always fun to see him going up against some challenge in order to save that pole named Olive Oil. When the chips are down, all he needs is a little glob of spinach to strengthen those muscles back up and win the day. He’s probably the only hero on this list who’ll make you want to eat healthy, and that definitely something to admire about the character.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Random Thoughts #26 - Still on a break of sorts

Hey, all. It's been a sort of a long day and I think it's time for a couple of random thoughts... or maybe three.

Still sort of on a break 
I must not know what a break is because I've still been posting stuff. If anything, it's a break from doing any strenuous blogging. I got stuff that I'm planning on talking about, it's just I don't feel like talking about them yet. I'm just enjoying reading and watching the stuff. I will have something soon though and it involves... a crisis.

I know that there are a couple of more movies that I want to see before the summer is over. I want to see The Wolverine, Elysium, and maybe Riddick. I'm not sure about the last one. I haven't seen Pacific Rim yet but I should. I just wonder if is it as good as people have said it is.

... yeah, I got nothing to say this time.


Well, that's pretty much all I got for today. There ain't much happening these days except for work and... work. Oh yeah, there is one thing I've been wanting to do for a long time. There's this old snare drum I got back in middle school that's essentially fallen apart. It was already falling apart when I decided to try to fix it back in college. Unfortunately, I really didn't have the funds back then to get it fixed. I want to try to do it myself because it's something to do. Now I just got to find the dang thing.

Not my drum, but it feels like it.

Well, I'm out. Peace and God Bless.