Sunday, October 28, 2012

Elementary, Dear Bozoid

I have tons of post ideas yet haven't been writing.  Tsk.  Sometimes under duress my mind goes all

So I

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Revolution: Soul Train

Interesting episode, dare I say.  This is because the greater focus was on Captain Tom Neville.  He is shown developing from a harried office worker to a tough man who will do anything to defend his family.

Big reveal! Not Nate is his son Jason!  That certainly explains alot.  Jason, after watching this episode, seems to be a better man than his father has become.  That is why he seems to have a soft spot for Danny.  The kid is just more humane. 

Also, Neville keeps working to toughen up Danny I suspect in part, because he really does see the softness and weakness of his own son in Danny. 

Charlie and company work to stop Danny from getting on a steam train to Philadelphia.  Critics of the show have belabored endlessly the fact that the 15 year power outage exiles should be able to use steam. Voila!  A steam train.  The man working to get the train going complains that the train should be in a museum and it is unlikely to make the trip.  Our Captain Neville tells him he can push it the remaining way to Philadelphia if need be.

We got a look at a map of the Monroe Republic:

I had feared that the little psycho had the entire nation but, though he has a large chunk he doesn't have it all.  I suppose having this train will give his empire some oompf.

Charlie of course foiled everything by accidentally running into Neville in town as they were all split up looking for Danny, then following him in a lumbering, Charlie-determined manner.  Shocker he noticed and grabbed her in an alley and stuck a blade to her neck.  Cue Miles to show up and have a chat with his old buddy Neville.

In other developments, Nora plants a bomb on the train to blow up Neville and a bunch of officers in her duties as rebel.  She works with the lone other rebel in town, a crusty old guy who has lost everything.  At the last minute she decides, after looking mooningly at Charlie, that she made a mistake and can't blow it up with Danny on it.  The old geezer wants revenge for his wife's death though, so he stabs her (causing me to briefly think, whoa, they're dispatching another character so quickly...but no just a teeny gut wound) to keep the train on the track to kablooie land.

This gives Charlie and Miles the opportunity to channel old westerns as they easily grab two saddled horses and take off after the train.  Miles leaps train car to train car to get at the log, which he easily recognizes among the hundreds on the car and in the furnace.  Reaches into the fire, grabs that exploding log out and tosses it just in time.

Charlie meanwhile spots Danny in the train car with Neville, plays peek a boo with him a couple of times before Danny decides to make his move.  With Charlie locked outside whacking at the locked door handle barehanded he fights Neville (who had beat him bloody earlier in the episode for fun though Danny's lovely snoot shows no sign of a fight, no swollen lips or broken nose).  Charlie gets the door lock off, pops in and lo, Jason aka Not Nate grabs her from behind.  It doesn't matter where he came from, nope.

Despite the odds, both Charlie and Miles manage to escape and leap from the train, then watch it go away down the tracks.

Last scene: Charlie gives a rah rah "who is coming to Philadelphia" grumbly speech and moves out, clearly now the strong one and the group leader in the minds of the shows' writers.  That's right guys, if you say this is the point at which Charlie has matured and becomes the decisive leader amongst bozos you intend her to be, then by gum we are buying it. Absolutely.  My heroine, yo. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Survivor Philippines

I missed last week but it turns out to be for the best as the Matsing tribe loses yet another challenge this week.  I thought they were so close tonight to victory but they just could not break the last containers of rice.

They are now down to a mere two players and although I have seen them pick off a tribe down to the last person it is really no fun.

Of the remaining players I like Denise, Malcolm, Lisa and maybe Carter so there are at least still people to root for.

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

This is a modern day folk tale set in the small town of Blackbird Tree and on a "grand estate" called Rook's Orchard in Ireland.  Two sets of girls have their lives changed by a boy named Finn who falls from a tree.

The girls in Blackbird Tree, Naomi and Lizzie, are orphans who have no idea what the future holds for them though they have hopes and dreams.  Their status makes them fast friends despite their very different personalities.

When Finn drops in on their lives he fires the imaginations of both girls but especially Naomi's.  A long summer stretches out before them filled with good deed visits to some of the town's crazy old folks, chores at home and magical bits of time with Finn. 

The Girls in Ireland are old women now and Old Friends.  In their case Finn falling from his tree in their youth resulted in a lifelong heartache and a keen desire for revenge.

The lives of the four girls are brought together over the years and miles by Finn and the improbably named Dingle Dangle Man.

Beautifully written and sweet, this is a novel for anyone needing a bit of the unexpected.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Revolution: The Plague Dogs

The dogs in question are owned by a brutal psycho who stabs Maggie, slitting an artery in her leg and thus making her the One Who Dies as advertised.  She went out dreaming she was reading to her kids.  Nice touch.

He also grabs Charlie and ties her up with a triggered trap so when Miles and Not Nate open the door an arrow is launched.  Luckily Charlie was able to rock the chair, which was bolted to the floor, out of the way at the last second.

Charlie acquits herself well saying goodbye to Maggie.  Miles tells Charlie he will stay with her.

Danny meanwhile predicts a tornado like storm that causes Neville and company to take shelter in a barn.  Danny has a moment to escape and he takes it.  Neville catches up with him almost immediately and they run to a storm cellar together and ride out the storm.  The tornado damages the building and Neville is trapped.  Danny could escape but Neville convinces him his dad would help out.  Danny does and immediately Nevilles got him back under wraps.

Charlie's mom is shown leaving the family, walking off on her own.  By show's end we see she left the family on the orders of Miles who has her hands bound then he walks away as she asks if she'll ever see her kids again.  He coldly does not reply.

In current times, Monroe has a torturer come in with his toolkit to try to get information from her.  She seems to have resisted as Monroe then threatens to torture Danny in front of her for better results.

Nice, eh?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Elementary: While You Were Sleeping

Sherlock is a bit calmer and easier to take this week.  No doubt Watson is calming him down already.  The two of them are still very much at odds with each other and have not built a give and take so that they bounce ideas off of each other and work skillfully as a team.

Watson keeps probing to see what was at the root of Sherlock's supposed breakdown that landed him in rehab in NYC.  Sherlock probes back by hacking into her life and fooling with her relationship with her Ex.

The mystery this week was suitably convoluted and involved a fortune and previously unknown heirs popping up and getting dispatched.

Cleverly, the most likely suspect was in a coma for length of the show.  Had to be her, but how?

Nothing like an AA meeting to help Sherlock unravel this mystery.

Sherlock is playing his violin by episode's end.  A casual remark by Holmes that they have had take out five days in a row makes me think Mrs. Hudson is due to appear.  I'm sure the part is  already cast, but they need Hudson to be some burly ex sailor with even more tattoos than Sherlock and a cigar who happens to be a great chef.

Person of Interest: Bad Code

I asked Mr. DOA what significance bad code has in his world and he gave me a couple of explanations that went right over my head and didn't seem to fit the episode.

So we shall posit that Bad Code is modern lingo for Bad Seed.

In tonight's episode Finch is still in the possession of Root, the aforementioned Bad Seed. 

We get some flashbacks of a night in small town Texas where a girl gets in a car and disappears.  Reese and Carter are certain this is Root and go to investigate the old crime.  Not only do they uncover what happened in the past, they show the good old boys who is boss and find out where Root currently is. 

This showed some real mental agility that Reese hadn't previously revealed.  I think he has been smart as a killing machine but has not been able to turn his mental skills towards good.  Carter is a fine foil and is able to fill in some of the human elements and procedural methods that Reese doesn't have.

Any frame that Root is in is of course painful, whether she is using torture tricks on a government agent or just getting in Finch's face and being cooly slimy.  I am really unhappy they let her get away, I do not want to see her again.

On the plus side, Reese figured out just where Root was holding Finch, got there just after they had left but he followed the breadcrumb trail Finch left for him of a cufflink and code typed into a cell phone...decoded the code at good speed, raced to the train station...rescued Finch, but let Root go when he could have easily gotten her.  Grr.

Finch will now have that Dutch speaking watchdog as a companion.  He accepts it even though the dog ate an Asimov rare title. 

Kudos to the show for not quite going with the stereotypical librarian who was more than key to the disappearance of Not Root.  The librarian was warm, friendly to everyone, but flawed in her choice of loves.  Happens.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DOA's Five Game Blogs to Read in 2013

Modeled after a certain blog shout out that DOA never makes for some odd reason, I thought I'd like to do my own blog recommendations on a variety of topics.

We'll start with gaming blogs.  These are personal blogs because I like knowing what a real person thinks about games I might want to play.  These folks have been writing for awhile and they have interesting opinions that haven't been filtered through some soul sucking "we have to please a company or entity" filter.  Game on!

Keen and Graev's Gaming Blog

These two guys talk about all kinds of games and they seem to strive between them to play a little of everything.  Very opinionated yet thoughtful, they cover alot of ground and are working on designing their own game.

Stylish Corpse

Isn't this one of the best blog names ever?  Its author has been writing for a long time, and has recently finished a run of columns at   She plays mostly MMOs but I seem to recall her sneaking in Skyrim as well.   She is a stylish writer, really informative and fun.


Written by Justin Olivetti who appears in many places as "Syp" and on Massively and Biobreak as himself, this covers alot of territory.  If it is out there he knows about it or is playing it.   He generously works to promote and encourage new bloggers to keep those fledgling game writers coming.

Ardwulf's Lair

Ardwulf writes about a variety of games, largely MMOs but he does try out some of the latest new hot stuff.  He also avidly plays table top games so he has a sort of strategic thinking mode thing going at all times.   A busy guy who doesn't always have time to write, he keeps adding new features and methods of getting his gaming thoughts out there.

Gnome's Lair

Gnomie (as I call him secretly) is a bundle of manic retro gaming energy.  He has a series of You Tube posts and interviews and he reminds me of someone I just can't put my finger on.  You'll see what I mean.  He is a champion of Indie Game Development as well as old RPGs, platformers and you name it.  High energy, lots of fun.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Revolution: No Quarter

I'll just say this episode was not as bad as the first two, though it is still highly flawed.  I'm not sure if this was because there was less focus on Charlie and more on others, or if Charlie was mostly more calm than previously.

We have Nora, Miles and Charlie attempting to help a group of wounded rebels escape a "base" in a restaurant.  They have the one sniper rifle and the large group of militia have tons of guns and ammo.  There is a standoff once the sniper rifle comes into play.

Miles suggests they tunnel out the back wall of the restaurant (criminy!) instead of trying to ease people out the windows in a back room.  Doh.

Once the sniper runs out of ammo the militia charge the restaurant which they could have done at any time rather than just letting themselves get picked off one by one to use up the sniper's ammo as their leader (Jacob from Lost) directs.

The militia leader is an old buddy of Miles and he lets everyone know that Miles is head of the Militia, that he created it, and has been Monroe's right hand man since the beginning.  Miles turns himself in to the militia in return for the militia letting the rebels go.  They agree to this for no good reason, once their leader is freed they would in fact wipe out the rebels and away they go.  But.

Next thing you know the militia leader and Miles are walking across a bridge shooting the proverbial breeze and yo, explosions go off, Charlie and Nora pop up and grab Miles in the confusion and take him posthaste to the other end of the bridge. 

Charlie, barely lifting her crossbow or aiming manages to hit bullseye! a backpack full of explosives she cannily dropped in the center of the bridge.  Eye poker!

Aaron and Maggie spend the episode hanging out in Grace's house.  Grace is gone we don't know where.  Aaron tries to put together her smashed computer in vain.  Maggie hangs out calmly.  After a short speech by Aaron talking about all that has been lost to him in the blackout, suddenly his amulet glows and power comes on for a minute or so.  A walkman on a table plays Marvin Gaye's "I heard it through the grapevine".  Maggie's iphone powers on and her kids smile out at her.   The power goes away as suddenly as it began leaving them stunned.

Daniel, the whiny pouty brother of Charlie has to deal with a nasty bully who beats him in retribution for his dead friend who Daniel killed with a crossbow in episode one.  I'm not a fan of seeing anyone tied up and beaten, especially a goofy misguided kid like Daniel.  Luckily Daniel has a bit of spark, when the guys comes around again he fakes an asthma attack and throttles the guy warning him he'll kill him if he messes with him again.

Good Charlie moments were where she seemed like a normal character when she was tending the wounded, and when she listened to Nora's story.

Bad Charlie moments when she got all peeved about Miles and his bad boy past and when she called her dead father a coward.  Also that half arsed shot she took at the backpack.  Whap.

Next week's episode merrily promotes that SOMEONE DIES!  They try to show a little bit of everyone including a tied up Charlie so you go oh nooooooes, but we all know poor Maggie is marked for death.   Keep that suspense coming, guys.

Once Upon a Time: Broken

The season premiere did not disappoint!  It opens with a man walking a city street who I thought at first must be Bale, but on closer inspection it looks like Jefferson.  There is a Hatter poster of some kind on his apartment wall so, not Bale, I say.

He is obviously leading a miserable existence and its raining and he can't get his window closed.  A dove stops by with a postcard that has a picture Storybrook and the message "Broken" on it.

Storybrook isn't actually broken, but it is working a bit differently than might be expected since magic has returned.

Doctor Whale, who remains enigmatic and unidentified as a fairy tale character leads a mob against Regina.  She has a moment where she tries to use magic to blast them with her returned powers only to find that they are not back after all.  The crowd presses in.

Charming, Snow, Henry and Emma arrive just in the nick of time to break things up.  Interestingly Henry shows he has feelings for Regina after all as he begs the crowd not to harm her.

Doctor Whale and Charming go head to head and Whale defiantly tells Charming you're not my Prince.  Where did this rapscallion come from anyway?

Gold slides around his promise to Belle not to kill Regina by sending a soul sucking wraith after her.  The wraith is pretty crummy looking but he is bent on getting to Regina.  She is put in jail to protect her from the mobs and the wraith.

Regina has a plan to send him through Jefferson's hat to another place.  She claims fairy is gone so it will send him into a void or she isn't sure what.  Regina desperately turns the hat as the wraith approaches trying to infuse it with magic so they can lure the wraith in. 

It is not until Emma kneels by her side and touches the hat that it spins and opens and the wraith can be drawn in.  Emma is sucked in too.  Snow, unwilling to lose her daughter after just regaining her jumps in after.  The Prince tries to follow but the portal has closed, leaving him with Regina and Henry.

He takes Henry's hand and leads him back to Snow's apartment where they gaze sadly at a picture of Emma and Snow.

Meantime in fairy, there is a small bit of the land left and Sleeping Beauty is found and wakened by her prince.  He is accompanied by Mulan (!).   Somehow the prince is also marked by the wraith so the reunion of the Prince and Aurora is cut short by the attack of the wraith. 

This leaves Mulan and Aurora who both loved the prince as it turns out.  The wraith is contained in an amulet.  Among the rubble of the battle Mulan pushes some debris aside revealing what she says is the source of the wraith:  Emma and Snow.

Sending Snow and Emma off to fairy is a good plot twist.  Emma is still having trouble identifying with all of these crazy people.  She can't understand what their existence was like, she can't imagine the power of magic and the battles between good and evil that could take place that might make two parents desperate enough to send their child off to an unknown fate.   It looks like she is going to learn.

Instead of the battle for Henry between two mothers that dominated the first season, we have Henry in the custody of Charming, his grandfather.   He can get some grounding in what life should be like in a magical world.  Since he is of this world, I'm guessing that Henry will have his own magic and Charming can steer him in a decent use of that magic.

I'm glad Belle came back to Gold at the last, because we know Beauty loves her Beast despite his flaws and frightening ways and she can help redeem him.

Saturday Night At The Movies: Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows

This week's movie from my unviewed movie pile is Sherlock Holmes a Game of Shadows. 

Here we have Sherlock going against Moriarty in a deadly match of twisted minds.  The two characters have so much in common yet one has chosen good and one evil.  That is my take on things anyway.

This film was slower and darker than the original.  It seemed that there was no way Moriarty could lose the battle, yet he did at the last. 

The only humor in this one derived from the "bromance" between Holmes and Watson, which wasn't enough to carry the film.

Throughout, it seemed as if everything weighed against Sherlock and company which creates for me an uncomfortable viewing experience, I always want to know that there is hope and that the bad guys have some flaws.  It just seemed Moriarty and his sharpshooter couldn't be beaten, and somehow the ending did not lift the gloom that permeated the film.

Hoping the next is lighter and a more clever mystery.