Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Weekend

It always amazes me that amount of hype for the Super Bowl each year.  Companies pay millions for a 60 second commercial -- and fortunately, they are some of the best you will see this year.  This year, NBC will take advantage of the internet, making the commercials available on the internet right after they air on the Super Bowl.  That is a wonderful development.  You won't have to worry about missing anything when you need a snack or have to go to the bathroom.

Being from Pennsylvania, I am rooting for the Steelers.  While I guess it would be cool for the underdog Cardinals to win, the Steelers have a good team and they have worked hard this year to get to this point in time.  Given the record of the Washington Redskins, it may be a long time before this team gets close to the Super Bowl.  They didn't have the worst record -- they started well but went down hill pretty fast.  Oh well, such is life in the NFL.  I haven't really been a football fan for years -- like since Roger Staubach was the QB for the Dallas Cowboys.  I can remember sitting on the edge of my seat watching some of the last-minute heroics.  

We had winter arrive here this week -- an ice storm arrived on Wednesday.  You can deal with snow, but ice is something else.  Another storm is headed our way for Monday/Tuesday so we'll see what ole man winter has in store for us this time.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I don't know about you, but I sat in front of the TV most of the day. The events of the day were just awe-inspiring. To see the thousands and thousands of people, braving the cold temperatures, to watch this amazing event. The pictures on CNN and other news organizations showed the patchwork quilt that makes the fabric of the United States. People of every way of life were represented by the people in Washington today.

Along with the events of the day, I loved the commercials. Cisco had some absolutely marvelous commercials. Since I do video conferencing, they were particularly interesting to me. It is one technology that may finally find it's way to the top as fuel becomes more expensive and more emphasis is placed on "green" operations.

Hope you all had a great day.
Take care.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday, January 20

Many of us have the day off today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It is a day of reflection for everyone -- regardless of race or political persuasion. Tomorrow, we will have a chance to see the 44th President inaugurated into office. While millions have come to Washington, DC to observe this page in history, I am going to opt out and watch it on TV. Not only is it going to be terribly cold, but with several million observers in town, the streets closed to just about all forms of traffic, I think watching the festivities from home is the best option.

I went to my one and only inauguration for President Nixon. It was terribly cold and I remember running to the corner drug store to get some hot chocolate with a friend. We had stood on a street corner for hours and still had hours to wait. Back then, security was nothing like it will be tomorrow. No backpacks, no strollers, no coolers -- just about everything is forbidden in the area of the parade route or near Capitol Hill. The news agencies will have the best seats in town -- and my seat will be nice and cozy, warm as I watch everything going on in town.

For anyone who has visited Washington, DC, you know it can be a confusing town -- even under the best of conditions. Tomorrow the subway is just about the best way around -- the absolute best is walking. With an expected record crowd coming to see Barak Obama sworn in as President, it is not a venture for the faint of heart. Everyone who ventures out tomorrow has my good wishes. I hope you enjoy the day -- and get some unbelievable pictures.

Take care,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two Passings Noted

Yesterday, two people died that are very well known to fans of science fiction.

Patrick McGoohan who many will either remember from THE PRISONER or SECRET AGENT or COLOMBO. He was a marvelous actor -- and quite a talented person. He wrote and directed many of THE PRISONER episodes. He won two Emmy awards for his role on COLOMBO. And he was also a Zorro-type character on a Disney series entitled THE SCARECROW. A&E is doing a new version of THE PRISONER. It will be interesting to see if it can capture the essence of the original series. McGoohan was perfect as #6, always challenging the authorities of The Village.

Ricardo Montalban had an air of sophistication about him that came through even when he was in heavy make-up. He was perfect as Khan on STAR TREK. He made STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN one of the most popular STAR TREK movies. He was awesome as the mysterious Mr. Rourke on FANTASY ISLAND and in his later years he lent his voice to a number of animated movies.

Both of these actors will be greatly missed. They created strong characters that we will not forget.

Take care,

Monday, January 12, 2009


Everyone has an opinion on the best science fiction movies made. A lot has to go into a selection -- your personal taste, what you have seen, when you saw the film, etc. Picking just a few is hard -- but there will always be those that stick out -- way ahead of others that have come and gone in theaters around the country.

I have trouble coming up with a #1. A lost depends on your mood when you are making the selection. Do I go with the traditional STAR WARS -- or the sentimental E.T. or CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF A THIRD KIND. There is also BLADERUNNER -- which I have not yet seen from end to end, and then the classics like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and WAR OF THE WORLDS. Where do you fit in THE MATRIX or TERMINATOR or ALIEN? And you can't forget 2001, A SPACE ODDESY or FORBIDDEN PLANET or THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN or JURASSIC PARK. Many of these we watched as we were growing up and they definitely had an impact on how we perceived science fiction. I still prefer true science fiction -- not the horror or true fantasy elements that have krept in over the years. I have to admit that it is getting harder to separate the two.

Having grown up with Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and Captain Midnight, it is hard to think of my childhood without these mainstays of the early TV schedule. Lost in Space and shows like Star Trek brought science fiction into our homes every week and made us think about life on other planets and beings that didn't look like us.

Hollywood continues to crank out movies at a tremendous pace -- but I fear there are fewer and fewer that we can call "great" or even "classic". We can keep hoping that someone will come along with a fresh look at life in space. Joe Straczynski did it 15 years ago with Babylon 5.

Take care,