Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday 5 for June 26: Tubular

1. What’s your least favorite episode of your favorite television program?

Babylon 5”, is one of my all time favorite TV shows ever. But just like any other show it did have a few dog episodes. The one that I don’t like is an episode called “Grey 17 is Missing”. It is about a big monster that lives an area of the space station called “down below” . Robert Englund, most well known for playing Freddy Kruger on the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies played an eccentric leader with a small band of followers. I like Englund’s performance on the old TV series “V” that ran from 1983 to 1984.

Babylon 5 is available for purchase from Amazon or streams for free on Comet TV and STIRR.

2. Across its series run, in what way did a favorite television program get worse?

Babylon 5” ran for five seasons and completed most of its pre-planned story arc. However the show was almost going to be cancelled during the fourth season. As a result a bunch of episodes that would close out the story was squeezed into Season 4 making it a blockbuster season. However after they got a 5th season, the writers and producers had to come up with additional content to finish the story out. The middle third of the 5th season spent too much time on a sub-arc dealing with rouge telepaths that were held up at the station. Don’t get me wrong, “Babylon 5” was still a great series. It is just that the 5th season was weaker than the previous 3 seasons (2 - 4) and matters were not helped when one of the key actors left the series at the end of the fourth year.

The X Files” which I loved got worse from Season 7 onward. Cast changes and the storyline got tired. By the first end of the series in year 9, I wasn’t watching it very much.

3. Among television programs you like very much, which ended far too soon?

FIREFLY… It was one of the greatest space adventures that was cancelled way too soon! Ugh!!!! The show ran for only 13 episodes. They released a movie called “Serenity” to wrap up loose ends. That was OK.

4. Among television programs you like very much, which dragged on for too long?

The X Files - see #2 above

5. What are some lines of dialogue you love from a favorite television program?

The exchange of dialogue between Mr. Morden and Centauri attaché Vir Kotto when Morden asks him “What do you want”? Babylon 5 fans love this exchange and later to see Vir’s wish come true.

6. My Bonus List: Top 10 TV Shows (Changes from time to time) - Yes I mostly like science fiction.
  1. Babylon 5
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. Star Trek The Next Generation
  4. The X Files
  5. Firefly
  6. Fringe
  7. Tales From the Loop
  8. Battlestar Galactica (re-imagined)
  9. Star Trek (classic)
  10. Star Trek Deep Space 9

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Friday 5 for June 19: Under lock and key

This week's Friday 5 - Under lock and key. Yep. Welcome to our dystopian world where government overregulation has crept deeper into our lives and taken away many of our personal freedoms, thanks to COVID-19. What a bummer. Questions are from Scrivener as usual on this blog.

1. What’s your mask situation like?

My current inventory consists of 10 cloth type masks that sell for $5.99 a pack at Don Quijote. These are just those light blue generic types, which I have found last quite a while. You can hand wash them and let them dry in the sun. Use them again and again. Yes, I am cheap.

These are government mandated fashions. Why should I spend too much money on this crap when it doesn't really protect me.

I have two colorful cloth masks given to me by a friend. Thanks Sandra C. I am saving the one I have for myself and gave the other to my friend. The second set of masks was given to me by someone that work in the organization that I do their website for. I got two patriotic masks with the American flag and an eagle on them. Haven't used them unless I go to something that deserves me to be seen in them.

I had two black cloth masks that I first bought when this whole mess started for $5 each. They were nice. One thing that I have found is that the elastic straps on these masks break easily. Both of mine broke and I no longer use those masks. I refuse to buy anymore expensive masks if the straps are the weak point.

I also have two N95 masks that someone else gave me several months ago when this whole crisis was in its infancy. I dare not wear those in public. There may be people out there who chastise individuals who wear N95s because "we are denying healthcare workers from getting one"..... bull-crap.

A cottage industry has developed because of this government mandate, with individuals as well as small and large businesses selling masks, most starting at $5 to $6 each. High end ones go for a lot more. No thanks.

Government is forcing me under penalty of being fined to wear a mask. After my two initial masks broke, I decided no thanks to any pricey masks unless I can find one that looks this:

2. In what way is your life better today than a few months ago?

Up until recently it was nice to drive on the streets without too much traffic on the roads. Now that things are opening up again, traffic is spiking up to near normal levels. Other than that, nothing else is better.

3. What do you miss from normal living?

Let's see if I can come up with a top 10 list to this one....

  1. Being everywhere mask free. Duh????
  2. Going to work
  3. The monthly sidewalk sale for cheap records and CDs at Idea's Books and Music.
  4. Eating inside a restaurant
  5. Meeting my friends for lunch, even though I hardly did that.
  6. Be worry free about touching things or brushing up against people who may be carrying the COVID-19 virus. 
  7. I hate those places that require a temp check before entering. So far I am avoiding them.
  8. I cannot go to the Big Island of Hawaii without a) subjecting myself to quarantine (up to June 15) and now b) having to fill out some stupid disclosure form before traveling and then submitting it to the government so that they may contact trace you. Ugh! Plus wearing masks in planes, airports, etc. suck.  So sorry Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines.... I am not flying until everything about that process reverts to normal pre-COVID19 levels.
  9. Going to scenic points to take photos. Currently most of them are still closed I think.
  10. Freedoms we had before this mess started.

4. When this is over, what will be your major takeaway?

Will the COVID-19 crisis ever get over? Hawaii is spiking up again since more businesses and socialization opportunities have reopened. Could the state and the rest of the nation go back into lockdown mode later this year during the fall and winter months? We are half way now to a year with this thing.

Perhaps the major takeaway could be to change the leadership of our local government through the elections coming up this year.

Buy a dumb burner phone.

5. What are your feelings about getting back out there sooner, rather than later?

Just be careful. Avoid gathering with large groups in the same place for a length of time.... perhaps 10 minutes or longer. Good thing for me is that I am not a group type of person. I don't go to movies, concerts or other large gatherings mainly due to cost, so avoiding these will be easy.

Surely though, the state should open up to tourism again since no matter what everyone says, it will bring the economy back since there are so many people unemployed and many businesses dying on the vine.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Friday 5: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ed Ff Gg Hh and a Few More....

All questions from the Friday 5 website. Been a while but here goes...

Friday 5 for June 12: A B C D E F G H.... whatever.

1. When did you last do something resembling a book report?

What would resemble a book report in my life today? Hmmm... nothing I can think of.... Have read a few books but haven't done a book review or report on them... OK I did one short one for an Audible book that I listened to recently. Just never posted it yet. Heh.

2. What was your most recent art project?

I made this banner for the Assistance League of Hawaii website. I have been doing their site since 2018.

Assistance League of Hawaii (ALH)

3. When were you last called upon to do show & tell?

While I was marketing director for ALH, I occasionally had to give a short report to the monthly meeting.

4. When did you last feel like someone playing hide and seek?

This occurs almost daily.... I cannot find my wallet. I cannot find my keys.... Where is my mask?..... I can't remember where I put the phone.... where is the scissors, my comb, the batteries for the camera flash.... ugh... It's a pain being forgetful and living with some clutter.

5. When did you last have some milk and/or cookies?

Cookies - last time was in March at work.
Milk - I rarely ever buy or drink milk.
Milk and cookies combined? Perhaps when I was a kid.

I'm gonna answer a few of the questions from recent ones I missed.

June 5: Question #5 - What’s recently been a thorn in your side?

For the longest time RAIL has been a huge thorn... no not thorn... NAIL on my side??? Sick of paying for it and watch my property tax assessment climb in recent years because I live near the end of the rail line and TDI development zone! Ugh... Rail is costing us more than just the horrible GE tax increase... our property taxes are going up because of rail and people on the neighbor islands are also paying for it now. IT is such a fuck-up. I hate rail. I think I would rather die.

June 5 bonus question:  What album has a flawless B side?

The answer to this one is simple... any compilation "Greatest Hits" album all have good B-sides that equal the A-side... However in this day and age how many people actually play vinyl records or cassettes and have to flip the thing over to play a B-side?

You don't have to do that if you listen to CDs or MP3 albums... Everything is on the A side.

That all said... let me give this one some thought.... my top 5 albums with great B-sides that at least equal the A-side...

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
2. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
3. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John (Sides A, B and D are great, C is good too but not as strong as A B D. It was a 2 disc set)
4. Band on the Run - Paul McCartney & Wings
5. Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac

On all five of these, I have the vinyl record versions that you have to flip over to the B-side to listen to the rest.

May 29: Un_____able

1. What’s a movie you once liked but is now unwatchable?

Being a lifelong scifi movie fan, there are plenty of movies I watched when I was a kid that have not stood the test of time when measured with today's standards. So here's a quick and dirty list:

- Battle of the Worlds
- Dark Star
- Battle Beyond the Stars
- Damnation Alley
- Reptilicus
- Battlestar Galactica (1978 TV movie & original series)

2. What’s a song you once liked but is now unlistenable?

Sussudio - Phil Collins

3. What’s a book you once liked but is now unreadable?

Dune by Frank Herbert.... still love it but won't read it again because it is way too long.

4. What’s something you once found unbelievable but whose truth is now undeniable?

None that I can think of. If it was unbelievable then, it is still unbelievable now. OK... the Earth is not flat... hah! Photos have proven it is round.

5. What’s something you once found tasty but is now unpalatable?

Can't think of any. Foods I initially liked, I still like today.