Saturday, July 29, 2023

Friday 5 for July 28: (abbr.)


Questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 page.

1. What shortcuts do you frequently take? 

When I'm walking to certain locations, I tend to think what is the shortest way to get there and then follow through.

2. How do you make up for one of your shortcomings?

Most of the time, I try to avoid those once they happen.

3. What does your favorite pair of shorts look like?

Old with a bunch of pockets... Well worn.

4. What was meant to be short-term but lasted much longer than planned?

Recurring seasonal employment for the last five years.

5. Which short films do you especially like?

My favorite from when I was a kid until today is The Red Balloon, a French film that came out in 1956. I first saw it in school a long time ago for one of our classes.

The DUST Channel on YouTube have a ton of great short, science fiction films. I can't remember the titles of specific films, but for the most part they have all been good.

NPR has the Tiny Desk short in-studio concert series and KCRW have some good concerts. Don't know if they qualify as short films, but I enjoy them.

Lastly Michael Jackson's long form video for "Thriller" is also a good short film.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Friday 5 for July 21: Scattergories Part 13

These are the answers to Scrivener's annual Friday 5 Scattergories questions which features the never changing nifty online random-letter generator.

My letter for 2023. I got a 3 letter sequence: btv

I'm going with the letter B Ernie.

1. What should you always be careful with?

Bullies. If you know someone who is a bully, the best thing to do is to avoid them whenever possible. I always take this to another level by avoiding "bully locations" such um Kalihi and Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki during the night time hours. Those areas and several others in Honolulu are high crime areas where bullies, drug pushers, gangs, etc. could strike at you in a very negative way. So yes... B is for BULLIES.

2. With whom would you like to have dinner?

Just off the top of my head, there is no one I personally know that whose name starts with the letter B. That said my other choice would be the actor Bruce Boxleitner. So B is for BRUCE BOXLEITNER... and we have a double B here. Yay!

3. What would you like to learn how to do?

Bake a cake or pie? Sounds delicious. I have never considered myself a cook. I can make edible stuff to just get by. Baking I don't have much patience for, but it does yield something delicious, most of the time... Oh and baked chicken I guess. That is good. B is for BAKE.

4. Where will you find what you’ve been looking all over for?

Ben Franklin Crafts store. I may be able to get some materials that I need to cut and shape and use to replace light baffles in several of my aging film cameras. B is for BEN FRANKLIN CRAFTS STORE.

B is also for Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

5. What do you dream about?

New BABYLON 5 movies and series is a dream every B5 fan like me wants

This year fans are getting a one-off animated Babylon 5 TV movie of the beloved sci-fi series that helped revolutionize episodic TV storytelling

The place is Earth 1993; The show is Babylon 5. It premiered on the now defunct PTEN network in 1993 (the pilot) and launched into a full blown TV series lasting 5 more years through 110 episodes.  Babylon 5 had a focused storyline with interesting characters, plots and sub-plots that carried from one episode to another forming a long, planned story arc that lasted for five years (seasons).

Babylon 5's creator and writer of nearly all of the episodes J. Michael Stravinsky (JMS), pitched the series as a "five year novel for television." First run episodes of the entire story ran from 1994 to 1998 on the PTEN network and TNT cable. The show was released to DVD and is streaming on TUBI TV and the Roku Channel.

After the original series finished its network run, a short-lived sequel series titled Crusade was produced for 13 episodes in 1999 before being cancelled by TNT.  Four made for TV movies were also produced and aired between 1998 and 2000 on TNT.

Warner Brothers television, the franchise rights owner to Babylon 5 announced a re-imagined series that is supposed to debut on the CW network written by JMS. Since 2020 the series is in development limbo due to a number of factors impacting the show's production.

This year a Babylon 5: The Road Home, an animated movie written by JMS will be released to home video and possibly run on a streaming service such as Amazon Prime. An official announcement regarding the movie's streaming schedule and channel has yet to come. Orders are now being taken for the DVD.

Speaking of which, JMS also announced that Babylon 5 will be released to Blu-Ray DVD for the first time ever. For many years fans had to be satisfied with releases on VHS and standard DVDs. I have all of the standard DVDs. 

Above: Civil war breaks out between the Earth Alliance and Babylon 5. This clip is from the Season 3 episode Severed Dreams which won a Hugo Award back in 1994. All of the music for Babylon 5 was composed by Christopher Franke of Tangerine Dream.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Friday 5 for July 14: Late night dorm talk

Matt Damon in "Air"... good new movie on Amazon Prime.

The following questions come from Scrivener’s Friday 5 blog.

1. If you could dispense one condiment from each finger on your left hand without its ever running out (and without losing any normal use of your fingers), which condiments would they be?

  1. Salt

  2. Pepper

  3. Cinnamon

  4. Sugar

  5. Oregano

2. Which you is the realer you: real-world in-person you, or online you?

Probably a blend of the two.

3. Who’s a better actor: Leonardo DiCaprio or Matt Damon?

Matt Damon nailed it for me in “The Martian”, one of the better science fiction movies of recent times. He also gave a good performance in the recent Amazon Prime movie, “Air” which is about how Nike wooed Michael Jordan to become their spokesman back in the late 1980s, early 1990s.  He was also good in the “Bourne” series of movies.

I only remember Leonardo from the movie “Titanic” and it is a good thing he sank to the bottom of the ocean. Heh!

4. If you had to watch (and stay awake during) the same movie repeated for 24 hours, which movie would you choose and why?

While I would prefer not to watch any movie on repeat for 24-hours, any of the three original Star Wars movies would do fine for me. Probably the “Empire Strikes Back” would be the best one, even though I love the original “A New Hope” a lot.

One of the neatest things to do is to binge a movie series that you like a lot all in a day or whatever time it takes to go through them. I did it with Star Wars 4, 5 and 6 and also the entire 5 movies of the original Planet of the Apes series.

5. Who are the five most visually recognizable people in the world?

Just because I mention someone, it does not mean I am a fan of the person. I am going to break these down into categories….



  1. President Abraham Lincoln

  2. President John F. Kennedy

  3. President Ronald Reagan

  4. Marilyn Monroe

  5. Michael Jackson


  1. President Donald Trump

  2. President Barack Obama

  3. King Charles III (U.K.)

  4. Kim Jong Un (North Korea)

  5. President Joe Biden (current)


  1. The Beatles

  2. Madonna

  3. Mariah Carey

  4. Ed Sheeran

  5. The Rolling Stones


  1. Tom Cruise

  2. Tom Hanks

  3. Kim Kardashian

  4. Dwayne Johnson

  5. Angelina Jolie

Category: Dead people, music industry and celebrity.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Friday 5 for July 7: Midyear examination

More questions from Scrivener's Friday 5 page.

1. What has been a nice surprise in this first half of the year?

Nothing surprisingly nice has happened to me so far. Most of the time everything stays the same.

2. What’s the best new (new-to-you or brand-new) music, TV, or reading you consumed this year?


If I had to rate my top 20 "new" songs so far this year, this is what it would be (based on chart performance of my weekly Current Top 20 Hits that I post here and here  - click the links).

Rank                     TitleArtistPeakWAPTotal Weeks
1GhostTom MacDonald1721
2Anti-HeroTaylor Swift1523
3Love AgainThe Kid LAROI1210
4End of the WorldTom MacDonald featuring John Rich1210
5Wish You The BestLewis Capaldi1211
6FlowersMiley Cyrus1213
7I Feel Like DancingJason Mraz1213
8PointlessLewis Capaldi1216
9Karma / Karma (featuring Ice Spice)Taylor Swift128
10Lux ÆternaMetallica129
11Eyes ClosedEd Sheeran1112
12LostLinkin Park1114
13Get Her BackMichael Ray119
14Blind For LoveAmerican Authors2314
15I'll Be Seeing YouIam Tongi216
16EvangelineStephen Sanchez3213
17Lavendar HazeTaylor Swift3111
18I'm Feelin' Good (Steve Miller Band)King Calaway3111
20BejeweledTaylor Swift3112

Key - Rank | Peak Position | Weeks at Peak (WAP) | Total Weeks on Top 20 

Rapper Tom MacDonald has held the #1 position on my Current Top 20 song longer than any other this year with his song "Ghost". It's an indie record (like all of his others) that most radio stations refused to play, even though this is just a simple love song to his significant other Nova Rockerfeller, who is the producer of most of his videos. MacDonald has amassed a large YouTube following and has sold many records / songs / digital downloads.

TV (My Top 10 TV Shows this year; old and new; I watch a lot of YouTube)
1. 1883 (Paramount+) Yellowstone prequel series
2. 1923 (Paramount+) Yellowstone prequel series
3. Star Trek Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
4. The Expanse (Seasons 1 - 3 so far; 4 -6 to be watched soon; Amazon Prime)
5. Babylon 5 (Tubi TV - Classic scifi from 1993-1998 - rewatch)
6. Sleeperdude  / Sleeperdude 2 (YouTube - A family that fixes old cars)
7. The Flight Channel (YouTube - airline crash accounts / computer simulations)
8. Airline Videos (YouTube - live streaming from LAX, CA. take offs and landings)
9. Adventures Made From Scratch (YouTube - A guy who crushes cars at his junkyard)
10. Melinda (YouTube - Vinyl Record Reviews)
11. Kilauea Volcano Live (YouTube - USGS live feed of active volcano in Hawaii)

I take a long time going through books since I skip around from book to book. None listed right now.

3. What have you learned so far in 2023?
4. What is the outlook for the rest of your 2023?

Uncertain and most likely more expensive.

5. What can you do this week to make someone else’s 2023 better?

Be a better listener.