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Blue Box Withdrawal

I would put a picture of a certain blue box here, but most of my photos – Taken by me or downloaded from other sources – got wiped out when my computer had a nervous breakdown recently. I refer, of course, to the old yet new – borrowed blue, bigger on the inside iconic time / space travel – machine, the TARDIS. The preferred method of travel for the mysterious Time Lords of Gallifrey, notably the Doctor.

The last episode I saw was the season ( Series in British TV – talk ) finale of Peter Capaldi’s 1st run. Then my apartment changed cable providers. Direct TV doesn’t carry BBC or BBC America in its Basic cable package whereas Comcast did. I was beginning to warm to the 12th Doctor’s curmudgeonly exterior – then the building management changed to Direct TV, & issued the Fascist decree that everyone has to have the basic package.

Doctor Who, Torchwood reruns, Orphan Black, Atlantis, Sherlock, even Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay & Top Gear – ACCESS DENIED.

What’s a Whovian / Anglo – videophile to do ? Dailymotion ? Hunger strikes are NOT an option, even though, I could use the weight – loss. Definitely. 🙂

I chalk up my love of British TV to a girl I dated in the 80’s who was a Whovian & went on about it until I gave in, watched the PBS – run ” classic ” episodes ( Tom Baker ) & got hooked. Also with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I’m jonesing….. Continue reading “Blue Box Withdrawal”

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WTF, DC?: Detective Comics #567

I rather liked this story, as it portrays The Dark Knight as a bumbling but well – meaning doofus, which is way, WAY out of character for the Caped Crusader. I liked the bit near the end where Batman sees a hulking behemoth that he sizes up as a criminal type, & instead, he’s urbane & well – spoken.
& I’m something of a fan of Harlan Ellison, as well.

WTF, DC?

A few months ago, I found Detective Comics #567 in the back issue section of my local comic shop for the bargain price of $3. “Special! An off-beat bat-tale by award-winning author HARLAN ELLISON!” screamed the cover.

Aside from being the most litigious man on the planet, Ellison is a writer of some repute. He’s also the author of famed Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” and his work was the inspiration for The Terminator (more or less). I have his short story collections Strange Wine, Gentleman Junkie, and Deadly Streets in a box somewhere, and, despite backhanded endorsements from Dorothy Parker, they’re mostly unread.

I understand Detective Comics #567 came out 26 years ago, but aside from being scripted by a well-known sci-fi writer, it also carries another notable distinction: it’s the absolute worst Batman story I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a…

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Two Monks Come to a River…..A Lesson in Letting Go

A classic of the Zen tradition ! I have it in a book that has currently gone AWOL. If I don’t know the book’s current location, is it really mine ?

The RiverMonk

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At times, I will post something that I did not write, but it will be something that is a gem and worth sharing.

I didn’t write this. But it is a superb story about letting go of things or people that burden our lives and thoughts.

Two Buddhist Monks were on a journey, one was a senior monk, the other a junior monk. During their journey they approached a raging river and on the river bank stood a young lady. She was clearly concerned about how she would get to the other side of the river without drowning.

The junior monk walked straight past her without giving it a thought and he crossed the river. The senior monk picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He placed her down, they parted ways with woman and on they went with the journey.

In the evening the younger monk…

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I have seen this movie roughly 4 times. Benjamin is certainly ( understatement alert ! ) interesting. The reverse of Robin Williams title character in the movie ” Jack “, it is like he has reverse progeria with maybe some sprinkles of ” Peter Pan – ism “. All things considered, as much as I might like to relive my youth, I really DON’T think I’d want to do so in a fashion like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Cinema365

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

(Paramount) Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Elle Fanning. Directed by David Fincher

One of the constants of our lives is time. It follows a preset course in our perception; we are born, we grow up, we grow old, we die. There is a certain comfort in knowing how that progression will go. However, what if time wasn’t a constant for us all?

Benjamin Button (Pitt), like a modern-day Merlin, doesn’t age; he youthens. He was born an old man in turn of the century New Orleans; his father Thomas (Flemyng), overwhelmed by the death of his wife in childbirth and the double whammy of a peculiar child to boot, leaves him at a home for the aged, to be cared for by Queenie (Henson), a woman with a gigantic heart.

From there on we watch the events of…

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DRONES. What The Hell Are They. A Primer.

Source: DRONES. What The Hell Are They. A Primer.

I would love to get my own drone with my motivation being sheer curiosity & because I will likely never pilot a manned / crewed aircraft, small OR large. I can thank a National Geographic segment about British expat Reginald Denny  for fanning the flames as well as a YouTube short 2 – minute movie showing an aerial view of the Swiss countryside & a small feature about single – use cardboard ( YES, cardboard….. ) supply drones.

A camera with HD  capabilities thereon would make things really interesting…..

There Is Always One. (Bullies in the workplace)

I can identify. I wasn’t necessarily bullied on my last job, but I was nitpicked almost to the breaking point. So I, in turn, turned into something of a petty tyrant who sought to quash dissent. I worked in giving on – the – job training, or OJT, young adults with disabilities, so I’m not really proud of my petty dictatorial actions.

Grumpy Man

THERE IS ALWAYS ONE

A GUIDE TO PREVENTING STRESS FROM BULLYING AT WORK.

“What are the people like at your work?”

Pick an answer from the following replies.

(a) They are a great team. It’s great to be working with such an enthusiastic, motivated and happy set of people.

(b) Well, There’s always one.

I wish that I could say, that throughout my career, my answer would have been most often (a). Unfortunately, more often than not, it has definitely been (b). Usually followed by a wry smile and a nod that infers….”You know what I mean.”

If your answer to this question is (b), then this guide is for you.

Over a number of years, I have closely studied management and management techniques in a retail environment. I am not a psychiatrist nor do I have any qualifications in this area other than my experience.

At the heart of…

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DC vs. Marvel: Aquaman vs. Namor The Sub-Mariner

I always thought that Namor was more calculating & rational ( not unlike a certain other pointy – eared pop culture associated with a certain starship ), even though he has a chronic distrust of surface – dwellers, whereas Arthur Curry is generally a straight – up hero, even though his effectiveness is limited. I haven’t really read a comic book / graphic novel in a while, so this observer is somewhat out of the loop.

Funk's House of Geekery


For as long as there have been comic books, there has been the feud between DC and Marvel. Both are heavy-hitting comic companies that continue to gain legions of fans every year. The purpose of this column is to take one DC persona and one Marvel persona of equal measure and popularity and pit them against each other to see who would  come out on top.

Background: 

Arthur Curry (also called Orin) was born to a human father (Tom Curry) and Atlantean mother. One backstory says that as a young boy growing up in Maine, Arthur’s powers began to develop and on his mother’s deathbed he discovered his true heritage. In another version of his backstory, Arthur was raised by dolphins and later adopted by Tom. After adventures with Greek Gods and Atlantean prisons, Arthur eventually claimed his birthright as the King of Atlantis. Aquaman has a rich backstory including…

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Making Humans Interplanetary – SpaceX

Elon Musk seems to be reasonably well – versed in how to explore & settle Mars, but has he any plans for the beginning of an infrastructure ? & what of the Moon ? I think the Lunar environment would be nearly ideal as a construction yard for spacecraft to Mars & beyond. Baby steps….. Then we jump.

Rationalising The Universe

This week I have had the privilege to attend the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is by far the biggest annual meeting of all those involved in the Space Industry, with attendance from all the major Space Agencies across the world. Now, the most anticipated talk of the week was Elon Musk’s from SpaceX and his vision to make humans an interplanetary species and take us to Mars. The excitement around this talk was palpable with queues (which slowly descended into chaotic crowds) forming outside the main hall. The Rock Star of the Space Industry was coming.

Musk opened with the statement of how humanity faces two fundamental paths, ‘one is that we stay on Earth forever and then there will be an inevitable extinction event’ and the alternative ‘to become a spacefaring civilisation, and a multi planetary species.’ And under SpaceX, this interplanetary opportunity would open to…

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