Rainbow Dragons at Pride Visalia?

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Baby Dragon

Draco, in an early pic, 2011

It never fails. I should never let them look over my shoulder when I’m on the computer.

I’ve written about them before, back when they were first born. (I can’t tell them they’re hatched, for some reason they don’t like that. I think it has something to do with an inferiority complex about competing with birds. I know, it’s weird.)

Since then, I’ve kept them out of my blogs, and off my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. They’re already insufferably vain, and making them the center of attention would be unbearable. (oh, if you met them you’d think they’re charming, well behaved, and as entertaining as hell, but you don’t have to live with them!)

They’re seven years old now, and quite the handful. Over the years we’ve managed to not burn down the house or set the yard on fire. Mostly. There was that one time I had to convince the fire department that it was just the BBQ making all that smoke, while they hid on the roof, trying to look like I have a strange hobby of collecting gargoyles. Fortunately it was after dark, and they weren’t noticed. Crisis averted.

Their voices are still juvenile, though. I’m waiting for dragon puberty to hit, and for those sophisticated British accents to kick in. Still sounds like a lot of London boys sniffing helium going on around here, and sometimes it gets on one’s nerves. Good thing they’re still as cute as can be. (When they’re asleep.)

Today, I messed up, and I’m not sure how to contain the furor now unfolding in my dragon lair.

Did you see this?

rainbow_dragon

Boy, they did. I was on my laptop, scrolling through Facebook, when I landed on this. I hadn’t realized Draco was behind me, snooping. (I try to keep them away from the computer as much as I can. It’s really hard to clean smoke residue off the screen after they’ve been watching Dragonheart and Eragon on endless loop.) He let out a very un-dragonly squeal, demanding to know what that was. “Nothing” wasn’t going to cut it.

Draco called the others over, and they all huddled around the computer, squeaking and squawking about it, demanding to know what it was all about.

I told them some humans love dragons (I glared at them enough to make them wonder whether I was one of them or not) and had made some buttons and other gear for the upcoming Pride Visalia. They were quite pleased. And, of course, they want to go.

How do you tell a bunch of seven year old dragons they can’t go to the festival to see the other dragons? They’ve decided it’s not just buttons and pins, and that there are going to be other dragons there. Rainbow dragons.

I’m not sure how I’m going to contain this.

 

Sulu is gay? Could’ve fooled me.

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Sulu is gay? Could have fooled me.

I just saw ‘Star Trek Beyond’ last night.  (It’s very cool in 3D) Prior to the release, it was announced by John Cho, who plays Sulu in the JJ Abrams reboot/alternate timeline Star Trek, that Sulu is gay.  There are at least two scenes where Sulu is with his husband and their daughter (Demora, one assumes).  However, based on the scenes in the final theatrical release, you might be excused for not seeing the gay part.

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This new guy really is a Bad Robot

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Space. The Final Frontier.

First it was Star Trek. Now it’s Star Wars. I don’t like where this is going.

You know who I’m talking about, right?  J.J. Abrams?  The wunderkind of movies these days?  In my little world, he’s trashed the Enterprise, and now he’s killed Han Solo.  Is nothing sacred?

OK, I suppose *he* didn’t kill Han.  The story is Harrison Ford wanted the character to die back in the carbonite block, but was talked out of it (read $$$).   But still.  Bad Robot.

First, the Enterprise.  I really like the bridge of the new version starship.  Especially the ’embedded-in-the-window’ viewscreen.  That was a cool idea.  The engine room, and whatever those huge tank things were, is just… not.  Unless the Enterprise is really a TARDIS, there’s just no way all that inside fits the outside.  Huge gaping spaces for our heros to dangle from is just nuts.  That thing-a-ma-jig that Kirk kicks back into alignment? Bad scripting there, plain and simple.  Really poor starship design.  The same engineers that came up with the viewscreen-window couldn’t come up with a better doo-dad for Kirk to fix at the last second? Really?  And those lens flares. Really annoying. Bad Robot.

I just saw Star Wars – The Force Awakens.  Not much force awakening going on there.  A lot of spaceship-blowing-up and what-not, but the force is not strong in this one.  More vast spaces to dangle the hero from, but mostly a re-hash.  We’ve pretty much seen this movie, before we’ve even seen it.  Bad Robot.

Nit-picking.  Did nobody do an after-action assessment when they lost the Death Star?  Nobody noticed the glaring design flaw in the super-weapon?  They basically built the same thing again, only bigger?  And using a star as a power source?  In such a way that you suck up the star itself to power the weapon?  Seems like a lot of money and resources to put into a weapon with a limited shelf-life! The Dark Side seems to have a rather large blind spot. Probably as big as the ego of the latest evil leader.  Bad Empire/First Order.

And haven’t we already seen this plot device?  The weapon is charging/coming into range!  We have only minutes before the rebel base is zapped!  Everyone’s about to die!  But wait! Our heroes blow up the Death Star/Star Killer in the nick of time, saving everyone!  I suppose if he’s going to re-hash old Star Trek movies, J.J. doesn’t worry about doing it in Star Wars, too.  Bad Robot.

I wonder if Mark Hamill is going to be able to pull off his own Obi-Wan in the next movie? Can we believe Luke going full-Yoda on us?  Time will tell.  JJ Abrams won’t be directing it, so maybe we’ll get something more George Lucas-like.  But it’s Disney, now, so maybe not. Especially after George’s crack about them.

This movie didn’t seem to really advance the story much.  I suppose it’s more a hat-tip to the previous films, and to set up the two to follow.  Seems a bit weak to be a top-grossing movie, but it does show the desire of the public to revisit this galaxy.  Disney and company seem determined to give them what they want.  The merchandising for this episode has just been insane.  Even a YouTube light saber gizmo on the control thingy?  Really?  Bad Robot.

The 3D version was pretty neat.  I enjoyed it, and most of the time didn’t realize I was watching a 3D movie.  When you don’t notice the effect, they’re doing it right.  Good Robot.

I went to the last showing on a Sunday night, and had the auditorium to myself.  Just me and the movie.  That’s both cool, and a little creepy at the same time.  Watching the opening crawl and then the closing credits in 3D was strangely mesmerizing.

Overall, I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Excellent effects, especially in 3D, likable new characters, and the possibility of decent follow-on stories.  Dinged for re-hashed story and plot, no clear emotional buildup on Ben’s part to Han’s death (Ben did not seem conflicted, nor did the murder seem like his climax to completing his journey to the Dark Side), and it’s poor use of R2-D2 and C3PO.

I’ve been here before, but I don’t know where I am

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photo 1The garage is finally getting cleared out (thanks, Travis!), and I found this book while looking through some boxes.  I looked at it, wondering when I bought it, as it rang absolutely no bells.

“Maybe,” I thought, “someone beamed it into my garage at some point in the past, and I’m just now finding it. Or maybe I time-traveled back to leave it in this box because…  something important is about to happen, and this book is the crux of a historical turning point, and I will use it to save the world! Or maybe it’s a glitch in the Matrix, and I should really worry about stern looking men in black suits, wearing earbugs and black sunglasses!”

Well, no, not really.  But I really don’t recall when or where I purchased this book. It’s copyrighted 1991, so at some point after that date, at the earliest 1994, because my bookmark is from where I work, and I must have picked it up at B. Dalton or Waldenbooks.

I sat down last night, and started reading.  I figured I’d remember the story, or at least find it familiar, as I’m pretty good about recognizing something I’ve already read.

Not happening this time.

It’s a collection of shorter stories, all set in the same “universe”, with the main character present in all the stories.  It’s about a man from 1954 recruited to be a “time cop”, and keep history from being tampered with once time travel is invented in the distant future.  The “time cops” recruit from up and down the timeline for suitable operatives, and the various stories in the book jump from a vacation base camp in the Pleistocene era, to millennia into the future.

photo 2 The top marker is how far I’ve gotten since I picked the book up yesterday, and the bottom one is where I must have left off when I put the book in the box.

What I’m finding odd is that I don’t recall any of the stories I’ve read so far.  Nothing is ringing a bell, and it’s like a new book for me. I usually remember things I’ve read, and it’s a bit strange to be completely blank with this one.  I’m hoping I’ll remember it as I read more, but so far, nothing.

I’ve often compared my memory to an old hard drive.  I’ve got everything up there, it just takes time to spin up and locate the data.  I’m hoping that’s what’s happened here, and it’s just taking a long time to find the correct file.  I’m hoping nothing got overwritten in the intervening years!

Time to jump back into the future/present/past, and see where I end up.  I hope nobody screws up the timeline!

A madman in a blue box

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Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 7.57.54 PM

The strangest thing happened earlier today.  He tells me we weren’t gone long at all.  It seems like it was, to me, though.  Did you miss me?

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My satirical look at the Pope’s resignation got over 500 views at Queerlandia on it’s first day. It’s already trending to be another busy day, with early traffic hits continuing to build. This is my third largest single day hit count since I started writing these blogs. I may have to start writing more “investigative” reports! 😉

Why does Curiosity have it’s own laser? The truth behind an armed rover.

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The official story is one of a modest laser device, used to blast tiny holes in rocks, and analyze the resulting dust and debris with a spectrometer.  This, according to the briefs, will allow scientists to determine the chemical structure of the rocks.  NASA/JPL just released a picture of their first test firing.

From the looks of the images, you’d think “no big deal. A little tiny hole in a rock.”  The truth, however, is much more sinister.

We all know the government never tells you the complete story about these things.  Remember when spy satellites were all the “top-secret” rage, and they “could read the license plate number on your car”?  Of course, the capabilities were far more than was admitted.  The same thing applies to Curiosity.

A nuclear reactor?  To power a golf cart and a laser pointer? Not bloody likely…

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