Thursday, September 28, 2006

The best little SciFi Show you’ve never seen...

(Just a side note: I have had this post in the queue, and for some unknown reason blogger has refused to add any of the pictures that I want to put with it... in the interest of getting it out there, and off my mind, here 'tis! Hopefully edited later to add a neat photo...)

I have a love/hate relationship with the "SciFi" Channel. It may be surprising, since most people know that I love, love, LOVE all things science fiction (and by association fantasy, even some horror, etc.). (The discussion about just what constitutes science fiction is fodder for another entry...).

In any case, the SciFi Channel, along with airing "genre" programming is quite capable of creating wonderful shows. Tops on my list of must-see TV is their re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica, easily one of the best shows on television. And they have done wonderful miniseries of Dune, Children of Dune and even presented Sam Neil as the magician himself in Merlin. That said, SciFi is also capable of programming some of the worst dreck around... one need look no further than the title of Mansquito... Don’t get me wrong... I am a great fan of "B" movies... Perhaps just what constitutes a good "B" movie is also a topic for another entry...

From 2000 to 2002, they ran one of my favorite genre shows... their take on The Invisible Man. Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca), is a small-time thief about to go down for the count on California’s "Third Strike" rule. He agrees to experimental surgery to have a gland implanted in his head that secretes a substance termed "quicksilver" which has the ability to bend light. Mastery of this allows him to render himself "invisible". Much action ensues, the scientists are killed and Darien is stuck with the gland in his head. Also with the unfortunate side-effect that the quicksilver building up in his system has the ability to drive him insane, requiring timely shots of a "counter-agent" to shake off the effects. His dependence on the counter-agent ties him to the "agency", helping them solve cases while they look for a cure.

This show had it all! Stellar cast, humor, danger, action, a touch of romance, cool special effects, snappy writing (Darien is paired with another agent for a partner - Bobby Hobbes - who has been bounced from other agencies for his paranoia problems. Imagine pairing someone who is paranoid with someone who can turn invisible at will...!). The show was unceremoniously canceled. And SciFi, who will produce and / or repeat just about anything (Sasquatch Mountain? Buck Rogers in the 25th Century?) steadfastly refuses to re-air or release the show on DVD. So, while I can’t recommend the show enough... I guess we will all be twiddling our thumbs until SciFi gets its’ act together.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

On the run...

Daniel turned 13 months, and decided that it was time to start walking unassisted. He has been steadily increasing his number of steps each day, and there seems to be a direct (and opposite) correlation to the decrease in frequency and duration of naps he is taking. Thank goodness this means that he is pretty wiped by the end of the day, and the struggle to get him to sleep has lessened to a degree. Once he's down, he sleeps well through the night... it's just getting him there that has been the challenge!

This also means that in the last three days he has done the following:

Thursday: fallen and bashed his eye on the wooden Deacon's bench in the living room. This one resulted in a trip to the pediatrician for a look-see, as I was nervous because it was his eye. Of course by the time we got there, the swelling had gone down considerably.

Friday: pulled a picture frame off a table, falling on it resulting in a purple welt on one temple with a cut, and a cut across the cheek on the same side.

Saturday: giggling and zipping around the house away from Mommy on his "sea-legs". I have no idea what he fell on, as this time around he didn't even cry. But there is a purple bruise blossoming on the opposite temple from Friday's welt/cut.


Monday, September 18, 2006


My fascination with cemetaries has been long-standing. There is a family story of my disappearing from the backyard of the house when I was small, only to be discovered in the cemetary that backed up to the property.

Imagine my delight years later, when I discovered that the tiny little sublet apartment that I was living in in Paris was in the 20th Arondissement, very close to Pere Lachaise Cemetary... yes, final resting place of Jim Morrison among many others. (I will find those French accents on this keyboard one of these days...) Pere Lachaise is truly a city all its own, and is beautiful. Try the following link for a "virtual tour."

New England cemetaries hold a similar allure. Slate stones arrayed at odd angles, large and small "headboards" and "footboards." Some are so old that time is gently wearing away the information, and certain details are being lost. There are graveyards that hold the famous like Thoreau and Emerson, or Louisa May Alcott. But it is the "everyday" stones that hold some of the most poignant tales... Like the extra-wide piece of slate that contains names and ages sadly young, and death dates all within weeks or months of each other.... leaving me to wonder at the epidemic that must have swept the area at that time, taking away an entire family.

H and I share this interest... for him it was probably picked up from his younger days trailing his genealogist mother on her various hunting expeditions. A cemetary in Nova Scotia made us smile when we discovered the last name "Mailman" on a headstone. And also the name "Whynot" and it's variation "Wynacht". And we felt the icy chill of history when in the same graveyard we came upon rows of headstones that marked the final resting places of some of the victims of the Titanic.

Fall presents a wonderful graveyard-trailing time. There's the smell of woodsmoke in the air, and the trees in our local cemetary turn a blazing orange. I'll see if I can post some pictures as it happens, it is truly spectacular. Daniel has some bundled-up walks in store for him this season!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

In Random News...

Someone seems to have stolen my baby and replaced him with a small boy. When did this happen?

I like this photo because it makes me think of summer, even though there is now a fall tinge to the air in the evenings. And it is also one of the few times the kid left the sunglasses on his face rather than in his mouth!