Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dispatches from the Abyss - Tuesday, Oct. 2nd

Two days until my 34th birthday you cretins! The only reason I even mention it today is because I bought my non-refundable ticket to the Wings Over Houston airshow today and it looks like there is a low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico which may or may not go tropical on our asses and may or may not even hit the Houston area. It has been more than a decade since I first attended the Wings Over Houston airshow, which is in its 23rd year. (I think I have the program from the 4th Wings Over Houston airshow, so that should tell you around the time I was attending.) For a few years attending the airshow was one of the few things my father and I did together of which I have fond memories. It was always on the weekend after my birthday and he would take me as part of my birthday celebration. It was at Wings Over Houston that I saw my first B-17 in the air. For whatever reason I have always liked the B-17. I have vague memories of putting together a 1/48th scale model of the B-17 with my father when I was younger but I am not certain if this predates my attendance at Wings Over Houston or not.

The Confederate Commemorative Air Force's B-29 "FiFi" used to be a regular performer at the show. Sadly that bird is down for maintenance for the foreseeable future. One plane that will be making a return to the Wings Over Houston this year is the CAF's B-24. She used to fly under the moniker "Diamond Lil" however they have restored her to her original configuration and she is now flying under a new name, "Old 97" if I remember correctly. I am looking forward to seeing a B-24 in the air again, along with a lot of the planes from the Lone Star Flight Museum whose airshow I attend each year. I am really hoping to see one of the Spitfires I saw at the Lone Star Flight Museum's airshow in April. It is one of the few Spits in the world that have combat experience, having claimed either two or three kills during WWII. I also hope there is a Hawker Hurricane there as I do not know if I have EVER seen one of those in the air. The only other planes that would make my day would be the Zero out of the Planes of Fame Museum in California or on of the de Havilland Vampires that is floating around. Oh, or the Lancaster bomber that flies out of Canada sometimes. I bet I am going to have to go to one of the shows up north to see that baby, though.

I am really looking forward to going and spending the day shooting pictures of the planes. That reminds me, I have to wipe my memory cards and make sure my batteries are all charged before I head out Saturday morning.

Today at the office was boring as all fuck. I was so bored I could not even bring myself to complete the ethics training I need to do by the end of the month, and that is truly mind-numbing crap. Instead I spent most of the day monitoring the various Star Trek fan film forums I have recently joined and wrestling with how to tell the gentleman that is working on The Wild Wild West fan film series that I would like to help out in any way possible. I do not know why I was so nervous about doing it, but after about an hour or so of putzing around and putting it off I finally got it done. Now we shall see what comes of it.

Last night after I got things posted on the Opiate I finally re-watched the first episode of Torchwood and really enjoyed it. The only thing that bothered me about the first episode is that there is a point towards the end where Gwen, the "civilian" who isn't supposed to know about Torchwood, starts having flashbacks to something she saw earlier in the episode. My problem is that when she sees the item in question the viewer is not allowed to see it as well even, as far as I can tell, in a very quick and off-hand manner. This means that the viewer is not really given the chance to solve the mystery without Gwen guiding them along the path. While I vociferously bitch about movies and TV shows giving too much away and making the audience wait while a character catches up to what we already know, I think it is almost as bad to not present the audience with all the evidence. The Sixth Sense did a masterful job of showing the audience what was going on without giving away the twist. Watching the movie the second time was an infuriating experience for me because once you know what is going on it is painfully obvious. Honestly besides that one quibble and the lingering question of what the hell they are doing on the rooftops all the time I really enjoyed the show and I am glad I have set the DVR to record it. (Oh yeah and I am SOOOOO bummed that Indira Varma is not going to be in any more episodes. I have been in love with her since I first saw her as Niobe in Rome.)

Tonight I watched the second episode of Reaper and it was as enjoyable as the first. Whomever cast Ray Wise as the Devil is BRILLIANT!

I think in yesterday's ramblings I instructed you people to remind me that I wanted to talk about girls in today's post. I still want to talk about girls but I am in an unreasonably good mood so I am going to skip that tonight and rock right on to another subject. We might come back to it if I run out of things to say. Moving on.

I am contemplating taking the Opiate over to WordPress or another blogging site. I am tired of fighting the constant formatting wars with Blogger. To wit check out how the formatting on my post from Friday changes after I insert the block quote. It looks like monkey ass and I cannot find the formatting tags which have gone all wonk-i-fied on me in the html code. What I really need to do is buy a domain name and move all of my stuff to one place on the web. Make my blog the front end of the site but include some slimmed down galleries of my pictures as well as post writing projects once they have been sufficiently milked for the money/CV padding. Moving to WordPress is the easy way out as I already have a WordPress account which I created for a couple of other projects which never got off the ground. One of them was meant to be a group blog for the group with whom I was playing Shadowrun. This was intended to give us space to share short fiction pieces about our characters so that we could keep the game going between game sessions, which were going to be rare since we live in four different cities. The other WordPress blog I have created is Four-Color Combat. This was intended to be a blog about war as seen through comics with occasional forays to war-themed museums and the like. I created a pretty spiffy logo for the blog and everything but then couldn't bring myself to write anything interesting about any of the piles of war comics that I own. Very frustrating stuff because I have a couple of comics which I think are worthy of getting noticed and being discussed, however I just can't bring myself to discuss them right now. I do not know why.

Wow, I am running out of steam early tonight. :/

There is no soundtrack listing for tonight because my iPod had the bad manners to lock up on me while I was headed home from the office. Now I have to wait for the damn thing to run out of battery power before I can do anything else and seeing as how I just charged the battery a day or so ago I have some time to wait. ARGH!

Lately there has been this song by Pink playing on the radio titled "Who Knew." The song really sums up how I feel about several of the women I have known over the past decade. You know what, that's not true. It is more a summary of how I hope they feel about me. I hope they look back on whatever it was that caused us to drift apart and regret their part in it. (I am not talking about you Nik, if you happen to be reading.) I realize that a lot of it has as much to do with me being an obstinate ass, which is probably why I remain single to this day, but sometimes I want to know that they hurt as badly as I do. Sometimes I am not a good person on the inside.

It turns out I lied to you about the lack of soundtrack for this post. After I typed that bit about my iPod abandoning me in my hour of need (which it did about an hour into my flight to Scotland as well) I realized I had a couple of CDs sitting right here by the laptop so I popped one in. In this case it is the "Flame of Wrath" album from the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band based out of Canada. They are one of the premiere pipe bands in the world and if that is something you are interested in then I suggest you check them out. The album is available from iTunes and here they are in a video from one of their competitions this year:

Finally before I bail on your tonight I wanted to share this picture, which I took today right after I got off the train. I was reading an article about how to be an interesting person and one of the suggestions was take a picture every day, so I am going to try that, at least, seeing as I am already an rather interesting bloke.

Until tomorrow enjoy these two videos of Mustangs doing low-level, high-speed passes. I really hope there are a couple of these at the airshow on Saturday.

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