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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Odd Mental Processes

Armus, killer of Security Chiefs
My brain works in weird ways. I was recently listening to a podcast where the character of Armus, the black tar monster from Star Trek: The Next Generation, was mentioned. As big a Trekkie as I am, that was not my first thought when I heard that name. No, my brain went right to Superman: The Movie.
Detective Armus, aka Officer 1
In the movie, Ned Beatty's Otis is tracked by Officers 1 & 2 (according to the credits), but we know them to be Armus and Harry. They follow Otis into Grand Central Terminal* and as Harry continues down to the tracks, Armus goes out to call for back-up. Harry, as you remember, was killed by Luthor by being thrown in front of a train. Armus finds his hat not much after that.

I couldn't find anything on naming conventions for either character, but since "Skin of Evil" came out 10 years after Superman: The Movie, I'm going to guess that there might be a connection between the two. We geeks tend to like putting references in where very few other people will catch them.

* The name is, actually, Grand Central Terminal, not Station. That is because all trains stop, that is terminate their runs, at Grand Central. If they passed through it would be a Station, but it is, in fact, a Terminal. (And anal-retentive is hyphenated.)

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Yet Another Filler

I fully intended to have a post ready for today, but life got real hectic real quick, so I have to beg off another week. In the mean time, enjoy Disney's "The Song of the South" courtesy of Archive.org.




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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Pain



Pain is what I've experienced recently, as my friends on Facebook already know. I managed to sprain my left ankle on Friday and, as such, I haven't been able to sit at a computer. So, no (real) post this week. Sorry about that. Hopefully I'll have something for you next week.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Magic Highways USA

I got REALLY busy this past week and haven't had a chance to write anything coherent. So, in place of that, I give you a classic episode of the Disneyland TV Series, Magic Highways USA. It's really quite interesting to watch and see just how much they got right, or at least close.



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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Stealth Crossovers


Notice something about these two pictures? Yes, the art style isn't the same, but they look like the same character, don't they? The one on the left is Frederick Foswell, obviously from Spider-Man comics, and he appeared in the early run on Amazing. The one on the right is Sam Foswell from the 90's Superman books.

I love when stuff like this happens in comics. To those in the know, it's a great nod to the competition's characters. To the casual reader, it's just another character. This happens more often then the average reader might think, too. If you know where to look, primarily in crowd scenes, you'll be able to see the other company's characters.

For more on Sam Foswell, listen to the From Crisis to Crisis episodes covering the early 90's. For more on Fredrick Foswell, check out Amazing Spider-Man Classics.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Star Trek: Online

Fleet Admiral Robert Lupia of the Sovereign-class USS Justice reporting for duty.
In the past couple of weeks, I've started playing Star Trek: Online again. I chiefly blame Aaron Henley for this, since he started playing and posting videos of his experiences on YouTube. There are a few things that I've learned from this experience:

1. Being in charge has some nice perks. Part of the experience is that you have a crew, which consists of "Bridge Officers" and "Duty Officers". The Bridge Officers are those that accompany you on away missions and man the stations on your ship. Four of mine are in the picture above, but I have about 12 at the moment. Duty Officers, on the other hand, are the crew. The crew is able to perform operations while the Captain is off doing other things. Anything from "Host a Poker Game" to "Infiltrate the Orion Syndicate". The nice thing about this is that the main character (me) gets experience from those missions. I'd say at least 20 of my character's 60 levels came from my Duty Officers.

2. A mouse really is necessary. We have a laptop and it's not a young one, so it has some quirks. One of those quirks is that a USB mouse won't work with it. It's not that it doesn't recognize that there's a mouse there, it's just that the mouse operation cuts in and out. So I'm forced to use the touch pad for operations, which can get in the way.

3. I'm a miser. Many missions give you "currency" rewards, which can be Replicator Credits, Dilithium Ore, or even Gold Pressed Latinum. There are several ways to use those, whether it's at vendors or in the marketplace. The trouble is that I've found myself saying, more often than not, "It's not worth it." I guess that's why I have over a million Replicator Credits sitting there.

It's a fun game, but I don't get on it all that often. If anyone out there plays, let me know what your experiences are. I can be found as "Robert Lupia@JusticeCEO" the majority of the time.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Streaming

Since we got rid of cable & satellite, our family watches a lot of stuff on streaming services. Primarily we use Netflix and Hulu, but also occasionally Amazon Prime and Crunchyroll. Recently, Disney announced that they are pulling out of their Netflix deal and starting their own streaming service. Unfortunately, I think this is a bad move.

CBS has already said that the only way to see Star Trek: Discovery (after the first episode) is on their own pay service. This has caused a lot of fans, myself included, to already decide not to watch it. While I have no problem with companies deciding what they think it best, they need to understand why the "Netflix Model" works so well. One work, variety.

There are very few streaming services that I would consider paying for that had such a narrow focus, and yes I consider Disney to be a narrow focus. I can watch a huge amount of things on the services that I use, some of which I can't see anywhere else. However, there are things on there that I'm not fond of, but that my wife and daughter love to watch. That variety makes it worth the monthly fee.

One way that Disney can make this work, for me at least, is to do what the WWE service does. Open the vaults. Give the viewers things that it is impossible to find elsewhere. Put the entire, unedited and uncensored, run of Disneyland and Wonderful World of Color on there. Put out those cartoons that we can't get on TV or YouTube. Heck, give us Song of the South and I'll sign up on the first day.

I think that the Walt Disney Company has had some great ideas and business strategies, but if they're just going to show their movies on this service, I don't think this is one of them. If they go the WWE way, it can be successful. If they follow CBS's idea, I think it will fail.

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