I was using two blogs...one to write about the Reds, the other about me. I rarely actually blog, so I am just combining them here. So sometimes this will be about the Reds, sometimes just my life.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Round Tripper Reviews: Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 8: Father's Day

Round Tripper Reviews: Doctor Who S1E8: Father's Day

It has been a bit of a delay, mainly because I didn't have a great desire to watch. Today I decided I might as well go ahead and, as people have suggested "push through the first season." So-another day, another episode.

The episode featured one of the typical Sci-Fi/time travel themes...what happens when you go back in time and change it. With that, a lot of this episode was fairly standard...however it was also very well done and emotional. This was probably one of the better episodes I've watched so far.

Not much else to say right now, but wanted to give a quick update. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Round Tripper Reviews: Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 7: The Long Game

Round Tripper Reviews: Doctor Who S1E7: The Long Game

I decided to continue my journey through Doctor Who. For those who have been paying attention I have never watched Doctor Who and kept my knowledge to a minimum but was constantly pressured to watch the show. Everyone knew I would love the show. There are quite a few shows that led to that.  Before I get going on my thoughts for this episode let's put a trailer in case you need a reminder/want to know what this episode is about. 

This was...an episode.  I think part of the issue is that this is a season 1 of a show and has a lot of season 1 problems. Basically the Smallville "Kryptonite Freak of the Week" syndrom where each week was a different random person with abilities and no major continuity. There is really nothing drawing me back in yet episode by episode except the promise that this is one of the "best series of all time" that everyone loves.  There have been episodes that I've enjoyed but it just isn't clicking with me yet.  The two main characters are good (the Doctor and Rose) but unless the trailer for the next episode is good I'm watching more to see what the hype is about than because I want to.  

My (perhaps unfair) comparison is currently Battlestar Galactica, which is the best Sci-Fi series I've watched. BSG reeled me in from the start-the mini-series pilot was amazing and I couldn't wait to see more.  I wanted to watch another episode as soon as possible (which since I started watching at some point in S2 let me binge watch for a while.  This show right now it feels like I'm watching out of obligations...

Which leads to one other quick comparison...Star Trek. I decided I wanted to watch ALL of Star Trek from the beginnings...the Pilot of TOS.  S1 I enjoyed. S2 had some really good episodes and was ok.  I've made it 5 episodes into season 3 and am stalled.  I know I want to push through this and the Animated Series to get to TNG, but right now it feels more like work than entertainment and enjoyment.  Seeing as a lot of the remaining episodes are not considered that great from what I've seen...I know it will be a slog.  That is how Who feels right now.  While I like two characters I don't care what is happening all that much.

So...general thoughts: 

  • The next episode looks interesting but standard for a Time Travel show.  
  • I didn't like the Adam character in the last episode and am not sad to see him gone. 
  • This felt very standard to me, as have many of the episodes.  There was really no wow factor in the episode.  That could be unfair with me watching it a decade later but it really feels like "been there, seen that, standard Sci Fi stories" for each episode.  Good but not great, nothing special.
  • None of this has to do with the Doctor (I like this Doctor-he seems interesting though with little growth/character/motivation) or Rose (who I enjoy so far) but just the plot of the episodes. 
I've been told "push through season 1" which is never a good sign, but I am now over halfway through, so that, at least, is a good thing. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Round Tripper Reviews: Doctor Who S1E6 Dalek

Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 6: Dalek

Lunch today was another episode of Doctor Who to continue watching the show. So today was the episode Dalek. In case you need it:


  • Good episode, kept me interested 
  • I didn't expect the end, which is a good thing
  • I'm not sure what I think of the new addition to the cast (nor how long he will last)...I kind of like the idea of a two person cast with rotating (and occasionally repeating) guest stars. Who knows if this is a permanent or temporary thing. 
  • My knowledge of the Daleks before this episode was limited to "villains from Doctor Who."  Now I know a bit more...though I'm sure that this is not the last we will see of them, even if this was the "last Dalek."  In a show about time travel there are always ways to make things happen. 
  • Both the Doctor and Rose were good characters in this episode, and the collector guy was a good foil/villain character. 
More when I watch again, whenever that is.  May try to watch the next episode this week, it may wait until next week...or month.  We'll see. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Round Tripper Reviews: Doctor Who Series 1 Episodes 1-5

So, I haven't blogged in forever, but decided this was a good enough reason to do so. After pressure for at least the past 5-7 years about how much I will love the show I have decided to (slowly) start watching Doctor Who. I was going to fully keep it a secret from everyone, but decided that some people may be interested on the fresh thoughts of someone who had never watched before (and admittedly knows some but very little). So I decided the best way to do this was to revive A Single Short of a Cycle and blog my thoughts on episodes. I'm starting with 2005, naturally.

Part of why it will be slow is because I actually have several TV shows going right now (in addition to work, gaming, and other things that take up my life. I decided I was going to watch ALL of Star Trek (animated, TV Series, movies, etc.) and am partway through season 3 of TOS. That is going to take a LONG time. I also am re-watching what I consider the best Sci-Fi series I've ever watched (Battlestar Galactica) as well as other things I enjoy. Also working on catching up on Haven and other shows. So these may be sporadic. Of course, if you are interested in my thoughts feel free to subscribe.

I just ask a few favors:

  1. NO SPOILERS! Even if it is something everyone knows, don't be a jerk. (This includes "I can't wait until you get to X" comments.)  I want to experience this fresh. 
  2. Please don't think I need to talk about everything. "What did you think of this? Did you like this? Make sure to remember that..."  I want to experience the show for myself, not everyone else's experience with the show.
  3. That doesn't mean don't comment-I'd love to see comments, thoughts, etc. on what I say.  I really love people's opinions and love different opinions. 
  4. NO SPOILERS! For serious though-that is the quickest way for me not to care. 
So...anyway, a quick review of each of the episodes I have watched so far: 

Series 1 (2005) Episode 1 (Not worrying about the episodes before this, at least for now)

Good introduction to the characters and basics of the series. The Doctor comes off as a bit of a jerk, but I enjoyed the Rose character. The dilemma of the dummies coming alive was ok but not spectacular. Rose's mom and boyfriend were not likable, so the only character that came off likable in this episode was Rose (though The Doctor came off fun in the Dr. House sort of manner.) 

This episode was there...it introduced some characters and was good...but far from great. As a pilot it should be an episode that made me feel "I must watch this show" and it really didn't do that. That isn't to say I didn't like it-I did. I just didn't feel an immediate need to watch more (and didn't for several days.) I do like the episode previews at the end (and that Netflix shows them.) 

Series 1 Episode 2
The End of the World

I didn't like the portrayal of Rose in this episode. In the first episode she was a strong character...smart, brave, etc.  In this episode she was the damsel in distress that just kept getting into situations and waiting for The Doctor to get her out of trouble. I get the thought-she is in an unfamiliar situation and doesn't know what to do and is scared...but the same was mostly true in the first episode (with the exception of being "home") and she was still a much better character. 

The Doctor was a better character in this episode and some of the alien races were fun (except the last human-I get the social commentary there but I believe people will advance in a much more positive way.)  The story was again good but not great and didn't push me to feel I needed to see the next episode immediately. 

Series 1 Episode 3 
The Unquiet Dead

My favorite author is Stephen King. I love horror movies. I love supernatural things. However, something (and I can't place what) about this episode just didn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on what but I was bored for most of this episode. I enjoyed the discussion at the end between Rose and The Doctor about if Dickens would write about everything...but next to that this episode just didn't do anything for me. 

Series 1 Episodes 4 & 5 (Aliens in London, World War Three)

As a two part episode I am discussing these together. There were aspects of this that were kind of meh to me (in the way of saw-that-coming or seen-that-before) but overall these were very good episodes. I enjoyed the four recurring characters. I enjoyed the story (despite the predictability and fact it is not a new concept.) I enjoyed the villains. Jennifer called near the end of one episode and annoyed me because I wanted to finish it. I also wanted to watch the next episode quicker and did it within a couple of days (instead of a week later, which is what I've been averaging...an episode per week...though none yet this week.) 

I enjoyed this episode and it showed that this can be a good show. I don't know (and could easily be wrong) that it will ever replace BSG as my favorite Sci-Fi show. (I think TNG has a better chance when I get to it, though I am doubtful.) However, it showed that this was a good episode. 

I think part of what I enjoyed in episodes 1, 4, & 5 (and why I liked 2 & 3 less) is I prefer a strong female protagonist. Even in video games given a choice I choose the female lead. In 1, 4, & 5 Rose was. In 2 & 3...not so much.  I like her character a lot. I like The Doctor's character. I didn't like her character in those episodes, which could have had an impact. 

So there you have it...my thought on the first five episodes. I'm not sure if I'll do one after each episode or just after sets...regardless if you want to see my ramblings subscribe, if not feel free to pass through. 

Also-posts won't solely be about Doctor Who.  If I get back into this I will probably continue what I was doing a couple year ago and blog about other things I find interesting. 

Have fun! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Round Tripper Reviews: The Avengers

Ok...so let's start with "review" is a lose term in this case.  Rather it's more of a spoiler free list of random comments I have about The Avengers movie.

I've only seen it once...going to IMAX Tuesday, so we'll see if repeated viewings have it holding up.

  • They can stop releasing movies for this year now.  Nothing is going to come close to this movie, so why even try? Sure...there will be other good movies.  There are lots I want to see...but nothing is going to compare to this one. 
  • My previous list of best comic book movies (different than superhero movies...) went: 
    1. Iron Man
    2. The Dark Knight
    3. Captain America
    4. Superman
    5. Others
  • That list has a new number 1. 
  • This movie was A LOT funnier than I expected.  Yes-Joss Whedon.  But A LOT funnier.  
  • Mid-credit and post-credit scenes were worth it.
  • I am interested to see how non-comic book fans enjoy the movies, but the 92% on Rotten Tomatoes says VERY well. 
  • I went in with high expectations.  They were surpassed.  
  • Everyone did a great job...every character had great moments and important parts.  Everyone had strong performances.  However I'll say the strongest was either Robert Downey Jr. or Clark Gregg.  The weakest was probably Cobie Smulders, who was still awesome but I had trouble seperating this character from Robin Scherbatsky. 
  • Try to avoid spoilers or funny quotes-there are a ton. 
  • I am a DC fanboy.  I buy ONE Marvel book a month and 20-30 DC books...but Marvel does movies right.  DC does movies...ok.  
That's good for now.  As you can tell...I love it. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thoughts From Third: 2012 Movies

I realize 2012 is a month in, but January is typically a dead time for movies.  So...I thought now was as good of a time as any to talk about my most anticipated movies of 2012.  I mean...there's nothing better going on.  (I know football is one...but it bores me.)

So...my most anticipated movies for 2012!

10. The Woman in Black (2-3-2012)

It's out now, but I'm still avoiding anything about it.  We plan to go see it next Sunday, but it's not showing in Hamilton and we may have to go to Springdale.  Sad day.

So...for most of these I'm linking a trailer...as I refuse to WATCH the trailer for this because I want to know NOTHING going in...I'll link to the website...I think.


9. Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance (2-17-2012)

The first movie was a good Ghost Rider movie, I expect this one to be fun as well.

8. Men in Black III (5-25-2012)

Will Smith is awesome.  The Men in Black movies are fun. This should be fun. 

7. The Amazing Spider-Man (7-3-2012)

I'm more intrigued by the relaunch than care...but it could be good.  Or a money grab.  We'll see which.

6. American Reunion (4-6-2012)

I've loved all of the theatrical American Pie movies.  I find them hilarious and think there are too few of this type of movies...so I look forward to this.  

I enjoyed G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  It was like watching the old cartoon.  This one looks like watching the new cartoon, which is better than the original.  So...

I love the Resident Evil games.  I love the Resident Evil movies.  Easily the best game based movies, I believe. 

3. Dark Knight Rises (7-20-2012)

But JS!  You're a DC fan boy!  You like Batman!  How can this be third???  I think Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were excellent and overrated.  I like the original Iron Man movie more than this one.  I am not a fan of Nolan's view that these movies cannot be part of a larger DC Universe of movies, effectively killing a Justice League movie until he is done with them.  I don't like the tone of the movies.  They are great, don't get me wrong.  But overrated.  

The Lord of the Rings is the best movie ever made.  (At 12 hours it may be the LONGEST also, as I consider the trilogy one movie.)  It may not be my favorite (though I do love it) but it is the best.  I expect the two Hobbit movies to be equally excellent. 

1. The Avengers (5-4-2012)

Marvel Studios makes excellent movies.  This movie looks better and better everything I see from it.  It is impossible to temper my expectations for this movie.  It looks amazing. 

There you have it.  Watch them all.  I left off honorable mentions because, well...the next would have been Battleship or Taken 2...and, umm...not that stellar.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Round-Tripper Reviews: iTunes Top 25

Playing fast and lose with Review this time, as I'm not going to review the Top 25 songs Jennifer and I have listened to for the past 6 months...just going to list them for your review.  

1.       Teenage Dream – Glee Cast (The Warblers)
2.       Billionaire – Glee Cast
3.       F**k You – Cee Lo Green
4.       Welcome to the Future – Brad Paisley
5.       Brown Chicken Brown Cow – Trace Adkins
6.       Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
7.       Anything But Ordinary – Avril Lavigne
8.       Today is Gonna Be A Great Day – Bowling for Soup
9.       Worst of Me (Psycho Ex-Girlfriend) – Saving Jane
10.   Re: Your Brains – Jonathan Coulton
11.   The One That Got Away – Katy Perry
12.   I’m Not Setting the World on Fire – Brad Yoder
13.   American Friday Night – Bucky Covington
14.   Starstrukk – 3OH!3
15.   Hot As Ice – Britney Spears
16.   My Favorite Things – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
17.   boom boom pow KUNG FU – K.Flay
18.   Happy – Saving Jane
19.   Hot Girl in the Comic Shop – Tripod
20.   Smile – Uncle Kracker
21.   The Burbs – V.P.
22.   I’m Not The One – 3OH!3
23.   American Friday Night – Brad Paisley
24.   Lucky – Glee Cast
25.   Fort Bragg – Beki Hemingway

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sermons from Second

This is the weirdest March in a long time for me.  I'm busy...but I'm happy busy.  I absolutely love what I'm doing.  I have never lied about that.  If I had the money, I would do what I do for free.  I love it.  So being busy doesn't bother me at all.

So...why is this blog worthy?? It shouldn't be...right?

Opening Day is six days away.  Actually, the first pitch is roughly 6 days and 30 minutes away as I write this.  And I think a lot about the Reds.  However....I'm not mentally there.  I know how the Reds and Opening Day and night consume me.  I normally can't wait and everything is baseball.  However, right now, my mind is elsewhere.  I'm thinking broomball and softball.  I'm thinking work stuff.  I'm thinking a lot...and the Reds are definitely part of that...but they are not the front of my thoughts like normal.

In no way does that say my love for the Reds has reduced at all, or my love of baseball.  Next week I'm going to be happier than most people could ever imagine when the season starts.

I think what I'm trying to say is overall there is MORE to be happier about and that I am enjoying than in previous years.  Things are great at home with Jennifer, Quinn, and Azrael.  Not that they weren't last year...but I am just so happy there.  Miami Entertainment is moving forward and MEGA...just wow.  It's great with them.  I really enjoy MEGA and have a great time with them.  They're coming over for WrestleMania.

So really...I just feel good.  Playing softball feels good.  Coaching broomball feels good.  Work and home life are great.  So while I am thrilled to have an important part of my life back...it doesn't get to consumer my life yet in April.  I'm actually missing two games in April to for things at work.  (I could miss another...but let's not go overboard...)

Come mid-May, I'm sure they will be a bigger part of things....but right now, I'm fine with the Reds sharing my time right now.  My students, Jennifer, Quinn, Azrael, friends, and work deserve some of my time also.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Round Tripper Reviews: Batman (1989)

I'm going to try to blog more, and as part of that I'm going to try to do some more reviews.  I'm starting with the Batman movie from 1989 starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and directed by Tim Burton.  I'm going to try to write comments as I watch them.

Batman (1989)

This was the first movie I was allowed to see without any adults with me in the theater.  My mom dropped my cousin Jeff and I off and we went to this movie.  And what a ride it was!  I've watched it a few times since then, and it still held up to me.  Let's see how it does now.

I love the opening credits, which is something I rarely think much about.  Elfman's music is perfect, and leads into The Batman stopping a crime that mirrors the crime that made him become The Bat.  This is followed by the always brilliant Robert Wuhl's introduction in the movie.  I absolutely loved him in the movie and think the Alexander Knox character is brilliant.  I wish Knox had been added to the comic book universe, as it is truly a fun character.  Either way, the character is one of the highlights of the movie for me.

Jack Nicholson...Jack is a tremendous actor...easily one of the best of my lifetime...and most people's.  He is amazing...and his role as The Joker is no different.  It is definitely a DIFFERENT take on The Joker than a lot of others, but I'm able to set apart the different universes....golden age comic, pre-Crisis comic, Burton movie, Batman Animated, etc.  They are all distinctly different and can have different takes on characters as long as you keep the basics of the character mostly the same.  One of the FEW characterizations I would fully criticize in this way in Bane in Batman and Robin which was NOTHING like the original Bane character...but I'm not sure we will get to a review of that anytime soon...

They do a good job of making the city feel like Gotham City, which is one of the most important "characters" in the Batman Universe!  The character of the city and it's people are correct in this movie.  The corrupt police.  The mayor that is blinded by making things better.

Harvey Dent as Billy Dee Williams...I always had issues with this.  He didn't have a Harvey Dent feel...even going past the racial changes.  He really wanted to be Two-Face in a sequel...I would have had to see that to judge him as Harvey Dent.

Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle) was amazing.

Kim Bassinger is easily one of the most beautiful women of the 1980s, and is amazing here.  Her as Vicki Vale was amazing, and her and Robert Wuhl/Alexander Knox was brilliant.  At points in the script BOTH characters were set to die.

Jack Palance...wow they did have huge name actors in this movie.  He was awesome!

Interesting fact-in the original script Dick Grayson was in it!  I think it was better without him...but it could have been interesting.

Originally considered for the role of Batman were Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Charlie Sheen, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Selleck, and Bill Murray.  The ONLY one from that group that I think would come close to Michael Keaton is Tom Selleck.  He would, at least, make an amazing Bruce Wayne.  Not sure about Batman.  Adam West also wanted to be Batman again...which was an obvious no.  This wasn't campy Batman.

Tim Curry, Willem Dafoe, David Bowie, and James Wood were considered for the Joker, and Robin Williams campaigned for the role.  Tim Curry could have been amazing, Robin Williams interesting, and the others I'm torn on.

There was way too much smoking in this movie.

How did Alexander Knox and Vicki Vale not know what Bruce Wayne looks like????

Michael Gough is Alfred to me.  He was spot on.

"Oh and...give Knox a grant."  Wonderful!!!

I love the scene where the Joker takes over the underworld by killing the guy with the joy buzzer.

The Joker kills someone on the steps of City Hall.  The police are there and do nothing to try to stop him.

And....something came up that I have to stop for now.  So.....more later.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoughts From Third: NL Central Rankings

I am so ready for baseball...and as such...I did a little experiment...I decided to use the Yahoo Fantasy Rankings to determine the NL Central Standings this year.  It falls closely in line to what many are picking, so my methodology may be sounds. :-)

Bad news for Reds Fans like myself and Anthony, Pirates Fans like Scott and Brian. I just used an EXTREMELLY scientific and mathmatic approach to figure out the NL Central Standings for this year. The lower the points the better.

1) Brewers 97
2) Cardinals 100
3) Reds 107
4) Cubs 109
5) Astros 130
6) Pirates 164

Pirates pitching KILLS them. If their starters were even equal to Houston's (next worst) they would be at 119; improve their closer and even better.

If you're at all wondering...I took the Yahoo Player rankings, and found where NL Central teams ranked position by position.  I used the official website (MLB website) for depth charts to decide where everyone landed except Reds catcher, because let's be real....Hanigan over Hernandez. 

For example:


I totaled those to give the rankings...position by position.  

By position players it fell this way:


Starters (higher numbers because 5 pitchers per staff)

Pirates-121 (REALLY bad)


Pirates/Hanrahan (I think Meek should be the closer...but Hanrahan's listed first on the site)

Bullpen (top 2 relievers only)

Reds (Massett/Chapman)  
Cubs (Wood & Marshall)
Pirates (Meek & Resop)
Cardinals (McClellan & Motte)
Brewers (Hawkins & Saito) and Astros (Fulchino & Arias)

I think Hawkins and Saito are better than they have them....

So there you have my methodology.  With all of this work I think I'll blog this also...