Since I was a teenager, I have been telling stories for the fun of it through film, video, audio drama, and more. Check out many of those projects here, or read on for comments on other stories or items that catch my interest.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Phantasms [7.6]

August 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Data begins to experience inexplicable nightmares that become waking dreams, and lead him to at one point stab Counselor Troi.  It turns out that Data is observing on a subconscious level parasitic organisms that are normally undetectable to Starfleet officers or technology which are feeding on the crew, and interpreting this information through his dreams.  Using the holodeck, the crew is able to determine what is happening and stop it. Read more…

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Gambit, Part II [7.5]

August 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Picard, Riker, and Data manage to simulate a battle between the Enterprise and the pirates that continues to convince the pirate captain of the ruse they are pulling.  The pirates continue to acquire artifacts which Picard eventually learns are the pieces of an ancient Vulcan telepathic weapon.  The pirate captain is defeated but the real enemy is determined to be a Vulcan isolationist that PIcard thought was working with him.  At the last minute, Picard realizes the weapon only works against people with malevolent thoughts, and is able to defeat the Vulcan. Read more…

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Gambit, Part I [7.4]

August 21, 2015 Leave a comment

Riker and the crew of the Enterprise find evidence that Picard has been killed while on leave exploring some archeological ruins.  Investigating further, Riker is captured by space pirates who are seeking particular Romulan artifacts, but is shocked to discover that Picard is amongst the pirate’s crew!  Read more…

A Birthday Message From My Children… [Funny Things My Daughters Did]

August 20, 2015 Leave a comment

…not to me, but to my mother-in-law.  She celebrated her 70th birthday recently, but she has been away overseas, too far away to go visit or anything.  So my three daughters and I put together this little video to honor their Oma’s special day.

This is an edited version, with our personal messages removed, but the “dramatic” portions retained.  My girls had a fun time making it, and something about all of their personalities really shines through here.


Categories: Brief Amusements Tags:

Fantastic Four – My Own Stab At It

August 16, 2015 Leave a comment

Like I said last time, I have one more Fantastic Four-related post in me, and here it is.

Fantastic Four was not a good movie.  I know, it’s a shocking headline, but it’s true.  But how could it have been better?

Of course, lots of reviews and comments have talked about what the problems were.  There’s a lot of talk about studio interference and lack of directorial vision, but for me the critical issue is story.  In so many cases of bad movies, it’s with the story that things fall apart (whoever we blame for that) and that’s true in this case as well.

And so I found myself thinking about how the story could have been improved.  To do so, there are several key issues that needed to be addressed.  First, we needed time for the characters to gel as a team and a family.  Second, we needed the villain(s) to have a clear sense of motivation and purpose.  And finally, we needed a climax that was epic and awesome and thrilling.

So that’s what this post is:  an outline for a Fantastic Four story that I think would have worked better than what we saw. Read more…

Categories: Movies Tags: ,

Waaaait a minute…(one more thing about Fantastic Four)

August 14, 2015 Leave a comment

I know, I know, I was trying to stay positive about Fantastic Four, the recent critically panned and financially unsuccessful adaptation of Marvel’s “first family”, but there was this one thing that struck me when I was watching the film, but forgot about when I was writing about it.  I probably forgot in the face of the overwhelming flood of problems that the last act of the movie had.

Anyway, it was just this – for much of the movie they make a big deal about how environment suits are essential to survive a trip to Planet Zero.  Indeed, that’s Sue Storm’s job with the project.  Everyone who makes the first two visits to this other dimension are well rugged up in special suits.

But in the climactic sequence, the Fantastic Four (as yet unnamed) travel to Planet Zero without any special protection, and hang around, fighting, talking, breathing and whatever else, without any apparent difficulty at all.  No environment suits necessary.  Even if Ben didn’t need them for some reason, surely Reed and Sue still would?

I haven’t noticed anyone else mention it, which means maybe they actually threw out an explanation and I missed it?  Or maybe just another sign of how rushed and not thought through the conclusion of the movie was?

Oh well.  I think I have got one more Fantastic Four post in me, which is an awful lot for a movie that was so forgettable.

Categories: Movies Tags:

Fantastic Four – Really as bad as all that? Um….

August 12, 2015 3 comments

Well, I did it.  I went and saw Fantastic Four.  After the reviews started coming out.  After the movie hit single digits on Rotten Tomatoes.  After the move became the superhero film fan’s sacrificial pariah.

My strategy, as I wrote previously, was to try to diminish my expectations so greatly that I couldn’t help but to be pleasantly surprised.

It sort of worked.

Fantastic Four Read more…


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