Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back from Atikokan

Kate and Anna got back from Atikokan today where they were visiting Grandma and Papa. Follow this link to be taken to the photo album for the trip.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Create a Simpson's Avatar

Over at The Simpson Movie website you can create your own Simpson's avatar by following a link at the top of the page. You can see my handy work to your left.

Even more interesting is the Simpsonize Me site where you can upload a photo of yourself and have it generate your Simpsons character likeness. I've been trying for awhile now to get it to work on one of my photos but the site is being hammered by traffic so your mileage may vary.

My ultimate goal is a family portrait of Kate, Anna and I.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Get to Review Fantasy & Science Fiction's September 2007 Issue

I was reading Boing, Boing! today and I ran across this link:

Free copies of Fantasy and Science Fiction for bloggers

Which immediately intrigued me as that link contains four of my favorite words.

The first forty bloggers to respond to the editor at F&SF would receive a free copy of their September 2007 issue to blog about. I was lucky enough to get my request in early and I have been selected to blog about the issue.

This gets me one step closer to my ultimate goal of getting paid to criticize the work of others.

Updated 2007/07/18: F&SF Giveaway Promotion is Over

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Doctor Who: Season 3

WARNING There may be spoilers in the following post so if you haven't watched all of the third season of the re-launched Doctor Who then you should skip reading this.

I had myself a Who-athon this weekend and completed watching all thirteen episodes of Doctor Who Season 3. I had originally planned to watch only one or two episodes a night to savor them but they were so good I powered through them in a day and a half. I blame it all on one remark, You are not alone that the Face of Boe makes to the Doctor at the end of the third episode Gridlocked. The ramifications of that line kept me watching and watching.

I was bowled over by the character Martha Jones who is played by Freema Agyeman. I really liked that the Doctor has a companion who is smart and educated.

Overall season 3 was a very strong season. The stand out episode for me was Blink! The amazing thing about Blink is that the Doctor and Martha don't have much screen time at all. It all centers around a young woman named Sally Sparrow, played by Carey Mulligan, who is investigating multiple disappearances at an abandoned house. It really is a wonderfully scripted episode and incredibly creepy. I will never look at weeping angel status the same way ever again.

One thing I was disappointed in was the two parter that has the return of the Daleks. I would have liked it they took a whole season off from the Daleks as it is getting a bit stale for them to be completely obliterated only to show up again and again.

However, the final three parter that re-introduces a major villain was written beautifully. Hopefully they will find a plausible way to bring him back again.

Updated 2007/07/16: For those of us in Canada we can watch the episodes on-line for a month after they were broadcast on the CBC. Currently, episodes one through three are available.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Plastic Man: On the Lam

I originally heard about this book from Cory Doctorow Flag of Canada on his blog Boing, Boing.

Kyle Baker re-imagines Plastic Man by way of MAD, Eisner and Animaniacs

I was intrigued by Cory's article so I did a quick check with the Ottawa Public Library to see if they had the book. They did and two days later it was in my grubby hands.

Up until this point my only experience with Plastic Man was Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. I don't remember liking very much but it was on right after the Super Friends so it had a great lead in.

The first thing I got a chuckle out of was that the cover of the book is plastic and not paper. And the laughs didn't stop coming. In fact I couldn't put the book down until I was finished.

This book is a definitely a fun read but the part that really strikes a cords with me is how Baker handles Plastic Man's internal dialog. Right from the start you can tell that he's not all there in the head.

When you think about it why would he be? The guy is made out of plastic and he can stretch himself into various shapes. I think if anyone of us was put into the same situation we'd have a hard time dealing with it. In Plastic Man's case you can see he is using humour as a defense mechanism, much to the delight of the audience.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Today, I Was A Kid Again...

As soon as I heard Peter Cullen Flag of Canada doing the voice of Optimus Prime I was magically transformed back to 1984 where I could be a kid again if only for two hours. You see, some friends and I saw the new Transformers movie today.

The main reason I went was to see 30 foot tall robots beat up on each other in stylized sensational violence. Let me tell you folks, this movie didn't disappoint. Right from the word go you get lots of action, then some more action, then a great big action sequence to finish it all off.

Do yourself a favour and go see this one in theaters and buy the large popcorn cause you're going to need it.

Optimus Prime 1984

Optimus Prime 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

I love the Wii

I really love my Wii. It breaks video games out of the rut they have been in for many years. With the new controllers they've opened up so many possibilities for game play. No longer are we forced to endure another rehash in the first person shooter or real time strategy genres.

Anyone can play the Wii, in fact my 2 1/2 year old daughter routinely does better than me at Wii Sports Bowling, but now EA Sports is taking it a step further by introducing Family Plan Style in their upcoming Wii releases.

So far Madden NFL 08, NBA Live 08 and FIFA Soccer 08 have been announced. I can't wait for them to announce an NHL 08.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ok Go

I'm real late on catching onto the internet phenomenon of Ok Go but I absolutely got hooked on their music after watching their video of Here it Goes Again on YouTube.

I am now the proud, proud owner of both their studio albums. The self titled debut Ok Go and their follow up Oh No. The best way I can describe the band is they are a melodious, pop rock, humour band with infectious songs. Ah, just watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

Monday, July 2, 2007

I Ate Fish!

We stopped by our friends Ted and Janice's today so we could meet up Janice's cousin PJ, who I haven't seen in ten years, his wife Jan and their son Jack.

Jack in a box (pun intended).

It was real nice to catch up with them but the oddest thing is that over lunch, I ate fish. No big deal right, well kinda, considering I haven't eaten fish in 21 years. If only Mom could see me now.

Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 1

I have been resisting picking up this book for a while despite Jamie D's, from Comic Geek Speak, love of the series. However, after listening to CGS interview the author, Terry Moore, on episode 263 I knew I had to pick it up.

Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 1 is not a comic book there are no super-heroes in costumed spandex. It is a complex novel that interleaves dialog, art and prose. At its heart it follows the lives of two best friends, Katchoo and Francine. The characters are well developed and believable. The story progresses on many layers and it is crucial to remember that the decisions the characters make, have lasting impact on their future.

Luckily we can see what the future has in store for them in book 2.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy 140th Birthday Canada!

Kate, Anna, myself, the Poole's and Ganesh spent the morning down on Parliament Hill watching the Musical Ride and Snowbirds. From there we took a long walk up to the Museum of Nature to check out their dinosaur exhibits. Then we all had lunch at an Ottawa landmark the Cafe Colonnade.

Anna and Peyton, two patriotic Canadians.

Next step the fireworks!