A few weeks ago I bought new baseboards for the dining room at Lowe’s. They were too big to fit into the Mercury Land Yacht (TM) so I had to have them shipped but I still got it done for a decent price. The boards only have a coat of light primer on them so they had to be painted with the same glossy paint we used on the window trim. And this morning I painted all of them.
Next step, get the Son of a Preacher man over here to cut and mount them. There’s no way I could get them in straight, let alone get the edges mitered. I know when I’m out of my league, which is the most valuable tool when it comes to self improvement. That pretty much applies to everything in life now that I think of it.
I have updated the “about” page. And that’s about all I have today.
Arya has become quite the Daddy’s grrl and she has decided that she should spend a considerable amount of time in the man cave. You know, in case I need her. The trouble is that Sneakers and Jasper have already claimed that territory. Arya is an aggressive little hexenbiest and she does not like to share a bed.. She tried pushing her best to push the two senior citizens out. When she bullied Sneakers I got in her face. When she attempted to bully Jasper he took one massive paw, flipped her up in the air, and landed her flat on her back. The look on her face said it all, “I didn’t know that old cat still had it in him.”
Now that she’s learned her lesson, she just finds an unoccupied corner of the man cave bed and goes to sleep. Here’s Arya (background) and Sneakers (foreground) enjoying a nap together. I believe Jasper has commandeered the love seat in the living room and no one is fool enough to challenge him for that.
I was picking out a few CDs to play in the office this morning and picked a couple with red spines. I thought for a second and then made it a theme.
Alice in Chains: The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
Rostropovich: Dutilleux/Lutoslawski Cello Concertos
Soundgarden: Louder than Love
Satriani, Johnson, Vai: G3 Live in Concert
Steely Dan: Live in America
Matthew Sweet: 100% Fun
Rush: Hold Your Fire
If I’m in the man cave, the music plays constantly. Too many times I just play what is one the computer. But I do like bringing in a stack of CDs and working my way through it. Today is one of those days. Playing the Matthew Sweet right now and then I’ll probably give that old commie Rostro a spin. And no, I don’t have a copy of King Crimson’s Red.
The other night we started watching the pilot of the SyFy series Defiance. I had recorded all the episodes and had heard some good things about it so I was crossing my fingers. I shouldn’t have been. Teenagers acting like stereotypical human teens despite the fact that they were not human, the adults were pretty much worn tropes themselves. The effects were OK as far considering it was on SyFy and there seemed to be some imagination in the world building. But it all seemed to hearken back to the science fiction written before the genre grew up in the mid 60s.
One of the faults of television science fiction is that it has rarely been even close to evolving like its literary counterpart. While storytelling on TV has blown past all barriers in the last couple decades with shows like Buffy, the Sopranos, Mad Men, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad, etc., genre television is lagging. There are exceptions, like the first two seasons of BSG. But look at what we endured this season. Almost Human pretty much fizzled away all its promise. Agents of SHIELD has lurched and staggered most of the season. Helix got off to a ridiculous start and I had to give it up. Can anyone make a decent science fiction TV show anymore?
Here’s some basic guidelines for networks and cable to follow (not that they’ll ever read it):
1. Enough with the teenagers already. Stereotypical brats do not draw in a bigger audience. They only alienate the geek audience and cost you viewers. Try watching Modern Family. See young Alex? That’s the kind of nerd kid your audience can relate to.
2. Special effects. There’s a lot that can be done with small change. Look at Babylon 5. It was truly done on the cheap yet the early CGI still holds up. We geeks may appear fussy but if you get the basics down, we’ll hang in there.
3. Writing. Invest in it. Geeks read. They read comics and graphic novels, they read books, they read massive doorstop series that are the equivalent of a 5 season TV series. We know when a story and characters work and when it doesn’t. Screw this up and we will abandon you.
4. Have a plan. Heroes should have taught this but the assholes in TVland think Lost actually worked. No, it didn’t. Genre hows are best when you know where they are going, when there is a story arc with a purpose and a plan. DO NOT make it up as you go along. We are smarter than that and we will quit you.
4. Remember the science. You have always cheated at this and frankly, it’s getting old. Almost Human was almost coming up with some novel thoughts on future tech and its ramifications but the writers didn’t have either ambition or the smarts to truly think it through. Just writing “tech the tech” in a script did work in the 80s but that ship has sailed.
5. Plot holes. You think those TV critics are hard on your shows. My people are even worse. Go to any SFF forum and you’ll see your precious word sliced apart with surgical precision. Understand this, we think Orci, Kurtzman, and Lindelof couldn’t tell a black hole from a plot hole. There’s a reason why Star Trek Into Darkness tanked after week one. Your writers couldn’t tell a coherent story if David Chase wrote it out for them in crayon. Stop it. Stop it now.
This has been Jerol is a Grumpy Old Man and Get Off My Lawn Rant #213. Transcripts may be ordered from your NPR station.
March 5, 2014
Tagged Breaking Bad, Buffy, David Chase, Defiance, Helix, Kurtzman, Lindelof, Orci, science fiction, Star Trek, SyFy, television, The Sopranos, writing
This is an open sliding glass door. This is my wife’s office. This is a day when the actual temp is minus eight with a windchill of minus twenty-five. This is what you live with when your spouse is over fifty.