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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Miscellaneous Debris: Part 8 - TV Notes


Sci Fi Channel's wonderfully quirky Eureka has been picked up for a third season. Season 2 is just winding down. The first season was a little uneven at times, but this season has been great. The writers seem to have grasped all the characters and how they interact so that the show feels more natural. The show has been consistently funny, and the season long story arc has been told within the episodes, but hasn't overridden the stand alone stories of each episode. Glad to hear it will be back for another season.

If you watch NBC's the Office, like I know I do, then you've seen Creed Bratton who also used to be in 60s rock act the Grass Roots. The Scranton Times-Tribune has a nice profile of the actor and how he got involved with the Office.

Finally in some really good casting news, Cynthia Watros will be returning in some flashback episodes of Lost this season. I've been a fan of Cynthia's since she played the rather psychotic Annie Dutton on the CBS soap opera Guiding Light(I worked afternoons at a CBS affiliate and watched the show daily). She was great on Titus, and appeared regularly on the Drew Carey Show for a while. I felt the death of her character, Libby on Lost left a lot of unanswered questions about her relationship with Hurley. Hopefully her episodes this season will fill in some of the blanks.

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Fall Shows: Reaper

I have all of the shows from this post that have premiered sitting on my DVR. I have yet to get to any of them (see previous post).

One new show that I did catch is the CW's Reaper. It's high concept(what if your parents sold your soul to the devil and now you have to work for him) with a pretty good cast, and solid writing(at least for the pilot) Ray Wise is delightfully evil as 'the Devil' and has the oily presence necessary to portray the Prince of Darkness. Zambonis will never be the same for me.

I DVR'd the pilot episode and I thought it was great. Mrs. Disaster enjoyed it a great deal as well. I'll definitely be watching this, and I recommend it to fans of Buffy/Angel.

Here is CW's 5 minute trailer for the show:

The Andi character was apparently recast with actress Missy Peregrym (the illusion caster from last season's Heroes) as a different girl appears in the role in the trailer. That happens sometimes I guess. . .

Otter Disaster Update Update

Due to a life changing, but very good, development at work Otter Disaster has been a bit neglected for several weeks.

I took a new position at work, so my weekly schedule has undergone a major upheaval. Instead of working 3pm to 11pm Wednesday through Sunday I am now working 6am to 2pm Monday through Friday (which means I leave my house by 5:15). While this is a much better schedule for spending time with Mrs. and Little Disater it is taking a little adjustment.

I am hoping once I get into the rhythm of my new job I'll be able to post on a more regular basis. I finally do have something in mind to replace Finntroll Friday, but with my new schedule it might be more a weekend thing. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ron Paul: No Third Party Run

Via Hit and Run:

The Deseret Morning News reports that in a speech at a Utah fundraiser, Ron Paul reiterated that he will not make a third party bid for the presidency if he does not get the GOP Nomination.

I'll just have to write his name in, I guess.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Coming Soon: Lot's of New Shows that Will Be Cancelled Just As You Fall In Love With Them

The New Fall Season is nearly upon us once again. This used to be one of the high points of my year. I'd go out and buy the Fall TV Preview Issue of TV Guide, and survey the exciting new shows coming to my favorite networks.

This excitement has been diminished over recent years as Mid-Season Replacements, Late Premiers, Summer Series, Reality Shows, and various Game/Talent shows have peppered themselves all over the TV landscape along with myriad basic and premium cable series, that only run 10-13 episodes per season. Seasons don't mean what they used to.

Nonetheless, the OFFICIAL Fall TV Season is imminent, and I'm mildly excited about it. I haven't really heard buzz for any show that just demands that I check it out, but I'm sure(armed with my DVR) that I'll be sampling the numerous offerings.

Reading through's list of premieres, I'm interested in:

Chuck, about a geek who gets involved in the spy game

Back to You, about Kelsey Grammar as a news anchor returning to his old station
(working in television, I have a weakness for tv shows about tv shows)

Bionic Woman, an update of the late 70s Lindsay Wagner vehicle, now starring Michelle Ryan & Katee Sackhoff(of Battlestar Galactica) Sounds like this show will have a government conspiracy undercurrent, which has become a really tired element to most current science fiction shows.

Aliens in America, about a Pakistani foreign exchange student.

Pushing Daisies, about a kid who can return the dead to life with a single touch.

Maybe I'll do some mini-reviews/commentary on these shows once they've aired.

In the 'I want to watch for the trainwreck factor' is ABC's Cavemen show, based on a mildly amusing series of Geico insurance commercials. I can't imagine how this show, allegedly about race, won't be a disaster, but I want to see just how big the crash will be. I predict it will be cancelled in five episodes or less.

For all your indispensable TV news and commentary check out and Both are required reading a couple of times a week, especially during the new tv season.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Square Foot Garden: Chili Time

It's been a while since posting about my SFG, but the Disaster Family has been enjoying fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for several weeks now. Fall radishes and beets will arrive shortly, as long as we don't have an early freeze. Might get a last harvest of spinach as well. Things will probably be moving into the cleanup/winterize stage very soon. I'm going to pull in a really nice harvest of pumpkins soon as well, and will be able to give some of them away I imagine. Once the first freeze comes, I'll probably do a nice long post-mortem post on my first year of Square Foot Gardening.

It's been much cooler here in Denver over the last week, and today it's overcast, rainy and cool. This weather presents the perfect late summer opportunity to throw together some of my harvest with some ground beef and pork, some spices, and a little chili powder to make a delicious chili soup.

Here's some of the harvest destined for the stew:

I always love that first batch of chili when the weather finally cools down, especially when I get to use my very own, home grown ingredients.

My recipe is fairly simple:

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 or 2 onions chopped
1 or 2 green peppers chopped
2 or 3 Anaheim peppers chopped
2 to 6 jalapeno peppers (amount to your particular taste)chopped/sliced
5 or 6 small or 2 to 3 large tomatoes chopped (or a can of stewed tomatoes if fresh not available.
A spoonful or so of minced garlic
2 cans of refried beans (Mrs. Disaster can't stand whole beans, and this solution actually makes a nice smooth soup, which is really nice for using leftovers on chili dogs)
Salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste (Or just throw in the store brand chili seasoning packet from your local grocer)
Throw the whole mess into a slow cooker and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

My chili is never quite the same twice, that's just sort of how I cook. I use the ingredients I have available, and adjust them til it suits me (and the Mrs.). Usually delicious with some corn bread or a fresh loaf of french bread from the grocery store. Leftovers are awesome on chili dogs and breakfast burritos.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Weird Theory about Missing Pilot and Chinese Hackers

Via the entertaining, weirdly cool, often bizarre, and oddly informative Rumor Mill News, comes a wild theory concerning the alleged hacking of the Pentagon by the Chinese and Missing pilot/adventurer Steve Fossett.

The theory suggests that Fossett is not missing, but merely hiding while the US Government searches for a missing nuke from the well publicized flight of 5 nukes from North Dakota to Louisiana. The theory suggests that Chinese Hackers, in hacking the Pentagon may have created the orders to get those nuclear weapons on that B-52 and that a 6th weapon may be missing.

The thread at Rumor Mill News suggests other possible dots to connect in this puzzle.

If Fossett shows up alive in the next few days, with a dramatic story of crash and survival my paranoia meter is probably going to redline, and my head might explode.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Internet People: What no Kenya? No LOLCats?

Via Neatorama

Internet People, is a song and video by Dan Meth and Micah Frank summing up ultra-forwarded and mega-linked Internet videos, animations, and memes.

Covers most of the bases (All Your Base Are Belong To Us), but leaves out personal favorites Kenya and Magical Trevor at Plus no LOLCats?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Glenn Beck Doesn't Understand Libertarianism, and Should Shut Up About It

Glenn Beck often talks about the 'fact' that he is a "libertarian at heart," but he is not. Today he said he, "wants to be a libertarian," but he does not. These statements come from someone who doesn't really understand the libertarian position.

He was going off about Ron Paul's debate performance, and he's a harsh critic of Paul's. Beck doesn't like Paul's approach to foreign policy and the war in Iraq, and that is fine. He's entitled to be critical of Paul, certainly, but he should really be a more informed critic when it comes to Paul's libertarianism.

Beck claimed Ron Paul said that he (Paul) would eliminate the CIA, FBI and the IRS. The debate moderator said those things of Paul. That doesn't mean Paul has never suggested eliminating them(he has said he'd like to eliminate the IRS, and has talked about reforming the CIA, I've never heard him talk about the FBI), but it was the moderator and not Paul saying them at the debate last night. Beck inaccurately put those words in Paul's mouth last night.

To Beck's credit he did say it was inappropriate for Giuliani to audibly laugh during Paul's responses, and I agree. I wasn't sure it was Giuliani, but whoever it was showed a real lack of manners and decorum.

After his discussion of the debate he went into his (oft repeated) shtick about how he likes libertarianism, considers himself a libertarian 'at heart, and 'wants' to be one, but just can't because the country lacks the morality(?). I guess he believes that 'morality' can be successfully dictated and enforced by government action (see Prohibition, Prostitution, the War on Drugs, and on and on).

His arguments tend to lean in the direction that all libertarians are essentially anarchists, and that if they were in charge(an oxymoron?) we'd have heroin addicts littering the streets (a very accurate paraphrase from a month or so ago). Beck is essentially, and commendably a free market conservative with Neo-Con leanings (especially when it comes to foreign policy and Israel), who, for some reason likes to associate himself with the term libertarian.

He obviously doesn't even remotely understand the arguments against the War on Drugs, or the idea that decriminalization and privatized treatment via charities, churches and other private sector solutions would probably take more heroin users off the streets than current government run solutions.

If he really 'wants' to be libertarian, then he should try to understand the libertarian position better, so he doesn't sound like such an ass when he talks about it.

Ron Paul Shows Some Fire: New Hampshire Debate Last Night

Ron Paul finally showed some real fire in his belly in last night's New Hampshire GOP debate. It was nice to see him showing some passion about his war position, and reiterating that the American people are not at fault over 9-11 and the Iraq war, but that those problems are the fault of bad and/or failed governmental policy.

Ron Paul continues to be a refreshing voice as the only anti-war Republican, while the rest of the candidates seem to be fighting over the degree to which the 'surge' is, or is not working, but essentially all hold the same position: Let's Stay in Iraq.

He also seems to be losing patience with accusations, suggestions, and not so veiled jabs that he is more or less an al-Qaeda sympathizer. He is responding very passionately to these jabs, and making the point that an administration with tunnel vision, and a crappy foreign policy is to blame and not Joe Six-pack, average American.

YouTube user ScanningTheWaves, edited together Mr. Paul's responses and exchanges into a single clip (try not to pay attention to the lip sync problem):

Someone with an open mic laughed audibly a number of times at Paul, which I found rather curious.

Paul seemed to have some good support for his positions in the crowd and got some good applause and cheers. The crowd as a whole seemed pretty passionate, and he got a fair share of boos and jeers as well.

Reason Magazine's David Weigel has a rundown of the debate as it happened last night.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hugh Hewitt Interviews Ron Paul After TX Straw Poll

Following last weekend's Texas Straw Poll (Paul finished 3rd) he was interviewed by Neo-Con Talk Radio Host Hugh Hewitt.

I used to listen to Hewitt regularly, but over time, found him to be a Hannity-style apologist for all things Republican Party. He's a Bush guy, and from most reports is now firmly in the Mitt Romney camp. Hewitt was also a big supporter of the swiftboaters against John Kerry (I found the behavior of both sides in that brou-ha-ha equally repugnant), and railed against Kerry for his flip-flopping. One of the main criticisms of Romney is how he has flipped on numerous issues to position himself farther on the right.

Just wanted to give you a little background on the man with the mic. All of the above considered, he's reasonably fair with Ron Paul in this interview:

Hat tip to Reason's Hit and Run.

Past Disasters