Saturday, January 29, 2011

CCTV Legend of the Condor Heroes 2003 -- opening song

The Legend of the Condor Heroes - This most notable series is among my all time favourites. I've seen various versions of it since I was a kid. It's a story I am very familiar with. An adaptation of a novel written by Jin Yong, it contains many themes, good versus bad, love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal. So it's shouldn't be surprising to know that I have employed some of the same themes for my own writings sometimes.

It's what I know.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Special Friendship - Anonymous Poem

I just do not know who wrote this poem, when I copied it into my notebook, but I like what it is saying.

A Special Friendship

At the heart of a special friendship is a willingness to share,
To listen and to understand, to show how much you care.

At the heart of a special friendship is a world of trust and giving,
An honesty, an openness, that adds true joy to living!

The Next Great Thursday Next Book

In anticipation of the release of next Thursday Next book, "One of Our Thursdays is Missing", I like to explain my fascination for the worlds of Jasper Fforde.

It all started in 2005 with "Lost in a Good Book". What I thought was just another paperback in the discount section, was really a continuation of the much talked about "The Eyre Affair". What was it about was it about Thursday Next and a quirky fictional world about popular fiction that appeal to me to no end is still a mystery. It made me buy the last sequel hardcover before the paperback came out for my collection, just so I can read it sooner. I am somewhat partial to the wellread book jackets in later publishes.

I suppose it had to do with the familiarity. To weave around classic literature, fairytales and later nursery rhymes, adventures and whodunnits is nothing short of brilliant. TV and cinema have been making references of literary works for ages. Why not have it in written form?

Who is Thursday Next? I am revisiting those same stories now to refresh myself. An overworked under appreciated literary detective who police the crimes in the literary world. She has the natural ability to jump into and out of books. Starting with Jane Eyre. We then follow her through married life, saving the existence of her husband. Thursday is as much revered figure in the fictional world as she is in the real world from having served also worked as an operative there as well.

There are no shortage of made up words and funny character names here. By the time you are done reading one book, it will want to make you read other. It's that addictive. If that isn't enough, you could always try to the nursery rhyme mysteries.

It's been a long while since the last sequel. I can't wait.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Storyboard - A Visual Aid for Writer's Block

I have writer's block. I started a story, but have no viable plot. So I'm relying on a storyboard of sorts to help me envision the ending.

Star Trek Keychain

Trying out another way to share video. What am I going to do with another keychain in my collection? Oh. I don't know. Maybe play with it. BEAM ME UP.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

InSecurity - Episode 102 - Keeping Up With The Laslovs - Recap/Review

Look who is more intelligent than the Russians.

The whole team is on a stakeout. They're watching and listening to everything that is happening at Victor Laslov's apartment from across the street. For the occasion, Claude was even making them souffle.

When Laslov mentioned selling plans for Canada's super sub, everyone wonders the same thing. Canada has a super sub? This is serious. Team leader Alex decided to find a way into Laslov's to steal back those plans. How? Laslov has ties with the Russian Mafia. Simple. She planned to use herself as a distraction.

When Alex's cover was going to be blown by putting on a NISA jacket, Peter jumped in too posing as her husband. He introduced them as their new neighbours just as Victor's wife Natasha arrived and invited them in for vodka. Once inside the apartment, it becomes a game of who is distracting who. Peter got drunk distracting the Laslovs while Alex tried to find the plans. Alex tried to distract Victor to find out if the plans were on him. Victor used the distraction to get his men to find out who was spying on him from their new neighbour's apartment. The surveillance team was so distracted, they didn't notice the Russians were onto them. “I know how to handle souffles.”

All the while, the team is waiting for Jojo and N'udu who are at the supermarket checkout buying arugula to go with Claude's stakeout souffle. Trying to get out quicker, N'udu threatened the other customers in line, explaining in meticulous detail how he can incapacitate them with their grocery. Blind him with MSG powder and then stabbing his neck with a piece of dehydrated noodle.

Everyone in the other apartment unit was watching these four go at each other on the surveillance monitor, including the two Russians sent by Victor. When Jojo and N'udu finally return from the market, the team overpower all the Russians, retrieve the plans, and then sit down for Claude's souffle dinner.

The funniest moment was when everyone was watching the surveillance like a soap opera. The Russians didn't think Victor was going to be happy seeing Natasha making out with Peter, until they saw him making out with Alex. Oh!
N'udu found Natasha hot. “Hi. I'm N'udu.”
Everyone thought Victor was hot too. - Jojo: “He's built like a statue.” - Peter: “He's ripped.”
Peter not stopping the cat fight between Alex and Natasha. He probably found that hot too.
The souffle story was a bit silly, but without it you wouldn't have N'udu describe how to hurt people with grocery.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

InSecurity - Episode 101 - The Doctor - Review/Recap

InSecurity is a new show on the Canada's own CBC. It is described as an action comedy that succeeds in skewering spy shows without discrimination. The premise is fun and dialogue is tongue in cheek. The fictional NISA National Intelligence and Security Agency is Canada elite intelligence service. Intelligence is what this crew doesn't rely on to crack a case..

In the opening episode, Alex Cranston (Natalie Lisinska) the team leader is captured by uranium smugglers. The rest of the team work on rescuing her.

I did start watching it three minutes into the program, so missed a good chunk of the episode. There are some highlights worth mentioning.

The look of the show is polished.

The torture sequence really stood out for me. To begin with, Alex finds out the titular doctor who was going to torture information from her, is a guy she went to high school with. At first they reminisce on school days. During the torture, in between the electric shocks, they exchange insults. It's let out that the doctor has nut allergies. After overpowering some hapless thugs, Alex calls for help. Before her torturer comes back she eats her lunch, peanut butter sandwich. She then kisses him, sending him into shock. But he's prepared; he has adrenaline. She quickly dispatches him, then injects him with the adrenaline.

At the end, two of her team arrives just after the doctor goes down. Before they can get away, the goons come back. And the idiot on the team come in with his gun hits her arm by mistake. (Oops! Had the sequence of events kind of wrong before.)

Here is where the comedy comes in. It's not only in the funny dialogue. It's in the acting. It's in the prank falls and high kicks. No blood is ever spilled.

While every one of the cast is a caricature of its more dramatic cousins, the one who stand out more is Benjamin N'udu (Richard Yearwood), an ace spy from the nation of Ligeria. In this episode he eats the evidence, a three day old pizza found on the ground. "It's a bit gravelly." He would love to chase it down with liquid ice cream. His weapon of choice is a large knife.

If anyone can poke fun at a genre, it's us Canadians. We got a winner here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Title: We Are Not Alone

First Art Sale

Years ago, I drew lots of portraits, mostly from Star Trek magazines. For The X-Files, I started to draw directly from a VCR freeze frame. All because I made my first sale at a Star Trek convention art show. I made $10 from that sale off of this Scully and Worf. However, I found out later that unless I knew the organizer, there was no chance to buy a more visible display area. After a few more years, I just stopped selling altogether. What's the point if no one could see it.