Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why Now?

There she was. Right at her usual spot over looking the reflection pool. All deep in thought. What does she think about? The six months since I've been assigned to work with her, I've always seen her like this. Whether it be about the case at hand or issues with Lacey. I hate the way it troubles her. I know now she's bummed about not knowing Daphne's cause of death. Making an arrest was not enough closure for her. The mystery has not been solved.

Deaths are always difficult. I heard her tell Bud. I wish it didn't have to be. After all this time, I still haven't seen things like that. I was a cop. I was trained to not let the work get to us.

She has got to take a break sometimes. She needs to. She was more than a little surprised by my invitation. To be honest, I didn't know if she would come or not.

"Why now? You've never once invited me for anything."

"Don't look so shocked. We just want to hang out with you."

Then she reached for my face with her hands. The kiss was so sudden, I had no time to react. It was amusing and awkward at the same time. After working together for a short time, we were just beginning to get close. I admire her passion. Why not now?

- A Body of Proof Fan Fiction

Friday, April 29, 2011

More Betta Gill Flares

This is the best I could manage now. He is rebellious. He will only flare at me without the camera. Pardon the dirty acrylic. I haven't had time to clean the aquarium. You'll notice, I've replace the plastic plant with this over-sized silk model. Amazing he seems to like squeezing through the tight spaces. Always the top feeder. I'm not sure, but he seems to be getting redder around the gills. Is that normal? Seeing how the weekend plays out, I might go get another fish for my bowl.

I've diffused the on board flash of my Canon G1. I kind of like the reflections under the water surface. I pretty much have to tilt the camera up or down to reduce bounce back from the flash to the tank edges. If only these techniques work on glass aquariums.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 1.06 - Society Hill - Recap

Alright! That was sweet!

Megan loathed the life she had in Chestnut Hill, yet she chose to come back and take this latest assignment. Fancy cars. Nice houses. City wide recognition as a top neurosurgeon. The recognition was nice, but she wouldn't want to relive the rest.

The victim was Society Fair Magazine editor, Daphne Zimmer, a powerful woman who has worked hard for her success. Megan automatically draws comparison between the victim and herself.

"Why is it every time a man calls a woman a power player, it sounds pejorative?" (Pejorative means belittling. Yes, I wanted to look up that word the first time Dana Delany said it.)

She wasn't an easy person to get along with. There are no shortage of suspects. They wouldn't find the cause of death until late in the episode. All they had to go on was that she died in her pool two days before she was found.

Dr. Hunt finds a new way to interrogate a suspect by re-entering high society, her mother's world. "Peter? Do you own a tuxedo?" Then we get to see Peter Dunlop clean up nice. It was no surprise to her that her mother found her actions embarrassing.

Megan and her mother Joan (Joanna Cassidy) argued about each others faults, whereby Megan accuses her that she was not there for her. They will also have quality time at the end of this.

"You don't know what it's like to have friends."

"After the accident, after I lost my profession, my standing, where were my friends."

"You were too embarrassed. You were too worried about your friends."

We almost see Megan and Peter outside the context of work.
As usual he is always there to cheer her up when she seems low.

"Just try and take your mind off the job, okay?"

Megan wonders why Peter is inviting her for anything for the first time. To simply hang out.
Then in her eureka moment, Megan almost kisses Peter.

Other interesting tidbits:

Kate's specialty is in bones, teeth and hair.
Curtis's specialty is entomology.

Ethan is curious about Kate's personal life. Apparently, she is not always so nice to him.

Curtis enjoyed feeding the maggots a little too much for Ethan's liking.

An old friend thinks that Megan was mortician.

We got just Bud this week. Are they alternating the detectives, because it will give them more to do per episode?

Megan making an electric charge to shock Peter's ear.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Deducted Reasoning

Megan Hunt's paralytic condition proved to be a clue to solving recent mysterious deaths.

A Body Of Proof fan fiction

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 1.05 - Dead Man Walking - Recap

A man is dead. Detective Sam Baker (again without Bud) believed it could have been a mugging gone bad, but Megan later discovered that he had bled internally to death shortly after he had surgery. Convinced it was a questionable surgical practice, Megan makes baseless accusations in front former boss, old friend, and hospital administrator Gwen Baldwin (Carolyn McCormick). Now Dr. Hunt needed Dr. Kate Murphy's authority to find evidence and access to the staple gun used in the operation. Further investigation reveals equipment tampering. The urgency to shut down the hospital heightens when Megan realizes there is still two more defective staple guns unaccounted for. You've got to love Curtis for taking the initiative to have a fungus contamination found the tampered equipment tested.

Megan also had to overcome her fears of operating again, when she needed to cut open a man to save his life. In a nice moment, Megan confesses to fainting the first time she was in an OR. Peter Dunlop assures her that he's OK. He will faint later.

Meanwhile, Curtis and Ethan had to solve how a healthy young woman could have died from a blood clot. Ethan became close to the dead woman's twin sister (played by Geoffrey Arend's real life wife Christina Hendricks). Curtis advises Ethan (Mr. cute and bossy) to wait two months before pursuing the girl.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My New Betta Flares Gills

As you can see, the betta has flared its gills. I first noticed this when I turned on the aquarium hood light yesterday. This is new. I've had betta before, never one that showed this much aggression. It is a pretty cool sight to see. Right now, in this hexagonal tank, he will react to his reflection to three sides only until later in the night. All the more reason I need to find a setup so that I can watch him all the time by my TV chair.

Body of Proof - Episode 1.04 - Talking Heads - Recap

Imagine that your hand was the only thing that told the story of you.

Human remains are found by a homeless man. The victim had been dismembered. The investigation recovers only a hand and a foot.

With Detective Bud away from the scene, we got to see more of Detective Sam Baker in action.

Initial examination revealed a first name, occupation and that he was a recent casino winner.

The next day, back at the office, Megan preps everyone for Lacey's visit for a social studies assignment. Dr. Hunt drafted a schedule and scripts for everyone to be interviewed and instructed them to hide the gory stuff. Hard to do in a morgue right?

"Make me look good." To which Curtis quiped, "So you want us to lie." Earning him a slap on the back of his head.

When more of the victim is found in an alley, Ethan reluctantly go to the dump to look for body parts. "Nobody deserves to end up like that."

Megan lays down the ground rules for Lacey. "No filming of bodies or body parts or bodies under sheets... Remember that these are people and we respect them at all times."

Peter and Sam found the rest of him in his freezer minus the head.

Lacey wasn't happy that her mother is so controlling. It's impossible to get anything past her.

Ethan's argument that convinced Megan to open up to Lacey.
"We are trying understand how this man died, based on the parts we can see, and is getting us nowhere. Has it ever occurred to you that Lacey is trying understand you and all she can see is the parts you are willing to show her?"

The hand of Callum Shane O'Donnell.
He build skyscrapers with this hand.
He held his baby daughter with this hand.
This hand gave her money so she can go to art school.

His killer left him to die.
He was cut up in his bathtub.
Then parts of him were kept hidden in a freezer, while the rest of him was thrown out like yesterday's trash.

Kate was amused that Lacey was so unlike her mother.
However, when Lacey became more involved with the case, she was just as eager to stick around until they catch the killer. Peter mused, like mother like daughter.

The body is the proof. He was obviously well cared for. Megan talked the victim's caregiver into admitting why she had to cut up her employer. From there, they find the head. The cause of death. And finally the man's killer.

At the end of the day, Lacey rewarded Megan by showing her the experience she took away with her.

Imagine that your hand was the only thing that told the story of you. What were your dreams? Who loved you? Who's grieving now that you are gone? - Megan

This is where death rejoices to teach the living.

Every person has something to teach us and we never stop learning. - Peter

They are not just dead bodies to us. They are the stories of a life. It is our job to tell it. - Megan

Thanks to a school project, Lacey got to see Dr. Megan Hunt through this young girl's eyes. It made her proud to be her mother's daughter.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Original Fiction - Rough Outline Started

Before going to bed last night, I roughed out an outline for my next original story. There is going to be five main characters, including a restless spirit. Most of them have nothing to do with each other except for a murder mystery. I'm really excited about this one. Although, I haven't finished researching the setting, I found out how close I am to nailing down the details. The Tang Dynasty capital city of Chang'an (City of Preserved Peace) was the most prosperous metropolis of the ancient world and the beginning of the Silk Road. This era of Chinese history is defined by openness, harmony, and equality for all people. It's no wonder one of the palaces there is being restored to its former glory. I visited the present day city for a full day in 2005 and lost myself in the past, when I stood atop of its city wall.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Harry's Law - Last Dance - Season Finale - Recap

Although, I do not regularly recap this show, I have watched every episode. The first season of Harry's Law ended quite literally on a high note. Lots of stuff happened in this episode that made me want to keep on watching. I am not the only one.

District Attorney Josh Peyton (Paul McCrane) had a mental break, after losing case after case to Harry and company. On top of that, he had been arrested for trespassing and assault, if only emotionally. Harry takes up the task of defending him. At his hearing, once again he goes naked in court at the chagrin of the judge, spewing his disillusionment at the legal process. It looks like the end of his career as a DA. Harry suggested he start over like she did. What did he want to do most? He expressed a desire for singing. He just wants people to like him.

Jenna confronts Malcolm for being too embarassed to show public displays of affection. Did he not love her? He assures her that he does, saying he loves everything about her including her nuttiness. Knowing how Harry feels about personal relationships in the work place, Malcolm kisses Jenna in front of her to prove his case.

Adam and Rachel try to appeal a death penalty case, arguing in court that their client had not been given a fair defense at trial. Adam's passion argument impressed everyone including Rachel, but they would eventually lose. The worst part for Adam was learning that Rachel was engaged to be married. He was still too much in love with her to settle for being just friends. Once again Harry walks in on a romantic kiss. Does that mean they are a couple now? Adam doesn't know yet.


To cheer Adam up, Harry dishes out some advice about of the job and then tells him how proud she is of him, but still think he is a pain in the ass.
The episode closes with the night's gossip.
Harry's new friend Peyton got to sing to his peers at a lawyer's gala.
Harry loses date Tommy Jefferson to another woman.
Jenna and Malcolm are out on a date.

Project List: Weekending April 9, 2011

Second attempt at this old style bus
Just because I have gone back to work, it does not mean I have given up time for my various projects. For the Titanic, I will document every stage of the assembly until I bomb. It will happen. The pieces are way too small.

  1. Paper Model: Riverboat
  2. Paper Model: Lego Stormtrooper (Not sure if I did it for that scale before?)
  3. Paper Model: X-Wing (This will go well with my mini Colonial Vipers.)
  4. Paper Model: HMS Titanic (I don't hold out much hope for its completion, if it proves too difficult.)
  5. Writing: FanFiction - Drabbles of Charlie Francis' Star Trek convention adventures in "I Am Spock". Two chapters have been published already.
  6. Writing: Will begin research for the next character driven piece set in Tang Dynasty China. Question is. How do I work in a ghost story?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 1.03 - Helping Hand - Recap

Peter was surprised to see Dr. Hunt at the crime scene, on her day off. She was filling in for a colleague she didn't know very well, whose wife just had a baby.

A young woman was found dead in a motel room. Killed by a shot in the arm, with an ABC wound. “A” being the initial entry wound. “B” the exit wound in the arm. “C” the reentry wound into the torso. Hm. You can still learn a few things from an autopsy.

Unlike Peter and Sam, Megan didn't notice Bud Morris' foul mood, but signs of brain surgery on the victim caught her attention. She is shocked to learn that the girl was one of her patients. The revelation bothered her even more because she was able to remember the procedure so well, yet failed to recognize a former patient.

Speaking with the girl's father, Megan found out she had more of an impact on the young woman than she realized. Saving her life inspired her to become a social worker for child protective services.

During the course of the case, we got to know a little bit more about all Megan's co-workers, when she takes Kate's advice and start taking an interest in people. It was awkward for everyone involved and provided real funny and light moments throughout the episode.

Her first target was Detective Bud. The way she was poking him made them look like an old married couple. Perhaps of her failed marriage, it's logical that they might understand one other a bit better. He was Catholic. He had no kids. His wife Jeannie threw him out of the house again because he was not attentive enough.

Curtis was suspicious and curious at the same time by the change in Megan, however it was not enough to make him honestly admit to being a good cook, liking extreme camping and James Bond movies.

Eagle eye Ethan memorized the way she places her instruments. Only thing he likes most is the job.

Only the audience find out Peter was a foster kid.

Finding out what killed the girl was her doing her job moved Megan to make a personal connection through the case. She reassures the grieving father that his daughter did not die in vain. She made a lasting difference in people's lives.

By the end of the day, Bud was beginning to warm up to Megan. She may not be able to help him with his marriage problems, but she can certainly patch up the hole in his suit jacket.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Body of Proof - Episode 1.02 - Letting Go - Recap

An interracial couple is found dead in their car. Lovers who died where they met. Shot in the head. No witnesses.

Detective Morris believed it to be a simple murder-suicide. The man shot the woman before putting a bullet in his head. No medical mystery. Until Dr. Megan Hunt removed two bullets from the male victim, making it murder.

It was no mistake they got to work with Det. Morris and Det. Baker again. Dr. Kate Murphy (Jeri Ryan) requested it.

To get through the autopsy quickly and efficiently, Megan asked for Curtis' and Ethan's help, letting us get to know these characters better. As Curtis kept saying, working for Nancy Drew -- Dr. Hunt.

Curtis, who was her superior, was not so thrilled about being ordered around, insisting he will not approve any unnecessary tests. He still wants to be called a doctor. Megan wanted him to act like he gives a damn. He tells her he does care.

All the evidence pointed to a killer who cared about the girl. It was as Megan discovered the girl's father. He shot her in a tragic accident. He loved his daughter so much he killed her. He could not let her go when she was going to marry her high school sweetheart, who was beneath her status.

Meanwhile, Peter Dunlop (Nicholas Bishop) continues to counsel Megan on her relationship with her daughter Lacey, whether she wants it or not.

Megan tells him that he gave her the key to her apartment. And it seems like she was getting a second chance. Peter advises her to take it slow.

Lacey still blamed her for the divorce. She was not really ready to have a relationship with her mother just yet, even to talk over lunch. Saying she needs to back off and smother her.

There was a great exchange between Peter and Megan.
“You have great instincts about the dead.” Not about the living.
“I care about the dead, because they can't speak for themselves.”

Peter believes Megan is a decent person and a good mother. He's putting up with her, because he is sure she will not find her without him. He notices that she is troubled by it. Megan is stressed about losing the right to talk to her daughter. Losing the chance to tell her what she needs to know. About life. About boys. About everything.

Letting go could also mean what Megan has to do in order to love Lacey. She is willing to give her the space that she needs.

Main Cast
Dana Delany as Dr. Megan Hunt
Jeri Ryan as Dr. Kate Murphy (Chief Medical Examiner), Megan's boss
John Carroll Lynch as Detective Bud Morris (Homicide Division)
Nicholas Bishop as Peter Dunlop (Medical Investigator)
Sonja Sohn as Detective Samantha Baker (Homicide Division)
Geoffrey Arend as Dr. Ethan Gross (Forensic Pathology Fellow)
Windell D. Middlebrooks as Dr. Curtis Brumfield (Deputy Chief Medical Examiner)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Set Design: The Wizard Of Oz - Keynote Test

So this is my unofficial journal to document how the process of puting together stage scenery using electronic means.

I just spent a couple of hours learning the ins and outs of Apple Keynote. I really like the ease of using this application. Once I have collected the media, it was a matter of figuring out how the animation works. This is the mock-up video I created to show some of the slideshow features we may want to use for the show. There is a series of 6 slideshows, the last being a video effect.

Next time, I have to find out if we just need a QT video or the actual PowerPoint file, as there might be issues in exporting the latter.


Welcome to my snail bowl. This is the overflow space for my prolific aquatic gastropods. So far I have two species: 1 trumpet snail and the rest ramshorn snail.

All of the ramshorn snails I have came from one snail. I have well over a hundred by now. That one laid eggs. Then the offsprings laid eggs. Their offsprings laid eggs. Well. You get the picture. They have a preference. Glass no acrylic. Anything else inside is fair game. I realized that when I found egg clutches hatching on this silk plant.

Despite what I read about the trumpet snail, there was only one successful second generation. I saw no eggs. It just broke off from the tip of its parent's shell. Most of the time, it burrows in the gravel. The odd time I saw the slug part, it was quite revolting.

When they are not eating each other, I feed them fish flakes. Unlike fish, their food are allowed to go untouched for days before they will actually eat.

Since I got them, I have not had to flush the dead fish down the toilet, because these little buggers make short work of decomposing plants and animals, themselves included. Makes picking out empty shells just as tedious as transplanting a live one.

Ammonia in the water cleaner will kill them. I don't know if it's humane or not. Probably doesn't matter anyway. They were supposed to get rid of algae, but goldfish have voracious appetites, so the population has not had a chance to mature.

Ramshorn on glass and leaf.

Trumpet on the bottom

Friday, April 1, 2011

Class Act

Class Act by cin_kong
Class Act, a photo by cin_kong on Flickr.
I took this photo of Gates McFadden (Star Trek TNG Dr. Crusher) at Toronto's Fan Expo 2006. She graciously posed so fans can photograph to their hearts delight. For about a year, this was the main photo on Ms. McFadden's Wikipedia page. The latest Flickr feature allows me to share images directly without using a url.

The New Betta

It was a nice day, so I went shopping at Big Al's Aquarium. I found out about a new store policy, which prevents me from purchasing more than one fish for a 2-gallon tank. Even if I wanted to get more than one guppy, I would have to get one now and get another one a week later. That sounds ridiculous because I managed to keep over a dozen juvenile guppy in the same tank before. Then again, they have a guarantee policy, whereby they will replace any fish that died within 5-days of purchase for half the price. By ensuring the one inch of fish per gallon rule, the chance a new fish will die is reduced. I can't really blame them for that.

I only have another 2-gallon tank and fishbowl left to fill. Unless I shop at another pet shop, I will have to be satisfied with this new addition. So here is my new female male betta. She He is yellowish with largely white fins. Under the hood light, it looks like a goldfish. I know it's female because, it didn't freak out at its reflection, like a male might. It is a male because of the longer fins.

She has eaten. I hope it's a good sign that she will last me at least a year or so. Maintenance requires weekly water changes. We shall see. Maybe I could give her a couple of snail pals.