Monday, December 22, 2008

Humpback Whales in Puerto Vallarta

The day after Cari and John's wedding, we took a trip out of the resort onto Banderas Bay to do some snorkeling and hopefully to see some whales. We went on a similar trip almost a year ago in Hawaii and liked the trip but were a little disappointed that we didn't see many whales. This trip turned out to be much more satisfying in so many ways.

We sailed from the marina to the Marietas Islands all the while keeping our eyes open for whales on the voyage. It wasn't long before we saw several groups of whales surfacing for air, spouting water and fluking.

At the end of a very eventful morning, we arrived at the Marietas Islands. After some snorkeling, exploring the isolated beaches and having a fresh lunch on the sailboat, we began our trip back to the marina. In between the bottomless margaritas, tequila sunrises, pina coladas, etc., we kept our eyes peeled for more whales. Finally we saw what Roxi and I had been waiting for since we first saw humpbacks in Hawaii earlier in the year: a whale breach! It was preceded and followed by several whales swimming along the surface and slapping the water with their fins.

We really couldn't have asked for much more out of the trip. We saw more than I had hoped to see and had a great time in the process. Hopefully the videos show the majesty and grace of these enormous creatures.

Cari & John's Wedding

On our fourth day in Puerto Vallarta we attended the beautiful wedding of Cari and John on the beach of the Riu Jalisco resort on Banderas Bay. The wedding was about an hour before sunset and the setting couldn't have been better.

Riu Jalisco

Our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico took us to the all-inclusive Riu Jalisco resort for Cari and John's wedding.

New Year, New Life

Things have been very busy for me over the past few months and really over the past year. I had a lot going on at work and not much time or energy to blog in the evenings. Things are all about the change though. Roxi has accepted a research fellowship in the Netherlands starting in January. We are moving to Enschede on January 12 for at least seven months depending on how the fellowship goes for Roxi. At this point, I'm not sure what I'll be doing over there to pass the time, so blogging might become a very big part of my life again. If I do find a way to get a job, that will cut into my time to write about our experiences, but either way, I will increase my blogging if for no other reason than to keep our families apprised of what we are doing in the Old Country.

I left my job on December 9 to devote myself to getting our affairs in the States in order before we leave. Before we started that though, we took a week-long vacation to Puerto Vallarta for our friend Cari's wedding. We had a wonderful time and saw some amazing things. Stay tuned for pitcures and videos from our trip to Mexico.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Texas

As I expected, the Aggies did not pull of the three-pete over Texas. The Aggies just weren't very good this year and so I didn't have high hopes of another upset. The defense looked good early in the game, but the offense just couldn't make things happen. And when the offense did start to click, they were derailed by mistakes and missed opportunities. So the Aggies were defeated in Austin by a score of 49-9 and the season has come to a close. I'm glad that this season is behind us and Coach Sherman can get the team to buy into his system during the offseason. I don't want another season like this anytime soon. It's just not as fun to watch any college football when your team isn't competative and all the other teams in your league are ranked in the top 25. Better luck next year...Gig 'Em Ags!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Destiny Calls

I've been getting really excited about LOST again. I've been listening to the soundtracks and starting to think about things again ever since the first promo video for Season 5 was released. Now ABC has released the official Season 5 Promo Poster.

For those interested, there is a lot of new Season 5 footage available on but it is played through a video for an awful new song by the Fray. The scenes are intriguing, but be warned, the song is truly terrible. It really makes me think that one of the members of the band must have an uncle at ABC.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

James Bond

Several months ago, I decided that I wanted to read the original Ian Fleming "James Bond" novels so I searched eBay and found a set for sale. I read them in publication order with the exception of the short stories which I read in the their respective collections. I prefer to go into a book without having already seen the movie version, but with James Bond it is unavoidable. So I began with Casino Royale and enjoyed it. I found that it really opened my eyes to the Fleming character of James Bond. Of course, he developed over the course of the novels, but in the beginning, Bond was very cold and calculating and found little time for women while in the midst of a mission. In fact, the Casino Royale James bond is quite contrary to the suave, cool Bond portrayed by Sean Connery.

I continued reading the books and comparing them to the movies. In order to maintain the continuity of the movies I chose to watch them in release date order as well, but that caused me to have to wait until I had finished reading most of the books to really get fully into the film franchise. I finished the books a few months ago now, but I am still not through the movies yet. I have stalled out in the Roger Moore era. The reason for this? I realized, rather quickly, how bad a lot of the Bond movies are. That includes the Sean Connery films as well. Of course the Roger Moore films took the franchise into the level of absurdity.

It really got me to think about my affection for Bond films and it dawned on me that my love of the movies as I grew up was more about the idea of James Bond and never really about the movies themselves. The novels are mostly fantastic and the continuity between them is perfect. The filmmakers immediately reordered the storyline by choosing to start with Dr. No when the rights to Casino Royale were unavailable. On top of that, so much dramatic license was taken that the stories inevitably suffered. There are a few exceptions of course.

"Dr. No" was a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel, but I felt that it progressed to slowly to be a "great" movie. "Goldfinger" was probably the best Sean Connery era Bond film for both faithfulness to the source material and performance of Connery. But Connery was not the best Bond. For a while, I have been of the opinion that "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is the best Bond film. I also thought that George Lazenby was the best James Bond even though he was only around for one outing as the spy. The movie is very true to the book except for one rather bothersome continuity error resulting from the production of this novel after the film version of "You Only Live Twice," which actually should have been the other way around to preserve Fleming's overarching story.

I have not re-watched the Timothy Dalton movies yet, but I remember being unimpressed when I first saw them. Of course, my opinion may change this time around because I do remember Dalton playing James Bond more cold than cool. That's more in line with Fleming's Bond than anyone either Connery or Moore. Pierce Brosnan was a better Bond on paper as long as that paper didn't have a wretched script written on it. I don't know if it was all the scriptwriters' fault, but "GoldenEye" was probably the best of the Brosnan films and I don't remember it being all that great anyway. I'll never forget how laughably bad "Die Another Day" was. It was so bad that I had no desire to ever see another Bond movie.

The rebooting of the franchise with "Casino Royale" did a great service for the brand. I felt that I had been so badly burned by the previous film, I avoided Daniel Craig's debut in the theaters. I wish I hadn't, because when I finally saw it, I was blown away, both with the storytelling and with the new Bond. Craig has officially taken the top spot from Lazenby for me. He was wonderful in the role and I can say that the film still holds up after having read the novel.

We saw "Quantum of Solace" this weekend and although I didn't like it as much as "Casino Royale," it was better than the most of the other Bond movies out there. It doesn't have the slightest thing to do with the Ian Fleming short story of the same name, but this is not the first time that a Bond film simply uses the title of a book or story and nothing else. I like that is a direct sequel to "Casino Royale" and that it is not overly gimmicky. As soon as it gets too gimmicky, you'll know that they are out of ideas. I like how it leaves some questions unanswered for the next chapter in the story. And I love Daniel Craig as James Bond. I hear a lot of people still griping that he's no Sean Connery, but I challenge those people to go re-watch any of those old Bond movies and tell me why they are so superior to the last two films. The future seems to be bright for Bond. Happy 100th birthday Ian Fleming!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Baylor

The Ags got beat by Baylor today by a score of 41-21. I can't say that I'm surprised but I'm still disappointed. So now the Ags have a week off before taking on a tough Texas team in Austin. We won the last two meeting with Coach Fran at the helm. I grew very disillusioned with Fran over his last few seasons but he was still coach when we beat Texas twice in a row. I don't think that the Ags will be victorious in Austin this year unfortunately, but I will still be hoping for the major upset. The guys should really get up for the game if for no other reason than it will be the first Thanksgiving night game in fifteen years. Keep the streak going Ags! Get pumped and BTHO tu!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

The Aggies got soundly defeated by Oklahoma on Saturday night by a score of 66-28. The Aggies aren't even in OU's league right now so there is nothing surprising about the final home game of the season. Next up for the Aggies is a road trip to Waco to face Baylor and then a roadie to Austin to play Texas. I wish I could say that playing Baylor will be a nice tune-up before travelling to Austin, but I just don't think that things will be like that this year. I hope that there will be a time in the next few years that A&M will be competitive in the Big 12 again but a lot of of other teams in the league are doing really well and don't look to be slumping any time soon.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Return of LOST

The premiere date for Season 5 of LOST has been announced and it's coming sooner than we all expected. The two hour premier will be airing on January 21!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Colorado

The Aggies got their first conference win at home by defeating the Colorado Buffaloes by a score of 24-17. Jerrod Johnson had another good day in the quarterback position and the defense came up with some big plays to keep the Buffaloes from scoring. Both teams came into the game with identical records so I'd say that this was a good win for the Aggies against a team on about the same level. Next week will be a true test for this young team against an always good Oklahoma.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Iowa State

The Aggies got the first conference win of the season yesterday by defeating Iowa State by a score of 49-35. I wasn't able to watch the game but from what I've read, it appears that quarterback Jerrod Johnson had a great game. His numbers bode well for the future of the Aggies under Coach Mike Sherman's new system. I would still like to see the Ags win a few more games this year, but will be satisfied if they learn what they are capable of as players.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

LOST Season 5 Promo

It's really just a recap of the end of Season 4 with a little tease at Season 5, but I still got goosebumps!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech

The Aggies played host to Texas Tech and gave them a good game but still lost by a score of 43-25. The score makes the game seem much more one sided than it actually was. The Aggies lead several times during the game including at halftime. Unfortunatley, the Red Raiders made better halftime adjustments and took advantage of opportunities to go into the final minutes of the game leading 36-25. Knowing that they would not be allowed to tear down the goal post after the win, the Red Raiders decided to humilate the Aggies by scoring one more grandstanding touchdown with only seconds left in the game. Kudos go to Mike Leach on a decision to challenge the missed touchdown by the Red Raiders in the final minute of the game knowing full well that they would be able to put it in the endzone on their next play. You stay classy Texas Tech! The Ags played great today against a top 10 team but they lost and as far as I'm concerned, there are no moral victories. It sucks to keep losing, but maybe this will help the players grow as a team.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Kansas State

Again I am a few days late on this but I have as usual been very busy with work on game day as well as several social functions Saturday and Sunday. By now anyone who cares knows that the Aggies were defeated at home by Kansas State by a score of 44-30. I again listened to most of the game on the radio while working and although the Aggies put up some great stats in a variety of aspects of the game, they couldn't add the most important, the score, when they needed to. It was especially disappointing when the Aggies took the ball all the way to the K-State 2-yard line and could not score on two attempts. This ends the winning streak against K-State streak that started with the upset in the Big XII Championship ten years ago. I'm not sure what the Aggies need to do but the really need to start working on it as the rest of the schedule will not get any easier.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State

The Aggies lost their first Big XII game of the year to Oklahoma State by a score of 56-28. I didn't see or hear anything about it until much later in the evening on Saturday night because Roxi and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I am not a fair weather fan but I'm afraid this season is not going to end well for the Aggies.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Army

The Aggies got their first home victory of the season against Army with a final score of 21-17. It was hardly a stellar performance by the Aggies but it was a win nonetheless. Conference play starts next week and I worry that the Ags will face a tough game on the road. Congrats on the win and good luck on the road Ags.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Miami

The Aggies committed just enough mistakes today to lose the game against Miami by a score of 41-23. Thankfully I was working and only got to listen to a few minutes of the third quarter on the radio. It was abysmal. I heard Miami score three times in a matter of minutes. By the time I got home ABC wasn't even showing our game any more, so I didn't get to see the Aggies "rally" from being thirty-one points behind to finish only eighteen points down. I love Aggie football and I hate Aggie football. The only thing that sucks worse than this loss is the headlines in tomorrow's papers that will say something about Texas getting hit by another hurricane. Stay tuned for some lazy sports journalism.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike Evacuees

My parents let Houston Thursday afternoon and thankfully beat the rush of people trying to flee Hurricane Ike on Friday. It looks like they will be staying with us for at least another day or two as it is unclear when downtown Houston will be open to residents returning. By all reports, the water is receding so that the roads and interstates leading into the city are clear, but there it no drinking water, limited power, limited fuel and limited food in the city. I'm not sure how long it will be before city officials give the okay to return to downtown, but I surely don't want my parents to go back to a home without air conditioning, water or food.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I will be amazed if there is anything left of the barrier island city after Hurricane Ike. Galveston is no stranger to tremendous hurricane damage, but seeing what is happening down there already, hours before the eye of Ike makes landfall, has me fearful for the city and those that decided to ride out the storm. Good luck to all those on the island over the course of the night and the days to come.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ike Turns Southwest

It's looking less and less likely that Ike will make landfall anywhere in south Louisiana. Yesterday it looked like Ike might hit Galveston and Houston directly sometime this weekend, but it has continued to move southwest and now looks like it will make landfall around Matagorda Bay in south Texas. So now that there is little to no threat to Lafayette, can the garbage men come and take my trash? It's been a week since Gustav and all of the city's piles dead branches and leaves are starting to stink.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Texas A&M vs. New Mexico

The Aggies got their first win of the Mike Sherman era by defeating the New Mexico Lobos by a score of 28-22. It would have been nice to get the win last week as well because the season is only going to get harder. Nevertheless, congrats to the Ags on todays win!

Friday, September 05, 2008

What will Ike be like?

Since Gustav moved on a few days ago, I have been checking the storm tracks of Hanna, Ike and Josephine. It seems pretty definite that Hanna will be skirting along the east coast over the next few days and that Josephine might lose steam before it even gets to the east coast, but Ike may be a different story. For the past couple of days I have watched as Ike has changed course southward from it's originally projected path along the east coast to now entering the Gulf of Mexico sometime around Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Hurricane Ike

This morning was the first indication that I saw that it might actually cross Florida around Miami. I couldn't help but think of Hurricane Andrew back in 1992 that started by wiping out Dade County, Florida before moving on to restrengthen in the Gulf before hitting the Louisiana Gulf Coast hard near Morgan City. Lafayette fared pretty well, but my high school which was about twenty miles south, was closed for about ten days. Many of my friends from further south didn't return home for several weeks.

Hurricane Andrew

Once I got to work today, some of my co-workers were noting Ike's similar track to Hurricane Katrina which also crossed over Florida near Miami before restrengthening in the Gulf before becoming the storm that has left New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast in ruins. I was living in Nashville at the time, but my friends and family here in Lafayette were hardly affected by Katrina other than the influx of refugees. In fact, on the day of Katrina, Roxi said it barely even rained in town.

Hurricane Katrina

In looking at the most recent hurricane to really impact Lafayette, I turned to Rita. Again it was worse for people south and west of Lafayette including the Texas Gulf Coast. It was probably as bad for Lafayette as Gustav. Our house had a tree fall on it but power was never lost.

Hurricane Rita

Ike's five day track looks the most like Rita, but there is that little northward hitch that Ike is projected to take once it gets past Florida. That could be bad for the west coast of Florida and the panhandle. Unfortunately it is still too early to tell where this storm will be going but if it looks like it is heading our way and it is picking up strength, we might just pack up and leave for a while. I just don't want to go through the things that our friends in Houma, Baton Rouge and even Lafayette had to endure or are still enduring as a result of a Gustav.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Before and After Gustav Cleanup

As promised here are some pictures that I took of the trash in the yard this morning followed by pictures of what things look like now including the large piles of the trash lined up for garbage collection. Luckily, we had no damage to the house but the cleanup was still a real pain.



The Day After Gustav

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday afternoon, but we lost the internet after (!) the storm even though we never lost power. We spent today cleaning up the debris in the yard and got a lot done but there is still a fair amount of extraneous sticks and leaves in the back yard. Here are some pictures and a video that I took as the eye passed over Lafayette yesterday afternoon. I'll post the cleanup pictures soon.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Eye of the Storm

The eye of Hurricane Gustav has moved into Lafayette Parish and it is pretty evident by the increase in the winds and rain. The wind gusts have gotten a lot more frequent and louder. We are getting the strength of what's left of the eye wall before we get to the eerie calm of the eye itself. I'm not sure how fast Gustav is moving right now, but this strong weather will probably keep up for at least an hour before the reprieve of the eye. I hope to get outside during the lull to get some pictures, but from inside the house it just looks like most of what we will see is down tree limbs and leaves everywhere.

Hurricane Gustav Is Here

The light drizzle that came and went intermittently was replaced by a calm partly cloudy sky this morning around 6 AM. After a light breeze and darkening sky, the heavy rains began falling at around 9 AM here in Lafayette. In the last hour the wind has really picked up but it they are not of tropical storm strength yet. From news reports we have been watching all morning, it looks like Gustav will weaken considerably before the eye of the storm reaches us this afternoon. It appears that Grand Isle, Houma and Morgan City will be taking the brunt of Gustav, but if you are watching the national news all you'll be hearing about is New Orleans.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Outer Bands

Gustav has arrived in Acadiana in the form of light rain. Roxi and I were just out walking and as we got back home, thunder cracked accompanied by the slightest sprinkling of rain. We still have several hours to go before the strong winds arrive, but we are ready. Roxi's parents and grandmother arrived a few hours ago and we promptly started drinking hurricanes. The weather will get worse, but for now, it's time to play some Mario Kart for Wii while we still have power!

More Gustav Preparations

This morning, Roxi and I went a local park where sandbags were being filled. We got enough bags to protect the doors of our house in case flood waters rise higher than they ever have in this area. I'm really not expecting waters to come close to our doors, but over the past few years, our back yard has tended to flood more than it used to. That being the case, I'm only slightly concerned about flood waters rising several inches to our back doors, but better safe than sorry!

Out in the streets of Lafayette, there is a lot less traffic and other activity than usual. Some stores and some of our neighbors have boarded up their windows while many others have chosen not to do so. We don't have any plywood to board up our windows, but we have never done so in a hurricane and we are hoping for the same during Gustav. It's a typically beautiful pre-hurricane day here in Lafayette, so we are going to enjoy this calm before the storm.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas State

I've been preoccupied with the Hurricane Gustav preparations, but in the meantime, apparently the Aggies lost to Arkansas State by a score of 18-14. This will probably be a very long season for new head coach Mike Sherman and the team.

Gustav Preparations

Although I thought it was a little premature a few days ago with the course of Gustav still so uncertain, I began getting ready for the storm on Thursday by getting plenty of bottled water. I continued my preparations by filling both of our cars with gas since there may not be any available immediately or even for several days after the storm. Today, I secured all of our outdoor furniture and other potential projectiles from the expected high winds. I also went shopping for anything that we sill needed before the storm. The stores were surprisingly unchaotic. But as the day has gone on, traffic has decreased considerably for a Saturday afternoon.

Roxi's parents and grandmother are planning to ride out the storm with us in our house. I feel good about this house as it has gone through several hurricanes since it was built including Andrew, Lili and Rita. There was some tree damage to the house from Rita, but it is really no worse for the wear. I'm a still concerned about Gustav's projected course as it will be passing directly over Lafayette sometime between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. There is currently a voluntary evacuation of Lafayette Parish and mandatory evacuations of all of the southerly bordering parishes. I'm not sure what we would do in the event of a mandatory evacuation of Lafayette. Contra-flow on I-49 will begin soon and that would help us get to Shreveport and points north but I honestly don't know where we would go because it is doubtful that there are any hotels in north Louisiana. In fact, evacuees will be lucky to find places to stay in Arkansas.

So unless a police officer comes to our house and tells us to leave, we will be staying and I will try to blog occasionally as long as we have power.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Here it has been almost another month since my last post, but work has been keeping me very busy. We are now going six days a week as our project deadlines get closer. In my limited spare time, I am playing with a bunch of new toys that we have gotten for the Wii like Rock Band and Mario Kart, but my new favorite entertainment device has to be the Roku. Roxi gave it to me for my birthday and since we have set it up, we have been loading up our Netflix Instant Queue and ripping through movies and television shows.

For the uninitiated, a while back, Netflix started to offer movies in streaming format on your computer instead of having to wait for the disk to arrive by mail. As a "Mac guy," I couldn't participate as the streams were and are still only availble on PC. Initially, there was also a limitation to how many "instant" movies you could watch per month but now any unlimited movie package through Netflix includes unlimited "instant" movies. No one really wants to sit at their computer and watch a movie and few people have the patience to move their computer near their TV so that they can watch movies that way. So it was only a matter of time before devices would be available for transferring those movies to your television. Roku is one such device and it couldn't be easier to use.

We connected our Roku in a matter of minutes and the device was linked to our Netflix account and activated in almost no time. Then it was just a matter of populating our new Instant Queue. The movie selection is definitely limited right now, but so was the selection of DVDs when Netflix first started doing business. The selection will only get better with time and we are finding plenty of things to watch. The movies are streamed wirelessly to the TV and the picture quality is as good anything else we watch. The movies only take a minute or two to initially load and so far have run uninterrupted as long as we don't fast forward or rewind. Those actions do cause the stream to rebuffer, but again it only takes a minute or two.

The most beautiful part of all is that there is no additional cost beyond the regular monthly Netflix fee. On top of that, any unlimited movie rental plan includes unlimited instant movies. Right now we are paying $16 per month to get three DVDs at a time, but we will be downgrading to one DVD at a time for a mere $8 and will still enjoy unlimited streaming movies. That's a pretty great deal if you ask me!

I love the Roku so far and look forward to expansion of the instant movie cataloge. It appears that Netflix has finally lived up to its name.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is Cuil the new Google? launched today and I had heard nothing about this until I read a story on Drudge. Apparently it was started by some former Google employees who have already made one other search engine that was bought by Google a few years ago. Cuil claims to have information on over 120 billion web pages but there were no hits when I searched my name while Google came up with at least ten relevant pages. This of course is purely anecdotal, but it does make me wonder about Cuil's search algorithm and the number of pages that Google searches. I will keep an open mind about Cuil, but I wonder if there is any way to take market share from Google at this point in time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

The second of four direct-to-DVD Futurama movies was released yesterday and I'm starting to feel like they shouldn't have embarked on this project. Don't get me wrong, the movies are okay, but the TV series was far superior in quality. "The Beast with a Billion Backs" picked up where "Bender's Big Score" left off but seemed to ignore most of the character development from the first movie. It was actually pretty baffling. I did set my expectation considerably lower for this movie and found myself enjoying this effort more than the last but at the same time felt that it still lacked that certain something that made me love Futurama when it was still on television. Maybe it's nostalgia but Futurama just seemed like it was consistently better than this. There are two more movies in the works and I will give them a chance, but I'm really starting to think that Futurama just isn't fit for the feature-length treatment. The grass really is always greener I guess. Back in the days when it was on TV, I always wanted more Futurama. Now I find that the two movies are mediocre at best. Time will tell, but I don't have my hopes set too high for.

Notable extras on this DVD include the usual commentary with several of the producers and voice actors as well as the "Lost Episode" of Futurama created for the 2003 video game.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Our friend Scott got hold of an advanced copy of the pilot of the new J.J. Abrams show "Fringe" this week and we watched it the other night. It was interesting and definitely has potential but like with most television pilots, it's really hard to say. For example, after seeing the pilot for "Frasier" I thought, "This show won't be around for very long."

I don't intend to spoil any of the show, but I thought that I would discuss my reactions.

"Fringe" is the story of FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) investigating a strange case of terrorism and, in the process, stumbles into what could be a vast conspiracy. The acting is about average for television and the pacing of the show is good. It is much more like "Alias" than "LOST" in that the main protagonist is a female federal agent and that the show will likely have an overarching storyline while each episode will contain a stand alone story.

In the pilot, Agent Dunham elicits the help of "retired" university professor Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his super intelligent but troubled son Peter (Joshua Jackson) to crack the case. Many of the things Dr. Bishop studied involved typical-for-TV paranormal things. I generally find the portrayal of pseudo-science on television and in movies boring as most characters accept long debunked theories as fact. Therefore, my favorite character in "Fringe" is Peter Bishop who, at least in the pilot, is very skeptical of his father's research and all things pseudo-scientific. I am all for escapism but it is nice to see a balance between fiction and fact. I will be very disappointed if that character trait and perspective is dropped in future episodes. No discussion of "Fringe" would be complete without mentioning Phillip Broyles played cryptically by Lance Reddick of "The Wire" and "LOST." Not unlike Matthew Abaddon on "LOST," there is a lot that we have to learn about Agent Broyles.

I am looking forward to seeing more of this show which I believe will be premiering in August on Fox. Fans of "Alias" will probably appreciate "Fringe" as long as it breaks new ground in the J.J Abrams universe.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

More LOST Finale Disection from YouTube

Here are a couple of more clips posted on YouTube that answer some questions about the LOST finale.


What did Sawyer tell Kate before he jumped out of the helicopter? We were all pretty sure that it had something to do with the errand that Kate was doing for Sawyer in "Something Nice Back Home." This audio enhanced video confirms the theory that Sawyer asked Kate to find his daughter.

In the scene right before Kate saw (ghost?) Claire with Aaron, she received a phone call that was garbled and backwards. Here is a clip of the scene played in reverse to reveal that the call was telling Kate she must return to the island before it's too late.

"There's No Place Like Home" Alternate Endings

I am still digesting the Season 4 finale of LOST but it was revealed on Friday morning that two alternate endings were shot in order to keep the final revel a secret in case anyone on the cast or crew decided to talk before the show aired on Thursday night. See the alternate endings below:


Thursday, May 29, 2008

"There's No Place Like Home (Parts 2 & 3)"

Well, here we are...we find ourselves at the end of another season of LOST. This end is sweet but of course a little bitter. We had a fantastic season. We had a season that rivaled the first in originality and drama. We had what might be the best episode yet of the series ("The Constant") as well as some pretty interesting developments in the future for our Losties. WE learned a little more about the pasts of some of our most important characters (John Locke) while we learned about the future of Others (Ben Linus). Despite the near ruin of the writers strike, I'd say we got some of the best network television I have ever seen. And it all culminated in tonight's finale.


Let me begin with the extended scene from the re-airing of "There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)." As confirmed by the producers in their last audio podcast, the re-run of Part 1 contained an extended press conference scene with the Oceanic 6 and addressed the initial survivors of the crash that dies prior to rescue. In "Eggtown," Jack testified that there were eight survivors of the initial crash but only six were rescued. I, and many others, overlooked the obvious when we counted Aaron as one of the initial eight. Of course he was not born yet, so that gave us five final survivors with three that died before rescue occurred. The question of who the other three were was answered in the extended press conference. The other three survivors of the crash were Boone, Libby and Charlie. Although this was interesting and I'm ultimately glad that it was addressed, my question is: if you are going to lie about who survived but died before rescue, why would you pick the three deaths that were hardest on the Losties? I found it to be a little too cute for these three to be the other "survivors" of the crash when there were plenty of randos to choose from such as Scott, Steve, Nikki or Paulo. But enough about that!

Parts 2 and 3 of "There's No Place Like Home" were not a perfect finale to a season, but it is hard to follow-up last season's "Through the Looking Glass." I hope that the series finale of LOST is as good as "Through the Looking Glass." But I digress. This finale certainly started out with a bang as it picked up right where "Through the Looking Glass" left off. Very nice! Kate is still not convinced that they must return to the island and we still don't know who's in the coffin, but we learned immediately that his name is Bentham (sp?).

I had a bad feeling about Jin from the set-up in Part 1, but I was still convinced that Michael wouldn't be killed so soon after he was brought back to the show. But it was very cool when Christian showed up to tell him that he was done and could go. Very cool. So is Jin dead? I think so. It would be very hard to convince me that we survived that explosion and sinking of the freighter. Sad that it was, it was very necessary to complete the story arc that began in
"Ji Yeon."

On the subject of completing story arcs, I must say that this finale really tied together so many threads that were started during this and previous seasons. It was pretty amazing actually considering what we are used to on LOST. From how Ben ended up in a parka to how the Oceanic 6 finally united, this episode really put a nice bow on a whole lot of loose threads.

Speaking of loose threads, how about Desmond and Penny finally reuniting? I guess we couldn't expect Desmond to die or else there is no sense of urgency in Ben's threat to Charles Widmore that he would kill Penny in retaliation for killing Alex. I was glad to see Desmond and Penny finally getting back together, but it was not as compelling as their phone call from "The Constant."

In an interesting scene relatively early in the episode, Hurley is visited by a teenage Walt. Boy has Malcolm David Kelly grown up. I have been re-watching Season 1 lately and he seems so young compared to the Walt that we saw tonight. The sad part is that he asked Hurley about his dad. It wasn't sad at the time, but by the end of the episode, it was pretty clear that Michael wouldn't be going home to Walt. So what does this mean for Walt? Is his story over now that Michael is dead? I don't think so. I think that Walt will be playing a part in the future of LOST. Maybe even as a character that we know as Matthew Abaddon!

Sun has taken her position in Paik Heavy Industries very seriously. She even made that trip to London to meet Charles Widmore. But was it all about business as usual. I think that it is pretty clear that Sun has plans to use Paik Heavy Industries, with the help of Widmore Industries, to find the island.

Sayid rescued Hurley from the mental instituation to take him "someplace safe." Hurley even asked if they were going back to the island. Sayid assured him that they weren't. So what gives? Is Sayid planning to keep them from getting back to the island? If so, why? It would seem that all of the Oceanic 6 have a reason to go back.

For most of this season, I have been wondering what would finally "spook" Kate into realizing that the island still had power over her. It finally happened towards the end of the episode when she awoke in the night to find Claire in Aaron's room. Freaky! So Claire seems to be carrying on the Shepard family tradition of visiting/terrifying her kids. But the odd thing is that she told Kate not to bring Aaron back to the island. Why not?

Maybe it has something to do with all the bad things that happened on the island after the Oceanic 6 left. I suppose we will find out more about that in Season 5. But no discussion of this finale would be complete without mentioning the obvious. The big twist at the end. The identity of the man in the coffin...the man who met with the Oceanic 6 before his "suicide." The man who's funeral was attended by no one. The man who Jack and Ben both had to see after hours. A man who couldn't possibly be off the island...John Locke. So did he move the island like Ben causing him to also be banished forever. It's no wonder that Jack wanted to kill himself when he learned of Locke's death. I'm sure he was Jack's only hope for return to the island. Oh, this eight months will be fraught with speculation. But before I miss LOST too much, I plan to savor this season as I watch the episodes again and wait for news from the LOST panel at Comic Con. It will be a long hiatus, but we survived last year and together, we can survive this year!

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs" Trailer

The trailer for the next direct-to-DVD Futurama movie was released this week.

It looks about as funny as the trailer for "Bender's Big Score" which is to say, not very. I was a bit disappointed down by "Bender's Big Score" and so have set the bar a little lower for "The Beast with a Billion Backs." This trailer does nothing to improve my expectations. "The Beast with a Billion Backs" will be released on DVD on June 24.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Boating on the Bayou with the Benoits

Roxi and I spent Saturday with her parents taking their new boat for a test drive along the Vermilion River here in Lafayette. Roxi's dad, Larry, and I spent the first two hours trying to tow the boat out of their driveway. The problem was that the boat was parked under their carport which is down a hill and under their house. It took some finesse and ingenuity but we finally got it up the hill and we were on our way.

We went to the nearest boat launch at Rotary Point only to find that it was closed. Metal cables had literally been strung across the entrance to the ramp making it impossible to back the trailer into the water. So we made our way to the next boat launch at Beaver Park. Thankfully it was open and we easily got the boat into the water despite the high waters from this week's severe storms. Larry navigated the boat down river around the floating debris, again left over from this week's storms, and we docked at the deck behind the Benoit's house.

Roxi and her mom, Vicky, as well as the Benoit's friends Pat and Maureen loaded into the boat with a cooler full of beer and we took the boat further downriver.

I took the opportunity to call my grandparents who live only a short trip down river from the Benoit's. We made a brief stop at their river front yard that has been dubbed "Raine's Bend" and had a little chat before proceeding further along towards Milton.

After a suitable cruise along the river, we turned around and headed back to the Benoit's house taking in the scenery on the way home.

As we passed back by my grandparent's house, I took the opportunity to shoot this video of "Raine's Bend."

Finally we returned to the Benoit's house, docked the boat and called it a day with a late barbeque lunch.

This is how Memorial Day weekend was meant to be!

UPDATE: More pictures from our boating day courtesy of Larry and Vicky.

After a long day in the heat on the river, Roxi and I had to steal a little nap before the barbeque.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)"

Tonight we began the three-hour trek to the end of the fourth season of LOST. Unfortunately, we have to wait for two weeks to see the second and third acts of this finale. And it's a real bummer because this first hour was really just an appetizer setting the palate for what looks to be an explosive two-hour finale.


I really don't have a whole lot to say about this episode because, like I said, it really only spent this hour setting up what will happen in the next two. We did get to see the Oceanic 6 make their triumphal return to the real world. Jack made sure to remind them of their need to stick to "the story." So will we learn why it is so important to hide the truth of the plane crash in the next episode? I sure hope so because it is really baffling why they would all keep this secret.

Speaking of secrets, I like that Jack finally got to learn about his half-sister Claire. His reaction was one of utter horror. It has made me reconsider my assumption that Claire is dead. She must still be alive on the island for Jack to feel the way he appears to when Claire's mom spills the beans. And how did she wake from her coma? Did the Island have anything to do with that perhaps in an attempt to start Jack on his long progressing of wanting to return?

It was also nice to see Sayid meet Nadia after the Oceanic press conference. It is sad to know that her days are numbered though. And it was not surprising to see Hurley encounter the numbers so soon after his return. The only thing missing was for Jack to see Christian, but I suppose that's coming. It was also very satisfying to see that Sun bought a controlling interest in her father's company and will now be in charge. Will she use the Paik-Widmore connection to help find the island again in a future season? That's my guess.

As far as the on-island story goes, I guess the big question is how are the Oceanic 6 going to all be in one place to achieve rescue? Right now, Sayid and Kate are with the Others, Jack is with Sawyer looking for Hurley, Hurley is with Locke at the Orchid Station, and Sun and Aaron on the freighter.

Speaking of Sun, I think Jin is going to die on the freighter. All those explosives have to be hooked up to Keamy with that thing on his arm from last week. My theory is that if Keamy is killed, that device will set off all the C4 on the freighter. And I think that will ultimately happen in the next episode destroying the freighter and killing most of the people on board. I think that Sun and Aaron will escape on a lifeboat and then she will be reunited with Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid who were all picked up by Frank. Unfortunaely, my theory has Frank, Jin and possibly even Desmond dying. I don't know what LOST would do without Desmond's very compelling story, so I'm hoping I'm wrong about him.

And what about Michael? I still think that he's in the coffin from last season's finale. He will escape the destruction of the freighter but will commit suicide from the guilt of feeling responsible for Jin's death (remember Sun told he father that he was one of the two people she held responsible for Jin's death).

It's going to be a long two weeks, but the next time I write, we'll know who is in the coffin!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Cabin Fever"

It's going to be a long week. I don't know if I can wait another seven days for the next installment of LOST. Then again, it will be enough time for me to think about what I just saw and to read other analyses. But what will I be thinking about?


There are several questions that come to mind after seeing "Cabin Fever." They are, in no particular order:

1. Why is Christian a conduit for Jacob?
2. Is Matthew Abaddon really Jacob?
3. What is going on with Claire?
4. What will happen that makes Hurley regret ever choosing to go with Locke instead of Jack.
5. Does Abaddon work for Widmore, "the Island," or someone else?
6. Is something bad about to happen to Desmond?
7. How are they going to move the Island?

Of course there are many more questions, but these are a few of the ones that I can't stop thinking about.

I found it very interesting that we are being led to believe that people have been watching Locke for his entire life, evaluating him and subtly pushing him towards his destiny on the Island. Will we learn something similar about Jack in a future episode? I would be surprised if Christian was not always grooming Jack for his days on the Island. But back to Locke. I found it especially interesting when Richard Alpert visited a young Locke and gave him the "Dalai Lama" test. It was even more intriguing when Richard stormed out after Locke chose the knife.

Likewise, I was giddy with excitement during Abaddon's appearance at Locke's rehab center and their discussion of the walkabout. So did Abaddon know that the plane was going to crash on the Island? Did he know how long it would take Locke to decide to go on his walkabout? Was Locke the only one on the plane that mattered? Obviously not since Christian Shepard's body needed to be aboard. So how did all of these "important" people end up on this particular flight?

Meanwhile, on the freighter, I am getting very worried about Desmond. A few weeks ago I would have thought it improbable for anything bad to happen to him as his and Penny's story is so very touching. But after the unbelievable carnage over the past few weeks, I find myself very nervous about Desmond's well being. It would appear that all the "bad" people are off the freighter with Frank, but still, I don't have a good feeling about Desmond. But I suppose tension is key as we begin the three-part finale next week.

The biggest questions of the episode were of course related to Jacob. I was really expecting to see him this week and for all we know, we did. Abaddon made one last very cryptic statement to Locke before they parted ways at the rehab facility. He said something to the effect of, "You can thank me the next time you see me." That is very badly paraphrased, but it really makes me think that Jacob and Abaddon could be one and the same. But we don't know yet. For now we are left to ponder why it is that Christian is the front-man for Jacob. It is interesting to note that he introduced himself only as Christian to Locke. To do otherwise would have probably made Locke's head explode. Of course it almost did when he saw Claire in the cabin. And boy did she looked weird! Is she still alive or is she already dead? I have heard a theory that she died in the explosion two weeks ago and that she has been one of the walking dead ever since. It is indeed a very intriguing theory!

Sadly LOST is winding down for another nine months, but this three-part finale should be very impressive and full of things to obsess about during the hiatus. Tonight's episode was very good and I expect no less in the coming weeks!

UPDATE: Big news this morning as it has been announced that Seasons 5 and 6 of LOST will each contain 17 episodes rather than the 16 each previously announced. That coupled with the "14th" hour to make the three hour finale this season corrects the loss of three hours this season due to the writers strike. So this season will end with 14 episodes and the next two will end with 17 each. This way, I hope they have enough time to adequately tell the remaining story.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Festival International 2008

Festival International was last weekend here in Lafayette and Roxi and I walked between the stages on Saturday night shooting a little video along the way.

New Orleans Bingo Show!

Hot 8 Brass Band

Yerba Buena

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Something Nice Back Home"

Season 4 of LOST delivers again! With only four more hours left in the season, the pace has no time to let up as the drama was amped up again this week.


Danielle is dead?!? Jack is with Kate!?! Christian makes contact...twice!!!

It was quite an episode as we filled in a lot of blanks about the future not to mention the past (?) on the island. Jack's appendectomy went off without a hitch (his death on the island all but impossible assuming that linear storytelling is what is going on). Post-rescue Jack was able to come to terms with whatever was bothering him about Kate and now lives with her...but not for long. Is Kate ready to settle down? Maybe, but is Jack ready to be a guy without any emotional baggage...not at all. So is Jack's dad dead or not? I don't know, but Christian really seems to be more important all the time.

Meanwhile, Claire saw Christian the middle of the the middle of the jungle...and he was holding Aaron! So again, is Christian alive? I can't figure it out at all but I love it!

I also loved when Jin confronted Charlotte when he realized that she understood his Korean. As much I like who Jin has become, I enjoyed seeing the "gangster" Jin from the past. The stage is set for Sun's escape from the island without Jin.

I was seriously bummed to find out that Danielle is actually dead. I really thought that she was going to be wounded and that we would get the long-awaited flashback. Although Damon and Carlton have said that even if Danielle were dead, we could still get her story, I wanted a lot of meat to her flashback. I have heard that we will learn more about her, but I wanted it to be through her eyes and memories, not of someone else. But you can't always get what you want. I suppose I have to put my faith in the LOST team and hang on for the rest of the season.

So where is Claire? Did she leave with Christian? Or was it the Smoke Monster? I need more information and I need it now. But I realize that I must savor what we have left of Season 4. It will be another long hiatus and I have to enjoy what I have while I have it! It looks like next week is going to be really good!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"The Shape of Things to Come"

I have been a bad blogger. To my credit, I have been busy the past few weeks with things of import and things of no import whatsoever. I have traveled a long distance to attend a wedding of an old friend. I have also sat in my living room and played Guitar Hero and Lego Star Wars on the Wii for more hours than I can count. But this blogging malaise is over because LOST is back!

LOST returned with great episode and a few twists and shocking moments that I was not expecting.


So we learned where Ben first went when he left the island, but we still don't know exactly how he left. It is safe to say that he got off the island the same way that Charlotte's polar bear did. So what is Ben's first order of business? Coercing Sayid to be his contract killer of course. Poor Sayid. He was actually reunited with Nadia after he left the island, but she was killed, presumably by someone working for Widmore, but the show thing seemed fishy to me. For all we know, she was killed by someone working for Ben!

Meanwhile, the freighter people were revealed as the people that killed Karl, and hopefully only injured Danielle, before capturing Alex. I found the standoff between Ben and Keamy to be very interesting especially for the fact that Ben finally found himself in a situation in which his bluff was called. I was certainly shocked when Keamy did not hesitate to kill Alex when Ben bluffed that she was just a pawn. To hear Ben say that "they changed the rules" indicates that this game is much larger than I could have ever imagined. But leave it to Ben to show us just the power that he has on the island. Although we did not get a clear answer, it would seem that Ben was able to summon the Smoke Monster to dispatch the invaders with extreme prejudice. Scary!

Meanwhile, the body of the freighter doctor washed up on the island with his throat slit...or did it? According to the limited communication with the freighter, the doctor may still be alive on board and Daniel has been lying to Jack about rescuing the survivors all along. Also Jack has appendicitis.

Of course, the big twist in the episode was Ben's late night visit to Charles Widmore himself. I was expecting to learn that Ben and Widmore are working together, but I was surprised to find out that they are indeed enemies with a set of gentlemanly rules...rules that Ben feels Charles broke by having Alex killed. So Ben has vowed to kill Widmore's daughter to show him how it feels. So again, it appears that the story of Desmond and Penny is an integral part of LOST.

All in all, this was a very good episode and a welcome return to this intriguing story. Sadly, this means that there are only three more episodes left before the two-hour finale and then LOST will again go dark for eight months. Let us enjoy what we have while we have it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

An extra hour of LOST!

Big news in the LOST world as it seems that there will be another hour added to this writers-strike-shortened season. News of a "fourteenth hour" is great but broadcasts of other shows finale's will likely lead to the finale being split between two nights. I'm not complaining though. An extra episode of LOST will be great after all the talk of only half an already truncated season a few months ago. Read more here and here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Meet Kevin Johnson"

Very interesting episode of LOST last night. Unfortunately now we have to wait five more weeks for the season to continue. But enough about that.


This was the episode a lot of people have been waiting for. We finally got to see what Michael has been doing since he left the island. And apparently, he has been re-enacting scenes from "Groundhog Day." Not being able to live with himself for killing Ana Lucia and Libby, he tried to kill himself several times but to no avail. I'll have to admit, I was very confused about the flashback for quite a while. I was pretty sure it was a flashback to the time before Michael got on the freighter, but I was doubting myself until Michael tried to visit Walt. I really liked seeing familiar faces like Libby and I loved the scenes with Tom. I've missed having Tom around!

So we learned about Michael's motivation for going on the freighter and how he got there. What I really want to know now, is who is telling the truth about the staged wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815. Unfortunately, I have this feeling that we won't know if Charles Widmore staged it or if Ben staged it until sometime in the distant future (i.e. not this season). I don't know what will happen now that Sayid has turned Michael in to the ship captain. But I don't think that this is the end for Michael. I hereby renew my assertion that Michael is the man in the coffin at the end of Season 3. That was one of my two original ideas (Ben being the other), but now I feel that it makes more sense seeing as how Michael was trying to kill himself but "the island wouldn't let him." At the time we saw Michael in his flashback, Tom told him that he still had work to do so he couldn't die. By the time Jack has his long beard in his flash forward, he wants to get back to the island, and perhaps the island doesn't want him to return. Meanwhile Michael living under a different assumed name, successfully kills himself because now the island let him as he is one of the few who knows the islands' coordinates from his time on the freighter.

And of course, the ABC promotional department dropped the ball big time...again. They promised last week that someone would die. Of course they flashed the faces of all our favorite Losties and of course it turned out to be none of them. I'm convinced that the people who do promotions for televesion don't even watch the shows. It appears that Karl is pretty dead when he is shot (?) by a sniper on his way to the Temple. Danielle was also shot but I have a feeling that she is not dead because there is still too much information that they need to reveal about her character, namely her back story. In any event, Karl is not someone who I would call a major character, so his death, although unfortunate, deserved very little hype from people who make the promos for ABC. So who is shooting? My money is on Ben although it will probably turn out to be one of the freighter people. Frank has been gone an awful long time so he probably took the chopper back to the island with some more of the commandos to try to capture Ben or Alex.

So there we will wait until April 24. It seems like a long time right now but it really won't be all that bad seeing as how we have made it thorough the long dark hiatus of last year. All in all, I really like Season 4 but I can see why the producers would not have wanted this to be the final episode of the season if they had been unable to come back from the writers strike. So I am looking forward to this new story arc and how the season will likely culminate in the Oceanic 6 leaving the island. Until then, theorize away!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good News Everyone!

Fox has announced the release date of the second of four direct-to-DVD Futurama movies. "The Beast with a Billion Backs" will be released on June 24. It will pick up where "Bender's Big Score" left off. Some may recall that I was a little underwhelmed by "Bender's Big Score," but like I said then, "good new Futurama is better than none at all." In other news, a television version of "Bender's Big Score" will premiere on Comedy Central on March 23.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's not green, but it sure is Irish! This is a glass of my third batch of home brew: a nice Irish red ale on this March 17.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Ji Yeon"

The first half of Season 4 of LOST is now over and we have the answers to two questions that were brought up at the start of this year. We also have learned of another loss in the LOST family. All in all, another great episode that had me faked out not unlike "Through the Looking Glass" from Season 3.


From advanced knowledge of the title, I don't think anyone could have assumed this was going to be about any other characters but Sun and Jin. From the title and the fact that Sun is pregnant, I had formulated the story in my head over the past week and figured that the title must refer to the name of their unborn child. What I couldn't figure out early on in the episode is how they were both off the island in the flash forward considering that by my count there was only one spot left in the Oceanic 6. Of course, looking back on it, the hints were dropped all along from the fact that Jin was so determined to buy that Panda, to his attitude when someone took his cab and the size of his cell phone. In the closing minutes of the flash forward, it occurred to me that we were seeing a Jin flashback and a Sun flash forward. Moments later, this was confirmed when Hurley visited Sun and Ji Yeon who then went as a group to visit Jin's grave. It's very sad to find out that Jin did not get off the island and by Sun's emotional graveside visit, I think we can assume that he is really dead in the future, not just left on the island. So how is he buried in Korea? Is he one of the two people that survived the crash but died before rescue (i.e. Jack's court testimony in "Eggtown")?

In any event, we now know the identity of the Oceanic 6:

1. Jack
2. Kate
3. Hurley
4. Sayid
5. Aaron
6. Sun

But the other bigger story of this episode was the identity of Ben's spy on the freighter. In the most telegraphed "twist" in the history of LOST (followed only by Jack and Claire being revealed as half-siblings) Micheal was introduced to Desmond and Sayid as Kevin Johnson. His hair is much shorter and his beard is neatly trimmed but it is Michael and now we can spend the next week wondering what his back story is. I know I can't wait to see it!

The last big revelation was the conversation between the freighter captain, Desmond and Sayid. In three or four minutes, the captain exposited so much LOST mythology it made my head spin. Not only did he tell them who he was working for, he also showed them the the black box recovered from the underwater wreckage of Flight 815. He went on to imply that the underwater wreckage was staged by Ben and that is why Charles Widmore is working so hard to catch him. So is he telling the truth? Earlier in the episode, Kevin "Michael" Johnson slipped a note to Desmond and Sayid imploring them not to trust the captain. But Michael is working for Ben. So who can we trust?

Oh yea, and Regina killed herself by jumping off the freighter. We finally got to see Zoe Bell and she died, just like when we finally got to see Minkowski (Fisher Stevens) and he died. Is this just a bit of cult-movie stunt-casting?

I liked the episode but again I am itching for more and can't wait until we "Meet Kevin Johnson" next week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pressing Issue

How long did Luke Skywalker's training on Dagobah last?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"The Other Woman"

We had a pretty good episode of LOST tonight. Not great but pretty good. Frankly I don't think that anything could top last week's fantastic episode. Still, this one was pretty good and had quite a few reveals in it.


We learned a little more about Juliet this week, first and foremost that she is not one of the Oceanic 6 and that the Others had a therapist. It turns out that Juliet started having an affair with the therapists husband, hence the title of the episode. Of course the title makes a second reference to Juliet in that she is the Other woman among the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.

All those theories about astral projection are in play again as we saw the Others' therapist appear to Juliet to tell her she must kill Daniel and Charlotte. I would have chalked it up to only being in Juliet's mind, but Jack saw her too and he even talked to her. Then she simply vanished. This is not that dissimilar to Walt's mysterious appearances during Season 2. And let's not forget the whispers. They came back this week too. So what's the deal?

Daniel and Charlotte contained some deadly chemicals and possibly saved everyone on the island from being gassed. But in saving everyone on the island, they also made it possible for exploitation by outsiders. Which leads us to Ben and Locke. Ben made a deal with Locke for his freedom. Ben finally came through on a promise of answers. So Charles Widmore is as bad as we've all thought he was. The freighter is not Penny's; it belongs to her father. He wants to find the island and he probably used Desmond and the real Henry Gale to help him in his quest. Remember, the real Henry Gale died sometime after his hot air balloon crashed on the island. If you recall, his balloon bore the Widmore Labs name. Was that way to get a homing device onto the island? Perhaps that's a bit far fetched but who knows in this crazy world of LOST.

So what else does Ben agree to tell Locke? The identity of his man on the freighter. And the man is.....But we are going to find out next week according to the preview. My guess is still Michael. It makes the most sense seeing as how we know he will be reintroduced this season and I'm frankly surprised it's taken this long.

So we got a lot more story progression, but as I said, last week's episode was a real tough act to follow. This was a good one but it will be hard to outshine "The Constant."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"The Constant"

I don't know if there is much else that I can say about tonight's episode of LOST other than that it is my, hands down, favorite of the season thus far. It was simply amazing. It followed one of my favorite story arcs of the entire series and finally gave us a long anticipated event.


As I said, I don't know what to say other than, "Wow!" This episode was something special. I don't know what it is exactly that I like about Desmond so much, but I have always found his character to be very interesting. It is actually quite interesting to think that he was not introduced on the show until the second season and then we didn't really learn much about him until the Season 2 finale. Some of my favorite podcasts about LOST have pointed out that the story of Desmond, specifically with respect to his relationship with Penny, is unique in drama. It is a very romantic story that even men can get emotionally invested in. I have to agree and very little in all of LOST had the emotional resonance of Desmond finally getting to speak to Penny over the phone in this episode. It still has me thinking about how great the episode was.

So what else did we learn tonight? There is in fact a time distortion between the island and the rest of the world resulting a difference in the perception of the passage of time. It took only a short time for the helicopter to return to the freighter while a day had passed on the island. Dan tried to explain to some degree, but as usual Jack cut him off before he could really get into the details.

The time distortion is not only limited to the island. We learned that proximity to the island can actually cause one's consciousness to move through time and experience that past as well as the future. Desmond has essentially been experiencing this since last season, but we learned that George Minkowski from the freighter experienced the same effect due only to his proximity to the island. Unfortunately, he died (and I was just getting ready to enjoy seeing Fisher Stevens on a weekly basis) because he did not have a Constant.

Dan informed Desmond that in order to keep from suffering death as a result of his time tripping, he needed a Constant in both the past and the present. In short, he needed something to keep him in the present. Of course Desmond turned to the one true constant in his life, Penny. He made contact with her in 1996 and made her promise to answer the phone on December 24, 2004. When Desmond's consciousness returned to the freighter, he made the call, thanks to Sayid's handiwork, and we were treated to a truly heartwarming and powerful conversation with between Desmond and Penny. It was so satisfying to see them finally make contact after all that we have learned since the end of Season 2.

I have to say again, that this is by far, the best episode of what is so far a spectacular season and probably one of the best episodes of the past two seasons. I think that the announcement of the end of LOST in three more seasons has given the producers a focus that they have been lacking and has spurned spurred [thanks for the catch Word Cop] them to reinvigorate the series in a way that I could never have imagined. This is what LOST is all about and I love it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We got another good episode of LOST this week but I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the title means. Before I get on with my spoiler-filled thoughts on the episode, I do have some general LOST related news.

First is news of the schedule for the rest of the season. Word is that the new episodes will be delivered after a brief hiatus following the eighth episode of the season. This gives us four more episodes before the short break.

The other news is that CBS has not put the show "Cane" on the schedule for next season. What does this have to do with LOST you ask? Nestor Carbonell should now be free to reprise his role of the mysterious and forever young Richard Alpert. Heck, he may even be squeezed into one of the new episodes that is being written to finish out Season 4!

Now, on with the episode discussion....


So Kate is definitely one of the Oceanic 6. The fact that she is seen going to trial and getting a deal nullifies the theories that she was not one of the six but rather living under an assumed name. It was interesting to see Jack on the stand as a character witness and perjure himself by telling the story of how Kate rescued six of the eight (!) survivors of the plane crash and get them to safety on an island in the South Pacific. Kate was not comfortable with Jack lying on the stand. So why is that their official story?

Is it just me or has Locke turned into Ben? He tells Kate that they are not in a democracy and later that she is banished from the Other's village. Plus he put a hand grenade in Miles' mouth. I don't think it's a live one but still it pretty messed up!

Miles and Ben had an interesting, albeit brief, conversation. The shyster came out when Miles offered to lie to the people on the boat and tell them that Ben is dead in exchange for $3.2 million.

I wasn't too surprised that Kate has a son, but I was little surprised to find out that it is Aaron and not a biological child that we figured Sawyer sired. So what will happen to Claire? Does this mean that she is doomed? And does this mean that Aaron counts as one of the Oceanic 6? And how did Kate convince everyone that Aaron was her biological child?

Meanwhile on the beach, everyone is getting a little suspicious of Dan and Charlotte and the fact they haven't heard from Sayid and Desmond in over twenty-four hours. It came as no surprise to me that when Charlotte finally got through to Regina, we learned that the helicopter has not yet returned to the freighter. Did Frank fly the helicopter on a different bearing than they came in on? What happens if you take a different bearing?

What the hell does the title of this episode mean? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"The Economist"

I am seriously perplexed. I don't know what to make of the direction in which LOST is going, but I like it. It just gets more intriguing each week.


So Sayid is one of the Oceanic 6 AND he is a hired killer AND he works for Ben Linus!?!?! I did not see that coming at all. He is going around killing people on a list. So I wonder who the guy was that he killed on the golf course. All of the people on the list are associated with the island but in what way? And who was the economist?

Although they didn't answer it, I'm glad they at least addressed the fact that Naomi had a picture of Desmond and Penny with her considering the "rescuers" stated mission was to find Ben. She seemed so certain that there would be survivors of Flight 815 on the island in her meeting with Matthew Abbadon in last week's episode and there is really only one place that she could have gotten that picture of Desmond and Penny. So was she playing both sides? Penny didn't recognize the Naomi's name when Charlie mentioned it so how is she involved? I don't think that we will see the freighter in next week's episode, but I have a feeling that it won't be long before we see the other people on board.

So Ben did a lot of traveling off the island. I wonder if he killed people when he made those trips or I perhaps he's more of the guy who gives orders. And what about Sawyer admitting that he doesn't want to leave. Kind of sweet to see him tell Kate that he wants to play house on this Valentine's Day episode.

Daniel and Charlotte have other things to do on the island. As the two scientists, they are of course interested in studying the strangeness that is LOST island. It has been hinted to on the show for quite a while but tonight we got a definitive answer that there is some sort of temporal shift between the island and the rest of the world. It is evidenced in the time lag between the clock that Daniel had on the island and the clock that was fired to the island on the missile. I also think that his warning to Frank about the helicopter's heading is also related to the potential for time or dimensional travel. We didn't get to see any of what Charlotte will study, but as an anthropologist/archaeologist, I can't help but think that we will finally be learning about the four-toed statue in the near future!!!

All in all a good episode but I have really loved the ending of each show this season. Seeing Desmond and Sayid leave the island with Frank was something. Desmond looked very happy while it seemed a little bitter sweet for Sayid. And I have to think that Naomi's story isn't over. I keep waiting for her to sit up or something. But what really got my heart pumping was of course hearing that familiar voice of Benjamin Linus before we had visual confirmation that he is off the island and still pulling the strings. He has convinced Sayid to kill for him! I can' t imagine how he did it, and I definitely can't wait to find out!

Here's to the next ten episodes! Hooray for the end of the writers strike!