Saturday, January 12, 2008

Journeyman - A Love for a Lifetime - Review

Journeyman - San Francisco is the Setting for Most of the Journeyman Series

Journeyman - A Love for a Lifetime - Pilot Review

Journeyman (pilot) doesn't spend a great deal of time with character development, or setting the stage for the saga to come. Within minutes the central character Dan Vasser, played by Kevin McKidd, wormholes out of his domestic suburban San Francisco life in 2007 into the chaos of unexpected time travel.

Journeyman - Kevin McKidd as Dan Vass

In most time travel stories the time traveler pops into the past, and back into contemporary time instantaneously - that is not true in Journeyman. When Dan Vasser finds himself co opted into the role of savior of lost souls the time he spends in the past results in his disappearance in 2007.

Journeyman - Gretchen Egolf as Katie Vass

Dan's spouse Katie (Gretchen Egolf), friends, and brother Jack (Reed Diamond) take notice of Dan's disappearances, and come rapidly to the false conclusion that his ramblings about time travel are the result of a drug problem.

Journeyman - Reed Diamond as Jack Vass

The pace of the pilot is so quick that there's never much time to abandon one's sense of belief, which makes the pilot work. Of course with any pilot there are many questions which are left with the viewer about just where future episodes are headed, and what will become of the characters.

Journeyman - Monique Curnen as Nicole Gaines

The pilot has a throughly "modern" style (for this time). There are scenes in which the iPhone and bluetooth earset, 2007's cutting edge cellphone and trendy cell companion, are juxtaposed in the same act, and scenes with brick sized early model cell phoned. Cell phones which were considered cutting edge in their day, but which seem so laughable today. Perhaps as a reader from the future, you get a chuckle thinking of the iPhone as cutting edge? It's this effect that seems so interesting in the Journeyman. The creators of the series revel in their ability to step the viewer into the past. Who would have thought that 1997 would be considered ancient history?

Journeyman - Charles Henry Wyson as Zack Vass

Two thumbs up for this now apparently canceled series which can still be seen on the website. With a writers strike in full force the series will likely remain available online, but for how long only a time traveler could say. If any NBC executives are reading this, please bring back Journeyman. The Journeyman was a class act from beginning to finish. The series had a luxurious feel to it. There was almost a movie like level of quality about it, and if it ends now, it is certain that science fiction fans will make reference to it for many years to come. Perhaps the series may be revived on the SciFi channel if NBC decides not to pick the show up again? In any case there's so much trash on television, just turn on MTV for example, that it's a sad thing to watch a good series like Journeyman suffer such an ignoble fate.

Journeyman - Christopher Warren as Neal Gaines

Journeyman Quote:

"Stories don't stress me out, deadlines - maybe".

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hillary or Obama? Barack or Clinton?

U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama

I haven't endorsed a 2008 presidential candidate yet, but I drive an SUV with an Obama bumper sticker on the back. Despite my implicit endorsement of Barack Obama, I plan to plaster a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on the same bumper once it arrives in the mail.

It seems I'm undecided, kind of. And it's a bad place to be, for I usually have already chosen a candidate at this point in the Primaries.

This time it's different, but not for a lack of good candidates. I love the whole idea of throwing away my vote on Dennis Kucinich. That will show them that they can't railroad me into supporting another mainstream candidate! But wasted the vote would be. Even John Edwards, who I also very much agree with on most of the issues is beyond capturing the nomination. And that's what really matters in the end - viability.

Which candidate has a real chance at winning the party nomination, and which candidate has a real chance of winning in November are of utmost importance for me at this point in my life. That doesn't mean that I would ever vote for a candidate that I didn't agree with on most of the issues, but it does mean that I no longer want my vote to fail.

Every four years I hope I'm doing the right thing, and I vote for who I believe will help the majority of Americans, and the world. I make my choice based upon a variety of inputs including what I've read, and what I've seen in the media. I also listen to what other people have to say. Finally, I listen to my heart. I have to have a good feeling for a candidate before I can vote for them. I have to believe that the candidate is honest. I have to believe that the candidate cares about the issues, and about the people, and not just about themselves, and obtaining power.

The candidate I choose doesn't have to be able to accomplish all the things they say they want to achieve during their time in office. I'm too old and wise to believe that one man, even the President of the United States, can go it alone. The President must be a person willing to work with both sides of the Isle. They must compromise despite all their campaign pledges to do otherwise.

Many people have criticized President Bill Clinton for having endorsed many programs which cut back on entitlements, as well as his lying to Congress about having an affair. I never thought that President Clinton owed anyone, except Hillary an explanation about his affair, and many of the changes in the entitlement programs protected those programs from cuts during the Bush years. Despite what people say about Bill Clinton his time in office was marked by growing prosperity, and peace. He left the nation with budget surpluses, and a world filled with people who respected the United States. Mr. Clinton was capable of compromise. He was a "middle of the roader", and he was attacked from both ends of the political spectrum for choosing the middle as his starting point.

Nowadays when asked why he felt he had failed to succeed in capturing enough votes to pass his administration's national health care plan Mr. Clinton wisely admits that he had asked for too much too soon from a Democratically led Congress. He admits this was his administration's biggest failure, and that if he had only asked for various smaller elements of the same package he could have achieved his goal. That's a big lesson for any President, and at the center of this learning process was Hillary Clinton. Despite her idealism she has certainly learned that compromise, and taking small cumulative steps is the way toward progress in the long run. This is not the Great Depression, and changing the national health care system despite the ongoing, and ever worsening crisis in health care won't come in one piece of legislation. Hillary certainly knows this better than anyone.

Now I have to ask, what would happen if Hillary Clinton were president? Would she be like Bill? Would she be able to accomplish what so many U.S. presidents have failed to do in the past - transition the nation to a single payer health care system? And what about all of the other programs which could help the middle class which have largely been turned upside down by the Bush Cronies? Would Hillary be able to make the difference so many people want?

My guess is that it all depends upon who is in Congress. If the Democrats take additional seats in the House, and Senate then Hillary could work toward creating a government that responds to the needs of the majority of people in this nation - instead of just to the rich.

But if Democrats fail to land additional seats then no matter how hard Hillary tries much of the legislation she hopes see passed might languish.

U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

And what of Barack Obama?

My heart tells me he is the more exciting candidate. He is a good looking young man, with a beautiful young wife. They are both well educated professionals. The Obama family are in fact this decade's Kennedy family. There's a lot of romance there, a lot of excitement, and people feel that. This is not to say that Mr. Obama isn't idealistic, or honest for he appears to be both. Nor is it possible to claim that Senator Obama isn't highly intelligent, and eloquent for he is impressive on both scales. It's just that he does shine very brightly indeed over the quiet, even awkward Hillary Clinton when placed on the same stage.

And perhaps that's why younger voters are so attracted to Obama, but it doesn't explain why I feel drawn to supporting his candidacy. For the record I am proud to say that I voted for Mr. Obama in his Senatorial campaign. He was the best candidate, and we Illinoisans were fortunate indeed to end up with a Senator so able as he. Yet what do I see in Obama, or what do I want to see in Obama that makes me want to support his candidacy for the nation's highest office?

And that's where I find myself trapped. Do I vote for an individual because of his potential, and his sincerity, or do I vote for a woman because of her years of experience, and her practical willingness to compromise?

It really all depends upon Congress. If the Democrats gain additional seats in the House, and Senate, and take the Executive Office as well, then it won't matter whether it's Mr. Obama or Ms. Clinton that sits in the oval office, but if the legislative branch is as nearly divided as it is today the nation will need a cold blooded realist, and a president willing to compromise - one with experience on the Hill. Senator Clinton comes with that experience, while Mr. Obama does not.

So despite all of the excitement, including my own, about supporting Barack Obama I'm quietly convinced that Hillary Clinton would make the better president.

Having said that, I'm not sure if she'd make the better candidate, or if she can win the presidency. I feel Barack Obama has a better chance of winning in the general election. Which brings me full circle, for I don't want to vote for someone if I think that person has no chance of winning.

So I'm watching, and waiting for a sign that Hillary Clinton could win in November, and I'm waiting for a sign that Barack Obama is a very fast learner, and despite his hope to be a president for change that he'll also be able to play the Washington game so well that at least some of what he promises will come to fruition.

The coming weeks will tell the story. We are living in an interesting historic moment. Who will fight for the middle class this coming November? Who will take the government back from the evil regime that grabbed control seven years ago? Hopefully it will be either Senator Clinton, or Senator Obama, and that much I can endorse.

Democrat Donkey: I Endorse The Democratic Party 2008 Presidential Candidate

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Meet Oreo - The Magic Pygmy Hamster

Oreo: The Magic Pygmy Hamster

Meet Oreo, our hamster. Well, actually she's not mine, so much as she's my daughter's pet. Still she's a member of the family. Shhhhhhhh! Just don't tell any of our four cats that she's in the house.

Oh, why do we call her our magic hamster?

Because she's still alive in a house with four cats.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My Photograph Will Be Published!

I've rewritten this post a bit which you can do on a blog.

All day yesterday morning I was in a funk. I recall my supervisor asking me if I wanted to draft up a letter for her, and I agreed - but I didn't understand a word she said. Why?

Because I was thinking about how I had missed my opportunity to have a photograph which I took published in a "Lincoln Book". I admitted to my supervisor that I was distracted, and explained why, and she told me it was totally understandable, and recommended I "work through it". Neat advice.

Well I eventually got my focus, but I was still hoping beyond hope that I managed to respond in time to the author's initial inquiry. I told myself that book publication deadlines are often missed, and guess what I was right, for the author responded last night saying that he had delayed publication, and that the photograph which I captured of the Abraham Lincoln Volk Bust would be included in his soon to be released book.

I know the title, and the author's name, and will release this information soon - within a few weeks - as the book will be published very soon.

For now I can say that I'm happy. I know happiness is fleeting, but I feel that way right now, and wanted to gloat? No, I wanted to share this news with my fellow bloggers, and with the world. While I have had my photographs regularly published in the Illinois Times I will admit that I am a loyal fan of Abraham Lincoln. I've spent many an afternoon watching Lincoln related seminars on CSPAN, or reading Lincoln related books. Growing up in the heart of the Land of Lincoln has had its affect.

And with the upcoming Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth to know that my name, and photograph will appear in a book on Abraham Lincoln is a rather incredible privilege for me.

Blu Ray Is Like Ancient History

Meet The Optware Holographic Versitile Disc (HVD).

The Sony Blu Ray High Definition DVD stores a whopping 25 Gig per layer. A dual layer Blu Ray disk will therefore hold up to an amazing 50 Gigabytes!

Really incredible.

However, the capacity of the cutting edge Blu Ray is dwarfed by the Optware HVD.

The Optware HVD has a current capacity of 3.9 Terra Bytes (expected to increase).

One Optware HVD holds the equivalent of:

Six thousand CDs.
Eight Hundred and Thirty DVDs.

It makes the Sony Blu Ray format look puny.

Using standard video compression (e.g., MP4) one Optware HVD disc can store up to a year of continuous video recording. The same Optware HVD disc could store several decades of audio recording using standard audio compression (e.g., MP3).

Optware HVD versus DVD

The Optware HVD is the same size as a DVD, and operates with the same type of drive equipment - meaning no enormous cost are involved in manufacturing, or distribution.

Obviously there are differences in lasers (there are two, one red, the other green), servo controls, firmware, and software, but the major breakthroughs have already been accomplished, and the HVD format is now being funded, and moved into launch stage by a consortium of major Japanese electronics firms.

The Optware HVD - Coming soon to a Best Buy near you!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Winter Sun Day - January 6th 2008

Photo: JeromeProphet - Winter Sunset - Jerome, Illinois - January 6th 2008

Today's temperature rose into the sixties. That's right the cold spell which took temperatures down to single digits last week broke, and now we have Spring weather in January.

Tomorrow will bring even warmer weather, perhaps thunderstorms - yes, that's thunderstorms, not snowstorms in January (we're living in Florida now).

I used my time wisely, and washed my SUV, being careful not to spray myself with the freezing cold water coming out of the hose. I also swept out the garage. I probably could have mowed the lawn, but decided that would have to wait another four to five months.

The sun set spectacularly, and I captured some pretty photos. The photograph was taken at sunset Sunday evening, January 6th, 2008. It certainly seems that the temperature extremes that once were so rare have become rather the norm in this age of global warming.

Photo: Winter Sunset - First Week January 2008 - Jerome, Illinois

So might suggest that if we simply average out the temperatures that everything is perfectly normal, but that's all to simple, and deceitful way of portraying what is happening of late with our weather.

My guess is that there is simply more energy trapped within the atmosphere, and that this is causing the huge temperature swings which we are seeing more frequently. I know I should feel happy that the frigid cold temperatures which have haunted the Midwest for weeks have finally been driven off, but the fact that it is in the sixties in the first week of January in the Midwest is disturbing.

This Just Makes Me So Upset

Photo: Unbearded Lincoln

Unbearded Lincoln is based upon cast made by Leonard Volk, ca. 1900. Leonard W. Volk was granted a Design patent for this bust on June 12, 1860. The bust was on loan from the National Park Service/Lincoln Home National Historic Site

I'm cleaning out my email inbox which has become super cluttered with junk mail and this is what I found:

Dear Mr. Prophet,

I saw your August 27, 2005 blog's photograph of the
Leonard Volk bust of Abraham Lincoln. It's a beauty!
I had read the story of Volk making his head cast, but
had never seen the resulting bust.

I am writing (and publishing) a book about Lincoln and
would like to include your photo (converted from color
to gray-scale). I'll give you credit, of course, and
I'll send you a copy of the book, too, which I expect
will be out this calendar year. Want me to include
your URL in the photo credit? It is your photo,
right? :-)

Thank you, and regards,

I've kept the author's name a secret for now.

Just great. I wrote the author back, but I guess he's probably published his book already.

My fifteen minutes passed me by, and I didn't even know it.

In the meantime I'm unsubscribing from like fifteen different newsletters - this has got to stop.

UPDATE: I am just so depressed about this now. I won't say why. O.K. I will say why. The book was published. And it wasn't a small unrecognized Lincoln book. I even read an article about it on CNN, and then at the SJ-R. And then I blogged about it!

Yes, I blogged about a story about a book which my photograph could have been part of without even knowing it.

I'm out of here - time to go open up some beers.

UPDATE FROM SEVERAL DAYS LATER: I didn't actually blog about the upcoming book. I was thinking of another book, or actually it was probably just a paper, or study. AND the photograph above will be included in the soon to be published book. Yea!

email jp






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