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February 2003 Archives

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You're the 456!
You are artistic, a bit whimsical, and less iconic than the train on the other side of the Park.
Others may see you as an odd conglomeration of new and old-fashioned ideas, but you realize that's part of your charm.
Which New York City subway line are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Going Underground - which London Underground tube line are you?
I'm the DISTRICT line!
February 28

Rest in peace, neighbor.

February 27

Watched the Enterprise episode "Future Tense". Nothing really happens. They stumble upon a small vessel with a mummified body that T'Pol assures them is human.

I thought Phlox might discover the body is Archer's, obviously from the far future. Instead he reveals that it's a being with the DNA types of several other species including Vulcan. This causes Archer to get into an obsessive rut about Vulcan and humans mating.

Trip and Malcolm discover the ship, like the Tardis, is bigger on the inisde than the outside. The Suliban and the Tholians both want it and the Vulcans are promising to pick it up later. The crew also disover that prolonged proximity to the vessel causes brief time loops.

Archer and Reed give it to the Tholians, but with an explosive device. The Tholians disarm it but in that moment, the vessel, its passenger, and everything they took out of it disappear.

February 26

Bullwinkle, I'm the flying one!

February 25

Watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Get it Done". Buffy gets a dream visit from the first slayer while Spike saves Anya from a minion of D'Hoffryn who wants her dead. Principal Wood visits Buffy's house and sees the Potentials performing lame drills while Kennedy calls Chloe a maggot.

Dawn and Buffy find Chloe hanged herself. There are a lot of girls packed into a small house. How could she perform such a time-consuming suicide with no one noticing? The First comes in Chloe form to taunt the survivors. How come nobody saw her talking to this non-corporeal entity?

The First Chloe disappears saying,"T.T.F.N." I know it from the sigs of all the Tigger fans on the boards. For a moment I thought it had passed into pop culture ubiquity until both Whitlock and Buffy asked what it meant.

After Buffy buries Chloe in the backyard, she has a massive bitch moment with everybody in the house. Then they unpack a bag that once belonged to Principal Wood's slayer mom. They find some shadow figures and Dawn believes they will tell a story.

It's the story of the First Slayer as expressed by a candle and the shadow figures. Drum beats begin for real. Xander comments Dawn on her Sumerian, but the book has now translated itself into English.

A portal appears and Buffy figures she's got to go in and there will be an exchange. As she enters, a demon appears in her in place. The demon beats people up then runs away.

Buffy meets three African guys in circa 1000 C.E. speaking Swahili. Never mind that the clothes and the language are about 11,000 years too late. They chain her to a rock and summon a demon to give her power.

Spike puts on Wood's mom's leather coat and Wood asks where he got it. Willow tries magic and demands the powers to open a portal because her Latin sucks. Spike kills the demon, then tosses it in the portal.

Buffy refuses the power from the shamen and gets knowledge instead. She returns to the portal. Buffy tells Willow that their power isn't enough with the millions of nasty ur-Vampires coming.

Liked Dawn becoming Giles or Fred all of a sudden. By the way, where was Giles and why wasn't there an explanation?

February 24

So this guy got hit really bad by this girl, really bad. It's like his entire life changed the moment she entered. Yet the last time I talked to him, he's looking at someone else, someone from a long time back. He says they've got some unfinished business. The new girl, she's still on his mind, but somehow the old one's got a hold on him right now. He was so different with the new one, any idiot could have seen that's the one he should be after, but what can you tell somebody?

Ian, my godson and the birthday boy.
Victoria, my niece.
Miranda with a bead necklace
Miranda with the bead necklace she just made.
February 23

It was two months late, but my godson Ian had his fourth birthday party. His parents were too busy moving into a new house to host it back in December. Miranda gave some of her candy to a girl who came up empty in the piñata scramble.

The kids made a door hanger craft and a necklace craft. You can see Miranda with her necklace in the picture.

Watched the last two episodes of Birds of Prey. In "Feat of Clay," some guy can turn people into clay by ingesting some chemical, then touching them. Helena goes to see Clayface at the Arkham Asylum in another The Silence of the Lambs takeoff.

Clayface can shapechange and he hints at the antidote for the clay power. The new guy is, of course, Clayface's son, Chris Cassius, who goes back to the scientist for a better power that has no antidote, and renders the clayed person explosive. Clayface also reveals himself as the killer of Catwoman, Helena's mother.

Meanwhile, Alfred introduces Wade to the wonders of the Clocktower, so he and Barbara weren't banging in there before. Dinah and Helena infiltrate a charity fashion show that Cassius is hijacking to clayify New Gotham's elite. Clayface is there, escaped from Arkham, and Helena manages not to kill him. Unfortunately, Dr. Quinzel is also there and discovers Helena's little secret.

In the final episode,"Devil's Eyes," Helena tells all to Dr. Quinzel. Harley then acquires meta-hypnosis through some mysterious scientific process. She hypnotizes Gibson to go crazy. Harley then takes over the Clocktower and kills Wade. Helena, Dinah, Barbara and Reese fight to take the tower back.

We'll miss this show. Whitlock wonders when Mia Sara turned into a great actress. I have a hard time separating Dr. Quinzel/Harley from the seething youngster in Ferris Bueller and Legend. The blonde is a psycho that the television screen loves, the brunette was always sexy but deadly dull.

February 22

The Steve Bechler incident is sad for everyone involved. The only positive may be seeing Peter Angelos sued.

February 21

I don't watch American Idol, so the whole Frenchie controversy escaped me. How much you wanna bet she has a better singing career than the actual winners? I mean Vanessa Williams shills for Radio Shack, but who's heard from Suzette Charles lately?

February 20

Nomar Garciaparra is known, at least throughout New England, for a precise ritual whenever he bats. He's now engaged to Mia Hamm, probably the greatest women's soccer player ever.

Sergio Garcia also has ritual variously described as a waggle or a twitch which involves gripping and re-gripping the club several times. He's dating Martina Hingis, once the world's best women's tennis player.

What does this tell us? Jock chicks dig obsessive-compulsive guys?

February 19

I was going to go into work today, but first I stopped at Giant to get some things. On the way home, I got stuck. I cleared the tires easily, but the bottom of the car settled on a snowbank. They only cleared Tall Forest Drive for one vehicle passage.

Neighbors with a view of the action, Eliot and Janine helped dig me out. Thanks, guys. Scratch work today.

Our front yard buried in snow
Looking from above.
Our front yard buried in snow
Looking from inside the garage.
February 18

Here are a couple of picture from Monday showing how deep the snow is. That's our front light and the mailbox.

February 17

Tonight, we actually watched CSI: Miami live. A guy is stabbed in a peep show booth while peeping. A Russian immigrant, he worked with his cousin at the zoo.

The next body is the stripper's from a hit-and-run. Horatio and a cop who acts suspiciously crooked visit the widowed husband on the boat. But soon, the hubby is also dead, face down in the water.

They go back to interrogate the Russian cousin who says his homeboy had a well-paying racket in scaring people. Back at the boat they find photos of stripper and husband doing naked dirty dancing and the peep show murder weapon which comes back with hubby's fingerprints. Further investigation of emissions at the scenes uncovers many donors, but there's curious one that belongs to the PR guy at the zoo.

Yep, the PR guy was getting private viewings at the houseboat, but the happy couple started blackmailing him. He sent Victor, but he got killed, so he sent the proprietor of the peep show place to kill the stripper and husband. Worst moment was Horatio saying,"He came and went," then repeating,"came and went."

February 16

More snow. Watching more television.

On the Enterprise episode "Cease Fire," Suzi Plakson made a guest appearance as an Andorian with gig boobs, as opposed to the half-Klingon with big boobs and the Vulcan with bug boobs she's portrayed before. A century ago, the Andorians landed on and terraformed an otherwise useless planet in a strategic location near Vulcan space. The Vulcans didn't like it and kicked them out. Now the Andorians are back and pissed.

Jeffrey Combs, a former Vorta and Ferengi from DS9, wants Archer to mediate the negotiations with the Vulcans. Of course, the Vulcans don't need any help and Suzi Plakson is of an Andorian faction that just wants war. So this episode is all about the shooting and punching and nothing about the negotiation.

I thought the best compromise would be to allow the Andorians to stay under human militarization. The Andorians couldn't use it to launch an attack and the humans would see to that. However, the episode ended with further negotiations on Andoria.

On the Angel episode,"Calvary," they're still looking for Angel's soul and it looks like Connor didn't steal it. Lilah turns up to supposedly free Angel. Cordelia gets a vision about a spell to put Angel's soul back.

Lorne confirms that the procedure works with a little of Angel's singing. At first the brooding one, decides conduct operations from inside the cell. Cordelia lets him out and, hey it's Angelus.

While most of them go chasing after him, Angelus goes back to the hotel to chase Lilah around. Then, the episode ends with Cordelia stabbing her in the neck saying,"Why do you think I let him out, you stupid bitch?"

I'm starting to think it's a dream again, mostly because Fred's hair got curly again.

Finished up with the 90 minute CSI episode "All Wet". It begins at a club with a lot of nearly naked people and foam that was a lot sexier than nearly naked people in paint from CSI: Miami. Of course, a dead body appears beneath all that Mr. Bubble.

A couple of guys are found, both worked for the mysterious Lady Heather and her house of bondage. They also both had as a client a woman with a peculiar satanic looking husband. Seems the husband took her to Lady Heather's for a little sex therapy.

They guys also died of a insulin shock and Lady Heather is Type I diabetic. Gil thought he a little relationship going with her at one point, but this crashes it. Now the wife turns up strangled.

Turns out the Satanic husband was dining at Lady Heather's as well with a Eurotrash. This girl got a little too attached to him and decided to kill the two guys who were having an affair with his wife and when that wasn't enough, killed his wife.

In the other plot, Catherine and her ex Eddie have a fight in the audience of little Lindsey's school play. Afterwards, the daughter goes home with Eddie and next we hear Lindsey calling Catherine on the cellphone in a panic. Catherine has to save her daughter from a car in a raging river in a driving rainstorm in Las Vegas.

Lindsey got that way when a chick in pink hair and Eddie both abandoned her. Daddy complained of a stomachache which is why the chick was driving. He is found washed up with a bullet in hus gut. The chick was some singer and Eddie's latest girlfriend.

At the studio, Eddie showed up and late and was shot. Maybe by the chick, maybe by the chick's dealer, they just can't tell. And that's the story Catherine is left to tell Lindsey.

I'm sure the little girl in distress shook up Whitlock. Paul Guilfoyle had funny scene with Elizabeth Berkley trying a Sharon Stone impression on him.

A birthday cake with chocolate icing.
A few days late, Whitlock baked her birthday cake.
February 15

Got the first wave of snow. I went out and shoveled the first few inches during a lull in the afternoon. Whitlock baked her own birthday cake. She loves baking so much that it's a present to let her do it. Since we're snowed in, we got to watch a lot of television.

Watched the CSI episode "One-Hit Wonder". A single young woman thinks there's an intruder in her apartment but the perpetrator is assaulting her neighbor. When Gil, Catherine and Brass arrive, Jim explains that the attacker couldn't get into the bedroom of the first woman because a treadmill blocked the door

The assault victim, Joanne, won't let any men near her so Catherine dismisses the uniforms and the bedroom door opens. Grissom and Gil notice the huge security risk of the window so near the door and a noseprint on the glass.

Catherine would like to process Joanne's sheets, but the victim is feeling pretty shook up and would just like to get the attacker off her things. The victim points out there's something about Joanne in her hair as evidence that he didn't "rape" her. Eventually Catherine convinces her to give up the evidence.

Warrick finds footprints and Nick finds dried semen stains. Stokes also points out how the bushes provide easy concealment, but Gil is having hearing impairment moments.

The semen sample from the hair has no sperm. Still having hearing problems, Gil points out that a series of break-ins in the area may be related to their suspect. However, DNA does result from the dried semen sample from the wall.

A handprint on glass, though distorted, can be straightened out with software. The prints belong to Justin Lamond, an 18-year-old poolboy. Brass and Catherine go to he mall to find him shooting upskirt videos.

Lamond says some smartass things in interrogation, but his shoe is too small. They book him anyway for sexually motivated offense, indecent exposure, and gross lewdness.

Paint on the shoeprint determines that the perpetrator walked across wet yellow centerline paint on the way to the crime scene. Gil has determined the suspect likes certain easy-access, cheap, first-floor apartments. Catherine adds the new paint data and, according to the computer, there sure are a lot of apartments in this zone.

Brass calls in that the suspect has graduated to rape. Gil sends Catherine out because he's shy about his deafness and she "looks better on camera". The latest victim says he "politely" wore a condom.

A commotion near by leads to a woman beating up a man. She's convinced this is the guy. In interrogation, the beat-up guy, Taylor Reed, provides some lame excuse about apartment hunting by peeking in windows in the dead of night and Catherine has to remind him about filing charges against his attacker. Now, though, because he files charges, they can gather evidence on him. Seems he left his DNA at another break-in 5 months ago.

Catherine and Brass knock on the door of that 5-month old break-in to find Taylor Reed there. He claims this is his apartment, but the profile would dictate he's back in his comfort zone to the site of his first crime, this time to do more damage. Yep, somebody's pulled his hair out and she's tied up in the basement.

In the secondary plot, Sara walks into a summation by a prosecutor in a wheelchair. Her name is Melissa and when the jury goes to deliberate, she tells Sara that a case they've been working on will be turned over to another prosecutor because Melissa expects to be dead. She got in the wheelchair from a shooting that killed her husband and left a bullet in her neck. Now the bullet has migrated to a life-threatening situation and Melissa must undergo and risky procedure with only a 10% chance of success.

Sara sees David the coroner who explains Melissa's surgical procedure. At the hospital, she finds the surgeon who proclaims the surgery a rousing success and he'll even get the bullet for her.

Sara goes to a tech to get the tissue off the bullet. She explains how Melissa walked in on an intruder who shot her husband then shot her. Later, looking at the evidence, Nick tells her that the CSI on this case was on his last week before he retired to L.A.

The bullet from Melissa was used in a robbery six months ago and that shooter is in jail. The suspect, Roger Wilder was put in jail by Melissa for assault. Three weeks after he got out, the double shooting at Melissa's house takes place. Roger says he only went there to bust up the place and the gun fell from the coffee table he broke.

Sara checks the bloodstains from Melissa's husband and from the drip, it was obvious he was lying down. She confronts Melissa in her hospital room where we learn that after shooting her husband, Melissa left the gun on the floor for hubby to fire back. The she puts in underneath the coffee table where the the CSI don't find it, but Roger Wilder does.

Melissa plans to use the abusive husband defense as Sara sends the deputies in. Then Sidle spills her guts to Gil who uses a "fraught" quote of his own.

We watched yet another CSI episode, "A Little Murder". A dwarf is killed just before a Little Persons convention starts. He's one with pseudoachondroplasia, having normally proportioned head and arms so that he's relatively attractively looking.

He also had a gorgeous 5-7 dimbulb fiancée. The victim had been carrying on an online relationship with a dwarf woman no can seem to find. Turns out the fiancée's father is also a little person whose doesn't want to his average daughter to marry one. That father bludgeoned the victim, then raised him to the ceiling of the ballrom with a power elevating wheelchair.

In the other plot, Catherine investigates a break-in and murder only to discover the suspect still in the house. She's sent the uniform outside before he throws up. The victim wasn't the homeowner, but another burglar, killed by his accomplice.

The owner was on vacation and ran some fast food franchises that the victim happened to work at. The culprit is discovered with fingerprint powder still up his nose from Catherine's hands.

Early in the episode, Willows has to take off her shirt so that it can be sent to Trace so she tells Warwick to turn around while she changes. Why does she change in the open rather than going into the ambulance and closing the door?

Meanwhile, on the Miami, the crew deal with radiation. A junkie is found dead, but Horatio doesn't think it was OD. When Alexx gets him on the autopsy table, his hand has deteriorated way too much in that short amount of time and the radiation fears erupt.

Adam Baldwin comes off the Firefly unemployment line to play a radiation management tech. He gives Delko a radiation detector as a security blanket for the next few days. A pencil found at the scene leads to a public interest lawyer virtually glowing in nukes.

The lawyer is played by Karen Sillas, detective Rose Phillips from Under Suspicion. She's got plenty of enemies among the corporations she's sued and even a member of the family she's helped still sends death threats.

Her killer was a receptionist she was coming on to at a corporation she was suing. A man scorned, he took some medical iodine and injected it into orange juice delivered to her front door. The junkie at the beginning of the episode took one of those radioactive syringes and got the nuke burn. Why this guy felt compelled to break the junkie's neck as well, I don't know.

Horatio was a little less annoying here, showing feelings for the attorney Belle King as she succumbed to radiation poisoning. At least when he made pompous statements, there seemed to be a receptive audience listening to him, as opposed to the usual underlyings and us.

Finished off the night with the episode "First Date" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy goes on a date with Principal Wood and discovers he's the son of a slayer. Us brilliant mathematically minded people immediately figure out Spike killed Principal Wood's mom back in 1977 on a New York City subway.

Xander goes a date with Ashanti and gets tied up above that thing that released the Turok-Han. Buffy, Spike and Principal Wood have to rescue him.

The First confronts Andrew in the form of Jonathan. Andrew proves his worthiness to the Scooby gang and is starting to look attractive to Dawn.

A Chinese slayer arrives and Giles communicates with her poorly. Maybe Willow should have tried Babel Fish for even more hi-jinks.

Long-stemmed red roses, a cinnamon-colored teddy bear and a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
Flowers, a bear and candy. Three sure signs of Valentine's Day.
February 14

I sent Whitlock the roses. She sent me the bear. Miranda got the heart filled with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses.

Watched the Angel episode "Soulless". While Connor is out in the streets fighting vampires, Wesley puts Angel's soul away in the safe. Angelus sits in his cell reminding us how thankful we are David Boreanaz wasn't in a musical episode.

Sean Astin, Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings directed this one. Wesley goes down to interrogate Angelus who just torments him. Whitlock notices the obvious The Silence of the Lambs tableaux. Angelus gets away with the line about Fred (and maybe about Gunn),"Bet he loves to rub that shiny, bald head against her soft, milky skin."

Everyone else watches from the lobby on closed-circuit television when Connor walks in. Gunn and Fred go downstairs to give Angelus some blood and the vampire grabs Fred. Wesley fires a tranquilizer dart at Angelus.

Cordelia gives Connor a shirt, another excuse to see his young, healthy torso. Wesley and Fred briefly kiss in the office, but both feel very guilty when Gunn almost walks in on them. Gunn and Wesley get into a fight in the lobby that only ends when Gunn accidentally punches Fred.

It's Connor's turn with the big bad and he admits that Angelus, not Angel, is his true father. More confrontation is interrupted by Cordelia who sends Connor upstairs. Cordelia offers her body to Angelus for the information.

Everyone else is amazed that Angelus is willing to talk now, but Cordelia refuses to reveal what he gets in exchange. Wesley interrogates Angelus about his meeting with the Beast. Seems the horny guy had some problems with the Priestesses of Svea who were going to banish him.

The Beast wanted Angelus to kill the Priestesses. Angelus refused but in the midst of the beatdown, the Priestesses show up and the Beast is gone. Research confirms the nature of the Svear Priestesses and Gunn finds their address in the yellow book.

Wesley, Cordelia and Connor go to the Svear House, but there's already been a bloodbath here. They find what might be a banishment spell and some vampires attack them while they make their getaway. Back at the hotel, Cordelia is welching on her end because the world isn't saved.

Of course, Angel's soul is missing. My money's on the kid taking it.

February 13

For the way in which the 49ers fired Mariucci and hired the wrong Dennis, they're no longer my 2nd favorite NFL team. Tampa Bay takes third and the Raiders move up to second. I'm predicting only 4 wins for my favorite team next season on the toughness of the schedule and the incompetence of the coach.

February 12

Finished editing an episode of Silver Screen Test. The next one, though not finished went much more quickly. I'm assuming Larry was more confident with his camera changes in the second show that day.

February 11

Saw a couple of deer behind our house this morning eating the corn Whitlock left for them. While doing some Internet stuff before breakfast, a migraine hit me, so I stayed home.

Whitlock had some digestive trouble at work and went to her mother's house at lunch because it was closer. Turns out my mother-in-law had broken her nose in an icy fall. My brother-in-law was on the way to take her to the emergency room.

Whitlock also says that one of her co-workers had to go home with a migraine and two others are out of work this week at their sisters' funerals. Just a bad day to get up in the morning.

February 10

Got stuck on the elevator this morning between the third and fourth floors. After a couple of minutes hitting the emergency bell, I tried the phone. While I was talking to the person, the doors opened to the fourth floor.I only got stuck once before on the first floor and the security guard quickly pried the doors open.

February 9

Had dinner this evening with my parents. On the way, we saw a doe running across the Sally Ride Elementary field. She continued across and down Seneca Crossing Drive until she saw her car. Then she turned between some houses and jumped a privacy fence. She was really spooked. I hope she's okay.

Had a weird Civilization experience this afternoon.

I'm the Persians and the Germans, probably instigated by the French, launch an attack across French territory to a strip of territory that I shoehorned into between the French and the Zulus. Before I could respond, the Germans have taken one of my corridor cities. Since it's so far from my heartland, I respond slowly.

Fortunately, the Zulus come to broker a deal and I get them into the war against the Germans. Quickly, the Zulus take back my city and keep it for their own. Meanwhile, the Zulu people don't like their war and rebel, with two cities joining my nation.

After I get my knights in the fray, the war ends in a stalemate with annoyed sniping from Joan of Arc and Shaka about trespassing on their territory. So I end up with a net gain of one city, a more manageably-shaped empire, and all at the expense of my ally? Just be careful who your friends are.

The front of the Build-a-Bear Workshop.
It's a store and party destination, too.
Katie, The Birthday Girl.
Where stuffed animals get stuffed and which suspiciously like a cotton candy machine.
The stuffing station.
Mirand holds her newly-built bear.
Colleen, Miranda's newly built bear.
Trish in a task chair.
Trish, the pregnant birthday mom.
February 8

This morning I picked up some presents. In the afternoon, I took Miranda too a birthday party for her friend Katherine, now known as Katie. It was at Build-a-Bear in Montgomery Mall. Whitlock couldn't come so I drove Miranda alone.

At Build-A-Bear, you choose your stuffed animal, dress it, watch it being stuffed, then get a birth certificate. We arrived just five minutes before start time, but the birthday family hadn't arrived yet. Miranda occupied herself reading the book of name suggestions and she settled on Colleen.

Katie and her mom Trish arrived ten minutes late. I left and wandered the mall. K-B Toys has a Travis Mayweather action figure. The Rand McNally store is no longer at this mall.

I returned after about an hour to meet Colleen. Miranda's next step was to go to the computers and fill out the birth certificate. However, she needed to go in the bathroom while in line, so we had to queue up all over again when she got out.

By this time, Colleen was already in her take-home box. When we got to the computer, the bear no longer had the tag the program needed to scan, but an employee helped us out. After that, Miranda had a cupcake. Trish is pregnant and wheeled around in a task chair with her stuff in a shopping cart.

Watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Killer in Me." The main plot by deafult had to be Kennedy coming on to Willow. Most of the slayers were going out to the desert to commune with the first slayer, but Kennedy stayed home with the flu.

But she really wasn't sick and she took Willow out for a drink where the redhead witch spilled her guts out. Back home they kiss and Willow suddenly looks like Warren.

She runs downstairs where everyone thinks he's the First. Andrew gives him a hug from behind and Willow thinks he's groping her breasts. The Scoobies calm down when she reveals some dark secret about Xander's Aquaman underoos.

Willow and Kennedy go to the UC-Sunnydale Wicca group to find Amy who wants to help. She tries something that causes Willow to slap her face. Willow is turning into Warren on the inside as well.

Soon Warren is buying a gun without the customary waiting period. Kennedy returns to Amy and discovers that Amy put some hex on Willow and before Kennedy can beat the crap out of her, zaps the potential into Buffy's backyard. Willow/Warren threatens to shoot Kennedy, but it's really some internal struggle inside Willow to let go of Tara and love again. Kennedy gives Warren the kiss and Willow changes back.

In the secondary plot, Xander, Anya and Dawn get a call from England that someone last saw Giles about to be beheaded, just like we did. They immediately suspect he's dead and now one of the first. They head out to the desert with Andrew in tow to discover that Giles is corporeal.

In the tertiary plot, Spike's chip is degrading. Buffy attempts to call Riley and gets a flower shop, in reference to Get Smart. Spike and Buffy go down into the old initiative space and fight another monster before the new military guys appear. Riley has authorized Buffy to make the decision about whether the chip is repaired or removed when then episode ends.

Another good transitional episode. Giles had the best lines,"Apparently someone told them the vision quest consists of me driving them to the desert, doing the hokey pokey, until a spookey Rastah mamma slayer arives and speaks to them in riddles."

And,"You think I'm evil if I bring a group of girls on a camping trip and DON'T touch them?"

Went on to the Enterprise episode "Stigma". We find T'Pol is suffering from a terminal disease, Panar Syndrom, acquired from a mind meld. Under the guise of investigating a similar Denobulan disease, Phlox seeks research from Vulcan doctors at an interspecies medical conference.

The Vulcan doctors quickly figure out this is all being done for T'Pol and have her relieved from her mission. The mindmelders are a minority whom the Vulcans would prefer eradicated so curing Panar Syndrome is not a priority. This AIDS message courtesy of Captain Obvious.

Archer can at least get a hearing for his Science Officer. Meanwhile, one of the young doctors is a closet mindmelder who passes on the research to T'Pol. At the hearing he comes out of the closet and discloses that T'Pol's mindmeld was a rape.

T'Pol stays onboard of course. She didn't want to reveal that she was coerced because she didn't believe the mindmelders should be oppressed.

In the secondary plot, one of Phlox's wives installs some medical equipment and comes on to Trip. Strangely, she also has the last name of Phlox. I'm guessing Denobulan marriage is not closed, i.e., your wives and husbands are also the wives and husbands of your wives and husbands. In other words, one of your wives may have a husband unrelated to you.

Which means there shouldn't be any sharing of names at all. Like Ally McBeal Network television really hasn't thought multiple partner marriage through.

February 7

Another substantial snow today and I stayed home. The weatherpeople said that with the light powder, I could clear it with a leaf blower. It worked to a degree but the blower has to be held at too low a level to be comfortable for me.

I shoveled about half the driveway when the cleaning people came. I took a break and played Civilization with Miranda. By the time I got back out, the snow plows had left a big pile at the entrance to our driveway.

I finished easily enough, but I went to bed with terrible pains in my arm muscles. Seems shoveling snow uses motions not used in weight training.

Spring arrangement of flowers on a counter.
The flowers I sent Mary for her birthday.
February 6

Thanks to Patrick Nielsen Hayden for the news of the Republic of S&M.

February 5

Took the day off for Whitlock's birthday to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I prepared myself for the three-hour ordeal by not drinking anything for the hour before the show.

I liked most what I liked in the first movie, especially the spectacular New Zealand vistas. The familarity remains as well, as if I've seen the human-looking men and women at conventions or Markland events. Hunky guys with swords and beards? Check. Willowy young women in diaphanous or clingy medieval dresses? Check. Younger guys, thin, tall and blond in tight pants. Check, check and check.

On the other hand, if I didn't like the length of battle scenes last year, I definitely didn't like it when the money shot was the Battle of Helm's Deep.

A couple of moments were too over-the-top for me, like Gandalf's free-fall battle with the balrog, worthy of Neo. The other involved Legolas skateboarding down the keep's stairs, arrows firing all the way.

No discussion of the acting could omit Gollum. Back in December, I mentioned how I read the story to my sister with Peter Lorre's voice for Gollum, as if the page screamed for that performance. Now, even Gollum's face is Peter Lorre. It's amazing how Tolkien's description could send such a clear picture, both to the filmmakers and myself.

On the other hand, I found the ents too human, too long-legged, and not alien enough. I pictured creatures with crotches much lower to the ground, shambling about. Given the proportions of the hobbits sitting in their branches, I estimated Treebeard to be some 16 feet, which is not impressively tall enough.

The wargs were good. I thought the best fight scene involved Aragorn and the warg. Whitlock found the wards too cute to be scary. The oliphants were huge. Were they all computer generated?

The dead marshes were one of my favorite sections in the book, with the pain and tedium in the bones of Frodo and Sam. In the film, the sections were much too short, and I felt the tedium at Helm's Deep. I always thought the dead soldiers in the marsh were ghosts, not real. But later the thought of a place so scary, that even the insects, bacteria and other scavenger would not go there to decompose the bodies, seemed pretty cool to me. I would have liked an explanation like that.

I give the acting kudos this time around to Sean Astin and Elijah Wood as Sam and Frodo. When Sam wonders if their story will be told, it seems like Tolkien's voice. For unlike the uncommon valor as common virtue of the warriors, the hobbits had a simple solution in easy reach, but they never took it. Viggo, the anti-war protester, plays his scenes as an action hero, not as a soldier.

One could also nit-pick the Rohan horse culture. They should be mobile, like the Mongols, not tied down to keeps. But I think Tolkien had land-based Vikings in mind, not historically-realized equine-based society.

As you can tell, I didn't like The Two Towers as much as The Fellowship of the Ring. If you're a Tolkien fan, go see it. If you saw the first movie, go see it. If you haven't seen the Fellowship, go rent it before seeing The Two Towers. I definitely don't expect anyone seeing it cold to have a worthwhile stand-alone cinematic experience. But I guess if you like battle scenes, this one's for you.

Short, terse, unfriendly,
Yet sometimes quite emotive;
I am the Haiku.
What Poetry Form Are You?
February 4

And if I were prolix, I could be a renga.

The White Sox are changing the name of their ballpark. Finally, they got rid of the name of that skinflint, who is at least as responsible as Arnold Rothstein for the Black Sox scandal.

Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Forced Entry". A man swims in his pool at night, then goes to answer the door asking,"What are you doing here?" Caine arrives at the scene, learning that girl scouts selling cookies found the body.

The man lies face down on his bed, strapped and sodomized. CSI finds the tape used to bind the victim was cut, not ripped, so they seek the scissors. They also find an unusual handgun tatoo lasered-off.

The tatoo database leads to felon just out on parole. He admits to seeing the victim, but DNA tests on hairs at the scene clears him. The victim did relate that he had a great scam going.

The detective reveals four women raped with the same MO. They now suspect the murder victim financed his lavish lifestyle with burglaries while raping his targets. Three of the rape victims left Miami, but one stayed and killed herself.

The suicide was Judy Johnson, but not that Judy Johnson. Her husband is portrayed by Casey Biggs, Damar on Deep Space Nine, and the first husband of Roxann Dawson. He feels pretty pissed off at being suspected of murder, but none of the scissors he has around cut the tape.

The fabric stuffed into the victim's mouth was sold at one of only ten design stores in the Miami area. In addition, one of those stores is owned by a husband and wife whose anniversary vase was found in the victim's home. Finally, the victim signed their mailing list book himself.

Suspicion first falls on the wife, but she was on an airplane when the murder occurred. Turns out it was the husband, played by Chris Mulkey, Hank Jennings on Twin Peaks. The victim came into store and didn't recognize the man he raped, but the victim did.

Both Whitlock and I had a hard time believing, the rapist could have overcome such a large man. Perhaps he bludgeoned the target first, but you'd think he'd recognize him later.

In the other plot, a crematorium owner is found dead, amongst land piled with unburned bodies, just like the Georgia case. The body beneath the pile turns out to be a missing woman whose purse was also found at the scene. The crematorium owner had a VIP badge from a super-exclusive hotspot called Club Canvas.

At Club Canvas, nearly naked men and women dump florescent paint on each other. It's supposed to be sexy.

The missing women was a former "painter" there who now used the club to drum up business for other clubs. The club's primary owner, a silent partner and the Club Canvas' lawyer, beat her to death. He gave the body to the crematorium owner in exchange for VIP membership. When the lawyer discovered the body hadn't been destroyed, he killed the creamtorium owner and buried the body.

The second plot featured a detective with Caribbean accent as unbelievable as when Bianca Lawson played Kendra on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

February 3

Read where a soccer magazine was described in a typo as a "soccer mangazine". This is when I wish I could draw an anime Brandy Chastain.

February 2

Manning really gave it to Vanderjagt. Looks pretty irreconcilable at this point. The Indigenous Persons can take him.

Jennifer Love Hewitt looked pathetic. She's an actress who can sing. Not a singer and video star, i.e., not a dancer. I really liked "I Believe," but I knew Audrey Hepburn and Jennifer Love Hewitt, you're no Audrey Hepburn.

February 1

Bad time of the year for NASA with Apollo 1 on January 27, 1967, STS-51-L on January 28, 1986, and STS-107 today. The pieces seemed to break apart together, not carrying the momentum of a projectile shot at it.

Had lunch with world-famous media fan Martin Morse Wooster at Il Forno in Gaithersburg. We had a Florentine pizza with lots of spinach on it. He thinks I should write here more about the books and magazines I read.

Indians own the restaurant and Martin bought a frozen authentic Indian dinner before we left. He had to ask for conventional oven directions because he doesn't own a microwave.

Guy and Kerry came by to drop off Christmas presents and Whitlock's birthday present. Whitlock and Kerry talked wedding while I put away the Christmas ornaments. I found our wedding album and relived all the weirdness.

NHL 2003 ALl-Star Game logo
The logo for NHL All-Star Game this year stumped the sports logos boards. The game will be held at the Office Depot Center where the Florida Panthers play. Where is any reference to Florida or panthers? But you have to know that they actually play in the suburb of Sunrise, Florida. The three stars might be next to the peninsula, but I think the logo represents dawn at Sunrise.

Alphabetically, Paul Kariya, as a member of the Mighty Ducks, was introduced after the Los Angeles Kings and before the Minnesota Wild Players. Annoying as it may sound, they are the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, not the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Neither the Nashville Predators nor the Phoenix Coyotes had representatives, but what a shock not see any Canadiens or Maple Leafs. Saku Koivu was selected, but could not play due to cancer treatment.

The Undertow... another pointless surfing metaphor ...

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