|June 30 Permalink
The Fairfield Williamsburg at Kingsgate, where we're staying has a nice fitness center. My parents, my sister, and her husband took the three kids to Costco and Sam's Club for supplies. For dinner, we took went to the Peking Restaurant, famous for its all-you-can buffet. It's very popular, given the increasing retirement community in Williamsburg. The restaurant had two pairs of lions outside, both the traditional stylized ones and a more realistic variety with an accompanying cub. Miranda couldn't resist putting her hand in their mouths.
My parents drove back to Washington after dinner. My father insists he has to install GIS equipment tomorrow at work. So it'll be just like the days of our childhood when we trashed the house while our parents were away.
June 29 Permalink
Started out on our vacation to Williamsburg. The biggest delay took place at the mixing bowl, where discovered through WTOP that an accident on the Occuquan River bridge was holding things up. We stopped at a Burger King in Lorton to hit bathroom and check the map. I shifted to Route 1 and got back on 95 after the Occuquan River.
Real close to Williamsburg, we got off on Route 30 to eat the McDonald's, but Miranda and Whitlock found the bathroom too disgusting. They weren't going to eat there. In the parking lot, my father called me on my cell and gave me the building and room number of the suite.
We ate a Wendy's on Route 60, across the street from the chocolate outlet. After we got settled, Whitlock and I went to Food Lion to buy the week's groceries. When he got back, Miranda, Victoria and Ian were all in asleep on the hide-a-bed.
June 28 Permalink
Watched the special 75-minute season finale of CSI: Miami,"Body Count". A guy gets stabbed in a prison yard and Horatio is called in. But it's all a diversion for a helicopter-powered jailbreak where Horatio gets to show incredible marksmanship.
The three escapees were three roommates: Randall Kaye, a stockbroker in for a hit-and-run where he dragged the victim for two miles; Hank Kerner, a homicidal maniac, and Stewart Otis, a child molester. The downed helicopter is found a few miles away with Kaye and his brother, the chopper pilot, dead from gunshot wounds to the temple - a Hank Kerner calling card. Kerner is about to be sent to death row for a murder case Calleigh is working on.
We meet a prosecutor briefly, but she soon turns up dead, courtesy of Hank Kerner. Clear now that Hank has a vendetta on everyone responsible for putting him away, Calleigh calmly refuses all offers of additional protection. She ends up in the only Miami gunshop that sells the unique oldschool lubricant from Kerner's recent murder scenes. She spots him in the security mirror and Hank spots her as well. Since Emily Proctor will be back for the next season, she single-handedly apprehends him.
The other escapee, appeared in the previous episode "Broken" where he scared lots of parents by killing a little girl in a Chuck E. Cheese bathroom. Stewart Otis developed a lust for Kaye's daughter Emma by whacking off to her pictures in prison. He has fashioned a private school teacher uniform and abducts her from her school, posing as the new authority figure.
We briefly meet D.B. Sweeney as the pedophile who prefers boys that provides an RV to Stewart. The police arrest poor D.B. for possessing child pornography although we never get the idea he's actually got anything obscene. When Horatio finds the RV, here's blood and a taunting video tape. Fortunately, he finds Emma alive in a swamp.
Later in the box, Emma lets on that she told Stewart where her cousin Robyn goes to school. Her class is on a field trip to the aquarium and Stewart is right there with a homemade aquarium uniform. Horatio finds him there, but Stewart grabs Robyn anyway and threatens to drop her from a high balcony. Horatio shoots him, Stewart lets go of Robyn, and himself is hanging off the ledge. Stewart wants Horatio to let him go. I can't figure out why a suicidal man can't just relax and let himself go. Never mind. Horatio pulls him back so that can Stewart can be properly crucified with the lethal drugs.
Also watched "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School", the second season opener of Monk. We begin with Andrew McCarthy, obviously having an affair. He's scheduled to proctor the SAT the next morning. As the ex-Brat Packer sits in front of the classrom, his lover drops from a great height onto his automobile, setting off the car alarm.
It appears to have been a suicide, but the audience is pretty sure Andrew did it, despite having a clean alibi when the victim hit windshield. The exclusive school which is the setting for the episode was Trudy's alma mater and Trudy's best friend, now the headmaster played by Rosaline Chao, requests Monk's help. The embarassing OCD moment occurs when Monk, substituting for the dead teacher, takes forever to meticulously write his name on the blackboard.
I was guessing that perhaps Andrew had his long-lost twin sit in the class, but an even wilder scenario ensues. He killed his lover in the clock tower, then placed her on the minute hand. She fell off at 8:20 when Andrew was safely in the classroom. Because of the SATs on a Saturday morning, the athletic field that the clockface overlooked was empty. Unfortunately for Andrew, a maintenance man saw everything and he is disposed of as well.
Whitlock like that Rosalind Chao played a character that didn't necessarily have to be Asian. Andrew pretty much played the same preppy character from Pretty in Pink and Less Than Zero, now all grown up.
June 27 Permalink
Watched season finale of Angel,"Home". In brief, Lilah offers the group the L.A. office of Wolfram and Hart and eventually Angel takes the deal. Many people have been pissed off with this turn of events, but the entire thought of being corrupted by large amounts of money and power at this point in time seems very attractive to me. I finished the episode skipping a happy beat.
In between, Connor goes postal, tying himself, Cordelia, and a bunch of hostages to explosive propane tanks. Angel fights him and driving a knife through his son's neck. The episode ends with Connor as an 18-year-old in a nother happy family.
The biggest WTF moment for me was the black panther in the White Room with Gunn. I still prefer the crazed girl.
June 26 Permalink
Watched the Angel episode "Peace Out". When last we left Angel, he was in a demon dimension with the former Jasmine worshippers that took of the form of spider-like Ray Harryhausen creations. The orb he used to transport himself here makes the creatures shrink away in horror. Angel finds he must climb a mountain with a temple at the top. Inside the temple is a talky priest and a taciturn warrior that Angel must defeat in order to learn Jasmine's true name.
Meanwhile back in Los Angeles, Connor has Wesley, Gunn, Fred and Lorne bound on their knees, ready to kill them when Jasmine halts the execution. Instead they're locked in the cell in the basement where they learn that Connor could see Jasmine's true form from the beginning, but because of his upbringing in Quor-Toth, he's not freaked-out by maggotty skulls.
Connor demands to know from Jasmine where Cordelia is. She won't tell him, but he eventually coerces the secret out of some Jasmaniacs and finds Cordelia's body in a church, still comatose and covered in some netting. We can see the Shakespearian references here to Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. Vincent Kartheiser makes his greatest performance in a soliloquoy, filled with angst worthy of the early days of Buffy.
Jasmine is in the hotel balcony, presenting herself to a worldwide audience when Angel appears in the lobby with the head of the keeper of her name. It speaks those words and everyone runs in panic at seeing the true form of Jasmine. She restores her appearance but Gina just isn't quite as radiant as before.
Gunn finally succeeds in kicking open the cell door and the former inmates find an empty hotel. Out on the streets of L.A., it's just after the Rodney King verdict. Jasmine presents herself as a subtle, twisted villain, believing she had the godd intentions of humanity the entire time. I think this was harder to execute than the more obvious Caleb. Angel has a senseless argument with her that results in Jasmine tossing an automobile from an overpass at him. Their battle ends with her kissing Angel, then Connor interrupting them. Jasmine thinks Daddy'd come to help, but he sticks his fist through her skull.
Angel comes home to the rest of the gang in the lobby. Then the episode ends with Lilah in the doorway.
In honor of today's Supreme Court decision go do what you've been doing all along.
June 25 Permalink
Watched "Inside the Box," the season-ender for CSI. A bank robbery to grab a specific safety deposit box results in the death of an off-duty police officer. Soon, everyone directly involved in the robbery is dead. The trail leads back to Sam Braun, a casino owner who's known Catherine since she was in diapers. Sam killed one of his waitresses that he was having an affair with for having an affair herself with his buddy Benny Murdock. Benny died just a few months earlier. Braun did her in with, of all things, one of those giant novelty scissors used for ceremonial ribbon-cutting events. Benny kept the scissors in the safety deposit box, perhaps for blackmail, but we never really find out. Catherine also figures out that Sam is her biological father.
Anyway, I understand Sam wanting to keep the murder weapon out of police hands, but did he have to resort to such a public display that pretty much screams,"Hey! I've got something to hide!" Why not hire someone to impersonate a relative and heir of Benny to con the bank out of the contents of the safety deposit box? Why not pay a ridiculous amount of money to the legal heir for the contents of the box. I've never seen such stupidity in villain outside of Dr. Evil.
My favorite moment was when the younger CSI's are gathered together in the break room and Nick explains to Grissom how fortune cookies are made. The glow on Nick's face is the priceless look of the slowest kid in class finally getting the right answer.
June 24 Permalink
Finished Brotherhood of the Bomb by Gregg Herken, the story of Ernest Lawrence, Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller and nuclear weapons from about 1940-1960. You learn about the incompetence of the intelligence agencies who focused on the big fish like Oppenheimer while letting Klaus Fuchs, the real spy, slip through. While, at various points in his life, Oppy had Communist sympathies, treachery was not in his nature. Later on, Oppenheimer had his security clearance removed in an exhausting secret proceeding when he was perfectly prepared to resign. The book isn't of general interest, but you might enjoy it if you have the Manhattan Project bug.
June 23 Permalink
I spoke too soon. MLB has come to their senses and the same-uniform plan for the All-Star Game will be tabled for at least one year. Unfortunately, they may bring it up again next year in Houston. Hey guys, can it. It's a bad idea.
Watched the Enterprise season closer "The Expanse". A mysterious alien vessel cuts a mindless swath from Florida to Venezuela before crashing on Earth. Several million were killed including Trip's younger sister. Archer gets temporarily kidnapped by the Suliban and gets told that a race called the Xindi were responsible for the attack because they found out that Earthlings would destroy them 400 years in the future.
Trip gets into a vengeful post-September 11 mode as a Archer tries to convince Admiral Forrest and the Vulcan High Command to search for this Xindi. Archer was told by the Suliban that the Xindi could be found in a Bermuda Triangle-like region of space called the Delphic Expanse, rather than the Badlands. The plot is briefly interrupted by T'Pol resigning her Vulcan mission to continue with Enterprise and Duras still chasing Archer.
So this story has the not-very-original, but nevertheless serviceable plot of answering an unprovoked attack. So why complicate it with time travel? Because Berman and Braga don't know jack about science fiction. Just because they run the most famous science fiction franchise, doesn't mean they do it with any skill. This is the similar conceit of Peter Angelos that because he owns a baseball team, he is automatically a "baseball guy". So we fly into next season with the hope of lots of real adventure that won't make the slightest bit of sense in the end.
June 22 Permalink
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Eigth Level of Hell - the Malebolge!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test