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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A unique invitation
So, this guy up in Michigan decides he wants to ask a girl to the prom and he wants to make the asking memorable. He enlists his buddies on the lacrosse team to help send her a special message--written on their buttocks and displayed when 13 of them basically mooned the crowd.

In the good news column, it made an impression on the young lady in question and she agreed to go to prom with him.

In the bad news, it doesn't sound like the guy made a really great impression on her parents.
Carolyn's mother, Melinda, said she and her husband were stunned when their
daughter informed them of Wennersten's prom invitation.

"It's hard to know what to do," Melinda Campbell said. "It just happened. I hate to say, 'No harm, no foul' because some people were harmed. But it has certainly caused a lot of excitement."

How much you want to bet the guy gets a major "what your intentions with my daughter" speech from the father when he arrives to pick up his date for prom?

It also makes me think that this girl doesn't have a big brother or if she does, the big brother has failed in his duty to be as intimidating as possible to any potential dates for his younger sister until she's at least 45. Because if he was the kind of big brother he should be, this guy wouldn't have any thought twice about doing this, knowing the reaction of her big brother...

That's all I'm sayin'....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/30/2008 09:03:00 AM | |
Monday, April 28, 2008
TV Round-Up
Lost: The Shape of Things to Come
Lost's first new episode after the five-week hiatus and it's a doozy and a half, providing a few answers but opening up a few dozen more doors. I'll go ahead and say it--I think this season is shaping up to be the best since season one.

And with that statement, I realize I've doomed next week's episode to be one of the worst ever.

I don't care. I'll probably just watch this one again on the DVR.

So, here's some random thoughts:
  • Ben shows up in the desert in a park with a Dharma logo. I am assuming that he doesn't leave the island with the Oceanic Six. Does he leave somehow via the station in the wintery conditions we've seen before?
  • Anyone else think Ben was invovled in the death of Nadia in order to manipulate Sayid into helping him.
  • Interesting that the storylines of Sayid and Desmond follow similar tracks. Both lose a woman they love, will find her again and have the potential to have her taken away. Sayid has lost Nadia...could Desmond lose Penny?
  • Is the target Ben has Sayid going after Penny?
  • Does Ben somehow control the smoke monster? Or did he make some kind of deal with Jacob/the island to slaughter the Whitmore soldiers?
  • Kind of an interesting trifecta with Ben, Locke and Hurley going to find Jacob.
  • The storyline on the beach where it's revealed the helicopter people are lying was interesting. More wackiness with time there?
  • Is something wrong with Jack? I mean more than that he can't see past his obsession with Kate?
Battlestar Galactica: Escape Velocity
The last three episodes of Battlestar have reminded me of a quote from J. Michael Stracysnki during season four of Babylon Five. Stacynski pointed out that while space battles were great and he loved seeing them, you could tell just as great a story with two people in a room talking, if you wrote it right.

The last three episode of Battlestar have shown just that. We did have a colossal space battle to start the season, but since then it's been about the characters and implications to them. And a whole lot of two people in a room talking.

And if it's going to be as good as it has been, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now, I'll admit I have a natural bias toward the writer of this week's story. Jane Espenson worked on Buffy and a whole lot of other Joss Whedon shows. So, naturally when I see her name, I figure it's going to be good. In fact, I expect it to be good. And the good news is that its rare that Espenson disappoints me.

I'm glad this week's episode picked up a few days later and showed us the impact Cally's death is having on Tyrol. Watching his slow descent into darkness is compelling and the scene with Adama at the bar where Tyrol lets loose, saying he never really loved Cally but settled for her was one of the more compelling in the episode.

But not nearly as compelling or fascinating as the scenes between Tigh and Caprica Six. I love how Tigh's guilt over killing Ellen for collaborating with the Cylons on New Caprica is manifesting itself here. The visions of Six becoming Ellen and Tigh seeking some kind of absolution or understanding from her were superb. Tigh's attempts to understand or justify what he did in the light of his new found knowledge that he is a Cylon is one of the best plotlines going on right now. And it just goes again to show how incredibly under-appreciated Michael Hogan is as Tigh.

And does anyone else find it interesting that while Tyrol and Tigh are crumbling under their new found knowledge and are plagued by self-doubt that Torri is the one who has become a blunt instrument, dark, cold and calculating. Her killing of Cally last week, her continuing to use Baltar and her overall attitude toward everything makes her utterly chilling.

Speaking of Baltar, I've heard that with the character you either love him or hate him. Put me firmly in the camp of loving him. The scenes where the guards kept hitting him, knocking him down were superb. And then to see Head Six pick him up and literally pull him up was a superb bit of work. Also, the scene where Roslin tells him she's no longer going to put up with his hijinx was a nice touch. I am loving the new direction for Baltar and I have a feeling he could be leading humanity toward its destruction.

Speaking of Roslin, does anyone else find it interesting that she seems to be consolidating her power and becoming more and more convinced of her unerring destiny each week? Also, she seems to tolerate dissent to her policies less and less. Is she being set up for a huge fall or blunder at some point? Or to have her approval ratings drop to a low point? Will Lee step up to challenge her with Tom Zarek pulling strings?

Man, I love this show and so far, it's been back with a vengeance this year.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/28/2008 07:38:00 PM | |
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Gino and ESPN...the best of friends.
There are times you just have to love ESPN. I mean that in the most sarcastic way humanly possible.

The latest thing to raise my dander is how they're covering the feud raging between the classiest coach in all of sports, Pat Summit and the coach of U-Conn, one Gino Auriemma, who I swear every time I see him I think he looks more suited to selling used cars than coaching basketball.

For those of you not aware of what's going on, Summit decided to end the yearly series with U-Conn and being the classy person she is, she didn't disclose why. There's no point to airing dirty laundry and giving your opponent bulletin board material for when you meet in the Final Four.

Turns out part of the problem is that Gino and U-Conn were committing recruiting violations, including giving tours of the ESPN studios up in Bristol. And while Summit reported them, I guess she saw how badly Alabama fans reacted to anyone daring to question their program and how that impacted Phil Fulmer and decided to be the better person and not tell everyone far and wide about it.

If only Gino and ESPN could show the same amount of class. Or even a small amount of class. Or even the same amount of class and dignity that Pat has in her pinky finger.

Alas, it's not the case.

Instead, ESPN acts like this is no big deal for them to help recruit players to U-Conn. Which if the roles were reversed and let's say Pat took a recruit to the women's basketball hall of fame in Knoxville, you can bet ESPN would on their high horse screaming about it. I hate the snarkiness of their reporting, esp. on SportsCenter where it's buried with the highlights of the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays as if to say--look, see how unimportant anything Tennessee says is. Look at those crazy Southerns getting all upset over nothing.

Then you've got Gino, who responds like Jimmy from Seinfeld. "Gino know why. Gino could tell you but Gino says you should ask Pat."

Anyone who refers to himself in the third person shouldn't and can't be taken seriously. And it just goes to show the complete lack of respect that Gino has for Pat Summit. I made the mistake of reading his "memoirs" and I have to admit the chapter where he throws Pat under the bus was making me see red. But it just gives me more reason to dislike him, which I suppose is a good thing.

And it gives me one more reason to not like ESPN. As if I need more...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/26/2008 10:17:00 AM | |
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Ding, dong, Pac-Man's gone!
At long last, our city-wide nightmare is over. Adam "Pac-Man" Jones was conditionally traded to the Dallas Cowboys yesterday for a fourth-round draft pick.

That sound you heard was the Titans organization and its fans breathing a huge sigh of relief. OK, sure that sigh of relief is tinged with a little regret. Jones had all the talent in the world on the field and it's a crying shame he couldn't get his life together off the field.

That said, I can't think of a better team for him to go to than the Cowboys. I cannot wait to watch as this guy who is a disruptive locker-room force goes to my least favorite team in the NFL and slowly helps them continue their downward spiral into futility. Combined with Terrell Owens as a cancer in the locker room and the fact that the Cowboys can't win a playoff game to save their lives and you've got all the makings of even more frustration and futility for Dallas.

Remember Cowboys fans--your team hasn't won a playoff game in a dozen years. There are 18 year old kids who don't recall the last time you won in the post-season. I take such delight in that. You can criticize the Redskins or Titans, but at least we've won a post-season game this decade. And it's not going to get better any time soon. In fact, you just got a lot worse.

I love it. Titans win, Cowboys lose.

Good day...

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/24/2008 02:41:00 PM | |
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Four Years and a Couple of Days Later
Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of first post here at the now (in my mind) world-famous Big Orange Michael.

Interestingly, as I looked at my first post which had some questions about the upcoming UT football season (the real UT...not that wannabe in Texas), I found myself thinking that I could virtually copy and paste that post and it'd be extremely relevant when it came to THIS year's upcoming UT season.

Of course, four years ago, we went on to surprise everyone and go to the SEC Championship game. So, hopefully history will repeat itself...

I started this blog for a number of reasons, none of which I'll go into here. I've made a lot of friends these past four years--people I might not have met had it not been for this blog. I'm sure I've annoyed some people over the past few years (aka any fan of any other team but the Vols, Titans and Redskins). I've got too high for big wins, too low for bitter defeats and blamed the refs for being completely biased against my teams on more than one occasion. I've talked about tv shows, movies, books and all kinds of other things in the popular culture. I've bragged about my family.

In short, I've just been me. And I've had fun. Yes, I've slowed down in my posting these past few months. But I'm still here.

I suppose I could post what I think are some of my better posts from the past year. But as Jon Pertwee once said when asked what he thought his best performance as the Doctor was, "Well, which one do you think is my best? Then, that's my best."

Four years down....many more to come.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/22/2008 12:24:00 PM | |
Sunday, April 20, 2008
TV Round-Up
Battlestar Galactica: "The Tie That Binds"
So, here's my latest theory on how Galactica might end. In Razor, we saw the old-school Cylons. I've heard that the old-school Cylons will show up somehow this season. We also have a civil war of sorts brewing with the fleet. With the Raiders and Centurians now having their freedom and free-will back, could this be the trigger that will allow them to not only turn on the lines they've already turned on the other lines as well. They wipe out all the skin job Cylons and take over and somehow it leads to the start of the original BSG and the famous line "All this has happened before and will happen again."

OK, so maybe it only makes sense to me. But if I were to sit around thinking about how we've only got sixteen new episodes of this show left after how good this week's episode was, I'd be a lot more depressed.

Watching the streaming episodes on Friday mornings helps me to avoid the SPOILER-ific previews. I've heard from some that the ending of this one was given away by the previews. That's a shame really because I think it could have ruined some of the impact of Cally's death had I known it was coming leading into the episode. Not that the poor woman wasn't doomed from the second she found out her husband had a secret and then finding out what it was. Now, I will admit the whole "Oh I'm leaving a note of our secret meeting" rang a bit too false and inconvenient as a way to get Cally to the meeting and set off the final series of events. But I did like where it took the story and the dark places Galactica is going looking at the implications of these four being revealed as four of the final five.

It's also interesting to watch how they're reacting. Tigh seems to not want to deal with the reality any more (wonder if he'll hit the bottle harder) while Tyrol and Tori are trying to come to grips with what it really means and the impact it is having on their lives.

Meanwhile, the difference between the Cylon fleet and the Colonial fleet are becoming less and less distinct. In-fighting and politics are dividing the various players--whether it be in the Cylon fleet deciding whether or not to un-box the Deanna line or in the fleet with Roslin's apparent consolidation of power. It's also interesting to see who is on the sidelines making maneuvers. In the Colonials, we have Tom Zarak who is pulling the strings of Lee Adama. I'm not sure what yet what Zarak's overall agenda could be, but watching Lee Adama call Roslin on the way in which she's enacting things and couching herself inside the cloak of "military secrets" to side step some issues is fascinating. Of course, it's not like Admiral Adama has done her any favors by allowing Starbuck to chase her connection to Earth with a ship of her own.

Meanwhile, the Cylon fleet is dividing but wants to come together in unity. Or at least they say they do. If by unity you mean wiping each other and having political alliances. Interesting to see that one Sharon model is apparently romantically linked to one Cavil model and that's where the separate vote arose.

Of course, I do have one other question--and that's how much time is passing. We're told the ship Starbuck commands has been gone 22 days. But when we cut to the Cylon ships, the Centurians are still cleaning up the mess from last week. Would they really do that for 20 or so days? Or was it a symbolic gesture to disconcert the Cavils?

Just a thought....

Smallville: Descent
So, after seven seasons it's finally here. Lex Luthor has embraced his dark side and gone from friend to enemy. The friendship between Lex and Clark is (finally) shattered forever and now all that's really left is for Clark to become the Man of Steel.

Watching Lex's final steps into darkness were fascinating and compelling. Let's face it--when it comes to Smallville, Lex has been the more interesting character since day one. A lot of that goes to the acting efforts of Michael Rosenbaum. But I think a lot of it goes to the fact that it's just more interesting to watch the bad guy become the bad guy. And while I may not always have been happy with the direction and the reasons Smallville gave for the rift between Lex and Clark and how it grew, I liked the payoff here.

And thankfully unlike the 100th episode, it appears the series-changing events of this one will stick. I imagine Lionel is dead and gone, that Lex has truly descended into darkness and that Clark is now in danger of becoming Lex's pawn. That said, I bet the whole Lex has something that can control Clark won't become a huge plot-point until the season finale in which the world will somehow be ending yet again.

"Descent" did have some interesting visual choices. Having the young, innocent version of Lex that has been struggling to get out appear visually was a nice touch. And it at least justifies that "Clark wanders around in Lex's mind" episode earlier this year. And the ways in which we saw Clark and Lex mirror each other during the story was a nice touch visually.

I may even go so far as to say that this is the most satisfying and complete episode of Smallville we've had all season and in a while. Which only means they'll somehow find a way to completely disappoint me next week.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/20/2008 07:28:00 PM | |
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Movie Quotes Game
I've seen this floating around on other blogs I read and thought it looked like fun. I believe you're supposed to find fifteen movie quotes and challenge readers to identify them. So, here we go...

1. "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." (The Shootist)

2. "But the worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life." (Goonies)

3. "It could mean that, that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Almost as if it were the junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence." (Back to the Future Part II)

4. "I can say without fear of contradiction, that under no circumstances, and at no time has that current administration expended any public monies whatsoever for the purchase of the fluffy flower print toilet paper." (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)

5. "OK people, they are psyching you out. Let's not be so defensive out there, OK? Now what do we say on the court, repeat after me; I am a person, I have the right to the ball." (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

6. "In a way, each of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us." (Three Amigos)

7. "What do you want me to do? Draw you a picture? Spell it out? Don't ever ask me! Long as you live, don't ever ask me more." (The Searchers)

8. "Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

9. "I know you think we can't be together, but can't you respect me enough to let me make my own decision? I know there'll be risks but I want to face them with you. It's wrong that we should be only half alive... half of ourselves. I love you. So here I am - standing in your doorway. I have always been standing in your doorway. Isn't it about time somebody saved your life?" (Spider-Man 2)

10. "Ah, I see you have the machine that goes ping." (Monty Python's The Meaning of Life)

11. "You've got the brain of a pancake. This isn't just a story you're covering - it's a revolution. This is the greatest yarn in journalism since Livingstone discovered Stanley." (His Girl Friday)

12. "It's becoming ridiculous the way you grab attention. Whenever I start to tell a story, you finish it. If I go on a diet, you lose the weight. If I have a cold, you cough. And if we should ever have a baby, I'm not so sure I'd be the mother." (To Be Or Not To Be (original version, of course!)

13. "Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now." (The Jerk)

14. "We're not coming all the way out here just to get one of those stupid ties with Santa Clauses on it are we?" (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)

15. "You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have?" (Austin Powers)

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/19/2008 11:35:00 AM | |
Friday, April 18, 2008
If I were running the Titans...
With the announcement yesterday that Steve McNair is calling it a career, if I were running the Titans, I'd sign him to a one-day contract so he can retire a Titan.

I understand the business-side of why McNair left and went to the Ravens, but I doubt I'm alone in saying, he'll always be a Titan/Oiler. And he deserves to retire as a Titan.

Or maybe I'd hire him as some kind of mentor/coach for Vince Young.

Or both...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/18/2008 04:58:00 AM | |
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
And they say romance is dead...
Hacker proposed via Bejewel
According to reports, he hid a ring when she got to a certain score. I have to wonder how nerve-wracking it was to wonder when she'd get to the score. Or worse--what if she got close but fell short by two to three points?

She said yes and PopCap, who makes the game is paying for a trip to Seattle for their honeymoon. And giving them copies of the game to distribute as wedding favors.

Who says romance is dead?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/16/2008 06:05:00 AM | |
Saturday, April 12, 2008
TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica
Six of One
While this week's episode didn't feel nearly as urgent as last week's season premiere, there's still a lot to like about it and the directions season four is taking.

Before I jump into all of the things I liked, let me express one small, nagging dissatisfaction. While I'm fascinating (though not surprised based on SPOILERS that came out in August) about the storyline of the Raiders and Centurians beginning to question their place in the scheme of things, I do wish we'd seen a bit more set-up of this. I found myself wanting to jump back to season three to see if there were hints of this to come, but based on what I can recall, last week was the only real week we saw any kind of open defiance by the Raiders. The thing is that Battlestar has been very good about creating retroactive continuity over the show's run and making it feel like this was something Ron Moore and company had intended to be there the entire time (interviews they've given have pointed to this not being the case). And while I love that that newly awakened Cylon models are creating controversy among the Cylons and this latest plot development, I wish it felt a bit more authentic and organic within the entire context and run of the series.

That said, the scenes on the Cylon ships were absolutely riveting this week. And part of that has to be that you could have Dean Stockwell come in and read the yellow pages and he'd just find a way to make it compelling to watch. And it does raise some interesting questions for the rest of the season--the biggest being is there a Cylon civil war brewing? And what are the bigger implications of one model of the Sharons rebelling and voting to lobotomize the Raiders? And why exactly have the Cylons kept the Raiders and Centurions as some kind of slave to their will? And why is this just coming up now? Again, is it tied to the final five? And what is it about the final five that bothers or scrare the other models so much?

It's interesting that the opening tease has replaced the text that the Cylons have a plan with the fact information on how many Cylons there are? Do the final five somehow represent a threat to the plan the Cylons have?

And isn't it interesting that when we first met the Cylons they had a single purpose--to bring God's love to humanity or wipe them out. And now their agendas are starting to fracture a bit. Could it be exposure to humanity that's done this?

Meanwhile, back in the fleet we have a lot of compelling stories unfolding as well. It's still not clear where Starbuck went, but I'm starting to have doubts about her story. Last week, she said she lost time, was at Earth and took some photos before heading back. Now, it appears she was on the planet. Her story of what happened isn't making much sense. I suppose we could chalk it up to a muddled memory because of what happened, but I think there is something more going on here. From Razor, we know that Starbuck is leading them on a path to destruction. So, what will happen as she and Helo try to find their way back to wherever Starbuck was?

You know, as we have characters going in several different directions and in several different places, I'm reminded of the end of season one and the start of season two. And if they can pull off the kind of incredible storytelling that all comes together as well as that did, I will be one happy fan.

Of course, Starbuck isn't winning any supporters among the fleet with how she acts. Except for Adama, who wants to believe her. I really liked the scene between Adama and Roslin in his quarters where they discussed the dilemma he faces--he doesn't want to admit he is losing those close to him. And his response that she can stay in his quarters but stay out of his head as he continued to refill his glass was great.

And here's a random thought--have we seen Tigh really binge-drink since the revelation he is a Cylon? Is part of that his not wanting to lose control and fulfill the vision he had last week? Or that we just haven't had time to see Tigh drunk in these two episodes?

Meanwhile, the revealed four (at least to us) are trying to figure out who they are and who the final Cylon is. It seems like a lot of people are curious about this these days. Was this something that woke up in the Cylons when these four were revealed to each other? And is that what led to the revolution within the Cylon fleet?

And finally, we have Baltar. Baltar who is looking to unsettle the faith of the colonies. Baltar who is apparently enjoying his role as a cult leader. Baltar who is now talking to a copy of himself inside his own head. How fantastic were those scenes? Kind of gives you a new respect for James Callis for pulling that off, doesn't it?

And with that, season four is off to a great start. We're two for two in terms of quality episodes. And while this episode did have a few more problems than last week's, it's still great.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/12/2008 11:53:00 AM | |
Thursday, April 10, 2008
"I only have six wine glasses"
A little something to help get through Thursday. A short preview from tonight's all new episode of The Office.



Oh how I've missed the hilarity. If you've not yet seen The Office....ummmmm, why not?!?

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/10/2008 08:06:00 AM | |

Jealous much?
Looks like Memphis is envious of the Lady Vols winning their eight national title Tuesday night. Well, at least this editorial in the Commercial Appeal would indicate that.

Ho-hum. Another year, another national championship for the University of Tennessee women's basketball team.

After thrashing Stanford University Tuesday night, the Lady Vols have won a remarkable eight national titles, including the last two in a row.

They were led this year by Candace Parker, who overcame a shoulder injury and became only the fourth woman ever to win back-to-back Most Outstanding Player honors in the Final Four.

The last few days have been hard for Mid-South basketball fans, since the University of Memphis men's team narrowly missed winning a national championship of its own. Nevertheless, the accomplishments of this terrific group of athletes from the other end of the state shouldn't be overlooked.

Before last year, the Lady Vols had endured a nine-year drought between titles. Only by their exceedingly high standards would that qualify as a drought, however.

The Lady Vols make dominating their sport look much easier than it really is.

Would it be wrong to take a moment to remind Memphis that one of their two losses was to our men's team? And that Bruce Pearl showed why he's the superior coach in that he knew the strategy to win a big game when you're up by three with seconds left on the clock?

Maybe not...that'd be piling on.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/10/2008 04:38:00 AM | |
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Lady Vols win eighth national title!
Congratulations to Pat Summit and the Lady Vols who are national champions for the second year in a row and the eighth time.

A great, dominating game by the entire Lady Vols team to bring a national title home to the Volunteer State.

It's great...to be....a Tennessee Vol!

It's time to celebrate and enjoy this one. And then to start focusing on what it will take to get us our ninth title.

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/08/2008 09:43:00 PM | |
Monday, April 07, 2008
Don't ya think so, Spike?
In my professional and personal life, I keep up with a lot of blogs on a wide variety of subjects. And there's something about blogs I've noticed.

You may recall an old Looney Tunes short that featured a a big bulldog named Spike and his sidekick, a small yappy dog that jumped around. In the cartoon, Spike would strut through the neighborhood and it was yappy dog's job to jump around, saying how brilliant and great Spike was.

To me, that's how it can get sometimes in the blogosphere--especially when it comes to political blogs. You'll have one "big dog" who will put out an idea or offer commentary on some social or political issue and before you know it, you've got a whole chorus of yappy dogs out there, jumping around, talking about how brilliant Spike is and how everyone should run right over and read what he has to say.

And I think this perception of blogging and new media is one thing that keeps the old school media and other old schoolers from really giving much credence to bloggers and blogging. And it's a shame.

Don't you think so, Spike? Huh, don't ya?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/07/2008 08:02:00 PM | |

Something I wonder
For those of you who don't know, SciFi is streaming the new episodes of Battlestar Galactica on Fridays at noon EST.

Thanks to the quirkiness of my schedule, I'm generally not working Friday mornings during that time so I can watch the episodes on my home machine without any fear of monopolizing bandwith and being an all-around slacker.

So, good for me, but I also know that a lot of fellow fans don't have that same option. And it made me ponder something. There are reports and studies that show the first two days of the men's NCAA basketball tournament lead to an overall drop in office productivity. So, I wondered if, perhaps, the productivity of fans of Battlestar might drop a bit on Fridays for about 48 minutes as SciFi streamed the new episodes on-line.

Or maybe not everyone is as crazy about the show as I am and can wait until it airs in its normal time-slot....

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/07/2008 01:18:00 PM | |
Sunday, April 06, 2008
TV Round-Up: Doctor Who
Just like last season, I'm posting my reviews to the Slice of SciFi web site for each episode of series four of Doctor Who. So, if you're dying to know what I thought about the return of the good Doctor with "Partners in Crime" surf on over to the Slice web-site.

And if you agree or disagree, let me know...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/06/2008 07:59:00 PM | |
Saturday, April 05, 2008
TV Round-Up: Battlestar Galactica
"He That Believeth in Me..."
Oh, Battlestar Galactica, how I've missed you. Thank heavens you're back. The withdrawal pangs were starting to get a little painful.

Yes, "Razor" helped a bit. It was a nice little snack in the long wait between seasons, but it's not the same as the promise of a long stretch of all new episodes.

And now, you're back...at last.

And it's like you never left. Picking up about five seconds after the end of season three, "He That Believeth in Me..." took about three seconds to suck me and remind me why I love this show so much. Before the opening credits, we had the newly revealed Cylons trying to a handle on who and what they are, an epic-space battle and a whole new layer and mystery in the overall series storyline.

And after that, we had 45 minutes to go.

This episode took the series' theme of identity and ramped it up. We have a lot of people questioning who they are now. It's interesting to see Starbuck returned in a brand-new Raptor and only have been gone six hours from her own timeline. She's been to Earth and while several characters are happy to see her, there are a whole lot of others who are suspicious of her, questioning is she's really Starbuck. By episode's end, Starbuck is asking the question of if she's who she thinks she is or is she a Cylon or some kind of clone. Watching her breakdown at the wall of the dead, going more and more desperate to convince herself that she's not a Cylon and that she's been to Earth was nicely done. And the whole scene is infused with subtext for the audience as she talks to Anders, who the audience knows is a Cylon. But Starbuck has no clue. And I loved Anders conversation on how he'd love her if she was a Cylon and Starbuck replies he's a better person and if he was a Cylon, she'd gun him down. Makes me eager for that revelation to come to light.

I also enjoyed the conversation between Adama and Lee about if it was Lee's brother coming back from the dead, they'd just accept him and it wouldn't change their feelings or love for him.

It's interesting that after the initial space-battle and action of the teaser, that the episode became a lot of superb conversations between these characters. Of course, watching all the conversations that involved the newly discovered Cylons and their looking at each other as things were said were a nice bit of subtext and a good added layer to the show. And that scene in C in C when Tigh saw himself shooting Adama...even though I knew it had to be a fantasy, it was still shocking in that it could happen based on the history of this show.

And I haven't even got into the storyline with Gaius Baltar and his struggle to find his new identity. Last year, we had hints that a cult of personality was building around Baltar and his book, but it's here that we see it. And to see how Six is manipulating the events to undermine the basic Colonial belief structure was interesting. Is this part of the Cylon's ultimate plan? Is one hope to create chaos and discord among the Colonials by creating a religious rift? If so, it's an intriguing idea and one I hope we'll see explored.

And, of course, we did get a whole lot of questions brought up for the new season. Here's a few that jumped out at me...
  • So, what happened when the Cylon and Anders made contact? Does the ship know? Do the Cylons know that these four models are active? Why were they activated now? Are there other copies of each of them?
  • Where was Starbuck in between Earth and the fleet? And what is her mysterious connection to the nebula that causes her pain with each jump away? Given what we learned in "Razor", this becomes even more intriguing.
  • Why doesn't Six like to think about the final five?
  • Does Starbuck really think pulling a gun on the president of the colonies is going to make a more compelling argument? And does she really think that killing Roslin will make Adama sit up and listen to her? (I'm going to say a bit no). And how did Starbuck figure out that Laura is in Adama's cabin?

OK, I think I've raved enough. I'm having a hard time deciding how much I liked the episode because it's been so long I wonder if part of my enthusiasm is "holy cow, we've got new episodes." But the more I think about it, the more I realize it's a solid return that promises great things for season four. And it left me eager for next Friday to see where the story goes next...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/05/2008 08:47:00 PM | |

They are out of their freakin' minds
If you were driving along Sam Ridley in Smyrna this evening and you saw a blue Honda nearly swerve off the road, it was probably me.

I was feeling a bit annoyed at the two idiots they have covering the weekend shift for 104.5 the Zone. (I flipped over during a commercial break in the first game of the Final Four game of Tiger High vs We've Won A Lot Of Titles But Not One Lately and heard these two turkeys going on about how well Tiger High was playing. And then mentioning they only had one loss and that loss was to the Champion of the Volunteer State for 2008, the Big Orange of Knoxville.

It's at this point that these guys go--well, Memphis sure didn't play well in the game. And basically, according to these two morons they let the Vols win the game. After all, it was only by four and then Memphis went on and destroyed the rest of Conference USA. And then they went on to say--well, Vandy beat UT a few days later by three, so that means that Vandy could beat Memphis.

It was at this point that I was tuning out because I was yelling things at the radio that, quite frankly, shouldn't be reprinted.

Because these two idiots really annoyed me. Why? Well, they forgot a few of those silly facts and realities.

One is--and I'm sure Memphis fans will back me up on this--I'm pretty sure John Calipari didn't wake up the day of the Memphis vs UT game and say to his team, "You know guys, I think we should let the Vols win this one. But play just hard enough to lose by single digits." I guess it's just too much to accept for these two idiots that on that night UT was the better team. Oh no, we have to come up with excuses.

Then, the next part--oh since Vandy beat UT, they're better than Memphis. Ummmmmmmm, let's look at some facts. One is that Vandy won by three on their home floor, two days after UT beat Memphis. A few weeks earlier, the Commodors were handed their heads by the Vols in Knoxville. We beat them like a drum. Oh but we forget that, don't we? Because those little facts poke holes in your lame-bran theory.

Finally, last time I checked the Vols went to the Sweet Sixteen. And how did the Commodores do? Oh that's right...one and done to Sienna.

I can see why these guys are on the weekend shift. But, no, really guys...you almost had a point there. It's too bad if you look at it with anything approaching logic or intelligence your whole argument breaks down. But I guess on some level, you got what you wanted...because I'm talking about what you guys said a few hours later.

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/05/2008 08:31:00 PM | |
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Win one, lose one
NBC announced their new, year-round schedule yesterday. It was a case of great news, bad news for two shows I enjoy.

The good news--Friday Night Lights (the best show on TV outside of Battlestar Galactica) will be back next year officially.

The bad news--Journeyman is officially gone. Sorry, but I can't see how people can get so caught up in the poorly-executed Heroes and overlook how wonderfully complex, compelling and rewarding Journeyman was. Of course, I also don't get why people watch American Idol either...

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posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/03/2008 10:14:00 AM | |
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