Category Archives: Geeky Stuff

An Open Letter to William Shatner; Why I am Boycotting Houston Space City Con

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July 9, 2015

 

Dear Mr. Shatner,

I was SO excited to hear that you would be attending this year’s Space City Comic Con in Houston Texas this year! I grew up in a Star Trek household, and have been a fan since I played the role of Captain Kirk in fifth grade when the backstop was my Enterprise. As a fellow Canadian living in Houston I thought I would finally get to meet my idol. This is why it breaks my heart to say that I won’t be there. Make no mistake, this was NOT an easy decision, but I decided in good conscience that I could not do it. I made this decision upon hearing on good authority that the Space City Con failed to remit payment to my favorite charity, the Kids Need to Read program, which is sponsored by my other favorite Canadian Captain, Nathan Fillion. The Kids Need to Read program was the charity being supported by the Space City Con, monies were collected in the name of this charity and were not forwarded as promised. I was devastated to hear this news when I found out that the charity was not participating in the con because of this issue.

So Mr Shatner, it is with great sadness in my heart that I will not come to meet you, and it will probably be my last chance to do so.

Blessings to you, and love you!

 

Your greatest Canadian Fan,

 

Heather Kaminski

Just another day in Geek Homeschool

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Howard Wolowitz

Howard Wolowitz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh I do love having these conversations with my awesomely geeky daughter! I think we’re going to have to work on a script!

Me: Don’t you think it would be cool if Howard dressed up as “Moist” for Halloween?

K: That would be so cool ! They could ALL go to the comic book store dressed as Dr. Horrible characters!

Me: Ya, ’cause you know they’ve already done the Justice League stuff. Who would be Dr Horrible? Sheldon probably!

K: YA! And Penny could be …. Penny!  Who would be Captain Hammer?

Penny (The Big Bang Theory)

Penny (The Big Bang Theory) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Me: Penny’s ex-boyfriend, what’s his name?

K: Zack! Ya that would be good. But who could the others be?

Me: Well, Raj could be Bad Horse!

K: LOL! Ya! He’d be all “I don’t wanna be Bad Horse! That’s as bad as Aquaman!”

K: Then Amy and Bernadette and Leonard can be the fan club!

Leonard Hofstadter

Me: You know Leonard is going to want to be Captain Hammer!

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

K: Ya! I know right! That would be so funny! And then! Then they can all go to the comic book store! And Nathan Fillion can be the guest star and he can be gaming at the Comic Book store! That would be so cool!

 

Geek Homeschool really rocks!

Nathan Fillion at the 2005 Serenity "flan...

Nathan Fillion at the 2005 Serenity “flanvention”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Adventures in Geek Home School

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So after years of begging, because she just “doesn’t fit in”, I have decided to home school my 11-year-old geeky Whovian daughter. One of the positive things about home schooling her is that she can have conversations with someone who actually speaks the same language.   Today in the car our conversation went something like this:

K: I don’t see how Captain Hammer can wear the same shirt for rescuing people all the time.

Me: Why not? Superman does it.

K: Ya, well Captain Hammer has to wear his regular clothes over top of his shirt so he’s wearing two shirts, don’t you think he’d get all sweaty and smelly?

Me: Superman does too, and he’s even got a cape on!

K: But he’s an alien, he doesn’t sweat the same.

Me: How do you know that?

K: They actually talked about it once on Myth Busters. They did tests on how fast you could get undressed and if you could undress in time and be there to rescue someone.

Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters PICT8943

Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters PICT8943 (Photo credit: Erik.Nielsen.Photos)

Me: And what did they find?

K: That you couldn’t do it.

Me: Well, I don’t see how they can do that. Superman is an alien, you can’t put him on the same scale as humans. He’s got super speed, so their test isn’t valid.

K: I know, right?….(pause) …. Don’t you think this is a conversation that Sheldon and Leonard would have?

 

Me: Yup.   It’s so great having someone to talk “Geek” with!

 

Leonard Hofstadter

 

Adventures in Geek Home Schooling

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So after years of begging, because she just “doesn’t fit in”, I have decided to home school my 11-year-old geeky Whovian daughter. One of the positive things about home schooling her is that she can have conversations with someone who actually speaks the same language.

 

Today in the car our conversation went something like this:

 

K: I don’t see how Captain Hammer can wear the same shirt for rescuing people all the time.

 

Me: Why not? Superman does it.

 

K: Ya, well Captain Hammer has to wear his regular clothes over top of his shirt so he’s wearing two shirts, don’t you think he’d get all sweaty and smelly?

 

Me: Superman does too, and he’s even got a cape on!

 

K: But he’s an alien, he doesn’t sweat the same.

 

Me: How do you know that?

 

K: They actually talked about it once on Myth Busters. They did tests on how fast you could get undressed and if you could undress in time and be there to rescue someone.

 

Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters PICT8943

Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters PICT8943 (Photo credit: Erik.Nielsen.Photos)

 

Me: And what did they find?

 

K: That you couldn’t do it.

 

Me: Well, I don’t see how they can do that. Superman is an alien, you can’t put him on the same scale as humans. He’s got super speed, so their test isn’t valid.

 

K: I know, right?….(pause) …. Don’t you think this is a conversation that Sheldon and Leonard would have?

 

 

 

Leonard Hofstadter

Leonard Hofstadter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me: Yup.

 

It’s so great having someone to talk “Geek” with!

 

 

 

Entertainment Weekly Article: Behind Every Superhero, There’s a Woman Without Much to Do

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It’s not a long,  in-depth expose’ but it’s an article that strikes a chord because it’s true. Entertainment Weekly writers Adam Carlson, Samantha Highfill, and Grady Smith hit the nail square on the head. “… most actresses in comic-book movies are still stuck with flimsy parts while the dudes save the world.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that thought myself.EW2

The article goes on to examine eight leading ladies. They report what their roles are, how much time they clock in for each film, whether they fall in love with the hero, whether they need  saving by the hero, and asks the question “do they scream and cry a lot”? (I loved that one! Course I think Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale in “Batman”, 1989 holds the record for most number of minutes screamed by a damsel in distress….) The average screen time for these eight actresses is paltry 25 minutes, all eight of them fall for the hero, five out of the eight screamed and cried a lot, and they ALL were saved by the hero.

We need a HEROINE!

Where’s Buffy? Apparently that project’s  on permanent hold and rightly so without Joss Whedon there to lead it!

What about Batwoman? Now that might be interesting! Is the world ready for an openly gay superhero on the Big Screen? Hm.

Here’s an idea… How about Catwoman? Anne Hathaway‘s version of the slinky feline was pretty darn cool! I didn’t hear any screaming and crying, and she even had time for some thrilling heroics! According to this Huffington Post article Ms Hathaway would be more than willing to return in the role. Maybe if we said “pretty please” Christopher Nolan would change his mind.

It seems that if we want strong female characters we have to turn to the small screen. Since they’ve done away with Laurie, The Walking Dead  ROCKS with great writing for female characters! Michonne played by  Danai Gurira kicks some serious zombie butt, Maggie played by Lauren Cohan is one of the strongest women on T.V right now, and Andrea, played by Laurie Holden just might end up saving the whole Grimey Gang from the evil Governor! (I DO hope that the writers choose to have her save HERSELF from her current situation. After everything Andrea has been through I’d be VERY upset if they chose to have her “rescued” by a male character, especially …. Milton?!)

Pixar‘s “Brave”, a story of  firey haired Celtic Heroine, Merica, earned worldwide total of $535,383,207, and was thirteenth highest grossing film in 2012! It was pretty evenly matched between both male and female movie goers too.

Even though she’s been called a “Smurfette” (ie token female), Scarlett Johansson was pretty awesome as Black Widow in “The Avengers” . For a female character WITHOUT superpowers she was pretty damn dangerous with that … tiny…little… … ….gun…. (really, I know I blogged about this before, but taking out those HUGE aliens with that miniscule gun was just a  bit ridiculous, Joss! ) Anyway, Black Widow was SMOKIN and The Avengers is THE THIRD HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE OF ALL TIME! Not ALL  of that  $1,511,757,910 came from a guy’s “Green Lantern” wallet you know! I can’t find any actual statistics, but I’m willing to bet that pretty darn close to half that revenue came from Tardis shaped purses!   Geeky women like myself  love action movies and love even more to see leading women represented in the movie as being just as awesome as leading men! Not only that, but anyone who watches “Big Bang Theory” knows that geeky men like watching strong female characters too. A whole lot.

So, HEEEELLLLOOOOOOOO HOLLYWOOD! WAKEY, WAKEY! Women heros are COOL! AND we want more of them!

So “King of the Nerds” Crowns a Queen!

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King-of-the-Nerds-contestants

 

Really TBS?

Granted I didn’t watch all of this first season of “King of the Nerds”, but when my daughter saw that yes, girls can play too, (which of course is a PLUS for the show)… she did ask me why the show is called KING of the Nerds.  When a girl actually WON the show, she again asked me why they didn’t call  her QUEEN. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a QUEEN crowned KING since the Egyptians crowned Hatshepsut  Pharaoh somewhere around 1479 BC.

 

As far as “reality” shows go, this one’s not TOO bad. The TBS show hosted  by Revenge of the Nerd  celebs Robert Carradine

 

Toronto ComiCon 2012 - Robert Carradine

Toronto ComiCon 2012 – Robert Carradine (Photo credit: TonyFelgueiras)

 

and Curtis Armstrong and the competitors varied from NASA employees to comic book experts and video game fanatics. What I liked about the show is that I thought  these contestants are genuine, real, likable PEOPLE. I’m more than a little tired of seeing plumped up lips, inflated boobs and small dogs being carried in designer purses. I also liked the fact that it was pretty evenly matched between men and women. I’m not sure about the ending though. It seemed to come down ultimately to a “prom queen” popularity contest which seems somewhat ironic. Granted I DID think Celeste was a kinder person and if she is serious about  getting out there and being a spokesperson with kids then she may be a better choice. HOWEVER Genevieve DID work her butt off and she pulled through in many a challenge. A really bright girl, but just not as personable. (At least that is how the situation is painted for us viewers. Who knows the “reality” behind the “reality” show.

 

Toronto ComiCon 2012 - Curtis Armstrong

Toronto ComiCon 2012 – Curtis Armstrong (Photo credit: TonyFelgueiras)

 

So anyway, it’s a cute enough show that actually seems to celebrate nerdom I don’t mind tuning into for the fun of it and I think with a second season in the works it’ll really take off.  I just think if the competition involves both men and women they should have called it something else. Maybe next year they’ll turn the tables and call the show “Queen of the Nerds” and it’ll be won by a guy?

 

Second Annual Northwoods UU “Firefly” Shindig!

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And so in preparation for our second annual Northwoods UU “Firefly” Shindig / fundraiser I’m  posting the video of the service that Rev Ellen Cooper Davis prepared last year.

Just a quick explanation. Every year Northwoods UU holds a Service Auction raising money for the church. As part of the auction, Rev Ellen puts a “service of your topic of choice” up for bid. In 2012 Northwoods Browncoats unified to purchase this service. Also at the service auction a Firefly Shindig is offered with each Browncoats offering benefiting our wonderful community. This year we are asking that new books be also brought to the Shindig in support of Captn Mal’s own charity “Kids Need to Read” program benefitting kids all over the US.

The service is over an hour long. Shepard Ellen gives the best sermon in the ‘verse so grab yourself a mug of Mudder‘s milk and enjoy.

(unfortunately it appears Word Press doesn’t support imbeded videos from Google drive… but here’s the link.)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzAlR5OrM00AVXdwRHVWZnVmV2s/edit

 

My Top Ten Tear Jerkers: I Always Cry When…

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Boromir dies. Yes, yes, I admit it. There are just some movie scenes that never fail to move me. Watching Lord of the Rings again for the umpteenth time was a perfect choice for hunkering down on a rainy day.

People (and by “people” I mean my family) tease me for crying at movies. I’m sure there are many others out there who know what it’s like when they have to take tissues to a movie that they KNOW in advance will make the waters fall.

“Whatever happens… I must… not… cry!”

So what do we do? We don’t like being made fun of, we feel silly that a fictional story will affect us so we practically break our necks trying to hold it in. Then what happens? We choke, our chests hurt, we turn purple and then we screw up our faces and make new wrinkles in our foreheads.

I was reading somewhere recently that people who cry at sad stories aren’t just sympathetic, they are empathic.  Sympathy is a cognitive understanding of why someone might be feeling the way they feel, empathy is the ability to actually feel what others feel.  Why should we be made to feel embarrassed about this? If more people were empathic the world would be a better place. Better yet, if ALL people were empathic there would be utopia! There would be no question over public health care, there would be no animal abuse, there would be no sexual assault, there would be no bullying , there would be no war… the list is endless. So movie cryers unite!

Here you go, my top ten teary scenes for a rainy day, watch and cry unabashedly! :

10. Star Trek: Generations (when the Enterprise crashes)

9.  Spiderman 2 (when he stops the train and is carried and unmasked by the people)

8. Bridge to Tarabithia

7. Titanic (the scene where the mother is telling her children stories in bed)

sorry, couldn’t find clips of this but I’m sure you know the one!

6. Harry Potter (when Hedwig is killed)

5.Lord of the Rings (Boromir defends the Hobbits to the death and says he would have followed Aragorn to the end)

4. Up

3. Star Trek The Wrath of Khan (Death of Spock)

2. Dumbo (baby of mine)

And my number one heart wrenching story is :

  1. The Iron Giant

(ok, just watching this for the POST made me cry…)

I also have to give honorable mention to “Marly and Me” which I have only watched once because it’s just too damn sad, and “Ol Yeller” which I will NEVER watch because I know it would probably kill me.

“A Little Less Douche” Lessons from the “Daly Show”

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I thought my life would seem more interesting with a musical score and a laugh track.
Bill Watterson

If there’s one thing I really enjoy, it’s people who can laugh at themselves.

The Daly show, a Web show created and written by Ben Shelton and starring Tim Daly (Private Practice) and his son, Sam Daly (Red Tails) is a satirical look at a father and son relationship within the context of living the celebrity / sex symbol lifestyle.  Not only does Tim instruct his son in the fine arts of both acting and manhood, he shows him how to do it with just a “little less douch” baggery.  And what is the result of these lessons in life? Well, in all comedic irony, MORE douche baggery!

This web show opens that window of opportunity for Tim Daly (Wings) to return to the genre in which he really shines; comedy. Sam Daly, is equally funny dealing with his eccentric father on a day to day basis, his father never fails to shock him and his perpetual look of stunned incredulity is brilliant.

The Daly Show has attracted various big name celebrity guest stars that I applaud for pokiing fun at themselves and being just “a little less douche”. These stars include: Taye Diggs, Amy Brenneman, Nathan Fillion, and most recently, Whoopie Goldberg.

Just as an aside, here is my comprehensive, yet not entirely exhaustive, list of people who could really benefit from watching and learning from the Daly’s.   Feel free to add to the list in the comments section.

 People who need to be “a little less douche.”

Rick Perry

Rick Santorum

Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich

Rush Limbaugh

Pat Robertson

 “Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up” –Pat Robertson, on nuking the State Department

Donald Trump

Geraldo Rivera

Ann Coulter

Crazy Ann Coulter

”Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now.”

—Ann Coulter, in her book ”Slander”

If a Fat Girl Falls in a Forest, Do the Trees Laugh? The ABSURDITY of Misogyny and Racism

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“If a Fat Girl Falls in a Forest, Do the Trees Laugh?”

I saw this bumper sticker on the back of a red neck’s truck today.  I knew he was a red neck because of the blue balls he had hanging off the trailer hitch. Honestly, I don’t get that. You’d think if a guy wasn’t getting any he wouldn’t want to be advertising it to everyone on the back of his truck.

Some critics reviewing the movie “Hunger Games” have criticized Jennifer Lawrence for being too fat to play the part of Katniss.

Can you believe it? The girl is 5’ 7” and 120 lbs.  Isn’t that just a little ironic given a large portion of the story is dedicated to the absurd fascination we have with appearances and what lengths we will go to in order to live up to these moronicly impossible standards of beauty set by … who sets them? Fashion designers? Magazine moguls? Movie stars?  “society” in general? To call this beautiful, healthy young woman fat is just, well, ABSURD!

Dr. Who on our ABSURD obsession with “thinness” 

There been some very ugly comments flying around the net regarding the race of some of the characters in the movie.

http://www.blogher.com/why-rue-black-racism-and-hunger-games?from=bhspinner

http://www.blogher.com/fans-hunger-games-enthusiastic-readers-or-bigoted-fandom

Rue is black and she’s also a beautiful, sweet, and talented little girl

When, when, when will people ever learn that cruelty, and hatred only leads to more cruelty and hatred? When will we all understand how ABSURD it is to base our behavior and our actions and our happiness on appearances?

Effie Trinket is ABSURD

The misogynistic “War on Women” embodied by The Rush Limbaugh Debacle and the very sad Tayvon Martin incident are opening flood gates of change. People who stand for love and equality are speaking out. It’s unfortunate but when standing up for change and for what is morally right, there is a rebound action. I think we will see a lot more ugliness the louder we get. We just have to believe that with three steps forward and two steps back those of us who believe in what is right and just will slowly make progress.