Friday, February 28, 2014

Girlie things

Apparently, I have a girlie phone.

CNET reports that a recent study shows that women prefer iPhones, while men prefer Android phones.

That's really not a surprise. Because studies have been showing that for a while, just nobody ever made a big deal about it. For example, Business Insider reported in 2010 that iPhone was the choice of women, while Android phones were the choice of men in a study by Nielsen.

There's also a survey from 2011 that indicates women prefer iPhones, while men prefer Android.

So, this latest report shouldn't surprise anyone. My phone is an iPhone, which makes it a girlie phone. And I'm okay with that.

You see, there's nothing wrong with girlie things. No, I'm not trying to act like some metrosexual -- which is, I think, someone who's sexually attracted to the public transportation system. No, I'm simply okay with stuff being girlie.

Like Secret deodorant. I use Secret. Well, not all the time. But, if it's on sale, yeah, I'll pick it up. Started doing that in the Army. You see, on a field exercise, a lot of soldiers will forget stuff, or run out of stuff, and want to borrow yours. So, after my first field exercise, next time I went to the field, I took my wife's Secret deodorant. They stopped asking to borrow it. And, Secret works. So, if that's what's on sale, I'm picking up some Powder Fresh Scent solid.

Or Lady Bic shavers. They used to come in pink. And, they used to be the only disposable razors that had that strip that made shaving more comfortable. When you're in the field, and it's cold and you're standing next to a HMMWV looking into the mirror trying to get yesterday's facial growth off, that little strip helps. Plus, others quit asking to borrow a razor blade from me, because mine were pink. The Lady Bic razors come in other colors now, but they still make some pretty pink ones.

So, no, I'm not afraid of using a girlie phone. My iPhone does just fine. And, if you have an Android phone, it probably works just fine for you, too. But, I like my iPhone, and my next phone will likely be another iPhone.

So what if it's a girlie phone. Think about it, fellas. Don't you like girlie things? Really, admit it. You like girlie things. Like girlie parts. You know, the parts the girls got that the guys don't got. You like the girlie parts. And so do I.

And if that includes an iPhone, I'm okay with that. And, if it helps with getting access to other girlies things, I'm more than okay with it.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More things I don't have to do

Just in time for the pulling of the Flappy Bird app from Apple's App Store ...

Hey! I've figured out where Frank J's been! He's been so upset that Flappy Bird is no longer available that he's holed up in a room somewhere, not wanting to deal with the world. But, he'll be okay. He'll be back soon, I'm sure.

Anyway, just in time for the pulling of the Flappy Bird app from Apple's App Store, two guys in China built a robot to play Flappy Bird. Really. (via Dan Collins/Facebook)

How does this impact you? Or, more importantly, how does it impact me?

Well, it doesn't. Not really. Because they've now built a machine to play a game that I don't have time to play.

That means the Chinese have finally caught up to where I was in 2008, when the TiVo was recording shows I never watched. Then I'd delete the shows because I wasn't going to watch them.

So, in 2008, instead of me watching all that TV, I just had the TiVo watch it for me. They're building cars that drive themselves. The NSA reads my emails so I don't have to. And, now, I don't have to play Flappy Bird because I can have a robot play it for me.

Pretty soon, I won't have to do anything. I'll be able to do nothing, and be good at it.

Of course, I've had wives tell me I'm good for nothing, so once again, I'm ahead of the curve. Y'all catch up when you can.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This has promise

Taco Bell for breakfast?

I've eaten some things for breakfast that aren't generally considered breakfast. Well, not to me.

I'm not counting non-traditional stuff that was because my schedule was all screwed up from working late.

Pizza, of course. Cake. Peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly mixed in a bowl because I was out of bread. Chicken cacciatore -- that was an Army thing, and it was all out unit had for like three weeks in Kuwait, and I have not eaten it since.

But now, I'm going to add Taco Bell to my list of out of the ordinary breakfasts. Only, it won't be. No really. Out of the ordinary, I mean.

Taco Bell is offering breakfast starting 27 March, according to their Website. And it looks pretty good.

First thing I'm going to try is the Waffle Taco. That's a Waffle. With Sausage. And Eggs and Cheese. Folded like a Taco. The only thing missing is Bacon.

Can they pull it off? I don't know. I've had breakfast at some places that just don't know how to make breakfast. Mostly in Kuwait or in Canada -- Niagara Falls, if you must have an explanation as to what I was doing in Canada -- but I'm thinking I've had breakfast in the U.S. that I didn't like. Somewhere.

I hope Taco Bell lives up to the promise.

If they don't, I hope they get deported back to where they came from: Downey, California.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Piers Morgan

I saw an article on the Internets that said that Piers Morgan was leaving his show on CNN. That brings up some questions.

First, what's CNN? Are they still around?

Next, isn't Piers Morgan the guy from The Apprentice?

Who gave him a TV show on something that pretends to be a news network?

Did Frank J's recent absence from IMAO mean that he's behind the sacking of Piers Morgan?

If anyone knows the answer to these questions, well, it's okay. You don't have to leave the answers here. It just means you know more about CNN than whoever is running things there now.

But, this apparently means that CNN has an opening. So, who should take the job? Not who will, because that will, in all likelihood be some foreigner, or some left-wing idiot. Or, they'll rehire Piers Morgan and get two-for-one.

So, again, who should get the job at CNN?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Classic Doctor Who Season Nine

Season Nine of the classic Doctor Who series -- I'm watching them all from the 1963 beginning -- featured the return of the Daleks. And, as always, they want to exterminate, exterminate, EXTERMINATE! The season consisted of five serials, made up of 26 episodes.

It was a welcome break when the first serial, Day of the Daleks (4 episodes) didn't feature The Master. He had appeared in all serials of the previous season. The serial was also the first time the Daleks appeared in color in the show. There were a couple of color films starring Peter Cushing, but those aren't considered canon. They don't count.

The serial also introduced the Ogrons, who look and dress like there were based on the Klingons from the Star Trek movies. Another instance of The Doctor going into the future to steal ideas from other shows, I suppose.

The version I watched is the Special Edition, which means they added some CGI effects. I understand there is also a difference in a scene where The Doctor battles an Ogron.

The Ice Warriors made an appearance in The Curse of Peladon (4 episodes), although they aren't villains in this episode. It also featured Patrick Troughton's son, David, as one of the major characters in the serial. It was an off-Earth serial, with a reference that the Time Lords directed the TARDIS there so The Doctor could solve a problem. They got the idea for temporarily paroling the hero to solve a problem by going forward in time and stealing the plot point from 48 HRS.

The Mutants (6 episodes) was another off-Earth serial, as was The Time Monster (6 episodes), at least partially. With three of the five serials occurring completely, or with a good deal of the action, off Earth, it's almost as it was before the exile.

The Master did show up in the third serial, The Sea Devils (6 episodes), and the fifth serial, The Time Monster. The Sea Devils, which featured an aquatic race related to the Silurians, was the episode where The Doctor first uttered the phrase "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow." The Third Doctor used a shortened version, "reverse the polarity," in other serials, including The Time Monster. That serial is the third one dealing with Atlantis, by the way. We now have three different versions of the destruction of that civilization. I'm sure they're all true.

One other thing about The Time Monster: it featured The Doctor and Jo traveling in both Bessie and the TARDIS. Not at the same time, of course. The TARDIS did get a slight makeover inside. The original setup was nine years old by this time, and was falling apart. So, not only is it bigger on the inside, it's newer, too.

And, we'll be taking a trip to the tenth season next.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Six Californias

A report from ABC News says there's a proposal in California to split the state into six separate states. It recently got the green light from the state's Secretary of State.

Now, will it go anywhere? Probably not. But should it?

On the one hand, the idea of six Californias is scary. One is plenty bad enough. But six?

On the other hand, the thought of taking an axe to that state and cutting it into small pieces is attractive.

Okay, some of you may live in California, and not appreciate either sentiment. But really, it's your own fault for living there. There are 49 other states, some of them that actually don't suck, that you could live in. Or, you could stay there and actually do take it from the crazy liberals that are running the shoe. But, you've done neither. So, when people trash California, you gotta take some of the blame.

Anyway, breaking up California. Crazy idea?

It's been done before. Kind of. Maine was actually part of Massachusetts until 1820. Go look it up.

West Virginia was the part of Virginia that didn't secede during the War Between The States. It was given its own status as a state 1863.

So, yeah, breaking a state up has been done before. But still, should California be broken up? Or should other states be broken up?

I won't be broken up about it. What about you? What do you think?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

To binge, or not to binge...

For some reason, it's now news to talk about binge watching.

Binge watching, if you don't know, is watching a whole bunch of shows at once. And it's not really a new phenomenon.

Back in the days when you recorded stuff on your VCR -- Does anyone still do that? Other than Harvey, perhaps? -- you could keep all the episodes together and watch them. I had a wife that did that for her stories. (That's soap opera, for you kids.) She'd set up the VCR to record her favorite show, then watch them all. She would sometimes watch one or two, then have to fast forward back to where the tape was so that she wouldn't record over the next episode or two before she watched it. So, binge watching was NOT the best way with VHS tapes.

TiVo solved the whole issue of only watching one or two and having to make sure you didn't record over an episode you hadn't watched. Then, you didn't have to binge watch. But, it also made it easier to record a bunch of other shows. But you didn't have time to watch them until the weekend, so that actually made for more binge watching.

Shows would come out on VHS and later on DVD, and you could buy whole seasons of shows and sit and watch them. Still can. Well, DVDs anyway.

Then came streaming. You could get Netflix and that catalog of online content. You can also get Hulu/Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime/Instant Video, Crackle, or any of hundreds of other online services and Websites.

So, binge watching isn't new. But it's apparently news.

In the last 24 hours, there have been a series of news stories talking about how bad binge watching is. Except for the stories that talk about how good binge watching is.

At The Daily Beast, Roland Martin has his panties in a wad over binge watching. Apparently, that's important to him.

Then, there's a story by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang in The Independent that says binge watching is good for you.

So, who are you going to believe?

I binge watch. I'll watch several episodes at once, whether from a streaming service, or something recorded from the TiVo. And, I'll watch other shows as soon as they come out. It really depends on the show.

For instance, I watched every episode of Breaking Bad as soon as I could. I do the same thing with Justified. I don't wait to watch the next episode.

Of course, after the Breaking Bad finale, I binge watched the whole series from start to finish. It gave it a little different perspective, and I enjoyed it just as much. I tried that with The Shield one time, and had to stop and go take a bath, just to get the grittiness of the show off me. I never finished binge watching The Shield, though I did watch each episode. Just one at a time.

How about you? Is this a big enough deal for you to even care about? And which way do you go?

Do you binge watch? If so, what? If not, do you think that binge watchers a bunch of sad, lonely, pathetic excuses for human beings? Or are they simply fans enjoying their pastimes in the best way possible?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Olympics Primer: Bobsleigh

You may not be aware, but the Winter Olympics are still underway.

Apparently, there's more than Curling going on. There's also skiing. Not water skiing, but skiing on snow. And there's a lot of that. And, there's Bobsleigh. Some calls it Bobsledding. The Olympics call it Bobsleigh.

The four-man bobsleigh competition is the top of the various bobsleigh events. There's two-man. There's women's competition. But, the big deal is the four-man bobsleigh. The competition begins soon, and the medals are awarded this coming weekend.

In preparation, we're offering another primer on Olympic events. So, with a little Help! from our friends, we'll explain the four-man bobsleigh competition.

Each team consists of four men, stacked like cordwood atop a sled. One wears a top hat.

The team must navigate down a hill of snow, all together.

It is permissible within the rules to lighten the load, allowing the team to increase speed, if you can ring the lasso of the Overhead Mad Scientists with the foot of the man on top.

If successful, the top man dangles overhead, allowing the other three to pick up speed.

When the rope breaks, he rejoins the others on the sled...

...and they continue downhill until they fall over.

When that happens, they mount skis, and finish the course by avoiding umbrella-carrying snowmen.

As they approach the end of the course, the lead snowman, with an umbrella flamethrower...

...lights the team's ski poles on fire.

The team then reaches the end of the course, and orders a ticket to London. First team to Heathrow wins.

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Stupid people

People are stupid.

No, not every person is stupid. I'm not. You're not. But if you're at work or school or some other place around a bunch of other folks, look around. A lot of the people you're looking at are stupid. And, some of your relatives? They're stupid too. I know some of mine are.

How stupid are people?

Well, according to a survey conducted by the National Science Foundation, around one in four Americans don't think the Earth revolves around the Sun. Okay, you know and I know that actually, they both revolve around the barycenter of the Sun-Earth pair. But, that point is practically the center of the Sun. So, yeah, for all practical purposes, the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Of course, if you look a little deeper at the survey results, you'll see this:
Generally, U.S. residents showed a knowledge of science comparable to those of other countries with high levels of education, including Japan, the European Union and South Korea, the NSF said. In fact, they did better than EU residents on the question about whether Earth moves around the sun.
That's not good news for America, though. It's simply bad news for the rest of the world. The rest of the world has stupid people in it, too.

But, I don't really care much that other countries have stupid people. They have kings and prime ministers and want the government to take care of them because they're incompetent, and stupid to boot.

What bothers me is that we have so many stupid people in the U.S. But we do. Having a hard time believing that? Well, consider that Americans voted for Barack Obama. Twice. The stupid is strong in this country.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Your old music video for the day



Washington's Birthday (2014)

George Washington

You know what today is, right?

If you said "Presidents Day," you need to be beat with a stick. Several sticks. With knots in them so they hurt really bad.

Today is Washington's Birthday.

Now, I know, George Washington's birthday is actually February 22nd. That's not until Saturday. But, there is a federal holiday called Washington's Birthday, and it's to honor George Washington. And the name of that holiday is ... Washington's Birthday.

So, why does everybody call it Presidents Day? Well, not everybody does. Witness me. And, I hope, you. But there are a lot of folks running around loose that call it Presidents Day. You know what we call dumbasses like that? Dumbasses.

This day is set aside to honor the first President of the United States, George Washington. He was instrumental in the founding of this nation, and if anyone deserves a holiday, it's him.

Washington's Birthday was the fifth national holiday established, after New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. It was one of the holidays picked for a Monday observance in 1971 when they started screwing around with federal holidays, and making some fall on a Monday. Along with Washington's Birthday, the holidays Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day were also moved to Mondays. The first four holidays and Veterans Day kept their regular days.

If you want one of "those people" that are always correcting others for things ... you know, like I'm doing right now ... and you want a link to throw at people, use this link to United States Code 5 U.S.C. 6103.

Why am I like this about Washington's Birthday? That's the wrong question. The right question is: why aren't you?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Classic Doctor Who Season Eight

The eighth season of Doctor Who featured the return of the Autons, first seen in Season Seven's Spearhead from Space. It also introduced Jo Grant (Katy Manning) as The Doctor's new assistant, replacing Liz Shaw (Caroline John) who was mentioned as having left for Cambridge. Also introduced, or maybe re-introduced, was The Master (Roger Delgado), a renegade Time Lord.

I'm kinda thinking The Master might be the same Time Lord as The War Chief from Season Six's The War Games, but some research says it's a different Time Lord. If that's the case, that's now three renegade Time Lords: The Doctor, The War Chief, and The Master. Oh, wait. I forgot about the Monk from Seasons Two and Three. That's four renegade Time Lords. Somebody needs to get a handle on the Time Lords.

During each of the five serials (25 episodes), The Doctor battled The Master. The Doctor did finally leave present-day Earth in Colony in Space (6 episodes) when the Time Lords sent the TARDIS, with The Doctor and Jo on board, to some far off planet 500 years in the future. It seems The Master stole the plans to some doomsday weapon, so the exile is temporarily lifted, and The Doctor and Jo wind up on some planet being colonized by Earthmen in 2472. That was the only off-Earth serial in the season. It's also the most left-leaning episode, since it was written by communist Malcolm Hulke.

Season Five is the first season to have all episodes available on Hulu. Of the first seven seasons, only Season Four and Season Five have no episodes available on Hulu. While Amazon Instant Video (and Amazon Prime) has one serial each from Seasons One, Five, Six, and Seven, there are none from Eight.

While the season was okay, there was nothing particularly outstanding abut the season. Yes, the introduction of The Master brought a major villain to the show, but if he's not another incarnation of The War Chief, then he's simply another version of a renegade Time Lord.

The serial The Dæmons (5 episodes) featured a community covered by an invisible impenetrable dome. I think they must have stolen the idea from Stephen King. Yes, I know Stephen King published Under the Dome in 2009, but he it's a rewrite of an unfinished story from 1972. It's obvious The Doctor took the TARDIS forward in time from 1971 (when this episode first aired) and stole the idea from King. He should sue.

That serial also featured a community dance. A lot of townsfolk were dancing in the street, then grabbed The Doctor and tied him to a Maypole. It seemed like something straight out of The Prisoner.

The season-long arc of battling The Master certainly made for a different style of show, and I do miss the leaping about the galaxy and across the barriers of time.

But, once The Doctor gets the TARDIS back fully functional and returns to galavanting across the universe, that'll be the end of Bessie. Though at first I wasn't a fan, I've come to like the little yellow car. I think I want one.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What's in a name?

Sheila Crabtree is no longer. But she is Sexy.

According to the Columbus Dispatch -- from that fake Columbus in Ohio, not the real Columbus in Georgia -- Sheila Crabtree hated her name -- the "Sheila" part, not the "Crabtree" part -- so she had it changed. And, her new first name is "Sexy," after a judge in Licking County, Ohio granted her request.

Why "Sexy?" Well, she explained:
“I wear Victoria’s Secret clothes all the time,” said Crabtree, who doesn’t want you to know how old she is. “I was like, ‘Shoot, I’ll just go for Sexy.’”
So, having the name "Sexy" makes her sexy? Sad news for you ma'am. If you weren't sexy before, you won't be sexy afterwards, no matter what your driver's license says.

I'm worried, though, that others may follow her lead, and change their name to something they desperately want to be, but aren't. For instance, I fully expect Barack Obama to change his name to Really Smart Guy. Because if anything says the opposite of really smart, it's Barack.

Maybe MSNBC will change its name to TheNetworkEveryoneWatches.

Or the Winter Olympics to ThingsThatAreActuallyInterestingToWatch.

Or the 12-member Big Ten Conference to WeReallyDoKnowHowToCount Conference.

Or the 10-member Big Twelve Conference to the WeWillHaveTwelveMembersAgainOneDayMaybe Conference.

Apple could change its name to WeAreNotJustForDouchebags.

Microsoft could become BlueScreenOfDeathNeverHeardOfIt.

I wonder where else this trend might lead.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Olympics Primer: Curling

Curling is a popular sport that nobody understands. What I mean is nobody understands why it is popular. Perhaps we can Help! Here's your Guide to Curling.

Play begins when the team's Mad Scientist -- don't let these technical terms confuse you, just follow along -- hands the next player (called the "Lead Guitarist") the Fiendish Thingy.

The Lead Guitarist takes the Fiendish Thingy and runs forward...

... then slides it down the ice toward the other players.

The goal is to knock over the player with the French-looking shirt (called the "Drummer").

If the Lead Guitarist fails to knock over the Drummer, he and another player (called the "Lead Singer") tackle the Drummer...

... dragging him across a red line to where another player (called the "Bass Player") is positioned.

The Fiendish Thingy then blows up...

... at which time the team locates the White Cliffs of Dover. First one there wins.

Now, you'll be able to enjoy Curling with a firm knowledge of the rules. I'm glad we could Help!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Viewing Michael Sam: the difference between the Right and the Left

Here's how conservatives see Michael Sam:

Football player for the SEC East champs.

Now, here's how liberals see Michael Sam:


And that is the difference between conservatives and liberals.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Soon, maybe

Twenty years ago this summer, in July 1994, a comet known as Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter. That was a big deal with scientists because they got to see just how big of a deal getting hit by a comet or asteroid was. I suppose if the dinosaurs were still around, they could have just asked them.

Last week, word came out that a meteorite had recently smashed into Mars. They're not sure just when it hit. They think some time between July 2010 and May 2012. They don't really know because they weren't watching for it. NASA has been busy with Muslim outreach, and other scientists are too busy trying to prove that cold weather is a result of Global Warming.

Oh, and, in case you forgot about it, the Moon was hit last March.

So, what do these events, spanning 20 years, have in common?

Well, let's look at them.

In 1994, Shoemaker-Levy 9 missed Earth by 400 million miles.

In 2010 or so, an asteroid missed Earth by 40 million miles.

In 2013, an asteroid missed Earth by a quarter-million miles.

Those of us that have decided the best thing would be to rooting for an asteroid strike? Take heart. The aim is getting better.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Classic Doctor Who Season Seven

The seventh season of Doctor Who (the original run, not the 2005 series) was in color. That's about the only extra expense they put into the show. The special effects are pretty much on par with the first six seasons. That is to say, it's 1960s British television. Only, it's not. It's 1970s British television, since Season Seven premiered in 1970.

There were only four serials in the season, totaling 25 episodes, the fewest number of any season so far. This would be normal, though, for the next decade and a half.

The first serial, Spearhead from Space (4 episodes), was produced in a different manner than the other episodes. It was filmed, rather than videotaped. With the move to color, the video camera operators went on strike demanding more money to operate the color cameras. So, the BBC filmed the episode, since film camera operators were in a different union. The next episode was videotaped after the labor issues were settled.

Spearhead from Space saw the return of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) and the introduction of Liz Shaw (Caroline John), both of whom are full cast members. Not a particularly good or bad serial, it did feature Jon Pertwee (The Doctor in his third incarnation) battling a multi-tentacled creature, much as Bela Lugosi fighting the octopus at the end of Bride of the Monster.

The Doctor gained a car in the second serial, Doctor Who and the Silurians (7 episodes). It's a yellow Siva Edwardian kit car, and he nicknamed it "Bessie." I suppose this replaces the TARDIS.

In the last serial of the season, Inferno (7 episodes), The Doctor accidentally gets sent to a parallel universe where everyone's evil. Like the Mirror, Mirror episode of Star Trek except that the bad guys had less facial hair.

Pertwee is more forceful as The Doctor. He reminds me somewhat of William Hartnell in this regard, as well in his better manner of dressing. While Hartnell was proper in his dress, appearing in the style of an Edwardian gentleman, Patrick Troughton was more Charlie Chaplin in his dress. The First Doctor never displayed fear, though the Second Doctor seemed to cower a lot. Pertwee's portrayal is somewhere between Hartnell's and Troughton's.

There are reports that the showrunners had actually planned to replace Doctor Who with a series similar to the Quatermass shows that ran on the BBC in the 1950s. When the creator of the Quatermass character, Nigel Kneale, decided to not participate, they kept the Doctor Who series going, but spent more focus on Quatermass-style of episodes. Kneale did not like Doctor Who.

Being bound to earth is certainly a change, although Season Five did have five consecutive episodes occur on the planet, as was mentioned by Jamie and Victoria. The premise of the show being earth-bound due to The Doctor's exile by the Time Lords won't last, based on my past watchings of Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor) episodes. I'm ready for him to get back into space and time.

When I first saw the show, I was bothered by the idea of a Police Call Box being the outward appearance of the TARDIS. And, until I watched An Unearthly Child, the first Doctor Who serial, I didn't understand that it had changed its appearance to blend in with its surroundings, and the circuit broke, leaving it stuck as a Police Call Box. And now that Season Seven has mothballed the TARDIS, I miss it.

Season Eight is next, and since I won't be taking the TARDIS there, it's up to Bessie.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Maybe my daughter will crochet something for me, hint hint

A while back, my daughter decided to crochet. That was around the time she was pregnant. So, close to two years ago, or thereabouts. She's done a little bit with it, but has found out that raising a child can be pretty time-consuming. I mean, who knew?


Now that my youngest grandson is getting into everything, learning to talk, hiding the TV remote, and all the other things year-and-a-half old boys get into, she needs something to help her relax. Add to that, a husband attending business school, she has her hands full. Oh, and starting her own business. Yeah, that takes time, too. But, maybe, just maybe, she'll be able to find something to help her relax. Something productive.

I don't know if she'll have time. And, it's okay if she doesn't. But, if she does decide to pick up the hooks and create a crochet masterpiece, I want one of these (Harvey led me to them):

[Source: Harvey > TechnaBob > Neatorama > DeviantART]

Yes, that's a cross between the Doctor Who villains, the Daleks, and My Little Pony.

With everything my daughter has going on, she won't get to this any time soon. Or, maybe, ever. But perhaps you've been wanting a project.

You're welcome.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why you don't let the 17-month old play with your iPhone

I've used the Guided Access feature on my iPhone for when the grandchildren want to play with it. I have some games that one grandson really likes, but although he's only 17 months old, he knows perfectly well how to use the Home button to get out of the game and get to the rest of the phone.

That is why I use the Guided Access (triple-click Home) feature to lock the app and protect areas of the screen. If you have an iPhone and aren't familiar with this, it's Settings > General > Accessibility > [Learning] Guided Access. Once you set it up, you triple-click Home to activate it, and triple-click Home and enter the passcode to turn it off.

My daughter taught me that one. And, I use it when I let my youngest play on the iPhone. I also stay with it and watch, so he doesn't hide it behind the couch or flush it down the toilet. I mean, he's 17 months old. That what boys that age do.

So, I am thankful that my daughter taught me that trick. I'm thinking that she should have taught her husband the same trick. Because the boy got hold of his father's iPhone. Here's how it looks now:

Yes, that's in November 2057, nearly 44 years from now. Do the math if you don't believe me. (And just why don't you believe me?)

The child got his intelligence from his parents. And his sense of humor from his grandfather. I am so proud.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pick the kids up about half past Jon Pertwee

I have a cheap watch. I have some expensive ones, too, but on a normal day, I wear a cheap watch. One of those throwaways you can pick up from Walmart for around the same price as a cheap watch band. I did the math one time, and realized that if something happened to a nice watch on a normal day, I'd be out a boatload of bucks, and for that same money, I could buy a shipload of cheap Walmart watches. So, when the battery runs down or the band breaks or I just get tired of it, I toss it and buy a new, cheap Walmart watch. And I save the expensive watch for occasions where I want to wear a nice watch.

What all that has to do with anything is because I have found a kinda expensive watch (any watch over $100 is kinda expensive) that's pretty cool, but one that I don't think I'll be getting. Because it's not something I'd wear when I'm going somewhere that a nice watch would be appropriate. And I wouldn't wear it for every day.

The Pebble Watch runs around $150. And up. And, a lot of you are familiar with it, whether you have one or not. But, if you're not, it's a smart watch. Runs its own operating system, but can work with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth. And, I suppose that's cool and all, but I'm not ready for a smart watch.

But, if I was...

I'd get The 12 Doctors. It's a customization for the Pebble Watch that offers the face of The Doctor as an indicator of the time. At 1:00, you get the face of William Hartnell. At 2:00, you see Patrick Troughton. At 3:00, Jon Pertwee. At 4:00, Tom Baker. And so on. It even takes into account John Hurt, according to Cnet.

Yeah, that's kinda geeky cool. And I may end up getting one. Need to finish watching all the episodes of Doctor Who first, so I can understand what John Hurt has to do with anything. Maybe later this year. If I find that I have more dollars than sense.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Not a competition

Some of you watched the Super Bowl last night.

I watched old episodes of Doctor Who.

I win.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Classic Doctor Who Season Six

I'm watching the original Doctor Who episodes. I forget why, but now that I've started, I don't think I can stop. I've now watched six seasons, covering two incarnations of The Doctor. William Hartnell originated the role, but left the series early in Season Four. Patrick Troughton took over the role, and remained through Season Six. He left, and a new actor, Jon Pertwee takes over in Season Seven. More about the Troughton to Pertwee transition in a bit.

The sixth season consisted of 7 serials, composed of 44 episodes. Seven episodes from two of the serials are missing. The other five serials have all their episodes. And, from late Season Six on, there are no more missing episodes. That doesn't mean they're all available on home video.

Hulu Plus has a lot of episodes available, including 3 of the 5 complete serials from Season Six. Amazon has only one serial from the season available. YouTube has some official clips, as well as some unofficial uploads of episodes. DailyMotion has them all.

The show speaks against violence while containing much (whole races wiped out). This season, they preached against nuclear power in The Dominators (5 episodes). The race on the planet Dulkis was developing nuclear power, but realized the destructive power of nuclear weapons, so they abandoned it. They also started wearing dresses.

The show does't say if they abandoned wind power after seeing hurricanes or tornadoes, or hydroelectric power after seeing floods, or solar power after seeing droughts, or cooking with fire after seeing forest fires, or ... okay, you get my point. It's 1968 when the shows aired, and it's Britain, so we get hippie messages from Doctor Who, and Sean Connery quitting James Bond. I know Connery came back. I'll see if Doctor Who keeps up all the hippie talk.

The Mind Robbers (5 episodes) is the serial that's on both Amazon (Prime) and Hulu Plus. Not sure why, but the Hulu version is a better quality picture. It's also an odd serial for a couple of reasons. First, there's the odd things going on. Characters from literature are wandering around. Next, there's the temporary recasting of Jamie. Hamish Wilson took over for two episodes when Frazer Hines was ill. The Doctor solved a puzzle incorrectly and Jamie's face was changed. A later puzzle put it back. The character of Lemuel Gulliver (yes, from the book) spoke only lines that were from the Jonathan Swift book. The did a good job of working his lines into the plot of the story. They also did a good job of showing off one of Zoe's other great assets besides her mind.

The episodes of that serial were shorter than normal. From what I've read about the serial, they needed to expand it from the original four to five episodes. Rather than write a while new chapter in the middle somewhere, they shifted the scenes around, making five 20-minute episodes rather than four 25-minute episodes. That helped explain how Frazer Hines was able to appear in an episode in which he was too sick to appear. The scene at the beginning was actually the last of the previous episode.

The Invasion (8 episodes, 2 missing animated by BBC) was one of the season's two battles against previous enemies. The Cybermen, who appear for the third consecutive season, are the villains again. The serial also features Colonel (now Brigadier) Lethbridge-Stewart, who will turn up in later seasons. The animation of the two missing episodes is of better quality than that of The Ice Warriors from Season Five. Speaking of whom, the Ice Warriors made a return appearance in The Seeds of Death (6 episodes).

The Space Pirates (6 episodes, 5 missing) is the last Doctor Who serial with missing episodes. After that serial, all episodes exist.

The final serial, The War Games (10 episodes), was Patrick Troughton's last during his run as Doctor Who. It also saw the end of the run of Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury), the first time a Doctor and his companions left in the same episode. This is the episode where we first find out about Time Lords. The Doctor, as it turns out, is a Time Lord who ran from his race of people because ... he was bored. After calling on the Time Lords to deus ex machina his way out of an impossible situation, they put him on trial -- they have been looking for him for ... a long time -- and sentence him to exile on 20th century Earth with his appearance changed. And he has to forget how to use the TARDIS. They didn't actually say he would regenerate, just change his appearance. Oh, Jamie and Zoe? They were sent back to where they were when they left with The Doctor.

The sixth season was the last season in black and white. The next season would be in color. Or colour. Since it's British and all.

After six seasons, I have to say I do like the Doctor Who character. William Hartnell was absolutely awesome as The Doctor. At least, he was to me. Patrick Troughton made the character much less serious, but did, I thought, a very good job transitioning the character. I'm curious as to what Jon Pertwee brought to the role.