Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Unique Housing Rules...

When my wife and I bought our house last year in August, we knew that we had chosen a house that was unique, and unlike any other in our immediate area to be sure. It's a modified ranch with a completely finished basement, walk out side door, nice yard, trees everywhere - -- good stuff in general.

I as a science fiction fan had always thought it would be cool to be the first person on the planet to have a "saucer section" house, that would basically be a modified scale "saucer section" from the Enterprise or like starship from the realm of STAR TREK. As many of you will remember, the Enterprise D's saucer section crash landed on a strangely Earth-like looking planet (Veridian III) in 'STAR TREK: GENERATIONS', the movie that was a hand-off movie to the TNG crew from the Original Series Crew. Wouldn't it be cool to have a house that looks like a crash landed starship or spacecraft?

In any case, as finding one like that became more unlikely and we found our house, my interest in unique housing has grown. Yesterday evening while surfing thru the news at CNN, I came across an article from 'DILBERT' Author Scott Adams in which there is a link to something called:


Needless to say, the website speaks for itself, and I thought it was one of the coolest ideas/culminations of technology and imagination I'd ever seen.

Give any of the links above a click to learn more about what's going on in the world of unique housing.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Pictures to Last a Lifetime...

It's about 3:30 in the morning and I've just completed a very significant update to my personal website online. While completing this portion, I've come to realize how empty my own personal picture albums are in general. I also notice that the advent of digital cameras being available made a significant different in the availability of pictures which in itself is no huge surprise.

I guess I'm just stumped in general by how few pictures I have of myself (especially my younger self) and am very happy that my family was able to provide me with some so flesh out the details.

What kind of pictures do YOU have of yourself from say, age 1 to age 25? Surely it's more than then handful I'm able to dig up on my own.

Be sure to take a peek at my website and let me know what you think: it's beginning to become a great outlet for time and effort for me and I had forgotten what "doing things for me with my own time" was like.

It is refreshing and I'll need to make sure I take the time to do more soon.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Fantastic Pugilistic Pantheon...

Saturday evening, I was witness to a fantastic sample of the sweetest science.

Never before have I seen the unbridled, raw spirit of battle in this showcase of slugging, punching, footwork and unanticipated shock. While I was expecting each of the participants to give a fantastic showing, my experience better than I could have ever anticipated.

Oh yeah -- There was also a Sugar Shane Mosely, Winky Wright boxing rematch, but I didn't get to see that. It was on at the same time SportsCenter was on when they were showing the highlights of the "end" of the Pacers/Pistons game -- which also heralded the end of common sense and professionalism in the NBA.

FYI: Pantheon: A group of persons most highly regarded for contributions to a field or endeavor

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Original Star Trek = Quality DVD...

We finished about 8 straight episodes of STAR TREK: The Original Series at the ATLAS' TOS Marathon last nite, and I have to say that the quality of the presentation is outstanding.

From the snappy fast-loading menus, to the vibrantly-colored selection screens, the DVDs are of a level that has only been rivaled by the release of STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan in my opinion.

The textures on each of the varying cast members shirts, their aging complexions from season to season, the detail on the (from today's perspective) cheesy backgrounds or matte paintings, and the ripples in the graphics that were probably left because "no one will ever see that level of detail" were a sight to see.

Kudos also, once again, to Mike Okuda for his wonderfully scripted technical commentary, which appears in very few episodes but has the same effectiveness it did in the reissued special edition films. It's a real treat.

A giant thumbs up and personal recommendation on the Original Series STAR TREK Seasons available on DVD.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Captain -- There be Terrorists here!

Whether it be "Freedom Fighters", "people with dissenting opinion" or the now ever-present "insurgent" the terrorists that cut a swath of death through the Iraqi landscape are dwindling at an continual rate.

My reason for posting:

I've just read an article during my lunch hour that FINALLY calls the "Iraqi insurgents" what they are:


They aren't terrorizing Americans...
They aren't terrorizing the Iraqis...

They are terrorizing anyone that they can.

An offer of $3,000 (more money than can be made in a usual lifetime in Iraq) was being offered by a number of Sunni Clerics, in exchange for KILLING AN AMERICAN.

Now put your noggin around that one for a minute:

Whether you're an American serviceman, a civilian contractor, or a Red Cross worker there in Iraqi, clearly, you are being targeted.

Now spread that terror 100-fold for the people walking around trying to live out their lives in Iraq:

They don't make car bombs that only "blow up Americans". The range of destruction and potential fatality for a car bomb is at least hundreds of feet.

They don't make a machine gun that utilizes bullets that "only pierce American flesh". A rain of machine-gun fire is as random as rain in most cases, killing anyone that happens to be in its path.

Makes going to the local food store for goodies, or down the street to visit friends a bit raucous, doesn't it?

In any case, kudos to this USATODAY-posted article for finally calling a twisted spade a twisted spade.

Let freedom ring!


I See Dead People...

During the last week, the "has been media" have been trying to use the recent video of a Marine shooting "an unarmed, injured Iraqi insurgent" in an ill-fated attempt to make this incident another firecracker moment to predicate another Abu Gharib event.

Let's review:

-- Insurgents, who have been killing Marines, Iraqi Police Officers, Iraqi Police Cadets, and innocent people of all kinds take hold of the city of Fallujah.
-- The Iraqi Provisional Government declares that it is time for all inside Fallujah to lay down their arms, or deadly force will be used.
--Iraqi and American Forces FINALLY are able to initiate action shortly after the US Presidential election to bring order and the seeds of peace and structure to the tired town of Falljah.
-- A very one-sided battle ensues for more than a week, during which 40+ American Marines are killed. Their deaths are reported as the result of small arms fire, explosions, and arranged ambushes -- all carried out by the insurgents that have been leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
-- One of the methods of death insurgents have been using has been to booby trap bodies, either already fallen bodies or their own, in an effort to kill more of those "invading their city." This method of death has been almost completely left out of any mainstream media reports to date.
-- A marine entering a mosque, that has been used as a make-shift bunker encounters a moving injured Iraqi that had already been shot and shoots this moving Iraqi insurgent in the head killing them.

I see dead people.

I see dead people that were warned to lay down arms, by their own government.

I see dead people that were part of a terror-circle, leaving a clear but still untold path of destruction in their wake.

I see dead people that would have thought nothing not only of shooting people in the head, with their face down, but taking their victims head with the help of a hunting knife.

I see dead people that had every chance to change the course of their future, with offerings from hundreds of thousands of people with their hands extended in assistance.

I see dead people that don't have an American Flag on their shoulder.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Death of a Cool Friend...

I have the unfortunate responsibility to report the death of a very cool, family friend.

We've known this friend for about 10 years. I've visited with this friend each day at least once during the day, and there was always something that was given to me. Whether it was providing me a cool soda to make a long day shorter, or the brisk refreshing scent of a glass of orange juice, I would always trust that this friend would make my day a little brighter - a true provider.

Fareware, Ken More -- our ever-faithful 18 cubic foot refrigerator. You will be missed and we look forward to visiting your successor regularly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Have You Heard the One About Carl and the Movie Company?

There are few things that I can say make my heart soar, but hearing from old-school high school friends is probably around the top of the list.

My friend, Carl Besasie, has been directing commercials, short films, and being in "the biz" ever since he graduated college in the early 90's. This morning, I got a call from him to talk about "The Incredibles" and to start a dialog in regard to providing him a website and some creative solutions for what will be the first outreach for work into the business.

On my website, I talk about my life in general and finish it up towards the end with a quote from "STAND BY ME", the Rob Reiner/Stephen King-inspired film:

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve"

Carl is the sole reason I can make this statement and get choked up every single time. He continues to brighten my days when he calls, and I appreciate the creative spirit, enlightenment, and absolute craziness that was forged and embedded in our relationship when I was with him "when I was twelve."

Thanks again for the call, Carl, and I look forward to many, many more.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A New Arrival to the Wilkerson Family...

I have the proud fortune to use this Blog to announce that the Wilkerson Family is expecting another addition! That's right - our new and happy family will grow once again sometime later this week...

When my new computer case arrives :)

My workplace has a pretty cool commission program for something called "The $23.90 Special" for which we get compensation in the form of "EPC Bucks". I've accumulated a good deal of them and I've decided to leave the friendly confines of a regular beige rectangle when it comes to computers.

My search for a successor box has taken about three months and led me in many directions. Originally, I was looking at getting a black box that resembled a :BMW, with some cool lights, a handle, a 500w power supply and a discount from a local computer place. There is a good set of pictures (although it's of the RED version of the black one I wanted, and a good video review) of that show the case and the cool things that were included with it. Sadly, a couple of weeks went by and eventually found out that it was on backorder.

From there I continued on with the hunt, searching thru a variety of websites, computer stores and catalogs to find something cool, unique, and something "me."

I found another "car-based" case:

and a variety of black "gaming cases" were readily available, but none really struck me as the one I wanted.

Finally, after a couple of extra days of searching, I found one that would provide a good solid look, give me the power I needed from the power supply, and allow me to do more cool things with more commissions received from my workplace.

And so, hopefully by the end of this week, I shall welcome the newest edition to the Wilkerson family homestead, the Black Phantom Computer Case - perhaps we'll have a naming contest on the Blog :)

More pictures, stories and goodies to come.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

STAR TREK: The Original Sucker of Wallet Season...

Those of us that are science-fiction afficianadoes have been waiting almost 40 years for there to be an entire season of The Original Series (TOS) (that's the one with Captain Kirk for those of you that don't speak Trek) and we have recently been presented with some great options --

For $130/season??!!

Why is it that any other ENTIRE series on television, from Miami Vice, to The Dick Van Dyke Show, to Wonder Woman, costs a person (worst case scenario) $60, and each and every one of the STAR TREK episodes on DVD START AT $100?

Thankfully, with some help from our ever-vigilant shopping friends at The ATLAS, the First and Second seasons of STAR TREK: TOS are available at Sam's Club for "just $81.99"

Those of you that are contemplating a loan to get any or all of these fantastic pieces of television history: Join the friggin' crowd.

Love It or Leaf It...

The Fall this year has brought us wonderful weather in mid-Missouri, averaging in the 60's complete with sun, energetic afternoons and a light breeze at 4:30pm.

While the weather is great, as is being a home-owner, there is always a flip side.

What being a home owner with a nice piece of land also brings, is the inevitable clean-up of leaves that have made their way to the ground after a long, festive growing season.

My wife and I have been collecting leaves for most of the weekend in an effort to get the nicely growing grass for the lawn dude that's coming from a local lawn and pest company here in our area. We have high hopes that we will have most of the lawn cleared for his arrival later tomorrow.

Needless to day, when I blink, I see stacks of leaves taller than my hips, and the throb of the blisters on my hands.

Mmmmm, I love owning a house :)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

First STAR WARS: Episode III Trailer Review by Mike Wilkerson

The last movie review I did was very satisfying and so, with the new SW Episode III Trailer coming out today, I am happy to jump behind the electronic pen again and provide this transcript.

Needless to say, if you're interested in having a completely free spoiler-free experience before seeing Episode III in May next year should go check out the news at CNN.Com.

First SW-EP:III Trailer Starts:

[Visual:] Green screen with the mandatory "The following preview has been approved for all audiences by the motion picture association of America..."The screen fades to black...Dissolve to the 20th Century Fox Logo with searchlights ablaze....Snap to the "lightning bug Lucasfilm Ltd. Logo" that has been featured in many-a-film"

[Sound:] Orchestral strings roll into the now well-known "Luke Standing on the Dunes of Tatooine Theme" that makes the heart swell.

[Visual:] In fades the new very well-known 85DDD1-colored words: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." which quickly fades to black.

[Visual:] Fade in from black to a young farm-boy on the dunes of Tatooine, with two suns, one ivory, one blazing crimson with the familiar "farmhouse-igloo" in the foreground: A condenser unit stands a quiet watch in the far right background.

[Visual:] Snap to Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi providing voiceover and background filler about how the Jedi Knights were the Guardians of Peace and Justice...

[Visual:] A picture of Qui-Gon Jinn from Ep:I appears, with him ready to pounce on the bold-red-gnarled yet off-screen face of Darth Maul.

[Visual:] The legions of soldiers piling into the almost-recognizable STAR DESTROYERS scene from Ep:II with a pan across the faceless "defenders of the republic", rifles always at the ready.

[Visual:] As Ben's voiceover continues to describe a young Jedi that was once his pupil, a silhouetted picture of Senator Palpatine and young Anakin Skywalker from Ep:II is showcased.

[Visual:] Shots of Anakin's "Rage Against the Sand People Machine" scenes from Ep:II is are shown in quick succession as the view snaps back to Ben: "Vader was seduced by the Dark side of the Force..." the camera fades and pans to a very dark brown cloak that slowly turns towards the right -- revealing the yellowed, almost-glowing eye (is that the same contact lens that Darth Maul had? Interesting...) of a very pissed off and now older Anakin Skywalker. The strings section lifts the audience's anticipation as we hear, once again, the now instantly-recognizable "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...." of Darth Vader's breathing system.

[Visual:] Snap to exploding-bubbling magma and rock being thrown hundreds of feet into the air on some ridiculously cool alien landscape. Thunderous explosions continue as we hear yet another "cuuuuuuuur-paaah....", causing each person watching it to sit just a little more forward in their seat.

[Visual:] Two aliens ride atop two beetle-looking alien-mounted steeds and make their way across some solid ground adjacent to bubbling rivers of lava - the screen fades to black and we hear the Emperor beckoning: "Lord Vader...." "Yes, Master..." "Riiiiiiise..." Trumpets leap to the listeners throat briefly to join their hearts -- "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...."

[Visual:] A white light snaps to a smoky haze that is bespeckled with red LEDs on the barely visible background - a figure, dressed completely in black with an ornate chest-mounted device begins his ascent as his descent to the Dark Side of the Force is realized. "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...."

[Visual:] A now older, wiser Obi-Wan is quickly shown... Senator Palpatine begins a wry stare while turning his head counterclockwise... "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...." The Dark Figure continues to elevate... "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...." R2D2 is shown alongside his counterpart, C-3po, his red-light illuminating with a chaotic whistle... C-3PO turns his head quickly to the right... A shot of an alarmed Padme'' is shown, turning toward Obi-Wan, in apparent disbelief... Made Windu raises a violet-shaded lightsaber behind his head to combat a shadowy figure...

[Visual:] Snap to black -- "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...." the elevation continues... two wookie's: one with armor, the other with an incredibly familiar bandolier running down his left shoulder appear - the wookie on the left bellows in angst at some unknown threat. An aging Yoda, pulls back his familiar brown robe to reveal the good end of his lightsaber -- the elevation is almost complete. The Frankenstein-like scene is completed, as the table arrives at it's destination - it's passenger melded to the platform by manacles that will surely be made to disappear in one way or another. The platform finishes it's legendary swath locking into place with an almost alive "shhhing" -- The sound reverberates as though a sword has hit the sweet spot of your most rivaled and armored opponent. Dead silence falls for an instant.

[Visual:] The orchestra springs to life as two small crafts veer for their lives across a mad-cap alien battlescape, ships ablaze... Padme' looks into Anakin's eyes, hoping that what she knows and feels will happen, won't -- they kiss for an instant. Yoda's small but volatile lightsaber springs to life -- it's green hue more menacing than any green goliath seen in the Marvel universe. He ever so quickly draws a line no right-minded opponent would ever cross.

[Visual:] A starcraft flees not-so-well-aimed cannon fire... Mace Windu spins during an inevitably negative battle with his opponent... A horde of Wookie's rise up in true BRAVEHEART fashion with a battle cry that would send even William Wallace in an opposite direction... A endlessly-lined alien sneers at Obi-Wan, gnarled teeth ever-so unretracted, in an apparent answer we're not ready to see... a futuristic fire truck ship helps to douse an out of control blaze on an alien craft as the screen shudders with vibration.

[Visual:] Anakin, draws back his lighted-blade and lunges forward at an off-screen foe... R2D2 leans back after peeking around a corner... R2 screeches... Padme' hugs a disheveled Anakin in a quick embrace... A golden starship launches it's way spaceward away from a bubbling planet of red-hot magma...

[Visual:] Obi-Wan and Anakin lunge towards each other, as wriggling blobs of lava dance around them, in the company of plumes of red flame... Their lightsabers connect, and they grapple... Another epic ship space battle ensues as we pan to the 12 o'clock - weapons fire careening in every direction. Anakin blocks an attack by Obi-Wan, and grabs him instantly by the neck - Obi-Wan gasps both in surprise and disbelief as a rain of sparks falls behind the duo... A tri-winged ship makes it's way spaceward at impossible speed... Obi-Wan is shown, being choked on the ground with an almost emotionless Anakin moving forward -- bringing destiny with him -- the lightsabers hum with anger... A hangar door closes, and with it a quieter, lighter history.

[Visual:] The Emperor cackles dryly as his face snarls into almost snake-like fashion as he draws his lightsaber across his body... Something apparently important explodes atop a hefty starship, a small ship speeding out of the explosions thunderous stampede... We zoom into the explosion - closer and closer and closer...

[Visual:] Three fiery CAPITAL Is blaze across the screen, leaving a comet-like trail burning into STAR WARS Fans memories: They are the letters that denote the next STAR WARS prequel film: "EPISODE III" fades in like fiery magma, along with the words STAR WARS at light speed... As the screen background becomes black, the vibrating trumpets of Lord Vader's stride theme erupt, and the words "REVENGE OF THE SITH" slide in as if guided by the Dar Side of the Force itself... "cuuuuuuuur-paaah...."

[Visual:] in traditional STAR WARS fashion the screen credits appear at the end, featuring the STARWARS.COM website address...

[Visual:] May 19th, 2005 appears in a pale font, and fades forever into every fans memory.I hope that you enjoyed the trailer depicted above as much as I enjoyed writing it. It's good to feel the need of a great and anticipated movie and to be able to share it with others.Remember that you can see the trailer here: Enjoy!

A Long Time Ago, In a Blog Not So Far Away...

I am happy to report that the first trailer for STAR WARS: Episode III has hit the Internet and I have included a link to it (hosted locally) via my website.

While I knew we were going to "meet" Darth Vader here, I had hoped that they would do as the makers of Terminator II did, where you never really know what is coming, until the movie premieres and then they start making more and more elaborate commercials as the weeks following the opening go along.

Sad, that those days, like Anakins innocence, are long gone.

In any case, enjoy the Trailer, and I will be posting a review of that and more as soon as possible.


View the first STAR WARS: Episode III Trailer...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Hangover - Are You Still Suffering?

I was listening to an entertaining radio show (via this radio station: tune in sometime, it's worth it) on the way home later this evening and the host was talking about his watching of the election coverage on television last evening.

After watching the cover from 10pm or so, he had drifted off to sleep, waking up every hour or so to a news update that "it still wasn't over", again, and again, and again.

When he got to his station that morning, he realized how completely worn out he was and realized that he was suffering from "Election Hangover": Something that I too am suffering from.

I think I only woke up three or so times during the evening in front of the talking heads mumbling about how "neck and neck" it was and the computational impossibilities of Kerry winning continued to compound.

I have high hopes that with a good nite's sleep tonite I will be able to shake my EH and continue my week.

To those of you also suffering from EH, take the 10 o'clock news and two Looney Tunes Cartoons and call me in the morning.

The Voting Experience and the Bottom Line...

It's the day after Election Day here in Missouri and the nation has selected the leader that will continue to lead our country for the next 4 years. Our "going to vote" experience in general was uneventful and quick: We'd planned a total of two hours to get the job done, and we were done in less than 25 minutes. In, voted, out, and gone. We were politely asked as we left whom we'd voted for and were happy to provide the choice. A very good experience in general.

I am also happy to see that John Kerry elected to provide a gentlemanly call earlier in the day than sticking it out and going supernova as Al Gore did back in 2000. It's good to see a bit of class from the man, and in overall view, the Democratic party as their great white hope disappears into obscurity. The race itself was excellent, filled with days, soundbytes, and debates that really made not only people that were previously "educated" think, but made the people that weren't educated get information and make the all important trek to the polls. Kudos to everyone that took the time to vote and make a decision, regardless of which color you were trying to paint the country.

For those that were sure that the country would concave and erupt in revolt, I have sad news: Nothing like that happened. What I do envision in the very near future is that either a different set of gloves will be donned to take care of the war-situation, or they will come off completely to make a very solid and total victory-proposed vision finally come true - something that couldn't possibly be achieved during the later half of an election year.

Congratulations to George Bush on his win, and regardless of which way you "lean", jump in and make a difference to assist America. After all, isn't that the bottom line?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sleigh Bells Ringing and Election Ads Singing...

Can there be more Christmas stuff up and ready to go yet? I think I heard Christmas Sale/Holiday Sale advertisements at LEAST 10 times on the television yesterday.

Speaking of television, those of you that stay "apolitical" during the year REALLY miss a treat in regards to the last week of election periods: The gloves have pretty much come off on most of the television and radio ads and I just get a giggle when I'm able to see the lengths people will go to when coming to the end of the wire :)

We had about 20 trick or treaters last nite (almost double what we had last year) though there was a slow, cold and dreary drizzle most of the evening which surely made the number dwindle. My daughter, Jade had a great time (it was short, but shrug: Rain sucks :)) and have even more fun helping my wife to "greet people trick or treating" as they came to the door.

Those of you reading that haven't made schedule to vote tomorrow, should get your act together. Also remember that most, if not all states in the US MUST allow you time to get out to vote. There's a great reference set in regard to employee voter regulation here that is outstanding.

Something else I just heard on the internet radio as well: In Missouri: As long as you're in line before 7pm, you will have no problem casting your vote.

Get out and VOTE!