Saturday, January 29, 2005

Pulling the Trigger - Is It Ever Safe to Buy?

In an excellent USAToday article, there is even more proof that now is the time to NOT buy a newbig screen/higher definiiton television. Prices over the last 12 months have dropped from 30-50 percent according to the article, and when things cost in excess of $5,000, that's a boatload of money.

Gloria and I have been socking away for a couple of years since we moved into our new house waiting for the right time, but this article makes me wonder:

When is the right time to pull the trigger on a new television purchase?


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Blow by Blow Review: "24" January 22nd, 2005

I have this friend named Jack - he's not actually my friend, but rather -- well frankly he's a fictional character that takes up a ridiculously large portion of my waking hours. :)

It's time again for a review of the most recent episode of "24" the Emmy-award winning show on Fox, starring Kiefer Sutherland and a host of others.

This episode: "Hour 6 (from 12pm-1pm)" begins with more literal bangs as Jack Bauer (Sutherland) attempts to single-handedly assault the warehouse that is serving as a bunker and headquarters for a cell of terrorists that have abducted the US Secretary of State.

The points that follow are in "blow by blow" form and the first thing that entered my mind while watching. As always, I would appreciate your comments!

-- Previously Seen Latino Actors as Arab Terrorists: In another brilliant plan, the producers/casting agents of the series have recruited actors that previously had played Latino actors. Many of them look Latino, and based on a variety of sources, that is one of the real-life potential dangers we face as a nation: Arab-born terrorists crossing our border from the south to do us harm. Brilliant.

-- Video Game-Like Story Pace: A friend of mine recently said that one of his relatives said that this show was "too slow." I have news folks -- if this show is too "slow" for you, then you are in need of some Ritalin or a psychiatrist because you're ridiculously self-absorbed. This episode, in particular had some of the most action-packed elements ever. True, there is much more "love and caring" going on in this episode (a daughter and father being rescued, a pair of lovers who can't possibly show their adoration for each other reunited, the love of a mother for her son who is to be murdered, etc etc), but folks - this show is anything but "slow."

-- Following Time Minute for Minute: The heart-pounding "Beep-Chunnng" of the numbers counting seconds in-between breaks are all in real time, and it is amazing. Twelve minutes into the episode is the hour of the episode (in this case, 12:12pm) and it always falls and works like that - every time. It's a genius move in regard to making a show that no other has provided.

-- Displayed Proficiency to Enhance Credibility and Realism: I'm not sure if you noticed: It's one of those things that if you weren't really paying attention you'd miss it - a great sample of the proficiency that Jack displays coming down the hillside while still keeping bead with his weapon - as he descends the hillside, his weapon is almost completely motionless except for a cylon-like back and forth motion as he scours the landscape for another target. Other moments added: The changing of clips: For those of you that have ever owned a handgun that allows you to change out magazines, this is no "simple" effort, and the speed at which its carried out enhances credibility. There are many more that I'll chronicle as the series progresses.

-- Understood, Yet Still Clear Disappointment: The series has taken all this time to cultivate the "Trial of the Secretary of State and His Eventual Punishment." They have taken the time to make the Internet Video excerpts look like the sad and decidedly heinous videos of those we've seen associated with the beheading videos. Right down the to the masked terrorists, the draped, Arabic scrawled wall hanging, the orange jumpsuit, bound hands and a very tired looking man that has somehow "wronged them". And now it's time to shoot him? While I understand the heat of the moment and drama is kicked up several notches with the potential of the Secretary of States live being over in an instant, I was just amazed that they want to all that trouble and they pull out a handgun to finish him off. Yes, I understand the "respect of the families that have lost loved ones" but folks: If you don't understand it by now then you're kidding yourself: they would behead ANYONE that was an American - without any hesitation.

-- The Other Heroes Arrive: The only thing missing is the Ride of the Valkyries with the arrival of the strike force to save the Secretary of State. Granted, the other thing that could arrive is their ability to somehow kill more bad guys than Jack did. :)

-- A Slower Episode? Grab a Calculator: Just a solid assertion for those that were curious: A "slow show" doesn't have an 18 person body count in the first 13 minutes. :) For the record: 13 for Jack, two for the Secretary of State and "the rest" for the three assault groups. Surely there were more but they weren't shown.

-- Anticipation of Lethality: Both, Jack and the Secretary of State's guns are EMPTY when the current lead baddie pops out of the exit way with the Secretary's daughter at gunpoint. Jack still understands that he has a reasonable bluff in pointing it at the bad guy, and then pulls it away in an effort to collect the bad guy's attention. While he is able to pull another knife from his sleeve/vest, I half expected him to give a good throat-clearing snort and spit a caustic loogey into the dude's eye to take him out like some bulletproof vested, empty-gun-toting cobra. That is the potential lethality that Kiefer has brought to the roll and it is - again - intoxicating.

-- Irony in More than One Place: You'll be happy to know that a trend continues even into real life: Remember in my most recent 24 Blow by Blow, I had referred to the irony of Jack now not wanting to tell his Boss/potential father in law that he and the Secretary's daughter are an item, and now in the most recent season, he had the same thing happen with HIM with his daughter and Chase - well get this. On Leno this week, Kiefer is on talking about how he is going to be a GRANDFATHER in about a month! That's right, and guess what? Kiefer didn't want the Scottish guy that married his daughter to have her either!

-- Solid Tension: It's Time to Leave But There Will Be No Embrace: a very touching and poignant moment between Jack and the Secretary's daughter where they so very badly want to embrace after the hostage event is over. Well done and acted.

-- When In Doubt, Insert Stuffy Britt: We don't all hate the British, I get that - but man! They sure do work as a presumptive foil in the matters of love. That guy has all the allure of a rotting pork chop on a rock in the hot desert sun. Nice casting, nice "put it back together moment and of course, my next point.

-- Finally a Slam Dunk from a Hurting Woman: I have grown so very tired of the same ol' "please take me back, even though I'm a fundamental jackass and will surely drag you, your family and your life thru the ringer again soon" situation in today's television. FINALLY, she gives the stuffy Brit the ol' heave ho! Sayonara double-oh-loser!

-- The Secretary Knows: I've discussed this with my friend Brian, and I'm going to have to review the DVR for further review: I didn't really see anything in the way of reaction at the hostage scene to show that he "knew" but clearly at the end of the show, the Secretary knows that Jack and his daughter are an item. The man is wise beyond his years, and I'm certain that I missed something.

-- Ah, Tariq: In a revelation of casting, I found "Tariq" looked more like the lead singer of a might-be band than the guy that's going to murder my "doesn't get it" son. A nice bit of casting and the scene between the parents after he and the Behrooz leave is breathtaking. I'm not sure you all know this, but according to Kiefer, not only has HE received a Screen Actor's Guild Nomination, but the ENTIRE CASE OF "24" has also received one. That my friends, is a proof of the clear and undeniable quality of what we're seeing here.

Stunning Revelations and the Taking of Life: Again, to discuss the scene between Behrooz' parents after he and Tariq leave: Just about every parent has had a point where they probably realize that their children don't share the save viewpoints as they do. Now, granted, most of the time it's something like POLITICS, or thinking that the Rams never really had a shot at the Superbowl - not the cold blooded murder of a chick you had a thing for in high school or a terrorist-related act! But surely, the scene turns cold to the point of livid and undeniable DEATH when Navi tells his wife, Dina that he's not sure that Behrooz EVER believed in their cause.

-- Exceptionally Well Done! Even Though Someone Else Did It All! For those of you that have ever worked in an environment where your efforts not only receive a possible and stunted "thanks" you will understand this piece of the episode well. While Driscoll is clearly proficient in being able to report the goings on, the ability to come up with the plan that will work and the decision to make the hard decisions during the last 5 hours, was all of Jack's doing - period. Keifer's acting in this section is without a doubt, the best piece of acting while saying nothing that he's provided in a long time.

-- Did He or Didn't He? The Son Under the Microscope: Did the Secretary of States son have anything to do with the death of 5 Secret Service Agents and the abduction and (almost) murder of his own father and sister? The pace ramps up as the story continues. Could he (based on his previous actions) be involved?

-- Jack Gets a Cookie: Just to prove that you can take the man out of CTU, but you can't take CTU out of the man, Jack is provided with a provisional title of Field Operations Chief until the crisis subsides. It's good to be the king, ain't it Kiefer? :)

-- SDT Didn't Yield Results - But Wait, There's More: The Secretary of State is aghast that his son has been subjected to Sensory Deprivation Treatment - until he learns that there is a clear "hiccup" in the son's story. After a loving embrace, a clear gaze into his son's eyes and two pats on the shoulder...

-- Pops, the US Secretary of State Authorizes Whatever It Takes to Get the Information Because Country Matters: Just as I wrote this, I just realized: We're seeing a strange mirror image of what's going on in the "other camp." While surely the SDT is as blunt trauma as securing someone to murder your son, the thoughts are exactly the same: There is one thing that matters in each case: The cause. In the Secretary's case, it's the unfettered continuation and safety of the ideals of the United States of America. In Navi's case, it's the completion of what will be revenge for (insert vindictive and lenghthy Militant Islamic-pointed we-hate-American-anything argument here).

-- The End of All Things - Again: Something that is littered through out literature, plays, television and movies of all kinds throught the ages, provides something that is so true in real life. Whether it be the epic "Lord of the Rings" with a kind, yet physically and mentally battered young hobbit named Frodo, or the Secretary of State's daughter following a life-altering abduction and eventual rescue - sometimes you can just never go back. Audrey has made a decision and the decision stands: There will be no more ties to her husband, and she will go on.

-- Jack, Stuffy Brit - Stuffy Brit, Jack: One of the neatest things that movies provide viewers is a sense of "we know but they don't." Never has this been more evident than when Audrey introduces Jack to her husband to Jack - her lover, confidante' and rescuer from psycho Islamic Militants.

--The Fall of the House of Tariq: In just a very few minutes during a dialog between family members, we are provided with the knowledge that "Tariq" is and has been the "cleaner" for the efforts of this particular Arab/Islamic threat. With the sudden and violent landing of a shovel's head, we suddenly understand that not only has Behrooz' father forsaken him, but that a very real, insidious and deadly threat has literally been buried under prow.

-- Have You Heard the One About 104 Nuclear Reactors and a Remote Regulator? So it's all over right? Man rescues girl and his potential Father in Law, everyone's alive, time to roll credits and run to seasonal hiatus, right? Bzzzzz! Wrong! Remember the briefcase that was removed from a dead body after an apparently train derailment 6 hours ago? It was FOUND! What was in it? A remote control, not for your television, not for your DVR unit - not even a remote car starter: It's a remote regulator for Nuclear Reactors (I'll bet that's not on the Popeil listing of goodies). With 104 Nuclear Reactors active in the United States, suddenly hour 7 becomes even more exciting than before, doesn't it?

Life Imitates Television...

For those of you that have been watching the Emmy-award winning "24" you will harken back to 6 "hours" ago when a train LA-bound train was intentionally derailed by a terrorist with a truck full of explosives. The terrorist then found a particular man and stole the briefcase. In the fictional case 14 died and hundreds were injured.

Recently, in LA no less, a train was derailed by one man, and his explosiveless SUV, in an aborted suicide attempt. This real life wreck left 11 dead and more than 180 injured.

For those wondering, the man is apparently going to be tried for murder and could face the death penalty.

Amazing what one vehicle and an errant attitude can accomplish, isn't it?

I would prepare for the Department of Homeland Security to take a new look at how train crossings are policed, as well as new technology to be added to the front of trains to "deflect" a vehicle that may just be put in front of a speeding train.

News article about the recent Train Detailment and Pictures

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Fever for the Flavor...

I have always been a comic book fan.

Even as I entered into my "rent is more important than comic books" adulthood, there was always an occasional graphic novel or comic shop on the way to an appointment that would catch my eye and at least a few-minute read of not an actual now-and-then buy.

Movies about heroes of all kinds have been around one way or another since the Keystone Cops, Tarzan and the inevitable BATMAN in 1990. All of them had their "flavor", all had a vision of what would be their icons, stars and in some cases - decent stories.

That all changed in my not so humble opinion, with the release of "XMen" in 2000, directed by someone, a man named Bryan Singer, that finally understood the comic book fan viewpoint - that flavor was everything. Less than four minutes into the movie, we had flavor delivered to us in the guise of Logan (aka Wolverine) while being introduced ready to kick some drunk cannuck ass in a bar in Bumbleville, Ontario. Each and almost every shot of that sequence has the flavor of the comics just as sure as I can taste salt on a potato chip. Absolute classic in the works movie-making. This hallmark has carried over into Xmen II, and has been sprinkled into the variety of comic book-based movies that have been released in recent years. The Spiderman efforts, Daredevil, Blade franchise, Hellboy - all of them, even "Elektra" that is being panned this week during it's opening, have at least the flavor that gets asses in seats and people paid.

I have just seen the trailers for two more entries into comic book-spawned movies that look to at least match the efforts of Bryan Singer and his venture into the world of cinema scribed heroism - the first of which is near and dear.

"BATMAN BEGINS", directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale and a gaggle of others is on its way and will be arriving in mid-June this year and I have to tell you - I am enthused. For those that know anything other than the flavor delivered in the ultra-campy television show, this movie will make your hair stand on end. It looks to be following the lines of "Tales of the Dark Knight" series, where there is so much more to know about the reasons for Batman, than there is about his utility belt and kick-ass car. There is much in the way of psychology, skill, and drama that has been lost in translation in previous films featuring the caped crusader, but this one my friends? Look for something that will make one's collective comic book geek's thighs steam.

Just when you thought this year couldn't possibly get more "Fantastic" we're also in store for the arrival of the quad quarry and their nemesis, he-who-is-with-steel-face, "THE FANTASTIC FOUR." Directed by Tim Story (of Barbershop fame, among other smaller titles), and starring (though not top-billed) Michael Chiklis, this movie has been in my rear view mirror since about a year ago when sneak shots of The Thing began to emerge. First, I'm a Michael Chiklis Phreak. The man is a genius in the way of the craft and is so underated that it makes my head spin. There are others involved (including the ridiculously easy on the eyes Jessica Alba) but there was an initial fear at the beginning of that project. How do you turn a guy into a guy that is a giant hunk of rock with hands and thick eyebrows? How do we burst a guy into better-than-Saving-Private-Ryan-flame-throwered guys fire with the words "flame on?"

As of right several minutes ago, after viewing the trailer that is in place, that fear has been completely erased.

A quick couple of notes about it: The quality of the lit and appropriately-framed Ben Grimm/The Thing: Oh, my Gawd: They did it. There he is with an 18 wheeler wrapping around his rock hard ass in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge.

That little "dude on fire" thing mentioned above? Consider it taken care of.

The flavor continues, true believers, and it is TRULY fantastic.

Click here to check out the "BATMAN BEGINS" Trailer, and give this one a sniff for the "FANTASTIC FOUR" Trailer.

'Nuff said. :)

Friday, January 14, 2005

Cha-Ching, Baby...

This evening while working on a website I heard a strange sound coming from the other room. I turned to look at the sleeping baby that was about 10 feet behind me several minutes ago on the floor, bottle rolling out of her mouth in true milk-stupor fashion. Alas! She was missing!

Let me describe the sound: It sounded like scraping metal, a small crunch, and then a baby's giggle.

Again - scrape- scraaaaaape - crunch - giggle.

The sound continued four or five times and I slowly made my way towards the sound. As I turned the corner into my daughter's room I saw that she was PUTTING MONEY IN HER BANK!

That's right! Jade the Vunder 19-month old now saves money better than her father does!

Monday, January 10, 2005

I am Stalking a Man Named Jack
- A Review of "24"

I am Stalking a Man Named Jack...

During the last three years, I have been stalking a man named Jack Bauer and have been watching his life closely - each week I have taken the time to watch how he, interacts with his co-workers, his family members, and almost single-handedly saves the day against the people trying to destroy our way of life. For those of you that haven't figured it out, I am talking about a man named Jack Bauer - the lead role in a television show on FOX called "24" that recently initiated it's 4th exciting season, and what a barnburner.

There are many shows that start with an exciting event: an argument, a shocking admission of murder, a car chase - how many of them start with a TRAIN WRECK? "24" has made a re-introduction of the roller-coaster ride show that has you on the edge of your seat, from beginning to end, and continues this tradition in it's fourth season. It also brings to light one of the worst real0life fears that we face as a nation in regard to Homeland Security. Let me explain.

A family of Arab descent, that has been living in the United States for a period of almost 5 years, is now the spearhead for a revolutionary terrorist event - the kidnapping of America's Secretary of Defense. At the same time, an internet-wide virus-like program is about to be released by the same terrorist faction. And this all from the first episode of this season.

Another great feature of "24" this season is it's almost completely new cast. Gone are almost every single familiar face from the previous season, including the past President of the United States. While many would think it would offer something negative to the mix, I would take another tack: Now we have no idea at all who might be next to go. This raises the level of anticipation, excitement an adds to the you-never-know-what-will-happen charm of this program.

I am one of the fortunate people on the planet that has only about 4 hours of television-watching programmed into their weekly schedule, "24" is a fantastic submission that occupies my time weekly and I recommend it.

I have included a "Blow by Blow" review of the most recent season premiere to help get those of you on the fence to watch it. Contact me with questions and give it a chance: You won't be disappointed.

Mike Wilkerson's Blow by Blow Review: 2005 4th Season Premiere of "24":

-- Paths Literally Derailed: There are many shows that start with an exciting event: an argument, a shocking admission of murder, a car chase - how many of them start with a TRAIN WRECK? The bar continues to be raised from previous seasons and it is exhilarating.

-- The Return of Cloe: This season of "24" has discarded almost all of the familiar players, and begun anew. Other than Jack (the lead) there are only a few remnants of our cast from last season -- Enter Cloe. Just about everyone has worked with the whiny, overbearing, inflexible co-worker, and "24" features one as well. What is also present is the fact that, in many cases, the whiny, overbearing, inflexible co-worker is right about a great many things and "24" helps to depict this reality. Cloe single-handedly represents the co-worker you want to strangle but simply cannot do without.

-- The Breadth of Casting: For those of you that think casting a television show or film is a piece of cake, I dare you to watch episodes of television today on television where the scope of casting is as rich as "24"s is. I believe every face I see, whether they be the hero, the background extra, the know-it-all co-worker, or the United States' Secretary of Defense. It's all there and it is genius.

-- Terminal Cliché' That Works: Any of you that have seen the movie "TOP GUN" remember when Goose (Anthony Edward)'s Wife comes a'callin' in that film. Then Goose subsequently dies from a broken neck when being ejected from his aircraft during an unrecoverable "flat spin". When Goose's wife arrives, Goose instantly is the victim of "Terminal Cliché'". The difference in "24" is that Terminal Cliché' works wonderfully here, because of their absolute resolve to make sure that the viewer knows that anyone can die, at any time, for any reason that you probably haven't even thought of yet. The introduction of Jack's new girlfriend (the Secretary of Defense's daughter), the introduction of Jack's "replacement", the introduction of the wanting girlfriend to the son of one of the lead terrorists, and on and on. They all are set up, along with others, and you never know what can or will happen.

-- The Admission of Wanting Something Different for Our Lives: While preparing for a conference at his former workplace (CTU [Counter Terrorist Unit]), Jack is able to admit to his new girlfriend that he "wants something different for his life." If you review your own lives, just about everyone has some facet of their lives that they wish was 'different'. The wonder here is that while he can wish for something different, he is placed himself in the same volatile surroundings that make it almost impossible to change the course of his life. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

-- The Perfect Symmetry of "Not Telling Your Father About Us": Those of you that are veterans of "24" know that last season, Jack's daughter, Kim, and Jack's partner, Chase, had a relationship which remained hidden to Jack for almost half of last season until he stumbled onto that fact. Now, Jack is dating his boss' daughter (the daughter of the US Secretary of Defense no less) and he wants it to remain hidden. There is poetry and irony in there someplace and it is very true to life.

-- One of the Most Realistic Threat Representations Ever: We're not in danger of some freak with a giant "LA-SER" - we don't have much to fear from a guy building a weather machine that's going to destroy the Earth. We don't even have to worry about Darth Vader and his Legions of Stormtroopers descending from orbit, but we do have to understand and battle the fear of modern-day terrorism. Of the many scenarios facing our nation today (nuclear/dirty briefcase bomb, random reasonless terrorism, foreign abduction, etc) there is one thread on which we are almost completely defenseless: What if an entire family were to emigrate here from their native land with the sole purpose of establishing a "normal life" and then, as per the giant plan, begin one of the most outrageous attacks we have ever seen? That scenario is being played out on "24" and while it is exhilarating, it is also terrifying.

-- Storyline Immersion: I have long been a fan of Steven Spielberg because of his ability to "immerse" viewers into the line of his movies. "24" has something along the same lines the difference is that in just an hour's time, you have been completely immersed in at least three different storylines. It is amazingly straightforward, and always leaves you with a sense that 'something's coming and I have no idea what it is."

-- Cameos of Previous Skilled Actors: One of the hallmarks of great television is the ability to enlist the aid of skilled, lower-level actors that add the right spice to the right situations. Two cases in point here: Andrew Paige, a dude "downloading software" (he's stealing programs from companies) stumbles onto what could be the most significant threat to the Internet, ever. Just when I thought I had the characters placed, who do I see? Andrew Paige is the kid from "WITNESS" (Lukas Haas)! Samuel Lapp himself is in peril again in one of my favorite television shows! I also see, as the Secretary of Defense, William Devane, a veteran actor that always adds flavor, intensity and believability to any role I have ever seen him in.

-- Addiction Comes in Many Flavors: For some of us, drugs are an addiction, for others it's food or other things that "give us pleasure." Jack's strange, but sudden understanding of his action not to heroin (an unfortunate side-effect experienced after a long undercover assignment), not to food but to something totally innocuous: his previous lifestyle as a CTU agent. You can actually see "the life" he's been running from for a year begin to course in his veins once more as he works his way thru guards, defiance and reason to reach his objectives during this first episode.

-- "Rightly" So: Over the last several years, the media has been quickly continuing it's undeniable bend "to the left" - I think that just about everyone has had a discussion where one thing done will solve a world of malice’s and life just simply doesn't work like that. A quote from this most recent episode: "Spare me your 6th-grade Michael Moore logic" makes this episode one that reaches far to the right, and it's refreshing, folks. The discussion of Michael Moore and his "principles" is left for another venue, but it's good to see some good old common sense fly forward.

-- The Running Beep of Time, In Real Time: The novelty of "24" is that it is a real-time hour, in the space of one hours time watching television. Not only do they give you the running of the time in numerical format, they are actually running AT the numerical format; Sample: When the character says "but that's going to happen in 10 minutes - it's going to happen at 8am" then cut to the clock and it reads "7:49:58" and as the clock appears, "7:50" strikes. It helps to add to the realism, the sense of urgency, and absolutely grabs your attention and doesn't let go.

-- Cliffhanger, Schmiffhanger - Give me "24": Many shows claim that they have a "season finale' cliffhanger episode. "24" provides multiple cliffhangers in one episode, so much so that you just may have to secure a massage therapist to work on your shoulders once the show is over. While other shows claim "and the father of the baby is..... Continued next season" or "I remember who the killer was now, and it's.... To be continued", "24" trumps them all. How about this for a first season opener to the next episode: "With a well calculated clock-smashing bullet-ripping entrance of armed terrorists, rocket propelled grenade-cause explosions and the screaming of one's girlfriend through a recently dropped cell phone, the first hour of the 4th season of "24 opens with a literal bang as terrorist abduct the US Secretary of State and his daughter while killing 5 Secret Service Agents." Completely intoxicating.

Look for more "Blow by Blow" Reviews of "24" and more...
Click Here to visit the "24" Website online via Fox.Com

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

4th Horseman Alert - Orphans Should Stay in Tsunami-ravaged Countries?

"Countries residents are outraged by Australian and American couples looking to adopt tsunami-victim orphans."

Does this strike anyone else as completely off the goofy-crap-o-meter? Let me see if I have this right: The countries citizens are concerned that the orphans, who's entire family have been wiped out, might be adopted by some loving family in either Australia or America. I don't think I can wrap my brain around that one.

God forbid they have indoor plumbing, running water, a place to call home and PARENTS that love them. I doubt they would miss eating from garbage cans and not knowing what's going to happen to themselves tomorrow.

4th Horseman Alert - SEALing the Deal...

"Supermodel Heidi Klum Now Engaged to Singer Seal"

I have for most of my life (since I'm certainly not in the "pretty" category) believed that what counts is on the inside, and that people should love you for what's inside, etc: unless you're ridiculously run-over-by-a-truck ugly, and then it's a matter of shit happens :)

I've started this new section here within my blog called "The 4th Horseman Alert" and will be throwing quick little snippets and explainations of the onset of what is the harbinger of numero quatro equestrian hombre coming into view.