Hi, I’m Sparrow, and I’m a Torchwood junkie…

I don’t get a lot of time to watch TV, but there is one show that has caught my attention recently: Torchwood. 

Torchwood was originally a BBC production, a spinoff from the Dr. Who series. I haven’t invested any real-time in watching the most recent incarnation of Dr. Who, but I think I will. Having watched Torchwood, I think I have not given British television enough credit. Not only does Torchwood give me a good Sci Fi fix (very much like Falling Skies and its mooing evil alien robots), but it’s so easy to become emotionally invested in the characters because they written so well. Each episode, while dealing with something extraterrestrial, is character driven and deals with the humanity of the issue at hand.

The first three seasons of Torchwood can be found on Netflix, and I am sure on other sites as well. Apparently it was cancelled by BBC, (Editor’s Note: I hear now it wasn’t cancelled, just relocated to the US) and Starz has picked it up. The fourth season has begun in earnest and I’ve spent an hour trying to find episodes 2-4. Episode one can be watched at Starz.com for free, but none of the others can be. I did manage to find the rest of the existing episodes (episode five comes out this Friday), but I see that the place I found it is having trouble streaming it, and it cuts out quite a bit. So, I watch a little bit, and the I write a little bit. And then, I watch a little bit more and curse soundly at the inability of the video to just load all the way so I can watch  it all in one go.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there other Torchwood junkies just like me who have stumbled onto the rest of the this season’s episodes on this free website and they are all trying to get their fix too.  I might be up a little late tonight watching episodes three and four as well before The Powers That Be have it taken down.

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a show that has caught my interest this completely.  As little time as I have to watch tv, it’s probably a good thing that most of the tv produced in this day and age is complete garbage, or I’d get nothing done.

So who’s my favorite character? It’s a tough call between Gwen and Captain Jack, but I think I’d have to decide on Gwen. She kicks ask and takes names. The world needs more good female characters. She’s not perfect, none of the characters are written without flaws, but she’ll do.

If you’re looking for something good to watch, especially which doesn’t involve any kind of  so-called “reality” tv, check out Torchwood. It’s a fabulous bit of escapism.

Let me put in a bit of a disclaimer here. British television is not for the puritanical. Europeans are less squeamish about swearing and homosexual situations than Americans are. Is there swearing in Torchwood? Yes. How about guys and girls kissing guys and girls? All the time. It doesn’t bother me, but it may bother others, and I thought fair warning was appropriate.


The only tv show my family agrees on

I have fond memories of sitting around the living room with my whole family watching our favorite shows when I was a kid. It was easy back then as the shows were good and there were so few of them that it was an event to sit down to your favorites. Some of my favorites were the Flip Wilson Show (yes, I’m that old), Happy Days and Mash. Oh, and lets not forget classics like Mork & Mindy, and Taxi.

These days, it’s a little harder to find programing that the whole family can sit down to watch. Not only do we all have different taste in television programming, but there’s just not much on these days that’s terribly good for family viewing. There’s so much garbage on tv these days. If it isn’t provoked drama (“reality” shows), it’s sex and other things that aren’t appropriate for viewers of all ages.

So, I finally found a show that we can all watch together: Wipeout. Or, in the case of this season, Winter Wipeout. This show can be found on your local ABC channel, and is funny the same way America’s Funniest Videos is. Where AFV is all about people catching each other and their pets doing silly things, Wipeout is a about people trying to get through several levels of an obstacle course. It’s modeled after MXC which originated in Japan, but Wipeout is a little more family friendly.

I don’t know where they get the contestants for Wipeout, but they are all pretty good sports. Very silly people, but good sports nonetheless. And they are terribly unbreakable. It’s astonishing to me how these folks can take such a beating and still keep going. Here is a good example from an earlier season:

There’s lots of silliness to be had,

and lots, and LOTS of mud:

I am not sure why I find this show so funny, but I do. Even better, it’s something the three of us have in common, and we can all laugh together about. The nice thing about this show is simple humor that perks me up at the end of a long day. These clips aren’t near as funny as watching a whole show, as they generally have a theme. There’s a lot more on You Tube…give it a whirl if you’re looking for some cheap laughs.

A blast from the past…

I was reminded today about an old colone I remember commercials from, called Hai Karate (thanks to my favorite Idiot!). You know, the colone that comes with self-defense instructions so you can fend off the women? Ha ha ha…

Anyway, it got me to thinking about some products and commercials that I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. An example would be the Leggz Eggs…remember the panty hose that came in those great big eggs? I loved playing with those, they were like giant Easter eggs.

So, I cruised around on You Tube, and found some interesting commercial montages from the 70’s. Without further ado, here is your morning blast from the past. Enjoy!

I’ve lost my geekiness

I was listening to last week’s edition of Lost in the Static in the archives at Jackalope FM 105, and came to the stark realization that I’ve lost some of my geekiness. It’s something I never believed I would miss.

I looked up geek in the dictionary, and this is what I found this:

  1. n. a disgusting and repellent person; a creep. (Rude and derogatory.) : The convention was a seething morass of pushy sales geeks and glad-handers.
  2. n. an earnest student; a hardworking student. (Usually objectionable.) : It looks like the geeks are taking over this campus. How gross!
  3. n. a person, soldier, or civilian of an East Asian country, especially in wartime. (Rude and derogatory.) : Willy is tired of geeks and the way they talk.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying only one of these definitions fits within the realm of my understanding of the word geek, and even that is way more negative than is necessary.  Or, perhaps I don’t see the word as being negative as I’ve just always kind of associated myself with the geeky people. They always seemed to be way more funny, smart and interesting. I’m guessing this particular dictionary was written by jocks. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But, I digress…

Way back in the day, I was one of the more nerdy kids in my age group. Had I studied, I probably would have pulled off straight A’s. I was lucky enough that I didn’t have to study too hard to get decent grades, and that left me a lot of time to do other stuff. We had a Commodore 64, and then upgraded to a 128, and I learned a little bit about code and how some of the stuff worked with computers. I never went whole hog with it, and now I wish that I had. Back then, I had so many different interests that I never just stayed with one thing…I learned a little about a lot of different stuff. To this day, I still can’t focus on one subject long enough to learn it completely. For some reason I want to learn it all about everything. I have such varied interests that I don’t ever get one thing down pat, but I can fake it pretty well in a lot of cases.

Let’s take Excel for example…I love working with spreadsheets. I live for trending, charting and reporting at work, and I’ve gotten a bit of a good reputation for it.   However, I have hit a wall with my knowledge and am stuck a with this new report I’m building. There’s a guy at work who can help kick-start me to the next level of understanding, and I won’t hesitate to call him for help. However, some part of me is not pleased that I won’t make time to learn this stuff on my own at home, that I won’t delve into it body, mind and soul until I’ve conquered that mountain. The truth is, there’s just not enough of me to go around to spend the time on it out of work.

I love movies, and all forms of entertainment, and I can speak with someone intelligently about most entertainment subjects, with the exception of gaming,  I’ve never been a big gamer. I love the internet, and podcast shows. I’ve become very familiar with that form of entertainment/information retrieval, but I couldn’t put one together to save my life. I’m kind of an armchair participant in that arena. But that’s ok…I can still hold my own in conversation. However, I will say that my kids have surpassed me in my knowledge of all things Star Wars. I used to be a complete Star Wars geek. All of a sudden, it’s like I know nothing about it at all. They know way more than I ever did, but perhaps it’s because George Lucas has perpetuated the stories into modern times, and I just haven’t kept up. Guaranteed, it makes me feel a little old and out of touch.

Just once, I’d like to know a LOT about one thing, and not a little about everything. When I started this blog post, I was feeling as though I’d been a geek at one time and lost my geekiness, but now I wonder if I was ever a geek at all? Perhaps, perhaps not…but somehow, I feel like I’ve lost something just spending so much time keeping up with every day life. There’s not a lot of time for exploration and chasing interesting things all the way to the end…or at least to catch up so I can stay current. I keep saying to myself that someday…someday…I will have time to pursue everything I’m interested in and come to thoroughly understand it all. At this point, I’m more of a geek wannabee…but I guess that will have to be good enough for now.

Some day…

How to celebrate Independence Day?

Younger Son was put out today that there aren’t any fireworks sponsored by the city this year, and we don’t have anywhere in the country to go where we can shoot off our own. In his view the Fourth of July is just not any good without fireworks. Of course I felt obligated to remind him that any way we choose to celebrate the Fourth of July is good because we are free to do as we choose. Being 15, he just wasn’t that impressed with my little speech. I’m going to snicker when he has his own kids and this topic (and so many others) pops up. Skip the snicker…I’ll probably fall down with a good rolling belly laugh. Anyway, I digress.

Are you celebrating without the usual fan fare? No biggie. Check this out, it will make you smile

I have seen a lot of posts about freedom and the Declaration of Independence, and I agree with all of that. I thought hard about posting something serious and history-minded, and then I realized that’s what everyone else was doing. So, I determined that I would not note the passage of this day as most others do. I’ll be a little bit different and post something silly and fun.

I am so thankful for the freedom to be silly and have fun. I live in a place that’s well protected, and that we have (for now) the freedom to do whatever the heck we feel like, within reason. I don’t believe that we’ll always have that, but at least we do for the time being.

So, kick up your heels. Lay around watching tv. Shoot off some firecrackers. Make love to your sweetheart somewhere new and exciting. However you celebrate the 4th, be mindful that others paved the way for that freedom. I think that’s all they’d ask of us today, to just be mindful.

Uh oh…I guess I went and posted something serious after all. OH well…enjoy the song and revel in its silliness!