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Well, well!  It looks like there’s a new meme in this little corner of the innertoobz, as both Zoopraxiscopean Don and GorT have alighted on a Popular Mechanics article about the 50 “greatest” Sci-Fi teevee shows.  As they did, I will offer my two cents on those shows about which I have any thoughts and or memories:

49.  “Land of the Lost” – Of course I watched this as a kid.  Grumpy the T-Rex gave me the willies.  After a while I lost interest because the story arc about the Sleestax just kept getting weirder and weirder and to have less and less to do with, you know, dinosaurs. (I seem to recall an animated series about a family that gets swept into a dinosaur-infested valley that ran about the same time as well.  Can’t recall its name.)

48.  “Space: 1999” – I recall watching it only because it was on locally before “Star Trek: TOS”.  I didn’t think it bad, but it never took root in the Robbo braim.

47.  “The Six-Million Dollar Man” – Classic stuff.  When one goes into slow motion and starts saying, “NUH,nuh,nuh,nuh, nuh…..”, everybody of teh right age will know exactly why.  I also had the Steve Austin doll  action figure, complete with bionic eye.

45.  “Knight Rider” – Ooh, watch out for that mean-looking truck, Michael!

36.  “Buck Rodgers In The 25th Century” – Col. Deering.  Mmmmm…..Col. Deering.  (One of my first blog experiences was a bitter debate over the relative merits of Wilma Deering and Princess Ardala.)

32.  “Star Trek: Voyager” – A lot of Trekkies claim this was the worst of all the series.  I’m not really sure why, as it was usually entertaining/exciting enough when I dropped in.  Plus, three words:  Seven Of Nine.

31.  “Lost In Space” – I think it was from this series that I first learned what “camp” means in the entertainment context.  And to this day, I still sometimes flail my arms about chanting, “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!”  Oh, and young “Johnny” Williams stole quotes straight out of Mussorsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” for some of the incidental musick.

30.  “Battlestar Galactica” (1978-1979) – I loved this show and everything about it (except Boxy and the Daggitt).  Required viewing for me.  I bought and built models of a Colonial Viper and a Cylon ship.  I even bought the soundtrack album and played it over and over again.  That’s how into it I was.

29.  “Futurama” – Another favorite.  My eldest gel in particular cannot understand how something so well done can continue to get cancelled for lack of audience ratings.  In this, she is getting her first lesson in the difference between what is good quality and what is merely popular.

13.  “V” (1983-1985) – Like “Battlestar Galactica”, another Humanity Overcoming Attempts At Oppression story, only this time set on Earth.  I don’t remember much anymore, but liked it a lot at the time, perhaps in part because of the cat-fighting alien leader chicks.  (Robbo is really a pretty simple fellah when it comes down to it.)

11.  “Firefly” – I came to this late (long after it had been cancelled), but liked it enough to buy the DVD box set and run through it every couple of months or so.  I thought the series superior to the movie (“Serenity”).

6.  “Star Trek: TOS” – One of the major influences on my misspent yoot.  I’d say that a lot of the “messaging” in TOS probably went rocketing right over my young head, as I was more in love just with the concept of the Enterprise traveling across the heavens.  Oh, and let me be clear about something here:  There is only one James Tiberius Kirk.  When I become emperor of the world, “reboots” will constitute a flogging offense.

3.  “Star Trek: NG” – I will give the series credit.  After its first few seasons going over the top trying to establish its liberal creds, it eventually calmed down and got somewhat better.  (It remained rooted in progressivist utopian fantasy, of course, but stopped beating teh drum so damned hard.)  You can follow Troi’s costume as a kind of barometer of this transformation.  In the early shows, she sported that home-spun hippy looking body suit.  Eventually, they put her back in a regulation uniform (and focused less on what she was “sensing” of everybody’s “feelings”).  Of the movies, I think “First Contact” was probably the best.

1.  “Dr. Who” – Well, yes.  I was a pretty big Tom Baker fan back in the day, but haven’t paid any attention in years.  Meanwhile, teh Middle Gel has become an outright fanatic.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, the renovation of the flooded basement at Port Swiller Manor has now achieved official “Port-o-John on the Driveway” status, which in an odd way makes ol’ Robbo feel like a grown-up.

They’ve taken out all the flooring and drywall now, plus clipped off the bottom part of the framing (which, we found, was built with non-pressure treated wood by our old handyman) and dug a hole in teh floor for the sump pump.  They’ve also dug a trench outside parts of the house to come at the non-exposed exterior walls in order to repair them.  With a certain amount of imagination,  it looks something like a moat.  At least it would work as a serviceable defense against the Underpants Gnomes.

Hopefully, they’ll be ready to start actually building things shortly.

BosworthAnd speaking of medieval military practices, I note that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field, fought this day in 1485.  I must say that for all I know of the battle’s political importance, I am almost completely ignorant of its actual tactical unfolding.  If memory serves, the recent exhumation and autopsy of Richard III revealed that he had died of blunt trauma to the skull and also suffered several other wounds, suggesting that he was in the thick of the fighting as a good king ought to have been in those days.  (C.S. Lewis, in The Horse and His Boy, has one of his characters remark that the King should be first in the charge and last in the retreat.)  Anybody know any good sources on this battle in particular and/or on 15th Century warfare in general?

By the way, the word “medieval” nowadays of course has negative connotations, suggesting that which is ignorant, crude, superstitious and cruel.  I’m increasingly of the opinion championed by Lewis and others that the High Middle Ages were far, far better times than now commonly supposed in terms of sophistication of thought, richness of life and spiritual balance and health, and that the negative slur comes from those Enlightenment Humanists and their modern spawn who thought and think they could build an earthly Paradise based on Reason only.

Take a good, hard, honest look at the state of Western Civilization and tell me there’s not something to this.

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