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Adventures in Truss Below are the 30 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Bill Powers (Sauron's Truss)" journal:

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December 29th, 2012
11:12 am
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All's well...
Made some great advances, paired with a few setbacks, these last couple years, but that's life isn't it? A few pics for the archives:



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October 12th, 2009
09:20 am
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Disco Diver?

Is that water in my wetsuit?
A beautiful day diving in Laguna Beach ended with Doug and the gang taking a shot of me here. I'm thinking of being a Disco Diver for Halloween.
Is that water in my wetsuit?

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May 4th, 2009
09:20 am
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Leviathan 99
Saw a star-studded production of Ray Bradbury's Leviathan 99 yesterday in Beverly Hills. The performance was absolutely magical. I couldn't believe the amount of collective acting talent that was up on that stage. Sean Astin (Rudy, Lord of the Rings, et al) as the narrator and lead character HAD to carry the story on his shoulders... and he did. Both he and William Shatner transcended their celeb-status and sucked you into the story. They made you forget who they were... which is quite a feat for actors up on stage pretending to put on a RADIO PRODUCTION (i.e., reading into a microphone with a script in their hands)! So very well done.

William SHATNER, Sean ASTIN, Norman LLOYD, Samantha EGGAR, Richard HERD, Walter KOENIG, and H.M. WYNANT. Also John HARLAN, Robert LEGIONAIRE and Sky McDOUGALL.

Sean Astin and William Shatner in a Radio Production/Play

The event was truly something special, something different, something that I and my friends (Rod Roddenberry and his fiance, Heidi) were truly blessed to be able to watch.

The FOLEY guy (on stage with the actors) was amazing! It was all done in one take. No re-dos!

Some celebs were in attendance (in addition to those on the stage). A casual glance around revealed Leonard Maltin (critic), Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars host), my own buddy, Rod, :-) and other screen writers and Beverly Hills (or nearby) residents.

Ray Bradbury and Norman Corwin gave intro speeches before the play began. Norman, at 99, was wonderfully engaging and funny. It was nice to see Ray speaking in such a strong voice. They made an already-special event that more meaningful.

This is definitely name dropping, but upon finishing our meal later on at a nearby swank restaurant, we were told that our entire tab had been picked up by Walter Koenig (Ensign Checkov in the original 1960s Star Trek series). Nice.

Don't hate me for this next one, but Rod invited me to a sneak preview of the new Star Trek film on the nearby Paramount Studios lot later that evening. Paramount showed it specifically for Rod and 500 of his closest friends. Everyone was stoked needless to say. The movie rocked (hard) in that most excellent, well-appointed theater and I look forward to seeing it again at Catalina Island next weekend on a dive trip with Rod, his crew, and my scuba group from Meetup.com.

Current Location: Bevery Hills
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March 1st, 2009
08:31 pm
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Winter in San Diego

I hosted an IMAX movie night followed by a happy hour at a local watering hole. These are two of my friends who went (and scuba proteges), Chris and Ginni.

Holy crap, what a beautiful weekend in San Diego it was! 85 degrees at the beach and not a cloud in the sky. In February yet. I didn't even dive. I just hung on the sand and boardwalk and pretended to be a beach bum.
It's gonna be a good summer I think.

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January 20th, 2009
06:22 pm
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I didn't vote for him, but that doesn't stop me from getting behind Obama and giving him my support and hope: Hope that he fulfills the promises, hope that the people he's surrounded himself with serve faithfully, and hope that the decisions he makes in the coming months prove beneficial for this country.

I once again marvel at the peaceful transfer of power that occurs here every four (or eight)years and am heartened that things may yet be made right with the economy and other issues.

I read a transcript of his address shortly after he made it and thought it extremely articulate, realistic, and inspiring. Nicely done.

A historic day that I'm pleased to bear witness to.

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January 6th, 2009
10:25 am
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Dad is hunting again in his favorite forest
I'm not on here much as it's blocked at my new job, but wanted to tell those of you who've been keeping good thoughts for my Dad that he passed on Sunday morning. I'm in New York now helping with the arrangements.

Here is Dad's info (local paper): http://www.legacy.com/RecordOnline/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=122267903

There is a message board there also at: http://www.legacy.com/RecordOnline/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=122267903 where you can leave a few words if you'd like.

Deepest thanks to all who've voiced/written words of support over the last 2 1/2 years while my Dad has been in the hospital/nursing home. Very, very appreciated.


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December 21st, 2008
04:51 pm
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Ah, the Christmas Season
I love Christmas. Unabashedly and with great emotion. I'm sure the feeling harkens back to my time as a small child growing up in New York, but no matter. Hope, love, giving, and re-recognizing people who are important to you. That's what's important.

It's been a trying year, but one, ultimately, steeped in successes and growth.

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04:47 pm
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Writer's Block: Legends of Rock
The US Festival in California in the mid eighties. A ton of fun on a large, even grand, scale.

There are a few concerts that go down in musical history—Altamont, Woodstock, Live Aid, the Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds tour—as legendary experiences. What live show stands as legend in your own experience?

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August 30th, 2008
05:47 pm
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Odd goings on
Drove three hours South, across the border, to La Bufadora, Mexico. Far enough away from all the horrid crap that's happening in the border towns lately. I was there for diving, but all my pics are on the surface. Weird, huh?

The tourist strip at La Bufadora, Mexico.
Two bucks for a 32 oz. beer. Not bad. I woulda rather been with a bunch of gals who dive and drink beer... but it just ain't all that common.
The tourist strip at La Bufadora, Mexico
Craggy coastline view from La Bufadora, Mexico.
Good views from the coastline. Better views underwater.
Craggy coastline view from La Bufadora, Mexico
Rattle Snake shot at Gordo's Cantina.
Apparently it's a rite of passage to partake in a rattle snake shot at Gordo's Cantina at la Bufadora. I had already done this once a couple years ago, but was foolish enough to not have it documented or witnessed, thus I was obligated to do another one. The quirky, eccentric bartender simply added to the overall atmosphere of the run-down joint.
Rattle Snake shot at Gordo&apos;s Cantina
Yes, those are real rattle snakes in the bottom of the tequila. jars
Yes, those are real rattle snakes in the bottom of the tequila jars
The bartender ladles out a big shot.
Three bucks for a three or four oz shot. Best bargain in town.
The bartender ladles out a big shot.
Where the rattle snake shots get their name from.
As you're about to do the shot, the gap-toothed bartender holds up the tequila-pickled rattle snake, waggles it's head, and talks to you as if it's the snake admonishing you not to drink it's guts. Nice.
Where the rattle snake shots get their name from
That's not a look of pleasure on my face.
There were... bits of things in the shot.
That&apos;s not a look of pleasure on my face.
Can anyone tell me what this is?
Can anyone tell me what this is?

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04:14 pm
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Two more pics
Oh yes, there were costumes aplenty at the Con. I don't go to the Con Masquerade or relate to the people who spend all year getting a costume ready so they can cavort on stage for five minutes dressed as an anime character... BUT I can appreciate the artistry. The costumes on the convention hall floor ran the gamut from professional to just shy of kindegarden effort.

Clone Wars promo actor
I liked her skin color.
Clone Wars promo actor
Predator costume looked cool
Predator costume looked cool

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03:52 pm
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San Diego Con Followup
Well, my new job and various activities have precluded me from posting my promised follow-up to the Con. I'll simply put a few pictures below and provide a few more thoughts.

The Watchmen will be THE movie to watch in 2009. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Allan Moore, the movie will blow all that came before it outta the water (with the possible exception of the Dark Knight... what a movie that was).

Can someone tell me what is up with this upcoming vampire event called Twilight? Apparently it's based on a hugely popular book series (popular with young teenage girls, that is). When the principle actors came out on stage the audience went absolutely nuts. I was looking around going "WTF" for about five minutes. Bella and Edward. Feh.

Crowd at the Con 2008
Lots of people waiting to get into the hall.
Crowd at the Con 2008
What the hell is this guy angry about?
Musta been having a bad day.
What the hell is this guy angry about?
Iron Man's nemesis
Iron Man&apos;s nemesis
J. frakes and Marina Sirtis of Star Trek the Next Generation fame
Signing autographs.
J. frakes and Marina Sirtis of Star Trek the Next Generation fame
Owl ship from the upcoming movie, Watchmen
Who watches the Watchmen?
Owlship from the upcoming movie, Watchmen
Owl ship from Watchmen
Inside shot of the mockup. Very detailed layout.
Owl ship from Watchmen
The slave girls wanted to tie me up.
The slave girls wanted to tie me up.

The Con hit it's cap of 125,000 people again. It's pretty much a madhouse down on the convention floor... and it's not much better in the halls where the most popular panels and events go on. I suppose, in order to keep growing the event, they may have to do something about it in a few years, but all I know is that the synergy of San Diego's close proximity to Hollywood and with SD being the spiritual home of Con, well it just wouldn't be the same if they moved it.

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July 28th, 2008
08:07 pm
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Stand out quotes from the weekend

A few pics and deeper (relatively speaking) thoughts on Comic Con International in a few days. But for now, just two quotes from two kickass sneak previews I was privileged to see:

1. They premiered the entire first season episode of Heroes (season three) two months early.

Scene- The evil Sylar has just completely scalped the hot, invulnerable cheerleader, Claire, and is finger-caressing the lobes of her brain as she lay on the floor:

Cheerleader (fearfully)- Are you going to eat my brain?
Sylar (closeup of him whispering into her ear with exposed brain in frame)- "Eat your brain? Claire, that's just disgusting."

2. Who doesn't love the X-Men? An amazingly ripped Hugh Jackman came out on stage to premiere a few minutes of footage of the MUCH anticipated movie, Wolverine. Gambit, Blob, Deadpool... oh my!

Scene- Wolverine and Sabre Tooth are beating the living shit out of each other. They square off yet again to catch their breath and Sabre Tooth taunts with something like, "How are ya gonna hurt me?" Wolvie replies:

Wolverine- "I'm gonna cut your god damned head off and see how that works." (Cue the crowd of 6,500 people going nuts.)

Too, too good. More in a few!

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July 17th, 2008
01:26 pm
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It was only a matter of time.

I teach scuba diving (part time) for the largest single scuba store in Southern California. It was only a matter of time before I got someone famous/semi-famous as a student.

Raymond Feist wrote THE single greatest fantasy novel ever (if you don't count the Hobbit, maybe even if you do). Faerie Tale is everything that an outstanding fantasy novel should be: Gripping, otherworldly, exciting, compelling, and a hell-of-a-ride. (Not to mention the butt-load of other great fantasy-sci-fi books he's written.) I was hoping to see him one day at a Comic-Con since I know he lives right here in San Diego.

The wait is over. He is on my list of Open Water Students for a class I'm convening this Friday. He is bringing his family.

This will be an absolute joy.

Faerie Tale Book Cover

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July 16th, 2008
01:27 pm
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A New Image
In celebration of getting a new job I've decided to grow my hair out and leave behind the illusion that I was going thin on top.

Bill&apos;s Hippie Look

Myself and Nella (g/f to my good buddy, Ousama).

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July 4th, 2008
12:40 pm
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Fireworks, Bar-b-q, and
Happy Birthday, Amer-ee-ca!

Take THAT, King George!


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June 18th, 2008
04:23 pm
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Ran in the Camp Pendelton, California 10K Mud Run again on Saturday. Our group had 70 runners out of a field of 4,000. Always a fantastic event.

I've not yet gotten to the point that I can do the whole course without walking a bit, but am improving, albeit not as fast as I had hoped. There's a 2-mile stretch of hell (AKA a continuous hill) that has become my enemy. I must beat my enemy on the next run!

Fun stuff!

Mud Run 2008

Mud Run 2008

Mud Run 2008

Mud Run 2008

Pics courtesy of the beautiful Joanne.

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June 17th, 2008
11:00 pm
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Stan Winston
If you know me at all (or if you've read this blog for very long) you know that I idolize stop-motion special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen.

One of the next generation creature pioneers, Stan Winston, died much too soon at 62 this past week. Cancer, wouldn't you know.

Aliens, Terminator, Predator, T-Rex, Edward Scissorhands, Iron Man... his creatures have become part of Hollywood iconography.

I'm really, really sorry to see this guy go before his time.

Yeah, cancer sucks alright.

Alien Queen by Stan Winston


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June 6th, 2008
12:06 pm
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Frisbee Violence

Who knew Ultimate Frisbee was such a violent sport? I was at Two Harbors, Catalina (California) a few weeks ago for a dive weekend. We had EXCELLENT conditions and 100’ vis on one of the days. Sharks, rays, eels, and everything else you’d expect on a Catalina trip.

Anyway, that Sunday, after the dives were over, I organised an Ultimate Frisbee game. A guy ON MY OWN TEAM, who was behind me, WINGS the frisbee in a pathetic attempt to advance it upfield. I say "pathetic" because instead of the frisbee going upfield, it traveled straight at the back of my head. An instant before it reaches my head, I turn around to see what’s going on. BAM, right into my eye. Looked like I’d been in the prize fight of the century. Nice.

Oh yeah, Wilson, the over-sized buffalo, came walking by our cabins. Made for a cool end to an already interesting trip.

Black Eye on Catalina
Wilson the buffalo

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January 30th, 2008
10:48 am
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Squid getting their groove on

"There is nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of it. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent."

-Dave Barry

I went out diving on Saturday for the first time in two months. The squid were running and it was a sight to see. Although not as massive as in years past, the thousands of squid milling about, mating, laying eggs in the sand, and finally expiring made one truly appreciate the circle of life (to borrow a much-overused phrase).

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October 25th, 2007
03:03 pm
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I moved back into my house late yesterday afternoon. County officials hadn't yet made an official announcement that it was permitted to do so, but I decided to take a ride anyway and survey the area.

Lots of ash and soot, but no houses in my immediate area got hit. As little as a mile away, yes, a few houses were burned to the ground, but my neighborhood escaped unharmed.

That's the unpredictability and chance nature of wildfires.

Pres Bush and Govenor Arnold were in San Diego today along with most congressmen and other officials.

The major fires are burning down, but there are still large fire fronts in various parts of the county. This one surpassed all records and is still going. I'm doing a volunteer gig for the emergency hotline on Sat and more if they still need help.


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October 22nd, 2007
02:39 pm
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Damned Fires (plural)
I had to evacuate my house at 11 am this morning when I got a reverse 911 call from the police deptartment. Thick smoke all over Escondido and houses burning only a couple miles away. At least I was able to pile some of my stuff into my SUV before I left. The only notice some people got was the creeping flames, fed by 65 mph Santa Anna winds, nipping at their door.

I'm fine and working at Camp Pendelton right now (right by the sea) and will figure out where I'm sleeping later. Say a prayer for everyone who's lost houses and been displaced by this disaster in San Diego county. Twice within 5 years. I can't remember the last time, before 2003, when San Diego got it so bad.

They're already saying it's worse than the fires of 2003...

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August 27th, 2007
05:37 pm
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Bill needs a scoche of help!
Is that how you spell "scoche"? Haha!

This is my charity effort for this year. Even ten bucks would be awesome. This is the foundation that I'm doing volunteer work with to create artificial reefs here in San Diego. In addition they (the San Diego Oceans Foundation) guard and preserve all aspects of the marine environment.

Please help just a bit? Go here, it's quick and easy!

San Diego Oceans Foundation Dive-A-Thon

Thanks in advance!


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August 20th, 2007
11:09 am
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A real train wreck
Remember the Trailer Trash (caps intended) couple from my last post?

As revenge upon my landlord and friend, Abby, the husband chose to call Abby's boyfriend of five years and tell him Abby was cheating on him.

He extraplolated out a few recent innocent visits to the house by friends of hers (from the days when she owned the bar), and created a whole "cheating scenario" lie that he wove for Abby's boyfriend. Just enough truth to make it look damning.

Why Abby's boyfriend was so quick to believe the story I won't go into, but suffice to say the whole household is in an uproar.

Abby is running away from the situation for two months to stay with her girlfriend in Seattle. She looks like she's going to have a nervous breakdown.

The husband of Abby's niece, Chad, has already received part of his karmic payback... his car has been stolen.

As for me, I've had a little bit of soap opera drama in my life as well, but think I'll lock down that post so prying eyes won't see. Tomorrow perhaps.

But I dove all weekend... and that can't be bad, right?

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August 15th, 2007
09:32 am
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My landlord's 33 year-old niece from Taiwan came for a visit a while back.

She never left. A real user. Never worked, never payed rent, never helped around the house.


She found some sloppy guy in a bar to swoon over her, though she barely spoke a lick of English, and they got married. Somehow he/they convinced my good-hearted landlord to let them both stay there for a pittance.

Then they had a baby. Prematurely. Just shy of four pounds at birth. The niece had massive hemorrhaging.

Did I mention the niece smoked two packs a day for the entirety of her pregnancy? (Despite protestations from everyone around her... including her doctors.)

Real trailer trash. (Do they have trailer parks in Taiwan?)

My landlord would rather bitch about them to me than tell them they have to get their shit together and find a home they can call their own... as any self-respecting new couple would do. She says something about her obligation to her sister (the niece's mother).

Just last week the camel's back was broken by the final straw. I walked into the garage at 5:30 am to get my dive gear together for a day at the beach. There is the niece, in her nightgown, going through my landlords file cabinet containing important papers. Rifling though them, papers pulled out and laying on the floor, like she was some sort of private detective searching out corporate secrets.

Damn did she jump ten feet when I walked in. The look on her face: Priceless.

My landlord went beserk when I told her of this transgression and the family is now living in an apartment far away.

About damn time.

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August 13th, 2007
11:40 am
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Funny quote
I remember being born, actually, so I have total recall from the moment of birth on — which makes me a goddamn good writer, don't you think?

-Ray Bradbury

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August 6th, 2007
01:05 pm
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The Quest for Bigger and Better
When I was a teen, back in the heady days of Tony Alva, Dogtown, and the like, I lived on Skateboarding magazines. I was pretty damned good, though the nearest Skate Park was 38 miles away. I survived on freestyle and homemade ramps that my friends and I would make.

Never in our wildest dreams did we consider being able to do something like the following. Is that skateboarding... or ski jumping?

(Warning there is a horrific fall involved here... but he survives.)

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August 3rd, 2007
12:29 pm
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Backseat danger
19 children have died in hot cars this summer in the U.S.

340 in the past 10 years.

"Experts said the increase coincides with the practice of putting children in the back seat, where they are more easily forgotten. That change was intended to protect kids after juvenile air-bag deaths peaked in 1995."

I can't imagine my forgetting that I have a child in the backseat, but wonder: Is the backseat rule saving more lives than creating deaths?

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July 29th, 2007
06:04 pm
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The Con
Each year the Con gets bigger... and it just doesn't seem like it can get any bigger.

But it will.

Last year was 130,000 people over four days. I'd not be surprised if the number is many thousands more for this year.

I camped out in the Panel Halls both Fri and Sat. Didn't even go onto the "trade show" style main floor at all. Some very quick highlights of my butt-numbing quest for sneak previews and hot babes:

The gals of Battle Star Galactica are hot. (And Lucy Lawless is coming back next season.) The BSG movie coming in Nov is gonna rock (if the sneak peaks were any indication).

The absolute hottest HOTTIES of Smallville made me wonder why I stopped watching three years ago. Oh yeah, now I remember: I trimmed my TV watching down to just three shows total so I could concentrate on other shit. My bad. Lois and the new Supergirl are stunningly beautiful (not to mention not-present Lana Lang, Kristin Kruek) from just one row away. Was it perfectly applied makeup or can two women have complexions that are that flawless? As I wipe the drool away...

They had virtually the entire cast of Heroes there. A very fun panel with some good swag (freebies) given out to the attendees. Looks like Kevin Smith, who showed up, will be writing an episode of two for the spinoff anthology series.

"The Bionic Woman" looks o-k. The series, I mean, which they showed the pilot of in its entirety. The gal who plays Jamie Summers is hot. The show is quite a bit darker than the 70's version.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles looked bad-assed. They showed the whole pilot. Set after the events of T-2, it delves deeper into the day-to-day goings on of Sarah and her son, John. Guess who the terminator is who comes to help John stay alive? Summer Glau (River, from Firefly). Talk about a role against type, but it worked for me. Or was it that her beauty mesmerized me? I'm so easy.

Supernatural had a panel with the main guy actor in attendance. I got there late, but it seemed to have a lot of energy and audience participation.

The panel right after that was Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen. If you know me at all you know what I think of these two giants. I'll bask in their light as long and as often as I can.

Much more that I saw than what I've written down, but you get the idea.

The Con, in terms of people, was a madhouse. My height gives me a distinct advantage, but I can totally understand why some people swear off coming. There's no denying the energy and atmosphere though. I've never seen anything quite like it. It bears very little resemblance to the ComicCon I attended for the first time in 1984. Mabey four thousand people or so in a much smaller venue. No Hollywood stars. Just sci-fi/fantasy/comic writers, illustrators, vendors... and the fans who loved them. Not better nor worse than what exists now... just different... and maybe a tad "purer".

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July 26th, 2007
07:29 pm
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Popular Arts
Did my annual Geek Out at the humongous Comic Con International here in San Diego last night and today. I've already seen enough sneak peaks and stars to last me another year... and there's three more days of uber-coolness to go.

Today it was Jessica Alba who knocked my socks off during a panel. She came looking all glam and smiley-beautiful hawking a new comedy she's in with Dane Cook (a funny guy).

Jessica Alba poster

Also attended a Battle Star Galactica (told you this was a geek-fest) panel with Richard Hatch (the original Apollo and current Vice President of the colonies) and series composer Bear McCreary. Focus was on 26 year old Bear's AMAZING music for the series. His CDs are one hella feast of music. Heavily recommended. I'll be buying the soundtracks to play in my car.

Creator extraordinaire JJ Abrams (Lost, Alias, Felicity) came to tell a teeny bit about his part in directing the new Star Trek movie. A reimagining of the original series. Begins shooting in November. They haven't cast Capt Kirk yet, but they have cast Mr. Spock and brought him out on stage. It's the actor who plays Sylar in the hit TV series, Heroes. *The crowd went crazy* Then Abrams revealed that the original Mr Spock, Leonard Nimoy, would be playing a part in the movie as well... and brought him out on stage as well. *The crowd went wilder* Fun stuff.

More sneak peaks of: Saw 4 (with Jigsaw himself present), Meat Train (with creator/horror-meister Clive Barker there with the cast, Hot Rod, 3:10 to Yuma (cool looking western with all-star cast), Beowulf (with Neil Gaiman present to share his part in the retelling of the age old story), Stardust (once again with Neil Gaiman on hand to shepard his baby), Indiana Jones 4 (a 4-minite live-vid feed of Spielberg, Ford, Shia la Buf, Winstone and... Karen Allen! Now that was a good moment.), and quite a few more.

AICN talks about that panel

The best sneak preview had to be Iron Man. Looks like Robert Downey Jr has Tony Stark down to a "T" and the unfinished footage looked amazing. Look for this one early next year.

This after only a day and 1/4. Bring it on.

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July 25th, 2007
12:30 pm
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How dare we forget?
Humorous voiceover of George C Scott playing Patton in the movie of the same name... made current for modern times.

Oh, and good on the University of Colorado for finally firing Ward Churchill's sorry ass. A more scum-of-the-earth professor I've never seen nor heard of.

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