Posted by: Mark | September 1, 2014

Monthly Resolution: August

In August, I tried to get healthy by doing at least 25 leg lifts and up to 25 push ups a day. I don’t think it made much of a difference but at least it gave me a resolution check for the month. My yearly resolutions are a mixed bag:

1. Writing: Goal–100,000 words for the year.

Reality–I’ve got 47,607 words, needing 66,575.

2. Publishing:  Goal–105 manuscripts submitted for the year.

Reality–only 58 submissions, needing 69.6.

3. Film and video: Goal–three projects for the year.

Reality–two so far.

4. Blogging: Goal–250 posts for the year.

Reality–this is post number 141, needing 165.75,

5. Art: Goal–create five art works for the year.

Reality–Only have two.

6. Running: Goal–1,825 miles for the year.

Reality–I’ve gone 1,485.6 miles, needing 1,210.

7. Exercise: Goal–Either run 26.2 miles or do 50 push ups in one sitting.

Reality–ran 26.2 miles.

8 . Weight: Goal–Maintain weight under 205 pounds.

Reality–very much over.

9. Religious: Goal–Read all of the Koran, six more books of the Bible, and three works of Lovecraft.

Reality– read the Koran; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Baruch, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Natum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Jubilees, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, and 14 chapters of Corinthians; and three stories of Lovecraft.


I could be worse but I’m hoping to bring a few of these up now that the kids are in school.

Posted by: Mark | August 30, 2014

The Savage Curtain

Tonight we watched “The Savage Curtain,” one of the last episodes of the original series. It has its problems but at least is entertaining.

This episode is famous for Abe Lincoln: Space Guy who says “Negress.” It’s another test of good vs. evil by a weird alien, so well parodied in Futurama’s “Where No Fan Has Gone Before.”

The bad guys could have used improvement. Colonel Green, a figure from an unknown Earth war, worked fine. Kahless the Klingon wasn’t fleshed out as well as he could have been (I’ve heard nerds complain that this Kahless is different from Next Generation’s–of course he is! This one was created from the minds of the Enterprise’s crew who only knew Kahless as Space Hitler). The other two, Genghis Khan and Zora of Tiburon, might as well have been unnamed.

Instead of giving Lincoln a tour of the Enterprise, I wish the writers would have cut to the chase and developed more of the bad guys.

On the other hand, the lava alien might have looked goofy but it was one of the better aliens of the series. I wish one of the later series picked up on them.

All in all, it was much better than most episodes from the third season.

This is probably the closest my life will ever come to a letter to Penthouse but, six months ago, I sent out a story to a magazine. I never heard from them so I thought it was safe to send it out again. Today I got an acceptance letter from the first place.

I’m not sure what to do. Ethically I should contact the second magazine and withdraw the story. That would make me look like a moron and I can’t help but wonder how likely is the second place to want it too.

If television has taught me anything, it’s when someone starts thinking that way, hilarity ensues. I’ll stay up all night thinking of what to say and write them tomorrow.

Posted by: Mark | August 23, 2014

The Cloud Miners

Last week MeTV showed the terrible Space Hippie episode of Star Trek. This week was another third season episode, “The Cloud Miners.” I hadn’t seen this one for a least 20 years and it holds up better than I remembered.

There’s corny special effects and heavy-handed social messages but overall it works. Maybe if society was a little more Utopian, the episode’s plot of the struggle of haves and have-nots might seem more dated.

Kirk does come off as a loose cannon (Chris Pine has nothing on season three) but he’s effective. Picard would have spent 90% of the episode conducting meetings. Kirk does take a firm stand for social equality and refuses to condone torture so much so that Fox News would protest anything remotely left-wing today.

Maybe it was just that it followed the space hippies, but “The Cloud Miners” stands as one of the better episodes of the third season.

Posted by: Mark | August 21, 2014


I missed my goal of reaching 1,400 miles for the year by August 18. Today I went 6.3 miles on the elliptical about nine o’clock, another 6.3 around noon, 6.2 after two o’clock, then 2.4 on the treadmill. That brought me to 1,403.2. I’ll try to hit 1,500 in two weeks.

After all the running, I lost 2.8 pounds despite eating like a pig all week.

Posted by: Mark | August 18, 2014

First Day

I’ve finished the first day for two of my three classes. Only one student was absent so far and the only thing out of the ordinary was someone who thought she was in Spanish 101. I’m hoping for another smooth hour but I’ve probably jinxed myself.

Posted by: Mark | August 17, 2014

Last Night

Classes start tomorrow at NKU. Today’s highlights were playing Betrayal at House on the Hill and changing the water in the turtle tank. It could have been worse.

Posted by: Mark | August 16, 2014

The Way to Eden

I’ve always liked the original Star Trek more than any of the later series but some episodes are painfully bad. “Spock’s Brain” is generally regarded as the worst episode ever but that seemed so bad it’s almost tolerable while “The Way to Eden,” the episode with the space hippies, is so bad it makes me relate to nerd-bashing, Star Trek-hating jocks.

I wasted my evening watching MeTV–an episode of Adam West’s Batman, Wonder Woman, and finally “The Way to Eden.” Sadly, Star Trek was the corniest and campiest by far.

Some critics have found positive points about the space hippies. I think even the immortal Red Chinese from “Omega Glory” weren’t as horribly stereotyped. And the music–it was like old white guys rapping without the humor.

I was excited to see one of the hippies was played by Charles Napier, who I initially mistook for Alan Napier. I was wrong but Charles Napier still was in many better movies and shows. I’m glad he got a paycheck out of the mess.

Posted by: Mark | August 15, 2014

Green Thoughts

A,while back I read “Spurs” which was the basis for the movie Freaks. Last night I finished John Collier’s “Green Thoughts” which was the basis for Little Shop of Horrors.

As different as “Spurs” was from Freaks, “Green Thoughts” was even further removed from either movie or musical.

The premise of Roger Corman’s movie was remotely similar–a plant collector finds an odd plant that eats people, eventually being eaten himself. The story takes place in a posh estate while the movie is in skid row. The protagonist of the story doesn’t realize what the plant is doing until he’s eaten alive (which is in the first quarter of the story). Audrey II threatens humanity in the movie but the unnamed plant of the story is threatened by the protagonist’s pervy nephew.

It wasn’t what I expected but I enjoyed it.

Although it could have used a dentist.

Posted by: Mark | August 14, 2014

Calling It Quits

It’s been a bad day–my frog died last night and, despite running 12.6 miles today, I gained four pounds.

School starts next week. I’ll try again when I’ve got a better schedule.

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