Oh Alcatraz, We Hardly Got To Know Thee

July 27, 2012 Leave a comment

“In March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed. All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only that’s not what happened…not at all…” 

Shivers run down my spine thinking about Sam Neill’s voice (Hauser) in that opening sequence.

Plot Summary (via Wikipedia Alcatraz TV page)

On March 21, 1963, 256 inmates and 46 guards disappeared from the Alcatraz Island prison without a trace. To cover up the disappearance, the government invented a cover story about the prison’s being closed, due to unsafe conditions, and officially reported that the inmates had been transferred. However, federal agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), a young San Francisco police officer tasked with transferring inmates to the island in 1963, is one of the first to discover that the inmates are actually missing and not transferred. In present-day San Francisco, the “63s” (as the missing inmates and guards are called) begin returning, one by one. Strangely, they haven’t aged at all, and they have no clues about their missing time or their whereabouts during their missing years; however, they appear to be returning with compulsions to find certain objects and to continue their criminal habits. Even more strangely, the government has been expecting their return, and Hauser now runs a secret government unit dedicated to finding the returning prisoners; this unit was set up long ago in anticipation of the prisoners’ returns. To help track down the returning prisoners and capture them, Hauser enlists police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), a published expert on the history of Alcatraz and its inmates.

I DON’T KNOW THIS SHOW – WHERE CAN I SEE IT?

(If you are not familiar with the show, you can get the basics from the Alcatraz TV Wikipedia page or Fox Broadcasting).  Better yet, download the series, watch and get caught up.  But then you might get as pissed off as I am that it got axed!  You can preorder the DVDs from Amazon to be released October here in the US.

SAVE OUR SHOW?

To my knowledge there has been no concrete movement for Alcatraz getting picked up by another network or any other realistic chance for “saving” the show.  Defies logic, but I am not hearing anything.  There has been some valiant fan based efforts, which I wholeheartedly applaud.   The cast and show runners seemed to have moved on.  Not sure I will ever get over it – not completely.  I don’t understand the “it was the ratings” reasoning for the cancellation.   Certainly there has been a fairly vocal fan outcry if twitter has been any indication.  Not saying a miraculous pickup couldn’t happen – never say never – but just doesn’t seem in the cards.

WHY I FEEL IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN A CHANCE/SECOND SEASON:

We only got 13 episodes of this fascinating series before it was cancelled by Fox.  [To make room for more Gordon Ramsey (Hotel Hell) and singing competition shows, apparently.]

Alcatraz was untimely cut short.  Sam Neill tweeted “we were just getting started.”  For me that says it in a nutshell.

Reason 1:  Think for a moment about what they were attempting to do.  The story they were starting to tell.  A prison with an incredible real history and mythology all its own.  That made the prison a main character in and of itself.   The development of the team:  Hauser, Soto, Madsen and Lucy.  Their interactions and relationships with each other were just beginning to take shape.  The main plot line of the time travel/disappearance/reappearance of the inmates (63’s).    Alcatraz was trying to tell a very big story in the most excellent way.    Did we as an audience not give it enough chance?   I did hear some rumblings about the show’s pace being too slow – more and faster reveals needed.   Probably too many people gave up on it early on.   Something this huge takes time to develop if you are going to do it right, people.

Even the Season 1 (now Series) Finale was larger than life.  They recreated the freakin’ Bullitt car chase for Pete’s sake.

Reason 2:  The incredible performances:

Jonny Coyne as the Warden.   Brilliant portrayal.  Always waxing poetic with a philosophical (albeit twisted) point of view.  So eloquent and completely Emmy worthy!

Leon Rippy as the chain smoking Dr. Milton Beauregard.   Sadly we never really got HIS back story, how he ended up in either timelines or much further on him personally.  Always outstanding.

Sam Neill as Hauser.  Wow.  You don’t even have say much more for me to be interested. I would pay to listen/watch the man read a phone book. Riveting and mysterious as the curmudgeonly agent tasked with solving the mystery of the 63’s.   Once told by a Chinese herbalist that his ch’i was murky. We’ll never know if it got cleared up!

Jorge Garcia as Doc Soto.    I think my favorite parts were Soto attempting to shadow & follow Hauser – trying to figure everything out (good luck with that).   Some comic relief as Jorge is great at providing.  But also sweet, endearing and smart!   The resident geek and expert on all things Alcatraz prison and the inmates.   Many times his knowledge and insight saved the day.   I think given time we would’ve seen a father/son thing happen between Soto and Hauser – slightly antagonistic – but there.    I loved Soto’s fascination with everything – like the bat cave within the bat cave.

Gorgeous Sarah Jones as Rebecca Madsen.   The center of it all.  Talk about family issues she’d have to deal  with.   Tough, smart, capable.

Parminder Nagra as Lucy.    We honestly didn’t get to know her too well because she spent most of the time in a coma.  But I will never forget *spoiler caution* the camera zooming in on her lovely face as she awakened!

Reason 3 – Cliffhangers and burning questions left unanswered.

*CAUTION POSSIBLE MAJOR SPOILAGE AHEAD*

This is a biggy for me.  So much we’ll just never know.    I would die for a handful of episodes, a special, TV movie, animated series or even graphic novel depicting the show runner’s vision of what would have played out if we had gotten Season 2.  At very least to give some issues closure.  The finale was one big 2 hour cliffhanger (although it did give some answers, left us with even bigger questions).   I think this is what makes it so hard to let go.  It was just left that way.  Way to go Fox!

Obviously, the main mystery of the show.   WHY and HOW were the 63’s returning and who was behind it all?

The mysterious Mr. K played by Matt Craven.  He would’ve been a huge part of Season 2 I am thinking.   What was the deal with him?

The last we saw Rebecca she was presumably dead, killed by her own grandfather!  Would she be saved by the good (?) doctor, much like Lucy?  What would be Madsen’s fate?  Or would Ray take over her spot on the team hunting the 63’s (given that Hauser tried to recruit him to do just that several years prior!)

Lucy and Hauser’s relationship.   We find out that Lucy and Hauser dated and fell in love at Alcatraz in 1963 before the jump.   She apparently got caught in it, disappeared and returned at some point like the inmates.   Emerson has aged and lived a life, making him a different person.  She has not .  Their feelings for each other are still there, strong and evident (very sweet).  But how would they resolve a 50 year gap!  Could they?  Were Hauser’s visits to the Chinese doctors an effort to turn the clock back on himself?   It seems most of Hauser’s motivation was stemming from his love for Lucy.  Who’d a thunk he was such a romantic soul?

What was the intent of Lucy’s psych experiments on the inmates?   What role did they play and did they have a negative effect on her?  In relation to that – the Dr’s role – pumping the inmates with silver?  How did they get caught in the time jump?  Was it deemed necessary by whoever is controlling the 63’s that those two be part of it as well?

On the procedural crime level, there was potential to continue as well.  We learn the 63’s are returning – not just in modern day San Francisco – but in places all over.   That gave a great reason to branch out – Nationwide? Worldwide? –  as the team continued to pursue the 63’s.   Were those locations strategic and purposeful in nature?  Fascinating to learn about the inmates, their crimes and subsequent capture.

FINAL NOTE:

For all these reasons and more, Alcatraz deserved to be given more of a chance.  FOX BROADCASTING – one thing’s for sure.    You literally broke my heart with the cancellations of both Terra Nova and Alcatraz.  I will be all the more hesitant to invest myself in any new programming as the new fall broadcast season gets ready to begin.   Fox seems particularly eager to cancel things that are not immediate hits without giving them a chance.   I will tune in for the final episodes of Fringe.  Thank God for that!  I will also watch Touch for as long as it remains.   They are really trying to do something unique and beautiful there – I don’t give it much of a chance for commercial appeal sadly.  But other than those 2 being grandfathered in, I am done watching Fox network.  There is nothing else on that network that interests me in the slightest – either returning programming or new.

What are your thoughts?   Will you miss Alcatraz as much as I still do?

Thank you for reading.  I am not a professional blogger/ writer (obviously).  This is all straight from the heart.

 

Unpretty – my perspective

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, my my my.   Between Samathana Brick’s  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html and Ashley Judd’s http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/09/ashley-judd-slaps-media-in-the-face-for-speculation-over-her-puffy-appearance.html  there has been a firestorm of opinion lately about what makes a woman beautiful and being judged on appearances.   I think it is a very healthy debate.   

I am going to share with you my personal take :  Beauty is not what we look like outside.  Real, true, honest beauty lives inside a person.    In that sense, every person can be seen as beautiful.  

Believing that we should always return to the “owner’s manual”  for guidance, what does the Bible say consitutes a beautiful woman? 

Proverbs 31

Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I Peter 3:3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I don’t believe these are meant to put down or restrict woman in any way.   What I believe they are trying to convey is that woman should concentrate on nurturing the inner beauty inside each one of us, more than the outer stuff. 

I think this puts what I am trying to say so much more eloquently than I ever could.

 

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived,  reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the  figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Sam Levenson 

 

(Contrary to what some may think, Audrey Hepburn did not write this beautiful poem, Sam Levenson did. Levenson wrote “Time Tested Beauty Tips” for his grandchild, and it just so happened to be one of Audrey’s favorite poems.)

So don’t worry if you don’t look like the latest airbrushed “it” girl gracing the covers of all the magazines, or if you can’t look like the most popular one at school. 

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;    your works are wonderful,    I know that full well. ” Psalm 139:14

In other words, God never makes junk.  Never ever let yourself feel less than because of what you may look like outwardly. 

In that light, I leave you with a video with great perspective on the subject. 

 

You are a wonder.  Go forth and shine your beauty to all that you come into contact with. 

 

 

The Reality of Switching to Magic Jack Plus Phone Service

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Switching to Magic Jack plus – My real experience

COST: initial order of Magic Jack Plus device from official website.
I used a debit card so was charged for the year upfront.
If you use an actual CC they won’t charge it for 30 days.
Order Summary

Qty Product Code Description Price Each Subtotal Charge Date
1 MJPLUS6995 magicJack PLUS/EasyPay 30 Day Money Back Guarantee 69.95 69.95 12/31/2011
1 RUSH395 magicJack Express Tracking Mail 3.95 3.95 12/31/2011
1 STDSHIP795 Shipping & Handling 7.95 7.95 12/31/2011
1 REGULATORYFEES4.8 Regulatory and Compliance Expense 3.93 3.93 12/31/2011

————————–
ORDER TOTAL: 85.78

I wanted to keep my present landline phone number. What I didn’t know beforehand is that they charged a fee for porting your number. That was an extra $20 + fees.

Order Summary

Qty Product Code Description Price Each Subtotal Charge Date
1 TRANSFERINNUMBER1999 U.S. Phone Number – Transfer In Fee 19.99 19.99 01/08/2012
1 TRANSFERINNUMBER U.S. Phone Number – Transfer In 0.00 0.00 01/08/2012
1 MJPLUSSTDDIALPLAN magicJack PLUS Standard Dialing Plan 0.00 0.00 01/08/2012
1 REGULATORYFEES4.8 Regulatory and Compliance Expense 0.96 0.96 01/08/2012

————————–
ORDER TOTAL: 20.95

There is also an auto renewal fee of $9 I believe which ensures you renew when your service is up.
They give you a strong warning you might not be able to keep your current number if you don’t set up auto renew so I did. They give a substantial deal if you sign up for 5 years. Since I am unsure of this, I opted not to. May do so when my year is up next January.
If you count that, My total cost for the Magic Jack Plus and the year of service was $115.73. Not too bad considering that is about 2 months worth based on what Century Link charged me.
I feel it is a little misleading in their advertisement that it states you can use it “without” a computer. Obviously you do need one. The main difference is that I believe prior versions you could only plug in the device into your computer (not the wall) and you had to leave your computer on all the time. With Magic Jack plus you have the option of connecting to your modem or router with the networking cable provided, and then plugging the Magic Jack device with the adaptor into the wall. You don’t need to leave your computer on.
To register initially, you MUST plug the device directly into your USB port. In most cases it should start loading the software automatically. If not, you will have to chat with tech support. They will most likely give you an update link to get the software going. My system had some trouble recognizing the device initially, but eventually did. I have read some folks with Windows 7 have had issues.
This is VOIP service. So you do need solid, always on high speed internet connection like cable or DSL for the service to work smoothly. I don’t believeit works with satellite internet. It won’t work with dial up. You can connect to a modem or router with the networking cable provided and then plug the device into the wall. Or you can keep the device plugged directly into a USB port on your PC.
I initially thought I would do this my little Ready wifi internet. But it isn’t sufficient or stable enough for Magic Jack. So, I am renewing my DSL with Century Link.  I had hoped to drop them completely and will if there is one ounce more dissatisfaction with them. Then I will have to get Comcast cable internet.
I didn’t think I would, but I think I am going to get a good binaural VOIP headset and mostly use the soft phone from the computer. With my hearing loss that may work better for me , and just seems easier somehow.
If my internet is off and computer shut down, incoming calls go straight to voice mail. And I get them sent to an email account of my choice. I like that. The softphone acts as caller ID and lists all calls.
Here is a straight forward video on setting it up.  I thought this would be better than me trying to say anything about it.

We’ll see. This is the phone service I have for a year anyway.

As you can tell, I am not a high tech person. I am sure those who are may be going “d’uh”. I just wanted to share a lay persons experience.

12 people I would most like to…

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

 

  1. Sing a duet with – Clay Aiken.   Specifically Mockingbird ala James Taylor and Carly Simon.  
  2. Have decorate my home – Mark Brunetz.   He is truly an incredible designer and does honestly work magic with a small budget.
  3. Teach me how to cook – Alton Brown.  He is the only who makes it seem worth the effort in any way shape or form. 
  4. Sit down and have a cup of coffee and discuss life with – Amy Grant.   Her Christian songs have really impacted me.     
  5. Be my general contractor  – Mike Holmes.  Only one I would trust to make sure it was done right the first time.
  6. Be on their TV show (or at least be on the set while filming)  – The Mythbusters !   They just look like they are always having so much fun.
  7. Have plastic surgery to look exactly like – Catherine Zeta Jones. 
  8. Be my personal stylist  – Tim Gunn.  A true class act.
  9. Organize me and teach me how to stay that way – Peter Walsh and Hellen Buttigieg.   Yep, it would take both of those powerhouses to do so.
  10. Give a piece of my mind to – President Obama, as well as all Senators and members of the House regardless of political affiliation.    
  11. See turn their life around – Amy Winehouse.  Incredible talent but a troubled soul.
  12. Be stranded on a desert island with – Johnny Depp

 

How about you?   What would your list look like and who would be on it?

Hello 2K10! Introducing myself

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 

For 2010

My first official post!  Thought I would start with some basics so you can know who I am.
Happily single, never married, no kids.  Not seeking a relationship.  I am a middle-aged female – 46.   No, I am not a cougar!

Have one cat Lucy, 2 going on 3 years old.  She came into my life unexpectedly end of August 2009.  This cat is one playful lovebug!    She has an obsession with playing with reusable grocery bags and pens and pencils.  I don’t know why.     She has had a little upset tummy as of late.  Going to make vet appointment for that.

Politically conservative with strong libertarian leanings.  I do not consider myself extreme in those views.  I am pretty much equally put out with all established political parties.

Religion: Christian since 1981; non denominational

Work for the state of Colorado as an Administrative Assistant III.   Also do part-time customer service phone work from home to supplement.  I am seeking a new job preferably still with state government, but a different agency.

Love playing adventure PC games and casual games.  I always need a walk through!  Not into combat RPG types.  Why?  Because I totally suck at the fighting, frankly.   Poor reflexes? 

I do not know how often I will post a blog here.  I do intend to do  a weekly review of DVD movies I have watched.   I will try my very best to use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.  But my writing will be casual.  I tend to write how I would say it if talking to you face to face. 

Favorite drink: Coffee, Diet Pepsi Max

Favorite food: Pizza (supreme w/everything except anchovies please). 

I confess I am a TV addict. Mostly sci-fi and crime dramas.  Currently favorite shows are:  House, 24, The Closer, Men of  A Certain Age, Castle, NCIS, Saving Grace, V, Flash Forward, LOST,  Mythbusters, Criminal Minds, CSI NY, Burn Notice, CSI, The Mentalist, Stargate Universe, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Fringe.  Guilty Pleasure Shows: Pawn Stars, Parking Wars, CSI Miami.  (Thank God for the DVR! )  Growing on me: NCIS LA and Lie To Me.

I am a doll collector of vintage and some modern fashion dolls.  However, sometimes a different type doll will strike my fancy from time to time.   A little variety is good!  Main ones: Vintage Barbie and especially her cousin Francie.  Tiny Kitty Collier (Tonner/Effanbee); Vivette (DAE Originals) (pictured) ; Little Miss Revlon (Ideal) and look-alikes.  Jem (Kenner/Hasbro); Vintage Dawn (Topper) and other 6.5 in dolls.  I also love “grow hair/hair play” dolls like Crissy and Velvet (Ideal).   I mainly love the beauty and incredible clothes!  I don’t collect for investment or resale – just pure pleasure.  Selfishly for me.

Favorite books: The Bible, Lord of the Rings, Messiah by Boris Starling; The Women’s Murder Club series by Patterson. 

Favorite Movies: Bourne series, The Matrix Trilogy, LOTR movies, all the Harry Potter series.  Too many others to name. I also enjoy some old classics.   One I have to mention as a must see: Joe vs The Volcano with a young Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  At some point I will probably write a longer post as to why that movie.

I live in a high-rise apartment in downtown Denver, CO.   I plan to find a different less expensive apartment when my lease expires in March.

I am quite petite.  4’11” (barely!) ; 90 lbs soaking wet.  It is extremely difficult to find clothes that fit correctly!

I don’t drink alcohol, smoke,  sleep around, gamble or do drugs (prescription or otherwise).  Yes, I am very boring.  But healthier and safer I think. 

Favorite movie actor: Matt Damon  Favorite movie actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones

My family history is a long story which I probably won’t go into much.  Not very positive or pleasant.  I have one sister and we were raised by my maternal grandparents.  My grandfather is still alive and lives in my hometown.

I am a former Mary Kay consultant.  As for why the former part, visit www.pinktruth.com.  I have moved on and leaving that chapter of my life closed.  Thankfully MK is behind me forever.

In 2K10, I am focusing on growing my relationship with God, my internal character and integrity.

 Happy Blessed New Year everyone!

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