Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blog #9: The Lockie Awards For 2011

Blog #9: The Lockie Awards For 2011
Hey there friendly reader this is Chris writing his little blog again and in this instalment I am handing out my fictional 'Lockie' awards of excellence for the year of 2011 on a variety of topics. These of course are not real awards, but fake ones I intend to award at the start of every year to commemorate the year that just passed. These topics that the awards are given to are very random, simply cool things I liked in 2011, and a few pans as well. SPOILER ALERT!!! I will be discussing details about the topics I'll be discussing, so consider yourself warned. So here it is: The Lockie Awards For 2011
Best Television Drama Series: Breaking Bad
This series is easily my favourite series on TV, and it may easily become my favourite series of all time. This show gets better and better with every season, and in 2011 season 4 was nothing short of incredible. Bryan Cranston better get a 4th Emmy for his performance from the 4th season because no one deserves it more than he. Also Giancarlo Esposito, who played villain 'Gus Fring' better get an Emmy for his performance. He may be the greatest villain ever on Television. The entire creative team on 'Breaking Bad' deserves to be awarded for what they accomplished this season on the show. If you are not watching this show you need to be!!!
Notable Mentions: Son's Of Anarchy, Dexter (season 6 was a vast improvement from season 5) , Law & Order: UK, Doctor Who, Rescue Me (Great final episode!!), Fringe, The Walking Dead.
Notable Pans: True Blood. This series is a guilty pleasure of mine but I just didn't like season 4 in 2011. The story lines were very weak in my opinion and Sookies time with the 'fairies' was very bad and lame. Hoping things change for this series in 2012!!
Best NEW Television Drama Series: Game Of Thrones
This fantasy series was better than I thought it could be. Writing is great, the actors are all solid. The show looks amazing, a little too heavy on the talking and less on the action for my liking, but I'm hoping they'll have more battles in the new season. I tried reading the novels from which this series is based but I got too bored, thankfully this series seems to be cutting the fat from the novels and getting to the point. Having not read the books allows me to appreciate this series more I think. Especially when it concerns the shocking death of a much beloved character!! Check this out!!
Notable Mentions: Hell On Wheels, Pan Am (I may be the only guy watching this show, but I'm liking it. Hopefully it does not get cancelled...), Person Of Interest.
Notable Pans: The Killing, Terra Nova, The Playboy Club (you cannot have a show about Playboy on network TV!!! HBO or Showtime was needed to make this series work!!
Notable To Watch: I have most of the episodes of 'Grimm' on my PVR, just need to find the time to watch them. But the show looks great and all the buzz I have heard seems to suggest that too)
Best Television Comedy Series: The Big Bang Theory
funniest show on TV right now. nuff said!
Best Actor in Television: Bryan Cranston from 'Breaking Bad'
This man may be the greatest actor ever in television. Walter White is one of the most flawed, complicated and sympathetic characters ever created and there is no other actor who could have played him in my opinion. He has won 3 Emmy's already and I am sure he is destined for #4 this year!!
Notable Mention: Peter Dinklage as 'Tyrion Lannister' from the series 'Game of Thrones'.
Best Supporting Actor in Television: Giancarlo Esposito  from 'Breaking Bad'.
Notable Mention: Aaron Paul from 'Breaking Bad'
Best Movie Of 2011 (Theatrical/DVD): Thor
This movie was so much better than what I thought it would be. Blending elements from the comic book, elements of sci-fi and fantasy just made for a great film. Chris Hemsworth was an excellent choice to play Thor. Tom Hiddleston was just as excellent as Thor's brother 'Loki' and Anthony Hopkins did a stellar job as Odin.
Notable Mention: Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men First Class, Cowboys & Aliens 
Notable Pan: Green Lantern (I had such high hopes for this film. It was not terrible, some parts of it were OK, but as a whole it just did not deliver. They tried to do too much with one film and it just didn't work. I'll definitely give GL 2 a chance because apparently the studio has given the 'green light' for a sequel)
Best Comic Book Series Of 2011: Batman
I was sceptical of this DC Comics relaunch that occurred in September, but the 'New 52' has proved to be the best thing that could happen for that company. I did not read many DC titles prior to this now half my comic stack is now DC titles.  Batman written by Scott Snyder with Greg Capullo as Artist has become my favourite monthly comic. Snyders storyline thus far has been amazing and Capullo in my opinion is currently the best artist in the business. Capullo is definitely doing the best work of his career.
Notable Mentions: Invincible, Action Comics, Irredeemable, FF, Red Wing, Amazing Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Captain America, Captain America & Bucky, Daredevil, Hulk, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Detective Comics 
Notable Pans: New Ultimate Spider-man (I'm sorry I just didn't like this book.  No offence to anyone who does like it but it was just not my cup of tea)
Best Podcast of 2011: The Atomic Geeks
In the world of podcasting this is a podcast I enjoy and is a must listen to when new episodes show up on iTunes. These group of Canadian dudes are hilarious and their show never fails to entertain. They also have their own website where listeners can interact with these guys and offer suggestions for episodes, like I did myself. If you are into nerdy discussions these guys do it great!
Notable Mention: Comic Geek Speak, iFanboy, Word Balloon, Hollywood Babble-on, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, Smodcast, Breaking Bad Insider, Starbase 66.
Best NEW Podcast of 2011: Nerd Lunch
I didn't forget you guys CT. Nerd Lunch is a podcast based on the great website 'Nerd Lunch' and is a part of 'The Atomic Geeks Network'. Like the Atomic Geeks these guys discuss a variety of nerdy topics every week and never fail to entertain. And if all goes well yours truly may be making a guest appearance in their rotating '4th chair' in a future episode. This is a great podcast and if you have not listened yet you better!!
Notable Mention: I Sell Comics ( a great new podcast from the 'Smodcast Network', recorded in the Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book store in New Jersey. Hosts Mike and Ming are great to listen to.) Classic Film Jerks (from The Atomic Geeks Podcasting Network)
Random Best Of The Rest:
Best Song of 2011: 'Rolling In The Deep' by Adele
Best Celebrity Who Annoys Me: Kim Kardashian. Notable Mention: Charlie Sheen. 
Best Book I Read in 2011: To be honest I don't think I read a whole book in 2011. I started a few but never finished any. I recently bought several Ben Bova novels and a couple Kevin Smith books so that will be what i'm reading in 2011. I read some Power engineering books this past year, does that count?? Why am I asking myself a question??
Best TV Mini-Series in 2011: HBO's 'Mildred Pierce'. I really like Kate Winslet as an actress and I actually enjoyed that mini-series.
Coolest Celebrity Encounter: Meeting my childhood hero Captain Kirk, also known as William Shatner at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo in June.
New Years Resolutions for 2012: Lose more weight. Get my 5th Class Power Engineering Ticket. Read some books and read my huge stack of comics sitting at home.
Well that is all for this edition of my Random Nerdness blog. This is Chrisloc1701 wishing you all the best in 2012. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and maybe I'll see you in the future!! Live Long And Prosper!
- Chris

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog #8: My Take On Star Trek, Part I

Hey there loyal reader this is Chris bringing you the first part of 'My Take On Star Trek Essay'. There is so much ground to cover I have decided to break down the essay into parts, this one focusing on Star Trek: The Original Series. The first time I saw Star Trek I was just a little kid, maybe 2 or 3, I remember my Dad watching the original series Saturday afternoons on CBC. I was immediately hooked and since then have been a life long fan of the franchise. I would consider myself a 'Trekker' and I am very knowledgeable about most things Trek. However I am also a very critical fan of the franchise as well. I'm often asked by people which series are best, what movies are good, etc. So I have decided here and now to break
down the franchise and offer my opinions of each series and movie of the fabled Trek universe.

Star Trek: The Original Series:
The series that started it all back in 1966. Gene Roddenberry is credited as Creator, but some would argue that it was show writers/producers such as DC Fontana and Gene Coon who really made the original series the cult classic it truly is. Set in the 23rd century it follows the adventures of Capatin James T. Kirk played by William Shatner, as he leads the USS Enterprise on adventures. Leonard Nimoy stars as First Officer Commander Spock, a half human half Vulcan scientist. James Doohan as Chief Engineer Lt. Commander Scott or rather 'Scotty'. George Takei as 'Lt Sulu', Nichelle Nichols as 'Lt Uhura' and Walter Koenig as 'Ensign Pavel Chekov'. Back in the 60's it was rare to see such a multi-national cast of characters, and
with it being set in the future the Writers were able to tackle topics which normally couldn't be done on conventional TV. But with it being a Science Fiction series they were able to get away with a lot. It truly was
an original series. Unfortunately it was made in a time where special effects were in its infancy so by today's standards the FX is quite bad. However they have in recent years released a 'Remastered series' with
updated FX which really is awesome and worth watching. But again it was filmed in the 60's with a shoe string budget so the make-up, wardrobe andacting (at times) is very bad and a direct result of lack of funds, and also a lack of interest shown by Gene Roddenberry, especially in the shows 3rd and last season. Roddenberry by the 3rd year had pretty much given up on the show and their budget was cut even more resulting in episodes being constantly filmed on set and not on location. But if you can get past
all that and watch the show for it's heart and the great episodes they did do it is so worth it. The first season episode, 'City On The Edge Of Forever', written by sci-fi literary icon Harlan Ellison, is my absolute
favorite Trek episode of any series of all time. William Shatners performance in particular for that episode is stunning and proves what a great actor he truly is.

William Shatner for Prime Minister!!!


My favorite TOS episodes you should check out:

- "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Great pilot episode of Kirk & Crew)

-  "The Enemy Within" (Kirk separated into a Good and Evil version of himself)

- "The Menagerie, Part I & II" (Seeing footage from the original 'Cage' pilot, we learn what happened to Captain Christopher Pike and Spock is on trial for his life)

- "Balance of Terror" (First appearance of the Romulans)

- "Arena" (Kirk fights for his life against a giant humanoid lizard)

- "Space Seed" (Kirk meets his greatest enemy for the first time, Khan as played by the great Ricardo Montalban)

- "Errand of Mercy" (First appearance of the Klingon Empire)

- "The Alternative Factor" (The same man from 2 different universes threatens to destroy out universe)

- "The City on the Edge of Forever" (Kirk must make the ultimate sacrifice to save the future)

- "Amok Time" (Spock must journey home to marry his arranged marriage wife, but then fights Kirk to the death...)

- "Mirror, Mirror" (Kirk & Co are trapped in a evil parallel universe)

- "The Doomsday Machine" (A machine that destroys planets threatens the galaxy and only the Enterprise can stop it)

- "I, Mudd" (Harry Mudd returns with comical results)

- "Journey to Babel" (We get to meet Mr Spocks family for the first time)

- "The Deadly Years" (Kirk and crew must battle against rapid ageing while a stupid starfleet Commodore almost gets the Enterprise destroyed by Romulans)
- "The Trouble With Tribbles" (Tribbles are cute and cuddly and this episode is funny like no other Trek episode)

- "The Enterprise Incident" (Kirk seemingly goes nuts and the Enterprise is surrounded by Romulan ships. Spock seems to have turned traitor but not everything is as it seems...)

- "Day of the Dove" (Kirk must battle Klingons again while a entity feeds off their aggression)

- "The Tholian Web" (Kirk may have died, Spock is now in command and the Enterprise may be captured by the Tholians)

- "All Our Yesterdays" (It's a race against time as a star is about to explode and Kirk, Spock and McCoy are trapped in different time periods)
If you can get past all the dated aspects of this series it really is good at it's core. Some episodes are very bad, and if you are a new viewer you may want to stick with the episodes I recommend.

The heart of this series really is the interaction between the characters and the actors who play them. The dynamic between Kirk/Spock/McCoy (Shatner/Nimoy/Kelly) really is amazing, and in the last season they added Scotty in more with that dynamic. If I could point out one glaring issue I have with Roddenberry's Star Trek is that the characters never seem to evolve or be expanded on to a certain extent. They just did their jobs and never really got involved with anyone. No one got married or had families. Sulu had a daughter apparently, but he was never seen to have had a family. Having characters that never moved on seemed not realistic to me. I would like to have seen Uhura hook up with Scotty, or something like that. I never understood the logic of having characters simply married to their jobs. Growth of a character allows the viewer something to relate to, and I feel that some people may not have been able to relate to the characters.

Gene Roddenberry created the series and the characters, but he did not create the heart of the series in my opinion. To make a real world analogy: Roddenberry was a biological father who was responsible for the birth of a child, but that child is raised by another person, and said child becomes the person they are based on the person who raised them, not the person who helped create them. Roddenberry came up with the original concept of the characters and the series, but it was the actors, and producers and writers like Gene Coon and D.C. Fontana who defined the characters and the series. Truth is Roddenberry has been given too much credit when it comes to Star Trek, and most of that credit was self praise he gave himself. Gene Coon died in 1973, and thus never lived to see Star Trek become the phenomenon it has become. He never attended a Trek convention, he never was able to tell his side of things. Had he lived I think Roddenberry would have been forced to share the credit with Coon, rather than take it all for himself. Gene Coon is credited for many creations on Star Trek which include the Klingons (in "Errand of Mercy"), Khan Noonien Singh (in "Space Seed"), Zefram Cochrane (in "Metamorphosis"), and the Prime Directive. Coon also had the position of doing rewrites for scripts, and as such his work touches many more episodes. This Trekker will never forget “The Forgotten Gene”

Gene Coon

Gene Roddenberry

Anyway this last June I got the chance to meet my childhood hero, Mr William Shatner at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. William Shatner was awesome at his panel. Shat came out on stage with a arm full of hot women in the green Orion slave girl make-up, very cool. R2D2 presented the Shat with a white cowboy hat from the Mayor of Calgary. Apparently the white hat ceremony is a big thing in Calgary. A guy behind me said "That's not right. R2D2 should not be giving him the hat. The mixing of universes is not right!", and I thought I was a nerd... Shat was great on stage and announced a special documentary series he has done interviewing all the Captains of the Star Trek series, I actually watched that last month and it was great. The line up for my picture with the Shat was crazy busy. When we got to get our pic with him I didn't get to ask him anything.There was a little boy who got his pic before us and after the pic the boy didn't know where his dad was and Shat said to me "Who does he belong to?" referring to the kid. That was it. It was very much get in and get out or get tossed by security. Shat just wanted it to be over, you could tell he had had enough at that point. Still very cool to be standing next to him!! The guy is 80 years old and the fact he still does so much is amazing to me.

Chris and his wife Crystal with William Shatner

The only other original series cast member I have met is the late great James Doohan, back at a Trek Convention in 1994 in Edmonton. He was very entertaining on stage and answered all our questions including his dislike for William Shatner. I got his autograph and he was very friendly and kind to us all. Like Shatner Doohan was Canadian. Doohan was also a veteran of WWII. I read his biography a few years ago, co-written by Trek novelist Peter David, Doohan opened up about his life and his military service for Canada. He was truly a remarkable person and a Canadian icon.

James Doohan

Another original series star who I admire is George Takei. One of the reasons I admire George Takei is not for his work on Star Trek or his work on the Howard Stern satellite radio show, I admire him because he took a very difficult step and admitted publicly that he is and has always been gay. He came out of the closet after spending most of his life in it and has become a huge star in the gay community. September 14, 2008 he married his companion of over 18 years Brad Altman. Walter Koenig ("Chekov" from Star Trek) served as Best Man and and Nichelle Nichols ("Uhura" from Star Trek) was the matron of Honor. As a fan of Takei and Star Trek I applaud this man for his bravery in coming out and being true to himself. I'm sure it wasn't easy, he comes from a time when Gay meant "Happy" and not "homosexual". But times have changed and he has changed with them. George Takei you are a great man, I am a fan and I salute you sir for being the great person you are.

Well that concludes my discussion on the Original Star Trek series and it's stars. As I said earlier this is just the first part of my take on Trek with more to come in future blog posts. They break down as follows:

Part I: Star Trek The Original Series
Part II: Star Trek The Next Generation
Part III: The Star Trek Movies
Part IV: Star Trek Deep Space Nine
Part V: Star Trek Voyager & Enterprise
Part VI: The Future Of Star Trek

And that is a wrap for me. Take care and see you in the future!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog #7: Atomic Wedgies

Blog #7: Atomic Wedgies
*** This & That ***
- Just wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my Grandma and Grandpa LaBerge. It was 64 years ago they got married and changed history forever, because without them there would be no me and you would not be reading this blog. Sadly Grandpa Leonard passed away in 1997 so he is not here to celebrate this milestone, but I know he is watching from Heaven. 

- An 'Atomic Wedgie' is when you give someone a wedgie and stretch their underwear all the way up and wrap it over their face, while the rest of their underwear rides up their ass crack causing both pain to the victim and laughter to the one giving the wedgie. I've never received an atomic wedgie, but I did see it given to someone while I was in grade 7. I felt bad witnessing this but yet I couldn't look away or stop it. I am honestly wedgie free, people have tried to give me one and I've fought them off with my super-strength. Not that I'm trying to brag but the fact is I am a very big and very strong nerd. Beware...
- I've heard rumours that they are making a new 'He-Man' movie, based on the cartoon and not the 80's movie version. They better have my buddy Orko in this one. Orko was the comic relief and sometimes reluctant hero of the cartoon. He has no legs and flys/hovers around and is a magician whose magic most times creates more trouble than good. In the 80's movie he was replaced by the character 'Gwildor' who was a technology expert, but he was no where near as cool and funny as Orko. I'm starting a movement here and now: Bring Orko back!!!!

- I recently watched the movie 'Moon' starring Sam Rockwell. It's about this guy who lives alone on the Moon and is working for a company that mines an oil substitute on the moon. It's set in the near future. Through the movie it would seem that Rockwell's character is losing his mind. He's been living on the moon for 3 years all alone with the exception of the moon stations computer whom talks to him and tends to his needs. He can't even talk with anyone on Earth because the company's communication satellite is shot so all he can do is send and receive delayed messages. But all is not as it seems and maybe he is not losing his mind...or is he? I enjoyed this movie, I would give it a 3 out of 5 rating. It's not a great movie but it is good, and Sam Rockwell is a great actor you can watch as he acts alone for most of the film. Crystal, who is not a fan of sci-fi movies liked it too so it really is a movie anyone can watch. Moon is on DVD and Blue-Ray right now.

- I never did talk about Dan Brown's newest Robert Langdon thriller 'The Lost Symbol'. I loved it, it may not be as good as 'Angels and Demons' but it is better than 'The Da Vinci Code'. The villain in this book is the best villain Brown has created and there is a plot twist at the end that I missed completely when reading it. It's a great book and definitely worth a read and Dan Brown is still one of my favorite authors. 

- I also recently read W.P. Kinsella's book of short stories 'The Moccasin Telegraph' which was a hilarious read. It's a book about native people living in Hobbema and I haven't laughed so much while reading a book in a long time. Being a Metis myself and having seen true native culture at times growing up, Kinsella seems to be tuned into natives and how some of them live...which is ironic considering Kinsella is an old white guy who claims to never have been to Hobbema ever in his life. My Mom bought me another of his books of short stories which focuses on baseball, I am looking forward to reading that too.

- Random Thought: I just recently found out that the Canadian Federal Government spent $38 million to promote the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games to thought is that we have homeless people and families living in poverty in this country and that 38 million would have been better spent on them. Government a$$holes! Most Canadians already knew for years about the Games in Vancouver so why spend $38 million to tell us something we already know... unreal...

-  I've always wanted to create a science fiction series. I love to watch science fiction and I have come up with a great concept for a show. It takes place in the 25th century and primarily takes place in space and is a show about friendship, war and betrayal. I would focus on the human drama rather than the special effects. I've mapped out the entire story for the series and who the characters are and what happens to each of them throughout the show. One day I hope to complete my proposal and submit it to television executives.

- The new 'Star Trek' movie on Blue-Ray is so very awesome. I am an old school nerd but this movie is great on so many levels even the people who hate Star trek would like it. My wife Crystal hates Trek and often groans when I watch it, but even she liked the new movie. It was made by JJ Abrams and his 'Bad Robot' production company. JJ and Bad Robot are responsible for such TV shows as 'Felicity', 'Alias', 'Lost' and 'Fringe'. They make great entertainment and this film is no exception. Apparently a new 'Trek' TV series is in the works and I just wish 'Bad Robot' would develop the new series. It's hard to believe its been 6 years since 'Star Trek: Enterprise' went off the air. From 1987 to 2005 there was always a Star Trek show on TV. The problem with 'Enterprise' was that it was a good show but it's previous incarnation 'Voyager' sucked so badly that no one was tuning in to 'Enterprise'. Plus Enterprise changed too much of the established 'Trek' history that it turned off fans from it, myself included. But JJ and Bad Robot proved they could transform the Trek movies into something great again why couldn't they do the same with a Trek TV show? It would be awesome, I know it!!!

- I loved the James Cameron film 'Avatar' but I was forced to watch it in 2-D in Barrhead. Cameron has been quoted as saying they will be doing sequels to the movie. Avatar takes place on a moon called 'Pandora' which orbits a gas giant planet like Jupiter in the Alpha-Centauri system. The gas giant Pandora orbits, like Jupiter or Saturn has dozens of moons. Cameron has been quoted as saying the sequel may take place on another moon instead of Pandora. The question I have: If this take place on another moon is this really a sequel then? What makes the movie Avatar is the blue tribes people of Pandora, to go to another moon and focus on other aliens would not make it a sequel. Hopefully Cameron does not go that route, I want to see the humans soldiers come back to Pandora and the Na'vi (the blue tribes people) fight for their planet again...but I shouldn't doubt Cameron's vision. He truly is a genius and should not be second guessed.

- I really do not understand this on-line gaming thing. I know people who play 'World of Warcraft' or as it is also known as 'WOW', and I just can't get into it. I spend a lot of time on the computer but to sit there for hours on end playing a game is something I just can't do. From what I understand to get started you need to buy software and then pay a monthly fee to continue to play, although they are currently offering 'free play' right now. But from time to time 'WOW' will put out new software that is required to continue playing in addition to the monthly fees, which will come later on I would assume after the 'free trial' ends. To me this sounds like a rip-off. I would much rather buy a game once and play it all I want. People become obsessed with this game and I've heard some crazy stories. One guy I know apparently is so much addicted that he constantly calls in sick to work in order to continue to play. Apparently players go on 'quests' and to quit a quest before finishing is a bad thing, so this guy fakes sick and misses work in order to continue. Another guy I know also calls in sick from time to time in order to continue a 'quest'. But this guy is much more dedicated. WOW released new software known as an 'expansion pack' on a Thursday night at midnight. He sent his wife and children away for 5 days, made a special trip into 'Best Buy' to pick up his expansion pack at midnight, bought 30 cheeseburgers from a McDonald's drive-threw (or is it drive-through??) and went home where he spent the next 5 days playing WOW non-stop while sitting in his underwear and eating the cheeseburgers. He also reportedly never bathed for those 5 me that's beyond being a nerd. I was curious about this on-line gaming thing and Facebook advertised some free on-line gaming games. I was not willing to shell out money to play WOW but other games named 'Evony' and 'Astro Wars' were free so I thought I would try them out. I lasted 15 minutes on each game then I quit, they sucked. If WOW is anything like those games I really do not understand how anyone could game like this. I had tried the 'Star Trek Online' role playing game for 3 months but I just couldn't commit the time to the game. You really have to dedicate a lot of time to get anywhere on that game. I'll stick with my Nintendo Wii, which you can also use to play on-line but I don't. WOW players can also text chat and talk with each other while playing, but I'll stick with Facebook for text chat. No offence to anyone reading this who likes WOW, I just don't get it. Although I may have to check out that new 'Star Wars' online game...

- Another thing I don't understand is cell phone text messaging. People spend so much to buy these cell phones then sit there for hours sending out text messages. To me that's crazy. I understand calling people and talking with them on the phone, and sending E-Mails and Facebook messages to people, and Facebook chat I also use, but to spend hours on a cell phone sending texts just seems silly to me. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but to me a phone should be used s a phone and that's it. Especially when you hear about the rise in car accidents due to people texting and driving...and the people who walk down the street without looking because they are busy texting and bump into people. And the people who cross the street without looking because they are too busy texting...this texting is getting out of control. I remember hearing about a school bus driver in Calgary I believe who crashed her bus (with kids on board) because she was distracted because she was texting and driving. Silly and stupid in my opinion.

- I've also heard a statistic that North American Cell phone users pay the highest cell phone rates in the world. It breaks down to this: If my Mom calls me on my cell phone on her cell phone she pays for air time and I pay for the same air time. Canadian cell phone companies double bill on each and every phone call. In other countries, say in Europe for example, if my Mom called me she would be charged for the air time and not me. In other countries you can have a cell phone with no minutes left on it which means you can not place a call. But others could call your cell and you can talk with them because they are paying for the air time, not you. So you could have a cell phone that receives calls but can not place them, with the exception of 911 calls which can always be made regardless if you have air time. We're really getting screwed over in this country in my opinion with cell phones.
- This last summer at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo I  got my pic taken with Jonathan Frakes, Captain Riker himself!! He even shook my hand and noticed my USS Titan shirt... awesome!! 40 minutes later I got my pic taken with Battlestar Galactica stars Micheal Hogan and Kate Vernon. I shook Kates hand then Hogan's hand and he even noticed my shirt. Then in his 'Colonel Tigh' character and Tigh voice he said to me "Hello Captain, well lets get this done!" which was awesome. As I left I said 'thank you' to them and Hogan replied "The pleasure was all ours". They were so nice and it was very cool to have met them.
Have a great week and see you in the future!
- Chris