Friday, November 30, 2007

Bender's Big Score

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posted by Gil T. @ 2:08 AM Comments: 0

Monday, November 26, 2007

Book Review: "The Transmigration of Timothy Archer" by Philip K. Dick

"Transmigration" is the final book published by PKD. He passed on in March of 1982 after a series of strokes. The book was published the year before and while not originally to be included in the "Valis" trilogy, its subject matter of religion/philosophy and belief fits very nicely with the trilogy. The third book titled "The Owl and Daylight" was never finished.

In this book PKD seems to address the public speculation of his not being able to create a woman character that is more than 2 dimensions. I read one critic's review in which was asked, "Can't [PKD] have a woman character without talking about her breasts?" So I'm guessing that since this book was written from the point of view of Angel Archer (female) that he can create a multi-dimensional female character. In this spiritual journey Angel Archer (I like the play with words there Archangel) must decide what is real what to believe and how it all works in with life. And no her breasts are not mentioned once.

Angel is heading to a spiritual retreat the day John Lennon was shot and this starts her soul searching through the loved ones she lost and why they died many years before. Her Husband, Jeff Archer commits suicide after a trip to find the true Jesus as told in some lost scrolls found near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Jeff was on this trip with his father, Episcopalian Bishop Timothy Archer, and the bishop's mistress, Kirsten Lundborg. Kirsten was introduced to the bishop by Angel. Soon after Jeff's suicide Kirsten and the bishop are being haunted by Jeff's spirit. It is foretold that Kirsten will die soon and the bishop soon after. Kirsten's death is inevitable but the bishop's death can be prevented.

As the story goes the bishop does die when he returns to Israel but soon possesses Kirsten's schizophrenic son Bill. Angel has to decide whether all that happened is truth or all just ways to cope with death.

Once again this book is filled with the humor that seems only done by PKD. Many group conversations in which the topic becomes humorous. Like the scene in which Bishop Archer is trying to explain to Bill about faith. Bill suffers not only from Schizophrenia but also from Asperger syndrome, characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted and stereotyped interests and activities, Bill's interests being cars. When the bishop explains that water under the car could be a problem but you don't know what you have to take it in faith that there is a problem until you can discover the truth. At this point Bill goes on explaining that there could be many problems and that it may be oil and not water and that it depends on what kind of car. This goes to the point of absurdity and you just can't help but laugh out loud.

While there is no mention of the VALIS in this book the spiritual journey fits with the VALIS theme. Another aspect is that this is one of those borderline science-fiction books that if written by anyone other than PKD might have been packaged as spiritual fiction (if there is such a category...I guess it would fit in with "The Celestine Prophecy")

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:39 PM Comments: 0

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Book Review & Free Book "Haunted Independence" by Paranormal Researcher Margie Kay

It's time now to sit back with a cup of warm milk and tell some ghost stories. Normally I would pair a book up with some coffee or something but I think warm milk or if you need a comfort drink make it hot chocolate with marshmallows, because I think the high caffeine may make you a little more jittery than what you need reading this book.

Margie Kay is a psychic, paranormal researcher, radio talk show host and chimney sweep. With all that wrapped into one she's got some interesting stories to tell. In this book she tells some haunting tales from her hometown of Independence, Missouri.

She has put together some stories of such hauntings as the famous 1859 Jail in Independence (now a tourist site, but once held notorious outlaw, Frank James), Mound Grove Cemetery, Old Independence Library Building (where you may see the "lady in red") and more. One thing I will warn you be prepared for a few chills up your spine. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, Margie Kay tells the facts of what her research has put together about a city just within theKansas City Metro that has lots of documented sightings.

The neat thing about this book is that it is very personal and are experiences she has witnessed herself. Some of these stories sent some chills up my spine. Also I found that reading them alone at night in a radio station that has been in the same building for 50 years I got creeped out by some of the stories. So you may want to leave some lights on and try not to be alone.

Her book also provides some helpful hints, just in case you want to see your own ghosts. Such as how to be in the right frame of mind and some tools of the trade.

You can purchase this book from her website:

Or you can enter your comment here for the drawing for this book. I'm passing on my copy to a lucky winner/commenter. Let me get the legal part out of the way: This is my doing only and has nothing to do with Margie Kay or her publisher, I just felt that I would pass it along to someone who wanted it.

If you want the book just let me know in the comment you leave. Then after about 2 weeks (since it's holiday time and everyone is running around I'll give it some extra time) I'll contact the winner from a random drawing of names.

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posted by Gil T. @ 7:57 PM Comments: 0

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Book Review: "The Divine Invasion" by Philip K. Dick

Okay this book is one of the final 3 books of Philip K. Dick's career, in fact the third was in a lot of turmoil because it wasn't quite finished before he died...but I'll talk about that one on my next Dick book review. This one however asked a simple question: "What if God--or a being called Yah--were alive and in exile on a distant planet?" Which leads to: "How could a second coming succeed against the high technology and finely tuned rationalized evil of the modern police state?" These questions were all part of a way for PKD to that came out of a mystical event that happened in his life in 1974.

Yah (God) is a being in exile on a planet in the CY30-CY30B star system and decides it's time to come back to Earth for the promised second coming. He impregnates Rybys Rommey, who happens to be terminally ill with multiple sclerosis and has Herb Asher bring her back to Earth so God can be reborn unto the world. Accompanied by Elias Tate, who is in reality the Prophet Elijah, the three are discovered by Earth's religious leader the Christian Islamic Church and "Big Noodle" the computer system governing the planet. The 3 are intercepted but Elias gets away. In the meantime Yah goes into the minds of those seeking to detain Herb and Rybys and plans their escape. However they are involved in a crash and Rybys dies but the baby (the unborn Yah) is placed into a synth-womb. Herb meanwhile is placed into cryogenic storage waiting for a spleen transplant because of the accident.

Elias steals the baby and raises him in a special school where due to brain damage from the accident he may or may not remember that he is God.

Herb awakes from cryogenic storage 10 years later as the child, Emmanual (Yah) is rediscovering who he is and ready to battle Belial (Satan). Herb becomes part of the catalyst that enables the battle to be fought...or is this all a dream in Herb's cryogenic sleep? You decide.

So at this point you may want an espresso and discuss more about the possibilties of God into the wee hours of the night.

A side note here while the characters in the book are very deeply ingrained in religion and philosophy as are all of PKD's characters. However this one really points out a deep flaw in his character's...and that's women. I've noticed in all the PKD stories and novels I've read all his women characters are 2 dimensional and stereotypical. All the men have depth but not the women...I wonder why that is....maybe something we could discuss here.

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posted by Gil T. @ 3:52 PM Comments: 0

Friday, November 16, 2007

Book Review: "Looking Glass" by James R. Strickland

Okay hackerz, crackerz and phreaks It's time to get away from the keyboard and grab yourself a Mountain Dew and use that buzz to stay up reading a great cyber-punk sci-fi mystery thriller.

James R. Strickland has written a great book that is in the not so distant future and gives us a bit of a warning about where technology could take us. In this dystopian view of the future of cyberspace, Strickland has given us not only a great mystery thriller but has created the ultimate anti-heroine. Many action novels have heroes that remind us of Bruce, Arnold or even Keanu, but in this book the heroine is a wheelchair bound, bi-sexual, Shakespeare quoting, computer geek whose online name is "Shroud."

Not only the great character but the world has seen a major political change in which North America has been through a civil war and exists as several different smaller countries. The great part of this novel is that none of it is beyond belief. Strickland, being a former IT professional, writes with such fervor and talent that as a reader you get so lost in the story of the world he created that there is no time to question nor any reason to question the reality of the story.

"Shroud" works as a Network Security Engineer for Omni-Mart, a huge commercial conglomerate. Her and her team monitor the company's network by "jacking in" to the system. This is done by plugging the network directly into the brains of the engineers. Thus creating a super high-speed access to the real-time network and any hackers trying to break in. On a routine day the entire day crew is killed by a mysterious hacker that is able to hack in to the "unhackable" jacks of the security team, including "Shroud." "Shroud" is the only survivor and seeks revenge on the hacker, but Omni-Mart says they are going to outsource the investigation, telling "Shroud" to take a vacation.

"Shroud" begins her own investigation and finds the "hacker." As with any good mystery, the path to discovery leads to many great characters becoming involved. This investigation also leads to a very dark region of corporate America (or what's left of America).

The action begins from page one and never lets up. So be prepared to stay up all night with this one. A good energy drink or the favorite of all computer geeks, Mountain Dew, will do the trick.

I think my favorite aspect of the book is the multifaceted character of "Shroud." While she may be cold as ice for the work environment, she's quick to quote Shakespeare or Frank Herbert (okay one quote from Herbert, but I love Frank Herbert so it stuck with me. When she meets the "hacker" the surprise not only is in the discovery of who it is...but the actions taken to fight the final battle. Great writing gets you lost in this cyber-world.

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:08 PM Comments: 1

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Holy Cow, this has got to be the ultimate for any Sci-Fi or just plain X-files Fan. All nine seasons are now being released in this 61 dvd collection. Plus this set has some really killer bonuses, I'll talk about those later.

I was a fan of the X-Files way back when we never knew whether Mulder & Scully would hook up as a couple or not. I kinda lost track after that guy from Terminator 2 took over but this gave me the chance to catch what I missed. And well it was still good, I don't know why I stopped watching it, I think it was something about the time slot.

Beginning as a cult hit in 1993, “The X-Files” quickly become a worldwide phenomenon, garnering 16 Emmys® and five Golden Globes® Awards including “Best Dramatic TV Series” during in its nine-season run. Created by executive producer Chris Carter (“Millennium,” “Harsh Realm”), the series gripped the imaginations of fans around the globe and launched the careers of David Duchovny (The TV Set, Trust the Man) and Gillian Anderson (The Last King of Scotland, Playing by Heart), both honored with “Outstanding Performance” Golden Globes® for their roles. Known for its unique blend of science-fiction/fantasy, dry wit and intelligence, the series centers on FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigating the existence of alien races, uncovering government conspiracies, and other paranormal and unexplained phenomenas. Through its nine year run, the series featured a host of guest stars including Tony Shalhoub, Jesse Ventura, Alex Trebek, Lili Taylor, Michael McKean, Ed Asner, Lily Tomlin, Kathy Griffin, and Richard Belzer, to name a few.

I think though, my favorite characters were the Lone Gunman, the 3 conspiracy theorists that put a little comedic relief in the sometimes deep subject matter. They always reminded me of court jesters but at the same time they would provide a little Deus ex Machina for solving some of the show's mysteries.

This show brought us some great characters and created some great plots. The series even spawned a theatrical release that left more questions unanswered. The movie is on disc 60.

Relive FBI Agent Fox Mulder’s (Duchovny) desperate search for the truth after witnessing the alien abduction of his sister when he was a young boy. Follow Agent Dana Scully (Anderson) as she and Mulder encounter growing proof of the existence of extraterrestrials and an undeniable government conspiracy to cover up that truth. Then join Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) as they too become believers while delving deeper into the unsolved FBI cases that are known as “The X-Files.”

Here's a classic video of the cigarette smoking man.

This video shows why this show worked so well with a great scene with Scully & Mulder

The extras on the DVD seem like a treasure trove of stuff fanboys' (and fangirls) dreams are made of. Each DVD has a DVD rom game and lots of video behind the scenes and deleted scenes.

From the Fox Press release:

Definitive Collection Leaves Nothing To Be Skeptical About
With All Nine Seasons, Theatrical Film And Over Nine Hours Of Bonus Materials Packaged Together For The First Time In One Ultimate Fan DVD Collection CENTURY CITY, Calif. – The time has come for all truths to be known and fans to believe once again as Fox Home Entertainment exposes the complete world of “The X-Files” with the remarkable 61-disc DVD collection “THE X-FILES”–THE COMPLETE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, landing November 6th as one of this year’s must-have ultimate giftset collections. Packaged in an exclusive limited edition mega-boxset featuring several collector items including Season One comic book, classic art cards, theatrical poster and more, “THE X-FILES”–THE COMPLETE COLLECTOR’S EDITION is highlighted by all 201 episodes from the long-running series with hours of bonus features along with the 1998 feature film The X-Files: Fight The Future, plus an all-new bonus disc comprised of insider extras and featurettes that examined the complex web of alien and government conspiracies within the story arc from all four volumes of the popular The X-Files Mythology DVD collections. “THE X-FILES”–THE COMPLETE COLLECTOR’S EDITION will be available for the suggested retail price of $329.98 U.S. / $419.98 Canada.

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posted by Gil T. @ 10:05 PM Comments: 0

Monday, November 12, 2007

"VALIS" By Philip K. Dick

This is the first of PKD's three final novels (the others are "Divine Invasion" and "The Transmigration of Timothy Archer," and yes now you know the next three PKD books I'll be reading). I think these fall not only into the science fiction category, but could also fall easily into the Philosphy realm. "Valis" takes place in our world and may even be semi-autobiographical. There are many sections In which PKD refers to other books he's read. The book is written in both first and third person. In first person the narrator refers to himself as Philip the sci-fi writer and refers back to some of his books. When the narrator shifts to third person he refers to the character Horselover Fat. It is revealed that Horselover Fat is actually part of PKD's schizophrenic split personality and all his friends treat them as 2 different people and hope for him to be cured eventually. Another semi-autobiographical aspect is in the name Horselover Fat. "Horselover" is English for the Greek word philippos (Φίλιππος), meaning "lover of horses" (from philo "brotherly or comradely love" and hippos "horse"); "Fat" is English for the German word "dick".

This book is a group of friends' search for God, who turns out to be a virus, a joke, and a mental hologram transmitted from an orbiting satellite. The friends are very rememinscent of the friends in the book "A Scanner Darkly," especially in their very humourous dialogues about God. The proponent of the novel, Horselover Fat, is thrust into a theological quest when he receives communion in a burst of pink laser light. From the cancer ward of a bay area hospital to the ranch of a fraudulent charismatic religious figure who turns out to have a direct com link with God, Dick leads us down the twisted paths of Gnostic belief, mixed with his own bizarre and compelling philosophy. Truly an eye opening look at the nature of consciousness and divinity.

The group of friends explore the revelatory visions of one Horselover Fat; a semi-autobiographical dialogue of PKD. The groups research leads to a rock musician's estate where they confront the Messiah: a two-year old named Sophia. She confirms their suspicions that an ancient, mechanical intelligence orbiting the earth has been guiding their discoveries.

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:20 PM Comments: 0

Thursday, November 08, 2007


If you click around on my player above, you'll find their song Sni Bong...give it a listen as you read this.

Dengue Fever is in the vanguard of an emerging global pop sensibility, making music that’s both familiar, yet eerily unique. Fronted by Cambodian pop star Ch’hom Nimol, who sings in Khmer, the Los Angeles sextet blends the rhythms of ‘60s Cambodian pop - heavily influenced by American surf, rock and early psychedelic garage bands - with their own eclectic mix of American and international styles.

Unlike the world music bands of the late 80s, Dengue Fever is more concerned with a universal groove and breaking down musical barriers than with notions of authenticity. There are echoes of Bollywood soundtracks, Ethiopian soul, American R&B, Cambodian folk, Spaghetti Western weirdness and girl group angst in the mix, but the resulting concoction is all their own.

Dengue Fever is lead by Cambodian songstress Ch’hom Nimol, Zac Holtzman (guitar/vocals), Ethan Holtzman (Farfisa), Senon Williams (bass), Paul Smith (drums) and David Ralicke (sax). The band’s music has been featured in a number of film and television shows including CITY OF GHOSTS, MUST LOVE DOGS, BROKEN FLOWERS and twice on the hit Showtime’s hit series, WEEDS. They are based in Los Angeles, California.


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posted by Gil T. @ 3:34 AM Comments: 0

"Drawn To Life" for Nintendo DS video game review

Have you ever been playing a video game and thought, "I could create a better hero than that."? Or have you ever just been playing around with your computer's paint program and thought, "Wow, this drawing thing is fun."? Well now Nintendo has made things easy for you to create your own character. Not only that but you can draw vehicles, tools and weapons to go with your character.

"Drawn to Life" is the new game built for the dual screen Nintendo DS that allows you to draw on one screen the character needed to fight the battles int he other screen. Now with my artistic abilities I started out just battling stick figures. (Which is actually pretty darn amusing.) But I found out it was pretty easy to get more detail into character and actually create some fun stuff.

If you are looking for a fun gift for your child (or the child at heart), this one has got to be it. If they don't have a Nintendo DS, get one and make sure you get this game.

It is loads of fun and really is only limited by your imagination. Great for the kid who likes to draw, but still simple enough to use if they don't. Could be a nice skill building tool.

Here's a video that demonstrates some of the finer points:

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posted by Gil T. @ 2:37 AM Comments: 0

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Princess Bride DVD Review

I remember "The Princess Bride" way back when it was in the theaters. At the time I wanted to see the film only because Billy Crystal was in it. Yeah, that was 1987 and Billy Crystal was big, and I was a fan. But after watching that movie I forgot he was in it and just enjoyed one of the funniest family films ever made.

They simply don't make movies like this anymore. This movie was great for the whole family, in fact it was great for a young bachelor that was serving in the U.S. Navy.

My favorite part of the whole film was the character Inigo Montoya played by Mandy Patinkin. One of the many subplots in this film is his seeking the 6 fingered man that killed his father. "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." He would say this just before fighting someone he thought was the killer. The best part is when he actually found the man responsible. Here is a youtube video of Inigo's moments. Warning if for some reason you haven't seen the film, this video contains a spoiler.

Okay the movie is told by a grandfather (Peter Falk [Columbo])to his grandson (Fred Savage[The Wonder Years]). The grandson is home ill, and the grandfather has come to read him a story. The plot of the movie is the enactment of the story as it is being read, which is sometimes interrupted by comments by the grandson and grandfather. This resembles the original book, wherein the author presents a fictionalization of his own darkly comic or lightly tragic relationships with the book, his father, and his wife. So as you see it is a story within a story.

The fairy tale being told is that of a beautiful woman called Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a farm in the fictional country of Florin. She delights in verbally abusing the farm hand boy Westley (Cary Elwes) by demanding that he perform chores for her. Westley's only answer is "As you wish," which represents his great affection for her. After Buttercup realizes the true meaning of the words, as well as the fact that she returns his love, Westley leaves to seek his fortune so they can marry. He promises to return, but Buttercup later receives word that his ship was attacked at sea by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who is notorious for taking no prisoners. Five years later, believing Westley to be dead, Buttercup becomes reluctantly engaged to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), heir to the throne of Florin.

Westly then goes on an adventure to rescue Buttercup from the Prince. During this mission/adventure he runs into many characters that help or hinder or even at times both. Billy Crystal and Carol Kane play a magical married couple (old wizard and wife). The scenes with them are laugh out loud hilarious. Other stars in the movie are the wrestler Andre the Giant, Christopher Guest and many more great actors/characters.

With advertising taglines like
  • Scaling the Cliffs of Insanity, Battling Rodents of Unusual Size, Facing torture in the Pit of Despair. - True love has never been a snap.

  • It's as real as the feelings you feel.

  • Heroes. Giants. Villains. Wizards. True Love. - Not just your basic, average, everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairy tale.

  • Heroes, giants, villains, wizards, true love.

  • She gets kidnapped. He gets killed. But it all ends up okay.
You know it's gotta be good, right?

So sit down with the family and enjoy a laugh for all.

The movie is to be released in a special 20th anniversary edition. (Has it really been that long?!?). The DVD features such bonuses as

  • NEW True Love and High Adventure: The Official Princess Bride DVD Video Game

  • NEW Princess Bride: The Untold Tales Featurette

  • NEW The Art of Fencing Featurette

  • NEW Fairytales and Folklore Featurette

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posted by Gil T. @ 2:31 PM Comments: 0

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Book Review: "Ubik" by Philip K. Dick

"Ubik" was originally published in 1969 and is filled with all sorts of psychedelic feelings and storytelling as was prevalent with that time. This story has some time travel, regression, de-evolution and twists and turns in the plot that what you may think the story's outcome will be may not even happen, or is it that it already happened?

The novel takes place in the North American Confederation in an alternate version of 1992, technology has advanced to the extent of permitting civilians to reach the Moon and psi phenomena are widely accepted as real. The protagonist is Joe Chip, a debt-ridden technician for Glen Runciter's "prudence organization," which employs people with the ability to block certain psychic powers (as in the case of an anti-telepath, who can prevent a telepath from reading a client's mind) to enforce privacy by request. Runciter runs the company with the assistance of his deceased wife Ella, who is kept in a state of "half-life," a form of cryonic suspension that gives the deceased person limited consciousness and communication ability.

The company’s main adversary is Ray Hollis, who leads an organization of psychics. When business magnate Stanton Mick hires Runciter’s company to secure his Lunar facilities from telepaths, Runciter assembles a dozen agents for this task. The group includes Pat Conley, a mysterious young woman who has an unprecedented parapsychological ability to undo events by changing the past.

Then the time hopping begins. Stanton Mick is a ruse to lure Runciter and his company to the moon for assassination. A humanoid robot explodes amidst the anti-telepaths and Runciter apparently killing Runciter. Joe Chip immediately takes action to get Runciter's body to Zurich so he can be put in half-life so he can still run the company, at least mentally. But as they return to Earth the team notices things are de-evolving. Money is changing to either be out of date or some have a futuristic feel to them with Runciter's profile on the money. Cigarettes are stale and Milk is going sour around the team.

It turns out that Runciter is too far gone to put into half-life and dies. The team heads back to New York to put the business back together and to figure out what happened. Joe Chip stays behind in a hotel room provided by the half-life company and during the night one of the team members dies. When found the next morning it appears as if she's been dead for hundreds of years, mummified. Joe goes to New York and starts his own devolving, elevators turn to the old fashioned elevators with iron cages and operators. Cars regress back to Model Ts and the newspapers show that he has gone back to 1939.

But who is responsible? Better yet, is this really happening? At some points it seems as if the team died and only Runciter survived. But this story is filled with so many twists that the ending will shock you.

Look at it this way, mix a little "Matrix," "Bladerunner," "Alice through the looking glass" and some "Twilight Zone" and you may have a hint as to what's in store for your reading experience in this book. One of the fun aspects of this book is that at the beginning of each chapter is an ad for a different product all with the name "UBIK." As it turns in the story Ubik is what keeps reality from straying away, but the ads make it out to be everything from toothpaste to appliances.

So keep lots of herbal tea handy and enjoy this romp through time, space and mind.

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posted by Gil T. @ 1:33 PM Comments: 0

Smackdown vs. RAW video game

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posted by Gil T. @ 1:29 AM Comments: 0

Friday, November 02, 2007

Book Review: "The Father of Hollywood: The True Story" by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

Pretty much today when we think of Hollywood we think of scandal, egos, and wealth. How did it get that way? Was it always that way? Where did it come from? While this book doesn't answer these questions it does give you an insight as to where Hollywood came from, and in an indirect way may provide some hints for the other questions.

Gaelyn Whitley Keith, the great-granddaughter of H.J. Whitley (the Father of Hollywood) has put together a book chronicling the discovery, development and creation of Hollywood through the life of Her great-grandfather as told by his wife (her great-grandmother) "Gigi". The stories are gathered through Gigi's many writings.

H.J.'s story is an extremely interesting one in that he was not only in the right place at the right time but he had the intelligence, foresightedness, and human understanding to create from few hills in Southern California into what has become the movie star capitol of the world, Hollywood. In this book the reader is transported through U.S. post-civil war rebuilding, in which Whitley makes his name, through the land rush of Oklahoma and on into creating a beautiful California countryside into the movie capitol of the world.. He develops many cities towns in his lifetime (over 140) but none as grand or troublesome as Hollywood.

This book also offers some great trivia type moments that are fun, such as, where the name Hollywood comes from. The origin of the name is quite humorous, but I'll let you find that, I wouldn't want to ruin the moment.

The evolution of Hollywood and H. J. Whitley is told through his wife Gigi. Gigi, a self admitted spoiled rich brat, falls in love with H.J. and tells his story, their story together and the story of Hollywood. There are many times that I found it hard to understand why they did things as they did but realized it was in the family upbringing and experiences of their different lives mixing together. H.J. in today's terms would be a workaholic, taking no time out for family and realizing what he missed only after it's too late. Gigi being young when she married could not be close to her children and as a result they developed problems of their own. But the family did seem in a dysfunctional way seem to hold on to one another when times called for it.

This book was a roller coaster of emotions and events, and when told through Gigi provides that turn of the century upper class woman's view of how the U.S. was developed.

For more information you can check out the website at

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:06 PM Comments: 1

The final season of Veronica Mars on DVD, or is it???

Whether or not you watched Veronica Mars while it was on television, you should know that this was one series that was full of surprises and mystery.

One of the many surprises lies in the fact that this was actually a very smart and engaging series.

Veronica Mars is set in the wealthy seaside community of Neptune , CA , where the rich and powerful make the rules. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), a smart, fearless young apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries.

The series all started with a premise not unlike a Nancy Drew mystery. Except this series is of course modern, sometimes dark, and sprinkled with the wit and sarcasm of today. Veronica's dad is a county sheriff and her best friend, Lilly is murdered. Her dad accuses Lilly's billionaire father of the murder and loses his job as sheriff. He then opens a detective agency, "Mars Investigations," where Veronica works part time and learns some sleuthing skills. And that's just to get the first season started.

Throughout the first season she is trying to uncover Lilly's murderer and solving small cases along the way. She does this with the help of some high school nerds and a biker gang.

Season two brings in more mysteries to solve including a murder and a bus crash mystery.

But in season three, Veronica goes to college. In season three, hoping to leave the ghosts of Neptune High behind her, Veronica is now a freshman at Hearst College , along with her boyfriend, Logan Echolls, and best friends, Wallace Fennel and Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie. But despite the students' efforts to soak up the college experience in their own way, it quickly becomes obvious that some ghosts are here to stay. This is the season which really ripened for me. There are 3 main mysteries; Veronica attempts to identify the Hearst College rapist, a murder, and well..I'll leave the best one for you.

Add the increasingly dangerous private investigator business ran by Veronica's father, Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni), to her spreading reputation around campus as a girl who can fix the unfixable and it becomes clear that Hearst College has never encountered a student like Veronica Mars before. Building on its trademark twists and turns but featuring a new campus, new faces and new surprises, Veronica Mars promises to keep old and new fans alike guessing in its third season.

Here's a youtube video promoting season 3, I think this clip really shows some of the wit in the series:

It seems just when a series gets really good and rolling, the networks cancel. But we have the DVD's. Season 3 has just been released on DVD and you can check it out here. Veronica Mars on DVD

One thing to check out if you get a chance to watch the season 3 dvd is there's an bonus feature of n in-depth interview w/ Creator Rob Thomas discussing a new direction for the series presented to network executives that picks up years later, with Veronica as a rookie FBI agent.

So Veronica could be back.

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posted by Gil T. @ 2:38 AM Comments: 0