Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Breakup of the United States in 2010?

Some folks may have heard about this Russian professor Igor Panarin who is predicting the eventual breakup of the United States of America due to economic pressures, etc. I won't restate what is covered in the Wall Street Journal article (here is the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html . The image is re-posted without WSJ permission, but is fully credited to them.

It makes for a very interesting reading. The way his map looks, it looks like most of Dixie will indeed rise again in a new Texas Confederacy??? Being born and raised in Texas, I have always thought that if ever a time comes around for Texas to be its own country again, it will take place in the 21st century. The ways and means of how this takes place is always due to the citizens of Texas being put into position of protecting what it truely means to be an American. Of maintaing the concept of responsibity, or protecting the very concepts of free market enterprise and liberty. This sudden turn towards socialism and a command driven economy scares me. And the next decade will be a tough one.
I am also wondering if we will truely be able to stick together long enough to get back to the moon and eventually to Mars.

UPDATE (March 04, 2009):  Hes at it again, Igor Panarin.  China and Russia will pick up the reins of power once the good ole USA has bitten the dust, etc, etc, etc.  Heres the latest news link for your review ( http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D96N3GCG0&show_article=1 ).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

United Planets Cruiser C-57D Found!

A "lost" artifact from Hollywood's past for the past 38 years has finally resurfaced and it went straight to the aunction block.

On December 11, 2008, this iconic flying saucer from the 1956 MGM classic film"Forbidden Planet" will be aunctioned off in Calabasas Hills and is expected to get anywhere from between $80,000 to $120,000 for its North Carolina owner who had the prop stored in his garage and didn't realize its true market value.

The flying saucer is 82 inches in diameter and constructed of wood, steel, and fiberglass. The central landing base extends from the bottom of the craft by internal movement mechanisms with electric motor drive, as does the ladder and two conveyor-loading ramps that serve as the stablizer legs. It was the chief prop used to create the movie 'Forbidden Planet." The saucer was the United Planets Cruiser C-57D. The movie starred Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, and Jack Kelly. The film made a major sci-fi impression on the mid-century pop culture and was a major inspiration for Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek), and it was paid homage by filmmaker George Lucas, who borrowed a line of its dialogue for his "Star Wars" movie.

The saucer ended up being a MGM prop for many "The Twilight Zone" episodes including the famous "To Serve Man" episode. Then in 1970, it was sold off at a studio auction, but there was no record of who bought it.

I also posted this on my other blog (http://aerospacedreams.blogspot.com/ ).

from the LA Times December 8, 2008. Article by Geoff Boucher entitled: "The lost saucer of 'Forbidden Planet' reappears". Here is the weblink( http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/12/the-lost-saucer.html ).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Major Matt Mason - What Space Adventure Should Have Been Like

I make no bones about how old I am getting. I'm 49 years old. As I close in on the half century mark, one tends to think back to one's youth.

Here lately, I've been thinking about that old Buck Rogers In the 25th Century tv show with Gil Gerard and even odder - of another toy line that Mattel put out back in the good old 1960s at the height of the Space Race: Major Matt Mason!

I've added a link to a webblog on Major Matt Mason to my links list so check it out. If one is into Stargate SG-1 trivia, Colonel Carter as a young girl played with Major Matt Mason instead of Barbie.
Check out the image I found on the web. Its the cover to a toy catalog that Mattel put out for the Major Matt Mason line. You see the good Major in his white spacesuit on his space sled flying past you in the foreground. In the background you can see the space crawler and the amazing two to three foot tall space station playset. That was the most amazing toy of the entire line was that space station. You can find YouTube videos of the old tv commercials that Mattel put out. The figure had a internal wire armature that was easly broken after years (or sometimes, just months of hard play).
Taking a quick looks see thru the different MMM website tonight, Mattel is taking back its creation from some people who got ahold of the creative license to Major Matt Mason when Mattel wasn't paying attention to such details. A part of me hopes that Mattel will re-launch the Major Matt Mason figure line using better technology (no more internal wires to break, hint, hint). With our slow pace return back to the moon with the Constellation/Aries Project - and the (Not) Space Race with a emerging China and India; the need for a new Major Matt Mason to inspire a new generation of American children to become scientists is sorely needed.
Which in a way brings us full circle back to Buck Rogers. No cash for the space program - no Buck Rogers (to borrow that line from the movie "The Right Stuff." ) But I am hearing that it might be reivived as a movie project for release in 2010 or 2011. On a personal note, I hope that this new Buck Rogers is treated the same way that the new Battlestar Galactica was done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sideshow Collectible's Indiana Jones-a review

Back on October 5, 2008, I posted to my blog my impressions of the Hasbro Indiana Jones action figure line (the 12 inch tall variety). I now have a Sideshow Collectibles Indiana Jones action figure and for almost ninety bucks when you figure in the sales tax – it is impressive. My local Hastings happened to have two of them in stock this past weekend when I first found out that they would be available in local stores after all. You thought I was going to make some snide remark about buying such a expensive piece of plastic.

Sorry, not this time. I have been waiting ALL Freakin' Year to be able to get this damn thing! Just look at some of the previous posts to this blog in the past month or two to know the hardship that I am going through right now in my life. This early birthday/Christmas present has accomplished mission goal number one – to improve my morale and make me feel better than I have in the past, well specifically in the last 6 weeks have been very trying. But in general, for all of 2008.

OK, with that in mind, lets take a closer look at this action figure. This is what is included in the fold out box set that is common to Sideshow Collectibles product line.

Two interchangeable heads, one sans fedora. Two sets of both gloved and un-gloved hands. Spare Fedora with a inner liner. Shirt, pants, shoes, and Faux leather jacket. A revolver and a high power pistol. Belt with pistol holster, coiled and uncoiled bull whips. Satchel, a certain golden idol, and a bag of sand to replace it with on the alter.

A Gathering of Tomb Raiders.

What can one say about Tomb Raider(s).

Angelina Jolie is sexy hot! And when the first Tomb Raider movie came out, there were the usual toys that went along with the release. There were two different Angelina Jolie/Lara Croft action figures (in name only. In fact, they were semi-movable statues that they managed to stick into clothing). Not being happy with what they dumped out on the market, I cannibalized my Angelina Jolie action figure and bought a BBI Cy-Girls Perfect Body figure to customize. I popped the head off and it fits the BBI figure, but real loose. The Pony tail had to be cut off and using a ROBART hinge, managed to get the pony tail to work with the head on the new body. Its not the best, but since this was my first customizing effort, I was pleased with the result. Then off into the glass case to look at.

Fast forward and now there is a line of Stargate SG-1 action figures that are coming out. (You can read those postings in the archives). I dug up my Daniel Jackson figure from out of storage along with my Angelina Jolie/Lara Croft.

And now I have the Sideshow Collectibles Indiana Jones action figure. Hummmmmmmmm. A photo of three famous Tomb Raiders is called for now.

A Meeting of Indys - Photo

Hasbro version on the left, Sideshow Collectible on the right. And a certain book as a backdrop.

OK, Hasbro Indy with the fedora glued to the head and the Sideshow Collectibles Indiana Jones with the fedora molded to the head as well. At least with the Sideshow version, you get an extra head minus the fedora. You get the other fedora which, get this now; has a silk lining on the inside of it! Plus you get extra hands with or without gloves.

The Hasbro version has a work lever action so that Indy and use his whip. Clothing pre-stained to give that 'In the middle of an adventure look.” Figure on the right is for collectors, figure on the left is first and foremost, to be played with by kids. Thus, it is much cheaper than the one of the right.

2008 Was A Rotten Year For a lot of US. New Digs for 2009.

I turned 49 years old on December 10, 2008. Took the day off from work to relax as best as I could considering that I am now living in a neighbor's single-wide trailer and not in the double-wide that has been my home for the past 12 years. Any shelter in a storm I guess. But still, what you thought was your own is no more and you are now more at the mercies of others than what one really is comfortable with (at least thats the way I feel about it).

In an earlier post, I talked about how they took it (my home) two days before Thanksgiving. In the time since, I sold off all my radio-control model airplanes and equipment to come up with enough scratch (as my Dad used to call money when trying to buy something important), to purchase a old Recreational Vehicle (i.e. an RV). What I got was a 1973 Apollo Neptune RV that is about 28 feet in length. No leaks in the roof, it is in need of major cleaning. And once some repairs have been completed – this thing is going to be my new home for the next year or two (Geez, I can only hope that it isn't any longer than that!).

And if I can get this thing inspection worthy and ready to tackle the open highways again, I might be able to journey to another city and maybe go to a different university and earn a second degree. But for the remainder of 2008 – that is more or less a pipe dream. I am glad that in my situation, the house and land were two separate mortgages. And I was able to still hold onto the land.

By the way, removing a house from someone's property is a messy job. How do I know? Because I have to clean the mess up now and get things setup to reposition my Apollo Neptune into position where once stood my double-wide house. New hookups to the septic tank. New water line and electric have to be rigged up. And just the trash of broken bricks, insulation, cardboard, side skirt panelling, etc.

Why bother to post such information on a blog? I can give a flippant answer to that question but on the other hand, if somebody happens to come across this article, who knows – maybe it will be helpful to them somehow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dragonlance Action Figures Coming!

The world of Dragonlance was created by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis back in the early 1980s for (then) TSR's popular role-playing game known as Dungeons & Dragons. Sword and sorcery epic storyline that was both a series of novels as well as game modules was a huge succession. Rumors of a live action movie in the works, feature-length animated movie. There have also been video games based in that fantastic world. The only thing missing is now about to be corrected – A line of action figures and toys. The proposed figure line would be basically 1/18th scale (similar to the G.I. Joe line from Hasbro). Each figure would be on a display card.

(Ref. Comes from article by Scott Rubin posted at http://www.figures.com/databases/action.cgi?setup_file=fignews2.setup&category=actionfigures&topic=110&show_article=38&nl=1 )