Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What I like BEST about the old LaserDisc. Remember them?

                  Ok, I know it's a DVD, Blu-Ray, Netflex, Digital Down Loading world out there.  Don't for a moment get me wrong, I love the picture quality that a Digital Flat panel provides me when I'm watching a HD broadcast or when I've fired up my LG Blu-ray player and it's either spinning a disc    ( The Remastered 4K transfer of "The Wizard of Oz on Blu-ray - WOW! )            or Streaming some Netflex HD content from over the net.

        I mean, like Holy Cow! Right? Seriously. Streaming 720p over the net without a computer? I mean, HD video without a disc in the player! 

        Who would have dared dreamed of that 16 years ago when the 1st Big Screen CRT rear projection HDTV's from Hitachi first hit the market ?

But hold on.
 Wait a minute.
 Where does the old Laserdisc fit into this?

  Well, they don't, right?
 Come on, lets face it,
 they are a throwback to the pre-digital era gone by, 
  left behind by current technology. Right?
 I mean a mere 400 lines of analog resolution !
 Who cares, right? 
They (sometimes) can look horrific
 on these new 1080p LCD displays,
 so why keep them?
 Throw them away, and leave then behind already. 
 Heck, LD's are barely a step above that old analog
 video recording system call VHS, so what's the big deal?
 Get over it. The industry is Moving on....Next.
Now, just hold on there. Wait a minute.
  Wait a minute....

 Not so fast there young whipper-snapper, not so fast.
 So, please tell me,  why is it , that,  to this day,
 I still find that I both want and desire them?
 I mean, I not only do I like them, but I actual like some of them
 more than their DVD and Blu-ray HD counterparts,
 even though the analog picture most certainly doesn't stand up 
on modern day HDTV's. ( Upscaling not included. ) 
 Why? - you ask. 

 Well, I was reading a response that some young adult posted
 in regard to a picture that someone else had posted of their CD, record and old reel to reel tape collection over on  Audioholics Facebook Page

In which he said: 

      “It's interesting how the notion of your own collection changes when you have it stored on an external hard drive. You tend to forget about the CD/DVD/LP object, as your relationship with it is through your screen; reading the scanned booklets, loading tracks to your player, ripping CDs, converting WAV to FLAC, etc.

      The real change happens when you start purchasing online.

      The entire chain of buying an the product at the store, carrying it home, opening it up and reading the booklet, while playing it on your DVD/ CD player or turntable, and then finding it a place among your personal indexing system, is now -          Forever Broken.
                   With just a couple of mouse clicks, now you can, without converting, embedding cover images, or even writing out track names when CD's have no tags, etc. Now you can simply drag and drop the file into the rest of your collection -                where it finds it's own alphabetical order, while you sit down   and read a book, either on your phone or tablet,                                       and sip your drink.
                     After a while, you're no longer grabbing DVD's or CDs or LPs to play.  You become accustomed to your collection on a screen and the DVD/CD player and the turntable have started collecting dust. Suddenly all you want is a DAC that will do everything, and you end up getting a Macmini - that exceeds the energy star requirements several times - to avoid plugging in your laptop and putting it on top of the CD player every time you want to jam.
                 Since the Macmini has now turned you into a believing minimalist,   you buy a super accurate pair of active studio monitors with DSP crossovers      in order to get the old Pre-Amps and Power Amps out of the way and to make room for your new HD 3D 42" ( or larger) 1080p  LED TV. And bang!      --                Without noticing it much, you've gone from HiFi to computer.
                 Now you can even start to brag about doing your part to contribution to helping to stop catastrophic climate change, and how small  your footprint has become- in both plastic and electronic components, not to mention the electric bill. 

Now you can finally enjoy the full size of your living room, as your collection will never grow beyond the size of your external drive, and you can comfortably select your track or movie from the remote App on your tablet without letting your Latte getting cold.

Welcome to the future.”

thought about this for a while and I've come to this conclusion:
 All the things that I like BEST about Laserdisc, 
are NOT digitized.
 Well, ok, shit-  truth be told , they can be,
 simply by using my scanner to digitally transfer the pics
 and store them on my computer's hard drive.
 ( which IS what I did )
 Oh sure,
 I can do a frame capture and share it with the world,
 But that's not it.
              NO,  what I like BEST about the Laserdisc is 
 the Gatefold jackets  and the artwork and letter's
 from the producer's and director's that came with them.
 I mean, just look at some this................................

     Now, another feature of the LaserDisc format  I like, just like a CD, is that “instant play” feature. I don't even have to turn on the monitor. Since I have a large collection of music on Laser, I just insert the giant shiny disc, and a couple of seconds later, sound erupts from my old school 3-way JBL monitors. No ads that Disney forces me to have to endure; no menus to deal with, no set up process is needed. No internet to verify if my copy is legal. No need to tell the government or an ad agency what I'm watching.
 No, not at all.  
             The disc just starts playing.
      It's like that moment when the needle 1st make contact with a record. Bliss. Another feature that seems to be going away with today's Blu-ray DVD discs, is the chapter listings in the paperwork. In some cases, like with the disc you will find in the Wal-mart / Dollar General $4 – 5 dollar bin, for example, all you get is the disc. Period! No booklet, or additional information comes with it. ( Yeah, I know, what can you expect for less than $5 bucks, right?)

Some of today's younger disc buyer's simply have never known or experienced the joy of opening a disc box that not only included some great color production photos, but also the chapter listings, some back ground info, and may included both a booklet and a letter from the director of the film included. ( like w/the Terminator Laserdisc box-set.)

Let's NOT even get started on the Star Wars Laserdisc Box sets, ok? 

Sure, they use to from time to time come out with some nice collector's DVD stuff , back when when these disc were retailing for $30 bucks for a new release of a Two-Disc “Special Director's Edition” of a film, this 2008 release of "Bonnie & Clyde" comes to mind ,  
  or even the 4 disc collector's set of Pearl Harbor.  However I'm not seeing these type of movie boxsets being produced anymore. Keep in mind I'm not discussing TV series box-sets here . Now it's the $5 – 12 dollar three to 4 pack of movies on DVD that are being offered, like with the Superman, Alien, and Arnold movies box sets, with all that extra stuff being left out in order to move a shit ton of back logged manufactured disc out of the vender's warehouses before it becomes out dated by the ever spiraling downward cost of the even more popular Blu-ray version, before the 4K Ultra HD BR Disc's debut in 2015 .

Now all the “extra's” are coming by way of the “BD Live” - internet streaming feature. Even Blu-ray Skynet Edition of T2 didn't have a “book” with it like what had come before with  both The Artisan Extreme  & Ultimate Edition DVDs.
Booklet insert T2 DVD

Much like Vinyl, you can frame Laservideo Disc covers and display them on the wall. If you hang a couple of them close enough together, they can be displayed like mini movie posters.
 Since I started working in the projection booth
 @ my local Carmike Movie theatre during the late 80's,
 I've really liked this.

That's why I own some of the disc in my collection.

those are the movies I have fond memories of,
 the ones that we showed while I was working in all those different movie houses, from that little Carmike three – screen hole in the wall named The Astro III ( which really wasn't a real “job”
 It was more like - party central) in a college town, to the Big AMC 10, 12, and 18 multi-plexes. From General Cinema to Fox to all the independents, once I had become certified to operate all the different gear, I then ran hundreds of films at dozens of locations.

Those frame disc jackets remind me of some great times I had screening those movies with some great friends on all those late Thursday nights.

One more thought, if I may ?

 Ever give a Laserdisc as a gift ?        

 I've received some of the best reactions from friends when I handed them their favorite film on a Laserdisc - even if they don't have a player ! They are just blown away ( Ever just given away A Star Trek Laserdisc @ a Trek Convention?)by a Laserdisc Box set that you know they have never seen before,and it's not in the store and they know they will never see it available for sale to the public again. Trust me - Laserdisc may be dead, but to this day - they STILL make the best gifts ! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

My thought's and responses to Roddenberry's Mission Log Podcast:

So, I have a question. IN the Original Trek series episode "Amok Time"-  Why don't "we" meet Spock's parent's in this episode ( as opposed to later, in "Journey to Babel"), where he goes "home" for his ""wedding", where he is not only well-known but he states that his family has "owned the land here for over 2000 "Earth-years" right, and the high priest shows up, and yet, no parents @ the prearranged wedding?

If Vulcan weddings are prearranged from when a Vulcan male is 7 years old, how is it then that Spock's Dad skipped this and ended up with Amanda? Did he get rejected in the past by another Vulcan women as well?

Maybe? JUst maybe this was one of Trek's way of saying something about how truly stupid our TV censorship rules were @ that time,, where in @ this time Trek Actress Mariette Hartley, and Mary Ann from "Gilligan's Island," Jeannie from "I Dream of Jeannie," and "Gidget" are all barred from baring their navels on the TV screen, however it was perfectly "ok" to show two men using hand held weapons in a battle to the death. Today it's even worse because it's perfectly ok to show realistic gun violence,( hell how many people can been seen getting shot in the head in and on primetime today?) but Lord forbid if a female performer has a Epic wardrobe failure and they show some cleavage!!! Please. Just Imagine if Mr. "Spock" had been Mrs. "Spockette", and it was the female Vulcan's who went "into heat" and had 2 have "it" every 7 years? They would have never gotten any talk of "sex" past the censors in those days. Ironically enough, Trek was produced by Desilu, and back when Lucy Ball was pregnancy for and during an entire season of the "I Love Lucy," show, the actual word "pregnant" was not allowed because it could not be used on air. Instead, the show uses phrases that seem equally informative but (somehow) less fraught with sin, such as "with child," "having a baby," and "expecting." I don't know, maybe I'm wrong here, but it was just a thought I wanted to share, and isn't that what Mission Log is all about?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


      "I  believe that time is a companion that goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Captain Picard.

Well, it's about time. About time for an event, one designed by our old friend Steven Hill for us "Space Traveler's", over @ Hearts of Space, in order to celebrate their  40TH ANNIVERSARY !
By producing their 1st ever live concert.

 Episode 76 of Star Trek: TNG Copyright 1990 Paramount Pictures

Friday, February 8, 2013

I hate 2 admit it, but the greatest Blog site of all time is NOT mine.

A Real Retro McCoy Poster 
Ok, so there. I said it. Not that I'm hanging my head in shame, I've tried to produce a good read, but OMG I love art, (always have) and I just love this guy's Blog. I mean like it's 4 Stars, 2 thumbs up, and all that plus a bag of chips. I'm telling you, dress in drag and go go Mountain Dew the hula.  It may well be one of the greatest Blogs covering different 'geek related pop culture" Artwork ever produced to date: I just can't get over the collection of great stuff that he's gathered together all in one place. I've spend days here because it's just so easy to get lost in all of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have;  so here is both my wholehearted endorsement and the link:



 Now, I'd say, try not to get lost, or dare you not to     get lost, but really, go get lost. It's a futile attempt not to.However, even though I know u don't have 2 have it, or even need it, you most certainly have my permission.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Their Cages: Captain Pike & the Prisoner

 Today, older  fan's of the Original Star Trek Series by now knows what plot elements from Trek's pilot episode "The Cage"  had in common with  the film  "Forbidden Planet", including the fact that the planet  which  Captain Pike was held Prisoner on (Talos IV )  was also  the only "Forbidden Planet" for Starships to travel to in Federation space. 
Anyone  remember The General Order?
Do the words "Death Penalty" ring a bell?  
  In this episode, Pike was captured and caged, his every move watched and studied by his "Keeper's", as they tried to control him, by the use of illusion.
  He was, a Prisoner! like Number 6!
That's Six of One, NOT, repeat, NOT Seven of Nine.

Who then is Six?  
Why, Six was "the Prisoner" of course. 

As it so happens, The Prisoner was a 17-episode series ( produced by ITC ) that was first broadcast in the UK on the BBC a year after Trek 1st aired in the States , from 29 September 1967 to 1 February 1968 & follows a former secret agent (    John Drake ?  also played by Patrick McGoohan,)   who is kidnapped and held prisoner in a mysterious coastal village resort .
 In "The Village" they do Not use names,
 but instead assign people numbers.
  As a matter of fact, in the episode "The Cage", Captain Pike had an "Number One", who served him, while the Prisoner's Number  6 also had different "Number 2's" , who were his "keeper", and Six was always asking:
 "Who is Number One"?

  Both character's are fairly low-keyed. Both use "their heads" to out smart their "keepers". 


In Fact, it could be ( and has been ) argued that most
 of what happens to these character's takes place
 only in their mind's eye. 

One is trapped "underground", the other was "undercover".  Both refuse to perform or give into their keeper's wishes, even though both their keeper's play "mind games."  

Long before the famous 
"Red pill/Blue pill" scene in "The Matrix", 
where our hero has to either choose to face reality
 or continue to believe the lie of the illusion of his reality, there were these characters -
 Chris Pike and Number Six.

 What might surprise you to learn, is that before there were modern day TV productions that would tackle these issues, there was a English Scientist and politician named Francis Bacon, and way back in 1620, he published  his Novum Organum, which was an plea for objectivity and clear thinking, and in it, he wrote about four different classes of "Idols" ( or "false delusions") which beset men's minds.

Yep . According to Bacon- these delusions are "productions of the human imagination, corrupt and ill-ordered predispositionof mind, which pervert and infect all the anticipations of the intellect."
 For distinction's sake,
 he assigned different names to these Idols,
 calling them the:
1) Idols of  The Tribe ( aka, "group think" mentality),
  2) The Cave (one's own privately held false beliefs), 
  3) The Marketplace - 
 ( or how ad's produced by ad agencies bend or attempt to twist    one's perception of truth)  and finally
 4) The Idols of the Theatre ! 

  Today we could/ and should substitute the word "Movie", as many film's that are "based on a true story" but may not have happened like the way we are lead to believe that they may have really happened - while watching the fake "reproduction" of said "true" event. He further goes on and discusses the idols together with the problem of information gained through the senses, and how deceiving that information can be and remarked that men should renounce the qualities of these Idols. ( I'm not making this stuff up.)

A variety of other techniques are also employed in an attempt to try to extract information from the Prisoner, including hallucinogenic drug experiences, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation,
and various forms of social indoctrination
in an attempt to break Number Six, not only to find out about why he resigned as an agent, but also to extract "information." 

  According to Prisoner fan Vance Socci , another common element between Cage and the Prisoner  is "the hero's rejection of female temptation, which seen as a path to another  kind of imprisonment. The Village makes several attempts to "hook up" the prisoner with feminine delights - the first of which is the blonde maid in "Arrival" ( Episode One)  who offers her services in quite a saucy manner. Pike also rejects his fellow prisoner Vina, who is actually bait for him. Both sets of captors use illusion to try to sway the respective heroes."

 Both Pike and Six operate a post-war atmospheres, 
both of them no longer wanted "the job".
  One "resigns' after he is caged,
 one is "caged" because he resigns.
 How about that? 

the Prisoner, #6.

In the end- both of them "escape", ( or do they?)
only to end up back where they physically started.
Chris Pike on Talos IV, Six in the Village.

    The only difference is that in the end, both of them WANTed to be there, where they were. 
 Both locations switch from Prisons to places of Freedom. Pike "free" of the wheelchair & his body,
and for some reason -
  I can't help but think of William Wallace's  "Freedom" scream at the end of  the film "Braveheart" when it comes to Drake's Number 6 . However Six didn't have to die, he  just had to survive and make it out "alive."
 But is there a Prisoner connection back 2-
 "The Forbidden Planet"?

Why yes, I think "one" could make a claim that both "the Prisoner" and 'Forbidden Planet" do indeed have something in common, & that's with a little concept called, " Responsibility assumption",
 a doctrine that states an individual has substantial or total responsibility for the events and circumstances that befall them in their personal life, to a substantially greater degree than is normally "thought".

     Forbidden Planet  featured an analogous concept to responsibility assumption; in which a race of advanced beings called  "Krell",  through the development  of technology, became able to materialize/project their thoughts into reality, to disastrous ends -
               wiping themselves totally out of existence.

      The Prisoner featured an ambiguous climax spawning several interpretations, one of which implicates "responsibility assumption."
  In the final episode Number 6 apparently succeeded in determining the identity of the mysterious "person" who led the group and thus ultimately determined his own fate.
         The Question that was ALWAYS asked by Six:  

                             "Who is Number One?"
                              Answer:  "You are Number Six." 
                                 And here you thought , 
                                 but "NO man is just A Number." 
                                  Which brings us to ask-   
                                       was Rover just a Monster from the ID? 
Ah - The Monster's we create !

 Maybe, just maybe, like Morbius's character ,
   the Prisoner is more about exploring one internal unconscious feelings   ( fears,  jealousies, prejudices,  hate, power and control illusions/ issues, etc etc) that all of us harbor , and how those very thoughts effect how we react to the world & those around us,       than it is about anything else.

      In a real ironic twist,
 the Prisoner's final episode, "Fall Out", 
 received a HugoAward nomination for
  However that award went to"
 which starred Gary Lockwood,
 known for his role as
  Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell 

 (You know- the guy who was given God like
telepathic and telekinetic powers, transforming him into Dr. Evil )

 in the second Star Trek pilot episode:

 "Where No Man Has Gone Before." 

Be Seeing You. ..


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Star Trek 2 The FORBIDDEN Planet

In 1956, a science fiction movie that made a Robot named Robby a household name, called  The  Forbidden Planet , (which is now considered the Grandfather of today's modern Sci-Fi cinema) was first released on April 1st, and it was no joke. In the film,  the United Planets Cruiser C57-D travels to the planet Altair IV, 16 light-years from Earth, to discover the fate of an expedition sent 20 years earlier.  Sounds a lot like A Star Trek episode, doesn't it?  And that's because it was one of the inspirations for the series. Now I could go on and compare "The Cage", Star Trek's pilot episode to the movie, however I feel that ground has been covered many times before. Besides, I'd rather discuss how and what  the "The Cage" and the BBC series "the Prisoner" have in common with each other.  However, very few people ever really discuss how many times the planet  Altair has been referenced in the world of Star Trek , so I thought I'd take a moment to shed some light on the subject (if you will pardon the pun).
                During the Original series, in the year  2267- an Interplanetary conflict between Altair III and VI ends. The Starship Enterprise ordered to attend inauguration of the new president, but the visit is  postponed when Spock diverted the ship to Vulcan because he was in "Pon farr" in the Episode "Amok Time". Also note, this planet, Altair VI, was mentioned in the audio transmissions of the Kobayashi Maru training simulation sequence in "Wrath of Khan"!
                    Apparently, almost a Century later, Altair III is still a hostile place to be, because it is mentioned in the 1st "Next Gen" Episode pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint", that Will Riker would not his Captain, of the Starship Hood (NCC-42296, which was an Excelsior Class Starship ) to transport to the surface because it was considered to dangerous and high risk.
                    Again, this Episode was written by Gene Roddenberry, and the Hood was also the ship that was transporting Retired Admiral Doctor McCoy (now at the age of 137) to the Enterprise D in the year 2364.
                    Also note, "Altair Water" was a Beverage favored by Spock.
                    Also,  according to it's web site, Altair 4 itself was mentioned in "Star Trek -Deep Space Nine". Here is another thought. I was just amazed by how close the Captain's name of J.J. Adams in "Forbidden Planet" was to the Director of the New Star Trek movie, J.J. Abrams, of Bad Robot productions, who is now going to helm Star Wars Episode VII. And guess what,  the Scientist in "Forbidden Planet" said that there was a "Force" there, and "dark, unseen, invisible Force".  I believe that is what he called it. I could be wrong, it's been some time since I watched the movie. But I was just wondering if maybe, maybe this is where Lucas got the idea for the name "The Force"? in Star Wars.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Guardian Stargate

Ok here is my problem with this, "the greatest of all Trek episodes", "City on the Edge"       Now I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I hate plot devices. I really hate the ones     that don't really work well in reverse. Let me explain. This "Guardian" is a lot like "The  Nexus" is "Trek VII: Generations." Yeah, Talking alien time machine is way cooler, but it   suffers from the same problem that made that movie bad. ? How do our hero's come  home? This "thing" should work like a Transporter platform, or better yet - A Stargate !  Ok, It can transport "us" across the galaxy to another planet @ another time.                ( Assuming that it can create a wormhole and "aim" the "other" "exit end" at that point  in space/time) but there is no Stargate at that other end. So once there, where on  Earth do our hero's go to step back into the "Guardian Stargate" once they fix history.  ???? They should have been stuck there on/in 1930's Earth, because a Stargate just  wasn't there for them to step back into to get back.  Just like once Kirk and Picard   went into the Nexus, how would they get out? They wouldn't be able to do it on their  own just by wishing it. Now, had they been Transported away...................