Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holmes is Public Domain

I just checked to see how Les Klinger's lawsuit was going, and the judge ruled in his favor. Sherlock Holmes and other story material in Doyle's pre-1923 works is in the public domain. Anything that's exclusively in the later stories is still in copyright (in the US) and requires a license to use. All the stories are already in the public domain in other countries.

Hooray! This New York Times article states that the Conan Doyle Estate will appeal the ruling, but for now we have a victory. Thanks to Klinger for being so brave, on behalf of all writers of pastiche and fanfic.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I missed this news earlier in the week, but Alan Turing has been pardoned. Yeah, it's many years overdue, and the article touches on the fact that lots of other men were convicted under the same law and should be pardoned too. But overall I think the pardon is a good thing, and I'm also cheered up by the gay couples getting married in Utah lately. I hope the eventual court ruling goes their way, and that more states make it legal soon.

I'm trying to catch up on news lately but American news is so insular and focused on silly controversies. I have to watch BBC News to get any idea of what's going on in the world. Well it's past Christmas already and I'll try to look forward to the New Year. Got to get some writing done, and then tomorrow I'll finally see the finale episode of Nikita. I hope it's good.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Marvelous Judith Lee

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it today. I hope everyone can be with their family and friends.

This TV season I've enjoyed watching the Miss Fisher Mysteries from Australia; I've tried reading the books but don't like them as much as the show. I found the books to be more action-adventure-oriented, whereas I prefer a cozy mystery. Phryne Fisher is a very interesting character, having been born poor but becoming well-to-do when her father inherited a grand title after WWI, so now she has the money and leisure to devote to being a detective. I find her a refreshing and positive model of women's lib back in the 1930s.

I have read other books as well lately, and I have to rave about Richard Marsh's Judith Lee mysteries. It's two collections of short stories for one great price. I'm 1000 pages into it and still not done yet.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November premieres

I'm so glad Nikita is back. I forgot that the new season started this week, so I'm glad that my DVR remembered for me. It's such a great show, and I'll be sad to see it end. Seeing Alex and Sonya work as Batman and Robin was so good, even though we only got a few glimpses of their storyline in India. I wonder what their codename is, if Nikita's Lone Wolf, Michael is Red Wolf, and headquarters is Blue Wolf?

Fox pushed Almost Human's premiere back, which made me annoyed since I was anticipating it so much. I've enjoyed what I've seen so far, though I had to look away from the screen with the sexbot episode, because I'm squeamish even about fake human bodies being ripped apart like that. I like the banter and the characters. It makes me wish even more that Agents of SHIELD wasn't so disappointing. I haven't watched the last couple of episodes of Shield because I wish that Skye would just die so we could focus on Melinda May and Coulson instead.

On the comedy side, I am enjoying Brooklyn Nine Nine despite the annoying behavior of Andy Samberg's character. The ensemble makes up for it, and I hope it will get better ratings.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


So at long last I completed my story Dirty Little Secret. It's the longest story I've ever written, both in terms of sheer word count and in terms of months spent almost continually writing in my spare time from real life. All this from a story which I intended only to be one or two chapters long. You see, I intended Gob to drop by Sudden Valley once, kiss Michael and offer to help him like in Chapter 42, then leave and return to his roofie circle while Michael says to himself "He's not coming back." But the story had a life of its own, and Michael didn't want to refuse Gob, and thought "why not?" since he was "out of the family." When writers talk about a compulsion to write, independent of any feedback or praise from other people, this is what they mean. So my story expanded and ballooned, much like Mitch Hurwitz intended just a movie, then a few introductory mini-episodes, then gave us season 4, and perhaps much more to come.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wendy, we need you

Well clearly I spoke too soon about the Texas abortion law. I can't believe the Circuit Court issued a ruling late on Thursday night, forcing clinics to immediately close and cancel appointments with patients on Friday. It's also disturbing to me that letting the law go into effect means that the judges think it's "likely" that the state will win the case. Talk about telegraphing how they're going to rule. So everything's fucked up for months at least, and maybe years too, if Planned Parenthood tries to appeal again, and then the Supreme Court could make it worse. If they strike down Roe vs. Wade, then states across the country could start passing laws like this too. I can't believe how everything's going backwards.

And of course the Voter ID laws are still fouling things up at the polls. I voted myself, but just because I got through doesn't mean it's going to be easy for other voters. It's enough to make me despair of Texas politics again and dread the 2014 elections. If the voter turnout this year is low, and the statewide propositions don't pass like they wanted to, then we can only hope that the Republicans realize what a horrible mistake they've made. We'll see on Tuesday, I guess.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Take that, Rick Perry

I'm glad that the Federal judge declared parts of the new Texas anti-abortion law unconstitutional. It's a relief that he did this in time to prevent so many clinics getting closed down in the state. I mean, of course the case is going to be appealed, and it could go up to the Supreme Court, but for now it's good to have a victory and for Texas women to still have access not only to abortions but also just basic health services at Planned Parenthood clinics. That's what the idiot Republicans like Rick Perry refuse to acknowledge, that it's not just about late-term abortions; it's about access to the early-term abortions as well as basic women's health. Jackasses.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Encyclopedia Brown

Ooh, an Encyclopedia Brown movie is in the works! I look forward to seeing it. I loved those books, and it'll be good to see Sally Kimball fighting off the bullies. I hope that it will be geared to nostalgic adults as well as kids, and that it won't turn into something awful like the Chipmunk movies or the Smurf movies.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I hate elections

On Friday I was annoyed to see a few protesters near the highway with "Impeach Obama" signs. So sickening. There are local elections this November, where voters will have to show ID under the new law. I hate it, and I hope the court will strike down the law before the 2014 elections. Wendy Davis needs all the help she can get.

There was a good post on Daily Kos about not bashing Texas and it provides some good links about turning Texas blue. It really destroys the morale if all you hear from liberals is "Secede already" and not "We have your back."

It's just like the government shutdown and the debt ceiling fight. The Republicans make these threats and demands every few weeks it seems, and it's really depressing that we can't have a functioning government. I really hope this gets resolved soon, or a lot of furloughed federal employees are going to have a terrible Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fall TV dramas

Well it's October already and the new TV season is underway. I'm glad that the CW finally announced the air dates for Nikita's last season. It will certainly give me something to watch during the holidays.

As for shows that are on the air now, I've been disappointed. The premise of Sleepy Hollow is rather ridiculous, and as a non-Christian, the storyline about the Bible and the Apocalypse is non-appealing. But I watched because John Cho was in the pilot, and the promos for the show made Tom Mison look appealing. I have a weakness for British men. Once I saw the show itself, though, he had little effect on me; he's got a nice accent, but not half as alluring as I thought. Still, Lyndie Greenwood from Nikita is in it, and it turned out that John Cho's character came back to life. The lead actress is good too, and there's a sort of campy fun to the show, when it's not trying to be scary. I guess I will stick with it, and it can be my replacement for Grimm. I'll miss Monroe and Rosalie, but the neverending amnesia plot and Renard's royal conspiracy that never ever reveals any secrets whatsoever have turned me off the show permanently.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sherlock Holmes lawsuit update

The Conan Doyle Estate is now finally responding to to Les Klinger's lawsuit to declare Sherlock Holmes in the public domain. They seem to be arguing that Holmes's character continued to evolve in stories past the 1923 cutoff year, and that Holmes's personality traits should not be separated out into pre-1923 and post-1923 versions.

To some extent, Holmes did change over many stories, but it was not a well-planned evolution, and only about 10 of the 60 stories were first published in 1923 or later. Some Sherlockians even complained that Holmes was in fact too different when he came back after Reichenbach Falls and that the mysteries were recycled and not as good in the Casebook stories. That's been the basis of Sherlockian theories to discredit the Casebook stories as spurious.

I personally don't want the Holmes that retired to keep bees, lost touch with Watson after 1914, and wrote about jellyfish mysteries. (In my fiction, I personally prefer to say "La la la! Not true! Watson was lying because they were together forever and had to protect themselves from the law.") So that's not the Holmes I want, and it's got nothing to do with copyright. We'll have to see if audiences will watch an old retired Holmes when the Slight Trick of the Mind movie comes out; Holmes is retired and mentally failing in that one.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Well some good news out of Texas finally. San Antonio passed the nondiscrimination ordinances. I also liked reading about this New Mexico county clerk who started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. He's an inspiring guy.

In other news, I've no idea what to do about Syria. The civil war has been dragging on a long time while Americans ignored it and let atrocities continue, so it feels like some response is overdue. I don't want another war, though, and I don't think it will be quick and easy. I hope there can be some middle ground like giving more refugee aid or training the rebels so they, not us, can finish this war.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ian McKellen as Holmes

I just read that Ian McKellen will play Sherlock Holmes in an adaptation of the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind. I remember reading the novel a long time ago, and I disliked it. Because Holmes was suffering from impaired mental faculties, the author used it as an excuse to give partial scenes, then retread them later over and over to add new stuff. He could at least have done it in a less annoying way by not repeating huge swathes of text. I suppose it will be less annoying onscreen, but then again, I recall a Mystery! series called Case Histories where we kept getting flashbacks of the detective as a boy running through fields and screaming for his dead sister. Five seconds would have done as a reminder of that trauma in his life, but no they had to keep showing the flashback in full every damn time. It was so shitty, when we already got the point the first fucking time we saw it.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

August has been so hot that I'll be glad for the cooler temperatures to arrive with autumn. I'm also thankful for the holiday on Monday since I've been working overtime lately.

I'm still trying to finish my neverending AD fic set in season 4, but it gets so angsty and depressing that I need some relief, and to remember when Michael and Gob had happier times. I did discover a nice post on "Best Man for the Gob" on AD Meta tumblr which highlights their special relationship. I'm still trying to figure out Tumblr, but I love the Gob/Michael pics as well as the discussions on Gob's issues with family and sexuality. He really is a fascinating character.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hope for Texas

Well some good news for voting rights on this 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The DOJ is suing about the Texas Voter ID law, and joining the redistricting lawsuit. Maybe we can save this state after all.

I suppose I'll get on the bandwagon of Wendy Davis for Governor now. It's not that I don't like her, but I'm pessimistic about her chances given how fucked up Texas is. But if Voter ID and redistricting can be fixed, then maybe she and other Texas democrats have a real chance.

In the meantime I'm going to see that Butler movie which is supposed to feature the civil rights movement.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Terrible Weekend

Although I'm not surprised that the anti-abortion law passed in the 2nd special session, it's still depressing that so many clinics are going to close down, cutting off millions of women from affordable healthcare and any kind of abortion, not just the banned post 20-week ones. Of course the law will be challenged in court, but the prospects for the law getting struck down don't look good. Even if we did win a court case, that's still going to take a long time, and Texas women will be screwed in the meantime.

Friday, July 12, 2013

More AD

Just read this about negotiations for season 5. Yes, please! As much as the timeline frustrates me, I enjoyed the new season and must have closure on the plots involving Tony Wonder and the murder mystery. I also wouldn't mind seeing how Lindsay's campaign against Sally Sitwell goes. It doesn't matter to me if it's another season as opposed to a movie. I wish they'd balance the cast better by having more Maeby and Buster, but overall, I just want more, in any way that they can make it.

By the way, while I was posting old AD fics at AO3, I started doing a sequel to "The Best Man", an old standalone fic. I thought at first that it was just going to be short scene in season 4, and that Gob would walk away, but now it's just ballooning more and more. Feels like I'm walking blind. We'll see how it goes. I do wanna try to revive Far From Over, though, even if it must be an AU fic now. So much to do, so little time to write.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

AD timeline problems

Ah, I've found a season 4 timeline that actually makes some sense and tries to give specific months and years when possible. At the end, it points out the big continuity problems like the drone strikes, Tobias's "three weeks" of wandering around, and Pete dying in 2011 but his death being referred to years earlier, before Lucille's trial.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Joined AO3

Well I still can't get to Forever Fandom lately, so I started an account on Archive Of Our Own, and I started posting old Arrested Development fics there. Maybe working on unfinished fics like Missing Episodes and Far From Over will get me inspired to continue them. We'll see.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Texas Politics

Well I knew it. Rick Perry called for another special session, and there's a protest scheduled for Monday. It's going to be harder this time to defeat the bill, since they have 30 days now. Sigh.

In other news, I'm glad my Representative Marc Veasey is suing to try to stop the new Voter ID law. I don't know if he'll succeed, but at least we're not just going to sit still and do nothing. Congress needs to act on getting a new preclearance formula done, but who knows how long that will take? July 4th is coming up and I just hope there will be some reason to celebrate instead of feeling depressed again over how far we have to go.

Well, at least marriage equality is reinstated in California. Congrats to all the happy couples!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cheers, Wendy!

Hooray for Wendy, and all the protesters who helped! Last night, before I went to bed, I was worried because I wasn't sure if the Senate vote was legal or not, but I'm happy this morning to find out that it was after midnight. The anti-abortion bill is dead for now. Of course the war is not over. We'll have to see if Rick Perry calls another special session; if he does we'll have to protest and filibuster again.

In other news the Supreme Court struck down DOMA at long last. So hooray for all married couples that can now receive federal benefits like they deserve. I'm still pissed at the court about the Voting Rights Act, but we'll deal with that later.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Voting Rights Act

Aw, crap! The Supreme Court struck down the "preclearance" formula of the Voting Rights Act. I think this means that states like Texas can make any voting rights laws they want to, and no federal court can stop them until after they're passed. The Texas GOP is sure to try enacting or passing more voting ID laws, which won't have to go through preclearance. With that and the redistricting mess since the last census, we'll be fucked come next election. Thanks a lot, Justices! If anybody wants Texas to turn blue, then you've gotta fucking help, instead of whining that Texas should secede.

Plus, in the meantime we're relying on a filibuster to stop the new anti-abortion bill. I can't take off work to go to Austin, but good luck, Wendy!

Monday, June 17, 2013


Because there's very few new TV shows on during the summer (other than reality and cable shows), I've been obsessively watching season 4 of Arrested Development over and over. It's great how the season builds and how you notice new things on rewatch, such as the Mexican shop having a warning sign for a "roofie circle" on it.

I don't have time enough to restart any of my old unfinished AD fanfics now, though I did think about writing a short Michael & Gob scene set in 2009. Unfortunately when I tried to start that, I discovered that I can't figure out this damn timeline.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More Victorian authors

I decided not to try another Anna Katherine Green book yet, and moved onto other Victorian mystery authors, hoping for more variety. Robert Barr's "The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont" is a collection of short stories about a French detective who is disgraced and fired, then becomes a private detective in London. Valmont is as pompous as Hercule Poirot, and forever calling other people idiots. I also don't know if Barr the author agrees with Valmont the character that the English justice system is terrible for presuming a person innocent until proved guilty. Valmont thinks it's stupid, and he constructs a special dungeon in his own house where he can confine prisoners and presumably torture or starve information out of them. Kind of scary, though in the stories we only see him use it specifically on a drug-addicted friend who needs to be saved. Valmont does allude to becoming successful and rich as a private detective, because he did what English police wouldn't do, and that to me suggests use of the dungeon. There were also a couple of Sherlock Holmes parodies in the book, more satirical than amusing.

Friday, May 31, 2013

AD season 4

I've watched all of season 4 on Netflix and am only partly through a rewatch now. I have missed many details, I'm sure, and am still trying to figure out the intricate timeline of events. But I just have to gush about Gob's plot. SPOILERS below.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Trek 2

I've always thought "Into Darkness" was a stupid title since I first heard it, and I still think it's bad. Anyway I saw the film this weekend. It was okay, though I didn't remember much about the previous movie and found it hard to recall stuff about the characters, like Scotty's alien friend. Or why "transwarp" beaming technology looked weird and got stolen from Scotty. Might have to do a rewatch.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Iron Man 3

As for movies, I just saw No Place on Earth, about several Jewish families in the Ukraine who hid out in caves to avoid the Nazis. It was very good, though I had slight trouble understanding one of the relatives when he was speaking.

On Sunday I voted, then went to see Iron Man 3. I liked it better than Iron Man 2, but not as much as The Avengers. MAJOR SPOILERS below:

Renewals and Cancellations

Well the TV news seems to be rolling out quickly, ahead of the upfronts. I'm glad Nikita got renewed, but am rather surprised that Go On didn't survive at NBC. As I said before, I'm fine with The New Normal being done.

I'm also seeing news about the pilots, and am sad that Murder in Manhattan didn't make it at ABC. I really wanted to see Bridget Regan again. I guess I just have more time next season to watch Netflix and DVDs.

BTW, I watched Elementary with its resurrection of Irene Adler, but I'll reserve judgment until she actually talks and starts revealing why and how she survived. I really don't want her turning into a criminal and backstabbing evil minion. I did like that she has a profession as a painter, instead of anything solely about sex, blackmail, and crap like that. We'll see how the finale goes.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nook updated

To my surprise, Barnes & Noble added Google Play to its Nook tablets, so my Nook HD got an update without me doing anything. I've started to check it out and download some apps, but I'm not sure I'm liking the Chrome browser. I may start using Firefox there instead. My Nook seems to be overheating lately, and I'm a little worried. Maybe I need to figure out how to turn off location services and stuff I don't want. It's getting cluttered, and I don't even do Twitter or Facebook.

Anyway lately I've been reading the books of American author Anna Katherine Green. A pioneer mystery writer, she predated the Sherlock Holmes stories, and was praised for clever plots. However, I don't think I like her novels that much. (I've read The Leavenworth Case and Agatha Webb.) I find the Victorian sexual and moral politics of the characters hard to understand. In the Leavenworth Case, for example, two female cousins are suspected of killing their wealthy uncle who is their guardian, and the narrator Everett Raymond (a gentlemanly lawyer) is forever tediously protesting that such beautiful women can't possibly be guilty, and that he doesn't want either of them to be arrested. He talks about how once a woman's reputation is stained, she's ruined for life. Even the police detective Ebeneezer Gryce delays making any arrests for weeks, despite considerable circumstantial evidence. In a modern novel, I'd be fine with having either woman arrested so as to prompt the guilty party to make a confession to save her, but the detectives seem to regard even an arrest as too horrible and ungentlemanly to commit.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hope at Last?

Well apparently I still have to go to UK news to hear this, because I haven't seen it anywhere else. Obama promises again to close Guantanamo. I hope he can really do it. The ACLU guy at the end says that Obama doesn't have to ask Congress for approval; he can get the secretary of defense to start transferring the detainees who have already been cleared for release. If that's true, then I hope he'll do it before this hunger strike gets any worse.

Update: Please sign this petition to close Guantanamo.

Monday, April 29, 2013

May Sweeps

Well now we're moving into the end of the TV season. Networks are announcing renewals for next season, and I'm getting worried that Nikita hasn't been renewed yet. I still enjoy the show, and want to see it get a proper ending. The rest of the May sweeps episodes will probably be exciting, but might end on a cliffhanger/total reset of the premise once again.

NBC has made some announcements, but nothing about the comedies I liked. Go On, when it concentrates on the ensemble instead of Matthew Perry's character, is wonderful. I liked The New Normal, but I feel that the season finale wrapped up everything nicely, so I don't need another season of it. The soapy drama Deception had ups and downs in quality, but I did like when the plot moved faster at the end. I feel about Deception the same way I felt about Ringer last year: it was fun to see how crazy things could get in the end, but I could also shrug it off if it didn't get another season.


Early voting is starting for my city's local elections, but I'm having trouble finding any info about the candidates. I'm getting campaign mailings and looking up names on the internet, but there's hardly anything to find. I'll have to keep looking and hope I find more information before I vote this Saturday.

Meanwhile the Bush library was opened at SMU on Thursday, and I was disgusted by the local news stations jabbering about it for all last week, so I didn't watch any coverage. I couldn't believe the fawning taking place on the national news, though. In Texas I sort of expect this (though I'm disappointed about it), but you'd think the rest of the country wouldn't be so quick to rehabilitate Bush's image.

I mean, when American media covered Margaret Thatcher's death, they commented on her controversial policies and the protesters at her funeral. If only they could be that objective about George W. Bush and the protests at his library.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guantanamo Hunger Strikes

It's sad that US news doesn't cover this subject, so I have to look to UK news for reports like this. I too do not understand why the detainees are still imprisoned even though some have been cleared for release a long time ago. No wonder they've lost hope.

The article says that Shaker Aamer was only cleared for release into Saudi Arabia instead of his home in London, and that would endanger him. It also suggests that powers in the UK are anxious to hush him up.

A British operative, he claims, was present as a US interrogator repeatedly smashed his head against a wall shortly before he was sent to Guantánamo. Described as articulate and highly intelligent, Aamer's allegations of British complicity in his torture and detention would undoubtedly reopen the vexed and fraught debate over British complicity in the darker side of America's "war on terror".

How horrible. It seems like these people are going to be kept until they're dead just for the sake of political convenience. I'm so disappointed in both America and the UK.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bombs and Explosions and Shootings

What a horrible week this has been. You can only watch so much news before you go numb. It doesn't help when the various TV news specials go on speculating wildly about suspects and motives and connections. They also nauseatingly report Facebook/twitter postings as news. If you don't have actual facts to report, then just tell us how to donate to the Red Cross and help the victims. What a fucked-up media we have.

I read somewhere a snippet of Eliot's poem that begins with "April is the cruellest month." Apparently that line is utterly true.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Pinkertons

Recently I finished reading both Pinkerton's Secret as well as the 1974 factual history The Pinkertons by Fred J. Cook, and I preferred the latter. Cook, while sometimes covering the same famous cases as Cleveland Moffett, has a fairly modern, balanced perspective which points out Allan Pinkerton's flaws as well has his strengths. I appreciated the post-Victorian view about the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, as well as facts about how and when William and Robert Pinkerton took over. Many names of other top Pinkerton agents like Timothy Webster and Hattie Lawton are mentioned along the way. Cook also discusses Adam Worth and the Gainsborough painting.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pinkerton Prose

Well it's April already, and I hope that Spring will stick around instead of reverting back to winter temperatures again.

I'm currently reading about the Pinkerton Detective Agency again, but this time I'm not reading Allan Pinkerton's books any more. (His books are sometimes quite confusing and tedious to read.) This time I'm reading an ebook version of Cleveland Moffett's 1897 book True Detective Stories From the Archives of the Pinkertons. Because Moffett was a professional journalist and author, he seems to tell the stories better than Allan Pinkerton did. He summarized unnecessary details, such as each operative or "shadow" sent to follow a suspect around, and he provided endings, telling what happened to the criminals after they were caught. If a criminal has reformed and become a law-abiding citizen, his name has been changed in the story, which I thought was a nice detail. Moffett also reminded me that Allan Pinkerton also had a "General Superintendent" named George H. Bangs who ran many offices before he died. (So technically during the "missing year in America" that I want to place Holmes in the Pinkertons, it would be Bangs, not Robert Pinkerton, in charge of the New York branch.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Well I'm very happy that the Veronica Mars movie kickstarter was a success, and so was this Arrested Development documentary kickstarter. With the new AD season on Netflix coming in May, it's going to be a good time for cult TV fans.

Also I'm glad that Elementary was renewed for season 2, but I'll still say boo to CBS renewing The Good Wife. That show deserves to be axed for what a horrible season 4 they put on. Quality show, my ass.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Flotilla apology

While it's all very nice that Israel apologized to Turkey for the flotilla incident, and that Turkey apparently accepts this, I wish Israel would apologize to the Palestinians who continue to suffer daily from the Gaza blockade and the illegal settlements on their land. More useful than apologies would be to end the blockade and stop the settlements. I mean, they don't have to deal with Palestinians as equal partners in a diplomatic relationship, because the Palestinians have no state of their own, like Turkey, and are kept in a perpetual state of occupation and poverty. It's sickening.

It's good that Obama visited Israel, gave a humanizing speech, and got an award, but I'm so jaded about there ever being peace. I hope John Kerry can do something different, or I fear there will never be a two-state solution in my lifetime.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bad Wife

Okay that's the last straw. I'm done with The Good Wife, and I hope it gets cancelled this year. This semi-spoilery article says that they'll be continuing the love triangle for the rest of the season, and I'm sick of it. Especially the part where they say Alicia won't pick anybody, just feel guilty. What has she been doing for the past four fucking years?

They also mention that after the governor's election they'll be looking at the White House next. "As soon as they win or lose one campaign, they’re onto the next." It's bad enough that real life is like that, especially with the news media. I don't want to see campaign after campaign after campaign on this show. You can't just have Peter stay in one office and, say, work on his racial bias in promotions? No, apparently. Plus constant elections make the perfect excuse for Alicia to never divorce Peter and keep supporting his career. The Kings have repeated themselves too many times, and they never learn their lesson. It's clear nothing will fundamentally change on the show, ever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pilot Season

Well, TV networks are now developing shows for next season, and they're casting actors for pilots. I hope NBC officially cancels Up All Night soon, so that the actors can be released for new shows. There's just no point in retooling it anymore. I will certainly check out Will Arnett's new show if it gets past pilot stage with him in it.

Anyway, TV Line has a guide to the pilots, broken down by networks.

I'm currently interested in ABC's Murder in Manhattan, both for the premise and because they cast Bridget Regan as the daughter. I hope, because the mother and daughter are "amateur sleuths," that they won't work with the police all the time, and will do private cases too. I want more variety in TV mysteries, and less gore and serial killers.

I will probably check out the Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D show just to see if it's any good, and if any characters as awesome as Black Widow appear. As I said before, I'll look for the new NCIS spinoff with Kim Raver. I might check out Doubt because the "low-rent lawyer" premise reminds me of the short lived The Defenders, which I liked. I would have tried Second Sight except that I'm annoyed that the main character is only having hallucinations, and isn't actually going blind, like in the original British show. Well, anyway, we'll see which pilots actually get picked up in May.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Holmes in public domain?

There was an interesting post on the Holmesslash group about a lawsuit seeking to declare the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the public domain. The link was on Boing Boing, but I found a fuller post on the suit on the Baker Street Blog.

Sherlockian Les Klinger is suing the Conan Doyle Estate because they demand license fees for any new story featuring the characters, and tried to have his publisher drop his next anthology of stories. His press release explains that he respects the copyrights which still remain on the Casebook stories in the US, but that the characters are established in all the other public domain stories.

I do hope this succeeds, because between the Conan Doyle Estate and Andrea Plunket, it's getting ridiculous all the stories that will be squashed. Sherlock Holmes should not simply be a "franchise" for profit, now that he's in vogue again. He and Watson are part of the great legacy of English literature, and the classic pastiches are what's kept the fandom alive for so long.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Goodbye Person of Interest

I finally got around to watching my recording of "Dead Reckoning" and then I removed my season pass for the show. So I didn't see this past episode which supposedly has Nathan flashbacks. It's too little, too late. I only stuck around for Kara Stanton, and "Dead Reckoning" was a fitting end to her character.

So goodbye Kara Stanton. You were so more compelling than Root, and you gave Reese his name. She and Mark Snow were great antagonists for a while, but now they're gone. There was a moment on the roof of the building where Reese and Finch had a lovely exchange; you know, the one that feels so much like "I could kiss you." They tried to have one of those during the laughable "cliffhanger" with four men in suits, but it rang hollow and cheap because no one was even hurt. However the rooftop moment had some of the old intoxicating magic. But I won't settle for that anymore. Season 2 has been too awful to overcome, with the bad dialogue, the nonsensical Root, the obnoxious numbers, Bear being overhyped only to become a fluffy pet, and Fusco still getting no respect. I should have quit at the beginning of this season when Reese rescued Finch from Root.

Following Actors

I've heard that Kim Raver is cast as the lead on an NCIS:LA spinoff. I never watched 24, and I didn't stick with Revolution long enough to see her character, but I liked her as Kathryn Hale in The Nine. I will probably follow her to this new show since it's not a soap opera. (I couldn't follow Tim Daly to his medical soap either.) I don't watch NCIS because the few times I tried, I was basically befuddled by the male characters' obnoxiousness and the stupidly dressed goth girl. I remember watching an episode of NCIS: LA once, and thought it was quirky and silly, but inoffensive. If I just treat it like I treated Psych, as something not to take seriously, it might be fine. If they do a backdoor pilot for the spinoff, I'll have to remember to check it out.

I wish The Following wasn't about gory serial killings, because then I'd watch it for actors I like such as Natalie Zea and Annie Parisse. There's just something so soul-killing about watching serial killers in show after show. Every crime drama seems to feel the need to do an episode or more about these monsters, and it's always the same. (Even Psych, a goofy comedy, felt the need to do some "serious" dark episodes with a serial killer.) I want old-fashioned cozy mysteries of the Agatha Christie or Murder She Wrote type. Why can't there just be clever mysteries anymore? They don't even have to be murders.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Holmes, Sweet Holmes

I was very disappointed in the post-Superbowl episode of Elementary, and thought, "this was so not worth the hype and promotion." Like I give a crap about gruesome serial killers or obsessions with FBI profilers! It seriously scared me about the state of the writing on this show. But now I am very pleased and relieved that the next episode was wonderful, and that Holmes was back to being charming and likeable. Now that's the show I fell in love with.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sherlock's Veiled Secret

This isn't actually a book so much as an actor's script for a play. Sherlock's Veiled Secret is by K. C. Brown, and I found it for sale on Barnes & Noble. The premise is that Violet Sheridan, a sculptress in 1920, finds out that Sherlock Holmes is her father, and then searches for her mother's identity. He also involves her in solving a mystery with him. Watson is absent because he's supposedly on a honeymoon cruise with yet another wife. So no slash is to be found; it's hetero love interests for all the characters.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


My old Windows XP computer died recently after a blackout, and the hardware is old enough that it would be too much trouble to keep fixing and upgrading it. So I decided to take this opportunity to make the switch to an Apple computer, specifically a Mac Mini since I already had a monitor, keyboard, and mouse combo. Little did I realize what an ordeal this would be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adam Worth and the Pinkertons

I have finished reading Ben Macintyre's biography of Adam Worth, the criminal mastermind that inspired Professor Moriarty. It's called The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief. It's an interesting book, but one complaint I have is that Macintyre spent far too many chapters talking about the Duchess of Devonshire, both the historical person and the famous painting by Gainsborough. Adam Worth stole the painting and Macintyre theorizes that he didn't sell it for years because he was obsessed with the painting. But to me that only justifies one chapter on the painting as background, not four or five chapters on the painting and the woman's scandals. The story should be principally about Adam Worth and the real people in his life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I've been watching Deception, and I like that the mystery continues to be the focus, though some situations in the 2nd episode seemed implausible. The pilot was intriguing, and I hope that things will get better. I like the actress Marin Hinkle too, and hope her character will have more to do soon.

I'm disappointed, though, that the only other midseason show I wanted to see was Goodwin Games, but it hasn't appeared yet. They might not even show it until the summer, just like Love Bites. Boo!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Buck and the Preacher

I found that I needed an antidote to the extreme violence in Tarantino's film, and fortunately, I had a recording of Buck and the Preacher to watch. This is a 1972 film starring Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte; Poitier also directed it. It's a Western set after the Civil War, when many emancipated blacks tried to settle out West, but they were still hunted by racist "nightraiders" and bounty hunters hired by their former slave owners, who hope to force them to return. Poitier plays Buck, a wagonmaster helping to guide the settlers to safe territory. The Preacher meanwhile is a conman who initially intends to rob the settlers of their money, and possibly collect on a $500 reward for the capture of Buck, dead or alive.

Django Unchained

I put off seeing Django Unchained before this weekend because, though I liked the story premise, I was wary of Tarantino's extremely violent style. I mean, he's entitled to his artistic vision, but that's also why I've never watched one of his movies before. I can handle watching some horror and gore, like in Daybreakers, if I like the story well enough, but not on a regular basis. So knowing that Django would probably be a hit and last for many weeks at the theatre, I initially spent my time on The Guilt Trip and Promised Land instead.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Elementary's M

I was pretty sure that the guest star for the episode wouldn't be Moriarty himself, but rather a fakeout for Moran or one of the other people in Holmes's "collection of M's" in EMPT. It turned out to be Sebastian Moran, but more blue collar. (Sort of like the Sebastian henchman character in Without a Clue.) I guess they couldn't translate the original Colonel's army and tiger hunting background to present day, but Moran is at least a skilled assassin with specialized equipment, and he's smart enough to instantly read and reply to Moriarty's coded text messages. I would have to get out pen and paper to decode things. I'm also happy with the introduction of Teddy, a clear Baker Street Irregular, and from now on, my head canon is that Wiggins's full name is Teddy Wiggins.

Spoilers below:

Friday, January 11, 2013


I've heard lately there's been controversy over the Bin Laden assassination film Zero Dark Thirty. Apparently it depicts that information obtained from torture was used to find Bin Laden. What a crock. I never watched the TV show 24 for this reason, because it glorifies torture and makes it seem like a necessary evil to keep the world (read America) safe. Bullshit. Torturing our enemies only makes us self-righteous hypocrites for pretending that we're so noble and good. It also makes our enemies feel justified in hating and attacking us. And torture doesn't yield true or useful information; it only gives the quickest lie to make the pain stop. (One of the things I used to like the most about early Burn Notice was Michael Westen saying this about torture.)

Well, there's a little good news on this subject, at least. A defense contractor is paying a $5 million settlement to Iraqis who were abused and tortured at Abu Ghraib. I hope there will be similar settlements with other contractors in the future.

If only all the detainees at Guantanamo Bay could be released too, and the place closed down, but there's been no movement on that front for a long time now. To me, these wars will never really be over until these places close down.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Promised Land

I saw this movie on Sunday and liked it, despite the poor reviews. Matt Damon and Frances McDormand play salespeople for the Global natural gas company, and they are sent into a small farming community to sign up landowners for leases to drill and frack. Hal Holbrook has a nice part as the local high school science teacher who points out the environmental dangers of fracking, and calls for a town vote about whether to allow natural gas drilling in their community. The local politician agrees to have the vote because he's pissed off that Matt Damon's character Steve lied to him about estimates of how much money the gas was worth. Steve is an interesting guy, who repeatedly claims that he's not a bad guy and who sincerely believes he's doing good for the farmers. Steve grew up on a farm and saw many townspeople thrown out of work when a manufacturing plant closed down; he considers natural gas to be a savior for farmers and other rural residents with no money, and he doesn't believe that the reports of environmental problems are true. Yet Steve didn't have a problem lying to the politician about how big a bribe he could get from Global, and he often tells opponents that they are up against a $9 billion company and have no chance of succeeding. Intimidation isn't foreign to him.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Violets and Violins revised

I've been working on Chapter 1 of my novel, and I added a scene at the end between Mycroft and Sherlock about the death of their grandmother. I think it's a stronger ending, and brings the issue back to the violets and violin of the title. As I said in the previous version, this chapter takes place in summer 1861.

Holmes and Kate Warne

This excerpt of a new historical mystery novel has a small reference to Sherlock Holmes being alive and in San Francisco during the Hiatus (his fake death from 1891-1894). I can't tell yet if Sherlock Holmes will feature later on in the novel or not.

Anyway, The Bughouse Affair features two protagonists: one is an ex-Secret Service agent, and the other is a woman who was formerly a Pink Rose. That is, she worked as an investigator (not a secretary) for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I've not heard this term "Pink Rose" before (or possibly I dimly recall something similar mentioned in the Carole Nelson Douglas books with Irene Adler), but it's intriguing. The excerpt gives a little of Sabina Carpenter's history with the Pinkertons, as well as mentioning Kate Warne's history as the first Pink Rose. I'm considering whether to buy the book or not; I can already tell that some kind of romance is being set up between the protagonists, and I'm kind of not interested in that part.