Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure


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Not a whole lot to say about the day.
It started poorly, but ended on a much better note.

Stray Toasters

  • Thinking of migrating from Windows to Linux? Tom’s Hardware Guide has a guide to help you do it.
  • How’d you like to swing on a star?
    Carry moonbeams home in a jar?

  • Paper Toys
  • As if I needed another comics-related site: Newsarama
  • Scott and Emma are a couple. And Rachel’s back. Who knew?!
  • : You can thank for this item:

  • Remember Tamagotchi virtual pets? The next generation is out. Literally. The new “Tamagotchi Plus” can befriend each other… and mate. Is this the new way of explaining the (digital) birds and the bees to little Johnny and Susie? Read more about it here.
  • 1-0-0-1-0-0-1


I should really be in bed…

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…but, I’m not. And since I’m not, I’m going to post some of the other drawings/sketches that I’ve done over the past few weeks. Feel free to comment.

From Shape Magazine

Ad from Shape Magazine

Ads from Dance Magazine

Jose Manuel Carreno, from Dance Magazine

Green Dragon, from Dungeons & Dragons 'Monster Manual' (v3.5)

Yuan-ti, from Dungeons & Dragons 'Monster Manual' (v3.5)

Bronze Dragon, from Dungeons & Dragons 'Monster Manual' (v3.5)

I got a call from Adam, the youngest member of the sibko, a couple of hours ago. I was more than a little surprised to get a call so late, but it was good to talk with him. He ended the conversation with:

And I leave you with these words: Incoming shrapnel always has the right of way, tracers work both ways, and five second fuses always burn three seconds fast.

My brother. He makes me smile.


Monday morning sidewinder

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I’m working from home today. If I play my cards right, I’ll be more than “a little” productive on both the work front and the “getting a few things straightened up” front.

I had a good time in the company of friends (and my two favorite LJ-related kids) yesterday afternoon and evening. I even got a new drawing from one of the kids out of the deal.

A breeze is blowing through.
This makes me want to get the kite and fly it.
This is not good for productivity.
But, it would be fun.
I’ll keep this in mind for an afternoon indulgence…

I have been looking through a few older posts.

  • I just (re)discovered a link to ldraw.org. Two words: “Virtual Lego.” As if I needed yet another distraction.
  • I had this to say about free speech and the Pledge of Allegiance. Nearly two years later, we’re dealing with more issues (even though it’s basically the same issue) that center around religion and the Constitution.
  • …and I STILL haven’t figured out what I want to do here
  • As noted in August of 2002: “I’m a digital kid. I have analog parents.”
    This is still true, but they’re better at using tech now. Thank God.

  • Ladies and gentlemen: I give you Coed Ninja!
  • Need an armored car?

Lee: Do you understand the words that are a-coming out of my mouth?
James Carter: Don’t nobody understand the words that are comin’ out of your mouth.

Speech and accent data (1, 2), by way of
…and now, more Rush Hour 2 quotes.

Okay, back to it.


Do my eyes deceive me…?

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In March.
And there was FOOTBALL on TV!


Okay. It wasn’t really a game, per se. It was the Quarterback Challenge on NFL Network. But it’s still “football.” *taps vein* And it was enough to get me through to pre-season.

Bowling wasn’t bad: 198 (opening game, no less!) – 158 – 164 – 172 – 146

joined us for breakfast. We had a good time. Overall conversation was blue enough that there should have been a “Mature Audiences” disclaimer on it. At least, that’s probably what “The Singles” (next table over) probably thought about it. And we care so much about their opinions…

I woke up to find that my web/email host has taken a shit. Again. This is the second time in a moth. Granted, these are the only times in the past two years or so that it’s happened. Also, it’s happening on a day when I don’t have a lot of email traffic. Of course, needed to send out an email about our Sunday afternoon plans, but I think that I can find a couple of ways around that… So, all things considered, it’s not a reason to have an aneurysm. I’ll probably call the company’s owner and make sure that he’s aware of the issue, just to be on the safe side.

::: intermission :::
My uncle called.
::: end intermission :::

I just looked at some of the pictures that I took yesterday.

  • I met a group of ladies who were members of The Red Hat Society. I couldn’t resist asking about them (there were 10-12 of them walking around) and taking a picture of them; one of them asked me to take a picture of them with her camera. They were very nice about it.
  • : I took pics of the architecture (and a model), so that you can see why I rave about the building. Unfortunately, access to the roof was closed, so pics of the garden will have to wait for another trip downtown.
  • The pics of the Cathedral of the Madeleine turned out better than I expected, too! The framing that I tried to set up seemed to work well.

It looks like a nice day outside. Despite the fact that The Weather Channel’s website says that it’s (only) 49°. It might be a good time to explore the other side of the front door.

Quotes of the Day
Bill Cosby: “Dad is great! Give us the chocolate cake!”

Will Smith: Me you and your girlfriend on the dance floor: menage-a-boogie.
(This always cracks me up when I hear it.)


Simple pleasures are the best.

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After a nice brunch with and , Nyx and I spent the afternoon at the downtown library. People-watching. Drawing. Pictures (to be posted later). It was a good outing. I even saw an ex-coworker.

I have ten nine Cadbury Creme Eggs.
ShopKo has them on sale: 5 for $2.00.
Hellooooo, sugar shock!

2-D Physics.
Score to beat: ‘s 140.
Call it a hunch (or a prediction), but I think that this week is mine.

With that….


“The stars looked down…”

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On the whole, the day was a good one. Getting to that point, however… *shrug* The day started last night. With a sick cat. Sleep was not very restful. I woke up to colder-than-I-wanted temperatures and rain. At least it was “rain” and not “snow.” I wouldn’t exactly say that today had the best of starts. But, it did get better. I even talked, albeit briefly, with the mother-unit; she, and the rest of the southern contingent, seem to be doing well.

Stray Toasters

  • I spent the evening hanging out with , , and . Always a pleasure. I wonder how many people we offended. Not that it really matters…
  • ReBoot!
  • Are they really fitness magazines… or thinly-veiled porn?
  • Cracks, racks and overheard comic book conversations.
  • Mediasharx
  • Justice League Unlimited “premieres” in August. They’re using a cast of sixty (60) characters. They are also doing away with the multi-episode story arcs (for the most part). And they will apparently be teaming up some of the JL “original seven” with new members for episodes. And there will be… continuity: If someone is injured or leaves, they’re out of action for a while on the show. I’m impressed so far; I hope that they can maintain the standard that they have set in the first three seasons of Justice League.
  • The Girl from Ipanema
  • Since posted her pic from tonight, I figured that I would do the same. The source is from American Artist: Drawing magazine, Spring 2004 issue. It’s not “done,” but it’s coming along well. Thanks to for her input and help.

I submitted the following to an email discussion group to which I belong. Why? Because I could. And, more importantly, because it touched on a subject that I feel somewhat strongly about. That led me to another subject about which it seemed that I have a rather strong opinion. With that in mind…

I have been a bit remiss in keeping up with current events recently. When I friend showed me a couple of links to something about President Bush receiving some unfavorable press for rubbing someone’s head, it caught my attention. I haven’t been able to find anything about this in a mainstream news source, but the links that I have are:

  • http://www.counterbias.com/news001.html
  • http://jer.dailykos.com/story/2004/3/12/41137/3966 (includes some forum comments)

As a bald-by-choice person, I am familiar with people who think that rubbing a bald head is “cute” (or something), in much the same way that people feel compelled to rub a pregnant woman’s belly. Or, to call to mind another popular reference: Rubbing Buddha’s belly for good luck. I confess, I have rubbed pregnant friends’ bellies… but only after getting their consent to do so.

I typically have no problem with certain people rubbing my head. Operative words: “Certain people.” They are called “family” or “close friends.” With them, it’s allowed. Other people – relative strangers – have walked up to me and tried to rub my head, also. In most cases, I have been able to dissuade them before they did so. On the occasions where I reacted too slowly, I made it painstakingly obvious that it was: a) not welcome and b) not something that they would wish to try again. It may be something with the way -and where- I grew up; relative to the wide open spaces found here in the west, it’s a bit crowded on the east coast. People tend to respect others’ space. This might come off as “rude” or “impersonal,” to some, but it’s the way we tend to be wired.¹

Let’s put aside the possible racist history of rubbing a Black person’s head and to get back to The Shrub’s faux pas.

This display shows a lack of professionalism. If he had done something like this in the context of participating in a sporting event (college, pro, or even sandlot), I think that it would have been a “no harm, no foul” situation – one sees sports players rub each others’ heads or smack each other’s backsides all the time. In these instances, there’s a measure of camaraderie that comes with being part of a team.

The differences?

  • This was at a conference, not a church picnic.
  • He is the President of the United States of America.
  • He was greeting the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

There are appropriate means of greeting someone or thanking them for an introduction. Rubbing their heads isn’t one of them. At least, I am pretty sure that it is not a method proscribed by Robert’s Rules of Order. I understand that The President is supposed to be “a man of the people.” That’s all well and good. As the “leader of the free world,” I expect more than a cursory nod to professionalism and decorum… especially when he is operating in an official capacity. I expect him – or anyone in his position – to exemplify those ideals. And, no, Bill Clinton wasn’t a paragon of virtue, either; but this post isn’t about him. If we expect other countries to follow our example, does this display mean that we are leading them down the road of “good intentions?” We all know where that leads. Are we going to sell them handbaskets and gasoline underwear, too? I’m sure that we could get them a great volume discount deal. Or this just a case of the blind leading the blind?

Let’s play Devil’s Advocate and take a look at the situation in reverse: What if the President of the United States was African-American and the Acting Secretary was White? Had that hypothetical President come out and said something to the effect of “Thank you for that rousing introduction, cracker ²,” should/would there be any less backlash? Even if they were good friends in their out-of-the-spotlight lives? I would hope not. I would like to think that people of any or all races would take him to task for such an unseemly comment.

The bottom line, as I see it, is this: A professional/social gaff was made.

The man is human; I’ll chalk it up to that. Hopefully, he (or one of his staffers) issued some form of apology. As I said, I haven’t been able to find any links to this story in a mainstream news source… which also makes looking for said apology a bit difficult.

::: gets down from soapbox :::

That’s my 2¢ worth.
(With the other 98¢ thrown in, at no extra cost to you!)


“My moral fiber is unraveling…”

¹ – This is not intended to be an absolute statement/generalization: I said “tend to (be)… ” not “always…”
² – This ‘quote’ was intentionally hyperbole; if it made you stop, reread that line and evoke some sort of response, it served its purpose.

No one in the group has, as yet, said anything about it. *shrug*

That’s enough for tonight.


“Like a rare and precious metal, beneath a ton of rock, it takes some time and trouble to separate from the stock. You sometimes have to listen to a lot of useless talk.”

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Today was not as doom-laden as the other days of this week. For that no-so-minor blessing, I am grateful.

It was a little cooler than it’s been over the past few days, but still rather warm. It seems as though we might have rain pass through the area tomorrow. That’s fine… as long as it’s relatively clear on Saturday. and I are heading to the downtown library (again!); there are pictures to be taken and she has agreed to be my human sacrifice subject. And speaking of my arty sib, Jess and I spent the evening with her, , , and Matt.

Stray Toasters

  • Leo LaPorte is leaving The Screen Savers. Wow. He’s not leaving TechTV altogether, but it’s going to take some time to adjust to him not being on TSS.
  • I get my thing in action (Verb!)
    To be, to see, to feel, to live (Verb!)
    That’s what’s happenin’

  • Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?! (courtesy of )
  • What ever became of the Squirrel Nut Zippers (the band, not the candy)?
  • d20 Modern and Urban Arcana. This summer could prove rather interesting…
  • has… “strongly suggested”… that I enter a manga-style art competition. I entered it once, a year or so ago, when she was the featured artist, so it isn’t a completely out-of-left field idea. One big difference is that my Wacom tablet is borked. *sigh* I could do the linework in pencil and scan the image in to do the color and post-work. Decisions, decisions…
  • As someone who never saw the need/use for instant messaging on a cell phone, I will admit that getting messages provides a nice break in the day. Ditto for non-AIM text messaging, too.

May the road rise up to greet you and the wind be at your back.
May you be half an hour inside Heaven’s gates before the Devil knows you’re dead.


“Press this key to see amazing things…”

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Today started out poorly: I didn’t sleep well and woke up irritable. I’m not a “morning person,” to begin with, so this was not an auspicious start to the day. Fortunately, the day got better. I attribute that to closing the evening with coffee and in the company of good friends.

NPR Stories
Morning Edition: Oregon County Halts All Weddings
Morning Edition: Man Steals Daughter’s ID
Morning Edition: Wynton Marsalis: ‘The Magic Hour’
Talk of the Nation: One Nation under God
Talk of the Nation: Wine (for )

Stray Toasters – The “Chock Full o’ Links” edition!

  • By way of : I give you this.
    It’s cute… and work-safe (at low volume).

  • Escape.
  • I’m just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control
    Beyond my control, I need control
    I need control, We all need control

  • From : The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss and Trojan Games (not-so-work-safe, but funny)
  • As if I needed more reasons to like RetroCRUSH:
  • Short Bus Magazine – check out “Backseat Confessional”
  • Blue skies and warm weather are good. Very good. Hopefully, it will last until (and through) the weekend.
  • There’s updated info about the Batman: TAS, Superman: TAS and Superfriends DVD boxed sets.
  • …and speaking of Batman: Tada!
  • While I’m putting out links from the DCG, take a look at android’s work. While Supergirl_01 and Powergirl_01 aren’t bad, the rest of his work is pretty damned good. I think that he did an excellent job with the Thundercats pieces.
  • A certain Kryptonian… with Mjolnir and Captain America’s shield? (pic)
    Line up the asses. Some serious kicking is about to get under way.

Quote of the Day
: (name withheld) may think he’s all tough, but I don’t think he could take on five queers.

This comment was made after she considered calling out the Fab 5 from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on a friend.


“Turn around and turn around and turn around…”

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Overall, it was a decent day.

Stray Toasters

  • : I found the official WHR site.
  • There was a link to The Order of the Stick on squidi.net. Like any good and inquisitive lemming denizen of the Internet, I clicked on it. And I was amused.
  • Calvin and Hobbes. Fight Club.
    You might think that they have nothing in common. According to this link, forwarded to me by , you’ll see some eerie connections.

  • News of the Week from SciFi.
  • “Brooke.” Deviant behavior. 10% poverty. Natural disasters.
  • I like John Singleton as a director; I think that he’s quite talented. He’s doing a movie based on Marvel Comics’ Luke Cage. He made a few teasing comments about the film in an interview on Comics Continuum. However, I got a little scared when I read:

    “It’s a fun movie. It’s hip. It’s so cool,” Singleton said. “Imagine if 50 Cent got super-powers.

    Blood… runs… cold.

  • I’m still taking suggestions for new user icons.


And then, there was…

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Today was a pretty laid-back day. I like those. They are a welcome change-of-pace. Work went by pretty quickly and Game Night was not doom-laden. Those things, along with the warm weather, added up to a nice day.

Stray Toasters

  • I started the day listening to/watching a few videos. One of the songs was Behind Blue Eyes, one of my favorite songs by The Who. I had heard that the song had been covered recently, but I couldn’t remember by whom. On my way to and ‘ place, the remake came on the radio. It was Limp Bizkit. They didn’t do a bad job.
  • “Welcome back” to !
  • I’m thinking of trading out my rarely-used Mace Windu user pic for something/someone else. Any suggestions?
  • Hey : Aviation Videos from Alexis Park Inn & Suites in Iowa City, Iowa. I’m not sayin’… I’m just, you know, sayin’.
  • Two words: “Homemade cupcakes.”
    Two more words: “Devil’s Food.”
    Three more words: “Cream cheese frosting.”
    Feel free to suffer intense pangs of jealousy.

  • Someone in Comics2Film’s Digital Concept Gallery has “recreated” The Justice League, The Justice Society and The Outsiders… using Care Bears. õ_Ô To see (most of) their non-stuffed animal counterparts, check out Secret Files & Origins, from the DC Comics website.
  • From Broken Frontier: What’s so Super about Heroes?

Quote of the Day
: He’s wearing Chthulu as a codpiece!

And with that, good night.


Sunday (coda)

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The rest of the day was good:

  • We met at Borders. Jess’ stepsibs showed up and hung out with us, too.
  • We saw Dawn of the Dead. It was fun. Ving Rhames is a rather imposing figure; maybe not Michael Clarke Duncan imposing, but he is a big man. And, as if one could forget his role as Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, he pulls angry, snap-my-foot-off-in-your-ass characters very well. I also spent a good portion of the movie trying to suss out why Sarah Polley looked so familiar – she was Ronna in Go. (Thanks, IMDb!)

    The soundtrack/score was good, too. Muzak (*ack-thbbbpt*) versions of Don’t Worry, Be Happy and You Light Up My Life… in a zombie movie. Hysterical. And Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine doing Down with the Sickness? Classic.

  • We went to one of Jess’ stepsib’s after the movie. We watched “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” on Comedy Central. I’ve never been a huge fan of Jeff Foxworthy or Bill Engvall, but they made me both laugh. Ron White, however, I had never heard of, but his pacing, delivery and style were great.
  • Did a bit of late-night grocery shopping and the Wally World Supercenter. It’s nice to go in there when it’s not teeming with shoppers and their kids. And who can complain about not having to wait in long lines? Not me.

It’s early and I have to get up later, so I should wrap this up.


Is it football season yet?

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It’s been a lax day around the HALO Command Center. Sissy decided that 9:45 was the time that I needed to get up. Nevermind the fact that I didn’t get to bed until a little after 4:00. I’ve been trying to decide what to do this afternoon. I’ve had little success. I think that we will go with the pre-Sunday activity default and head to Borders for a bit.

After yesterday’s bike excursion, I came home, cleaned myself up, picked up and headed to the downtown library. In theory, we went to do some drawing; it turned into a people watching session… and a very good one, at that. We picked up from work and headed back to the library, but it was closed – they were hosting a junior prom. We headed to The Gateway, but it was crowded and there was a “Disney World on Ice” show across the street at the Delta Center which made for poor parking conditions. We opted to head to Borders.

Bowling was decent: 180-151-159-151 and 107/135 (ironman games). and Jen stopped in on their way home from the BNL concert. Breakfast was fun; it was amusing to look over and watch , , , and Nyx’ friend, Celia, playing poker and blackjack… using jam, jelly and honey packets as “chips.” Oh, and coffee creamer packets, too. I had to recount the beaver story and the Christmas fire story for Pat, Brent and Jon. All around, it was a good night.

Stray Toaster
Vanity 6’s Nasty Girl just came up on the Winamp playlist rotation. Jess just asked, “Is that Britney?” I told her that it wasn’t, but I have to admit that Ms. Spears’ Slave For You (or however she spells it) sounds eerily similar to the opening of this song. *shrug*

And now, off to enjoy the day.

Blue skies and gentle landings.

First day of Spring…

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…so why am I still sitting inside? It’s a beautiful day.

After taking Jess to work, I decided to check out the model airplane strip off of 22nd North. I drove past it to see if I could figure out what a building on the same road was used for. It’s at the entrance to a dirt racetrack, apparently. Good to know… I turned around and headed back to the “Modelport,” as it’s called. There were about 20 cars there, people with model planes and one person with a model helicopter. Someone executed a beautiful hammerhead stall with their plane. It brought a big smile to my face.

I drove up I-215 to Woods Cross and then back home on I-15. And now, here I sit. But not for long. I brought the air pump in and there’s 2.5 miles of road between here and the library that my bike and I are going to ride. Not to mention the fact that I could use the exercise.



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What a day.

The work portion of the day was productive, but I was tired, irritable and surly for most of the day. That’s not a good combination. And I didn’t have any coffee, which didn’t help matters.

After work, it was off to Friday night coffee; tonight was a very small group: , and friend/ex-coworker Dee. was there for a little while, but had plans for the evening. There were many things that we talked about. Many things about which we laughed. And I can’t help but wonder if we didn’t run off at least two groups of people; I want to say “three,” but I can’t be sure. We headed to get a bite to eat and were joined by , Bill… and the return of . Vivi was in rare form tonight; she regaled us with stories about her home life. Funny stories. Nearly-spit-your-drink-on-your-neighbor stories. Twas fun.

I came home to find my main PC off. Odd, especially considering that the computer is on a UPS and that the other PC was on, but not a big thing. WRONG. The power supply had burnt out. *braincramp* This is never an auspicious thing. Fortunately, I had another power supply available for use: The one in the PC that I am putting together for ‘s little miss. *sigh* But, I was able to get the system up and running. And that’s the key thing.

Stray Toasters

  • I saw a great sunset while driving west on 17th North. “Red skies at night, sailor’s delight.” Except that I was looking over the airport. And the southern part of the Great Salt Lake. But, it was still a great sunset.
  • It’s amazing what Corona can do for one’s attitude.
  • Helicopter!
  • There was something about a cartoon that I watched as a kid that I wanted to put here, but I don’t remember what it was. Oh, well. Perhaps another time…

Apparently, I am rapidly approaching “shutdown.” This is good; I’m tired and welcome the sweet oblivion of sleep.


“Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.”

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Today was a good day. And it gets us one step closer to the weekend. Selah.

I got a call just after work from Catherine. She asked what Jess and I were doing this evening. “Nothing,” as far as I knew. So, she invited us to join her for dinner at Cafe Pierpont; her husband (and our ex-coworker) Land started working there this week. We did. Finding the place was a bit of an undertaking, though – Catherine gave us the wrong address. She was a couple of blocks off. But we managed to find it… after asking a couple of parking lot valets where it was. The food was good, as was the company.

On the way to the car, we passed the downtown location of Reuel’s, an art/drafting supply store. They have hands. (Wooden hands, that is.) Even in smaller sizes than the one that I have. And from the way that the display was set up, it looks like the joints are a bit more stable than the ones in the hand that I have. I may have to return to the store and acquire one…

Stray Toasters

  • While I was taking a break this afternoon, I had the notion to go back to a couple of stories that I started writing many rains past. One story will stay pretty much the same, but I am thinking of taking a new direction with the other.
  • (I’m sure that you’ll see this before you return to the Land Behind the Zion Curtain): Enjoy your vacation and get some well-earned and much-deserved rest!
  • Does anyone else remember the PTL Club and/or Heritage USA? Here’s a little hint to jog the memory: Think “Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Yep, them. It seems that after PTL went belly up, Heritage USA was simply left to… become a ghost town. Read more about it here. Thanks to for this little nugget of nostalgia.
  • By way of : Gay Trekkies… and from that: Trekkie Humor
  • Who ya gonna call?

    Dr. Raymond Stantz: I tried to think of the most harmless thing… something that could never destroy us… something I loved from my childhood.

    [A giant marshmallow man crashes through the streets of New York]

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Well, there’s something you don’t see every day. We’ve been going about this all wrong, this Mr. Stay Puft’s okay. He’s a sailor, he’s in New York, we get this guy laid we won’t have any trouble.

    And with that, I give you: this (the bottom of the list). And this.

  • “Blue Sox fans never leave the game early!” – Miles, from ‘Bebop
    It was nice to see Columbia fly again… even if only in animation.

  • Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise and Orson Welles have this in common.
    (Don’t forget to phrase your response in the form of a question.)
    Here is a hint.

  • Forbes is reporting that Vocera Communications has developed Star Trek-like communicator badges. Now, if they would just get busy on a transporter…

That’s it.