Category Archives: TV

The Amazing Screw-On Head

I don’t know what Mike Mignola is smoking, but I hope that The Powers That Be realize the importance of securing him an adequate supply. His latest project, The Amazing Screw On-Head, combines his distinctive visual style with a dash of cheerfully goofy anachronism and the kind of wry, ironic humor he only allowed himself flashes of on Hellboy.

The first episode is highly entertaining, and leads one to hope that it will get a chance to build an audience. (Given that we’re talking about Sci-Fi, the folks who gave Battlestar Galactica the time and space it needed to get its legs under it, and not the scum-sucking swine at Fox, who shot promising infant series like Firefly and The Tick in the head when they didn’t produce high returns instantly, the odds would seem good.)

Yup yup yup

For almost as long as I can remember, first-contact stories have been among my favorite subgenre of science fiction. I’m not sure why, but I long suspected that it might have been a consequence of reading James P. Hogan’s Giants series at an impressionable age. Having recently been pointed at this bit of vintage Sesame Street, though, which I’d seen but long forgotten, I’ve been forced to wonder if I wasn’t in fact deeply imprinted at an even more impressionable age.

Uh huh uh huh uh huh.

Careful With That Coax, Eugene

In the past couple of months I’ve tracked, on two separate occasions, cable-TV signal-quality issues down to improperly-terminated coaxial connections. Both times someone seems to have decided that the end of the center conductor should be flush with the end of the surrounding screw-on collar.


For the record: when you strip coaxial cable, you’re supposed to expose one-quarter inch — sixteen sixty-fourths for the mathematically disinclined amongst you — of center conductor. The collar of the RG-6 Quad compression-fit F-connector I happen to have at hand is, according to my caliper, eleven sixty-fourths of an inch deep. The center conductor is supposed to protrude. Don’t trim it flush unless snow on your television screen and irksome connectivity problems with your cable modem are your idea of an afternoon’s entertainment.


Not-So-Filthy Dirtchildren

I started collecting the Invader Zim DVDs pretty much from the moment their release began, glad to get my hands on high-quality copies of the episodes at last. (I make it a point to obtain legitimate copies of things I’ve bootlegged, like the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, whenever I can, if only to do my little bit to undermine what’s left of the MPAA’s credibility.)

Naturally, the inevitable happened: after the individual volumes had finished trickling into the market, a boxed set appeared, complete with Special Features disc, GIR figurine, and eye-catching case modeled on Zim’s house. It figures. Publishers seem never to miss a chance to screw their most loyal customers. (“You pre-ordered so you’d get it the instant it came out? Hah! Now you get to buy it again, just to get your grubby fanboy mitts on the additional goodies! Sucker!”)

Except that AnimeWorks, bless their delicious candy-like hearts, have gone about it just a bit differently. They’ve made a package containing only the extra items — bonus disc, figurine, and case — available for a fraction of the price of the full set. Slot your previously-acquired Volumes 1-3 into the empty space in the case, and it’s like you bought the boxed set to start with.

As GIR would say with a tear in his baby blues, “I love this publisher.”