Fixing Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

So, three episodes in and I’m still waiting for the much anticipated Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to start getting good. This show was much hyped and a much anticipated foray into live action TV for Marvel/ABC/Disney. The show has strong creative DNA. Marvel Studio films have rarely disappointed, at least from an entertainment standpoint. Of course, Joss Whedon is no stranger to the process of making good, entertaining TV and movies. He’s well loved for Buffy, Angel, Firefly, oh, and a little arthouse film called Marvel’s The Avengers. His brother, Jed, who also worked on the underappreciated Dollhouse, is a principle here, too. But it seems a little lacking to me. So, here I break down why and how it might be fixed. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Doctor Who

Well, Doctor Who has achieved a height of popularity unthought of back in the eighties when I discovered it. Geek culture has arrived, even if it did take almost 30 years to make this British institution something more than a beloved passion for anorak-wearing, socially awkward young men.

With a dose of special effects (on a budget, this time!), pretty solid writing, a sense of humor, and an appreciation, though not cultish reverence, for what has gone before, Doctor Who has managed to finally become cool. Or at least geek-cool. Continue reading

Funny and Too True Observations

Those of you who wander around wordpress.com may already have encountered this on the Freshly Pressed page. Anyone landing here from elsewhere on the interwebs should definitely check out this recent post from THE WORLD: Through Mom-Colored Glasses.

In addition to being funny and an accurate, true-life observation, it is a very well-written, professional piece. My only quibble: as much as I’d like to claim the #1 tough job spot as “Parent,” I’d have to go with #1 – Mom; #2 – Dad. Even in the cases where dad is the primary caregiver (which I am not, personally) mom trumps us every time. Two words: pregnancy & childbirth. Puts them over the top every single time.

Backyard BBQ Pit—My Favorite BBQ in Durham

Well, I’m about to wade into it. The great BBQ debate. (Or barbeque, or B-B-Q, or whatever.) But not really.

I won’t hold up myself as an authority, though I do certainly love barbeque. I won’t start to try to argue for this or that region, or any particular restaurant, as having “the best.”

I will take a few to add my voice in praise of a place nearby my home that I consider my favorite, Backyard BBQ Pit.

Continue reading

The Convenience Story

The humble convenience store has been a fixture of many communities since 7-Eleven began to spread its 24-hour franchises nationwide in 1963. Your local brand may be Sheetz, Wawa, QuickCheck, or Circle K. They have become a distillation of America’s explosive obsession with convenience. What started in the 1940’s as a novelty—a store open 7 days a week from 7 A.M. to 11 P.M.—spawned a 24/7 cultural revolution.

In oblique retailese they are now called “convenience centers.” Not only do they have gasoline, but fourteen pumps are chugging away. Once convenience meant being able to buy eggs and milk on a Sunday; today the consumer has, at 3 A.M., a choice of foods and beverages that would put some grocers to shame.

And if actually preparing food is too inconvenient, the convenience center also has “to-go” food that equals or exceeds the choices at fast food chains. Short on cash? Use the no-fee ATM. Any craving, any need or desire, the convenience center is there to fulfill. Continue reading