Monday, June 28, 2004


I am officially finished with the entire science-fiction television series called Farscape. This series is perhaps the greatest SF show ever, save for the obvious classics The Outer Limits and Star Trek. Here are three reasons why Farscape is so cool...

1) Incredible Storyline - John Crichton, from 1990's Earth, gets shot across the galaxy and ends up in a ship full of aliens dazed and confused. The crewmembers are all former prisoners of the Peacekeepers, effectively an empire that keeps order in their part of the galaxy, but all were wrongly accused of their crimes. Farscape chronicles their adventures through space on the living ship called Moya. They have to fight, learn, and survive through all sorts of crazy events, evil villains, and natural phenomena, from the likes of the Scarran Empire to mercenary bounty hunters to spaceship-eating gargantuan creatures. Nevertheless, the writers for Farscape create a convincing, thought provoking, and compelling story that as a whole is like watching a page-turner novel.

Many of the episodes are independent of one another, but very often there are a great many episodes that run in succession, if watched at once it could be compared to a really long movie. But what's amazing is that you don't get bored! Every time I finished an episode, I couldn't wait for the next one! It draws you in like no other show I have seen does.

2) Real Character Development - It isn't often that ANY show these days has characters that have substance. Fortunately, we have multitudes of characters in Farscape that are deep and meaningful. To save writing time for so many characters, here is a small sample of characters with excerpts from the Farscape website.

John Crichton - The astronaut from earth caught in a wormhole and thrown halfway across the galaxy is the central character of the series (albeit every character plays an important role). He is brilliant, witty, courageous, idealistic, passionate... he is incredible. His character develops through the series from a scared and confused young man to a fighter and leader to be reckoned with by empires. From "The distinction of being a second-generation astronaut came, for Crichton, double-edged. After earning his doctorate in Theoretical Sciences, Crichton spent his time as a scientist/astronaut in his famous father's shadow, always trying to impress and please Jack Crichton, but never forced to scrabble to make a name for himself, since he was born into the legacy without even lifting a finger. When his experimental mission aboard the Farscape One module shot him through a wormhole, Crichton found himself definitely not in Kansas anymore. Here, he was at last forced to call upon the heroic qualities he'd inherited from Dad but had never needed to use. Crichton's natural leadership and decision-making skills make him an important member of Moya's crew; his complete lack of cultural understanding of alien races and technology makes his "heroics" just that much more difficult."

Aeryn Sun - From "Part of the frontline Pleisar Regiment of the Peacekeeper Military, Aeryn was a top-notch soldier and combat pilot until her encounter with Crichton and Moya rendered her, by Peacekeeper standards, "irreversibly contaminated," and ostracized her from the only family she'd ever known. Her experience on Moya has taught her that there are other means and methods of communicating, but, like D'Argo, she still turns to combat as her primary solution to any problem Moya might face. She sees the Peacekeepers, now, through the eyes of Moya's crew, and knows them to be relentless and in many ways wrong, but there is much of Aeryn that still considers herself a traitor." This was written during the early Farscape days, and later she becomes John's girl and a totally different person. She is a compassionate friend to all on Moya and critical to the development of John.

Kar D'Argo - From "Huge and powerful, D'Argo was wrongly imprisoned by the Peacekeepers as a scapegoat for the murder of his own Sebacean wife, Lo'Lann. His hatred for the Peacekeepers runs deeper than most, and he lives to reunite with his son, and to avenge the wrongs that have been done him and his family. His experience aboard Moya, and the love and friendship he's seen develop among Moya's crew has taught him patience and understanding... to some degree. His relationship with Zhaan, in particular, has taught him that there is much that's mightier than the sword (or Qualta Blade, his Luxan weapon of choice, half sword, half energy rifle). D'Argo admires Zhaan for this more than he'd ever admit out loud... fortunately, Zhaan can often sense what goes unsaid."

There are so many others! Zhaan the priestess and healer, wise in so many ways; Rigel the deposed monarch, arrogant and selfish; Chianna the runaway Nebari girl, flirtatious and silly; Crais the Peacekeeper captain; Scorpius the relentless Scarran-Sebatian half-breed after John Crichton's knowledge of wormholes; so many interesting people! Although is a little out-of-date (amazingly enough) with the later episodes, it is a good start to learn about the characters, so if you want to learn more check it out!

3) Great Acting - Along with our cool characters is the good acting. Ben Browder (John Crichton) actually has won multiple awards for the show! Not to mention that every actor has a very special way of expressing his or her character, and generally speaking the quality is very high.

It is truly unfortunate that Farscape was cancelled at the end of the fourth season. Recently, however, Farscape fans were excited to learn that there will be a four-hour miniseries to conclude the story this Fall. Not surprisingly, I am at the edge of my seat...

So if you love Farscape too, make sure to comment on what you love about the show!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Free time

I haven't posted in something like two weeks, so I figure it is about time I do so. I bet you've been wondering to yourself, "What DOES QM do in his free time in Kansas City after work? Does he golf? Watch mindless TV all evening? Drink his troubles and cares away?" Ok, you probably haven't been asking those questions, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

During the summer, I like to read books. In fact, I have made a list of the books I'd like to read this summer - twelve books in all. That's about one book a week all summer long. It won't be easy, but patience and dedication will win the day. Here's my summer reading list:

Wild at Heart - Eldredge (finally getting around to it)
The Attributes of God - Arthur Pink (guess who asked me to read that?)
The Design Revolution - William Dembski (gotta keep up with ID)
Building the Bombs - C. Loeber (a history of the Nuclear Weapons Complex)
The Iliad - Homer (Don't go see Troy - read the book)
Sleep Thieves - Stanley Coren (on the science of sleep)
The Canterbury Tales - Chaucer
The Four Loves - C.S. Lewis
The Pilgrim's Regress - Lewis
Surprised by Joy - Lewis
Till We Have Faces - Lewis
Miracles - Lewis

Why all the C.S. Lewis books? Jaired and I are going to be leading the C.S. Lewis gel group version 2.0 next semester at school, and we haven't decided yet what book(s) to choose. We found out that the sum total of Lewis books we haven't read was about 10, so we each of us took half of them to study over the summer.

All these books are in addition to my regular reading of Scripture and daily reading from the "Year with C.S. Lewis" book I got for Christmas. All in all, this is about 3800 pages of reading. If for some strange, sick, or twisted reason I actually read all of this before the summer's end, then I have another 10 books after these...

Now, you are probably thinking "Well QM you aren't going to be doing ANYTHING but reading this summer, you loser." Ok, so you aren't thinking that but I do other things too, like play guitar... I'm working on cutting a full length CD by the end of the summer, so I'm learning some new music in addition to keeping up with my old material. First off, I am finishing off the Suite del Recuerdo by Jose Luis Merlin. The last two major pieces in the suite are pretty difficult, but nothing I can't handle. Second, I'm learning numerous Celtic guitar pieces. I would like to do an exclusively Celtic CD too. Third, if you're familiar with jazz music at all then you know Dave Brubeck's Take Five. Well, actually it was written by Paul Desmond and was made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Great piece of music, and fortunately for all of us my friend Jorge Morel arranged it many years ago for solo guitar for Chet Atkins. John included in his biography of Chet the version that my teacher Kirk transcribed, and so I am working on that too.

Other than that, usually over dinner I watch an episode of Farscape. What a fun show! Speaking of which, it's time for dinner... Later guys...