Trivial Matters

  • Farewell to Warehouse 13

    Many fans of sci-fi have a love/hate relationship with the Syfy Channel.  The channel that gave the cylons a plan in the re-imagined  "Battlestar Galactica" and introduced us to the quirky town of "Eureka", also has a nasty little habit of cancelling these brilliant shows before their time.  Last Summer, we cringed again when Syfy continued their tradition by announcing that "Warehouse 13" 's shortened, Fifth Season will be its last.

    "Warehouse 13" is a rare gem of a fantasy show that mixes drama with comedy.  The series originally premiered in July 2009 in which two Secret Service Agents:   one a buttoned-up, by-the-book beauty by the name of Myka Berning, the other an impulsive, intuitive fellow by the name of Pete Lattimer, were recruited by the enigmatic Mrs. Frederick to work for Artie Nielsen,  the custodian of Warehouse 13.  Their mission was to  collect enchanted artifacts before they can cause damage to the people around them.  Sometimes people would inadvertently use these objects without knowing the problems they could cause, but many times, unsavory individuals would seek out the objects to use for their own personal gain.


    warehouse 13 The end is near as Warehouse 13 airs its final episodes on Syfy.

    As the series progressed, the show gained two new agents:  a tech-savvy but troubled young woman named Claudia, and Steve Jinks, an ATF recruit who detects when someone is lying.  They all lived at Leena's Bed & Breakfast, and Leena also helped to organize the Warehouse.  Among many of the artifacts they have located have been Jimi Hendrick's guitars, one that can cause electrical storms and Lewis Carroll's Looking Glass, which can trap people inside and let others out.  Members of the team have be trapped in a 1940's murder mystery film, traveled into the bodies of 1960's Warehouse agents, have been possessed, brought back from the dead, and have stopped the world from being destroyed on more than one occasion.

    In addition to the original story lines, one of the things that sets the series apart from other genre shows has been the caliber of its guest stars.  Lindsey Wagner, "The Bionic Woman" has guest starred as Artie's love interest.   "Star Trek:  Voyager" alum Jeri Ryan has had a recurring role as Pete Lattimer's ex-wife and Kate Mulgrew portrayed Pete's mother.   Brent Spiner from "Star Trek:  The Next Generation" carried an entire story arc.  "Firefly" actors Jewel Staite and Sean Maher teamed up for an episode.  Most recently "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" actors James Marsters and Anthony Stewart Head have had recurring roles.

    Warehouse Pete Eddie McClintock will be at Away Mission in April.


    Beginning Monday, April 14th, "Warehouse 13" will start airing its final episodes.  However, you can meet Eddie McClintock, "Pete Lattimer" himself at The Away Mission in Tampa the weekend of April 11- 13th.  Eddie McClintock will be available for autographs and photo ops Saturday and Sunday.

  • Spotlight on Kevin Sorbo

    In the mid 1990s, two television series, "Hercules:  The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess", which were  filmed in New Zealand and syndicated by Universal Studios,  became a national ratings success and a world wide phenomena.  A blend of action adventure, drama and comedy, both series had a wide range of fans from children to adults.  At that time, the internet was starting to become popular, and many tech savvy fans of both series created message boards and web sites dedicated to the shows and other fans wrote articles for fanzines and had viewing parties.

    On July 10, 1997, I experienced a once in a lifetime event at Universal Studios, Florida.  I, among many thousands of fans attended the opening of a new attraction entitled "Hercules and Xena:  Wizards of the Screen".   In attendance were the half-god and Warrior Princess themselves - Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless.   Throughout the day, Kevin Sorbo was out and about enjoying the attractions in between his appearances for the studio, always smiling and waving at the crowds of people when he walked past.  During  "The Terminator 2 Ride", I thought I heard his voice and looked back to find him sitting directly behind me.  Later that day, I was able to attend an outdoor press conference, where Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless spoke about the opening of the attraction and their respective television series.

    Kevin Sorbo at Universal Studios Florida, July 1997 Kevin Sorbo at Universal Studios Florida, July 1997

    A few months later, Universal Studios announced that Kevin Sorbo suffered an aneurysm in his shoulder, which kept him from filming "Hercules" for a while.  During that time, the studio wrote around his character and had several guest stars fill in.  Kevin Sorbo then made a triumph return to the series, which lasted five seasons.  It was not made public until many years later that not only did Kevin Sorbo have an aneurysm in his shoulder, but he also suffered a series a of strokes as a result, which nearly cost him his life at the age of 37.  In 2011, Kevin Sorbo wrote about his health ordeal and how he overcame it in his autobiography, "True Strength:  My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life."

    Kevin Sorbo as Captain Dylan Hunt on "Andromeda"

    A year after "Hercules" finished its run, Kevin Sorbo returned to television as Captain Dylan Hunt on "Andromeda", which was a series that was based on a concept by the late Gene Roddenberry that his wife, Majel Barrett Roddenberry helped to produce.  "Andromeda" had a successful five year run both in syndication and later on the Sci-Fi Channel.  Since then, Kevin Sorbo has acted in over forty films from comedies like "Meet the Spartans" to heart-felt dramas like "Soul Surfer".  In 2011, he has even guest starred as himself in Felicia Day's web series, "The Guild", as a guest at a Game Convention.  He is currently filming a series of fantasy movies entitled "Mythica".

    Off screen, Kevin Sorbo  created a charity organization, "A World Fit For Kids", which encourages children to be active, eat healthy, and to graduate from high school.  He is also an avid golfer and has organized an annual golf tournament to benefit his charity.  He has also been a keynote speaker at the National Stroke Association.

    Kevin Sorbo will be a guest for the upcoming "Away Mission" in Tampa, from April 11 -13, 2014.

  • Star Trek technology is here today

    “Tea, earl grey, hot.” How many times have we heard Captain Picard place his order with the Enterprise’s food synthesizer, or for that matter Captain Kirk? But like many of fictional devices portrayed in Star Trek, the food synthesizer is poised to become reality. Enter the 3-D printer, now capable of printing you a meal. Taking the lead in this new technology is Natural Machines, based in Barcelona, Spain. The 3D printing kitchen appliance can be used for printing different types of ingredients, such as chocolate and pasta.

    Speaking of the Enterprise and Space, NASA in cooperation with a Texas based company, is working on the design of a 3D food printer for deep space missions. NASA's Advanced Food Technology program is interested in developing methods that will provide food to meet safety, acceptability, variety, and nutritional stability requirements for long exploration missions, while using the least amount of spacecraft resources and crew time. Closer to LEO (Low Earth Orbit) NASA is also funding research to place a 3D pizza printer for the International Space Station. Continue reading

  • Syfy's "Helix" Is Contagious

    Ronald D. Moore, well known for his work as a writer and producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica has created a new series which premiered on the Syfy channel on  Friday, January 10th entitled Helix.  The series stars Billy Campbell, (The Rocketeer, The 4400), who plays Dr. Alan Farragut, a scientist from the CDC who is asked to travel to Arctic Biosystems to investigate, what is first believed to be a retro viral outbreak at their private research facility.  Continue reading

  • A Shatner-Mental Journey

    A very long time ago, a little girl sat on a blanket in front of a television in her one bedroom house and was transported to worlds of wonder and discovery every afternoon.  A valiant crew dressed in gold, red and blue traveled in an amazing space craft called the U.S.S. Enterprise, which was led by a very handsome and decisive leader named James T. Kirk.  Little did she realize at the time, but that man, played by actor William Shatner, would be a part of of the rest of her life. Continue reading

  • Serenity For The Holidays

    I love "Firefly".  The short lived Fox series about a mercenary crew traveling through space who aimed to misbehave had one of the best ensemble casts ever.  Although it has been off the air for ten years and its follow-up movie "Serenity" graced the theater screens eight years ago, the fans, (many who call themselves Browncoats), keep growing in number.  Even though most of the actors have regular acting gigs throughout the year,  they still attend conventions when they can and their presence always draws a crowd from all over the world. Continue reading

  • Away Mission is coming back, and I for one, can't wait!

    I was excited to hear that Away Mission was returning so soon, and even more excited to try and guess what high-profile guests will be coming. I'm going to throw out several guesses, based on no facts whatsoever, except for my usual wish to look clever.

    One of the main characters from the new Star Trek reboot movies. Perhaps ...someone from the original series, even though the choices are becoming more limited every year, sigh.

    What are your thoughts? Who would you like to see?

  • no!


  • Sir Patrick Stewart, Star Trek Captain, Mutant Leader, Pizza Lover, Humanitarian

    -- Courtesy of our awesome friends at Blurppy.

    There is nothing I love more than someone who is confident in their own skin that likes to enjoy themselves.  Aside from having one of the best voices EVER, Sir Patrick Stewart embraces life and his work with vigor and humor.  His portfolio of film, theater, television and voice work is beyond impressive and just when I thought I couldn't like him anymore without it getting awkward, I recently had to check myself. Continue reading

  • Lights! Camera! Monkeys? Artist Chet Phillips Gives Us A Look At Primate Pop Culture

    -- Courtesy of our awesome friends at Blurppy.  


    Star Trek, Dr Who, Kill Bill, The Wizard of Oz, Dr. Strangelove, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Planet of the Apes are some of the most recognized and beloved pop culture movies of all time.  But what if… you were in a spaceship…and you   crash landed on a bizarre world in the distant future?  What if this planet was extremely similar to ours with one glaring exception…simians were the dominant species? Ok, so that MAY sound slightly familiar but artist Chet Phillips has taken the concept to a whole new level. Continue reading

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