Deadliest Catch Season Six

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore” – Vincent van Goqh.  

Words that are particularly true for the men of The Deadliest Catch as they head out to sea to capture their fair share of fame and fortune. 

Blair Bunting/Getty Images/Discovery Channe

Season 6 of The Deadliest Catch is now upon us. a new season that is rifled with excitement, drama, new rivalries, additional crewmembers, and a sudden departure of an old, dear friend. 

We start our voyage in the Bering Sea on small, rocky island oasis – Dutch Harbor.  It is King Crab Season and the rush to strike “red oil” is in the air as the crews rush to put the final touches on preparations as they head out to sea.  All our favorite characters are here – Sig, Andy, Phil, Jonathan, and Keith, plus a new captain – Wild Bill, a former captain who is returning from his second carrier as fishing guide in Baja Mexico. 

I am not sure that I would give up the warm, clear waters of Mexico for ice, cold, and long days of hauling pots.  Wild Bill’s reintroduction into fleet and “the grid” of crab fishing will be work in progress.

So what does the sixth season offer  that the last five didn’t?  Great question!!!  To spice things up, the Northwestern and the Cornelia Marie performed a crew swap.  Jake Harris is transferred to the Northwestern and Jake Anderson to the Cornelia Marie. 

The goal is to teach these two “hotshot, know-it-alls” a taste of humility.  In the “real world” of fishing this type of crew swap is unheard of, but what the hell for TV.  Seeing these two Jacks try to survive crab season on new boats while being tested with continual torment from crews will be like Survivor meets Fear Factor.  Hell on the seas!

Not enough drama, yet?  We now have conflagrant (I don’t know what this word means) rivalry between two of our captains – Jonathan and Keith –over what is called crew poaching.  Part of the unwritten rules of crab fishing is that you do not approach another captain’s crew member with an offer of job with increased earnings while they are still employed on another boat. 

If this was the 18th century, this offense would be settled with pistols or sword in a duel to the death.  In the 21st century, we are bit more civilized…instead the captains slung around lots of profanity, threats, and eventually pushing.  

As the curtain closed over the Captain’s Barrel, the dispute between Keith and Jonathan is far from over…What will be in store from these two fierce rivals?  I am not sure, but I am betting this conflict will make for good theater as the season progresses.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

An old friend of the fleet will leaving us during Season 6.  If you have not heard by now, Captain Phil Harris suffered a lethal stroke toward during filming on January 29th of this year while in port at St. Paul Island.  The cameras went along for his final voyage as Phil left the St. Paul Island bound to Anchorage via Med Flight. 

Even in the final hours and days, Phil still had a story to tell and insisted on keeping the cameras rolling no matter what.  In a note to Producer Beers Phil wrote about whether to cease the cameras – ‘No, we need a great finish to this story’.   Phil wouldn’t have it any other way…

Season Six is surely setting up to be one the more enjoyable seasons.  Ratings from last week’s first show was the highest ever for the series!  So, let’s get fishing! 

Deadliest Catch is on Discovery every Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Rush vs the NFL – The Hypocrisy

As we know by now, Rush Limbaugh has been discarded as an investor for one of the cartels bidding for the NFL St. Louis Rams.  The call of arms for Rush to be dismissed traveled in many waves – from NFL owners to the NFL commissioner, fans, NFLPA, African American activist, and even players.  Were Rush’s controversial comments about Donivan McNabb 5-6 years ago as part of the NFL Countdown on ESPN really to be blame here or was there another issue at hand?Rush Limbaugh

Love him or hate him, Rush is a lightning rod of controversy from his addiction to pain meds, to his grand conservative views, and to his attacks on any sitting Democratic president, but to call the man a racist is a bit daft.  Rush makes his living as an entertainer whose sensational word is designed to elicit a response either positive or negative.  That is who Rush is.  It boils down to the fact that the NFL did not want a lightning rod as owner who could bring unwanted attention to an organization that prides itself on family entertainment with a conservative public relations image.    

The real racist in this dance is not Rush, but the NFL.  The NFL deploys a racial slur each and every Sunday for the last 76 years – Redskins, more specific the Washington Redskins.  The term Redskin is more than a name or mascot but, a single descriptive slur that singles out a member of our society (Native Americans) by the color of their skin.  Can you believe the NFL and the ownership for this team (Washington Redskins are worth more than a billion dollars) make a fortune using this slur while at the same the NFL condemns Rush is a racist. When this issue was brought up by our Native American brethren, the NFL hid behind the veil of tradition and will fight using this slur all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  Where is the hypocrisy???!!!!

Who is really the racist here – Rush or the NFL?  I think any tribe in the United States will tell you it is NFL, the real villains.

Top 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows – EVER!

In the recently Wizard Magazine, there is an interesting article about the 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Ever.  The list was quite interesting and extensive with the likes of X-Files, BSG, Doctor Who, Angle, Buffy, and believe it or not V.  Most of their selections were quite logical and agreeable except for one. key_art_firefly

As I mentioned, the writers included V in the 25.  For me it wasn’t’ that V was on the list, which is debatable since it was a mini sires that they were referencing,  but the writers placed it in their top 10.  Frak!!!  So, it got me thinking, what would be my top 5, 10, 15, or 25 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows Ever.

You guess it, I have a list and not too similar to Wizard’s, however I think mine is bit more logical.  If I have say, the correct one…okay all kidding aside, here it is.  My list is only the top 20.

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Battlestar Galactica (Ronald Moore)
  3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  4. Twilight Zone
  5. X-Files
  6. Star Trek
  7. Torchwood
  8. Jekyll
  9. Firefly
  10. Angel
  11. Supernatural
  12. Quantum Leap
  13. Lost
  14. Fringe
  15. Star Trek the Next Generation
  16. Primeval
  17. Dollhouse
  18. Dark Angle
  19. Smaillville
  20. Eureka
  21. Friday the 13th: The Series
  22. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  23. Deep Space Nine
  24. Get Smart
  25. The Big Bang Theory

Free Comic Book Day

May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day which will be taking place at your nearest comic book shop.   Of course this event is not only a day to let out your inner geek, but it is an event that you can take your family to.  Children of all ages can find something on Free Comic Book Day.  Anything from your classic Archie Comics, to heavy hitters like Wolverine from Marvel, Green Latten from DC, and even some lesser known titles like Cyberforce from Image Comics can be yours and it is all free!logo

These titles are just the tip of the iceberg on what is being offered to the public.  Believe it or not 40 titles in all are offered at no cost to you!!!   This day can be more than just getting something for free, but an opportunity to share a piece of your childhood with your children by opening them up to world beyond sitting on the couch playing XBox or surfing the internet –a world of imagination, interesting dialog, amazing art, and an opportunity for them to read. 

The day also turns into an event.  For instance, many stores use this day to not only show case their store, but make the day fun with games, raffles, door prices, and addition free swag.  For instance, at Dave’s Comics in Richmond VA, the store tries to put on a mini-party.  It starts with Dave the owner, warming up the crowd by demonstrating his newest, wackiest toys.  Along with Dave’s wild and fun demonstrations, the local Star Wars club makes an appearance.   I had no idea blackest_nightthat Lord Darth Vader and his Imperial Strom Troopers were so into comics! 

This year’s event will be the launching point of new 2009 mega event from DC Comics called Blackest Night.  The free comic book from DC will be issue #0 of the Blackest Night series which is the prelude to this multi-title event which features the Green Lantern and leads into Blackest Night #1.  The creative team of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis are behind this comic and this DC Comic Event.   This issue also marks the first time a comic publisher used this event to launch a new multi-title story arc.  This comic will be THE comic to get for this year’s event!

So, I hope to see everyone out on May 2nd at your nearest comic book shop.

East Coast Wind Farms – is the future now?

wind-farmsAs the United States moves deeper into the 21st century, our energy needs are growing while the amount of inexpensive fuel at our deposal decreases.  This shortage is due to the increased world demand from emerging economies of India, China and the Third World – one could say the law of Supply of Demand is truly in effect.  Take last summer’s s astronomical rise in gas prices that gripped our country as a good example.

So, our need as a nation to explore alternate avenues of inexpensive and renewable energy is not only a high priority for our economical stability, but a component in our own National Security.  So, I was extremely excited when I read President George Bush’s speech at the Renewable Energy Conference on Oct 12, 2006 stating that the United States needed to severe our dependency on oil and explore new energy sources.  Finally we are on the right path to become self reliant again and not worry if the next Middle East conflict will cut off our energy needs.

Much to my delight, I was quite please to learn that Mr. Obama was going to continue what President Bush started by looking for alternate resources for our energy needs – Solar, Geo-Thermal, Hydro Electric, Nuclear, Bio-Fuels, and Wind Power.

The first step is to look at wind as resource.  A recent report from the Interior Department announced that wind farms could supply 20-25% of the electricity for majority of the East Coast.  These wind farms could generate up to 1000 gigawatts of electricity.  Not only could these farms have the potential to supply three-fourths of the United States’ electricity demand, but could lower our carbon emissions, a win-win situation.

The wind farms would reside in shallow-water and it looks like from the study that 71 percent of the nations wind resources are between North Carolina and Delaware.  As a resident of Virginia I found this possibility for our local economy and energy needs exciting.

However, as a realist I find this project utterly ridiculous and an irresponsible use of tax payers.  I give two words why this project will not only fail but would cost the tax payers imminence amount of money each year in repairs and construction costs – Hurricanes and Nor’easters.

One designated area for these farms is the Outer Banks of North Carolina or previous know as the Grave of the Atlantic.  This nickname, which the Outer Banks sorely deserves, originates from the 1500 ships that sunk over the last 300 years in its waters due to the strong off shore winds.  Even the Wright Brothers found the winds as a resource by launching their historical fight from the fields of Kittyhawk. 

These shores are not only a great source of wind, but are also the ideal place for the creation of Nor’easter storms that tendto  race right up the Virginia, Maryland, Delaware coast into New England.

Like Hurricanes, Nor’easter storms are nothing to sneeze at, they pack high winds, punishing surf, and heavy rains, and depending on the time of year even deadly hurricane_fran_optsnow/ice.  The winds from these storms can in some cases reach up to 80 mph.

The wind farms consist of tower that jets 328 feet into the air like a #2 pencil with a turbine that has a diameter as large a 747 airplane.  A nice size Hurricane or Nor’easter could easily break these turbines like tooth picks.  If Hurricane Katrina could move large off shore oil derricks that are anchored in the sea bed and not nearly as high while weighed down with several hundreds of tons several miles then image what it would due to a wind farm.  The results from a storm would devastate the farm.   People would be picking up turbines up and down the East Coast.  This danger would not only occur one, but year in and year out.   

What type of cost will the tax payer have to incur year after year to repair these facilities from storm damage and then added in additional costs of the environmental cleanup from broken turbines on our beaches or coastlines?  We are talking millions and millions of dollars per year.   Will the energy cost savings these wind farms generated be enough to offset the rebuilding and clean up cost?  I don’t think so.   So those costs would fall on you and me – the tax payer.

So cheap energy has now turned into expensive energy and again fossil fuels look to be the better alternative.  My suggestion would be to move these farms to mountain tops and other areas that the severe hand of Mother Nature cannot reach.

Although a good first step in finding an alternative source of energy, I just hope that the Federal Government and this Administration use their heads before sinking tax payer money into a potential money pit.  These type of ideas need to be vetted by many viewpoints before they reach the public form.

Federal Bailout of the NFL

Over the last few months, as our country navigates through turbulent waters of this Recession, the Federal Government has conducted some unprecedented moves – increased deficits spending, bailouts, and increased unconstitutional powers to the Department of Treasury.

On the heels of the forced retirement of CEO Rick Wagoner of GM, Secretary Timothy Geithner has acknowledged recently on “Face the Nation” on CBS that the Federal Government should have the option to purge any directors or senior management of financial institutions that received aid from the Federal Government – “Where that requires a change in management and the board, then we will do that” states Geithner.NFL

Wow!  Now that is power.  Maybe Geitner and the Federal Government need to take this power to the next step by beyond struggling financial firms and auto companies, but to all areas of the economy.  My first suggestion would be for them to start with the National Football League.

You heard me correctly…the multi-billion dollar a year industry that is call the NFL which is sorely in need of Federal help.  If anywhere there was an example of poor leadership and grossly abuse of bonus money, the NFL is defiantly the poster boy in these areas. 

Where else can besides Fannie Mac and Fannie Mae can an individual receive millions of dollars of bonus money for failure and performing below expectations.  Take for example DeAngelo Hall of the Washington Redskins.  He received a six-year deal worth $55 million, $23 million of which is guaranteed this year.   To give you an idea of the season that Hall had in 2008 here are his stats:

  • 73 Tackles, 63 Solo Tackles, .5 Sacks, 4 Interceptions, and 21 Pass Deflections in 15 games

Not too bad, I guess…However, this is the same guy who got beat out of starting position in Oakland and dumped mid way through 2008{is this the right year} by Al Davis due to poor performance.  Oh yeah, he just signed a $70 million free agent contract months beforehand with the Raiders.  To break it down, he was paid $8 million for eight games, while receiving a $7 million signing bonus for that bit of work.  To make matters worse, he struggled in the man-to-man defense scheme that Oakland runs and was rottenly beaten for big plays which lead to numerous Raider losses. 

Where is the outcry about Hall’s over bloated salary and bonus that were paid out for his poor play and performance?  I don’t see Congress freezing his pay or the pay of his ex-teammate Javon Walker who received an $11 million signing bonus for the 15 catches in 10 games he played in.  $733,333.333 per catch!!!  OMG!  Hall and Walker are just a few examples of bonuses being paid for underperforming employees without any Congressional outcry…where are you Nancy Pelosi??!!

Now let’s talk about management.  No one can argue that Geitner needs to fire everyone involved from the owner down to the towel boy in the Detroit Lions organization after their historical 0-16 season.  Mr. Obama himself could run a better organization that the Fords can.

You shouldn’t discount doing the same type of dismal strategy to the organization that seems to draft more felons than the Dallas Cowboys and that would be the Cincinnati Bengals (4-12 in 2009 and 110-193 since 1990).  Tell me one reason why Mike Brown and William Clay Ford should still be in position to run these teams in communities that deserve better?  Mr. Geitner, time to make your move and hand out some pink slips, the fans are waiting!

If you are not convinced yet that NFL needs government oversight and help, then I offer one last example.  The bloated rookie signing bonus that draftees receive year in and year out for services yet performed on the expectation that they will “rock stars” and be worth every penny they were given.  However that seems not to be the case for most first round draft picks. 

Take for example Jake Long on the Miami Dolphins.  He signed last year for a $57.5 million contract which included a guaranteed the $30 million signing bonus he received in 2008 as the #1 draft pick.  The $30 million guarantee bonus was given out for services that yet to rendered and Congress is ruffled by the AIG bonuses.  What a hypocritical world we live in!!!  I guess the severance package that Wagoner received for 30 years of service at GM of $20 million is not looking too bad after all.

Hopefully I have created a good case for Federal intervention into the NFL so our national pastime can be saved.  So, I deeply implore everyone to write and call their Congressional representative requesting Government assistance before it becomes too late… Do for the children!

Is Reaper heading to an end?

One of the funnier and original concepts on TV today is the CW’s Reaper.  Reaper is the story about a slacker working at a home improvement warehouse (The Work Bench) whose parents sold his soul to the Devil who uses him as a bounty hunter who tracks down escaped souls from Hell – a reaper.  Reaper is a drama with a heave dose of comedy.reaper-tv-11

Unfortunately, Reaper could be heading to its own grave.  The show’s death is a combination of low ratings and the departure of creators/executive producers Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas who have just signed a two-year deal with 20th Century Fox TV according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Reaper is currently produced by ABC Studios which Fazekas and Butters were a part of.  With the departure of this dynamic duo, CW and ABC Studios will need to make a hard decision to keep production running under a new team or end the series.  If you look at the current “tea leaves” – the ratings, then one could easily speculate that Reaper will end after its current run.

However, there is a sliver of hope.  Smallville’s creates/executive producers – Al Gough and Miles Millar left the show after the 2008 season and the show was still picked up for two additional years.  Along with two -ear comment, the story has not missed a beat either.  

Let’s hope we don’t see a going out of business sign on the door of the Work Bench!