Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Fuel For The BSG Fire

Yes, another Battlestar Galactica post.

This promo came out a few days ago -- and it's not just any promo, it's a Romo promo!

See who shows up, apparently under arrest, about halfway through? Attorney Romo Lampkin, or as I prefer to call him, the Final Cylon. This makes me feel better about my Joseph Adama prediction.

Or perhaps it is just a red herring. There have been so many red herrings in BSG shows, promos, and interviews over the years that the producers could open a fish market.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

But Is It Earth?

Heroes may be off until February, but Battlestar Galactica will be back one month from now -- and about time, too. The whole quest-for-Earth business has been overshadowed by the mystery of the Final Cylon. I stand by my earlier theory that Joseph Adama is Romo Lampkin is the Final Cylon. I am also willing to admit that I am probably wrong, no matter how well-thought out my theory is, because TV people have a big problem with logic and common sense. My theory ties in nicely with the upcoming Caprica series. Why not have the BIG REVEAL promote the new show? That would be logical, and good business.

Still. Having perused a plethora of blogs, boards, and articles, I have noticed that there are a lot of people who have determined that Ellen Tigh is the missing skin job. Not least among these was an anonymous blog comment, posted by someone who claims to work for the show, revealing in advance that it has been Ellen all along. I don't have the link handy because I discounted the comment when I read it, assuming that the commenter was either passing out disinformation, or simply lying about being connected with the show.

If Ellen does turn out to be the one, I will be disappointed. My Adama/Lampkin theory just makes too much sense to me. I believe that Five of Five should be someone who is aware that it is a Cylon, and who can manipulate events in a big way. Lampkin emerged from shadow (Hybrid prophecy) to save the day at Baltar's trial, then played a more visible role (in the light) in getting Lee Adama appointed President. What did Ellen do? Manipulate her husband into carrying out her will during the brief time when he was military dictator of the fleet? Carry on like a total floozy with man and Cylon alike? Get herself poisoned by her secret Cylon husband? The only thing that makes sense about her being the Final Cylon is the empty place at the table next to Tigh, in front of the (poisoned) cup. But that has little to do with events in the series.

Ron Moore & Co. had better come up with some really good plot twists (and swirls) to convince me that Ellen Tigh is a Cylon.

Meanwhile...what of Earth? Is the irradiated waste planet really Earth? Is there another world to which the fleet can escape? What's all of this nonsense about the Final Five having been to Earth? Is there really a Cylon God, and is it something manifest, in the form of a thirteenth humanoid Cylon? To heck with Christmas, I want January 16 to hurry up and get here. We've been waiting too long for resolution!

Our Klingon Commander-In-Chief

The nice thing about NBC's Heroes being available on the web is that I never have to worry about missing an episode. I'm usually a day or two behind.

The thing that stood out about this week's opening scenes was not the action on screen, but the presence of the name "Michael Dorn" among the actors appearing in the episode. There have been plenty of Doctor Who and Star Trek actors in supporting roles, but getting Worf on the show is the ultimate. He was always my favorite character on TNG, DS9, and the movies. I was very interested in seeing how he was going to be used here.

Every time someone was chemically altered (Ando, Peter, Mohinder) I half expected them to turn into a Klingon. Why not? What would have been cooler than Dr. Suresh lifting his face out of the pool of red chemicals to reveal a ridged forehead and a voice deeper than the Grand Canyon?

Instead of something ultra cool like that, I had to wait for the end of the show for my Worf fix. I was not disappointed. As soon as it was over, I asked Google how many sites were making reference to "President Worf". Less than a hundred, as it turns out. Still...this is going to catch on. No one will ever be able to watch Michael Dorn in anything without thinking "Worf". If he plays a President, he is going to be "President Worf", no matter how he handles the character. Mark my words, this will stick.

Good show, no matter who is in it. Get Hiro his power back, dammit!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Die Penn Brauerei wird geschlossen

My great-grandfather was a German immigrant who worker as a bartender after he came to Pittsburgh's South Side (then know as Birmingham). Eventually he ran his own saloon. His brother also, for a time, had a saloon. Prior to this, a cousin who had come over several years earlier tended his own bar as well. When my great-grandfather married my great-grandmother, the signed witnesses to the wedding were not family members or neighbors, but a brewery man and his wife from way over the North Side (then known as Allegheny City). The brewing industry was such a big part of my family's life back in the early years, you might say that German beer flows through my veins.

With a heritage like that, it should be no surprise that over 100 years later I would feel drawn to a new restaurant called the Allegheny Brewery. Right in the heart of Pittsburgh's North Side, patrons could dine on authentic Germany style cuisine while drinking Germany style beer, brewed right on the premises. There was even a large window on one side of the dining hall that allowed all to see the big copper kettles where the house brand was brewed. The food was good, the beer was ausgezeichnet!, and the ambiance had a distinctive retro feel to it. This is the closest that I would ever get to experiencing what the night life was like back in my ancestor's day. I went every chance I got. My friends wanted to go out, I took them to the Allegheny Brewery. A cousin visited from out of town, I took him to the Allegheny Brewery. I wanted to treat my future wife to lunch, I took her to the Allegheny Brewery. At some point, the name changed to Penn Brewery, but the quality and charm were undiminished.

After getting married, I stopped going out. What used to be "fun" had become "too expensive". I didn't make it back to the Brewery until a couple of years ago, to meet up with a cousin from out of town. It was still a great place to meet family and friends. I knew I had to get back there again sometime.

Too bad for me, then, that the Penn Brewery is shutting down:

The fate of the historic home of the Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh's first and largest craft beer maker, appears sealed this week as the owners prepare to leave the 19th-century structure with its custom brewhouse and restaurant for new quarters somewhere in Pittsburgh.
So we aren't losing the business itself, just the very special physical structure that gave the restaurant so much charm and personality. This may or may not matter, if the "new quarters" can recapture the feel that the existing place has. If I'm lucky, perhaps it will relocate closer to where I live, or where I work. Maybe it's not so bad for me, then.

For those of us with an interest in historical preservation, there is a small beacon of hope:

But on Tuesday, founder Tom Pastorius, who is still a minority partner in the operation, vowed to find a new owner that would keep the brewery in place.

"I spent 22 years of my life in this building, and I'm sick at the thought of losing it," said Mr. Pastorius. "I'm actively looking for a buyer for either the building, the brewery or both."

I hope he can pull it off, but I'm not betting on it. The current CEO has some sound business reasons for making a move:

But moving started to look good, Mr. Caric said, because of the "liabilities" of the current site, which has no room for expansion and is isolated. He said the company has a real estate agent looking for a new site in a city neighborhood with a busy retail and restaurant scene. That would increase walk-in business, he said, rather than forcing customers to make the "commitment" to drive to the base of Troy Hill.

"We really want to take this opportunity to find a place where we can do better," Mr. Caric said.

The isolation is part of its charm. And how many places nestled in city neighborhoods have decent two-level, off-street, FREE parking facilities? That was a bonus right there. If they can find a location with parking that is both plentiful and free, fantastic! But city neighborhoods "with a busy retail and restaurant scene" are notorious for metered parking. How much customer base will be lost if patrons either have to feed parking meters or take buses to get there? It will be interesting to see where this ends.

Go here and watch your browser's arrow turn into something frothy and delicious! And please visit for a meal and a beer before it's gone for good. You have until the end of February.