“Sense8” Season 2 Premier Confirmed

The Sensates are Coming!

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

[Image via Netflix] [Image via Netflix] Well, it’s a sort of happy birthday to me as we now know the release date for not only the Sense8 Christmas special, but the premier of Season 2!

On Thursday, 1 December, Netflix confirmed that a two-hour special would air two days before Christmas, 23 December, 2016.  Yesterday, a little after 5 PM EST, Netflix posted the following image on their Facebook page:

The story continues. #Sense8   [Image via Netflix] The story continues. #Sense8    [Image via Netflix] That’s right, Season 2 begins two days after my birthday, so I’ll have a very “Sense8ful” birthday weekend ahead of me!

A couple of observations.  First, there is almost nothing known of the Christmas special.  We know the 8 August cluster will be shown once again, but that’s it.  A Christmas Special is also supposed to be the title of the episode, which tells us even less.

Second, the number of episodes has been cut from twelve…

View original post 118 more words

Preparation to Destination: Traveling in Private Style

Well, yesterday was a rather full day.  I did a bit of running around, with one of the high points of the day involving a nail repair–

Looks good as new, yeah?

Looks good as new, yeah?

Also, as it is December and I usually get something pierced I had thin rings permanently set in each ear:

Yes, it's right there.

Yes, it’s right there.

I should also point out that in two weeks time I am going to treat myself to a full-day spa treatment because it’s Christmas and if I don’t give myself a present, no one will.  So I am going in for a good five to six hours of pampering ’cause I need it bad.  I’ll get pictures ’cause I’m sure there’s a few of you wanna see what I look like while wearing a facial mask.

Not as much writing last night as expected because who knows, right?  I was just short of five hundred words so no chance I’ll bust eighty thousand words this weekend, but by next weekend it’ll be mine.  Mine, I’m tellin’ ya!  And I’m still shooting for one hundred thousand words by the end of the year.  It is doable.

Now, my kids…

It would seem they have a private cabin–yes, you heard that right.  Not only did they share accommodations in Paris but it seems they are being elevated to “VIP Status” when returning to school.  Is there a reason for all this butt kissing?  Well–yeah, but I’m not saying why.  One could say it’s because there’s fear that Erywin and Deanna don’t want him transitioning in the middle of a flight in front of dozens of students, but that’s not the reason.

Am I gonna tell you what it is?  No.  Because I’m a bitch.  I mean, you can’t have all my secrets.

With that said, let’s learn a bit more about these New Digs in the Sky:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

“Indeed it is.” Laverne stepped around both children and stood in the center of the compartment facing them. “We were requested to give these to a few students traveling as couples, and both professors Sladen and Arrakis said that you should have this one. The cabins behind you are unoccupied and there’s nothing forward of your area but a few hostesses and the flight crew.

“The chairs here—” She pointed to her right towards the aft of the aircraft. “—are designed like a sofa, though we recommend you keep your seat belts on while in flight. Across from you is a ninety-two centimeter screen for your entertainment system. The area underneath the entertainment center can be used for the storage of small items like your backpack, Mr. Malibey.”

Laverne moved closer to the outside bulkhead. “All the private cabins moved along one side of the aircraft so that you would have an outside view.” She pointed at the door situated between the bulkhead and the seats. “This is a closet where you can hang your clothes—” She moved closer to Annie and Kerry and pointed at another door located between the exit to the court and the seats. “This is the entrance to your private lavatory.”

Kerry’s eyebrows shot upward. “We have our own bathroom?”

“It wouldn’t be much the private compartment if you didn’t have your own bathroom.” Laverne folded her hands together and held it before. “There are two pair of pajamas in the closet. They are unisex, though one is slightly larger than the other. That should approximate your body sizes, but they are enchanted to mold correctly to your forms once they are worn. There also two pair of slippers that act much the same. We will be pushing off from the gate approximately fifteen minutes, so if you wish to change I would do so as soon as I have left.

“Approximately thirty minutes after takeoff someone will be in to convert your seats into a full bed: that will take about five minutes and during that time you may relax in the lounge. About ten minutes after that dinner will be served and as you know from past flights, within thirty to forty-five minutes after the start of dinner service everyone will be asleep in an adjustment. Don’t worry, someone will tuck you in should it become necessary.

“As in the past you should wake up approximately two hours before we land in Boston. Thirty minutes before we touched down someone will be around to remind you to change back into your street clothes if you haven’t done so already.” Laverne gave her best smile. “Do either of you have any questions?”

Annie and Kerry exchanged glances before she turned to the hostess. “No, thank you, Laverne. You’ve told us everything we need to know.”

The hostess nodded. “I’ll leave you to get comfortable; I’ll return momentarily with a snack.” She stepped into the corridor and press the outside keypad: the door closed with a whisper.

 

While my cabin is a bit more opulent, it’s based upon an accommodation offered by Singapore Airlines for first class passengers traveling as a couple.  Price for that cabin is $23,000 USD and up, and while that seems like a lot of money, there are some accommodations aboard an A380 that run more.  That’s called having money to piss away.

For $23,000 that better be a great bottle of champagne.

For $23,000 that better be a great bottle of champagne.

Now, the difference between what the kids have and what’s shown above is that their cabin is set so they have a widow view, there isn’t a partition between the seats, their video monitor is a single, and they have their own small closet and bathroom.  There aren’t any windows allowing people to look in on them, either, so they are completely sealed off from the rest of the aircraft.  Pretty nice way to cruse if you ask me.

Oh, and if they pass out from whatever stuff is in the food that makes them fall into adjustment, someone will come along and get them all tucked in the right way.  Now that’s service!

Now that they are alone–again!–it’s time to get comfy:

 

As Annie opened the closet Kerry slipped his backpack off and set it down. “I’ll change in the bathroom—”

I’ll change in the bathroom.” Annie handed him a hanger with pajamas and a robe. “You’ll be done changing two minutes; I’ll need at least five.” She stopped in the open doorway of the bathroom. “Please get my slippers?” She flashed him a bright smile.

He smiled back. “No problem, Darling.”

As she’d anticipated Kerry was in his pajamas in about two minutes. He noticed they weren’t so much pajamas as comfortable lounging pants and a slightly loose tee shirt. He placed his clothes on the hangar and put them in the closet, then grabbed the slippers and set Annie’s by the bathroom door before putting on his own. He was just about to sit down when Annie emerged from the bathroom. “Here, let me take that.” He took her clothes, already on the hangar, and hung them next to his.

Annie put under slippers been stretched. “Oh, I love traveling this way.” She sat on the sofa and crossed her legs. “And this is delightful.”

 

There they are:  changed into their PJs and ready to fly.  All that remains is for the plane to take-off and for the kids to get to adjusting.  And for them to wake up somewhere outside Boston–where, I’ve been told, they’ll have a rather interesting conversation because the voices in my head are telling me so.  But they’ll get some shut eye in before that happens–

Will there be rose petals?  Tell me they'll have rose petals...

Will there be rose petals? Tell me they’ll have rose petals…

Not telling.  You’ll find out tomorrow.

Trump Announces Open Season On U.S. Jobs

And we can expect a lot more of this in the future.

Mike the Mad Biologist

23-trump-steaks.w710.h473More five-star sizzle on a one-star steak (boldface mine):

Carrier, the company that changed its plans to shutter a plant in Indianapolis and shift production to Mexico after talks with President-elect Donald Trump, confirmed Wednesday that it would receive financial assistance from the state of Indiana as part of the deal to keep the plant open.

“Today’s announcement is possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive U.S. business climate,” a statement from the company read. “The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration.”

The deal does not affect another United Technologies facility in Huntington, Ind., which also is scheduled to close as production shifts to Mexico. That plant has about 700 employees.

This is nothing more than the ongoing race-to-the-bottom tax cuts for jobs that Kenneth Thomas keeps writing…

View original post 485 more words

Preparation to Destination: All Aboard

I stated yesterday that if I wrote over thousand words last night that would be five nights in a row I had done so.  And guess what?  I did it.  Yay!  Yep, for the first time in a long time–probably not since the days of NaNo 2013–I wrote more than five thousand words together in a five night.

It’s not only quite an accomplishment but it’s put me way ahead of the curve.  Let me show you what I mean.

Here's Exhibit A.

Here’s Exhibit A.

Today’s post is still giving excerpts from the above scene À Plus Tard Paris, which was the second for this chapter.  But I’ve already started writing the last scene in Chapter Six, Back Home Once More, where I added two hundred and twenty-three words.  I think this is about the furthest I’ve ever been ahead when it’s come to posting excerpts.  Usually I’m like maybe five, six hundred words ahead will bring something a post, but at this point I’m actually about thirty-five hundred words ahead.  And it’s a real good possibility I’ll have finished the chapter about the time of getting into the excerpts for the penultimate scene.

It’s nice to be ahead of things once in a while.

One other thing: last night I surpassed a total of 75,200 words.  A good stretch of writing will put me over eighty thousand words by next Tuesday, and it’s conceivable I could be very close to a hundred thousand words by the end of the year.  Seeing as how I’m only five months into writing, reaching a hundred thousand words after six months would be quite an accomplishment.  (16 January, 2017, is the six-month mark of writing, and I’m pretty certain I’ll be over a hundred thousand words by then.)

In the meantime my kids are about to board the aircraft.  They’re going to go through the normal check-in procedure, but after that things are going to take a rather strange change–

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

A few minutes later the gate opened and queued up students had their boarding passes checked. Annie and Kerry both understood that while it was no longer necessary for them to masquerade as Normal students, they also understood that The Foundation didn’t want anything to look out of the ordinary and having a group of students simply file through the checkpoint and on to a jet without any sort of examination would likely raise suspicions.

The boarding pass project headed back receiving them along gangway leading to the A380. They could see into the enormous cabin several seconds before reaching the door. Both Erywin and Deanna were waiting inside: Erywin held the tablet and spoke as they stepped into the aircraft. “Well, I see the first of our VIPs has arrived.” She held out the tablet. “Check in, please?”

Annie placed her right hand upon the tablet first; after a beep Kerry did the same with his left hand. Erywin checked the manifest as soon as the tablet beat the second time. “You are officially on board and ready to return to school.” She looked at the hostess standing to Deanna’s left. “Laverne—” she pointed to students before her. “This is Kirilova and Malibey: please take care of them.”

The hostess nodded. “Of course, Professor.” She motioned for Annie and Kerry to follow. “This way, please.” They walked a few meters into the cabin before the hostess indicated a few pieces of luggage pushed up against a bulkhead. “You may leave your bags here: they’ll be put away and return then when you depart.” As soon as luggage was set aside she gave both children a smile. “If you follow me, I will show you to your seats.”

Annie was quick to speak. “We have assigned seats?”

Laverne nodded. “Yes. As you heard the professor say, you are one of our VIPs. This way, please.” She walked to the stairs and headed to the upper level.

The upper level landing open upon a large open area with three small tables around which were gathered several chairs. There was sofa seating against both sides of the cabin and bulkheads to the fore and aft with the passageway beyond both on the right side of the aircraft. Laverne addressed the children before they could ask questions. “This is the Forward Lounge. It can be used as a gathering area where students can come and have conversations with her friends. For much this flight, however, it will only be available for a short time before our arrival.”

Kerry turned to Annie. “This is really nice.”

She nodded as she looked around. “It’s impressive.”

“Thank you. Come this way—” Laverne strode across the lounge and entered the passageway heading towards the front of the aircraft. They walked past two doors on their left before stopping in front of the third and last. The hostess pointed to her right. “There is the forward galley in the cockpit. Here are your seats.” She placed her right hand upon a palm print lock: there was a click and the door slid the wall.

Annie stepped through the doorway to the enclosure beyond with Kerry right behind. For a moment both were speechless as they took in their surroundings. She was the first to break the silence. “This is magnificent.”

Kerry turned to Annie and spoke in a slightly flabbergasted tone. “It’s a private cabin.”

 

First, we already have a pretty good idea of what the layout on one of these jumbos is like.  All of the students usually sit in something that looks remarkably like first-class seating, which is to say big, comfy chairs and lots of private space.

This is a pretty good approximation of what to expect when you fly Foundation Airlines.

This is a pretty good approximation of what to expect when you fly Foundation Airlines.

The reason everyone has so much room is because these chairs now fold out into a rather flat bed.  So it is time for the kiddies going to adjustment and sleep, they sleep comfortably.

But Annie and Kerry are VIPs, as we’ve heard.  And when every seat on board aircraft is a first-class seat, how do you treat your VIPs?

Kerry said it, and tomorrow I’ll show it.

Preparation to Destination: Passenger Configurations

Here we are, four nights in a row of a thousand words plus each night.  And I should be able to make it five tonight, which will be something new for me as I haven’t written over five thousand words in five days in a long time.  But we’ll see:  I’m in the middle of a scene where the kids are having a rather frank conversation and–well, Annie finally brings up something that she’s not mentioned through the first two novels.  Like I said the conversation is pretty frank and little is held back.

But that’s in the future and right now we’re in the present.  Or the past, if you like, as it is 29 August, 2013, in the story as this scene unfolds.  Nothing like a little time travel to keep you on your toes.  And talking about flying–which my kids are about to do…

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Annie smiled and nodded. “Papa’s flown on one: he said it was incredible.”

“Really? How did he get on one?”

“He was on Emirates Airline: they flew his and several other teams to Abu Dhabi for the Grand Prix race last November. It was a Normal commercial flight, but he flew first-class.” She looked out the window toward the aircraft. “I imagine are seating accommodations are going to be far different.”

“Oh, quite different.” Erywin approached from behind and joined them. “The Central and East Asian and Oceanic returning students are right now flying on the first one The Foundation bought; this one is the second. It’s my understanding The Foundation bought a third, for right now it’s being prepped.”

Kerry faced the instructor. “Seems like an awful lot of plain just very around, oh what? Thirty-five people?”

 

The A380 is a monster aircraft:  it’s pretty much a 747 where the upper deck in the hump at the front of the aircraft is extended all that way back to the tail.  In a standard First/Business/Economy class configuration it can seat up to 575 people, but if you go full-on Cattle Car in the Sky mode, you can get close to nine hundred passengers inside one.

Sort of like The Hunger Games at 30,000 feet.  May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor that you don't lose your mind.

Sort of like The Hunger Games at 30,000 feet. May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor that you don’t lose your mind.

But this is a Foundation flight and they do things way differently–

 

Erywin shrugged. “Remember, The Foundation looks at operating costs a bit differently than the rest of the Normal world. For them, flying a bunch of returning students on this aircraft isn’t that big of a concern for them.”

Annie gave a quick nod. “What does The Foundation really intend to do with these aircraft?”

“It’s mostly a lot of show for various dignitaries, but—” Erywin’s tone softened as it usually did when she was relaying information that wasn’t well known. “For the most part they can use these for flying conference rooms: that allows them to avoid problems such as we had twelve years ago.”

Kerry shot Annie a quick look: by now they both knew what really happened at the World Trade Center back in 2001. “I can understand that. They could also use them for flying command posts.”

“Which, I understand, is one of their intentions. There is ever another Day of the Dead event, they can get all VIPs into one aircraft and get them airborne.” Erywin nodded toward the window. “Under Normal circumstances, that aircraft could stay aloft for twenty-four hours. Under a Foundation emergency, it could fly like a PAV and stay aloft indefinitely.”

Kerry glanced toward Annie. “If they can keep Salem hidden, it would be nothing keeping aircraft like that hidden.”

“Exactly.” Erywin nodded toward the check-in gate. “Deanna and I have finalized everything with the airport people. I’ll see you aboard the aircraft.”

 

It makes sense that they’d use their A380s a little like Air Force One in that they’d put one or two up as flying command posts.  And the idea of using them for important meetings in the sky is a good one:  get everyone together and fly out over an ocean and chat for a few hours.  They’d likely never file a flight plan and never show up on any radar until both were required for landing.

And in the meantime they can be used twice a year to ferry students at their most prestigious school back and forth because why the hell not?  When you have billions at your disposal spending a few million on a couple of aircraft for a day of operation is no big thang.  It allows the kids to relax and allows the pilots to gather data on how the aircraft operates.  You can bet that some of the Mad Scientist in The Foundation are gonna analyze the flight recorders and look at ways of–improving the aircraft.  Yeah, that’s what they’ll do.

But we’re not quite on board yet.  In fact, Annie’s doing a little eye spy, and her eye has a couple in view–

 

Annie was hoping that Kerry and she could spend a few quiet moments together, but only moments after Erywin left Anna and Elisha approached. Annie was somewhat surprised to see that he didn’t appear too self-conscious together in public: they’d seen them together when they were visiting Montmartre and they seem to have a bit of an awkwardness about them, as if they weren’t certain if they should act like friends or a couple. Seeing them together now, it was obvious they’d decided to lean toward couple.

Kerry obviously noticed a difference in their mood as well. “You two seem to be getting along nicely.”

Anna blushed. “We’re still sort of—” She glanced at the Turkish girl next to her. “It’s still a bit of a learning phase, you know?”

Annie smiled when she spoke to Elisha, attempting to put her at ease. “We saw you both at the Eiffel Tower that night when Anna told you what she was feeling. I’m pleased to see how happy you look now.”

Elisha glanced at Anna before turning back and replying to Annie’s comment. “Thank you. It’s still taking a bit getting used to this.”

Kerry hooked one thumb the strap of his backpack. “You mean not realizing that Anna had feelings for you?”

“I, um…” Elisha glanced at the German girl once more and blushed just a little as she spoke. “I mean, it’s never been a secret in the coven that Anna’s interested in girls. I’ve been friends with her for a while and she hasn’t been afraid to talk about the subject.”  She cleared her throat. “What’s taking me some time to get used to is that I didn’t realize I had feelings for her. When she told me the other night how she felt, it was like a gate opened up and all these emotions started coming out.” Elisha chuckled. “I never expected that to happen.”

Kerry smiled and nodded. “Yeah, I remember when I realized I was in love.” He reached for Annie’s hand, took it and kissed it.

Annie leaned close to him and spoke in a near whisper. “I remember both times you realized you were in love with me.”

“Both times?” Anna perked up. “You mean there was more than one?”

Just then and announcement in French came over the loudspeaker. Annie listened closely and spoke before the announcement was over. “They’re calling our flight.”

The announcement ended and was repeated in English. “Your attention, please. Those passengers traveling to Logan International Airport via special charter please report to Gate L22. Your flight will commence boarding momentarily. Thank you.”

 

Does this means Anna and Elisha are becoming a couple?  Could be.  Like Anna said, they’re still in a bit of a learning phase and they won’t know more until they’re back at school and they are spending a lot of time together.  Love at school is a tricky thing at a school for witches.  Unless you’re Annie and Kerry.  They you were born to love.  With an occasional mind-blocking detour once in a while, but witches are a strange bunch.  There will be more on this as time goes on.

Thanks to Annie understanding French they are probably among the first in line to board.  And once we’re inside the plane–

Just you wait.

‘Vikings’ Season 4 Part 2: Episode 11 Recap, “The Outsider”

Our favorite looters and pillagers are back!

The Snarking Dead TV Recaps

History's 'Viking,' Season 4B, Episode 11, Lagertha [Image via History] Have you ever had that moment when you realised you burned your bridges way too soon? Yeah, that’s how Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is feeling in the Season 2 return of History’s Vikings.

Now, Episode 11 is a slow one and I still think History should have showed the time jump here at the start of the Season 4 return rather than in the mid-season finale. Episode 11 of Vikings is a slow one, but bear with it, because Episode 12 and 13 are much better!

Kattegat

We open with Ragnar still bellowing at his kids, asking them who wants to be king. What we discover is that while they may talk about killing their father behind his back, they will not actually do it when asked. So, what is Ragnar to do now he is still alive and still king of Kattegat?

History's 'Viking,' Season 4B, Episode 11, Ragnar and Ubbe [Image via History] Well, for…

View original post 852 more words