The Expanse (or “How Youtube Actually Worked For Me!” :) )

So, I was watching a video on You Tube when its “Suggested Next Videos” list included one called “Greatest space battle of all time!”

Intrigued, I checked it out and was hooked. It had suspense, believable zero-gee physics and some great combat. Did I mention I was hooked?

Checking the detail text I found that it was a scene from The Expanse, a SyFy series that was just wrapping up Season 2.

Based on the series of novels of the same name, this show takes the best of Babylon 5, Firefly and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica then merges it all into a fantastic show with political intrigue, mystery, space, believable physics, character development and combat (oh yeah, plus a few naughty bits here and there :) ).

It’s set about 200 years in the future when mankind has colonised the solar system, with three major political alliances being Earth, Mars and “The Belters” (the people living on asteroids). It’s a gritty and very believable scenario that’s well portrayed and draws you into the stories of the various characters, all of which wind up intertwining as the series progresses.

Kitt and I are loving the show and are very happy to hear that it’s been approved for Season 3. Shame we have to wait until 2018 to watch it though.

If you’ve not seen it yet, get out there and watch it. Find it online, borrow it off a friend, even watch it if it shows up on TV somewhere (it’s that good! :) ).

Been a long time…

Well, it’s been about six months since my last post. A lot can happen in that time and it certainly has:

  • We moved house in February to be in the selection zone for McKinnon Secondary College, a school that should be great for Nykolai when he starts grade 7 next year. It gets great reviews and is supposed to be one of the better public schools in Melbourne. The selection zone is rather small and demand to attend the school is high, so renting costs more in the zone than outside. He’s still going to St Kilda Primary for the rest of this year so there’s been a bit of commuting, juggling and so on but we’re managing.
  • Things didn’t work out at Evolve and I finished up there at the end of February, finding myself without work right in one of the worst job markets anyone’s seen for ages (it’s worse than the recession of the 90’s, that’s for sure). I’ve spent the last few months applying for jobs and it’s only been in the past few weeks that agents have been calling me back – usually it was silence or rejection slips. Very much a buyers’ market as companies can specify exactly what they want and there are so many people looking for work that they can pick & choose. The market appears to be turning as we enter the new financial year, so that’s a plus.
  • I’ve set up and am managing the World Aviation Experience blog. The main aspect of WAE is their Flight Experience Melbourne 737 simulator and the merchandise they have for sale at their online store. We’ve set up the instructors at the simulator on Twitter where they’re tweeting the cool flights that they do and there’s quite a bit of content in the blog already. We have some big plans for expanding the content and linking up with other ventures, so be sure to link in with the blog’s RSS Feed to keep up with the news.
  • I’m back crewing the hot air balloons in both Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. I really enjoy it and have been getting some great photos. Of course, we’re in winter now and the flying drops right off over July/August as the weather gets worse.
  • I’ve been working on a couple of proposals at, one an international development project and the other for a refugee based project here in Australia. The Australian project’s under way during July but the international one got put on hold. We’ll see how things go over the next month or so.
  • I’m still naffed off that the Australian Government is still pushing ahead with their idiotic Internet Filter plans and have started expanding its intended coverage (gee, there’s a shock). As much as I thought Howard was a complete bastard of a Prime Minister, this insanity is showing that Senator Conroy is the worst Communications Minister we’ve EVER had (and that’s saying something as we’ve had some shockers).
  • We’ve been to see Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion production and thought it was good but Varekai was better.
  • Kitt and I went to see Dylan Moran live at the Arts Centre on Easter Sunday and, more recently, Avenue Q at the Comedy Theatre. Dylan was hillarious and our sides were aching from laughing so much through the whole show while Avenue Q was brilliant (imagine a deranged adults only version of Sesame St merged with a dash of Tray Parker & Matt Stone). Very happy we went to see them.
  • We’ve been watching season 1 shows from Heroes and Dexter (yes, we’re WAY behind – whatever) and have watched all of True Blood (including the latest few episodes on season2). I’d say that these shows plus Battle Star Galactica and the ROME series show that there’s a chance for TV yet, but then I think about the rest of the crap that’s on and have to admit that it’s doomed.

Otherwise, that’s about it and life goes on. I’m keeping busy with applying for jobs and these projects but there’s no real income, so we’re surviving on my savings (now finished) and Kitt’s income. A plus is that I’m getting time to exercise, so I’ve lost a few kilos – still a long way to go, of course…

When in Rome…

We’re watching the Rome mini series and it’s amazing. I am certainly not an historian of the ancient world, but I’ve got an understanding of what it was supposed to be like. Sure, I’ve devoured every Asterix story (in more than one language too), read some historical stories and watched a few documentaries of the epoc. From what I’ve learned, I have to say that this TV-series is amazing in its portrayal of life in ancient Rome. Certainly, at times it’s like watching Dallas (political intrigue, families vs each other, matriachs wanting to kill each other, etc) and the British accents can be grating at times, but damn it’s good.

If you have the chance, I totally recommend watching both seasons of this show. It’s got sex, violence and historical accuracy. Run, don’t walk, to get your hands on the DVDs.

Old Times on TV

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it but, in addition to The Goodies, we’ve been going back in time on TV with The Young Ones. The joys of DVDs and series owners realising that they can wring a few more bucks from the ol’ shows by releasing them to those of us who want to relieve our youth, misspent or not :)

In keeping with this, I’ve pounced on the chance to get my hands on episodes of Blakes 7 – classic British Sci-Fi that I loved as a kid. Now I get to introduce Nykolai to it plus Kitt’s only ever seen a few episodes so it’s pretty new for her too.

Going back in time and seeing what they did on such a small budget has been great fun. Like watching old Dr Who episodes that, despite obviously crappy effects and props, still hold a magic in their story and character development.

Not sure what’s going to be next – it would be GREAT to find all the episodes of Quark on DVD. That would be so awesome :)

Can’t believe I’d missed an episode

Oh wow, there’s an episode of The Goodies that I’ve never seen before. I finally got around to watching “Come Dancing” on the Tasty Box Set DVDs and discovered that it’s one I must have missed in all those years of watching reruns in New Zealand and here in Australia. Amazing.

Now I find that there were about 70 episodes all up – when do we get more on DVD? We’re hanging out here for them!