Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Prisoner of Gravity, Mark Askwith and being hit by a firehose in Pitt

Recently getting into Doctor Who, after having given it up when I was a wee one, I'm now leisurely catching up on what I've missed in the last few decades. After the new episode, "Amy's Choice", I had some theories that I wanted to share with the station I see DW on, "Space: The imagination station". For any non-canucks that read this, it's the Canadian answer to the Sci-fi channel.

Oops. "SyFy", sorry. Gurk. What a name. "SyFy". I can get that on my Wii, right?

At any rate, I sent off my theory with the glimmering hope that it might get mentioned on the next "Inner Space", a half hour program produced by the station that talks about the preceding show (They follow a handful of the biggest shows).

Well, later that very day, I get an email from Mark Askwith. "Askwith, Askwith.. why do I know that name?" A googling later, I found that among other things, he produced a little show called "Prisoners of Gravity" starring Rick Green, who discussed and interviewed people relating to sci-fi and comics. The show was set in space. COMMANDER Rick chose to depart Earth due to ... well... you live here, pick a handful of reasons.

As it happened, Mark Askwith is not the picture of monlithic execu-producer that we tend to imagine, and we ended up emailing back and forth quite a few times. Coolbeans. I still don't know if my DW theory will show up on the air, but he did seem to agree that they were pretty plausible. I'll just have to tune in after the next new DW episode to watch Inner Space.

The whole exchange left me nostalgically itching to watch some 'Prisoners of Gravity', so.. Youtube to the rescue! The tragically unrelated first 15 seconds or so could have been cut, though it does paint an accurate picture of watching TV in the wee hours, when that banjo starts up for the nature show, and the satellite signal is 'hacked'. The entire opening to the show is great stuff. And hey. Meet Jack Kirby while you're watching that clip.


Pitt Meadows day. I had been in the parade the last couple years (With Caitlin in my lap, no less), ending up at a table in the fairgrounds. This time, I was just a spectator. Kiddo had issue with the noise of some sections of the parade, but had no problem with the free candy. Yes, Caitlin, take candy from strangers! Overall, she loved the parade. Afterwards, we went to lunch, and she kept asking to go back to the parade.
"It's over, honey!"
"Go back! Go back!"
The the next few days, much like at halloween, we had to convince her that it wasn't happening again today. "We go gym today? Or go parade?"
"No, Honey, the parade is only once a year."
It's still kind of sinking in, I think.

So, we happened to bump into John H. Fair briefly (the ex-head of my writers' guild who stepped down to assistant due to moving) then upon a pack of other friends, almost all of us with a strollers. Oh, if only we could have seen that moment back in highschool..

We meandered to the fairgrounds, and sort of diverged from there, many of us still looking for food, or just having various objectives.

I spent way too much time wheeling on grass.

On the way out, we passed by a regular sight at the PM day fair... a firetruck had its ladder reaching high, with a hose affixed at the top, sprint a cone of water to the cement. I'd never found my way over to it in previous years, but my wife was navigating us, and I was tired, kind of just following along.

In the middle of this fifteen of so metre (yard) wide circle, I'm sure it was a refreshing rain for the warm June day. A kid jumped around in the middle. My wife opted to walk near the outside of the circle, to be cooled by the sea-spay-like mist.

Hark, I was brave, and stupid. I'm sure if one crossed the circle boundary, (the heaviest part of the downpour, a two foot wide boundary around the gentler 'rain') it was easy. The kid in the middle did it to get in.

I didn't need to go into the middle, nor did I want to slow my wife down much. So I took a more or less straight path that ran me in the boundary for about three of four metres.

I had already seen how hard the water was hitting the ground, bouncing back up. I knew I'd feel that. I didn't count on how cold it was. Hypothermia sets in fast. Droplets about the size of ping pong balls pummeled me. I found myself having problems breathing, which made it hard to laugh, as well. Fighting a case of the giggles, and the fact that I couldn't SEE anything, I knew I had to push through. With a frigid warcry, I wheeled forth. (Everyone reading knows I'm in a wheelchair, right?) I heard SOME lady cheering me on. Didn't SOUND like my wife.

Emerging on the other side, warmth quickly returned, and I looked at myself. Strangely, I was somewhat wet. A supervising fireman stood nearby, next to the truck. I informed him that "Hey, hoses spray water!" He nodded. And I got to wheel home dripping all the way.

My cell phone's battery life went from about a week, to about 8 hours thanks to that dousing. I'm lucky I was able to fix my cat-controlling laser, and my watch still works. That was the most spontaneous thing I've done in years.

And I don't like cell phones anyway.

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