Friday, January 15, 2016

“By Grabthar’s hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, you shall be avenged!” – RIP Alan Rickman

The death has sadly occurred of London-born actor Alan Rickman at 69 due to cancer. Rickman was a Tony Award nominated member of the Royal Shakespeare Company who achieved significant notoriety for his silver screen acting performances winning Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG awards.

He first found significant fame as Hans Gruber, nemesis to Bruce WillisJohn McClane in the 1988 classic Die Hard. Rickman's Gruber was an evil and sardonic foil to to Willis' wisecracking hero cop and the character was ranked by the AFI as the 46th best villain in film history. Rickman continued to master a portrayal of evil by becoming the Sherriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves delivering perhaps the most over the top performance of his career. He objected to being constantly referred to a villain up to his later years citing that he hadn't actually played one since the Sheriff.

Rickman was someone as much at home with serious drama as he was with comedy delivering dozens of roles since the 90's. In 1996 he delivered a well acted albeit almost entirely inaccurate portrayal of √Čamon de Valera in Neil Jordan's Micheal Collins which loosely depicted the events surrounding Ireland's struggle for independence from Britain. Later in 1999 he had comedic roles - as The Metatron in Kevin Smith's Dogma and a somewhat self-parodying role as the fictional method actor Alexander Dane who in turn portrayed the alien Dr. Lazarus on a fictional TV show Galaxy Quest.

In the 2000's Rickman adopted his most most common role and for which he acquired legions of fans; during the 10 year period of the Harry Potter film adaptations from 2001 to 2011. Rickman played the somewhat enigmatic Prof. Severus Snape in eight Harry Potter adventures for which his performance garnered universal praise.

Rickman will appear in and lends his voice to two projects which have yet to be released. Gavin Hood's suspense drama Eye in the Sky due for release in April and he most recently completed voice work for a reprisal of the character Absolem, the Caterpillar in Through the Looking Glass the sequel to the 2010 movie Alice in Wonderland

May he rest in peace.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

And now we say goodbye to 2015. A year that redefined marriage as The Supreme Court of the US makes same-sex marriage legal while in Ireland a marriage equality referendum is passed in a landslide victory that hammers yet another nail in the coffin against the most archaic and outdated form of the Catholic establishment which will soon fade into history.

It was also a year of terror attacks felt notably in Kenya and France, of migrant swarms, Iran's nuke deal, Hilary's E-mail, an Earthquake in Nepal and Volkswagen's lies. Bruce becomes Caitlyn, Trump dominates Election 2016, Germanwings 9525, Kogalymavia 9268, the U.S. shakes the hand of Cuba and Ramadi is retaken.

The FCC reclassified retail broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service, a victory for Net Neutrality for now. New Horizon flies by Pluto, Birdman wins Oscars but The Force Awakens wins all.

Many greats are lost including Harve Bennett at 84, producer and writer, the man who saved Star Trek. Leonard Nimoy, 83, actor and director best known for his portrayal of Mr. Spock in many incarnations of Star Trek. Herb Trimpe at 75, a comic book artist who visualised The Incredible Hulk and G.I. Joe and co-created Wolverine. Sir Christopher Lee at 93 the British actor known as Dracula, Saruman and Count Dooku. And most sadly James Horner, untimely at 61, Oscar-winning composer of musical scores for "Titanic", "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", "Aliens" and "Apollo 13".

We also remember others we have lost this year.

Hugh Ambrose, 48, American historian and author ("The Pacific")
Gen. Earl E. Anderson USMC, 96, American Marine Corps general who at 53 became the youngest active duty Marine to be promoted to the rank of 4-star general in the history of the USMC
Howard A. Anderson, Jr., 95, American visual effects artist ("Star Trek")
Murphy Anderson, 89, American comic book artist (Superman, Green Lantern), creator of Zatanna
Sir Michael Beetham GCB, CBE, DFC, AFC, DL, 92, British marshal of the air force, Chief of the Air Staff (1977–1982)
Theodore Bikel, 91, Austrian-born American actor (Sergey Rozhenko "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
Admiral Sir John Jeremy Black, GBE, KCB, DSO, captain of the HMS Invincible during the Falklands War
General Sir Edward Burgess KCB, OBE, 87, British army general, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (1984–1987)
Wesley Burrowes, 85, Irish playwright ("Glenroe")
George Cole, 90, English actor (Arthur Daly "Minder")
George Coe, 86, American actor ("Star Trek: The Next Generation - "First Contact"") Voice Actor (Wheeljack "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" / Doctor Godera "Star Wars: The Old Republic" / various "The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim" and "Guild Wars 2") and original SNL cast member.
Douglas S. Cook, 56, American screenwriter ("The Rock")
Yvonne Craig, 78, American actress ("Batman", "Star Trek") 
Derek Davis, 67, Irish broadcaster
Jim Diamond, 64, Scottish singer-songwriter ("I Should Have Known Better")
Rick Ducommun, 62, Canadian actor ("The 'Burbs", "Die Hard", "The Hunt for Red October")
Brett Ewins, 59, British comic book artist (Judge Dredd, 2000 AD)
Chuck Forsberg, 71, American computer programmer, developer of ZMODEM
Col. James L. Fowler USMC, 84, American military veteran, founded the Marine Corps Marathon
Brian Friel, 86, Irish dramatist ("Philadelphia, Here I Come!", "Dancing at Lughnasa")
Gen. John Galvin U.S. Army, 86, American army general, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (1987–1992)
Alan Howard, 77, English actor (Sauron [The Lord of the Rings])
Maurice Hurley, 75, American television writer and producer ("Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Miami Vice")
Bruce Hyde, 74, American actor (Lieutenant Kevin T. Riley ["Star Trek"])
Sgt. Einar H. Ingman, Jr. U.S. Army, 85, Medal of Honor recipient (Korean War)
George Clayton Johnson, 86, American writer ("Logan's Run", "The Twilight Zone", "Star Trek", "Kung Fu")
B.B. King, American blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer
Alan Kupperberg, 62, American comic book artist (Robocop #1, Transformers, Star Wars, Iron Man
Joseph Lechleider, 82, American, inventor of digital subscriber line (DSL) technology
Grace Lee Whitney, 85, American actress (Yeoman Janice Rand ["Star Trek"])
Lemmy, 70, English rock musician (Motörhead)
Robert Loggia, 85, American actor ("Mancuso: FBI", "Independence Day")
Mick Lynch, Irish indie rock singer (Stump, Bernard)
Don Mankiewicz, 93, American screenwriter ("Star Trek" episode "Court Martial")
Patrick Macnee, 93, English-American actor ("The Avengers", "A View to a Kill")
Bob Minkler, 78, American sound mixer ("Star Wars", "Tron")
Warren Murphy, 81, American author and screenwriter ("Lethal Weapon 2")
John Forbes Nash, Jr., 86, American mathematician (subject of "A Beautiful Mind")
Lt.Gen. William O'Callaghan (DSM), 91, Irish army officer,  Force Commander (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
Maureen O'Hara, 95, Irish-American actress and singer ("The Quiet Man")
Bill O'Herlihy, 76, Irish sports broadcaster 
Jerry Parr, 85, American Secret Service agent, extricated Ronald Reagan during assassination attempt,
Roddy Piper, 61, Canadian professional wrestler and actor ("They Live")
Wayne Rogers, 82, American actor ("M*A*S*H")
Pvt. George T. Sakato U.S. Army, 94, American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient
Lt.Col. Edward Saylor USAF, 94, American World War II veteran, member of Doolittle's Raiders.
Omar Sharif, 83, Egyptian actor ("Lawrence of Arabia", "Doctor Zhivago")
Roger Slifer, 60, American comic book author (Co-creator - Lobo) and Animation writer ("G.I. Joe Extreme" / "Transformers")
John Stephenson, 91, American voice actor (Kup, Alpha Trion ["Transformers"] / Hawk, General Flagg, General Franks ["G.I. Joe"]),
Percy Sledge, 74, American R&B, soul, gospel, and traditional pop singer.
Rod Taylor, 84, Australian actor ("Inglourious Basterds", "The Birds")
Nigel Terry, 69, British actor ("Excalibur", "Troy")
Fred Thompson, 73, American politician and actor ("Die Hard 2", "Law & Order", "The Hunt for Red October"), U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1994–2003)
Tom Towles, 65, American actor ("Miami Vice", "The Rock", "Star Trek: Voyager")
Mary Ellen Trainor, 62, American actress ("Lethal Weapon", "Die Hard")
Francis Tsai, 48, American comic book, film and video game concept artist (Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Spider-Man, TMNT, Myst 3)
Dick Van Patten, 86, American actor ("Spaceballs", "Robin Hood: Men in Tights")
Daniel von Bargen, 64, American actor ("Shaft", "The General's Daughter", G.I. Jane")
Jason Wingreen, 95, American actor ("Star Trek") and voice actor (Boba Fett - "The Empire Strikes Back")
Bernard Williams, 72, British film producer ("Daredevil", "Flash Gordon")
Christopher Wood, 79, English novelist and screenwriter ("Moonraker", "The Spy Who Loved Me")
Robert Z'Dar, 64, American film actor and producer ("Maniac Cop", "Tango & Cash")

May they rest in peace.

And now 

H A P P Y  2 0 1 6

Saturday, December 05, 2015

RIP General William Grey, USMC

The death has occurred of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General William Grey [Ret.] U.S. Marine Corps. General Grey famously served as CJCOS during a particular overt attack on the planet from extra terrestrial forces in 1996.

General Grey co-ordinated Air, Ground and even Space assaults against the Extra Terrestrial adversary and famously issued the command: "Get on the wire and inform the squadron around the world. Tell them how to bring those sons of bitches down!"

General Grey's awards included The Navy Cross, The Defense Distinguished Service Medal, The Navy and Marine Corps Distinguished Service Medal, The Silver Star [x2], The Navy and Marine Corps Medal, The Bronze Star [with combat 'V'] and campaign awards for Vietnam and Southwest Asia.

After his retirement General Grey was appointed as a senior military consultant to UNETIDA, the United Nations Extra Terrestrial Invasion Defence Agency [now SPEARHEAD] until 2001 when he made his retirement permanent.

* * * * *

Sadly veteran character actor Robert Loggia, former U.S. Army Lieutenant and star of Mancuso F.B.I. with roles in Scarface, Big, Independence Day and Jagged Edge for which he was Oscar nominated has died at 95. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Buyer Beware

Today a Philippine court sentenced Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton U.S.M.C., of New Bedford, Ma. to 6-12 years in jail for the Oct 2014 homicide of a transgender Filipino sex-worker Jennifer Laude by first strangling and then dunking her head into a toilet bowl in a hotel after discovering her deception.

Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde ordered Pemberton jailed at the New Bilibid Prison, a national penitentiary in Muntinlupa. A 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement allows U.S. forces to conduct military exercises in the Philippines, states the country can prosecute U.S. service members, but that the U.S. has custody over them "from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial proceedings." 

However a 2009 Philippine Supreme Court decision ruled that convicted U.S. personnel must serve their sentences in the Philippines. Last year as a compromise the U.S. agreed to have the Lance Corporal detained in a compound at Philippine military headquarters in Quezon City guarded by U.S. Marines.

I have given "the talk" to grunts and junior officers under my command many times. "Watch out for the Bennyboys people! If your swapping spit with Daisy and you reach down and find out Daisy has a stem, that is a Bennyboy!". I'm really hoping that this talk is not being dismissed due to 'Obamaifcation' of the U.S. military - you know what I mean, and grunts are still warned about Bennyboys, Billyboys, Baklas or whatever else those folks are called now.

The killing has sparked anger in the Philippines, reigniting calls by lefties and nationalists for an end to a U.S. military presence in the country at a time when America is reasserting its dominance in Asia and the last thing that's needed is resistance to a U.S. military presence because some goddamn fool didn't listen to the lecture, got angry and did something stupid and is now not staying at the Hilton for the next few years. Understood?

Semper Fi

Friday, September 11, 2015

VerTecX21 launches new website and announces "Project: Sicarius"

VerTecX21 returned to the Internet in earnest with the launch of an advanced Google-powered website boasting several times the content of it's previous iteration including updated historical content and video presentations of it's projects. Speculation had been mounting in recent weeks when the original VerTecX21 website, not updated since 2008, suddenly went dark and was replaced with an updated page announcing a redesign and new operational links to a VerTecX21 Blog and a VerTecX21 Twitter account.

VerTecX21 also announced Project: Sicarius, the latest machine build to be constructed at VerTecX21, due to come online in the latter half of September. Project: Sicarius' specifications include:
  • a 6th generation Core i7 "Skylake" 6700K 4.0 GHz processor
  • an MSI Geforce GTX 980Ti 6GB graphics card
  • 16GB of Corsair 3000MHz DDR4 RAM
  • a Samsung SM951 256GB M.2 PCI-e 3.0 x 4 NVMe SSD
The machine is expected to power an Acer Predator 4k2k XB280HK 28” G-Sync Widscreen LED display with an obscenely high resolution of 3840x2160 classing the unit as an Ultra High Definition [UHD] 4K device ahead of the format becoming mainstream.

For full information please use the following:

Email: vertecx21(at)
Source: VerTecX21

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Whopper's Bunker: Tenth Anniversary

If someone had said to me when I started this, that 10 years from now I'd still be writing for it, part of me would be somewhat skeptical. But as I now look back over the past decade I see the changing face of technology and social media in particular and I also see how much things have not changed.

The rise of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and whatever those damn kids flock to nowadays have all but replaced the need for blogs because tech like RSS and Atom feeds are all but gone so traffic is not drawn to them as much as before. Unless ever faithful readers deliberately return via url, bookmark or subscribe to update technology, I've observed minimal traffic unless a random keyword search scores a hit.

Thankfully blogs still appear in Google searches when searching for something - anything. Take this for example: Frank Castle Becomes Captain America!? from March 2007 is my most hit post even to this day, for whatever reason is thrown into Google [and the one Bing user in Redmond] which manages to grab it. Either people are throwing in word combos or doing Punisher and Captain America searches or something but it's always bizarre to me that this post keeps showing up.

I considered for a number of years recently that this anomaly was far more than I was prepared to admit. Was there a more spiritual or metaphysical connection between me and this post? It could easily be argued by long-term readers that I embody many of the traits of both characters, Captain America's sense of duty, loyalty, honour and patriotism with The Punisher's passion, sense of justice, necessary brutality and finality. It took a while but I later dismissed this as a load of bollocks.

I regret that posts can't be as frequent as before but there are still many dangers to the planet that must come to light, news of various levels of import, posts to honour those who have significantly affected my life and now passed on and of course ramblings that I need to get off my chest from time to time, so the blog will remain operational.
Thank you for visiting at some point over the past decade and see you in the next.

Brigadier General "Whopper" Creedon,

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Star Wars returns to The Skelligs and arrives a day early!

Despite the protestations of airy fairy environmentalists and ignorant "journalists" like that gobhshite Fintan O'Toole, Arts Minster Heather Humphreys has granted permission for Ryan "Looper" Johnson to film Star Wars Episode VIII for two to four days as J.J. Abrams did for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The latter film's release date has now been brought forward to December 17th!

Humphreys assured the bleeding-heart brigade [seemingly more worried more about the Skelligs heritage site and wildlife than they seemed to be about the Temple of Bel UNESCO site that ISIS blew up last week in Syria] that:

    "Those attempting to turn this into a negative story seem to be completely overlooking the fact that up to 180 people visit the island on any given day. In contrast, for the short duration of filming being proposed, peak activity levels will involve about 100 people, under strict supervision and with extensive ecological and biodiversity safeguards in place."

Now that the Skelligs will be featured in two new episodes of the saga, one of which will be seen this Christmas it's likely that visitor numbers will increase which is only a good thing for the area.

Source: The Journal