Ramblings VI

I seem to have hit another of those lengthy posting lags while the world gets in the way.  Ramblings time:

  • Been digging the new Back To The Future Game from Telltale.  It’s essentially BTTF IV, starting off 6 months after the trilogy ends in 1986 and has Marty bouncing back and forth between 1931 and the present interacting with a teenage Doc.  Right now I’m midway through episode 4 out of 5.  It’s probably worthy of a full post once the whole thing is done.
  • Discovered yet another Ziggy iPhone app.  This one’s called Ziggy’s Time Traveler Emergency Reference and is basically a QL skinned offline Wikipedia viewer.  Pretty much right along the lines of the real Ziggy, though it won’t tell you when history changes via an edit to the wiki…
  • The Beastie Boys short film Fight For Your Right Revisited features an unexpectedly awesome time travel twist, complete with BTTF DeLorean cameo.
  • Been so busy I realize I wrote but forgot to post my annual year-end music best of list.  Wait, a minute, I got all the time I want! I got a time machine!  I could just go back early and post it…

iPad 2 + iBookstore Optimization?

Apple’s iPad 2 will allegedly be announced tomorrow, which may explain the newest search result I found for Timely Persuasion:

(At least it’s a search result I haven’t seen before.  And Google claims it was updated 1 day ago.)

Wonder if this means iBooks will be getting a big promotional push to coincide with the new iPad and possibly the newest iOS release.  Guess we’ll see soon enough.  Early adopters can check out the iBooks version of TP here.

Ramblings V

Been awhile since I posted…

  • Saw the 25th anniversary re-release of Back To The Future a few weeks ago.  Still holds up and still the best.  Noticed this time around that in many of the 1955 scenes George McFly has his shirt only tucked in on one side, which reminded me of Daniel Faraday from LOST.  Wonder if that was an intentional homage.
  • While on vacation in Hawaii recently we were absolutely blown away by Anjela Rose and her acoustic guitar covers at The Mediterranean Gourmet in Hanalei.  Opened with “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac and then romped through great renditions of a number of our favorites including “Shelter” by Ray LaMontagne, “I’ve Just Seen a Face” by the Beatles, and “Home” by Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeroes.  I can’t find any of her music online except for a vague reference to a demo called “In The Mean Time,” but I’ll keep digging.
  • Got really excited when a term paper about Timely Persuasion popped up in my Google Alerts, but it turned out to be the title of a paper about the poem “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell.  Thought about paying for a paper on TP, but figured at $20 a page it was an odd experiment.  (At least for now…)

Expiration Date = TP Remake?

Just finished reading an awesome novel featuring:

  • A recently unemployed journalist who goes back in time
  • A musician father in the past
  • Time travel that works by just thinking hard about a specific date
  • An inability to visit the same date twice
  • Being ghost-like and invisible to most people while back in time
  • Always traveling to the same “clock time” and location you left from
  • A mysterious doctor associated with a creepy hospital
  • Chapters named after song titles/lyrics

No, I didn’t reread Timely Persuasion again.  The above bullets also describe Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski.  But the similarities are both striking and amusing.  Not sure whether I should chalk it up to great minds thinking alike, 100% coincidence or something in between.  This quote from the book summed up my opinion and made me laugh out loud:

Two events could be a coincidence.  Not all of this.”

Apophenia aside, the two stories are very different beyond the areas where music & time travel particulars intersect.  Expiration Date plays out as a fast paced hardboiled detective novel bouncing back and forth between the 1970s and the present, with cliffhangers at the end of most chapters that leave you longing for more.  I absolutely devoured it, being sucked into the “just one more chapter before bed” trap that hasn’t happened in a long time.  Best book I’ve read in ages, with an ending that was both satisfying and clever.

Highly recommended, even if TP did nothing to inspire it.

Apophenia

Some things I’d like to think took inspiration from Timely Persuasion, but probably didn’t:

LOST – “Across The Sea”
The recent “Across the Sea” episode of LOST features two nameless main characters.  The only named character in TP is Nelson, the alleged bad guy. But is he really bad?  The only named character in this LOST episode is Jacob, the alleged good guy.  But is he really good?

Carter USM – The Drum Machine Years
On this live concert album by my favorite band, Jim Bob introduces the song “Spoilsports Personality of the Year” by saying “This song goes out to … a younger me.” Messages from a future self are a recurring theme in TP. Is Jim trying to reach his 30-something self?

Mike Doughty – Sad Man Happy Man
In the song “Pleasure on Credit” Doughty sings “I’ve got fun fun persuasion, smart girl not the crazy one.” I have this image in my head of him sitting on his couch while riffing on possible lyrics and noticing his copy of TP lying unread on the coffee table, giving inspiration to these words. Probably not true, but fun to imagine as a dramatization.

Delusions of reference aside, I do realize that these are all more than likely coincidences. However, I also know that Damon Lindelof, Jim Bob, and Mike Doughty are all aware of TP — I just don’t know if they’ve actually read it. So maybe… 🙂

Ramblings IV

  • Been re-watching LOST in anticipation of the final season.  Finished off Season 1, then decided to jump straight to Season 5 presuming these two will be the most relevant to Season 6.  I’m still impressed with how well the time travel was handled in a “Whatever Happened, Happened” sort of way last year.  Biggest hindsight observation from the first season is the all-knowingness that surrounded Locke for the first 18 episodes or so.  The writer in me wonders if the revelation that ended last season was considered early on, abandoned when they mapped out the full arc of the character, and is now being revisited as part of the endgame…
  • Also LOST related:  The Trickshot posted a 4-part series of “Lost Vignettes” during the recent hiatus between chapters, chronicling a time traveler’s attempts to view the final season early.  Check them out here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
  • Dinosaurs Were Made Up By The CIA to Discourage Time Travel” is an awesome song title, but the music doesn’t really do it for me.
  • The upcoming movie Hot Tub Time Machine has a pretty cool URL for their website: kicksomepast.com

Ziggy for iPhone

I knew it was only a matter of time. Previously I’ve wished for an iPhone app that emulates the handlink from Quantum Leap. I even had Al using an iPhone-based Ziggy in my fanfic story for the Leap Back Convention, “Just Like Starting Over.”

Ask and ye shall receive:

Ziggy for iPhone & iPod Touch

Ziggy for iPhone & iPod Touch

Ziggy Lights-On

The game itself is just sort of ok, but the sound effects and the fact that it’s ZIGGY more than make up for it. If you’re a time travel nut like me, Ziggy says there’s a 96.8% chance you’ll want to install this app.

And in other time-travel iPhone news, check out:

This one tells you where you're going, this one tells you where you are, this one tells you where you were.

This one tells you where you're going, this one tells you where you are, this one tells you where you were.

DeLorean Time Circuits (iTunes Link)