Me: Sitting at Home Binge Watching TV

As y’all may know, I am a sci-fi guy. This is going to be a list of all my favorite TV shows, and some that are coming out soon that pique my interest.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – 7 Seasons (2013 – 2020) | Netflix, Hulu

Marvel’s Agent Carter – 2 Seasons (2015 – 2016) | Disney+, Prime Video

The Good Place – 4 Seasons (2016 – 2020) | Netflix

Frequency – 1 Season (2016 – 2017) | Netflix

Travelers – 3 Seasons (2016 – 2018) | Netflix

A Series of Unfortunate Events – 3 Seasons (2017 – 2019) | Netflix

Marvel’s The Inhumans – 1 Season (2017) | Disney+

Star Trek: Discovery – 2 Seasons (2017 – present) | CBS, Prime Video

Marvel’s Runaways – 3 Seasons (2017 – 2019) | Hulu, Disney+

Disenchantment – 2 Seasons (2018 – present) | Netflix

The Umbrella Academy – 2 Seasons ( 2019 – present) | Netflix

The Mandalorian – 1 Season (2019 – present) | Disney+

Avenue 5 – 1 Season (2020 – present) | HBO, Prime Video

Star Trek: Picard – 1 Season (2020 – present) | CBS All Access

Central Park – 1 Season (2020 – present) | Apple TV

Star Trek: Lower Decks – 1 Season (2020 – present) | CBS All Access

Now for the shows that haven’t even come out yet!

Helstrom – Premiere: October 16, 2020 | Hulu

WandaVision – Premiere: December 2020 | Disney+

Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Premiere: 2021 | Disney+

Loki – Premiere: Early 2021 | Disney+

What If . . . ? – Premiere: Mid-2021 | Disney+

The Lord of the Rings – Premiere: 2021 | Prime Video

Untitled Cassian Andor Series – Premiere: 2021 | Disney+

Hawkeye – Premiere: 2022 | Disney+

Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi Series – Premiere: 2022 | Disney+

Ms. Marvel – Premiere: 2022 | Disney+

Moon Night – Premiere: 2022 | Disney+

She-Hulk – Premiere: 2022 | Disney+

It’s a lot—I know. I hope I can even find the time.

I Wrote This Essay About LEGOs!

Milo Miller

September 19, 2020

LEGO: A History of the Toy Brick That Changed the World

If not for a series of toy factory fires, instead of having LEGOs, we would have had a small wooden toy business that most likely would have gone underwater in ten years. It all began when Ole Kirk Christiansen began selling wooden toys door to door in a woodworking shop that also “helped construct houses and furniture and had a small staff of apprentices.” Eventually, his company grew and he developed the first LEGO bricks. He continued to sell them, and after multiple warehouse fires, Christiansen’s company, based on the Danish words “leg godt (play well)” finally got back on track. Even though LEGO has successfully operated for over 85 years, it has had its fair share of challenges and obstacles to overcome. 

In the beginning, what would soon be LEGO was one simple man with a small furniture company that only sold three items—ladders, stools, and ironing boards. Because of his love for whittling, Ole Kirk Christiansen, the founder of LEGO, started this company in 1916 Billund, Denmark. Billund “was an obscure village, and Christiansen was just a simple carpenter with ambition” (Blakemore, the Disastrous Backstory Behind LEGO). In time, Christiansen began working with his son, Godfredt. Godfredt had the idea of selling the products door to door. And, though most of the customers would pay for the items with food or goods instead of money, Godfredt and his father got enough income to make a living. Disaster struck in 1924 when the Christiansens’ factory burned down due to one of his other sons accidentally setting fire to a pile of wood chips. (The Disastrous Backstory of LEGO) Things were looking down for Christiansen, but luckily, he was about to stumble upon something huge .

Christiansen, instead of calling it quits, used the opportunity to build an even larger workshop. But Chistiansen’s bad luck was nowhere near to its end: just five years later in 1929, the stock market crashed and his wife died in 1932. Due to the financial disaster, Christiansen had to lay off most of his workers and struggled to make ends meet. At one point, Christiansen began to develop inexpensive toys, in the hopes that they might sell better. Christiansen’s “love of toys pushed the company ahead, even when it limped” and he gave the company a name: LEGO, which is a combination of the Danish phrase “leg godt,” or, “play well.” But in 1942, another fire burned down the second workshop, leaving manufacturers to look into riskier ideas. One of these was Denmark’s first plastic molding machine, which was used to make the first LEGO bricks. Though Christiansen and Godfredt were anxiousat first to use the machine, fearing customers would not buy toys made from cheap plastic materials, the product soon blossomed into one of the most popular toys around Denmark, and soon, the world.

The plastic “Automatic Binding Bricks,” as they were first called, looked a lot like LEGO bricks do today—with one big exception: on the underside of the bricks were hollow instead of having tubes on the bottom that help to hold the connected bricks in place, like they do now. They first came in the two-by-four size, in simple colors like red and blue, until they branched out and developed more bricks in different shapes and sizes. But there remain some questions of the originality LEGO idea. “The toy was inspired by a set of self-locking bricks invented by a British company, Kiddicraft.” (Blakemore, the Disastrous Backstory Behind LEGO) The company had been founded by Hilary Page, who was the “first to apply child psychology to toy design.” (The Automatic Binding Brick) LEGO first stated that Kiddicraft gave them the okay to copy their style of interlocking bricks, but in 1981 LEGO bought the rights to Kiddicraft. In 1958, Christiansen died and handed over the mantle of president of the LEGO company to his son, Godtfred. Even now, in the 2020’s LEGO is still a thriving, multi-billion dollar corporation. 

If not for the Christiansens’ persistent nature, the international sensation that is the LEGO toy would not be the go-to for children around the globe today. They persevered through multiple factory fires, near bankruptcy, and family tragedy to get where they are now. More than 70 years after the LEGO brick came into creation, it is still one of the most popular toys on the planet. In 2003, LEGO developed video games, movies, and over a thousand more sets that put Billund back on the map, and it’s still innovating and persevering. LEGO is an incredibly popular toy with so many children, and if it were any other family besides Ole Kirk Christiansen’s, LEGO might not be here today.

Works Cited

“The Automatic Binding Brick.” Technica – 1949, web.archive.org/web/20120210163842/isodomos.com/technica/history/1940/1949.php. 

Blakemore, Erin. “The Disastrous Backstory Behind the Invention of LEGO Bricks.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 21 Sept. 2017, www.history.com/news/the-disastrous-backstory-behind-the-invention-of-lego-bricks. 

“The Early History of LEGO.” Mental Floss, 20 Aug. 2008, www.mentalfloss.com/article/19400/early-history-lego. 

Rosenberg, Jennifer. “The History of LEGO – Everyone’s Favorite Building Blocks.” ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/lego-toy-bricks-first-introduced-1779349. 

The Sentinels of the Multiverse . . . Have To Stay Home Too.

Ah… Sentinels of the Multiverse. By now you, who I am assuming is not nerdy enough to like Sentinels, are wonder, “what is this Sentinels thing, anyways? This ‘Milo’ is a phony, if that is really his name. Goodbye forever!” Well the first thing I have to say to those people is: don’t leave. Sentinels is a super-fun comic-book superhero-themed card game, which they made on an app to for all the video gamers of the world. The base box has limited heroes, villains, and environments, but there are a lot of expansions, some of which I am even lucky enough to get. This is probably the section I will write about most, I think. I play a lot of games a day, and when the dining room table isn’t being used for a puzzle, it’s filled with Sentinels cards. I’ll be logging the more interesting games I play. For those who don’t know how to play, though…

Here is a link.

  • So, this game was against The Dreamer. We played with Parse, Ra, Stuntman, and Chrono-Ranger. Okay, so maybe we just picked a bunch of big damage-dealers, but The Dreamer is hard! We played in the Time Cataclysm, but that didn’t really matter because it didn’t hurt us that bad. In the end, we were all below 10 hit points (HP), but we pulled it out. Stuntman got Lance-Flammes out early, so he was killing of The Dreamer’s projections, which were already weakened from Ra and Parse. Chrono-Ranger didn’t really do much, so it might have been easier to just leave him out of the mix. But we did win, so, yay for us.
  • Next was a game against Progeny. Progeny is ranked level 4 in the rulebook, which is the hardest level a villain can be. Progeny’s games are really harsh, and you have to be willing to take a lot of damage. A lot of damage. We played with Unity, Captain Cosmic, The Wraith, and Mister Fixer. Unity wasn’t really able to get her mechanical golem cards out, so was basically powerless. In the end, Progeny just beat us to death in the Silver Gulch, 1883, which was our environment. So, yeah, we did lose, but hey, Progeny’s tough!
  • For my third act (game), I’m playing Cosmic Omnitron, a variant of the villain Omnitron, who is a robot. We’re playing with Omnitron’s nemesis, Omnitron-X (who’s basically a reformed Omnitron, here to fight other evil Omnitron incarnations), Haka, Tachyon, and Parse in Omnitron IV, the Omnitron environment. There guys really go all out with their Omnitron storyline. Cosmic Omnitron really hit us hard—we were at lower HP than our game game with Progeny. Both Haka and Omnitron-X were incapacitated, meaning they were reduced to 0 or fewer HP. I’m not surprised about Omnitron-X, because being a nemesis means you deals extra damage to your nemesis and are dealt extra damage by your nemesis. Tachyon was at 1 HP, and Parse was at 10 (what?!). But we won. Tachyon got two hypersonic Assaults out at the last second and dealt Cosmic Omnitron 30 damage in total.
  • In another game, we played against Miss Information, who’s pretty tricky too. She has no HP on her first side, and once she flips she starts dealing a bundle of damage. We played in the Mobile Defense Platform with heroes Sky-Scraper, The Naturalist, The Idealist, and Doctor Medico. She never really hurt us that bad, and since she flipped early in the game, and since she didn’t have much HP, The Idealist just took her out on the spot with about 20 damage from the Karate Robot.
  • Next is The Chairman. The Chairman is also a 4, and is super-duper tricky. The Chairman has not just one character card, but two—himself, and The Operative. You really need to take care of The Operative quickly, or the game goes downhill. We couldn’t get traction with Expatriette, K.N.Y.F.E., Parse, and The Idealist in the Ruins of Atlantis. In the end, we pulled it out. None of us were incapacitated, but all of us were close. Technically I didn’t do this, but Expatriette and K.N.Y.F.E. should have been at 2 HP, not 5 HP.
  • Wow—this post is getting long. This is my, what, sixth game? Yeah. I’m playing Infinitor. He’s a level 3, and I’d keep him as a level 3, he’s just a low 3. I’m playing with The Scholar, Writhe, NightMist, and The Sentinels in Omnitron IV. He beat us up pretty good, and getting a lot of manifestation cards out too. We actually lost, which proves the anything can happen in Sentinels. He was just slowly wearing us down until we were all gone.
  • I got a new villain today—Wager Master. He’s a “cosmic challenge”. Sort of an omnipotent game show host. We played with Captain Cosmic, Sky-Scraper, Tachyon, and NightMist. Ah, the craziness of the randomizer. Funny, though. Wager Master has all of these condition cards, which have all these win/lose conditions on them. We got one right of the bat: at the end of the villain turn, if all heroes have an even number of HP but less then their maximum HP, the heroes win. We won on the first villain turn. Nothing more to say.
  • So, there’s actually a whole other mode of playing in Sentinels. It’s the Team Villain Mode, or Vengeance Mode, where you play against multiple easier villains instead of one hard one. My next game was a Team Villain game. I played against Baron Blade (Vengeance Mode Style; some villains have two personas: Vengeance Style and normal.), Fright Train not Freight Train, Ermine, and Proletariat and his clones. Our heroes were Stuntman, The Sentinels (interesting—they have four mini-character cards), The Wraith, who is Ermine’s nemesis, and Bunker, who is Fright Train’s nemesis. We fought a mighty battle in the Dok’Thorath Capital. We incapacitated Ermine first, and then it got hard. We all got below 20 HP, then below 15. We took out Proletariat, but The Sentinels kept up alive. Writhe and Mainstay, two of The Sentinels’ heroes, have big damage reductions. They were the ones being damage, because they had the highest HP, so they absorbed all the damage, and we took out Fright Train and Baron Blade. It was a little iffy near the end, but we did it! We win! Haha! (More Vengeance games to come.)

Hey . . . It’s Another Post

I wrote a novel. It was an epic sci-fi novel filled with blood, death, and gore (lucky for the reader, I wasn’t great at describing things in my writing back then, so you wouldn’t get a real sense of how many corpses the heroes stick their hands in). Yeah, I know it never got published, but hey, it’s fifty-five thousand pages, and it’s still unedited. Around the middle of August, I went to the best sleep away camp (those six-hour bus rides, though . . .), where I began writing this “55k” novel. After 40-some hours of writing over twelve days, I had written over sixty pages. Pretty impressive, huh? Well, I still wasn’t done.

I finished my novel after months of hard work in January 2020, about six months after I began. My novel was called The Ekonians, and it rocked . . . I thought. Only recently did I revisit The Ekonians, and I realize that it was all wrong.

The only things I saw when I skimmed it were:

  1. Come on, past Milo. If you set your font at 18, of course it will seem long.
  2. The book was ALL PLOT. There was no character development at all. The characters were barely separate from each other!

I decided not to edit this, because I’ve moved onto other thing (I’ll tell you about those later) and also, I want to keep this document as a kind of Segway into knowing what cool thing my younger (not that younger) mind thought up. So after completing my novel, I began the sequel, one of four I had planned, called The Rranians. I got fifty pages into it, when I realized that it was just not going to happen. I had gone mad with the power of the pen and gone too far. It just wasn’t that good.

All my stories are in one universe: the Iluthizar Universe. And every story I write has one thing in common: the Rrans. The Rrans are a family of alien, the most notable of which being Ego Rran. So, after I abandoned The Ekonians I started writing some short stories (Varoon Rran and the Shadow Hunter, The Marauders) set in the universe. Once the pandemic hit, me and best friends were forced to operate online. I had the brilliant idea of writing a short story together. First, we developed one character for each of us. I had Ennogant Rran, and my friends had Erik Elilianalia and Silverbud.

Next we came up with a villain, which turned out to be an evil organization devoted to corrupting supernatural beings and to bring the Dark Gods into the real world. So one short story turned into a series of five novelettes (we’re on book three. It’s pretty exciting) and from those novelettes branched off a book of short stories, called the Iluthizar Tales (it’s set in the Iluthizar Universe) which has a butt-ton of origin stories. One of these stories, which I eventually abandoned (I do that a lot, I now realize) was called The Continuum, and it was the origin story of Vortex, a Xanathar member who worked for the Organization, and organization that travels through time to keep the timeline intact by apprehending rogue time travelers and closing temporal rifts and such.

I decided to adapt that into a TV show teleplay (script) by myself. The episodes are pretty short, which I hope to change sometime. The show, called The Continuum like the short story, is about Shinaka Uu (Shinny) who gets an offer by Zyde Ryskadov to work for the Organization. She accepts, but the moment she does, strange things begin happening . . .

I’ve planned for the show to have four seasons, with twenty-sevenThis show inspired a spin-off set forty years earlier, but that’s another story (I’m getting my friends to write episodes, it’s so fun!). Right now, I just finished the first season of The Continuum and the first episode of The Organization.

So, in conclusion to this really, really long paragraph, let me just say that it has been a wonderful transition from writing novels to short stories to novelettes to teleplays. I love it all.

That’s Right, We Are All Sad.

Well, it’s that time of century. There’s a pandemic going around. I guess it’s a break from worrying about Global Warming . . . there’s a silver lining to everything. But really. This isn’t funny. Stop it now. We get it. Next time we’ll be better prepared. Maybe. So here’s what I’m doing. I mean, I can’t say I’m making the most of my time. If you saw me curled up on the couch this morning watched four straight episodes of The Office, you would know that.