New Containers

Alex using his new containers for ever more intricate bead sorting exercises.


Daniel Alfredsson Number Retirement

Tier 4, The Ledge, row C. I don't think it is possible to be further away from the ice. But I was still in the house when it happened.

We even got a souvenir mini-jersey banner to raise in our own rec rooms. Not sure what I'll do with that -- it will probably end up on the wall at either the office at home or the office at the office.

So the view of the game from The Ledge is different -- it is much easier to follow just an individual player on his shift to see how he moves when he's off the puck. And the Montreal smoked meat sandwich is pretty good. Unfortunately you have to buy your own drinks.

I stayed for the game afterwards -- obviously -- but because I had been in the office early, and because I'd been in the arena since about 5:30, I was dead tired at 10:30 when it was about five to go in the third. So I missed overtime, but I also missed the parking lot -- I was across the highway on Terry Fox when the OT goal was scored. Normally I would't be That Guy, but it was a long day and I was just done.



Passengers ended up being a complicated thing. I understand that ten years ago it was on the so-called Hollywood Black List and that the ending was somewhat different. My feeling after watching it was that it was really two stories -- a story that tried to deal with the horror of being stranded alone for the rest of your life while also trying to deal with the fact that someone essentially stole the rest of your life from you -- while at the same time there's this drama and pressure from the ship falling apart. The stories feel separate, like the horror stories were not enough to keep people's interest so they shoe-horned on the tension of the ship failures, a situation only really handled by the sudden convenient appearance of <>. And then the horror stories get morphed into this rom-com type thing, completely shying away from dealing with the issues raised -- and the audience is for the most part along for the ride, because the stars are just so darned attractive that you end up rooting for them to get together.

There's also a lot of conflicting reviews on the movie, nobody really seems to like it because either it is to muddled or because of post-feminist outrage at the idea that a man in a horrible situation might do something horrible to a woman. (One review remarks that Aurora tries to bring attention to her plight, only to get it "mansplained" away -- my reaction to that review was yeah, the fucking ship is falling apart right now, but lets stop and take the time to make this all about you.) Let's face it, this can't be another Castaway, and if Pratt's character didn't make some bad decisions it would be an awfully boring movie.

All this is set against frankly gorgeous production -- the exteriors are beautiful, the interior sets crisp and clean, the props realistic, the internal technology fascinatingly well done. The music fits the pseudo-Wall-E type of music you'd expect. Visually it is amazing.

Too bad the story doesn't measure up.


Tree Decoration

Hamming for the camera at Ave and Meme's tree decorating.






Morning snow on the tree out front after the snowfall.


Rogue One

Rogue One isn't a bad movie by any measure. It has its moments, fun moments, dramatic moments. Sometimes those moments are maybe shoe-horned in to give the story legitimacy by borrowing from the Episodes. It is, for the most part, a fun ride -- even if the ending is decidedly un-Star Wars and un-Disney.

It did seem that they spent too much effort pasting in the actors from the past -- the fighter pilots for example. And some of the dialog was repetitious from Episode four -- "Commence primary ignition" for example. And you have to feel a bit sorry for the actors who go around wearing other people's faces -- like the guy who played Tarkin this time around spent the whole movie with Peter Cushing's face on him. The effect isn't quite there yet -- Leia at the end looked especially plastic -- but it has come a long way from where we saw it in Tron: Legacy.

But the main thing I take away from it is -- was this story worth telling? Why is it important that we learn how the Death Star plans end up in the hands of the Rebellion? (I mean, besides Disney's plan to Get All The Moneys.) What does this really add to the Star Wars universe that was lacking before? I might have been more forgiving it it had really been merely "a stand-alone story in the Star Wars universe" rather than this thing shoe-horned in between two already-existing Episodes. But this smacks of Lucas' original indecision where he made Star Wars then decided after the fact that it was actually Episode 4. And now that we have Episodes 1, 2, and 3 Disney has gone back again and ret-conned history to insert these details that they now deem important to add to the canon. If it really was important, the details perhaps could have been inserted as a "meanwhile back in the past" kind of parallel story in a future Episode, where the arcs of the two stories combine and emphasise each other. 

It occurs to me that perhaps I'm not the target audience -- I never watched The Clone Wars, and I think there was another Star Wars animated series that I didn't watch either. I'm no longer of the age where I hunger for more, more, more of something. I can take what's there and either enjoy it for what it is or fill in any gaps myself that I deem needing of fill. But in today's market, it is much easier to provide more, more, more, ever more, for those who crave it. And I think perhaps that filling the demand ultimately cheapens the whole.

But, as I've always said -- and about Star Wars in particular -- you can't sell out if nobody's buying. And if you have nothing to sell, you can't Get All The Moneys.


Frozen Art

I love the patterns that the wind makes on fresh powdered snow. Sure, it has to be pretty cold and windy for this to happen, but it is great when it does.


New On The Bench

First E-class FortiGate I've seen. The 60E gives performance on the order of a 200D for a fraction of the cost -- I sure hope that there is an E-class boost coming to the 100D/200D series...


Review: Arrival

Amazing. To say anything more is to spoil it.


While Logged In To Windows 8

...because I have a VM that's Windows 8 that I use for "things".

Taskbar Pop-up Toast: You have some updates! Click here to install them!

Me: <click>

Windows Update Page: We're downloading some updates for you and will let you know when it is time to install them. Come back later!

Me: WTF, windows....


Single-Monkey Victory

Clearing a map -- admittedly on "easy" -- but with only a single monkey type in use.