Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It lives. IT LIVES!!

Zyrtec, you are my new best friend.

Allergies. Ye gods.




I somehow missed last night's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.". I guess they had a rerun followed by a new ep. I am all kinds of sad. Or I would have been had I been awake. F***ing allergies put me asleep hell of early last night.

At least I managed to successfully record "Person of Interest". Gotta have priorities here.




My allergy meds mix has me craving human brains. Is that a bad thing? I don't think this is a 28 Days Later/Zombieland thing. Alas. No bursts of speed for me. Just shuffling inevitability.




Good lord. We're only halfway through April? This doesn't feel right.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Update fever

I'm overdue sharing brain farts. So...
  • Saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier. For the second time. The first time barely counts, as it was kind of a... messy... day. Either way, I loved the film. That was a solid, awesome, action flick. Love the movie take on the Falcon. Hail Hydra!
  • Otherwise spent the weekend in meltdown mode. Took a half-day on Friday to decompress and spent the whole weekend pretty much doing as little as I could manage. It was oddly not-helpful. Had a low-grade buzz of anxiety that damaged my calm the entire time. Really didn't get my head space together until early Monday morning and I'm still a little fried.
  • I'm sorry, but no. Just... no. Why "no"? Really? Just look at Book and River. Plus a sword? Really? No.
  • Okay, time to pimp something: The Quickey Multi-Tool. You've got about 20 days left to get in on this Indiegogo. This is one clever little idea.
Oh, if you've already seen Frozen then:



You're welcome.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SHIELD-tastic

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", where have you been all this time?

I swear, the last three episodes have been so markedly-different than the first part of the season, it's like I'm watching a completely different show.

Different and OH SO MUCH BETTER!

Last night's was a twist-ridden clusterf*ck of crazy treachery and good clean chaos.

Watching Coulson flip the hell out on everyone gave me the warm happies. Watching the betrayals and big reveal made my inner 13-year-old do cartwheels (which, in my tiny apartment, is not necessarily a good thing).

Yes. Yes this is the show I was waiting for. It was sufficiently good that it helped me forget my disappointment over the "Person of Interest" rerun.

[Spoiler comment redacted]

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

meh whatevs...

  • Been making myself run. I did four miles on Saturday then repeated on Sunday. Then did a kicking-intensive martial arts class yesterday. To say my legs are sore understates matters a bit.
  • I'm going to try to cut back on the booze this week. At least until Friday. I'd like to claim this is for health reasons, but it's really 'cause the cash flow is going to be a bit tight until the next paycheck. Meh. Silver linings and all that.
  • I really should get back to riding my bike to work...
  • Got a case for my phone the other day. Now I feel like an extra on "Star Trek" (I almost wore a red shirt today...). I do like having a tiny bit of protection for the inevitable moment when I drop the phone.
  • It's April and it's already in the low 80's here. And we have a drought. This summer's gonna suck.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Teaching

Teaching is a hell of a skill.

Seriously. It sort of boggles the mind to consider the components of good teaching:
  • Clarity of communication
  • Patience
  • Organization
  • Subject matter expertise
  • Empathy
Think about it. How often do you find all those traits in an individual who is in an instructional role? It really bakes my brain as to why we don't pay teachers more, 'cause that's a damn hard thing to do.

"Why the hell are you on a beef about teaching?" you ask.

I've been chewing on this since my last martial arts class.

In most martial arts, once you get your black belt, you're expected to step up to a teaching role and try to pass along your knowledge to lower ranks. Honestly, you're really supposed to try to do that whenever you get any rank at all, but a black belt (or equivalent) is normally someone who has got a solid command of the basics and should know enough to get junior students through rough patches.

The ability to teach, however, is not a requirement of attaining this rank. And it's sometimes painfully obvious (no pun intended). I find I can handle teachers who lack empathy. It's not a big deal to me. Even disorganized teachers don't get me too irritated. It's the ones who are unclear and impatient who really lose me.

I especially find scenarios such as the following to be irritating:

Exercise: deal with an attacker coming at you unpredictably. The purpose of the scenario is to test your ability to react to unpredictable scenarios. You're not supposed to take time to ponder. You're supposed to apply what you know.

  • Attacker grabs arm of subject.
  • Subject lets out a loud cry, drives his heel into the attacker's foot as a simulated distraction (not really hurting the attacker, 'cause... not the purpose of the exercise).
  • Black belt's comment: "You're not using technique. You're just striking."
Yeah. Thanks. Very helpful. Perhaps suggesting some applicable techniques might help instead of just barking out "you're doing it wrong" would be a more constructive use of class time.

And the joy of pointing out stuff like that in martial arts class is that usually it's not terribly well-received. Something about people who learn to fight lends itself to not enjoying receiving criticism.

Makes me appreciate the ones who "get teaching" all the more, really.

Wish I were patient and clear myself.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Doing the Deathlok Dance

Oh "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D". I'm so happy you've finally found your mojo! After a truly mind-numbingly-boring start to your season, these last two episodes have been a genuine joy to watch. First we get Asgardian ass-kickery with the pseudo-Norse versions of Xena: Warrior Princess and her arch-nemesis and this last episode we get an actual, satisfying explanation of who/what "The Clairvoyant" is.

I'm not going to spoil it on the off chance there's fans who haven't seen the episode, but it lines up nicely with what little I know of the plot for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Or it seems to, anyway. Nice series of twists.

The only part that left me a bit cold was the sudden-feeling inclusion of Skye into the formal ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. as an agent. Doesn't she have to go through some academy or something?

But whatever, it is what it is.

I have to say, I'm enjoying the addition of Deathlok to the mix. J. August Richards is an awesome killer cyborg and I'm loving his role in the story.

I hope the writers can keep this up.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Marching on

Yeesh.

What a weekend!

After entering the 21st century with my piece of relatively-modern technology, I used it to get in touch with a friend of mine in my gaming group who has largely been absent from the realm of electronic communications.

Turns out there was a reason for that: he wasn't entirely sure how to tell me that he was quitting my gaming group.

In normal circumstances, that's not really a big deal but then again, I suppose it is. I've been gaming with some friends since high school (which was... a not inconsiderable amount of time ago). I can imagine that was a fun decision to make.

I suppose this is a hint that I should grow up a bit and focus less on my table-top gaming and more on real life issues that I've been neglecting.

Can't say I like that notion, but growing up is not a painless process.

And there's a weird sense of loss in this. The game was more than just a distraction. It's served as a sort of glue for some of my older friendships. Whether intended or not, this is going to impact that one friendship. It's a bit depressing.

Fun times.