Saturday, May 20, 2017

Plant Bukakke redux

Now all the congestion has transformed into the inevitable springtime chest cold for me.


I'm strangely-relieved, truth be told. I'm so used to this as a pattern that it offers a certain predictability as to what I can expect. My head congestion has migrated to my chest, so I can breathe for the most part and no longer wish fiery doom upon all vegetable life. That's good, as we humans need plants and all that. Also I'm afraid of fire.

So now I'm adding cough medicine to my daily pharmaceutical cocktails. Whee.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fucking plant bukakke

I currently hate all plant life. Why? Plant bukakke. Fucking springtime comes (heh) with all the little particles of plants sowing their procreative spew. And I'm allergic to it.

Fucking plants.

And California got record rainfall this year. So this Spring is a bucket of allergy-ridden shit.

If I had a flamethrower...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2


At this point, anything further I read will be variations on that, so if that's all you wanted to see, you're good.

Set a few months after the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, GoG V2 starts off with action and humor then never really lets up.

While Peter Quill/"Starlord", Gamora, and Rocket remain pretty much the same, Drax is a bit more laid back (though still insane) and Groot is a baby.

The Guardians start off with a crazed job that goes fairly right, then wind up going through a series of misadventures that take them into a showdown with a godlike Celestial. Oh, and there's a fair amount of stuff covering themes of family and all that. Familiar faces (Yondu and Nebula) reappear while some new faces also pop in, such as Mantis, Starhawk, and a few others.

That's as much as I think I can get away with and not overly-spoil the film.

I will say that all the casting was spot-on. The family-theme sub-plots were corny and excessive at times, but woven seamlessly into the film's corny, over-the-top, space opera action. I quite liked the mix of old and new characters as well as the myriad call-outs to Marvel comics trivia. I need to see this flick again.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May the Fourth be With You Where No One Has Gone Before!

So I'm having lunch and the guy behind the bar decides he's going to troll everyone.

He puts on screen "Encounter at Farpoint", the pilot episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

Yeah, they went there.

Re-watching that episode really drove home for me how I find ST:TNG fairly unwatchable unlike "Star Trek: The Original Series".

Sure, both shows are over-acted, but I find the self-righteous, stiff-postured, priggy smugness of TNG to be just unbearable when compared with the milder, more overly-sentimental TOS.

And then there's the characters. Sure, TOS had caricatures: the square-jawed, torn-shirt, womanizing James Tiberius Kirk. The crotchety, folksy Leonard "Bones" McCoy. The brilliant, reserved, slightly alien Spock. The hard-drinking Montgomery Scott. Etc. Etc. Those caricatures were interesting! They had actual passion to them! TNG characters were bland, self-righteous, and uninteresting. Sure, Jean-Luc Picard got a little romance later, after he established his love of Earl Grey, but the rest were yawn-inducing or, in the case of Data, utterly predictable plot points to explore human psyche. Worf's Klingon stories, introduced later to give more conflict, passion, and depth, never felt like they fit.

Damn! Now I want to re-watch the old show.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: Zombie Tools "The Mauler"

It arrived!

Yes, my latest Zombie Tool and the companion to my Tainto (a blade retired by the Zombie Tools folks), the Mauler is also a companion karambit to my Fox flipper (which I've managed to puncture my arm with. Whee!).

The Mauler is up to what I expect of Zombie Tools standards. It's a solid, mean-looking blade. Sharp and not a toy. It's got sharp edges on the outside and on the inner curve as well as a nasty rounded spike on the ring.

I opted for the leather sheath addition and I am damn happy I did.

Now the hard part will be not accidentally lopping off a body part as I try not to play with the lovely thing too much.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review: Maratac SR-9015L and Mid Original Pilot Automatic Watches

Sometime last year, I needed a new wristwatch. It wasn't an urgent thing, but I was looking around. Then I got an advert from County Comm with a special for one of their automatic watches: the Maratc SR-9015L.

I'm not going to pretend I understand the name. I saw the price and thought, "hey, looks good". I'd met someone with a Maratac automatic watch and was given a lot of complimentary spiel, so I bought the watch without a thought.

For the last five months or so, the SR-9015L has been riding on my wrist. It's a bit of a beast, as watches go. It's big, with a large face and a crystal back so you can see the watch interior hard at work ticking away. As an automatic watch, it's something you kind of have to wear to keep it working. It apparently runs about 40 hours between the "indirect drive" getting its action on.

If I have a complaint over the SR-9015L, it's the bezel on the rim. A rotating bezel comes on the watch and I have to say it's not an addition I find any real use for.

Weirdly-enough, the bezel is actually kind of a distraction for me. So when the Mid Original Pilot Automatic Watch came on sale, I decided to get one.

The Pilot watch is pretty much the same as the SR-9015L, at least superficially. It's an automatic watch with glowing elements so you can read the watch in the dark. It runs about 40 hours between any movement of the "indirect drive" to get it to tick along. While the SR-9015L has a big, red second-hand that ticks the seconds away, the Pilot watch has a small sixty-second circle within the indicator for minutes to count the seconds down. Kind of a beast if you're farsighted.

The Pilot watch also doesn't have a bezel.

Overall, I'm quite happy with both watches. I'll admit I wish I'd gone for the large Pilot watch. It's a bit jarring to go from the large face of the SR-9015L to the smaller "Mid Original" pilot watch. Still, the Pilot watch is a bit more discrete, and I have no trouble reading it.

Both watches keep good time and ride well on my wrist. Definitely worth the price.

Review: "Altered Carbon" by Richard K Morgan

I jumped to sci-fi with "Altered Carbon", by Richard K. Morgan.

A recommendation from a friend, "Altered Carbon" is about life a few centuries down the line. Humanity has colonized the stars. Space travel is (as far as I can surmise) still limited to decades or centuries of travel. Through hand-wavy science, one can transmit broadcasts through "hyperpsace needlebeams", though. This combines well with the technology of digitizing the human consciousness to "stacks" so that you can download a consciousness to new bodies, or "sleeves" as they're known.

Takashi Kovacks of Harlan's Word is a former Envoy (think uber-spy, black-ops, super-badass and you come close). After a job goes awry on Harlan's World, resulting in his death and that of his lover, he finds himself waking up on Earth where he has to investigate the death of a super-wealthy individual to confirm it wasn't suicide.

And then things just get worse.

"Altered Carbon" was, to be concise: fucking brilliant!

A mix of sci-fi and noir, it's a brutal and bleak look at how humanity would evolve with immortality available. I understand there's two more novels in the series. I'll have to check them out. I have to say I had a really hard time putting Morgan's book down, so my expectations are a bit high. I may have to read something else for a while and recalibrate a bit.