Hey Genius!

You forgot to wear pants!
Ha ha! Made you look!

October 31, 2005

"Explain," said the interrogation machine...

10/31/2005 05:17:00 p.m.

..."Describe their culture."

"They have an important celebration," said E.T., "called Hollow Bean. Everyone carves faces in fruit squashes and dresses up in sheets."

"Who holds this celebration?"

"The children, who actually rule the Blue Planet of Earth. They are more intelligent than the older people and outrun them on bicycles."

The machine whirled around him again. "And what is the purpose of this celebration?"

"To collect the all-important food."

"Which is?"


— William Kotzwinkle, E.T. The Book of the Green Planet. 1985, Berkeley Books.

Happy Hollow Bean, everyone! And b. good.

October 28, 2005

This weekend

10/28/2005 07:58:00 a.m.

Judo tournament Saturday. I won't be competing; I wasn't at class for essentially the month of September, due to The Siding Project, and I've also still got enough of a cold to affect my breathing a little. (Not enough that I notice in day-to-day life, but it's important to breathe properly when you've got 220 pounds of opponent on your ribcage in osae-komi*.)

We'll be moving mats today after work, and then setting up the gym. Whee!


* "Hold-down". The grappling side of judo.

October 25, 2005

Can't blog. Writing.

10/25/2005 10:06:00 p.m.

I've decided to enter a non-fiction contest, and I have to have the story in the mail by Nov. 1st, so I'm kind of up against a deadline. The theme of the contest is "A Memorable Voyage"; my entry, in about its second draft, is here. You'll need a password, too: it's winnipegosis. Read it, if you'd like; let me know what you think. (It's short, only about 1100 words.)

I finished Last Light of the Sun last night. It was enjoyable, well-researched, and something that I don't normally read. As a fantasy it was very low-key; as a historical novel it was heavily fictionalized; as an out-and-out story that happened to be set 1,000 years ago, it was excellent. Gabriele, I seem to remember that you were reading it. Do you have any comments on it? Did you finish? Did you enjoy it?

Later, y'all!

October 23, 2005

Brandon Life

10/23/2005 06:16:00 p.m.

The very definition of "slow news day": Rescued kitty feeling better.

We went to see As You Like It, performed by the local 7 Ages theatre group. I quite enjoyed it. Kathleen, who saw it last night as well, said that the performances were much improved. The fool Touchstone stole the show, capering and dancing, muttering and miming. As usual, it took me awhile to get the hang of Shakespeare's English, but once I was in the right mode I found that the story just ticked away like a smooth-running gun.

I can't recommend the film My Summer of Love; by movie's end, I'd found not a single sympathetic character in it, and I wanted to punch them all, from the girls to the moody born-again-but-not-really brother to the neglectful father. Why o why do I only seem to end up showing the grim and dark and ultimately depressing flicks?

Anyways. Hope you all had a good weekend. Later!

October 22, 2005

Bein' sick sure sucks

10/22/2005 05:43:00 p.m.

Head cold. I spent the day on the couch, essentially, alternating short naps with playing Abe's Oddysee and watching a couple episodes of Firefly. The Western vibe of the latter makes me want to say things like "Bein' sick powerful sucks", but I'll try to restrain myself.

And now I have to go to the Evans, to show the early show (My Summer of Love, it's called).

What are you doing* for the weekend?


* The first five times I tried to type "doing", I ended up with doni'g. ???

October 20, 2005

A trip to the farm

10/20/2005 09:34:00 p.m.

We went last weekend (the weekend after Thanksgiving*) to my grandparents' farm, up by Winnipegosis. While we were there, Grandpa H celebrated his birthday, and we went into town to visit Grandma J, too. (My parents grew up about fifteen miles from each other.)

Plus my wife bought me the coolest cookies possible the other day:


* The Canadian kind.

Sci-Fi Movies redux

10/20/2005 09:31:00 p.m.

So my wife went over the list of movies that John Scalzi considers canon. Turns out she's a bigger nerd than me. She's seen twenty-seven of 'em, two more than I have. Hee hee!

October 19, 2005

My First Meme

10/19/2005 05:43:00 p.m.

...here, anyways.

From John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies, here's the "Canon", with the films I've seen in bold:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version)
Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)

Exactly half, if I'm counting right. Whattaya know, I am a nerd.

October 18, 2005

Reminiscences (2)

10/18/2005 06:17:00 p.m.

So Michaëlle Jean, our new Governor-General, is making her first official visit as the Canadian head of state*, and she chose Manitoba, my province, as her first official destination. ("Travel Manitoba! Just like the queen-by-proxy! See the sights!")

They welcomed her with a twenty-one-gun salute, which reminded me of an exchange I had with a friend back in my university days. He'd just finished watching a funeral scene in Backdraft, newly released on video, and he said to me, "Pat, when I die, I want a twenty-one-gun salute."

Me: I'll see what I can—

Him: Right into my coffin.

Me: [amused and confused silence]

Him: I'm afraid of being buried alive.

* As she represents the Queen, she is in fact in charge of our government.

October 14, 2005


10/14/2005 06:45:00 p.m.

I watched Serenity again on Tuesday. It's still a great film, especially if you love SF. I would love to see it a third time, but I don't know if I can justify it. (Maybe I'll just do it anyway. The hell with justifying everything.)

My wife and I went to see Wallace and Gromit last night. I loved it. Right from the moment the theme music started up, I was in my Happy Place™. I've been waiting for this film for a while, and it didn't disappoint me in the least. It had everything I wanted: wacky inventions, giant bunnies, Gromit's endlessly expressive facial expressions, Wallace's good-natured so-smart-he's-kind-of-dense personality, and some brilliant action scenes, including a dogfight sequence with coin-operated carnival planes. Best use of plasticine ever.

Tonight: off to see March of the Penguins at the Evans, the small arthouse/second-run theatre where I volunteer. I'm looking forward to it.

October 09, 2005

Reminiscences (#1 in a series to come)

10/09/2005 01:47:00 p.m.

My wife reminded me of this one the other day.

When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
Sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
You gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.

Back when I lived in rez at the University, I had the uncanny knack, on request nights, of being able to get through to the radio station on the third try. Two rounds of busy signal, and on the third attempt, virtually without fail, I'd end up talking to the DJ. So my friends usually got me to call in their requests.

One night we were sitting around and my friend Jill came up with a request. The phone was passed to me, and on the third try, I got through:

Me: Hi, I'd like to request "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" by the Barenaked Ladies.

DJ: Ok, is that going out to anyone?

Me: Yeah, I'd like to dedicate it to Steve and Rico.

DJ: [long pause] ...o-o-o-o-o-kay.

It only occurred to me after I hung up that he might have had less hesitation in his voice if he'd known that Steve and Rico were Jill's goldfish.

But they played the song anyways.

October 08, 2005

Corpse Bride

10/08/2005 02:07:00 p.m.

On Thursday, we went to see Tim Burton's latest oeuvre, Corpse Bride. The movie was good, but there was something missing. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but I think I may have set myself up for a fall.

See, I have a bad habit of reading about films before I see them. The reviews I've read for CB were all very positive, and so I went in with high expectations. These hopes, while not dashed, weren't all met, either. I can't really put my finger on what was missing, but I know that this film didn't have the same kind of appeal for me as The Nightmare Before Christmas did. (As he sits there in his Nightmare T-shirt.)

Maybe it's just that CB was missing the sense of zany fun that Nightmare possessed. I was looking for a quirky little comedy, and I guess I got a quirky little comedy-drama.

Oh well. Like I said, I enjoyed the film. I didn't come out of the theatre regretting spending my money on it. It was exceptionally animated, well-written, touching, funny, heartbreaking, and on the whole a satisfying experience. Just... I don't feel the pressing need to see it again. (Unlike, say, Serenity.)


Just in case you were worried I was snowed in, or something.

October 05, 2005

Winter has arrived

10/05/2005 12:47:00 p.m.

It's snowing today. Which is made doubly amusing by the fact that, at lunch today, my eye fell on a headline in yesterday's paper: Forecasters predict warmer, drier winter. Nicely done, I'd say.

In the twenty minutes since I took that photo, the garden has turned completely white. No wonder we've got a Heavy Snowfall Warning from Environment Canada.

Oh well, time to bundle up and go back to work.

Five hours later:

October 04, 2005


10/04/2005 07:55:00 a.m.

We saw Serenity on the weekend. I've seen a few episodes of Firefly, and I quite enjoyed the way the film extended the series and gave closure on a couple of things. We went with a few friends who hadn't seen Firefly, and they all enjoyed the movie immensely as well. Viewed as a piece of the whole Firefly universe, the movie succeeds very well. Viewed simply as a science-fiction movie, it also succeeds very well.

Serenity the ship gave me the same kind of feelings as the Millenium Falcon did in the Star Wars trilogy, and it should—she's a beat-up old hulk held together by chewing gum, baling twine, and the combined spirit of her crew. Said crew is at the fringe of society, doing jobs that at best skirt the edges of the law, and usually are flat-out illegal.

There's a scene, too, in the movie, where the captain (Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds) is essentially telling his crew that they can either follow his orders or die where they stand, that very much put me in mind of Roland Deschain, the archetypal gunslinger in Stephen King's Dark Tower saga. There was a core of iron to him, in that moment, that I found very powerful.

If you're at all interested in SF movies, I highly recommend that you go see Serenity. I suspect I'll be going to see it again.

October 02, 2005

Siding (done)

10/02/2005 09:58:00 a.m.

Done! Photos -- well, you don't really need more photos, do you? Now all that's left are a few trips to the dump, and returning some materials.

Huzzah! It's done!