Monday, April 12, 2021

Higher and Lower

A few days ago, Letterboxd introduced a new statistic for Patron-level members: films you've rated higher or lower than the average Letterboxd user. 

Above, you'll see the ten films I rated more highly than the site average. I rated some films highly because of perceived technical excellence, hence the high ratings for controversial films like Triumph of the Will and The Birth of a Nation. Others I rated highly for entertainment value, such as Enter the Ninja, Bad Taste, The Phantom, and Snakes on a Plane. The rest I rated highly because I thought they were good stories competently told. 

Here are the films I rated significantly lower than the site average. These ratings are, I fully admit, more subjective and less rational than my higher than average picks. Simply put, for one reason or another, these films rubbed me the wrong way. Here you'll see that I'm not a fan of Disney or Mel Brooks. I don't like films that are overly sentimental or mawkish (Beaches, Funny Girl, E.T.). I'm not a fan of jingoism (Top Gun) or white savior narratives (The Help). The Florida Project is a technical masterpiece and tells a very important story, but its opening scene made me grind my teeth and took me out of the rest of the film. 

Please consider that these ratings are all snapshots of my feelings at the time. Looking back, I'd probably rate Chariots of Fire, Absence of Malice, Snakes on a Plane, Them, Bad Taste, Enter the Ninja, and Black Belt Jones a star or half-star lower. On the other hand, I can't see changing any of my ratings in the "lower than average" tier. 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Reading Ruination

In January, I read five books. 

In February, I read five books. 

In March, I read five books. 

In April, I have read no books so far. 

This is much slower than my normal reading pace. I can't blame the pandemic, because I wound up reading slightly more books in 2020 than I did in 2019. 

Am I just getting old? Is this what cognitive decline feels like? I love reading as much as I ever have, but my focus is really impaired when I try to read for pleasure. 

Oddly enough, I find that I can read with the speed and focus I'm used to if I'm sitting in the car waiting for someone. A few days ago I read over half a novel that way in about 40 minutes. But I haven't touched it since. 

Maybe I just need a change in scenery or routine? 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Vaccinated, Part 1

Today Sylvia and I received our first of two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. We were told that it's a sixteen-week wait until the second dose, which seems like forever. But we already feel a bit safer. Not that we'll drop our guard! 
 

Friday, April 09, 2021

Nuke Buggy

Here's yet another dune buggy, but it represents a new personal milestone: this is the first time I've used a stencil and weathering pencils. The stencil, of course, was used to create the radioactivity symbol on the hood. I used some sand and rust weathering pencils to add, well, sand and rust to the vehicle. My models still don't look as realistic as I'd like, but I think they're getting a bit better, inch by inch. 

The driver's arms are raised up off the steering wheel not because he's panicking, but because I glued them at an angle too high to give him the ability to grip the wheel. So he'll probably play the role of "terrified passenger" more often than "driver." 

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Paint It Purple

Here's a 1930s-style car at 28mm scale. I experimented when painting this one, using different shades of purple in an effort to make the application seem more natural, with shades fading into each other without sharp dividing lines. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out; the very dark purple wheel covers fade into the lighter body which fades into the still lighter roof. 

You can see the effect a little more clearly from the rear. 

I'm not sure what to call this car. It feels like it should have a name. 


 

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

A Small Junk Barricade

Here we have another junk barricade intended for play with Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. I'm delighted by the stop sign, which turned out to be something of a happy accident. While dry-brushing the sign edges, I wound up using too much paint, resulting in silver-ish patches appearing on the sign's red background, making it look like the red paint has worn away to reveal the bare metal beneath. My hand-scrawled "STAY OUT" warning didn't turn out quite as well, thanks mostly to my terrible penmanship. 


Here's the back of the barricade. 
I probably added too many bunches of flowers. I was trying to make it look unmaintained; instead, it looks like someone is deliberately cultivating flowers. 



 

Monday, April 05, 2021

A Bale of Hay

Here we have a bale of hay. I painted this! And I think it looks reasonably decent. I think I'm finally starting to figure out how to apply ink washes reasonably effectively. Sometimes. 
 

Sunday, April 04, 2021

It Was X Number of Years Ago Today

Here's my brother Sean some decades-odd years ago, tuckered out in the boat after an afternoon of fishing near Leaf Rapids, Manitoba. Note his yellow lifejacket--safety first! One of Sean's claims to fame is this: he was the seventh baby born in Leaf Rapids. 

Happy Birthday, Sean, and here's to many more. 

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Daily Bugle Newsstand


I'm not sure how to characterize my results here. I like the streaks on the windows, which are supposed to suggest reflections. I like the colour scheme in general. I like my hand-printed notes. And I think I've finally figured out how to manage white paint. Drybrushing was hit-and-miss; the bugle logo looks fine, but the wordmark is muddy. 3/5?