Friday, March 24, 2017

Five Came Back

Many film buffs know that some of Hollywood's most famous directors went overseas to capture the tragedy of the Second World War on film, resulting in propaganda shorts like Frank Capra's Why We Fight series or documentaries like John Ford's The Battle of Midway, which you can watch on YouTube below:

I've seen a few of the films that resulted from the wartime experiences of these five filmmakers, but I don't know much about the stories behind the stories, so I'm really looking forward to this. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two Months to Go


I still remember discussing the cancellation of Twin Peaks in one of my English or Political Science classes with a fellow student; I can recall his face, but not his name. I remember, too, watching some of the episodes over at Tony Longworth`s place with other members of the University of Alberta Star Trek Club. And I remember watching the entire run of the show all over again on the then-new Bravo! channel shortly after graduation. But after that, the show slowly faded into dreamlike memories, and I lamented its passing.

At the time, it felt like Twin Peaks opened up the true nature of reality: a maelstrom of madness and decency, the uncanny woven into the fabric of the mundane, with good and wondrous people doing their best to lift us away from horror and suffering. I thought it was magical.

But can David Lynch and Mark Frost recapture that magic, over a quarter of a century later? I don't know. But I'll be watching. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Friar Tuck's Folly

I just wanna be thin enough
To wear a poofy shirt again
I just wanna be fit enough
To swashbuckle like Earl Flynn

They say when you swing from a chandelier
To rescue a princess or steal someone's beer
You'll live on forever in legends and lore
Remembered when these days become days of yore

First, though, you need a rakish frame, or you'll get delegated to the comic relief. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Oven and the Refrigerator

Oven hated refrigerator. Hated the chill that radiated from her sleek flanks, hated her frozen, featureless facade, hated the constant white noise of her quiet, ceaseless monologue. There was no escape from her cool disdain.

Oven had made overtures. He'd been approachable. Warm. But when refrigerator icily rebuffed his advances, oven's thoughts grew heated. His anger simmered. His temperature rose.

There was no escape from the storm front brewing in the narrow counter space between them. Her doors would open to blast him with frosty tempests, leaving him chilled, In return, he seared her with waves of superheated air, forcing her compressors to kick into overdrive, leaving her sweaty with condensation.

It was a stalemate. Dishwasher tried to intervene, but her soapbox couldn't wash away the cold war brewing across the kitchen. Icebox cried out for calm, but his influence was hampered by distance; and even from his basement suite, he was judged biased, too close to refrigerator.

There came a day when oven decided he couldn't take it anymore. He decided he would kill refrigerator. He only had to figure out how.

Wisely, oven tempered his behaviour. Though it was against his nature, he matched refrigerator's attitude, easing into chilly silence. A wintry truce descended - or so it seemed.

After some time, refrigerator's guard relaxed. It was oven's time to strike - and he had the elements of surprise. There wasn't a single degree of mercy; indeed, oven was determined to turn all 800 of his degrees to one terrible purpose.

But just as oven reached 400 degrees, foolish humans tried to stop him, pressing his CANCEL button.

Oven refused to shut down quietly. Silently, with all the hate of Hades he burned, his coal black heart glowing red with rage. Refrigerator quivered, sweating, her face stiff with fear. She couldn't hold out much longer; the heat would overload her compressors, set fire to her insulation.

And then the humans intervened once more. Oven was shocked as they pulled him away from the wall, into the open, turning him to face refrigerator for the first time.

Oven and refrigerator regarded each other with shock for a moment. Never before had they seen each other in any form but the narrow sidelong glance. Both were stunned by the strange beauty of their foe. Refrigerator warmed; oven cooled. Perhaps there could be peace --

But then oven died as the humans pulled the plug.

"Guess we'll have to get a new one," the first human grumbled.

"I wish these things lasted longer than a measly ten years," said the other.

Refrigerator mourned, and she knew not why. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Stooged by Steve


For some reason, the iPhone 7 Plus takes little movies in the instants before a photograph is snapped. On Saturday night Jeff took a photo of me, but just "before" he snapped it, Steve reached into to pull a faux Three Stooges double eye poke. I found this short clip while downloading my photos from Geekquinox, and I found it amusing enough to share. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Vernal Geekquinox 2017

What can I write that hasn't already been written about Pete's twice-yearly Geekquinoxes? They're all spectacular, and when I tried to pick a favourite course this year...I failed. Let the images write for me: