See My Complete Profile
Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.
The Last Ten
Back to Blogging
Post Quarter Century
The Oncoming Week
Sweet God! It BURNS!
Finally Bottled the Wheat
Cut Things Close
The Big Gay Post
Halloween Party: Images 2005
Deviant Paradigm: Beware of Catgirl
Semper Nox Noctis
Semper Nox Noctis: Memoirs of the OverAlpha 1
-- Sapph's Blog --
-- Jonathan and Luke's Blog --
Fear No Darkness...
-- Jamie's Blog --
Little Green Footballs
-- My source for political news !!Conservative Site Alert!! --
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Well, I got the Director's Cut of Watchmen today, so I figured I could use this as an excuse to revisit things I wanted to say about the film. So, yeah, this is going to contain MAJOR SPOILERS. You've been forewarned.
I really rather like Watchmen. I saw it twice in theatres, which is rare for me. I have to really like movies to do that (for instance, I saw both Sin City and Taken, which are top contenders for "favorite movie" multiple times). The Director's Cut, while not as significant an improvement as the one for Chronicles of Riddick (the Director's Cut of which transforms a forgettable action/sci-fi movie into a worthy action/sci-fi followup to Pitch Black), is much better than the theatrical version. They add a lot of little details that tie the whole movie together and make it better all around.
Of course, the biggest problem the movie has is one that they don't fix. Of course, I'm referring to the worthless, piss-poor ending they gave it. And it would have been so easy to deal with. I don't even mean the stupid logical fallacy where Dr. Manhattan has to be the villain (even allowing that the world needs a villain to unite it, I have yet to understand why Ozymandias can't be that villain). What I mean is that Ozymandias is a smug, narcissist with no compunctions for murdering millions of people in cold blood with no remorse. Yes, he claims to have remorse, but (and this is the problem and the easy fix) he doesn't bother to show it at all. All they'd need is a scene where he actually bothers to cry about their deaths, show some kind of emotion other than self-satisfaction. It is difficult for me to describe exactly how much I hate Ozymandias. I hate him more than almost any other character I can possibly think of. I truly despise him. What I'd really have liked is for him to have died, his own sacrifice for the utopia he wanted. But of course, I'm denied that too. I'm a bit surprised, considering how well the movie does with comeuppance (it's a movie all about comeuppance; you spend most of the movie learning how the Comedian earned his). But I guess we don't get everything we want.
Dr. Manhattan is also a character I don't care much for. He's an emotionless robot who only does what he's told and is good for exactly two things -- blowing up what he's told to and stating the obvious. For a nuclear physist, he's also incredibly unthinking. He never bothers to think critically about anything throughout the whole movie. It's embarrassing and sad. He's also remarkably without any kind of moral compass at all.
I do, however, love Rorschach. That might be at least partly because he's got a moral compass much like mine. A twisted, exaggerated distortion of my moral compass perhaps, but it's one that stays steady in all things. I have to respect that. Nite Owl's greatest asset is that he's human. He's got the same sort of foibles and failures of morality as any other human. But without him, we'd only have monsters to identify with in the show, and that obviously wouldn't work very well.
All in all, it's a great movie, with a terrible ending. It's not that Rorschach dies (I'm really fine with that, despite him being my favorite character). It's that Adrian Veidt, a completely despicable monster, has his horrible, murderous plan succeed completely without any drawbacks or remorse. He never pays for his crimes. In fact, he apparently profits from them, considering the preponderance of Veidt Industries construction stuff in the end of the film. If they were going to bother with changing the ending so that it'd seem less silly to a movie audience, why not make it more palatable to the audience? It's a remarkably unsatisfying ending to an otherwise terrific film.
-- And also --
Something I've always remarked about Dr. Manhattan is that he needs to grow some balls to go with his big blue dick. He espouses gibberish philosophy that neither makes sense nor do I agree with, and then doesn't bother to act (practically at all) even once he learns the meaning of Christmas. His only damn function is blowing people up, and he doesn't manage to do it to the only person in the whole movie who really deserves it.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Well, the biggest single change in my life since I last was posting regularly is my recent acquisition of a motorcycle. I'm the proud owner of a Triumph Street Triple. And honestly, I couldn't be more ecstatic. I love the bike. Everything about her. The way she looks, muscular, with the broad shoulders of the gas tank and the clean lines of the naked frame an engine, the odd pair of headlights. The way she sounds, the throaty purr (which my cousin describes as "very British") with the harmonizing intake and exhaust notes like nothing else on the road. The way she rides, powerful and upright, like I'm a duke of the road itself. And of course, I'm sort of ornery and like to be just a little different, and the Triumph is not a common bike.
Most folks agree that she's a gorgeous machine. My uncle's complaint is that she "doesn't sound like a motorcycle." Which is pretty true -- the inline three cylinder engine doesn't sound anything like the Harleys or Hondas that you're used to. But you can't deny that she's a beautiful, beautiful bike.
The tale of me ending up riding a brand new, unusual, British, naked motorcycle is a bit of an odd and convoluted one. I started out very pointedly not making any sort of decision about what kind of a motorcycle I wanted. I'd never ridden a motorcycle before, and I didn't want to make uneducated decisions and set my heart on something I wouldn't like. So I waited until I took the MSF course, though I had my leanings, based on common sense and aesthetics more than anything. I didn't pass the driving test on my first try. (I'd set the bike down earlier in the day, and lost my nerve. Riding is mostly in your head, and if you can't focus, you really shouldn't be riding.) So I spent the next couple weeks preparing for a retest, riding my cousin's old Yamaha 650 Special, what he calls "the sacrificial bike." I decided I really liked the way that it handled, as a middleweight standard, and started to look more seriously at standard bikes. He dropped the name of the VMAX, Yamaha's huge, heavyweight naked bike, and I looked into it. To this day I'm not sure if the new VMAX is really pretty or just really strange. But the older models are very pretty. It was around then that I got really attached to the naked look. I thought it was attractive, the engines of that sort of motorcycle are all fun (quite powerful, but more focused on lots of torque rather than super-high horsepower), and, most importantly, they rode mostly upright, varying a bit around "standard." I started to look for other naked bikes, especially Ducati's Monster, which was a more managable size than the VMAX and was definitely pretty. When I talked about these with my cousin, he mentioned Triumph, so I started to look into their Speed Triple and Street Triple motorcycles. They were very pretty, and looked pretty impressive on paper. The more I read reviews, the more impressed I was -- everyone said that the Street Triple was the most fun of the middleweight nakeds, and it was almost universally considered the best of the class as well.
I was pretty hooked. So when I went to buy a motorcycle, I started out at the local Triumph dealer. I really didn't intend to buy a new bike. It's my first bike, and I was sure to drop it, at least once. But they didn't have any used ones (nor did the local Ducati dealer), so I finally let them talk me into it. I ordered a flyscreen and a set of frame sliders (for when she inevitably went down), though those parts wouldn't be in for nearly a month after I got her. :(
Sure, she's not really a beginner's bike, but I'm old enough now to be a fairly conservative rider, so I haven't had much trouble with her. I have put her down once. It was a beginner's mistake: I tried to take a turn too fast and couldn't manage it. I realized part way in that I wouldn't make the turn, so I straightened out and went over the median. I was fine until my wheel dropped off the median and the bike went over. Fortunately, God was looking out for me, and we got through it okay. I just got everything fixed up at the 500 mile check up, and we're almost 100% back. She's still got a few scuffs and scratches, but you have to look for them to spot them.
Back to Blogging
*blows dust off blog*
Wow, it's been quite nearly a year since I last posted. That's awful! Ah, well, I've decided to come back to blogging, at least for a little while. I've had a few posts bouncing around my head for a month or three and I've been meaning to come back for them, so I'm finally going to do it. A lot has changed in the last year, and yet, in many ways, very little has changed. But I'll get to all of that. *grin*
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Post Quarter Century
Well, it seems like I managed to make it through without being mopey at all. Not here anyway. That's, of course, due to me being ridiculously busy. I'm trying to rush through a major rewrite of one of our clients' websites, doing everything I can to improve the thing. I ended up working a batch of overtime at the end of last week (not fun when you're also trying to get ready for a party and your dishwasher has crapped out). Fortunately, my Mom came up to help me with some of the cooking and cleaning. I'm not sure if I'd have gotten it all done without a hand.
The party itself went rather well, despite me catching the barbecue ribs on fire. Seriously -- apparently one needs to be certified to use my brother's charcoal grill. I think I'm through over half my beer, possibly as much as three quarters, so I'm excited. And everybody seemed to like it really well. I'm going to call it all a success, even if I'm still a terribly lonely guy, and throwing this party messed my finances up all to heck (seriously, this thing was super expensive...I had a ton of food). But it was fun, and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves, so I'm happy anyway.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The Oncoming Week
You'll probably get increasingly mopey posts as this week goes on and I realize how close I'm getting to my birthday. I'm just not quite where I want to be in life. Don't get me wrong, most of the time I don't mind my job, and I'm doing fine financially. It's not that I was hoping to be a hundred-thousand-aire or anything. I wish I had less credit card debt, but I'm reasonably close to on track for my medium term goal of owning a home. It's just...I'd always hoped to have a girl by now. Hell, I'd kinda hoped to be married by now. But I don't even have any prospects. So I'm facing hitting 25, and starting the trek down away from physical prime, and it's just going to get harder from here. It's just another one of those "*sob* *sob* I'm so lonely!" things that you know I sometimes drop into. So bear with me. I'll get back on track eventually.
Sorry I haven't posted in a while, it's been crazy busy. Emo got married last weekend. The wedding was surprisingly short -- I'm used to the pastor delivering full sermons or homilies, but their pastor's message was very short and to the point. The wedding reception was unfortunately short, but otherwise awesome. I joke that we almost had as much toast as we did wedding, but it's not much of a joke. Now, let me level -- I find wedding receptions generally to be horribly depressing things. When you're alone, a thing that's almost endless couples dances isn't much fun. But this time there weren't that many couples dances, and the toasts, which are my favorite part, probably because I like to talk, lasted on and on. It was incredible. I hope that when I get married, all my friends will step up like that and say a few words. And these weren't things like "I wish them happiness in their new life." These were full on speeches, poignant and heartfelt, about the couple. I wasn't the only one blown away by it.
I got my cider bottled. I'm doing still cider this time, just because of time constraints. Well, mostly still -- I primed the bottles a little, not to carbonate it, more just to pressurize the bottle. The CO2 will keep the oxygen off the cider, which I think will help it taste better when it's opened. I got much of my grocery shopping for this comming weekend, my grand birthday kegtap, done. Now it's mostly waiting again.
This was our big server migration weekend too, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be. Partly by the boss' insistence that I not do some of the things I'd planned (most notably setting our databases to UTF-8 instead of Latin-1). It ended up only being about five hours of unpaid overtime, far less than the ten to fifteen I'd been expecting. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of major hurdles. We did seem to run into some serious DNS problems though. I learned a few things about our DNS configuration that I didn't know, and I discovered that the registrar (Network Solutions, in this case) caches your name server IPs (which makes a lot of sense to me, since I couldn't for the life of me figure out how it associated nameservers to IPs so it could serve names before). Unfortuantely, I don't know how in the world I'm supposed to change that IP address, and their helpfiles explained doing something that there didn't seem to be an option for. I might email on Monday. For the time being I made "new" name servers with the correct IPs, and I think everything's starting to work correctly again.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Sweet God! It BURNS!
*cough* Whoa. I don't know if I'm going to get my mouth free of feeling like I gargled kerosene and live coals. I just tried the pepper beer to see if its ready to bottle. Honestly, I don't have a clue. After the first instant of taste, I started choking and my entire mouth turned off as my tastebuds began to smoke. Wow. Yeah, it's spicy like nobody's business. Might give it a shot...It ought to be ready to bottle, or at least very very close.
Got the cider fermenting now. I'm hoping it turns out pretty well. I've got to decide if I want to carbonate it or leave it still. I'm not sure...I might do half and half maybe... Anybody got any opinions on the matter?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Finally Bottled the Wheat
Bottled the boysenberry wheat tonight, and I think the pepper beer is ready too, so I'll try to bottle it tomorrow or so... We'll see what I have time for, since I've definitely got to get the cider going ASAP.
I learned something about boysenberries too. They have all kinds of little bits that really like to clog up the keg tap, making the last eight or so bottles nearly impossible to draw. I ended up doing rather unorthodox things for the last few, so I marked them pretty clearly -- they're probably not going to turn out well, and I'd rather party guests not imbibe them. This whole thing has been a lot of "wait and see." Maybe the pepper beer will actually go well... Though I'm not so secretly terrified of it, since I'll have to taste it to see if it's ready to bottle, and I don't generally care for spicy hot things. *sigh* Oh well. It's for a good cause anyway.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Cut Things Close
Well, this is disappointing... The Boysenberry wheat isn't anywhere near ready to bottle. It's been three weeks, so I'm a bit concerned. Maybe it'll be better after this weekend. I really hope so, or I won't be able to have the cider ready in time. It's already going to be a little tight. Fortunately, the books claim the cider will ferment in five days. If that's true, then I can wait for a few more days for this beer to be ready to go.
Well, I got the cider in today, so it's time for me to bottle the Boysenberry Wheat, so I can start the cider going tomorrow night. I really hope the Wheat is ready to go. It should be, but I haven't really checked it. There's still stuff floating in it, but I don't know if it's yeast or if it's just bits of boysenberry. I suppose I'll find out tonight. So yeah, the goal is to have the cider going tomorrow night. Since the cider should finish more quickly than the others, there should be no trouble in getting it done before my birthday bash. With luck, the pepper beer will also be ready soon, so it can carbonate fully before the party. I'm really frightened of checking that one though...
In surprising news, the Oatmeal Ale appears to actually be carbonating very well. It might just end up being a particularly sweet ale. I'll have to move it to the fridge for lagering soon, or I'll risk bursting the bottles. *wink*
I'm still trying to decide what I want to bake for the party, but I think I'm going to do ribs, marinaded with the pepper beer (assuming it's ready, and it should be). I'm so excited. I hope I can afford all this... With all the weddings and birthdays, this month is going to be kind of tight.