First Post (27FEB2005)
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ramblings of an information troubleshooter
why don't i feel bored ?
yes, i know you're all eagerly awaiting my
pronouncements on the best films (or at
least the ones i found most watchable) of
2006, but it will come in time. i've been
kept busy the past week preparing for the
lighting of the inuksuk high school
musical production of the 'beauty and the
beast'. we were supposed to do a Q2Q
starting on saturday morning, but they were
still working out blocking and set changes
so i was happy to see that my allocated
student techs had adopted my attitude that
until all that stuff was sorted, there was
no point in making any final decisions about
it didn't help matters that a
blew thru town on sunday partway thru our
first actual 'run-thru'. apparently the
ferocity of the weather made the national news,
as if this somehow was a rebuttal to the climate
change / global warming trend. anyway, the
high winds part of the blizzard lasted thru
much of monday as well, but damage had already
been done to many roofs in town, including the
one at the high school. this meant that
teachers and students were not allowed in the
building today, ergo, the musical production
will be postponed to the middle of next week.
while that helps the students and teachers get
their production in order, i'm thinking that
the community volunteers might have already
had plans for valentine's day and won't
welcome the change in scheduling.
today also saw the restoration of my pc, as
billy helped me pluck the old intel motherboard
out and plug in the new msi one from tigerdirect.
windows even booted up fine without any need for
updated motherboard drivers (those clever techs !).
however, until i've burnt in the hardware, i'm
not going to get my hopes up too high - i'm
already on my 4th pc in 5 years, so i'm starting
to think that the static clime in my abode is just
too ornery for the delicate sensibilities of
today's high-strung pc's. perhaps if i cleared
out the dust bunnies more often ... ?
i'm still recovering from the part-time players
production of 'two'. the plays themselves went
quite well, and the actors / directors / lighting
tech did outstanding jobs. yours truly, the
sound guy, on the other hand, couldn't touch a
button on the loaned laptop without sending forth
yet another storm of phone rings or speaker
distortion tones. however, the audience was
forgiving, and walked away with pleasant memories
of the plays - '52 pickup' by victoria's t.j.
stronger' by august stringberg.
downtime in january was mostly spent on broomball
games, zone-out sessions of 'master of orion 2'
and at least one poker session a week. with
both mark and kevin out of town this week, i've
had to become the broomball enforcer, and that
garb just doesn't sit well on my shoulders.
the orion sessions have mostly been figuring
out the optimal way to win the game (maximizing
population is the key), so i'm not sure if
there's much value in future play. the MOO2
gaming sessions do tie-in with a salon.com
article that i read today about
rosenberg's new book 'dreaming in code'.
clicking the breadcrumb trail to the the book's
website, i read thru
extract and ran across his reference to an
early computer game 'sumer' (sic) that began
'hamurabi, i beg to report ...'. those words
instantly flashed me back to my high school
computer lab where i spent countless hours
playing whatever games that i could get my
hands on. those few words clarioned in my
head until i followed up on google and found
out that, of course, like many small-scale
games from those halcyon days,
is now downloadable for free, so
i will have to see if it still holds the
same fascination for me now. but just the
thought that some ephemeral digital artifact
could slingshot me back to my youth - this
is the kind of cultural resonance that ought
to be preserved, rather than falling into
the black hole of perpetual copyright.
as for poker, my current loss-less streak
is now over a month long, which means
i'm overdue for a smackdown. obviously,
i can't credit my performance to any
overwhelming skill on my part, but i'm still
not quite sure exactly what formula works
for me - i'm just hoping that my luck
continues to hold. i almost braved the
raging blizzard on sunday evening to head
over to jeff's tourney down along federal
road, but in the end, i decided that, while
the jaunt from the high school down to the
post office was pretty fun, the wide-open
terrain down federal road was not as inviting.
i'm still hoping that jeff can figure out
some way to get the local lottery license
folks to approve another large-scale poker
tourney so that i can get more live-action
practice. that way, if i should happen to
sneak my way into a WSOP seat in the next few
years, i'll be better able to handle all the
shifts and changes in players and playing
revelling in revelations
so, my attempt at a productive all-nighter
went down in flames. when the network went
down at 3 a.m. as usual, i still hadn't made
much progress on the side projects that stand
in the way of the major project. i just got
caught up on blogs and made my desktop look
busy and went home to crash around 6. my
current night-table book read is 'stumbling
into happiness' and i'm enjoying its
revelations of how our minds create our
subjective realities out of make-believe.
on a much more positive note, my youngest
brother responded to my email wishing him a
happy birthday with the news that he is now
engaged to his russian girlfriend, so i'll be
planning a trip to berlin in august for the
wedding. he gave no inkling of this during
our family get-together in december, so it
was a bit of a pleasant surprise. hopefully
he'll manage to pump out a grandkiddy or two
so that the pressure on 'number one son' to
produce progeny will get toned down.
feeding the blog
ok, i've finally gotten the songs from the
high school musical production of 'beauty
and the beast' out of my head. but i haven't
been resting on my laurels. i've re-started
my monday night radio show on cfrt 107.3 f.m.,
but since my home pc is still down, i have no
podcasts yet. i'm also busy hawking tickets
to the banff mountain film festival that we
will be hosting in iqaluit on march 10 and 11.
oh, and playing a bit of poker here and there
at the end of march, i'll be heading down to
montreal for a board meeting. the meeting
will be on a monday, but thanks to the vagaries
of arctic flight schedules, to make the meeting
i'll have to fly down on the friday before and
won't return until the wednesday after - 3 free
days in montreal - what's not to like about
that ! i'm looking forward to another movie-binge
speaking of movies, the few that i've seen in
the last month or so have all been enjoyable. i
wasn't able to see 'children of men' until it's
last performance in town, and i would've liked to
see it again, if only to figure out how they did
that birth scene on cue. someone tried to
convince me that the movie didn't portrary a
child-less world realistically, as women wouldn't
just collapse into maudlin puddles, but i
rejoindered that innaritu's focus was more on
the journey undertaken by clive owen's character
from cynicism back to faith. the rest was just
obiter. the sound design was also commendable.
just for sheer visceral pleasure, 'smokin' aces'
was a great nite out. having ben affleck go down
in a hail of bullets smacked of pandering to a
fickle audience, but i still found myself whooping
when the chainsaw came out. the colour saturation
of the lake tahoe scenes was totally intense,
echoing the drug-addled scenes of 'requiem for a
dream'. another tie with that film was the
appearance of clint mansell as score-maestro.
also, while i'm not familiar with common's musical
stylings, he was a fierce presence in the film and
easily held his own against jeremy piven's trew
kewl magic illusion tricks.
still, the flick that held up the best (and that
i saw twice in the last week) was the oscar-award
winning 'pan's labyrinth'. the contrast between
fantasy world and reality was very well done.
guillermo del toro managed to sell the sense
of wonder, but also the reality inhabited by the
characters, especially during the torture scenes.
i agree that the grape-eating scene was out
of character, but hey, i'm not a kid anymore.
definitely a film where different bits would
resonate depending on where you are in your life.
and finally, the impetus for making a post
today, was running across one of today's
entries on salon.com's 'how the world works'.
it seems that district judge breyer has
ruled that the US department of agriculture
can't take a shortcut with the
of GM alfalfa and must go thru a full
environmental impact assessment.
For those farmers who choose to grow
non-genetically engineered alfalfa, the
possibility that their crops will be
infected with the engineered gene is
tantamount to the elimination of all
alfalfa; they cannot grow their chosen crop.
food for thought ...
First Post (27FEB2005)
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