My friend Andy has a little mixing studio that happens to be a great place to watch movies. We watched Limitless tonight. It was a great idea, not to mention well made and well paced. It got me thinking in terms of its own rules, which most of my favourite movies do. I'd give it a 9 out of 10. (I'm pretty generous when I like a movie.)
I saw Jack the Giant Slayer a few nights ago. I'll give you Andy's two-word review: “Too predictable.” It was fun to see Ewan McGregor in a B-movie other than Star Wars (rimshot). I think it was a mistake to make the giants so grotesque. It'd have been more of a challenge for the writers and the artists to give the giants a more human look and a clean dominion and just have them happen to like the taste of people all the same, and I think they should have taken up that challenge instead of going to the CG parts bin. And the evil vizier has been done so many times, you really have to innovate the role. I'm not saying don't do it – it's OK if we know he's a villain from the first second - just do it with creativity. I thought Stanley Tucci was good with what he had to work with, but in terms of the writing I'd like to have seen more reasons why the King planned to marry his daughter to him. The King says he trusted him, but we never really saw why. 5. Wait, why were they going to cook Ewan in his armour? 4.
Before that I saw The Legend of 1900. This one was a great idea too, but I think Tim Roth was just a bit too old for the part. It was unabashedly a fable, so I guess we should be inclined to forgive some of the plot stretches it takes. It also sometimes indulges itself a little too much. I'll always remember this movie, it was unique, but I don't think I'd watch it again. 7 for me, but it's one of Andy's favourites.
I've got Life of Brian on transit hold through the regional library – I look forward to getting the chance to see that.
For Canada Day, Grampy put on his Legion uniform and went in the parade, but instead of a float or something they drove in a car and the windows weren't even all open. I got a picture with him standing with who I presume are some Legion-connected people after it was over:
James Johnston, 91, after participating in the St. Mary's Canada Day Parade in Sherbrooke NS, July 1 2013 (1/2)
James Johnston, 91, after participating in the St. Mary's Canada Day Parade in Sherbrooke NS, July 1 2013 (2/2)
The rains may have diminished the preparation for the parade – I don't think it stopped raining more than an hour or two before it was supposed to start. They also moved or cancelled a bunch of things that were going to be outdoors, which was sort of prudent except that it just caused a jam of everybody immediately doubling back to the parade assembly point.
Also, a guy commanding a road grader or something stopped the whole parade to talk to Peter MacKay. (Does MacKay think he's going to be the next Robert Stanfield? There's no chance. MacKay made the proverbial Deal with the Devil to get to where he is, though I suppose the PC membership were the ones who ratified the merger in the end.)
After the parade, Andy's friend Coady drove out to Country Harbour to pick him up some beer – Andy's friend Josh and I went along for the ride, and I got some beer for myself, too, though I didn't end up really enjoying the beer in the end. It was more that I was glad to have it.
The fireworks were good. I still had my camera, so Andy's friend Darren showed me how to adjust the manual settings on it and try taking pictures. I dunno, I think next time if I do anything at all, I'll shoot video.
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Having seen Limitless, I'm a little extra keen on the idea not that we're not using all of our brains, but that we're not really using them to think at a high level all the time. Even a chimpanzee, properly “trained”, can get himself a martini and see what's on TV. For my part, I just microwaved a little bit of the Kraft Dinner I cooked earlier tonight.
I'm going through the Java tutorials slowly but surely (you can just download the whole thing so that you can have it on your machine, which works out well for me because I have to do most of my work offline). Most of it is review, but I can't believe how many little things I missed that either weren't covered (when I took a course in the medium of Java) or weren't noticed (by me, and I was probably on Facebook or Twitter at the time). Now that I see a few more simple tricks and understand more of the big picture, I'm changing my attitude towards it a bit. I suppose I could be doing C# on .NET instead, but I don't know how to make those apps go cross-platform (hell, even cross-Windows), while Java is cross-platform right out of the box. Server-side, though, from my experience .NET eats Java's lunch – if you know what you're doing (and it doesn't take much), you can sling together something really slick in a hurry. But I might change my mind on that, too.
My original goals for the summer may not be met, but at least look Lisa I'm learnding.
Today I saw Murray's come-from-behind 5-set victory over Verdusco. It was epic. I'm only nominally Scottish but he's easy to cheer for all the same.
I just now came from my toughest bike ride yet in these parts – I went up Old Road Hill, down the other side, and came back into Sherbrooke by the river. Like this. I didn't start out intending to do that, but it was something I've kind of wanted to do, and in my euphoria at reaching the top of the initial hill (“I'm King of the Mountains in the Tour de Sherbrooke!”), I thought 'What the heck?' The part of coming back that was along the river was tougher than I thought it would be – it was flatter than the stretch by the little lakes, but I was more exposed to a contrary wind.
And tonight's another night hanging out at Andy's - in terms of the pie-in-the-sky thing we dreamed of doing, there's a sound / MIDI tutorial in the Java tutorials, so eventually I'll be exploring that and mixing it in with my l33t formz skillz to eventually make something that looks like something. Might be a week or three down the road, though.