Friday, June 23, 2017

Facebook Messenger is not the right way to reach me


Lately, the numbers on my phone's Facebook app remind me that some people keep trying to reach me via Facebook Messenger. To try to reach as many folks as possible, I'm writing this entry. I don't use Facebook Messenger. I rarely look at Facebook, and when I do, it's via my phone, where I have not installed their Messenger app. Trying to reach me that way won't work.

I'm not trying to be antisocial; I'm just currently full up on communication mechanisms. With personal email, work email, Slack at work, and what reaches me via this blog, plus the occasional text and the even rarer actual phone call, I am already spending way too much time receiving and answering messages.

So, if you need to reach me, either email me directly or use the Contact form on my site. I'll get back to you pretty quickly; I read and answer all my own email.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Senate's healthcare proposal is a travesty; do what you can to fight it


It is about neither health nor caring. It would hurt millions and millions of Americans. If you have any time to spare, contact your representatives--especially if they are Republican--and urge them to stop this horrible piece of legislation from becoming law.

We need to provide health care to more Americans, not fewer. We need to make it cheaper, not more expensive.

Let's do all we can to stop this mean-spirited exercise from becoming law.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

If you're considering seeing Transformers: The Last Knight,


go see Wonder Woman instead. Even if you've already seen Wonder Woman. Even if you've already seen it twice. I would have had more fun being stuck at work all night handling a crisis.

Kyle found something good to say about the movie: if you compiled a book of still shots from the film's key moments, you would have a very pretty and cool art book.

Unfortunately, no scene lives up to the quality of its still shots. The actors look like they're in pain as they phone in their lines--and with good cause, because more of the lines are groan-worthy than not. The plot is needlessly convoluted and, predictably, devoid of logic and science. Even the emotional arc is a mess, with multiple climaxes and uplifting speeches that fall flatter than a Transformer after having its head cut off. The film's rascism and sexism is unavoidable and offensive.

I could go on and on with the critiques, but there's no point in that.

If you've read this blog for a while, you'll know that I can find the good in any movie, but this film stretched that ability to the breaking point. I wasn't angry at myself for seeing it--Scott was--and I continue to have the goal of seeing all the movies, so in that sense I am glad I went--but only in that sense.

Skip this one and hope that if enough of us stay away, Michael Bay won't get the money to make any more installments in this painful franchise.




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How can I resist


the combination of Soderbergh, Craig, and Tatum in this bit of weirdness?



I can't, of course.



Monday, June 19, 2017

A little evening concert


In high school, college, and for a bit after that, I was a hardcore Cat Stevens fan. I loved his music, and I practically played the grooves out of my albums. I still do love all his records. One day, he converted to Islam, and he vanished from the music scene.

A few years ago, he re-emerged as Yusuf, his new name.

For a four-song mini-concert that's just perfect when you want a 15-minute break, check out this NPR Tiny Desk concert featuring Yusuf.

The last song is, was, and always will be a favorite of mine. It chokes me up every time.

Enjoy.




Sunday, June 18, 2017

Musings on a rainy afternoon


Many years ago, I wrote a blog entry in which I opined that you could glean a great many lessons from the movie Animal House. Many of those lessons come from or at the expense of the hapless freshman, Flounder. Stephen Furst, the actor who played Flounder, died yesterday, so I was thinking a bit about him and the movie. Lines like "You fucked up, you trusted us," come to my mind frequently. R.I.P., Mr. Furst.

Furst, by the way, was not quite two months younger than I am. People my age are dying all the time. Reminders of my mortality occur all too often these days. Well, to be accurate, they've always been available; I'm just much more sensitive to them now.

Growing up, Father's Day was always a holiday I tried to forget, because when you don't have a father and wish all the time that you did, this is a rough day.

Today, I'm very lucky that Sarah and Scott remember the day and try to see me on it, as they will later today.

I am a fortunate man indeed. I would be wise never to forget that.





Saturday, June 17, 2017

A TED talk I quite liked


After poking fun at TED's brand expansion in last night's entry, today I learned that a TED Talk I quite liked just went live.  If you have the 18 minutes to spare, I recommend this presentation by Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.



In other news, I'm home!  I'm quite happy to be done with planes for a while.

Now, to unpack!




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