Saturday, June 25, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence is an enjoyable hot mess

of a film that spends so much of its two hours trying to explain what happened in the first movie and who all these new people are that it barely has time to wedge in the present-day story.  Its science makes no sense, and the alien menace's deep secret is the same one we've seen repeatedly over the years from alien menaces.

Despite all that, I had a good time.  All of us who went to see it did, and from the sound of the audience and the smattering of applause at the end, so did most of the folks in the theater.

Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, and Judd Hirsch got to reprise their roles and play key parts in the new plot.  The new generation of folks relied mostly on Liam Hemsworth's minimal charisma, but they were cute enough and spunky enough for us to enjoy it when they went alien hunting.

What made the movie work despite all of its flaws is that it's hard not to like a story in which aliens trash most of our planet and then we improbably whip their butts.  The effects were generally good, the threats huge, and the solutions just barely plausible--don't ever think about them--that you could let them whiz by and still have a good time.

It's a fun enough summer ride, and I'm glad I took it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Women Coding for Change

is the name of a new video series that we at Principled Technologies, my company, are doing.  We released today this trailer for the series.

More videos will follow, as we release one each week.

In this series, we discuss the huge gender disparity issue in computing and other STEM fields, show some of the great outcomes of the code-a-thon we co-hosted in March in Seattle, and review some of the many aspects of this complex problem.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Yes, another one I have to see

It's almost certainly not going to turn out to be fine cinema, but it sure looks like fun.

Jason Statham as a hit man, and Tommy Lee Jones chewing the scenery alongside him.

Plus, Jessica Alba, because, hey, Jessica Alba.

You bet I'm there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yes, Tom Cruise is way shorter than Jack Reacher

in the books, but I don't care:  I am excited about this upcoming second Reacher film.

Of course, I am more jazzed about Night School, the new Reacher novel from Lee Child.  You can bet I'll have a copy as soon as it appears on November 7.

If you don't know the Reacher novels and like compulsively readable novels, check them out.

Don't blame me if you're late for work the day after you start one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Support oral storytelling: Go to a Monti StorySLAM

I've written about The Monti before, but I wanted to encourage you again to attend one of their shows and support the art of oral storytelling.  You'll also have a fun time listening to stories, having a drink, and maybe grabbing a bite afterward.

I went to one earlier tonight and told a story on this session's topic, "Home."  Alas, I again did not win; this time, I placed second.  The crowd seemed to enjoy my story, though, and I had a good time celebrating, so the experience was its own reward.

Check out The Monti sometime soon.  You never know when you'll run into me there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Winning while losing

Yesterday, Sarah and Scott came over to spend the Father's Day evening with me.  As we used to do frequently, Sarah and I played backgammon, and Scott and I played pool.

Both beat me soundly.

If you know me at all well, you understand that I'm a very competitive person.  I play most games with the goal of winning.  (I say "most" only because there are a few board games I play entirely to be social.)  I always try to win at both backgammon and pool.

Losing to my kids, though, didn't bother me much.  Simply getting to play with them was a big treat.  More importantly, they are the only two people in the world that I wouldn't mind being better than I am at everything.  I always wish the best for my kids, even when that means me losing to them at games.

Having said all of that, I'm still myself, so when we next play, I intend to beat each of them soundly.

No point in making it easy for them.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My greatest Father's Day gift

is that I have the best kids in the world.  I am so lucky to have Sarah and Scott as my children.  I love them both with all my heart, and I know how fortunate I am to have them.

I will never be as good a father for them as they deserve, but I will always keep trying.


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