Saturday, May 6, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

is a romp with both snark and heart, a worthy successor to the first Guardians and about as close to a guaranteed good time as you're likely to find. Though it lacks the surprise of the first one--because, after all, we have seen these tricks before--its heart is stronger and the key cast members now feel more comfortable in their roles.

The storyline is fun, but what matters most is that in the course of it, each of the main characters grows and becomes more self-aware. Pratt's Peter Quill remains the center of attention, but this time each of the other leads gets to show change and growth. Michael Rooker's Yondu character is even more important this time than last, and Rooker makes the most of all of his screen time.

If you want big summer fun, go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2--and for double the fun, (re-)watch the first one before you do.

Friday, May 5, 2017

PT doing good in the world: Gina's sabbatical video

As I've written many times before, I'm particularly proud of PT's sabbatical program and all the good work that PT folks do during their sabbaticals.  In this new video, Gina talks about her recent work with the Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen.

I also worked at this place on my sabbatical, and it was a fulfilling and moving experience.  The people there feed anyone who shows up.  They do good work, and I'm glad we're supporting them.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Delta Rae's new EP is out--and you need it

A Long and Happy Life is the name, and you can get it anywhere you buy digital music. Check out the title track--but do remember this is not a professional recording or mix, and the whole band isn't playing--and then get the EP.

Yeah, the marketing behind this EP is portraying it as country music, and I'm not generally a country music fan, but when it sounds this good, I am.  Plus, the intro to this song is pure heart.

These folks are awesome.  I love their music.  Check it out.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Confessing a guilty pleasure

I watch The Ultimate Fighter reality show. I won't try to justify it; I know it for what it is.

Go ahead and judge me.  I deserve it...but do it quickly, because I need to go see how the first episode played out.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Will the JLA movie be the one DC finally gets right?

I don't know, but at least this trailer makes me hopeful.

I am definitely there.

Monday, May 1, 2017


She would have been 84 today, and I would have called her to say, "Happy Birthday." It would have been another call on another day, because for the last few years of her life, I called her every day that I was in town. I would have had little to say to her, but we would have spent ten minutes on the phone, and I would have ended by saying, "I love you, Mom," something I spent over forty years not saying. I would have mocked the call a bit, shrugged it off as a duty, and even truly felt that way some of the time.

Had I known she was going to die, I like to think I would have appreciated those calls more, but instead I would probably have spent all my energy trying to stop her death and still not truly enjoyed the short talks we had.

Cling tight to the ones you love, folks, and appreciate them, and revel in how much they are so perfectly themselves, and see the parts of them you've never been open to seeing before, because all too soon we or they will be gone, all gone, and you will not get those moments again.

I've said before that I never danced with my mom, and to the best of my knowledge I haven't, but this Delta Rae song now always reminds me of her.

I love you, Mom.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

One more TED 2017 takeaway: control screen time

Multiple sessions of this past TED focused on various aspects of our addiction to our screens, the smartphones, tablets, and PCs/Macs that dominate so much of our time. A lot of the data suggested bad, often seriously bad, effects from our need to constantly check in with our phones and other devices. The data is compelling, but even more compelling to me is that I definitely feel those urges and too often yield to them.

So, over the next year or so I hope to take more direct control of the time I spend staring at screens. Rather than check email at every opportunity, for example, I intend to relegate that task to scheduled times. I'm thinking of asking everyone at dinner parties to leave their phones in their pockets/purses/whatevers. And so on.

I'll let you know how it goes.


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