Saturday, February 17, 2018

Reading and movies stuff

So last you heard I was giving Facebook and Instagram a vacation till the end of Feb. You might imagine me locked away for my own good, typing fingers twitching feebly in social media withdrawal. Bah, I say!

This has been good. About the closest I came to looking at Facebook was during a slow grocery store line up. Instead, I looked at the other people and what was going on, as if I had to put it in my book as a scene. That passed the time really quickly. That one clerk really has the most amazing beard.

For a while Co-op had some ok self checkout machines. I got walked through the process and it was pretty good. Then they updated the machines a while ago, and the new ones are brutal. Won't be using them again. It was more fun hanging out in line and watching the clerk go through the items.

Not missing social media at all, aside from being mildly curious about what great stuff Jayne has shared, and what a few people are up to. Down at the bottom of this blog I'd given a list of stuff I'd be doing instead of social media. Loving it!

So. The Expanse.

We had borrowed season one from the library, and I reviewed it here. Since then I've bought the first three books, and we borrowed the second season. We were disappointed to find the first disc missing from the second season. Who does that? None the less, we carried on.

If you're a reader and a watcher, AND you like to avoid spoilers, you're going to have a tough time here. The seasons don't line up with the books. It's actually a pretty good example of why novels are not screen plays. There are some differences between the two, but it's the difference between presenting a scene visually, and writing description, and making things more dramatic for TV.

The first two books are essentially one big story, but you could stop there if you wanted. The end of the second season doesn't line up exactly with the end of the second book, but it's pretty close. Then third book opens it up dramatically. There was one sub-plot in there that I didn't care for, but that's just me. We haven't seen season 3 yet, I think it's just coming out this year.

I was delighted to find Chrisjen Avasarala even more potty mouthed in the books than in the show. I think the casting people for the show absolutely nailed it in casting Shohreh Aghdashloo. They did well in casting other roles, even if they couldn't find a 2 m tall 140 kilo woman for one of the roles. Still they did really well there, in finding someone 6 feet tall.

There are places where in the books you see what someone is thinking, and that adds interesting  complexity. (The beginning of chapter 42 in book 2!) Then again, in the show you see the spaceships and can hit pause to admire them all you like, but you might not particularly realize how big they are, or how big in relation to each other.

This is very much a used universe place. The ships and places are usually scruffy and beat up, except for the places the rich live. At some point someone is going to have to start cleaning up all the bodies and spaceship debris floating around the solar system. It would totally ruin your day to run into a chunk of anything at the speeds they are going.

It's a complicated show, and there's lots to keep track of. The Belter lingo is really hard to track, and sometimes you have to watch what their hands are doing, rather than their heads. Usually in most shows there's the good guys and the bad guys, and it's easy to tell which is which. There is a lot of grey in this, with people having good motivations to do bad things. Loving it!

We started season 3 of The Librarians last night.
This is the TV show, not the movie series called The Librarian. What had me confused for a while is that a few of the characters overlap. What you need to remember is that the TV series is infinitely better. In fact, I'd say bypass the movies entirely, unless you're in the mood for a cheese-fest. Though the Librarian-girl in the second movie (used in exactly the same way as 'Bond-girl') was actually the best part of the whole movie.

The Librarians is goofy fun to watch if you're in the right mood. It's all about preventing evil magic or bad guys/girls from taking over the world. There's a good bunch of "script-babble" to explain things, but who really cares. For sure a wine and snacks kind of show.

I'm working on some non-fiction as well. Home Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. It's really interesting, but really wordy. A good editor could have chopped about a quarter of it out, I think, maybe more. It's interesting and thought provoking. He asks what are we going to do? We, as in humanity. Going to do, as in, many of us no longer have to worry about war, famine, or plague. Yes, some of us do, but it's a small fraction of humanity, and it would be a smaller fraction yet if it weren't for those anti-vax idiots, and right wing bullies pushing military solutions into unsuitable places.

I'm about half way through it now, really enjoying it. Some of the bits may show up in blogs where I comment in more detail.

I just got Other Minds, the octopus, the sea, and the deep origins of consciousness, by Peter Godfrey-Smith. I have often though that octopus were a lot more intelligent that we give them credit for, and am happy to read more about these fascinating creatures. I've often though that one day we are going to prove that some of the other species we share this planet with are sapient, and that humanity's leaders are going to get dragged into a cross-species court and charged with speciecide.

But the photos, you ask? Where are the photos? Patience. Yes, I'm working on photos. There's a backlog, and I'm considering the next subject for Macro Monday. It's snowing out, so it's a good day to be downstairs working with bright lights.

You might think this one is from my photo ramble with Sean out in the scenic boonies between here and Red Deer, but you'd be wrong. I know for a fact at least several of my readers will have seen this in person on their commute to work, and all my readers of this particular blog have seen it. Look closer.

These three are from the snowy night shoot a couple weeks ago now. I hope people don't think there's too much tree in these. I've seen them all many times, of course, but with the snow and the light, they really seemed to stand out.

Yes, that home really has a green lightbulb happening. No idea why. I suppose it's much better than a red one.

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