- Birthday weekend is mostly over. Teenage parties - well, we survived, and let's leave it at that. Most of the kids have gone home now, and we're looking forward to some peace later. But first, we have a family dinner somewhere, not sure where, either Smokey Bones or Colorado Steak House. Frankly, after Cheesecake Factory on Thursday, and pizza & wings yesterday, I have no desire to eat anything at all today except fruit.
- Speaking of food (as I often do), I made a dozen deviled eggs yesterday. I did three lots: some fairly standard, some "Cajun" style with BBQ sauce, and some with feta and green onion. Yum.
- I've just come back from taking Darien out driving for what seems like the first time in months. He's now old enough to take his test and start driving on his own, which is strange, and a little bit scary. (And, in a few months, Rhys will be old enough to do the same. It's things like that which make me feel old.) I decided it was time to get away from the residential backstreets, and so we headed off up 17/92, and onto some of the busier roads. He did just fine after a shaky start. Now we need to work driving practice into our regular routine, and then he can get himself out and about, and start thinking about getting a job.
- We watched The Lightning Thief last night. I enjoyed it, but I have to agree with Darien that it was nowhere near as good as the book. I'd really recommend the first book, though I got bored with the later ones. The movie was okay, but suffered from all the usual problems of movie adaptations; it captured the essence of the story, looked great, but some bits were missed out, some things were changed, and it didn't really match what was in my imagination most of the time. Worth watching, but be prepared for disappointment if it doesn't match up to expectations.
- This afternoon, I'm enjoying The Right Stuff. Amazingly, I've never seen it before, although I've read the book. (This, you may note, is a common theme with my film reviews.) It's really hitting home, after living near Canaveral, visiting Kennedy Space Center and watching the last few shuttle launches. As I'm watching it, I keep thinking, "I saw that craft, I saw those spacesuits, I saw that photograph they just posed for," and so on. I've sat in replicas of some of those capsules, and they're unbelievably tiny and claustrophobic.
What's really poignant is Gus Grissom's constant comment, "You know what makes this bird fly? Funding. No bucks, no Buck Rogers." And now NASA's bucks are all gone. No more Buck Rogers.
That was an era where America had real pride in being able to do something amazing. The rest of the world looked on in respect and awe, as America went faster, higher, further, and where no man had gone before. (Well, apart from that little hiccup with Gagarin, of course.) America's primacy wasn't just about being able to drop cruise missiles on anyone they disliked, and dominate the world by military power. It's a real shame those days are gone. Hamstringing NASA is taking away more from America than most people realize. I'm just glad I'm here to see the end of the glory days.
- Have you ever noticed the increasing use of the ellipsis these days? (That's a ... for those of you who aren't punctuation fiends.) I reckon it's because we're constrained to 140 or 240 characters when posting to Twitter or Facebook. The ellipsis has come to stand for "Well, you get the idea, but I've run out of space to complete this thought, so you'll have to fill it in yourself..."
- The MaMachinima International Festival, to be held in Amsterdam and Second Life in June, is now accepting submissions. There's a FB event for it. Any engine/tool/platform is acceptable.
- I still love my Kindle, but I'm actually reading more books on paper than electronically. The Kindle's great for short books that would never get a printed version, and for obscure things that libraries don't have but I don't want to own. I just finished Rider Haggard's Heart of the World, which is about an Englishman who falls in love with an exotic foreign lady called Maya.
- Also, I finally read Anna Mercury, Vol 1. Warren Ellis writes about a buxom, leather-clad redhead who saves the world. It was fun. Comics really don't work on Kindle.
- We'll be away for Anna's birthday (and our wedding anniversary), but we're going to have a Jungle House birthday party for her some time around Labor Day weekend for anyone not going to DragonCon. It'll be a costume party, probably no specific theme, just come up with something cool. (Any of you who see a connection between these last two posts - no comment!) And yes, there will be a Jungle House July 4th party this year. We'll make FB events and send out invites at some point soonish.
And a few short snippets to round things off:
- Here's wishing Niki a good trip south. Look forward to seeing you, buddy!
- I really want to go shooting with Vaughn soon.
- Currently trying to decide whether to switch to Virgin Mobile instead of AT&T. Anyone round here tried Virgin?
- I think I'm finally bored of Civilization.
- I miss my kids. Every day.
And that'll do. That's quite a lot for 24 hours. For those of you on FB, let me know what you think of having one long post instead of a barrage of little status updates. You may find it works better if you click through to the original post.