Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Playing Around

I've refreshed the design of the Blog since my last background image disappeared, and I finally have a working graphics program that can save transparent PNG images for my header. Might tweak it a bit more later.

I'm on a Lego kick lately, buying new minifigures and trying to figure out the dot codes on the bags. I managed to get a Disney Maleficent last month, but now they have new minifigs and I can't find the banana suit guy yet. At least I found an affordable Lego set with Black Widow on an awesome motorcycle, along with Falcon with wings. The only thing I don't like is that Black Widow's hair looks more tan brown than red. I'm debating whether to try painting it red or coloring it with a marker.

50 State strategy

Yay! This week there's a poll out showing that Texas is a "toss-up" state in presidential election, and the Dallas Morning News endorsed Hillary today. Of course there are skeptics that say the poll is an outlier, and we'll need further confirmation. But I'm glad for any shred of hope, like the ruling striking down the voter ID law. There's going to be some "temporary" changes for this election, but I hope the Supreme Court gives a final ruling, or at least has a tie-vote, so the law can be shut down for good.

I'm pleased that Hillary is excited about possibilities in Texas and other states, and that she really seems committed to a 50-state strategy will all her fundraising for down-ballot races. We need help building more Democrats in Texas. Last month I attended a local Democratic fundraiser for women, and it cheered me up about how many blue voters there are. (There were many men too, including Marc Veasey who brought the lawsuit against the voter ID law, which I'm very grateful for.) Working together, someday we'll get this place purple, then blue.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Ben-Hur

I went to see the Ben-Hur remake, because I remember the chariot race being exciting in the Charlton Heston one. Though I'm agnostic, not Christian, the religious part of the story didn't bother me too much, and I liked that Morgan Freeman was in this. He narrates the beginning and the ending of the movie, and in the middle part plays a wealthy sheikh who trains Judah Ben-Hur to race chariots. Jesus of Nazereth does feature in the movie, but it's in the background of the main events. Rather than preaching, this a story about love triumphing over hate, and forgiveness verses vengeance.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Olympics and the Little Prince

I've never liked sports, and this year I didn't even watch the Olympics opening ceremony. I don't care about any of the competitions and or the boring commentary about it. However, I did catch a PBS special about the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It hardly mentioned Jesse Owens or the athletic events. Instead it was all about Hitler using the Olympics as a propaganda tool to showcase Germany in a good light, and how Avery Brundage and other IOC officials resisted efforts to move the games or boycott them. Apparently Germans were the ones who first came up with the idea of the Olympic torch relay from Athens and created traditions of grandeur and spectacle that modern Olympics have followed ever since. They also mentioned that Germans rounded up the Sinti and Roma people right before the Olympics to "clean up" undesirables. I didn't know that they were part of the Holocaust along with other minorities like Jews, who were considered inferior races. How sad.

Anyway, since there weren't any new movies out that I liked, I watched the Little Prince movie (and binged several episodes of the Masked Magician shows) on Netflix. I've never read the original Little Prince book, but I heard lots of praise and good reviews of the movie, so I decided to watch. It was kind of sad and poetical, but also imaginative, fun and hopeful. Very complex and layered. The frame story was CGI and the book itself was stopmotion animation.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ugly Politics

I'm kind of astounded that the DNC email hack turned into such a thing that not only did Debbie Wasserman-Schultz resign, but other DNC officials have been fired. They're doing it for party unity with the Sanders supporters I guess, but I found the witchhunt of DWS offensive and stupid. She was a scapegoat for all the unhinged conspiracy theories about a rigged election. When I heard reports about booing and Sanders delegates walking out of the convention, it seemed so childish. I noticed that they disrespected real progressive heroes like Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis; even Sarah Silverman had to point out they were being ridiculous. I don't understand their deadend behavior, but I'm at least glad that Bernie stopped that Nina Turner from speaking and spoiling things. I hope Bernie continues to repudiate these idiots for the rest of the campaign. If he had just discouraged or scolded them sooner, we'd not be having chants of "Lock her up!" following the Republican example.

Meanwhile, I've given up on Colbert's Late Show, after watching him most of the year. Stephen can do witty political satire with Cartoon Donald Trump and the Hungry for Power Games, but I hated that he kept inviting Bernie Sanders on his show. Even when he interviewed Elizabeth Warren recently, Colbert had to bring up Bernie Bros and suggest that they would defect to Trump. Then he had a "taking off the gloves" segment calling Hillary a liar about the emails! What the hell is he doing, pushing rightwing propaganda? Next thing you know, he'll be calling her a corrupt shill of the oligarchs like the loons do.

Apparently he and Jon Stewart don't like Hillary Clinton at all and keep pushing this idea that both candidates are equally bad, and we should move to Canada rather than vote. I can't take that level of cynicism and false equivalency. So I don't care about Colbert doing his "Stephen Colbert's identical cousin" routine lately. He's not gonna win me back. I'm tired of this crap.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Houdini and Doyle cancelled

Well, it's not surprising given the ratings for the show, but I'm glad that Fox at least let all the episodes air, much like they did with other shows like Minority Report and Second Chance. By the way, since when has there been a summer TV press tour? I thought there was only the winter press tour and the May upfronts where they announce renewals and cancellations. I guess with more year round programming it makes sense to do a summertime promotion of their new shows.

Anyway, I read that Mitch Hurwitz said in an interview that he's working on Season 5 of Arrested Development and hopes to film in 2017. I'll believe it when Netflix announces a deal. We're still in limbo for now.

Also, despite the cliffhanger ending, I found out that The Pinkertons TV show is out on DVD now but only in the UK, not here. However, I do have a new region-free DVD player able to play PAL discs, so I could certainly order those DVDs to help me not miss Kate Warne as much. I might try to read another Allan Pinkerton book, this time about the Civil War spy stuff they did.