Sunday, May 14, 2017

Anniversaries, Applications and Awesome Movies

The word of the week is ambivalent.

May 8 – Feelings

I'm feeling less stressed at work, in many ways, but frustrated some other times.

Mainly because I feel like I'm going nowhere - which is sadly true.

Here I am, having spent decades working for a living, to end up... opening mail and sealing envelopes. Um. It's a bit hard for me to take, in terms of my 'worth' as an employee, to have come to this, as well as see my paycheques vanish each month for no gain: no home, no substantive savings, nada. At least I'm off the phones.

Yet, this is for the best thing for me, right now.

Mindless work gives me the headspace I need to finish editing my novel, and perhaps even finish off the second half of the second novel by summer's end, if I'm persistent. Listening to epic music all day long, not being bothered by anyone or looked-in-on constantly, not being beholden to another’s schedule minutes: all great.

A year ago, I wrote this:


Thus, for the last year, I've applied for 1-2 jobs every month, targeted towards IT, communications and writing-heavy positions which I feel I qualify for, based on my skills and experience. Yet to date, I've had no responses - nothing, just a black hole I'm tossing my carefully-crafted applications into in the hope of... something?

No more.

Any applications I'm making for the rest of 2017 will be vetted in advance through several friends in GVT, who have excellent eyes for spotting what will make it through the system filters and what won't. Obviously, despite my efforts, what I'm doing isn't working, and so it's time for change( ha! )in my tactics.

I need to move up, and this move on; it's past time that I do so, as my current position can't do anything more for me to get me ahead.


May 9 – Dreadnoks


Well, this brightened my weeek!

After last weekend's toy show, wandering around looking at all of the items for sale, I was all abuzz with nostalgia. So naturally I looked up a few things online, one thing led to another and I ran across something, which I used to own.

But I ran across it in real life!!! Behold, the Cobra Dreadnoks and their Thunder Machine:

Original toy an figures in bottom right for comparison
What a wonderful thing to see one of my favorite G.I.Joe vehicles brought to life, by people who obviously are even bigger fans than I am, to go to such effort - it's cosplay taken to the next level, and you can see the dedication of the group in the pictures. This one is my fave:

Not accurate: she should have pegs in her feet to ride the sideboard!


You can even check out photos from the build log of the real-life Thunder Machine here, which is amazing! It's truly incredible to see how the dedication of a few fans can create something special and memorable for others.


May 10 – Lockitron V1.0!

It seems just a little patience was in order...

After browsing through the Lockitron Forums last week and posting a few questions, my pleas were heard... and by none other than a founder of the company, @Cameron! He had looked into my issues with the original Lockitron as I posted, and manually assigned the device to my account - that did it!

This looks a lot better than the pictures I tried to take, but serves the same.

After hooking up the device to my front door this eve( see above )I activated the app on my phone: the lock whirred and opened! I had a huge grin on my face as I cycled it a few times just for fun to see it working on command.

Glorious!

While there's still some tweaking to do to get things working exactly as I'd like( such as the door locking and unlocking automatically as I arrived or leave )just getting it communicating with my phone is enough for now. I'll have a little more time to play around with it in June, once I get my novel's edits finished.

The important thing is: it's here, it works, and I'm a happy g33k today!


May 11 – 5 Years already?

It's hard to believe, but I've spent half of my 10 years in BC in my current apartment.

Considering that this is the 5th place I've lived in here in BC, that's impressive, especially as it's the best place I've lived. It's right intown, walkable to downtown, cool in the summer, warm in the winter, not-too-crazy people upstairs( anymore... )and the good-things-list goes on. Even with the few foibles( road noise / motorcycles 20 ft from the window, 5am early-risers upstairs aren't quiet, limited space )it's an amazing place, especially for the price: 2-bedroom apartments anywhere in Victoria are going for $1400-1600 / month right now, if you can even find them. Since we're not paying even close to that, we're OK here, thanks-very-much!

Who wouldn't want a secret-lair apartment?

Having lived outside town( in 2 difference places )I can say it's far better to be in Victoria, and amazing to be within a 15-minute stroll of downtown / my workplace combined. Driving into town all the time to do things / see people was always a pain, especially in the winter, as snow tended to stick around outside Victoria's city limits - bleh. Sure, Langford had its perks, but leaving at 6am to avoid traffic to get to your job in Victoria for 9am wasn't one of them.




May 12 – Guardians Of The Galaxy 2!!!

Ohboy, ohboy - tonight's the night!

My lady and I, along with a few friends from work, went to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie tonight at the restored Capital 6 theaters and man, it was a comfortable experience( except that I had a little bit too much liquid to drink before and didn't want to leave because I would have missed 5 minutes of the film )with powered reclining seats - sweet!





No spoilers here, just let me say: it was a great film!

That said, I didn't love it as much as the first film, which really came out of left field and blew me away with its fantastic characters, well-paced action and world-building. Not to mention its sense of humour, stunning CGI and the obvious love that everyone involved in making the film had poured into it.

The sequel naturally further developed the characters( Peter Quill / Starlord especially )and explored the theme of family, which I'm also doing in my own space opera novel series... so the film really resonated for me there. The CGI was great, the action well-paced... and the writer in me again overlooked the minor plot problems in favour of the sheer joyous spectacle that was present on-screen.

Are you KIDDING me?????

Interesting trivia: since the release of the first film, the valuation of the very first Sony Walkman, the TPS-L2, has skyrocketed to unbelievable prices. While it was a fairly uncommon piece for years since its release in 1979, you could still get one as of 2013 for around $100 USD, or more if it was in perfect working order. However, as you can see from the image above, that's changed radically, all because the TPS-L2 is the walkman worn by Peter Quill in GOTG1 and 2 - that's it.

So if you have one hanging around in your basement, cash it in now...!


May 13 – Lucky Anniversary



Speaking of great movies...

The Fifth Element turns 20 this month, which boggles my brain; has it been that long?

When I first saw it, TFE blew me away: it was a visual experience like no other, perfectly executed... and perfectly ridiculous. Much like how the original Star Wars was a film that broke away from all the scifi films before it, TFE went for a future that was gaudy, bright and( most importantly )alive - and it made you aware of it from the word go!

Multi-pass!

I love TFE, enough to own it on about 5 different formats. I enjoy watching it at least once a year( more often than Star Wars - the original trilogy, actually )and it's always a fresh joy to me: the energy of the film rewards nothing less of the viewer.

This year, there's more than a few retrospectives because of the 20th anniversary, and I was pleased to find this one( from the respectable Tor.com )that dives in-depth into the reasons for TFE's lasting appeal. It touched on some excellent points, some of which I hadn't considered, and made my love of the film all the stronger since I can see how even more... elements... of the film were so well-crafted.

Now to just find the time to watch it again this summer... with my lady, who's also a fan!


May 14 – Two Years and Mumm

Today was a double celebration!

First, a breakfast with my lady, celebrating two years together! A milestone worthy of fireworks, large gatherings and parades... but as she doesn't go in for that, we just enjoyed our time together on a patio under the clearing skies. She also got me a great, heavy gift( below; I think mine to her was pretty good too ):

This thing must weigh 10 lbs - whoa! So amazing that it looks like Jupiter!

After that, we popped over to a cafe by the sea for some boardgames, which was most pleasant thanks to the balmy beach breezes coming through the open windows.

That really does sum up how I feel: so lucky!

I'm a lucky man to have been this lady's chosen guy for two years, I tell you... :-)

In the early afternoon, I met my sister and parents at Nourish to celebrate Mother's Day. I'd reserved seating over a week ago, requesting our favourite table at the back in the bay window, which was perfect as the sun was shining in - yes! We spent a fun few hours relaxing in each other's company and enjoying the delicious food - my wheat pancakes with whipped cream and bee pollen( !!! )were stellar, and the Black Forest bacon was incredible:

That.... bacon...

Yes indeed... I'm a lucky guy, to have such amazing people in my life. I hold onto that when weird things happen( like both the toilet and the PC backing up today, with my UPS crapping out yesterday... )to remind myself that some things are transient... and others blessedly not-so-much.

Indeed.

It's good to be here, and it's going to get better, the harder I work for the rest of 2017.



Even the blog went wonky today: I had to redo it from scratch at the end, took me another 45 minutes - bleh! So, all for now: I've a draft to finish editing!