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Showing posts from 2024

Four Years into a Post Pandemic World and Secondary COVID-19 Might be a Thing?

Social distancing 2020 style. A fter not being too far from COVID-19, potentially patient zero in Australia back in 2020. Four years later my partner finally tested positive for the virus. Then I inevitably caught it as well. You might think, so what, but I'm honestly surprised we've lasted this long. My partner works at an aged care facility that has fought off numerous outbreaks over the years, and continues to do so. Workers at her facility take RAT tests daily so you know pretty quick if you test positive. Workers then have to isolate at home for at least seven days until they're clear. COVID-19 symptoms can vary in intensity and you may not get the full range (at least to my knowledge and experience). My partner seemed to get it fairly bad with tiredness, aching joints, loss of taste and smell, along with cold and flu like symptoms (sore throat, congestion etc). While we did try to social distance, keeping our distance, hand washing, and not sleeping in the same room

The Ewoks in The Return of the Jedi Will Eat You

Han Solo moments from potentially being cooked over an open flame. H ave you ever wondered about the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi ?  When we first meet the tribe, their plan is to serve Han, Chewie, Luke up as the main course in a banquet in C3-PO's honor. That's pretty bad ass right? That suggests they've eaten human meat before. It's not like they're going to experiment on a new cuisine for such an important occasion. They think human meat is pretty tasty, especially roasted over an open flame, and they want to serve it for a special event - it's that good! Which gets me wondering, does that mean, prior to the Rebels arrival on Endor, Ewoks were capturing the occasional Empire employee that wanders a bit too far from the shield generator? There are a couple of movies and animated shows featuring Ewoks that were released after Return of the Jedi, in which the Ewoks do assist humans however there's this except from Wikipedia : The Ewoks capture Han Solo, Che

Movie Review: American Fiction (2023) *No Spoilers*

T helonious 'Monk' Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) is a relatively successful novelist, who just wants to write quality fiction, without feeding into the diversity market that wants to hear stereotypical, authentic stories from black authors.  Outraged that this type of black fiction sells incredibly well he writes his own stereotypical black fiction novel as a joke and sends it to a publisher under a pen name. He is shocked to discover that they love it with the book propelling him into a spotlight that he never imagined. That's the premise for American Fiction , a fairly low key, satirical commentary on the 'diversity industry' looking to broaden the types of voices being heard but channeling those voices into what the market thinks is authentic and real... i.e what sells. Jeffrey Wright is perfectly cast as an author who's maybe wound up a little too tight in his own idea of how things should be. While it is definitely satire it's not exactly a comedy, though i

TV Review: X-Men '97 (2024) Disney+ *Spoiler Free*

A fter hearing just about everybody I know, who's into comic book TV and film, say how great the new animated Disney+ series X-Men 97  is, I decided to check it out. Most people said you didn't need to watch the actual 90's animated series that this continues from in order to enjoy it or know what was going on. More than one fan of this new series offered the hyperbole that this is one of Marvel's best, up there with the likes of   Wandavision and Loki , and that it should be more popular and getting more attention than it has. Typically animated series don't usually do as well as live action shows, so it already has that hurdle - and it is a continuation of a show aimed directly at younger audiences to begin with. However those, in my opinion, are not the biggest problem. As mentioned, most people said you didn't need to watch the original series to follow this, so I didn't. I never saw it growing up in the 90's. I wasn't really an X-Men fan but I

Book Review: Around Australia at 80ks by Meredith Schofield

A s someone who has written a travel diary about driving across three states of Australia , and owning a frog van that became very much a character in touring my own state of South Australia at sometimes well below 80ks, I have some affinity for Meredith Schofield's book, Around Australia at 80k's . I'll definitely tip my hat to Meredith and her husband Sean for going way further in a bright yellow, unairconditioned, mid 70's kombi van, than they were ever designed for.  Also kudos to them for traveling with their dog Bandit. My partner and I have also taken our dogs on our holiday adventures and, even though South Australia is likely the most dog friendly state in Australia, it's still a challenge planning a trip where you can all stay together. Particularly, your dog will keep you out of most national parks. Meredith's book is a road trip adventure across five Australian states, NSW, SA, WA, NT, and Victoria (technically four states and one territory I guess)

Skateboarding @50+ Reigniting the Learn Kickflips Battle

My skate coach, Oscar dog. O ne of the things I'd like to do before I get too old to do much more than roll around on a skateboard is relearn kickflips. Not that I ever had them on lock. I maybe landed a flat ground stationary kickflip no more than a handful of times, and I only remember landing one rolling kickflip because I had it on video tape for a second (recording over it because I only had a few Video 8 cassette tapes back in the 90s). I actually had a higher chance of landing a kickflip into a trick, on a curb, than landing just a stationary kickflip. Kickflip to; 50-50, to blunt, backside kickflip to tail, and even kickflipping out of a blunt. None of which I had on lock nor can do currently. Getting back into skateboarding again, after a year's break to let my sore feet heal, I started to try kickflips again and discovered I'm actually closer than ever to landing them. I'm able to commit with both feet staying in the air as the board flips. As opposed to tryin

Movie Review: Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon Parts 1 and 2 (2023/2024)

I f you've ever wanted to see quasi-early nineteen hundreds, Irish farmers fight off high tech space Nazis, in slow motion, over two feature length films then  Rebel Moon Part 1: A Child on Fire  (2023) and  Rebel Moon Part 2: The Scargiver  (2024) could well be the movies you're looking for. Plot-wise that's really all they're about. There's some sub story inspired by Akira Kurosawa's  Seven Samurai  (1954) movie, and some other subplot about our main character, Kora (Sofia Boutella), being 'the one' person the Space Nazi's must apprehend for 'reasons' (she's some kind of murderous deserter, I think, but that doesn't seem reason enough to me for our main bad guy, Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein), to be so obsessed with apprehending her).  I think I've come to the conclusion that writer/director Zack Snyder, while great at casting, spectacle, cinema photography, and visual effects, he just doesn't know how to tell a story to people w

Movie Review: Oppenheimer (2023) *No Spoilers*

I t seems like everybody has seen Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer movie by now except me. I don't suffer from FOMO and didn't go to see Margo Robbie's Barbie movie either - which was a thing if you recall the whole 'Barbenheimer' experience of both movies releasing at the same time. The idea of watching a three hour movie about anything just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Even on Netflix, where I finally watched Oppenheimer in two hour and a half sittings, it took me this long to finally commit time to it. That said, I am actually interested in the Oppenheimer story, and always planned to watch this movie eventually on streaming. Fortunately this movie does reward you with an engaging story that never seems to drag, despite its length. The movie follows Oppenheimer's story from his early days through to just after his success with creating the first atomic bomb and the repercussions of how he felt about that achievement. From what I've heard the broa

Boston Dynamics Has Seen Your Fully Electric Humanoid Robot and Says "Hold my beer!" with New Atlas Robot - Robot Uprising Update

The new, all electric, Atlas Robot. B oston Dynamics recently announced the retirement of their famous Atlas humanoid robot . The very next day they introduced us to the all new Atlas with a short, somewhat creepy video that seems to be saying to all those other companies working on electric, humanoid robots, "Hold my beer!"  Watch their video below. The All New Atlas As you can see the new Atlas is all electric, with no hydraulic assisted movement. While it certainly can walk like a human, right from the get go, we see that the new Atlas has degrees of limb motion that would even cause our best human contortionists to tap out on even trying. There in, we see why Boston Dynamics is a leader in humanoid robots (and robots in general). They're not just thinking about a robot that mimics what a human can do, they're thinking ahead and building in the kind of movement only a robot can do. It's a fascinating, if somewhat jarring, synergy the first time you see it but

Book Review: Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to Happiness

One day I'm going to write my own remarkable guide to happiness and this will be the cover image (but don't hold me to that). I 'm a big fan of Bill Bailey's comedy stand up, as well as his acting (mainly in the TV series Black Books that I mostly know him from). Generally he is laugh out loud funny. As such I was probably expecting similar, laugh out loud humor from his book, Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to Happiness , but what I got, while still humorous, was more of an introspection on Bill's life and moments he feels represent happiness for him. Which is fine, I guess, but to call the book a guide (and a remarkable one at that) is something of a stretch. Not that I was expecting an actual guide book on happiness, but the book is more of a collection of thoughts, retelling of moments, and Bailey's own drawings (additional images by Joe Magee), centered around the theme of happiness. It's more of a things that make Bill happy kind of a read. Bill s

The Worst Book I Have Ever Read - Gulp: Travels Around the Gut by Mary Roach

TET and Mary Roach's Book, Gulp . I 'm the kind of person who only reads one physical book at a time. For context I consider a 'book' to be anything over 100 pages of mostly text. Basically your typical work of fiction novel or factual biography. It's not that I can't read more than one book at a time, I just choose not to because I don't set a lot of time aside for reading. Maybe 30 minutes a day when I'm on a good run with a really engaging text. Little did I know that Mary Roach's Gulp: Travels Around the Gut *, a book of 317 pages (minus the Acknowledgments and Bibliography) would become a bottle neck for my reading for the next three and a half years. As such, I'm calling it the worst book I have ever read. Despite how long it took me to read, it is not a bad book in the slightest, and is in fact, quite light, somewhat entertaining, reading for a book that explores the science, and the resilience of the human digestive system.  I'm no st

Skateboarding @50+ Good Friday Street Mission - Still Skating Just Haven't Been Filming

TET: Front Side Ollie to Tail Stall on a Curb. I t's been just over a year since I made my last YouTube Skateboard, update video and then didn't post anything further to the channel until now. Back then I had been off my skateboard for nearly two years because both my feet were sore from the impact of skating (just from flat ground ollies). Thankfully the time off my board did allow for my feet to recover and I've been skating on softer wheels ever since (95a - none of this 100a+ that was killing my feet). In the last year I've mostly skated my driveway, purposely not filming because I just wanted to get back to skateboarding for fun, and to unwind from being at my desk all day. Once you start filming anything for content you're adding a layer of pressure and expectation that you're going to do something worthy of sharing. If you compare the clips from my latest video (below - filmed Good Friday 2024), particularly comparing the two sections where I'm skati

Movie Review: Road House (2024 Prime Video) *No Spoilers*

I 'm not entirely sure if I've seen the original 1989 Road House . I feel like I probably saw it on home video but I don't really remember it, and, just watching that movie's trailer, Patrick Swayze seems too pretty to be a bouncer. I mean, he has such great hair in that film! All this to say, I don't have any attachment to the original film that Road House (2024) is based upon. I will say this isn't really my kind of movie but I enjoyed the trailer, particularly the opening fight sequence, where Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) asks if any of the guys have health insurance. I was so glad to see this sequence has so much more to it, and is a real highlight in terms of both action, humor and really setting the tone for who Dalton is. The story is pretty straight forward. Road House owner, Frankie (Jessica Williams), is having some serious problems with a motorcycle gang terrorizing her establishment. After going through several bouncers, she casts her net a bit wider an

Perth, Western Australia: Amanda's Garden Fete, The Corfield Tavern - Day 13

The Amanda Rose.  F inal full day of our trip to Perth. Enigma and I headed over to my sister's house, to pick her up, and then meet my brother and Mum at Amanda's Garden Fete in Gosnells (not far from Southern River road). Luckily we got parking right opposite the gate when another car pulled out at just the opportune moment. About 5 or so minutes later my brother and Mum arrived, also managing to find parking not far from the gate. Amanda's Garden Fete is an annual charity event that takes place on a weekend, toward the end of October, raising funds for meningococcal disease awareness, support and research. Aside from being able to explore a beautifully maintained private garden there are Devonshire teas, a sausage sizzle, musical entertainment, seek and find game for kids, and stalls selling plants and other bric-a-brac. Entry is $5 per person. Overview of the plant buyers section with many flower varieties on offer. If you're particularly about buying plants then y

Perth, Western Australia: Dr Russell's Imaginarium, Fremantle markets, Cos Baby Café, Bathers beach, South Cottesloe beach - Day 12

Doctor Who Police Box at Dr Russell's Imaginarium. This one wasn't bigger on the inside. T he second last day of our Perth trip was a Saturday, and turned out to be another day my partner, Enigma, and I could spend doing our own thing. Dr Russell's Imaginarium Museum Since it wasn't too far away we headed out to Guildford in the morning to visit Dr Russell's Imaginarium Museum and Toy Museum that had been closed when we attempted to visit with my family a few days earlier .  We were a little surprised to discover there was actually $2 entry fee, for which you get two penny coins to use in the old style Peep show machine (mostly vintage photos of topless ladies), and moviola machine, which is a giant flip book type affair using photos to create a movie scene. I think it had a story but I wasn't able to follow it very well. Also, if you make a purchase your entry fee is deducted from the price. Entrance to Dr Russell's Imaginarium. You can see the Police Box

Perth, Western Australia: Gosnells Parks and Railway Markets - Day 11

Gosnells City Council has always been supportive of the arts to the point where you can see many examples of public art throughout the town centre. G osnells the suburb, or even the City of Gosnells , isn't really a destination at the forefront of anyone's mind when visiting Perth. Even now, after so much money has been spent on making pleasing community spaces and facilities, in the 24 years since I moved back to South Australia. It's certainly a much more pleasant looking place to live now than it was during the years I grew up there, from the age of eight. My family moved there from South Australia (after a brief eight month stay in Kelmscott while we waited for our house in Gosnells to be built) at the beginning of 1978. Today's plans were for my mum and I to catch up for lunch and do a bit of a walk around Gosnells - where she still lives - though not in the original house we had built, which was sold years ago. Usually it's a chance for me to see what's ch

Perth, Western Australia: Guildford Antique/Arts and Craft Store Strip, Guildford Hotel, The Margaret River Chocolate Company - Day 10

Dr Russell's Imaginarium  Sign. T oday's plan was another family outing with Enigma and I along with my brother, sister, and Mum. My brother had suggested we all meet up in Guilford , a suburb (and historical town) of Perth, which was around 15 to 20 minutes up the road from our apartment. In particular he suggested browsing the many antique, arts, and craft stores in the main part of the town. There was one in particular he wanted us to visit called Dr Russell's Imaginarium , which specializes in old movie memorabilia. Sadly the physical store closed at the end of 2023 (see link for more info). Our meet up point was Alfred's Kitchen , a train car out door burger café that opens after 5pm that is the longest running roadside kitchen in Perth. My brother suggested it because he knew it would be closed and we could use the carpark which was virtually across the road from the antique store strip. Enigma and I arrived just as my brother texted to say he, my sister, and Mum

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