Top Almost Twenty-(ish) Movies

On a whim the other day I went through some of my old draft posts and realised it was getting kind of cluttered. It was full of thoughts that never got finished and half formed ideas that I never got around to. Most of them were unpublishable, either due to the moment passing or me just not remembering where I was going with the ideas. I ended up deleting a large amount because I know I’ll never get back to them and their time is gone but I kept a few to work on over the next few weeks.

This is the first one that I’m performing thread necromancy on. I’ve polished it off as best I can and added a few bits here and there. Let’s see how it goes.


So a little over a year and a half ago (Holy crap, I swear it was just yesterday! – Editor), some of you may remember that I did a 7 day book challenge on Facebook. Seven covers of books posted without explanation. Of course I followed up here with the explanation as to why they affected me so.

When it ended, I said I would revisit the topic because there are so many more books than 7 that have affected my life. The more I thought about it though, I realised that every book I’ve read has shaped my life in some form or fashion. Even the ones I hated.

So, what else could I do. Well, this being the modern age and me being a typical Gen-X-er. Why movies of course. I grew up in the middle of the movie rental era (heck come to think of it, I witnessed the whole lifespan of the movie rental phenomenon right to the bitter end, but that’s a blog post for another day.) Back in the days when “please be kind, rewind” actually meant something, I’m pretty certain that I watched most of these movies before it was age appropriate for me to do so. It didn’t do me any harm beyond fuelling my already overactive imagination. Movies may not have had the same impact as books on my young life, they certainly stoked the fires already there.

So without further adieu, here are some of the movies that shaped my youth (In no particular order)

Continue reading “Top Almost Twenty-(ish) Movies”

A Brief Musical Interlude

Awhile back, before all this Covid-19 crap hit the fan, I saw someone post an amusing musical thought experiment on Facebook and figured I’d get around to writing about it at some point. Well, apparently I didn’t.

Now that I have the time, I’ll take a stab at them and see what comes from it. Now obviously I could do this on Facebook but as my trust in the platform’s security is less than zero and while these are fun thought experiments, they’re also thinly veiled social data mining experiments. I’ll play, but in my own corner of the internet where no one goes and therefore less likely to be seen by anyone.

First up. The question was: What is a song that you love by a band that you hate, and then What is a song that you hate by a band that you love?

First one is easy enough for me. I can’t stand Red Hot Chili Peppers in any form and usually turn the station whenever I hear them. I do however really enjoy their version of Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground. It’s so frenetic and enthusiastic and I can’t stop myself from cranking the volume every time it comes on in the car.

Second one, not so easy. If I look at a lot of The Tragically Hip’s catalogue, there’s quite a lot that I’m not fond of, especially their later work. It’s good and I’ll listen to it, but it just doesn’t speak to me as much as Road Apples, Fully Completely and Day For Night do. That being said, I think that I’ll have to pick Fiddler’s Green off of their Road Apples album as one I will always turn off when I hear it.

The second challenge was that if you were to have a virtual concert and could only have bands that started with the letters of your name.

G – Green Day
R – Rage Against The Machine
E – Everclear
G – Garbage
O – Offspring
R – Rush
Y – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

M – Modest Mouse
c – Cage The Elephant
F – Foo Fighters
A – Arctic Monkeys
L – Linkin Park
L – Lumineers

While there isn’t any Tragically Hip or Twenty-One Pilots, I think I’ll have a good time nonetheless.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled social distancing.

Well, Hello There.

Ok. I couldn’t resist a little Star Wars inside joke on today of all days.

So, the world is still spinning off its axis and into oblivion. COVID-19 is still going strong. The orange idiot in the south is still suggesting to his cult that they should inject themselves with bleach and UV light as the cure and the rest of the world watches in dumbstruck awe at the shite that pours from his mouth unfiltered.

Thankfully some parts of the world are showing signs of coming out on the other side of this. Lots of places are starting to reopen, though quite frankly, I think it’s too soon. Still no legible cure in sight and the best we can hope for is more social distancing and lots of PPE?… Not the best plan guys.

Anyways… I had originally decided to do a dorky Star Wars pun and make a post about Miniature painting. I hadn’t intended this post to go off the rails and be a state of the world post, though with as pervasive as this thing is, it colours everything we do these days whether we realize it or not. So before I get distracted any further, back to the original plan.

Since the lockdown and stay at home order, I’ve really tried to find something that centers me and calms me down. Too much shit going on in the world these days. I’ve stepped back from most of my video game time (plus my wife has been addicted to Sims4 on the PS4 lately so sharing a console can be a pain) and went old school. I read. I work on my Star Wars campaign and I paint miniatures.

I’ve been painting minis since my AD&D days back in grade 5 (thankfully none of those paint jobs survived) and after a 15+ year hiatus, I realized I missed it and decided to get back into it. I’ve had my new paints and miniatures for a couple of years now since I got back into the hobby but I can’t ever seem to get motivated to start painting with the same sort of passion that I used to. I’ll paint a base coat here, a shade there. One brushstroke on and off every other week sort of thing. I’ve used the excuse that I didn’t have enough time, or that maybe my passion had faded. I certainly don’t have the same skill I had back then and my eyes and hands aren’t as deft as they once were.

During this silly stay at home lockdown, I came to realize that my passion hadn’t faded, I did have the time, and sure my hands and eyes weren’t as young as they used to be but I wasn’t dead yet. As for the skill and “muscle memory”, after a few false starts I came to realize, that yeah I didn’t have the same skill I did before, I actually was better than I used to be. I just needed to do what everyone does… practice.

And practice I did.

After about 6 hours of futzing about, I finally came up with the first model in about 20 years that I have actually completed and am satisfied with.

Now, I can’t say that I’m 100% happy with him, and I could go on and on about what I see wrong about him still, but I honestly learned to accept when I’m done, rather than he’s “finished”. I could fiddle about with him for another 20 years and still not be finished.

I actually went well outside my comfort zone and posted this guy on one of the painting groups I’m a part of on Facebook and it was the weirdest feeling. First, I rarely post anything other than a positive comment here or there and I mostly lurk and admire all the amazing paint jobs and painters whose skill I won’t ever achieve. Yet I took the risk and I was amazed at the feedback and response. It’s the oddest feeling to have a 100+ random strangers like and comment on a piece you worked on. I got a ton of great feedback and it helped a lot to rebuild my confidence in my abilities and the realization that it didn’t have to be perfect, just better than the last one.

Yay me. Since I posted the pic on Facebook, I’ve put more paint to models than I have in years and I look forward to posting more of my work in the near-ish future.

The Distance Between Us

Welcome to 2020. The Surreal world.

It feels like we’re somewhere in the third or fourth month of non-essential shutdown but the reality is that it has only been two weeks for me. It definitely feels like that hazy timeless week between Christmas and New Years where you don’t know the day, can’t remember if you should be at work, day drinking is normal and you debate whether anyone would care if you wore pants or not.

I’m thankfully still employed for the time being, but I’m not really working as I normally would. At most I go into work every couple of days to check on the store for insurance purposes and hang out with my co-managers for a couple of hours trying to “make plans” for when we do come back. The reality is we’re all in shock and can’t quite focus.

My company made the decision to pay all it’s part time staff globally through until the 4th of April which was unprecedented. Last week we were expecting they’d start the layoffs but were again surprised that they extended the pay for one more week. Again, everyone was grateful but we knew it wasn’t going to last forever — there’s only so much a company can do when they don’t have a revenue stream coming in.

The call came down yesterday. All part-timers were getting temporarily laid off. We had to go through and call our whole team and give them the bad news. Now like I said, we were all expecting it and everyone was very understanding when we told them but it was still one of the most emotionally draining moments I’ve had to deal with as a manager.

Sadly it’s not even the first time I’ve done it either…. Blockbuster…. Target… Hey, at least this time it’s only a temporary layoff.

I’ve spent the day today in a daze. I’m worn out. Mentally exhausted and I just want it to be over. This too shall pass… well, yeah. I suppose it will but it needs to hurry up and do so.

Adventures in Social Distancing

Well, I think we can all agree that this year has not been anything close to what we expected it to be. I think we all could do with a mulligan on this one if the PTB allow it.

My work has been shut down for 2 weeks (minimum) as a non-essential service. Thankfully, I’m still getting paid for the time being, but there is a relevant fear that if this goes on for a prolonged period, I won’t be. :-/

Like everyone else on the planet, I did not expect to be hiding out in my basement while a pandemic spread across the globe. There is a surreal weirdness to this whole thing. Going to stores and seeing empty shelves because mob mentality made everyone buy all the fucking toilet paper and cans of baked beans. It is almost worse here, because the virus is still in the early stages (and hopefully doesn’t get a lot worse) so there is not a lot of impact outside of the enforced distancing. It’s hard to visualize and comprehend the images that we’re inundated with from various media sources when the people around you are all relatively healthy and yet the idiots abound and panic buy everything, leaving nothing for anyone else.

As I sit here typing this, my kids have now been out of school for a week. We won’t see an online curriculum for them for another two weeks and while we try to keep them to a routine, I’m already willing to hand them their phones and tell them to go play in virtual traffic. As much as I’m living the Introvert’s dream life, I realize how much other people get on my nerves. My family doubly so.

With all this time on my hands, you’d think that I’d be doing something productive like painting all my unpainted miniatures in my pile o’ shame, or organising and building the rest of the bookshelves / secret door in the game room. Nope. Rather than do that, I’m futzing about with Discord to try and get a Server set up so as my friends and I can continue to play our monthly Star Wars game remotely. Priorities right?

Well, there are worse things I could be doing I guess.

I guess I should go and check on the other prisoners in my cell block and see if they’re still alive.

Stay Safe out there folks.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

The end is nigh! Well, not really. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to spin out of orbit anytime soon. But who knows what tomorrow will bring.

For me, it brings one more step closer to the end of my room renovations. The flooring was finished today and that means that we’re in the home stretch now. All that is really left is fixing a few noticeable paint mistakes, putting up the baseboards along with the window and door casings and cleaning up the mess. Once that’s all done then I have the wonderfully fun job of building some more IKEA shelves and then moving all my stuff back in.

Of course there’s also a couple of doors to hang and some transitions to install as well but those are relatively minor.

Overall, the project will fully be done by end of the month but my room will be ready for entertaining by the weekend!

I’m sure you’re all just as sick of these renovation posts as I am. Don’t worry, once I’m back ensconced in my batcave, I’ll get back to burbling on about more nerdy drivel.

If you’re looking for pics then you’ll have to wait till closer to the end. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

Episode III: Revenge of the Renovators

It is a dark time for the renovators. Laid low by sickness and malaise the renovations crawl to a snail’s pace and progress is slim.

Okay, that’s not entirely true but I had hoped to be further along than we are from the last update.

It’s been a month since I last posted in general and in that span both Tam and I caught a nasty flu bug that laid us on our asses for about two whole weeks. We muddled along though, and managed to make some progress despite the affliction.

Right now the subfloor is 100% in, drywall is also completed and first and second coats of mud are done. I just have to finish sanding the second coat and possibly do a third in a few places as they’re a bit sketchy quality wise.

Next up is paint which I’m not looking forward to and then flooring. Once that’s done then I’ll start moving stuff back in. I’m hoping to be done by the end of the month but it will really all depend on how distracted Tam gets with the hallway just outside of the room.

It became a project unto itself when she realised that the flooring would need to continue to the stairs and for that to happen we needed walls and such to base size off of. She’s been focused on the intricacies of that room while I’m stuck sanding.

Here is a panorama of the project somewhere between first and second coats of mud. It’s about 2 weeks old. I haven’t done one recently because a fine white dust from the sanding has settled over everything.

Once I get the dust cleaned up I’ll throw another pic up to better show our progress.

That’s all for now.

Obligatory Renovation Update

So I’m going to try and resist posting a plethora of updates about my games room renovations. I’d rather just show the end result when that comes about and be able to contrast the before with the after. I feel it’ll have more impact.

As it stands now, we’re still in the demolition stage, though we’re pretty sure that we’ve torn everything up that we need to and barring a few small tweaks here and there we should start the actual construction right away… well, once we do another dump run or six. Hard to believe one room can generate so much garbage and construction waste.

Continue reading “Obligatory Renovation Update”