Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Anyway, the Adams entrance takes you to the bottom of the valley and leads to a nice, smooth path. There are dog walkers here, too, but most of them seem to actually pick up after their dogs, so it's a more pleasant experience.
Anyway, there are also entrances on Coldwater Lane. Some of the kids were using it as a way in for their dirt bikes and the shovels that seem necessary for making bike paths.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The digitally de-aged faces were worse than I had suspected and must have been a true disaster on screen, though the film is helped here by the fact that everyone, Sam included, looks a little bit plastic on the Grid.
So then I watched TRON again for the first time in a few years. After getting over the fact that Young Flynn and Young Alan had faces that moved, I started looking at the rest of it. The graphics have aged, quite definitely. The movie is hurt less than I'd have expected by this because they look like 80's arcade games, which is exactly what was intended.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the story. It's a fun story of adventure, heroism, and friendship. I never get tired of those. Flynn has to destroy a ruthless enemy, the Master Control Program(1), survive the Grid, and save a group of programs who have become his friends. He'd also like to get back to our world, but isn't sure that is even possible.
I thought the User/Program doubling was much better used in TRON than in Legacy. Because Tron echoes Alan, we--and Flynn--learn more about both characters. Tron's presence is felt before he actually appears on screen both because Alan talks about him and because we realize, upon spotting Tron, that we really already know him. He shares Alan's basic decency, good sense, and determination. The same is true for Lora/Yori. Neither is much developed as a character(2), but they clearly share a sense of adventure and a willingness to take risks for people and causes they care about.
The grid friendships Flynn forms are possible because of this. Flynn first trusts Tron primarily because he knows Alan, but the later, real-world ease between the two--briefly glimpsed in TRON and shown as developed in Legacy--is possible primarily because he has come to respect Tron and thus also Alan.
TRON has something else that I missed in Legacy: Geeks as heroes. Alan, Lora, and Flynn are all programmers. Flynn's "rebellion" takes the form of owning an arcade. He wrote most of the games in there. Ram, one of the secondary characters, may be a skillful fighter, but he only really smiles when he starts talking about accounting.(3)
Oh, and there is Bit. What's not to like about a sarcastic, two-word pet?
Is TRON a deeply meaningful story full of profound and penetrating insights into the human condition? No. Is it staying in my collection? Yes. Definitely.
(1) Who doesn't need to bring armies to the real world. He's got the Pentagon on call--or will in a day or two. He's also got plans for the Kremlin, and he must want those Chinese language files for something.
(2)I like Yori/Lora better than Quorra as Representative Woman on screen (Yes, both films are weak when it comes to gender). She seems more real and varied and is not left carrying the burden of an entire race all on her lonesome.
(3)Mr. Entity (who loves both films) reminds me we get a brief look at Ram's user, too. He's Alan's cubical neighbor at ENCOM. I have to admit all I remember about that guy is that he likes popcorn which provides very little by way of character insight.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Which, I suppose, makes this as much about "the one that got away" as about the ones I "caught." And, in case you were wondering: I had a marvelous time. I love chasing butterflies, and dragonflies, and squirrels, and lizards, and hawks, and....
It does, also, make me think again about starting a proper butterfly garden. They were all over, but the biggest cluster really was around the area the Nature Center had helpfully labeled "Butterfly garden," so I guess it might really be worth it to cram in a few more, select plants (Like I need encouragement to put more in. It's more figuring out the space that is the problem).
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I still have a lot to learn about tracking dragonfly flight; I miss more pictures than I take, but that is the best part about using a digital camera: It is possible to keep trying, and eventually, perhaps I shall figure the pattern out.
In the meantime, I do enjoy their beauty, and it is fun waking up to realize that there are many, many more kinds and colors of dragonflies than every I had realized before. And, yes, in case you were wondering: The blog's other title could be "Learning to See." I'm trying to watch the natural world around me, right here in the city, more carefully. I keep noticing new things and then wondering why I had never seen them before. I have a feeling I'll be working on this for a long, long time.
The dragonflies looked a bit different than the ones I'd photographed earlier, and on photographic second look, proved to be different. Thanks to the handy help of bugguide, this one has been identified as a Anax juniu or a Common Green Darner.
There do not seem to be such things as "Uncommon Green Darters" or "Moderately rare green darners. Who comes up with these names, anyway?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The local fauna, however, was not complaining. There's still at least one duck living down there (and I've never known a duck to actually be alone, so I'm willing to bet there were others in the reeds). There were dozens of dragonflies, all busily darting around just out of camera range, and I saw a couple of Marine Blues, plus a few other sorts of butterfly and moth I couldn't identify. And, of course, there were lizards, lots of lizards, a shiny black wasp, and at least one bird of prey (Kestral?).
Oh, and crows. Definitely there were crows. Probably the big hawk was around somewhere, too, but I didn't head over to its usual territory.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
2 For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
3 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Isaiah 25:1-9 (King James Version)
This was the morning's Old Testament reading. I really loved the joy and gladness in it. The picture of God's love coming in as a cool, refreshing rain, banishing the desert heat really struck me this time. Also, I love the thought of there being just a brief, temporary darkness between us and God, one that someday will be destroyed so that we can fully rejoice (The NIV phrases that bit "On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations" which is an even more awesome way of looking at it. Death will be conquered indeed).
And, of course, there is the wonderful promise that "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces."
One thing I really love about going to an Anglican church is the morning readings. They often make me pay attention to a passage in a new way, or to reconsider a book I have not read in a while (Sometimes I love Isaiah, but I bogged down thoroughly on my last two read-throughs. Maybe I'll give the book another try. It really does run the gamut, and Isaiah, as I recall, has some of the most wonderful discussions with God).
No idea what sort of fungus this is, but it was growing high up on a eucalyptus tree along the street. The owner of the house came out while I was taking the picture and mentioned it popped up every now and again over the years. She quite properly seemed to regard it as something to admire.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Not just any pancakes, either. These are elaborate, sculpture pancakes that are eaten afterward. I haven't read anything like all the entries, but I first got snagged by the Star Wars pancakes (an AT-AT and the Millennium Falcon, as of this writing). There's also a carousel pancake, which I adore.
It looks more complicated than I want to try at home, just now, but he does provide directions for each pancake sculpture, often including videos, and they seem pretty clear, and he's written a book as well.
Just in case you've forgotten, here are a few more to remind you.
Friday, October 7, 2011
It's probably one of the few times they help themselves and no one minds. Probably someone, somewhere, is even cheering.