Author Archives: Wyrd Smythe

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts.

Baseball is Back!

Hooray!

Baseball is back (but kinda weird), and my Minnesota Twins are off to a very good start. After eleven games, they have a 9-2 record (.818), and they’re the number two team in the American League. (The bad news is that our long-time nemesis, the damn Yankees, are number one.)

It’s going to be a very short season (60 games rather than 162) with an extended postseason — just over half the 30 teams (16, rather than the usual 10) will get at least one postseason game. And, of course, none of it is being played in front of fans.

Just one more aspect of our COVID-19 world.

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Movies: Palm Springs

I planned to post about buying five Erle Stanley Gardner Perry Mason novels Apple had on sale for $2.99 each. I read lots of those in grade school and have loved courtroom dramas ever since. But that will wait for another Mystery Monday, because I’ve got something better today.

A bit after 10 last night; been watching stuff on Hulu and was ready to pack it in. The main screen pushing a movie, Palm Springs. Stars Adam Samberg, to me an Idiot Clown, so first impression this is Hulu’s Just Go With It. (No thanks!) Lucky for me, news feed headlines I’d seen suggested otherwise.

I’m so glad I decided to watch the trailer. And then the whole movie!

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The Expanse: Season 4

My last post was about my disappointment in the science fiction novel series, The Expanse, starting with book four. As it turns out, for me, that’s just the start of my disengagement — it goes seriously downhill from there. To be clear I’m speaking strictly in terms of my personal taste. As the saying goes, ‘One person’s mead is another person’s poison’ (not that I’m a fan of mead).

Given the steep downward trend, book four seems better in comparison. While I like it much less than the first three, I like it much more than what follows. It has some good protomolecule bits, and frontier colony stories are pretty standard science fiction fare.

But I’m particularly struck by what the TV version changed and added.

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The Expanse: Disappointment

I feel like a jilted lover. Or a very disappointed one. I found what seemed a delightful bit of science fiction color in an otherwise increasingly grey and dismal world. I let myself get attached (despite a few alarm bells going off in my head). I thought I’d found something truly worthwhile — something to invest myself in.

And it seemed really good at first. There was all the excitement of exploring something new and interesting. But after that great start, there came a most unwelcome left turn into a stinking swamp I want no part of.

This isn’t a Sci-Fi Saturday post or a TV Tuesday post… this is a spleen vent.

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Passing Time

I just finished Time Travel: A History (2016) by science historian and author James Gleick. The New York Times Book Review, Anthony Doerr described it as, “A fascinating mash-up of philosophy, literary criticism, physics and cultural observation.” I agree with that description minus the word fascinating. I would have said tedious.

This is not the book’s fault. I’m not saying it’s bad. There was nothing I disagreed with. There were even a few parts I got into. The problem is I found it ambling, rambling, and meandering. It wasn’t incoherent, but it seemed disconnected to me.

Overall I found it easy to put down and hard to pick back up.

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Pickles in Beer? Oh, hell no!

Maybe you saw the article about putting a pickle in a (cheap) beer to make the beer taste — so we are told — much better. I’ve read three articles now recommending it. To be frank, the idea utterly horrifies me, mainly because I can’t stand pickles. Also because I love beer.

However, human tastes in foods and beverages span a vast range. I suspect very few people like everything that gets put on the worldwide table. (Despite my Norwegian upbringing, I wouldn’t touch lutefisk with a ten-foot pole. It’s up there with pickles on the list of stuff I Will Not Eat.)

But apparently some love a pickle in their beer.

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Weather Wow

It’s been a while since the last Wednesday Wow. Life got strange the last several months; every day had some sort of real life wow. (Not that we’re out of these weird woods by any stretch.) It made ephemera like this fall by the wayside.

But we must soldier on, one foot in front of the other. Speaking of which, on this morning’s walk, at 6:30 (AM, of course), it was 59° (Fahrenheit, of course). We had a heat advisory Saturday — temps in the high 90s with equally high dew points.

That’s one beauty (and insanity) of Minnesota: the weather!

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Happy With; Mad At

In a previous life, when I had a small step-son, he asked his mother if she was “happy at him.” This prompted a grammar discussion that confused him because sometimes she was “mad at him” so why was “happy at him” wrong? It stuck with me as one of those out of the mouths of babes views of life.

It prompts a bit of thought about which emotions go with which propositions. We’re happy with, but mad at. On the other hand, we can be angry with or angry at someone, but only pleased with them.

We can also be happy, glad, angry, pleased, mad, or sad, about someone.

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First Trek, Now Who?

If you know me at all, you know I was already a science fiction fan when Star Trek began. (It’s a rare occasion I get in on the ground floor of something.) I adored Kirk and crew. It took some episodes, but I came to love Picard and crew even more. The Trek story still unfolds, but I left that fold around the fifty-year mark. (Or rather, Trek left me.)

More recently (the rebooted) Doctor Who became my favorite SF TV series, but it’s starting to look like it won’t have the staying power that Trek did. I haven’t been as engaged the last many seasons, and the shift to the 13th Doctor hasn’t worked for me.

Currently I’d have to say my favorite SF TV series is The Expanse.

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Looking Forward

I was asked why post #1000 looked backward rather than forward. It’s a fair question; I’m generally not one for looking back. I’m not terribly attached to the past (certainly not bound by it), but that doesn’t mean I completely ignore it. (History repeats, in part, because we don’t learn from it.)

As with years, counting posts begins with 1, so the odometer number 1000 is the end of a count sequence (one-thousand posts), which makes looking back seem fitting. That post was also a blog birthday so all the more reason to review.

This post, #1001, is the first post of the next thousand.

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