Also, Fridays: Strike three! You’re out! I can only hope this Friday doesn’t bring another dark storm cloud. That would be four in a row, and the only hope would be to skip Fridays going forward. I’m retired (ten years this June), so it’s not like Fridays really mean that much anymore.
Realistically, of course, skipping Fridays is impossible (without a time machine), and at this point it would be almost as impossible to skip Apple Corporation — I’m too invested in my iPad and my iPhone (and my iPod). But most tech companies make me angry and depressed. Especially Apple tech support.
Warning: This is a rant, but I’ll throw in some winter wonderland pictures from our recent major snowstorm to lighten things up.
19 Comments | tags: Apple Corporation, technology | posted in Life, Rant
Last time I described how my feelings changed about what was once my favorite TV series, NCIS. In this post, I’ll describe how something similar has happened with my feelings about George Carlin (1937-2008), who was once, by far, my favorite standup comedian.
In both cases, I have a sense that my dying affection involves a combination of prolonged exposure magnifying perceived flaws, evolution on my part, and changes on their part. With Carlin, the way he changed in the late 1990s is the lion’s share of my disenchantment. I still revere early George, still rank him among the greatest.
But I never liked “angry George” and his writing from that era is disappointing.
4 Comments | tags: George Carlin, standup comedy | posted in Books, Rant, Society
Somewhen in 2020 I decided, for my own peace of mind, to eliminate news and especially politics from my life. The former has become utterly vapid and useless (extra especially any form of TV news), and the latter has become disgustingly polarized and pointless. I genuinely haven’t missed either, not one iota.
But two things combined to make me seek out a stream of President Biden’s State of the Union address this past Tuesday. Firstly, this post of mine from 2016, about President Obama’s last SOTU address, got a bunch of hits. Secondly, there were accounts that it was pretty awesome.
And, in more ways than one, indeed it was.
6 Comments | tags: Joe Biden, President Biden, State of the Union | posted in Rant, Politics
One of the main posters for the Netflix adaptation of the Neil Gaiman graphic novel The Sandman seems to encapsulate and illustrate an approach by Hollywood that many, myself included, find problematic. This post continues a series of posts pondering the issue of actor swapping in film and TV roles.
I spent two posts (one and two) on The Sandman adaptation because of its examples of actor swapping in key roles. These stand out because they apply to especially well-defined characters. Similar, say, to the characters on Futurama.
I hadn’t intended a third post, but the poster caught my eye. It’s the one in the lede of the two posts (and this one). Its layout out intrigues me.
5 Comments | tags: Comics, Neil Gaiman, Netflix, Sandman, science fiction TV | posted in Rant, TV
The last post expressed some key disappointments (and a few things I liked) about the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman (1989-1996), a widely respected, much loved, graphic novel series from writer Neil Gaiman (and numerous artists). Once I started writing that post, 2000 words came easy, but I never got to most of the notes I had.
I have three pages of said notes, so I figured I needed a follow-up post. I’m not bothering with any plot synopsis, so if you aren’t already familiar with the story and the adaptation, neither of these posts — especially this one — will make much sense.
Suffice to say, the show has its fans, but I’m not among them.
3 Comments | tags: Comics, Neil Gaiman, Netflix, Sandman, science fiction TV | posted in Rant, TV
This past week I watched the eleven episodes of the first (and possibly only) season of the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman (2022), which is based on the famous Neil Gaiman comic series, The Sandman (1989-1996), considered by many to be one of the greatest graphic novels ever.
I think live-action adaptations of comics and animated shows are very hard to get right. And Netflix seems to have a bad history when it comes to adaptations, even of live shows (they’ve had a number of notable fails along those lines). On the other hand, Gaiman was attached to, and involved in, the production, which seemed hopeful.
But to say I was disappointed by the series is putting it mildly.
10 Comments | tags: Comics, Neil Gaiman, Netflix, Sandman, science fiction TV | posted in Rant, TV
I’m really enjoying summer so far. Temperatures have mostly been moderate and the nights deliciously cool (“great sleeping weather” as they say). After a long winter, it’s wonderful to have open windows again and the ability to just walk out the door without gearing up in winter gear.
But my least favorite day of the year approaches. Summer Solstice — the death of the light. Thermal inertia makes July and August uncomfortably warm, but, alas, the days get shorter and shorter.
Meanwhile, here in June, it’s time for another edition of Friday Notes.
21 Comments | posted in Friday Notes, Rant
Not too long ago I wrote about an apparent issue between posts written in the Classic Editor and how the WordPress Reader sometimes displays them with no paragraph breaks. The post looks fine on the blog’s website, but the WP Reader isn’t recognizing its paragraphs. (This problem still hasn’t been fixed, and I continue to notice posts where it obviously happened.)
That post went longer than I expected because I had to explain the HTML aspects of why the problem seems to happen and how to go about trying to correct it. I meant to get into other foibles of the Reader but ran out of room.
This post adds an extra room just for the WP Reader.
33 Comments | tags: comma-separated values, CSV, WordPress, WordPress Reader | posted in Opinion, Rant
The post’s title has more the sense of Ali vs Foreman than of Coke vs Pepsi. True, both are contests, but the the latter is a selection — the former is a fight. This post is about a major problem some posts created using the Classic Editor have when displayed in the WordPress Reader.
Specifically, breaks between paragraphs are lost. In some cases an entire post becomes one long paragraph. The only breaks come from the various HTML block elements that force paragraph breaks. (Things like horizontal rules, large images, or tables.)
Here I’ll explain what’s going on and how to get your paragraphs back.
35 Comments | tags: blog, blogging, Classic Editor, WordPress, WordPress Reader | posted in Rant, Writing
Holy Hercules! I have a new standard for awful storytelling. My memory is mercifully short, but last night I suffered through the worst adaptation of a good novel that I can remember. As a story, it was utter trash, but as an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel, The ABC Murders, I need stronger words than “appalling abomination” or “total travesty” (“grim perversion” is a good start). It was breathtaking in how it managed to corrupt every single aspect of the novel.
From start to finish, it was the diametric opposite of the original and a revolting cruel mockery of Christie’s beloved Hercule Poirot. The writing, the directing, the cinematography, the casting, the sets — each hawked a giant loogy in the face of source material.
Even casting John Malkovich as Poirot was a misstep.
7 Comments | tags: Agatha Christie, BBC, Hercule Poirot | posted in Rant, TV, TV Tuesday