Straight into ‘Career of Evil‘ and hooked. Disappointed that the supporting female Robin is being put in jeopardy but it was bound to happen again eventually.
Also tried two episodes of season one of ‘Agents of Shield‘ as N was feeling out of the loop on L’s present obsession. Now I had heard that season one was a bit dodgy prior to the big Hydra reveal in ‘Captain America 2‘ but oh my goodness that was bad. I felt embarrassed for everyone involved in its production watching that poorly scripted, terribly choreographed, cliched mess unfold. We being suckers for punishment are going to try jumping ahead and giving it another chance before giving up on the idea completely.
Another leg for the sawhorses cut this evening and another sketch card close to completed last night. I realise I haven’t been sharing progress her very much, I just not happy enough with sketch level work to put it on public display without finished work accompanying.
This set of photos from Thatcherite Glasgow slums has shown up all over my feed and has a couple of striking pictures.
I suppose that is hardly surprising given the very challenging nature of some characters, relationships and sex scenes to heteronormative audiences and the occasional brutal violence. Having now finally gotten around to watching the complete first season. As I only joined N in watching it about half way thorough last year and just this past week went back to catch what I had missed. I can confidently state that it was by far the best TV I watched last year.
There are some simply extraordinary moments in this series, most memorably the two episodes involving births and the two involving shared musical experiences. Episode ten ‘What is Human’ being at the centre of a venn diagram of those two repeated plot points. The Wachowskis filmed actual births for use in the series though it was glaringly obvious in which few cases they did not or were unable to.
There are some moments in this series that far from being easier to watch than on the first viewing, were much much harder the second time around.
The series is not without its flaws, there are some rather contrived circumstances, the motivation of the big baddy is far from clear and the compatibily of the sensate group hasn’t really been pushed. All of these aside I cannot wait for season two and I heartily recommend this to all who haven’t yet watched it.
I was tempted to bring the criminally underrated ‘Cloud Atlas‘ and the very disappointing ‘Jupiter Ascending‘ into this but I’ve left it too late.
I really hope the Wachowskis can maintain momentum and deliver a second season to the same standard. As they have only recently begun filming it will be some time before we can see for ourselves.
We tried tiring the boys our with ‘The Good Dinosaur‘ before bed tonight. No luck the little one still fought until well after nine thirty. It is now nearly eleven and other than making two cuts with a saw I have created naught today. Glad that I got a draft card done last night.
One of those days where every thing is stretched thin. Fighting infection in the cut on my left pointer knuckle. Kindergarten takes such enormous focus of attention. One client canceled due to illness at the last minute. Nine thirty at night and only just now beginning a post after which I can either go to bed, play or create.
I have managed to get a sketch card done most evening lately and so I am plodding away at the 44 evolutions deck. The Castle terrain card is taking enormous effort to make even small progress on but by little steps it progresses still. Haven’t touched my story book in more than a fortnight. Planning another path and some sawhorses outside, next big build will be a cubby to attatch our slide to. Likely also build on a quad bike crate. That project will take a while to come together though.
New tutoring clients lined up for later in the week which is good news. Two weeks of holidays approaching most understandably want a break, which combined with the lack of school work is will putting pressure on the finances. More costs cropping up at every turn too. We have to transfer registration of our car to NSW prior to departure an expensive and tiresome process including fresh blue and green slips as well as fresh and more expensive insurance.
Started listening to ‘The Art of Travel‘ which is quite lovely but not, at about the half way point, as entertaining as ‘Consolations‘. Caught up to episodes of Sense8 I’ve seen before and have slowed down on them, as extraordinary as remembered and a pleasure to see what I had missed. Looking forward to finding time to read the ‘Fight Club 2’ comics.
Another day with Kindergarten, two tutoring clients and a bed time battle. Cards aren’t going to paint themselves and I have a review I need to get down. Keeping it all brief so as to paint.
A few days since completing this series and thoughts have percolated some.
I enjoyed Mr.Robot a lot while watching but towards the end I did begin to get annoyed with some of it’s conceits. Predictability, endless cliff hangers and what I feel is an important lack of detail in how others perceive the characters and in consequences of their actions.
I struggled to place Rami Malek throughout and only now looking at his history do I realise I recognize him from ‘The Pacific‘. He is honestly perfect in this role, his unusual heavy lidded eyes and kind of deep reserve make him completely believable as this very peculiar, more than typically socially awkward hacker. The series hangs on his acting and he supports it with grace.
It is difficult to talk much more about the series without spoilering a major plot arc so if you plan on watching tune out now…
Warned you were.
I wasn’t wrong in recognising a Tyler Durden character back after episode two. In fact the similarity to ‘FightClub‘ runs a lot deeper than just Christian Slater’s character. The main plot line of destroying the world’s credit records is just one of the glaring similarities and I actually laughed out loud when they used this piano version of that Pixies song.
On the one hand I was really glad they went through with it and did the hack. On the other I don’t think they in any way effectively communicated the global nature of the unrest such an action would precipitate. Budgetary constraints aside they in no way begin to let on the shear chaos that such an action would inevitably bring on.
Christian Slater’s big speech disappointed me. Maybe it was that he is too recognizably him, not the role. Maybe it is that he so obviously apes part of his idol Jack Nicholson’s style. Maybe it was the script which at a crucial junction required an extremely moving and impactful diatribe and failed to nail it. Maybe he just wasn’t able to bring enough gravitas to the moment. No matter what the reason it was a let down. Not so much that I wont tune back in to season 2 immediately after the series finishes (week by week is for masochists). But a let down all the same, particularly given the pretty high standard of writing and performances throughout the rest of the season.
I’m keeping it as “highly recommended” with the caveat that it is really Fight Club fantasy for pacifist nerds.
Started watching ‘Dirty Wars‘ while painting during nap time today. Infuriating stuff.
Finally got around to starting ‘Mr.Robot‘ last night. Widely recommended to us months ago. Two episodes in and loving on Christian Slater channeling Tyler Durden. Made easier no doubt, by the fact that there was a time when I thought he wasoneofthecoolestmenonearth. Looking forward to slamming another few episodes this evening.
A pair of sketch drafts completed during nap time, though one was a redo of previously completed sketch. At fourteen of fourty-four as of now. Sharing the two cards I made a couple of weeks ago as I can now be sure they are safely with their recipients. Both are single layer papercut and ink on card.
Finished ‘The Man in the High Castle‘ season one a few days ago. The budget was clearly pretty extraordinary and the calibre of writing and acting throughout was impressive. I have not read the Phillip K Dick original so I cannot speak to comparison except to say that even from the Wiki Synopsis it clearly differs profoundly from the source. There are some fascinating characters in play and the world is believably rendered. Lots of cliffhanger episodes kept us coming back for more and I am definitely keen to see where they are taking it in season two later this year. I just hope they have a clear two to four season plan with an end in mind, as it could all to easily go off the rails if the plot were left to wander aimlessly.
Paving continues, nearly completed one section. Went for another swim and managed 250m today. The season pass has been so worth it, with L’s lessons plus other visits it has now paid for itself. But one of the best benefits is that we feel the need to use it, rather than balking at the cost of visiting the pool it is an imperative. Updated my voting registration this evening as a snap federal election is seeming more and more likely. Planning on getting my licence localised tomorrow too.
Finished line work and cutting for two occasion cards to be posted tomorrow. I’ll post pictures when I am sure they have been delivered. Planning on some more drawing this evening.
Finished ‘Better Call Saul’ season one last night. Really impressive television, very moving, very attitude shifting. The principal character and Mike both play very important roles in Breaking Bad. The stories they tell in this season cast them in a very different light. I wonder how far back they were planning these parts of the characters stories. The episode about Mike’s son was particularly impressive and although they telegraphed the outcome of the climactic legal battle rather early it was gripping to the end. Although I desperately want to dive into season two, I’m going to hold off until the season finishes so we are not stuck in the week by week limbo.
This review shows the best view I’ve had yet of a game I don’t intend on playing anytime soon.
For something more cheerful, Adam Savage makes a puppet:
Risked heatstroke for some garden labour. Preparing to finish off the paving under the washing line and begin laying the second path.
Wiring continues on the chook tractor. One piece at a time. There was a lull as we were struggling to find anyone who would sell us some point of lay hens locally, as it happens today we hear there is the possibility of some available in a fortnight. I have had to replace the wheels I found on the farm and attached, as they were too old and had collapsed under the weight. The new wheels found at the dump presented a engineering challenge as they will require a very different axle. I think I have figured out what to do and it will involve my first ever welding job. I’ll have to get help with that.
Went for a swim, L has improved in leaps and bounds, still cannot swim independently though. I pushed myself and swam 150m breath stroke today, despite significant increase in muscle mass over the last few months, my actual fitness still has a long way to go as that slaughtered me.
Experimenting with splitting my posts up a bit using headings, if they are still feeling jumbled I may start seperating the dailies from the thoughts and reviews.
Managed about an hour on the castle card today. I’m struggling to find the right line weights and I will need to redo some of what I have done to match once I get it just so. Working on some neglected and now late cards this evening.
Powering though ‘Better Call Saul‘ season one. Likely to finish this evening. A couple of very powerful episodes so far. N and I took many, many years to finish ‘Breaking Bad‘ as N was understandably reluctant to return to the show after season three and again at a later break. We ended up watching the very first episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ directly after the last ‘Breaking Bad’. It was too much and we only returned to it this past week. It has been pretty impressive, so far.
We finished season two of ‘The Almighty Johnson’s‘ last week and to be honest felt that they had kind of written themselves into a corner. Season one was a lot of fun and season two had its moments.It is possible that we will return for season three sometime but honestly it had lost a lot of the charm and humour of the first season and descended into a fantasy soap. When they introduced the Maori gods mid season two I was pretty annoyed that they had chosen to portray their main god as such a dickhead then I recognised that in fairness the whole show was about doing just that with the Norse gods.
While on the topic of NZ media. I came across this hilarious looking film today. From the director of the splendid film ‘Boy‘ which I rate very highly indeed.
That got me onto a bit of a trailer binge. The best of the rest I watched was the new Coen’s
In the process of researching something for an adult client I stumbled upon this article today. It deals with the creation of Sci-Hub which is just about the most exciting thing in science today, bigger and I would argue of far more global significance than gravitational waves.
Alexandra Elbakyan has solved the problem the extraordinary Aaron Swartz was charged as a criminal for tackling. She has freed the research, her site Sci-Hub, is aiming to create a complete collection of all human scientific research free an open to all and they are well on their way to doing so. Elsevier is of course doing their damnedest to stop Sci-Hub, but the rabbit is out of the hat and it will never go back. The game is up for Elsevier’s business model, of charging researchers to hand over copyright on their -often publicly funded- research so that they can then charge library’s and readers exorbitant fees to access the papers, while also doing their damnedest to stomp on any competing publications.
In other news, progress on the castle card. L’s first day at Pre-School went well.
Three cool artists to share:
The simply incredible doll’s of michael zajkov. Occasionally NSFW depending on attitudes.
Finally got around to watching ‘The Abominable Bride’ with N last night. After anticipating the next Sherlock episode for what, years? it languished unwatched for over a month on a drive. This episode is more than a trifle self indulgent. Although clever, the crazy transitions and the series ongoing bloody over dependence on Moriarty are all a bit passe. Fun but forgettable unfortunately. I did recognised Tim McInnerny from his long past performances in Blackadder and for all I bag on the series sad dependence on the Moriarty character Andrew Scott is still nailing it.
I’ve ordered a new HDD and using a different cord I’ve managed to establish a stable connection to the old one on N’s comp. I plan to clone the old one to the forthcoming new solid state drive and try reviving my existing laptop. If that doesn’t work there are possible avenues for a replacement open, I would just rather not need to use them now. N’s computer gave the first revealing error code in a long time today, pointing to a possible power supply issue. Debating purchasing a replacement immediately just to see if we can be rid of the annoying restart issue once and for all.
First session with a new client today, and landed another for next week. I now have at least one per week day.
Another automated email from NSW Ed prompted a phone call this afternoon. Established that yes they did indeed already have the document they were asking for and this operator was baffled by the previous contacts insistence on scanned certified documents as I quote “We no longer ask for certified docs”. Colour me annoyed.
Sketchup, Manga Studio and tablet drivers all up and running on N’s computer. I spent most of the day cleaning in preparation for my first in house client but I did manage to finish the 3D reference model and begin principal line work for the castle card. The 3D model was constructed from an assortment of models in the Sketchup public library.