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Well, that was a pleasant surprise! A very anonymous-looking package arrived, obviously containing a hardcover book of some kind. Maybe something from a Kickstarter project a while ago? Nope - it was a complementary copy of the Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year, volume 7, containing two years' winners and finalists, myself included. ^_^ Of course, I'm biased, but it's a book I'll treasure - not only for the obvious, but the sheer quality of the entries throughout the four categories (Travel Icons, People, Wildlife, and.. wait, I'll remember) really is something to behold, and indeed, encourage - everyone featured is an amateur, with perfectly ordinary DSLR kit, sometimes quite old.

A little while back, I mentioned Long Way North, an interestingly stylish-looking animated feature; I've just noticed iTunes US has it currently available as a 99¢ rental (and $7.99 to buy, including extras. Would be pretty cool if iTunes would credit a rental fee against a purchase, if you chose to keep a copy. Still, at $1 to try it out.. ! Sadly, it's still £4.49 for a UK rental, or £9.99 to buy)

I also recently made note of what looked like quite an interesting monster flick, Colossal - and here's its new poster. ^_^

Poll #2064104 It's movie time! ~flails~ Which have you seen?





Upstream Color




Summer Wars


Cats Don't Dance


The Wizard of Speed and Time


Jupiter Ascending


Yay, my first churrascaria! =:D An old (formerly, maybe again?) LJ friend happened to be in the city for a stopover, and he declared that "unlimited is his favorite kind of meat". ^_^ It's a style I'd long vaguely intended to try, and it didn't disappoint - it's the usual format of waiters coming by every few minutes to carve off some topside/sirloin/lamb/pork loin/etc, which you complement with some salad bar pickings. Sadly, as there tended only to be a couple slices at a time, it didn't really lend itself to photography, and I didn't really feel comfortable getting the waiter to pause for a moment for a shot. =:) I am also resolved to obtaining a Frolic shirt, as he was modeling that day, but sadly, a quick check with Neonbunny revealed they're sold out of that fairly limited run, but they may well make another run sometime.

Well, that promises to be rather good fun.. if you recall the Turing/Bletchley themed pop-up cocktail bar I mentioned, I duly received my invitation to place a booking within four hours of receipt - luckily, I woke up with an hour to spare. ^_^; Some quick emailing around, and we sorted out a suitable adjustment to the booking, so huskyteer, myself, and the roomie will be headed down to what's probably a wartime bunker in Chelsea next month for quite a special evening. ^_^

Good news, every.. ah. Well, yes. So, it seems the BBC Store has indeed been improving its offerings, to the extent that all three (three episode!) series of The World's Most Dangerous Roads are indeed now available in HD, not just SD as originally. (And affordably, too - £12 for all nine hour-long episodes) Yet, despite being a BBC Worldwide project - so, nothing to do with the license fee - they apparently will only sell their downloads to UK residents. WTF? The restrictions seem the same as originally, similar to Apple: five devices can be authorised on an account. Arg. Still, maybe I'll do the same as elsewhere - buy under the conditions imposed, and use under the torrented lack of restrictions. (As for the show itself, I should emphasise it's very much not what it might sound like - they're more along the lines of rather precarious travelogues, with an emphasis on what's around them, and why, not shying away from the often tricky regional politics involved)

The iPad's battery has a minor mystery attached to it. =:D As I've noted, its life isn't what it once was, but still perfectly useful, at around 6-7 hours, and almost always, the battery percentage is useful, though these days, it tends to die soon after the 10% warning, or sometimes before - with one odd exception! If I'm out rabbiteering, the displayed percentage positively plummets, to the extent that I can arrive there, have spent maybe half an hour watching the buns, and find it at 45%! On Thursday, it excelled itself in pessimism, and declared it had 16% remaining. ^_^; But that only happens when rabbiteering. O.o It seems to be some kind of misreporting by the battery, as when I arrived at the pub a little while later, it grumpily insisted it only had 6% left - which was also the case when I left, an hour and a half later, and by the time I arrived back home. Hooking it back up to Hazel changed its mind, declaring "46% Charged". Most curious! I wonder what could be triggering this? Maybe the cooler temperature outside? Or some oddity with the cell tower(s) it sees in that specific location? Maybe I'll pop it into the fridge for a spell, and see if that has any similar effect. Likewise, I'll try putting it into airplane mode before heading out rabbiteering sometime, and see if it still occurs then. (And maybe even enabling and disabling it before setting off, just in case it's some kind of baseband weirdness)

I wonder how accurate iOS' step count/distance tends to be - it's claiming that after Thursday's rabbiteering and supermarket run, I covered about 3.5 miles in just over 9,000 steps. Hoo!

Yay! Someone's uploaded the entire run of the recent Phoenix Wright anime. And subtitled, too! ^_^ But, for now, my TV viewing consists of the original Australian version of My Kitchen Rules. (And not long now until MasterChef returns! The BBC only discloses schedules a fortnight in advance, so we might get a heads-up next week, as it's begun in March for the past four years)
Since Upstream Color has tickboxes rather than radio buttons, I was going to answer both "Yes" and "No" simultaneously — but actually I haven't seen it.
D'oh! Yep, checking the entry's code shows that's so - and of course, once a poll's been published, it can't be edited.

On the other paw, it's sufficiently surreal a flick that both might not be an invalid response. =:)

A straight-line no, then? Do our tastes simply diverge sufficiently, or are you very much not a film sort?
Anonymous packages: I received one in December, a padded shipping envelope from Japan! Definitely a WTF? moment, I opened it up to find a top. A machined metal spinning top, 5-6mm in diameter. Absolutely no idea who had it sent to me. They're not terribly expensive, but I've never expressed an interest in such and I don't know any of my friends who play with tops. Very odd.

Speaking of films, I'd suggest adding two options (yes, I know you can't edit it): No Plans To See It, and WTF? Never Heard Of It. And speaking of the films you've listed, not only am I familiar with The Wizard of Speed & Time, two stories. I literally found a copy of the 16mm short! I was running the film program for a science fiction convention and this random guy gives me a reel of 16mm film that was recovered from a bar in Tucson, Arizona that used to show films on the weekend. It was somewhat damaged, mainly the outer footage, I think maybe it was in a stack with others above and below it as the inner footage looked undamaged. You could see the splices where things had been assembled in to a longer reel. Well, on the label for the reel it said The Wizard of S&T, and it was fairly new at the time. I had an extremely sharp knife with me, and I cut straight through the damaged film down to the splice, and mounted it on a projector -- and the short, The Wizard of Speed and Time, appeared on the screen. In excellent shape.

Second story: Not only did I meet Mike Jitlov, and not only do I have a signed personalized poster of TWoS&T, I played chauffeur to him. A friend of mine was on the committee for a local sci fi con that I was not involved in. Mike was a GoH (the fill theatrical version had come out by that time) and she wanted someone to run him around town, do errands for him, general gopher stuff. In return, I got a guest badge for the con. Mike was signing and selling posters and gave me one. As it happens, the artwork was by Kelly Freas, and somehow the original artwork was accidentally destroyed by the printer, so the poster is truly limited edition. A friend of mine, Jason, was a huge fan of Mike but couldn't go to the convention, so he asked me if I could get an autograph. Mike had one poster left, and it was damaged, so he personalized it for Jason and gave it to me. It really made Jason's day. Sadly, ten years ago Jason passed away suddenly of a stroke. One of my best friends, Dave, was involved in the cleanup of his room: Jason lived with his parents, and his mother wanted his closest friends to deal with his room and take anything they wanted as mementos. Dave got the poster, he and his wife had it very nicely displayed, though Dave lost his wife to cancer a few years ago.

Enough Jitlov and morbidity over mortality.

Love me some Brazilian steak house! I think I'll have to do it again when we're in Phoenix next. We have friends who have truly eclectic taste to dining out, and they're DINKs (dual income, no kids) and we almost always go somewhere cool with them. We were planning to do a new French restaurant in Scottsdale when we were in town last month, but there was some sort of festival event and there was absolutely no parking in downtown Scottsdale. We ended up at a place called Couscous Express. It is anything but fast food, you're going to spend over an hour here, we spent two. You sit down and the owner immediately brings you lentil soup and hot mint tea. Fantastic place in a very dodgy area.

I heard of that Turing/Bletchley Park bar! I would so love to see it, have a wonderful time! That's one thing that I really want to see, Bletchley Park is such a formative place for us computer peeps. As it happens, we may be popping up to Scotland for a week at the end of the year for a wedding, but it's unlikely we'll have time to go so far south for touristing.

(too long of reply, part II follows...)
(continued from previous)

I've heard of Dangerous Roads. I wonder if it will be available on the Apple TV when they get their app released. Sounds pretty awesome, I've seen a pretty dangerous road: it was around a copper mine in east central Arizona.

iPad battery: yeah, that's a tricky one. You might try the old NiCad Reconditioning trick: full charge, full discharge, rinse, repeat. Loop a video full-screen and let it go. It might help. I've never had absolute faith in the estimate of battery life, though I have found that when my Apple laptops tell you that the battery is low and you need to plug them in, YOU NEED TO PLUG THEM IN!

I've tried a comparison count to see if my Pebble watch and iPhone are in agreement as to step count and it was close, within perhaps 10%. So I think it's sufficiently accurate.
*successfully resists the temptation to vote both "Yes" and "No" on "Upstream Color"*

I've honestly not even heard of most of these — and I only watched "The Wizard of Speed and Time" because it was on TV at some point when I was at someone else's (a relative's, I think) place long ago.

It's a forgettable movie alright, too, but it IS notable as being the final film that Stephen Stucker starred in before his untimely death. Wikipedia describes Stucker as being "known for portrayals of bizarre, larger-than-life characters"; he'll always be immortal to me for his role as Johnny in ZAZ's Airplane!.

Good times... good times.
"I can make a hat, or a broach, or a pterodactyl...."

He was brilliant in that movie! I didn't remember him in WoS&T, I'll have to see if I can get a copy, it's been ages since I saw it. Nor did I remember him in Airplane II, but at least I have a copy of it.

It's appalling how many fantastic talents were lost to AIDS. We had some wonderful good news recently. One of my sisters-in-law had two or three male gay roomies that she lived with in college two or three decades ago. One died while they lived together and she lost contact with the others. Out of the blue, my wife got an email from one of them: he'd seen her on one of the TV shows that my wife has been on talking about astronomy and tracked down her email via her observatory, and my wife was able to put him back in contact with her sister. This guy has lived with AIDS pretty much since the disease broke out in to a plague and apparently is doing pretty well.
Cats Don't Dance was such a quintessential furry film in 1997 that my first online bunny friend, from Connecticut, offered to come up to watch it with me in the local theater. I honestly can't believe so many haven't seen it since, at least once, in the last twenty years! But then, this just reflects the tastes of your FL.

I live in a bubble remains my mantra ;o)

Edited at 2017-03-04 08:12 pm (UTC)
I am quite surprised, I admit! I suppose it's sort of continuing its life after the big screen much as during its all too brief flirtation - post-acquisition, Warner all but buried it. Indeed, even now, there doesn't even appear to be an HD transfer - quite often, even if there isn't a BD release of a given title, there'll be HDTV rips floating around, but not here.A real pity, as it's such a gem of a production! I mean, true, I enjoyed seeing Lola Bunny, but I can't for a moment deny Sawyer wasn't a hugely more fully realised character. And some genuinely good songs, including ones delivered by Scott Bakula! Such a pity his Star Trek outing never gave him any such opportunity. =:)

Upstream Color I'm rather less surprised about, given it's hardly that well known - perhaps I should've included Primer in the list as well, just to see if anyone's even familiar with Shane Carruth's better-known work (also highly recommended, if you want a mind-bender of a film =:). Summer Wars is one of my favorite anime features, not just because there's a central leporine character - it's got real heart, as well as being an entertaining take on virtual worlds.
I've seen the original WoSaT short but not the feature length film.

Also, Summer Wars make me cry every time when the German kid offers his account.
I believe the full film has the short embedded within, or maybe just part of it. ^_^ It's worth seeking out, as it's quite the celebration of creation (and plenty of frustration =:) - it left quite an impression on me, seeing just how passionate and enthusiastic the guy was, clearly having fun despite everything.

For me, the most poignant moment was perhaps more predictable, with the death (not mentioning names, in case others haven't seen it) - the loss felt so genuinely profound. Of course, the ending climax was quite wonderful, too.

Have you seen the other works by that director? In particular, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is one I'd personally recommend. I wasn't all that taken by The Wolf Children, though it is a good film; I haven't seen their latest yet, The Boy and the Beast. I really ought to try seeking that out, though I don't really seem to get around to watching much film/TV these days, with LJ/SLU/Reddit proving more engaging - much as I love good film and suchlike, it's ultimately a passive activity, versus the community atmosphere online. It's a bit odd, maybe, to think of just how much the net, the web and Usenet have shaped my life, even including my first (and more or less only, sadly) love, and probably the majority of my friends, from folks like whitetail from a.f.f, to all those I've come to know from LJ, and in some cases, have wound up meeting, despite the occasional distances involved. =:)
I'm 90% sure I've seen "Cats Don't Dance", but I can't remember anything of it other than it merging in with generic-90s-animated-product.

I've seen both versions of WoSaT. The original short, which was basically Jitlov's showreel, and the 'full length feature film' version where Jitlov rants about Unions being evil and put libertarian subliminal messages into it. My advice is to watch the original short, and avoid learning anything more about Jitlov.
Does Darla Dimple ring any bells? Or Max, her butler? ("Hoowwww does the kitty-cat goooo.. ?")

It's one of the 90s animated highlights, for me - much as I enjoyed Lola Bunny, there's no comparison at all with Sawyer, who was a world more realistically characterised. Indeed, that probably holds part of the film's commercial failure - the theme of being worn down by the everyday grind isn't necessarily one that'd resonate with a younger audience, where public perception remains insistent animation belongs, though productions like Big Hero 6 and Zootopia are probably helping broaden the perception of animation as being at least potentially not just for children.

I enjoyed both versions. ^_^ My take on his mention of unions wasn't anti-union per se, so much as frustration with the guild nature of the various outfits in Hollywood, making it so much more difficult to get a small production made as an independent commercial venture. How accurate that all is, though, I wouldn't know.
There may not be much for you in Cats Don't Dance if you do not happen to fancy Scott Bakula something rotten.

(I enjoyed it quite a lot.)
Oh, I wouldn't say that - some very good songs, not least Sawyer's lament on life, and a very helpful reminder of what a cat says. =:) I just wish they hadn't all but buried it! Still no HD transfer or release, let alone any extras or deleted scenes/animatics.

I do wish we'd had a singing Enterprise captain, though. ^_^ (Hey, if the TNG writers could do it =:)

I'm quite pleasantly surprised how many folk do seem to've seen it, regardless! I'd sort of imagined that'd be lagging back with Upstream Color in even terms of how many had heard of it, let alone seen it. (UC, perhaps needless to say, I'd advocate for - it's definitely not a straightforward film, though. Get yourself into a Tarkovsky mood - Stalker, or Solaris, say - and then immerse yourself in it. It's quite a trip)
This drifted across my social media feed (in the unlikely event that you are unaware of it): http://www.dailynews.com/lifestyle/20170305/bunny-museum-and-its-33000-bunny-items-moving-to-altadena
I watched the first half of Upstream Color because you put it in your poll. I found it as boring as Moonlight. I FF'd to the end to see how it ends. I thought the scenes with baby pigs were cute, but that's all I got out of it. Sorry.

Apple devices always seem to start doing weird things when their batteries fail. Was it cooler weather out, by chance? I'd expect it was somewhere in the single-digits, because I know that throws their sensors for a loop.
General rule with Lithium-ion: They degrade over time, but more quickly when full or hot; and draining them all the way damages them. Best idea is to keep them below 80% when they're hot, and never drain them below 20%. Better manufacturers will sacrifice some of the battery capacity to pretend the lower bound is actually 0%, so that you can drain it completely without worrying.

(My 2013 Surface Pro is reporting 84% battery capacity, because I rarely drain it below 30%. The extra battery in the keyboard is from 2014, and reports 74% capacity because it always drains completely before switching to the tablet's battery. Also, the Surface Pro, while plugged in, will drain itself from 100% charge to about 80% if it becomes hot while processing.)

So, general Li-ion rules again: Don't leave them hot, don't leave them fully-charged, never leave them hot while fully-charged (double whammy!) and try never to drain them below about 10%.