This month, I have finished watching the last of Star Trek: Enterprise, The Newsroom, and Penny Dreadful, as well as the latest season of Sherlock. In the case of both The Newsroom and Sherlock, the first two seasons were excellent, and then they began to be disappointing. The later seasons of Sherlock in particular have just been capitalizing on our love for the characters, jumping the shark a bit with story situations, and almost completely neglecting mystery. Also, television writers should be forbidden to write nostalgia episodes. Penny Dreadful was decent entertainment, but it became clear that it was sending all the wrong messages.
I have started going through Star Trek: The Original Series. I had previously been of the belief that I have seen most of the episodes, given that the re-runs were constantly in syndication while I was growing up. However, the first few episodes were all new to me. I’ve started to see episodes I recognize, but they are still fairly new to me, I guess because I was too young to really understand them. Once I get through ST:TOS, my knowledge of Star Trek canon will be more or less complete — just in time for Discovery to begin in May.
In addition to that, I am still working through Elementary.
I have heard great things about The OA, and I’ve added it to my queue. Now that I’m down to two series, I should go ahead and start on it.
I was thinking about getting a small Android tablet to dedicate as a testing platform, a 7″ Samsung Tab A. When I looked in late December, I was surprised to see how inexpensive they were, $60 if I recall correctly. I should have bought one then, because that was evidently a temporary price for Christmas. When I went looking after Christmas, the same model was $100, then later $130, and now it is $150. I’ve finally broken down and ordered a $40 Android tablet from some no-name manufacturer. I guess I’ll see how good or bad it is.
I didn’t pay to watch Suicide Squad in the theaters because of how bad the reviews were. I’m glad I didn’t. It was really bad. It was bad because they didn’t invest in character development. How can you, when you have to introduce half a dozen major characters all at once? Well, apparently one way is to spend the first twenty minutes of the film reciting the dossier of each character. It didn’t work. There was some character development as the action progressed, but it was too late. It was especially too late for the Joker, who isn’t really involved in the action. Consequently, his melodramatic mania and anguish was not felt by the audience, and instead it just came across as cheap. It wasn’t a problem with anyone’s acting; it was simply the poor story structure.
I have purchased a Ruger SP101, the 4.2 inch model in .357 Magnum. This seems to be the best gun to carry while backpacking. It is light enough that I won’t mind the weight, substantial enough to shoot straight, and powerful enough to provide protection from black bears or people. It is stainless steel, so it can stand up to the elements.
I’ve been doing some good stuff with the sewing machine. I bought a full-size set of flannel sheets, ripped the fitted sheet apart, and made a custom-fit set for my hide-a-bed. I also took the last pair of lounge pants that fit me, ripped them apart, made a pattern from it, and have made a new pair. Now that I’ve made it work, I can make several pairs from the pattern. I’ve also learned a number of new techniques in the process, such as finishing seam edges with overcast stitches and working with elastic. Oh, and I got some custom-made labels to put into clothing I make.
I bought a cast-iron pan. A modern one with an enamel finish on the outside. It really does work better than the old Lodge frying pan I tried decades ago, undoubtedly because it comes pre-seasoned. That said, I attempted to season it a little more, and I followed some bad instructions online. There may have been a fire. Surprisingly, it looks like the seasoning is still intact, assuming I can scrub the rest of the residue that the burnt oil left behind. I am going to have to spend some time learning how to cook differently with this thing.
The election suddenly makes sense to me. I now realize that we are living in an alternate universe, one in which Donald Trump is the President of the United States.