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A group, or an individual, or four bad dogs in a horse costume has started posting flyers at some of the TARC shelters around the UofL Belknap campus. Calls to "be a man among men" and stand up for "European people and culture" and become a "UofL Identitarian." This torture of the language aside, I'm both contemptuous of and concerned about this. UofL's loudly and proudly inclusive, one of the first universities to offer full benefits to same-sex couples among other good things. Of course, the population isn't monolithic, and in a community the size of UofL's, you're going to have some of these regressive shitweasels.

Back in '89, when I was at UofL for the first time around, there was an incident in one of the sorority spaces - a black student had been assigned a room in panhellenic housing, and some twit slid racist notes under her door. This rapidly
became A Thing, and rightfully so, with the woman quickly resettled and, IIRC, the offender being found out and tossed out of school. There were demands by a hastily-organized group that all RAs take cultural awareness training, that white students be required to take a three-credit-hour culture course (the Chinese-descended kid on my floor found his exclusion hilarious), some other stuff. In a few weeks, things settled out, and I'm sure that more came of it, but I was busy falling apart and failing at everything so I don't remember.

--

The Dodgers beat the Phillies today, so they aren't swept (again) by a statistically much worse team. One more win and they seal the NL West; they go up against the bottom-of-the-division Giants in LA tomorrow night. The D-backs play the Marlins, who aren't good at all.

--

I'm watching Ken Burns' new series on the Vietnam War. It's, unsurprisingly, very good, done with typical Burns style - interviews, a deep dive into numerous factors contributing to the subject, archival footage and photography wherever possible. And Peter Coyote handling the narration. Just amazing work all around, and it breaks down and examines the complexities without overwhelming with detail or oversimplifying things. Worth checking out.

--

After crowing about iOS11, I've found a problem, and a pretty serious one. GoodReader hasn't been updated to 64-bit compatibility, so won't work under the 11. This is seriously not good. I use GoodReader pretty heavily, including the Saturday night game, and the loss of function combines with ... just not being able to access the files. I've never had a problem with GoodReader, so this is something of a surprise.
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Since starting the rewatch of Battlestar Galactica (2004 edition) and catching a few episodes of the original on one of the local digital side-channels, I've been thinking about the role of religion and/or faith in my gaming and related writing.

I'm, for sake of labeling, a post-Christian atheist. I grew up in a pretty mainstream rural Methodist church, and was somewhat involved in youth groups and things like that, but never really wanted to be warming a pew on Sunday mornings (evenings, at Wednesday night prayer meetings, revivals, you see where I'm going). To be honest, I think I learned more about being good and doing right from episodes of Star Trek on WAVE-3 than I did from most of the preaching I was exposed to - I sure enjoyed them more and loved Sunday mornings when I didn't have to go to church.

I remember a Palladium Fantasy game in high school, where the PCs were crusader-missionaries, spreading their faith by example and at the point of the sword. There was a World of Darkness game in the mid-90s, with the PCs caught up, indirectly, in angelic and demonic machinations. My D&D 3 historian/lawman/wizard was devoted to his goddess, if occasionally angry with her, and cared little for the beliefs of others. Currently, my Pulp Cthulhu investigator was raised a Quaker, left that belief for something between non-specific Protestantism and agnosticism, saw some weird shit while part of the occupation of Haiti, and is now confronting Yig's cultists. My CP2020 solo was a lapsed Catholic, more so in stories I wrote about him than in play.
In my current Star Wars game, there's no real discussion of religion, outside of the Force.

Truth

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:12 pm
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Calendar summer is upon us. Short nights, hot days, and at the moment, a heavy rain here in Bowman.

I saw Wonder Woman this afternoon. Loved it from start to finish. It's a gorgeous movie, long on action and myth. Gal Gadot is fantastic as Diana, and I'm sure I missed plenty of details in the movie, because there are times when I couldn't look away from her. She's attractive enough in the collection of period costumes, but when she's on screen in the WW costume, I'm just enthralled. She moves and looks and acts like a goddess. It's uncanny and so lovely.

On the smaller screen, I've started Amazon's The Man in the High Castle. It's quite good, expanding logically on the book.

And on - or behind - a different screen ... my trusty ol' iMac remains trusty, but there are some consequences of its age showing up. Not so much in the machine itself, but in some software. OS updates are no longer available for it (10.10.5 is the last version that it'll run), and Blizzard reminds me that 10.10.5 won't be supported much longer. So, I'm looking at a replacement, or successor, maybe. Despite being nearly ten years old (I bought it in '08, a factory refurb probably built in late '07), it still performs more than adequately, and, well, it does what I want and need it to do, and there is this grossly underutilized PS4 over there.

Mulholland

Feb. 26th, 2017 09:10 am
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Started trying to catch up on movies last week - unrelated to the Oscars tonight. Got out of class Thursday night and treated myself to John Wick Chapter 2. It's a superlative action pic, an excellent sequel to one of the best in the genre. Goes deeper into the underworld these characters inhabit, their rules and resources. After watching Hell on Wheels, I shouldn't have been surprised by Common's performance, but I was, and pleasantly so.

Yesterday was The LEGO Batman Movie, and it was an utter delight. Nonstop running gags, pop culture nods, Batman rapping and/or singing about how great it is to be Batman. Very good voice casting, and an appropriately sweet ending.

And on this bright Sunday morning, I'm watching Mulhulland Drive, because it seems I want to get the weird underway as quickly as possible today.

I saw both movies at Baxter Avenue Theater, and should probably make a habit of seeing more movies there. It's on my way home from school, so makes for a good way to wind down after the classweek ends. It's not part of the ginormous Cinemark or Regal or other chains, and, well, it's got its own cool little vibe. Also, extremely comfortable recliners. Like the Kentucky back in Lexington, Baxter regularly runs midnight shows, and in March, the theme is the Fash Bash - three movies involving lots of punching Nazis: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, and Inglorious Basterds. Don't know that I could handle SPR at midnight, but Raiders ... just try keeping me away.

Also in media, I'm rewatching Heroes Season 1, and remembering that this was a pretty darn good show, with some occasional missteps. And then the later seasons happened and oh no what is this.

Got in the second round of the Corellian Conflict Friday night. Lost a close match, acquitting myself better this time than in the first round. My fleet's reduced to about 90 percent of it's starting capability right now, having lost one of my capital ships. Bumped up the fighter complement to try to compensate.
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Christ, what a week.

The huge stack of assignments, including one I'd forgotten, got done. Some pieces better than others. Lots of work, under strain, sometimes in a near-panic. But, done.

Thursday, some shithead stole my backpack. Lost flash drives with years of homework and projects and writing and photos. My iPod. 2x Star Wars RPG guides. A rented textbook. Miscellaneous tools. Happened while I was in a short seminar on immunizations. Normally the building is secured, but this was Thursday, so an open building for farmers market customers. Someone wandered in, saw the pack behind the desk, and boosted it. I'm now done with the market (only two weeks left anyway), as I'm unwilling to leave things unattended anymore.

The good news - insurance is covering most of the loss. The files are completely lost, of course. Taking this as a message to up my iCloud storage and keep everything there, as well. I'm pissed, and want the thief/thieves to die afraid and alone and in excruciating pain, but I'll triumph.

Netflix did it again with Luke Cage. Tight, self-contained (mostly) story, terrific performances all around. Socially aware without being preachy. Damned good.

Final trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One dropped, and looks fantastic.
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The trip to Atlanta was good, but not without a couple of little hitches. We left the yard with the wrong trailer, and were nearly an hour on the road before we caught the mistake. The first invoice didn't list the cargo size, so we figured it would fit in the Conestoga; the return order did, and, well, had to switch to the drop-deck. Minor frustration. We thought we had a return load, but the engine had only just been removed from the plane when we got to Atlanta, so we headed home.

Holiday weekend and all, but the emptiness of the roads surprised me. Very little traffic on I-65 between Louisville and Nashville, and even Atlanta on Saturday morning was easy (and fast) to get through. At one of our stops, we wound up parked next to a truck with a couple of wing sections loaded; saw it again a few hours later when we were heading out of the airport.

WKU beat Marshall, and Louisville beat the other school, so it was a great weekend for football in the Commonwealth. UofL's postseason game should be announced on Sunday. I've seen predictions of the Pinstripe Bowl against Indiana; if the game is in Nashville or Memphis or somewhere similarly close, Dad and I are going to try to go.

Halfway through Netflix's Jessica Jones, and liking it a lot. It's a pretty damned dark piece of work, and Kilgrave is wonderfully hateable. The first trailer for Captain America: Civil War has released, and I'm eating my words as to this being Avengers 2.5. Also, there's Batman vs. Superman and Wonder Woman shows up, so yay! Arrow and The Flash still deliver, Supergirl is very good. It's a good time for superhero media.

We're in the final week of classes for the semester. Behavior and Biostats tonight, Environmental on Monday afternoon, first final is on the 9th, two on the 10th, one on the 12th (WTF a Saturday), and the last one on the 14th. Going to be a celebration of some kind. Christ, this has gone by so fast.
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This has been a glorious week to be a Star Wars fan.

On Thursday, the second teaser for The Force Awakens was released. I was thrilled with the teaser we got on Thanksgiving, but the new one, y'all. Sweet Jesus. I don't know how many times I've watched it. A lot. It hits so many buttons. Luke's voice-over. Stormtroopers and lightsabers. The opening shot of a downed X-Wing in the foreground and a downed Star Destroyer behind it. And just when the hooks are in, Han and Chewie in the cockpit of the Falcon. It's perfect.

Today, DisneyXD released a trailer for the second season of Rebels. Starfighters and Darth Vader and old friends and old and new enemies. I could gush. I'm giving in and buying a season pass or whatever to watch this one instead of just catching it piecemeal over the course of the season.

At the Star Wars Celebration, Fantasy Flight surprised no one by announcing that their game licenses include the upcoming movies. They announced four new ships for X-Wing, nerds have raged, and changes to how expendable weapons seem to be in the offing. Just give me ships/pilots from Rebels and the new X-Wings, man, that's all I really ask for.

I had planned to visit Lexicon tomorrow for a X-Wing tournament, but CoolStuffInc got the money I'd set aside for that. A VT-49 Decimator for $20 plus shipping came to less than I would have spent on a one-day badge plus fuel and food and whatnot. And it is a good-looking ship - I'm looking forward to learning how to fly it.

Today was the kickoff of the Kentucky Derby Festival, a big-ass airshow and fireworks display called Thunder Over Louisville. I had planned to head downtown to take it in, but when I woke up this morning, my interest in spending the day in a crowd of 675,000 people just evaporated. I watched WLKY's coverage and did homework and feel pretty okay with that.
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A year ago yesterday, I left the Lexington Herald-Leader, where I had worked for over fourteen years. I've made some mistakes on the path since leaving, but in every instance, I believe that I have fallen forward. I do not regret it.

Netflix released their Daredevil adaptation on Friday. I've watched four episodes so far, and I am mightily impressed. The casting is quite good, and Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk stands out in a very good field. I don't want to refer to him as the Kingpin just yet, but it's coming. The show is surprisingly graphic in its violence, easily an R if it was a theatrical release.

Yesterday was supposed to be an afternoon and evening of board games (Table Top Day), but homework and a dinner date superseded. More of the same today - I have to miss sitting in on a Shadowrun game I've been invited so I can finish up a lot of work.

Next weekend is Thunder Over Louisville - the first one I'll attend. I'm looking forward to it - airshow, fireworks, and more. Had planned to go to Lexicon on Sunday morning for a X-Wing tournament, but an unexpected sale at CoolStuffInc.com ate up the money set aside for the tournament - new ship plus shipping costs came in at less than the cost of admission and food and fuel.

If the morning news shows are correct, Hillary Clinton announces her Presidential candidacy sometime today. I think there are better options within the party, but none are going to run, and I'm certainly more friendly towards Hillary than I am towards the two clowns that have already declared for the Republican ticket or anyone else who is likely to do so.
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I did better than I expected on the first Biostatistics exam, but not as well as I'd wanted. Just going to have to put in more time with this one and see if I can pull it to a high B.

Interesting day yesterday. A few of my classmates and I went on a tour of parts of Jefferson County with interest to public health and urban planning officials. The Butchertown slaughterhouse was rather unpleasant, depending on the wind direction. Neat to see parts of the levee system built around the city after the 1937 flood, and an experimental station trying out self-sustaining and low-chemical-level water treatment systems. Some contaminated areas out around Chickasaw Park. Chemical plants in Rubbertown. Weird stuff around Lake Dreamland, and the triple shot of badness in Riverside Gardens. Man ... the folks in Riverside Gardens have it bad. One side of the neighborhood is bordered by a huge chemical plant, another by a 1200-acre landfill site, and the prevailing wind comes over the Cane Run coal-fired powerplant before passing through the neighborhood. Biggest lesson of the day - sometimes, you can't fix a problem. Best you can do is manage the effects.

Arrow delivered, with a shock ending.

Played some new games tonight - Love Letter, Glory to Rome, Forbidden Desert. Love Letter was my favorite - there is an astonishing amount of play in those sixteen cards. I won the raffle, too! Enough store credit for a Shadowrun supplement - not a bad return on my $2 investment.

Taking The Niece to Liberty tomorrow to pick up her car. Looking forward to it, and to getting to see Mom for a while, too.

Homecoming week is coming up. Biggest to-do the University has put on for quite a while. Lots of events planned, and I expect to have a lot of fun. As classes allow, of course. Still a lot of work to do.
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Stormy day here in the Derby City area. Tornado warnings all around, heavy rain, hail here and there. No damage in Bowman.

My Dodgers lost their NLDS against the Cardinals. The Orioles-Dodgers World Series that America deserves will have to wait for another year.

Season premiere of The Flash was pretty darn good. Got Barry's character down, the suit and speed effects look really good, and the show planted plenty of seeds for future events. Looking forward to the Arrow premiere tomorrow night.

Star Nation

Sep. 4th, 2013 10:10 pm
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After seven months, I gave in. Bought a digital signal converter tonight, and with the quick antenna setup, I can pull in the channels I wanted - specifically, the local CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliates. See, I'm getting through baseball season with the iOS app, but there's nothing comparable for the NFL without switching my cell provider to Verizon, and with the rotating contract lengths on the shared family account, I'm just not interested in that without something nearly catastrophic forcing my hand.

So, hooray. I'll be able to watch Sunday afternoon and night games. Monday nights are my current gaming nights, and since I don't really have a team this year (probably going to default to the Bengals and/or Colts), I won't really miss anything by role-playing instead of watching football.

And, hey, as I'm writing this entry, I'm watching Supernatural. Already this investment is making a return.

Had the volunteer meeting for Scarefest tonight. Still keeping my expectations low for this first gaming track, but next year already looks positive. 2014's gaming track will be its own thing, using Scarefest resources, but run separately. This means a lower entrance fee for those only interested in gaming, while a Scarefest badge will still grant entry to the as-yet-nameless gaming side. I can get behind this, and will feel much better about working on and promoting this setup. So, tentatively, that moves me back up to four conventions for next year - CincyCon in March, GenCon in August, Convention X in September, and Archon in October.

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