Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!



Friday, October 27, 2017

An Unexpected Piece Of Shat

Continuing the Star Trek theme of this week, Last night the Wife and I went to the Holland Center to see William Shatner's one man show "Shatner's World: We Just Live In It"

Why would we go see this?  I saw the show advertised last week and, jokingly on my part, asked the Wife if she wanted to go.  To my surprise she replied "Hell Yes!"

William Shatner, an actor most famous for his role of Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek series, has never been on my list of favorite actors.  I like the Kirk character but the actor always seemed a bit pompous and full of himself.  For that reason I entered the Holland Center with a few mixed feelings and low expectations.

Shatner introduced himself over the PA and then made an entrance.  Over the next two hours he talked about his career, his childhood and family life, the love of his life (horses), and other topics.  All his storytelling was full of humor and punctuated with short video clips/photographs on a large screen behind him.  His performance sometimes seemed to jump between subjects at random but in the end it all came together in an entertaining way.

The strangest part of Shatner's life story is his music.  Yes, William Shatner has several albums.  Now, to be honest, his performance is less singing than spoken word.  Have you lived until you've heard Shatner performing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"?  I think not.

I went into the show thinking it would be an odd but mediocre experience and I left, I have to admit, finding him funny and engaging ... if not a bit odd in a good way.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rediscovering Star Trek

For many years I was a hard core Star Trek fan.  After the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise I had a falling out.  The new movies failed to rekindle my fandom but when CBS announced a new TV series set in the original Star Trek timeline I discovered something: Once a Star Trek fan, always a Star Trek fan.

This weekend I subscribed to CBS All Access (The only way to watch this show is to stream it) so that I could watch the new series and, after watching the first five episodes I am hopeful.  About CBS All Access - I am pissed I need another streaming service to watch this show - it is on Netflix outside the US.  I am also pissed that they are releasing only one episode every week making it nearly impossible to binge watch - so twentieth century.  Boo Hoo.

The new series, Star Trek: Discovery (often unfortunately shortened to STD), is a prequel to the original series taking place ten years before the events of the original Star Trek.  This has resulted in several heated disagreements online (where else?).  I was going to address a few in this post but decided that it wasn't worth the effort.  I will just say one thing: Could you imagine the uproar if the new show put their female officers in miniskirts?

There are two speculative theories going around the internet.  One involves the Klingon Voq and the other is about Captain Lorca of the Discovery.  I won't say more because both may become spoilers if one or both turns out to be true.  I will say that either of these speculations would be awesome if true.  It would take Star Trek into new directions.

Star Trek: Discovery is certainly a different approach to Star Trek and I welcome this new approach.  My continued support will depend on the risks the writers take.  It is not a time for timidity.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Book: N. K. Jemisin's "The Obelisk Gate"

My twelfth book of the year was the second book of the Broken Earth series.  Like the first book, "The Fifth Season" which I read earlier in the year, N. K. Jemisin's "The Obelisk Gate" also won a Hugo award (best novel in 2017).  While I had some mixed feelings about the first book, the sequel was a very solid second book.

The book starts where the first ended.  Instead of following only one main character, the book follows two: the main character from the first book and her daughter.  They were separated early in the first book and they took very different paths as the world around them was coming apart.

Like the first, this book sucked me into the story while fleshing out more details of the volatile world.  I'm not sure where it is going but I suspect the mother and daughter will end up on opposite ends of a war.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I am looking forward to reading the third book soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Fourth Caminoversary Of My Second Camino

Four years ago Gv and I ended our second Camino on the rocks of Cabo Fisterra.  The sunset was not the most spectacular I've ever seen and the wind was cold but that moment, as the setting sun marked the end of our Camino, will always be precious to me.

Gv's Mom walked part of the Camino last month.  She left a little of Gv in Fisterra.  This would have made her very happy and this makes me happy too.


Photos taken by Bruce H.
(Music is "Walk on the Ocean" by Toad the Wet Sprocket)

Saturday, October 07, 2017

A Reversal

In the past rainy days have often given me the blues.  It's less the rain than the gloomy, cloudy lack of sunshine.  The past few days have been drizzly and rainy and I have found myself feeling comforted.  Hunkering down under a blanket, listening to the falling rain, has calmed my mind.  A total reversal of what normally happens.

"Hibiscus with raindrops"
by Bruce H.
I hope this reversal continues on into the winter when I often suffer the winter blues.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Tonight Is The Harvest Moon

Enjoy.



"Harvest Moon"
Neil Young

Sadly it's raining here in Omaha so I will not be able to enjoy it.  I hope you all have better luck than I.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Book: Yuval Noah Harari's "Homo Deus"

My eleventh book of the year was Yuval Noah Harari's "Homo Deus".  The book attempts to project how Homo Sapiens will transform in the coming decades and centuries.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book.  Most of the book talks about humanism and how our beliefs have transitioned from animism to deism to humanism.  The author then suggests that the rise of evermore powerful algorithms will supplant the human in most decision making thus making humanism moot.

The author seems to believe that we have solved our traditional problems of hunger, disease, and violence.  He thinks the next goals will me immortality, happiness, and divinity.  I'm not sure we have solved the old problems yet (we have improved in all of them) and I'm not sure about the new goals.  He puts a lot in the hands on algorithms to fix everything.  It's like when steam was the new tech everything was steam powered including the human body.  The highest tech is always used to explain our greatest mysteries.  Most of the time these analogies are way off the mark.

I can't say the book was not well written.  It was and it flows well.  I just can't say I agree with all the conclusions.  But difference of opinion is what makes the world go round.

I gave the book four stars out of five on Goodreads since it did make me think of other possibilities.