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They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)
They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)


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Being The Geekly Diary of Waider
(may contain traces of drinking, movies, and sport)
November 15
Another one that's been on the list for ages: They Shall Not Grow Old. Filmed, as the closing credit says, on location on the Western Front, 1914-1918. The switch from black-and-white Pathé newsreel style to colourised, stablised, speed-corrected widescreen is almost physical in its impact, but the rest of it: I think if you've read "All Quiet On The Western Front" or otherwise encountered any WWI "deglamourised" history, none of it will really come as a surprise. The footage is fairly grim in places, so be warned of that if you plan on watching this - and it's a different sort of grim to, say, Saving Private Ryan where something, maybe, at the back of your head is reminding you that it's a recreation. This isn't a recreation.

November 14
Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary is something I've been meaning to watch for ages, and it was worth watching - certainly a good deal more palatable than the recent trend for doing such things as "Oral Histories". Lots of good bits and laughs, including the Tim Allen / Steven Spielberg / Alan Rickman story that the director was persuaded to tell. I think the most interesting thing about it is that no-one seemed to have a coherent story about Rickman - he hated Tim Allen, but there's a still of him literally doubling up laughing with Allen; he was aloof, except he wasn't; he told one of the producers with a pained expression that "it was fun intermittently". Whatever the truth of the matter is, it's hard to see anyone else selling the role as well as he did.

November 13
Work laptop has been running the Ventura point release for a couple of days without crashing but, well, I'm not using it so it could just be teasing.

November 10
And now we're done with Vikings Season 5 Part 1, and it looks like Season 6 - the final season - has been added to our available viewing, so that's nice.

Social Media Bird Site continues to be an ever-growing trash fire. I may be inclined to put my account to sleep.

November 07
Crashing Ventura macOS somewhat improved by reseting the PRAM, but this annoys me on two counts: firstly, it's an opaque fix - there are any number of things stored in PRAM, and who knows which of them was at fault? - and secondly, it smells of failure to invalidate cached data from the previous OS install.

If you're part of the exodus to Mastodon, @waider@octodon.social.

November 04
Got our Smart Meter installed. Cramped location and a lack of advance surveying meant the installer got a "surprise, you're hosed" experience which meant that 45 minutes without electricity became about 2 hours without electricity. Now we just have to wait for ESB Networks to roll out their provider-independent gateway (apparently this month!) so we can access the data without having to actually get on a (potentially) more expensive tariff to do so.

Work laptop has had a full OS reinstall, to no avail. USB definitely seems to be the source of the problem but nailing it down any more clearly than that appears difficult to impossible. This weekend I'll be applying the magic "reset NVRAM, reset SMC" fixes, and then contemplating how best to roll back to the previous OS.

Rebooting the house means one of my "smart plugs" which had stopped publishing data is back publishing data again and, er, jeez. Power drain city. (it's the one all the computer toys are plugged into.)

November 01
I upgraded the work laptop to Ventura and, well, it's been constant rebootsville since. It looks like maybe something in USBland is unhappy but so far no diagnosis. Of particular concern/interest is that once the OS starts booting properly, my USB hub appears to go through rapid, recurring power-cycles.

October 30
Spent an enjoyable few days at The Wicklow Escape. Lots of reading, a bit of walking, a hot tub, and fine food and drink.

Finished rereading The Peripheral and Agency and a Walter Mosely title I'd been picking at before I picked up Ulysses.

Episode three of The Peripheral TV series: things kinda go wacky. Major departures from the book, but also I'm not entirely sure I followed the whole epsiode. A margarita may have had something to do with that.

October 23
Finished Vikings S4: there's a bit of setup there for S5 (who the heck is Jonathan Rhys-Meyer's character and what's the significance of his sword and do I even care?) but mostly they just concentrated on tying up "the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok avenge him" with a surprising death or two thrown in for good measure. It looks like we've got half of S5 on Prime Video so I guess we can watch that next.

What we did watch next, though, was The Peripheral and you know what? It's pretty sweet. It's been long enough since I last read the book that I'd kinda forgotten lots of stuff but I was definitely pleased to see the bendy phones make an appearance simply because their presence in the book is a minor thing that works well without going into specifics; a classic Gibson trick, that. It also amuses me that at the time the book was written, the idea of a store that did 3d printing for you was kinda futuristic where as now it's like, sure, I can see that being a thing I could find somewhere in Dublin albeit maybe not at the scale in the show. Some of the casting doesn't match how I'd imagined characters but who cares? And of course I've started rereading the book. I've spent the last couple of months working my way through a classic and difficult 20th century masterpiece, I think I deserve a little bubblegum.

In nerd news, learning about Docker from someone's three-hour YouTube course because, well, I can. I have some nominal use for this knowledge acquisition but I'm already suspicious I'll need VirtualBox or similar instead, but I'm gonna go ahead and watch this anyway.

October 22
I finished Ulysses. I think that's quite enough achievement for the day.



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