Friday, August 29, 2014

Flying to Scotland

I'm flying to Scotland tonight to see a friend there. I grew tired of having nothing to show for the summer -- nights of staying in watching Netflix, weekends with no plans. Feels good to finally do something.

Well, I caught a friend playing at the Emmet Ray this past Sunday, some live music to fill my time. Saw some faces I hadn't seen in ages, had a few beers, enjoyed myself.

My condo's heat pump was a bit wonky for a week or so there. It turned out that the fan for the building's water supply to the heat pumps needed a reset, or some such thing. Anyway the cooling works again, which puts my mind at ease regarding the cats. I actually dreamt of them last night, scrambling at the walls, trying to escape from what I gather were zombies or a similar threat. I feel guilty every day that I don't play with them, such is the attachment I've grown. I hired a cat sitter to look after them while I'm away, who appeared very prepared and professional. Still, the cats' well-being occupies my mind.

I am really liking Breaking Bad. I'd been holding out on watching it, the premise being so implausible to me. Once one gets over that hump however the show truly stands on its own as a work of television art. Much more addictive than Game of Thrones, which I found to be shallow, without substance. Seeing Walt sink into depravity is both fascinating and painful; I feel sorry for those around him. And I'm only in the second season!

Apparently Rob Ford is making a comeback in the polls! Toronto, my how you dumb/disengaged/jaded you've become!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Summer of Shows

Well, I'm caught up on A Game of Thrones. I was not all that into the show for the first three seasons, which is strange -- you'd think I'd be all over something full of swords and magic and intrigue. But no, it wasn't until the fourth season that I started to get that "just one more episode" feeling. It's difficult to say exactly what the show lacked for me. Not enough relatable characters? I did come to enjoy the Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark stories, and I liked the idea of Sansa developing into something other than a pouting ingĂ©nue. Over in Essos, I couldn't get past the idea of Daenerys freeing slaves by merely talking to them, as if one could change a person's core belief with only reason. Were that the world was so easily fixed! And, on a nitpick scale, how is she feeding her army? Where are the trains of supply wagons?

I've now moved onto Breaking Bad, and I have greatly enjoyed my time with it thus far, some five episodes in. I've heard about the descent the characters fall into, and am glad that their slide is slow for they are quite likeable as they are now, on the precipice of still being moral. This last episode had Walt turn down an offer to pay for his chemo, which I thought was quite foolish, and would appreciate some more justification for this. A minor quibble; the show is very well done and lives up to the hyperbole.

Did I mention that I finished the US version of The Office some months back? I quite liked it, even after Steve Carell's character left. Sure, the show felt quite different with the rotation of bosses, but simply seeing my favourite personalities continue to interact was enough. Never did like Ed Helm's Andy Bernard; while Carell's Michael Scott had an innocent quality to him, Andy was just a fickle, self-absorbed jerk. Anyway, I'm glad to have finished it.

Back in the real world, I finally made it over to Bike Sauce over the Simcoe weekend and changed the freewheel on my bicycle. It was a relatively painless operation, with the guiding words of the volunteers there. I think next I shall replace the seat and the pedals, both of which are in very sorry states indeed.

Urp, yes, I continue to play Hearthstone daily. Naxxramas, the new single-player campaign, has added some variety and cards to the game, so hopefully the metagame will see some changes. I do like building anti-"Miracle Rogue" decks -- my best bet is with a Paladin rush deck so far, though it only wins maybe 1/3 of the time it's played. Currently I run a lot of Warlock handlock/giants, and try to figure out the best ways to work in the new cards.

The summer is nearly over! I watched a lot of movies and shows, and certainly put in a lot of hours in video games. Spent time with friends, exercised, intermittently volunteered, but what else have I gotten done? Are there any adventures left before the autumn?

We shall see!