Jul 7 2015

Blink

Adel Gabot

10:20AM

I don’t really have much occasion these days to re-watch old Doctor Who shows—except for one particular episode that always catches my attention when I’m browsing my library.

It’s an episode from 2007 called Blink, written by current show runner Steven Moffat, which doesn’t really show the Doctor much—David Tennant and Freema Agyeman appear for all of barely two minutes. Instead the show is dominated by a character named Sally Sparrow, played by then-unknown Cary Mulligan, and her nemesis, The Weeping Angels. It’s a wonderful departure from the usual Who formula, and I frequently find myself coming back to it again and again.

I love the fact that it doesn’t really show The Weeping Angels much except when they’re in repose as frozen statues, and they’re all the more menacing for it. I love how the episode subverts the common tropes of sci-fi horror and upends all our expectations. It’s essentially a supernatural horror show disguised as a Doctor Who episode, as one reviewer put it.

I promise myself I’m just going to have a little sneak peek when I come across it, and end up watching it through time and time again. It’s that good. I hold it in high regard as one of the best sci-fi/horror episodes of all time, and will put it up against anything coming out these days. (I finally got a high-res copy this year, and I’m going to guard it jealously.)

Truly, it’s best to experience it for yourself, so I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t watched it yet. Try and dig it up if you can, and watch it. If you’re just going to watch one Doctor Who episode in your life, make it this one.


Jul 6 2015

New theme for the PS4!

Adel Gabot

6:16AM

I just discovered a new free static theme on the Playstation Store based on the new show Sense8 from Netflix, which I wrote about here some time ago.

Not quite what I was expecting, but it’s ok. It’s a vaguely light purplish screen with the Sense8 logo, with the “8” shifting to show the characters of the show. Nice.

 


Jul 5 2015

iMovie update

Adel Gabot

9:27AM

It’s becoming irritating, this frigging iMovie update on my MacBook Pro. I’ve been trying for a week now, and I still haven’t done it.

It came up as one of the apps I needed to update early last week, along with several others. The other software updates went along swimmingly, among them the OS X 10.10.4 official release, and the iMovie update also went without a hitch on my iMac, but somehow it doesn’t want to go over on the MBP.

It’s kinda a big update, a 2GB download. iMovie doesn’t seem to have been updated since Feb of 2012, so this update is long-awaited. But the darn thing gets errors on downloading. Even when it apparently finishes, it’s still classified an error and refuses to go forward.

I don’t really care one way or the other, actually. I don’t really use iMovie much, if at all. Maybe once, a long time ago when I needed to edit a video I was submitting to a website? But my completist side can’t seem to let it go, and it’s bugging the hell out of me. I think the trouble is with the MacBook Pro’s Yosemite installation, and it for some reason won’t let that particular update through.

I tried again this morning, but the internet is crawling—even with the iPhone’s 4G connection—mainly because of this damned typhoon, so I gave up after a couple of hours of trying.

Don’t worry, I’ll get it in someday.

 


Jul 4 2015

Armada

Adel Gabot

8:24AM

Just got a copy of Ernest Cline’s new book Armada (literally the newest—it’s just out this week), for my Kindle Paperwhite yesterday. Been devouring it since, and I’m about halfway through now.

It’s the story of Zack Lightman, a high school senior who’s comfortably enmeshed in geekdom like his late father was, and who encounters… uh, shall we say, interesting things in that field as the story unfolds. The novel’s fairly dripping with pop culture references throughout. much like Cline’s other novel Ready Player One.

As usual, I’m eating it all up, as I’m from the same vague generation as well, and all the references make sense to me. It’s like Cline’s tapping the veins in my mind for all the ore he can possibly unearth, the way he did with RPO. Which is just fine with me.

I’m obviously not going to spoil things for other readers this early in the book’s cycle, so I won’t divulge anything for now, but suffice it to say it’s another doozy of a ride.

Review to come in the near future!


Jul 3 2015

Good Witch

Adel Gabot

bailee-madison-good-witch-promo-pics-02

1:45PM

I’m more a horror/scifi person when it comes to my movies and TV shows, and the more hardcore the better. I’d love to see a zombie’s brains go splat on the concrete any day, or watch Rutger Hauer as a replicant waxing about c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.

So I don’t know why the hell I like Good Witch so much.

It’s a Hallmark Channel TV series on its first season, and is now on hiatus as it prepares for the second. The first season is eight episodes long, and is based on a seven TV-movie series which began in 2008, and stars Catherine Bell as Cassie Nightingale, the titular character. It’s about a small town called Middleton and and old estate called the Grey House and the young woman who inherits it. Cassie is actually a witch in all but name, but she practices her witchcraft in anonymity and moderation.

The show follows her life and her adventures, as she deals with the townsfolk, wins them over with her charm and magic, marries the Police Chief and is elected Mayor, as the while serving as proprietor of her own curio shop and maintaining Grey House.

The nice thing about the show is that it shows some characters (particularly Cassie’s stepchildren) grow up from kids to young adults in almost real time through the years, or that some of them come and go (like actor Chris Potter who plays Police Chief Russell, Cassie’s husband, who “dies” and passes on because of previous commitments), or that several of the characters go through the post of Mayor through time.

It’s a feel-good show, and is about as middle of the road as you can get. It’s a Hallmark show, for Christ’s sake.

So what am I doing watching it obsessively? I’ve seen the entire first season, and I’m retroactively catching up on the movies, working my way up the chain. I’m currently on the sixth, penultimate movie.

I guess it’s because I sometimes long for the simple pleasures of life. In Good Witch the worst things can get is a rash of petty shoplifting by a couple of teenagers in the town’s stores.

Trust me, it’s fun, after a fashion.

Ah, well.

I think I’m just getting old.

 


Jul 2 2015

TRIM

Adel Gabot

3:08PM

Apple finally—finally—enabled TRIM for 3rd party SSD (solid state drive) upgrades for their notebooks with the new OS X Version 10.10.4.

This was a sore point for some users, as Apple only enabled TRIM for SSDs they supply for their own MacBooks, so as to discourage users from upgrading their hard disks with their own store-bought third party SSDs. Apparently they just changed their mind and gave users the option to enable TRIM if they wanted to.

(You do this by typing the command “sudo trimforce enable” in Terminal, and wait until your laptop gives you a standard wordy warning before automatically rebooting to enable it.)

What the hell is TRIM, anyway?

SSDs are more akin to large flash drives, and thus have a unique way of clearing trash and re-enabling the cleared disk space from regular magnetic drives. TRIM does the house cleaning for the faster drive. Otherwise the SSDs have a chance of filling up quickly and becoming slow and clogged, and reduces the lifespan of the drives. (That’s a simple way of putting it of course, but I hope it’ll do.)

I upgraded my MacBook Pro’s old hard drive to a Crucial 256GB SSD when I first got it (expensive, but way worth it). Now it runs really really fast, and is almost an entirely new computer. It’s gotten so quick that I dropped my standing habit of just putting the MacBook to sleep when I put it away, and now turn it completely off when I’m not using it. It takes just seconds to boot up (literally, just a few seconds, compared to the couple of minutes it used to take), and most disk-based operations take a fraction of the time it used to.

But I had to find a third-party app to enable TRIM, as the Crucial SSD wasn’t Apple-endorsed and thus not supported. I settled on TRIM Enabler, which is a nice, handy little program with a few additional (and non-essential) SSD-maintenance functions, but it was a pain to use because with every OS upgrade you had to re-enable it because it automatically shut down, asked to be re-enabled and required a reboot.

Now that Apple’s gone ahead and finally allowed TRIM to function on their gear for third-party SSDs, I have no more need for TRIM Enabler. I actually found this out this morning only, a day after the OS upgrade, and immediately enabled it.

Whew. Now everything’s hunky dory, finally.


Jul 1 2015

Big update day

Adel Gabot

4:24AM

It’s a big day for Apple—updates up the wazoo!

I woke up knowing they’d update iOS and OS X, and went straight to my gear when I woke up.

True enough, they were there, waiting for me. iOS 8.4 on the iPhone, and the final release version of OS X 10.10.4.

The one for iOS introduces Apple Music and Beats 1, among other things, and the OS X version makes all the changes in the beta formal, particularly the restoration of an older internet protocol whose upgrade was causing users some problems.

Also, there are updates for iTunes, Garageband, iBooks Author, Command Line Tools and a bunch of other little things.

The only hardware not getting an update is the Apple TV. I know, I checked.

This means another round of my upgrade routine, so I’ll be tied up for an hour or two.

Good. At least they’ve finally arrived. Now to start waiting for the betas of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.


Jun 30 2015

Enough of the dailies

Adel Gabot

10:07AM

Ha. I made it. Posting everyday for three straight months. Whew.

Just wanted to see if I could do it. No real reason.

But now it stops.

I’ll just post again when I have something to post. Not because I have a self-destructive streak.. Not because I just have to.

To tell you the truth, on some days it was really a grind to think of something to put on the blog, and I guess you could, constant reader, tell when those days were. I would guess those were 75% of the time. But it’s over. Back to the old grind of just writing when there’s something to actually write about. As such, there might be long stretches between posts. But trust me, I’m still around.

Thanks for reading, though.


Jun 29 2015

Ache

Adel Gabot

12:38PM

Sometime around Sunday, I noticed that I had a slight ache on my upper left leg, high up where the femur sockets into the pelvis.

It wasn’t really bad, just felt like I overworked it or something, and it was a bit sore and a mite uncomfortable.

Now, I don’t really have any strenuous activities in my calendar, and there was no reason for my leg to ache. The past week had been uneventful, and certainly had no running or heavy walking involved. Which made me worry.

The ache is in really deep into the core of my being, part of my torso. It wasn’t like a sore ankle or knee or wrist or elbow or anything that involved my extremities. I had to find positions which would alleviate the slight ache, which was lying down, or at very least, one of several sitting positions. I didn’t have any trouble walking, but it was a tad bothersome.

Fast forward to Monday, today, when I had to do a couple errands. It had really begun to bother me. It had gotten a bit worse. I had to constantly shift positions and walking styles, and I hate to admit it, but I was starting to hobble a little bit.

What could it be? I’m 53 now, about the time when old age kicks in and starts giving you problems. Is it arthritis? Most probably. I hope it isn’t anything worse. If it doesn’t resolve itself this week I may have to go see a doctor or something.

Sigh.


Jun 28 2015

Hannibal is gone

Adel Gabot

9:49AM

Aw.

NBC cancelled Hannibal.

After just three seasons. Shame. A damned shame.

Bryan Fuller had a great thing going there, at least for a while. Excellent writing, wonderful acting, stupendously stunning cinematography. It was probably one of the best things, if not THE best thing, on television. Mads Mikkelson was a perfect Hannibal Lecter, even if he spoke incomprehensively sometimes.

I hope the series will continue someday soon, hopefully under Netflix, who’s shown they’re not beneath this sort of show.

In the meantime, a moment of silence for Hannibal.

Ye shall be missed.