Wednesday, January 14, 2015

my year in cinema


I've been meaning to watch Tucker & Dale vs Evil and Cabin in the Woods. I'm thinking it might be fun to try them back to back.

I don't remember which movies I had planned to see this year. Whichever they were, I'm sure they mostly weren't the ones I actually saw:
  • Edge of Tomorrow (2014): SO MUCH FUN. (I didn't notice that the farmhouse was the one from Looper, but I did notice a curious lack of ballistic missiles.)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Watched this and this months before seeing the movie. From how it impressed my friends, I expected it to be more than it was. Still very fun. Animators obviously very proud of all those close-ups showing off Rocket's fur. The low aerial view of planet Xandar reminds me of a similar low aerial view (and similar ground view) used for Caprica in nuBSG, and the low aerial view of planet Morak reminds of a similar low aerial view of Crematoria, from Chronicles of Riddick. Speaking of which, Vin Diesel is once again cast as a man of few words and wooden expressions. Hey! I knew I recognized Nebula's actress! Didn't realize it was Amy Pond, though. Didn't realize the green Orion girl was Uhura, either.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Have a 'Mech: 1st Somerset Strikers LAM


On New Year's I saw that I have an awful lot of BattleTech notes sitting idle on my computer, and so I've decided to clean them out, fill them out, and post them. First up is an LAM.


It's 50 tons, moves 4/6/4 on the ground, 5/8 in space, has two ERLLs, a C3 Master, and fuel is a bit on the low side.

At 1136 words the fluff is right at the limit for TR:3025. I could probably shave a line or two off to fit. Were I writing it for a shorter, 550-750 word entry, I'd probably design a second LAM and split half the fluff out to the new design.

Sorry about the small font in this image, you can find the original HTML here. (When I was replying to comments there, I saw that the smaller font on the "reply to post" screen made my two columns line up miraculously well. I just had to take a screenshot.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

that gum you like is coming back in style

I was hoping that snowlessness would last into January, but I am enjoying how my windows frost over into translucence every day. Time to start wearing sunglasses outdoors again I guess. Wonder if wearing blue-mirrored sunglasses all the time deprives me of vital blue light.

Anyways! I had a ton of forced idle time to kill the last few months. Spent some of it watching TV shows:
  • Doctor Who Season Finale (2014): Unsatisfying. It tugged all the heartstrings it was trying to tug, but filling two whole episodes with crazy plotless wish-fulfillment just grates my nerves. I'm glad the Christmas episode extended the two-parter into a three-parter in exactly the way I expected it to, and the Christmas episode is pretty good overall; but, in my eyes, it's not good enough to redeem the two episodes preceding it. 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season finale (2014): Disappointed. Nice feint with the character death, but the end result is super formulaic. Not to mention the protagonist (who I hadn't previously viewed as a Mary Sue) gets spectacularly more Mary Sue-ish. Also a little bit irritated I couldn't see what happened to Flower Girl. 
  • Farscape (1999-2003): Very good show. Y'know how most sci-fi shows have a single sci-fi gimmick per episode that they spend the episode exploring? Farscape puts two gimmicks into the background for each episode, develops the plot on top of that, and develops character relationships endemically to the plot. It also makes theme an undercurrent to the plot (in stark contrast to this season of Doctor Who, which does the opposite). My only complaint is that in the first season or two, it seems like the protagonist is never wrong, and he often outdoes other characters within their areas of expertise. (Fortunately they lampshade this later on.) Plus: Jim Henson's Creature Company.
  • Once Upon a Time (season 3, 2013-2014): The Neverland season is sooo sloooow. I only got through it by watching at double speed. 
  • Almost Human (2013-2014): Fun. Almost like a police procedural version of Blade Runner. My only complaint is that the Die Hard episode matched Die Hard too closely.
  • The Americans (season 1, 2013): Felicity as a 1980's soviet spy/family drama. I enjoyed it, and am very glad it's getting a third season.