Things Were Looking Up

Things Were Looking Up

The Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix. A familiar local landmark originally opened as a Hotel in 1928. The tower mast added in 1949 to broadcast Phoenix's first television station. These days, after undergoing restoration, the building serves as residential space.

I've always loved the architecture and have shot it quite a few times. This particular one taken of its backside after wandering down a dodgy alley on a photo walk in 100° heat.

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On Reeder

What happened was, I read an article about Reeder and remembered how much I loved it. You may recall a couple years ago I decided to go solo with Tiny Tiny RSS. And it was mostly fine, just not great.

So I changed things up today. I'm back to using Reeder full time, with iCloud sync, and it really is great.

Except for one thing. Where is everybody?

It's only when you import your ancient OPML file from the olden times that you realize just how many great bloggers there were. And how few still remain. Man, I really miss blogging. I hope independent publishing comes back in fashion some day.

I guess I'm just old.

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Two Paddocks

What happened was, I learned Sam Neill owns a winery. And not just that, a purveyor of Pinot Noir, my favorite tipple.

The vines at actor Sam Neill’s original, organically farmed vineyard in Gibbston Valley are now over 25 years old, and the resulting wines are better than ever. The color of raspberry juice, this vintage is, to put it bluntly, sexy as hell.

I do like wines that are sexy as hell.

I've not been able to find it sold locally but they ship worldwide. I priced out a single bottle; $225 to ship to the USA from New Zealand 😳

The adventure continues then. Look for anywhere in the US that imports it. Or the real answer, take a holiday to New Zealand and pick up a couple bottles in person.

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All The Predators

What happened was, inspired by the recent watching of Prey, we were talking about Predator movies at work. And so begins the team watch of all of them in order. I'm this far in:

Predator
Predator 2
Alien vs Predator
Aliens vs Predator Requiem

Thus far they have gotten progressively less good as they go. But still all entertaining nonetheless.

Three left to go, one I've not seen before (Predators), the likely worst one of them all (The Predator), and then ending on a high note with Prey.

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Abnormal Boss Pour

Kevin, what is your favorite beer these days, you didn't ask.

I'll tell you, it's Abnormal's Boss Pour.

Do you feel like a boss?! You will when you crack open our flagship San Diego IPA, Boss Pour. A soft bitterness from the Nugget and Cascade hops make this is a classic IPA. The addition of the aromatic Mosaic and Citra hops lend grapefruit and tropical citrus notes. The Simcoe hop adds a piney touch finished with American 2-row and English specialty base malts.

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Crickets

What happened was, a cricket got into a vent pipe on our roof. And is now stuck somewhere in the ceiling of the bathroom around the extractor fan. Which is about as fun as it sounds. So loud for one so smorl Mr Cricket.

Options: (a) move (b) take apart extractor fan housing and try to rescue the bugger (c) wait it out because how long could he last?

We're on day three.

UPDATE: well, bless him, he lasted another two days. That sound we hear is NO MORE CRICKET. Glorious.

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Media I've Not Liked So Much July 2022 Edition

The other week I mentioned a series of three catch up posts of TV watched of late that I've loved, liked, and … not liked so much.

This is the third in that series. The ones I wasn't quite as enamored with. Disappointed even? You may have liked some of these, and I don't mean to yuck all over your yum, they just weren't all that satisfying.

Also, here be possible spoilers. So, SPOILER ALERT.

Invasion. The trailer for this alien invasion survival story on Apple TV+ looked fantastic. Sam Neill is in it! And he was in it for exactly the first episode. And we never return back to any of the characters/setting and it's never mentioned again. Ok, interesting choice, but maybe the rest of the season bears fruit? It does not. Meandering plot, unlikable characters, lackluster dialogue, huge budget that was spent where exactly? For a show that promised much, it didn't deliver. I don't think I'll be watching season two.

The Book Of Boba Fett. I mean, they can't all be "the best star wars tv show ever" can they? And this proves that rule. What a confusing season this was. In Star Wars fandom, Boba Fett is quite the cult figure. Over the years we've heard rumors of a standalone movie but nothing ever happened. His surprise re-introduction to the Star Wars Universe in The Mandalorian was pretty great. So when they announced he was getting his own show I thought we had another winner on our hands. But… the way his character was written, crime boss who needs to protect "his people". But there wasn't a lot of crime, or bossing, or any real explanation of his motives or why they're his people. And nothing really happens. And then the show morphed into a couple episodes of The Mandalorian season three because reasons. And at least those were good. Quite why "here, let us remind you of a vastly better show" seemed like a good idea to the showrunners I've no idea.

Star Trek Discovery. I really liked the first two seasons. Modern Star Trek, with a large budget, Jason Isaacs! Then Anson Mount and Ethan Peck. Great stuff. Then season three happened and there was just something about it that wasn't working for me. And then in the end, well, the "big bad" and explanation for everything was a bit of a let down let's be honest. Maybe season four will be better? I got maybe 2 episodes in before deciding this really wasn't my cup of tea.

(Speaking of Anson Mount and Ethan Peck, what is my cup of tea is Star Trek Strange New Worlds which was utterly fantastic – more on that in another post)

Star Trek Picard. So in season one they got the band back together. Sort of. And of course there was lots of nostalgia here. Patrick Stewart I could watch for days on end, in fact just let him read the phone book (kids, ask your parents what that is). Jeri Ryan also great, because well, Jeri Ryan. Was super excited about season two. And it started with promise, Q, the Borg Queen, Brent Spiner. But somewhere in the middle it meandered and never quite got back on track. Next year's season three I see they really are getting the full band back together, so of course I'll watch it.

Fear The Walking Dead. A show with lots of promise at the beginning. The Walking Dead but let's see more of the actual collapse of society at the start of the apocalypse. And it delivered. In fact it delivered for three seasons. Season three perhaps up there with the best Walking Dead content. Then they threw the baby out with the bathwater. And what has happened for the next four seasons is quite the roller-coaster ride of quality. I stuck with it because lots of time invested in The Walking Dead universe – and I want to see how it all ends. Season seven of this show has proven to be the breaking point though, I couldn't even get through it. Terrible writing, what appears to be a huge drop in budget, terrible effects and poor sets. What a shame.

Other posts in this series:

Part one: Media I've Loved July 2022 Edition
Part two: Media I've Liked July 2022 Edition

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Media I've Liked July 2022 Edition

The other week I mentioned a series of three catch up posts of TV watched of late that I've loved, liked, and … not liked so much.

This is the second in that series, the liked post. Shows certainly worth your time if you need something new to watch.

Foundation. I read the Asimov books when I was young and don't remember a lot about them if I'm honest. So went into this show with no expectations and turned out it's a pretty good sci-fi tale. I've since read they pretty much ignored the books and made their own thing. The Empire plot by far the more interesting, Lee Pace should just be in everything.

Hawkeye. After being very pleasantly surprised by how good Wandavision and Loki turned out, I was optimistic about the third Marvel live action TV show. Now, if you'd asked me watching The Avengers movies if I wanted to see more standalone Clint Barton content, I wouldn't have necessarily said yes. But this was a lot of fun. Hailee Steinfeld and Alaqua Cox were both great in this. And bonus Christmas Island by Depeche Mode!

After Life. I follow Ricky Gervais on Twitter so had heard about this show, but it wasn't until earlier this year that my wife and I decided to watch it one evening. We were hooked instantly. Superb writing – how a sad subject can be made both heartwarming and hilarious was a master stroke.

Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hello there. This was really good. A little meandering in the middle but, as they say, they stuck the landing. Spoiler alert: relieved it wasn't all set on Tattooine – to be honest I don't really need to see that planet ever again (there are other planets Lucasfilm).

Vigil. Heard this one recommended on a podcast and thought a murder mystery set in Scotland on a British Nuclear Submarine sounded interesting. And it was excellent.

Other posts in this series:

Part one: Media I've Loved July 2022 Edition
Part three: Media I've Not Liked So Much July 2022 Edition

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