Wednesday Weather

Feb. 22nd, 2017 10:01 pm
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[personal profile] lurkingcat
The car went in for its MOT yesterday and while it passed, it did need some work doing to it that required an overnight stay. Which is why [personal profile] battlehamster was walking down the Bath Road this afternoon instead of being safely tucked up at his desk in the study... just as a very large tree toppled over in the incoming winds from Storm Doris. It managed to hit one car and one pedestrian but fortunately for everyone there was a solid concrete wall in it's path so it kind of bounced and didn't come to rest on either of them. Emergency services were called, the pedestrian who'd been hit was able to walk to the ambulance, the driver of the car was okay even if his car wasn't and the only serious casualty (aside from the tree) was the rush hour traffic.

And I still have a [personal profile] battlehamster who is in one piece because he wasn't quite in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which is the most important thing from my point of view.

Storm Doris isn't officially here yet, despite all the strong winds, so I suspect that the walk into work tomorrow is going to be more exciting than I'd like it to be. Special Agent Kheldar reports that it is raining lightly and that he is cancelling the rest of his patrols today because it is Bad And Wrong out there. He is currently tucked up in his new favourite place under my dressing table.

Catching Things

Feb. 18th, 2017 09:52 pm
lurkingcat: (Feeling sick)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
Kheldar would very much like me to stop sneezing. It is disrupting his naps and he needs to be well rested if he's going to patrol properly.

I would very much like to stop sneezing too. Or for breathing to be optional because that's really hard work right now. I have a rotten cold and it is bad enough to make me feel very sorry for myself and juuuust on the borderline of not bad enough to take a sick day. Particularly since both Team Leader and Manager have been on holiday this week.

Other things I have caught in the last couple of days are a lot of new-to-me Pokémon. The world is full of new and exciting silhouettes and encounters of the what-on-earth-is-that variety. Swinubs are clearly the new Pidgeys around these parts. I've caught so many since Friday morning that I have enough candy to evolve two of them. I'd like to take a nice long walk and see what else I can find but I need to get this breathing thing sorted out first. And since the only things that I've achieved today have been getting out of bed to go and have coffee, coming home and remembering to dye my hair, and dozing in between the sneezing I think it's safe to say that a long walk is not going to be happening this weekend...

ReMac

Feb. 16th, 2017 04:37 pm
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[personal profile] ankaret
The original MacGyver series was a dopey, often cringeworthily earnest, and in its early series painfully low-budget show which was kept afloat by the charm of Richard Dean Anderson as the good-guy hero with a very 80s set of quirks (he had a habit of contriving solutions from whatever was at hand with the help of his trusty Swiss Army knife, he didn't like guns, he was a non-drinker and liked health food, he hated his first name of Angus and never used it, and he was endearingly fannish about ice hockey) and the cheery rapport between him and Dana Elcar, who played his boss and best friend Pete Thornton. Every week Mac was accompanied by a sidekick or two, often Pete, but sometimes an attractive lady or some young offenders or a nun, and on red-letter days Mac's old friend Jack Dalton, a boozy, lying compulsive plot-thickener played with a twinkle in his eye and an outrageous moustache on his face by Bruce McGill. Everyone from Mayim Bialik to Cuba Gooding Jr to Brian Blessed showed up as a guest star at one time or another, and there was an attempt in the final series to introduce a spin-off about a family of African American bounty hunters who had all met Mac at one time or other (and usually worked with him as equals or rescued him from trouble, rather than it being a parade of What These People Need Is A Honky), though nothing came of it.

Mac had terrible luck with relationships. He didn't have much trouble attracting women, but once he settled down with them they invariably turned out to be Russian spies or dog-murdering hired assassins or both at once, or, in the case of Terri Hatcher's splendid comic turn as Penny Parker, too ditzy even for a legendarily even-tempered polymath to put up with. At the beginning of season 3 the great lost love of his life showed up back from the dead, played by Elyssa Davalos with long hair, and died again dramatically in his arms after thinking better of betraying him to the Russians. A couple of episodes later Elyssa Davalos showed up again, this time with a short 80s perm, and playing a lady called Nikki Carpenter whose main personality trait was wearing shoulderpads, and for some reason Mac never noticed the resemblance.

The show was frequently very daft indeed (the use of stock footage in the first series springs to mind, as does the preachiness that showed up later on when Mac more or less gave up secret agenting to become a youth worker) but it stuck to its basic gimmick, which was that it was a silly show about smart people.

The remake, by contrast, is a show about smart people written by and for stupid people. Lucas Till looks conspicuously ill-at-ease as Mac from the moment that he introduces himself with 'My name is Angus MacGyver'. Nikki Carpenter is reinvented in the form of Tracy Spiridakos, who I watched turn from 'whiny teen' to 'fucked-up badass' on Revolution, and goes through the whole back-from-the-dead-and-turned-evil routine in the first twenty minutes. Pete Thornton, portly bald middle-aged man, is now Patricia Thornton, thin, elegant Asian lady. I had been kind of hoping for a sympathetic fat character, but I'll take it. Bizarrely, Mac has a fast-talking African American roommate who doesn't know what Mac does for a living. This seems like a distinct step backwards as far as inclusive casting goes. There is an ex-con hacker lady who hasn't had much to do so far but annoy Peter by spouting bad technobabble.

The pilot is full of explosions and short on humour. I can deal with that. Pilots are often a bit odd compared to later shows. But what I can't get behind is that Jack Dalton is now Mac's reliable sidekick, an ageing dudebro with a fondness for muscle shirts.

Jack. Dalton. Is. Reliable. This is a bit like remaking Star Wars, and casting Princess Leia as a swooning damsel. No, it's like remaking Star Wars, and turning the Millennium Falcon into a pair of slippers.

Richard Dean Anderson refused a bit part in the remake, and I can see why.
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
...quite like a cantankerous Keeper of Secrets, right? ♥

2017-02-14_09-43-52

(no subject)

Feb. 13th, 2017 04:00 pm
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[personal profile] lurkingcat
Freezing cold and damp weekend? My rose bush laughs in the face of a dreary Bristol February:

IMG_5563

To be fair, the sun is out today and the temperature has gone up a little so maybe the rose bush is on to something. It's still the only plant in the garden that is sprouting though.

A Day In The Life

Feb. 11th, 2017 10:09 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
It snowed this morning. Or at least snow fell from the sky, hit the ground and promptly melted. Kheldar was nevertheless disgruntled about the whole business and woke his humans up to find out what they were going to do about it. His humans duly got up and went out for coffee and by the time they came back the snow had stopped, so it's possible that he counts that as a success.

IMG_5560

This afternoon he was woken from his nap by a lot of squawking and screeching outside. He dutifully got up and trotted outside to investigate. Fortunately for everyone concerned the two dozen or so seagulls that were responsible for the racket were too far above the house to count as threatening his territory. He stared at them very hard for a couple of minutes to make sure that they knew that area was guarded and they circled off further down the hill. Another success!

Now if he could only work out how to stop his humans making a racket with the vacuum cleaner...

Character Creation Woes

Feb. 10th, 2017 10:33 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
Things that I have a weird mental block about learning: algebra, roleplaying systems.

Fortunately no one has suggested that I might want to play a maths based roleplaying game. So far. But I'm currently staring at 762 pages of rulebook for a Werewolf LRP and wondering whether alcohol is going to help or hinder at this stage. Can I declare my character archetype is whiskey? Is there a nice cross-referencing chart for the whole gifts/breed/auspices thing? Background-what-now?

[personal profile] battlehamster made a valiant attempt to explain it over dinner. Eventually he came to the conclusion that I have a very back-to-front approach to character creation. He's not entirely wrong. I think the problem is that I do roleplaying character creation in the same way that I do writing. I'm a pantser, not a plotter. I generally work out who my character is (beyond the basics of Cleric, Orc, a bit on the short side) as I'm going along.

This generally works out fine in a table top D&D game. It doesn't really work at all for LRP because the refs are dealing with a much larger number of players and need to have a reasonable idea about who the character is when they start. I should probably get some sleep and have another go at it in the morning. Kheldar's opinion of the matter is that I should stop typing and play with him instead. I'm not sure how he's going to feel about his humans pretending to be werewolves instead of something more reasonable like weretigers.

Work, Work, Pokéball

Feb. 9th, 2017 09:50 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
We had the official Apprenticeship grand opening of our new site in Bristol on Tuesday. Which was a little belated as we've been there since the week before Christmas. But assorted local dignitaries and sales opportunities interested business people turned up and it has been declared a roaring success. So much noise. So many people. I'm declaring it a personal success though because there were no technical failures with the projector at the assorted presentations and I managed to avoid being in the photo. Workplace ninja skills. It's a thing.

Today the fire alarm went off. It turned out not to be a fault or a false alarm but a microwave that had burst into flames on the third floor. No one was hurt and it was a very small blaze that was quickly put out. Also we managed to evacuate the building more quickly than we did during the drill just before Christmas. With seventeen floors and more than seventeen companies in there a fire evacuation isn't the easiest thing to manage so it's nice to know that we can all do it. And that all the emergency door releases really do work.

Meanwhile Kheldar has discovered the Pokéball and decided that it is his. He's taken to strolling into the study, hopping up onto my desk, knocking it off the desk and chasing it around. Possibly he's trying to find out if it contains the Weedle that he caught last summer. He's going to be very disappointed.

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Lost In Navir

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