John Rain

Babysitting Day 1

In an act of unimaginable selflessness, I agreed to fly to a different town to babysit my 10- and 14-year-old nephews for 15 days while my sister and her husband, their lucky parents, make their first-ever trip to Europe.

Is this an adjustment? I have no kids and I live alone. Oh, did I mention there are 3 dogs as well?

We got the 'rents off on their flight this afternoon, so now the adventure begins. I admit to some trepidation about keeping it all straight and getting it all done -- the house rules, the baseball games, the cooking and laundry, the early rising for school (6:30 am, seriously?). They are good boys, even if the rough-housing occasionally ends in tears. Occasionally? ha.

What I didn't expect was to feel a tad lonely! The boys are quite self-sufficient and would rather visit friends and play X-Box than hang out with their old auntie. On the other hand, they have HBO on demand and I've already started S3 of Game of Thrones. No more waiting for Netflix!

Wish me luck. :)

Breaking Bad actress writes NYTimes OpEd about hatred of her character

Wow, this is quite interesting:

It's by Anna Gunn, who plays Skyler White on Breaking Bad. She talks about the massive on-line hatred against her character, and ultimately, herself. She plays the wife of the main character, who is shocked to find out he's gone from teacher to meth mastermind... Much of the arc of the show is about how she is inevitably drawn into his web of crime, unable to get away yet opposing him and putting her children ahead of either of them.

I love BB but I've remained purposely away from its on-line fandom. I just wanted to enjoy the show on my own and with my RL friends. So I was surprised to read the OpEd, but really I guess not. It's just another example of how a fandom can hate on female characters who dare oppose the male protagonist, no matter how insanely bad that protagonist is. Better Draper and Carmela Soprano are presented as other examples.

Also fascinating, while most of the comments to the article decry what has happened to Anna, others try to 'explain' the hatred and deny sexism is part of it. Seriously?

If you're a BB fan, it's an interesting read, and of course I'd be interested in your reaction to the OpEd!
John Rain

Naked and Afraid?

There was a fun hallway conversation at work today about the new reality show "Naked and Afraid", which is just as the title implies -- 1 woman, 1 man, strangers to each other and experienced in survival, living for 21 days in a wilderness with nothing, not even clothes. Well, they each get 1 tool, but seriously... how about walking across an African landscape full of 4-inch thorns with no shoes?

My main observations are a) They all starve. It's virtually impossible to find even 1/10 the normal amount of food. b) The men are by far the bigger whiners. The women suffer, but they persevere, and they get sh*t done. c) I could never do it. I'd bail after 2 days at most.

It's a guilty pleasure at best. Has anyone else watched, and what do you think?

Oh, maybe it's a bit faked -- shocker!
John Rain

A month of journaling

Is this thing on? I think it's been nearly 2 years since I posted to my own journal, how pitiful. astolat and cesperanza are encouraging a retro journaling challenge. So I can blame them for adding boring electrons to the universe. What a relief.

I still like LJ very much, and I comment regularly. I don't get tumblr other than for eye candy, which I very much appreciate. What else is it for, really? I can't tell when it's cool to add a comment to someone's post. You see thousands of likes/reblogs with nary a comment to add to the discussion. Odd.

In happier news I found a php bug in a wordpress gallery plug-in that was affecting the Stargate Solutions site. It was accepted by the developers and will be in the next release. It's funny, I've written code that's used in air traffic control facilities, but I'm quite proud of my 1-line wordpress plug-in fix because it helped a bunch of regular people who were very frustrated.

I'm watching Longmire. It's cool, but sort of weird.
Daniel Yes Really

Arctic Blast is streaming on Netflix!

Maybe everyone already knew, but Michael Shanks's Arctic Blast is streaming on Netflix. It's not on DVD yet, but you can watch it instantly, which really is even better. Watching it now, and it's not as bad as Michael has joked, eg calling it "Arctic Ass Blast" and the like. The production values are way better than a typical Syfy Saturday movie, and it's wall-to-wall Michael! The plot is ridiculous, but that's not why I'm watching. It's got lovely scenery of Hobart, Oz... and wall-to-wall Michael. :)
Daniel Pissed

(no subject)

Has everyone heard already about the Marie Claire blogger fiasco? Their "dating" blogger Maura Kelly (no idea who she is) posted a diatribe against fat people on TV, including the gem that she can't stand to see a heavy person walk across a room, much less make out with someone. Nice eh? Well, 2400 comments, one non-apology, and countless news stories later, the shit storm shows no signs of abating.

If you enjoy watching a train wreck, her post, apology, and comments are here:

Just google any of those words to see all the coverage of it. Marie Claire said they got 20,000 emails in the day following, many canceling their subscriptions.

What amazes me most is how vapid this blogger is, and how poor a writer (to wit, she uses heroine when she means heroin, to hilarious effect). A more recent entry has her going on about how she made herself read a Jane Austen novel, in spite of knowing Austen is over-rated, and how it wasn't that bad after all. She also graced the internetz with a few "insights" about the book. OMFG! How did she even graduate from high school?? Sadly some of the commenters take her side, but most blast her with far more IQ points than she displays.

So yeah, I wasn't insulted by her post, because I find her unintentionally hilarious. However if anti-overweight harangues are triggering to you, don't read...

Amazing analysis/review of SGU

As linked over on TWOP, there's a quite amazing new analysis and review of Stargate Universe and how it compares to SG-1 and SGA, over here. It really resonated with me at least, only in way more intelligent and literary prose than I could ever have put in writing. Here's a key point to me, when comparing SGU to SG-1 and SGA:

The question one must ask, when confronted with the Stargate franchise's makeover, is: once you strip away the new tropes, the shift in appearance, the move towards soapy personal stories, is the writing there?  Are the Stargate writers hacks, or competent writers who pretended to be hacks in order to make a buck, or hacks who only think they were pretending?

I think she answers those questions quite forcefully. If I were one of the SG writers and read this, I'd feel completely exposed on a psychic level, ha. As a Stargate fan, I want them to read it and see what the heck many of us were trying to say.

Of course given the premiere ratings I don't believe we'll be arguing about SGU this time next year...
David Hewlett Headshot

A fan went to David Hewlett's house??

Based on his twitters tonight, it seems some fan(s) showed up at his house unannounced today, before he and Jane went to the movies. He said this:

My FRIENDS don't drop by the house unannounced SO NOT the thing for fans to do! Yikes!

Then when someone suggested he get a moat, he said:

big dog works too!

I hope David didn't even answer the door, and that whoever did that realizes they stepped over a line, big-time. Even if he and many others are twittering their daily lives, doesn't mean they want us in them for real. Geez.