Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Still No Power

We live in Newton Center and we've been without power since 11am on Sunday, May 28th. Let me know if you hear somebody say that the pre-Irene warnings were all "hype" - I will track them down and throw them into the prison that is my house. Not only have we lost a certain amount of food, feeding a family of 5 is tough in this semi-kosher accessed place. I'm writing this in a "Panera" and I'm surrounded by other families without power, but they can bring their kids here to eat, we can't.

We're naturally out of hot water as well, and since I have a Motorola Droid phone - known by cognoscenti as a hunk of crap in a plastic case - my phone batteries have been burnt out. This was already after the phone became impossible to directly recharge because the silly little prongs in the recharge port became slightly bent. When that happens, a few cents of breakage, renders the hundreds of dollars phone useless.

Our power-company, NStar, is ignoring their customers, as far as I can tell. We're not even told when we will be scheduled to be visited by a friendly crew. I'd switch companies, but as far as I know they have a government mandated monopoly of my neighborhood.

My kids are doing a decent job in handling this stuff, but there's just so much three kids under 7 can understand.

The only silver lining in this lovely episode is that I can use the experience to convince my family, or anyone I know, to never ever go camping. Because everything I'm suffering through right now is what 'camping' people endure on purpose.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life on Mars (US TV Series) - Wow

I just saw the whole run of Life on Mars - an absolutely awesome, yet doomed, sci-fi TV series. They canceled it after 17 episodes, but with enough time to allow a real finale. So, unlike it's kindred brother "Firefly," the story actually ends.

It's probable that you, no matter who you are, won't be affected in the same way that I am by the awesomeness of this TV show. You need to be equally obsessed with (a) 70s music, (b) 1973, (c) New York City, (d) red-headed boys who look like me (and my sons), (e) and time-travel stories that are also 70s cop shows.

The premise is that our hero is a cop in 2008 who after an accident wakes up as the same person in 1973. He meets his father and mother and other mentors when they are the same age as he was in '08. While the show depicts the drama of his home life, and his attempts to help out his mother and young self, the main greatness of the show comes from the depiction of policing, and NYC, in the early 70s - when cops were sexist, racist, and brutal. And so was the city.

The reason why cop shows were much better in the 70s is because the crime in NYC was insanely high. When Law & Order has a murder a week, they are inflating the crime statistics by like 800% - not so in 1973. Also, the music was so much better. When you see a leather jacketed, mustachioed, long haired cop striding around with a long rifle and snub-nosed pistol, there MUST be a funky bassline with a wa-wa pedal. See here for the visuals.

There's also the struggle the hero has in dealing with communications from the future, and what is possibly an attempt to remove him from life-support and other mysteries. Which makes the drama multi-leveled.

It's written very well and has an amazing cast of some of the best in Hollywood: Gretchen Mol, Michael Imperioli and the incomparable Harvey Keitel.

Naturally, it was canceled. Maybe it's for the best - the quality stayed great for the entire, short, run. Wow.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

GOP Nominee Predictions

According to the Times Pawlenty Drops Out of Republican Race. With Pawlenty gone, that means there's only one sane candidate in the race: Huntsman. However, the GOP is currently more insane than I've ever seen them. This is the crazy of Hoover + Nixon + McCarthy all rolled into one. Which means that the nominee is going to be Perry, Governor of Texas.

If you see the list of nominees, there's only 3 who had any chance: Romney, Perry and Huntsman. Bachmann is nuttier than peanut-brittle and while she's much smarter, and more articulate, than her alter-ego in dangerous psychosis - Sarah Palin - Bachmann is also a member of the House of Representatives. It's almost as laughable as being a mayor. And let's just forget Ron Paul for the rest of history, please? At best, he'll be another Perot (Texas breeds funny looking, creepy third party cranks).

So, this leaves the three governors, 2 of whom are Mormons - and both of those are tainted by rationality and good politics. Which leaves the mouth-breathing Perry. Here's a good primer about the presumptive nominee.