Disappointed by

Currently disappointed by …

Peter Jackson’s first installment of “The Hobbit” movies. In summary: indulgent, over-long and over-the-top.

The whole plot line and pacing seems to have built on the premise that every 15 minutes there needs to be some epic battle/action sequence regardless of whether it exists in the book. This formulaic repetition is not helped by frequent use of tired Hollywood cliches like “the hero dangling over a precipice hanging by the fingertips” or “the heroes falling hundreds of metres down a chasm amongst crashing wooden structures and then getting up with apparently no injuries at all”.

There are many other disappointments with this film, but the one that confirmed in my mind its sub par rating is Rivendell. In the novel Rivendell is a place of joy, peace, healing and friendship from which the dwarves leave “amid songs of farewell and good speed” – the movie portrays Rivendell as a place of suspicion, fear, doubts, and enmity from which the dwarves have to sneak out in secrecy.

I’ll still see parts 2 and 3 when they come out, but sadly I won’t be looking forward to it in the same way I was looking forward to this first movie.

[This content was originally posted to Google+]

iOS 6.0.2

I’ve updated my iPhone 5 to iOS 6.0.2 this afternoon and it has fixed the problem I was having with wifi connectivity at home. Yay. Prior to the update the wifi connection kept dropping out and I kept having to go into settings to re-establish it. Now the connection is rock solid.

I’ve not noticed any increase in battery drain that some users are complaining about after an update to 6.0.2.

[This content was originally posted to Google+]

Popped off

Its not the end of the world, but today was the end of my popcorn popper that I use for roasting coffee. This one lasted pretty well, almost 3 years to the day and it performed 310 roasts, which equates to about 40kg of coffee beans.


[This content was originally posted to Google+]

iTunes smart playlist syncing

I had a problem today with smart playlists in iTunes with multiple rules not syncing properly with my iPhone 5. Thanks to a tip in an Apple forum I found that the problem was fixed by adding the rule “Playlist–Is–Music” to the smart playlist rules. Bizarre and makes no sense, but it fixed the problem.

[This content was originally posted to Google+]

Acrostic poem

A poetical work liberated from the darker recesses of my brain earlier today …

Acrostic poems are hard to write
Burns up all my mental might
Can’t you see I’m working on it?
Don’t you diss my puny sonnet
Every effort expended, makes me a wreck
Forward I go on my acrostic trek
Gallantly going where no one has gone
Hoping I have the strength to go on
I implore you to consider the worth of my work
Judge carefully whether I be genius or jerk
Knowing not the terminus of my literary stand
Long will I labour in this lettered land
My mind meanders, my strength now wanes
Now waxes and rises, gathers and gains
Oft in this ode, as the lines I count up
Perils and problems just seem to mount up
Quite likely some quicksand will cause me to quit
Really I wonder why I’m attempting it
Sometimes I shrink at the size of my task
Twenty six letters is a mighty big ask
Undaunted I strive to alphabetic renown
Vying for victory and a poetic crown
Wait! Is woe ahead? Will my way meet ill fate?
X words are extraordinarily hard to locate!
Yet here I now am on the penultimate line
Zero to go after this one last rhyme!

[This content was originally posted to Google+]

Only the bets

It’s approaching the end of the school year and its report card time.

I’m giving Heaton Public School at Jesmond an “F” in the subject area of social responsibility. For the second year in a row, in an end of year fundraiser, not content with one level of gambling (a raffle) they’ve nested it to two levels of gambling, by having a raffle whose prize is a tree of instant lottery tickets – a product that cannot legally be sold to minors.

The school should seriously consider changing its motto from “Only the Best” to “Only the Bets”.


[This content was originally posted to Google+]