Twenty-two microblogging bits from ActivityPub. The one where I talk too much on my day off.

Microblogging Journal through 7/8/2024

2,032 words.

Microblogging Journal through 7/8/2024

Dispatches from @ultrviolet@gts.endgameviable.com:

Monday 07/01

  • 20:57 # Since I’ve been listening to audiobooks lately, I randomly wondered if there were audiobook versions of some Jack L. Chalker pulpish sci fi book series I read in my 20s that I never finished and always wanted to finish. Turns out there are. The first one I got was Midnight at the Well of Souls. It wasn’t very good, I didn’t remember any of it, and wondered what I ever saw in it. It’s read by a narrator with such a deep resonant voice you can hear their vocal folds rattling. Turns out it wasn’t the right book. The one I wanted was the Demons at Rainbow Bridge and the Quintara Marathon series, which does NOT have an audiobook version. Bleh. (The other was the Four Lords of the Diamond series, which has a better narrator imo.)

    • 21:05 # The Quintara Marathon series not only doesn’t have an audiobook, it also doesn’t seem to have an ebook version either. Old school.

Tuesday 07/02

  • 22:07 # While I’m perusing lists of old sci-fi books I loved in my youth, a seemingly impossible decision has come before me: Do I get the Stainless Steel Rat books in audiobook form or kindle form? Or both?? The audiobook narrator is receiving good reviews but the preview sample doesn’t seem that great to me. The dude doesn’t quite capture the Harrison brand of sharp narrative wit and absurdist satire that I remember so well.

  • 22:14 # By the way, I don’t know why I once liked Lillith: A Snake in the Grass by Jack L. Chalker, the first of the Four Lords of the Diamond series. The audiobook is fairly well read by Kirby Heyborne but the story is pretty meh. I remember it being a lot less meh. The idea is cool but it’s just … meh. I used to more tolerant of meh stories in my youth I guess.

Wednesday 07/03

  • 22:11 # Wait what? Assassin’s Creed Mirage is only on Epic and NOT on Steam? Is this … a paradigm shift? A sea change? A new era? The end of an era? The new normal? A turning of the tide? A game changer? Flipping the script? Shifting gears? A new ballgame? Breaking the mold? Blowing the lid off? Changing the landscape? A new leaf? A hard 180?

Thursday 07/04

  • 09:11 # I had an amusing thought last night that nobody will find amusing. So I was perusing bestseller lists on audible and I found Sarah J. Mass occupies roughly 19 of the top 20 spots on the sff list, someone I had never heard of before. She does those A Noun of Noun and Noun books which I have seen on audible recommendations. I haven’t read any yet. Anyway I was curious where she came from, since she seems to be very well liked, so I read her wikipedia page and it turns out her books are retellings of fairy tales. “Cinderella except she’s an assassin.” Yada yada. There’s a long tradition of that kind of book in sff. “It’s this well-known thing except with a twist.” Pride and Prejudice with Magic/Zombies/etc. was a big one. Anyway my amusing thought was … that’s basically what AI does. Read a thing and alter it to make a new thing. You’d think modern authors would be more supportive of it! Har har. My ability to find the commonality between two completely unrelated things in a satiric way seemingly knows no bounds.

    • 09:12 # Long post. Arg I even shortened that to try to avoid the dreaded “long post” tag.
  • 09:41 # I was despairing of what to do on this day off and then I remembered I could watch UK election results but then I find out the polls don’t close until 10 pm which is 6 pm my time so I still have to think of something to do. (There does still seem to be continuing coverage of the elections despite not having anything to report… the usual thing where they report on how the elections actually work and what happens at polling places, for the 75% of any democratic population who doesn’t actually know how their government works, and for me, in a different country.)

    • 09:50 # This is the coverage I’m seeing at this moment on the BBC election feed: Pictures of dogs at polling places, shots of various politicians going in and out of polling places, interspersed with pre-recorded packages explaining the election process. Apparently valid voter ID is new in the UK. (It’s been a thing where I live for some time.) Ah now there’s an interview of some of the presenters who are going to cover the election results and how they prepare for tonight.

    • 09:56 # They seem to have picked up the US media’s habit of trying to paint the election results as a horse race where nobody could possibly know the results and anything could happen and you’d better stay tuned for the live results so you don’t miss anything and blah blah blah. (Meanwhile, the one and only thing I know about the UK elections is that everybody has known who’s going to win for a long time.)

  • 11:58 # Okay so lacking any better ideas I decided to watch a movie. I picked the first one I saw on Prime, which was The Beekeeper, a Jason Statham flick. I watched the entire thing from beginning to end. It’s a “flick,” not a movie or a film. Incidentally, this is the first Jason Statham flick I’ve ever seen. It’s not that I’ve been avoiding his movies, it’s just that I’ve never seen a trailer or description of one that looked interesting. I can’t wait to now go see what the Rotten Tomatoes score for this flick is.

    • 12:04 # Omg lol. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score for The Beekeeper is 92%. NINETY- TWO PERCENT. Even the critic score is 71%. This explains a lot about why I never see any modern movies that look promising. We folks in the older generations have this thing where we expect movies to be made in a way that it appears someone–anyone–involved in the production cared about what they were making. We’re weird I guess. Anyway, every aspect of this movie was terrible. Acting, writing, story, visual effects, stunts, everything. It could have been a parody. In fact, I laughed a number of times. So I guess it was fun to watch in that sense.

    • 12:09 # I have this feeling when I watch modern movies like The Beekeeper that script writers have no life experience except the extremely warped and distorted life they’ve seen on Twitter. The dialog from modern script writers always seems like it’s either copied from Twitter or written in the style of tweets. The stories are these outrageously exaggerated viewpoints of life in the extremes that doesn’t really exist in real life. It’s one of my current working sociological theories–an entire generation of humans now believes real life is what is seen through the prism of social media.

  • 12:32 # I may have mentioned this before but in case I forgot: I watched a movie on Netflix a while back called Leave the World Behind. I liked it, mostly. It was better than The Beekeeper, but it also had a “life through the prism of Twitter” vibe to it and I found myself wondering who is out there in the world thinking it’s believable that a cyber attack is going to cause deer to magically start bullying humans overnight or that magic tick bites or magic sonic weapons somehow cause teeth to fall out (or even that it’s a normal thing to walk around in the woods during summer with shorts and sandals on for god’s sake). It’s a serious question I ponder sometimes. Who doesn’t know extremely basic survival stuff like that? People who live on Twitter, that’s who. It’s not exactly hardcore survivalist mentality stuff to know that ticks live in the woods.

  • 12:35 # By the way, yes, I will continue to call it Twitter for the foreseeable future.

  • 16:02 # On what is now being dubbed by at least one person as “unofficial movie day,” I have just finally watched No Time To Die. This was actually a movie, not a flick. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a film (films > movies > flicks). In any case it’s in a very different category from The Beekeeper. It appeared that the people who made No Time To Die took their jobs seriously, for example. It’s clear that’s not what movie-going audiences want, though, because the Rotten Tomatoes audience score was 88%, a full four points below The Beekeeper, which, as a gentle reminder, was pretty much garbage. No Time To Die was not garbage, but it also wasn’t fantastic, either. I’d say slightly above-average mediocrity. For some reason the Daniel Craig era of Bond movies just aren’t very energetic. I guess they ceded the whole “exciting stunts” thing to the Mission Impossible franchise.

  • 18:00 # If I don’t see someone like a John King or Steve Kornacki breathlessly crunching demographic numbers that change in realtime on a giant touch screen during UK election coverage tonight, then I’m sorry to say I’ll have to submit my review that our friends across the pond are still far behind US standards in election coverage entertainment television.

  • 18:33 # Well BBC election coverage is fairly insufferable because they keep putting party officials on and asking them super dumb gotcha questions, and also everybody knows the results already anyway, so I guess I have to find another movie to watch.

  • 22:46 # To round out the unofficial movie day report, I selected The Wall (the 2017 war one, not the Pink Floyd one) to watch before UK election coverage began, because it was only a 1 hr 25 min movie and that was roughly the amount of time I needed to kill. It was kind of amazing that they stretched that movie out to fill that amount of time. It was an interesting idea but it would have been better in a 30 minute running time. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score is 42%, which is a little harsh, but not entirely unjustified.

  • 22:57 # And after I gave up on UK election coverage, I landed on the film Asteroid City. Asteroid City is a film, not a movie or a flick. A film is defined as a movie that only the creator of the movie wants to see, but as a side effect, audiences might also find it entertaining. I personally found it highly entertaining, in the sense that I had no idea what was happening in front of my eyes and I could not possibly explain the narrative, but I couldn’t look away from it, because it was so different from anything I’d ever seen before, and seemed like an amazing technical achievement, though I’m not sure I could fully explain why. In that regard, it was a triumph of modern cinema, when compared to, say, The Beekeeper. Rotten Tomatoes audiences gave the so-called triumph of modern cinema a 62%, which is pretty much the depressing truth about audiences, who clearly prefer flicks like The Beekeeper to films like Asteroid City.

Friday 07/05

  • 22:57 # Oh hey I finally got to the credits in Lords of the Fallen. Not much of a secret, just persisted long enough to have randomly not been killed by all Adyr’s random fireballs from random directions.

Sunday 07/07

  • 15:18 # Yay I felled a boss in the Elden Ring DLC, the Demi-Human Swordmaster Onze. It was the second boss I encountered in the DLC. It was one of the easiest bosses in the entire game. It was easier than many of the regular enemy encounters. It was shockingly easy. Absurdly easy. I literally just stood next to it and hit it until it died. It was an astonishing contrast to the first boss I encountered in the DLC, at the Western Nameless Mausoleum, which murdered me repeatedly to the point that I gave up on it and left it.

Hey look, I added comments again, because it was easy and free. I don't recommend writing anything that you don't want to lose, because I don't know anything about the stability of this platform.