Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Closing tabs

Broken link checker. For, you know, checking broken links on a website.

i09's 10 best and worst sci-fi/fantasy of 2015. No I don't agree with all the choices but I actually haven't seen any of the "worst".

I can't find any real reviews on the Beauchat Baltik Dry suit. At $700 the price is certainly reasonable. But I have no idea.

Bulk rename utility for Windows. It's got a hostile interface but sometimes that's just what you need because otherwise how would it work?

Ecco Track 6 boots for $240.

The Aqualung Pro HD BCD.

Films by Frank V Ross.

Rescuediver.org has information.



Monday, January 11, 2016

Liz Swados

Liz Swados is dead.

You'll notice a bit of a gap in her resume in the above-linked obituary. I worked with her on a couple of those gaps.

Back in the day when I was a lowly sound operator/sound mixer at the Public Theater, organizing a union by day and working on plays and musicals at night, I got put on a Liz Swados show after a week in the shop. They needed someone to mix a new musical she was putting up about Jonah and the Whale. It was all electronic keyboards (which was a mess which we'll get to later), two women and a man on stage with some big "whale bones" in the theater. Um. The upstairs theater on the left (or north) side of the building. I forget what that's called.
Anyway, Liz took an instant dislike of me.

Which is too bad because I kinda liked the show. But the two keyboardists were sort of all-over-the-place in volume and the show had dynamics issues. Also, there was no sound designer assigned to the show so we were using some very old-timey Sennheiser wireless (which actually, when you could get them to work, sounded quite good.)

In addition, Joe Papp really hated her show. At least that's what the word was among the crew and administration. He thought it was just childish garbage but he was going to "teach her a lesson" by having it open so she could read the critics tear it apart. Oddly (and I was out of the show and working on another show by this point) the critics didn't really hate the show that much. They didn't love it. But Wolf was coming in with a super-sold-out show a Zora Neal Hurston plays that was going to run for like 6 months, so Liz' show got the boot anyway.

The arrangements were... loose. And mixing electronic keyboards is a mess in the best of circumstances (which is why most keyboardists mix themselves). 

Then a couple years later I got an emergency last-minute call to come help a show that was touring around NYC schools and was having terrible sound problems. I got there, fixed the problems -- only to realize that ha HA! It was a Liz Swados show. I have no idea if she remembered who I was. 

Years after that, when we were producing Apostasy I got a cassette in the mail from her -- obviously something she sent out to every producer who had a project listed in the Hollywood Report -- looking for composing work for film.

And that's all I know about that.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Years Music Videos

For some reason at about 4am, music videos came up in conversation.
Gunship's Fly for Your Life is a remarkable bit of animation. It's simply beautiful (you know, for a WWII dogfight). The animation is stunning. I don't know if it was done 3D with some sort of 2D-looking animation or what. But it's fantastic looking.

The sort of platonic idea of the Die Antwoord video is "I Fink You're Freaky and I Like You A Lot"
Green Jelly's "Three Little Pigs" is a video I must have seen when it first came out but I haven't seen since and couldn't remember anything about.

Pingu's The Thing is just genius.
Lastwise is Zombie Zombie's homage to The Thing.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

We're on our own here

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Matthew 16:28

It's pretty clear this means that he's already come back, and that happened quite some time ago. We're all on our own from now on. 


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Further Jessica Jones Thoughts

See, the reason Jessica Jones irked me so much is that it was so close to being great. And instead did the opposite of being great.
I mean basically Krystin Ritter could read the phone book and I'd pay admission to see it. And David Tennant is just fantastic. But. But oof.

You know, you read enough versions of enough screenplays and you start to see recognizable echoes of earlier drafts. Oh. And spoilers ahead. Did I mention spoilers?

I bet there was an earlier draft of the Jessica Jones series where the vaccine the Purple Man's father was making worked. Because I kept expecting that to go somewhere. Like the scene where he tried to get his own dad to blender his own (the dad's) hand. Like that was a make-or-break moment where the dad had to commit to pretending to be under his son's control. And that the amplifying thing the dad was working on wasn't going to work.

Because otherwise, what was the whole antidote thing about? It never went anywhere. Dramatically that's pretty sloppy.

Dramatically it was a nice turn where we find that Kilgrave was abused as a child. But then that sort of went to pot as it turns out it wasn't true and blah-blah-blah. But what would have been vastly more interesting is if Kilgrave's whole persona, his whole being, was that there was someone worse than him. Someone who could control Kilgrave. Someone who made this tender and abused little boy into a monster. So that while he was cruelly controlling and sadistically toying with other people it was all because someone else was forcing him to do it.

Now that would have been an interesting turn. Then the huge irony is that indeed Jessica Jones would have to team up with Kilgrave to defeat the bigger monster.

You know what TV show did that well? Blade. Yup, Blade the series. That show was terrifically well written. The villain goes from being a guy you can't wait to see die to someone who's actually sympathetic. And then you want to straight-up murder a little girl (and, you know since this is spoilery to start with I may as well point out that Blade does not hesitate when the time comes to take her out). The girl is evil evil evil and dangerous (and, you know, not actually a little girl). And Blade doesn't not do things just because it would be the end of the series. No, they waive putting the two in a room together until the last episode. As it should be.

These are the sorts of things that keep me up at night. 

Scamming Landlords

Look. A couple ads for spaces at 356 Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Jody Susler and Ben Schneeberg seem to have lost yet another tenant in the last 15 days. Or they're just publishing pictures of offices randomly to bait-and-switch prospective tenants.

Here's one.
And another.

They're trying to backcharge me for things. Obviously we left the office spotless (see pictures in post below). But they won't answer my emails.

Somebody really should flag their ads because ultimately they're just scammers. Just click the "prohibited" box at the top of the page.

This owl is about how I feel.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

356 Broadway Landlords

Wow, so my former commercial landlords are a real couple of scumbags. Jody Susler and Ben Schneeberg of 356 Spaces, LLC, are trying to really juice me for the deposit.

I got an email at 5pm today demanding that I return the keys, the repeater, and pick up the furniture they say we left there by end of business day tomorrow or they'll bill me for a new repeater, furniture disposal, and new locks.

They don't really tell me where I would return them to because they, of course, have no office. But rather than doing anything reasonably they prefer to do everything in a way that causes the most discontent. They like that.

Here's today's insane email:

Final Notice: Repeater / keys / furniture

Andrew,

If you do not remove your furniture and return our repeater and keys by the close of business hours tomorrow (12/16) we will have the furniture disposed of; purchase a new repeater; and replace the locks at your expense.

356 Spaces, LLC


Monday, December 14, 2015

And 3

So they've re-plastic'ed thusly:


Whew.
These were pictures sent by my landlord.

No, I do not know what's up with that broom.

Ugh 2

I visited my apartment today. This is my bathroom.
Here is where my shower once was.

In yonder days I had a flushable toilet here, children.

This be where the sink once set upon a counter.

This is the ceiling above my tub and shower.
Ah. Remember indoor plumbing? It is but a distant memory to me.


Ugh 1

So I visited my apartment today.

For some reason they'd taken down all the plastic they'd put up and now everything is a terrifyingly filthy mess.

Ugh.

It's hard to see but there is construction dust EVERYWHERE.

Ugh.

Yelling At Comic Books

I am angry at Jessica Jones.

[Marsian Queen]: I apologize on behalf of a show I've never seen.
Thank you. I feel better about that.
Actually, the same thing irked me about Batman.
"Here's your opportunity to kill the very very bad guy. But just stand there and talk to him instead."
 
[Marsian Queen]: The opposite of the James Bond problem?
Ha! Yes.
Except that the good guy just... refuses for some odd reason to kill the bad guy.
Or you'll have a character who doesn't believe the bad guy can control minds, but breaks him out of prison to help get her spouse to sign divorce papers because he can control minds... and doesn't see how that might go wrong for her.

So the last thing he orders the spouse to do is to slash the lawyer with a thousand cuts and while she's doing that the lawyer's lover shows up and kills the spouse. Yet somehow the law has it that the lover is being charged with murder for that. Because. Squirrels.

And the whole reason for not killing him is to prove that some girl who he made kill her parents -- is not guilty of killing her own parents. But in the course of tracking him down there are dozens of other witnesses that he can do that -- including a police officer.
Then there are about 30 police officers who get the same treatment. They are all unimpeachable witnesses. (There is some lame-o explanation later that they'd be suspended from the force if they told anybody about it.)
But no -- the plan is to have ONE cop (who's getting close to retirement) watch while the bad guy makes his own mom kill herself. Which isn't proof because all the cop sees is the bad guy telling his mom to stab herself and she does. How would he know mind-control was at work here? When this same cop had already seen 30 of his fellow cops put their own guns to their heads at this guy's command.
[Marsian Queen]: I recommend sedatives and restraints. Perhaps a nice cat to pet.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Demolition

So my bathroom is being demolished. Yet. Again. Seriously, this is the third or fourth time. Here are pictures my landlord sent of what they've been doing to protect my apartment. I'm in hiding. I'm not coming out until Winter is over. ;-)





Sunday, December 06, 2015

Dry

The Beuchat Baltik is an awfully inexpensive drysuit.

The only reviews are sort of wishy-washy. The legs are thin and the torso seems a bit short. Legs being tight actually have an advantage in that ostensibly air is kept out of the legs.
But for less than $700 it's pretty cool. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

End of an Era

So, the buttmunch landlords at 365 Broadway, Ben and Jody, are of course balking at giving us our deposit back.





Luckily I was smart enough to not pay the last month's rent.
Right now they're pretending that we left a desk there, and that I have a cell phone repeater of theirs. Which, I mean, why would it be in my office where I'm paying the electric?
Sigh. The amount of money just isn't worth it. It would be really nice to have non-psychotic landlords one day.