Pauseandblog: Survivor

Pauseandblog: Survivor
Pauseandblog. A word I made up for when I pause, and blog about the TV show I am watching, before I see how it turns out. I just paused on Survivor because on player in the minority said something smart and creative and whether or not he follows through, it’s still genius that deserves some attention.

Whether you follow the show or not, you can understand that voting aliances form, and when you don’t have the numbers, you often get to look forward to being picked off one by one. It may not be tonight, but it will probably be soon. Some players do well in this environment, and mingle and make plans, and flip the game to stay. Others get depressed and give up.

Yesterday, one player had a great idea. He has a hidden immunity idol, and unlike most players, he hasn’t told anyone. Not even his son. His strategy was to give up. Tell everyone he’s done, and ask them all to vote for him. Then he plays his idol, and wham… A shocker blindside out of nowhere with only one or two votes, if his son votes with him.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a brilliant plan on Survivor. It ranks up with the first time I’ve seen a fake idol used.

I unpause, and wait and see if it works. A lot can change in 45 minutes.

Shared from Google Keep

Doctor Clara

I had a theory last week, that the reason doctor who always arrives in a time and place that needs him, it’s because his mere presence is breaking time and space.

Wherever he goes, he break the timeline and something evil happens.

We’ve seen the precedent more clearly when Rose broke the timeline to meet her father and save his life, huge freaky bats appeared in the church.

Its like that, except every time every place. If the doctor arrives something goes wrong. No matter where he arrives, there are aliens or other strange happenings, and he always seems surprised, despite knowing all time and space.

Recently, we’ve met Clara, who also traveled in time and broke it.

The last two episodes have taken place in her timeline, and things have gone wrong in present day. Perhaps Clara is breaking time and space like the doctor.

My Mother

Today is October 27th. A day some sons would remember, if it was the day their mother died, but I’ll probably forget in time. I don’t remember the date that my father died. I didn’t really mourn their deaths. It’s different situation when you say goodbye to family members who don’t remember who you are. You tend to reach deep into your memory, and think of them as they were 10 years ago, when they knew your name.

Both my parents suffered similar memory loss around the same time, which rare I’m told, but makes perfect sense if the loss was triggered by environment. I suspect something like the aluminum pot my mother cooked Sausage casserole in, or some similar case. The doctors use all sorts of words to avoid saying Alzheimer’s. Officially it is some sort of dementia.

In any case, I said goodbye a long time ago to both, so m mothers death last night comes more as a relief for her, and for the family. I won’t turn this into a political blog about the right to die on your own terms. She lived a long and happy life, and despite not remembering much from each day, she still managed to smile and make others smile with stories from her past. In the final years, the stories were completely fictional, and sometimes outrageous, but she always told them with a smile, and made others smile.

I have my own stories too. I started a list of mom memories a few years back, just as I did for my father. As you get older, you tend to tell the same few stories over and over, and both my parents had their favourites. As I recall each one from here till my death, they’ll make me smile and remember them. They both lived to be over 85, older than the memories of my Grandfather ad Grandmother before them. A good life I suppose, and although we were a close family in many ways, I never really knew much about my parents, beyond how they related to me. They were superheroes for my early life, and then, as happens to most of us, I began to grow older myself, and discovered that my parents were just people, with flaws like anyone else. My mother was not a superhero, and in fact, suffered from depression and self esteem issues much like I do. She saw the negative in life rather than the positive, and often told the sad side of any story.

019 100_0206 100_0248 100_0252 IMG_0010 IMG_0076 IMG_0096 mom 3 Christmas 2013  momthinner tuckers with mom 000_0005 004 012 013 (2) 015 018 (2)

Still she was my mother. The prettiest of all mothers, and the coolest. She was a teacher, and a theatre performer. Our house parties were great, always attended by other actors from Georgetown playing games and telling stories.

I saw little hate, or anger, or prejudice in my mother. She was supportive of me, even before anybody knew what attention deficit disorder was. I feel she was always a little sad that everyone told her I wasn’t living up to my potential, which was what they said about smart A.D.D kids that couldn’t sit still enough to read a book or finish a report. I didn’t do very well in school, but everyone agreed I was smart.

I got into computers at an early age in a time when adults didn’t, and although she tried her hardest to understand them, so we’d have something to share, it was clear she did it for me. She never really understood what I did for a living, and bragging about me was harder than it was for the other neighborhood kids who were doing well in school or sports… but I know she loved me.

My mother had a great sense of humour, and we shared that, often at the expense of my father, who tried – but didn’t. Perhaps his upbringing ina a foreign culture just made it harder to understand our humour, but Mom and me would make jokes al the time.

Although I was the youngest of 3, both my sisters were a generation older and moved out of the house fairly early. For much of my youth, I was like an only child. A full 7 and 9 years younger than my two sisters, I was the baby. I was perfect. I was over protected I suppose. My sisters were often in trouble or in the hospital. I wasn’t.

My own memory isn’t as stable with regards to emotions and family. I have huge blank spots for most of my childhood. I remember a lot of yelling coming from my Dad and crying coming from my Mom. He’d call her stupid and other such insults in anger. I’m sad I remember less of the good times, because I know there were many. We’d play games, and even though I almost never won any, it was still quality time.

I’ve lived away from Mom for the last ten years or so, as my sisters took care of her in BC. I visited once, and was frustrated to see her get old. I prefer my memories of pretty – reasonably happy Mom. It’s how I’ll remember her.

Paging Doctor Blog

Paging Doctor Blog
Since I don’t do too many back to back appointments these days, O don’t find myself waiting in cars with time to share as much as I used to. These days, one of the only blank time periods I experience is when I’m in a waiting room, awaiting a doctor.

So I blog. I gave not been keeping up with the new hobby daily as I promised myself, but I do sound some time each day observing the world and thinking about ideas I could blog about. I just don’t sit and write. All my life, writing was either a chore assigned by a teacher, or a task I procrastinated for work, or an evening activity I dud only in the right mood.

I always enjoyed the writing itself. It was just the starting I have a problem with, for writing or almost anything else.

Today, as I sit in an open concept waiting room, I feel inspired to start because the nearby rest room flush is so loud, it’s humerous. It is indeed; blog worthy.

My doctor resumes in a new space, recently built, with a very public style. The administration for each office is shared with 4 staff behind a glass wall like a bank vault teller. The holes are smallish and most people have to speak in an outdoor voice to be heard, which is exactly the opposite of how you normally want to speak when discussing your personal health issues.

My doctors assistant hates it and us constantly standing up by walking out to our open area to be more personal with her contact. She is sitting next to me now, talking to a nice old gentleman. I get to hear anything I choose to listen to.

The whole area houses offices like this for several doctors and everything else imaginable in one open area. Behind me are other areas where children are screaming. Next to that other areas for waiting on other specialists, for eye, blood, therapy and xray. We’re not all waiting together but it’s open like a mall. Few areas get to be enclosed.

The point is, it isn’t particularly quiet. It’s not as loud as a real mall I suppose because a lot of people are waiting alone, No not prone to open conversations. The people all around me for instance are all browsing old Chateline magazines from 2013. (not an old office as mentioned, or they would be from the 90s)

The funny part however, is that silence is broken every few minutes by an explosive whosh sound. The men’s washroom is to the right of me, and the women’s to the left. The sound of flushes can be heard anywhere in the mall, through walls and almost outside.

Shared from Google Keep

Holy Crap science

It’s Thanksgiving Monday as I write this, and I’ve taken it as a day off from work, so I am treating it like a Sunday. Typically Sunday has been the day if the week I watch some TV. I try my best to keep a balanced diet of television variety, which includes hour long dramas, but also non fiction shows from the higher network channels. Documentaries and science shows. Knowledge shows that educate or inform me I was the Internet doesn’t.

Today I am watching a narrated show on discovery science about weird inventions, and their first story segment was so mind boggling, that I had to pauseandblog. It was such a cool and wonderful advancement in science that I was a little shocked I’d never heard of it before. It seems the perfect story for a viral spreading.

Science has found a way to grow a man’s severed and lost fingertip back. In four weeks, with a powder sprinkling of crushed pigs bladder, a man who chopped his finger off, had a new one, nearly perfect, complete with matching finger prints and all. Like a slow magic trick, it just grew back, exactly like the body thought it was supposed to. He fooled the damaged hand to act like a salamander.

The show talked about military implications right away, I suppose because our soldiers lose limbs with far more occurrences than everyday life, but they also hinted that this was just the successful beginning, and eventually they may have to worry about the moral issues if they discover the same concepts can be used to regrow any parts, or in fact, a whole new body.

They broke on that dramatic chord and went to commercial. This segment leaves me with a mind of wonder. Instead if scarring, we could be trained to regrow our failing, I’ll, or missing internal organs, it would change everything. If replacing your failing liver was as simple as putting a cast on a fractured arm, a lot of people would be very happy.

The negative side of my brain recalls the evil villain scenarios, but art from the wrong people getting rich to save lives, we’d still be saving lives.

One hilarious side effect might be that all cosmetic surgery is treated by our bodies as injury, and all of the beautiful people revert. That reason alone may be why I don’t k ow about this. I hope it all turns out the be true.

The best reason to stay alive, is curiosity. I love the future. So much potential.

 

Reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/18/finger-regrows-pig-bladder_n_3949720.html


Prime Time Crime School

csiOne of the things I noticed about the CSI series of TV shows, was how they like to use situations from the news, and mix their murder mysteries into new and creative stories. Quite frequently, I find myself wondering how this effects the real crime world. They’ve touched on a few stories I’m sure some people would be much happier if they had not. Revealing secrets better kept secret of the crimes, the criminals, and the way the world works.

A past story once discussed a reasonably secret and evil drug (scopolamine) from South America that really should stay a secret. I was sad when I saw it used as a plot for an episode. A very evil drug that can be dosed to a stranger that removes their free will and turns them into an emotionless zombie slave, easily convinced to do just about anything with no resistance, and then have no memory of it the next day. It seems to good to be true for criminals. I was shocked that CSI decided it needed publicity. It introduced the idea to many people that would otherwise not know about it.

In this week’s episode, the mystery killing happened inside a legal medical marijuana dispensary. From the script writers point of view, this is a topical news item that almost begs to be used for a murder scene. It’s an underworld setting that few know about from first hand experience, but many are curious about. Pandering to a wide market of the weed smoking demographic, advertisers probably enjoyed a bump in viewership.

I decided to pauseandblog when the script educated me that such a dispensary is a prime target for a robbery. They explained to us that banks have a fear of the government seizing funds, so places like this are forced to deal in cash, just like regular drug dealers – except they have a building base we all know where they are, and the hours they keep. In this episode, the dispensary had over $300,000 cash on hand, and we are lead to believe this is common.  They even made the reference that anybody who knew how much money was involved, might be suspects. They’re almost saying; “We don’t know why we don’t get robed every day.” 

In my head, I instantly thought about the poor dispensary owners and employees in the real world, working a typical night shift in their stores. Network prime time TV just told the world these places have huge quantities of cash on hand. In this episode, the place had a stereotypically fat and slow security guard who almost didn’t notice the crime taking place.

Weed smokers get high, maybe even while watching this show. Some may play out their fantasies of a quick path to riches and actually try something like this. Robbing a store seems safer that ripping off a drug dealer, doesn’t it?

Shows like this often feed the criminals information they probably shouldn’t. Although much of this style of TV isn’t based in reality, they still explain a lot of things that are real. They may always show the criminals getting caught each week, and try their best to imply this is the norm, but real criminals know a lot of theft and killing happens without getting caught, and shows like this are helping to educate the bad guys and make them smarter criminals.

I’ve heard CSI often describe the crimes they’re having trouble solving as “almost perfect crimes”. In order to make the shows interesting, the plots are incredibly creative.  Many of their stories show pretty great ideas that could be tweaked and used in the real world. I wonder how often we see crimes that mimic TV shows. 

Tonight’s episode showed me a few tips for my criminal mastermind ideas.  First, find a stranger with cancer that uses a special drug that causes them to lose their fingerprints. I checked Google. It’s real.

Next, kidnap her kids are force her to do my crimes. Always use the victims phones. All good tips.

I am a nice guy. I don’t do crimes beyond speeding on the highway, but I do like to daydream.

 

 

The Gift of No Gifts

One of the issues I’ve had as an obsessive mind that overthinks every scenario of life, is regarding the idea of receiving gifts. I have very few memories of receiving gifts, where I enjoyed the process. That is one serious imaginary memory deficit. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy getting gifts, but I always hate the way I react. It stresses me to receive gifts, because a gift is somebody else’s idea of what I’d like, and seldom live up to hopes and expectation.

My mind pre-imagines all the things I want, but I never tell anyone my preferrences. I don’t like to ask.

Invariably the gifts received don’t live up to my hopes, in many cases, because my expectations were far from reasonable.  Because my sisters were so much older than me, I lived much of my youth almost like an only child with no cousins. My circle of gifts was smaller than almost anyone I knew.  My friends had more siblings, or more wealth, and I always compared my gifts to theirs with disappointment. As an adult remembering back, the reality is that I did quite well. It’s only my memory that retained the negative stories. I’m working on that.

For similar reasons, I don’t like to give gifts wither, and especially hate any situations where we might exchange gifts. The pressure of my obsessions is taxing. I can be in a foul mood for weeks in advance, or even the entire December gift season. As much as I hate the feeling or a bad reaction to a gift given, I don’t like the feeling of passing that on to others. Getting a gift you don’t like — or love, is stressful, because you’re forced to fake happiness and be polite. Giving the wrong gift is a horrible deal for both parties. It’s a failure. I hate failure.

Gift exchanges are even worse, because there is the possible cost differential to add to the uncomfortable feelings. You may have bought a cheap gift, or worse – a gift card or lottery ticket for a few bucks, and the other party spent weeks searching for a perfect present and spent more. When this happens, not only do you have the bad feeling of the wrong gift, but you have to cope with an obvious unbalance of cost. It can effect friendships if I let it. It can cause feelings that linger for years, generating additional obligations to make it up on the next annual birthday or party.

I have somehow managed to work my reputation into that of a guy who doesn’t do gifts. At all. I’m not sure how. It just happened. I don’t give birthday gifts, Christmas gifts or anything. In return, nobody gifts me. I say that I am happier with this arrangement, but I know I’m missing out on the joy and surprise of a good gift. It’s a brain thing. My gift is to not have to worry about gifts.

Now let me be clear; there is a huge part of me that loves getting free stuff. Any gift is at minimum, a surprise, a story, and a memory.  Great gifts are memories all by themselves. I have several ornamental gifts decorating my home, and each time I look at them, I am reminded of the person or event related to that gift. A good gift can be precious.

I suppose I’m not against the idea gifts itself, as much as I am afraid of receiving them in front of the giver. It’s the fact that I have to react live, and show happiness regardless of the gift.  My unhappy and stressful gift memories are of the bad and hurtful reactions. I find it hard to hide my disappointment, or fake it. On the other side of the coin, I can’t stop going on and on with gleeful excitement when I get a good gift. 

I wrote this with my birthday just over two weeks away. I know I will probably not get any gifts on my birthday. I am an adult. Not getting birthday presents is a normal fact of life for single adults. In one way I’ll be relieved, and in another way I’ll be sad.

Maybe it’s time to change my position, and reputation.

 

Two Minute Warning

Your soup is ready… but it’s not.

The microwave Macaroni and Cheese you can smell just beeped – but wait.

I am blogging about this exact situation while I am forced to wait that extra two minutes after my food has taunted me. It’s beeped the ready warning bell, but the box says no. I must not eat it yet. I must wait. I hate that wait.

It’s not that I can’t wait an extra two minutes for that cheesy goodness, but the problem is – I am far from the timer, so I must guess at how long two minutes is. It’s not that my obsessive personality feels the need to wait EXACTLOY two minutes… that isn’t the problem either.

The problem is, that with A.D.D I inevitably end up forgetting about the mac and cheese altogether within that two minutes, as something far more fascinating grabs my attention – for example, blogging about the two minute delay.

2014-10-03 16.19.09Have I waited long enough? I don’t think so. I type pretty fast for a guy who uses two fingers, but don’t get me started blogging about how shocked I am that the schools no longer offer typing as a class, despite the obvious fact that now, more than ever before in history, everyone needs to type. That is a blog for another day, when I don’t have cheese waiting.

MmmMmM. Glorious cheese.

Actually, to be honest – I don’t know if this cheese will be glorious. I’m trying a brand new type of Macaroni and Cheese. The President’s choice brand, although I suspect few presidents, be it of country or company would buy microwave Mac and Cheese, an even if they did, they’d probably buy the premium brand, not the cheap store brand. I know I usually do.

I am trying this brand for the first time with low expectations, but every now and then, store brands are good. Not often, but now and then, and if any product symbolizes poverty better than Mac and Cheese on a Friday night, I don’t know what… so if there were a product to make great and tasty, I think it’s be this one.  That’s forced optimism while I wait for the true taste test.

That has certainly been two minutes… I think. Time is hard to comprehend when you’re in a creative typing binge.

~~~ < symbolization the passage of time.

Mother would be proud. I tried something new, but if I am truly honest, I only did so because it was all I could find in the house, and it’s raining. I bought this thing maybe a year ago, and never really wanted to try it because I suspected it would be bad.

It was.

Not horrible, and not enough to make me gag, or not finish it, but it wasn’t good. It was a glorious Mac and Cheese dinner as I was looking forward to. The texture was good, and I actually quite like the MAC part, and the cheese was a nice orange and flowed with just the right thickness… but I couldn’t actually taste cheese. Sometimes the brain is good at filling in flavor. You can drink orange coloured drink and think it tastes like orange, but cheese that doesn’t taste like cheese is a disappointment. It was too much for my brain to make up.

I finished it, and for now – I’m not hungry… but I’m also not satisfied.

 

 

Infinity +2

I am about to watch the third episode of Forever.

Before I start with the traditional dead body reveal scene, I wanted to acknowledge the overall change I’m witnessing in the new series television dramas this year.  At least in the few I’ve watched so far, they seem to be throwing us the character back stories right away. They feel rushed to get it all out in the first two episodes.

 henryMorganWhen you watch any new 90-ish minute long superhero reboot movie like Batman or Spiderman or Superman, they always struggle with having to bother with an origin storyline, and that can take up half the first movie, or more. Nobody seems to want to just start in the middle of the story, despite the fact that everyone knows who Superman is by now. In a TV series however, we don’t know who everyone is in the pilot episode, but we’re usually content to learn more about them over the first year. Sometimes they keep us watching specifically because we don’t learn the secrets of the characters till seasons 2 or 3.

Before settling in to watch this week’s Forever, I had watched episode 2 of Scorpion. It’s an ensemble cast of a bunch of nerds, and I expected to see character development last a few weeks at least, but it seems they feel the need to rush this process now.  TV has become so competitive, and cancelations so swift, many shows each fall don’t even get a second episode.  If not enough people love a show, it’s gone. Somebody must feel we can’t love a show unless we know the cast better, so they reveal everything as soon as they can.

As is often the case when I start thinking – my mind wanders to deeper meaning, and I start to evaluate the entire concept of the fall season of pilots and premiers. So many things to watch all at once, it’s almost like a Television festival in our living rooms. An epic event. Must-see TV.

I know that many pilots are reviewed and evaluated by the studios, and some make it to the fall lineup. Others are reserved for a later release, or to fill in the holes made by cancelations. It’s a science that has changed over the years, thanks to competition from cable channels and the Internet, but the big fall season is still a big deal. It’s the network new-years eve party.

It’s tougher to get a show on TV these days than acquiring valued shelf space in a supermarket for your new soft drink.  I imagine a lot of personal favours are being called in, as business dealings are made.  When you consider all this, you have to question why so much absolute junk makes the cut. As is often the case when I daydream like this, I come up with a conspiracy.  I consider that many junk shows are produced for three base reasons.  Firstly, some bad pilot shows come to air because of contract obligations.  Second, some bad shows are only bad in my mind, and turn out to be great hits. I could never have predicted the success of that horrible alien sitcom The Neighbors. Network executives have a better understanding of what America likes than I do. I give the masses more credit than they deserve apparently. Married with Children ran for decades.  asdsadsI think however the third reason is more at play too. In order to keep TV an active participant in the entertainment wars, they need September to be a big gala event, with loads and loads of shows. Each season is filled with more shows and things to watch than they could possibly support. I think a lot of pilots are made, just to showcase a single talent or concept, but with the idea that it will fail. It’s padding. We want a lot of new stuff to premier, and they deliver. 

Perhaps HUNDREDS of new shows premier, and just like the first week of American Idol, we even enjoy the clunkers. Then, week two they have even more new shows. They fight via ratings for the single Tuesday night spot available. It’s almost an interactive game viewers get to play with their public opinion. The shows the majority likes stay, and the shows we hate, vanish… with the exception of Fox science fiction shows of course. They vanish no matter how much nerds love them. It’s a mean tease Fox seems to play, giving us great shows like Firefly and Almost Human and then taking them away after only a few episodes. 

Knowing the shows have to battle and beat others, and as a nation, we seem to like characters we know, they seem to have started rushing character development, hoping we’ll tune in week after week and keep a show going.

The show Forever cheated the system a bit this year, by presenting a two night, two episode opening night. If viewers came back the second day, they had us. Then they can use math and put the show in the schedule, either Monday or Tuesday depending on the numbers.

Always about those numbers.

At least Forever also has the advantage that it can tell 50 or more origin stories through each episode of the series. They rushed to tell us his basic premise – he is immortal without explanation, but we can now watch each week as they show us some of his history. Unlike a normal TV character, this guy, who looks about 30, has over 200 years of history. Thinking that through, he’s had to move around a lot. I suspect he only has 10 or so years to live anywhere before his unchanged appearance will generate too many questions.  We can get a character development origin story, every week.

I’m back for episode 3.

I hope it sticks around.

The Scorpion and the Frogstar.

scorpI watched the series premier of Scorpion last week, and blogged about how I was concerned that the time may have passed for the nerd drama> Too much of the audience knows the tech is fake these days, and it spoils their enjoyment of the show when they do silly stuff.

In the week since then, I have returned to that thought a few times in retrospective. I revisit the idea that nothing all at on TV is very real. The prime time network dramas are filled with unrealistic technology and actions, but we all focus on the ones we know. On hospital dramas, I’m sure they make all sorts of errors that must infuriate doctors and nurses, and even orderlies.  On police dramas, there must be people from that world that watch those shows, constantly nitpicking, or else just laugh the inaccuracies off.  Even I know a DNA test can take a lot longer than 4 hours.

In nerd dramas like Scorpion they may try to be realist, but in the end, I think I change my verdict. I have decided it is not a deal breaker after all. I accept the break from reality and still find a way to enjoy the action and plot of the show.

I’ve just watched episode 2, and the writers did an excellent job at using up almost all the remaining nerd stereotypes that they didn’t get to last week.  All the cliche technology bits were used, like bouncing the bad guy’s IP all over the world. I suppose not every computer user knows that isn’t really how it works.

I found myself enjoying the show anyway. I realized that all the other shows I enjoy do equally impossible things ever week.  Fiction doesn’t need to be based in reality. Even the reality shows are not really that real either.  I may spend the next week taking note of how fake my TV playlist is. It may be fun to start paying attention to how silly the shows I still watch really are. Since I’m trying to blog daily – it may provide me some new topics as the rest of the reason returns, and the new pilots appear.

Earlier this year as part of my therapy and progress, I decided to to test the abilities of my newly medicated, less obsessive mind to cut way back on my TV addiction. I stopped watching a lot of shows.  This is premier week for Network shows. It’s my first September since I cut off almost 50% of the ones I watched cold turkey last June. 

Not since the first ATI All-in-Wonder graphics card I configured with Snapstream, have I ever bailed on a series I enjoyed, or missed an episode, or watched them out of sequence. Addiction may not be the right world, but it was an obsessive trait I only began to understand once it lessened. I was watching over 40 hours of TV a week.

One day I made the decision and cut Bones, Hawaii 5.0, Mythbusters, and more.

I felt actual loss. 

TV is back and I’m feeling a bit weird not recording some of them. Withdrawal symptoms.

I can try to watch less, but in the end watching TV is who I am.  I’m Frogstar.