July 5th, 2014

#4283: That was a good 4th.

So this afternoon I got the immediate back yard cut. I still have the rest of the grass to cut but that was the worst of it, and I'm hoping to get the rest of it done Saturday. (Today, that is.)

I made pasta salad, spinach dip, BBQ ribs, baked potatos, and corn-on-the-cob. The latter three were grilled, naturally, and the f-ing ribs were perfection. We ate almost the entire rack, leaving two ribs. Dang.

I am perhaps a little too smug about my newfound ability to cook things like this that taste so damned good that my wife insists I should enter contests. Heh.

...but while cooking, and after dinner, we lit fireworks. We quit that at 10:10 and then watched For Your Eyes Only on the new Blu-Ray machine.

I bought it because it was $5, and because I really wanted Mrs. Fungus to see it, because of who played the villain: Julian Glover, who plays Grand Maester Pycelle in Game of Thrones. Because he's some thirty years younger in the Bond movie, I had to point out to her just who she was looking at.

It's been more than a decade since I last saw this movie--probably more like two--and there was a lot of it I didn't remember. I think I definitely got my $5 worth.

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Looking up Julian Glover on IMDB led me to the link for QED, which was a TV series that ran briefly in 1982. I loved that series and was bitterly disappointed when it was canceled. *sigh*

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Besides that, though, I watched 2001. Mrs. Fungus bought it when she brought me breakfast at the store on Thursday, because it's part of a "triple feature" (costing $8) that includes The Shining. It's been a very long time since I watched that one, too. There were a very few things about it that bothered me.

First, the objects shown in orbit around the Earth had static shadows, except for the rotating space station. That was a detail that's hard to fault them over, because it would have made each SFX shot about five or ten times more expensive.

Second, the EVA scenes around Discovery always showed moving stars, but in order for the stars to move like that everything would have had to be rotating around the camera, which is not possible for something in free fall, like the dead Frank Poole. But if the stars had not been shown in motion--if the depiction of those scenes had been 100% true-to-life--the viewer would have found himself wondering, "Why are they just hanging there?" The moving starfields were artistic license and not excessively used.

Third, WTF was up with that damned light show at the end? Seriously? They spent way too much time on that.

For the heck of it I looked at some of the supplemental material, and they showed Roger Ebert more than they showed Sir Arther C. f-ing Clarke, who wrote the damned thing in the first place. WTF.

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So far I've watched two movies on Blu-Ray and they look fantastic. Next up: Lord of the Rings trilogy--extended versions--at one sitting. I hope we can handle this...

#4284: I forgot to mention

In For Your Eyes Only, the head bad guy naturally has thugs and sub-thugs working for him. The big chase scene where Bond is out skiing and the bad guys come after him includes a tense scene at a ski jump. He tries to lose them by mingling with a crowd but he's got the wrong kind of equipment for jumping. The bad guys end up herding him onto the elevator, and just as he thinks they're not going to make it aboard, the doors part again and there they are.

Mrs. Fungus and I both recognized the one on the left: it was Charles Dance, aka Tywin Lannister. He's in the credits as "Claus". Kind of makes me wonder if Julian Glover and Charles Dance remember being in the same show before--but they weren't in any scenes together so they probably don't.

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Bluesun links to his ginger beer recipe. Still have to give that one a try.

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So, there are some TVs that have high frame rates--I've seen 240 Hz advertised--and I just can't get used to that. It looks wrong; the action and motion are too fluid. It's kind of like watching an old Doctor Who episode, where you're looking at an outdoor shot (which is shot on film) and then they go inside the TARDIS or something, where it's a set on a soundstage and it's all shot on video. Or it's like watching an old episode of Dark Shadows which is shot in black and white video; that's even more distracting.

The 60 Hz refresh rate is supposed to be beyond what our eyes are capable of distinguishing, but I sure can tell the difference between 24, 30, and 60 Hz.

It always looks to me as if the action "speeds up". It's not; it's taking place at the same rate but the frame rate is higher than I'm expecting. I suppose it's something you get used to after a while.

Fortunately both of our TVs are 60 Hz, so it'll be a while before I have to make the adjustment.

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It looks as though I have only a little while before I must cut the grass. There's rain a-comin'. *sigh*

Well, I had figured on cutting the rest of it today. I suppose I might as well get cracking.