Batty

Aug. 16th, 2018 09:16 pm
krpalmer: (smeat)
Rustling in the bedroom curtains woke me in the middle of the night. When the sound wouldn't go away, I started formulating an idea of just what it was and just how I'd have to respond, and at last, if with some reluctance, I snapped on the bedside light, got out of bed, and rattled the curtains. A bat popped out and started zooming around the room in wide circuits.

Imagining a flying mammal going for your face isn't encouraging, but a bat had once got into my place before (not this year, anyway), if early enough in the evening I'd shut it in the room I first found it in and searched the phone book for animal control services. The first person I'd called suggested I throw a towel over the bat and get it outside while wrapped up, and that had worked. As I got a towel out of the linen closet this time, though, a bat that wouldn't land and would only occasionally touch down on the ceiling or something on the wall wasn't easy to throw a towel on.

My seeming to keep the bat moving, though, did seem to slow it down after a while, and at last when I shoved the towel up at the ceiling the bat didn't rustle out from one side and start flying again. Pretty sure it was still in the bundle, I rushed downstairs, got the front door open, and shook the towel out. I couldn't quite say I saw the bat escape into the night air, but when I threw the towel into my laundry basket to be washed and clambered back into bed there was no more rustling.

I still can't say how the bat got in anyway this time either, though; none of my screened windows were open, for one thing. Some searching in upstairs closet and crannies after getting back from work didn't turn up any obviously gnawed holes down from the attic. I was tired enough today, however, that I do wonder about being able to sleep through a bit more tonight. Given the worries these days about fungal infections, there might be something a little encouraging about a bat population in the area.
krpalmer: (Default)
Aware that today is the first day of spring, and perhaps still musing on the drive into work about the latest Astronomy Picture of the Day I looked at early in the morning as I often do, I was struck by getting off the highway at a point where I'm looking east to the water of Lake Ontario. With the weather having been clear (if cool) for the past few days, at that precise moment I was able to see the sun just starting to rise above the lake; it got a bit higher in the few moments I was still driving in that direction before turning towards work. While getting to that point at that moment of sunrise on the first day of spring was a coincidence, it did stick in my mind; perhaps it made up in an odd way for daylight savings time always starting at the moment driving to work has become "daylit" to start the process of brightening again. I could also remember watching the sun set over the ocean one day on my family's cruise vacation last year, although I had more time to take it in then.
krpalmer: (smeat)
Writing up something for this journal at least once a week "because that's what I've been doing and I don't want to just stop" is a constant challenge even if I'm not that worried by thoughts it might only be writing "notes to myself." In the past few days, though, just saying something more about a "system" or a "construction" (and very often sort of looking back to do that) feels too much like being silent about more important things involving other people, at a moment when being silent seems a troubling choice.

I want to say something in support of decency, equality, and tolerance (with the awareness that like most things, tolerance can't become an absolute) and against "I'm content but I resent your trying to say you're not" and wallowing in offensiveness for kicks. I just worry I'm not articulate enough to be the slightest bit convincing, and I'm also aware of the smug sort of "I know you are but what am I?" dismissals. The most I can do, perhaps, is try to be self-aware.
krpalmer: (Default)
There have been times in the years I've kept this journal going that finding one more thing to have an opinion on and then articulating those thoughts has felt a bit like pushing that mythical boulder uphill. Then, in the past month or so, putting posts together "every so often" somehow got that much more draining. I suppose I could have just admitted this, told myself I'd kept this journal going "long enough" after starting to post to it all of a sudden, and looked ahead to if I could still set down my "quarterly reviews" of anime watched. Instead, I got to thinking that much harder about a fallback plan I'd been toying with for a while.

Things have seemed "lively" on Tumblr for a good while more than that, but I suppose I've had the suspicion to go along with that that it seems "easy" to keep something going there because that service lends itself so well to recycling pictures other people have already posted. Even with that stern thought, though, it did sort of creep up on me that while there are many archives of scanned computer magazines in chronological order, the covers of multiple magazines would be something somewhat different... Too, the thought that it doesn't seem easy to have a "conversation" about something on Tumblr wound up juxtaposed against how there haven't been many comments posted here for a while anyway.

It did turn out the prefix I use here had already been claimed (and looking it up there was more than a little disconcerting), but adding one more initial worked, and I got under way. In any case, there are still ideas I have for long-format posts here, so I can at least hope things aren't about to close down even to regular summaries of crossposts. I also have an idea or two of things to try with pictures beyond "computer magazine covers," too.
krpalmer: (Default)
It's easy enough to suppose the Muppets of "The Muppet Show" are instantly recognisable to "surely everyone," but it might also be all too easy to get to thinking that from the moment that show went into reruns, its characters and all the puppety creations affiliated with them were left trying to live up to a greatest hour. In making a joke of this just a few years ago, their first new movie in years seemed to attract a lot of positive attention; I went to see The Muppets myself at the movies and liked it. However, I didn't get around to seeing its followup, and when I heard of a new television show declared to be trying a new take on things I could get to wondering about it having to try and climb that decades-high hill once more.

Part of the leadup to the new show was making a big deal of Kermit and Miss Piggy having split up; I might have just wondered about not having dwelt too much on them being together in the first place, but that's no doubt an artifact of my peculiar lightly developed interest in "shipping." I decided to try out the new show all the same. Setting it behind the scenes of a "talk show" left me reflecting on how "The Muppet Show" might have been the last big example of "variety shows," but it seemed a good way to update the concept while still bringing in guest stars. More than that, though, I could definitely tell some of the jokes were ones "grown-ups" would get. There are times I wonder about the follow-up to something that appealed to kids only seeming intended to appeal to those who used to be those very kids, but there might be a bit of an escape hatch in this one case in comments overheard about the very first days of Jim Henson's puppets (who, among other things, were making commercials for coffee). If it's "interesting because it does feel just a little odd," though, with some of the oddness seeming to be an emphasis on the current inherent unhappiness of the main characters, that's another thing again. I would be interested in seeing more episodes of this new show and where they go, but I'm also aware it might wind up another brief experiment.
krpalmer: (Default)
I was looking through a food supplement in my newspaper when I happened on a big ad featuring four names for food I can say with truth I'd never seen strung together before: maple bacon onion jam.

My first reaction was at once amused and convinced the jam wasn't for me, but on thinking it over, I did get to reflecting on how my own cooking is so plain and limited that I really couldn't make too big a deal of anything anyone else eats. "Jam," too, doesn't just have to be spread on toasted bread and eaten at breakfast. Perhaps, though, it was the "bacon" that really got to me. While I'm not opposed to that foodstuff on general principle, sometimes it does seem the contemporary interest in it is more of a self-amused obsession, an obscure statement exaggerated to the point of being overdone.
krpalmer: (smeat)
When I was deciding where to live when I got my current job, one factor I can admit to shaping my preferences was knowing one place was close to a branch library, but its also being right behind a small shopping mall seemed very convenient too. In the years since then, though, bigger stores have opened further along the road and the mall has seemed to dry up little by little; when its small bookstore closed, that seemed to have an impact on me. It did get my attention not that long afterwards when I heard the now somewhat shabby Zellers discount department store would be replaced by a new Target as that store moved into my country. Practically all of the Zellers was taken down and rebuilt over long months of waiting, months in which the mall seemed to get that much emptier.

The Target opened at last, but I'd already heard about all the problems the stores just before it had had stocking their shelves, and things never seemed quite busy at it. By this point, the only new stores in the mall seemed ones to buy cell phones in. Two holiday seasons ago, some "temporary" stores opened further along the mall (one of them in the old bookstore), but last Christmas there weren't as many of them. Then, the news that Target would pull out of the country altogether managed to make international news. It wasn't so much that I did a lot of shopping at it myself as I passed through it on the way to the grocery store at the other end of the half-abandoned mall, but at least it was there. I can only wonder how long the big store will stand empty at one end of the half-empty mall; as much as the grocery store still seems to do business I can now wonder about the whole thing being torn down.
krpalmer: (Default)
After a long chilly winter, one sign of a developing spring is having to walk through clouds of small flying insects in the parking lot at work in the afternoon; they also settle on the shadowed sides of the cars. Today, though, there didn't seem nearly as many of those insects around, even if I still got into my car on the sunny side. That's at least a change, although I can think ahead to how in a month or so I'll be thinking it's just too hot all the time.
krpalmer: (Default)
I get quite a number of "you might be interested in this" emails from amazon.ca these days; I suppose I've wondered about trying to unsubscribe from them, but I'm also aware that without them my inbox might start to feel kind of empty. Having recently ordered the latest "half-season" DVD set of Doctor Who to give as a birthday present, I got an email today with more links to Doctor Who discs. I read my way down the list, nodding a little... and then, at the very end, there was "Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears A Who." With all the comments about precisely targeted messaging these days, it's amusing to see a suggestion of things perhaps not working perfectly all the time after all.
krpalmer: (Default)
As another year comes to an end, once more I'm trying to summarize it by taking the first sentence from the first post for each month from this journal. This year, of course, was the one I finished my project of rewatching all the episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the project that kept me posting to this journal on a regular basis. I suppose that in the weeks since then, I've still managed to keep posting, but anything could happen in the future.
A year in twelve sentences )
See you in the new year!
krpalmer: (Default)
As the number of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes I still had left to rewatch and comment on began to seem more important than the number I'd already posted about, the thought of being finished, of freeing up the time I spent watching that particular show and writing about it (even if it's just to watch other, perhaps less "cheesy" movies) began to appeal to me. There was another side to that, though, and that would be not being able to post to my journal about it, and not having to post about other things just to try and keep from dwelling on one uninterrupted topic. Livejournal friends lists seem less busy than they used to be, and I haven't really built up my Dreamwidth reading list yet, so perhaps the thought of adding to that by subtraction does affect me... but having heard "those who make a big deal of going offline don't, and those who do just sort of fade away," I'm at least ready to hope I may have things to post about in the future.

In any case, I have an unopened official collection of Mystery Science Theater DVDs that I decided to leave for later when it began to seem I could be finished this year, and there'll be another collection coming out soon. The thought that the "ultimate project" would be to watch everything in order has also come to me, but there I suppose I'm concerned I would find it tough going getting through uninterrupted eras of the show.
krpalmer: (Default)
Four years ago, I decided to mark the leap day by expressing an "unpopular fandom opinion." With the three hundred and sixty-sixth day of the year rolling around again, the thought of indulging myself again returned, but it took a little while to sort through a few possibilities. In the end, I'm stepping away from any specific fandom to say "I just don't seem as interested in 'shipping' as lots of other people."

By "shipping," I would say "interpreting all interaction between two fictional characters as preliminaries to them winding up in a romantic relationship." That might, of course, leave me open to the rejoinder "ah, you don't understand the term at all," but I'm still going to try and push on anyway. It doesn't seem a matter of not being interested in romance at all: I can get squishy and sentimental over "official" romances in action-oriented stories, exactly the ones that seem to get dismissed by those delving into subtext as "distraction from the real connections" or just "not well done." The way "shipping" blends into "slash" does seem to open up another potential criticism, but I have been interested in at least some "girls' love" anime and manga, and I can find mixed-sex declarations as tedious as same-sex ones.

If there's an explanation, I suppose it might have to do with a mixture of "looking at what you want something to be as opposed to what it is seems a recipe for disillusionment" and "can't there be such a thing as 'friendship' (or even 'rivalry') without it winding up sexualised?" Maybe there's the feeling that the potential relationships seem so all-consuming to those promoting them that they seem to overshadow all other connections.
krpalmer: (Default)
"Inertia" might very well describe my habits when it comes to online fora, but every so often I do manage to bestir myself. When I saw it pointed out that Dreamwidth was offering free registration (linked by the post to the latest crisis at Livejournal), I took advantage of that kindness. I suppose I'd heard enough about Dreamwidth to think having a journal there too wouldn't hurt, although I'm still unsure how much further I thought into it. Importing all of my old posts took a while but went automatically; trying to decide on a journal style took a bit longer. Now, I'm just seeing if I can post to both places at once, with the hopes that things won't change too much further.
krpalmer: Charlie Brown and Patty in the rain; Charlie Brown wears a fedora and trench coat (charlie brown)
Out on a long drive yesterday, I was stopped at a traffic light near a grey Volkswagen Beetle (the "especially old" kind now, I suppose) with a personalised license plate. I read "PUTITINH" and started trying to sound through it, and then after a second or two I remembered the Simpsons episode where Homer is trying to replace the family cars and he gets the advice "Put it in H!" while test-driving a car from a country that "no longer exists." I do sort of wish my camera was at hand to record and prove it, but the sighting does amuse me. Could there be something "dubious" to getting a license plate like that? Perhaps, but understanding it when you see it seems to relieve you of any chance of feeling superior.
krpalmer: (Default)
While I have to admit to not doing very much in the way of "behind-the-scenes" work on this journal, I finally did go into the settings and disable comments from anonymous users as I've heard of other people doing. There's something a little melancholic about that given how few comments I get from registered users, but after all those completely non-specific and therefore very suspicious comments being added to months-old posts, frustration might have outweighed inertia...
krpalmer: (smeat)
Lying awake waiting for my night shift to start this evening, I happened to feel things shake a bit and some frames creak around me. "An earthquake?" Leaping out of bed and running for shelter came to mind for an instant, but I realised I wasn't quite certain what shelter amounts to... and then it seemed to be over. I made a vague note of the time it had happened.

Then, after getting up to get ready for night shift (nothing seemed to have shaken apart anywhere, and there's a good lot of stuff lying around my place that could have gone somewhere), I checked a news site and realised the epicentre of the earthquake had been some distance off. However unsettling the experience might have been for me, it had been worse for other people... although I did notice in the report that the Prime Minster hadn't felt it. In any case, there have been other mild earthquakes in this part of the world over the years that I've missed altogether.
krpalmer: (Default)
...the stuffed mascots are going on sale. This does sort of seem a trivial thing to point out, but I suppose I'm doing it because of the strong impression I got that of the four mascots, the sasquatch character was the most popular: there were none of him left at the two stores I happened to drop into.
krpalmer: (Default)
On Wednesday, I drove two towns over to see the Winter Olympics torch relay go through, following up on a mention in the company site newsletter of a pep rally layover. At the time, I had a vague impression the relay would head into my own city going straight downtown along the highway and do a lot of that very early in the next morning, so I felt content enough with going a little out of the way; after all, when I had got to see the 1988 Winter Olympics relay, I was three hours away from home in the city my grandparents lived in. While I was eating dinner, though, I heard a commotion outside and looked up to see the torch's flame in the winter darkness, headed down the major street closest to me. I knew something about how the relay is wiggling across the country, but not quite so much about how it's wiggling through each city.

Headed off for some twelve-hour shifts the next morning, vague thoughts of maybe making a post about that just to make another post evaporated. This evening, though, another coincidence occurred when I switched on my TV before turning on the DVD player, and on the channel it was tuned to the newscast was reporting on that guy in Japan I'd heard slightly horrified rumours about, the one who had staged a mock wedding with a "dating simulation"... the newscast brought up an internet addiction angle, but somehow seemed that much more restrained about the whole thing.
krpalmer: (Default)
In the alumni newsletter sent out from my university, pieces started cropping up a few months ago about leaks of a new logo for the school, but also about people organising online to protest it. Now, another piece has come through that the plans for the new logo have come to an end. I don't quite know if this is an "all's well that ends well" situation, as the piece did mention the intended design elements being kept for use elsewhere, but perhaps I kept telling myself all along that getting worked up over small changes can get carried too far. On the other hand, I did find myself contemplating that the current logo so many rallied to the defence of had actually been introduced while I was at university as a mere revision to the previous shape of the shield and the font that went along with it, and it never looked quite right to me afterwards...
krpalmer: (Default)


Amidst a certain amount of contemplation towards an approaching tenth anniversary, I happened to notice on [livejournal.com profile] incisivis's journal that today, the 8th of May, appears to be the date in 1984 that the first issue of the Transformers comic went on sale, and started trying to figure out if I could say anything about a twenty-fifth anniversary before the day ran out...
And here it is )

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