Miscellaneous ramblings

It’s good to be back up at the cabin for a few days. What with boating in Canada and the Edmonton Folk Fest, I haven’t spent much time out here lately, and I’ve missed it. As usual, I’m spending a fair bit of time sweating, having unstacked the wood from my new shed, repaired a couple of connections, and am now taking a break from restacking the wood. It’s drizzly up here, but that’s a good thing that will likely put a damper on the Eagle Creek fire a few miles from here.

Chromebook Update: Generally I’m very pleased with the performance of my new computing device. It does everything I want to do with a couple of minor exceptions. There is no Skype app for Chrome OS. This might have something to do with the lack of love between Microsoft and Google, but who knows? Surprisingly Google Earth does not work either. Apparently Google Earth is a pretty big program that requires more horsepower than the Chromebook processor provides. And don’t expect to do much picture editing. There is a rudimentary image processor included, but Photoshop it’s not. With these caveats, I’d highly recommend this computer to anyone with needs similar to mine.

Brdley Chelsea Manning: I think this troubled individual should be hailed as a hero for sending all those top-secret documents to Wikileaks, and I think a 35 year sentence is an abomination, but his chances of being treated as a “woman” for the duration of his incarceration are slim and none. I have a really hard time buying the whole concept of being “trapped” in an opposite-gender body. Beyond a vanishingly small number of people who actually are medically sexually ambiguous, I think this is a mental health issue, not a medical issue. A man does not become a woman by wishing he was one, and cutting off his dick and pumping him full of hormones won’t change that at any fundamental biological level.

Walter’s Book Club: Having loved the HBO series, I’m reading Game of Thrones right now and am about halfway through the first volume. I have mixed feelings about the book(s). On one hand it’s a great read, but on the other hand, I think I that time could be better spent reading something a bit more enriching for my mind (and soul if I have one). I’ll finish the first volume, but I think the story is better told on the screen.

Downton Abbey: Over the last few weeks, Megan and I binge-watched seasons two and three of Downton Abbey. It’s a wonderful period-piece soap opera that made us feel like the characters in Portlandia watching Battlestar Galactica, but the writers went too far in the last episode when they killed off Matthew for no good reason. Some would say this is just melodrama (a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause and effect, and that exaggerates emotion and emphasizes plot or action at the expense of characterization) at its best, but now it really does have a soap opera feel to it. And another thing that annoyed me – Thomas, the outed homosexual valet, was treated with kindness and understanding that I doubt actually existed in Britain at that time.

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