Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Communing With the Weeds

A novel weekend for me. A sultry weekend, and I hung out in the shade with books and laptop. The script I wrote last December was my project. I wanted to get busy on a rewrite, and actually got one done. Plus I did a little fun reading (The White Dragon).

Since we were in smog warning I didn't mow the lawn, though soon I'll have to at least run the scythe over it to prevent the dandelions from going to seed. They and the clover are the only things which have grown since the last mowing anyway. A lazy August day. I want some more of these. I forgot how nice it is to just sit around outside. I'll try to get my mowing and weed/shrub whacking done before the weekend so I can some more guilt free liesure.

I had several take-aways on the script. Most surprising was how much I enjoyed reading it. Second was the short bits towards the end which are a little heavy handed in the treatment of gall-mart and vp dickweed. (The names changed here to apt aliases.) Heartless box stores and proudly corrupt leaders deserve mockery, but they are not the focus of the story so I have to lighten up the treatment, making it a little subtle.

I'm guessing the script is not as fun for others as for me, and that the heavy handedness isn't as smothering as it seemed. I of course assume the negative is closer to reality, and I need more work to make the script enjoyable and less heavy handed.

I have a couple friends who offered to give it a read. One a big vampire fan, the other another big theatre fan. I'm looking forward to their feedback. Nearly as much as I'm dreading it. Silly of me I hope, as thus far people have really liked it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Payback's a Bitch

I'm not clear on what is happening in Georgia, which sadly puts me on par with the white house and at least one belligerent, cranky whining candidate. I do get the impression it was not a time critical issue, meaning I think Russia picked the time to repsond. Let's see, the biggest rivals in their eyes are us and China.

Even the majority our own population finds the sabre rattling and attempts to scold Russia for attempting regime change ludicrous. We ceded the moral high ground in favor of lucrative no-bid contracts for cronies to pursue an elective war we started (after failing to provoke one). Now, we can't even afford to stay in Iraq, much less play with any big boys.

China is busting a hump to cover their routine human rights depredations long enough to get some good press out of the Olympics. Russia is kind of stealing their thunder.

So assuming Russia chose the timing do you think the Chinese frustration at losing the spotlight and the exposing of U.S. impotence and hypocrisy has anything to do with their choice? My mental picture of this is America getting totally pants'd in front of everyone, and the trophy trousers held up in front of China's face.

Pants'd: 70's slang for when someone yanks down your pants.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who's Buzzing?

Right now ABC and CNN have the tragic death of Bill Gwatney as lead stories. Guess what MSNBC and Fox have in common? Leading question. Both seem to lead with the Georgia conflict (understandable), and Fox also views the 'shocking' rumor that Powell will endorse Obama to be more newsworthy, and MSNBC seems to think Ms. Edward's 'emotional pain' over the old news about hubbies wandering to be more newsworthy than the assassination. Maybe Olbermann should chill on his assumed supremacy over their competing infotainment whores.

Monday, August 11, 2008

That Movie Wasn't So Bad After All

I saw The Dark Knight with Beth on Saturday. I liked it better than Batman Begins, though like that one it was painfully long to my tastes. And here is one of those conundrums I so enjoy. American culture is notorious for it's short attention span, and if we were able to focus our second grade intellectual level on anything outside ourselves we'd realize what a mockery we are to the thinking world.

We are constantly pounded with MTV style sound bytes, and rather than work or even think for a couple seconds we accept the word of the lowest common denominators like billo. We'll form any opinion people who pay monolithic marketing engines want us to. In america to disagree with the mob is weird. To think for yourself is traitorous. The peer pressure to be an easily pliant tool and afraid of nearly anything is overwhelming. Yet our action movies are getting painfully long. King Kong was so long I sacked out during the last fifteen minutes when it first came out on dvd and have had no desire to watch the rest. I've never been one to fall in with the crowd, and while most trends leave me a little cold this is one I like.

At least in our movies there is a thirst for more focus and time spent on a topic. The antithesis of modern manipulative marketing. Will our population become a little less herd-like for a while? I certainly see the possibility, and it is exciting.

On a sadder note, we saw Heath Ledger just as his range as an artist was blossoming and becoming evident. He's been deified a bit, and given the circumstances it is understandable. The only other movie I saw where he had a major role was 10 Things I Hate About You, (an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew) where he and Julia Stiles made the movie. I've a copy of Brokeback Mountain at home which I haven't watched, but is now a lot farther up on my list of heavy movies. Funny thing. Since I started going to live theatre a lot, I don't see as many heavy movies.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Getting My Pipes Cleaned

Aaron and Sonya were down for visit this weekend, which worked out nice. Finished up with birthday dinner at The Noodle Boat yesterday evening. About my favorite Thai food in the area, and run by a very nice family whom Aaron and Sonya have been friends with for years. Beth joined us for dinner too. It wasn't a birthday party, just a dinner with friends. Which is the perfect way to celebrate the day in my mind.

Saturday I took on a plumbing project. The upstairs bathroom sink have always drained slowly, and when I want at them a month ago with a plunger I blew the seals n the master bathroom sink. So I got some new hardware (well plastic), and got a more elegant and leak free trap and drain, solving the leak but the slow drainage problem. In fact not using the sink for a while had caused the slowness to seem more like a complete stoppage.

Here is the problem, the two sinks drain into the same pipe, and liquid plumbing products did not help much last time, so I needed a more aggressive solution. The 1problem is that the snake simply goes across the wall to the other sink, as it is a T instead of a more sensible Y joint. I went downstairs to see if there is anything I can do. The plumbing for the pipes is not accessible through the downstairs bathroom, just those for everything else (bathtubs, toilets), and on the other side of the wall is the garage, with a plywood ceiling and wall. The pipes are inside the wall. Luckily the sink drain has a jog, with a right angle elbow accessible above the washing machine, where it pops out of the ceiling and back into the top of the wall.

Washing machines are not designed for kneeling on top. Neither are knees designed for the washing machine tops. Before I got far I had to get a pile of rags on top of the washing machine which was quite handy when I removed the elbow which was held in place with pipe clamps on a rubber sleeve. Rather unpleasant water and effluvia came forth, which was mostly caught in the pan I brought for the purpose, and the rags got the rest. Running the snake then became quite easy, though I entertained myself with an unpleasant thought. How does the soap and such which goes down the drain turn into a nasty black goo?

Now my sinks drain even faster than when I bought the house -- as fast as the water can run out of the sinks. And the little nicks and such which the black goo got on have not infected so I am feeling pretty pleased with the result. I think that added to my enjoyment of my birthday on Sunday. That and the phone birthday serenades from Beth and my folks.