Archive for May, 2012

Game of Thrones – book 2

28 May, 2012

Finally… the George RR Martin’s A Clash Of Kings has been read.

So, MyBetterHalf and I have been watching HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for our Sunday-night-date-night. I’ve been reading the corresponding book, it helps me to keep the characters straight, have more background. The book and the show are complementary of each other. It seems that HBO does some things better, and Martin does some things better. HBO has better editors, and will skip over some chapters that add nothing to the story, there was one of Arya in the woods, HBO just skipped it. If the characters have a scary adventure before showing up to a plot point, HBO will just skip the adventure, and to the plot point.

Now, seems to me, the moral of the story is

  • The best laid plans of mice and men are mocked. (Nothing goes as planned in war.)
  • No one cares about the little people.

Which is why this book feels like a history book. I don’t really care about most of the characters. I really feel, that if I’m going to spend this much time reading and watching, it might as well be for something real. Seriously, this was 900 pages, and the story isn’t even half over!

Things Martin does good…sometimes, he will get inside the head, to the doubts and fears… Tyrian, knowing the girl he loves, realizes she is but an employee. Arya, when she has to learn how to survive as a captive prisoner. Kalessi as she doubts herself trying to reclaim her throne.

I like how Martin will use a quote, to sum up a secondary character:

  • Bronn, while watching fighting as opposed to checking out the ladies, “I can buy all the __ I want (at brothel)…, but someday my life may depend on knowing how they fight.”
  • Lady Brienne, “ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”
  • The Hound, “If you can’t protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can.” (Wow, now if that’s not a reference to Ayn Rand)

I like how Martin has the gods being a major force in several of the characters, especially the women of house Stark…they go to the gods, they pray, they doubt. HBO skipped over that, unfortunately.

HBO…some things I wish you had done. Mix it up racially. Think globally about your market. Peter Dinklage is the only actor that is absolutely necessary, a genius pick for casting.  So, you can keep the Lannisters white and blonde. (And, in past few episodes, I have enjoyed watching Jaime & Cersi, their wit and horribleness have been fun.) The others… pick someone else. Now, what if in thinking globally, you had cast some Chinese actors for the House Baratheon? African actors for House Stark? Indian actors for House Arryn. Fantasy does not have to be about northern European white peoples & tropes. Think about the critical acclaim you would get for using “minority” actors in such huge roles. Think about the potential billion Chinese customers, potential billion Indian customers, potential billion African customers. Grow your base, HBO, grow your global customer base.

Also… I have ranted many times… there is no need to invent a fake language, when there are hundreds of languages that are dieing. If the Dothraki horsemen had spoken Kimbundu or Piedmontese, that would have been cool.

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Spurs -vs- Thunder game 1

28 May, 2012

At the beginning of the game, MrGrunty asked me who I wanted to win. I told him I don’t know, that I like both teams. He said, “but one team is not going to win.”

First quarter, a beautiful example of basketball. Defenses were hustling, passes to the open player, scrums for the loose ball. Looked like too many offensive rebounds, I watched Duncan get his own missed shot twice in a row, just out powering the defenders. Then Westbrook got his own rebound, after he shot a long two and the ball ricocheted back to him. By the end of the quarter, I wasn’t sure who would win. And then, Ginoboli hits the 3 as time expired, after he ran, turned, caught a pass, tossed it up, and fell out of bounds! Maybe the Spurs will win. (Score, 18-24 – Spurs lead)

2nd quarter – started a bit worse, not so pretty, a bunch of bench guys. And at the end, Fisher hits the three to make it 47 – 46, Thunder in the lead.

End of the third, Thunder are up by nine. But, with both of these teams, points can quickly be made by capitalizing on opponents mistake. If the Thunder can remain focused…

Saw clip of Coach Poppovich telling the Spurs, “You’re being too tentative… this isn’t supposed to be easy…”

4th quarter, only 7:52 left in the game, and the game is tied at 73. Wow, this is fun.

Spurs won. I don’t understand why Thunder started fouling the with only a few seconds left, had they started that when there was a minute left, and they were down by only six… I dunno.

But I do know who I want to win. I want ME to win. And if this series goes to seven games, then I win. Many thanks to the Spurs and the Thunder for 48 minutes of quality basketball. I hope the rest of the NBA was paying attention.

Rave: Ha-ha!   I was right, Derrick Fisher did last longer in the playoffs than the Lakers!!

Rant:  What the what for the STOOPIDEST advertisement, merging clips of “Prometheus” and splicing in Coor’s light. Makes me doubt my wanting to watch the movie.

 

this weekend

27 May, 2012

well…yesterday, aboot half way through, I decided to not feel guilty aboot being lazy. And read a big chunk of GameOfThrones-book2.

Cute story of the day, MrCuddles was on the deck, I was reading, he was pulling the wagon around the deck. Then, he started running in a circle, still pulling the wagon, “Whoa, Whoa!!” running faster and faster, and then came to a stop next to me, “Papa, that was close.” I asked if something was chasing him, “Yeah, the wagon was chasing me.”

This morning, I was to teach the early elementary Bible Class…I even brought in a lamb stew with barley, to tell story of Jacob stealing Esau’s birthright. But, only one of my students was there, and a couple of high school kids joined us. Lesson plan out the window, (Don’t worry, I didn’t work on it too much!)  And I chatted with the high school students about what school is like, if they talk about Church with their friends, what their friends believe.

Then, I did way too much yard work. OK, any yard work is usually too much in my book. But I did transplant some tomatoes that I had been growing from seed in my kitchen window. So far, I seem to be doing good growing radishes, mustard-greens, cho-ho… and weeds. I am foolishly trying for corn, again, but this time I will plant beans and squash too, to make it a Three-Sisters plot.

We went to a different Church this evening, MrGrunty liked it last week, and said he wanted to go there “one hundred times”. I asked why he liked it, “we played basket ball.”

Speaking of basketball… we had a fight.

MrGrunty yelled, “Squeaky, that’s not a free throw it’s a slam dunk.”

MsSqeauky, “It’s a free throw.”

MrG, getting more and more upset, walks to the basket, hoovers his hand over the net, “Squeaky, look! Is this a throw?” and he let go of the ball, “No! It’s a drop.”

MsS wandered away.

MrG, “Papa, I don’t like Squeaky anymore. I want a new sister.”

And then, MyBetterHalf and I had our date night, watching GameOfThrones-season2-episode 9.

 

Thunder -vs- Lakers game 4

20 May, 2012

I kept checking the score, whilst getting the childrens ready for bed. Thunder were consistently down by ten. Ugh. Didn’t want the stoopid Lakers to even up the series. After I finally left the childrens’ bedroom, I tentatively turned on the TV, … Thunder down by seven, and then ten, and then catching up… finally tied game with 64 seconds left!!  I texted MyBetterHalf, but she couldn’t get to a TV, so I called and gave her a play-by-play.

(Note, a few minutes before, Kobe, being defended by James Harden, Harden breathing on Kobe, hand in Kobe’s face…Kobe hits a three pointer, nothing but net.)

Tied game, Thunder has the ball, Kevin Durrant dribbling, about four feet away from top of the three point line. MetaWorldPeace is at the three point line, defensive stance, crouched down, arms wide, ready for which ever way Durrant dribbles. Durrant throws the ball, basket! Thunder up by three.

Kobe then takes a shot for the Lakers…(remember his freakishly improbable shot from above?) but luckily, Kobe misses. JamesHarden grabs the rebound, is fouled. Makes both free-throws, Thunder up by five.

And thunder go on to win.

I hope the Laker’s spirit was crushed. Well, at least the role players and their centers. Kobe won’t be crushed, and Meta plays tough always. But just those two won’t be able to bring about a win in OK-City.

Thunder -vs- Lakers game 3

19 May, 2012

When we were playing basketball on the deck, MrGrunty announced, “Papa, JamesHarden is the number 13 teamer.”

I turned on the game was worried that Lakers were off to a 8 – 0 start.

Was watching the game with MyChildrens, MyBetterHalf went to Spokane.

  • MrGrunty’s favorite players: James Harden, Kobe & BlakeGriffen
  • MsSqueaky’s favorite players: JamesHarden, Pau Gasol
  • MrCuddles copied and likes JamesHarden

MrGrunty was cheering on James Harden, MrG seems to like the silly big beard JamesHarden wears.

It was  a very entertaining game, many lead changes…stoopid Lakers win at the end. I am a bit disappointed that MetaWorldPeace decided to kneel on Russel Westbrook after the whistle was blown to stop play. Meta, please, be a better man. Kevin Durrant amazing with some impossible trick shots that somehow went in the basket.

Heat vs Pacers – game 1

13 May, 2012

Watched the last half of the game, with MrGrunty sitting next to me. I was rooting for the Heat, he was rooting for the Pacers, maybe because he was  bit mad at me because I let MrCuddles play basketball with us, and when MrG screamed and refused to get out of the way, I put him in timeout. I think we’re cool, now. During timeouts we would play catch, and MrG was excited that he was catching the ball, using only his hands. Which is kinda funny, because moments ago, MrCuddles was excited to catch the ball, using his hands and face.

Pacers had a chance. I feel bad rooting against them.

Lakers -vs- Nuggets game 7

12 May, 2012

Stoopid Lakers. Stoopid having two good seven footers, and Kobe who can make amazing shots from stoopid three-point range with a defender in his face, and stoopid having (very possibly) crazy* Meta-World-Peace who can defend great.

Denver, you had your chances… I saw too many throw the ball away turnovers that should have been fast-break baskets.

It was a good, close game 7.

Hoping the Thunder quickly defeat the Lakers in the next round.

*So, my impression, is Meta has psychological issues, but is attempting to get help, but every now and then, he will “fall of the wagon” so to speak, and, give someone a concussion. I like how Meta is bringing awareness to mental-health problems, how he donated his championship reason to help mentally ill. He seems much happier in LA, and he seems to accept his role.   But, the real thing that makes me think he is actually crazy, is how he keeps shooting 3-pointers. He’s not that good from downtown, but gets lucky enough so that he forgets about all his misses, and thus keeps shooting them.

Denver -vs- Lakers game 5

8 May, 2012

Hey Sports Fans. I was about to sit down and watch another game, but then I noticed that Denver was beating the Lakers by like 15 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Dude!

So I had to watch, to see how it would end. Score kept about the same, then with only a couple of minutes left… Bynum, Gasol & Bryant all on the floor, showing what they can do. Easy buckets, offensive rebounds for second-chance shots… and get this… Kobe, wide open, hits the 3. Then again. Finally, somebody gets in Kobe’s face, and Kobe nails the shot.

Dude!

About this time, MyBetterHalf is about to go to bed, but sat down to watch. Thankfully, the Nuggets kept enough composure to hold on and win the game.

Dude.

Spurs -vs- Jazz game 4

7 May, 2012

OK, Utah fans… what’s with the empty seats I saw in tonight’s game? How come the home crowd was decked out in Jazz colors?I do give credit for the crowd getting loud. I remember that from the 90s, when the Jazz were busy beating the Sonics. Sigh.

The announcers the announcers tried to keep the TV audience into it, “Jazz are on a 6 – 0 run”, but Spurs just took care of business.

Miami Heat -vs- Knicks game 4

6 May, 2012

I thought it would be a sweep. The Heat were in control the first half…but then, let the Knicks back in, started taking jump shots… and Knicks won game 4. The Heat will win this series, but now I doubt their killer instinct.