Friday, April 25, 2014

Catching up While Waiting To Pick Up My Youngest Son From A Social Event

The biggest thing, ever, in quite a while is that I, Brian Keith Isidore Dunbar, have been confirmed, received, into the Roman Catholic Church.

I'd like to thank Sister Maria of Our Lady of the Lake, for leading the RCIA class. Stanley Cummings for sponsoring my poor self. My wife for putting up with me, and setting a good, Catholic example, and my son, Cian, for taking the journey with me.

A special thanks to the brothers at OLOL Fraternus for setting a great example of how to be a man, and for sponsoring the several excursions we took together. There is nothing quite like celebrating Mass in the woods with seventy or eight like-minded fellows.

There is other stuff about work but it seems less important now, than when I set out to write this.

If you're interested in legal services or software, startups, Clojure, Ansible, Datomic, ElasticSearch, or the hazards of open-plan offices, drop me a line.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

All One Might Need to Know About Being Outraged Over Ukraine v Russia

One the one hand one Geez-Louise Russians are acting bad, ami'right?  Can't we be all peaceful and stuff.

On the other hand, leaving out our own proclivity for leaping into other sovereign countries with jarheads and airborne troopers and Apaches a-blazing [Beirut, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Iraq, Yemen, Libya], what business is it of the United States to wag their finger and say 'bad bad bad'.

On the gripping hand, extending guarantees to states surrounding nuclear-armed cultural paranoids .. I mean what can go wrong, ami'right?

Read, and heed;

"I want a man who is looking out from the true center of the universe which is the stone mound in the Kremlin known as the Lobnoye Mesto, the Place of the Skull. Lend me your eyes for a moment. Stand on the Lobnoye Mesto.  
"In the southern distances are the bottled inland seas coveted by Tsar Peter. To the northeast lie the bottled shores of the Baltic which the Russian spirit has been forced to conquer to break the exploitation of Russia by European navies. To the east is an ocean guarded by Japan and to the southeast lies the ancient Chinese enemy. There are rich and barrierless steppes to the west through which hostile armies can, and have, struck like lightning at every opportunity. To the north are the dread skies open to the swift hellfire and brimstone of American arrows.” 

 Excerpt From: “Donald Kingsbury - The Moon Goddess and the Son.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Movies I Have Watched Recently

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Why in the world don't they make more fun musicals like this? I really enjoyed the heck out of it.

Joe Bob says give it a whirl.

Gettysburg (1993)
The director's cut is 4 hours at 31 minutes of boredom, with overly long scenes of meandering tedium, relieved by moments of really good acting. Then more krep. Another bright moment! More meh. And so on.

So, not a good movie. It's not even good history.

If I didn't know anything about the Gettysburg campaign, or the penultimate battle before I watched, I wouldn't know much about it after the movie. I might even know less: it's like the movie was trying to replace my brains with cotton fluff. And Lord knows I got little enough brains to spare.

As shot, one piece of gently rolling countryside looks like another. Is that Seminary Ridge? Cemetery Ridge? Cemetery Hill? Who knows? We know Devil's Den - it's chock full of big-ass rocks. But the rest ... it's all just places they plonked a camera without much tying them together in the narrative.

I'll give them this: 20th Maine's engagement on Little Round top was very well done. Come to that, the scenes with _just_ the 20th Maine, filled out a bit, would have made a dandy movie all by itself. 

Another character and actor who deserves his own film: Sam Elliot as cavalry brigader John Buford.

I would have turned it off at the end of the first hour but for Tom Berenger as Longstreet. I kept watching to see him portray Longstreet as the only sane man in an army of fools, goofballs, and dorks. Amazing job by a great actor.

There is a scene - I guess you have to watch it through all the way to get the impact - where the stupid, retarded, awful Pickett's Charge is about to kick off. The artillery has failed to knock out the opposition.  15,000 men are about to walk a country mile under a broiling hot July sun across an open field, through shell, shot, and musket fire.  Half of them aren't going to come back.  Longstreet knows this as sure as he knows the sun will rise.  Everything he has spent the entire movie trying to avoid is about to happen.

Picket: "Shall I order the charge?"

All Longstreet can do is ... just ... wave his hand.  'Go' he is saying.  'But I can't say it for it will break my heart.'

That's some acting right there.