Sleep deprived movie review

Sleep deprived. It’s a terrible feeling – bleary eyes, a heavy mental fog to contend with, physical fatigue, trouble focusing – it’s right up there with a hangover as the worst way to spend a morning. And I’m definitely sleep deprived this morning. Was awake for a while almost every hour last night.

It began when we watched Matrix Resurrections and its run time took me well past my normal bedtime. I was pretty disappointed in Resurrections. It had some great nostalgic moments, but in general it was way, way too dependent on no-gravity fight scenes and massive amounts of bullets. You’d think that in the 60+ years of Matrix time that had passed, and the real-world years (at least I think this is the real world) since the last movie, that new modes of shooting people would have been featured. Lasers. Disintegration rays. Mental disruptors. Something. But no, we got old-fashioned guns and bullets. Lots of bullets.

We’ve seen it all before, and it got boring. The best parts were seeing how well Neo and Trinity have aged in the real world. Even given movie effects and makeup, they’ve aged gracefully. That part of Resurrections worked. But in general, it wasn’t a movie I would recommend to anyone. Kind of meh.

I don’t think all the weird dreams I had and the too-frequent wake-ups had anything to do with the movie, but who knows. Maybe one of the scenes contained a neural infection. The weirdest dream I had involved a round of golf where no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the ball off the first tee. In this dream, I was helpless and hapless – nothing I tried worked. I ended up roaming through the course without clubs, wandering through a nightmare landscape involving caverns, cliff faces that had to be climbed and a huge lake/waterfall covered by some plastic substance that you had to crawl over. Like I said, weird. And the fact that I remember this dream and others is unusual.

OK, on second thought, maybe a movie about the way-too-uncertain nature of reality did contribute to my restless night. All I know is right now the morning coffee isn’t working and sleep deprivation sucks.

Triskaidekaphobia

Another day, another unhinged quote from The Former Guy (TFG), discussing Mark Esper’s new book in which he describes the crazy shit TFG wanted to do.

“This is a complete lie, and 10 witnesses can back it up. Mark Esper was weak and totally ineffective, and because of it, I had to run the military,” Trump said. “I took out ISIS, [Iranian commander] Qassem Soleimani, [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, rebuilt the military with $52.5 trillion, created Space Force, and so much more.”

Via Newsweek

He had to run the military!? Right. He’s the poster child for megalomaniac narcissism. He should never, ever again be allowed any governance role in the US.

In less maddening news, I have a new watch/health monitor – a Garmin Vivoactive 4. I like it so far – it fits, feels, and looks better than the Apple watch. It’s a bit more complicated to set up and use, but that part never worries me. I think I got the 45mm version (it’s hard to know for sure, the Amazon and Garmin sites don’t make it easy to determine), so it’s a decent size on the wrist. The Apple’s display is brighter and better, but the Garmin has more features, hugely better battery life, and the aforementioned better look and feel. The watch is part of my latest “get back in shape” plan.

Aaaand…just realized that Friday this week is a Friday the 13th. Yikes. Have to be extra careful that day – I’m not generally superstitious, but something about that date freaks me out a bit. Maybe I have triskaidekaphobia.

Quite a contrast

Here’s part of the Biden celebration of Mother’s Day:

First, today First Lady Jill Biden celebrated Mother’s Day with an unannounced visit to western Ukraine, where she visited Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska at a school currently being used to house internally displaced Ukrainians. Before going to Ukraine, Biden visited displaced Ukrainian mothers and children in Romania and Slovakia, telling them that she wanted to come to “say the hearts of the American people are with the mothers of Ukraine.” On her Facebook page, Biden posted: “On this Mother’s Day, my heart is with you, First Lady Olena Zelenska, and all of the brave and resilient mothers of Ukraine.”

Pulled from Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson

And here’s The Former Guy’s Mother’s Day tweet:

Quite a difference, eh? You couldn’t make this shit up…

Geek style

More old photos. This is what we wore to work in the early 1980s. Here’s a picture of our engineering class upon graduating from a very tough statistics seminar taught by Dr. Thaddeus Regulinski, far left.

Goodyear Aerospace statistics class grads, circa 1981

We wore suits and ties every day, even when we worked in the lab. Compared to today’s ultra-casual, even sloppy, dress code, we were fashionable. And funny in hindsight.

Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day (or is it Mothers’ Day?), and in honor of my Mom I’m cleaning out my home office today. It’s a chore. I’ve found several nice pictures of her I forgot I had, so that’s a win. And creating order from disorder is something she would have liked.

Susan Bates Nichols, sometime in the mid 1950s

I won’t say happy Mother’s Day, because I’m seldom happy on this day. It’s been something like 40 years since she died, but it still hurts. You’d think I would grow out of this. But it is a good day for reflection, and for doing something good or productive that honors her memory.

The Wheel turns

The Wheel turns, and things from long ago repeat.

I spent the night at the Sheraton Harbor Island last night as part of a company event. Spending the night allowed me to skip 2+ hours of brutal freeway driving, so it was a good choice. The last time I spent the night at this Sheraton was exactly 40 years ago, in 1982. And as it turns out, that was the very event that brought me to San Diego.

I was living in Akron OH working for Goodyear Aerospace as an engineer in their high-performance computing group. Yes, there was a Goodyear Aerospace and yes, we built very high performance computers for NASA, the Navy, the NSA and others. We used a technology that one of our group invented, called SIMD, or single instruction multiple data architecture – a parallel processor. Joining that group was the reason I went to Akron after graduation, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

That spring in 1982 I was part of a team that was charged to take our latest machine, a small version of our computer, to the submarine base in Point Loma to be tested aboard a sub. We had to shrink our refrigerator-sized machine into a two foot cube so that it could fit through the sub’s hatch. It was a modern marvel, 2000 custom processors fit into a tiny, intricate cube.

So on a February morning I dug my car out of the ice and snow (a typical Akron morning), drove to Cleveland and boarded my first flight for west of the Rockies. I had never been anywhere; I was unbelievably naive.

We landed in San Diego and they rolled up the departure ramp. In those days you still departed onto the tarmac. I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was sunny, warm, and beautiful. Five hours earlier I had been in the Arctic, and now…wow! I took a shuttle just a half mile or so to the Sheraton Harbor Island, this same hotel, and my mind was blown again. The hotel sits next to a beautiful harbor full of boats.

Harbor Island Marina

This weather and location shock had a big effect on me – it was a true inflection point in my life. The trip and computer test was a success, and two years later I had transferred to our new San Diego office. Forty years later, here I am again.

Happy Thursday

Well, I completely missed the annual Star Wars pun day, May 4th. Atypical, but I had a down day yesterday in which I read a book and tried to ignore the world.

Why would I ignore the world, you ask? Just a brief skim of the news this morning reveals that Ukraine is still under attack; Ohio has elected a cryptofascist asshole (JD Vance) as their GOP Senatorial candidate; the US has now tallied at least 1M COVID deaths; the US Supreme Court is a horrific dumpster fire; and social media is still a cesspool that’s rewiring the brains of young people. Managed to get all that in ten minutes.

So I’d like to read another book today, but I have a lot of meetings scheduled out in the world. At least I’m heading out there with a positive attitude.

UPDATE: Wow, what a day. Spent about three hours and 200 miles on the freeways at 80+ mph, multiple stops and multiple meetings. Really takes it out of you. Started the day interviewing someone for an executive position over a breakfast, then we all four got up and left. Without paying the bill. I ran back and tried to pay up, but the waitress said our interviewee had circled back and paid. Funny in a way, but rather bad form on our part. Dude probably expects a job offer now.

My formal, scheduled meetings with people went really well today. I’m good in a room, if I say so myself. But after it’s all over I’m wiped out. Setting my introvert tendencies aside and being sociable with people is weirdly tiring.

Was it just a dream?

Did I have a long, strange dream? This morning I awoke to the news that Russia is our mortal enemy and threatening nuclear war, that abortion will be illegal in America, that inflation is a huge concern, and that we are about to send people to the Moon. These were the headlines of 1972, and they’re the headlines today, 50 years later. At least I think it’s 50 years later.

Is it simply the Wheel turning, a cycle to be repeated over and over? Or was it all just a dream?

Rough day

Yesterday was a rough day for the family back east. My ex-father-in-law, Bob Cottage, died unexpectedly in North Carolina. While he has been sick a while (leukemia), he was doing better lately. He died a few minutes before EMTs showed up at his house to take him to the hospital.

And then we received the news of a COVID case in the immediate family, in Kentucky. Our family has been largely untouched by the pandemic, but I guess that’s over. We’ll be watching over this person anxiously.

On the Left Coast, yesterday we ended a two and a half day camping trip on Silver Strand State Beach, just south of Coronado. We “camped” in a blacktop parking lot next to a busy road, where we and two other friends parked their RVs right next to us. This campground is a traditional one for one of my friends; they’ve been coming here since childhood. So I suppose they could ignore the road noise, the press of humanity, the smell and noise of the sewage pump truck running up and down the aisles, and the plethora of Let’s Go Brandon flags on the big rig RVs. But I couldn’t. Add to all this the fact that I failed to bring a comfortable outdoor chair, so nowhere to sit, and it was a pretty miserable weekend.

In all fairness we did have some great meals and conversation around a little gas firepit by one of our RVs. It was good to see old friends. But there’s gotta be an easier way to accomplish that.

Final thought, there’s a LOT swirling around in my world all of a sudden. Some destructive chaos in one of my Board companies that I have to try and sort out, a death and a COVID case in the family, one of my brothers making a life-changing move, the ongoing saga of an old friend of mine fighting cancer…it’s a lot. Kind of makes me want to hunker down and just read books.

Last Friday in April

More celebration of how scientists make the world a better place – here’s a new method of producing drinking water from ocean water. Ion concentration polarization, which could give millions of people access to clean, pure water. Low energy consumption, can be powered by a small solar cell, and doesn’t use membrane filters that need cleaning/replacement. Brilliant.

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I’m about ready to sign up for Masterclass again. Educational, entertaining, and inspirational. One of the best investments you can make.

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Wanna travel through the solar system and not leave your desk? Try this very cool simulator.

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Good news for UK basketball – hello, Antonio Reeves!

Atlantic (well, Caribbean) to Pacific

Just booked – a cruise through the Panama Canal in the spring of 2023. Always wanted to see it, and now we’ll get to transit it twice on our way to and from some ports on each side. Should be interesting.

Seriously good article here about permanent shadows on the Moon and the high probability that they contain substantial water in the form of ice. The S Pole on the Moon is where I set my novel, so this qualifies as research for me. And I love the video at the front of the article.