The list

Well I pulled out my computer to write this post and the battery died. Farewell computer. All I have left now is my tablet.

that isn’t what this post is. I thought that having a few days off work would allow me to post some proper blogs. Starting today I’ll star posting about stuff.  Mostly things about which I know nothing.

  1. Shelter
  2. Review – Abaddon’s Gate
  3. Weekly Recap
  4. Communion
  5. Review – The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  6. Justice
  7. TV
  8. Help
  9. And something else
  10. Weekly Recap

putting down the list is a halfway measure of showing commitment.

Lets see if I come through.

And this tablet is working poorly too. Grr.

This week brought to you by…

I complain too much on this blog. Sorry about that. It is a bit one sided.

My friends and family in southern Alberta all seem sound. That is a blessing.

Next week this recap will be written during my vacation. That is cool.

I just finished a book called Abbadon’s Gate which I really enjoyed.

I discovered a new board game I simply must own. I have a month to get it before my other summer vacation.

Work is solid. The shock of March is passed. The uncertainty of April is over. The cuts of May have been reversed. Now it is just work.

We tried a truly loathsome drink Friday night. It was some fermented yoghurt thing. That was fun.

Tim clued me into a nifty writeup on dragons. I quite liked it.

Dave found a great little poster.

If I had more energy there’d be links.

The sun is still shining. I’m relaxed and getting ready for sleep.

Thanks to Mom today. I took advantage of her kindness.

I think that is all.

Take care and stay safe.

Scooter Woes

I’m hoping the litany of what is below builds to humour and not just pity.

I was driving in the mall last Monday and my scooter started acting weird.  When I went up a ramp it shuddered and stopped and started beeping at me.  If I turned it off and on again it would move again.  But it took five of these stops and starts to get up the ramp.  

I had been planning to ride my scooter home, but being stranded at the mall seemed better than being stranded on the road home. 

I called DATS.  They picked me up. 

I already didn’t trust my scooter.  After the problems in the winter I’d already been planning to replace it this summer during my holiday.  But after my mobility issues of the last couple weeks, I’m now in the market for a wheelchair.  My test drives are on the 3rd of June.  So I do not want to do anything with it now.  I want to just ride it out until I get the replacement.

Friday I got on my scooter to find that the back rear aft tyre was flat as a pancake.  Not a fluffy pancake, but a crepe.  I figured this explains the Monday issues.  The tire was getting low and the motor couldn’t work hard enough to get it up the slope.  I was relieved.

My Dad was in a wheelchair working for his whole adult life.  I think he missed less work in his career than I have in the last week.  But I called into work.  I figured I could work from home.

I called my go to tire pumper.  His compressor was on the fritz and he was on his way out of town for the weekend.

I put out the call on Facebook.  Within 30 minutes I had two offers.  Facebook is awesome for that. Matty left work, went home got his compressor, came over and pumped up my tire.  He is awesome.  He then rubbed soap bubbles over the tire and determined that there was a pretty substantial leak.  By his figuring  the tire might not last a day. 

Fortunately I have spares.  Yay!  I thought they were in the closet.  We checked.  They weren’t there.  So I figured they were in the cage downstairs.  I told Matty to leave and I’d get someone to get they when the guys came over that night.

As soon as Matt left, I began to worry that the tires were actually in Mom’s truck. Of course Mom is on a bus trip.  I called her to verify, but she only turns on her phone when she feels like it.  

I called my brother and asked him to go to Mom’s and check the truck for tires.  He said by noon he’d have it done.  At noon he called me from Mom’s saying, “I forgot.  Mom drove to Lethbridge and took the bus from there.”    I knew that too and had also forgotten. 

I called Dan to ask if he could check the cage just in case.  Of course I’ve lost the key to the cage.  But Dan has bolt cutters.  But Dan was on his way out of town too.  And the percentage chance was low anyway.

I resigned myself to waiting until Mom got back on Sunday.  Now Mom’s trip was in the Kootenay’s which flooded and she needed to come back over the mountains during the flood.  And then get her vehicle in Lethbridge – under flood watch.  Mom made it fine.

I tried calling again at 3.  She had turned her phone on.  Yay.  But she said she had moved the tires out of the vehicle and into the storage cage in her condo basement.  

I sent Tim over again.  He got the tires.  Yay!

Problem solved.  I could have the guys replace the tire when they came over Friday night.

Then things feel apart again.  Two issues.  I thought I had inflatable tires.  Nope.  They are like bike tires.  Seperate inner tube.  And I had no spares of that.  Second the tires were for the front not the rear.  

But now it was Friday evening.  The scooter shop service bays won’t be open until Monday.

Now I made two more bad assumptions.  First, I assumed Matt’s leak test must be invalid since he was detecting a leak from the wrong place.  So I hoped it would last longer than he estimated.  Second, I took it down to gaming as a test.  At the end of the night the tire seemed solid still.     

Result: I hoped it would be good enough to get me to work and home again.  I hate missing work. 

Sunday.  I decided to go to mass and then the mall to further test the tire.  Also selfishly I really wanted out of the house and to see people after being stuck here on Saturday.  Not that I normally see people Saturday.  But it is way more lonely when it isn’t by choice. 

At the end of mass the tire still looked good.  As I drove away, Dave said, “Tire looks low,” in a jokey tone of voice.

“Don’t say that!” I said.  “Um, does it really look low?”

“You’re OK.”

I was at the mall for 20 minutes when I knew something was wrong.  I checked my tire and it was low.  I called DATS for an emergency pick up.  That took 3.5 hours. 

While I was sitting there waiting the tire deflated the rest of the way.  I’d already called Dave for a rescue.  He’d agreed to come over in the evening and fix the tire.  He texted back soon after and said that even better he could get his brother the auto mechanic to fix it.  

i called Dave early and asked for an emergency pump so I could at least get home.  He beat DATS to me by 45 minutes. 

Now having ruined Dave’s plans for the day I finally got home. 

Dave came over to fix the tire. 

Which is where we are now.  The current issue?  The tire just won’t come off.  We are 1.5 hours into the repair and it is still as snug and secure as it can be.  Dave is currently off buying more tools.  (We didn’t actually to anything for 1.5 hours.  I did nothing all along.  Dave was interrupted for 30 minutes when the building was evacuated for a fire alarm. 

Worst case scenario?  I call Shopper’s Home Health Care on Monday.  They pick it up Tuesday.  They don’t have the right tube to fix it.  That takes, what, a week to come in?  I never make it to work again.  I’m still here on the 3rd when they show up for my wheelchair trial. 

The scooter falls on Dave as he tries to get the wheel off crippling him badly.  I get them to bring a wheelchair for him to trial as well.

Then the tire problems migrate to the battery which explodes and kill us all.  

🙂  But maybe all these problems are just making me overly optimistic.   

Creekside Care continues

The government reversed its decision regarding the care co-op at Creekside yesterday.

I wonder if my Mom’s letter did anything.

Or the care group meeting with MLAs.

Or the protests.

Or those of us who signed the petition

Or those of you who just talked about it.

Thank you all.

I thought done was done. I am thrilled to see the government revisit this decision as well as two other co-ops. These are unique and visionary homes. They aren’t facilities. They are homes. And now the residents can continue to get the care they require.

(Personally I believe this has everything to do with news eyes at the top of AHS. It is easier for another decision maker to see where exceptions might be warranted. ).

There is every likelihood Creekside will be my home. I’m thrilled to see this model continue.

Man of Steel – A review and critique

This review will contain significant plot spoilers. Do not read past the next paragraph if you plan to see the movie.

As a movie, I do not think Man of Steel works. It does many things well, but falls apart in the third act.

Superman has a good character arc. The supporting characters get good moments, but not astounding ones. Lois Lane is not played as a damsel in distress. And General Zod is a credible and effective villain.

The acting is good too. But not exceptional.

The action and special effects are incredible. They are really the showcase of the movie.

Those are ultimately the greatest flaw of the show too. The final third of the movie is wall to wall action and effects. Cities, ships, robots and people are all destroyed. By the end of the movie I became numb. And the villain, with a valid worldview (evil but valid) is stopped by punching him into submission.

I’ve seen the issue with lots of action movies. I remember it clearly with the end of the Matrix trilogy. There is a complicated setup, action is always a part, but the final act is all punching and none of the complexity. There seems to be a desire to have an action filled climax. But finding a satisfying resolution of that action is missing.

In the end, you get a forgettable movie.

Ok. That is the movie. But I also have problems with the depiction of Superman. These align with my own biases on what I want a Superman story to be. The writer, producer and director made different choices. These might be valid interpretations, but they remain unsatisfying for me.

— lots of spoilers below. If I didn’t warn you off before, leave now. —

  1. Superman doesn’t kill. Never. That isn’t realistic. It is harder to right a movie where he doesn’t kill than where he does. But that is Superman. That is uncool now. There is a sense that in order to achieve justice, bad villains must meet bad ends at the heroes hands. But it is false. Especially with Superman. Soldiers and police can be forced to kill as part of their jobs and still be heroic. But not Superman.

    Superman kills Zod. This is actually the least of my issues. See above – I just think people have a hard time resolving action movies now. It is lazy.

    Superman kills off the Kryptonian crèche. Really? “They had their chance.” Dude! They had Superman knowingly commit genocide. This is a horrendous depiction of the character. He is as bad as anything Zod was planning to do.

    Superman fights in a crowded metro polar area. My idea of Superman takes the fight out of the crowded metro area specifically to preserve life. The movie wanted to destroy a city though. All the collapsing buildings looked bloodless, but a modern audience knows what really happens.

    This was all bad.

  2. Superman as an alien messiah. This is a common interpretation of Superman. But it isn’t one I like. I find it creates a distance between the audience and the protagonist when what you want is engagement. It works for a one-off story, but not the foundation of a franchise. If you missed the common imagery and parallels in the movie I won’t enumerate them. The movie also tried to have this both ways. Sometimes he had real human emotions and relationships. It creates a weird dichotomy.

    My preference is to base him on the Kansas farm boy. He is a Superman, but the key term is man. He he the same drives, fears, loves and joys as humans.

  3. A culture of fear. Superman was raised to fear the world around him. This is the X-men origin not the Superman origin. The movie works because Supes puts his trust in mankind anyway and it pays off (although they try to kill him a bit first). But it makes no sense. Why would someone raised to fear others opinions ever put himself in their hands?

    It seems very of the moment. A depiction that rings true for the America of right now. But it isn’t Superman. And it won’t age well. Truth and Justice will stay as ideals. The American Way, whatever that is, will be inspiring to Americans. But eventually we’ll grow out of fear.

More than the problems with the movie, the issues with Superman’s depiction lead me to not recommend this show.

YMMV.

Weekly Recap

Last week had a pile load of difficulties. I had some new significant mobility issues at home and work. I had a kidney stone. And just today my scooter started acting up again.

I was asked if I felt any different, older, at forty. “Yeah. After the last week, I feel older. ”

But last week had grooviness in large measure.

AHS took my issues seriously and mobilized quickly. I saw them three times last week and on Friday one of the mobility issues was resolved. I have a lot of complaints about AHS, but the dedication of the people working on my case is not one of them. They were pretty awesome.

Saturday, we did a guys day out thing. A couple hours chat over dinner and beers followed by a movie. It was very nice. I’m glad that they all seem to be doing well. Good times. Looking forward to the Guys Weekend when we’ll get to do the same with added games.

Sunday was an outing with the family. (Handy to have a brother fall into both groups.). We went to Amaluna. I’ve never seen a Cirque de Soleil show before. It was incredible. My favourite bit was the stick balancing act, but all the sections were great. If you’ve never seen a show, I highly recommend it.

Good times with friends and family. Then I took today off to recover.

Time to go back at it tomorrow.

Take care all. I know many are dealing with both highs and lows greater than mine. My thoughts and prayers are with y’all.