Double cold weekend

Sunday dawned cold and windy, much as yesterday, although today we managed a degree higher, with 17°C being the maximum temperature in Sydney. Again I stayed indoors for most of the day, only venturing out with my wife and Scully for a bit of afternoon play and exercise in a nearby park. They also visited my mother-in-law for morning tea, leaving me at home to deal with constructing the final few Irregular Webcomic! strips from the current batch, and launch into writing annotations for them.

Oh, but if you were worried about me freezing to death in this horrid 16-17°C Antarctic cold, don’t despair. The forecast for the coming week has our Sydney winter temperatures back up to a comfortable 26°C.

I’m currently in the middle of writing an annotation for one, which requires a considerable amount of work and research. I’ve written 1900 words so far, and am not even really close to being finished. I’ll have to leave it until tomorrow.

Last night to relax during the evening I watch the 1986 movie Labyrinth, for the first time ever. I feel like I was catching up on a bit of my childhood that I somehow missed at the time. It was exactly the sort of movie I would have watched and enjoyed as a child, except for some reason I never did see it at the time. Although in a modern sense the film is very dated and not very sophisticated, I enjoyed watching it – perhaps more for the sense that it made me feel like a kid again than for its own intrinsic quality.

New content today:

Be very very quiet…

I spent most of today writing – or trying to write – new Irregular Webcomic! scripts. So there’s not very much to say about that.

In the past week I’ve watched a couple of interesting movies on Netflix with a common theme: they’re both horror films in which people need to stay silent in order to avoid attracting monsters that are blind and hunt by sound. The films are A Quiet Place (2018) and The Silence (2019). I recommend them both. They have a lot in common, but a few interesting differences. The following discussion will have some minor details on the premise and set-up of each film, but nothing I would consider a plot spoiler. (But if you’re very sensitive to spoilers and think you might want to watch these films, then you may want to skip the rest of today’s post.)

It’s interesting that both films feature a stable nuclear family with mum, dad, a boy, and a girl, and that in both films the girl is older and more mature, and also deaf, thus justifying the family learning sign language – which is used extensively in both films so that the characters can communicate without speaking (and thus without making potentially fatal noise). Also coincidentally, both films have a running time of exactly 90 minutes.

But it’s what’s different that makes comparing the films fun. The monster designs are very different, apart form the commonality of being blind but with excellent hearing. One film has large, scary, ground-based alien things that basically kill you as soon as they touch you, while the other has small flying creatures that you have some (small) chance of beating off or distracting, thus leaving injured people.

One film is claustrophobic and tense, while the other is more open and a bit lighter. Reviews indicate the tenser film received praise, while the lighter one was criticised – but honestly I enjoyed the lighter one more. I’m not sure I can say why exactly. Maybe I was just trying to relax and looking for something easy to watch. I did enjoy both of them though.

New content today:

Train to Busan

Last night my wife went to read in bed early and left me with the TV, so I picked a movie from Netflix. I’d heard good things about Train to Busan. It’s a Korean horror movie, in which a guy and his young daughter are riding a train to escape… well, I won’t say any more. But yeah, I really enjoyed it, and recommend it. There’s one scene in particular which is just amazing and freaky. If you enjoy horror films, then you should like this one.

This morning I had my weekly Ethics class. We were finishing up the topic on animal rights, after four weeks. That’s too long for a topic, in my opinion… talking with the kids about the same topic for that long gets a bit repetitive. I wish all the topics were a maximum of three weeks long. The kids were a lot better behaved than last week – I guess the teacher had a chat with the worst offenders after my report last week. Most of the class went pretty well, although it descended into a bit of chatter towards the end, but still it was much better than last week.

On the way home I walked past the hardware store and picked up a big pack of microfibre cloths for cleaning various things, as well as some strong spring clamps, which I’m going to use to clamp one of my shoes when I glue the sole that is starting to lift on one side.

Back home, my friend who organises our fortnightly games nights posted an invitation to this Friday’s virtual online event. Actually, to set it up, I should show you the image he posted two weeks ago:

Games night invitation 1

It was an invitation in a very 1980s style. Well, today he went a little bit further back into the past:

Games night invitation 2

He said now he was going to look for more historical periods to use for future invitations, which prompted me to make this:

Aztec gaming meme

Looking forward to the games on Friday night! 😄

New content today:

Solo Sunday

Solo Sunday in more ways than one. My wife took Scully and went to visit her mum today, and I used the time to sit down and rewatch Solo (a Star Wars story), in preparation for starting planning on converting it into a Darths & Droids story. Yes, we’re planning ahead that far now. I think it’s only my third time watching it through, and there were several plot points I’d forgotten about, so I’m glad I did it.

This evening I had a cooking emergency, precipitated by my habitual lack of mise en place (as mentioned in the last new Irregular Webcomic!). I started boiling up some pasta, intending to just throw some pesto from a jar onto it. The pasta was boiling away, when I went to the fridge to grab the pesto… and there was none. And no spare jar in the pantry (where there is usually a spare).

So suddenly I had 10 minutes to make a pasta sauce/topping. And working with the constraints that I’m currently on a restricted diet in preparation for a colonoscopy in a few days – no seeds, and nothing coloured red. So no tomatoes.

I quickly went into a cooking frenzy, chopping broccoli into tiny florets, frying it up in olive oil, adding pine nuts, fresh garlic, chili, and then shaving some parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top once it was done. I also added a squirt of lemon juice once it was all prepared and served. It turned out pretty well! Phew. Another triumph for No-mise-en-place-man!

In other news, I got an email from the organisers of the market where I have my stall, selling photography print. They have cancelled the markets for August and September (which would have been three markets), due to caution over COVID cases in Sydney. So that’s another two months without any face-to-face selling income or handing out business cards.

New content today: