Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Zombie Mob

Thrill the World is an annual event I didn’t even know about until I happened to see an ad in a newspaper. (See? Print media still has its advantages.) This took place in Redmond, a suburb of Seattle. Specifically, it was at the Redmond Town Center.

Part of a tent

Before we get to the zombies, here’s an independent bookstore there. It’s cleverly named Bricks & Mortar Books. They have a different flavor of selection than a Barnes & Noble, or the Amazon stores. If you’re in the Redmond area, support your local bookstore.

I wasn’t trying to get too many pictures, so I’ll limit myself to a few of the better ones.

I saw a bee figure in the distance and wondered what that had to do with zombies. Oh.

The little girl in front really nailed it. She was all-out creepy.

And who says zombies can’t enjoy Octoberfest?

Looks like they just came from Leavenworth. (That’s local humor for the state of Washington.)

And this couple were the best ones there, for my money.

 click to enlarge

This really doesn’t do justice to how elaborate her hair was.

They had a tent for people to assemble their makeup. You might notice a corporate sponsor.

Some guy in Marketing must have thought it was a neat idea to associate their multi-billion dollar transnational company with blood-thirsty creatures.

So that was how I spent my Saturday. And remember the bookstore. 

[Permission granted to use any photo on this post, so long as it is labeled “Photo by Mark Murata”]

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Movie Review: Antman and the Wasp

Now that Antman and the Wasp can be purchased, here is my gentle review. This is a fun, lighthearted superhero movie. The main characters don’t mope around brooding, and the fate of the world is not at stake. And to quote someone whom I will reference below, just about every scene in the movie works: The action scenes deliver, and the funny scenes are funny. 

Not only do Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly deliver their roles, the minor characters are surprisingly funny. Michael Peña as the Hispanic assistant and David Dastmalchian as the Russian assistant are a scream. And Randall Park as the hapless FBI agent knows how to make himself ridiculous.

Still, I had the nagging feel that the movie was not as satisfying as it could have been. K.M. Weiland in one of her posts on writing nailed it: The whole was less than its parts. Paul Rudd’s character of Antman was “ancillary” to the plot. I could go further and say he was unnecessary. The main conflict in the story was centered on The Wasp. Although Antman had good action scenes, the little plot twists that made him necessary could have been credibly handled by other characters.

But since Antman was so fun, he really should be in the movie. When you see it, just think of the movie as The Wasp, with Antman as a supporting character. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Yeoman Martha Landon Passed Away

This was not your average blonde, female yeoman on the old Star Trek. Skip to 6:15 on this clip, and witness how Yeoman Landon takes out two natives who attack the landing party.

She was played by Celeste Yarnall, who had roles in Hogan’s Heroes, Bewitched, and It Takes a Thief. She passed away this past Sunday, October 7.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Stop Google from Going Googly on You

Ever look up vests on Google, or just the word “invest,” and for weeks it shows you ads on vests? What’s disturbing is not so much their taste in vests (which is questionable), but the fact they are tracking every word you use. Supposedly, this is just to do nice things for you like show you ads for stuff you like. Right. Why don’t we just let them search through our wallets? (More on that later.)

Kim Commando is a very reliable tech guru who has been giving valuable free advice for years. If you want to stop Google’s personalized ads, click here and go down to “Here's how to turn off Google's personalized ads.” The interfaces may look a little different from what she described, but the process works. Google’s ads only have short-term memory for me now.

That’s a start. But is that the end of Google’s data collection efforts on you? For irony, look at this puff piece they’ve put out for themselves. It’s funny at 2:50. The woman says, “Google has such a wide reach, so anything that I work on, I know it’s impacting, like, hundreds of thousands, probably millions.”

But it’s all to do nice things for you. Right.


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