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Old pics of yesterlife

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Where the Star Wars Saga could go..

There is an interesting story that often goes unnoticed about theprequels.

They explain and highlight an ongoing failure.Anakin is trained by Obi-Wan, who was trained by Qui Gon Jin, who wasin turn trained by Count Dooku who was trained by Yoda.  (And who trained Yoda? Oooh…that could be fun. Hadn’t even thought of that.Who or what trained Yoda nearly a millenium earlier?)

But one of the tenants of the Jedi was that they put away things likelove, relationships, etc. They went to a very judicial path. What was the result? Anakin was refused the option to rescue his mother from slavery.(Let’s not even get into how or why the Queen of Naboo would not havesent an emmissary to purchase her freedom. Cause that would of been a no brainer. This is the mother of the hero who saved your wholeplanet.) Later when Padme falls out of the aircraft in their pursuit of Count Duku, Anakin is once again reprimanded to stay focused on themission.

You see, to the Jedi, it is not just anger and fear that arethe dangers. It is the fact that love, relationship, attachment mightlead to those paths. (Think of the old joke about why baptists areafraid of sex, it might lead to dancing.)

Yet, when Yoda had the opportunity to stop Count Dookuhe did not. Heallowed Count Dooku to escape in order to save the lives of youngAnakin and Obi Wan.

Wait…that seems at odds with the guidance thathas been tossed around.  Was even Yoda starting to be at odds with thetenants of the Jedi?  Perhaps even realizing that there was something wrong.  But clearly, come the Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is still strongly attached. When Young Skywalker sees his vision of his friendsin trouble, he wants to help. Yoda advises against it. But Skywalker goes and helps anyways. In fact he does it again to rescue his father from the Darkside. 

And this…is the subtle fact that distinguishes Anakin from Luke.Anakin, endeavored to obey a misguided tenant. He didn’t help those heloved when they needed him. The result was a path that led to anger,hate and the darkside.The Sith on the other hand are all about embracing their intensities.Anger, hate, fear, passion…there is the classical opposition ofchaos versus order, the ying and yang.  But as evil as the the Sith are, the Jedi’s failing stands out strongly.

Look at Qui Gon Jin, whom diverged from the Jedi’s tenants. Who wouldhave been on the council if he wasn’t doing his own thing. Had Qui Gontaken Anakin as his padawan, would he have refused him to return andretrieve his mother?

What hate could drive Anakin to kill younglings, to kill on a level ashe did in Episode III?  It wasn’t hate for an individual. I think it was hate for the Jedi Order and it’s tenants. The realization that even the younglings were but tools for this twisted cult in which itwas more important to be a part of the mold than to do right, to helpthose you cared about. An order which refused the right to love.

I postulate, that the Jedi Order was NOT a good thing. How could ANYTHING sans love be considered good?

Imagine now from that perspective, a realization of just how flawedthe Jedi were. And you understand that a really cool plot line couldbe developed. One in which Luke Skywalker made the realization that the Jedi Order must allow feelings of love, even of anger and hate. Beangry but do not sin.  Being angry is not in and of itself the crime,it is what actions we take while angry.  And a Jedi Order that recognized it’s members humanity (or personhoodity since we’re dealingwith many non-humans), would be far greater than the Jedi Order of old.

We can trace the training of Anakin all the way back to Yoda.  And I postulate this is the flaw that was taught. This is why Count Dooku, Qui Gon Jin, Anakin all fall away to some level or another.

This should be part of the tale of the new films.  They should delve into the flaws of the Jedi order. 

Perhaps with the rumor of some ancient evil force.  We could see some of this explored.  First off I would love this force to in fact be the Jedi who apprenticed Yoda. And what if said evil was neutral to the nth degree. Destructive neutral.  You need positives and negatives in motion in order to make electrical energy.  What if this evil merely sought perfect neutrality. A universe in which the essences of good and evil are removed.  A universe in stasis.

What if the Jedi and the Sith had to come together (and accept each other to some degree) to combat this evil.

Where the Star Wars Saga could go..

There is an interesting story that often goes unnoticed about theprequels.

They explain and highlight an ongoing failure.Anakin is trained by Obi-Wan, who was trained by Qui Gon Jin, who wasin turn trained by Count Dooku who was trained by Yoda.  (And who trained Yoda? Oooh…that could be fun. Hadn’t even thought of that.Who or what trained Yoda nearly a millenium earlier?)

But one of the tenants of the Jedi was that they put away things likelove, relationships, etc. They went to a very judicial path. What was the result? Anakin was refused the option to rescue his mother from slavery.(Let’s not even get into how or why the Queen of Naboo would not havesent an emmissary to purchase her freedom. Cause that would of been a no brainer. This is the mother of the hero who saved your wholeplanet.) Later when Padme falls out of the aircraft in their pursuit of Count Duku, Anakin is once again reprimanded to stay focused on themission.

You see, to the Jedi, it is not just anger and fear that arethe dangers. It is the fact that love, relationship, attachment mightlead to those paths. (Think of the old joke about why baptists areafraid of sex, it might lead to dancing.)

Yet, when Yoda had the opportunity to stop Count Dookuhe did not. Heallowed Count Dooku to escape in order to save the lives of youngAnakin and Obi Wan.

Wait…that seems at odds with the guidance thathas been tossed around.  Was even Yoda starting to be at odds with thetenants of the Jedi?  Perhaps even realizing that there was something wrong.  But clearly, come the Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is still strongly attached. When Young Skywalker sees his vision of his friendsin trouble, he wants to help. Yoda advises against it. But Skywalker goes and helps anyways. In fact he does it again to rescue his father from the Darkside. 

And this…is the subtle fact that distinguishes Anakin from Luke.Anakin, endeavored to obey a misguided tenant. He didn’t help those heloved when they needed him. The result was a path that led to anger,hate and the darkside.The Sith on the other hand are all about embracing their intensities.Anger, hate, fear, passion…there is the classical opposition ofchaos versus order, the ying and yang.  But as evil as the the Sith are, the Jedi’s failing stands out strongly.

Look at Qui Gon Jin, whom diverged from the Jedi’s tenants. Who wouldhave been on the council if he wasn’t doing his own thing. Had Qui Gontaken Anakin as his padawan, would he have refused him to return andretrieve his mother?

What hate could drive Anakin to kill younglings, to kill on a level ashe did in Episode III?  It wasn’t hate for an individual. I think it was hate for the Jedi Order and it’s tenants. The realization that even the younglings were but tools for this twisted cult in which itwas more important to be a part of the mold than to do right, to helpthose you cared about. An order which refused the right to love.

I postulate, that the Jedi Order was NOT a good thing. How could ANYTHING sans love be considered good?

Imagine now from that perspective, a realization of just how flawedthe Jedi were. And you understand that a really cool plot line couldbe developed. One in which Luke Skywalker made the realization that the Jedi Order must allow feelings of love, even of anger and hate. Beangry but do not sin.  Being angry is not in and of itself the crime,it is what actions we take while angry.  And a Jedi Order that recognized it’s members humanity (or personhoodity since we’re dealingwith many non-humans), would be far greater than the Jedi Order of old.

We can trace the training of Anakin all the way back to Yoda.  And I postulate this is the flaw that was taught. This is why Count Dooku, Qui Gon Jin, Anakin all fall away to some level or another.

This should be part of the tale of the new films.  They should delve into the flaws of the Jedi order. 

Perhaps with the rumor of some ancient evil force.  We could see some of this explored.  First off I would love this force to in fact be the Jedi who apprenticed Yoda. And what if said evil was neutral to the nth degree. Destructive neutral.  You need positives and negatives in motion in order to make electrical energy.  What if this evil merely sought perfect neutrality. A universe in which the essences of good and evil are removed.  A universe in stasis.

Girl Scout Cookies

What’s going on?

First off, I understand inflation. We’re now at $4 a box. The sad thing is from my understanding, the individual troop only sees about 50 cents a box.  The council about a $1-$1.50. 

So I ordered my three favorite:
– Tagalongs, now just simply called Peanut Butter Patties
– Trefoils, now just called shortbread
– Thin Mints, which I think have always been called that. But which my kids fondly coined the term “toothpaste” cookies.

So far, I’ve been a bit disappointed this year.  First, the Thin Mints do not taste as good as they used to. They’re drier, not as much chocolate (you can actually see little holes in the surface) and something is not quite as good about the taste. Like, maybe they reduced the fat but lost some flavor.

Peanut butter patties are still decent. But wow are they way way way smaller. But they now have 15 cookies, where as they might have had 12 last time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If that is the case, but if they shrank them and they always had 15 in a box. Then they’ve really reduced the cookie factor by like 25%.

Trefoils, these are WAYYYYYYY thinner than ever before. I am not sure they’ve reduced the quantity of cookie in any way. But a lot more were broken then normal.  Thankfully, they haven’t changed the core recipe here. They are still extremely simple and extremely addictive cookies.

***

That said… I still think Girl Scouts missed the boat the other year when Walmart began selling clones of Girl Scout cookies. They should of basically licensed 3-4 cookies to Walmart.  Allowed Walmart to use the same recipes. In exchange for 15% of the proceeds which would go to whatever Girl Scout council oversaw the given region.

Then let ALL of the profits from those sold by Girl Scouts to stay in their troop. This would of done wonders.

Steve Jobs: The End of the PC Era

While I may begrudge Steve Jobs on many of his and Apple’s policies. I admire him greatly as a visionary.

Steve Jobs & Wozniak pretty much ushered in the era of the “personal computer” with Apple. Apple brought a lot of innovation to the PC world.

One might also argue that Steve Jobs is personally responsible for bringing the era of the PC to an end. That’s not to say personal computers are going to disappear anytime soon, if ever. Rather it is the acceptance of a fundamental shift in computing.

As the PC was a shift from the era of mainframe terminal computing; a new shift away from the PC has occurred. Computing has become even more personal and intimate.

There is no denying that the iPhone truly ushered in the mobile computing era of tablets & computer phones. We now hold in our hands yesteryear’s super-computers. Even recent technologies like email seem old school in light of face-to-face chatting, gps location of loved ones, instant Internet anywhere. The experience is so much more intimate than the old boxes sitting on our desks.

Sure there were earlier attempts. RIM’s blackberry. Palm made a good effort in the 90’s. But none reached the magnitude needed to become sustainable. In fact the iPhone wasn’t the first time Apple envisioned this future. Over a decade ago Apple introduced the Newton. But it was still the Age of PC.

If the PC was the personal computer than this is the IC era: the Intimate, Individual, Interactive, computing experience.

I do not have the statistics on sales of PCs vs smartphones & tablets. But I’d wager one has seen a down growth while the other is surging toward dominance. How soon until the average Joe & Jane give up their unwieldy boxy PCs and just take their tablets? Combined with the near limitless storage of cloud computing. Suddenly, the PC seems less needful today.

I find it fascinating that Steve Jobs’ life seems to span that of the PC. He was at it’s birth. And strangely Steve’s death seems to coincide with the end of the PC age. But what a legacy you left us Steve. Before you departed us, you kicked off a whole new era.

Thank you for being the visionary you were…

– Jason

[Composed on an iPhone]

TRON: Legacy

I have waited over 25 yrs for this movie. A quarter of a century is a long time to wait for a sequel…

So here’s my review….I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible.

The new TRON movie is a bit darker, a little less playful. If I had to describe it in terms of other films, it is a cross of the original “TRON”, “Blade Runner”, and “I, Robot”.  With much more the feel of Blade Runner.  I think many will feel that the movie progresses a tad too slowly.

TRON Legacy is no Matrix. It’s not going to leave you walking out of the theaters thinking their is a splinter in your mind. It’s hard to make a firm judgment on the film, as we’ve had near dream-like expectations. The honest truth, it doesn’t meet those dreams.  That said, there is a lot to enjoy in the sequel. Including seeing some ol’ friends.

NON SPOILING:

The Positives:
– Revisiting the Grid
– Some stellar visuals
– Great soundtrack
– Ol’ friends.
– Glowing blue coolness
– Solar sails
–  The Recognizers….I always loved these, but the new ones are uber-cool.
– 3D, TRON is a movie that benefits from 3D. Ironically, the most overwhelming scene for me was a flyover at the beginning of the movie in the real world. Literally made my stomach dip; and felt like I was falling.

The Negatives
– Slow at times
– Some convoluted dialog and statements.
– Doesn’t quite have the magic of the original
– No multiplying bugs
– No bits (Yes, No, No, NO)
– Miss 90 degree turns
– Jeff Bridges portrayal of Flynn was not quite what I was expecting. But that could be a good thing.

[Minor Spoilers]
The Positives:
– Clu, was by far the the most TRON like feeling character. To me, he fit the world so well. I loved the performance, even the look and feel of him.
– I was not as disappointed in the performance of Sam Flynn, had heard a lot of trash about the acting. But though it was decent, except for the final closing shot.
– There is an aerial seen that is rather impressive at points.
– TRON, nice to see this character included in the sequel.
– Pre-Grid real world stuff. A touch of hokiness here and there. But I actually REALLY liked this part.
– There is definitely a big window left open for a sequel at the end. And I think I’d like to see one. While this film may not have fully lived up to my expectations. I think it has actually laid the groundwork for a much better follow-up film.

The Negatives:
– Castor character, saw a lot of praise for this character. But it didn’t do much for me.
– Felt how they described the ISOs was kind of weird, and would have come across much better if they just described them as “souls”.
– There were aspects that seemed to be cut out and never came to fruitation.  Two examples. Sam Flynn picks up an extra light cycle bar. You expect it to get used at some point, but never does. Another is the mention of one particular light cycle being faster than all others. But we never get the opportunity to see this.

Overall Score:
C+ to a B, I am really not settled yet. I think I need to see it a second time.  Somewhere between a score of 78-84. (Probably closer to the 84.)

I did enjoy this film. It had it’s weak spots for sure (Jeff Bridges defining of what an ISO is being the biggest for me). But it also had it’s strengths.  I have found that after a day or so I am still running a lot of imagery and scenes in my head – which is a good thing. I’d definitely have changed a few things. But I am determined to see it again, and even perhaps bring my wife.

UPDATE:  Saw it a second time on IMAX3D. I enjoyed it more the second time. Had decent re-play value. Brought my wife, she enjoyed it as well. Gave it a 7 out of 10. Mind you, my wife is not from my generation and did not grow up on TRON.

Apple – why, why do you have to be so evil?

Oh how the children suffer. So all I wanted to do was output TV from my iPhone to my monitor. Like I used to do with my iPod. So my children can watch Monster’s Inc.  Our DVDs are still packed somewhere.  I have a legal digital copy on my iPhone.

Once again Apple’s draconian DRM policies strike again. Apparently now we need cables with little chips in them to output. And they only output certain applications.

L-A-M-E

So all this in the name of copyright protections. It almost makes you want to start “pirating” movies. If you’re going to have to deal with this much crap. You might as well not pay for movies.


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