February 2nd, 2014


Suffering The Slings And Arrows Of Entropy

I suppose it began with Mrs. Dr. Phil's Kindle Fire. Or maybe it was the piece of the roof peak vent that got bent over in a storm. But entropy, as it is wont to do, has been rearing its ugly head lately.

The plastic tank to the humidifier in the bedroom cracked and began to leak. No, it didn't leak on the floor. It was perched on the little telephone table, so it soaked part of our pile of a zillion freebie notepads. And we were just talking the day before that we couldn't stand to throw out perfectly good paper.

We've had in most of the last 18-20 years, so we used the hell out of it. It's okay. The new one will have a UV light and won't need a bleach solution.

Then today the washing machine started to make a bad noise -- motor running but no movement of the agitator. Fortunately it must have been in the rinse cycle, because it would drain, then fill, then drain again without too much suds in the water.

Our first washing machine I think lasted 18 years in three locations. That meant this one dates to maybe 2002. I think it's had one service call -- the open lid sensor failed. Anyway, service guy coming Tuesday.

I hates Entropy. I hates it!

Dr. Phil

G.D. Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day didn't make an impression on me at first. Oh, with relatives in Pennsylvania and growing up next door in the Western New York snowbelt, I was well versed in Punxsutawney Phil And His Special Day. Big fan of Bill Murray. And even had two parents from the Pittsburgh region, the unseen Holy Grail desperately sought for in the movie.

As a comedy, Groundhog Day is not the sort of movie I'd go see in the theatre. And chopped up with commercials and looped around, it's not a good movie to learn to love by stumbling on it randomly when flipping through cable channels. I can dive into Starship Troopers or The Fifth Element or a Jason Bourne movie anywhere and watch it. No, Groundhog Day needs to be seen complete to get the full effect of Bill Murray's descent into a Hell defined by an annoying alarm clock YOU HAVE NO CONTROL TO STOP FROM COMING ON with the inevitable Sonny and Cher.

My appreciation for this movie comes from the simple fact that this is one of Mrs. Dr. Phil's favorite movies. And somewhere along the way, we acquired a VHS tape. Alas, our VCR serves pretty much as a living room clock these days. And... it's not on Netflix. Oh, it's on Amazon Prime streaming video... but not free. It's $6.99.

Yeah, 11:50am on Groundhog Day and we just bought a virtual license to watch Groundhog Day EVERY Groundhog Day. Over and over and over... some sort of symmetry there. Assuming that this newfangled upstart Amazon.com thing lasts for any length of time. (grin) Add it to the Watch list on the Kindle, it's easier than searching on the TV screen or hooking up the USB keyboard to the Sony Blu-Ray player and keying in the same. And poof! there it is on the screen. Click on the gold buy it for streaming box, enter in the 5-digit PIN and double-poof! The box is now green. Play.

There's a really nice essay on Tor.com about how Groundhog Day breaks all the rules for multiple genres. I think she nails it.

This must've been an "interesting" shoot. We're not talking the usual multiple takes, but multiple versions. Aiiii!

I shouldn't like this as much as I do, but I think that's the genius of it. I've seen references to this as the 20th anniversary. But I checked Wikipedia and it said in opened 12 February 1993. That'd be twenty-one years ago. Oh, but February 12th? It opened a week and a half AFTER Groundhog Day. Who does that? So, that means this is the twentieth opportunity to see Groundhog Day on Groundhog's Day.

Who else could go for flapjacks right now? (I'm betting he's going to swerve first.)

Dr. Phil