Midweek Geekiness: The Avengers Are Com…I mean… Assembling!

Oh baby:

Hard to believe the sequel will release very soon. Nearly 3 years have passed since The Avengers. The successive movies, plus TV’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D show a different setting as the venerable agency couldn’t stop a hydra threat. (Unless Coulson shows up disguised as a waiter, and says ‘Short version…not dead’ a la Sherlock.)

I admit the poster looks ‘busy’, even busier than the last one if that’s even possible. Compare it to the German version I found on Tumblr:

Looks like 90% less Ultron drones

I look forward to Black Widow kicking ass, Tony delivering the Stark snark, bashful Bruce and the green rage monster, mighty Thor and his hammer, the Captain leading the charge, and…

Image Credit: screenrant.com

Hawkeye not under someone’s control and talking. Oh, and his arms, must not forget the arms. Early reports say not only does Clint Barton have the best lines, but we finally see what went on between all the movies. Can Jeremy Renner top “Let me seduce the rich guy” from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol?

Unlike the first film, one even the actors wondered if it will work, the second film comes with so many expectations. The clips so far ratchets the action, but also kicks up the humour and the relationships. Hawkeye speaks, but we discover Thor has a sense of humour as shown by the party scene. (I swear a chorus of heavy sighing happened as Thor wore jeans, and then intensified as he emerged from a pool of water sans shirt.) We also see a team as the time bomb Bruce predicted as Tony Stark will find a way to mess up. The man is a genius, but he can be a stupid-ass genius we don’t always agree with all the time. (Apologies to Mr. Samuel L. Jackson. This is my homage to one of my favourite lines from the first film.)

Better get moving and buy my ticket.

Music Monday: Cooking Up A Soundtrack El Caliente From the Movie ‘Chef’

While I enjoy a good superhero filled with action and sass, Jon Favreau wrote and directed a small film called ChefMost people know him helping launch the Marvel cinematic universe with Iron Man; Chef throws back to the films making Favreau a household name with character banter and delicious detail found in his first film Swingers. (Trivia Tidbit: Favreau wrote the screenplay for Swingers, but Doug Liman directed it. Yes, the same guy later directed Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.)

Chef tells the story of Carl Casper trying to get his culinary creativity back after years of pleasing everyone after erupting, over lava cake no less, at a food critic. The incident gets captured by smartphones and goes viral. Adding to the failure of his marriage to Inez (Sophie Vergara), Carl finds his life in shambles, and nearly making him more estranged from his son Rudy (Emjay Anthony).

Through Inez’s encourage, and an old food truck given to him by Inez’s second ex Marvin (Robert Downey, Jr), Carl travels back making not only reconnecting with his creativity, but with his son as well. The film has gorgeous shots of the food Carl makes, and I will never look at a sandwich like a sandwich ever again.

The film soundtrack has the same careful selection as the ingredients for a meal. It’s chock-full of Cuban bits that will make a person find their hips. Sprinkled like powdered sugar on a Beignet are a few New Orleans Jams. Need a Monday wake up call, or at least I do while I do 7:30 am shifts for a co-worker on vacation, here are some Grade-A choice cuts to feed your ears:

*Just a note it’s not your Marvin Gay version, but still make things shakin’ and rockin’

Tap-Dancing Gremlins On My Chest, and A Week 2 Hiccup

Green Coffee Cup Shot (2)

I have some mugs that go with my dish set, and these can hold 355 ml, or 12 fl oz for Americans. The green mug over here holds a touch more, but I notice it comes out if heavy duty work needs caffeine.

My plans yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, turned to dust. The reason involves the dust in the air around Winnipeg. After the snow leaves, sand accumulates on the sidewalks and roads, taking flight with the rush of traffic or high winds. We had some high winds last week, while traffic around my the campus makes the grit visible. It also makes it breathable no matter how much I hold my breathe to pass through the worse of the clouds.

After two days of stuffy nose, itchy watery eyes, my chest still dealt with a tightness like a gremlin sitting on my chest, refusing to move. I went home early on Friday, and yesterday went to Urgent Care at Misericordia Hospital. The clinics near my home had limited hours, and I needed a decent shot at an X-ray to see if the pneumonia returned. The clinics did not have access to X-rays unless it’s serious enough to transfer a patient to an ER.

Urgent care has that happy medium between a walk in clinic, and immediate care facility. In their words:

Urgent Care specializes in handling non-life-threatening emergencies, providing assessment and treatment for urgent health concerns. It plays a strong role in providing support for city emergency departments, helping 43,300 people a year.

Minor accidents, pain and illness can happen anytime… Urgent Care is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Whether you’ve broken an arm, your baby has a fever, or you are living with mental illness, we’re here to help.

The Canadian health care system is not perfect, but I can go here without declaring bankruptcy later. My work plan covers things not under the Canadian Health Care Act like dental. As a person with a gremlin sitting on her chest, it makes me proud as a Canadian to have access to it…for now.

We take breathing for granted.

I intellectually know we take breathing for granted, but sometimes the lesson requires practical supplementation, or a prescription for two different puffers. It sucks either way. Also sucking are the people saying ‘lose weight’. Thankfully not the doctor I saw, but many people get ‘lose weight’ as a substitute for medical practice. To those doctors I say your brethren are onto you with studies on weight bias. In order for a person to even do 10,000 steps, THEY NEED TO BREATHE. They also need a universal health care plan, a living wage, access to affordable healthy food, and a government giving a damn about people in general.

The symptoms started at the worse possible moment: Week 2 in coding class. Week 2 in any class gives a sense of the instructor, and the class in general. I think my turning point on distance versus in-class has begun. My instructor seems like a decent guy, but his teaching style and my learning style may have trouble meshing. If a class ever needed a flip it’s this one. Let’s do the readings at home, and do the exercises in class. I almost had it right. I just needed a reference sheet with the following:

  1. use .htm (always use it when saving)
  2. choose ‘All Files’ in the drip down menu in note book
  3. Choose UTF-8 under the coding drop down menu

I would also employ 3a to read please tell the woman next to me I cannot listen to two people at once, including one used to leading people. Remember to do so in a polite and affirming manner as I like her.

It took me years, and sometimes I miss getting the handle; If things go quickly,or I feel a person doesn’t acknowledge I have half a brain, I check out. I not only check out, I turn into Unikitty from The Lego Movie:

At least on the inside. My voice as I express those feelings take on a steely edge. Again, it took years just to get a handle on doing THAT. I have faith in myself to do the work, and finish the course successfully. It just take one step at a time, and one breath as well.

Here We Go A-Coding

image

The first foray. Can you tell I had a wee bit of a long day?

The instructor for my class doesn’t mind tweeting if nobody gets disturbed. As a social media nut even I have limits as to when, and where, to do it. I quickly captured a photo using my WordPress app on my phone. People may tweet, but how about a somewhat-live blog of a ten week course. Behold week 1 above.

We learned the basics after some introductions amongst the class. I peg average age of the class as 35. Not a lot of people have experience, and I admit needing a refresher.  It’s a four hour class, with a recommended four hours of work in between. My last post, with the cute Merida gif, happened after leaving work on time, caught a bus, got home, had toast and coffee for supper, then got down to work. I finished after two hours with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as my reward.

It also helps having my friends E and R serving as examples of self-discipline. E held down a full-time job as she completed in Masters in Library and Information Sciences. R reduced her work hours to take a full time day program. I will add as a bonus another friend, C, who rented out her home to take the MLIS program in another city. I will not bore you with the people taking courses with kids. In other words: Don’t kvetch.

And now onward to Week Two….

Meanwhile, In Another Part Of The Forest

Currently working on my Web Development homework aka ‘the coding class’. Things went fine until I hit exercise 3. Then…

I will let you know how things go. At least I did the three exercises, with the rest of my week 1 homework rounded out with reading. I also need a website idea. Get those things out of the way tomorrow, and I can get back to writing.

Music Monday: Misty Mountains by Richard Armitage and Dwarf Cast

Sometimes you want to slow things down. The first time I read The Hobbit, I wondered how long the Misty Mountains song would go on in the chapter. I also remembered thinking Thorin as a jerk. Not just any jerk, but a bonafide, numero uno, block-headed, stubborn, and curmudgeonly as Tolkien described him as older than Bilbo.

Fast forward to the initial casting as I even felt surprised Richard Armitage, the youngest actor they saw for the role, won the part. Dwarves, like Elves, aged slowly and the producers needed someone to be an elder statesman and still be warrior. Mission accomplished. Thorin also needed to be a Class-A jerk. Armitage has experience in playing jerk-y characters. Mission also accomplished.

I watched the final movie over the weekend. Unlike the other Blu-ray releases, I didn’t tear off the package right away. Things go to hell as soon as the company reached the Lonely Mountain. Thorin refused to move from his gold, blind to the fact he did turn out just like his grandfather until the last moment. You can hear the guilt in his voice as he asked the company to follow him one last time. People grumbled it took a while, and he seemed too ‘likable’, but to see how much a person falls, and how they pick back up, you need the arc. It runs parallel to Bilbo as the timid hobbit taps into the adventurous side of himself to take on the journey.

Today’s Music Monday reminds people of the dwarf at bag end. The character without a crown somehow carving a life for his people after Smaug destroys their home, and Dale as well. When I first heard the song, it reminded me of Gregorian chants as voices blend, each taking a place to sing about longing and home. Another tidbit, and it didn’t surprise me, Richard Armitage listened to Russian prayer chants to prepare for the piece. That, my dears, is why he’s my kind of nerd.

A Coding I Will Go, A Coding I Will Go, Hi-Ho the Merry-O

I wrote about crossing my fingers for a spot in a Web Design introductory course. I can uncross the digits as I got the call saying they have a spot. It’s a good deal: Work pays while I wait for a spot after students register. It’s a fair exchange. I will have my coding skills not only refreshed, but also learn a few new ones on the way to learning HTML/XHTML. The course itself is part of a certificate in Web Design. I have looked at the courses, and I only want to learn a few more things and not go for yet another credential.

I look at courses as keeping the creativity flowing. I remembered taking an Intro to Creative Writing course to learn not only the craft of writing, but what’s required to get published. It helps my instructor not only had her work published, but overlooked submissions to various literary magazines. It’s common sense, but it’s amazing how many people fail to follow the submission guidelines. On the other hand, if the piece doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. What’s the only saying? At first you don’t succeed, try, try again? The course lead to this blog, and it led to finding a writer’s group. I just listen to the flow of the universe and act accordingly. I also take what I like, and I find myself fascinated by code. Although I don’t want to fascinate myself into another back injury with all the sitting.

While the mind has its classes, the body needs some care. Yoga classes prove hard to find for a semi-beginner. I have the basic moves; I need to proceed carefully to not injure my back again. Yoga Public has TRX Core classes, and I want to know if it’s safe to take them. The other classes I seen spell out who should not take them. I always yakked about doing core work, and it’s time to do the work. I admit the injury freaked me out, and the MRI results didn’t give me a what-to-do-next plan. Who cares about losing weight; I just want to stay healthy.

Speaking of what to do next, I need to get ready for Easter dinner.

Spoke Too Soon, Or Spring In Winnipeg

There is an old,  unofficial Winnipeg saying:

It ain’t spring until winter has one more snowfall.

Voila:

image

I remember one Easter Sunday as a blizzard happened while everyone sang ‘Alleluia’ for the first time in forty days. While  I look at The Weather Network and John Sauder’s (CBC Winnipeg meteorologist) Twitter feed on my morning commute, I always look at those as guidelines. Reality can hit you cold, wet, and with heavy flakes.

My two dresses I bought from Old Navy hang in my closet pretty much saying, “Well, not yet then right?”