From time to time, opinion pieces will be posted here.
CGI Clothing: As an ex-animator (from the now-ancient hand-drawn era) it frustrates me that all CGI characters must be animated wearing whatever they were modelled wearing. The clothing forms an outer ‘skin’ and movement is dictated by the ‘bones’ (called Rigging) of the character. CGI renders only what the camera can SEE, so clothing items cannot be (easily) added or removed during a scene. See my solution to this problem here.
Reality Check: Japanese Anime Studios are moving with the times, normally a good thing. They are now making anime films with modest adult themes, instead of just kids’ stories. But they persist in using scripting traditions developed decades ago, when they made ONLY kids’ films. Mostly for Japanese cultural reasons, they continue to use magic and quasi-religious mythology – which any adult will dismiss as fantasy – instead of common adult logic for key story elements. For adult-themed stories, never SHOWING any adult-themed actions, speech, or thoughts is plain stupid! See my summary here.
Coffee! Several short posts about making coffee... since so many people seem to think that I am obsessive about this subject!
September 2020: Excess Rule: In a loose, opposite-to-communist way, most people would describe themselves as capitalists. But not a ‘C’apitalist, nor a CAPITALIST! The present US Presidential Elections have brought this into sharp focus. The issue is wider than simply the excessive Capitalistic nature of Donald Trump, so I made a short extra page to summarize it.
April 2020: Pandemic Thoughts: In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic I believe that there will be quite a few radical changes to world-wide trade and travel habits as a result of many countries being hurt by supply-chain issues – that world-wide web of delivery for manufactured goods. It’s inevitable that politicians will insist on changes, so I have listed issues that I think will prompt vigorous preventative measures.
September 2019 : Anime Failure: Japanese Director Makoto Shinkai made an anime film named Your Name that broke lots of box-office records, so was very popular, and came close to being a masterpiece... instead, closer inspection reveals inherent Japanese scrirpting flaws unrelated to the undeniable artistic quality of the film, making it a disappointing failure. It looked great, but made little sense. I reviewed that film here.
August 2016 : Poutine on the Ritz: During my trip to Canada a few years ago I tried Poutine for the first time. For those who have never heard of Poutine it’s hot potato chips with gravy and cheese curds on top – often described as ‘A heart attack on a plate’... but, like most oily, fatty, cheesy fast food, it’s also bloody delicious. The chips have to be good, the gravy has to be rich and dark, and the cheese... well, that’s the part that’s difficult to duplicate here, since we can’t buy fresh Cheddar Curds anywhere. I have settled on grated Mozarella as a substitute ’cos that’s easy to obtain, and I’m too lazy to make my own curds. It doesn’t ‘squeak’ as you bite it, but does taste similar to curds. For the gravy, I add Passata, Worcestershire, Soy, and Balsamic Vinegar when making that. For the chips, I boil potato slabs for 8 minutes, dry them, cut them into chips, then deep-fry them twice.
Pile the chips on a plate, salt them, sprinkle Mozarella over them liberally, then pour hot gravy over the lot to partly melt the cheese. In Canada there are specialist Poutine Shops selling dozens of different-flavoured versions of this basic mixture, but the basic one is pretty good, too. Messy to make, messy to eat, unhealthy, habit-forming... what’s not to like?
I was also amused by the story behind the the name – it was originally named Poutin ( pronounced ‘poo-tahn’ ) but the French language purists were furious when the Canadian English-speaking general public started referring to them as Poutine ( pronounced ‘poo-teen’ ) but common usage eventually won – the language purists had to back down and accept ‘Poutine’ as correct.
August 2015 : Vanilla Slices: I love the things! I found a way to make them in either ‘regular’ or gluten-free form, and there is now a separate page about it.
November 2014 : An illustrated diary of my trip to Tasmania, to catch up with Fiona, Chris & family.
May 2013 : An illustrated diary of Eric & Terry’s wedding, held at Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. See also: Canada trip, below.
May 2013 : An illustrated diary of my trip to Canada, mostly for Eric’s wedding, but also including some normal touristy things. See also: The Wedding, above.
January 2013 : A relieved analysis of the completion of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Fantasy series with the release this month of the 14th and final book. I expect that this series will rank among master-works in the Fantasy genre, even though I had some reservations about the way it was drawn to a conclusion.
November 2012 : A somewhat sceptical report on a de-tox regime that I have recently undergone. Sounded good in theory, but whether it did any good is unknown.
March 2011 : An embarrassing account of what must be my first ‘Senior’s Moment’ and probably not the last!