Today is the day. 30 years ago on May 25th, 1977 Star Wars opened.
I didn't actually see it until some time that summer when our family was camping near Lake Placid, NY. We took a summer holiday down from Ottawa and visited places like The North Pole (Lake Placid) and Frontiertown.
It was a rainy night and the family went into town to watch a movie. I don't remember, and never asked, who thought of it or if Mom and Dad even wanted to see the movie.
We went into the town which was already covered with banners advertising the 1980 Winter Olympics and my life was changed forever. OK, not really but Star Wars is such an integral part of my life that I sometimes think in Star Wars terms. People I know understand when I describe someplace as a "hive of scum and villany".
Of course the passage of time and the ego of George Lucas has added new ideas and phrases (ie: "Han shot first") but the fact that my oldest son loves the series (albeit he perfers the newer episodes) is really cool to me.
One of my coolest memories is going with my Dad and Sister to watch the double feature of Star Wars and Empire Stirkes Back at the old Coronet theatre on Yates (long since torn down.) I know Sean will never remmeber but we took him to see Phantom Menace while he was still a suckling babe. Opening night, midnight showing and there we were in the front row.
elinor_godwin and I finally went to the Bent Mast here in James Bay. Only took five years of living in the neighbourhood.
It was worth it. We went for drinks and appys while celtic musicians had what is apparently a weekly jam session. I thought it was a little loud but the food was nice and they have Merridale Cider on tap!
Mother-in-law came and sat with the kids. It was really nice getting out of the house for a couple of hours. Especially nice as I could have a drink since we walked!
Listening to the radio yesterday I got a little annoyed. A right-wing think-tank published a report calling on Canada post to be "privatized". They cited a need for "improvements" that would come from this destruction of another public service.
I am so tired of hearing this corporate bull-puckey. I have never been more satisifed with Canada Post in all my life! We did a lot of Xmas shopping online last year and it was delivered by Canada Post promptly and with care. They even delivered on Sundays and Thanksgiving Monday!
Why don't the corporate-fascists just admit that they want all public services destroyed while we are turned into barcode-zombies consuming whatever crap they decide to sell. Some things should be managed for the public benefit and the postal system is one of those things IMO.
This is kinda fun. I am sitting at Canwest mall at the VicLUG display and using the wireless network to cruise the net (and write this) between visitors.
The visitors have been mostly two groups so far: retirees and small kids with adults in tow. Of course I was not here yesterday evening so I don't know if the demographics were different. Tomorrow may be different as well as it is Saturday. More people will be off and also word of mouth might have spread a bit.
There are still some empty club spaces in the mall but I do not know if they are empty because the groups dropped out or they are just waiting until tonight/tomorrow.
Well, I will be here until mid-afternoon if anyone happens by and we are planning on bringing the kids out around dinner or just thereafter to see what Daddy's been up to with the stuff I wouldnot let them demolish.
[A very SCA-centric post, sorry if anything doesn't make sense to those not involved.]
When I was Duncan I knew Her Ladyship Annica Van Heusden. She is dying now. I just read Ekaterina's memories and have been thinking about her the last few days after hearing she was in hospital.
Annica made My Lady's wedding dress oh so many years ago. I remember going with My Lady to the fittings when Annica lived at Father Chris' in what could barely be described as a basement suite. I saw some of her legendary hand-stitching which, legend goes, was once marked down in a costume contest because the judge thought it was machine stitching. "Too perfect to be hand-stitched" or some nonsense.
We all thought she should have been a Laurel. We all begged her to go off-island as that was (perhaps still is) the "only way to become a peer". I wonder if any of us who told her that she should go ever bothered to write recommendations? Another in the long list of people I should have written to TRM's about. Only the first in a long line of people I have seen denied recognition because they choose not to travel.
I remember her wicked sense of humour. Sarcastic, dry and often insightful. She always seemed to me to be a very genuine laugher. When she laughed you knew she was happy to her core and it just bubbled out in a snort and a broad smile.
I always coveted her book Daily life in Holland 1566 which was the first time I saw a different kind of living history. A kind of living history that was about bringing the real past to life (in this case in the form of paintings) as opposed to a fancy-dress-camping-party. I always thought Annica was authentic but never an "Authenticity-Nazi". She was always willing to show anyone (even me) how to sew or share her knowledge. She was so proud of that book and it represented a huge financial investment for her back then but she actually let me borrow it for a short time. I will probably get a secondhand copy someday and always remember her when I look at it.
Well Christmas was good for me as I got both the Holiday Train (10173) and the Creator Buildings (4886) sets. What was really really surprising however was what my sister found for me in a second hand store for $7.99: the Dark Forest Fortress (6079).
Released in 1996 this set is supposed to have 461 pieces. After putting it together I came up 11 pieces short (10 missing + 1 broken) means it is nearly 98% complete!
There were other instructions and matching pieces which may have made up for some of the main set's missing pieces but I did get all the mini-figs (+2 castle and one space fig). the bulk of the missing bits are of course weapons and shields but at least I did one classic sword, a halberd and a couple of spears and two classic bow and arrow w/quivers sets.
Add in the bucket o'LEGO I got at Yule revel from scrivener13 and I figure I am doing pretty well.
So there I was with 40 or so fellow university employees listening to two VIHA types talking about their plans for responding to a new pandemic. I found their presentation somewhat informative but also rather disturbing.
Their entire plan seems to boil down to "Wash your hands until vaccine arrives."
In the mean time their numbers suggest that up to 1400 people will need to be hospitalized in the FIRST (of several) waves of infected persons. They blithley spoke of adding capacity FOR IMMUNIZATION CLINICS. In response to one question they did suggest that a hospital might be designated a quarantine facility and all the NON-FLU PATIENTS RELOCATED for the duration.
What returned to my thoughts again and again was how are they going to find 1400 hospital beds when up to 50% of the population will be too sick to get out of bed?
I almost howled when they ridiculed the US planners who are including the national guard in their plans. I wonder what they will do when hundreds of people storm the VIHA facilities where they store Tamiflu? Are the municipal police really up to the task of enforcing quarantine restrictions on detention facilities created around local schools or other large capacity buildings?
At the end of the discussion they joked that they hoped they had not scared anyone too much.
By my estimation these guys are willfully or ignorantly underestimating the potential for civil unrest and health care failure. I am not sure which scares me more.
Seriously, for more than just this sort of thing, does anyone want to live in a small, fortified, medieval/renaissance town that we build somewhere we can grow food?