Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Friday, April 21, 2017

How revealing!!!

I've revealed the full cover art for Amongst the Stars, otherwise known as The Song of Forgotten Stars, book III! It's over at ForgottenStars.net, so go have a look!

The third volume is coming soon, folks!

Bad Joke Friday

Hey, anybody know what a will is?

Anybody?

Come on! It's a dead giveaway!

(via)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"It's time for the Jedi to end"

So last week the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hit. Here it is!


I actually don't have a whole lot to say about it. This isn't out of any lack of excitement for the movie, although I was admittedly less thrilled than most with The Force Awakens. This trailer doesn't really do much more than it absolutely has to. It's a pretty middle-of-the-road, safe trailer, isn't it? It pretty much hits all the points that this movie needs to hit. We hear Luke Skywalker's voice, we see him doing a little bit of training Rey, and then we see some space battle stuff and some flying ships and the back of Leia's head and a brief shot of Kylo Ren. Oh, and Poe and BB-8. And Finn! Only one shot of Finn and he looks like he's still in the coma in which he ended The Force Awakens. Finn was huge in the previous film, so I wonder why there's so little of him here.

Assuming that the trailer is representative of the film, this movie has potential to end up being the most beautiful Star Wars movie yet, in terms of the visuals. There are some gorgeous shots here, my favorite being the distant shot of Rey practicing with her lightsaber on the island.

Luke is also apparently not faking his whole "depressed Jedi teacher" thing, as hinted in The Force Awakens. From what little we see or hear, Luke Skywalker sounds old, tired, and weary of the whole thing. I still don't know that I like this turn of events, and I remain convinced that surely the writers crafting this part of the story could have figured out a way to engage the emotions and have danger without undermining all the victories of the original trilogy. There's a sense here of, oh, as if Victor and Ilsa's plane at the end of Casablanca had to turn around and land again, due to engine trouble.

Also released was the first poster for The Last Jedi:


It's OK as well. Nothing earth-shaking. The lightsaber blade, with the starburst right at the pommel, is a callback to the famous Brothers Hildebrandt poster for Star Wars, way back in the day. The faces of Luke and Kylo Ren, looming over Rey, seem to indicate that they will be battling for Rey herself; she appears to be caught in the middle of these two men. This is all a lot of tea-leaf reading, I admit, but I'm not really wild about the notion of these films making us wonder if Rey will tumble to the Dark Side or stay with the Light. Again, we've seen that story before. But I could be wrong, and I'm willing to see.

I also find it fitting that Kylo Ren's face is notably smaller than Luke's, because Luke is the ultimate hero of much of Star Wars, and frankly, as a villain Kylo Ren is simply not that interesting to me. Finally, as a visual note from the poster, that starburst at the lightsaber blade's base is surrounded by a multi-ringed halo that seems suggestive to me of Captain America's shield.

So, a nice trailer and a nice poster. Red seems to be a dominant color this time out, with the red lettering of the Star Wars logo and the red background in the poster and even the planet in the trailer whose soil seems to be a red dust. Red is typically the color of the Sith lightsabers, so...well, again, we'll see.

Meantime, we're two weeks out from Guardians of the Galaxy v. 2....

Something for Thursday

One of my favorite piano concertos: Mozart, No. 22 in E-flat, K 482. It's very nearly perfect, so 'nuff said!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Dogs and cats, living together -- MASS HYSTERIA!!!

Generally, Cane gets along pretty well with our two cats, Lester and Julio. Julio will actually walk up to Cane and head-butt him, where Lester's relationship with Cane has a little "sibling rivalry" thing going on.

Well, here's what happened tonight when Cane reached out and touched Lester.

Lester finds displeasure in the dee-oh-gee's touch. The dee-oh-gee, however, thinks that this is some fun shit. #Cane #DogsOfInstagram #greyhound #Lester #catsofinstagram

Note that Cane is enjoying the hell out of this, and Lester is...not.

Angry kitteh is angry. #Lester #catsofinstagram

Poor Lester.

He stuck it out, though. When a cat doesn't want to leave the warm space they've found, it takes a lot more than a mischievous greyhound touching their butt to get them to move. Eventually, though, Lester put his ears back, said "Eff this", and ran upstairs.

Such is life at Casa Jaquandor!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tone Poem Tuesday

Some years ago I wrote about the Oliver Stone movie Nixon, which is a sort of companion piece to his JFK. As in the earlier film, John Williams provided the score, and it's an underrated standout in his long parade of amazing works. The opening track on the CD is, in my mind, a brilliant film music tone poem, called "The 1960s: The Turbulent Years". There are brief moments of lyrical optimism, but they are shot through with moments of militaristic menace.


Williams's score for the film highlights Stone's mood of inward-looking paranoia that dominates the film, and it accentuates the central tragedy that Nixon might well be the quintessential political figure for America in the last half of the 20th century. It's a brilliant score, and this track shows why.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

There's something NEW here, I know it!!!

The dee-oh-gee walks the same neighborhood every day, usually three times. He passes the same shrubs and the same trees and the same lampposts. And he stops each and every time to smell them.

Like this rock.

When the dee-oh-gee intently smells the rock he pees on twice a day, I'm reminded of an exchange from the first episode of CHEERS: COACH: [answers phone] Cheers...yeah, just a sec. [addresses bar] Is there an Ernie Pantusso here? SAM: That's you, Coach. C

More often than not, after a lot of sniffing, he'll pee on the thing he's sniffing. Like this rock. And I know that the other neighborhood dee-oh-gee's are also peeing on this rock. Nevertheless, I always wonder about the intent way he has about sniffing this rock. Is there really any new information to be gleaned? Or is he gathering the same information constantly? Is it like Sherlock Holmes, stuck on an endless loop of visiting the same crime scene?

Anyhow, for some reason, it often reminds me of this brief bit from the pilot episode of Cheers:


"I smell something!"

"That's you, dude."

"Huh." [continues sniffing]

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bad Joke Friday

Ayup:

Evidence has been found that William Tell and family were avid bowlers. However, all the league records were destroyed in a fire and we’ll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Come on, ONE of you has gotta go!

This United Airlines fiasco is quite the thing, from the bizarre legality of a business being allowed to sell more of a product than it can actually provide (most other businesses would be accused of fraud if they tried that), to the police being deployed to enforce the whims of a corporation. For me, the most depressing aspect is all the people online excusing United's behavior, on the basis that "Them's the rules" and "It's in the fine print." Blind acquiescence to corporate authority cannot be that good a thing. (And I'll leave unmentioned the awfulness of some news media outlets deciding to dig into the passenger's past, as if that in any way excuses what's happened to him now. The whole "He's no angel, though" thing has got to stop.)

This fiasco has, though, prompted a lot of hilarious reaction from the Internet, and really, this post is just an excuse for me to post one of these. And here you go:


Well, look -- it's pretty obvious which of these guys is going to get "re-accommodated". Looking at the line of redshirts, do you notice anything distinctive about the third guy from the left?

Something for Thursday

I know it's late in the day, so here's something for the setting of evening and night: one of Chopin's most famous Nocturnes. Way back when I was taking piano lessons, I remember that I started working on this piece, but for some reason I don't recall, I never got it to the point that my fingers knew it. Alas!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tone Poem Tuesday

If you listen to this overture without knowing what it is, as I did the other morning when it came on the radio, you might think -- especially at the end -- that it's a very British work.


Something about that big rendition of "God Save the Queen" at the very end, I'm guessing! But...that's not "God Save the Queen". Nor is it "My Country 'Tis of Thee". Sure, it's the same melody, but in this case, the anthem is actually "Heil dir im Siegerkranz", which was the national anthem of Prussia during the life of composer Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), who wrote this piece. It's the "Jubilee Overture", which Weber wrote for a festival in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the ascension of King Frederick Augustus the First of Saxony. The European royal families were famously inter-related, so it seems somehow fitting that their inter-relations should extend to things like their anthems, no?