Friday, 15 September 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-09-15: Joni

All the humans in the family are just back from the USA and very jet lagged. Here is an appropriate picture of Joni, displaying the grace and majesty of a natural predator.

Joni herself is still at the cattery, I'm picking her up tomorrow. I didn't want to commit myself to driving after flying transatlantic with a toddler and then trekking across London to get a train to Cambridge, which I believe was wise.




Junior Officer of the TSA

Short blog entry this week, on account of jet lag. Back to normal next week.

Meanwhile, my son has been deputised as a junior officer of the TSA -- or to give its full title, the Transport Security Administration of the USA. They gave him an official sticker while we were waiting for our turn in the scanners.



The TSA has a reputation for unseemly and unprofessional behaviour. This may have grown out of the sheer absurdity of airport security theatre. They may overcompensate for the fundamental insanity of their job by carrying it out in the most rigid and inhumane way possible. Enforcing rules which make no logical sense, and exist largely to give the impression of doing something, does not strike me as a task which is likely to attract the best and brightest. This is unfortunate; last week we observed the sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and real failures in airport security are a serious matter.

To be clear, I don't think a sticker can possibly excuse any misbehaviour by the TSA. I'm more impressed that they are trying at all to be friendly, instead of relying on their overwhelming power to make your life unpleasant. It's as if the Uruk-hai offered the hobbits a nice cup of tea instead of threatening to eat them.

Maybe the sticker is part of some kind of public relations counteroffensive; or someone, somewhere in the humourless bureaucracy of the TSA has retained a sense of fun; or a two year-old could in fact handle airport security just as well as they do. Although my son is a US citizen, if he wants a career in law enforcement I think I'd encourage him to choose some other agency.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Cute Cat Friday 2017-09-01: Quincy

Patrolling the car park at work.


The Terminator: Come With Me If You Want To Live

Terminator 2: Judgment Day was re-released this Tuesday. I went to see it, of course, and also watched the 1984 film The Terminator on DVD last week.



The date was significant: The eponymous Judgment Day, the nuclear war instigated by the machine intelligence Skynet, is named as August 29, 1997. So, the re-release was twenty years later to the day.

The 3D conversion was unnecessary and didn't really add much to the experience; but it was great to see T2 on the big screen, when I had been a little too young on the original release. Furthermore, after three additional sequels which were mediocre at best, the first two films are an exhilarating breath of fresh air. Even after more than twenty years, they feel far more meaningful than the lazy attempts by the sequels to exploit their achievement.

Spoilers are ahead; but the films are respectively 26 and 33 years old, so I feel comfortable with revealing plot details. If for some reason you haven't seen them, you could always go watch the DVDs and then read the rest of this blog entry; I assure you it will be worth your while.