tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

2Nov/121

What I’m Absorbing: November 2nd

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 and The Mindy Project - I'm throwing both of these here because I suspect both will be added to my regular viewing schedule. I've felt a bit of a TV drought this season; besides old standbys like Parks and Rec, Castle, HIMYM and New Girl, I hadn't had much to watch. On GFM's recommendation I checked out Apartment 23 and rather enjoyed it. Both leads are charming, and James Van Der Beek playing a caricature of himself is perfect and awesome. The Mindy Project was...okay. I love Mindy Kaling, both as a comedienne and on a crush level, and truthfully her alone makes it watchable. The rest of it is...I don't know. I expected better. It doesn't have the subtle humour the Office has (or had, anyway). It feels a bit more...madcap. Like any number of single-camera comedies that get trotted out and shot down each year. It's just a very standard comedy show. Mind you, it's got Mindy Kaling in it, which knocks it up a bit and makes it worth watching. But I don't love it.

Reading: I was at a bit of a loss book wise on what to do next, so I went back to a series a friend had recommended to me, the Thursday Next series, written by Jasper Fforde, specifically The Well of Lost Plots. The series centers around Thursday Next, who lives in a kind of parallel, slightly more advanced universe to ours and discovers that she has the ability to enter books and that there is an entire sub-universe where fictional characters interact and are as real as you or I, and a whole governing body and police force to ensure no one changes the plots of books. It's a little complex, but fun. If you get past that the whole book is essentially a slightly standard police murder mystery, but the backdrop is fun. I feel like I'm missing out a bit on some references because I'm not that familiar with Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and other classic works, though, which is making me want to try and read some of these. So that's good, I'd say!

Re-consuming: Often I'll end up having a show or book kind of on the sidelines, for when I want something easy and fun, or something in the background. For me lately that's been Futurama. Thanks to the series being on Netflix I've been rewatching it from episode one. It's funny how much the voices and some of the in-universe bits change over time, but it's still a great series. I found myself laughing hard at jokes I've heard many times before, just because. I've been loving it, and it's definitely worth a rewatch if you haven't lately. And if you've never actually watched it...you're in for a real treat, I believe.

What are you absorbing this week?

27Jul/120

What I’m Absorbing: July 27th

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: The Newsroom - This is Aaron Sorkin's new show, following a nightly news program in the US. Although Sorkin has a well-known liberal bent, the show seems to try and present a balanced approach to a lot of issues. It's been fascinating so far because it started off back in 2010, covering such events as the Louisiana oil spill, the shooting of Gabby Giffords, the midterm elections and other sorts of things. It has Sorkin's excellent flair for dialogue, but is definitely a bit preachy. Still, it's definitely entertaining, though they seem to be trying to do more about the personal lives of the news people, which is not Sorkin's strong suit. Stick to the politics and high-minded ideals, Aaron. I'd give it a watch though.

Reading: I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline this week. It tells the story of a future world where pollution and wars have left Earth mostly desolate. People live mostly in stacked trailer parks, and live out their lives online through an MMORPG called OASIS. The creator of OASIS dies, and leaves the key to his fortune hidden inside the game. The novel centres around Wade Watts, who searches in the game for the hidden fortune. Some of the book's references were a bit over my head, but if you grew up in the 80s, you'll find tons of great moments. It was good fun; nothing too serious, and didn't really touch on the implications of a society lived almost entirely online, but I'm hoping for a sequel that does. A great read overall, though.

Hearing: After Ashalah went to Florence and the Machine, I've had Shake It Out on repeat. Such a great song. I've also had a huge love for Call Me Maybe. Not ashamed to admit that. Also loving Lip Dubs and covers of it, particularly this one by the US Swim Team.

 

What are you absorbing this week?

20Jul/120

What I’m Absorbing: July 19

So I'm relaunching my weekly list of the things I'm watching/reading/listening to! Changing the name to What I'm Absorbing, cause I think that sounds better than consuming! As did GFM, I believe. 

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: Doctor Who - Season 2. I've still got Buffy on the back burner, but lately I've been rewatching the first season of the 10th Doctor, with David Tennant. So far I'm loving it; forgot how full of energy and excitement he is, and how much I love the dynamic between Rose and 10. Just finished the Christmas Special and am moving forward from there. I don't know if I'll be able to watch his last episodes again, truthfully, but I want to get as far as I can before it gets a little depressing, and particularly revisit Steven Moffat's classic episodes like Blink and Silence in the Library. For you Yanks, I believe this is available on your Netflix (Editor's note: Damn you all.)

Reading: Right now, I'm reading Ready Player One, but I wanted to talk a bit about what I just finished, which is Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. This was a relatively quick but, honestly, hilarious read. It's a memoir, written in a kind of blog post style, of a woman's life. Her life is a little unique, growing up in rural Texas with a father obsessed with taxidermy, but her writing style, which is frenetic, tangential and just fun is what really captivated me. This woman could make the phone book sound interesting, and I've since started reading her blog and following on Twitter. Besides that, though, there is love, heartache, death and taxidermy in the book. Not to mention lots of blogging and Twitter related anecdotes. I'd highly recommend you read it.

Hearing: I'm tempted to talk about podcasts or music, but lately I've been reading a lot on my downtime and listening to WoW podcasts again, so I can't say that will be too interesting. The song I have heard and love lately is this cover of We Found Love by Lindsey Stirling. It's really hopefully, fun, and a beautiful video too. Her whole catalogue of violin covers of things is a really neat listen, particularly the LotR one.

Playing: Besides the obvious World of Warcraft, I've been playing a little fun game called Implode for iPhone and iPad. Essentially there are little structures that you place bombs on, to try and bring it down, while not hitting nearby buildings and make sure it falls relatively flat. It's a fun, simple little game that can be played any time you have a spare minute.

Using: Transmit. I'm a sucker for pretty, well-designed Mac software, and this one is no exception. Lately I've been playing around with editing bits of my website, trying to get a bit more comfortable with FTP, and Transmit has helped me work through that a bit. I'm sure it has tons of features I'm not using, but for what I need it to do, it's perfect, as well.

 

What are you absorbing this week?

1Jun/121

What I’m Consuming: End of May

As I've mentioned before, I've been thinking a lot about the content I consume, and been wanting to consume more. I fell out of that habit the last few weeks, but wanted to get back to it. So I thought, what better way than being accountable to others for what I'm consuming?

So every week I'll be posting a list of the things I'm reading, watching, hearing and...touching? Tasting? Maybe? Likely the first 3, mostly. The idea here is to make sure I have things to share here, knowing I'll be making this post once a week and maybe share some cool things I've discovered.

I'm also doing #BEDJ, or Blog Every Day in June, with many awesome people, and this is sufficing as my first post for that, cause I want to start doing this regularly on Fridays! I may write the Food post, which is our theme for the day, later.

Without further adieu:

What I'm Reading:

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I've been enjoying this so far, just over halfway through now. It's the sequel to his previous book, The Name of the Wind,  and part of a trilogy. Fairly accessible fantasy, with a fascinating world and a compelling, if somewhat Mary Sue-esque, character. I suspect I'll be done this by next week!

What I'm Hearing:

Radiant Land by Leeroy Stagger

In ways this should be "CBC Music App," as that's how I discovered this album. Randomly loaded the app up, turned on their indie music station, and the song Dirty Windshields came on. The app had a "download on iTunes button" so I clicked that about halfway through the song, and bought the album. A bit country-esque, with a hint of classic rock. The album is the kind of thing I put on in the background (while healing LFR on Wednesday, actually) and it's a nice accompaniment.

What I'm Watching:

Life

Technically, this should be Game of Thrones, as I finished Life last week, but I wanted to highlight this little gem of a show. It ran for two seasons, starring Damian Lewis (Homeland, Band of Brothers) and Sarah Shahi (Fairly Legal) as partners in LAPD Homicide. Lewis' character had just been released from jail after 12 years, after finding Zen Buddhism and clearing his name and getting reinstated as an LAPD officer. Similar to Castle, and not quite as snappy, but fun, with a dose of Zen Buddhism weaved through some of the themes. Should've gone on for longer, if you ask me, but sadly no one did. Watched this on Netflix, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice distraction with most shows heading towards their finales.

 

What are you consuming this week?