Thursday, July 18, 2024

Throwing The Acolyte into the bin.

In the final scene of The Acolyte the camera focuses on Osha and Qimir/The Stranger standing on a rocky out-cropping looking at a setting Sun. Then, inexplicably, the camera goes close-up on their hands and we witness Qimir gently grab Osha's lightsaber wielding hand in a gentle embrace. Earlier in the series Qimir states that he is "What the Jedi would call a Sith" and that he "Just wants to be free to practice the Force in his manner."

Both scenes are not only wrong, they fly in the face of  almost 50 years of established Sith lore.

This is why I cannot stand The Acolyte, while I think it should be relegated to the dust-bin of Star Wars history never to be mentioned again.

There are other reasons I think the series was bad, the casting of the Jedi as an evil, selfish organization. (Instead of a flawed entity), Ham-fisted cameos that seemed only as vehicles to try and appease fans after shitting on them for eight episodes, clunky dialogue, a horribly paced story, and the creation of no characters that we have any reason to give the smallest of shits about.

In short, the Acolyte was story-telling of the worst kind. Not only was it heavy-handed and flew in the face of the source material, but it really gave you no reason to care. The stakes were non-existent, and it did a disservice to the Star Wars universe as a whole.

Show runner Leslye Headland should not ba allowed to be anywhere near a Star Wars project ever again. She's in the same realm as Rian Johnson.

Heck, even Johnson was somewhat better, at least he was willing to explore the Jedi as a flawed entity, instead of just a force of evil, which is how Headland chose to view them. This incessant desire to blur the line between heroes and villains is a weakness, and it's destroying the Star Wars universe.

That's not to say that heroes have to be flawless, in fact, I think heroes with issues are much better. And I think there is fertile ground to be plowed regarding the mistakes that the Jedi made leading to the rise of the Sith in the Lucas Prequals. I don't, however, think that this means you throw the baby out with the bathwater. Writing heroes in this style takes a maturity and nuance that I don't think Headland and team had. I think this type of story was beyond them.

In the end they gave us a nebulous slog of a story that left us with no players to truly care about, they turned the Star Wars world around where, suddenly, the Sith didn't want to rule the Galaxy, lacked the cruelty that they have had in almost every other Star Wars story, ever, and they reduced the Jedi to a blatant political entity where all of them were jerks, idiots, evil, or just unlikable people. There was not one Jedi in the entire series that was a decent soul.

In the end, I walked away from the series not caring what happened to any of the characters going forward. If they come out with a second series I won't watch.  I simply do not care.

I've never said that about Star Wars before.

And that might be their greatest sin of all.

Thursday, June 27, 2024


 Not exactly the Shot heard 'round the World.

Revisiting the Houston Political Dictionary.

Houston Politicians (n): 

1. People you knew in High School who had no friends.

2. The last people in the world you want to invite to a Dinner party.

So, Lina Hidalgo is marrying a nerd. Whether or not this is the case, and I don't know her Fiancé from Adam so I have no idea, it should not have been something posted by Houston's highest elected official, even in jest. Especially given the frosty relations between Hidalgo and Whitmire to kick things off.

Quips like that are things that bad politicians live for. For Hidalgo, it allows her to, once again, play the victim card and continue her ridiculous narrative running that the system is somehow rigged against her. You know, rigged in that she was able to be elected to Harris County's highest office despite being a political neophyte and a total unknown. Rigged against her in a way that allows her to marry a wealthy attorney. Yup, totally rigged. Oh the humanity of it all.

But politicians of Hidalgo's ilk need that underdog energy to fan the passionate flames of her supporters. It's like Oxygen for their sense of injustice. Without stupidity such as this they have nothing to rally around.

Yes, they could choose to focus on the Texas Supreme Court, who is about to shoot down their Harris First guaranteed income plan, or they could focus on the mean old District Attorney's office, now the Attorney General's office, who have chosen to look into some questionable deals involving contracts related to COVID-19 outreach, but nothing fires up the proletariat like a good old "nerd" kerfuffle.

The media loves it because it allows them to write political pieces at a 3rd grade reading level and basically wake up in the morning and scan their Facebook feeds as research.  Call it HAWK TUAH, journalism if you will.

None of this would be an issue if Hidalgo and Whitmire had played nice in the sandbox from the jump. But since they've had a quiet, not talking to one another, taking juvenile pot-shots during disaster press conferences game of political footsie ongoing since January silly comments like this can be elevated to "cruel" (give me a break) and suddenly become something that's going to survive multiple news cycles.

The proper response to this is to laugh and move on. Refuse to acknowledge the political outrage for outrage' sake politics machine and focus on important matters such as the cost of admission to the Houston Zoo.

An alternate response would be to line them all up in a row. Point and holler: "NERDS!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Red Rover Red Rover.....

 Let Schlossnagle come over.....

Revisiting the Houston Political Dictionary:

Asphalt. (n): Rectum trouble to an Aggie.

So, 24 hours after having the bats go relatively dead and losing the Men's College World Series to the Tennessee Volunteers......Aggie loses their head coach to. *checks notes*

Oh my goodness the UT-Austin Longhorns.

Just proving that, when it comes to coaching hopes and dreams, nothing beats the dream of having a Brinks truck drive up into your yard and drop a bunch of money.

The isn't the first time coaches have said one thing publicly while negotiating privately behind the scenes. Remember Art Briles' famous "Today I'm happy to be a Cougar" before jetting off to develop a toxic culture at Baylor?

The Cougars have had their share of coaches leave the fan base angry.  Briles, Sumlin, Herman.  All of those coaches improved the Cougar program but, ultimately, left for perceived greener pastures, where all of them fell in spectacular fashion. Hiring a Houston head coach was a trendy thing for Texas major universities for a minute.  Now, not so much.

But coaches leaving has always been the way of the world in College Sports. It's what they do. Especially from the smaller schools. The problem, in the past, was that the players the coaches recruited were stuck, abandoned by those who recruited them and possibly playing in a new system that didn't fit. Now, that's not the case.

In today's college landscape players are free agents. If they don't like their situation, they can bolt. If they think they're not being used correctly, they can bolt. If a school offers them a 7-figure NIL package....they can bolt. If the coach who recruited them leaves......well.

This has made coaches leaving schools an even bigger deal than it used to be. Because now, Aggie baseball is probably going to have to rebuild a program that was on the cusp of a National Championship from scratch.  Surely a lot of plyers who were recruited by Schlossnagle and staff are going to look for other opportunities. The core of this Aggie team is no longer guaranteed to remain intact. This makes hiring a new coach even more difficult as they're going to have to start basically from scratch.

But the news isn't great for Schlossnagle either. I'm sure some of the current Longhorn players are going to look at this news and decide that playing somewhere else is the best idea for them, and Schlossnagle is surely going to want to recruit "his type of player" right?

On that news I would not be so quick to anoint the Longhorns the best team in the SEC just yet. I think the man is a good baseball coach, and I think he might just be able to build a winning team in Austin, but he might also find out that the culture at UT-Austin is much, much different than the culture in College Station.

For one thing, in Austin asphalt is something to be protested, based on the shitty condition of their roads.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

News Round-Up: 06/25/2024

 All hail the Saharan Dust Gods.

Wesley Hunt likes his campaign HQ to be swanky. When one is newly elected (finally) to the ruling class it's important to let the commoners know they are being ruled.

So close Aggies. Yet so far away.

Mayor Whitmore continues to expand on his list of targets. Elephants for ALL!!!!

Was there anyone during the Turner Administration that was NOT committing some type of fraud? My Goodness the list is getting long.

No. Just No. It's wrong and I don't care where you are religiously, ideologically etc.

This is also not good. I've no problem with Scriptures being in curriculum, but you also have to include different origin stories. Well educated cannot happen without "well-rounded" education.

A more reasoned take is needed here. The goal should not be to "rein-in" cryptocurrency but, rather, to figure out to embolden the grid to "deal" with cryptocurrency. But that's not the Chron's style.

This has pissed off some. I'm not one of them (I think it's actually damned funny) but, then again, I'm not thin-skinned either. (And trust me, there's plenty of fertile ground to plow regarding how I look. Shit, "nerd" would probably be a compliment to me.}

It says a lot about the incredible incompetency of both major party Presidential candidate that neither of them is very interested in debating the other. We ware governed by idiots and fools.

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!!!! .... Oh wait. Nevermind.  Anyone else out there need freeing?

Sagging Hooters. Someone had to say it.

Unpopular Opinion Time:  I am actually enjoying The Acolyte The new Dr. Who series? Not so much. (Although the new 4th season of "The Boys" has been much fun.

This place is on my Las Vegas Pizza shops I've not yet tried but want to list.

The last bastion of indoor smoking will be casinos it seems. Your Mileage May Vary on how you view this news.

The ugliest vehicle on the road, and the most useless, sure receives a disproportionate amount of media attention. Usually none of it good. It's a vile, nasty thing.

And finally...

Some memes are neither all that clever or funny.  This is one of those.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

It's raining, It's pouring.....

Excerpts from the Original Houston Political Dictionary:

Hurricane (n): 

1. A weather event that triggers an immediate evacuation of the residents of the City of Katy.

2. A rum drink of which it's a better idea to prepare and enjoy in Katy during an actual Hurricane than it is to evacuate the area.

After several, fierce, rain and wind events Houston is finally hunkering down for a good, old-fashioned Tropical Storm.

Well, sort of.  You see, this one is going to miss us to the South by a couple of hundred miles and we're really going to get *checks notes* some rain and probable street/river/bayou flooding. 

Yes, there will be some localized power outages (I guarantee you ours goes out. Our power grid suddenly becoming VERY sketchy since the great derecho of 2024) and some places might see worse rain than others, be careful if you live to the South of Houston, down by the coast, but overall it's expected to be rather mild.

So, of course, it's impossible to find fresh milk in some places (really???? MILK??) people are filling up with gas (a good idea actually) and I'm sure that "I live in Katy, should I evacuate?' has reared it's ugly head up on the various local weather blogs.

It's not dumb to take any potential Houston weather event seriously these days, what with it's creaking infrastructure and will they or won't they electrical grids, you never know when you might need to crank up the old generator, or plan to make arrangements to cook outside for an evening or three.

I have to admit to not getting the 'stock up on milk' thing however. You're buying mass quantities of the one thing that's probably going to spoil in the heat first? I get it, some people have babies and kids that like milk. Understood, but American milk has an incredibly short shelf life. In the past we have purchased the European style, shelf stable milk. It certainly does not taste the greatest, but it lasts forever.

It's also not dumb, if you're able, to give serious thought on whether or not you commute to the office that day. If you can work from home, it could be a good idea to do so. Houston traffic is a mess on the best of days. When some moisture falls from the sky it's an unmitigated disaster. I myself have been watching the forecasts, even though I live in Northwest Houston, which is expected to be relatively spared.

What this should serve as is a reminder that, Hurricane season is here, you decided to live coast-adjacent, and having to soldier through weather events such as this is part of the trade-off. Get your important papers in a waterproof case ready to go, some essentials, and hope for the best. Unless you're down on the coast the worst thing you are probably going to have to deal with is a prolonged power outage. So, stock up on propane and get proficient at cooking outside. Keep your insurance up on your vehicles, and keep a close eye on the weather.

Hurricane season in Houston starts now.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.

In the title I'm referring to Houston roads of course. Nowhere else will you find a worse hive of scum and villainy.

The pandemic, and the Government's response to it, fully broke society.

That's it, we're toast. Thank you for playing and please accept your parting gifts as you make your way out.

From road rage to Karen's to porch pirates to pretty much just no one having any respect for their fellow citizens any more. Society is shot.

One of the things that kept society, barely, afloat was the adherence people generally had for the mundane laws. Red lights, rights of way, those types of things. Where is all that now?  Gone. Just this morning, on the commute into work, I watched a truck pull into the empty left turn lane at a red light and just blow straight through the intersection without any regard that a) the other lights were green and b) there were people lined up in both lanes ready to go once our light turned green. He did not even tap his brakes. Blew right through at about 40MPH I'm guessing. (the speed limit on the road in question was 45MPH.)

And you see this more and more. As it stands now, when your light turns green, you have to give it the Houston 5 Second Pause lest you get side-swiped by someone who has suddenly decided that red lights are mere suggestions. When your light turns green, if you just hit the gas pedal and go, buyer beware.

Next to red-light running are the issues of line-cutters.

These people are scum of the Earth and should have reserved for them a special circle in Dante's Inferno. The thing is, they KNOW what they are doing. They drive down in the lane next to the lane that's backed up with their blinker on, telling people that they should just go screw themselves and that their needs outweigh the needs of anyone doing the right thing and getting in line and waiting their turn.

Want to see this in full action? Watch the traffic exiting 59 South onto 610 West. That infamous intersection where TXDOT just spend Eleventy Million dollars to make things WORSE. At some points in the day the line-cutters out-number those waiting in line and the pace is glacially slow. These people in turn cause road rage, too aggressive driving as the poor schmucks who are following the rules try to tailgate one another to prevent them from cutting in front of them (my record is perfect by the way, no one has EVER successfully cut in front of me). Heck, I've even seen Sheriff's drive along, turn their lights on at the last minute, cut in line and then turn their lights back off. When our institutions are not even following the rules.....

Finally you have the Russian Roulette that are the paper tag offenders. Fake registration, no insurance. I think I read somewhere that, should you get in a wreck in Houston, you have a greater than 50% chance of the person you wreck with having no auto insurance. This is why having an uninsured motorist rider on your policy is a must-have, it's also why Houston auto insurance is skyrocketing in price. It's not how you drive, it's how all of the other idiots on the road are driving.

I often have people whom I'm talking to wonder how in the World we got to the position that we're in where all of our elected leaders are trash human beings. I can only assume that there's one answer for this.....

These people that are driving like shit?  They also vote.

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