Last night, while watching the second-to-last episode of LOST, I decided to tear into my MacBook Pro to replace the LVDS cable: the wire that sends pretty much all of the signal to the LCD display, and what I suspect is the root cause of the issues with the lower half of the screen disappearing for the last five months or so. I found one available online for $12 last week, and figured that $12 was cheaper than $1,200 for a new MacBook, which is what I’ve been mulling over for a few months now.
Because I wasn’t able to find the exact service manual or take apart directions for the model A1151 17″ MBP, I got stumped by removal of the clutch cover, and no amount of searching at 11PM revealed anything that would help. So I reassembled the case and rebooted, which went fine, but upon logging in I found the trackpad button had become extremely sensitive, to the point of being unusable. So I’m back to considering a replacement, which is not a happy thought.
At this point, I think I’d keep the MBP on my desk at home and get something more portable, like a standard MacBook, for carting back and forth to the office. As much as I love a 17″ display, I don’t use it enough at work as a hardcore workstation to justify the extra $1,000.
And, quickly: last night’s LOST was…good, I guess. Rushed, to be sure. I think they’re trying to wrap up two seasons’ worth of explanations and story arcs and mythos in one abbreviated season, and a lot of the action feels forced and tossed-off to me. I wasn’t expecting a “very special episode” dedicated to Jin and Sun, but their departure (while in keeping with the “rules” of the show, as explained last night) was pretty quick. I’d developed an attachment to certain characters over the last six years, and so having more than one of them disappear quickly has been a bit jarring. While I’m glad the writers didn’t resort to maudlin half-hour goodbyes, it would have been nice to get just a little more time with folks, especially since they’ve all hiked across the island seventeen zillion times just to meet up with each other.
…he compared Defector to a neighborhood bar, no pun intended. “This is our little business—we just need to have these margins, pay our employees, and that’s it,” he said. “No one who owns a bar is thinking, ‘I can’t wait for NBCUniversal to come offer to buy my bar for a hundred million dollars.’
The Columbia Journalism Review does a great piece on Defector, the sports/commentary website born from the ashes of the old Deadspin blog. What an amazing concept: building a self-sustaining business to provide a healthy lifestyle for its employees, not to make the founder rich. Venture capital is a virus. I subscribed almost two years ago and I’ve never regretted it; the writing is that good.
I’ve had Afterlife by Arcade Fire going through my head for the last couple of days. The original song is excellent; I didn’t know until I looked up the lyrics that James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) produced the album; that explains the excellent groove this song sits upon.
I remember seeing the music video I’ve embedded above when it first came out nine years ago: Produced by Spike Jonze and starring Greta Gerwig, it’s an amazing live-action production and performance of the song.
When I was a kid in New Jersey we had six channels to watch: the three main networks, the Fox affiliate (FOX 5, before it was Nazis, home of the Godzilla creature feature at Halloween and It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas), Channel 29 (home of Star Blazers and M*A*S*H reruns), and PBS. One day I caught a show on PBS that had a guy dressed in odd pseudo-military clothing who taught kids how to draw, and the first time I saw it I was VERY interested in watching the rest of the shows. Unfortunately it never followed a schedule that made any sense and so I wound up only seeing a handful of episodes.
Fast forward to college, when my friend Tim and I were talking about random stuff and shared a common memory from youth: the drawing show on PBS. Turns out it was produced here in Maryland by MPT, and turns out he was a guest on the show as a kid for one of the episodes!
Fast forward to last night,when the same subject came up and I was talking about it with my sister-in-law. I had to find it, and the Internet provided: a series called Secret City, where the host tought kids to draw all kinds of different things. Enjoy:
We are the parents of a teenager, which means she would rather sit and watch incomprehensible YouTube compilations of TikTok videos instead of enjoying mass-market media with us. It’s not for lack of trying; there have been multiple series we thought she’d enjoy that she’s waved off in favor of screamy narrated speedruns of games she’s never played. So it was a surprise when we sat down as a family for the first time in forever to watch a TV series together: Willow, the follow-up series to the 1988 movie. The first couple of episodes were challenging to get through from a narrative perspective; the writers set up almost all of the main characters as assholes, treating each other poorly and generally being unlikeable. It wasn’t until the fourth episode or so where the character arcs all thunked into place and people began redeeming themselves. The rest of the series is solid: the production values are to-notch, the acting is great (in spite of the writing) and the action is generally OK. We’re looking forward to finishing this series out.
The second series Jen and I have been watching is Andor, which has been absolutely stellar from the opening scenes. It’s sad to say, but watching a Star Wars series written for adults is refreshing; having recently rewatched The Force Awakens for the first time in several years I was struck by the amount of fan service and yuks there were in lieu of real stakes. Andor’s main story is that of a lovable rogue for the first three episodes, pivoting to a study of bureaucratic fascism and a heist story for the next set. Personally, the Empire is scarier to me when it’s depicted as a faceless omniscient DMV with tall ceilings than it is as a bunch of Stormtroopers lined up waiting to get shot at. We’re only four episodes in but we’re riveted and can’t wait to see what happens next.