Saturday, March 19, 2011

on being dizzy

I spent the last 24 hours aboard a boat and now that I'm sitting in my living room, it feels like the couch is moving up and down on waves. On the boat the waves didn't bother me most of the time, but these non-waves are really annoying. It's like my inner ear is saying "Wow, there goes a wave." and my muscles are saying, "What, where? I didn't feel it!" The internal argument is making me feel a little light-headed.

I was on a 40' power boat. Spent yesterday afternoon and evening driving around, spent the night at Pier 39 in San Francisco and spent the morning driving around again. The water at the Pier-39 marina is extremely choppy. It didn't make me sea sick but the random rolling and the loud creaking kept waking me up and making it hard to get back to sleep.

This morning I did get a little sea sick --only the second time in my life. The water was rough and I was trying to take a written test while the boat was underway. I was also dressed too warm for the interior of the boat. The combination of three things brought me as close as I've ever come to hurling from motion sickness. After I finished the test, I took off some of my under layers and got up to watch out the forward port and it went away eventually.

Oh, and I ate two oatmeal cookies. In retrospect I can't really recommend oatmeal cookies for motion sickness. They sit a little heavy in the stomach.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

old TV --Primeval

Primeval is a British TV series. The premise is that temporal anomalies start opening up at random in England and various prehistoric beasties come through and start eating people. The Government sensibly decides that that this information is far to important to let be spread around to the common people who might [gasp] start buying guns to protect themselves and their families from being a lunch-o-saurus for some random monster. Instead they hire a group of rebellious scientists and zookeepers to handle matters and keep it all under wraps. Apparently, only the Government can be trusted with handling this crisis but only people who despise the Government can be trusted to handle it for the government ... or something.

Politics aside, it is a tremendous idea for a series. The actors are good, the special effects are tolerable, the stories are engaging, and I really enjoyed the first three seasons in spite of the head-pounding stupidity of all of the smart characters. After Firefly and Avatar --the Last Airbender, this is my next most recommended series.

Just ignore the fact that the leader, Nick Cutter displays his genius by making wild-ass guesses, committing all efforts and resources to the the guess, and then getting lucky. All of the other characters view this as a sign of his genius; I viewed it as a sign that the team desperately needed to reassign him to a less responsible position before his lucky streak ran out.

Also, don't spend a lot of time wondering why this brilliant team, weeks after their job starts still don't carry basic equipment for capturing dangerous animals, items like capture poles, ropes, chains, nets, net guns, cages, traps, snares, and bait. They carry no life-support equipment for hostile atmospheres, no mosquito netting, no cold-weather gear. They carry no night-vision equipment. The temporal anomalies have electric and magnetic effects and the only instrument they bring with them for the entire first seasons is a magnetic compass. If they had been prepared, nothing much interesting would have happened.

There are other things you shouldn't ask yourself. Let your problem-solving faculties relax, and you will enjoy the series a lot more.