SG.U Season Two Final Episode

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I was rather fond of this series.  The last episode played this week.  I understand the network in America that sponsored it has gone from producing Science Fiction (for a given value of Sci. Fi.) to mostly wrestling shows (for a given value of fantasy).  This means we won’t see more of this.  A shame.  I liked the series.  I liked the fact that it’s heroes were fallible, and were never meant to be leaders.  It steered dangerously close to interesting character development.  It tried to avoid being another planet of the week show.

Anyway as it was the last episode I took notes:

One supporting character has been blinded, another is reported to have a motor control disease; not good.

The ship is under attack by robot drones.  When their weapons won’t work on the ship’s shields the drones throw themselves at it in a kamikaze attack the shields can’t prevent. 

The visit to another world to find supplies for the ship has become so routine it happens off-screen.  The reason why they couldn’t find enough supplies is not explained.  The world is barren? Plant and animal life edible by humans hasn’t evolved?  Resources are too far away from the landing site?

As they can’t find worlds safe from attacks from robot attack drones they move to the final alternative.  Leave this galaxy millions of light years away from earth and head to one further away.  It’s not a popular plan, involving being in cryogenics for three years; loosing out on information stops that might discover more about the ship’s agenda (to discover the message from the origins of the universe); risking never arriving, frozen in permanent cryogenics.

There are final farewells.

Are you happy?

In spite of everything, yeah, I am.

Good!

The blind woman comes up with a plan to sacrifice a shuttle to destroy a command ship.  She is rewarded with a touch to the shoulder, physical human contact.  It turns out Rush is better at playing spacies than Eli.  Who knew?

The last farewells continue.

Go back light years, across a universe, and I miss her by a couple of thousand miles.

There are handshakes as colleagues and rivals depart as friends.  Rush is the ‘slightly crazy uncle who comes through in the end’.  To family!  L’chaim!  A promise is made to bring them all home.

Down to three people now.  Colonel Young, Doctor Rush and Eli Wallace.  Unfortunately of the three remaining available cryogenic chambers only two are working.  The constrained conditions of deep interstellar space aboard the Destiny mean the one who remains outside of cryogenics will not survive unless he manages to repair the chamber in the time remaining.  All three want to make the noble sacrifice.

You’ve come a long way from that video game slacker I met a year ago.

Thanks, you’re been pretty consistent.

In the end it is Eli who is standing on the observation deck, allowed one last smile as the Destiny disappears into the void that is the closing credits.  It’s like the franchise decided to quietly shuffle off knowing its fate is to be cancelled rather than give us something flash to end on.  It’s done its duty, now clear the stage.  It had great sets too, the lighting was dark and the ornamentation was all in brass, reflecting the idea it was technology so ancient it was victorian.

I wonder when the collected set of both seasons will become available here.  It would be tempting to get.  Just to show some support for being this series back.

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Post-Anniversary Day

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No gym on Monday for Otago Anniversary Day.  I stayed at home for most of the day.  The weather was fine so I spent some of the morning on the porch outside the front door of Manono House reading Absolute Midnight, the third book of the Abarat series by Clive Barker.  It was enjoyable enough that I wanted to finish it in one attempt.  In this title the baby-murdering Empress of Midnight wants to plunge all the islands of the Abarat into eternal darkness.  I don’t know where Barker can take this series after this one.  There are two more titles to follow it.  The first I imagine will be a couple of years away as he is quite involved painting illustrations for the series.  He has already given the fantasy world that he has created for the series quite a battering.  I wonder if he can rebuild the world after this book?  And in what shape?

Later that day I visited the Warehouse to buy a new electric jug.  I took it back the next day for a refund because it leaked.  Since then I thought it would make better sense to use up my loyalty points and order one online.  I’m waiting for the chain of shops the loyalty card goes through to get one in.  They will contact me.  The plastic jug I’m using is so old the spout is beginning to crumble.  I’ve probably ingested enough plastic from it for the good of my health.

Lenten Study was in the evening and we were discussing ‘church’.  There is a general agreement that there is a difference between ‘the church’ (negative, institutional, external, isolated, physical) and ‘church’ (the work of the people).  The discussion was lively.

Politics in the New Zealand government is have sanity issues, i.e., it’s not showing any.  On Infotainment Tonight (commonly called any News programme on television) today it was reported that the majority of our diplomats around the world have signed a letter critical of the government’s plans to cut spending on foreign affairs.  They claim it will reduce New Zealand’s credibility in international diplomacy, and it affects opportunities for looking at foreign affairs as a career choice.  This has come in the same week as one minister of government told the opposition leader that his choice of Finland as a model for New Zealand to follow was country of criminals, suicides and abusers of women.   This is not a verbatim quote.

It seems in New Zealand Home for left-wingers is no longer England, but whichever part of Scandanavia they favour at the moment.  The minister (on the right-wing of government) who made the quote says it was meant at the expense opposition in good humour, and not at the Finnish people.  Finland doesn’t seem to see it in good humour, at least in one comedian’s reply.  It strikes me as funny as Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s comments on which to do with strikers, also claimed in be in good humour.  Even as we speak I imagine Nokia Black-Ops Agents are planning to irradicate the minister’s thoracic cavity with radiation from his cellphone, ‘the little bit of Finland he keeps next to his heart’.

Hobbit Spotting through Lent

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Whom do I like better when it comes to guitar fanfares?  Malcolm Gordon’s One Voice, orCold Chisel?  It’s a tricky choice.

I started my lunchtime reading this week by picking out Bonaventure because I wanted to read St Francis’ abandonment of his old family life for sainthood.  There is also a passage where Bonaventure describes John Francisco facing a crisis in the darkness of a winter’s night and creating an imaginary family out of snowmen to destroy the temptation.  It’s in there somewhere but I couldn’t find the reference.

After that I decided to read a bit of Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald in the 1980s redaction.  The danger of reading MacDonald is that he writes in diabetic levels of Scottish sentiment.

I only got to the gym once this week.  It leaves me to toss and turn at nights as the muscles in my shoulders pull into uncomfortable positions before I sleep. 

There were two lectures in the latter part of the week: an Anniversary Day lecture where a local historian from the Maniototo looked at the poetry of his grand-uncle and what his poetry tells of the context of his life, one of those single working men who drift on the margins of our society in the years before their death; and the Centre for Theology and Public Issues hosted a discussion on Religion and the Republic: the American elections.  It was a sedate discussion which said nothing new and allowed ex-patriate Americans to consider their homeland’s politics from a distance.  There were a handful of absentee voters in the audience.  They decide the direction of the Free Empire for the rest of us.

The Art Gallery is providing me with entertainment this weekend.  Saturday: Samurai 3.  Third in a series of incomprehensible Japanese films where the swordsman Musashi Miyamoto protects a mediaeval village from bandits.  I watched Samurai 2 last weekend.  It is a spiritual ancestor between the cowboy movies from the wild west and the Jedi movies.

Then on Sunday, a Dickens Talk: Health & disease in Victorian Britain.  How can I resist a subject like that ?!

Sail on, Easy Rider

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I’m sorry to hear about the sinking of the Easy Rider in Foveaux Strait last week.  One of the pupils of my early years at school was a member of the Karetai family.  I think Michael King’s History of New Zealand lists them among the families  of the South Island’s Ngai Tahu iwi, although I can’t find the reference. 

 As a family they have become scattered around New Zealand, Australia and the world.  The news reports that they still return from where they are for the muttonbirding season.  I no longer have the taste for that rich fatty flesh that I had when I was younger.

These are people I could have grown up with and have encountered in Invercargill in my youth.  Perhaps time will make me more aware of such people.  To lose four members of a family to a boating accident, along with the rest of the boat’s passengers, is a tragedy for any family.  This news moves and saddens me.  We are lesser for it.

Gotterdammerung

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So that was Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.  I’m glad I’ve seen this series to the end.  The singers were excellent.  Oh, my, what a long story.  Twenty hours of screen time, four different operas, over two seasons.  That’s exhausting.  I don’t need to see this one again, unless someone does something radically different with it.  There’s little chance of that happening.  After a hundred years achieveing something new with Wagner is going to be a challenge.

My mother was here for the opera and I’ve put her on the bus back to Invercargill.  She has an appointment for a colonoscopy tomorrow and she is beginning the final stages of preparation for it.  Fortunately I know that family will be keeping an eye on her after the operation.

Not The Icons Tour

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Earlier this month there was a weekend bike tour where participants had to drive 2000 kilometres over two days.  The police were unhappy with this event.  When they heard that the Rusty Nuts Bike Club was organising a New Zealand Icons Tour over a week with 6000+ km.  They pressured the club to call off the event.  The club did so, but the news did not get out to everybody so there were a dozen people who were not doing the tour, which involved not motoring around the country and not taking photos of various public landmarks around New Zealand.  There are no photos of me holding a pirate flag outside the Speights brewery or the former Burt Munro house in Invercargill, and I did not take some interesting photos in Gore, nor did we cross over on the Tuapeka ferry.  We did not not go to Riverton in the end, and I decided not to travel down to Bluff for the gathering for the tour that didn’t happen as I had only not done one day of it.  Besides I remember how bad the weather was the last time I went out to Bluff on the back of a motorbike.

My mother showed me a new shirt that she found in a sale at a menswear shop and thought I would like.  It was thought by one person at the family clan-gathering on Saturday night that it was suitable grounds for a divorce for anyone’s partner to wear it.  I am looking forward to wearing it to work later this week, probably Friday.

I saw Southern Dave who is reduced to reading books as he doesn’t have a working computer.  It’s about time he read some of his collection in my opinion!

The return trip to Dunedin was made exciting due to heavy wet weather which made travelling positively dreich.  Not to mention that The Phantom left his belt containg his licence, wallet, cell phone, etc., in Invercargill and we lost two hours waiting for it to catch up with him.

Another half hour and I will have to go out and meet my mother who is coming up today to see Götterdämmerung at the Rialto.  My visit to Invercargill meant we had no opportunity to see it at the weekend.  So, six hours of Wagner, here we come.  Hope I stay awake!

Hobbit Spotting

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That was the week that was rather busy.

Monday: Lenten Study at church

Tuesday: a meeting to organise a Parish Review into faith and worship at church

Wednesday: An induction at another church, there is a trend emerging here, and I may be the only person who think that Hillsong choruses sound like car ads

Thursday: the Presbyterian Research Network met for a public lecture on Christian Missions and Modern Western Science.  A little rambling and broad for a subject.

The week started well.  Now I want to sit down for a bit.  My brother The Phantom is doing the Icon Tiki Tour down the South Island and arrives in Dunedin from Greymouth sometime tonight.  Since he texted me about Eleven o’clock last night he could be late.  I hope to travel with him on the last stretch tomorrow:  Dunedin-Tuapeka-Gore-Mossburn-Clifden-Invercargill-Bluff.

Next week should prove to be more varied, I hope.  It will still be active.

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