Miscellanea, plus Eclipse Fever

A roundup of the weird, the interesting, and whatever else has caught my attention.

Stories

We’ve been on a movie kick this summer. ¬†Ok, we’re always on a movie kick, but this summer has been fairly good for that.

Naturally, one of the movies on our list to see on the big screen was The Dark Tower. I can’t fault the actors’ performances, but the story skimmed the surface of the story as it’s depicted in the novels. My son has never read those, so he enjoyed the movie immensely. I was a bit less pleased with the translation, but not to the point that I’ll never watch the screen version again in the distant future.

Atomic Blonde is another story (ha ha). Charlize Theron starred in this throwback to the ’80s and was also one of the producers. Perhaps that’s why the entire movie felt as if the entire story revolved around boosting her ego. Children of the ’80s will enjoy the nostalgic throwback.

This week, we saw The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Any movie in which Ryan Reynolds plays the straight man to Samuel L. Jackson’s blunt humor has to be hilarious, and this one absolutely was. If you can ignore the transparent story (I spotted the traitor during the first scene in which he appeared) and don’t mind excessive language and violence, you’ll enjoy it.

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately, mostly non-fiction related to writing and research, but also some fiction. Richard Parry’s Sleepless was a surprisingly good read, good enough for me to purchase another of his title’s, Upgrade, a cyberpunk techno-thriller. Hey, the cover copy reads, “Asset Acquisition. No Questions Asked.” How could I resist?

Science and Technology

Teleportation is real.

How to safely photograph the eclipse.

Beer goes green.

For Writers

A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Rusch has enough writing and editing credentials to warrant close scrutiny of her methods. While her advice on social media was a bit vague, her overview of various methods for gaining a readership (i.e. discoverability) were an interesting and informative take on how to and not to market. Regardless of one’s marketing personality and preferences, it’s hard to pass up this in-depth examination of Rusch’s extensive industry experience.

Eclipse Fever

My house sits within the band of totality for the solar eclipse taking place this coming Monday. Talk of the eclipse has been all the rage around here for about a year now. I broke down and bought a t-shirt, but fully planned on stocking up on groceries and necessities and waiting it out at home.

Considering the amount of people flocking to this area, that’s probably wise. My son lives in the tiny area of northeast Georgia where the totality zone strikes; his house is, in fact, right in the center line of that zone. More than 50,000 people are expected to drive up from the Atlanta area to northeast Georgia, around 10,000 for a local event.

I live about forty minutes from him in an area of western North Carolina that’s still within the band of totality. Hotels sold out months ago. Road departments have put out signs warning eclipse viewers not to block roads. Last night when we went to the grocery store, the produce section was nearly empty; delivery trucks were expected this morning. Some schools and businesses are shutting down on Monday, including many restaurants. Area visitors likely won’t have anticipated that, especially those who drive up without having made plans.

All in all, it’s going to be a madhouse up here.

I’ll likely spend part of the day sitting on my front porch watching tourists drive by. My eclipse viewing will be limited to walking out into the yard to view the stars while the sun hides behind the moon. I love star gazing and have a great nighttime skyscape, so that’s where my attention will be.

For those of you who are traveling, be safe, wear good eclipse glasses, and have fun.

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