Archive for Uncategorized

2018 in Film and TV

Let’s start with TV, because it’s been another good year for TV.

Number 5: Altered Carbon. I went back-and-forth on my top 5 list. There have been a lot of good shows and I’ve been tempted to put different things in some slots, especially in position number 5. But at the end of the day, I think I enjoyed Altered Carbon more than some of the other candidates. It has flaws: I disliked how tightly every single plot point in the series fit together into one narrative. That felt too neat. And the casual misogyny that seems to always accompany anything with a noir aesthetic was annoying. But Blade Runner-esque visuals and cool ideas about tech and general good writing. I was there for all of that. Read more

A Rose by Any Other Name

Some time ago, I was pinged on Ancestry by a distant relative who was happy to have come across portions of my family tree that overlapped with her family. I try to always respond to folks on Ancestry; I’ve almost-always had good experiences there. My correspondent was much newer to genealogy than I was, and was therefore able to quickly learn a great deal about at least one line of her family.

She was a descendant of my great-grandmother’s brother. It’s a line of the family that I don’t have very deep records about. My info basically ended at her grandparents. But it was still helpful to her.

So, that’s cool. But because of that recent interaction, I found myself poking that part of the tree again. I located a picture of her great-grandfather, Alton Carol “Al” Kehoe (with my great-grandmother, Mary Ann “Mae” Houle), as well as an obituary, and uploaded them, then sent her a note with links.

But that’s when, all of a sudden, I noticed an unexpected hint that Ancestry was suggesting that I look at. The hint was a marriage record from Ohio, and I was originally inclined to dismiss it because this family lived in Port Lambton, Ontario. It’s not uncommon for my ancestors to get married in Michigan, but Ohio? On the other hand, Alton Carol Kehoe is a pretty unusual name, and I couldn’t overlook that.

According to the marriage record, Alton Carol Kehoe was marrying Rose Skeens on 10 Dec, 1927, in Ohio. Who was Rose Skeens? I’d never heard of her before.

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Requiem for Google+

So Google+ is about the kick the bucket. I never loved Google+ (I remember the days of the bad press that the “real names” policy generated), but I hate hate hate Facebook, and it was the most successful competitor to Facebook. I’d actually been using it a lot more, recently, as there are a non-trivial number of art- and RPG-related communities on Google+, and I’m sad to lose those.

Chatter on one group suggests that some folks are headed to MeWe — yet another social media site that no one I know uses. But I’ve signed up to see if it turns in to anything. At least they have a mobile app.

Don’t Do That To Me

Oh, my Draomi-loving heart.

Thought for the Day

Legion is probably too enamored of its weirdness to tell as rich and emotionally complicated of a story as it wants to.

“How Legion’s season 2 finale exposed the emptiness at the show’s core”, Vox

Election Thing

I opened my door to accept some food delivery and discovered that a PC flyer was hanging from my doorknob. I have no idea when the PCs came by, and I don’t remember hearing any knocks at the door. But it wasn’t there the last time I opened the door, but it’s there now.

I’m not going to vote for the PCs, for three reasons:

  1. First, and most obviously, because Doug Ford is human garbage monster, and will bring shame on the province;
  2. second, the PC platform (if such a thing can be said to exist) is pretty far from my own political bent, especially when we have candidates talking about debating whether or not the Holocaust happened or rolling back abortion rights; and
  3. thirdly, the PC candidate has no chance of winning my riding — one that’s been NDP or Liberal for 20 years (although strictly speaking, my riding is only a few years old, it was spun out of Trinity-Spadina with a bit of Toronto Centre thrown in).

Currently, my riding’s MPP is Liberal Han Dong who displaced our long-standing NDP MPP Rosario Marchese in the last election. I don’t feel like I’ve really seen much community engagement from Mr. Dong, so that’s a bit disappointing. This year, the NDP is running a white guy named Chris Glover, who I don’t know and haven’t met. He’s not my ideal candidate, both because I wish the NDP had found a person of colour to run in the riding, and because I feel like all of his experience is outside of our riding. But otherwise, his bona fides seem solid.

I am a bit critical of Han Dong, although my criticisms would probably be the same with any Liberal backbencher. He’s part of the majority party, and I therefore expect him to represent our riding in important provincial issues. For me, the most important work I wanted him to be vocal about is pressuring Bombardier about meeting its delivery commitments to the TTC. The Liberals were happy to hand Bombardier tons of bail-out money, and Wynne kept going on about how important Bombardier was to the Ontario economy. But as my MPP, I expected Han Dong to agitate for Toronto and Spadina-Fort York and ensure that we’re getting our streetcars in a timely fashion. I’ve seen no work on this front.

I also have other, more general criticisms of the Liberals. Part of me wants to like Kathleen Wynne, as she’s our first openly lesbian Premier. Liberal policies are generally too right-wing for me, so I wasn’t likely to vote for her party, but I thought that the representation mattered. I also agree that a lot of the hatred toward Wynne was nasty in a way that reeked of sexism and homophobia. I think that this especially comes through in criticism of the Ontario sex education changes. Most of that criticism just seems to be a form of “how dare you tell the children that gay people exist!” and I… well… I just have no sympathy for that point of view.
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Killable Bodies in SFF

Bad things happened! Some details:

Poor Marion

More learnings: Marion and Milton had just been married. Marion was 35 in December 1937, when she married Milton McVicar. On Jan 3, Marion’s younger brother Beverly died (he’d had poor health for all of his life). The following month, Milton died.

Weird Traditions

I’m not really in to Royal Weddings, but I get why this one is so ground-breaking.

But I found myself wondering about a minor protocol matter. Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is American, and not Canadian, even though she lived for a time in Toronto. But if she had been Canadian, how would the Nickle Resolution have played out with respect to her titles as Duchess and Countess? Princess isn’t a peerage title, so I don’t think the Nickle Resolution applies there. And I suspect that the whole “title by marriage” rather than “title by honour” thing would be part of it. But, y’know, dudes who marry princesses (such as the Earl of Snowden) are often granted peerages. So the situation could come up. I suspect that parliament would just try to avoid the question if it happened, because they’d come off as wet blankets in royal wedding euphoria.

I find byzantine protocol things kind of interesting.

Thought for the Day

Imagine if decades from now a student of Canadian political history is digging into the Kinder Morgan pipeline saga. What kind of picture would she get from scanning the news databases from April 2018?

A frustrated project proponent, Kinder Morgan, puts the development of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on hold, amid a pitched jurisdictional battle between the governments of BC and Alberta. The prime minister vows the pipeline will be built, because it’s in the national interest. There is much speculation about how Ottawa might ultimately exert its constitutional authority in the matter. There are protests and people are arrested.

But this media coverage circa April 2018 has one big hole in it.

Somehow First Nations and their constitutional issues with the pipeline gets no inches, no airtime.

The Crown has an obligation to consult with the First Nations whose constitutionally protected land and other rights could be impacted by the pipeline. This fact now routinely fades in and out of our public discussions of Kinder Morgan like an inconsequential character in a daytime soap.

But the government’s duty to consult isn’t some secondary story arc.

“Indigenous rights aren’t a subplot of pipeline debate”, Policy Options