February 2024 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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February 2024

Weekly Roundup 2.24.24

Wow, The last time I updated here was on 2.2.24 and now it’s 2.24.24. I find that weird . . . and kinda cool. How about you? I’ll bet you do also. Maybe? A little?

Okay. Whatever. I’m just trying to keep it light. Or lite. Or, you know, the opposite of heavy . . . or serious. You get the idea.

Anyway. What have I been watching, reading, listening to or otherwise distracting myself with lately? Glad you asked because, well, that’s kind the point of this and things work out better if you just go along. Cool? Cool.

As I mentioned last time I’ve been reading Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber. Gotta say, I’m still really enjoying these stories. I first read them as a teenager and loved them. Fortunately, they’ve absolutely stood the test of time and don’t disappoint.

I’ve also been listening to the audio books of The Lord of the Rings as narrated and performed by Mr. Andy Serkis. If you’ve never heard him perform the books before then you’ve never really heard them performed (no disrespect to the previous guy). In short, Andy is terrific and really brings the characters and story to life. Heck, he even sings the songs. All of them. Which, as any Tolkien fan knows, there’s a lot of.

I highly recommend the Andy Serkis versions to anyone who wants to get into the books for the first time or is looking to revisit them. They’re that good.

I recently watched the entire Peter Jackson movie trilogy and that’s what sparked my desire to go back to the novels. It’s so interesting to watch the films and then read (or listen, more to the point) how much of the story had to be changed in order to bring them to the screen. A lot of things had to be dropped and the story altered to fit a film narrative.

Also, the books are very long and you just couldn’t fit everything into three movies. It’s not like you can spend three movies on just one book or something. That’s just crazy.

I’m sure more than one person has already done an exhaustive chronicle of the differences between the Lord of the Rings novels and the Peter Jackson movies, so I won’t get into it here. And no, I’m not too sad that some things had to be cut. Sorry Tom Bombadil stans. Them’s the breaks.

I’m also gonna watch the Ralph Bakshi animated Lord of the Rings movie and see if that holds up. I’ll bet it does, mostly. I’ll let you know. If you haven’t seen it before, be sure to check it out.

I haven’t been watching as many TV shows or movies in the last few weeks. I did, however, accompany the boy to see Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Hashira Training (aka Demon Slayer) in the movie theater this week. It’s a version of the animated series containing the final episode of the current season as well as the first of next season. It’s all part of the upcoming Hashira training arc. If you know, you know.

It was fun and great to see anime on the big screen. The boy loved it too. We also had milkshakes. They were tasty.

In case you’re interested, here’s the trailer.

I’ve also included the trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring from Peter Jackson too. Enjoy and remember just how great those movies are. I’m not sure we’ll ever get a better cinematic treatment of the novels. Thank you Peter Jackson and co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and all the cast and crew. Well done.

I guess that’s enough for the moment. Oh, in case you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to check out the thing there on the right side (or below if you’re on mobile). Be sure to register to vote and then vote. It’s pretty important, especially if you give a shit about Democracy.

Be kind to each other.



Image: New Line/Warner Bros. / Amazon

(Semi)Weekly Roundup 2.2.24

Well, we made it through 2023 and now here it is 2024. And February too. Imagine that. I was pretty sure we could pull it off, but you never really know until you know. You know?

Yes, that’s an awkward sentence above. But what do you expect? It’s an election year so prepare yourself for a whole lot of awkward sentences and whole lot of other bullshit.

I know, I feel it too. That sense of impending doom that had sorta gone away for awhile. Yeah, it’s back now. I’m thrilled.

But hey, there’s plenty of time to feel bad and worry about the future. Although, there’s something you can do today to help make yourself feel a bit better. More on that at the end. For now, let’s get to the good stuff!

No, I did not end up getting any kind of new Apple product in 2023 or 2024. Not for me, at least. The boy, however, got a new M2 MacMini for Christmas so he can play Roblox at the proper frame rate. I don’t know, I just try to give him something he wants. Right now, it’s all Roblox-related.

He also got some other stuff for Christmas that’s not as cool, so I won’t bother to mention it. As for me, I got a few nice presents as well. One was an Asus ProArt Monitor to use with my (aging) MacBook Pro 13″. I’m not sure how I lived without an external monitor before this. People in The Dark Ages didn’t have it so bad. It’s a very nice monitor. Not 4K, but I don’t really need that at the moment. Maybe someday.

I’m also back to using a mechanical keyboard for typing instead of the Apple mini keyboard I had been using. The one I use most frequently at the moment is a Keychron V3 with brown switches. I really like it. The only thing I need to get used to are the keys being a bit smaller than what I had before so I tend to make a few more tying mistakes as I go. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

I also got a Cherry MX 2.0 keyboard (also with brown switches) to try out. I like that one also but I wish it wasn’t a full sized keyboard. I know I could have looked around a got a different one from Cherry, but this is what they had at Amazon so . . . easier. Anyway, I like that the Keychron is a TKL (as in it doesn’t have a number keypad).

I prefer TKL form factor. But really, I’m still in the experimental phase so I may even try a third (or fourth) option just to see. I probably will. One or both of these test keyboards can also go to the boy when his current keyboard gets destroyed . . . as it inevitably will.

I’ve also been reading a bit and have taken a fresh look at Mr. Bukowski. I recently finished his novel Ham on Rye. It’s even better than I remember. Highly recommended. I’m going to read Post Office next. If you’re not aware, Charles Bukowski is one of the greatest authors of his or any generation. His work (novels, poetry, whatever) are well worth your time.

Sure, his stuff is heavy. But it’s also real and alive and essential. Give it a try. I don’t know a single person I’ve recommended him to that regretted it. Maybe they’re just being polite? I guess that’s possible. Judge for yourself.

I’m also going to get back to Roger Zelazny and his Chronicles Of Amber. I haven’t forgotten those.

As for movies and TV, I’ve watched a bunch of stuff. I can highly recommend Godzilla Minus One. Amazing film, even if you don’t love monsters. I’m also in the middle of a rewatch of Mad Men. Great show, in spite of its flaws. And yes, it has a few.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. I’ve been sick for the last week or so and I’m getting tired of typing, so I’ll just go ahead and get going for now. Until next time . . .

Oh, wait. I almost forgot to mention the important thing that will make you feel a bit better: This year is an election year (as you know) and you need to vote, no matter what.

You can register right there in the sidebar of this blog. Or, near the bottom if you’re reading this on a mobile device. Do it. Register or check your status or get more info at Vote.org. Then, vote. It’s that easy.

Now go. Make Democracy happen. You’ll feel better.

Image: Toho Studios