Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, April 04, 2016

Blame is Counterproductive

The first few hours of Wednesday morning went pretty well.  Got up, had breakfast, on the computer checking the morning news, and since I was already planning on seeing Batman v Superman come the weekend, I went ahead and bought my tickets online.  Went downstairs, started up the car to go to work, and something strange happened.

The "battery" light came on.  I'd never seen that light come on before.  So of course, it threw me into a full-blown panic.  Leafing through the owner's manual, it recommended I shut off everything:  no fan, no radio, no nothing.  So I did that, successfully drove into work, and I obssesed on it all day.  Made for a great radio show, though, as I shared my woes on the air and got a few good calls from the shadetree mechanics in the region telling me how I could fix it myself, but I decided not to dick around with it.  Next day, I'd take it into the shop.

Waiting until the next day wound up to be waiting too long.  I started it up the next morning.  She ran for about five minutes, and the died.  I tried to start her up again, but no go.  I resigned myself to my fate, laced up my shoes, and walked to work.  Because I exist in a state of arrested development, I called my parents for help, and they came over later that morning.  With Dad's help, we got her running again, and not wanting to mess around, limped her over to the shop.

Got the diagnosis later that afternoon.  One of the belts was old and worn out, and no longer running the alternator.  (The "alternator," for those who don't know cars, is the generator that runs all the electrical stuff when your motor's running.)  Here's come my favourite part of taking my car into the shop.  And then they found...a bunch of other old and worn parts that were in need of replacing.  A few leaky hoses, a few filters that needed changing, stuff like that.  So may as well get that done, too.  Just under $1000 in repairs when all was said and done.  Again, special thanks to the Bank of Mom and Dad for their assistance in financing the repairs.

A photo posted by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

Got her back on Friday afternoon and took for a little test drive to the next town down the road.  No lights, no weird noises, no problems.  Looked like my car was fixed.

The true test would be Saturday morning, as I was still heading off to see Batman v Superman.

Needless to say, my tone in the city was somewhat somber.  After how much I paid to get my car fixed, I wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of money.  Skipped my usual haunts of Best Buy and HMV because there's not a lot of new Blu-Rays out right now that I want.  Besides, I've got too much sitting in my "to-watch" pile right now.  I just upgraded all the Batman movies to Blu-Ray because Amazon had them dirt-cheap for their Easter sale.  And Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out on Tuesday.  Pre-ordered my copy on Amazon back in January.  Even paid the extra shipping costs to get it the day it comes out.  And I'll be indulging in a few double-dips in the next few months, too.  Independence Day is getting a special 20th anniversary edition next month.  Finally, the director's cut comes to Blu-Ray.  And my all-time favourite movie, The Iron Giant, finally hits Blu in September.  So best to save my money for what I really want, instead of what I kinda-sorta want.

I also hit Toys R Us, just in case there are any new collectable action figures out.  I realized that, as I walked the aisles, my action figure collecting has kind of slowed down in recent years.  Currently, I just stick to the big one, Star Wars.  There was a time not too long ago when I'd be snatching up Batman v Superman figures, and indeed, a figure or two from every big blockbuster that caught my eye.  But now, not so much.  It doesn't help that, by the time I get out to the stores these days, pretty much everything is picked over, anyway.

Besides, I'm starting to come to the realization that my collection is too damn big.  As I've been mentioned on the air and in the podcast, my mother has decreed that this is the year I finally clean out my childhood bedroom and finish moving out.  So, when I was home for my annual "burn off last year's leftover vacation days" sabbatical, I brought with me a  half-a-dozen plastic storage bins that I got on sale and packed up the entirety of my collection.  It's not all under one roof...in fact, right behind me, as those bins are sitting in my second bedroom/computer workspace until I figure out what to do with them.

A photo posted by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

That's just my Star Wars figures.  I wanted to get a picture of them all once they were under one roof.  That's all spread out on my living room floor.  Had to stand on a chair to get them all in frame.

I've considered hanging all of them on the walls, like I had them at home.  But, I live in an apartment.  If I wanted to lose my damage deposit for sure, I'd pound in a bunch of nails, like I did at home.  But for an apartment, I'm going to need to use adhesive hooks.  For the Star Wars alone, I'm going to need about 60.  The bulk packs for the hooks contain 20.  I did the pricing out yesterday.  That many is going to run me about $35, and for that much, maybe I should spend a little more and get an IKEA shelving unit to put them on.  And then I could probably display more than Star Wars.  Lots of decisions to be made.

Anyway, made it to West Edmonton Mall, browsed my usual haunts, but as I said, I wasn't really in a spending mood.  Over in the food court, I've been eating at Harvey's a lot lately, because I got a bunch of Harvey's gift cards for Christmas.  I saw that, for a side, they had an option to upgrade to deep fried pickles, so I thought I'd give those a try.  Deep fried pickles kind of exploded onto the fast food scene a few years ago, and they became that talk of county fairs.  I've tried them in the past, but I never really got the appeal.  They're pickles, and their hot, and their in crunchy batter.  I think I'll stick with Frings, thank you very much.

 With a full belly, it was time for the movie.  Even though I went the extra mile for the 3D Ultra AVX with Dolby Atmos sound, with a reserved seat for myself, I still like to be in my seat early.  Gives you lots of time to unwrap your 3D glasses and any noisy candy wrappers without annoying anyone.  As I sign to Batman v Superman's fate, even though it's only been out a week, the theatre was only 1/3rd - 1/2 full by the time the pre-show ended and the movie began. 

Batman v Superman

It’s been 18 months since Superman first came on the scene, and destroyed most of Metropolis trying to save the world from General Zod.  Congressional hearings are going as to how Superman should be dealt with in this world, and indeed, Superman himself still has doubts about how best he can help this planet.  But there’s one man who’s made up his mind about Superman:  Bruce Wayne, whose Wayne Enterprises tower in Metropolis was destroyed, and many of his employees killed.  He’s of the mind that Superman does need a deterrent in this world…Batman.  As tensions grown between Batman and Superman (oh, Superman doesn’t agree with Batman’s methods and has been attacking him as Clark Kent through editorials in the Daily Planet), Lex Luthor begins pulling the strings behind the scenes to further his own agenda.  What is his agenda?  Will Batman and Superman see through the charade before they come to blows?

I wanted to like this film.  I really, really did.  And there's so much good going for it.  Wonder Woman.  It's so nice finally seeing her on the big screen.  Ben Affleck is a great Batman.  He gives us the battle-hardened, world-weary Batman that we first glimpsed in The Dark Knight Returns.  In fact, there are whole pages ripped from The Dark Knight Returns.  When I recognized Dark Knight Returns  scenes, I was reading along with the dialogue. 

But...there's still an Amazing Spider-Man vibe going on of "Let's throw everything against the wall and see what forms a franchise."  It gets a little disjointed as it tries to set-up this grand future for a DC Cinematic Universe.  And Lex Luthor.  Still not sure as to what his grand scheme was, and Jesse Eisenberg does give him just a few too many quirks and ticks. 

I'm very conflicted.  I want to like this so badly, but it's missing a few key qualities, and that prevents me from doing that.  Anyway, full review over on my website

After the movie, nothing more to do than go home.  It was still with a little bit of trepidation as I hit the road.  My car seems to be working fine for now, but I can never shake the feeling that something else down the road will go wrong.  My old car was so old and beat up that it seemed like every December it was back in the shop for another couple thousand dollars in repairs.  I only finally got a newer car when the mechanics said, "Dude...it's just not worth fixing anymore."  My car's been running so nice for the past few years that I've had these nagging doubts that it was overdue for a breakdown.  Hopefully, this is it, and I can move on. 

But I still worry. 

No comments: