Monday, January 25, 2016


The three-peat is already out of the cards as I declined to defend my club championship title this year. After playing my last game at the end of September 2015, I really haven't come to the board with any feeling besides indifference with a touch of loathing. A couple of strong 2100+ players are currently contending and I would put my money on either of them, but they have at least 19 games on the road to the championship.

I tried to use the title of this post as a double meaning, but astronomical declination seems hard for me completely grasp: the angle from the celestial equator, analogous to the latitude on the globe. Practical astronomy always seemed too tedious. I once had a telescope to look at the neon lights downtown, but even trying to follow the moon through the sky involved constant readjustments.

Tinkering on my computer is my main hobby these days with a touch of writing and standard consumption of movies and books. I discovered recently that the film "Butterfly Effect" starring Ashton Kutcher has two endings: a theatrical release with mostly happily ever after, and a director's cut with the main character suffering a tragic end. I hadn't seen the happy ending, but maybe it will leave me with a better impression of the film. I mourned the death of Alan Rickman who played the love-to-hate-him slick Hans Gruber in "Die Hard", the loathsome but ultimately sympathetic Severus Snape of "Harry Potter", and the funny self-parodying Alexander Dane in "Galaxy Quest".

"The Force Awakens" fed into my confirmation bias that J.J. Abrams is a rather derivative re-booter of franchises, recycling entire scenes and plots. I don't think that I am so much a fan that I need to see the same movie made over and over again. A decent helping of originality would be appreciated. Perhaps this is just my hostility showing through toward Lucas for Episodes 1-3 and toward Abrams for the Lost disappointment and Star Trek's Vulcan and Khan heresies.

On the brighter side, I am looking forward to the "WarCraft" movie and the "Zoolander" sequel and perhaps trying to "publish" something in 2016. I use the term "publish" loosely here as if publicizing things on social media such as Twitter tweets or Facebook wall posts or even Blogger blog posts are "publishing".