While 2020 wasn’t a great reading year for me, it has been a terrific anime year.  I finished up my 14th series today and have a few more lined up to close out December.  I considered alternating between live action and anime, but the last Netflix series I watched shit the narrative bed in explosive diarrhea-like fashion in its finale and I have no desire to invest my time on another massive disappointment.  Maybe I should also consider looking into some of the latest comic book titles.  It has been a while.  I’ve also had a hankering for an epic scifi read.  Something along the lines of Iain M. Banks’ Culture series or Michael Flynn’s Wreck of the River of Stars.  Many of the more recent “space epics” I have read have disappointed, even (especially) those critical darlings.  So, any recommendations?

In Toronto, we’re in what’s been referred to as a “Grey Lockdown”, a perfectly appropriate naming given that nothing is clear or seems to be based on actual science-based evidence.  From what I understand, gyms, barbers, hair salons, and small business are closed.  Restaurants are only open for delivery.  Big box stores are open because, I guess, they slip more money into local political coffers.  Large assemblies are to be avoided at all costs.  Unless, of course, we’re talking about schools in which case just go ahead and pack ’em in.  Meanwhile, somewhere in the city, covidiots are losing their shit because they aren’t being allowed to eat brisket indoors.

I think we can all agree that, for the most part, western nations have really dropped the ball during this pandemic.  It’s just been one long, extended screw-up across the political spectrum.  At the end of the day, it hasn’t affected my hermit-like existence, but I feel the need to state the obvious.  And, by the looks of things, it’s just going to get worse between now and February of next year.

Stay safe!  Wear your masks!  And keep taking your vitamin D!

Answers to yesterday’s mascot quiz:

1.E, 2.B, 3.D, 4.I, 5.A, 6.J, 7.C, 8.G, 9.H, 10.F

12 thoughts on “November 27, 2020: What to watch? What to read? What to complain about? Oh yeah!

  1. Psst. It’s the 27th…

    I’ve recently only been watching a few shows. One that I got watching that I think has been rather good is the CBC (Gem) version of “War of the Worlds”, which is nothing like the original story. The season was a slow burn as the aliens’ motivations have been slowly revealed and the tone of steady dread has a feel much like The Walking Dead (way back when that show was good).

    I’ve also really been enjoying “Long Way Up” on Apple TV+, with Ewan McGregor, which has he and his best friend taking electric motorcycles from Tierra del Fuego all the way north to Los Angeles. The scenery is stunning and the cultures along the way are fascinating.

    Also been watching ST:Discovery of course and I find the third season pretty good. Interesting take on events in the far future, even for Star Trek.

    I’m disappointed that the dialogue in Canada has descended to certain premiers blaming their ineptitude on health care, a provincial responsibility, on the federal government who can really only give them money and cajole them to do the right thing. Unfortunately, for some of these people scoring political points is more important than their constituents’ actual lives.

  2. “Grey Lockdown” is very grey indeed, confusing and much of it makes no sense. I doubt the situation will improve soon. Also sick and tired of reading/listening to the news, I’m now just comparing the different approaches to restrictions among all the provinces, or the west vs the east. I think we’ll probably know in about a couple years from now which approach reigns supreme.

    Trying to find a few things to entertain myself. One of them is to build a gaming PC during my downtime but may not be possible since all the video cards are out of stock. Limited supply and gamers hoarding? As for console, the new PS5 seems to have some software issue, so will hold off getting it. So, back to digging up more old hobbies I guess.

  3. Not watching Star Trek Discovery. Instead, did a re-watch of Andromeda and now I’m watching Space: 1999. And yeah, I know Space: 1999 has issues. But I found an episode order on-line that fixes a lot of them.

  4. As of yesterday the state of Victoria in Australia is officially Covid free. We haven’t had a single case in 28 days. Australia, a population of over 25 million people, had 6 new cases in the last 24 hours and has 78 active cases.

    How did we do it? We shut our international borders to almost all travel. Anyone travelling to Australia (other than from New Zealand) must go into government quarantine facilities for 14 days.

    Most states also shut their internal borders to limit movement.

    Victoria had a serious second wave but the state (Labour) government acted quickly and locked us down. Curfews, movement restrictions, business closures, mandatory mask wearing, widespread testing, clear messaging. The federal (Conservative) government kicked up a fuss saying that the state government was overreacting but the case numbers started dropping and we’ve been at zero for 29 days. The numbers don’t lie. We did it the right way. It was bloody hard and there were covidiots protesting the restrictions but, strangely, they’ve fallen silent now.

    Restrictions have gradually been easing (we can travel anywhere, we can eat in restaurants (with number limits), businesses are open again) and tomorrow the final easing of restrictions will be announced where we will almost be back to normal.

    Last night the border between Tasmania and Victoria opened for the first time since March. I’m on tonight’s ferry to spend a week down there at my house for the first time since January. I wonder what the Parmesan cheese I left in the fridge will be like?

    Coronavirus can be brought under control but it needs a strong hand, science-based policy, clear messaging, early action, and a compliant populace. I think it’s too late for most of the world.

  5. The last 3 books I read:

    The Collapsing Empire
    The Consuming Fire
    The Last Emperox

    John Scalzi is amazing… but, you know that.

    Last thing I watched:

    The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix original, totally worth the watch even if you aren’t a chess fan!)
    Mr. Robot (I’ve only seen Season 1 so far, which was fantastic. I can’t imagine where they’re going to go, but I look forward to finishing the series.)

  6. Here at our house, the three of us are looking forward to a pretty standard Christmas holidays. The pandemic has shown us how very self-contained we are – not sure if that’s good or bad. We definitely are luckier than most in that we can all work from home. I have an on-line class of grade 1’s and it’s going pretty good so far. Being unable to go out for dinner or have drinks with friends is no problem to us…. we generally avoid these things, preferring our own company. I’m kind of embarrassed by how unbothered we are by isolation. And I would definitely assign the title “hermit” to my husband!

  7. Love the “ shit the narrative bed in explosive diarrhea-like fashion” ha! I don’t know what series you are referring to but I have seen a few myself & I’m at a loss too. I’ve been watching Star Trek TNG & forgot about a lot of the gems like the episode where they “de-evolve” into primordial beasts-Deana into some kind of reptile thing that the venomous monster Worf sees as his “mate” & attacks & Will as an early hominid Australopithecus afarensis who throws things. Dr. Picard is transforming into a marmoset that will be swinging from the holodeck soon if he & data cannot find a cure. Lol.

    And I am moving on Monday & Tuesday. Packing & throwing out a lot of crap. Downsizing & just have a lot of useless stuff that I don’t ever use.

    I will be moving from the “orange” COVID zone in to the Orange COVID zone. Lol. Meaning high level of idiots not wearing masks or following precautions-like my neighbors -bye bye idiots!!


  8. England’s the same with our “lockdown” and then from 2nd December with our tier system – seems to me it just punishes families more (if you go along with the rules which unfortunately there are a lot of Covidiots around that ignore them). At least there’s FaceTime so I can see Mum and Dad. I hope your Mum and family are well Joe and so are Akemi’s. Big hugs to Suji xxx

  9. @Line Noise – That is great parts of Australia is doing so well! Keep America out and maybe you will continue to be virus free. It’s impossible here in the U.S. with a stupid president because he paid people to attend school for him, who does not believe in science, yet is already starting to take credit for developing any vaccine that will come out. It also doesn’t help that he hates people, doesn’t care how many will die of the virus, and only cares about himself.

    Love the word “covidiots”. I’ll add it to my pandamit glossary. We sure do have more than plenty of covidiots here. I’ll join the Hermit Group. As much as I’d love to go sit down in a restaurant with family/friends again, I have no problem staying at home every day until this is over.

  10. “I think we can all agree that, for the most part, western nations have really dropped the ball during this pandemic.”

    I remember seeing on the news a few months ago that there was an outbreak in a New York State church The town was virtually shut down and the army came in and delivered food to the quarantined residents.

    I thought that if every household had isolated themselves from each other for only a month, had essentials delivered as in that instance and cases treated as they arose, this pandemic would have been over before June.

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