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Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:9979:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h2><big><span style=\\"font-variant: small-caps;\\">Flashback, 2009:</span> <a href=\\"/reviews/bet_me\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><em>Bet Me</em></a></big></h2>\\n<p><span style=\\"font-variant: small-caps;\\"><strong><small>August 26, 2014 in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

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Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:4023:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><em><big><big><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/about/this_is_what_obesity_looks_like\\" target=\\"_blank\\">Me and the BMI</a></big></big></em></h3>\\n<h3><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/about/this_is_what_obesity_looks_like\\" target=\\"_blank\\">or</a> in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:a7e7df48357d34bfebd4eddcf389a062'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://ed-rex.com/blog?page=2', '', '54.163.210.170', 1513415613) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:5680:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><em><big><big>Woe is knee!</big></big></em></h3>\\n<h3>or</h3>\\n<h3><em><big><big>I blog the body (semi) athletic!</big></big></em></h3>\\n<table cellpadding=\\"0\\" cellspacing=\\"0\\" width=\\"3 in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:5645f267d3d21bdab88ba79dd47483e1'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://ed-rex.com/blog?page=2', '', '54.163.210.170', 1513415613) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:5136:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h2><big>It\\'s a mystery ...</big></h2>\\n<p><center><img src=\\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/hawking_meme_creators.jpg\\" /></center></p>\\n<p>_______</p>\\n<h2><big><a href=\\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/07\\" target=\\"_blank\\">Bl in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

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Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:2124:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center></center></p>\\n<table align=\\"center\\" style=\\"width: 225px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td style=\\"width: 225px; background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center; vertical-align: bottom;\\">\\n<div><span style=\\"font-size: 19px;\\"><span style=\\"font-fami in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:0abc4daf3615eae37d92fac6774cbdca'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://ed-rex.com/blog?page=2', '', '54.163.210.170', 1513415613) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:1083:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<table align=\\"center\\" style=\\"width: 200px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td>\\n<script type=\\"text/javascript\\"><!--\\ngoogle_ad_client = \\"pub-5278265615507417\\";\\n/* 160x600 picture-only, created 9/29/10 */\\ngoogle_ad_slot = \\"3058889442\\";\\ngoogle_ad_width = 160;\\ngoogle_ad_height = 600;\\n//--><!--\\ngoogle_a in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:44e05be548c17efbc6463c731ca1d7c4'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://ed-rex.com/blog?page=2', '', '54.163.210.170', 1513415613) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:870:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table align=\\"center\\" border=\\"0\\" cellpadding=\\"0\\" cellspacing=\\"0\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td>\\n<div style=\\"text-align: center;\\"><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/bumblepuppy\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><img src=\\&qu in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:1587bce80743d25a13699439e1436ddf'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://ed-rex.com/blog?page=2', '', '54.163.210.170', 1513415613) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:828:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table style=\\"height: 645px; width: 285px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td><a href=\\"http://www.bppress.ca/product/old-mans-last-sauna/\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><img alt=\\"The Old Man\\'s Last Sauna, cover image\\" src=\\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/sauna_ad04.jpg\\" st in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:224:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:a641667eb8686ec6a410a6d1682e9f16'\";s:5:\"%file\";s:44:\"/home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:27;}', 3, '', 'http://ed-rex.com/blog?page=2', '', '54.163.210.170', 1513415613) in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:2569:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table style=\\"width: 275px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td style=\\"background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center;\\">\\n<div><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><strong><span style=\\"font-f in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135
Blogs | www.ed-rex.com


Blogs

  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:d03a109ed604cf07d5ef13515bd5ab63' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h2><big><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/08\" target=\"_blank\">Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8</a></big></h2>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p><center><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/08\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/new_who_series08_logo688px_narrow.jpg\" /></a></center></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><a href=\"/reviews/the_caretaker\" target=\"_blank\">Little care from <em>The Caretaker</em> &mdash; Take One</a></big></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"100\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/go_away.jpg\" alt=\"Image: The Doctor with sign reading \'GO AWAY HUMANS\'. Screenshot from \'The Caretaker\'.\" title=\"I guess the Doctor hasn\'t spent quite enough time with humans, or speaking English, to realize that that doesn\'t, quite, mean KEEP OUT. Ha ha ha.\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 30, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>The short version?</p>\n<p>I really enjoyed \"The Caretaker\" when I watched it late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.</p>\n<p>I\'d been awake almost 20 hours when I hit Play, had worked 11 of those hours at the day-job and spent nearly two more riding to and from there on my bicycle.</p>\n<p>I was tired, and I admit cracked a beer or three as I <a href=\"https://twitter.com/ed_rex\" target=\"_blank\">live-tweeted</a> my first reactions.</p>\n<p>To my regret, those tweets were an enthusiastic tailings pond spill I wish I could take back. But they do represent as \"real\" a reaction as my subsequent re-evaluation. And since I don\'t believe in censoring reality, they will stay on my Twitter timeline and live on also as <a href=\"http://www.ed-rex.com/reviews/the_caretaker#TheCriticTweeteth\" target=\"_blank\">a sidebar</a> &mdash; pre-commentary, if you like &mdash; to my review.</p>\n<p>The short version is that I thought the episode pretty awful when I watched it by sunlight. To paraphrase the blogger <a href=\"http://patches365.livejournal/profile\" target=\"_blank\"> Patches365</a>, it was a mean-spirited <a href=\"http://patches365.livejournal.com/69340.html\" target=\"_blank\">\"tragedy of blunders\"</a> built on &mdash; not one &mdash; nor two, or even three &mdash; but <em>four</em> idiot plots. And it was an episode that tossed aside its best performer in favour of the cheapest of cheap laffs.</p>\n<p>The long version? The long version lives on my site, of course, along with spite, spoilers and some thoughts on patterns as we reach the half-way point of what we can only <em>hope</em> will be Steven Moffat\'s farewell turn as Captain of the foundering ship <em>Doctor Who</em>.</p>\n<p>Click here for <a href=\"/reviews/the_caretaker\" target=\"_blank\"><em>Little Care &mdash; Take Two</em>. Don\'t say I didn\'t warn you.</a></p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/time_heist\" target=\"_blank\">Feels like a contractual obligation</a></em></big></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"100\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/coleman-detail.jpg\" alt=\"Image: Clara looks resplendent in suit and tie.\" title=\"Has Clara been into Ten\'s wardrobe?\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 22, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span> No real rant, certainly no rave.</p>\n<p>I had a busy weekend, back at soccer on Sunday and entertaining (and being entertained by) an old friend come to town after far too long.</p>\n<p>Still managed to check in on the latest episode of <em>Doctor Who</em>, but I almost wish I hadn\'t. I <em>know</em> I\'m sorry I watched the episode a second time.</p>\n<p>But I\'ve made a commitment and I\'m not breaking it. I live-tweeted the episode on Sunday morning and have added a few thoughts now. For the record, and probably for Geoffrey Dow completists only (dare I dream such folk exist?), <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/time_heist\" target=\"_blank\">click here for Time Waste</a>.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/listen_take_02\" target=\"_blank\">Watching \"Listen\" (again)</a></em></big></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"100\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com//sites/default/files/2013_06/new_tardis100px.jpg\" alt=\"Image: Detail of the Doctor at the new Tardis control console. Screenshot from \'Listen\'.\" title=\"Don\'t mind the new Tardis control console, at least.\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 16, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span> The first time I watched \"Listen\", home after an 11-hour shift that followed an early rise, I <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/listen_take_01\" target=\"_blank\">wrote</a>, \"I definitely enjoyed it, definitely want to watch it again.\" I also wrote, \"It sounds silly when I type it out, but [the story] gave me the shivers ...\"</p>\n<p>Well, hell. I <em>did</em> watch it again and now it seemed silly when I watched as well. There were no shivers to be found.</p>\n<p>What <em>was</em> there was a mixed bag of an episode, combining Steven Moffat\'s still-effective skills at atmospheric scenes, with a show-runner\'s determined but mis-guided need to further place his singular stamp upon <em>Doctor Who</em>\'s canon of mythology and back-story, and proof (as if any more were needed) that as a writer, he gives not a single damn for story-logic.</p>\n<p>You don\'t <em>have</em> to read my review if you don\'t want your fun spoiled, you know. You really don\'t. <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/listen_take_02\" target=\"_blank\">Spoilers (in both senses of the term) ahoy</a>!</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/listen_take_01\" target=\"_blank\">Listen (to me!)</a></em></big></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"100\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/claras_coming100px.jpg\" alt=\"Image: Clara ponders date and Doctor in the Tardis. Screenshot from \'Listen\'.\" title=\"What\'s a girl to shoe?\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 14, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span> I feel unesay.</p>\n<p>Not because posting my inchoate, exhausted and half-drunk reactions to my first-watch of \"Listen\" makes me feel like an obsessive fan desperate to share his thoughts with all and sundry &mdash; although, clearly, that\'s what I <em>am</em> &mdash; but because I distrust the first reactions I so desperately want to share.</p>\n<p>Yet here I am. Sharing my feelings instead of my thoughts, my knee\'s jerks rather than my practiced dance steps.</p>\n<p>Steven Moffat has written an episode of <em>Doctor Who</em> that, on first viewing, I enjoyed quite a lot. I liked it. But &mdash; or should that be <em>and so ...</em>? &mdash; I feel uneasy. I am afraid of what judgement sober second thought may call down upon my first reactions.</p>\n<p>So for now and for the record, those who care to read can find those <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/listen_take_01\" target=\"_blank\"> first reactions here</a>.</p>\n<p>I liked it; what did <em>you</em> think? And do you think you\'re opinion will change when (if) you watch it again?</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/maidentrip\" target=\"_blank\">Maidentrip: A girl\'s own adventure</a></em></big></big></big></h3>\n<table align=\"center\" border=\"0\" style=\"width: 688px;\">\n<tbody>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"width: 42px;\">&nbsp;</td>\n<td style=\"width: 605px;\"><img alt=\"Image: Text, She sailed 27,000 nautical miles over 519 days\" src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/27000_nautical2.jpg\" style=\"width: 605px; height: 67px;\" /></td>\n<td style=\"width: 41px;\">&nbsp;</td>\n</tr>\n</tbody>\n</table>\n<p><center><strong><em><big><big>14 year-old girl fights child-welfare authorities<br />\nin quest to sail solo around the world<br />\nwaves goodbye at age of 14</big></big></em></strong></center></p>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"150\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/maidentrip_poster150px_0.jpg\" alt=\"Image: Poster of Maidentrip\" title=\"\" /></td></tr>\n\n<tr>\n<td><small><strong><a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://www.amazon.ca/gp/search/ref=as_li_qf_sp_sr_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=15121&amp;creative=330641&amp;index=aps&amp;keywords=B00JKQHP1C&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=edirexonl-20\">Maidentrip: Buy it at Amazon.</a><img src=\"https://ir-ca.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=edirexonl-20&amp;l=ur2&amp;o=15\" width=\"1\" height=\"1\" border=\"0\" alt=\"\" style=\"border:none !important; margin:0px !important;\" /></strong></small></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 13, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>Adventurers have long held a special place in the public\'s imagination. Brave and determined or selfish and monomaniacal, according to one\'s tastes, they are larger-than-life figures, accomplishing impressive &mdash; if arguably pointless &mdash; feats. Climbing the highest mountain, sailing the widest ocean, risking (and often losing) life and/or limb and leaving wives and children behind to wait, to wonder, and to mourn.</p>\n<p><em>Why do it?</em> we stay-at-homes might ask. Why trek from one coast of Antarctica to the other after failing to be first to the South Pole? Why try, not once but <em>three</em> times to be the first to scale Everest?</p>\n<p>There probably <em>isn\'t</em> a better answer than <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mallory\" target=\"_blank\">George Mallory</a>\'s laconic reply to a reporter before he died on that third attempt to climb Mount Everest: \"Because it\'s there.\"</p>\n<p>We certainly don\'t get any more a revealing answer from <a href=\"http://www.lauradekker.nl/English/About_Laura.html\" target=\"_blank\">Laura Dekker</a>, who at the age of 16 years, 123 days, achieved her years\' long dream by becoming the youngest person to ever sail, alone, around the world, but <a href=\"http://www.jillianschlesinger.com/\" target=\"_blank\">Jillian Schlesinger\'s</a> documentary, <em><a href=\"http://www.maidentrip.com/\" target=\"_blank\">Maidentrip</a></em> about her voyage is a moving and fascinating film despite its lack of firm answers.</p>\n<p>The bare facts make for quite a story, and though its subject has disavowed the resulting film, if there is a young woman in your life who could do with something other than a Disney princess or a Kardashian as inspiration, <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/maidentrip\" target=\"_blank\">click here for one hell of a girl\'s own adventure</a>.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h2><big><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/08\" target=\"_blank\">Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8</a></big></h2>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p><center><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/08\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/new_who_series08_logo688px_narrow.jpg\" /></a></center></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/robot_of_sherwood\" target=\"_blank\">The Doctor and the Outlaw</a></em></big></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"250\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/clara_loves_robin250px.jpg\" alt=\"Image: Clara asks for the impossible dream - Robin Hood. Screenshot from \'Robot of Sherwood\'.\" title=\"The hero is always more dashing on the other side of the millenium\" /><small><strong>Travelling with the Doctor isn\'t enough. Clara longs for a <em>real</em> hero &mdash; Robin Hood! Screenshot from \'Robot of Sherwood\'. <em>Doctor Who</em> Copyright &copy; 2014 BBC.</strong></small></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 9, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span> I don\'t know about you, but I can forgive quite a lot when I\'m laughing. Plot holes, character inconsistencies, even magic arrows <a href=\"http://doctorwho.livejournal.com/9289216.html?thread=118188288#t118188288\" target=\"_blank\">\"Of Random Plot Resolution\"</a>.\n</p><p>In other words, \"Robot of Sherwood\" was cracking good fun, a story that didn\'t take itself too seriously while still managing (mostly) to take the Doctor &amp; Co. seriously enough. Our suspension bridge of disbelief swayed, but it did not snap and neither did it twirl.</p>\n<p>Robot of Sherwood gifted us an episode rich with clever dialogue (banter, even), exciting and sometimes funny action sequences, good actors having a <em>very</em> good time performing a low-concept story (see its title) that far exceeded expectations.</p>\n<p>Thank you, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/Markgatiss\" target=\"_blank\">Mark Gatiss</a>, for bringing fun back to the Tardis &mdash; and (oh, all right!) thank <em>you</em>, Steven Moffat, for staying the hell out of the way and letting it happen.</p>\n<p>If you\'re old enough to remember (or like me, have travelled back in time to enjoy) \"The Pirate Planet\", you\'re almost sure to enjoy \"Robot of Sherwood\", and nevermind the lack of a tin dog or bird. <a href=\"/reviews/robot_of_sherwood\" target=\"_blank\">Click here for the words of one critic clapping</a>.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/into_the_dalek\" target=\"_blank\">The good, the bad and the Doctor</a></em></big></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"250\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/doctor-dalek250px.jpg\" alt=\"Image: The Doctor and the dalek. Screenshot from \'Into the Dalek\'.\" title=\"Please don\'t kiss me, I\'m not your doctor!\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>September 3, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>I feel dirty, like I awoke alone after a night of passion to realize my inamorata\'s clever words were lies, that her body had stained my sheets and her gentle caresses had left indelible, greasy streaks all over my body. Though I cannot deny the passions I had felt in the dark, with morning\'s light comes the fear that my wallet, and even my closet, may be empty.</p>\n<p>I <em>liked</em> \"Into the Dalek\" when I watched it the first time. I really did. Even enjoyed it when I watched it a second time. Yet, when I began writing about it, started to think about what it was that had entertained me, the flaws shone ever brighter, like stars appearing one by one after the sun has slipped below the horizon.</p>\n<p>\"Into the Dalek\" is the kind of episode that seduces with surface charms, then laughs at our pleasures, mocks our innocent hopes. Slick enough to entertain in the moment, the story shrivels under the the light of critical consideration.</p>\n<p>Sorry, folks. I really thought this would be a positive review for a change. It was only when I began to write, and to really think about what I had watched, that I realized I had been fooled again. After all, <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/into_the_dalek/\" target=\"_blank\"><em>The only good dalek ...</em></a></p>\n<p>_______</p>\n', created = 1513415613, expire = 1513502013, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:d03a109ed604cf07d5ef13515bd5ab63' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h2><big><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\">Flashback, 2009:</span> <a href=\"/reviews/bet_me\" target=\"_blank\"><em>Bet Me</em></a></big></h2>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>August 26, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>Working on a review (coming very soon!) of the delightful romantic comedy, <em>Austenland</em>, I wanted to reference a book I read a few years ago called <em>Bet Me</em>. And soon realized I never did post what I wrote about it here.</p>\n<p>It\'s a slight thing, I suppose, but I remember the book better than most and stand by my appreciation of it. <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/bet_me\" target=\"_blank\">Click here to read it</a>.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h2><big><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/08\" target=\"_blank\">Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8</a></big></h2>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p><center><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/08\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/new_who_series08_logo688px_narrow.jpg\" /></a></center></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/deep_breath\" target=\"_blank\">Deep Breath:</a></em></big><big></big></big></big></big></h3>\n<h3><big><big><big><a href=\"/reviews/deep_breath\" target=\"_blank\">Moffat\'s misogyny holds on</a></big></big></big></h3>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"250\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/TARDIS_lands_in_shit_small.jpg\" alt=\"Image: The TARDIS lands by the River Thames outside of Parliament buildings in 19th Century London. Screenshot from \'Deep Breath\'.\" title=\"The TARDIS lands in Moffat\'s script\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>August 24, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>How soon we forget ...</p>\n<p><em>Doctor Who</em> is blessed with a remarkable fandom.</p>\n<p>Way back on the 12th of July, a black-and-white \"screener\" of the 8th series premiere, \"Deep Breath\" was <a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who_%28series_8%29#Episode_leaks\" target=\"_blank\">released onto file-sharing sites</a>, following a similar surreptitious (and &mdash; need I add? &mdash; thoroughly reprehensible!) release of the scripts of the first five episodes the week before. The Scot was out of the kilt, as it were, and anyone who wanted to could easily download a copy.</p>\n<p>And yet, those of us who did encounter the <em>samizdat</em> seemed all to subscribe to a gentlefen\'s agreement that there would be no spoiling for those who preferred to wait for the final product in all its CGI glory. (At worst, some critics might have taken advantage of the incident to draft his (or her!) review ahead of time.)</p>\n<p>Though I read a number of <em>Who</em>-related feeds, I didn\'t come across any unofficial spoilers, not even after the episode was aired in a number of movie theatres around the world. (I didn\'t look hard, but the point is, one would have <em>had</em> to look to be spoiled.)</p>\n<p>Now, finally, the <em>official</em> broadcast is history and we\'re free to discuss that for which we\'ve been waiting the better part of a year: a new season and a brand-new (if almost elderly) Doctor.</p>\n<p>Was it worth it?</p>\n<p>If you\'re able to forgive or justify its internal inconsistencies, tawdry fan-service, cheap laughs and a misogynist streak that holds on like a mysterious infection laughing at ever-stronger doses of antibiotics, well then, yes, I don\'t doubt for you it was.</p>\n<p>If, on the other hand, you were hoping against hope for a story whose details and characterizations made sense and for a climax that didn\'t take from the show\'s companion every bit of agency she had, you will have been as disappointed as I was.</p>\n<p>Read more/don\'t read more, it\'s up to you. But don\'t say I didn\'t warn you! <a href=\"/reviews/deep_breath\" target=\"_blank\">In the world according to Steven Moffat, a woman without a man to tell her what to do is nothing ...</a></p>\n<p>________</p>\n<h3><big><big>Some brief thoughts on Michael Brown</big></big><br />\n<h3>\n<h3><big><big>Mansplaining, group-think and the need</big></big></h3>\n<h3><big><big>To my big mouth shut while on duty</big></big></h3>\n<blockquote><p><strong><em>Originally posted on <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/notes/geoffrey-dow/on-the-need-to-keep-my-big-mouth-shut-while-on-duty/10152231941737051\" target=\"_blank\">Facebook wall</a>, 16 August, 2014.</em></strong></p></blockquote>\n<p>Sweet Jesus. Having to keep quiet while two (white, male) pilots mansplain the Micheal Brown killing and subsequent riots to their (black, female) flight attendant was 20 minutes of psychological torture for an opinionated Young Geoffrey.</p>\n<p>Horribly fascinating, though, to learn that even the flight attendant mostly accepted the dominant media narrative.</p>\n<p>That Michael Brown DID jostle people and steal the cigars. That the riots were ONLY riots.</p>\n<p>No mention of peaceful protests. Police over-reaction only admitted in reference to press being tear-gassed and in context that everyone (whatever gender, colour, creed) would be wise to shut up and obey when confronted by cops. Couldn\'t help but think of comments about what rape-victim was wearing.</p>\n<p>The flight attendant did, tentatively, hint at systemic issues but agreed that, of course, no one knew exactly what had happened in this case. (But again, all three believed that Brown stole the cigars. No one asked why that \'fact\' only came out yesterday.)</p>\n<p>Customer service can be another kind of hell. But not nearly the hell that must exist in the hearts and minds of the people of Ferguson, Missouri.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><em><big><big><a href=\"/travel/san_francisco-2014\" target=\"_blank\">Falling in love, with concrete and stone</a></big></big></em></h3>\n<h3><em><big><big><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/travel/san_francisco-2014\" target=\"_blank\">Young Geoffrey re-visits San Francisco</a></big></big></em></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"200\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/san_francisco-from_lombard_st.jpg\" title=\"Na-na-na-boo-boo! Young Geoffrey is in love with a city!\" alt=\"Image: San Francisco, seen from Lombard Street\" /><br /><small><em><center><strong>San Francisco, seen from the top of Lombard Street.</strong></center></em></small></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>August 17, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>How soon we forget ...</p>\n<p>Or maybe not that soon. I first visited San Francisco as a callow youth, just entered my 20s. I drove there with a friend, switching off driving my 18 year-old Volkswagen microbus (\"transporter\", as the manual had it).</p>\n<p>That was too close to 30 years ago for me to want to remember. And I fell in love with the city then.</p>\n<p>This summer &mdash; a couple of weeks ago, in fact &mdash; I returned for the first time. As so often happens, time softens memory\'s details, replacing sensations and feelings with mere words.</p>\n<p>Would the San Francisco I encountered at the age of 49 still be the beauty I remembered from my youthful fling, or would I find only flaws and reasons to mock my own, younger, self?</p>\n<p>Short answer: I fell in love all over again. For the longer answer, <a href=\"/travel/san_francisco-2014\" target=\"_blank\">click here</a>.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n</h3></h3>', created = 1513415613, expire = 1513502013, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:fdfd6ee3d300ecd2309db8ff31e548bb' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><em><big><big><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/about/this_is_what_obesity_looks_like\" target=\"_blank\">Me and the BMI</a></big></big></em></h3>\n<h3><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/about/this_is_what_obesity_looks_like\" target=\"_blank\">or</a></h3>\n<h3><em><big><big><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/about/this_is_what_obesity_looks_like\" target=\"_blank\">Young Geoffrey is a great big fatso</a></big></big></em></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"200\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/fat_yg_20140611.jpg\" /><br /><small><em><centre><strong>Selfing the uncomfortable truth:</strong><br />\nDon\'t suck in that gut, Young Geoffrey!</centre></em></small></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>June 30, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>I\'ve been unhappy with my body since I was in grade school. I\'m not sure where it came from &mdash; I was never <em>the</em> fat kid in my class, so I wasn\'t picked on or bullied about my weight &mdash; but as far back as grade 5 or 6 (at <em>least</em> &mdash; it might have started even before that) I was conscious of the fact that my clothes came from the Husky rack. That I was, not to put too fine a point on it, <em>chubby</em>.</p>\n<p>Now barely six months away from 50 years old, I\'m <em>still</em> not happy with my body. Or at least, I\'m not happy with the way it looks.</p>\n<p>Truth is, I\'d still kind of like to have chiseled abs <em>and</em> buns of steel.</p>\n<p>But a recent discovery &mdash; that according to a widely-used and (presumably) well-thought of metric, the Body Mass Index &mdash; seems to have set off a minor revolution in my self-image.</p>\n<p>For the record, my personal health metrics are actually pretty good. Since I stopped smoking a few years ago, my heart rate has dropped 20 beats a minute and my blood pressure is consistently \"excellent\", if various nurses and physicians are to be believed. I play soccer with people half my age, I commute almost 15 kilometres to work (and back) by bicycle and, for the first time probably since I was 15 or so, I sometimes break into a jog just because I feel like it.</p>\n<p>Grading on a curve then, for a 49 year North American, and taking into account what my body does for me, I have to judge that I am actually in pretty decent shape.</p>\n<p>The BMI, on the other hand, begs to differ.</p>\n<p>According to Body Mass Index I am not just carrying a few extra pounds, I am not \"a little overweight\", or even chubby. No, according to the BMI, I am OBESE.</p>\n<p>And you know what? There\'s something wrong with that picture. There\'s something wrong with the fact that anyone at all takes that test or takes its results seriously. <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/about/this_is_what_obesity_looks_like\" target=\"_blank\">Click here for a rant on body image and the fetisization of the decimal point</a>.</p>\n', created = 1513415613, expire = 1513502013, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:dee2784a7d366f7fbeabf95888966934' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><em><big><big>Woe is knee!</big></big></em></h3>\n<h3>or</h3>\n<h3><em><big><big>I blog the body (semi) athletic!</big></big></em></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"300\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/geoff_at_ravens_field-summer_2013-b.jpg\" /><br /><small><strong><em><centre>Young Geoffrey <strike>fails in daring prison escape</strike> seeks an opening during a soccer match at Carleton U\'s Raven\'s Field, summer 2013. Photo by the Phantom Photographer</centre></em></strong></small></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>March 8, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>How easily we forget physical pain; and a damned good thing, else our childhood\'s would be remembered as a litany burning fevers, snapped bones and flesh stripped away, like a carrot on a grater.</p>\n<p>Ladies and gentlemen, last Sunday I skinned my knee &mdash; and I\'m damned if it doesn\'t still hurt!</p>\n<p>Actually, I didn\'t just skin my knee, I also got kicked in the hand during the same incident. Happily, the application of some ice took care of the latter assault in mere minutes.</p>\n<p>Yes now, very nearly a full week later, the knee &mdash; alas! &mdash; still causes pain.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/about/woe_is_knee\" target=\"_blank\">Click here for the full story including &mdash; consider yourself warned! &mdash; one Not Safe For Dinner photo on the other side!</a></p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<p><big><big><strong><center>\'Steaming like raw meat dropped onto a hot stove\'</center></strong></big></big></p>\n<h3><big><big><a href=\"/reviews/the_departure\" target=\"_blank\"><em>The Departure</em>, by Neal Asher, reviewed</a></big></big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"125\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><a href=\"http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0330457616/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=15121&amp;creative=330641&amp;creativeASIN=0330457616&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=edirexonl-20\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/the_departure-cover125px.jpg\" alt=\"Image: Cover of The Departure, by Neal Asher\" /></a><small><strong><em></em></strong></small></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>March 3, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>It\'s not news that one shouldn\'t judge a book by its cover, but I have a soft spot for space opera; I confess, the big space base (which I initially mistook for a starship of some sort) adorning the cover of <a href=\"https://twitter.com/nealasher\" target=\"_blank\">Neal Asher\'s</a> novel, <em>The Departure</em>, helped sell me on it.</p>\n<p>As it turned out though, <em>The Departure</em> hardly qualifies as space-opera and only squeaks by as science fiction pretty much the way <em>Superman</em> does: on technicalities only.</p>\n<p>Though it\'s set in the future and some of the action takes place in orbit and on Mars, the book is really just a narrated first-person shooter dressed up in some SF tropes &mdash; a corrupt and incompetent world government, artificial intelligence, robotic weapons and a transhuman genesis.</p>\n<p>But all that <em>is</em> only window-dressing. That spectacular cover is a gateway to lugubrious dialogue, sophomoric libertarian philosophy, hackneyed world-building and, especially, to one pornographic blood-bath after another.</p>\n<p><em>The Departure</em> is one of the worst books I have read in a very long time. More boring than <em>Atlas Shrugged</em> (which <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/genocide_is_painless\" target=\"_blank\">I reviewed</a> a while back), it drips with just as much contempt for ordinary human beings. Unlike Rand\'s John Galt though, Asher\'s superman does much of his killing at first-hand.</p>\n<p>Does this novel have any redeeming qualities? The short answer is \"no\". <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/the_departure\" target=\"_blank\">The long answer lives behind this link</a>.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n', created = 1513415613, expire = 1513502013, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a7e7df48357d34bfebd4eddcf389a062' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h2><big>It\'s a mystery ...</big></h2>\n<p><center><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/hawking_meme_creators.jpg\" /></center></p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h2><big><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/07\" target=\"_blank\">Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 7</a></big></h2>\n<p><center><a href=\"/reviews/television/doctor_who/new_who/07\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_01/series7_title-688px_narrow.jpg\" /></a></center></p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<h3><big><big><big><big><em><a href=\"/reviews/the_time_of_the_doctor\" target=\"_blank\">The Time of the Doctor:</a></em></big><big></big></big></big></big></h3>\n<h3><big><big><big><a href=\"/reviews/the_time_of_the_doctor\" target=\"_blank\">Fanboy\'s triumph, viewers\' tragedy</a></big></big></big></h3>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"175\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin: 5px 8px; float: left;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px;\"><img src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2013_06/doc-naked02-175px.jpg\" alt=\"Screenshot from \'The Time of the Doctor\', Doctor Who copyright 2013 BBC\" /></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>January 9, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>I\'ve said it before and will certainly say it again: there is a big danger in giving control of a venerable and much-loved popular fiction franchise to a writer who grew up reading or watching the stuff.</p>\n<p>When a true <em>fan</em> takes the wheel of their beloved creation, it can become a toy, a gadget used to satisfy the writer\'s childish fantasies, not a vehicle for delivering stories to others.</p>\n<p>The results tend to become ever-more convoluted and self-referential, leading to a slowly-dwindling audience of those hard-core fans who enjoy the nostalgic winks, the meta nods, while the general public starts to look elsewhere for its entertainment.</p>\n<p>As for fans like me, who wants story and character to go along with the in-jokes and arcana, the result can be torture. We feel almost as if a person, someone we love, is being abused and yet helpless to do anything about it.</p>\n<p>And so I keep watching (for those of you who have wondered): because I <em>care</em>, even though my caring has been so painful, so often, these past three years.</p>\n<p>I\'m sad to say that \"The Time of the Doctor\" was <em>not</em> what I was hoping to get for Christmas. Far from it. So be warned: <a href=\"/reviews/the_time_of_the_doctor\" target=\"_blank\">My review is long, spoilerific, and laced with venom and vitriol (though also, I fancy, sweetened with a strong dose of pure Canadian maple syrup. And pictures. And arguably one paranoid fantasy).</a></p>\n<p>_______</p>\n<h3><big><big>Ringing in the new year with a book signing!</big></big></h3>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>January 8, 2014, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>The BumblePuppy Press is holding its first event of the new year in Ottawa\'s Glebe at neighbourhood fixture Brittons Books! If you\'re in the area &mdash; or even the city! &mdash; come on down, meet <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/bumblepuppy/authors/carl_dow\" target=\"_blank\">Carl Dow</a> and (of course) buy a copy of <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/bumblepuppy/books/last_sauna\" target=\"_blank\"><em>The Old Man\'s Last Sauna</em></a>!</p>\n<p>Carl (and I) would love to meet you there!</p>\n<p>Click the image below for a larger size poster and full details.</p>\n<p><center><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/bumblepuppy/signing_at_brittons\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/book_signing_20140118-350px.jpg\" /></a><center></center></center></p>\n<p>_______</p>\n', created = 1513415613, expire = 1513502013, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:5645f267d3d21bdab88ba79dd47483e1' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\n<table style=\"width: 275px;\">\n<tbody>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center;\">\n<div><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\"><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\"><big>Stop being late to the party!</big></span></strong></a></div>\n<p>\n<div><span style=\"color: rgb(204, 255, 0);\"><em><span style=\"font-size: 24px;\"><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\">Subscribe!</span></strong></span></em></span></div>\n</p><p><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"Subscribe to my newsletter!\" src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2011_07/subscribe_ad02.jpg\" style=\"width: 275px; height: 108px;\" /></a></p>\n<div><span style=\"color: rgb(255, 255, 0);\"></span></div>\n<div><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\">Subscribe to the <em>Edifice Rex</em> mailing list to be notified whenever there&#39;s an update!</span></strong></div>\n<div>&nbsp;</div>\n<div><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\"><big><big><big><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\">Click here to sign up</a></big></big></big><br />\n(I promise, I won\'t abuse your trust; I won\'t sell your address to anyone or anything else, no matter how tempting the offer.)</span></strong></div>\n<div><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\">&nbsp;</a></div>\n</td>\n</tr>\n</tbody>\n</table>\n<p></p></center></p>\n', created = 1513415613, expire = 1513502013, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a641667eb8686ec6a410a6d1682e9f16' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

September 2014

Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8

 

 

Little care from The Caretaker — Take One

Image: The Doctor with sign reading 'GO AWAY HUMANS'. Screenshot from 'The Caretaker'.

September 30, 2014, OTTAWA — The short version?

I really enjoyed "The Caretaker" when I watched it late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

I'd been awake almost 20 hours when I hit Play, had worked 11 of those hours at the day-job and spent nearly two more riding to and from there on my bicycle.

I was tired, and I admit cracked a beer or three as I live-tweeted my first reactions.

To my regret, those tweets were an enthusiastic tailings pond spill I wish I could take back. But they do represent as "real" a reaction as my subsequent re-evaluation. And since I don't believe in censoring reality, they will stay on my Twitter timeline and live on also as a sidebar — pre-commentary, if you like — to my review.

The short version is that I thought the episode pretty awful when I watched it by sunlight. To paraphrase the blogger Patches365, it was a mean-spirited "tragedy of blunders" built on — not one — nor two, or even three — but four idiot plots. And it was an episode that tossed aside its best performer in favour of the cheapest of cheap laffs.

The long version? The long version lives on my site, of course, along with spite, spoilers and some thoughts on patterns as we reach the half-way point of what we can only hope will be Steven Moffat's farewell turn as Captain of the foundering ship Doctor Who.

Click here for Little Care — Take Two. Don't say I didn't warn you.

_______

Feels like a contractual obligation

Image: Clara looks resplendent in suit and tie.

September 22, 2014, OTTAWA — No real rant, certainly no rave.

I had a busy weekend, back at soccer on Sunday and entertaining (and being entertained by) an old friend come to town after far too long.

Still managed to check in on the latest episode of Doctor Who, but I almost wish I hadn't. I know I'm sorry I watched the episode a second time.

But I've made a commitment and I'm not breaking it. I live-tweeted the episode on Sunday morning and have added a few thoughts now. For the record, and probably for Geoffrey Dow completists only (dare I dream such folk exist?), click here for Time Waste.

_______

Watching "Listen" (again)

Image: Detail of the Doctor at the new Tardis control console. Screenshot from 'Listen'.

September 16, 2014, OTTAWA — The first time I watched "Listen", home after an 11-hour shift that followed an early rise, I wrote, "I definitely enjoyed it, definitely want to watch it again." I also wrote, "It sounds silly when I type it out, but [the story] gave me the shivers ..."

Well, hell. I did watch it again and now it seemed silly when I watched as well. There were no shivers to be found.

What was there was a mixed bag of an episode, combining Steven Moffat's still-effective skills at atmospheric scenes, with a show-runner's determined but mis-guided need to further place his singular stamp upon Doctor Who's canon of mythology and back-story, and proof (as if any more were needed) that as a writer, he gives not a single damn for story-logic.

You don't have to read my review if you don't want your fun spoiled, you know. You really don't. Spoilers (in both senses of the term) ahoy!

_______

Listen (to me!)

Image: Clara ponders date and Doctor in the Tardis. Screenshot from 'Listen'.

September 14, 2014, OTTAWA — I feel unesay.

Not because posting my inchoate, exhausted and half-drunk reactions to my first-watch of "Listen" makes me feel like an obsessive fan desperate to share his thoughts with all and sundry — although, clearly, that's what I am — but because I distrust the first reactions I so desperately want to share.

Yet here I am. Sharing my feelings instead of my thoughts, my knee's jerks rather than my practiced dance steps.

Steven Moffat has written an episode of Doctor Who that, on first viewing, I enjoyed quite a lot. I liked it. But — or should that be and so ...? — I feel uneasy. I am afraid of what judgement sober second thought may call down upon my first reactions.

So for now and for the record, those who care to read can find those first reactions here.

I liked it; what did you think? And do you think you're opinion will change when (if) you watch it again?

_______

Maidentrip: A girl's own adventure

  Image: Text, She sailed 27,000 nautical miles over 519 days  

14 year-old girl fights child-welfare authorities
in quest to sail solo around the world
waves goodbye at age of 14

Image: Poster of Maidentrip
Maidentrip: Buy it at Amazon.

September 13, 2014, OTTAWA — Adventurers have long held a special place in the public's imagination. Brave and determined or selfish and monomaniacal, according to one's tastes, they are larger-than-life figures, accomplishing impressive — if arguably pointless — feats. Climbing the highest mountain, sailing the widest ocean, risking (and often losing) life and/or limb and leaving wives and children behind to wait, to wonder, and to mourn.

Why do it? we stay-at-homes might ask. Why trek from one coast of Antarctica to the other after failing to be first to the South Pole? Why try, not once but three times to be the first to scale Everest?

There probably isn't a better answer than George Mallory's laconic reply to a reporter before he died on that third attempt to climb Mount Everest: "Because it's there."

We certainly don't get any more a revealing answer from Laura Dekker, who at the age of 16 years, 123 days, achieved her years' long dream by becoming the youngest person to ever sail, alone, around the world, but Jillian Schlesinger's documentary, Maidentrip about her voyage is a moving and fascinating film despite its lack of firm answers.

The bare facts make for quite a story, and though its subject has disavowed the resulting film, if there is a young woman in your life who could do with something other than a Disney princess or a Kardashian as inspiration, click here for one hell of a girl's own adventure.

_______

Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8

 

 

The Doctor and the Outlaw

Image: Clara asks for the impossible dream - Robin Hood. Screenshot from 'Robot of Sherwood'.Travelling with the Doctor isn't enough. Clara longs for a real hero — Robin Hood! Screenshot from 'Robot of Sherwood'. Doctor Who Copyright © 2014 BBC.

September 9, 2014, OTTAWA — I don't know about you, but I can forgive quite a lot when I'm laughing. Plot holes, character inconsistencies, even magic arrows "Of Random Plot Resolution".

In other words, "Robot of Sherwood" was cracking good fun, a story that didn't take itself too seriously while still managing (mostly) to take the Doctor & Co. seriously enough. Our suspension bridge of disbelief swayed, but it did not snap and neither did it twirl.

Robot of Sherwood gifted us an episode rich with clever dialogue (banter, even), exciting and sometimes funny action sequences, good actors having a very good time performing a low-concept story (see its title) that far exceeded expectations.

Thank you, Mark Gatiss, for bringing fun back to the Tardis — and (oh, all right!) thank you, Steven Moffat, for staying the hell out of the way and letting it happen.

If you're old enough to remember (or like me, have travelled back in time to enjoy) "The Pirate Planet", you're almost sure to enjoy "Robot of Sherwood", and nevermind the lack of a tin dog or bird. Click here for the words of one critic clapping.

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The good, the bad and the Doctor

Image: The Doctor and the dalek. Screenshot from 'Into the Dalek'.

September 3, 2014, OTTAWA — I feel dirty, like I awoke alone after a night of passion to realize my inamorata's clever words were lies, that her body had stained my sheets and her gentle caresses had left indelible, greasy streaks all over my body. Though I cannot deny the passions I had felt in the dark, with morning's light comes the fear that my wallet, and even my closet, may be empty.

I liked "Into the Dalek" when I watched it the first time. I really did. Even enjoyed it when I watched it a second time. Yet, when I began writing about it, started to think about what it was that had entertained me, the flaws shone ever brighter, like stars appearing one by one after the sun has slipped below the horizon.

"Into the Dalek" is the kind of episode that seduces with surface charms, then laughs at our pleasures, mocks our innocent hopes. Slick enough to entertain in the moment, the story shrivels under the the light of critical consideration.

Sorry, folks. I really thought this would be a positive review for a change. It was only when I began to write, and to really think about what I had watched, that I realized I had been fooled again. After all, The only good dalek ...

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August 2014

Flashback, 2009: Bet Me

August 26, 2014, OTTAWA — Working on a review (coming very soon!) of the delightful romantic comedy, Austenland, I wanted to reference a book I read a few years ago called Bet Me. And soon realized I never did post what I wrote about it here.

It's a slight thing, I suppose, but I remember the book better than most and stand by my appreciation of it. Click here to read it.

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Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8

 

 

Deep Breath:

Moffat's misogyny holds on

 

Image: The TARDIS lands by the River Thames outside of Parliament buildings in 19th Century London. Screenshot from 'Deep Breath'.

August 24, 2014, OTTAWA — How soon we forget ...

Doctor Who is blessed with a remarkable fandom.

Way back on the 12th of July, a black-and-white "screener" of the 8th series premiere, "Deep Breath" was released onto file-sharing sites, following a similar surreptitious (and — need I add? — thoroughly reprehensible!) release of the scripts of the first five episodes the week before. The Scot was out of the kilt, as it were, and anyone who wanted to could easily download a copy.

And yet, those of us who did encounter the samizdat seemed all to subscribe to a gentlefen's agreement that there would be no spoiling for those who preferred to wait for the final product in all its CGI glory. (At worst, some critics might have taken advantage of the incident to draft his (or her!) review ahead of time.)

Though I read a number of Who-related feeds, I didn't come across any unofficial spoilers, not even after the episode was aired in a number of movie theatres around the world. (I didn't look hard, but the point is, one would have had to look to be spoiled.)

Now, finally, the official broadcast is history and we're free to discuss that for which we've been waiting the better part of a year: a new season and a brand-new (if almost elderly) Doctor.

Was it worth it?

If you're able to forgive or justify its internal inconsistencies, tawdry fan-service, cheap laughs and a misogynist streak that holds on like a mysterious infection laughing at ever-stronger doses of antibiotics, well then, yes, I don't doubt for you it was.

If, on the other hand, you were hoping against hope for a story whose details and characterizations made sense and for a climax that didn't take from the show's companion every bit of agency she had, you will have been as disappointed as I was.

Read more/don't read more, it's up to you. But don't say I didn't warn you! In the world according to Steven Moffat, a woman without a man to tell her what to do is nothing ...

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Some brief thoughts on Michael Brown

Mansplaining, group-think and the need

To my big mouth shut while on duty

Originally posted on Facebook wall, 16 August, 2014.

Sweet Jesus. Having to keep quiet while two (white, male) pilots mansplain the Micheal Brown killing and subsequent riots to their (black, female) flight attendant was 20 minutes of psychological torture for an opinionated Young Geoffrey.

Horribly fascinating, though, to learn that even the flight attendant mostly accepted the dominant media narrative.

That Michael Brown DID jostle people and steal the cigars. That the riots were ONLY riots.

No mention of peaceful protests. Police over-reaction only admitted in reference to press being tear-gassed and in context that everyone (whatever gender, colour, creed) would be wise to shut up and obey when confronted by cops. Couldn't help but think of comments about what rape-victim was wearing.

The flight attendant did, tentatively, hint at systemic issues but agreed that, of course, no one knew exactly what had happened in this case. (But again, all three believed that Brown stole the cigars. No one asked why that 'fact' only came out yesterday.)

Customer service can be another kind of hell. But not nearly the hell that must exist in the hearts and minds of the people of Ferguson, Missouri.

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Falling in love, with concrete and stone

Young Geoffrey re-visits San Francisco

Image: San Francisco, seen from Lombard Street
San Francisco, seen from the top of Lombard Street.

August 17, 2014, OTTAWA — How soon we forget ...

Or maybe not that soon. I first visited San Francisco as a callow youth, just entered my 20s. I drove there with a friend, switching off driving my 18 year-old Volkswagen microbus ("transporter", as the manual had it).

That was too close to 30 years ago for me to want to remember. And I fell in love with the city then.

This summer — a couple of weeks ago, in fact — I returned for the first time. As so often happens, time softens memory's details, replacing sensations and feelings with mere words.

Would the San Francisco I encountered at the age of 49 still be the beauty I remembered from my youthful fling, or would I find only flaws and reasons to mock my own, younger, self?

Short answer: I fell in love all over again. For the longer answer, click here.

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July 2014

Me and the BMI

or

Young Geoffrey is a great big fatso


Selfing the uncomfortable truth:
Don't suck in that gut, Young Geoffrey!

June 30, 2014, OTTAWA — I've been unhappy with my body since I was in grade school. I'm not sure where it came from — I was never the fat kid in my class, so I wasn't picked on or bullied about my weight — but as far back as grade 5 or 6 (at least — it might have started even before that) I was conscious of the fact that my clothes came from the Husky rack. That I was, not to put too fine a point on it, chubby.

Now barely six months away from 50 years old, I'm still not happy with my body. Or at least, I'm not happy with the way it looks.

Truth is, I'd still kind of like to have chiseled abs and buns of steel.

But a recent discovery — that according to a widely-used and (presumably) well-thought of metric, the Body Mass Index — seems to have set off a minor revolution in my self-image.

For the record, my personal health metrics are actually pretty good. Since I stopped smoking a few years ago, my heart rate has dropped 20 beats a minute and my blood pressure is consistently "excellent", if various nurses and physicians are to be believed. I play soccer with people half my age, I commute almost 15 kilometres to work (and back) by bicycle and, for the first time probably since I was 15 or so, I sometimes break into a jog just because I feel like it.

Grading on a curve then, for a 49 year North American, and taking into account what my body does for me, I have to judge that I am actually in pretty decent shape.

The BMI, on the other hand, begs to differ.

According to Body Mass Index I am not just carrying a few extra pounds, I am not "a little overweight", or even chubby. No, according to the BMI, I am OBESE.

And you know what? There's something wrong with that picture. There's something wrong with the fact that anyone at all takes that test or takes its results seriously. Click here for a rant on body image and the fetisization of the decimal point.

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March 2014

Woe is knee!

or

I blog the body (semi) athletic!


Young Geoffrey fails in daring prison escape seeks an opening during a soccer match at Carleton U's Raven's Field, summer 2013. Photo by the Phantom Photographer

March 8, 2014, OTTAWA — How easily we forget physical pain; and a damned good thing, else our childhood's would be remembered as a litany burning fevers, snapped bones and flesh stripped away, like a carrot on a grater.

Ladies and gentlemen, last Sunday I skinned my knee — and I'm damned if it doesn't still hurt!

Actually, I didn't just skin my knee, I also got kicked in the hand during the same incident. Happily, the application of some ice took care of the latter assault in mere minutes.

Yes now, very nearly a full week later, the knee — alas! — still causes pain.

Click here for the full story including — consider yourself warned! — one Not Safe For Dinner photo on the other side!

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'Steaming like raw meat dropped onto a hot stove'

The Departure, by Neal Asher, reviewed

Image: Cover of The Departure, by Neal Asher

March 3, 2014, OTTAWA — It's not news that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I have a soft spot for space opera; I confess, the big space base (which I initially mistook for a starship of some sort) adorning the cover of Neal Asher's novel, The Departure, helped sell me on it.

As it turned out though, The Departure hardly qualifies as space-opera and only squeaks by as science fiction pretty much the way Superman does: on technicalities only.

Though it's set in the future and some of the action takes place in orbit and on Mars, the book is really just a narrated first-person shooter dressed up in some SF tropes — a corrupt and incompetent world government, artificial intelligence, robotic weapons and a transhuman genesis.

But all that is only window-dressing. That spectacular cover is a gateway to lugubrious dialogue, sophomoric libertarian philosophy, hackneyed world-building and, especially, to one pornographic blood-bath after another.

The Departure is one of the worst books I have read in a very long time. More boring than Atlas Shrugged (which I reviewed a while back), it drips with just as much contempt for ordinary human beings. Unlike Rand's John Galt though, Asher's superman does much of his killing at first-hand.

Does this novel have any redeeming qualities? The short answer is "no". The long answer lives behind this link.

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January 2014

It's a mystery ...

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Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 7

 

The Time of the Doctor:

Fanboy's triumph, viewers' tragedy

 

Screenshot from 'The Time of the Doctor', Doctor Who copyright 2013 BBC

January 9, 2014, OTTAWA — I've said it before and will certainly say it again: there is a big danger in giving control of a venerable and much-loved popular fiction franchise to a writer who grew up reading or watching the stuff.

When a true fan takes the wheel of their beloved creation, it can become a toy, a gadget used to satisfy the writer's childish fantasies, not a vehicle for delivering stories to others.

The results tend to become ever-more convoluted and self-referential, leading to a slowly-dwindling audience of those hard-core fans who enjoy the nostalgic winks, the meta nods, while the general public starts to look elsewhere for its entertainment.

As for fans like me, who wants story and character to go along with the in-jokes and arcana, the result can be torture. We feel almost as if a person, someone we love, is being abused and yet helpless to do anything about it.

And so I keep watching (for those of you who have wondered): because I care, even though my caring has been so painful, so often, these past three years.

I'm sad to say that "The Time of the Doctor" was not what I was hoping to get for Christmas. Far from it. So be warned: My review is long, spoilerific, and laced with venom and vitriol (though also, I fancy, sweetened with a strong dose of pure Canadian maple syrup. And pictures. And arguably one paranoid fantasy).

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Ringing in the new year with a book signing!

January 8, 2014, OTTAWA — The BumblePuppy Press is holding its first event of the new year in Ottawa's Glebe at neighbourhood fixture Brittons Books! If you're in the area — or even the city! — come on down, meet Carl Dow and (of course) buy a copy of The Old Man's Last Sauna!

Carl (and I) would love to meet you there!

Click the image below for a larger size poster and full details.

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