When you start off a Monday morning with a migraine so bad you think your eyeballs are going to explode, it's never a good sign.
Ah well. Random links and short musings then:
• A nice profile appeared in the Sunday Star-Times of my father-in-law Peter Siddell and his ongoing experience with a brain tumour. I'm inclined to bag on my fellow journalists more often than not but other than a few errors this story is pretty good, I think it captures his voice well. And they managed to spell my wife's name correctly, which is always a plus.
• I have rediscovered the joy of "Star Trek" thanks to the new movie, and the swell "Fan Collective" series of DVD box sets which are perfect for the non-obsessive fan like me, offering a nice sampler of 20 or so episodes spread amongst the five series and organized by themes such as "Borg," "Time Travel" and "Klingons." I like a lot of "Trek" but freely admit even the best of series had its share of duds and am not interested in mammoth 7-season box sets, so these "Fan Collectives" are an awesome way to get my "Trek" fix without breaking the budget. Heck, I even found an episode of the hugely mediocre "Enterprise" on there that wasn't half-bad!
• ...I am sad to see that it seems like a lot of blogs I like to read have gone dark in favour of Twitter apparently. I don't want to be the grouchy old guy going on about the newfangled technology, but I have to admit I'm just not into Twitter. The forced minimalism doesn't appeal to me. Hell, I can barely keep my blog posts below 1400 words, let alone 140 characters! Anyway, although there's little reward sometimes in this bloggin', I guess I'll keep bloggin' away in the old media for a while... "Follow" me if you will! (And yeah, that's why I'll soon have Google Ads on the site.)
• So it was 10 years ago today that "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (whew!) opened. Hard to believe, harder still that a movie went from being so hugely anticipated to so hugely maligned in just a decade. I admit it's not a great flick, although curiously 5-year-old Peter digs all the prequels (except "Episode III" which is a little intense for him). We stood in line up at Lake Tahoe to watch it on opening day and according to my journal entry of the time, "fantastic movie." I guess the disappointment took a while to set in, or perhaps it's the nature of fan obsessions to curdle a bit in the light of time. I wonder if part of the failure of the prequels to take is that they were viewed by 20- and 30-somethings who watched the originals as kids and who couldn't get into the same mindset again? But then I remember Jar Jar Binks and Jake Lloyd and pidgin-Asian speaking aliens and think again. It did have Liam Neeson and Darth Maul going for it, though, and 10 years on I still remember the thrill when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon zip on their lightsabers for the first time. Give Lucas another few years, maybe he'll release a "reimagined" "Phantom Menace" that cuts down on the flaws.