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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas...

It's snowing outside my window, and it's going to be cold all weekend. I had to break out my warmer jacket. Doesn't look like I'll be dong any biking this long weekend.

Once again, it's been a while. Last weekend I went up to Huntsville to visit with my friend Shirley, her son, and her four dogs. Thank goodness two of the dogs are getting older and just lie around more, because that's a lot of dogs. Bought up The Life Aquatic to watch, which Shirley completely flipped over, apparently due to a childhood watching Jacques Cousteau.

Recently attended a launch for a poetry collection by Emily Schultz, called Songs for the Dancing Chicken, of which part of the book is devoted to poems about insane German film directer Werner Herzog. Almost the whole event was devoted to her discussing her love of Herzog ("He's older than my Dad, but the first time I heard him speak I literally swooned. I didn't know you could actually do that") while clips from his various films played on a screen in the background. The host of the event (part of This is not a Reading Series) also had a Herzog story, where during the SARS crisis in 2003, every invited guest at Hot Docs refused to come, but Herzog, who originally wasn't going to, then decided to. Apparently he was disappointed that people weren't walking around with masks on.

It was also recently Beatnik Night at the Eclectic Screening Room. (Berets and Black Turtlenecks encouraged.) The evening started off with an hour's worth of Beatnik clips from various 50s sitcoms, short films on Greenwich Village, and a nearly complete episode of the 1959 crime show called Johnny Staccato, about a jazz pianist who moonlit as a detective, poking his nose where it didn't belong in the Village.

The main feature was The Bloody Brood, where a very young Peter Falk plays the pseudo-intellectual leader of a group of beats who murders a delivery boy for kicks. Said boy's brother vows to find the murderer. Mayhem ensures. Featured dialog such as "Did he die, or was he murdered... by LIFE?"

Happy Tomb Sweeping Day! Why does the calendar in my office list Tomb Sweeping Day and yet doesn't have the Victoria Day weekend?

They're finished drying my office out, but they haven't started fixing all the holes and the like they busted in the walls to reach the wet insulation. Apparently there's a battle going on over who should pay for what.

Anime North slowly marches closer. We've set another pre-reg record already, and pre-reg doesn't close till near the end of the month.

Had dinner with Peter Watts the other night (and saw Fido again, see it before it vanishes!). It turns out he had known about his nomination for the Best Novel Hugo some weeks before it was officially announced, and the delay was driving him crazy, as you might expect.

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saw Fido again, see it before it vanishes!

What an exceptionally cruel joke. :)

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