bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Jurassic World Dominion: “How many ways can you screw up a dinosaur movie? It seems like a slam dunk. The people are coming for the dinosaurs, so you give them dinosaurs. When you’re not doing that, just point your camera at Jeff Goldblum” — Chris McCoy, Memphis Flyer

Persuasion: “Austen works hard. But mediocrity, this movie reminds us, works harder.” — Rolling Stone

Morbius: “To call Morbius a corporate corpse of a movie is too kind.” — Matthew Pejkovic, Matt’s Movie Reviews

Where the Crawdads Sing: “Oh, the crawdads definitely sing in ‘Where the Crawdads Sing.’ Much of the time, you wish they’d shut the hell up.” — Chris Hewitt, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Alone Together: “One can’t help but wish that Holmes’ script would acknowledge that, on the sliding scale of March 2020 suffering, wealthy people sheltering in beautiful chateaus are pretty low.” — Aurora Amidon, Paste Magazine


Twinkle Twinkle

“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

— Douglas Adams, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

If you held up a grain of sand to the sky in the right position, it would block out the entirety of this image.


A Hero’s Journey?

I took our van in for an oil change today and with some time to kill decided to take a little walk in downtown Lethbridge. I had just crossed the street when I noticed a little girl in a truck holding a napkin that was fully engulfed in flames. Her eyes were wide and I thought about how crazy this scenario was as I raced up, opened the door, and watched her drop the flaming napkin onto the truck floor. I swished the fiery cinders out trying not to burn myself but not wasting any time. She looked like she was in about grade three (8 years old).

I asked where her parent was and she said inside the store, so I went inside the motorcycle shop and asked around. One employee told me that the guy from that truck was test driving a bike and has been gone for a long time — like a half hour.

I talked to the girl again making sure she was ok and asked how it started which she explained was that she was playing with the cigarette lighter and accidentally started the napkin on fire.

After talking with a lady who works there that said she would keep her eyes on the truck I took the above photo of my hand and continued my walk.

I guess I probably did the wrong thing by just walking away at this point and not calling the police. This parent obviously needs to get it together, however, I also have distrust issues with our local law enforcers and I didn’t want to be the potential catalyst that blows up this guy’s life. I did consider that maybe this little girl’s caregiver needs a wake up call to realize you don’t leave an elementary aged child alone in a running vehicle (with air conditioning at least) for a half hour while she experiments with fire.

I doubled back after about 15 minutes of guilt and she and the truck were gone. A couple of my fingers are a little burned but no blisters so I’m fine.

My oil change was done at that point so I came home a hero — and also, I guess, a coward.


Absurd Trolly Problems

See how you compare to ~1,000,000 others in Neal Agarwal’s increasingly absurd ethical dilemmas.



Our Little Boy Blue

Boo is one of the two cats Ange brought with her when we got together. It was quite some time before I learned his real name was actually Little Boy Blue. Ange explained that his name evolved over the years from Little Boy Blue into Blue and eventually stuck on Boo1. I sometimes called him Boo-bons (affectionately short for bubonic—yes, as in plague—because early on he liked to scratch me).

He came from a ditch

Ange was driving home from work and saw a cat (that wasn’t Boo) crossing the highway and run into the ditch. Something compelled her to follow it. She pulled off the highway and saw, sitting off the large concrete pad of a sign, was a little kitten with huge ears. He was looking pretty rough, so she picked him up and he bite her index finger. He bit her hard, so much so that had to shake him off her hand. When he came off he ran away and she couldn’t catch him again. The next afternoon she was again working at the same place and on the way home it was raining. She decided to go to the sign and see if the kitten was there. This time she put on some fish gloves and a little cardboard box and somehow she was able to catch him. He was probably tired and hungry. He had a big abscess on his back. She put him in the box and took him straight to the vet. The vet put a cone on him and she kept him quarantined in the bathroom of her basement suite.


Boo fit the mould when it came to the “cats have nine lives” proverb. Only a couple of months later, while he was still a little kitten and hadn’t yet been neutered, Andrea left him with roommates while she went away on a trip. Boo was supposed to stay inside but was snuck out and didn’t return. Her roommate was afraid to let her know that he had lost her kitten, so when she got back she found out the bad news. A couple of weeks later, a kind stranger called after seeing one of the posters she had hung up at a local animal shelter. The man had found Boo at the research centre outside of town climbing inside a dumpster. He picked up Boo and dropped him off at the shelter and even left money with the shelter to go with Boo. Andrea was so happy to have him back she made up a nice thank you basket and gave them a gift card for Georgia’s restaurant. She still likes to enthusiastically tell the story about how happy she was to get him back.

Over the last couple months Boo’s health began declining rapidly, and unfortunately at the beginning of the month it came time to say goodbye. We’ll miss him.

  1. Relevant XKCD Words for Pets ↩︎

Drinking a 159 Year Old Bottle of Wine

Consuming this extremely old bottle comes with some risks. Will it be pleasure or poison?


Disney life travel

Our 2022 Disneyland Trip

On Tuesday, April 19th we left today and entered the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. It’s the happiest place on Earth — Disneyland!

And we WERE happy, because getting there was no easy task. Before we left I knew that our two hour drive (by distance) was never going to take a mere couple of hours. Traffic backing up is normal going from Palm Springs to LA, but this day was a holiday — I figured it would be a particularly good day to travel, avoiding the typical commuter traffic. Not to mention, we were setting out at noon, a time one could assume to be easiest to make the journey. Well, unfortunately, it turns out we were embarking at the worst possible time. Tens of thousands of Coachella concert goers were returning to the city on the Monday after Easter. The freeway was like a parking lot. Our exasperated three year old daughter put it best as she exclaimed, “We’re moving like turtles!” Slowly and steadily (and 5 hours later) we arrived at our destination in Anaheim.

bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: “If you don’t like fantastic beasts in your ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie, then this is the film for you.” — Doug Walker, Channel Awesome

Firestarter: “I hope nobody subscribed to Peacock for this. You got a lame duck instead.” — Korey Coleman, Double Toasted

Uncharted: “It’s not poorly written for a video game-based movie. It’s poorly written for a ransom note. It’s poorly written by the standards of online comment sections. It’s poorly written compared to an Ayn Rand novel. It’s that bad.” — Ryan Syrek, The Reader

Father Stu: “It feels like someone involved thought, ‘We’re going to win so many Oscars with this movie!’ In fact, the end result comes off more like one of those joke movies in Tropic Thunder.” — Edward Douglas, The Weekend Warrior

Memory: “I wish I could forget it!” — Christy Lemire, Film Week


Bill 15 Will Drastically Change Public Education in Alberta

Tonight I received the following email from the ATA. Our provincial government is going to end up making public education a lot more expensive and a lot worse for students.

There is one issue facing public education in this province right now that has the potential to irreversibly damage our education system more than anything else.

Bill 15 cleared second reading this week and it is expected to be passed before May 12.

Can you help get the word out about this bill by forwarding this email to five friends?

“Citizens of Alberta should be concerned. Everyone who cares about the province’s history of excellent education should be concerned,” says Dr Myer Horowitz, who has served as the President of the University of Alberta and dean of their Faculty of Education. “Everyone who wants classroom teachers to have a bias for professional practice should be concerned.

Former Alberta education minister David King says, “(Bill 15) would be a serious mistake, with a multitude of unintended negative consequences and no material upside.

Retired ATA CEO Dr Gordon Thomas says, “these actions will destroy what’s left of what was once the world’s top English-speaking education system. A professional collegial culture, where teachers are supported in their work, will be replaced with a management-labour culture where teacher technicians are directed.”

Brett Cooper, assistant superintendent for Pembina Hills School Division says, “maintaining the ATA’s dual role is central to protecting our public education system and the collegial approach that makes our profession so special in this province.

Richard Rand, a retired lawyer who has served on professional discipline committees for the law society, says, “the current, ATA-led, practices and procedures overseeing teacher discipline in Alberta represent as good, or better, a system governing professional discipline as any I have encountered in any profession.

And Albertans are opposed to it too. Public opinion polling from Environics Research shows that only 17 per cent of Albertans and 2 per cent of teachers trust the government most to uphold standards for the teaching profession.

Do you trust this government and this minister to provide fair and effective oversight for the teaching profession in Alberta?

I don’t.

Call or email your MLA. Tell them that you are opposed to Bill 15 and that passing it would be a huge mistake.


Donald McNeil Follow Up

Yesterday Donald McNeil published a follow up post about his firing from the New York Times on Medium. He blames a culture of hypocrisy and elitism and compares his forced apology to the controlling power of Chairman Mao.