As July draws to a close, I’ve been indulging in inconsequential trifles. Yesterday I watched the remake of “Total Recall” with Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel. The original with Arnold Schwarzenegger was a silly movie. So was this. But I think I liked the recent one better. Not that it was any more sensible or was a masterpiece of cinematic brilliance but it was entertaining.
Then tonight we watched the first episode of the spy series “The Old Man” with Jeff Bridges. And once again it wasn’t deathless theater but it was very entertaining. We’re also watching the “Justified” sequel I guess you could call it. Now, I really liked the original series a lot. I don’t know that I’ll like this as much but it’s well done and definitely in the same vein as the earlier series. So lately I’m not hating tv.
And since it stopped raining every minute, I’ve had a chance to get outside and do some macrophotography of bugs and flowers. And that’s a lot of fun. I’ve been testing out the advantages and disadvantages of using continuous autofocus with fast moving insects. The primary disadvantage is that for the Sony A7IV camera magnified view is unavailable in continuous autofocus mode. So, for instance, if you’re trying to get the eyes of a bee or butterfly perfectly focused you have to guess if the autofocus is precisely on the eye. In single-shot autofocus I can engage a 5.5X magnified view that will let me see whether the eye or whatever else I’m trying to nail is perfect. But often when these critters are crawling around, they can move out of focus almost immediately. Plus, the magnified view ends as soon as the shutter is engaged and so it’s necessary to reactivate it after every photo.
Based on what I’ve seen in the last couple of days I’m starting to think that continuous autofocus is the way to go. Especially if I use high speed multiple exposures (spray and pray mode). This ends up filling up my memory card (and hard drive!) but the chance of getting the perfect shot is much more likely than with the single shot autofocus and single exposure mode. Plus, it’s easier and as I’ve always admitted I’m an extremely lazy man.
And I’ve continued on my program of getting together with the grandsons one by one. Last Saturday I had the twelve-year-old fellow over and he wanted a Star Wars marathon. Luckily this was the “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” I had forgotten just how bad the Ewoks were. I also forgot just how goofy the scripts were. Harrison Ford spends most of his time hammering away at some control components of the Millenium Falcon while whining about how it wasn’t his fault. But we bonded over our shared belief that Imperial Stormtroopers were all pathetic losers without any detectable skills as warriors. And finally, I rediscovered my disdain for Yoda. As far as I could determine he was always wrong and of no value as a teacher or anything else.
On the upcoming Saturday, the sixteen-year-old is coming over and I believe it will be a “Lord of the Rings” film festival. That should be fun. For dessert he’s requested original Klondike Bars, of which I wholly approve. It should be epic.
So, all of these things provide a welcome distraction from the slow-motion train wreck that is our national government. I sometimes wondered what it must have been like to live through the more terrible chapters of the Roman Empire. I think I now have a better idea. Joe Biden is Tiberius and I guess Hunter is Caligula. The FBI is the Praetorian Guard and we’re the rabble existing on bread and circuses. But even if Tiberius was as sexually depraved as Joe, at least he was an able military leader. Watching what Joe is doing to our foreign policy, or allowing others to do to our foreign policy, is frightening.
But enough doom and gloom. Though we are perched on the slopes of Vesuvius we will eat, drink and be merry. July is almost consumed but it will be relished to the dregs.