Sunday, December 15, 2013

Setting up

Friday, my family and I put up the Christmas tree. Today, I set up the house lights and decorations with the help of my lovely wife and tree climbing kids. There was a lot to be done this weekend and looking back, I can say we got a lot accomplished. Two cases of Scottish ale got bottled. We saw the second part of the Hobbit. Our high school football team barely lost to the Pearland Oilers. No shame there. We got farther than we did last year. The football season is officially over. Now we can resume our regular schedule.
Despite our best attempts, the tree has a decided bend to it. The stand is on perfectly, but about halfway up, the tree leans.
What's up with that?
So it's off kilter. Should fit right in around here. Usually, my wife and I unpack the ornaments and hand them to the children. They decide where they would look best. Right now my oldest is putting ornaments in the hallway. "It looks good there, Dad." Who am I to argue? There are three ornaments that I unpacked and had to hang up myself. My sister handmade them years ago. Bulbs decorated with ribbons and beads. She's a talented girl, my sister. Those three decorations represent something personal and dear to me. It's safe to say they will be on every tree I have for as long as I live.
We caught the matinée of the Hobbit. My middle child's only complaint was the third one wasn't out yet. Peter Jackson delivered the goods on this one. The scenes were great and there were a few instances where the plot holes were filled in. Right at the start of the movie, Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield were discussing the quest to reclaim the dwarven throne. While that did deviate from Tolkien's story, I was impressed with how it was being handled. Sadly, that is about all I can say about the movie. Not because I don't want to reveal spoilers, but because the open captions crapped out on me. So far Regal cinemas is only batting 50% with rolling out the open captions.
Let's run down the numbers:
My family saw Star Trek: Into Darkness and the captions worked perfectly. A few weeks later we saw that Superman flick, Man of Steel, with craptacular results.
The weekend after it opened, we viewed Thor, with error free viewing. Today, it was the Hobbit's turn to suck wind. The manager did all she could, but as I mentioned here before, she is in the unenviable position of dealing with me and backed by shoddy captioning equipment. All told, I was able to understand about half of what was being said. This was partially because I read the book, but when Jackson decided to deviate from Tolkien, I was lost. I should clarify something at this point: I liked what Jackson did to all of the Fellowship of the Rings movies and what he's doing with the Hobbit so far.
I don't think it's sacrilege to say Tolkien is a little dry in some areas. Nowhere do I remember Gandalf having a past relationship with Gladrielle. That would explain a few things, however. Overall, I noticed where scenes were juiced up and I heartily approved.
My wife and I may go back and see the movie, but right now I'm leaning toward waiting until the DVD comes out.
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, Regal Cinemas. I'm praising the manager, Mary Malcolm, for her quick action in dealing with my problem. I'm pissed at Regal Cinemas for not getting the bugs ironed out in almost a year since the open captions have been introduced.
If another theater can do a better job, now is the time to speak up and get my money. More to the point: my deaf friends who read my posts will also spend their hard earned dollars at your business. Vote with your wallet people.
I'm going to close with a picture of the latest edition to the family of one of my close friends. I'd like you to introduce you to Deborah Walton, Born December 1st weighing 8.3 lbs and 19.5 inches long.

and her big brother protects her

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