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Randy Resnick
Guitarist and writer into Blues/Jazz, Tech, IP, Food & Wine
Guitarist and writer into Blues/Jazz, Tech, IP, Food & Wine
Randy's posts

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Breakfast, above the fold
Sliced chorizo, chopped sweet cherry tomatoes, and a seasoned soft corn tortilla, with cilantro (coriandre) and smoked paprika.

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Ectoplasmic Convention

It's ironic that hundreds, maybe thousands of Americans are "praying" for a FN victory on Twitter so the French can "take their country back", win the "war" and "save France".

1. Why would they care?
2. They're foreigners, to be treated like crap according to the party they claim to support.

Ironic. We'll know more in a couple of hours.

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Better Call Saul (AMC) 😀😀😀😀😀
Mike has a lot of this episode with a meticulous attention to detail. I'm struggling to remember what happened last season.

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Fishing – a quick guide to trout permits on some Lothians rivers

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"Down a country lane"
You can join this with a themed photo: Simply mention +Johnny Wills and hashtag #joinindaily


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The Expanse (SyFy) 😀😀😀😀
An excellent collection of thoughts about both the book and the TV series by +Peter Strempel.
THE EXPANSE (2011- )
[Chitchat from minority reports at]

The series of books is definitely entertaining, and often genuinely engaging, even if each 600-page book is probably a third longer than it needs to be.

Authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, writing collectively as James SA Corey, pad their narratives with long character ‘insights’ that are often counterproductive in exposing the authors as not quite as insightful as they may think they are. Or as being slightly contemptuous of an audience they regard as simple-minded enough to think of other people as simple-minded.

Nevertheless, they have a winning formula.

It’s a future where humans have populated colonies on the moon, Mars, the asteroid belt, and beyond. A UN-dominated Earth and the Martian Congressional Republic are the big hitters, pursuing an uneasy détente to maintain control over the outer colonies, populated by the ‘Belters’ and home of the outer Planets Alliance – a cross between a frontier criminal cartel and a revolutionary independence movement.

Add an ancient alien artefact, the protomolecule that converts biomass to construct an interstellar gateway, stir with neo-noir intrigue, cold war-style thriller, and apocalyptic visions, and you have the vehicle for an infinitely extensible, epic plot-line.

Drop in a cast of regulars careening around various scenarios in this universe, and you have an quite effective space opera. Almost in the grand tradition of EE Doc Smith or AE Van Vogt, albeit with a greater emphasis on an annoyingly persistent American literalism that undermines the potential for literary ambience and impressionism.

Unlike the novels, the Syfy television series is a notable achievement. Populated by relatively little-known actors and fewer pretty faces than you would expect from North American filmic fables, they all give convincing performances in an ever more rapidly paced, futuristic thriller.

The overly long narratives from the novels are compressed into less maudlin character sketches and action sequences, studded with convincing special effects that do not cross the boundary into the crassness of Star Wars/Star Trek kitsch.

It is far more clear in the TV series that political economy is the source of all friction, all the power-plays, and all the consequent action. In the novels this is often submerged into an almost quaint libertarian sentiment that sees our main characters as intrepid, frontier entrepreneurs.

Thomas Jane as the Ceres station detective unravelling the grand protomolecule conspiracy, is a much stronger presence in the TV series than he is in the book, where he comes into his own only after his death. The TV series has been renewed for more episodes in 2018, so there is yet an opportunity for Jane to re-merge, and to outdo his already strong performance.

I think Steven Strait as James Holden, Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal, and Dominique Tipper as Naomi Nagata are naturals in their roles. Perhaps because I haven’t seen them in anything else, and I saw them as these characters before I started reading the six extant novels: Leviathan Wakes (2011); Caliban's War (2012); Abaddon's Gate (2013); Cibola Burn (2014); Nemesis Games (2015); and Babylon's Ashes (2016). It’s a bit of a production line, with further books planned out until 2019. Almost as if these were extended film or television scripts. Hopefully that won’t mean declining freshness of ideas, the way television series usually die.

The standout regular for me in the TV series is Wes Chatham as Amos Burton, the homicidal mechanic who is often a better judge of ethics than the people he looks to for pointers in that area.

And Shohreh Aghdashloo as UN powerbroker Chrisjen Avasarala is impressive, though less so than she could have been if they had been able to maintain her brutally foul-mouthed persona from the novels.

I was a little disappointed in Chad Coleman as Fred Johnson: not enough toughness and street smarts there. And Frankie Adams was just completely miscast as Martian marine gunny Bobbie Draper; a big arse in skin tight leggings and youthfully chubby cheeks don’t substitute for the two meters of muscle and tough determination of the character in the book, who was credible because of those attributes.

I suspect the overall success of the novels and the TV series will be good judgement about when to quit what was always conceived of as a franchise.
So far I love it, but like ice cream, that can change quickly and uncomfortably if I get too much of it, particularly if it no longer feels like a special treat.


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Red Menace

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UN Sustainable Goal 15: Life on Land

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Help eradicate poverty: Join me on
My group, 46 members, has made 1,080 loans.

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