George V. Reilly

Subtracting Compound Objects

Quick! How many days between 2014-11-29 and 2016-05-17? What’s the angle between the hour hand and the minute hand on an analog clock when the time reads 11:37?

The hard way to compute the difference between the two dates is to start counting back months and days until you reach the earlier date, or equiv­a­lent­ly to count forward from the beginning. (Don’t forget that Feb 2016 has 29 days but Feb 2015 has 28.) Similarly with the angle between the hands.

The easier way is to compute the number of units between the first point and some reference (or base) point, to do the same for the second point, and to subtract the two numbers.

Say continue.

Toastmasters Transitions

Two tran­si­tions at Freely Speaking Toast­mas­ters tonight: Kim gave her last speech before moving to California and Shasti gave her tenth speech, which earned her her Competent Com­mu­ni­ca­tor award.

It’s always exciting to see people proceed through a series of speeches and achieve milestones like the CC. You see them get better with each speech. The awkward fumbling hesitation of the early speeches is supplanted by growing fluidity and confidence, as the practice and the eval­u­a­tions help them improve.

Review: The Woman Who Knew Too Much

Title: The Woman Who Knew Too Much
Author: B. Reece Johnson
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Cleis Press
Copyright: 1998
Pages: 252
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 5–14 May, 2016

Jet Butler lives on an isolated mesa in New Mexico. One of her few friends is a suspect in a murder. Cordelia Morgan, an outsider, who turns out to be far more than she seems, is also interested in the murder, which seems to be somehow tied up in the sale of water rights.

This never quite gelled for me. Despite the author’s flair for de­scrip­tion, I found the plot confusing and I was not engaged with the two pro­tag­o­nists.

Review: Sing Street

Title: Sing Street
Writer-Director: John Carney
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2016
Keywords: musical comedy-drama, teen, coming of age, period, Irish
Watched: 14 May, 2016

Conor Lalor’s family life is falling apart. His parents are breaking up and they’re broke, there not being much work in Dublin in 1985. To economize, they take the 15-year-old out of his fee-paying Jesuit school and send him to the Christian Brothers’ school in Synge Street. Conor wants to impress the beautiful girl who lives across the street and he offers to put her in his music video. Raphina accepts and then he has to pull together a band with his school mates, which they call continue.

Review: What We Do In The Shadows

Title: What We Do In The Shadows
Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2014
Keywords: mock­u­men­tary
Watched: 13 May, 2016

What We Do In The Shadows is a mock­u­men­tary about four vampires living in the suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand. They are being filmed by a doc­u­men­tary crew in the months running up to the Unholy Masquerade Ball, the highlight of the social season for the local vampires, witches, and zombies. Not well adapted to modern life, Viago, Vladislav, and Deacon are all hundreds of years old. 8,000-year-old Petyr turns a new vampire, Nick, who brings his human friend, Stu, a computer programmer, into their circle. Stu—who the older vampires like continue.

Review: Spy

Title: Spy
Director: Paul Feig
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2015
Keywords: action comedy
Watched: 12 May, 2016

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), a self-effacing, overweight, desk-bound CIA mission controller, spends her days in a verminous CIA basement talking into the earpiece of her glamorous field agent coun­ter­part. When he’s killed before her remote eyes and other field agents are com­pro­mised, she goes into the field for the first time and soon blossoms into a deadly agent.

I had never seen McCarthy in anything before and I assumed that Spy would be a dumb, gross-out comedy. It was better than I feared and genuinely funny at times. McCarthy inhabits several personas, ranging from the initial doormat of an analyst through continue.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

I saw a packet of triple chocolate cookies and I wondered, “Triple chocolate?”. I googled and found several recipes, all of which used cocoa powder with either a couple of varieties of chocolate chips, say semisweet and white, or a couple of varieties of chocolate, such as dark chocolate and milk chocolate, often melted.

The Keebler’s cookie was un­mem­o­rable. The recipes sounded better.

Review: Jurassic World

Title: Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Released: 2015
Keywords: action, sf
Watched: 10 May, 2016

Jurassic World is an un­nec­es­sary retread of the Jurassic Park franchise. New, scarier, smarter monster Imperator Furiosa¹ breaks out of its enclosure and wreaks havoc, killing humans and dinosaurs for pleasure. Plucky kids—or are they darn, meddling kids?—aided by unlikely romantic couple—and by ve­loci­rap­tors and a T. Rex—manage to save the day. Meanwhile, greedy human villains plan to profit off the mess but get eaten before the end to audience applause. Chris Pratt delivers scruffy heroics while Bryce Dallas Howard runs around the entire movie in ridiculous heels without breaking either an ankle or a heel.

¹ continue.

Review: Ant-Man

Title: Ant-Man
Director: Peyton Reed
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Released: 2015
Keywords: Marvel, superhero
Watched: 9 May, 2016

Ant-Man is a light­weight but appealing entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Decades ago, Hank Pym discovered the Pym Particle and invented the Ant-Man suit, which allowed him to shrink to the size of an ant. He buries the technology, believing it’s too dangerous. Now his former protégé Darren Cross is close to perfecting the Yel­low­jack­et shrinking suit and selling it to Hydra. Pym and his daughter Hope recruit Scott Lang, a former burglar, to don the Ant-Man suit to stop Cross.

Much of the movie is played for laughs. Unlike Deadpool, these are PG-13 laughs. Paul Rudd continue.

Sixteenth Wedding Anniversary

We married on May 6th, 2000. We went to Vancouver for the weekend to celebrate our sixteenth an­niver­sary. It was our first trip out of town since August, when we returned from two months in Europe. We drove up on Friday, stopping in Marysville to have lunch with a friend and to buy some clothes at the Outlet Mall.

On Saturday, we went up Grouse Mountain for the first time ever, to enjoy the views on a clear day. After that, we drove along the coast in West Vancouver as far as the scenic village at Horseshoe Bay and the Whytecliff Park. We concluded the day with a fine dinner at Adesso.

On Sunday, Emma continue.

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