Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday morning scattershooting

I haven't listened to The Ticket (KTCK) regularly in over two years.  The reason for this is quite simple: just over two years ago, I started working from home at a job where I spend almost 100% of my time working with someone else on the other end of a video conference, sharing a screen and talking a bunch.  Given that the shows that most interest me come on during drive times, those opportunities to listen were suddenly gone.  The only reason I bring it up is because every time I use the term "scattershooting," I feel like I should give credit to Junior Miller from the morning show there for popularizing the term.  "Friday Morning Scattershooting" was one of my favorite segments.

To be clear, I used the term "scattershooting" long before hearing it on the radio.  I had to.  I knew there was a single word or phrase that could succinctly describe my tendency to talk about whatever random topic popped into my head in fairly rapid succession regardless of whether or not people within earshot responded (which, by the way, they typically do, although it's mostly with "is this guy nuts?" looks).

So this morning I'm actually scattershooting on the topic of scattershooting... Is that too meta for a Sunday morning?  I suspect the answer is "no," given the general connotations with religious ceremonies and observances reserved for sometime on the weekend.

When I did an image search for "scattershooting," I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my favorite search engine didn't quite know what to make of the term.  Have a look at visual snippet of the result.

Yes, I do believe that is a picture of a fake pile of poo you can wear as a hat in the third row, just below and to the left of a contentedly chubby and cherub-faced Haley Joel Osment.

To verify this wasn't a fluke, I did the search again using my not-quite-favorite-but-really-trying-hard search engine.  Several of the same images came up, but the new entry that most interested me was this (used without permission, all rights reserved by current copyright owners):

In my head, I immediately heard these two characters speaking these two lines.  They still make me smile!  NARF!!

"Scattershot" itself has multiple meanings, ranging from the mundane to the absolutely captivating.  Immediately after the definition, my favorite search engine gave me the following link.  Scattershot is the name of an incredibly entertaining Autobot in the Transformers universe.  For those of you that aren't aware, I'm involved in a weekly Transformers role-playing game based primarily off of the RoleMaster RPG rules.  This is a game that had been running for three or four years before I was invited, and this coming week will be right at my one-year anniversary mark.

It's been a really interesting adventure, as I was only familiar with the property through the cartoons from the 80s.  Transformers as toys were always too complicated for me.  I was a pretty impatient kid and not the most dexterous guy around either.  There were comics as well, and several other animated series beyond the original.  Relatively recently, the franchise was reborn in the vision of Michael Bay.  I found the first movie to be pretty entertaining, but they quickly degenerated to the degree that I never saw the last installment.  I sincerely hope they don't make another.

Speaking of last installments, I did finally see the final Hobbit movie.  I wish I'd used better judgement there as well.  After the end of the second movie, I thought it would be a bad idea to continue.  I've decided to treat that trilogy as a kind of alternate history.  The Lord of the Rings seemed canonical enough to me to fully enjoy, but the three Hobbit movies are hardly worth the effort.

Tanya and I saw two movies that are worth the effort this past weekend.  My friend LonAnne's oldest son Thomas has decided to make movies for a living.  To that end, his high school senior project was a production of The Man Who Loved Flowers, a short story by Stephen King.  He and his friend Josh also made The Last Day Ever over this summer from the ground up.  They were both pretty fantastic, and I hope they do well at the festivals the movies are sent to this year.  They'll both be going to the Santa Fe University of Art and Design to study their craft more.

And speaking of going off to college, here's the final scattershooting topic for the day.  Both of my sons will be in high school starting tomorrow.  In less than four years, I will lose the ability to compel them to spend time with me.  On most levels, I'm really excited to see what they make of themselves.  I've tried and will continue to try to teach them to be skeptical and curious, to question and figure out, and to work hard at things even though they aren't necessarily interested in them.  I'm finding this latter lesson to be the hardest to teach, by far.

On a very small level, there's an irrational fear that neither of them will remember to call me, much less visit me.  I think I understand why my parents didn't warn me about this feeling though.  I suspect that they are scared pretty shitless of that possibility themselves, and don't want to upset the balance one way or the other.

Kids, call your parents this weekend, and every weekend you're able.  It may not seem like much to you, but it is a large part of the world to them.  And visit when you can.  Phone calls are nice, but hugs are nicer.

That's it for Sunday morning scattershooting.  Tune in next week when I return to something a little more focused, like cutting the cord with cable!  Or a deeper look at the movie Inception.  Or both.  Gah, still scattershooting, apparently... ;-)

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