“Doctor Who” Returns…in October

The good news is that we finally have an idea of when Thirteen will be crashing onto our screens. The bad news is that it’s not until October.

We also got a glimpse of the new logo today. It’s nice and shiny, but at the same time I feel as if it’s missing something. I’m not sure what that something is yet; I just have the strangest feeling that the logo is missing something.

One thing’s for sure–October will definitely be an interesting month.

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Love and Dust

It’s here! It’s finally happened! Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day are the same day! Long have I awaited this occurrence! Sure, it’s cynical and probably evil of me to do so, but having never been a fan of the overwhelming mushiness of St. Valentine’s, I longed for the year that would see Ash Wednesday trump it. And it’s here! Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, baby!

To help with the mood, we have a fine collection of Ash Wednesday/St. Valentine’s Day cards courtesy of Jason Bach Cartoons. It’s a perfect addition for the day when you want to celebrate love but have to remember your inevitable demise, too.

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A Reminder of What Love Is

So this weekend is the release of the final movie in the stupid trilogy about the color grey, and it just makes me mad that a messed-up relationship like that is glamorized. To counter that, I am pulling out one of my favorite videos, the speech from Yours, Mine, and Ours about what love really is.

Love isn’t about feeling good; it’s about dying to yourself for the benefit of others. The other people become more important than your own wants and desires. In its ideal form, it should be a reflection of the love God has for us, that He loved us so much He was willing to die for us. That’s what love really is.

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Bluegrass-Playing Dominicans: Yes, That’s Really a Thing

Several months ago, I stumbled across an article that talked about how a group of Dominicans from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. was releasing an album of bluegrass music. I’m no connoisseur of the bluegrass genre, but I’ve always had a fondness for it, and I love Dominicans, so naturally I checked it out.

It. Is. Amazing.

They call themselves the Hillbilly Thomists, a term that Catholic author Flannery O’Connor originally used to describe herself. Judging from the album’s cover picture that dates from the 1920s, there have been Dominicans playing bluegrass at the House of Studies for a very long time; I think this was the first time they gave themselves and name and recorded an album. And they don’t limit themselves to just bluegrass; various YouTube videos show them playing old Irish folk tunes as well. No matter what they’re singing, though, there is an unmistakable joy that permeates everything they do.

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A Note about Building Your Own Computer

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I built my own computer last year, and it was actually a pretty fun project. Plus, the computer I built is faster than my old one, which is nice. In case you were thinking about building a computer yourself, there was just one piece of advice I wanted to give you because it tripped me up at first.

Research the type of motherboard you have, especially in which order the plugs for the power and reset buttons need to be. I figured they were all the same shape, so it didn’t matter what got plugged in where, but it turns out it is very important. Either it will keep your computer from turning on, or it will start to boot but not actually do anything. So finding out what type of motherboard you have and how the power buttons need to be plugged in will save you an awful lot of trouble in the long run.

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Star Wars Episode VIII Review: “The Last Jedi” *Contains Spoilers*

It was feeling like everyone else in the world had seen this movie already except me, but I finally made it out to the theater today and watched The Last Jedi, the latest installment in the Star Wars saga. My thoughts…well, let’s review the plot first. I know I was happy to discover what it was since the trailers revealed few details (obviously spoilers are forthcoming).

According to the opening crawl, the Republic is no more. The First Order has crushed it completely; Leia’s band of resistance fighters is the only thing left of order and democracy. And Kylo Ren is leading the charge in a desperate attempt to prove to Snoke that he has what it takes to follow in Vader’s footsteps (apparently Snoke is conveniently forgetting the Vader destroyed the Emperor and returned to the light side). Poe, a freshly-recovered Finn, and their new friend Rose work on a scheme that will let them disable the First Order’s lightspeed tracker and allow the rest of the Resistance to escape unharmed. Meanwhile, Rey tries to persuade Luke to return to his sister’s side and aid her in their fight against the First Order. But as we heard Luke ominously warn in the trailer, “This is not going to go the way you think,” and he was right on all fronts. The best laid plans go horribly awry; Kylo Ren finds the strength to murder Snoke and claim leadership of the First Order, and Rey, who has searched for the truth for so long, finds it a bitter pill to swallow.

Is it true that Rey’s parents were nobodies, just junk dealers who sold her for drinking money? Who knows. We don’t know how much we can trust Kylo at this point; he clearly has his own motives. But something tells me Rey’s story isn’t over yet.

As for Luke–why was it necessary to kill him, Rian Johnson!? Why!? It was bad enough we lost Han in The Force Awakens, but now Luke is gone, too! Plus Carrie Fisher is dead, so no more Leia. Why are you taking away all of the happy endings? Is this your way of trying to make your own characters look better? If so, you needed a better tactic.

Not going to lie, the movie felt way too long. Part of the problem was the whole sub-plot of Finn and Rose trying to find a codebreaker. That felt like enough material to be its own movie.

I still can’t take Kylo Ren seriously as a villain. If he didn’t look like a big, sad puppy all of the time, he would probably be very effective. But Snoke was correct when he called Kylo “a child in a mask”, and unless he does some serious growing-up in Episode IX, I think that’s all he’ll ever be. The same may be true for Rey as well–in Empire Strikes Back, I felt that Luke had at least learned humility after his confrontation with Vader. With Rey, I don’t get the impression she’s learned anything after her encounters with Snoke and Kylo. Luke’s lessons were vital to his maturity in Return of the Jedi. Will Rey show the same maturity? I certainly hope so. While she’s not as impulsive as Kylo, she still does not control her emotions very well and is too easily swayed by the dark side. Perhaps she’ll read those Jedi texts she rescued from the tree and gain some useful knowledge.

I will say this for The Last Jedi–it wasn’t a carbon copy of an earlier movie. It was its own thing, and I liked that. I just would have preferred it if it had had a little more of a hopeful feel to it.

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Welcome, 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m honestly not sure what I’m looking forward to this year–I kind of fell out of the loop on a lot of things with the personal stuff I mentioned in yesterday’s post–but that’s actually kind of exciting. It’s a brand new year where I have placed zero expectations on myself or anything else, so it’s a year when anything can happen. One of the things I noticed in last year’s post is that I was looking forward to catching up on The X-Files and Merlin, and I actually am still working on those. I’m almost done with Merlin (roughly about halfway through season 5), and I’m slowly making my way through the old X-Files episodes and eagerly awaiting the new episodes arriving on January 3 (although I am firmly convinced no one on this show actually knows what the truth is).

It’s a brand new year! Seize it!

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