…which is just my attempt at a title that captures a few topics, not a statement of intent.
Although it could be and it might not be such a bad idea. See, the thing I have feared has happened, as I think one of Job’s comforters said. That is, (re-)watching Buffy has become a bit of a chore because I feel like I can’t proceed until I’ve blogged about it. So we have…
1. Watching Buffy with M.
I went over to see M. the other week and took my Buffy S1 DVDs with me. We watched the first 4 episodes together. I was nervous about this for a couple of reasons.
First, four is a lot when I needed to remember what I wanted to say about them in my blog. However that’s not too much of a problem. I know the episodes well enough.
Second, I was nervous that M. wouldn’t like them. I was very aware of the problems with the episodes. Not that there are many but I’ve been in this situation before – the ‘fan’ wanting to share my love for something only to get a ‘mmm that’s nice’ polite response.
I needn’t have worried. I’d forgotten that long before she’d met me M. had been a regular Buffy watcher. Not a fan the way I was, but certainly a fan the way I began. Someone who basically liked the show and wanted to fill in the gaps in eps she hadn’t seen.
So what did I think?
Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest – this is where it really all started, for me. It was still cool, and I enjoyed as ever such favourite moments as Jesse’s line “I’m not ok on an epic scale” and Buffy’s ‘dawn’ gag on Luke. But what I really noticed was how trad horror-movie-esque the Master is. I mean I knew that he was and was so deliberately, he’s the scary organ music to Buffy’s energetic rock tune, but I guess I’d forgotten how much that’s true in the first couple of episodes. Even as soon as the next two it settles down a bit with the Master making jokes and such. 8/10
Witch – this was the episode I saw the promo for and decided not to continue watching Buffy (only to pick it up again much later). To this day I’m not really sure why except that for some reason I didn’t like the idea that the show was about things other than vampires! Of course now I love this ep because it’s got juicy Xander-Buffy-Willow triangularity in it. Aww so sweet. 8/10
Teacher’s Pet – I watched this with one eye on M. to see her groan at the monster (I mean giant praying mantis?) but she didn’t, she enjoyed it as I did. I like the opening dream sequence with Xander playing the hero. I like the teacher who dies and how he believes in Buffy. I like the fact the way that even though we are dealing with a giant praying mantis the actors sell the fear as real. That’s the thing about Buffy, it may make jokes, even self-referential ones, but it always attempts to play the emotional situation as real. 7/10
2. Time and Writing
So, at the start of the year I came up with this timetable for myself re: writing. How ‘m I doing? Well so far since I started (barely 3 weeks). I’ve missed one evening (an hour) and one full weekend (five hours). I’m certainly not planning to try to do the catching up thing since that way lies madness and sweaty palms. I was thinking that I might incorporate my failure into my plan – to my already generous time-off quotient. What I could do is have one weekend a month where I plan not to do my usual writing. Two hours on saturday and three on sunday is not a lot really and let it seems to take up most of my weekend by the time you factor in some procrastination and faffing around.
Plus my usual habit of not setting my alarm and getting up when I feel like it shortens my day. My day still ‘ends’ pretty much at midnight because that’s when I tend to call M. for an end-of-day chat. So one thing I’m considering is setting my alarm for something suitably late but not midday for the weekends.
Actually it was pretty predictable that I’d not be writing this weekend as I re-built (from a software point of view) my Mythtv box. Leading to
3. MythTV Multirec
There was probably no real need to wipe my system and re-install except well, I kind of enjoyed it. I also fondly imagine it gives me a ‘cleaner’ system somehow. Anyway I’ve installed a new version of Mythtv that supports multiple recordings from the same multiplex.
What’s that mean? Well the Freeview signal is split into different frequencies that carry a multiplex – a collection of channels. When you ‘tune in’ to a channel you actually tune in the multiplex and just record/display the channel you’re interested in. What the clever MythTV developers have done is make it possible to record one, some or all of the channels in a multiplex using a single tuner. In other words using my dual-tuner tv-card I can now record several channels at once (providing they’re on no more than two multiplexes). Earlier tonight I successfully recorded 6 programs at once.
Actually I rarely need this, at least in that way. I’ve been running a MythTV box with 2 tuners for over 9 months now and I very rarely need more than 2 tuners. The reason I like it, and the reason – other than the enjoyment of doing it – to install multirec is that I can record back to back programs on the same channel and have an overlap (finish recording prog1 5 mins late and start prog2 5 mins early) and only use one tuner. Sounds trivial but it’s not. I record Mastermind and University Challenge which are back to back on BBC2. Since occasionally there’s something on another channel I want to record, I set it so Mastermind finishes at 8:30 and U.C. starts at 8:30. But if the timing’s not exact then I end up with the end of Mastermind chopped off early and a little bit of it at the start of the U.C. recording. Which is annoying. It would be even more so if I intended to archive them to DVD.
Anyway I installed it, re-installed the complete machine in fact, with a new version of Linux and everything. A weekend suitably ‘wasted’.
That’s probably way more than you wanted to read, so until next Monday…