Friday, May 25, 2012

Random Rant 8:- The Phantom Click

Uh oh... did I do that?
So there you are, innocently working on the computer, the most evil machine ever invented by man. You're just minding your own business, doing some task (usually on some loathsome Microsoft software).

You'll be moving the mouse, clicking, typing something, clicking, dragging, basically having the time of your life.

But ever so often, one will accidentally click... click, but not mean to. It is a phantom click. One that is not initiated consciously by you, but nonetheless finds your finger applying sufficient pressure on the left mouse button to register one.

Sometimes, with disastrous results. Because the phantom click will sometimes press a button that you absolutely did not intend to and it brings about a regime change the likes of which you have never seen. Suddenly new windows appear, or old ones are gone. You are lost. You do not know how to revert. Ctrl+Z is not working. You are panicking. Work done may disappear or reappear in another horribly wrong format. Or you may have accidentally irrevocably deleted something.

Oh dear lord, what have I done?

What is this sorcery? What strange secret have you unlocked? You look at all the possible buttons you might have clicked. Which one of them would have unleashed such witchcraft?

And since the click is a phantom one and did not register with you, you will continue to happily drag the pointer across the screen. This may change the entire layout of the GUI. Suddenly taskbars are not where they should be. The preview screen in Outlook is gone. Text has disappeared or been inserted where it doesn't belong. It is a nightmare.

And the worst part is, you are alone. No one can help you. You are lost. You are without recourse. You are very, very pissed off. Fucking computer...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Random Rant 7:- The Excuse-Me Tango

So there I'll be, walking along, tralalalala, minding my own fucking business.

Then suddenly, some idiot will stop right in front of me. These idiots can come from anywhere. They may materialize around the corner, or may coming head on at you. Usually they are looking somewhere else. The ones coming around the corner do not have the sense to recognize the possibility of someone coming in the blind spot behind the corner, they just come barreling through. Those coming head on are looking at the ceiling, the floor, or into space- anywhere else but right in front of them. These I can at least see, because I'm of course looking in the proper direction.

But it may just be that I am in the confined space of a narrow corridor or such. Not much area for maneuverability. So now, bam, I'm stuck with said moron in front of me.


I hate having the flow of my walk broken for no good reason, but for someone's carelessness.

But being the bigger man, being the peacemaker, being the nice fucking guy that I am, I choose to step aside and give the erring soul yield, so that he/she may get the fuck on their way, and I can continue as well.

But no. Said idiot moves in the same direction that you do.

Damn it. Why would you do that? You have already put your incompetence on full display, why now would you block me from putting you far behind me, physically and otherwise?

Okay, I choose to ignore this blip. All is not lost yet. But I want to get the hell out of there. So I go to side-step the person. Only to have them step in the same direction.

Okay, what the fuck, man? Why are you mocking me now? Can you just move so I can be on my merry fucking way?

So I step back the other way. To my absolute horror, so the does the other person. It is getting agitating now. I mean, I was already agitated, but now the facade of good citizen is starting to crack.

So this back and forth thing can happen any number of times. It may be accompanied with embarrassed smiles and muffled apologies. Excuse me, no you excuse me, no you excuse me, and so on.

But here comes the best part.

I stop. I think, enough of this chicanery, I'm done with this bullshit. You can do whatever you want. But then the other person stops too. Now we both look like idiots who are just standing there. The horror. The shame. I want to die. I want to pick the other person up and throw them in the other direction. Look, just go around me, what are you doing?

But that's okay. I know the person's next move. By following the previous pattern, I know they are going to the side. So, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to prevent any further shenanigans. I am going to end this misery. I am going to go right down the middle.

But then, would you believe it, so do they.


Friday, May 4, 2012

The Avengers- Something Of A Review

I hated the Tim Burton Batman movies, but I loved the Nolan ones. I don’t know when it happened, but somehow the taste for “fantasy” creeped out of me. Perhaps it was because I grew up a Batman fan, and everything about him was so… human. But the first “incredible” superheroes that were presented in a “credible” way were X-Men and Spiderman, two cartoons I religiously avoided. If I could enjoy those movies, surely there was hope?

But I was still always concerned about the Avengers project. Iron Man came out, and I became an instant Robbie Downey Jr. fan. The Incredible Hulk reboot was also very enjoyable. By the time Iron Man 2 came out, we all knew about the Avengers project. It annoyed me because that would involve placing the “credible” Iron Man (yes, even with his out-of-this-world technology) into the “incredible” world of green monsters and Norse gods. I cringed a bit at the time.

But I let the excitement build, even if it festered with my doubt. I knew the basic premise… they would be recruited, they would falter, then they would come together as a team to avert a global catastrophe. That is taken for granted. It was how they would do it that was my concern, could they keep my attention, and would each hero be given his due.

After all, it felt like a couple of movies were made just with this one in mind. So I thought, what the hell? At least I’ll get to see more of Sam Jackson than just a small teaser clip at the end of the previous movies.

But they did make good of it. And I was pleasantly surprised. There was enough emotion to go around, something I was worried would be sorely missed. We had the conflicted soldier complex of Captain America, a counterpoint to the renegade of funk that Tony Stark was. Both of them didn’t see eye-to-eye. We had the reserved Bruce Banner who wanted nothing to do with them. There was a romantic tension with Romanov and Barton that was more taut than a bowstring (see what I did there). There is the weight of the world on Nick Fury. There is the maniacal Loki who is bent on revenge, and I’m not certain anything else. I’m not sure what Thor brings to the table other than a big hammer, but it seems that Robin lady’s sitcom career wasn’t a waste after all because she landed a role in this movie.

Apart from that was a heavy dose of good action, which is hard to come by because we are so spoiled with all kinds of brilliant action pieces that we become kind of desensitized to it all. The film starts slowly (after an initial action packed bang, that was to be expected) with several references to previous movies that have you excitedly saying “Ooo, that’s the thing from Thor!” or “They told that in The Incredible Hulk, remember?” and “Oh yes, that comes all the way from Nazi days in Captain America!”.  And also the recruitment process. This is not a bad thing, because it allowed for a lot of banter to take place- Tony Stark, of course, being the king of banter. Then comes the typical scattering, accompanied by a big action scene, where the heroes are distraught, and there is a lot of emotion here. And it is handled well. And finally the big kaboom when they decide to come together as a team, and Sam Jackson does not get eaten by a shark.

Now the thing about superhero movies is that the entire city or world has to be on the edge of doom. Otherwise, it’s no fun. In Batman Begins, Gotham was on the verge of destruction. In The Dark Knight it is arguable that even more was at stake. In all Spiderman movies, New York stood on the threshold of annihilation. Iron Man had problems with doomsday technology. Earth was going to be overrun by Frost Giants in Thor. Watchmen had the world poised on the brink of nuclear war. Hulk had to stop a giant scary beast from tearing apart Harlem in his movie. And Captain America… sorry, I was dead drunk for that one. But he beat up a lot of Nazis, so like, whatever. The point is, global catastrophes have become the order of the day, because anything less will fail to capture our destroyed attention spans for more than 2 seconds. Every life has to hang in the balance, or why the f**k do we need a superhero? In this case, however, a global catastrophe is DEMANDED by the sheer scale of things. And we are given one, one that is built across the span of at least 2 prior movies (Thor and Captain America). Everything has its place, everything fits.

The special effects are, as expected, amazing. When Romanov tells Banner and Captain that “its going to get hard to breathe in a minute”, and you think the boat is a submarine, but a second later you realize its not… these kind of things are what you love about these movies. And the action is beautiful. Not overcooked and unintelligible like certain Michael Bay movies. It is REALLY good. The big final fight where all the Avengers are working together is marvelous. And it really is a sweet cap on a truly excellent superhero movie.

My doubt can finally rest peacefully. I can finally look forward to the final Batman movie.