Thursday, January 26, 2023

Best Picture

The Oscar Nominations came out Tuesday. 

This year is unusual for me because I've seen three of the ten Best Picture nominees. Usually I'm lucky to have seen one of them.

The nominees are (see what I did there?) and my opinion of them are (ones I've seen are bold):

All Quiet on the Western Front (I assume a remake of the WWI movie. Never heard about it until today. It's on Netflix and I don't have that service anymore because I wasn't watching it.)

Avatar: The Way of Water (Ratings bait to get people to watch the ceremony. Haven't seen it.)

The Banshees of Inisherin (Never heard of it)

Elvis (Good movie. Was mostly centered on Col. Tom Parker)

Everything Everywhere All at Once (Good movie but hard to follow)

The Fabelmans (In my queue. Suppose to get it in February)

Tár (Haven't seen it)

Top Gun: Maverick (Also ratings bait. Good, fun movie but not Oscar material.)

Triangle of Sadness (Never heard of it.)

Women Talking (Ditto.)

 I remember when the Academy increased the best picture nominees to ten to, once again, get more people to watch. 

I might watch a little of the ceremony. But I doubt it. I just don't care. Now if Will Smith can slap someone, that might be interesting.

How do you feel about the Oscar nominations? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Brilliant Design

My car has a problem in winter. Not that it doesn't handle snow well. It does. Put on a set of traction tires and it's a mountain goat in the snow.

No, the problem is the backup camera gets dirty and therefore almost useless. Here's what it looks like:

That's because the camera is on the exterior of the vehicle:

So I have to clean it regularly. When it's clean, it looks like this:

Which doesn't last long in wet/snowy conditions.

My wife drives a Volkswagen GTI and it has a brilliant design on its backup camera. It sits behind the rear logo where it stays clean:

And when she puts the car in reverse, the logo pops open to expose the camera:

I think this is amazing and a brilliant design. Why doesn't my car have something similar?

I love good design. And I'm mostly happy with my car, don't get me wrong. It just has this one flaw my wife's car doesn't.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

QR Codes are Back!

For a while there, I thought QR codes were dead. But they are back. I'm seeing them in all sorts of places. Restaurants, TV commercials and shows, signs. And I blame the pandemic.

Restaurants, once there were allowed to open, needed a way to show you their menu without you touching their menus. So they used QR codes:
(That was in a restaurant last September still.) And I think people suddenly were reminded of their usefulness. 

Here's one I saw on television during a football game:

I saw one on the desk in a hotel room. So I scanned it. It brought up the room service menu!

According to Wikipedia, QR stands for "quick response" and the QR codes were invented in 1994 by a Japanese automotive company (that I've never heard of) called Denso Wave. I didn't realize they'd been around that long. In 1994 I just learned the existence of email.

It's interesting how they pretty much died out and then made a comeback during the pandemic.

Have you seen the increased use of QR codes, or do you think I'm crazy. Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Washington's Amazing Season is Over

(Happy New Year!)

The University of Washington Huskies (10-2 in the regular season) ended their 2022 season last week playing Texas (8-4) in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Before the game, Washington was ranked #12 in the CFP and Texas was #20.

What's interesting about playing Texas is that their coach is Steve Sarkisian who, from 2009 to 2013, was the coach at Washington. He left to coach USC and the Huskies brought in Chris Petersen to lead the team. Petersen took the Huskies to the CFP!

Due to being in Texas, the Alamo Bowl was like playing on Texas' home field. San Antonio is only 79 miles from Austin by car (I'm amazed anything in Texas is that close). Attendance at the game was 62,730 (which is pretty good for a bowl game), almost all of it Texas fans. Crowd noise was definitely a factor.

Quarterback Michael Penix had trouble connecting on long passes. He completed none. Either he overshot or the Texas secondary stopped the catches. But he did well on shorter passes and managed to eclipse Cody Pickett's record for passing yards in a single season.

The officials didn't call an obvious pass interference penalty and reduced a roughing-the-kicker to running-into-the-kicker.

But still, the Huskies were never behind and won the game 20-27, finishing their season 11-2.

The final AP and CFP rankings will probably come out after the National Championship game on January 9th. I suspect we'll go up in both.

This has been an amazing year, especially after last year when they were 4-12. Coach  DeBoer turned the program around so fast. Maybe next year we'll be 11-1 in the regular season and go to the CFP like we did in 2016 under Coach Petersen. Who knows? I just know I'm looking forward to it.

The Pac-12 sent seven teams to bowl games this year. But they ended up 3-4 after losing both New Years Day games (which were actually played 1/2/23). Two of the losses were razor thin, one going into overtime. But Washington State and Utah both lost big. Utah was playing Penn State in the Rose Bowl.

I was hoping the Pac-12 would do better this year. Lately it seems the conference has trouble winning bowl games. Again, there's next year.