Sunday, July 17, 2016.
By MICHAEL WALSH
Has it only been a week since my last posting? In a way it seems like so much longer. Not having a computer really does make a difference.
OK, let me start again. Some weeks ago, it became obvious that my faithful old iMac desktop computer — a 2009 aluminum unibody — was due for some shop time. Its operating system was running programs that were no longer supported by the Apple gods, and it was running them at an ever slower pace. I planned on posting a note on July 5 advising Reeling Back visitors that there would be nothing new for a few days, then take it into the shop.
On the 4th, the machine suddenly began some serious glitching, the sort of thing that made servicing not just wise but necessary. Had the old thing caught a fatal virus? Encountered some malware? Been bitten by a Trojan horse?
I feared for its life.
During its absence, I was anxious. On the plus side, I managed to read Lois McMaster Bujold’s most recent Vorkosigan novel, 2015’s Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, and finally catch up to 1990’s Good Omens, a wonderfully wry take on the Apocalypse from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
At the same time, I felt something like withdrawal symptoms, along with an unexpected concern that I’d become disconnected and adrift. I actually missed my Mac.
All that was needed, as it turned out, was a software upgrade and a good cleaning. Dust bunnies, I learned, can be every bit as disruptive as Monty Python’s Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. To my shame, I’d so neglected dusting around my desktop that the little killers were thick on the ground (and messing with its inner works).
With luck, I'm told, my iMac should be good for another five years. With luck, so should I.
Coming in a day or two, I’ll post the ninth and final item in my second package of Expo 86 restorations, a review of the films in the Yukon and Oregon Pavilions. Already available in the Reeling Back archive are:
EXPO 86: SASKATCHEWAN / ALBERTA — Vancouver director Zale Dalen’s 20-minute See You in Sasakatchewan was brilliant in its simplicity and irresistible in its interactive presentation. (Posted July 11)
EXPO 86: ONTARIO / QUÉBEC — In the spirit of Expo 67, the two Central Canadian provinces competed with state-of-the-art cinematic postcards, each offering pavilion visitors a look at their scenic charms. (Posted July 10)
EXPO 86: NORTHWEST TERRITORIES — From his home base in the territorial capital Yellowknife, director Alan Booth produced The Emerging North, one of the finest films shown at Vancouver’s world’s fair. (Posted July 7)
EXPO 86: MEXICO / CUBA / U.S.A. — Three nations born of revolution, each offering pavilion visitors a view of its place in the the world of 1986. (Posted July 6)
EXPO 86: CALIFORNIA — As expected, Hollywood’s home state made full use of movie magic to make the case for its central role in “creating the future.” (Posted July 5)
EXPO 86: CANADA — Documentary film pioneer Colin Low introduced IMAX 3D to the world with Transitions, 21 minutes of pure movie magic produced by the NFB for the Canadian National Railway. (Posted July 4)
EXPO 86: CANADA / WASHINGTON STATE — In his multi-image The Taming of the Demons, Czech director Emil Radok took a thoughtful look at the nature and purpose of human communications. (Posted July 3)
GREYSTOKE: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, LORD OF THE APES — Aguably the most serious of the many movies inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs's 1912 novel, director Hugh Hudson’s 1984 feature starred Christopher Lambert as the orphaned British aristocrat raised by apes in the African jungle. (Posted July 2)
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT — Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd was already an American television star when he made his feature film debut in director Rex Bromfield’s 1977 feature, a romantic comedy in which he plays a blind man who meets the love of his life in a china shop. (Posted July 1)
STRAIGHT TALK — Another century’s social media, open-line radio shows are the comic target of director Barnet Kellman’s 1992 music-rich feature. Dolly Parton provided the songs and the star power. (Posted June 30)
EXPO 86: BRITISH COLUMBIA — For Discovery, director Rob Turner needed a face to represent B.C. to the world. His inspired choice was that of Fairuza Balk, a California-born child actress who'd lived in Vancouver from the age of two. (Posted June 29)