Phil Glover 1931-2012

Yesterday, after an accident with a dead pine tree, my father, concerned that his life had deteriorated to the point where he’d be either mentally or physically impaired and a permanent burden to his family, committed suicide.

That we, his family – that I, his only child – would have accepted that burden without complaint is without question. He knew that and so he chose not to involve us in the decision he made about his life.

I cannot change that.

I can say, in my mind and in my principles – those that he instilled in me – that he had every right to do what he did. Everyone does. (No. Everyone should have the right to choose the point where they feel life offers more suffering than it does benefits. I say “should” because our laws, made by well-meaning but misguided busybodies, say we don’t have that right. A discussion for another time.)

In my mind I know those things, but that does not close the hole in my heart. I weep for my loss. I weep more for the loss my children feel and for the things they’ll never share with or know about a man who loved them more than anything else in the world.

That I cannot ever fill that hole is certain, but I have begun chronicling my father’s life as best I can and will be posting parts of it here online.

Here then iS the preface:

When information is no longer refreshed and maintained, it starts to deteriorate. When a primary source is lost, only the secondary traces remain.

Amongst so many other things, I lost a primary source of information yesterday with the death of my father, Phil Glover.

Never again will I hear about the fantastic the pizza from the Bottlecap Inn in Miami, FL in the 1950’s, or about how a misspelling in the local newspaper earned my dad the nickname, “Flip” or how a random automobile license plate and a blizzard lead to my birth.

My father’s story has come to an end, and parts of it has been told, in pieces, over 47 years, to me.

For my entire life, I’ve been keenly aware of the disconnect between first and secondhand recollection of a life’s story. My mother died when I was shy of 3 years old. I have had no memory of her for as long as I can remember, and I know so little of her story as to be nothing more than a paragraph or two on a page, and even that is contradictory.

Virtually, my only source for that info was my father and he either didn’t know, or didn’t care to discuss it much. I admit, I never pressed him on it because I thought it might be painful for him and my mother was really nothing more than a stranger to me. She was a loss to me intellectually rather than emotionally. I knew I should feel it, but I didn’t really feel it.

My father, on the other hand, has been the one fixed-point throughout my entire life. At any point in my lifetime, until yesterday, he was always there for me to reach out to for help, advice or just an ear to bend.

Did I take that for granted? I hope not. I think my dad knew how much I loved and appreciated him, even though neither of us said it very often.

Now I find myself thinking not about my loss, but that of my kids. They lost a man who loved them more than anything in the world and they can never know him as well as I did. No one else alive could.

The kids are older than I was when my mother died, but younger than when my grandparents (who helped raise me after that) died. My memories of them are varied, but I realize how little I knew of them either. My loss.

What memories they’ll hold of their “papa” I can only guess.

This is the start of my attempt to record that which I know about my father.

When information is no longer refreshed and maintained, it starts to deteriorate.

For my kids and for myself, this is the story of my father, Phil Glover, 1931-2012.

iMovie for iPad2

Some time back, I wrote a review of iMovie on the iPhone 4. This was shortly after the app was first available and I didn’t give it a very good review. It was buggy, limited and difficult to control with precision.

Now, with the advent of the iPad 2, Apple has revamped iMovie to be a universal iPhone 4/iPad 2 app. I’ve recently had the opportunity to try out the iPad version in a real-world situation.

We recently had an employee appreciation event at my work and a co-worker and I used our iPhone 4′s to record video and pictures of the event. I then proceeded, at the event, to edit the video on my iPad.

Combined with editing my last vlog entry, I reel I have a good basic grasp of the new iPad iMovie experience.

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Primeval – S04E02 – Review

I got nothing.

The current series of Primeval is so ordinary that I have neither strong positive or negative feelings towards it. They aren’t screwing things up badly like they did last season, neither are they making me interested like they did in the first season. I’ve watched through this episode 3 times and still I’ve got nothing, so I decided to try my Fusion Patrol approach. I watch the show, take notes, fill in some comments and hope I have something to say.

Timeline/Notes

00:00 Five years ago a woman captures a bizarre baby anomaly animal and flushes it down the toilet. Yeah. I’m believing that. Looked too big to flush. Perhaps some kids would like to try some experimenting and report back to me on that one. What is the maximum size lizard you can flush. My guess is you’ll need to live in Australia or Indonesia to try that one.

00:04 Philip, “We’re poised on a new dawn” – hhhmmmmmmmm, New Dawn, that sounds fishy. What kind of scientific advancement is he hoping to get? Is it just an understanding of time, or is he perhaps trying to control time?

00:05 Danny Quinn still has a locker. They just keep reminding us about the missing Danny. Once again that seems to indicate Danny isn’t really gone yet.

00:06 Lot of old dumpy buildings in London, aren’t there? Actually, this looks like the same building they shot in during the second series.

00:07 Perky chick (what’s her name?) gives Conner the key to her apartment. Suspicious? Forward? Clueless? Not sure which. Isn’t she perky, though?

00:09 Rex is back. I hope he doesn’t feature in any more episodes. He’s such a technically stupid creature, that thing certainly couldn’t flap his wings and fly.

00:09 New guy (What’s his name?) is chatting with old guy (Is that an old Danny?) Clearly New Guy is spying for him.

00:10 We have our first fatality! Construction worker for dinner! It took 10 minutes for a fatality… this show is really slowing down.

00:11 Perky Girl’s apartment is nice. ARC must pay well well. At least she uses Macs.

00:14 Conner’s old friend, Duncan, has really moved up in the world, living rough and homeless and he has a collection of dinosaur poo! Nah, he’s not obsessing about the whole “best friend killed by dodo” thing at all.

00:20 Perky Girl has the hots for Becker!

00:21 “Are you (Abby) his (Connor’s) girlfriend?” “Wow, there’s hope for us all!” Best line in the entire series, although, I’m noticing that Abby is aging pretty fast, she’s never going to age well like Claudia Brown/Jenny Lewis. PLEASE bring Jenny back! At least we have Perky Girl.

00:24 It’s a Boar Croc (Kaprosuchus)

00:26 Abby has commandeered a boat. On what authority can she commandeer a boat? Do they carry ID?

00:27 Only the second killing. Not much of a body count. Ho hum

00:29 Becker to the rescue! Ever notice how the ARC has a team of crack military types, but none of them do anything except Becker?

00:30 Container breaks free with creature inside, falls 30+ feet… and the animal is still alive. Rubbish! Do we have to discuss the cube/square law?

00:32 I’m so glad the guys running this container port have stacked the containers in a convenient labyrinth pattern.

00:34 One utterly useless ARC soldier dead! Body count: 3

00:37 Conner has his job back! Was it ever in doubt? Wonder why they bothered with that subplot? Was it just to kill time?

00:39 Becker might have the hots for Perky Girl… and why not?

00:43 …and it’s all over. 43 minutes? That’s short!

Primeval – S04E01 – Review

All this tweeting and podcasting and suddenly I just don’t have time to review new science fictions shows – or, if I do, I do it on the podcast. That just doesn’t seem right, and one of the staples of my blog has always been reviewing episodes of Primeval. Pity they cancelled it, isn’t it?

Ah, but they didn’t, nearly two years later, Primeval is back. Is it better than before?

For those perhaps not in the loop, Primeval, an ITV science fiction program about temporal anomalies opening corridors between different times and the present, often allowing nasties such as dinosaurs into our own time, ran for 3 successful – if dubiously plotted and scientifically inaccurate – seasons, but, the global economic crisis combined with ITV financial difficulties lead to cost-cutting measures. Primeval, a CGI-heavy series, had to go, but creative financing has brought the show back to our screens. (Well, back to some people’s screens, anyway.)

Synopsis

At the end of the previous series, Danny Quinn, team leader at the Anomaly Research Center (the ARC) was trapped, perhaps forever, in the Pleistocene, having defeated Helen Cutter’s evil plans to destroy mankind. Helen had been killed by a velociraptor that had followed them through the anomaly and Quinn was cut off.

Meanwhile, Abby and Conner had been trapped in the Cretaceous, also with little hope of an anomaly opening on its own.

One year later, with a Spinosaur on their trail, Conner and Abby find Helen Cutter’s anomaly control device and manage to return to the present day, brining a Spinosaur with them. They find themselves face-to-face with the new ARC team and must all work together to stop the Spinosaur.

Analysis

Typically the analysis section of these reviews is where I rip the piss-poor science and ridiculous temporal-plotting, but this episode is something new… there’s really nothing in it. It’s a straight-forward melodrama with no twists or turns and, once past the notion of the anomalies and creatures traveling through time there’s nothing in that to pick on, either.

There are a couple things to note, first, the ARC has been turned into a “public/private partnership” and new character, Philip, Nobel-prize winning genius and inventor of the room-temperature super-conductor now seems to co-own the ARC, and is clearly in a superior position – if equal on paper – with Ben Miller’s returning character of Lester.

Of the old crew, only Becker survived in the present, and he’s been made second-in-command to a new Irish guy who is so non-descript I have to wait for someone to call him by name before I can remember what it is. (OK, I just looked it up, his name is Matt.)

Matt has a secret, he seems to be collaborating with an elderly gentlemen and, if their remarks are to be believed, they’re working together to save the world, and Matt is searching for someone at the ARC.

My pet theory is that the old man is actually Danny Quinn, returned via anomaly to some point in the past and having lived his entire life waiting for this time. I’ve got nothing to support that; however, in the “summary” at the beginning of the episode, we saw the actors faces of Conner, Abby, even dead characters like Cutter and Helen, but we only ever saw the back of Danny Quinn’s head or a quick shot where his face was obscured. If the character has been written out of the show, why would they hide his face and not the others?

Considering it was such a long time coming, I’ve not got much to say about it.