dendy direct: The Ides of March

Dendy Direct: The Ides of March

I liked the idea of having my movie rental money go through Dendy direct instead of to Apple’s coffers, so I’ve tried this out now a couple of times. It’s a fairly smooth process, although you have to log in via both a web browser and an app, so it’s a bit fiddly.

The movie itself is beautifully shot and lit, the Hoffman performance (the reason I rented the movie) is good, Clooney and Gosling are also solid, and Paul Giamatti is watchable. But overall, it’s a longish short film stretched out to feature length. There’s plenty of atmosphere, but it doesn’t seem to tell much of a story beyond a simple morality tale.

Watchable, but not destined for re-watching, I suspect.


I read the Bible this morning, as I do pretty-much every morning. I’ve been crawling my way through Acts a few verses at a time. This morning I finished chapter 25. Paul is slowly, slowly, making his way towards Rome. When Acts is read quickly, it’s dominated by the big narrative arc: a bunch of people taking Jesus’ message to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. When you read it slowly, Paul’s frustration emerges. After heading back to Jerusalem, and being the centre of a riot, he’s been in custody for two years, waiting for charges to be brought against him. Two years. For the last few days (of my reading), we’ve been building up to something. Someone who can make a decision about the charges has been on the scene, and Paul is about to have his chance to speak. 

Paul’s transition from Jerusalem to Rome is agonisingly slow.

I went for a walk this morning, as I do most mornings. The path was familiar: I didn’t even walk down any unfamiliar streets. But things are a little different today. I’m trying to work out a new morning routine. When I opened the front door on my way back inside, something was different: there was no four-legged creature waiting for me to come home. I miss being annoyed about the way he would jump. It’s too late now to teach him not to.

Some transitions are sad and unexpected.

Today is the first day of a new job. If life was a movie, then it would just be a jump cut: life has completely changed. But life doesn’t have jump cuts. Much of life is exactly the same, though a big piece will be new. I know broadly what this new job will look like. This transition involves figuring out the specifics.

I remember starting my first job out of uni, where I had no idea what it was like to have a job. The commute, the arrival, where to have lunch. I was so used to working alone in a home office up to that point, that it didn’t occur to me to try and have lunch with anyone! This is less of a problem these days.

To transition well in this case is to check the habits I’m bringing to this new job, and make sure I’m only bringing the best ones across. It’s easier to do this with a blank canvas, but without the experiences, there’s no way of telling what is worth keeping, and what is not.

Some transitions are routine.

apple TV – Guardians of the Galaxy

Apple TV: Guardians of the Galaxy 

I heard a lot of positive things about this film when it was out at the cinemas, but it wasn’t something I made time for. Seeing it available for rent, and having an unexpected free evening, I hit the “rent” button and checked it out. This seems a film that would be more fun to watch with a group of people.

It’s textbook “Marvel Tent-Pole” movie fare, hitting the general beats of such a film, but with a fresh sense of humour and self-awareness, while advancing the overarching Marvel Universe and its narrative arc.

If you’re in the right headspace for a mostly-brainless action movie with a bit of an emotional core, with a very Joss Whedon sense of constructed family, then it’s worth a look: perhaps think about skipping the opening 20 minutes or so, as it drags a bit at first.

24 ways, 2014 edition

Each year, a team of experts from the web community put together an advent calendar of posts about the web. This year, it kicks off with an overview of what it takes to build a website.

If you’ve been out of the web development game for a while (as I have), it’s a useful refresher to see the state of play, and to think more broadly about the nature of web projects. 

You probably already have an appreciation for the idea that a web project doesn’t exist in a vacuum, that a website combines design, content and technology, but it also has a lifecycle that doesn’t culminate with the launch of the site, and it exists amidst a range of business processes, and lives in an ecosystem of interactions with different people and technologies.

If you’re at all interested in improving the depth of your understanding of the web, read what it takes to build a website, and consider bookmarking the entire series.