Triggered (Hulu) – Triggered is not a good movie in terms of minor things like acting. It’s clearly low budget and many elements seem overdone, from the make-up, to the petty relationship issues.
However, the premise is great: a group of campers awake from a night of partying with time bombs strapped to their chests that soon start counting down. They eventually discover that each time someone dies, that person’s remaining time is transferred to another member of the group. This creates a Hunger Games scenario with all sorts of dark motivations. The director, Alastair Orr, was inspired by the SAW series.
The film is also self-aware and works solidly within the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” genre, complete with tongue-in-cheek comedy and clever dialog. There’s an argument to be made that it is a comedy at heart. I LOL’d multiple times.
My friend Dave, a Ready for Rain subscriber, recently asked how we can watch so many shows with day jobs and all that is going on with building the house. I told him that living in the guesthouse, in the winter, and during COVID, means we don’t have many other options when the work is done. We both love transitioning from a busy day into TV mode. My recommendations, like the ones below, reflect what we’re doing now. I may not be recommending so much TV in the summer, but I’ll still be commenting on whatever I find interesting or useful. For now, that’s TV.
Behind Her Eyes (Netflix Limited Series) First, let me say that I love the limited series format because it usually has a satisfying ending. This is the case with Behind Her Eyes. It’s a psychological drama that you have to watch it to the end. Also, the two female leads, Simona Brown and Eve Hewson, are amazing and distractingly attractive. Hewson is Bono’s daughter, FWIW.
Midnight Diner – Tokyo Stories (Netflix Series, subtitled) If you have any affinity for Japan, this is fun to watch. Most of the stories happen in a tiny Tokyo diner that is open from midnight to 7 am. Entertaining characters come and go, but the show is also about Japanese food. Each episode ends with a quick lessons on how to cook the dish that was served in that episode. Sachi watches it before bed because it’s so soothing. Charming, funny, and VERY Japanese.
The Biggest Little Farm (Hulu) A charming film about a couple who builds a farm that’s designed to work with nature and create a self-sustaining system. Along with a good story full of ups and downs, the nature photography is beautiful. John Chester, the co-creator of the film, is a professional videographer.
A couple of years ago, I became friends with RJ, our local Fire Marshall. RJ and his wife sometimes (used to) host summer parties that are outdoors and include a fire. This is where I first discovered the Solo Stove. It had the blessings of the Fire Marshall.
Since then, the Solo Stove has become one of my favorite products because it makes backyard fires easy, safe, and clean. I often tell people that it’s an awesome piece of engineering, for what is essentially a fire pit. It’s portable and makes it easy to have a fire almost anywhere.
What makes it work is ventilation. It’s designed to optimize air flow and burn hotter than a normal fire. There are holes around the bottom of the stove that pull fresh air into the chamber and circulate it to feed the fire from the bottom and sides. Sometimes it seems like the entire thing is filled with fire.
Solo Stove claims that it’s a “smokeless” fire option and I think it comes close. The heat it produces burns up particulate matter before it rises, which leads to less smoke. It’s made from stainless steel that can take a beating too.
The only thing I don’t like is that it holds water when it rains and creates a messy slurry that drips when moved. This is the version we have. It’s not cheap, but it’s supposed to last a lifetime.
Over the weekend a friend introduced me to the video below called Das Rad, which is a German term that means “The Wheel” in English. The film is known by the bland-but-accurate title “Rocks” in English versions.
The artistry and the overall concept made a big impression on me and I’ve thought about it multiple times since seeing it. As one YouTube commenter put it, “…our life cycle is to the rocks as a Mayfly’s life cycle is to us.”
The film was made in Germany and was nominated in 2003 for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Watch:
I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.