Son Of Sun Tzu blog

Son Of Sun Tzu blog

They keep saying my audience will find me…

04 Apr 2022

Electricity and I are not friends

The last three… threeish… weeks…

I played games

  • I finished Untitled Goose Game - well, the main storyline anyway. It’s a fun game, about being a goose… if you’re a gamer looking for something different, or a non-gamer who thinks video games are all Call of Duty or Super Mario, do look it up. Sometimes it was a little perplexing, so I had to “research” solutions online, but mainly this was really enjoyable and relatively gentle puzzle game based around an engaging concept. There’s a whole set of one player games waiting for me once I’ve stopped my Xbox360 being so noisy, so this was a welcome diversion while that task sits on a “to do” list. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I do enjoy online multiplayer games but due to financial limitations I can only play the fun but weird but twitchy Fortnite; or Rocket League - where I’m facing Real Madrid one match, and the Rose and Crown 2nd XI the next. I would imagine a multiplayer “Untitled Geese Game” would be fun, but I’m trying to think how competing gaggles of geese would work.


I did work

  • The usual collection of promising and interesting conversations, but with a poor hit rate. I choose not to wonder “is it me, or is it everybody else” most of the time.

  • I ran an incident response exercise for a new customer. It was intended to quite free-form so I had my concerns, but it went well, and was only sometimes uncomfortable for the right reasons. I managed the level of difficulty and pressure the customer wanted, and made a difference in the way they see their processes. Unfortunately organisations don’t run this kind of exercise nearly as often as they should, many don’t at all.

  • And not really work, and not paid, but I did have focused conversations with a couple of people that, I like to think, were useful to them. As always I’m intrigued by coaching, and how to professionally help people think through situations, but coaching is such a suspect industry; and to rise above the clamour you have to be so noisy, and exhibit the worst characteristics of online thought leaders, I don’t think I can do it successfully while maintaining any authenticity.

  • The dates for the PlaySecure conference, that I help organise, have been announced for mid-June. As before we’re trying to generate enthusiasm for a game-based approach to security thinking, and decision making in general, without being too prescriptive of what the content should be. It’s difficult to be so enthusiastic but so vague, but it should make for a more interesting event. If you’re interesting in taking part the Call for Participation is here.

Do you remember how much fun you used to have learning new things?

Electricity and I are not friends

  • I had my car battery replaced again, due to not really driving the car anywhere while taking a particularly risk averse approach to Covid, and people’s reaction to it. Partly this is just the rate of ADHD Tax I pay, partly I’m pretty sure Halfords sold me a substandard battery… judging by the comments from the more experienced car mechanic on their installation anyway. I won’t be shopping there again. Meanwhile I’m trying to figure out how to monitor the car battery remotely, so I’m warned when the charge is getting low… without connecting something that either needs a bespoke app to use it, or drains the car battery itself. Suggestions welcome.

  • The rest of my time has been similarly occupied around electricity. A powercut broke a couple of things on my home network, and also reminded me that my home networking setup only works if I’m around to resolve the latest problems a lot of interconnected systems have generated. This issue, combined with the drastic increase in electricity prices in the UK, means I need to rethink the servers at home, which means stretching my rarely used Linux system administrator skills again. Probably this means adding cheap low power kit to run all the time and only booting the more power hungry systems when they’re needed. So yes, I am going to try to solve a technology problem by throwing more technology at it.

I consumed media

ahagl ah soth Y' ahor epgoka geb

  • Underwater was surprisingly good, as I tend not to like horror films. If you’re into tension rather than gore this is recommended, preferably without watching a trailer.

  • I finished Rory Sutherland’s Alchemy - if you’re interested in problem solving, or why so much rational thinking doesn’t seem to improve the world, this is recommended. As with most of this style of books it’s a little long for such well put arguments, but Sutherland’s conversational style was very entertaining. I’ve some notes, there might be a blog post.

  • I finished watching the first and only series of High Fidelity. A really strong cast, which means the plan for the second season to rotate to a different lead would have been especially interesting. Sigh.

I kind of miss them

  • Of all things I’m enjoying Single Parents on Disney+. As with High Fidelity above it’s particularly well casted and well acted, especially the child actors. A gentle-ish comedy for when you need something fun but not twee. You’ll only need to watch the pilot to know if it’s for you or not.

  • Single Parents is at the opposite end of some scale to the other show I’m watching, Severance. If you like peering into the future, and Black Mirror wasn’t dark enough for you - do check it out. Again, the first episode will be enough to judge it on.

  • I watched Nobody - you’ll like it if you’ve enjoyed John Wick films; as was pointed out in the DVD extras, it is very much the male fantasy of being a bad ass to protect your family, but in a modern way… and a film that knows what it is, without trying too hard to be “knowing” or “ironic”.


  • We watched the end of Masters of the Universe: Revelation - as always kind of disappointed they didn’t build a new idea, especially as you can do so much with adult animation ( Vox Machina for example ). But as a counter-point to that, reimagining such a property after so long is interesting regardless of execution. Overall this was good, and while a little variable it worked out in the end. And if you tried the first season or first half and thought “not my He-Man” I encourage you to see the series through.

The destination is worth the journey

  • Also Spiderman: No Way Home - by now I guess you’re either onboard with the MCU or you’re not. Because of the over-arching world building and narratives I enjoy Marvel films more than they deserve - this is a two hour film, and also just an episode in a world I’ve watched for something like 100 hours over 15 years…. and it helps to have a partner I can double-check references with. And also the performances always elevate the material, as do the high production values, the isn’t the Amazing Spider-Man from the seventies. And while I’m just going by the press releases, the stars and staff seem to have fun making these films, and that feels like it comes through. Also also, with the obvious exception of Deadpool, this fantastical universe that barely holds together is always played straight - maybe it’s a carryover from being old enough to remember the very original Spiderman films, but I never feel like I’m watching a “comic book movie”. Tonally this film is all over the place… I can’t tell whether that’s intentional, but I like it, it feels more realistic and surprising than a film that sets a certain tone and maintains it while fitting every character and event and scene into that tone.

  • After just one episode I’m less sure of MoonKnight, I find the premise more interesting than the characters right now.

  • The new seasons of MST3K are variable, but then the old seasons were variable too - I think we just only remember the better episodes. ( if you’ve never heard of MST3K and are wondering what I’m on about, compare the most memorable and quotable parts of Monty Python with everything else ). Their take on Lord of the Deep was enjoyable late night viewing; and as a low budget eighties film set in approximately six very similar sets, it was distinctly fun to watch compared to the similarly themed Underwater mentioned above.

  • Trying to intentionally watch something late at night, rather than channel flicking through TaskMaster reruns and streaming news despair, I also watched another episode of MST3K: The Day Time Ended. Again, this was especially amusing - I wonder if watching at the right time of day makes a difference? Even though I watched it attentively, I can’t really tell you what happens - there’s aliens and/or time travel, I think. A summary of the film plot, for what it is, is here. Don’t even try this through the MST3K haze if you don’t like unresolved questions… who were the time traveling dancing alien race? Was there one non-human race, or four, or six? What does the film’s title even mean?

( While writing this post I found that the entire original film is on YouTube… and MST3K egregiously cut a four minute introductory monologue from the film before making fun of it… yet having watched that monologue, the film makes no more sense to me than it did before )

Not so much a film as a trip

  • For me it’s interesting to compare that film/experience to, of all things, the film The Green Knight, which I watched either side of The Day Time Ended due to that power cut. As per the MST3K song Concepts sang about The Day Time Ended - there’s lots of interesting and intriguing ideas in The Green Knight - the talking fox, the giants, honour, living a lie, whatever was going on with the northern knight, the resolution of choices, but again I couldn’t quite tell you what actually happened. Also - the story is a game… isn’t it? As per comments I’ve made before about Marvel movies, magic realism really needs a firm base for me, both these films created intriguing worlds but then didn’t deliver. It’s insulting to The Green Knight to compare it in any way to The Day Time Ended, but you’ll still be left with more questions at the end… did he die in the forest? Is Essel meant to be the Lady? Did a mother try to force her son to mature through decapitation? Should I have read the poem?

( And as a sidenote - the plot of the The Green Knight is centred on a game, appropriately you can buy a themed RPG, nice review here: )

Not so much a film as a vibe