January 1st, 2016



I did watch the fireworks from my 6th floor room. They were pretty good, even from a mile away. Three sets, the advertised Silver Legacy and two surprise ones - the National Bowling Center a block in front, and Harrah's across the street.

Took phone video because my too-smart Nikon had nothing to focus on. It ran about 15 minutes.

Got to sleep around 1:30. Woke up many times. Adjusting the in-room heater is a PIA.

Out of bed around 10, ate some oreos in the room, then took the shuttle downtown. Managed to not find a place to eat which didn't have a long line, so I took a cab to the theater because I didn't know where it was. Turns out it was about 6 blocks away. I was dressed for the 10F temps, but the taxi was a good idea and <$5.

Was way early, but the plan was to get a hot dog and a soda and read while I waited for showtime. Hot dogs were not done yet, so I switched to the barista line and waited too long for a mocha.

Sipped on that and read till the room opened. Was the 5th person in the theater. It filled in slowly, maybe 1/2 full by screening time. They showed a clip of the Star Trek movie, it looks promising. And I guess someone has resurrected XFiles.

The Movie was okay. Some things I liked, but more that I didn't. I liked how they brought back Han, Leia & Chewy, but not how they brought back the dark side characters. There are two new leading characters,  I thought their parts were written inconsistently and whatever chemistry they were supposed to have was superficial. Cinematography was not worthy of either Lucasfilm or Disney. Neither was the directing. There was some humor, some actual LOLs. The new fighter pilot leader didn't do it for me. And I wonder if there was a script change early on, because that is the character which one of the new leads ought to have fallen in love with had they been mirroring #1.

Special effects were a bare minimum.

Storm troopers' aim seems to have improved slightly. Now and then they actually hit a  moving target. No new alien lifeforms this time around. That is, not on the order of Ewoks. Lupita Nyong'o is credited as playing a character which I suspect is an animatronic, not a person in makeup or in a suit. Methinks it's a voice-over. Interesting character, though.

The final scene was very expensive to film, and was not done nearly well enough IMHO to justify the cost.

And it screams for a sequel, which I may not bother to see.

I went to the 3D, but the effects were almost non-existent. I kept taking off my glasses to see if there was a difference.

After the film I bundled up and walked back to the El Dorado. The buffet line was a block long, and security was called in eventually to keep people from blocking the cross paths. It was 4:30, and the grill does not open till 5, so I sat at the bar and watched Stanford crushing Iowa in the Rose Bowl for half an hour. Most of that half hour was commercials.

At the grill, the early bird prime rib special was less than the buffet, so a good deal. It was excellent.

I was going to go to the cafe/bakery/ice cream parlor but decided not to mess with lactose before a long train ride. Got the shuttle back to the hotel, and here I am.

Will pack up soon, set the alarm for 6 and try to get some sleep.

Plans for tomorrow:
8:30 train to Emeryville
Drive home by 6
upload photos
Tease the cat