Summer approaches. It finally feels like it is going to happen.

A blooming cactus!

I attended RailsConf 2024 which was in Detroit, MI. Since I write here about more personal stuff than work, I won't do a deep dive.

Peanut in Detroit, MI with Toronto across the river

You'll be happy to note that Peanut came with me. He stayed in the hotel most of the time, but I'll have to do more with the guys when they join me on a future trips.

An old building next to new construction

While exploring Detroit, the above image intrigued me. An old building, probably seventy or more years old, with a new high-rise being constructed next to it. It felt particularly odd considering that a number of the older buildings in downtown Detroit appear to be unused.

Here are a few bits of knowledge about Detroit I left with, having never been there before.

  • Toronto, Canada is much closer than I thought it would be. If you go, do bring your passport.
  • It's not as big a city as I originally thought. I would say it's smaller than Dallas, TX and I originally thought they'd be similar in size. It seems that the population of Dallas is about double that of Detroit, so I guess that makes sense.
  • Detroit-style pizza is better in Detroit than other places I've had it.
  • Coney Island hot dogs seem to be a thing in Detroit. Who knew.


Coinciding with my trip to Detroit, my wife planned a trip back home to see her family for a few weeks. This left me with a bit of time to catch up on some movies, which is why there's quite a list of them.

  • The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare was a fun movie the way most of Guy Ritchie's films tend to be.
  • A Man Called Otto was good. Tom Hanks is always good, and I find that director Marc Forster's films are solid.
  • Rebel Moon - Part Two: The Scargiver was worse than part one. For me, Zach Snyder just can't link his incredible visuals with a story or characters that make you care. This was a retelling of Seven Samurai in a sci-fi setting, which Battle Beyond the Stars already did, and better. I really wanted to like Rebel Moon, too.
  • The Fall Guy was a lot of fun. When thinking back on it, there wasn't a lot that made sense, but sitting there watching it, it was a blast. I wonder how many people will realize this used to be a TV show.
  • There's Something in the Barn is an okay comedy/horror film about gnomes (or elves?) that live in people's barns, and the new family who inherited this one piss theirs off with their ignorance. Hilarity ensues.
  • Through the Fire (1988) is, I think, a Reel House Foundation film that I missed a while back. But it could have been one they showed at an Alamo Drafthouse Secret Screening, too. Regardless, not a great film but one you can have fun with while making fun of it with others.
  • Midsommar is my introduction to filmmaker Ari Aster, although this is his second film, it didn't disappoint. Beautiful, horrific, and unique. Has lingered in my mind and there's a lot to decompress with all the meaning.
  • Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes was really good. The complete series has always been better than you'd think they'd be. This one is set a few hundred years after the previous film, and it feels properly evolved/devolved as time has gone by.
  • Hereditary is Ari Aster's first film. It takes its time, but the end comes on like a roller coaster and offers up a handful of images and thoughts that are now stuck in my head regardless of having seen so many other films recently.
  • The Sadness felt like a live action film based on a horror anime series. Lots of brutality and visceral scenes tied together with a boy trying to get to his girl to keep her safe. Lots of blood and gore in between.
  • The Lighthouse solidifies my fascination with director Robert Eggers. Watching any of his films makes me feel like I do when reading Aesop's Fables, or Brothers Grimm. Fable-like. This one included only with a lot of farting and lobsters.
A scout is attached by a zombie cat!
  • Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse was maybe the most fun I've had watching a film for quite a while. It's from 2015, so it's been a while. LOL'd a lot.
  • Thanksgiving wasn't bad. As good as most of the Scream films. Wouldn't mind a second serving.
  • The Strangers: Chapter 1 (2024) is a remake of a film that's already been remade a few times. And even though I consider myself a fan of director Renny Harlin, this isn't the greatest film. I doubt I'll be continuing with Chapter 2.
  • The Babadook was good. You'd think being a fan of horror films, I'd have seen this one already but here I am. Another one of those films with a lot of metaphor, but maybe a bit more in-your-face here than in the Ari Aster films on this list.
  • Abigail was a lot of fun, and I'd love to revisit this world in another film. The protagonists in The Strangers: Chapter 1 did dumb stuff that pissed me off. The characters in this one did dumb stuff, too, but I let it pass mainly because I liked the characters more.

Reel House Foundation Films

Due to conflicts, we only had a single screening, which was in honor of Roger Corman, who recently passed away. This was the last film he directed.

Dr. Frankenstein and the monster from Frankenstein Unbound
  • Frankenstein Unbound (1990) is honestly not the best film and far from Roger Corman's best film. Having seen it in the 90's, I had remembered it not being bad, but the rewatch confirms my mind was playing tricks on me.