Monday, October 17, 2016
The weather is getting cooler, and so he's seeking out the warm spots in the house to sit. And apparently my lap is the best spot. I managed to convince him to sit on my ankles instead, and I can use the laptop while he's relaxed and warm...
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The recent political revelation has led to a lot of attention on the issue of sexual assault. There is a NPR story about a tweet that launched a million women remembering the first time they were assaulted.
I cannot remember the first time. I remember a number of times, mostly petty and small, where a boy rubbed up against me or put his hand where it wasn't wanted. Most events happened when I was in grade school, mostly guys that literally didn't know any better. I didn't either. It wasn't until I was in college that sexual harassment became something people talked about - and it took people awhile to figure out what was normal and what was actually something that could be considered actionable.
David Gerrold has a disturbing Facebook post about learning that virtually all women have a story about unwanted contact.
I've been having nightmares the last few days, remembering things I'd worked hard to forget. I've never been raped. In fact, until recently I would have said the things done to me weren't enough to worry about. But if that's the case, why am I having constant nightmares about them every time I try to fall asleep?
I don't blame the boys. I blame our society. I blame every person who thinks that sort of rhetoric is acceptable "locker room talk". It isn't. It's discussion of sexual assault. Whether or not the "men" who talk that way act on those words, they are enabling rape and assault by allowing that talk and claiming it's normal. And, frankly, if you are inclined to defend those words, I don't want to know you. I don't want to hear from you. I don't want anything to do with you. As a society, we know better now. We are better.
Monday, October 10, 2016
Sunday, October 09, 2016
- Jun 15th
- Justice League #51 - I love the bit early in the book where there's a rain of fish and Aquaman says "Don't look at me!" while Batman points out it's Fortean. Lovely. Hits two of my fandoms at once. Other than that, this issue was about Robin fitting into the League and learning he can contribute to even a group like that. Fun little story.
- Green Lanterns #1 - More bickering, more pettiness, and Simon learning he has some extra abilities. Not horrible, but not my favorite.
- Titans Rebirth #1 - Wally reintroduces himself to the Titans. I like the concept, that not only was Wally taken away, but whole portions of their lives. Aqualad/Garth spent time on the surface world that he simply completely forgot. Perhaps his entire time with Aquaman, gone. That's something worth trying to work out.
- Astro City #36 - Wow. Powerful ending to the tale of great drama. The legacies of multiple lines of heroes and villains meet and find out the truth. But I wasn't expecting her to act like that when she learned what really happened. A bit depressing, but wow. Powerful story, all together.
- Scooby Apocalypse #2 - This is definitely not the Scooby I watched as a kid. Lovely stuff, goofy and fun. A total reimagining with the whole zombie apocalypse theme going. I don't know whether to give it the raspberry or cheer it on, so I'll cheer it on. It's horrible and great at the same time.
- Spongebob Comics Annual Giant Swimtacular #4 - Baby Mermaid Man and Hippie Mermaid Man alone are enough to make this one a fun read. Especially since Hippie Mermaid Man was drawn by Neal Adams.
- Doctor Who 10th #2.11 - A companion falls in love in the wrong time, and music fills the air. No, really, music fills the air. It's a baddie we've already seen in this series, and it's back and causing lots of trouble for everyone. Fun issue.
- Back To The Future: Citizen Brown #2 - Messing around in the timelines means times are a-changing... and Marty once again screws up the future. This is a pretty good mini-series, based on a video game - so the twists and turns are probably choices in the game. But keeping yourself in existence seems like a challenge when the past gets this bumpy.
Sunday, October 02, 2016
- Free Comic Book Day
- Doctor Who - Four short stories, featuring the ninth through twelfth Doctors. Each one is a solid little stand-alone, although for the tenth and eleventh stories some knowledge of the comic would help to understand, since they use companions introduced in the comic. Otherwise, a good little package.
- Dark Horse FCBD 2016 - The Serenity story is a bit on the sad side, with River telling a bedtime story. The Hellboy story was typically dark with a hint of silly. The Aliens tale was ok. Overall, a decent book for Free Comic Book Day.
- SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies 2016 - The usual - if you enjoy SpongeBob, you'll enjoy this. The Mermaid Man story was at the usual level of humor, but the Ramona Fradon artwork was spectacular and made it very readable.
- Bongo Comics Free-For-All 2016 - The usual Simpsons humor. I thought the dentist story was slightly better than the superhero one, but they weren't anything spectacular.
- DC Superhero Girls - A cute intro to a cute version of the DC Universe. And that's about all I really have to say about it.
- Jun 1st
- Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 - Two complete rookie Lanterns who immediately don't like each other being forced to work together by Hal Jordan. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, and here come the Red Lanterns. Lovely. This is a promising start, but I'm not really sure about it yet.
- DC Comics Bombshells #14 - Yeah, now THIS is more like it. The entire first half of the book is devoted to what happened to Mera after the battle. Fished out of the ocean by an Irish cutie... I almost envy her. The rest of the book is devoted to some of the magic users in this universe, and it's a bit grim and disturbing on several levels. I, obviously, love the Mera bits of this book more than any other, so this issue gets high marks from me.
- Batman Beyond #13 - Well now, Rewire isn't who I expected him to be and this isn't going to play out in a pleasant way, I'm sure. Of course, this has to have something to do with time travel, but what exactly happened to make this a reality is a big question I hope gets answered.
- Teen Titans Go #16 - A mixed-up body story followed by a jaunt in the Batmobile. Funny. I tend to think of this book as what the Titans are like with no inhibitions - basically if they were drunk all the time. It *almost* makes sense that way.
- Spider-Man 2099 #11 - So, the future's not what it used to be. And this book just gets more complicated at every turn. I'm not entirely sure I'm enjoying the twists. I want to like it, but I'm finding it hard to track all the differences, even with the helpful recaps at the beginning of each issue.
- Doctor Who 4th #3 - Oh, poor Sarah Jane. This is a story that probably couldn't have been done justice on the TV screen, but it is fantastic here in the comic. I'm really liking it, and the new characters.
- Legends of Oz Tik-Tok And Kalidah #2 - An exiled Kalidah? That explains a few things about this pair. But the trouble they are carrying is pretty intense. The cliffhanger leaves them in a very bad spot (between a door and a raging mob?).
- Rough Riders #3 - The team goes into action and... well, spoilers, but I think one of them is in pretty bad shape. The rest? Who knows. I like the idea of using historical figures this way, giving them tall tales to share. It reminds me of Young Indiana Jones. It's hard to see what might be coming up next, but I'm sure it's going to be trouble.
- Jun 8th
- Aquaman: Rebirth #1 - Well, here we go. New Aquaman? Hardly. It's Aquaman fighting terrorists off the coast of Boston. Pretty tame and normal stuff. Beautiful artwork, nice set up for a Manta story, but not much else. Good, not great.
- Green Lantern Corps: The Edge of Oblivion #6 - The corps goes through a crack in the universe and vanishes. Again. I'm just not sure what is happening here or why I should care.
- Earth 2 Society #13 - The Amazons reveal themselves and add a new layer of terror to the world, while a hidden threat prepares to attack. The new layer of terror is yet another ancient artifact that can change everything. I don't know where this book is going, but it raises some interesting philosophical questions about superpowers and how such things ought to be used in extreme cases.
- Adventures of Supergirl #3 - I never saw the first two issues of this book solicited, so we join the action in progress as Supergirl gets trapped in a series of dreams. It's ok, but I would have liked the first couple of issues so I didn't jump in late.
- Doctor Who 11th #2.10 - Pretty intense, with Alice taking the Doctor's bait and going back to the Time War (it's a little like the Seventh Doctor destroying Ace's faith in order to save the world in The Curse of Fenric). I wasn't expecting him to be upset at Daak not going with her, but there it was. And the Squire, one of the best new characters in ages - um, I'll gloss over that final splash page for a moment and just say this was one intense issue.
- Spongebob Comics #57 - A "Noir" issue, all in Black and White and Yellow. Some fun stuff, including a tale of Mermaid Man's lost cape. Amusing, as usual.
- Xena Warrior Princess #3 - And Ares shows up. I'm just not liking this book much anymore. The continuity is a little too convoluted for me, and I still can't quite figure out what's going on.
- Baker Street Peculiars #4 - The game is won! The children use cunning, intelligence and a little logic to finish the battle in the best way possible, saving the day and then, just for kicks, learning the truth behind Sherlock Holmes. A fun little series. I wonder if we'll get more?
Sunday, September 25, 2016
- May 25th
- DC Universe Rebirth #1 - Well, finally. I probably could say a lot about this, but honestly... my biggest annoyance about this is that I cannot find my copy of Watchman to reread. I've got no problem with most of it, and I actually like the way it has taken the loss of continuity and given a narrative reason for it. I also have no problem with Jackson's two panels, and I hope to see more of him in future issues of DC books. My biggest Aquaman-related complaint is the fact that Aquaman and Mera aren't married, but that's been an issue for awhile. Overall, a promising end to "New 52" that will hopefully allow for some good stories going forward. Hey, a girl can dream.
- Justice League #50 - I have been so bored with this storyline from start to finish, all I could think was, "thank goodness this is over". Of course, it's probably not over. There's going to be callbacks and references to it, and Superman's latest death is going to be a big deal. Bleah.
- DC Comics Bombshells #13 - Lois Lane, Penguin, and the Batgirls. Fun stuff. Nothing super, that's coming in future issues for me, but fun.
- Batman '66 Meets the Man From UNCLE #6 - And the heroes win! As do the villains! Sort of! Lots of camp in this, but I enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing Steed and Mrs. Peel team up with the Dynamic Duo.
- Scooby-Apocalypse #1 - As a fan of Scooby since childhood, I knew this was going to be a difficult book to tolerate - but it wasn't. I was really amused at this twisted version of my favorite detectives. Is it good? Maybe not, but it's really funny and a different take on the gang. I enjoyed it.
- Back to the Future #8 - Nicely confusing tale, with Marty and Doc heading back to the future yet again. The way of reaching critical speed in this one is very disturbing and I'm not really sure this is going to turn out happily. We'll just have to see.
- Dirk Gently: A Spoon Too Short #4 - That has to be the funniest bait ever conceived. But then, this is Dirk Gently, who really doesn't think in the same patterns as most people.
- Doctor Strange #8 - Of course there's something in the cellar that can handle this. Of course. Why not?
- Doctor Who 9th #2 - A few twists and turns in this one, as the Doctor finds out more about the Slitheen than expected while Rose gets a lesson in politics and revenge. Looking forward to seeing how the hunt turns out!
- Doctor Who 10th #2.10 - So the TARDIS is sort of breached by something and a companion gets trapped in a bubble dimension within the TARDIS itself. That's kind of spooky. Not as spooky as the ending, though, when we revisit Dorothy Bell and Anubis and things aren't all going as smoothly as they appear to be going on the surface. Not a lot happened in this issue, but it feels like important set up for something.
- Doctor Who 12th #2.6 - A brand new adventure on a strange human colony! Excellent! And the Doctor steals a bass while chasing a man accused of murder. Lovely! This feels very 12th Doctor to me already, so I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the show.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
It has been a LONG time since I reviewed any comics. It's actually been awhile since I've read any comics. So I'm going to work on catching up. It might take a few weeks.
- May 18th
- Aquaman #52 - And so the series ends. The new 52 ends on issue 52 and there's a mystery left to figure out but no immediate threat. All is well in the Aquaman universe? It definitely felt like a much longer storyline was wrapped up due to scheduling reasons and not story reasons, but I'll live. The art is solid, and I'm hoping we see more of Vicente Cifuentes' work in the future. A little chunky in places, but nicely dynamic overall. Not the most interesting finish of an Aquaman series, but... what can you do when DC insists on another reboot?
- Titans Hunt #8 - Finally we get to the finish, and we get an issue that doesn't feel like it's been padded out. The team is together at last to fight Mr. Twister and whatever is behind door number two. Only, there's someone missing, according to Twister. That's not nearly as important as the team defeating the bad guy, but once that's done it's time to regroup and decide to become the Titans again. Aqualad/Tempest is drawn oddly in many panels in this book. I feel like nobody has come up with a model sheet for him yet or something. I'm looking forward to the new Titans book, just because I want to see how writers handle Garth, but I'm sad that in the current DCU all that Teen Titans history has been lost.
- Sinestro #23 - A showdown between the Red Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps really isn't much of anything at all, thanks to foresight and planning. And the final goal of Sinestro finally becomes clear... if it's actually his final goal and not just the step to yet another problem. It's all pretty hard to swallow, but since this is the end of this series, I'm not going to let myself become too disturbed by it. I hope DC doesn't abandon Soranik. She's a decent character despite all the flaws of the books she's been in.
- Astro City #35 - Wow. This is still one of the best superhero books on the shelves. It's quality from start to finish, filling out more of the Astro City universe while giving us a touching back-story that's also a follow-up. If I had to pick one superhero book to read and only one, I'd be hard-pressed to choose between this and Aquaman.
- Future Quest #1 - I really had no idea what to expect from this, and honestly, my expectations were fairly low. So imagine my surprise when I got a fun start to what promises to be a fascinating story. It features many characters I'm not terribly familiar with, but they are properly introduced for the most part and hopefully the story won't get so crowded that I need a scorecard. Right now, I'm in. This is a great start and I can recommend folks pick it up and give it a shot.
- Doctor Who 11th #2.9 - This is a very confusing storyline with companions dropping like flies. But I have a feeling it's getting near the climax and we'll have an explanation soon enough for why the Doctor is acting so strange and wrong. At least, I hope so.
- Xena Warrior Princess #2 - I'm still very confused by this book, although I'm getting a slightly clearer picture. I gather Gabrielle is having visions. And the pair did some things that they regret because they could be taken the wrong way. So we'll have to see where this goes from here to find out if it's worth continuing to buy, because if the story is only for long-time fans who've watched every episode and read every comic available, it might not be something I'm interested in.
- Usagi Yojimbo #154 - You never know when a little kindness could save your life. And in Usagi's case, it was literally a little kindness that caused a moment's hesitation. He's one lucky rabbit. This is, as usual, one of the best (if not THE best) comic books out there. And standalone issues like this are simply fantastic. Well worth hunting down and reading.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Sunday, September 04, 2016
I generally don't like posting about dreams, because they are usually really boring to other people. But I'll make an exception, just to record this one for myself. We've had houseguests over for "Androcon" - our Doctor Who club's annual visit to Eric and I here in the middle of nowhere. It's been non-stop watching Doctor Who, movies and funny videos supplemented by tons of food.
As usual, I'm a bit anti-social throughout it all, retreating to my room upstairs during most of the action and just listening to the talking and the videos. Inkwell has been terrified this time, staying upstairs with me, either under my chair or next to it. Although he bit me pretty hard yesterday when I tried to play on my computer when he needed to reassurance and comfort skritches.
On Friday I drank some soda pop and had chocolate and, clearly, managed to exceed my caffeine limit. I ended up with a migraine on Saturday and had to spend a couple of hours with a pillow covering my eyes and Inkwell sniffing me every once in awhile to make sure I was still alive. I slept after the worst of it wore off, then came down and participated in the party a bit in the evening.
I didn't go to sleep until about 1:30 a.m., after making up for lost internet time and playing DC Universe Online for a bit. Then I wandered into a dream that was... I'm not even sure how to describe it.
I existed in the expanse of time when the Earth was being created and populated, and I was assigned the task of creating creatures to be on the North American continent. My requirements, intuitively understood, were that the animals had to be in balance with one another and some of them had to be of use to humans, who were coming later. I was enthusiastic about the task and set about creating fantastic creatures that were going to be just awesome. Humans were going to love my animals when they got to North America.
I can't remember most of my animals, but I remember three of them clearly. One was a kind of turtle with a ridge down the back, a bit like spikes but not so tall. It could, in a pinch, expel flame out its back. It was truly wonderful. I loved it. Another animal I created walked on two legs and was just big enough for a human to ride... think Taun Taun from Star Wars. It was a bit smaller and the head was completely different - I think it was like an alpaca head. I loved it. My third animal was the elephant. Yes. In the dream, I created elephants.
And I took my animals to show them off and - no, no, these won't do at all! We need squirrels! We're going to populate North America with squirrels. I was crestfallen, but since a few of my animals made it I wasn't sad. Until they said the elephants had to go. I argued for my elephants. They are majestic, I said. They can be used as beasts of labor by the humans, I said. They are wonderful. But no, they said North America wouldn't have elephants. Imagine my rage when I found out Africa was getting my beautiful elephants instead! And someone else was claiming they had made my elephants. And some other person stole the idea and used it in Asia. I was so angry!
I woke up in an absolute RAGE that my elephants had been stolen. For almost an hour after I woke up I was in a state of righteous indignation about my elephants being stolen even though I was fully aware that it had only been a dream.
In fact, I'm still a bit annoyed. I think perhaps I managed to get my elephants in North America after all, though, by developing Woolly Mammoths. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Friday, September 02, 2016
After watching a very strange interview on MSNBC last night (I usually watch the last bit of "All In" then Rachel Maddow, and nothing else on that channel) I was amused to find out that Taco Trucks on Every Corner had become a meme overnight. This is my favorite:
I said Eric and I planned to have tacos on Election Day, and someone suggested I create an event for it. So I created Election Day Taco Tuesday. Eric and I tend to follow through when we make menu plans like this, so we'll definitely be figuring out how to have tacos of some sort on Election Day. If you want to join in the fun, post photos of your Election Day meals in the group.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Maeril made a comic, and it's well worth sharing...
- Step one: engage the victim in conversation while ignoring the harasser.
- Step two: find a subject to talk about while continuing to ignore the harasser.
- Step three: continue to build a safe space by keeping eye contact with the victim. Do not engage with or discuss the harasser.
- Step four: continue until the harasser leaves and the victim is in a safe place, while respecting the wishes of the victim.
While there is no step five, if you are secretly a vigilante, I'm sure you can later hunt down the harasser and scare them straight - but I generally wouldn't recommend it. People dumb enough to harass others are not smart enough to be scared straight.
If you see someone else taking these actions to help someone, it might be smart to pull out a phone and video the harasser so you can inform authorities about the scumbag, but don't video unless somebody is helping protect the victim.
This cartoon doesn't say what to do if the harasser turns attention on you. For the most part, you just ignore it. If they physically attack you, then call authorities. Otherwise, just ignore them and continue to make a safe space.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Apparently, I haven't been paying close enough attention to him, as he managed to throw up in the front window sill without me noticing. I'm not sure how long ago it happened, as I don't open the front window unless I absolutely have to. In addition, I'd built up a "cat castle" in front of the window, making it a safe space for him to get away from humans.
Well, he took advantage of it.
I just spent the last half hour scrubbing the area and vacuuming up the remaining chunks. It looks to me like it was a dinner, so it probably happened in the middle of the night sometime. It was dried enough that cleaning it wasn't too bad, it just required some scrubbing.
I have been in a major depression with some anxiety attacks for the past few months. It's been bad enough that I've been trying to stay inside and away from people. I'm going to have to break out of it soon. It's not a comfortable way to live. As a meme on Facebook said, "Depression is when you don't really care about anything. Anxiety is when you care too much about everything. And having both is just like hell."
In lieu of forcing myself to be creative, here's a summary of some of my recent Facebook posts - stuff that I found interesting enough to share.
Andy Borowitz again hits one out of the park with Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall. Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. We need leadership that will rebuild our infrastructure, not make stupid promises about walls on our borders.
U.S. Doctors Call for Universal Health Care. A single-payer system is the only moral system. Companies that profit from denying care, which includes most health insurance companies and many pharmaceutical companies, are basically evil. If the goal is increasing shareholder profits and not saving lives, then the companies should go away. Forever.
CharityWatch ranks lots of charities, including The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation. Note the extremely low overhead of the Clinton Foundation, at only 12%. The charity gets an "A" rating because most of its money goes to help people. The numbers being used by conservative critics are not false... they simply count everything that isn't a grant as overhead. Since the Clinton Foundation assists people using other methods besides grants, the critics' numbers are misleading and basically a giant lie.
When we lived in Frankenhaus, one of the biggest problems we ran into was keeping the blackberries under control. Well, we have Luther Burbank to blame. I've spent many days at Luther Burbank Park, so I was a little surprised to read the history of the man. Kind of strikingly eye-opening, and not in a good way.
I quite liked this tweet:
So Sarkozy calls the burkini a 'provocation.' Whether women cover or uncover their bodies, seems we're always, always 'asking for it.'— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 25, 2016
New DeLoreans are being built with original parts. These will reportedly have a much better engine. I'm just going to take the opportunity to note that I got to ride in a DeLorean on Back to the Future Day, something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
On a very light note, the entire British Olympics team had an unfortunate airport problem. Oops.
I don't know if you'll be able to see this if you don't have Facebook, sorry, but Dee Snider did an acoustic version of "We're Not Gonna Take It" that is just amazing and done for all the right reasons. I'm going to try to embed the YouTube version:
Moving on, Phil Plait got really excited about a new astronomical discovery. What does it mean, practically? Not a lot for the average person, but it expands and changes our knowledge and potential understanding of the universe.
A teenager in Montreal showed himself to be a true man by calmly saving a woman from a kidnapper. If that story doesn't bring happiness to your heart, you're probably dead.
A post by a Fort Worth mother of a note from her child's teacher has gone viral. Basically, the teacher was informing parents that the children would not be assigned any homework - only work they didn't finish in class - and urged parents to do evening activities with their children that are proven to correlate with student success. Activities like reading together, eating as a family, playing outside and getting to bed on time. My response is positive. I didn't do homework. I always asked myself if I could pass it if it were on a test. If the answer was yes, I ignored any homework assignments. If the answer was no, I went to the teacher to get it fully explained to me so I could pass it on a test. Homework never figured into my understanding. It was all just busy work. Pointless and useless. If I understood it, why would I want to waste time and energy doing another 50 problems? If I didn't understand it, I couldn't see how struggling through 50 problems would help me in any way.
If you haven't read the Hugo-winning Short Story "Cat Pictures Please", go check it out now. It makes me want to take photos of Inkwell and post them. If only I weren't so upset at him at the moment for his present he left in the windowsill...
Saturday, August 27, 2016
I'm sure everyone who reads my blog knows all about Solar Roadways and how enthused I am about it. Well, the first public installation is about to begin, in Sandpoint, Idaho: at Jeff Jones Town Square. This installation will either be the first step toward real solar roads... or the proof that the concept cannot work. I'm rooting for it to work, and can hardly wait for the cam to go live.
Friday, August 26, 2016
...is the advice I would have given the driver who just slammed into a car across the street, pushing it into a truck and damaging both. The driver then raced off, peeling out on a sidewalk before roaring away from the neighborhood, leaving half the neighbors to come outside and have an impromptu street meeting. I called the cops, who sent a nice officer to take stock of the situation. One neighbor believed the car came from a party, and everyone was in agreement that the driver had to be impaired. Probably with alcohol, but who knows?
I was told that the car that was hit belongs to a 19-year-old kid who has been working extra hours to maintain the car and make sure it stays running and in nice shape. The young man is apparently in Seattle this weekend, and will not be happy to learn that his car has been crunched badly.
I heard the crash from inside my house, and by the time I got out of my chair, across the room and to the front door, the vehicle that caused the crash was gone.
Ah well, nothing like a car crash to get your blood pumping at 11 p.m.
So I got a text from a company called Everalbum claiming that someone named Ralph Mendoza recommended that I check out "my" photos on its site.
First, the only Ralph Mendoza I know is a business contact from when I was a reporter. I hardly know him beyond an interview or two.
Second, I certainly never gave permission for him or anyone else to send me text spam. Since I pay for my text usage, this could conceivably drive my bill up, therefore I'm unhappy to see unwanted solicitations through text. Also, I don't think Mendoza would send me this kind of spam. He's not that kind of guy, so this company is dragging his name through the mud.
Third, I looked up Everalbum, and it seems to be a legit company that scrapes social media, steals your photos and saves them in an album for you. As nice as that service might be, having them do it without my permission and then text me about it really irritates me.
My recommendation is to not click the link if you get this spam text, because they will steal your phone numbers and spam everyone you know. I suggest going to their FB page and giving them a bad rating if they do spam you. If they steal your contacts and send out spam to everyone you know, perhaps a lawsuit is in order... I don't know.