Friday, June 26, 2009


I bear no ill will toward Michael Jackson or his family. Where, however, are our priorities? I suppose making a green twitter avatar is enough for most Americans.

I am not trying to point out MSNBC here either. When I went to capture the image for this, MSNBC was the only news website whose MJ coverage actually shared a frame with serious news. CNN and FOX both had their Michael coverage so big, there was no room for things like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, or the economy.

Rest in Peace MJ- you should come back and haunt us and remind us there are other things going on in the world.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A quick recommendation...

While bouncing between moving vans and farewells, I managed got a copy of the latest issue of Detective Comics. Yeah, I said I would wait for the trade, but it's Greg Rucka, and came highly recommended by Eric Trautmann, who had a really good opening issue to "JSA Vs. Kobra: Engines of Faith" couple of weeks back. (Before I go any further, let me definitely recommend that as well; the best writing on my beloved Power Girl since Wally Wood put cleavage and attitude in a blender. Magnificent art as well by Don Kramer and Michael Babinski. Go look out a preview here; no, go ahead, I'll wait and you will be glad you looked.)

Welcome back. So I picked up the new Detective, which begins something I have been waiting for- Greg Rucka getting a monthly for his version of Kate Kane as Batwoman. Thanks to DC for waiting, what, two years? About time.

So, despite gallons of pent up anticipation, I am way NOT disappointed. The story is tight, and gives us a new villain, playing off a Lewis Carroll motif, which I have always found to be interesting in the Bat-verse. What really strikes me though is how the panel layouts complement the writing. There's a feel something like Eisner as J.H. Williams III propels the story with the very layouts of the page- and I swear there are some kind of esoteric messages hidden in the layouts themselves. I felt like I was doing a puzzle just reading the book, dragging me into the mystery. Great take on the character, and just a lot of visual prowess to keep you looking.

As if that's not enough, there's a second feature, further evoking the better days of comics! Rucka also brings back 52 alumnus Rene Montoya as The Question.

With art by Cully Hamner, the co-feature has a story worthy of its own issue, but tucked nicely in here to make me feel like I am getting $3.99 worth of comic. Hamner's work here evokes the best of the old Denny O'Neil Question from the late 80's, and visually ties the Vic Sage Question to the Rene Montoya Question better than any artist Mr. Rucka has worked with on this character before. (BTW- Hamner also illustrated the delightful "Black Lightning: Year One" by Jen Van Meter, another member of the Northwest Comic Mafia- go buy that too. Also of course, Hamner illustrated the still canceled Blue Beetle.)

OK- off to wait for the moving truck again. Blarrgh.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some random stuff...

Well, time grows short here in the Great and Free Northwest States of Greatness and Freedom, and soon I will be heading to warmer, dryer climates. I've had a few Blog ideas bouncing around in my head, but nothing too definite, so I figured I'd throw out a few little ones.

Though with less fanfare than her High School graduate brother, The Daughter has also reached one of life's milestones; finishing the 8th Grade. Her school did nothing for it, so she wasn't particularly excited, but my youngest is now a High School student as well, and will be attending the school from which I matriculated many years ago. At last we will have revenge.

The Lovely Jennifer started it, but now everyone I know is calling me "Sheldon." If you haven't watched CBS' The Big Bang Theory you may not get the reference. It is a very funny show, however tired of being compared to the main geek in the show, I was going to do a blog entry pointing out five reasons I was NOT Sheldon. I could only come up with three.

In related news, the 3 3/4" Star Trek figures at Wal-Mart have been marked down to five bucks. I have been buying Scottys and putting GI Joe heads on them to make expendable Red Shirts. I see a Landing Party gone horribly wrong in their future...

Related to that- I got my JJprise keychain. It makes me happy to sing the music from the film loudly and fly the ship around. More joy than any keychain should bring any man. BTW- I am campaigning for Jolene Blalock to play T'Pring in the next film. Likely? No, but Star Trek is about hope, isn't it?

Kind of a no-brainer I think...

That's all for now- on the road soon, and I will likely next broadcast from a state with a setting sun on it's flag. Hope I can find sushi...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And then I feel a little hope.

On 11 June 2009, my son Zachary graduated High School. I am a proud parent, it is true, but even better is the fact that Zack is a genuinely good man who has the desire to make the world around him a better place. Even if he weren't my son, I would admire his personality; the fact he is my son just makes me more proud.

I am of course not the only proud parent here.

Congratulations my son. Now go to college.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Why a whimper? Fear. Fear is what drives people these days. Fear of the economy crashing, fear of the terrorists, fear of change. Fear drives hate. Fear drives paranoia. Fear drives bigotry.

This last couple of weeks, I have been poking fun at our society with some TS Eliot, and have been waiting for that funny little story to post to fit the title of this post, something full of snark and absurdity.

Instead, I got this:

Sorry, TS- there were bangs signalling the end and they were gunshots in a Holocaust museum.

See, this is where fear leads. It leads to ideas of us and them, and once we have us and them, we have to be better than they are. Then they have to be bad. Then they have to die. In this case, it's a White Supremacist, and like so many intloerant bastards, he claims God is on his side, and he's working for Jesus.

Hey asshole, Jesus was a Jew who claimed everyone on Earth was a child of God.

The White Supremacist movement wants America back to its core values.

Hey asshole, America was founded under the principle that all men are created equal. Forgive the irony that time and place of authorship paints that statement with, but this is America, and we are all in here together.

There are a lot of honest Conservatives out there who just genuinely want to maintain their faith and values while honestly being part of the solution. Here's a chance; denounce this man now. Right now. Make sure Neo-Nazis don't become the face of Conservatism in America. Talk about how we can acknowledge we have different beliefs, but we don't have to resort to violence over it.

There are a lot of Liberals out there who will equate this to Conservatism as a whole. Don't do it. Acknowledge the good honest Conservative movement out there, and reach out to it in order to work together to put aside the fear this man tried to sow.

America. Put aside your fear. E Pluribus Unum- it's the only way America survives this Century.

Otherwise, it goes out with a whimper of fear.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This is the way the world ends (3).

So, as I was watching the local news tonight I came across this story. That's right, PETA is concerned people are throwing dead fish.

Dead fish.

I am a big animal guy. I've had dogs, cats, chickens, goats, pigs, rats, guinea pigs, cockatiels, finches, doves, beetles, spiders, slugs, and of course, fish which I would consider pets. I am fully aware I anthropomorphize animals, but I really think our behaviors are evolutionary leftovers rather than us really projecting human emotion on animals. I don't think we should abuse any animals, even the ones we eat.

The fish in Pike Place are dead. They are not being abused. Why? Because they are dead. PETA- there are legitimate animal abuses you have pointed out and put the kibosh on; why would you pull something asinine like this and make yourselves look stupid?

Much better.

Monday, June 08, 2009

This is the way the world ends (2).

I took this photo at Target the other day while looking for Star Trek toys. These are maternity short-shorts. No seriously. These are (listen once more, and just roll it around your skull) MATERNITY SHORT-SHORTS.

Maybe my incredulity will get me hate mail, but... maternity short-shorts?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This is the way the world ends.

So, I am a big fan of science. People tell me (on both sides) that it's contradictory to be an enthusiast of Science while being a man of Faith, but I am personally all into the idea God loves knowledge and gets a happy proud parent grin whenever we do something like map his human genome or figure out something on the Deific concept of quantum entanglement.

I am also a big fan of America as a nation and concept. It always hurts my heart a little when I hear about American students not holding up in Science against foreign students, but I also keep in mind a lot of the countries to which these studies compare us don't allow kids below a certain grade point to go to High School and instead send them to a trade school, thereby guaranteeing another generation of wrench turners and plunger pilots (both honorable and necessary professions, don't get me wrong). So I am usually not too bothered by the numbers because I know our schools allow everyone in, and on occasion someone who seemed destined to just be a clerk in a patent office has a flash go off in their head and the theory of relativity is born (yes, I know he didn't start in America- it's just an example. Sheesh you're a tough crowd today!).

So, it was with great joy we went to The Daughter's 8th Grade science fair last night. Let me talk about The Daughter for a moment. This is the girl who in 7th Grade asked her teacher if she could skip reading “Ole Yeller” because she was immersed in “Beowulf.” She also recently wrote an essay describing how initiating curfews leads to a tyrannical state and the duty of the citizen to hold the state accountable and at bay. 'At's my girl.

Anyway, The Daughter does a science project using soap to open human cells and electrolytes in gatorade to create a solution with visible chains of DNA, to see if you can tell the difference between different humans and even animals (getting the sample from the cat was a real pleasure- helpful Dad). I expected similar work from her fellow 8th Graders. After all teachers approved this stuff.

Instead I was greeted with such projects as “Will I last longer if I play as a bad guy in 'Fable II'?” and “How long will different Kool-Aid flavors dye my hair?” There were also several kids who did the old “Bread Mold- which one develops faster” trick, which each of my kids did in 4th Grade.

I suppose I don't fault the kids for going with what interests them, but why the hell are teachers approving this and letting people think its science? There were a couple of other kids, probably four including The Daughter, who didn't cop out and did something which taught as well as used scientific method. And a few at least had hypothesis/test/result formats. I don't understand though why we are letting ourselves get away with this.

Further- there were no prizes handed out. Only participation ribbons, all of which were blue. And, the whole thing, literally all of it, was over in 30 minutes. The last pep rally took an hour.

I know public education has its problems, but how many are self induced? Have we beaten these teachers into submission with low salaries and PC rules? Do I really need a computer in every classroom just to tell a kid that playing a video game isn't science?

Oh- by the way. Playing “Fable II” aggressively and not bothering to think about what your doing makes you last longer. Thanks for the life lesson, kid.

The Daughter is looking for passage off planet.