Monday, March 30, 2009

Hopping back in

Last Monday, I started drafts on 5 or six posts that I was going to try to get up over the course of the week...I finished one. Ooops.

Think I'm going to try to finish those, plus a handful of others this week, but I can't promise anything. It's strange, when I actually force myself to write here, I'm a lot more productive everywhere. When I'm convinced I don't have time for this/other writing so I can accomplish other things, I get nothing done.

And yet I never learn.

Oh well, while I saunter off to ponder that and hopefully nap a bit before work, I'll leave you with this creative re-telling of a classic tale. (If you're having trouble reading the text, try the HD version)

(h/t: Very Short List)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thought for the Lord's Day #37

We do not always know what we are asking for when we pray; when the answer comes, the veritable answer, it is possible that we may be terrified by it. We seek sanctification, and trial will be the reply: we ask for more faith, and more affliction is the result: we pray for the spread of the gospel, and persecution scatters us. Nevertheless, it is good to ask on, for nothing which the Lord grants in his love can do us any harm. Terrible things will turn out to be blessed things after all, where they come in answer to prayer.
- Charles H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Little Princess and the Seven Years

My little princess turns seven today, which is just mind-boggling.

She is still the giggliest, most emotional (nigh unto mercurial, really), sweetest, most stubborn, most devoted, chattiest critter I know. Couldn't be prouder of her.

Happy birthday, darlin', Daddy loves ya.

What if Leverage Were a Sitcom?

too good not to share:

(h/t: Kung Fu Monkey)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Batman: Cacophony

Kevin Smith returned to comics with a 3-part Batman mini, which, believe it or not, actually came out within 3 months of the first issue going on sale (am betting DC didn't announce the project 'til they had 3 scripts out of the criminally tardy writer).

Onomatopoeia, created by Smith in his heralded Green Arrow story, comes to Gotham and frees the Joker from Arkham Asylum (creating a little havoc along the way). Naturally, Batman leads the search for the Joker, who's essentially being used by his liberator as bait. Along the way, we get some interesting b-stories (one involving a designer drug made with the Joker's poison), and some great dialogue (Alfred, in particular, was pitch-perfect).

The final confrontation between the Batman and Joker here is one of the better I've read--far better than the conversation in The Killing Joke.

All in all, a good story. Nothing fantastic, but a good solid story. Emblematic of what comics should be--and all too often aren't. Smith didn't stretch a 3-issue tale over 6 issues to make a better trade paperback, he didn't "permanently" alter a character or anything. Character, plot, resolution--thanks for coming, have a nice day.

Smith delivered a story, not an event. Now, unlike Joe Quesada, I'm not against character growth, character development and change--but I am weary of the world-changing, character dying (temporarily), "we're gonna change the face of [insert comic company name here] forever" events. DC currently has 2 such events going on that are naturally opposed to each other--one is posited on the idea that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are so integral to the make-up of reality that without them the nature of the world is permanently altered. The other has Batman dead and a battle to replace him as Gotham's protector waging. Which is it boys? Pick one!

Just tell good stories, and when you decide to have something epoch-changing happen--let it happen and move on, telling stories that come from that. Leave Barry Allen dead, leave Jason Todd dead (why, why, DC, ruin 2 of the best moments of the 80's?), leave Peter Parker married (and outed, since you made that stupid move), leave Steve Rogers in the ground. I swear, if Sue Dibney lives again I will blow something up (and I really liked Sue).

Ooops, seem to have gotten off on a rant there, time to bring it home...Cacophony's a great example of what comics should be. I just hope someone out there in a corporate office remembers that one day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Final Battlestar Galactica Airs Tonight

Galactica hs been more than our guardian. She's literally a vessel into which we've poured all of our hopes and dreams. And when she's gone -- when we can no longer derive the security from looking out her window and seeing her massive bulk floating by -- then this life will be over. And a new life will have begun. A new life that requires a new way of thinking.
-Gaius Baltar
So say we all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Joke I Identify Far Too Much With Today

The man told his doctor that he wasn't able to do all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said, "Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me."

"Well, in plain English," the doctor replied, "you're just lazy."

"Okay," said the man. "Now give me the medical term so I can tell my wife."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stem Cell Sham: O'Rourke Weighs In

Came across a great column yesterday by P. J. O'Rourke, "Stem Cell Sham: The president as sophist." The whole thing is well worth a read, here's a taste

When a Democratic president goes from being wrong to being damn wrong is always an interesting moment: Bay of Pigs, Great Society, Jimmy Carter waking up on the morning after his inauguration, HillaryCare. Barack Obama condemned himself (and a number of human embryos to be determined at a later date) on March 9 when he signed an executive order reversing the Bush administration's restrictions on federal funding of stem cell research.

President Obama went to hell not with the stroke of a pen, but with the cluck of a tongue. His executive order was an error. His statement at the executive order signing ceremony was a mortal error: "In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values."

A false choice is no choice at all--Tweedledee/Tweedledum, Chevy Suburban/GMC Yukon XL, Joe Biden/Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Is there really no difference "between sound science and moral values"?


A false choice means there's no choosing. The president of the United States tells us that sound science and moral values are united, in bed together. As many a coed has been assured, "Let's just get naked under the covers, we don't have to make love." Or, as the president puts it, "Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose this research. And I understand their concerns, and I believe that we must respect their point of view."

Mr. President, sir, if this is your respect, I'd rather have your contempt or your waistline or something other than what you're giving me here. The more so because in the next sentence you say,

But after much discussion, debate and reflection, the proper course has become clear. The majority of Americans--from across the political spectrum, and of all backgrounds and beliefs--have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research.

Mr. President, you're lying. There is no consensus. And you are not only wrong about the relationship between facts and morals, you are wrong about the facts of democracy. In America we have a process called voting--I seem to remember you were once very interested in it. We the citizens determine whether and how to spend the proceeds of taxation, which we alone are empowered to impose upon ourselves through our elected representatives in Congress, not the White House. If you want to kill little, bitty babies, get Congress to pass a law to kill little, bitty babies, if you can. I'm not going to bother arguing with you about whether it's wrong. Surely you too gazed at the sonogram screen and saw a thumb-sized daughter tumbling in the womb, having the time of her life. And a short life it will be, in a Petri dish. But we've already established that you don't know wrong from right.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Think I Like Him Better When He was just A-Roid

what the--?

why would anyone in their right mind pose for this pic? Dude, you're the most vilified man in baseball (well, after Bonds and Selig), the poster-boy for what's wrong with the sport right now...and you do this? How's this help with the reputation for being "me-first"? Gah!

As Peter Abraham says:
(Seriously, does anybody get worse advice than this guy? Anybody? What do you figure would happen if a photographer asked Tiger Woods to kiss himself in a mirror? There would be a two-iron wrapped around his neck. Alex’s ability to continually do and say strange things is amazing. He’s the Cal Ripken of bad decisions.)

Programming Note: am scheduling this to post late so I don't crowd off the other stuff I've written today...

29 and not really counting

Happy Birthday to TLomL.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

Happy Maewyn Succat Day!

The Little Sleep

Paul Tremblay's debut novel, The Little Sleep, not only sports a eye-catching title, but a premise that's just as intriguing.

Obviously, the title's supposed to get the reader thinking of noir classic, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler--so one expects the lone-wolf, tougher than nails, sardonically witty gumshoe typified by Philip Marlowe. But Tremblay's protagonist, Mark Genevich, has one challenge his predecessors in the genre doesn't have...he's a narcoleptic. So he's falling asleep, hallucinating and losing control of his body and the most inconvenient times (for Genevich, anyway...the occasionally seem a convenient deus ex machina to get Tremblay out of a scene).

Initially, the book didn't do much for me--had a hard time caring for Genevich or his problem, his client, and the early chapters seemed a little too erratic. But I hung in there, and eventually, Genevich explains his disorder enough that you can accept the bouncing-around nature of the first chapters. I'm still not sure how sympathetic Tremblay ever makes him, but you do at least start to want him to figure out what's going on--which is close enough.

I remember when I started working the graveyard shift (I guess 3rd shift is the term we're supposed to use now), I had a lot of days where I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't fall asleep w/o warning--in a theater, during a slow after-dinner conversation, on the road(!)--and I recognized the embarrassment, anger and confusion Genevich displayed. No matter what precautions he took, the very real danger of waking in a different place or his body not acting like he intended always loomed large. I'm assuming Tremblay has no first-hand knowledge of the disorder, but he sure acts like he does.

Genevich's path to solving this particular case follows many of the typical hardboiled paths, but he cannot travel those paths like his forefathers because of his disorder. Unlike with Monk, Genvich's problem is never fodder for humor--unlike Monk's OCD, which would've been very easy, and probably very entertaining. Tremblay sticks to the high road, however, resulting in a deeper, probably more satisfyingk, read.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Checkin' In

Kletois pointed out that I haven't said anything here about Burn Notice's second season finale. I really should, but want to watch it one more time first--so hopefully next week. In the second season, particularly the last batch of 5 episodes they just ran, Burn Notice stopped being a fun summer cable show, and transformed itself into something else. So, stay tuned for that.

In other PAeLiI news, it did my heart good to hear a professional humorist tell me that the Beeker video was the funniest thing he'd seen all year. Sure, I didn't have anything to do with the making of the video, just posting it...still, take what good reviews you can, right? Eddie watched Dear Zachary, his reaction was fitting and commensurate: "man.. .just finished watching one of the most amazing movies ever...i'm going to pop Hobs in the head when I see him."

Honestly not that sure why things have been so light here lately, just generally out of creativity, imagination, energy, inspiration, and probably a few other things. Am going to try to get things moving along in the next week or so ,my brain seems to work better when this is getting regular updates.

oh yeah, Happy Pi Day!

When Checking Your Email is Fun

Dr. White has talked about how much fun it is to open his email and find a message from Angelz, I'm starting to know the feeling.

When I opened Thunderbird tonight, there were some semi-important messages and 2 from Micah. So, of course, I opened Micah's. Up above you can see the results. Looking more and more like a professional blog 'round if only the posts and the numbers matched the look.

eh, maybe one day....

Friday, March 13, 2009

funny AND you don't have to put up with Henry van Dyke's lyrics

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rachel Getting Married

I'm a little over halfway through this stunning film and feel compelled to say a few things.

  • Anne Hathaway really can act. I thoroughly blown-away by her performance. She absolutely deserved the nominations and awards she got for this.
  • Casting Rosemarie DeWitt as her sister was inspired. Always liked DeWitt and am so glad she got to shine in this as well (a few nominations could've been thrown at her, too).
  • This has got to rank up with Silence of the Lambs as Jonathan Demme's best--in some ways surpassing it. During the family fights/arugments, I feel like I'm a guest stuck in an uncomfortable situation while people are fighting around me. The wedding rehearsal and the might as well be documentary footage, it really feels genuine.

I'll rescind this post if it falls apart, but I just can't see that happening. Do yourself a favor and grab this one.

Belgium, Belgium, Belgium! (sorry for the profanity)

Not sure why I've let this layer of dust accumulate over things lately, meant to post a thing or two last week, but things got away from me I guess.

Nothing personal, I assure you--well, most of you anyway.

So what got me riled up enough to break my silence?

This monstrosity:

That's right, author Eoin Colfer has been commissioned to write the sixth volume of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy.

SciFi Wire reports:
And Another Thing..., which will be released Oct. 12 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series by the late Douglas Adams, is a sequel commissioned by the publisher from Eoin Colfer. Colfer is the author of the best-selling Artemis Fowl series.

While Penguin will publish the latest book, Pan Macmillan, which was Adams' paperback publisher, will repackage his backlist, adding new introductions to the books, which will be released monthly leading up to the release of the new title.
Why, oh why, is this being done? Was the world begging for a follow-up to Mostly Harmless? Did another story just need to be told? NO!

Did Adams' leave notes, instructions for another? No.

Does Arthur Dent really need to get kicked around some more? No.

Wouldn't it be easier to insult the Douglas Adams' memory by digging up his bones and throwing rocks at them? Or you could just put out the recent movie on Blu-Ray, that'd do it, too.

This is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. A travesty. A disgrace. A literary crime.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll be there on 10/21, cash in hand, just waiting for the book--probably with baited breath. Just hope it'll be slightly better than a collection of poetry by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Five by Five

As is my custom 'round here, it's time to note the anniversary of another birthday (and, whenever possible, to exercise geekiness in a post title). It's Arnold's turn today.

As you may have guessed, he's 5 today. Much to TLomL's consternation, the toddler's all gone, only a little boy remains (very little, in stature). He's alternately the quietest and loudest, the gentlest and the most violent, sweetest and angriest, healthiest and sickest of our group. His best friend is the Princess, and Samwise is clearly his hero (whom he emulates as much as possible).

He's already faced more challenges than most kids twice his age, and on the whole, done so with aplomb. The rest of the time, he's bringing joy to his family. Not a bad little way to live thus far, I pray it continues.

Happy birthday, bud.