November 30th, 2015
I heard the first rumor of the impending opening of a Nancy's Pizza several months ago. Nancy's is a Chicago pizzeria chain with its own version of a stuffed pizza, and it's been entering the SoCal market for a while now. There's been one in Alhambra for some time. However, the new one in La Verne is only blocks away from one of the hospitals where I see patients, and so much more convenient for us to visit. They served their very first food yesterday at 1PM, and we were there with our friends' daughter in tow. Very nice. I have a vision of monthly visits to come!
November 28th, 2015
It's been a while since I posted comic completions, and I was asked about what I've been reading by a friend, so here we go again:
First is Trees #12: A Warren Ellis series, and there'll be a lot more to come. These comics deal with a sudden infestation of alien creatures that appear to be massive trees, and the way that humanity deals with it is the core of the stories. I like it.
Next, Munchkin #8, 9, 10, 11: Honestly, the comic really doesn't do it for me most of the time. It's the cards for the Munchkin game that ring my chimes. If you don't play it, don't bother with these books.
Then, Tales of Honor #2, 3: These continue the stories of Honor Harrington, a good military SF series of books. I've enjoyed them very much.
Next, War Stories: Our Wild Geese Go #3 of 3, then Tokyo Club: #1, 2: The first book is the completion of a tale about Irish soldiers fighting for the British Empire against Germany in WWII; the other two are a series of stories about US bomber pilots attacking Japan in the same war. I keep reading them; they're pretty good.
Then, The Empty #6: Finishes the series, I think. A world poisoned by technology that only cares for a small island.
Next, Providence #4, 5, 6: A writer is stumbling around in the world of Lovecraftian horror. Very good.
Then, Miracleman Book Four #1, 2, 3, 4: Neil Gaiman is writing this; I'm coming in in the middle of things. I'm confused. I'm hoping it's all going to come together. I'm not convinced that it's going to, but I trust Gaiman. It seems to be superhero stuff, but I'm not entirely sure.
Next, Letter 44 #20, 21: This President started a world war when he found out about a alien artifact under construction in our solar system. A team is sent to intercept it. In general I really like this series of comic books, though I'm afraid that they might have lost their way. I'm still following.
Then, Injection #5: Another Warren Ellis book dealing with mystical issues. I'm waiting patiently for the next book in the series.
Next, We Stand On Guard #2, 3, 4, 5: The US has invaded Canada for their water. Canada is trying to fight back.
Then, Invisible Republic #6, 7: A colony world breaks away. Many years later a journalist finds records that gives details of the early days of the revolt. Nice work.
Next, Mythic #4, 5: A group of specially-powered people work to keep the beings of myth and legend under control.
Then, The Spire #3, 4: A city built up as a spire in the midst of poisoned lands with many races of creatures. Human variants? I don't know...
Next, Wild's End: The Enemy Within #1, 2, 3 of 6: Animal drawings instead of humans; it seems to be something of a retelling of Wells' War of the Worlds.
Then, The Sandman Overture #6: Finishes Gaiman's tale of The Sandman. Beautiful artwork. Interesting tale.
Next, From Under Mountains #1, 2: A fantasy series building to a quest.
Then, Copperhead #10: A sheriff in an SF town. Hints of High Noon, Outlander, Firefly, Traveller and lots of other tropes. I enjoy this one very much.
Next, Karnak #1: A new Warren Ellis series. A vicious superhero who hits the bitter truth.
Then, James Bond 007 #1: Another new Warren Ellis series. I like what he's doing with this.
Next, Johnny Red #1: An American pilot flying for the Soviet military in WWII. Nice start.
Then, Telikos Protocol #1, 2, 3: The world's environment is in horrible condition and humanity live underground. An alien spacecraft crashes into a city. Muddy artwork.
Next, Saga #31: Great series. A tech race fights a galactic war with a magic race. The books deal with a child born of both sides. Recommended.
Then, Blackcross #6: Another Warren Ellis line. Not one that I've liked all that much, really. I think it's the end of the series, but I'm not sure. Superpowered individuals in one dimension break through into the bodies of the people they are in this dimension. I guess.
And that's that for another few months.
The Middle East and its world-wide effects have me tearing my hair out the last several weeks. Everything is so very, very complicated, and no action done by any party can be simple in any way. Turkey supports Turkomans in Syria, but not Kurds, and is willing to fight ISIS. Russia gets involved ostensibly to attack ISIS though the majority of their attacks strike other coalitions, then has a civilian airliner targeted by ISIS, steps up their attacks in general, and then encroaches on Turkish airspace while attacking Turkoman targets that the Turks want to protect. The Iraqi Army is ineffective at fighting insurgents in their own country, while the Syrian Army is effective at fighting the ones in theirs. Israel builds a wall between them and Palestine to stop suicide bombing, which works, so the Palestinians turn to knifing people. I bet when they're prohibited from carrying knives, they'll resort to biting Israelis.
Makes me want to cry...
At some point in the last couple of days, I finished reading a book lent to me by Cliff, called Half a King by Joe Abercrombie. It was one of those that was on my mental list of "someday I'll get to this", but once pressed on me (along with two other books from the same series) I figured I'd give it a shot, and promptly found it engaging me very much. It was a much quicker read than I'd expected, and it was a difficult book to put down. Set in a fantasy world, a noble lad born with a birth defect finds his world turned upside down on the death of his father, the king, and his brother, the heir apparent. Worth a read.
On the day after Thanksgiving, I had to work, but only a bit. So I did a few cleanup-related things first thing, and then went to a nursing home just after noon to round. Once home in the afternoon, we got gussied up a bit and went to Whittier to a gorgeous park that I'd never seen when we lived there, where we attended the wedding of Yessie. She looked wonderful (what bride doesn't)! Most folks there were the relatives of the family, but thefreak and kar3ning also showed up, and we chatted with them the rest of the evening. The reception took place in a hall in Uptown Whittier with pretty good food, and all the activities you'd expect for the post-wedding celebration. Very nice; congratulations Yessie and may you and your spouse have many happy years ahead of you!
Later on once we got home, I did a bit of Netflix streaming...something had popped up that I'd heard about this year, called Chaos on the Bridge which William Shatner did as a documentary about the goings on at Paramount as they made ST:TNG the first few years. Moderately interesting. Thanks to sekl who brought it up in conversation with my wife.
November 27th, 2015
As many of you are aware, this was perhaps this household's major holiday. We held once again the Orphan's Thanksgiving that's been our habit for the last couple of decades. We had a houseguest (Cliff came back from Las Vegas on Wednesday, and was a big help Thursday morning in setting up the den for the feed); 25 people sat down to the Thanksgiving meal late yesterday afternoon. I only made one dish, my spiced pecans, and over two pounds of them were eaten. We had three and a half birds cooked, which left us with a huge amount of leftovers for the next few days. The supplier of our bounce castles had retired; we found a new one who lives just up the street. Folks enjoyed it once again. Many people brought desserts and side dishes, which were delicious and delightful. Many of us had a lot to be thankful for from the last year, others were comforted by the support of friends. My wife and I have a deep warm feeling of joy having had so many friends that we could serve and celebrate with. Well into the night, we played Cards Against Humanity with several folks who'd never been exposed to it before, and we enjoyed gales of laughter over it. Thanks to all who joined us; we loved every minute of it all!
Somehow I managed to forget to wish izzzyy a happy birthday yesterday, so today I apologize, and I hope that it was a terrific one.
November 25th, 2015
November 24th, 2015
November 23rd, 2015
November 22nd, 2015
This and that this weekend.
Friday night was supposed to be services at the home of some new members of the Havurah. They have a beautiful home, and we had a lovely time, but we didn't have enough people there to actually have services. Nice conversation, nice food, nice folks. I look forward to the next opportunity to hang there.
Saturday we did some shopping and then spent the afternoon doing a variety of yardwork. It included the firey demise of various weeds.
This morning, Cliff joined us from Las Vegas, and we all went to Off Kilter Kilts. Cliff marched with them in his kilt while forestcats and I took spots on the sidewalk and watched the parade. Lots of fun! Later, on the local CBS news, we caught a glimpse of ourselves, and they included the kilted marchers as well.
The work week beckons.
November 21st, 2015
A couple of evenings back I finished reading Mike Resnick's Worldcons, a series of recollections by the author about his experiences at WorldCons starting in 1963. Several of the essays dealt with WorldCons that I'd been to, and it was nice to revisit my own memories of them. Others dealt with WorldCons that I'd missed. For me, this was a fun read.