May 25th, 2016
May 24th, 2016
May 23rd, 2016
Yesterday we took a drive into town. We'd decided to spend the day at a museum, and my beloved very much enjoys the Autry Museum next to the LA Zoo. We hadn't been aware that there was an event in their backyard; some kind of fair dealing with services for families with small children. This led to there being no available parking at either the zoo or the museum. We ended up parking several hundred yards farther along, and walked back to the museum. There were a few things of mild interest at the fair, but we quickly entered the museum, renewed our membership, and had lunch at the cafe (buffalo burgers, actually). The exhibits included some excellent artwork, and then many items of interest from the history of Hollywood, primarily the Westerns. They included costumes from Tarantino's recent Western, The Hateful Eight (or however it was spelled). Nice place...we need to get back there more often. Following that, we stopped at Whole Foods in Pasadena and picked out several cheeses to try, so that my beloved could decide on future cheeses to try her hand at making. Dinner was outdoors, then, nibbling on said cheeses. Lovely day!
May 22nd, 2016
You know, it's been a really long time since I last posted about comic book series that I've been reading. Possibly more than six months. If comics aren't your thing, just skip this post.
First was what appeared to be a one-off, called Munchkin: Deck the Dungeons #1. I'll get into Munchkin's comic book later. This one was essentially filled with Christmas stories.
Next was Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #1, 2, 3, 4. This short saga is complete; Honor Harrington fights slavers. This wasn't a tale straight out of the Honor Harrington novels by David Weber. This one is associated with a "shore leave" of an ordered assignment. I like the art of this series, and the adventures aren't bad.
Then, Trees #13, a Warren Ellis title. Giant organisms appear on Earth, and apparently completely ignore humanity. What's happening with them?
Next was We Stand On Guard #6 finishes this saga of Canada standing up to United States invasion of their territory for water.
Then was The Spire #5, 6...I gave this one up. I just didn't like the art, and the tale wasn't engaging me anymore. Mutants are part of the society of this tower in the midst of wastelands, but they aren't accepted very well.
Next, Miracleman Book Four The Golden Age #5, 6...I'm not sure why I was reading this one. It's sort of a superhero saga, which isn't my typical cup of tea. Strange powers, and strange affects on the world's populace.
Then, James Bond 007: Vargr #2, 3, 4, 5, 6. IIRC, 6 ends the Vargr tale, but 007 is continuing. They do a pretty good job of showing action in the artwork, and the Bond is pretty believable. I like this series. So far, it's written by Warren Ellis.
Next was From Under Mountains #3, 4, 5, 6, a fairly standard fantasy. A little hard to follow as it's presently written.
Then, Johnny Red #2, 3, 4, 5, 6. A tale about a British fighter pilot who ends up in the Soviet Union during WWII and fights alongside of Russian pilots to help keep the Germans at bay.
Next was The Sheriff of Babylon #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. A former MP soldier returns to Baghdad to help train Iraqi police and runs into cultural differences, and many tragedies ensue.
Then was East of West #20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, something of SF, something of fantasy, something of horror, something of political science. Very strange, very interesting.
Next, Rat Queens #11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, fantasy with the protagonist team a group of female adventurers. Pretty good.
Then, Saga #32, 33, 34, 35, 36; this is the ongoing tale of two soldiers of opposite sexes, formerly fighting a long-standing war between magic and technology in space who have had a child and the adventures thereupon. Excellent work, terrific art.
Next one is Sidekick #12, which is by JMS and might be the last book in this series. A hero is ostensibly killed, his sidekick is bereft and incapable of picking up the slack, and, well, things happen. Strange and horrible things.
Then we have Munchkin #12 as promised above. I took the Munchkin comics initially because they offered cards as part of the deal, but starting with this one, that stopped. So did I. I didn't much care for the art, and the stories were worse. Dropped. Gratefully.
Next, Invisible Republic #8, 9. A political SF tale, complicated and frightening. Worth reading.
Then, Wild's End #4, 5, 6 of 6, the end of the storyline with animals reliving War of the Worlds. I'm not satisfied with this series, and I probably won't pick up any of these if they return to it.
Next was 8house: Arclight #1, 2; Kiem #3; Yorris #4 (Part 1), 5 (Part 2), an interrelated fantasy saga which I believe is vaguely associated with From Under Mountains. At least amusing, and they do some interesting things with art.
Then, Lucifer #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, a return to the Lucifer character as presented in Neil Gaiman's comics. It's a very cool return. If you liked Sandman, I'm pretty sure you'd like this comic.
Next, The Fade Out #9, 10, 11, 12, the final books in this tale of Old Hollywood. Excellent work. This one makes me want to write a post about podcasts...
Then we have War Stories: The Tokyo Club #3 of 3, Send a Gunboat #1, 2, 3 of 3, the former of which deal with bomber pilots attacking Japan near the end of WWII, while the latter deals with gunboats in the English Channel during the same war. Pretty good works.
Next is Dreaming Eagles #1, 2, 3, 4 of 6 a tale about WWII fighter pilots of black race and their fight to be equal to the white pilots flying.
Then, Letter 44 #22, 23, 24 the SF story about what happens when aliens build a station way out in our solar system. The books are taking an unexpected turn...
Next, Mythic #6, 7, 8, a company that deals with and/or controls creatures of myth in our world.
Then we come to Lone Wolf 2100 #1, 2, 3, 4 of 4, a story of a biological disruption of civilization. I hate to give too much away, but there's action galore. Series is over.
Next, Joe Golem Occult Detective #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of 5...I bet that this is just the start of this saga because there's all sorts of storylines that they can pick up and run with. You get hints about who/what Joe is in the tale, but much of this is the setting, a post-global warming world. I can't wait until they continue this story.
Then, EGOs #9. I give up.
Next, Injection #6, 7, 8, 9, another Warren Ellis title, certain people with certain skills have unleashed something into the world's computer web (I think...), and certain things are happening. I've been enjoying these.
Then we have Providence #7, 8 which is not only Lovecraftian, but in the most recent book or two, the protagonist has actually met the very author. Eerie, weird, fun.
Next one is Karnak #2, 3, 4, another Warren Ellis title, in the most recent couple of issues he meets up with S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm just along for the ride; I'm not doing much thinking with this one.
Then, The Haunted Mansion #1 based on the attraction at Disneyland. Yuck. Other issues have shown up since I read this one, but I don't care.
Next, Irwin Allen's Lost in Space: The Lost Adventures #1, 2 a return to the TV series of the late 1960s. Mildly amusing.
Then, Dream Police #8, 9, yet another JMS title, the protagonist is about to discover something disturbing.
Next one (not too much more, really...) is Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: WildCard #1, 2 which is another story based on a character from novels. The White Court of vampires are involved, which some might find exciting.
Then, Joyride #1 of 4. I thought that I'd try this one. Earth is shut away from the rest of the Universe; a small group of teenagers get picked up from the back of the Moon. It's just getting started and I'm going to stay with it for a while.
Next, Spectrum #0, a Free Comic Book Day title from this year. The TV series described in the Kickstarter film, Con Man, was Spectrum; now that the show is on DVD and out there, the creative team has taken up the challenge of making a comic book about the fictional TV show, and this is something of an origin tale. Nice. I suspect that once the actual comic series starts, I'll be reading it.
Then, Serenity: Free Comic Book Day, very nice work. The comics that have followed Firefly and its sequel, Serenity have all been pretty good. I wish they produced more, but I think they keep the numbers down to keep the quality high.
Next, Grumpy Cat (And Pokey!) #1, 2, Free Comic Book Day; my wife wanted to read these, and I looked them over, too. Amusing.
Then the last couple of books from this last week, including Brutal Nature #1, which is a tale of the Spanish invasion of the New World, and a shaman/wizard/whatever of the native people doing what he can to interfere (I like the premise, and I want to see more), and then Preacher Special #1 which appears to have been released as a freebie just in advance of the start of the TV series that is to start tonight. I'd never read the comic from way back, but I get the impression that I've been missing out. I put the show on DVR recording, so I'll see what I think tonight, but this introduction wasn't half bad.
And that's it.
May 21st, 2016
It's been several days since I last posted my reading matter, and in the interim I've finished several books.
The first one was The Herald of Hell, a Paul Doherty mystery set in London during the Wars of the Roses. Heavy on description, this is part of a series and honestly much of the interplay is based on books several back in the saga. Not quite as good as other books in the series.
Next was Osprey Men-At-Arms #9: Blucher's Army 1813 – 1815...I'm starting to read some of these from the earliest books of the series, and the art isn't as good as in the later books. This one gives some strong detail on why the Prussians of this period were more effective than in earlier decades in the Napoleonic Wars so it's not bad for this series. More recent books are better.
Then, Kings and Emperors, another of Dewie Lambdin's series of Napoleonic sea stories. The ship is attached to Gibraltar at the start of Wellington's fighting in the Iberian Peninsula against the French forces. The author couldn't resist letting the protagonist go ashore and participate in a land battle. I like the Lewrie series very much, but this one isn't his best book. There's another one out since this one was released, and I expect to get to it fairly soon, but if it's not better than K&E, then it may be time to move on.
Next was Osprey New Vanguard #9: T-34/76 Medium Tank 1941 - 1945, a fairly technical book about a tank that was key to the Soviet forces not collapsing completely when the Germans invaded in WWII.
Then, Wrath of the Furies. Steven Saylor has a series of novels set in Ancient Rome about Gordianus the Finder, who deals in solving mysteries. This series is solidly good. However, Gordianus got pretty old, and so Saylor started writing prequels, when the Finder as a young man traveled the lands that Rome influenced or conquered in that time; this book is about him trying to help his old tutor when an enemy king is planning something to break the power of Rome in the Eastern Mediterranean. Very good read.
Finally, a Kindle file, James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for his Father which is a short piece on the history of the fictional character's birth, i.e. Ian Fleming's work on it as well as the battles in Hollywood over who did what to bring him to the silver screen. Moderately interesting, especially for film historians.
We finished watching Justified season six; overall, it was a satisfying ending for the series. The overall story is about a US Marshal who returns to Kentucky, where he grew up, primarily to arrest one particular criminal and six seasons go by until there's some sort of resolution. A heck of a trail of dead bodies, though...
May 20th, 2016
Oh, and then there was Wednesday night...
See, there's this bar a mile or so away from our house. My beloved and several friends went there one night when I was on call to see the rock group Berlin once. Place is called That 80s Bar, and they have cover bands and karaoke and such-like. It turns out that our friend Andrew showed up last minute to cover for a friend as the DJ for a karaoke gig, and so we went over to hang out. The folks there don't sing nearly as well as the Ground Control gang, but it was pleasant in all truth. If this turns out to be a regular gig for our friend, we might make it a regular thing...
Saturday while helping to recruit a physician for work, I finally toured the two other facilities in our system. One, in Fontana, is already up and running, but hasn't been added to our computer systems. The other, in Colton, is in the final stages of construction, taking a bank building and making it into our new clinic with medical, dental, psych, optometry, and administrative portions. Very nice. Once home, my beloved and I did something we rarely do, we went shopping. I've needed new shoes for a long time, and I was specifically looking for Rockports; apparently there used to be a Rockport Outlet Store in Ontario Mills, but it's long gone. While searching for it, we found a little here, and something there and you know how it is. Finally, a mile or two away we found a place that had some of the Rockport shoes, and I found a couple pairs to replace the old, worn out ones that I had. Dinner was via Yelp; we found a Peruvian sandwich place that was inexpensive and delicious!
Sunday we went to different activities. My wife had an arthritis walk to do with friends in support of research into rheumatoid arthritis while I went to my mother's to meet up with some of our Miami cousins who'd dropped in for a visit while out here for a wedding. I had hoped afterwards to stop at Iliad to sell a few books, but since I hung out with Mom once the party ended and chatted for an hour or so, by the time I got there they specifically weren't buying anymore. Ah, poo. On the way to our house afterwards, I stopped and picked up a Nancy's pizza (Chicago-style stuffed) in La Verne and then we dug in with a vengeance!
It's been a busy week from a work standpoint which is why it's taken me so long to post the weekend activities. I wish I could remember what's up for the weekend, though. Seems to me that I'm forgetting something important...
May 19th, 2016
May 18th, 2016
May 17th, 2016
May 16th, 2016
May 15th, 2016