Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Night of March 31st!

It being a holiday and all, I couldn't resist posting this story. It's pretty silly, but it really makes me laugh. Hope you enjoy it! It first appeared in Superman 145 (1961)

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Happy April Fools Day!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

School Days...

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I am very grateful that all of Henry's teachers at his daycare indulge me by letting me pop in on Henry to say hi at any time of the day. I mean the fact that I happen to work at the Church means I'm right there, but I'd understand it if they preferred to not have me distracting him at any time. Not to mention I keep the teachers on their toes because they never know when I'm coming. :)

There are days where I say hi for a couple of minutes and Henry wants me to stay longer and I hear him screaming after I leave. And forget about popping in late in the afternoon. Henry assumes I'm there to pick him up. After all, other kids have started to be picked up, why not him too? So if he sees me in the afternoon and I don't take him home, we are definitely looking at a probable melt down type situation.

Other than getting to see him throughout the day the best part of Henry being in daycare right where I work is getting to take his picture everyday and send it to Carol. And if I don't send a picture by 4 pm boy does she notice. I start getting texts, "where is my Henry picture?" at 4 sharp or sometimes 3:30 depending on how her day is going.

Here are some of the best pictures taken from his nursery days this month. Followed by some of Henry's other adventures.

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We didn't put Cheetos in Henry's lunch. But one of his classmates had them and Henry always find a way to score some of his friends snacks. Today I caught him drinking out of his classmate's sippy cup. The kid is incorrigible.
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I love the face Henry is making in that second picture. I think he looks like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Henry is already carrying a stuff dog we call Ralph around everywhere. Well, if he gets to be as difficult as Calvin, I hope he's also as smart too. That would be a good trade off in my opinion. You never got to see 20 years later in that strip when Calvin buys his parents a new house with some of the money Calvin made from starting his own dotcom while he was still in college.

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Looks like he's already inherited my ability to sleep through anything. Here he is at the tail end of nap time. the lights are on and the other kids are running around and he's still out cold. Of course this is after he woke up in the middle of nap time and wanted a snack.

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Is it too early to say that Henry might be ambidextrous? This was him playing with some crayons at a restaurant. Carol and I were pleasantly surprised to find that Henry behaves well at restaurants. Or at least he has the couple of times we've taken him to one. It nice to know we can go out and not have to deal with a screaming kid and dirty looks from the other restaurant patrons.

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More proof he's ambidextrous, he's got a puppet on each arm. The kid's a genius! (Okay, I might have helped him put the puppets on).

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Yes, Henry is chewing on his sock. No, I didn't tell him to "put a sock in it."

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Henry you got a little something on you...oh forget it...

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Here's a fun one. Henry's already figured out the toilet....Well...he's figured out how to flush, he'll do that over and over again because he likes the noise. But he is convinced that the toilet is a table. Why not it's at a good height for him to read a book on, so of course it's a table. I just hope he never catches it when we've left the seat up, I'm not drying that wet book!

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Here is Henry on his very first nature hike. He'd carried a piece of pickle all the way into the woods and that's what he's eating in that first picture. And as you can see Henry instantly discovered how fun it is to carry sticks and the bigger the better!

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Carol took both of these shots on our first trip to the Please Touch Museum, a local museum designed with children in mind. If you're local, it's a lot of fun.

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But Henry doesn't always need a fancy kids museum to have fun sometimes all you need is a camera and your mommy. :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

2012 Banners Made from Book Covers

Comicbook banners aren't the only kind of banners I've been making. I also make banners for the Classic Science Fiction Message Board and I use the same ones on Facebook. These banners are usually pretty simple. When I first started making them I'd take four of my own books off the shelf and snap a picture of them. That's why on a lot of these you can see a tan border. That's the wall to wall carpet in my apartment! But eventually I grew out of using my own books and started to arrange images I'd find online.

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These are the first theme banners I did rather than author banners. as I run out of authors I'll probably start doing more and more of these theme banners.

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Just the other dad my dad gave me a bunch of Heinlein paperbacks with this style art. I've got to figure out if I have all of these covers now. Thanks Dad! 

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I've still have even more banners to share. When I get a chance I'll post all of the comedic banners I've made in the last year.

Seinfeld Missed his Chance with Supergirl...

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“The Good Samaritan” is remembered today as a middle of the road episode of Seinfeld, if it’s remembered at all. Probably the most memorable plotline is George saying “God bless you” to a married woman when she sneezes, which pisses off her husband for some reason. But, what surprised me about the episode when I re-watched it the other day, was that they missed a major opportunity to exploit a guest appearance by Helen Slater, best known for her role in “Supergirl” (1984).

I mean this is the show that many people have claimed contains a reference to Superman in every single episode. I don’t think that’s true, but both Jerry Seinfeld the character and the real guy have a love for all things comicbooks, especially Superman. So he must have been familiar with Slater and the role that made her famous.

As a side note look at the episode “the Race” which does have a lot of comicbook references. In that episode Jerry is dating a girl named Lois and just her name makes him feel as if he is Superman, saying lines like “Excuse me, Lois. Stand back, Lois. Jimmy’s in trouble, Lois.” At the climax of the episode Jerry and an old school rival have a rematch of a legendary race that they had in High School and as they run the John William’s “Superman” theme is played. And at the end of the episode Jerry tells Lois, “Maybe I will Lois, maybe I will” and he winks at the camera like George Reeves did in “Adventures of Superman.” And all of that was for no reason but that his girlfriend happened to be named Lois.

And yet in an episode where one of the guest stars played Supergirl the only reference to Superman is a poster of the JLA hanging over George’s bed in one scene.

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Jerry says he’s had a crush on Slater’s blue sweatpants wearing character, Becky Gelke for a year because “she looks like she belongs on one of those hallmark cards.” But what he should have said is, “I don’t know there is just something about her that is so super. She just makes be want to leap tall building at a single bound.” I mean, if they wanted to keep it subtle they could have had her wear a tee-shirt with a superman logo. Surely that wouldn’t have clashed with the sweatpants look.

Jerry’s plotline involved him following someone that hit a parked car and didn't even stop. Jerry is determined to confront him. But when the driver turns out to be a beautiful woman Angela, Jerry switches tactics and flirts with her and ends up dating her. However later in the episode he finds out from Krammer that it was Becky’s car that Angela had hit and Jerry decides he’d rather make a play for Becky who he’s had a crush on for two years, but hasn’t ever talked to. Jerry confronts Angela and she turns into a femme fatale like Ann Savage in “Detour” only worse if that’s possible. She tells him, “You tell anybody anything and I will carve my initials on your brain tissue. I'll bash your skull into a vegematic like a bad cabbage, and I'll have a party on your head.” Since Angela had refused to pay. Jerry decides to pay to fix Becky’s car, but she is convinced that it must have been Jerry that hit her car and that he’s not man enough to admit it so she rejects Jerry when he asks her out.

Then at the end of the episode we find out that Krammer has a date with Becky. But the date doesn’t go well because Krammer has a seizure when he goes to pick her up because he hears Mary Hart’s (“Entertainment Tonight”) voice (Don’t ask).

Now with Becky the victim of a hit and run and Jerry determined to give her justice, doesn’t that sound like a job for Superman? They could have played up the damsel in distress angle of this episode and had Jerry feel like he was rescuing her. Call me crazy but I think this is one time Seinfeld really whiffed it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Short Story of the Week (March 2013)

Each week at the Classic Science Fiction Message Board we read a short science fiction piece (short story, novelette or novella). These stories are always available for FREE online so that anyone can participate in the discussion. The stories are chosen by a different member every month, so that we get to read a variety of stories. March's stories are being picked by Rusty.

Rusty shared a biography with us the last time he picked the stories last June. Here is what he said about his short fiction picks this month, "Becky did a wonderful job picking some great classic stories last month, so I thought I would go the other direction and choose some very recent modern stories for this month. With all the science fiction awards coming up this year, several of the nominees have their stories freely available online, so I figured we could take a look at some of those."


Week #1-  Immersion by Aliette de Bodard.

We'll start off this week with a story that has been nominated for both the Nebula and the British Science Fiction Association award. It is about 2 women in the far future who use technological devices to alter their appearances. A review by Rusty can be found here.

Week #2- Surrounded by the Mutant Rain Forest by Bruce Boston.
This week I thought we could read a SF contender for the Bram Stoker Award - a yearly award for superior achievement presented by the Horror Writer's Association and named after the famed author of Dracula.  I know this isn't a horror reading group, but this short story is from a science fiction zine - so I figured we could give it a try.

Week #3- "Five Ways to Fall In Love on Planet Porcelain" by Cat Rambo.

John's Thoughts- Read this story on my lunch today and was blown away! It packs the emotion punch of a 16 ton weight in the gut! Cat Rambo, I hope this wasn't from the heart because if it was somebody hurt you really bad. Great story A+.

Rusty- I also liked the porcelain people, and thought that a world populated with them was a very cool idea! I thought it was a good story told well - and I hope it does well in the Nebula Awards.

Week # 4- Robot by Helena Bell.

Rusty- At first I was kind of turned off that it was one long monologue, but as it went on I realized that we were being given glimpses of this woman's life and thought processes.  That part was cool, but I still would have liked more action and explanations in the story.

John's thoughts- What a bizarre and yet fantastic story! I have no concept of what disease this woman has, but that doesn't detract from the story, if anything it just enhances the overall wonderful weirdness. The woman is such an unreliable narrator due to what appears to be dementia and therefore I feel like we know almost nothing for sure.

Week #5 Nanny's Day by Leah Cypess.

John's Thoughts- You work hard at your job so that you can put food on your family's table. You regret that your nanny sees your children more than you do. What if that Nanny decides she wanted to take your children away from you? And what if the courts sided with her? 

I found this to be the weakest of the stories this month.