Randomly --

  • After months of every lead winding up a dead end (or worse), by sheer seeming happenstance I've stumbled into the best paying job I've ever had. In addition to that, it's downtown, which, given that there are no high paying jobs I'm qualified for in my immediate neighborhood, is about the most convenient location I could possibly work in.

    The job has its drawbacks and its petty irritations, but every job does, and as far as that goes, the annoyance ratio is pretty low, especially when one factors in the hourly pay. Given how poorly my last several forays into the world of employability have gone, I'm taking this one day by day, but, still, for the present, I'm making a pretty decent wage and things are looking up.

  • I think I'm more or less out of the comics collecting business... not entirely, as there will always be special editions of stuff I'll want to buy, like the complete collection of Alan Moore's run on WildC.A.T.s I picked up just last weekend... but I think the last six months without a regular current comics fix coming in have let me kick the habit. The Marvel Universe was pretty much dead to me for years anyway, and I find I'm not missing anything at DC all that much... I'm a bit sad I never got to see the resolution of the JLA/JSA/Legion crossover, but the relief at no longer being led around by the nose by DC's unceasing series of Yearly Big Events And Ongoing Weekly Series That CHANGE EVERYTHING is so profound that any vague regret I might have over not seeing Gail Simone's wrap up to her run on BIRDS OF PREY, or whatever new series Geoff Johns may be writing, is pretty much overwhelmed. I'm free! I'm free!

    Related to that, it's become obvious that I'm never going to be able to really play a game of HeroClix again due to my own entirely self imposed limitations in that regard, and having admitted that grim truth to myself, any act in pursuit of further HeroClix is reduced to nothing more than collecting memorabilia. I never wanted to be one of those guys with the head and shoulders bust of all five of the original Avengers on his bookshelf, or the exact lifesize duplicate of Green Lantern's battery sitting on top of his refrigerator -- to me, things need to have a function as well as a pleasing form, or you're just wasting money on them. So the only HeroClix business I will still pursue at this point will be selling off the ones I have... maybe I'll try to figure out how to open an E-bay store, or something.

    It makes me a bit sad that this has happened right before the expansion that finally would have given me a classic set of Lee-Kirby X-Men in the blue and gold costumes... but the relief I feel that I no longer have to jump through every hoop WizKids can possibly contrive in order to get all the pieces I want is pretty overwhelming, too. And if I do start selling my figures off, well, as always, we can really use the money.

  • Football season seems essentially futile this year, as I'm not a fan of either the Patriots or the Colts (in fact, I loathe both teams with a fuming seething passion nearly indescribable in prose, but that's really neither here nor there) and it is inevitable that (a) both those two teams will end up in the AFC Championship Game, after which (b) the winner will go on to utterly destroy whichever NFC franchise is luckless enough to get tossed into the Super Bowl arena with them.

    The only real elements of interest in the season for me are, will the Bucs get to the playoffs? If so, I expect the Glazers (who own the Bucs franchise) will extend Jon Gruden's coaching contract, which I'd prefer, as I like Gruden and think he's a pretty good coach who's been beset with some pretty overwhelming handicaps to overcome the last six years. Let him stick around Tampa another season or two, and let the salary cap work its magic on the goddam Patriots and those motherfucking Colts, and the Bucs (or at least, some NFC team) may emerge as a solid competitor somewhere down the line.

    On the other hand, if the Bucs go into a skid and fail to make the playoffs, Gruden is almost certainly toast in Tampa, and I'm not knowledgeable enough of the overall football scene to even hazard a guess as to who the Glazers might bring in to replace him. Such a switch might very well cause me to reluctantly begin to grudgingly transfer such emotional loyalties as I have to the Chicago Bears (as at least then I could watch a local game from the comfort of my very own recliner, at least occasionally). Or I might just give up on the NFL entirely. In some ways, as with the other stuff above I seem to be stripping away from the gaudy exterior of my life, that would be a relief, as well.

  • It's been very pleasant having my old buddy Nate so near. Since he's moved down here, I actually have someone besides SuperWife and the Super Kids to hang out with, and I've even been able to resurrect my old RPG, the World of Empire. Session scheduling is naturally constrained by such limitations as are imposed by the strictures of parenthood, but, still, we've had a few good sessions and I'm enjoying being an active DM again.

    The kids all really enjoy having Nate around, too. So that's a win-win for us. We all just hope Nate's enjoying being here in River City as much as we're enjoying having him here.

    And, you know, that he gets a job soon, so he can start chipping in for groceries... ::grin::

  • Very occasionally, when we're not too tired, I read to SuperWife for a while before we go to sleep. For the last several months, we've been slowly making our way through my first novel, UNIVERSAL MAINTENANCE, that way.

    I've been pleasantly surprised to find that, reading it this way, it's really a pretty good book. As a general rule, whenever I reread my own prose, I either enjoy it or I loathe it, but whichever way it goes at the time, I figure I'm not capable of passing anything like an objective or meaningful judgment on its quality. Yet reading UM to SuperWife over a protracted period, it's really seemed to me to be a pretty solid piece of work... yeah, there are places I'd like to get in and polish a little more, but, still, it seems to me that it holds up pretty well as a piece of entertainment and a reasonably decent science fiction/fantasy story. If I snagged a beat up paperback copy of UM at a second hand bookstore and read it, I think I'd enjoy it enough to note the name of the author, and go looking for more books by him.

    So that's something.

  • Last and certainly not least on this hit parade, Daniel Keys Moran is alive and well and even working on publishing another Continuing Times novel. As the animated Gambit so couthly puts it, life don' ged much bedda dan dis. If you haven't read DKM's Emerald Eyes or the Continuing Time's two further installments The Long Run and The Last Dancer, you're just straight up missing out on the best Lee-Kirby Silver Age superhero/sf comics books that have ever been done without pictures. I think all three books are out of print now, which pretty much sucks ass, but I'm fairly sure you can find them through second hand shops if your Google Fu skill level is up to the task. (Hey, if I can find old copies of Dave Van Arnem's STAR BARBARIAN and Andrew Sugar's ENFORCER series with a quick tap-tap-tap at the keyboard, I can't imagine it's difficult to find much more recent stuff like DKM's. And, while you're at it, get yourself copies of Robert R. Chase's The Game of Fox and Lion, Shapers, and Crucible, too. Science fiction at its finest, for mere pennies per page. Our civilization may be on the very threshold of apocalyptic meltdown, but God, I love living in decadent times.)

    Daniel Keys Moran is blogging, too. So check that out, also, if you've a mind to.

That's all I got for the moment. As I reach for the light switch on the way out of the template, however, let me note in passing that links to each of my novels, my distinctly unmilitary military memoir, and many of my short stories, are over on the right hand side of the main blog page. If you've got some free time on your hands, well... what the hell, all that stuff is free, too, so it seems like a match made in heaven, don't it? And who knows, if you print any of it out and spend two years reading it to your wife, you might find you enjoy the hell out of it, too. (Say, there's a niche market I can fill...)


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