Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

January’s End: Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2015

comics and animation, event, everyday glory, exhibits, geekery, people No Comments »
January's End: Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2015

Saturday – 31 January 2014

UPDATE: Of course, when I posted this last night, I neglected to include the link to the gallery of pictures I took. D’oh! So, here’s “take two.”

It’s been a good weekend… and it’s only half over!

Thanks to #BestWifeEver, Sara!, I attended the 2015 Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Xperience, colloquially referred to as “FanX” (pronounced “fan ex”).

slcomiccon2015

I went Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon for a few hours each day. Friday, I went with my coworker, Adam, and wandered the show floor, checking out the event. I ran into a few people I knew and saw some really good costumes, but I mainly wanted to see who and what was there. As I was originally not planning on attending the event, I decided not to go in costume.

Shortly before we were ready to leave on Friday, I ran into Jay Whittaker, who was dressed as Deadpool. Okay, let me amend that: I was talking with Big Movie Mouth Off and Geekshow Podcast‘s Jimmy Martin… and there was someone dressed up as Deadpool. I tried (mostly) to just ignore the cosplayer. Then, he just said: “Rob! You have no idea who I am,” and started laughing. Then I started laughing, because I recognized the voice. He told me that he was enjoying the anonymity of cosplaying behind a mask and noted that he was going to be cosplaying as Miles Morales – the Marvel Ultimate Universe Spider-Man – on Saturday. I jokingly quipped that I would have to show up on Saturday as Nick Fury. He said that I should do it…

Saturday morning, I broke out the Nick Fury outfit and headed back to FanX. My game plan for the day was to catch up with a few friends and to attend three panels:

  1. The Bechdel Test, hosted by Hello Sweetie Podcast‘s Charity O’Haodagain
  2. Comic Books on Television – DC, featuring my friends Jake, Jeremiah, and Jimmy, and
  3. Cosplayers and Charity, hosted by Jay (which I didn’t know until Saturday afternoon).

I’d barely gotten to the main floor when someone stopped me to take a picture. I was a little late getting to the Bechdel Test panel, but I did get there. It was a great discussion and some of the audience questions were insightful. I had some time to wander after the panel, so I caught up with my friend, Jamie. We wandered a bit. I got stopped for more pictures. We wandered some more.

I ran into Josh, Jack and Melody and their son. I’d seen pictures of Mel’s costume, but hadn’t seen the actual handiwork until today. The pictures don’t do it justice. That was an impressive piece of work. (Of course, that’s not entirely surprising, having seen her other artwork.) From there, it was off to the Comics on Television panel, which was just… fun. More wandering. More pictures. Then it was time for the Cosplayers and Charity panel, which featured six cosplayers from five charity cosplay groups (and one independent charity cosplayer). The panelists related stories of how they both got into cosplay and into cosplaying for charity.

After that, I did a little more roaming. I ran into Jamie again and we both ran into Danielle, also from Hello Sweetie. Charity and Sean passed by us on their way out and I took that as a sign that I should probably get on my way as well.

All told, the FanX event was a smaller affair than its September sibling, but that was not a detriment. It was easier to navigate (“Not all asses and elbows,” as I told a few people) and less chaotic. But, nevertheless, it was fun. I’m glad that I went and thankful to Sara! for the opportunity to go.

Namaste.

“In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night…” (or “The Night I Met Neal Adams”)

art, business and economy, comics and animation, event, everyday glory, geekery, history No Comments »
"In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night..." (or "The Night I Met Neal Adams")

Wednesday – 28 January 2015
Today, Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection hosted a Neal Adams signing event.

Neal Adams
For those of you who are unaware, Mr. Adams is a comic book and commercial artist (bibliography). Wait, I left out a word: “Legendary.”

When the signing was announced, it was a given that I was going to attend. And I knew what I was taking to have signed:

Green-Lantern-v2-80-00

This is the cover of the issue of Green Lantern/Green Arrow from the month and year I was born. This…this is what I would have signed!

I left work a little early and headed to Dr. Volt’s with my copy. As I got there around the time that most people were just getting off work, I was there before a crowd gathered. I picked up a trio of prints…

IMG_0430

Green Lantern John Stewart

 

IMG_0431

Diana, Princess of Themyscira

 

IMG_0435

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (1978)

…and I got in line. A few moments later, I was at the head of the line and about to get my items signed. I also had a chance for a photo op.

IMG_0488

I stuck around for a few minutes to talk with the guys at Volt’s before heading home.  It was at this point that Andrew reminded me of something: A few months ago, I’d bought a copy of Green Lantern/Green Arrow #87, the first appearance of John Stewart… which was also drawn by Neal Adams. He said that I should get that signed, too.

IMG_3636

Then I remembered something else: I had left it at home.

::: grblsnrkx :::

I did a little mental math and realized that I could make it home and back before the signing was over AND still run the other errands that I had planned for the evening. Decision made, I did my best Smokey and the Bandit impression.

And I made it.

I returned with GL/GA #87 and got back in line. Mr. Adams looked at me and asked, “So you found something else…?” I replied that of all the Lanterns, John Stewart was my favorite. He signed it and, putting down his pen, said: “With this, you’ve earned the right to hear the story of John Stewart.” He then proceeded to tell this story:

He had gone to Julius Schwartz with the idea that Green Lantern Hal Jordan needed a backup, in case something happened to him. Schwartz told him that Jordan already had a backup: Guy Gardner.

Adams retorted with: “So, a purple alien comes to Earth, dying, and sends his ring out to find a worthy successor. It passes Batman, Superman and all of the other heroes in the DC Universe and finds… a test pilot. Now, I’m a big fan of Chuck Yeager, so I get it. But, when the time comes to find another worthy person, the ring goes out again… and passes Batman and Superman – again – and finds… a white, blonde, gym teacher. What about all the other people in the world? Is it just going to pass them by?! Twice!?”

“Gardner needs to get hit by a bus. If he just breaks his arm, he’ll be back – good as new – in a month. If he gets hit by a bus, he’ll be out of action for a while. There would have to be a new backup.”

Schwartz realized that Adams wanted to introduce a minority character as Jordan’s backup. He tried to dissuade him by saying that Hal Jordan’s mechanic was Asian. Adams said, “Yeah, and you call him ‘Pieface!’ That’s offensive.” They went back and for a bit, but Schwartz eventually relented and said “Denny (O’Neill) will write it and YOU have to draw him.”

And he did.

When the story was done, O’Neill handed it off to Adams… who didn’t get far into the story before finding another point of contention: the name – “Lincoln Washington.” He confronted O’Neill, who told him that it wasn’t his idea and that Schwartz had come up with it. Adams went to Schwartz “…and closed the door, because I knew there would be shouting.” He argued against the name, calling it not only offensive, but also noting how blacks of the day were changing their names to get away from ‘slave names.’ He also told Schwartz that he could keep the name, if he was adamant, but that e would also fill his office with letters from angry readers. Schwartz responded that he “…[knew] guys with those kinds of names,” and then asked Adams what kind of name he should give him. Adams simply replied, “A name. A real name. Just… pull out any name.” Schwartz eventually relented and told Adams to come up with a name. He picked “John Stewart.” He then laughed and asked, “How was I supposed to know that he was going to be come a comedian?”

He wrapped up his story with the following epilogues:

“This story has two endings.

Ending Two: DC wound up making a movie with Hal Jordan, Green Lantern. There were 10 million kids who were asking ‘Who’s Hal Jordan!?’ Putting Jordan in the movie, they basically went from Gil Kane straight to Geoff Johns, jumping over me and Denny O’Neill – our names weren’t even  credited. And, DC lost $150 million dollars on the movie.

Ending One: When I pitched the idea of a black Green Lantern, I did it because I could draw a black person and no one else could or did. All of the artists, even the black ones, were just drawing white faces and then having them colored to be black. And they were drawing them with wavy hair. Black people don’t have wavy hair, they have kinky hair. It takes a whole lot of shit to make it wavy. And we also had to put the color notations in our artwork, so that the colorists would know how to color the characters. Black characters up to that point were all light-skinned, we used to call it ‘khaki brown.’ When I put in my color notations for John Stewart, I made him dark. Julie Schwartz and (publisher whose name I don’t recall) came to him and asked, ” Are you sure that you want him this dark?” Adams confirmed his intention. He then added, “Then they asked me something that has stuck with me until this day: ‘Aren’t black people going to be offended?” Adams laughed and said, “You can send me the first letter.”

When he finished his story, I told him “Ending Three: John Stewart is the reason that I’m the Green Lantern fan I am today. I grew up watching Hal Jordan on cartoons, but I was never really into the Lanterns until John Stewart showed up on Justice League. In fact, I became so much a fan that when I got married, this wound up on my wedding ring…” I showed him the GL insignia on my wedding band and simply said, “So, thank you.”

wedding_bands_sm
I had a lot of fun at the signing, meeting Neal Adams, and listening to him tell stories. (Come on, meeting the man who was responsible for one of my favorite characters?! Yeah. Not a big surprise there.) He was charming, a bit gregarious and an interesting man to chat with. He will be at Salt Lake Comic Con‘s FanX on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you are attending the con, I suggest stopping by his booth and saying “Hello.”

This took about an hour and a half longer than I had expected, meaning: I’m up MUCH later than I had planned to be up. However, I wanted to get this down, while it was still relatively fresh in my mind. I’d call it worth it.

But, now… it’s time for a tour – an abbreviated tour – of The Dreaming.

Namaste.

Reason #2515 of “Why I’ll Never Be a News Director”

everyday glory No Comments »
Reason #2515 of “Why I’ll Never Be a News Director”

Tuesday – 27 January 2015
As I was preparing lunch today, the television in the break room was on and tuned to [news channel whose initials sound like “SEE ENN ENN”]. As far as news channels go, I was cool with this; Faucks Newz is probably the only channel that makes my hair stand on end. Oh, wait…

The lead story was… dun dun DUNNNN… about the blizzard hitting the northeast. There was a live report from Brooke Baldwin in Boston; she commented that the snow was still falling. (It was. We could see it.) There was also a “Breaking News” banner plastered across the screen, telling of a sea wall breach on Massachusetts’ South Shore and how water was causing damage to a home along the wall and the potential for more damage when high tide rolls in. (Holy crap, actual news!)

breaking_news2
It was at this point, that they decided to cut to another reporter for more information about the breach. Okay, I’m fine with the “man on the scene” reports for news-as-it-happens. Let’s go!

And… cut to the reporter… riding in a car… on the way to the scene.

*sigh*

What. The. Hell?!

Was there something that he can tell or show us – other than more falling snow out his window or the snow on the road ahead – that Brooke couldn’t?

Answer: Not really, from what he did say.

So, then WHY cut to “man-on-the-scene” if he’s not at the $(*&!#@$!%?scene?!

I feel the same way about on-the-scene reporters who are “reporting live from…” the site of a fire or an accident hours after the fact. Is there a relevant reason for you to still be there – other than:

  1. You’re the FNG and are paying your dues,
  2. You pissed off your news director and this is your punishment assignment, or
  3. You’re using your “story coverage” to squeeze in a trip to the Dunkin Donuts or liquor store.

Here’s my take on it:

  • Is the news happening now?
  • Is there something relevant to the story that we need to see at the scene?
  • Is there someone you’re about to interview who has pertinent information about that news we’re not seeing because it happened two hours ago?

If your answer was “No” to any or all of those questions, Get. Back. In. The. Studio.

/soapbox

Namaste.

Reason #2514 of “Why I’ll Never Be a News Director”

everyday glory, movies and TV, news and info, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Reason #2514 of "Why I'll Never Be a News Director"

Monday – 26 January 2015
Sara! and I just finished watching Castle and the post-episode news bump came on. The item was about the blizzard in the northeast.

A potentially history-making blizzard hits the northeast…

That, in and of itself, I was fine with. What annoyed the holy living shite out of me was the phrase that followed:

…how it affects Utahns…

at which point my internal screw-this-o-meter went off and I tuned out everything else that followed.

When this has happened in the past, Sara! has accused me of not “getting” human interest stories. That’s not (entirely) true. I grok human interest stories; I just don’t think that they are always/necessarily news. (Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.)

breaking-news
My biggest beef, at least with local newscasts, is that they often try to find a “Utah angle” even in stories that don’t have one. You want to report the news? Great! Tell us that there’s a horrible storm hitting the east coast. You want to tell a story that affects people here? Do that. But, for the love of God, the Devil and Bob, DON’T try and make a story that isn’t about Utah… about Utah.

I’ve tried to recall if news reports in other states in which I lived did the same thing. And, for the life of me, I don’t happening in those places. I’ve been here more than ten years and it still gets under my skin. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I don’t watch local news.

Feh.

Okay, that’s two birds with one stone:

  1. New post
  2. Venting my spleen.

I feel better now. Now, back to my regularly-scheduled viewing of Vin Diesel’s XXX. (Yeah, yeah, yeah… say what you will, it’s a guilty pleasure. Deal.)

Namaste.

Avengers Assemble!

everyday glory, games, geekery No Comments »
Avengers Assemble!

This afternoon, I went to the local Toys ‘R’ Us and picked up a new Disney Infinity Play Set. Since Sara! Got me a Nick Fury figure for Christmas, I decided to get the Avengers set…

infinity_avengers

…only to discover that I can’t the figure in this set. (He’s part of the Spider-Man set, apparently.) Oh, well. So I started out with Iron Man and then Thor and finally Captain America.

And I’ve been having a blast. Possibly even more fun than I should. And that’s just fine with me.

Namaste.

Twenty-Four (Insert digital clock counting down here)

everyday glory, food for thought No Comments »
Twenty-Four  (Insert digital clock counting down here)

Saturday – 24 January 2015
Yes, I skipped the Day 21-23 entries from the blogging challenge. Perhaps I’ll come back to them; perhaps not. After starting the challenge, I realized something: It’s not so much that I need an external source to inspire me to write, I just need to sit down and write. While I’ve enjoyed using their jumping off points, I no longer feel constrained to just writing about them.

Ironically, this post uses the “Day 23″ and “Day 24″ entries, as they dovetail nicely into each other. Go figure.

Day 23: Make a list of things that distract you. Every man deals with distractions, whether at work or at home. It could be the internet in general, it could be a specific website, it could even be something that’s actually beneficial, and yet distracts to some degree from something that’s important to you. Making a list creates awareness, and you can better slay those distraction dragons.

My distractions include, but are not limited to:

  • Books
  • Comic books
  • Gaming (board games, console/PC, miniatures, online)
  • Model railroading
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Watching television

Day 24: In modern times, men have become more spectators than doers; more consumers than creators. Yet one of the marks of a mature man is being someone who doesn’t just consume the culture around him, but actually helps create it. Think about all the ways you consume the world around you, and the time you spend doing it. Next, think about the ways you can reverse that, and start to actually be a creator. That’s an intimidating word to some, so come up with ways that you can get off the couch and do something productive instead of just mindlessly intaking.

Looking at the above list of distractions, I can immediately identify two items that can be turned into creative output:

  • Books (i.e.: “Reading”)
  • Surfing the Internet

I’ve been musing over my children’s book idea lately, trying to determine how best to make its story coherent and what age range I want to target.

As far as Internet surfing goes, I’ve made an effort – yes, it’s been slow and sporadic… but an effort, nonetheless – to get articles on the Pinstripes and Polos website and Pinterest boards. Who knows, I might even get a few things on Four-Color Coverage before it’s all said and done!

Namaste.

Placeholder

everyday glory No Comments »

Thursday/Friday – 22/23 January 2015
(This was supposed to be posted last night/this morning, but it was about 3 AM and I apparently neglected to hit “Publish.” Oops.)

I didn’t forget to post on Wednesday night or Thursday night. Things came up that precluded me doing so.

And, technically, this is still my Thursday night.
(It’s been a long day… and an even longer one for some of my coworkers.)

And this is a post.

So, there’s that.

Namaste.

Twenty

everyday glory, food for thought, geekery, people No Comments »

Tuesday – 20 January 2015
Day 20: Think about the period of your life in which you have the greatest nostalgia for. For me, it’s definitely college. Staying up late with friends, being forced to be creative with date ideas because I didn’t have any money, doing nothing but learning all day long…it was fantastic. Once you identify that time period, think of why you’re so nostalgic about it. There’s a good chance that there’s something from that time that you’d like to regain or recapture. Maybe you realize the importance of having close friends, or perhaps you’ll come to understand your desire to be a lifelong learner. Nostalgia can be healthy if reflected on and not obsessed over. You may not be able to recapture the past exactly (see Jay Gatsby), but there are elements of it that may make you a happier fellow.

Alright, we’ve hit something that’s given me a bit of pause. I don’t know that I really have an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for any ONE particular part of my life.

College? Sure. There are a lot of things I miss from those days, most of them spinning around the circle of friends I found and our nominal adventures.

But, I also miss some things about being a kid and playing on my aunt and uncle’s… property (because “farm,” isn’t quite right) with my friends. And racing through the halls of schools where my mother taught with other friends. And the freedom from school that summertime brought. And the (mis)adventures my friends and I got into. And traveling around the country – mostly the eastern seaboard at that point. And… and… and… so many other things.

To borrow a few lines from Rush’s Headlong Flight:

All the journeys
Of this great adventure
It didn’t always feel that way
I wouldn’t trade them
Because I made them
The best I could
And that’s enough to say

Some days were dark
I wish that I could live it all again
Some nights were bright
I wish that I could live it all again

That sums it up pretty well.

 

Nineteen

everyday glory No Comments »

Monday – 19 January 2015
Day 19: Reflect on your romantic relationship(s), and identify one area in which you’d like to improve. Be it your wife, fiance, or new girlfriend, there’s sure to be something you can do to make the relationship even better. If you don’t have a romantic partner in your life, perhaps you can identify past failures that you’d like to improve in your future relationships. You can choose to talk about this with your partner, or not. Either way, you’ve now put your relationship top-of-mind and will be more attuned to being intentional about keeping it healthy.

This is another easy one.

Something that I can do – and that I’ve actually been working on is: Being better at communication. I’m trying to be more aware of what I say and how I say it. I am also trying to be more aware of what’s being said to me.

Namaste.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015

event, everyday glory, food for thought, history No Comments »
Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015

Monday – 19 January 2015
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (1, 2).


Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. Visit MLKDay.gov.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.


An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

This morning, I learned that the place I normally go to volunteer on this day is closed. So, my “service” will be spending time with Sara! and Team DiVa. That’s fine with me. I’ll find a free Saturday and go back. I’d also like to do a little more volunteering through the year.

Please take some time to reflect on what today means beyond a few sales and a day off.

Namaste.

Eighteen

everyday glory, house and home No Comments »
Eighteen

Sunday – 18 January 2015
Yes, it’s officially Monday, but I started on Sunday and I haven’t been to sleep yet, so there we go.

Day 18: Identify one project you’d like to complete with your hands. There’s something special about a man doing work with his bare hands, and most men today have lost that. Maybe you want to start a garden, or build a workbench in your garage. Maybe you’ve been meaning to upgrade your bathroom on your own volition. Once you identify that one project, write about what you have to do in order to complete it. Detail the steps, the resources, the help you’ll need, etc. Then, set about doing it. Come back to this entry as motivation when you see yourself wavering.

 

My first big thing was getting my Train Room completed. That was a great feeling. But there are still a few projects that I want to take care of, but top of the list would be:

  • Installing a new bathroom in the basement.

We’ve talked about this for a while and I think that this year is when we should hopefully be able to start tackling it.

To do so, we need to clear out the space (it’s become secondary storage), frame up the room and the utility room that will share the space, cut some concrete, put in a floor and the walls, and install a tub, sink, toilet and cabinets. You know… like you do. Of course, this means that I’ll be making more trips to Home-Away-From-Home Depot.

Help? I’m calling in my go-to construction guru: My father-in-law. As well as anyone else foolish enough to throw in with us.

It’s just a matter of time.

Namaste.

Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen…

books, event, everyday glory, food for thought, football, games, geekery, history, people, space No Comments »
Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen...

Saturday – 17 January 2015
Okay, three-for-one time…

Day 15: Come up with your own Cabinet of Invisible Counselors. There are innumerable great men from history who we can learn from today. When thinking about your life or pondering some question or problem, yes, go to actual mentors and friends, but also take in the advice of men of yore. Write out who you would have on your list and what you admire about them. Having trouble coming up with a list? The comments in the post should offer plenty of ideas.

I wasn’t sure how literally to take the “take in the advice of men of yore” when I first read this. I decided to take a more “interpretive” stand with it, and thus my list will include men and women.

My list would include:

  • My grandfathers – One died before I was born, the other before I was really old enough to go to him for advice.
  • Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart – It would be fascinating to talk with them about being pioneers, despite the cultural and societal changes they faced.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X – I would like to discuss the more mundane/day-to-day struggles they faced that we never hear about.
  • Sun-TzuThe Art of War is one of my favorite books. I would want to talk with him about how he devised the strategies in the book and whether he ever considered them as having viable applications beyond the battlefield.
  • Neil Armstrong – C’mon, who doesn’t want to know not only what was it like to walk on the moon!? And he’s the second Boilermaker (Ms. Earhart was the other) list. Win-Win. Also, the challenges of shooting a tin can into space, get it to orbit another astronomical body, LAND on said body, take off from said AND return to Earth have to be many and varied. That’s knowledge and background to which I’d love to have access.

Day 16: Imagine that someone has decided to write a book about your life, just up to this point. What would the cover blurb say? Be honest here. Is it kind of boring? Are you happy with it? Now imagine what you’d like that blurb to say at the end of your life. What changes need to made for that to happen?

Yeah. I’ve been pondering this one and I’m just not sure. I don’t think that it would necessarily be anything out of the ordinary. Would it be boring? Dunno. I think that I live a kind of mundane life, but to someone else, it might be kind of out there. Am I happy with my life? Yep. No matter what I’ve been through, it’s helped to get me where I am.

Day 17: Hop on the internet and search for the biggest news stories in the year you were born. Infoplease is a great resource for this. Think about how these news stories, or even statistics, may have shaped your childhood or who you are today. For example, the year I was born, it was discovered that 98% of American households had at least one television set. I could write about how television influenced my generation, and continues to do so today, either positively or negatively.

  • Prime time football - ABC begins it’s long running Monday Night Football
    I came into watching football kind of late: In my early 20s. A friend of mine introduced me to John Madden on the Sega Genesis and fan of the Miami Dolphins. I kind of latched on to the Dolphins as my first football team, despite the fact that I had grown up in and around Baltimore. (This was after the Indianapolis Professional Football Club left Maryland…) It was around this point that I started watching Monday Night Football and started paying attention to games on Sunday.Fast forward twenty years, I’m a fan of the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers)… and the Dolphins still hold a special place in my heart. I watch Sunday games – and Monday Night Football – when I can (and when the Ravens’ games are on).
  • World Trade Center is completed

    This picture was taken in 1999. And two years later, the towers were gone. This is what I had to say on that day. I haven’t been to New York for more than a layover since then, but I would love to visit the site on my next visit.

  • First F-14 Tomcat Tested – Dec. 21, 1970: The first ever F-14 Tomcat was tested; This led to use by the NAVY for about 30 years.This was one of my favorite aircraft in my early model-building years. Top Gun didn’t hurt my love for it either. While my favorite planes today are the SR-71 and the P-51 Mustang, I still appreciate the Tomcat.

Namaste.

Wait, wasn’t something else supposed to be here?

everyday glory No Comments »
Wait, wasn't something else supposed to be here?

Friday – 16 January 2015
I know that there was supposed to be a Day Fifteen post yesterday and a Day Sixteen post today, but they’re getting back-burnered until tomorrow. (To be fair, I started the Day Fifteen post yesterday afternoon…)

…but taking care of a work-related issue ate up my free time last night and a good portion of the wee hours of this morning. And today at work was a haul to get a couple of major things accomplished. All that, on top of a week that was trying, at best.

So, I’m taking the evening off to spend with my family and a few friends. I need the mental recharge.

We’ll pick up tomorrow with three posts. But, hey, if nothing else: This serves as a decent placeholder.

Namaste.

Day Fourteen

books, everyday glory No Comments »
Day Fourteen

Wednesday – 14 January 2015
Day 14: Write a review of some form of entertainment you recently took in. Whether book or movie or TV show or Broadway play, write out what you liked and didn’t like about it. Was the acting/writing good? Could you follow the story? Is there anything you can take from it about life, or was it purely entertainment? This is often one of the most enjoyable entries to write, as it’s especially fun (and quite nostalgic) to go back and read these in the future. I can imagine that 10 years from now I will thoroughly appreciate my thoughts from this week on Roy Baumeister’s Is There Anything Good About Men?.

I’m going to try this again, since I just. wrote. this. post. and WordPress apparently decided to eat it… and not save a draft. (I may have accidentally moved it to the trash – which is more like “the incinerator.”) Either way: Take Two…

Lullaby by Ace Atkins

Spenser is back. This time he’s been hired by fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan to solve her mother’s murder. The only problems are: The case has already been solved and it happened four years ago.

The story returns readers to Spenser’s Boston and reintroduces a few familiar faces. It also introduces new characters, like Mattie, who at first seems as though she will fulfill the same role as Paul Giacommin in Early Autumn. Readers soon discover that Mattie is more self-aware and self-sufficient than Paul at that age.

This book is the first Spenser novel not written by Robert B. Parker. I was initially a bit leery about reading it, concerned with how much the tone of the Spenser series might change under someone else’s pen. I was pleasantly surprised. As I’ve described it:

It was a little fuzzy around the edges, but not totally out-of-focus.

Meaning: Ace Atkins’ writing style emulated Parker’s well, but there were a few places where it felt a little “off.” This didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the story. (For refernce: I am currently reading Wonderland, the next book in the series, and it feels a little closer to what I’ve come to expect in a Spenser book.)

As a fan of the Spenser character and series, I would happily recommend this book.

Namaste.

Day Thirteen

business and economy, cars, computers, education, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, geekery, health, house and home, office antics, politics and law, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, workout No Comments »
Day Thirteen

Tuesday (with a little Wednesday thrown in…) – 13 January 2014
Day 13: Perform a mind dump of everything you’re worried about. From the leaky dishwasher to your family member’s poor health — get it all out. Dwight D. Eisenhower did it, and it significantly helped him manage his stress. Just as your body needs to…cleanse itself of waste, so does your mind every once in a while. Getting all your stressors on paper may alleviate some of that pressure. Use David Allen’s GTD trigger list to help you out.

With apologies to Monty Python, “I’m so worried about…”

  • Being a good husband and dad.
  • Keeping in touch with my family – here and “back home.”
  • Making time for friends.
  • Making time for me.
  • Staying on top of my health.
  • Whether or not I’ll be able to fit some travel in this year.
  • Projects around the house, now that I don’t have the Train Room as an excuse.
  • Becoming more aware of and informed about issues in the community.
  • What the Hell is still “not as right as it could be” with my car?!
  • Keeping all of the balls that I’m juggling for work in the air.
    • This one isn’t horrible, but there’s just been a lot going on over the past two weeks.
  • A proposed project (that’s actually kind of up my alley) – I just want it to go well.
  • Cleaning up my queue of work requests.
  • Managing to get – and do well in – upcoming training.
  • “…the baggage retrieval system they’ve got at Heathrow.”

Namaste.