Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Looks like good ol' Gary Trudeau is in trouble again, at least with some newspapers. Apparently the term "Turd Blossom" isn't suitable for some tender readers to encounter in the funny pages. I think Bush using it as the new nickname for a certain White House staffe is pretty cute, myself.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I heard the news about the bombing incident in London before heading off to work today. Another unfortunate situation and I’m glad that only one person seems to have been injured. Apparently, according to early reports, the only one hurt was one of the bombers who was surprised by an early detonation. What a shame!

I find myself in agreement with some of the British journalists who believe this is probably the work of ‘copycats’ rather than the same group responsible for the 7/7 attacks. This group seems, fortunately for those involved, a bit more amateur than those who carried out the very deadly bombings of two weeks ago.

Fingers crossed that things have not gotten worse since I last heard the news. Also, I hope they capture those responsible for all the deaths and injuries in both incidents.

Also, since everybody else has chimed in on the topic. Who would have thought that the perfect Supreme Court candidate would be a conservative White man in his fifties? Obviously the President and his cronies searched far & wide for someone like John Roberts in order to fill the slot vacated by the first woman to sit on the court. Do you think the odds are good that he might be a Republican?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I'm not in San Diego this year, obviously, but we'll see about 2006. Donna had initially wanted me to plan my vacation to coincide with the convention, but I think we both needed the earlier time off.

Now that I'm not actively involved in fandom or a member of Friends of Lulu, I'm just one of the nameless fanboys who would drift around. I'm not even reading any comics regularly so I'd probably be hitting the various panels rather than haunting the dealer's room.

If anybody reading this is out in San Diego, I hope you enjoy yourselves and find whatever it is for which you're searching. Also, don't miss the costume contest if you can help it! If you happen to be a member of Capa-Alpha (the oldest continuing comics apa) toast all of those who couldn't make it this year.

If you aren't going, word is that New York City will finally get a major comics convention again in 2006. While Big Apple is fine it will be nice to see a really major event in the city which is still home for a good part of the industry.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I don't want to get myself in trouble, but I have to say that it ticks me off that the Queens Library (and apparently the other library systems in New York) are allowing Scholastic to set ridiculous rules regarding the new HARRY POTTER book.

We actually have to lock the books in the Branch Manager's office upon receipt. The book cannot be linked to the library until just prior to the opening on Saturday (or whatever the first day after 7/16 the library opens). A memo was sent out all but threatening staff should they do anything with the book before the branch actually opens to the public.

The library, like book stores, receive many new books prior to the publication date and we DO NOT release them until then. We have had to lock books away, sealed in plastic, until a set time.

I'm half way tempted to stand out front of the branch at 10:01 am (just after we open) and read the last chapter of the book to anyone interested.

Don't get me wrong! I really enjoy the Harry Potter series and have been looking forward to this latest installment. On the other hand, I think the publisher is being a bit high-handed about all this. We're talking about a children's fantasy book, people!!
Well, just to keep you updated I've been out sick and really haven't felt like posting. Heck, I've barely been keeping up with my e-mail.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

While I certainly don't want to make light of the tragic bombings this morning, it was certainly fortunate that those responsible didn't take advantage of the celebrations in Britain last evening. The throngs of folks out celebrating the awarding of the 2012 Olympics to London would have been a prime target for such a group. My guess is that they already had plans in place for today's action and could not change them suddenly.

Naturally the press had their reporters aiming cameras and microphones at New Yorkers trying to go about their daily transit. Again, the folks going in to the MTA stations said they could not and would not change their plans. Donna actually wanted to drive me to work today, I told her not to bother, but I did promise to call as soon as I got to the library.

Frankly, the MTA itself is the biggest threat to my daily commute! The daily trip to Forest Hills should usually take me about an hour & fifteen minutes, but has taken me over two hours the last few days. It always seems to be "signal problems". Maybe they should just have a few guys with red & green flags waving from each station.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown - I’m not going to do a complete review of this book, since it has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year. In all likelihood, if you haven’t read it as yet you probably haven’t much interest, or are waiting for the paperback edition due later this year. Plus, there have been television network specials on some of the theories and ideas expressed. On top of that, once the trailers for the film version of the book (starring Tom Hanks) begin to appear the morning talk-shows and other media outlets will be filled with even more information.

In Brown’s novel, Professor Robert Langdon (introduced in the earlier novel, ANGELS & DEMONS) is in Paris to lecture on religious symbolism. On leave from his teaching chores at Harvard, Langdon has been contacted by Jacques Sauneire the curator of the Louvre Museum. When Sauneire is murdered the French police bring Langdon in for questioning, since he had been scheduled to meet with the curator earlier in the evening. This is the beginning of a series of mysteries which involve Langdon and Sauneire’s granddaughter in a search for what just might be The Holy Grail. Brown does an excellent job of balancing actual historic facts with an exciting chase, as Langdon tries to discover why he has possibly framed for the murder. He also must try to keep ahead of both police and others who are searching for the Grail. Even without the theory which is getting so much publicity the novel itself is a very good thriller, and will keep the reader second guessing.

Brown has filled the book with so much information that it is impossible not to be drawn into the idea of a conspiracy. While he admits that some liberties were taken for effect, it is also evident that he has done an enormous amount of research. In fact, there are currently at least half dozen books which examine the facts which Brown uses as starting point. A quick Internet search will also spotlight a number of sites dedicated to either backing up or denouncing the ideas expressed by Langdon. Heck, you can even check out Brown’s own website at and find all sorts of interesting material.

As with all books of this type, how much you get out of it will depend on what you’re looking for. If nothing else it has interested me in picking up some of Brown’s other books, which I guess is all a writer can ask.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Good morning, patriots!

Just a quick wish for everyone to have a safe and joyous Fourth of July. Stay clear of the fireworks, but if you must fool around with loaded ordinance, try not to be drinking at the same time, huh?

Oh, and congrats to NASA for being able to hit a huge chunk of ice millions of miles away, while not being able to ensure the safety of the astronauts they strap into the shuttle. Way to spend the budget, guys!!

Be safe and kind to each other!

Friday, July 01, 2005

First the Supreme Court opinion allowing the display of the Ten Commandments and now today's announcement that Sandra Day O'Connor is resigning. Since we can also expect that the Chief Justice will do likewise (within the next few months, is my bet) those of us who believe in the seperation of church & state and other Constitutional issues should begin to worry. We should also start to organize and let our voices be heard by the spineless seat-fillers in Congress.

I'm placing a link to the organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State over on the Left. It was there, just a few minutes ago in fact, where I first read of O'Connor's announcement.

Both progressives and true Conservatives should be concerned about the tilt of the next Court.