Contents

Caty and Cara's Page

Our Computers

Snapshots with Text

Essays for Fun

Ken Burch's Tales

Ken's Neocron Tales

More Neocron Tales

Secret Wars

Tales of the Walker Clan

Our Cast

Why Kevin Doesn't Dance

Writing of Mine That Doesn't Totally Suck

Stuff dl Thinks Is Cool

The Old, Old Grandma Story

The Final Battle

James' Photos

James Meyer's Birds:

Introduction

Photos 1 through 25

Photos 26 through 50

Photos 51 through 75

Photos 76 through 100

Reading

a book cover

Playing





alChandler's Halls

Serving dozens since 1999!


The Battle for Suledin Keep

In Dragon Age: Inquisition Suledin Keep is a fortress held by the Red Templars. They, in turn, are being held by a demon named Imshael. You have to storm it and take it for your side. Among other things the Templars have giants who are infected with a substance called red lyrium. I first tackled an infected giant when I was level 14 and got my ass kicked. This time I was level 16.

The giant was backed up by four Templars. In an ideal world my party would have stayed a ways back behind an arch that the giant couldn't fit through. I would have aggroed the giant led him away from his handlers then my party would join in and we'd take him down. Instead, the moment I cast a spell on the giant the rest of the party rushed in attacking him and the Templars. They went down leaving me to deal with the giant alone. As it turned out it was easy. I'd aggro him, he's follow and when he was ready to throw a boulder at me I dart through the arch. Then I'd go back and aggro him again. Essentially I beat him solo. When he went down the rest of the party woke up from their death like stupor.

As it turned out the giants were tougher then Imshael. Once he went down Suledin keep was mine. Not bad for a day's work.

March 31, 2015


After the Battle



I really should invest in a can of Scotch Guard.

March 31, 2015


The Writer Will Do Something

It's 2012 and the focus group hated the opening to the AAA game you're working on. So the team holds a meeting. And now you know how stuff like Alien: Colonial Marines happens.

Update: Got a little story to tell you. Last year the rebooted Thief was released. The original game was done by Looking Glass, this version was done by Eidos Montreal. Now in the game you're Garrett the thief. In the fist three games Garrett was voiced by Stephen Russell and during the game's development everybody assumed that Russell would be back. Instead the developer went with Romano Orzari. They explained that they planned to do motion capture of the voice actor doing thief like things and Russell was just too old. They also felt that it just wouldn't work if one guy did the stunts and another did the voice.

It was then that long time fans knew that this was not going to be the game of our dreams and we were right.

March 31, 2015


Tomb Raider

It took me forever to get into this tomb in the desert. I got some resistance to fire out of it that may come in handy later on. I'm now level 16. Once I get to 17 it might be time to start doing story missions again

March 30, 2015


Slots

I haven't been on the floor of a casino for some time so I was unaware that there were D&D themed slot machines. I'm holding out for the GTA franchise to cut a licensing deal.

March 30, 2015


A Question from John Scalzi

First the question:

Name a product brand (or two) that you are not entirely rationally attached to. This is usually expressed is a rivalry (Coke vs. Pepsi, XBox vs. PlayStation) but doesn't have to be.

I thought about this for a day or so and then realized that my brand is Steam. I mean while I've been having a ball playing Dragon Age: Inquisition there's a part of me that thinks the game would be even better if it was on Steam. Obviously that's ridiculous but it's still at the back of my mind.

March 29, 2015


alChandler the Dragon Killer

That's Northern Hunter, one of the ten dragons in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Now, you get to kill a dragon in the first game in the series, called (drumroll) Dragon Age but I was never able to do it. I used a cheat to finish the game. That's why I wanted to kill at least one Dragon in this game. Now that I've killed one the pressure's off.

As it turned out my spells were pretty much useless against it but my spirit sword was devastating. I made the right decision going with Knight Enchanter as a class, life is good. I may not kill another dragon in the game but dammit, I killed one!

By the way, having seen Peter Jackson's version of Smaug, I can't look at the four legged, two winged variety the same way, just sayin'.

March 29, 2015


Forbes on Bloodborne

There's a lot of good stuff out there that's too difficult, or perhaps the word is too intense, for me to enjoy. The books of James Joyce, the art of Jackson Pollock, a lot of the music of John Coltrane. It's all good, I just can't appreciate it. Here's the important thing, it's not a defect on the part of the artist, it's my flaw. That's why this article in Forbes makes me mad, Bloodborne's' Critical Praise Is Gaming Journalism's Failure. Here's a quote:

Think about what we consider a general requirement for reviewing a given game: finishing it. Seems like it would make sense, right? In situations like this, however, I'd argue that that is an insanely restrictive requirement. This means that the official word on this game from any given publication is going to come from someone with the time, skill, and inclination to actually make it through this thing, and that is one rareified human being. Add into the fact that this person has probably finished both Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, and maybe even Demon's Souls, and you've got a near-assurance that their opinion will be meaningless to all but core franchise fans. When Bloodborne review copies arrived, most outlets trotted out their "Souls" expert to do the review, but in doing so they've locked out the less-informed opinions that could actually end up being more valuable to more people.

The gaming world has already talked ad nauseaum about the fallacy of Metacritic and the woefully inadequate tool of a review score when it comes to something like a video game. I understand that. But with all of the talk about Bloodborne as masterpiece, Bloodborne as perfect, or Bloodborne as best game ever, I can't help but feel like the gaming media is failing at one of its most fundamental jobs: telling people about video games. Because while Dark Souls fans do deserve to know how this game compares to the thing they already love, regular people also deserve to know that they will, probably, hate this game. It is maddeningly, crushingly and unendingly difficult. To fans, this is part of the appeal. To most people, this is awful. This is a perspective that's mostly absent from the discussion, save this very important piece from IGN.

Look, I'm an old man, I'm playing Dragon Age: Inquisition on easy for fuck's sake. But I play games and I know Bloodborneis a demanding game. When it come to gaming I am an informed consumer, I don't need some guy from Forbes telling me that Bloodborne is hard anymore then I need a guy from Forbes telling me that a 2015 Corvette Stingray with a 7-speed manual transmission is hard to drive. I know there's a learning curve, that's why I'm driving a 2015 Elantra. That's why I'm playing Dragon Age instead of Dark Souls. When I read a game review I don't want to be patronized, I want someone familiar with the game and the genre to give me an informed opinion.

And yeah, the article probably got me more pissed off then is warranted. But just like my dad enjoyed reading articles about cars he'd never drive, I like reading about game I'm never going to play.

March 28, 2015


Just a Random Cool Thing

Jesse Martin plays detective Joe West on The Flash. The Flash is the best superhero show on television but it's not going to change your mind if you don't like the genre. Anyway, Martin, Carlos Valdes, who plays Cisco on The Flash, Rick Cosnett, who plays Eddie Thawne and Patrick Sabongui, who plays Captain Singh kickstarted a film called The Letter Carrier. Joss Whedon made a big contribution so by way of a thank you Martin, Valdes and Cosnett sang the The Ballad of Serenity from Firefly.

And we are living in a very cool age of the world.

March 26, 2015


Lyrics

I'm still playing around with the Shazam app. It identifies music for you and today I noticed it also gives you the songs lyrics:

And yes, those were the lyrics.

March 25, 2015


Clean reader

There's an app for iOS and Android called Clean Reader. You download it and it will edit out bad language from the books on your device. Authors are up in arms.

Fuck 'em.

It's always bothered me that my digital purchases are treated differently then physical purchases. I just bought two books from BAM. I can give them away, lend them or sell them. i have some 400 books on my Kindle and I can't do that. So while I think the idea of editing out cuss words from your books is asinine, I believe folks have a right to do it. And personally, when I read a book, I'll read it the way I want. If I want to read A Study in Scarlet and skip the Utah part then I'll do it and fuck the author's intent.

Or darn the author's intent if that's what you prefer.

March 25, 2015


Final Fantasy XV

That's the intro for Final Fantasy XV. I don't have a goddamn clue what it's all about. Stormtroopers, a big guy with a sword and a bunch of school kids are involved. The video doesn't make me want to run out and buy a PS4 to play the thing but it does make me miss pot.

March 24, 2015


First World Gaming Problems

Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity is out this week. It's sort of a spiritual successor to Planescape Torment, a game I loved. But some 60 hours in and I'm not even close to finishing Dragon Age: Inquisition. Added to the mix is that I'm playing Diablo 3 on Torment Level 1. That gives me access to new areas.

They're just aren't enough hours in the day.

Update: Just checked Origin. Fuck, I've been playing for 66 hours! I'm starting to move into Skyrim territory here.

March 24, 2015


Fun with Siri

That thing is called a cat dancer, it's a piece of metal with cardboard things on the end, Newton loves them but they don't last very long. There's a place in Egg Harbor Township that sells them. Newton has been through three of the things and I haven't been there to pick up some new ones. Today as an experiment I tried Siri and asked if there was anyplace closer. Siri told me there's a pet place in Smithville. It's Sunday so I'm going tomorrow.

I've reached the age where I'm a little suspicious of new technology, but I'll be quite pleased if Siri made a good call today. Not sure why I'm so leery of vocal input but I'm inching closer to using it on a regular basis, at least on my phone.

Update: Found the store today. They didn't have what I wanted but Siri was right about the store being in Smithville.

March 22, 2015


Isolate the Node and Dump Him on the Other Side of the Router

March 22, 2015


The Fifth Heart

In 1893 the novelist Henry James finds himself in Paris, on an embankment above the Seine. He's experiencing a bout of depression and plans to throw himself into the river. But he notices another man there, Sherlock Holmes, who has been living under an assumed identity for the last three years, ever since his supposed death at the Reichenbach falls at the hands of James Moriarty. But there is no Moriarty, Holmes faked his death and was planning suicide himself that night because the evidence was mounting that he was literary construct, a fictional character.

Dan Simmons mentioned this book years ago on his web site, he said his agent felt that the whole idea was crazy and he put it aside and published two other other novels, Flashback and The Abominable. I like Simmons but I don't like everything he's written and haven't read anything new of his since Drood. But I always liked the idea of Holmes catching on to the fact that he was just a fictional character and was glad when I learned it would be out on Kindle on 3/24. That is until I went to the bookstore today and picked up the hardcover.

I'm not very far in but I enjoy the evidence Holmes accumulated that he was fictional, the matter of Watson's wives, or Watson's war wound that migrated from his shoulder to his leg. As if Holmes' life was being controled by an author who was too lazy to remember the details.

In fact, Arthur Conan Doyle disliked writing Holmes after a certain point because it took the public's attention away from his serious stuff. But he liked the money and people demanded more Sherlock Holmes. And since he never took the stories too seriously he just winged it, forgetting details established in earlier stories. hell, at one point Watson's wife called him James instead of John.

So the game really is afoot.

March 21, 2015


Books!

For the last few weeks I've been in the mood to read something about 17th century England. Part of it was because of Michael Moorcock's autobiographical novel The Whispering Swarm. In it he participates in a plot to rescue King Charles I from execution. That part of the autobiography might be fiction.

At any rate, that's a bit of history I don't know much about and it's been bugging me since I read Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy. I had poked around Amazon but if you're not sure what you want then Amazon really can't help you. What I needed to do was browse. That meant getting in the car and driving to Books a Million.

It's been so long since I went to a bookstore just to browse that the smell of the place surprised me, all that wonderful paper. I headed for the history section, noting that it's much smaller then Borders's section was. On the other hand, Borders is out of business and BAM isn't. Besides, I found what I wanted, a history of the Stuart dynasty by Peter Ackroyd. On the way out I saw that they had the hard cover edition of The Fifth heart by Dan Simmons. I had been waiting to get the Kindle edition but since I was right there I picked that one up too.

The whole trip including travel time only lasted an hour but damn, it was like going back to, well, not my youth but maybe my late 40s. And at 59, I'll take it. I'm just about halfway through The Certain Hour. Then I'll have to decide which book I want to tackle first.

March 21, 2015


More Cabell

In Figures of Earth Count Manuel makes 10 little sculptures of the magicians he saw with Queen Freydis. Freydis gave them life and sent them forth into the world. The Certain Hour is a collection of stories about each of them. Actually the stories were written first and Cabell just added the reference to them when he wrote Figures of Earth. Actually I should reread Figures of Earth but it's a bad idea to read too much Cabell. It hardens the arteries.

March 21, 2015


James Branch Cabell

Herman Melville died in 1891, convinced that his work would be forgotten. But in the 1920s critics took another look at his work and today he's regarded as a great American author. It doesn't work out that way for everybody.

James Branch Cabell wrote Jurgen in 1919. He's been writing for years but Jurgen attracted the attention of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. They tried to have the book suppressed. There was a court case, Cabell won and he became a celebrated literary figure in the 20s.

And while he kept writing four decades afterwards, he faded into obscurity after the 20s. In the 60s Lin Carter republished six of his books as part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. But I'm afraid his stuff never really took off. He remains a literary footnote.

But the upside is that I can get books like The Line of Love for free from Project Gutenberg, that's one I've never read.

Cabell was a stylist and he was a stylist at a time when writing was becoming less affected. Cabell was writing erudite, ornate novels with lots of references to medieval literature. But guys like Hemingway were changing all that. Cabell kept plugging away for a smaller and smaller audience.

But there are a lot of authors that are known only to niche audiences. Meanwhile if you think that this is to your taste:

They of Poictesme narrate that in the old days when miracles were as common as fruit pies, young Manuel was a swineherd, living modestly in attendance upon the miller's pigs. They tell also that Manuel was content enough: he knew not of the fate which was reserved for him.

Meanwhile in all the environs of Rathgor, and in the thatched villages of Lower Targamon, he was well liked: and when the young people gathered in the evening to drink brandy and eat nuts and gingerbread, nobody danced more merrily than Squinting Manuel. He had a quiet way with the girls, and with the men a way of solemn, blinking simplicity which caused the more hasty in judgment to consider him a fool. Then, too, young Manuel was very often detected smiling sleepily over nothing, and his gravest care in life appeared to be that figure which Manuel had made out of marsh clay from the pool of Haranton.

This figure he was continually reshaping and realtering. The figure stood upon the margin of the pool; and near by were two stones overgrown with moss, and supporting a cross of old worm-eaten wood, which commemorated what had been done there.

One day, toward autumn, as Manuel was sitting in this place, and looking into the deep still water, a stranger came, and he wore a fierce long sword that interfered deplorably with his walking.

"Now I wonder what it is you find in that dark pool to keep you staring so?" the stranger asked, first of all.

"I do not very certainly know," replied Manuel "but mistily I seem to see drowned there the loves and the desires and the adventures I had when I wore another body than this. For the water of Haranton, I must tell you, is not like the water of other fountains, and curious dreams engender in this pool."

"I speak no ill against oneirologya, although broad noon is hardly the best time for its practise," declared the snub-nosed stranger. "But what is that thing?" he asked, pointing.

"It is the figure of a man, which I have modeled and re-modeled, sir, but cannot seem to get exactly to my liking. So it is necessary that I keep laboring at it until the figure is to my thinking and my desire."

And if that interests you, you can get the book here. It's called Figures of Earth and it's very good.

March 20, 2015


Guilt

You know, I've been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for some time now. But every so often I boot up Steam. I'm not playing anything on Steam, I just have this nagging feeling that I should let it know that I haven't abandoned it.

March 19, 2015


The Cover

On 1988 Alan Moore and Brian Bolland created a graphic novel for DC called The Killing Joke. The Joker decides to show Batman that even the best person is just one bad day from becoming a psychopath. So he shows up at Commissioner Gordon's place, shoots his daughter Barbara, paralyzing her. He then takes Gordon hostage and before he leaves sexually assaults Barbara Gordon.

Now DC decided that The Killing Joke was mainstream continuity. So Gordon remained in a wheel chair, her career as Batgirl was over. Instead she became a white hat hacker called Oracle. And she was still very much a badass. When the Joker showed up at her place to screw with her she kicked his ass:

This isn't the face of a victim, it's the face of a woman about to deliver a major ass kicking.

A couple of years ago DC decided to revamp their entire comic line. Among other things they decided that Grordon's paralysis was only temporary. She got better and resumed her career as Batgirl. Personally, I didn't like the change but so what? Life goes on.

Flash forward to 2015. DC is releasing all their books with variant covers featuring the Joker. Here's what they were going to put on Batgirl, a book that is currently targeted at younger readers:

The picture was drawn by Rafael Albuquerque and it was meant as a homage to The Killing Joke, I got that right away. But I didn't like it and I'll give you an example of why I didn't like it:

If you don't recognize the big guy, he's Doomsday, the character who killed Superman back in 1992. Now, this picture is jarring. Not because Superman never cries and not because he never gets frightened. It's because Superman is a character who risks his life on daily basis. When the Kents died, he cried, but he's not going to cry in fear when facing Doomsday.

And I don't think that would be Batgirl's reaction either.

Albuquerque was surprised at the negative reaction and he was appalled at the death threats. Threats not directed at him or DC, threats made to people who criticized his cover. He also didn't know the cover was going to run on Batgirl 41, a book directed at a younger crowd. He asked DC not to run it and DC agreed, having come to the same conclusion themselves.

I don't have a problem with women or men depicted as helpless victims, I didn't like the idea of Batgirl as a helpless victim. And just for the record, here's Albuquerque's statement on the matter:

My Batgirl variant cover artwork was designed to pay homage to a comic that I really admire, and I know is a favorite of many readers. The Killing Joke is part of Batgirlšs canon and artistically, I couldn't avoid portraying the traumatic relationship between Barbara Gordon and the Joker.

For me, it was just a creepy cover that brought up something from the character's past that I was able to interpret artistically. But it has become clear, that for others, it touched a very important nerve. I respect these opinions and, despite whether the discussion is right or wrong, no opinion should be discredited.

My intention was never to hurt or upset anyone through my art. For that reason, I have recommended to DC that the variant cover be pulled. I'm incredibly pleased that DC Comics is listening to my concerns and will not be publishing the cover art in June as previously announced.

With all due respect,

Rafa

So, that's what's happening in comic books this week.

March 18, 2015


Newton

Not a bad picture. Next month he'll have been living with me for a year. To be honest if I could have seen the damage and expense he'd cost me I probably would have passed on him. But I would have missed out on a genuinely sweet and loving critter, so it's a good thing that I didn't get a vision of the future last year.

March 18, 2015


Random Spam



Sketchily-promovable indeed.

March 17, 2015


In a Landscape

Yeah, the hat looks silly. It's mage armor and it comes from Orlais. Think 17th century France, Cardinal Richelieu and D'Artagnan and you'll know why my mage hat looks like that. I have the option of turning off helm display but role playing, you know? And doesn't that waterfall look nice?

March 15, 2015


The Knight Enchanter in Action

I know it's a little hard to see but I'm the slightly glowing guy with the big green sword. I'm using it on the bandit leader there. The fun part of being a knight enchanter is that you can manifest a spirit sword that does a lot of damage so you can melee. Of course I'm still a mage so I can't wear heavy armor but still the spirit sword can end some fights pretty fast.

And now it's six in the morning, that's late even for me. To bed.

March 15, 2015


Ruins

My dad retired in 1982, soon after the pigment plant that he used to work in shut down. For awhile after that there was a spate of photos featuring abandoned factories. Manufacturing jobs moved to other countries and nobody wanted the old buildings that once housed them. Eventually my dad's old plant was torn down.

If those photos of decaying auto plants were the ruin porn of the 80s and 90s today's ruin porn is the abandoned mall photo. Hell, I'm using one as wallpaper right now. But unlike the manufacturing jobs, the retail jobs aren't moving anywhere. It's just that people are getting quite comfortable at buying stuff online. And things like software and music are becoming purely digital items.

I remember how excited I was when the Hamilton Mall opened up in my part of the world. Before that this area only had the Shore Mall and that was pretty bad. If you wanted a good mall you had to drive some 40 miles to the Echelon Mall in Voorhes. Which is my way of saying that I hope the Hamilton Mall doesn't become a ruin.

March 14, 2015


Please Send Me the Memo

According to this article in Wired, email is dead. Only old farts like me use it. Well, that's all right. I use email but I can text if that's what you prefer. Or I can Skype, I'm flexible

Then I read this article New Republic that the boomers are all rotary phone using chimps who can't use email.

So when you young people decide which is right send me a memo and I'll try to get with the program.

March 14, 2015


Tivo

Like a lot of people I had a VCR and VCRs were notoriously temperamental beasts. Intellectually I knew that it largely worked but the times it screwed up loom larger in my memory then the times it functioned.

You see, the bulk of my time at the Commission was spent on swing shift. Like my mom I tended to stay up late and get up late. Swing shift was a perfect fit and because it wasn't popular I was able to get it even when I was rather low on the seniority list. But it also meant that if I wanted to watch television I had to depend on my VCR. Eventually I gave up on prime time television, the VCR just screwed up too many times. Besides, I had a computer to entertain me.

Many years later Rolf talked me into getting a Tivo. A Tivo was, and still is, a digital video recorder. These days people get their DVRs from their cable company but back then Tivo was pretty much the only game in town. Comcast did not make it easy for Tivo to do its work, so the Tivo people had a pretty kludgey set up. You'd hook your Tivo to your set, then run a wire from your telephone jack to the back of the Tivo. That's how the DVR got scheduling information. So I used one of these on my telephone jack:

And snaked a line past the bookcases in the living room to the Tivo. Yes, it was a kludge but it got me watching television.

Eventually I got a laptop computer and a wireless router. By that time Tivo was producing its own proprietary wireless thingy that would allow you to dispense with the phone connection. And sometime after Comcast and other cable companies came out with their own DVRs. I'm not sure how good they are, I'm still using my Tivo and when it dies I'll get another one.

Now that I'm retired I can actually watch programing when it's scheduled. But a decade of using a DVR has changed my viewing habits for good. I generally keep shows on the Tivo for a couple of days then watch them in bulk. The idea of sitting down at a given time to watch Arrow just seems so 20th century. And right now everything is on hold until I catch up with season 2 of House of Cards. I wanted to rewatch season 2 before I tackled season 3. Just tow more episodes until I can relax and watch the third season.

Although I'm not as quick to embrace new technology as I once was, I don't have a tablet for example, I do love it still. And if you're using a Comcast DVR and are happy with it, that's great. But you have pioneers like Rolf and me to thank for blazing a trail for you. Oh, and by the way, while my telephone jack is turned off, that line by the Keurig is the same line that once went to the Tivo.

March 14, 2015


Kegs!

Having encountered bandits holed up in a fortress my party and I routed them. We claimed the place for the Inquisition and upon exploring discovered the treasure the bandits were hoarding.

One of the things that initially put me off this game was reading that I'd have to take castles. I was scared that it would be the cumbersome business like in games like Neverwinter Nights. But Bioware did a good job here, the battles for fortresses are quite organic and never feel forced.

And we've found KEGS!

March 13, 2015


Apple

In its last software update Apple added software for the Apple Watch onto my phone. I realize that by going with an iPhone rather then an Android I surrendered a certain independence that I'm used to regarding my devices. Still it's rude to install software on my phone without asking me if I want the software or intend to ever purchase the device in question. If it weren't so late I'd banish the Apple Watch app to the same program group I sent Apple Maps to.

Update: In a futile but oddly comforting act of defiance, I rearranged the icons on my phone:





Sic semper tyrannis.

March 13, 2015


alChandler the Knight Enchanter

For some time I've been trying to figure out why the role playing games I played in the 80s lasted so much longer then the games I play today. The Knight Enchanter quest in Dragon Age: Inquisition finally gave me the answer.

To become a Knight Enchanter you need to gather three wisp essences, 10 pieces of lazurite, read a book on the ways of the Knight Enchanter and then quest a spirit sword hilt at the requisition table in Skyhold. There are no clues showing you where this stuff is, you just have to stumble around in a vast world until you happen to find the shit. That's the way it was in the 80s.

Quests like that were an enormous time sink. Hell my C64 didn't even have a modem. My only option was to walk to Don Fox's store in Ocean City and hope he played the game I was stuck in. But this is the teens of the 21st century. We have the internet and we have Google and so I was able to get the materials in days, not weeks. And thanks to those tools I am now a Knight Enchanter.

The 80s sucked.

March 12, 2015


The King of Elfland's Daughter

Lord Dunsany is one of those influential fantasy authors who doesn't get read much these days. He's known to fans of the genre and his books, most of 'em anyway, are in the public domain but they're not widely read. But I like them and seeing that the Moorcock novel was an unexpected slog, I treated myself by deciding to reread The King of Elfland's Daughter.

I still have the paperback published in 1969 as part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. The book was first published in 1924 and was long out of print by the time Lin Carter brought it back in 69. I'm rereading it on my Kindle, though. The paperback edition is showing its age. In fact all of Dunsany's fantasies are in the public domain. The language is a tad on the ornate side but far more readable then Eddison. Hell, The King of Elfland's Daughter is like the New York Post compared to The Silmarillion. In short, if you think you might be interested in the work of the 18th Baron of Dunsany, there's nothing stopping you. This will give you a taste so you can see if it's worth your trouble:

The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man. Their evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge. Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a hole with gold and dig it up when they need it. And the only use that is known for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply of food. In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their larders would soon be full again.

Not quite your taste? Well as I said he's not very popular these days.

March 11, 2015


Daredevil

The only time I read Daredevil was during Frank Miller's run in the 80s. But I'm pretty psyched for the new series. It has a very Frank Miller vibe. And a Frank Miller vibe is something that even Frank Miller can't pull off these days.

March 10, 2015


Wife Discovers Browser History



Unknown artist circa 1586.

March 8, 2015


iWatch!

Apple is going to do their big iWatch revival tent show tomorrow.

It's a funny thing, I didn't see the need for a cell phone, then when I got one I loved it. I didn't see the need for a smart phone and my iPhone if almost a part of me. So while I don't see a need for a smart watch, I'm not the person to ask.

Besides, while I had no real objection to carrying a light weight portable phone around, I've always disliked wearing a watch, so I'm in no shape to judge the iWatch. Even if they become ubiquitous, I won't be wearing one. And for the rest, Atlantic has an article that points out the uses for a device that syncs with your phone. And I know at least one person who'd love something like this. But alas, she uses a Blackberry and the iWatch will only work with the iPhone.

March 8, 2015