Archive for December, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and we’re in Little Rock, AK (LIT).  Brenda’s napping and I’m planning tomorrow’s bucking of the winds.

Hope you’re all snug and happy.

Grap update

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I’ve updated grap to handle some emerging standards and pickier compilers.  There are no new features, but you can compile the new code under G++ up to 4.3.  This was motivated by a Debian bug report that I’ve closed with this update.


Monday, December 17th, 2007

Over on BoingBoing, Cory Doctrow put in a plug for Neal Stephenson’s Interface.  It’s one of my favorites, and with the election year coming up, I encourage you to get a copy and enjoy it.

Thunder Show

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Brenda has run across a wonderful thing, and I am going to let you all in on it.  There’s this guy in New Jersey who’s a huge wine fan.  One of these guys of unrelenting passion and enthusiasm – and no little knowledge – who just lights up a topic.  He’s got a wacky, infectious, informative daily videocast over at  Stop by and check it out.  Bet you can’t watch just one.

Start Me Up

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Flying airplanes is a constant learning experience. Today I learned how to jump start a Piper Archer.

Brenda and I are getting ready to fly out to see our respective families for the holidays, so I’m trying to log a little extra time in preparation. I’m looking to make sure that I’m reasonably current on my skills and that the plane’s also ready to go. Today I stopped off at Flabob field for lunch, and almost didn’t get back out.

A couple weeks ago, I had a battery go completely dead causing me to miss an afternoon of instruction. After that, I had some starting problems that my mechanic couldn’t repeat. And today I had more of the same, to the point where I ran my battery completely down. A helpful fellow who was nearby offered to jump, and after I realized that I did indeed have a 12 volt battery, we gave it a shot. It worked like a charm, and away we went. It was an interesting thing to learn how to do, and I’m happy to know it.

But I think I need a new battery.

Reviews of The World Is Flat and The New Kings of NonFiction

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Those are up on Bell, Book, and Candle.

It’s been a quiet week… (links)

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

If you only look at one link in here, have a look at these maniacs.  Link from Ray Lovinggood in the reader mail column at AvWeb.

More microcars, from BoingBoing.

Boy, George Bush travels with a lot of people.  (BoingBoing, again).

Into the longbox…

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Nothing actually came in this week, but here’s what I got last week.

Badger:Bull – Mike Baron and Kevin Caron. I’m going to buy all Baron’s Badger output, and there’s not much I can do about it. For my money, Badger was one of the great 80’s indy comics, and I keep watching to see if Baron can find that magic again. I know Badger holds up, because I re-read many of my old issues after the ill-fated Image run a few years ago, and they were still great. Unlike the Image run.

To be fair, Badger is tough to do – a comic kung-fu movie starring a multiple personality that’s surreal, touching, thrilling, and drop dead funny is a hugely tall order. I wouldn’t believe one could pull it off, except that Baron did for 50+ issues in the mid-80s. I believe he’ll hit his stride again.

And to be more fair, Bull isn’t bad, really. Mostly a little rushed. There are certainly moments that come near the Badger of old.

Some of Baron’s commentary makes it sound like this was an attempt to sell the Badge as a movie property, so there’s an attempt to tie up a lot of continuity in a very short space. I think these characters need more room than that to breathe; despite the comic elements, they’re deep. But as long as Baron keeps trying, I’ll keep reading.

Grendel: Behold the Devil #1( of 8 ) – Matt Wagner. More 80s stuff. I’ll read any Wagner, and certainly any Wagner Grendel. Hunter is one of my top three Grendels, and it’s always fun to see him again. This issue just puts the players on the board and lets us see how things are starting. It’s atmospheric and interesting. At his best Wagner’s one of the best writers or artists in comics today, and this shows signs of being good stuff. Recommended.

Captain America #32 – Brubaker, Epting, Guice. I didn’t recognize Guice’s inks this issue; he did a nice job keeping the tone consistent. SHIELD and our heroes finally get to take a swing at the Skull and his men this issue, with typically mixed results. Still one of my favorite reads.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #11- Cooke, Bone, Stewart. I think this wraps up Cooke’s run on the Spirit, which makes me sad. I enjoyed his run a great deal, as he respected the material while making it his own. This issue ties up the loose El Mortez ends. It’s the least Spirit-y of his issues – which is to say plays few of the Eisner tropes, except good storytelling and string characters. (And I don’t think Eisner has a monopoly there.) Well done; the creative team goes out with a bang. Sorry to see them go.

Sig file fodder: “Ellen, I love Kimball, and there are things I don’t want him to worry about, like my youthful engagement to you. Or the Undead.” — Argonaut Bones

Review of The Razor’s Edge

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

My brief thoughts on The Razor’s Edge are up on Bell, Book, and Candle.