Archive for June, 2008

George Carlin: RIP

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Sad to see George go.  Via the AV Club, here are some of his words on death.

Religious Interpretation

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Boing Boing points out an interesting church sign. As with many signs and portents, I think interpretation is key.

Into the Longbox

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #18, Aragones, Evanier, Smith, Wong. There’s nothing wrong with this issue – no grotesque misalignments of anatomy or anything – but it still doesn’t work for me. As an Eisner tribute, it’s competent and conservative. As a riff on classic characters it’s a tame placement into modern times. It’s a good comic, but no one seems invested in breathing their own life into it.

Grendel: Behold the Devil #8 of 8, Matt Wagner. Behold the Devil ends somewhat anticlimactically. Wagner’s a victim of his own success here. The Hunter Rose Grendel’s story is immutable in all but details and operatic in scope even before the larger saga grows from it. The revelations in Behold the Devil are really a gilding of the lily – interesting enough for a Grendel completeist like myself, but not resonant. Unlike, say the two incidental protagonists of Batman/Grendel, the non-Grendel folks in this series have their destinies clear from the moment we see them on panel. Innocents caught in Grendel’s whirlwind are on the ride of their lives, but have some hope that they’ll merely be tossed onto fate’s shores somewhere they never expected; actual antagonists are invariably atomized (except Batman, of course). These two are clearly going to be annihilated as soon as their fumblings catch Hunter’s eye.

Wagner’s been able to tell exciting stories within those constraints before, but he’s running out of new angles. I don’t begrudge him the attempts, he’s a brilliant creator. And there’s plenty of craft on display here; Wagner’s storytelling and art are clear and keen. Sadly that craft is in the service of a story only an aficionado of Hunter could like, and they know how it comes out.

I’d call it a noble miscue.

Anna Mercury #2, Ellis and Percio. There’s no way that the second issue of this could be as good as the first – and it isn’t – but the ride’s still fast enough that no one’s catching their breath. It’s got the same feel as Speed or the first Star Wars (Episode IV).  You don’t want to look away for fear you’ll miss something.  Beyond that there’s still the seed planted in issue 1 that there’s still more to this than meets the eye. High energy fun.

Unexpected visit

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

“Ted, what’s your house number?”


“It’s your Uncle John.  I’m on your street looking for your house and I don’t know the number.”

That’s my Uncle, all right.

He showed up Friday night looking for a place to catch a few z’s between San Luis Obispo and his home outside Phoenix.  My family isn’t the best long term planners.  I haven’t seen him in several years and we spent a day or so catching up and taking a flight before he was off again.  He’s a good guy and it was fun to see him. Brenda snapped a picture to document the history.

Into the Longbox

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Doktor Sleepless #7, Ellis & Rodriguez.  At this point you’re probably either on the bus or off the bus with respect to this title.  I will say that this issue had particularly sharp dialog through it, though there were some clumps of exposition about the world’s underlying technology that showed the man behind the curtain a bit too clearly.  The graphical storytelling had some nice moments as well.  The siren call of the book remains the ideas, though and there were several nice ones scattered throughout.

Also of interest, the backmatter includes a transcript of a talk about the work so far.  Interesting analysis, and might draw some folks in who wouldn’t otherwise have come to it.  Assuming such people read the backmatter of issue 7 of a random comic; maybe it’s more for current readers.

Lindbergh bio capsule

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

A few words about Berg’s Lindbergh bio are up on Bell, Book, and Candle.

Link Dump

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I’ve been dragging ass most of the week because I’ve been sick, but here are some links you may care about:

  • Clash of the titans
  • I just love the idea that one could anonymously dump a 727 at a major airport.  Makes the TSA look downright competent.
  • The underhanded C contest is a remarkable demonstration of coding legerdemain.  I mention this because the 2008 contest just started.  If you’re a believer in human code review, you may want to have a look.

Review of The Path Between the Seas

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

My capsule of David McCullough’s history of the Panama Canal is up at Bell, Book, and Candle.

Tuning up

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

I spent some time with my CFI, Andy, today under the hood.  Usually when I work with Andy I’m trying to log a couple approaches or holds to stay current, but today was just down and dirty IFR proficiency work.  Most of the day was not only under the hood, but partial panel under the hood.  That is flying the plane not only without being able to look out the window, but with a subset of the instruments as well.  We did some holding, some unusual attitudes and an approach.  We even got to bump through some turbulence as we did it, which was even better training.

There’s always stuff to work on, but basically things went well. I can still fly partial panel, even if it’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with all the weird things a compass does when you’re turning.  Overall a fun day, and it’s always fun to fly with Andy.

FAA vs. SMO update

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

The FAA has apparently upped the ante in its fight against Santa Monica.  They’re threatening to withhold DOT funds to the city unless the city council stops restricting airport access unreasonably.  In case it slipped by you, that was a threat to withhold all DOT funding to the city, not airport funding.  Stay tuned.