Posted by: Mark | February 28, 2017

Lobster Won’t Stop


So far I’ve had two blog posts about lobsters terrorizing fish at the pet store. This makes three.

The lobster got ahold of an oscar today and left a nasty wound. I don’t know if he’ll live. I’m pretty sure management still won’t separate them

Posted by: Mark | February 28, 2017

Extreme Jokers

For me, the Joker went stale when I was in high school. I was one of the idiots who was buying Batman and Detective Comics before Dark Knight Returns came out so I guess I have different tastes than most fans.

Yesterday I saw two versions of the Joker that I did like.

I didn’t see a movie at the theater since 2015 but I did get to Lego Batman. Other than taking a while to identify the Kraken and lack of Scooby Doo villains, I was happy with the Joker and the movie in general. After decades of dark Jokers, the movie was a nice break.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo was an out of continuity graphic novel, with a Joker dark enough to work for me.

Set more as a gangster story than superhero. Villains were “normalized” with Killer Kroc becoming a muscle-bound cannibal instead of a mini-Godzilla as he is now in mainstream DC (I bought the first appearance of Killer Kroc when he was an intelligent mastermind. Things went downhill since then).

Azzarello’s Joker and other villains actually seemed like criminals, not wrestling heavies. I only had a few questions.

The Penguin is only referred to as “Abner” (and only by the Joker). I tried to Google for the reason why and only found that I was not the first to wonder and to Google about it. One theory is that the Joker had an overweight henchman in Dark Knight Returns. Another is that it’s a reference to Lil Abner. Nobody knows.

After Abner, I wondered if the narrator, Jonny Frost, was meant to be someone from the mainstream universe. Mr. Freeze? Joe Chill? Nobody knows.

Overall, I was surprised how much I liked it. I’m looking for the treatment for Lex Luthor.

Posted by: Mark | February 25, 2017

Resolution Update 8

Slowly recovering but still behind:

1. Run 730 miles – my knee is mostly better but I haven’t exercised with it– 56.7 miles.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – I started trying again but not as much as I should have: 355 push ups and 400 leg lifts.

3. Lose 26 pounds – I finally weighed myself and had gained four pounds since last weigh in. That’s a gain of two pounds since January 1 (but 16.2 loss since December).

4. Support 24 local artists – nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – ten submissions.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – doing better, 7,233 words and one completed story.

7. Read all the New Testament – up to Chapter 6 of Revelation.

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 300 with 240 to go.

10. 300 blog posts – this is #31.

Posted by: Mark | February 24, 2017

Page 300

The slow slog through Finnegan’s Wake continues. I’ve gotten to page 300 with 240 left to go. Considering that I only made it to page 170 in the entire year of 2016, I’m counting it as an achievement.

Posted by: Mark | February 20, 2017

Red Dragon Inn

I’ve seen Red Dragon Inn for years but never read the instructions. I assumed it was a variation of Dungeons and Dragons. It is and it isn’t.

There’s no monster fighting or traditional adventures but the game is full of binge-drinking, gambling, and practical jokes. Basically the last character to spend all his money before passing out drunk wins.

Each character has seven cards to keep sober, knock out other players, or other tricks. I guess you could have a D&D campaign like this but I’ve never heard of one.

With expansion packs, it’s possible to play with 21 players but that would be a mess. The people I played with had a game with 18 and said it was unmanageable. The rules say you can play with two people but seems like playing hearts with two–possible but not much fun. Four to six seems best.

Easy to learn, fun, and original. If you’re not offended by heavy drinking, I’d recommend it.

Posted by: Mark | February 18, 2017

Resolution Update 7


Along everything else, I can’t tell a male gerbil from a female:

1. Run 730 miles – with my knee in a brace, I made no progress–still 56.7 miles.

2. 5,000 push ups and 8,000 leg lifts – maybe I could have done some but I didn’t–still 316 and 350.

3. Lose 26 pounds – I probably lost ten pounds of fluids when they drained my knee but I didn’t check.

4. Support 24 local artists – nothing.

5. 42 manuscript submissions – still eight.

6. Write 40,000 words and five new stories – a little ahead of schedule with 5,701

7. Read all the New Testament – finished 2 John (all one chapter of it).

8. Read The Nature of Things – haven’t started.

9. Finish Finnegan’s Wake – On page 272 with 268 to go.

10. 300 blog posts – this is #28.

Posted by: Mark | February 17, 2017

Finnegan’s Wake : Chapter Ten

Finnegan’s Wake has 17 chapters and I just finished chapter 10. It had a different format than the others, with footnotes and comments in left and right margins. This doesn’t make the narrative any clearer but it was somewhat quicker to read.

I’ve pushed on to page 272, leaving 268 to go. Maybe the second half will be easier.

Posted by: Mark | February 17, 2017

North Central Branch

I had to go to Fairfield, Ohio, for work which turned out to be close to the North Central Branch of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Library.

It’s one of the newer libraries with a more modern appearance but not as much room for books (newer libraries tend to have more meeting rooms than older libraries do.

There was a lot of space for kids and teens which is great overall but, without the Devilspawn, it was more of a general observation.

The pet section (636) was almost entirely dog and cat. Again, for the general public, that’s probably the best use of funds but I was left out.

Overall it seemed like a nice branch, just not quite geared to my weird interests.

Branches visited of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County: Main Library, Anderson, Avondale, Blue Ash, Bond Hill, Cheviot, Clifton, College Hill, Corryville, Covedale, Deer Park, Delhi Township, Elmwood Place, Forest Park, Green Township, Greenhills, Groesbeck, Harrison, Hyde Park, Loveland, Madeira, Madisonville, Mariemont, Miami Township, Monfort Heights, Mt. Healthy, Mt. Washington, North Central, Northside, Norwood, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Price Hill, Reading, St. Bernard, Sharonville, Symmes Township, Walnut Hills, West End, Westwood, and Wyoming.

Posted by: Mark | February 15, 2017

Not That Bad

I was warned that having fluid drained from a knee is very painful. It hurts less than giving blood and is about four times as quick. Fortunately for me, the fluid was clear, not cloudy, so it’s not gout. No one is sure what happened but I hope it never happens again.

Posted by: Mark | February 14, 2017

February 14, 2007

Ten years ago tonight, on this very strip of road, I seen the worst accident I ever saw–no wait, that was Large Marge. Ten years ago tonight my dog died. I still sometimes dream about him and wake up wondering where he is.

I meant to get another dog but it’s looking less likely.

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