Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Living Dangerously

I'm taking some mighty big chances here, as such things go. The basics are thus:

I wanted to re-read Half-Blood Prince before reading the final book. I'd done this same read-the-previous-one routine ever since Goblet of Fire. So I began a re-read of H-BP last week, thinking to finish by the weekend when my copy of Deathly Hallows was due to arrive by Amazonian Owl.

But, as I mentioned in my previous post, I'm back at work fulltime now. So I didn't get the nice long reading sessions that I'd've been able to take, say, the week before. The more fool I for not having done my re-read earlier.

The weekend came and found me less than half-through the Half-Blood Prince. Zoinks. My copy of DH arrived, and found me still a good third from the end. It sat -- and yet sits -- in its unopened owl-adorned package.

It's Tuesday, I'm leaving work, and may well push through to finish H-BP tonight so that I can get into and through DH while my media blackout remains intact. To appreciate the true scope of the peril I'm in here, you must understand that this week "work" for me means dealing with the dozens of young kids in our summer theatre program, any of whom could blurt out important plot points at any moment.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Grind

Well, the last show for the 2006-7 season closed last Sunday, and I've been back at work full time this past week.

Does it show?

Friday, July 13, 2007


I got myself a charger for the iPod.

After the in-depth discussion, I concluded that the convenience was forth a few bucks. That is, I concluded that it was worth the $23.45 I'd end up paying for the Griffin PowerDuo. I've been happy with my Griffin RoadTrip, so I was game to invest in another Griffin accessory.

Amazing how much other online vendors undercut Griffin's list price on these things. Thanks to Rob for throwing that lead my way.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wood You Believe...

Okay, so this is more than a little weird. A while ago I came upon this fun website while hunting online for a particular comics image. It's the sort of site where a guy can waste a lot of time just clicking around looking at stuff. And that was how I stumbled upon this --

Now, I've no guarantees this is a genuine, undoctored cover image. I found it on some fanboy's website. That's about as reliable as... well... 96.3% of what's on the interweb. I mean, it's a pretty damned convenient image. (Never mind the possible lewd reading(s) of that cover copy...) If someone was having photoshop fun, they did a mighty good job with it. Although I'm not 100% sure about light source and shadows. And that eyeline -- oh, my, that eyeline! -- seems just a little off. Still, if it is assembled, it's a better blending than a lot of VHS movie covers I could name.

And I have to wonder if it's not somehow related to this --

It's a sketch for an unused cover in the Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather miniseries from Marvel back in 2003. Yes, the gimmick was that the Kid was a wild western flamer. On the whole, the book was a disappointment (to me, at least). Lovely art, crappy writing. The idea of the Rawhide Kid as a fey, gay, gunslinging cowboy is not in itself enough to support much of anything, least of all several issues of a comic in which it's the center of attention. The joke is doomed to grow tired pretty quickly, regardless of how well the material is written; this wasn't written very well. The general tone was more sniggering schoolyard humor than clever wit. And it's a little astonishing to me that Marvel chose not to use this cover, given how heavily (and baselessly) they pushed the book's "Explicit Content" tag on the equally suggestive, but not nearly as whimsical, cover they did use. As far as I'm concerned, nothing in the book's actual content ever fit the description of "explicit." The tag seems to have been motivated by some combination of a desire to generate sensationalism and a fear of outraged backlash. "We can sucker in readers and cover our asses at the same time!" Complicated motivations, to say the least. What's saddest about it, though, is that the book itself offered no real basis for outrage beyond the simple fact that the Kid was acting rather, shall we say, faggy. There's certainly no explicit sex. Hell, it's been quite a while since I read the thing, but I don't think the Kid ever even comes close to getting laid. The only "explicit" things are his obvious poofterish mannerisms.

Why are all the good queer characters in comics women?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Who's In Charge Here?

Back me up here.

If both Bush and Cheney were impeached and -- admittedly fantasy scenario here -- prosecuted, convicted and removed from office, the next in line to occupy the office of President would be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Correct?

The Rovepublicans are already working night and day to dismantle the Constitution. What crazy things do you think they'd do in reaction to that prospect?

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I'm not talking about any of Scooter Libby's offenses. I'm talking about Bush's commuting Libby's prison sentence. I'm not certain that is in any way, technically, a criminal act. Nevertheless, it is an offense.

Bushie claims that he intervened and misused his presidential privilege because he considered the jail time to which Libby had been sentenced "too severe" a punishment. Given the nature of the incarceration to which he was doubtless headed (I don't imagine that Scooter was likely to find himself prison wife to anyone where he was going), Libby's sentence -- thirty months, I believe -- was far short of "severe." That Bushie chose to step in and act before Libby had served even a moment of that sentence indicates that this really has nothing to do with "severity" at all.

This action is yet another in the frighteningly long list of examples of what I see as the consistent priority of this administration: avoidance of responsibility. It seems to be the belief of Bush & Co. that they can operate however they choose without any accountability. This is certainly the situation they have at all times in every way possible striven to contrive and maintain. If even one in each dozen examples of their bending, rewriting or outright ignoring the policies, rules and laws to which they are subject were prosecuted as a genuinely criminal offense, the list of charges would form a hefty volume.

At this point in his presidency, Bushie's corruption has become shockingly flagrant. It's as if there's no longer any concern with concealing it, no interest in appearing as anything other than corrupt. The dissembling is not merely embarrassingly uninterested and inept, it is insultingly so.

Finally, there is something about Bush's presidency that infuriates me more deeply than his incompetence. His arrogance. Bad enough that an idiot occupy the presidency. Worse that he so tragically mishandle practically every aspect of his reponsibilities. Worse still that he engage in activities both sweepingly corrupt and blatant in their opposition to the core principles of the office. But the worst may be the ease with which he smugly flaunts his disregard for the damage he does and his contempt for the governmental legacy that he is exploiting and systematically dismantling to satisfy his own immoral and pathetic self-interests.

Bush has had my contempt since before the first faux election that inflicted him upon the presidency. He has spent every moment of both undeserved terms vigorously earning it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Calling All Compu-geeks

I have an unimportant but curious question for those computer geniuses who visit here. (You know who you are.)

We all know USB 2 is way faster than USB 1. One of the main reasons my iPod is synched to iTunes on my iBook rather than on my iMac is that my iMac is an old snowy gumdrop and has USB 1 and my iPod is of one of the more recent generations, which synch via USB rather than FireWire on the assumption that all currrent machines have USB 2. The reason early generations of iPods connected thru Firewire? Because USB 1 would've made syching terribly slow. The speed on USB 2 is comparable to (I think perhaps better than?) Firewire 400, and I guess the USB connection is more universal, so iPods are now USB. And, yes, I'm sure there's something out there that I could buy which would let me connect the iPod to the iMac via Firewire, but it's just not enough of an issue to warrant spending money on. It's not the data-transfer rate that I'm curious about.

My iQuestion has to do with the fact that the iPod charges through its USB connection when it's hooked to a computer. So here's the drill: My iPod synchs with my iBook (USB 2), but since my iBook isn't always sitting on my desk I'll sometimes plug the iPod into the iMac just to charge it. And. This. Seems. To. Take. Forever. I've never timed things, but it seems the iPod charges pretty quickly when it's hooked to the iBook (the iBook being plugged in, of course -- why drain its battery to charge the iPod's?). The only other means I have of charging the iPod is in my truck through the Griffin RoadTrip (the gizmo that plugs into the truck's 12v powerpoint and broadcasts into the very crowded FM airwaves around Philly (which is another gripe altogether), charging the iPod at the same time). Now, when I'm not running the iPod but just have it plugged into the RoadTrip to charge, the little guy zooms to a full battery in what seems like no time. I've run it flat at work, put it in the RoadTrip while I went to lunch, and returned around an hour later to an iPod with full charge. I can attest that through the USB connection on my iMac the thing takes well over an hour to charge to full.

So, if you've read this far, here's the meat of the question: Does the difference in charge speeds have anything to do with the differences between USB 1 and 2? Or is it just that the USB port into which the iPod gets plugged on the iMac is one device down a USB chain? (It's plugged into the open USB port on the keyboard, which acts as an unpowered hub for the mouse and, frequently, a convenient port for flash drives. ) On the iBook, it gets plugged directly into one of the two primary USB ports.

This may be a little too hardware based for those of you adept at parsing code and pushing pixels, but I thought I'd ask. Now that the iPod is becoming more and more ubiquitous in my daily life, I'm finding that its recovery periods matter to me and I'm considering getting it a stand-alone charger. Battery behavior may be enough of an issue to warrant spending the money.