|Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive XXIV
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag's Foolish Thoughts
Saturday, April 05, 2003
Anyone got any idea where I could get a really inexpensive handheld computer with enough memory to hold a book in e-format? I've got well over 200 science fiction books in various e-formats from Baen Books that I would love to read while bicycling in the morning, but the only way I have to read them right now is via my desktop computer, and it would be rather difficult to set it up so I can read from the excercise bike since the computer and bike are in two different rooms. I don't need anything current (in fact, I'd rather have something older that will hook up with my computer that's still on Windows '95), just cheap.
If you want to try out Baen's e-books, check out the Baen Free Library which has some great titles up for free. Full books, not just samples. By great writers. Free.posted by Tegan | 8:28 PM
Yah! The Mariners won a second game, and are now at .500 and tied for second place! Smirk all you want, this is still a very cool situation for a long-time M's fan.
When Mark Evanier doesn't have a can of mushroom soup up, he has great links. Here's another one from Spinsanity about the facts of the war. Pro-war folks won't like this one, but there's nothing but plain debunking of common myths there. More interesting, and maybe better from the factual standpoint is the Iraq-o-meter which just gives the numbers of the war so far. A bit trivializing, but very good if you are simply looking for the numbers. Thanks Mark.posted by Tegan | 8:17 AM
Friday, April 04, 2003
I have been informed that April Fools' Day this year was such a dud because it was a new moon. We all know that the full moon produces strange behavior (and documented evidence of more trouble in emergency rooms and that sort of stuff), so the theory goes that the new moon produces the exact opposite effect, and thus made everyone's jokes seem lamer than they would have been otherwise.
Um. Ok. Sure. Sounds as plausible as anything else out there.posted by Tegan | 9:22 AM
Thieves & Kings #41: The spark is back. Not entirely, but there is more passion in this issue than there has been for some time. I was going to go to trades on this series, but the individual issues are improving enough to keep me from doing that.
Batman: Nevermore #1 (of 5): This is such a natural pairing, I kind of wondered when it was announced why it hadn't already happened. The first issue was about what I expected, mostly set-up. The artwork is good and the direction is promising.
Justice League Adventures #18: Fairly typical story. Nice twist related to the size of the alien invaders and their reason for attacking. Decent.
Batman Gotham Adventures #60: Haven't we been through this a billion plus times? I suppose I should have expected it, this being the last issue of this series, but it still felt like yet another rehash of how sad and lonely Bruce Wayne keeps himself. Ah well, the final panel almost made up for it.
Next Week: Powers, Generations III, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Astro City, and Way of the Rat.posted by Tegan | 8:01 AM
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Yah! The Mariners won a game! Wahoo! Ok, it was in 11 innings, and they lost the first two games of the series, but hey, a win is a win!
In case the comments are gone below, hubby-Eric wasn't positive he had a job at the high school, and when the high school job didn't show up in the system, he took a different job. Simple as that. He didn't find out about the fuss until I told him this evening. Poor guy.
Four more comics to read. And this is the last blog of the day... so, until tomorrow... keep clam.posted by Tegan | 9:13 PM
PS238 #1: After reading the preview and zero issue I knew I would like this book. I didn't realize that I would like it nearly as much as I do, though. This is another one of those absolute winners. It's like discovering a new Astro City or Akiko. Definitely the best book of the year so far.
Futurama Comics #12: This is a hubby-Eric book. I wouldn't read it if he didn't get it, and I didn't intend to read this issue, but I did and regretted it as usual. It's not bad, it's just not my cuppa at all.posted by Tegan | 9:03 PM
I just got two calls in a row from people in the Northshore school district asking where the heck my hubby was. He taught math yesterday at a high school, and the teacher wanted him back. So the first call was from the school asking if he was ok and if he'd left for work yet. While I was surprised, because he hadn't said anything to me about going back today, I had to confess that I couldn't remember where he was. Then the teacher he subbed for yesterday called. I explained that I really had no idea where he was, and that he'd loved teaching the class yesterday, so I would have expected him to go back if he had the chance. She said that she'd called him during his 6th period and talked with him about it. I then quickly checked the other district he works in, and there was no job listed there. So, since he'd already left, he had to be somewhere in Northshore.
Immediately the worst thoughts started to populate my head. What if he was in an accident? It's not like him to be tardy at any job. So I did the reasonable thing and tried calling the automated system to find out where he is, if he isn't at this high school again. After busy signals for a long time, which seemed even more forever because I was worried, I finally got through and the system said he was at another school. As the system gave the school name I remembered, hubby-Eric had told me about this job last night. Whew, he's safe.
Now the question becomes, why didn't he go back to the High School? I know he loved his day there, so he would have accepted immediately any offer to stay. And I don't think he would have simply forgotten. He can be as absent-minded as the next person, but it really seems unlikely to me. So now I'm dying of curiousity, and I won't see him until at least 8pm tonight. Hrm.posted by Tegan | 7:52 AM
Simple explanation, really: I was offered another job before the one I wanted was called in. But considering how that job I had today went, I wish I'd waited...
Hubby | Email | Homepage | 04.03.03 - 8:40 pm
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Sorry, I'm a bit tired now. Don't intend to do rapid reviews until tomorrow. Don't intend to do much of anything until tomorrow, actually. Must thank my hubby-Eric for the lovely dinner... it was very kind of him to do the organizing considering how busy he's been with job applications.
Until tomorrow, then.posted by Tegan | 8:26 PM
Found this at Johnny B's blog, and decided it was good fodder for the mind. I think the title ought to be changed to "Top reasons to not hate celebrities when they voice opposition to war", but it's close enough for *ahem* hand grenades or horseshoes. As a side note, can anyone confirm that all the statements made in this list are true?
Can't get away from the war. I've mostly stopped watching TV news because of it. It's hard to watch those "embedded" reporters going on and on with nothing to report on except "It's hot" or "It's cold" or "We got caught in a sandstorm". And I haven't seen any real news about the war in some time. Where is Saddam? Where are the weapons of mass destruction he was hiding? I don't expect (or want) to hear about troops movements, and I'm slightly surprised we aren't getting more actual news.
Then there's this other side. Salam Pax is gone. Perhaps he's dead. Perhaps he never really existed. We may never know. But there hasn't been a new post since the 24th of March. I hope that, if he is real, he's just lying low somewhere until this whole thing is over.
Another point of view came from a friend who visited on Monday. Her husband is in the Gulf. She had been given strict instructions to not reveal his location to ANYONE for security purposes, so she was more than a little surprised to see his unit on TV, with all that secure and secret information being given out by an embedded reporter. Both herself and her husband had serious doubts about the "justness" of the war, but her husband went to do his job anyway. As she told me, we may have our doubts about Bush's agenda, but how much harder must it be for a soldier with doubts to go and fight and possibly die for something they don't truly believe in? In any case, that had changed with her last letter from her husband. He was in Southern Iraq somewhere helping to distribute food and water, and the relief and thanks from the people made him, for the first time, feel good about what he was doing.
Then there are the pro-war "protesters". I see them every time I see anti-war folk. The pro-war folk hold up signs with a radio station's logo front and center, and around it are the words "Free Iraq" or something. It's hard to tell what they say. The radio station logo is so large, while the supposed message is so small. I can only wonder why they don't go make their own signs.
Many of the "No Iraq War" signs are changing, too, I notice. More people are holding up signs that say "Support Our Troops, Bring 'Em Home" instead.
I suspect most people who are opposed to the war are like me. I think we went in wrong, I think Bush is working very hard to make himself a war criminal in the eyes of most of the world, but I don't want our soldiers dying and hated. While I wish we could pull out, I'm realistic enough to know that we'd better finish what we started this time, or the consequences will be even worse for the citizens of Baghdad. I blame Bush Sr for this mess, for not finishing the job when he should have. That time we would have been completely justified in going against the UN. Because he didn't, because he stopped short, the Iraqis lived through twelve years of hell on Earth. But that doesn't make Bush Jr's little crusade right. The UN stopped us last time, the UN should have been the ones to go in. Jr Bush's determination to go in without them has only made a bad situation even worse, and painted the Americans as the bad guys, when the only bad guy should have been Saddam himself.
Bah. I'm getting myself depressed, and babbling on. Time to go finish getting ready for work.posted by Tegan | 9:27 AM
Good point, I think I like "to not hate" (or even "to not put down") better myself. I just copied and pasted and didn't really think about it too much.
David J | Email | Homepage | 04.03.03 - 9:28 am
I think the original title was intended to mean "celebrities in opposition to war" as the noun, but as it reads, it makes it sound like the title is for supporting the opposition to war. Since this is apparently meant for the pro-war crowd to read, that title will immediately put them off.
I still wonder if all the statements are true. They sound right, but I haven't gone to check on their veracity.
Tegan | 04.03.03 - 9:46 am
I don't expect anything from the Mariners this year. Heck, I've never expected anything except some good baseball. So, as I write these words, I've turned on the first M's game of the season and I'm about to watch it. I won't predict anything. I don't have any idea who will win. I think Oakland is favored, but then, they usually are.
First thought: The "Ichiro Shift" commercial is actually pretty funny. But I hate the new slogan. Man, I wish the game would start! Introductions and ads, ads and introductions.
Ah... Ichiro. He nearly makes the play. That was a lot closer than any other player in the league could have made it. Randy Winn gets a double... time for me to sit in front of the TV happily.
Bottom of the second. A woman came into the store today, and asked what the odds are of getting a hit in baseball, and what would be the best type of dice to use for a baseball game that her son, in 3rd grade, was designing. I said that the best hitters only hit 1/3 of the time, but for a game you want more hits or it gets really boring. You simply don't want a baseball board game to play like baseball. So she took a selection home so they could test which one worked best.
Ouch. An Oakland home run. Garcia was pitching well. He has this tendency to give up home runs, though, and this one was a two-run one. I hope the Seattle bullpen is strong this year.
Double ouch. This game is already gone sour for the M's. Not even the end of the second, and I'm already writing them off. Not a good sign (but a typical one for a pre-2001 Mariners fan). Ah well, I still love 'em.
Ah, the season's first loss! Well, there are worse things in the world, some of them going on right now. I'll take a home-team loss. Hopefully the next game will go better for them.posted by Tegan | 7:41 AM
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
The Top 100 April Fools' Day Jokes. I'm disappointed that the Almost Live! Space Needle joke didn't make the list.posted by Tegan | 10:14 PM
Smurfs: Hardcore courtesy of Pulse News. (full article is here)
It's been sad pickings this year, but the Pulse has certainly come through with some good ones. I particularly like the Neil Gaiman/Todd McFarlane team-up one, as the choice of book (Mr. District Attorney) is so perfect. Vertigo at 20 was amusing, but not as fun.
I was so inspired by the latest Secret Files that I decided to re-dedicate my website to Vulko! For those of you who don't know who Vulko is, he's the Atlantean advisor to Aquaman who first showed up in the Silver Age series. Vulko has been everything, including dead (so he fills all the requirements of a DC superhero). He's been the King of Atlantis, a regular scientist and scholar, a mid-wife (!), a general... you name it, he's been it in Atlantis. My new website has an overview of Vulko's life from his first appearance up to the Secret Files appearance.
Anyway, my new website is up, and I urge you to check it out and then let me know what you think of it. I'm sure you'll love it. I'm also sure it's the best Vulko fansite out there!posted by Tegan | 7:26 AM
Monday, March 31, 2003
After checking my stats, it looks pretty clear that nobody has bought anything through my blog from Amazon.com. I'm not surprised, nor particularly disappointed. I am amused, but that's just because I'm in a good mood, I'm sure. A few people have clicked through, but nobody has ordered anything, which means I won't be able to get that Smallville CD I was thinking about ordering. Aw shucks.
Hubby-Eric, on the other hand, has had great success with his bookshop. Someone even bought a computer through his website, which gave him $10 in credit (the maximum allowed). Maybe I can get him to order the CD for me...posted by Tegan | 12:47 PM
Tomorrow is the most dangerous day of the year on the internet. The problem is that many people don't understand this whole "April Fools' Day" thing, and that some people take far too much glee in it. While it's true that the absolute best April Fools' Day joke is one that seems completely true until the last line, it's also true that too many people nowadays don't bother to read all the way to the last line.
And then there are people who don't realize that you have to put something in the joke to make it clear to any attentive person that it's actually a joke. While an emphasis on the date is good, it's often not enough. Too many jokes are far too believable, and get reported as truth because the zinger isn't in the joke itself.
As a reader, I take everything I see first reported on April 1st as a joke until I see independent confirmation on other days. It's the only way to survive the most dangerous day of the year on the internet. As a website designer, my April Fools' Day jokes tend to be pretty obvious, with the hope of raising a chuckle in my readers instead of springing a "Gotcha!" on them.posted by Tegan | 8:31 AM
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Now that I've actually got my bookshop up and running, I thought it might be fun to promote some of the cool books I'm putting in the shop (if nothing else it ought to get me to write up notes about the books on the shop page). If you choose to buy this book through the link to Amazon I provide, I'll get a tiny percentage in the form of credit. If you don't choose to buy it that way, I urge you to check it out anyway, because these are NEAT books.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
This book has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention for its re-creation of the Golden Age era of comic books. It's a great story of how two cousins break into the business of creating comic books. One to escape his boring life, and the other to escape his own past and continuing sense of helplessness. The occasional aside to the reader tells you what the piece the boys are working on today is worth in the current market, just to lend a strange sense of reality to the book. And the ending, while not completely satisfying, is certainly appropriate to this kind of book.
If you like the Golden Age comics, do yourself a favor and pick this novel up.posted by Tegan | 1:41 PM
Welcome to my second installment of my theology class. If you haven't read the first one, please go back and read it, or at least the first couple of paragraphs before moving on.
Today's wanderings are about Mormonism, and what it is. It's very strange, but a lot of people seem to think it's a cult and that it's not Christian. They are wrong on both counts, but it's funny to watch them delude themselves for no apparent reason. What do people gain by attacking a religion they don't belong to or understand?
I've read a bunch of the anti-Mormon books. They make for interesting reading if you know anything at all about Mormonism, as they are so obviously wrong and poorly argued that you wonder what editor let them by. I seem to recall one guy who argued that Mormonism was a cult, but every single critera he used to "prove" his point was also true of both early Christianity and the current Catholic Church. His definition was so broad it fit his own religion, and he didn't seem to notice.
However, that's off the track. I'd rather not waste time making fun of those guys, but it is important, I think, to mention that I've read many of those books. I'm familiar with their arguments, and rejected them in my own personal quest for The Truth.
Mormons are Christians. They believe that the only way to Heaven is through belief in Jesus Christ. That is the definition of Christian. If you want to create some more narrow definition of Christian, you are perfectly welcome to, but you will only make yourself look stupid by doing so. Christians are people who believe that salvation comes through Jesus Christ. Therefore, Mormons are Christians.
Mormons do not consider themselves Protestant. They did not arise out of the Protestant movement, but instead are a restoration of the church as Jesus Christ meant it to be. Yeah, that's in some ways the very definition of what a Protestant is, but Mormons believe that their religion is the true restoration, as prophecied in several bits of scripture.
The name "Mormon" comes from an extra bit of scripture that the Church has. The Bible is the first and most important scripture to the Church, but a second scripture called "The Book of Mormon" (after an ancient editor) is used as another testament of Jesus Christ. Originally the name Mormon was a derisive insult, but in true American fashion the Church members shrugged and took the name for themselves.
The Book of Mormon is an interesting piece of history. According to the book itself, it was written by a series of authors, starting with Nephi, who lived in Jerusalem with his family. Nephi's father started having visions of Jerusalem's destruction in the near future (this was about 600 BC) and took his family out into the wilderness, and eventually over to the Americas. Various descendants wrote in the book, which was written on metal plates to preserve the words for a long time, until a small compilation of the best bits (gathered by Mormon and his son) were buried in a hill far North of the troubles of the time.
In 1823, after reading a verse of the Bible, an ignorant farm boy prayed to God to know which church he should join, and got a rather unexpected answer in the form of a divine visitation. Eventually, he got possession of the long buried plates, and translated them with some divine help. The result became The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Now regardless of what you think about the previous two paragraphs, remember that an international church has arisen from the belief that it is true, and that I, personally, believe it. But then, if a person can believe that God or his son was born of a virgin some 2000 years ago, believing that his true church was restored through the faith of an ignorant farmboy some 180 years ago shouldn't be that much of a stretch.posted by Tegan | 10:52 AM
Hey, you'll get no Mormon-bashing from me! I worked with a fellow for several years who was a devout Mormon, and we used to get in all sorts of theological discussions. He gave me a Book of Mormon once, and I read parts of it–if nothing else, so I could have intelligent discussions with him.
When it comes to religion, though, I'm afraid most of it sounds like wishful thinking to me. I'm still waiting for something to come along and convince me otherwise...
David J | Email | Homepage | 03.31.03 - 8:12 am
That's one of the small problems I have with religion. It sounds like a wonderful fantasy. How do I know it's true? I don't, of course. It's that whole faith thing. I tend to subscribe to the "Praise God and Keep Your Powder Dry" philosophy of religion. God is out there, but why should he help us if we aren't helping ourselves? Faith in God is great, reliance on God is wrong.
Maybe I should make that aspect of religion the topic of my next Theology Class posting. There's a lot of ground to cover there.
Tegan | 03.31.03 - 8:36 am