Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive LVI
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag and cub

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Sketchbook - David Hahn

David Hahn was another victim at my second ever convention when I ran around getting sketches. I really don't remember getting the sketch, it has been just over four years since I got it, so it's difficult for me to recall any details. I didn't write about every con back then. Looking through the sketchbook, Hahn was the fourth artist I approached, and came right after a painter for Magic cards. I seem to recall thinking that this particular Aquaman, young and angry, would've fit right in with Kate Winslet in a popular movie of the time. With the added bonus that he wouldn't have drowned.

by David Hahn
14 November 1999
(permission to post given 17 August 2003 via e-mail)
David Hahn, Illustrator and Cartoonist

David Hahn is best known for Private Beach, a slice-of-life book about a 25-year-old who listens to voices. He's also done work for DC Comics, Antarctic Press, and NASA. No, I'm not kidding. Go look at his page. You'll never guess some of his other clients.

To see all the sketches I have permission to post so far, check out my Sketchbook Page. If you have any contact information for any of the other artists I'm trying to contact, please e-mail me. Click for a random Aquaman sketch.

Tomorrow I intend to go to the Seattle ComiCard Convention, with special guests Anne Timmons, Chuck Gibson, Mike S Miller, Paul Chadwick, and a bunch of others present. I hope to get another permission to post a sketch, and hopefully one or two more sketches to add to the sketchbook. If you plan on going, look for me wearing the Aquaman shirt with the "aged" logo that just came out. I am almost always happy to show off my sketchbooks to anyone who asks. Coming tomorrow: con report!

by Tegan at 8:11 PM Seattle time

Buy Age of Bronze

Comics Continuum has a lead article about my friend Eric Shanower. Pop-up warning!

Speaking of Eric, how can Age of Bronze be selling so poorly???? C'mon people, this is one of the best books out there! It's a fantastic historical book with amazing artwork and in depth research! Why is it down at #286 on the top 300 list, with only 3,610 copies sold? This one needs to be supported and read! If you haven't tried it, buy the first trade, or hunt down an issue at your local shop. This one is too good to pass up.

I've updated my bookshop page with a handful of "new" stuff. Feel free to check it out, and don't feel obligated to buy anything. If you do buy anything, I'll get a tiny percentage which I'll be able to use as credit and buy more books with. It's just about the only way I can afford new books nowadays.

A computer scientist warns about e-voting problems and is labelled anti-democracy by the director of the elections board. Lovely. via Slashdot

Current BBBB Computer Fund Total: $10.00 - Number of "Blue Screens" yesterday: 0 - A very good day.

by Tegan at 5:57 PM Seattle time

Rapid Reviews - 12 November 2003 - Part IV

1602 Part Four: I think this is the first origin story I've ever read for Doctor Strange. I want Neilalien to read this so he can tell us how close it is to the "real" origin. It is also a clue for what is causing this universe to exist. And we get more clues in the form of American history in this reality, and a look at Doom's face! I am definitely not getting every reference, but I'm really enjoying this tale. 4 starfish

PS238 #4: Have I mentioned that I really like this book? Oh, yeah. I've given every issue so far four and a half starfish. I'm sure that's a hint. This time the crew visits the moon, and meets an unexpected inhabitant. The back-up story has a wonderful payoff in the last page. If you are not getting this book, you are seriously missing out. This is one of the best new books around. 4 1/2 starfish

Conan: The Legend: You cannot miss if a book is only 25 cents (nowadays). A fully painted book, written by Kurt Busiek, for only 25 cents is a definite. So, what did I think? Conan has the single ugliest haircut possible, but other than that, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I liked the framing sequence, and I'm finding myself wanting to read more. Dark Horse showed an understanding of the direct market by putting this book out three months ahead of the first regular issue. Go down to your store, pay your two bits, read it, and if you like it let your retailer know so she can order a copy of the new series for you. 4 starfish

Books due out November 19th for me to review: Batman Adventures, Birds of Prey, Detective 27, Smallville, Superman: The Kansas Sighting, Cinnamon, JLA: Liberty and Justice, Outsiders, Wildguard, El Cazador, and Way of the Rat.

by Tegan at 9:45 AM Seattle time

Friday, November 14, 2003

Frankenhouse Strikes Again

Well, I may have to push my goal date for my new computer out a few months, as the house has decided to, once again, have troubles. I cannot recall how much I've written about our house, which we affectionately refer to as "Frankenhouse", before on this blog, but let's just say that it has caused us no end of trouble. Basically, a "do-it-yourself"er lived/owned the house before we did, and he did it himself, often without paying attention to the consequences of his actions. In short, he didn't know what he was doing, and did things wrong. Wrong enough to make an electrician take some of the stuff he found in our house "to show the other guys", after exclaiming in amazement after first seeing it. He assured me that it would probably end up in a museum.

Anyway, it's the pipes again. They backed up this morning and the plumber had to come and clean them out again. The last clean-out was in July. It's happening more often. He ran a camera down the pipe (which was kind of cool) and we saw the backups and the roots. At this point, I would love to just pull out every plant in our front and back yards and replace them with something that doesn't have roots. Like a rock garden.

So these roots are making nasty problems. We are going to have to get them taken care of for good. It'll cost around $6000 (that's my estimate after seeing the plumber's $3200 estimate that doesn't include tax). That's $6000 we simply do not have. So we're going to have to try to either refinance the house or get a home equity loan. I called our insurance company to see if they could help with preventative measures, but as I expected they couldn't. So we need to figure out how to pay for this, and everything else goes on hold. Well, unless I get donations to my computer fund. Those will get put in their own account and pile up without being affected by any other nonsense happening to us.

Such is life. You take one step forward, and end up taking two steps back.

by Tegan at 7:20 PM Seattle time

Random Thoughts

Jim Henley on Flag Burning.

Bob Harris is still gushing about the man vs machine chess match, which the machine apparently won brilliantly.

John Jakala has the last word on the Alex Ross debate as far as I'm concerned. What he said. The grandeur, the awe... if Ross's work shows anything, it shows the flaws in that take on superheroes. In any case, I want to reiterate that I'm not upset at David Fiore. Really. I was miffed at the way he originally stated his opinion, and I still disagree with his take, but no anger. Really. I know I come across that way, but it's just the debating style... no heat.

Speaking of Alex Ross, I wish I could afford to get Alter Ego. I would get it monthly, but it's just too much for our strained resources.

Pulse reports on Operation Comix Relief. If you can, donate books or money to the cause. The effort is to send comics to troops stationed abroad (especially in hostile areas).

So, Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex is up on-line, apparently with Larry Niven's permission. Unless you are interested in the reproductive capabilities of Kryptonians residing on Earth, don't follow the link.

Peter David on threats from fans. Yeah, it's a pretty serious problem, and yeah, Peter David is perfectly right to take any threats seriously.

In Sequence on Cinnamon: El Ciclo, a book that I'm really enjoying, too. Next issue is due out next Wednesday.

Legomancer also enjoyed the clone wars cartoons. He's rightfully upset that we're getting cartoons instead of a clone wars movie, but agrees that the cartoons are very well done, maybe better than the prequels.

So, explain to me. How did Aquaman drop 31 spots in sales ranking, yet still sell nearly 1000 more copies than last month?

Current BBBB Computer Fund Total: $10.00 - Number of "Blue Screens" yesterday: 1 - A good day.

To my immense surprise and contrary to all my realistic expectations, I got a donation for my computer fund this morning. I kind of just figured everyone who reads my blog is as broke as I am (Johnny B and Elayne are both job-hunting, for instance). So I'm very grateful to the person who donated... it really made my day. Thank you.

by Tegan at 3:00 PM Seattle time

Rapid Reviews - 12 November 2003 - Part III

Aquaman #12: This was/is Rick Veitch's last issue. And while I haven't enjoyed every issue in his run as much as I wanted to, I am sorry to see him go. I think he had a vision for the book that was derailed by the editorial change early on, and everything after that was marking time while still trying to put out the best possible book. He was saddled with an art team that didn't fit his style, and apparently didn't read his scripts. His original vision shines through at times, but the story felt drawn out overall. In the end, though, he managed to leave the series with a new status quo established, one that new writers can choose to play with in detail or avoid the bits they don't like. He also had one heckuva last issue in many ways, with the JLA guesting and the threat finally met when Aquaman uses his brains. Thanks Rick, it wasn't perfect, but I liked it. 4 starfish

Ruse #25: Gah! Who decided that a 19 page gag with only three pages of actual story was worth printing? I just plain didn't like it. 2 1/2 starfish

Smallville: Magnetic [3-07]: I felt like I've seen this episode before. Lana gets into trouble, Clark goes to help even though Lana isn't interested in his help, but Clark turns out to be right and is happy that Clark was there after all. Almost the same plot as that dude who could double himself, only without Chloe as a second love interest. Good bits: Lex and Chloe and the whole interplay there. Lana's acceptance of Seth's powers, which may indicate that Clark will reveal his abilities to Lana before the show ends. 3 starfish

Still to review: 1602, PS238, and Conan.

by Tegan at 11:21 AM Seattle time

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Good News For the Night

Well, my husband got good news today. He's not going to lose his position at the Junior High and be reassigned as a district substitute. He gets to keep his classes, his students, and the Junior High gets to save the block schedule they were in danger of losing (and consequently, the Gates grant the school got for their work on the block schedule is also safe, whew!).

While the news is good for hubby-Eric, it's not so good for other teachers in the district. Teachers all over the district are being reassigned and moved from school to school, and classes are being disrupted as students are moved around willy-nilly to get an acceptable number of students in each class. With the choas happening in the district right now, it's something just short of a miracle that hubby-Eric got to keep his classes.

While that's happening, the parent groups are moving ahead to try and prevent the outgoing school board from rewarding the crappy and divisive superintendent with another year on her contract, which the current board president claims they intend to do next week. They've been told that the people don't want her to stay, and the teachers have made it clear that they don't like her and think she's ineffective, but the outgoing board might just approve her contract out of pure spite. There's no other reason to do it now, before the new board is seated.

As for the new board, the latest numbers for the election came out earlier today, and the trends are still holding strong. The turnout is now at 44.52%, and the challengers are all leading by thousands of votes, all with at least 60% of the vote. The incoming three board members are already meeting with the public, trying to figure out how best to proceed. There's a lot of hard work ahead of them.

In less unpleasant news, I've added a little Honor System link to my sidebar. It probably won't stay there long, because I also put it on my brand spanking new Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog New Computer Fund page, on which you can also track my flailing efforts to save up enough money to get a new computer in time for my birthday. Watch as my fund thermometer slowly doesn't rise! Watch as the total fails to go up! Laugh at my laughable attempts to get help! And hey, if I entertain you, feel free to donate!

Speaking of help, many thanks to the folks who responded, both in the comments and via e-mail, to my quest for more information about where to go to look for my new computer. It's good stuff. Thanks!

by Tegan at 9:04 PM Seattle time

Random Thoughts

How are LEGOs made? Here is a shockwave presentation that shows the general process. Quite neat. via Boing Boing

The ten most outrageous science scams. Some good reading there. via the Urban Legends Reference Pages

Bob Harris, posting on Tom Tomorrow's blog, has some thoughts on the current chess game between Garry Kasparov and X3D Fritz (a computer).

Neil Gaiman points us to an article about comic books that isn't too demeaning. The author says that most comics are crap, but fails to point out that 99% of all entertainment is crap, but other than that it's ok.

Current BBBB Computer Fund Total: $0.00 - Number of "Blue Screens" yesterday: 2

by Tegan at 12:17 PM Seattle time

Rapid Reviews - 12 November 2003 - Part II

H-E-R-O #10: Amazing. Someone actually manages to get exactly what they want out of the device. Ok, it's not exactly how he wanted it, but it happened. As for the reappearance of Robby Reed, I'm just going to say it makes me nervous and leave it at that. 4 starfish

JSA #54: Another Rockwell tribute cover! This one is after "Freedom From Want" which Rockwell painted after Roosevelt's famous "Four Freedoms" speech. Ok, the original didn't have a little guy standing in the center of the table, but other than that it's a very good tribute. Notice that the hands match, even. Now, I'm dwelling on the cover, I know. That's because I really didn't like the story much. Oh, it was ok, but it kept teasing. For example, we never got a group shot that showed everyone sitting at the table. Every page felt like a build-up, but there was never any payoff. Normally I don't mind "day-in-the-life" tales, but this one annoyed me. 3 starfish

Fallen Angel #5: Things don't work in Bete Noire like they do in other places. The city isn't a real place. And so I'm not entirely sure what Lee is, whether she's an iconic dream of Supergirl, or maybe even Supergirl herself. There are more hints in this issue, which is more what I'm interested in. Maybe that alternate plotline I thought I was seeing in the last issue will actually bring in more information that I want to know... who knows? This is one odd book. 3 1/2 starfish

Still to review: Ruse, 1602, Aquaman, PS238, and Conan.

by Tegan at 9:50 AM Seattle time

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Clone Wars

So I've finally seen the new "Clone Wars" cartoon shorts. Two thoughts spring to mind after seeing them: 1) Too short and 2) Way better than expected. I'm looking forward to seeing all twenty together. The challenge with these is that each three-minute segment must tell a story, yet the whole needs to hang together. After seeing the first three, it looks to me like they succeeded. I actually found them very fun to watch.

And I have a new favorite Jedi, I think. Kit Fisto. In the opening of the first episode, it's made very clear that he's a water-breather. Since he also battled in the arena in the last movie, I guess he's the Star Wars equivalent of Aquaman. In any case, I really like the half-second clip in which he shows up.

by Tegan at 6:34 PM Seattle time

Rapid Reviews - 12 November 2003 - Part I

Superman/Batman Generations III #11: Time travel. Yeah. And Parademons. And stuff. Ok. Isn't this series over yet? 2 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #32: Great cover. Bolland is a master. Too bad the story isn't nearly as strong. Yeah, it's ok, but I get it already. Roy is a playboy, and Connor is not. Yup, we've covered this ground. I suppose having the two of them go out together is fun, but the whole story just seemed redundant to me. 3 starfish

Licensable BearTM #1: Ok, I liked the third story best, "Licensable BearTM Goes to Japan". The rest were surprisingly strong. Every one was funny in its own way, and every one got at least a small laugh out of me. I'm not sure I would pick up a second issue, but this one was fun. 4 starfish

Still to review: JSA, Ruse, Fallen Angel, H-E-R-O, 1602, Aquaman, PS238, and Conan.

by Tegan at 5:28 PM Seattle time

Morning Thoughts

Ah, you can look up the cover to Time magazine from the week you were born. Of course, what else would be on my week but the Super Bowl? Blah.

More electronic voting problems. Again, I have no issue with electronic voting, as long as there is a physical verification of the vote that is saved by the voting authority and can be used for a recount without relying on the computers.

While David Fiore has apologized for his unfortunately choice of comparisons to Ross' work (yes, David, you did compare Alex Ross to Nazis, even if you weren't referring to his political beliefs), I still think he's taking in his own preconceived notions to the work instead of judging it on its own merits. I firmly disagree that a sense of wonder, grandeur, and awe is inappropriate for a superhero book, especially when the theme of many of the works in question is that we look up to these heroes, and they fail. I don't care if someone doesn't like Ross' work, many people don't, but comparing it to Triumph of the Will and then saying that he doesn't "see how any rational adult could" read or enjoy such a comic is a slap in the face. It definitely implies that readers who like Ross' work are taken in by some sort of Nazi-type propaganda. And that's what I was objecting to. And he spelled my name wrong.

Current BBBB Computer Fund Total: $0.00 - Number of "Blue Screens" yesterday: 2

Update: I didn't read Sean Collins take on the subject until just a few moments ago. Had I known the subject was already discussed to death on the Comics Journal messageboards, I would have probably been even more upset at Fiore's comparison. As it is, I was mildly offended. But if I'd known that some people consider "heroic portraits of powerful, physically fit people shot from low angles" to be "inherently fascist", I probably would have misunderstood Fiore's argument even more than I did. It's a remarkably inane concept, and Fiore was just barely skimming the surface of it.

by Tegan at 10:29 AM Seattle time

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Don't Forget

A dead man's letter to his family

Honor to those who served

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers"

Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project

In Flanders Fields...

by Tegan at 7:32 PM Seattle time

Random Thoughts

So everyone is taking the Super IQ Test at emode, and I figured I would try it too.

"Laura, your Super IQ score is 147. The way you think about things makes you an Intuitive Investigator. This means you have multiple talents and can do anything you set your mind to. You're able to detect numerical patterns easily and are able to grasp the true complexity of the world, both in its details and in a more abstract form. You've got a sharp logical mind and are adept at using words to get even a difficult point across. The combination of all these things makes you truly brilliant. ...Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities." Uh-huh.

In the last IQ test I took, I only scored 136. Am I getting smarter, or just testing better?

Somebody actually agrees with me about the new coin designs. Ok, he doesn't specifically say "no apples" on the Washington coin, but at least he has the same idea as me: the coins should be beautiful, not crowded.

Hey, it's Licensable BearTM! Check out the "They Should've Licensed Me" section for a fun bit about a snack that somehow contains more fat than its weight.

The comic book press is finally picking up on the new Michigan law that attempts to protect children, but outlaws lots of things that most people would consider harmless... and doesn't stop the display of magazines that objectify women (or men). Worse, the law doesn't just apply to the display of materials that have something that might be objectionable on the cover, it applies to the display of anything that has any objectionable material inside the book. So retailers must be familiar with the contents of every book they sell. And all nudity is outlawed, so Atlantis Chronicles is now porn in Michigan. And many issues of National Geographic. For the record, Dirk scooped the rest of the comic book press on this story, which he got from Todd VerBeek.

I shouldn't even have to say that I completely disagree with David Fiore's laughable attempt to link Alex Ross to Leni Riefenstahl, and I take exception to his "rational adult" comment, too. A rational adult doesn't compare a comic book artist to Nazis just because he doesn't like the style. Sheesh.

You can now download free music lessons from the Berklee College of Music. Very cool! I need to check out this site more thoroughly. via The Modulator

Ah, finally! A dramatic picture of the lunar eclipse.

Boing Boing links to this terrifying article written in 1997 about the folklore of homeless children. An excerpt: The homeless children's chief ally is a beautiful angel they have nicknamed the Blue Lady. She has pale blue skin and lives in the ocean, but she is hobbled by a spell. "The demons made it so she only has power if you know her secret name," says Andre, whose mother has been through three rehabilitation programs for crack addiction. "If you and your friends on a corner on a street when a car comes shooting bullets and only one child yells out her true name, all will be safe. Even if bullets tearing your skin, the Blue Lady makes them fall on the ground. She can talk to us, even without her name. She says: 'Hold on.'" Wow. Read the whole thing. Amazing.

If you haven't heard about the disgusting raid that took place at a South Carolina High School, first read this. And look at that picture. There's a whole video of the event, though my computer can't play any of the videos on sites I've found. I think that Instapundit has this one exactly right.

by Tegan at 3:35 PM Seattle time

Rapid Reviews - Various

More Fund Comics: I was told this was "just a pin-up book" and not a standard anthology. Luckily, whoever told me that was wrong. It's an anthology and a pin-up book. It starts with a neat little framing sequence in which a couple of alien creatures playing catch notice a shooting star, and follow its path to find a rocket filled with More Fund Comics, which they of course start to read... The first regular story is a one-page Usagi Yojimbo tale by Stan Sakai ("Ninja Hunt"). I could list all the rest of the contributors and the stories, but then this wouldn't be much of a review. Let me just point out the ones I really liked. Usagi was great, as usual, even if it was only one page. The Scott Sava story shows off Sava's computer graphics talents, and I adored the Mice Templar tale and hope to see more of those. The Chevalier d'Eon reminded me of Dignifying Science: educational and interesting. Erie Erin was cute. A Word From Our Sponsors was very neat, if only to see Spider-Man reading Understanding Comics and glancing over at Scott McCloud every once in awhile as he reads. Forty Winks was cute, as was A Day in the Life. I liked Liberty, and it occurs to me that maybe I would like to read some of the old Western Comics. Who knows? Anyway, there's an interesting little Amelia Rules story. I liked looking at the background, particularly when I noticed an Oz book back there behind Amelia. I liked the Books of Lore tale, and also the Cryptozoo story. I kept thinking I'd read The Yarnog Tree before, I guess it just connected with me. And Workin' the Beach was a nice, if utterly predictable, slant on the old comic book ads. Patrick the Wolf Boy is cute, does he ever talk? And the last story, Summer Days, was intriguing. Did I get $10 worth out of the book? Even if you ignore everything else that I didn't mention specifically as liking, yeah, this one was worth twice the cover price, easy. 4 1/2 starfish

Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross: "The challenge of drawing (Aquaman) is how to prove that a character everyone believes is corny can actually be cool. I wanted to show that his orange shirt with the scales on it could look majestic, like armor or chainmail." And with those words, Alex Ross made me a happy camper. And there is a great full page of Aquaman taking on whalers (from the upcoming JLA: Liberty and Justice), not to mention the neat re-do of the cover of Brave and the Bold #28 from Starro's point of view (he even got the color of Aquaman's gloves right). And I would really like the "Aquaman" wild card from the Kingdom Come supplement. *ahem* As for the rest of the book, unless you like Ross' art, don't get it. But if you enjoy his art, it's worth having as a coffee table book, and it's fun to look through, too. 3 1/2 starfish

Justice League: Eclipsed: I like Eclipso, and this one pretty much delivered through the first half. The second half... eh, not too bad. This was definitely a Flash showcase, with Batman being the only JLer that didn't show at some point in the episode. The thing is, I don't know the history of the black diamond or Eclipso, so I'm not sure how much that was altered. To tell the truth, I'm very much looking forward to next week's episode... and although this one isn't bad, it's next week's Aquaman appearance that I'm waiting for. 3 1/2 starfish

Current BBBB Computer Fund Total: $0.00 - Number of "Blue Screens" yesterday: 3

by Tegan at 8:11 AM Seattle time

Monday, November 10, 2003

Last Thoughts For The Night

Just an update: The website for Brandon Graham (who did an Aquaman sketch for me) is now active.

And Fintan Studios fixed whatever was killing Mozilla browsers (or Mozilla fixed the browser, I've upgraded recently, I think) so I can safely visit their website now.

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day in the United States. If you live here, remember to find and thank a veteran for the fact that you have basic freedoms. And, while you are at it, send a comic book to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan. You may not agree with the war, but those folks signed up to protect YOU. The least you can do is send them a few minutes of entertainment.

by Tegan at 10:32 PM Seattle time

Random Thoughts

The Atrios/Luskin "stalker" thing made the New Yorker. via Atrios

Riverbend tells of the problems at Baghdad University. I'm definitely seeing where some of our people in Iraq need Iraqis to guide them. It's like we've got our hands over our ears while we point guns at people who are just tired of war and want help getting their country back.

Healing Iraq has a description of Iraqi "resistance". There are more voices popping up from Iraq every day, much of them giving such good advice that I can only hope somebody in our government is paying attention. Follow the links from the various Iraqi blogs I'm already linked to if you want the real news from the ground.

In less painful news, Riverbend has posted a recipe for Kabab Iroog on her new blog for those of us willing and daring enough to try some Iraqi recipes.

Hubby-Eric and I are both as British as Mr Bean, according to this quiz. via Johnny B

Someone asked Neil Gaiman if he would write for the new Doctor Who, and he replied: "If I have time, certainly. (It took five years to find time to write a Babylon 5 episode, of course...)" While a Doctor Who story written by Neil would be very cool, I'll have to take that response as a "not too likely".

I plan on attending the next Seattle ComiCard Convention to attempt to get sketches and more permissions. It would be worth the price of admission if I can get a sketch from either Paul Chadwick or Anne Timmons. In any case, if you intend to be there (November 16th), you can spot me by looking for the Aquaman T-shirt:

Current BBBB Computer Fund Total: $0.00 - Number of "Blue Screens" yesterday: 1

by Tegan at 5:52 PM Seattle time

Advice and Assistance Needed

I need a bit of help. See, my computer is blue-screening itself to death more and more often, so I'm thinking that as soon as the family finances are under control, I need to go computer shopping. No, I'm not asking for donations (but they would sure help!), I need advice.

My current system was home-built a few years ago. I'm running Windows 95 OSR2 on a Pentium Pro 250 MHz with 288 MB memory, and I've got 5.5 gigs disk space (most of it used).

I'm leaning towards getting a laptop/notebook so I can sit somewhere besides my computer room to compose messages and blogs and stuff. I'd also like the mobility for when/if I get to go down to San Diego Comicon again, if that ever happens, so I'd want one with a modem and an ethernet card.

My needs aren't complicated. I use my computer mainly for browsing the internet and working on websites. I also like to listen to my MP3s while working. I need a bit of disk space, but even a 10 gig drive would be an improvement over what I currently have. My initial searching shows that Windows XP is the most common OS now on PC notebooks, so I'd probably go with that (no, I don't want to investigate LINUX or anything, not yet). I plan on keeping my current computer as a back-up, so I'm not overly worried about being able to port software over. What I need, I can get.

Now, if I do get a notebook, I'd like to "dock" it and use a regular monitor and keyboard and mouse for when I'm working at my desk. I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience with this kind of system on whether or not it works well and if you like it.

In addition to advice on what kind of system I should get, I need thoughts on where to get one. I've looked at Dell and Gateway for starters, where else should I be checking? Anyone have any horror stories about service from a mail-order computer place? Anyone have exceptionally good service they want to talk about? Anyone know of a nice inexpensive place to get computers? I'm sure that, looking at what I've already got, finding something better isn't going to be too hard.

It's going to be a few months, minimum, I think, before I can afford to get a new computer. But since it's actually becoming an issue now, I guess I'd better start in on the research. And, hey, if you really do want to contribute, just e-mail me. I'm not too proud to start a "Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Computer Fund" if it'll help me get a computer faster.

by Tegan at 10:14 AM Seattle time

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Thanksgiving Early

So we had a slightly premature Thanksgiving dinner tonight at hubby-Eric's parents' house. Sweet potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie... and chicken. I'm quite stuffed, and enjoyed the company, particularly the reason that we were actually celebrating early, Aunt Marcia. She was up visiting, and won't be back for awhile, so we decided to celebrate a little early.

Aunt Marcia is the one I like to sit and do jigsaw puzzles with. She's also an artist (as you will see if you visit her page), and does some very cool work. We still have the quilt she made for us for our wedding gift, and we still use it.

So here's a few things I give thanks for:

Pumpkin Pie.

Comic Books.

Cool artistic Aunts.

Little Sisters.

Egg Nog.



Clean sheets and warm blankets.

Indoor plumbing.


by Tegan at 8:00 PM Seattle time

Rapid Reviews - 5 November 2003 - Part V

Supreme Power #4: I really don't like the cover. Instead of looking menacing, Nighthawk looks silly. Like a guy in a chicken suit that wasn't even smart enough to get the color right. Basically, his mask is ugly. Really ugly. As for the rest, this is a decent issue. I do have a small problem with the "bugged-out eyes" syndrome among people in this book. I swear, every few pages somebody's eyes bug out. I hope this is the last issue that focuses heavily on Hyperion, as he really isn't that interesting, and he seems to make people's eyes bug out.. 3 1/2 starfish

Justice League Adventures #25: From repairing a satellite in space to the planet Rann! This issue just ripped along, never stopping for a breath. In fact, it read like a really good Silver Age tale, with a lot happening, and not much in padding. Add in a multiple cliff-hanger ending, and you've got one of the best in this series so far. 4 starfish

Usagi Yojimbo #70: Jotaro really knows how to throw rocks. He could be pitcher on a baseball team. And I love Usagi's greeting Gorogoro and Jotaro's reaction. "You know him?" "Of course! I know everybody!" Heh. As usual, the letter column was a good read. Always a consistently strong book. 4 starfish

Coming November 12th (according to the advance shipping list) for me to review: Ruse, Conan the Legend, Generations III, Aquaman, Fallen Angel, Green Arrow, H-E-R-O, JSA, Wildguard, 1602, and Licensable Bear. I'll also be posting reviews of More Fund Comics and the Alex Ross "Mythology" book at some point.

by Tegan at 12:22 PM Seattle time

Update on the Marysville Teachers Strike

Time for the weekly update on the Marysville Teachers Strike. First off, the first election update (with more counted absentee ballots) was issued on Friday, and the trends are holding:

  Registered Voters - 32,892
  Precincts Counted - 72 - 100.00%
  Ballots Counted - 13,975 - 42.49% -

  Carol Jason - 8,819 - 67.04%
  Mark W. Johnson - 4,281 - 32.54%
  Write-In - 55 - 0.42%
Total - 13,155 - 100.00%

  Cary Peterson - 3,847 - 29.44%
  Vicki Gates - 7,903 - 60.47%
  Lisa Ann Griffith - 1,264 - 9.67%
  Write-In - 55 - 0.42%
Total - 13,069 - 100.00%

  A. Michael Kundu - 7,883 - 60.18%
  Erik M. Olson - 5,150 - 39.32%
  Write-In - 65 - 0.50%
Total - 13,098 - 100.00%

Basically, it would take a miracle for any of the hated incumbents to win at this point. Next update is Thursday night, and the final results are next Tuesday. Word is that the teachers at most of the schools seemed a lot happier after the election results. Things were just brighter. There's hope now. For some.

My husband decided to stop blogging, and has written a full explanation on his blog. Among the other news is the possibility that Eric may be losing his position at the Junior High thanks to the enrollment shortage. He won't lose his job, thank goodness, but he will lose his classroom and may be forced back into subbing, something he was trying to get away from, as being tied to the phone is a serious pain. Nothing is written in stone yet, but it doesn't look all that good.

The enrollment shortage is another spot where the current administration lied to the public. They repeatedly said that they had only lost maybe 40 students to other districts during the strike, but the instant the strike is over that estimate jumped to 270+ students. Nice way to lie to the public. And of course, the school board is blaming it all on the teachers, ignoring their own role in the mess. I still cannot believe the paranoid ranting of Helen Mount, the school board president, at the meeting I attended. She sounded like the worst kind of conspiracy theorist and everybody was out to get her, obviously. Lord prevent me from ever getting that out of touch with reality.

Anyway, the enrollment shortage will apparently mean lots of changes at lots of schools, not just Eric's. There's going to be a whole lotta unhappy parents very soon, and not a lot anyone can do about it. With public schools you only stay strong if you and your neighbors stand together, since state funding depends on enrollment. The new school board really has their work cut out for them... there's such a long way to go that I'm not sure if they are going to make it. And at the moment, there's no way to know if Eric will be a part of it, or if he's going to be job-hunting again starting in January.

by Tegan at 12:05 PM Seattle time