Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Comic-y Thoughts

GirlAMatic starts new webcomics today.

Fun with Neil.

X-Mice, with amazing regenerative powers... via Elayne.

Mike Sterling gives us a lovely visual comparison.

Justice League is perhaps the best cartoon ever... and here's more evidence supporting that thought.

I really don't have much to say on Erik Larsen's odd rant about comic book creators, but I did find this remark from Peter David (in the comments of his response post) to be amusing: "Then again, someone who was baffled by a villain named "Charybdis" and changed his name to "Piranha Guy" can't be expected to have much of a grasp of classic icons." Heh. Amen.

-by Tegan at 4:20 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

I Am

Via FilkerTom and others:

I am...

I am the guy who came out to the entire school in his senior speech and got a standing ovation for his courage.

I am the girl who kisses her girlfriend on the sidewalk and laughs at those who glare.

We are the couple who planned and studied and got a damn good lawyer and BEAT the state that wanted to take our child away.

We are the ones who took martial arts classes and carry pepper spray and are just too dangerous to gay bash.

I am the transgender person who uses the bathroom that suits me, and demands that any complaining staff explain their complaint to my face in front of the entire restaurant--and shares with my other trans friends which restaurants don't raise a stink.

I am the mother who told her lesbian daughter to invite her girlfriend over for dinner.

I am the father who punished his son for calling you a fag.

I am the preacher who told my congregation that love, not hate, is the definition of a true follower of God.

I am the girl who did not learn the meaning of "homosexual" until high school but never thought to question why two men might be kissing.

I am the woman who argues (quite loudly and vehemently) with the bigots who insist that you do not have the right to marry or raise children.

We are the high school class who agrees, unanimously, along with our teacher, that love should be all that matters.

If you agree, repost this. Do it. You don't have to be afraid. You can handle it. You're stronger than you think.

I am making a difference. Hate will not win.

-by Tegan at 8:52 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, September 30, 2005

There's a Monster at the End of this Post

Post title stolen shamelessly from GutterNinja.

This has been one really odd week. While I'll let Hubby-Eric tell the tale over on his blog and maybe the boring blog if he chooses to do so... let me just say this has been a really really odd week.

Oh my. The Penny Arcade guys go up against Harlan Ellison. Language warning. But then, if you have any idea what Penny Arcade is, you already knew that. Via Tom.

The Museum of Hoaxes suspects that the killer dolphin story isn't exactly... true.

Tiny Plaid Ninjas. Don't ask me, this link is Aaron Williams fault.

A laptop that costs only $100 and has a hand crank for back-up power. I want one. It looks rugged. I'd love to test one, and I'd gladly pay $100 for the honor of being a tester...

The Story of Bobby Martin, a football player born with no legs. Wow.

"We decided to give so much away simply because wed rather our music was out there being listened to than not..." The Steadman band releases their music for free onto the 'net.

Google Search Tips for 2005.

I've seen this link all over, and finally decided to visit it: Zip Codes outlined on Maps.

H5N1 Avian Flu, bird flu... basically, it currently cannot be transmitted from human to human. Only people in contact with the birds that are carrying it have been catching it. But scientists fear that it will mutate into a form that can go from human to human, and if it does, it will kill "up to 150 million people". Boing Boing has some links.

Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett made a ludicrous and incredibly racist comment. More compassionate conservatism for you.

Eyewitness accounts of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812, in the Mississippi valley.

And lastly, here's the monster. Thanks, Steve

-by Tegan at 12:07 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

My latest Guilty Pleasure is watching Ghost Hunters on the Sci-Fi channel. The music and the camera work create a lot of the atmosphere on the show, enough so that I find myself giggling uncontrollably every once in awhile when they use a technique that is so blatant as to be silly. In particular are the cut-ins with outlines or negatives of people screaming during the asylum episode recently. If you were watching it alone deep in the night, it might be spooky. But in a well-lit house with a husband who isn't paying attention to the show, it was funny.

The reason I bring it up today though is because the next episode will be featuring the Winchester Mystery House. As my longtime reader will know, Eric and I visited the Mystery House last summer and took a bunch of pictures (more here). I really enjoyed my visit to the house and I'm eager to see if the ghost hunters find anything there. My bet is on them finding nothing, but that's a pretty safe bet because, as one of the Lead Investigators pointed out, 80% of the time there is nothing. If they do find anything, I'm really curious to see what it is. And I'm also certain that at least one person will get lost in the building. Our tour guide said that even experienced tour guides will sometimes get lost in it, so I don't think the TAPS guys have a chance.

-by Tegan at 7:31 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - Manga Online

Takuhai Online, for September 2005. Here's August and July.
  • A Midnight Opera, V1Ch2: More intriguing than the first installment, this one shows... sort of... what kind of creature we are dealing with. The final few pages are particularly fascinating.
  • Bizenghast, V1Ch3: This has developed into a quest book, with the main character forced to perform a quest each night. It's like a turn of the century (last century) children's book in that way, and that's not a bad thing.
  • Dramacon, V1Ch3: This one I eagerly look forward to each month. I'm going to have to get this one when it comes out. Excellent, the best of the bunch by a longshot.
  • I Luv Halloween, V1Ch3: This makes no sense. And it's depressing.
  • Juror 13, V1Ch3: Nice clean artwork in this one, and a mystery that we're beginning to get more of a hint about. I'm glad the main character isn't completely clueless, though. I was beginning to wonder.
  • Mail Order Ninja, V1Ch1: BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!
  • MBQ, V1Ch2: Pointless and ugly.
  • Off*Beat, V1Ch2: If I'd been able to read the first installment of this one, I might have a better idea what's happening in this one. As it is, it looks interesting, but I'm not sure what is going on.
  • Princess Ai, V2Ch3: people like this?
  • Psy-Comm, V1Ch3: Interesting take on media coverage in this one, with the corporations intent on making sure the newsmakers are wearing the clothing with higher margins. Freaky book, but I'm liking it.
  • Shutterbox, V3Ch2: very very odd. Better than the first installment, which was just a long essay on Gothiness. Apparently the story is actually starting here, although, since it's volume three, it's obviously not really starting here. Eh. It's odd.
  • Sokora Refugees, V1Ch3: Either this story is not being told in a straight line, or there is a lot missing from the previews. It makes no sense. I can't figure out what is happening. And to make matters even worse, the resolution on this installment makes it hard to read. Ug.
  • Sorcerers & Secretaries, V1Ch3: More problems with reading some of this one. Maybe my eyes are going. I just can't read some of the text as small as they make it. Still, I really like this one. I'm enjoying the story.
  • Van Von Hunter, V1Ch3: I suppose some people might find this funny. I'll stick with Nodwick.
  • War on Flesh, V1Ch3: Zombie horror. Still not interested.
A fun batch this month. Sorry it took me so long to report on them. Next month's should be up in a few days.

-by Tegan at 1:54 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Looking Back (part 2)

So I got a response from the Seattle Public Library. There is nothing in the archives of the Seattle Times or Seattle PI about busing in Renton due to overcrowding. I was surprised at first, but then I remembered that it was nearly 30 years ago, and life really was different back then. It's not so surprising that the problems of the suburbs didn't make the Seattle papers. There is also the matter of the way the newspapers were indexed by the library... specific schools were not mentioned in the indexes, and that's my biggest key to finding out why the busing happened.

In any case, the librarian assigned to the case found a couple of possible starting points for me, one of which might be what I'm looking for except for the date being three years too early. She also invited me to come on up and do a search myself, which I pretty much intended to do all along.

It seems strange to me that something that had such a huge impact on my life isn't even important enough to be in the papers.

The other suggestion was to check in with the Renton libraries. I think I will. Just starting this search has put a few demons to rest, maybe if I see this through I'll get rid of all the bad memories... or at least put them into a context that allows me to deal with them better than just trying to forget.

How very odd to be looking at my life as a history project.

-by Tegan at 10:53 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Aquaman Song

If you go to Grandpa Griffith - the band, not the guy and click on the "Click here to listen to clips of the new album!" link, you should get an option to listen to their song "Aquaman" which, from what is up there, is really good. Another excellent song to add to the list. And yes, I've already pre-ordered the album. Anything to support folks writing superhero songs, right?

Many thanks to Maria for spotting my request for more information on another blog, then hunting down this blog and giving me the link to the band's website.

-by Tegan at 10:38 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Hippos Can Perch

So, a recent episode of JLU (which I haven't yet seen, argh!) had a character named "Devil Ray" that was clearly based on Black Manta. Over on Usenet, Dwayne McDuffie said: "We didn't receive permission to use Black Manta, so we changed him into something close." When another poster asked why they were able to use Aquaman, then, but not Black Manta, Dwayne McDuffie replied: "Have you seen Aquaman on the show this season? No? Remember when he used to be in the show's title sequence?" Things that make me go "hmmmm..."

Alan Kistler's profile of Aquaman.

I mentioned Finder, but didn't link to the website. Corrected.

Giant Squid caught on camera! More here and here.

The 2006 Seattle 3-Day will be happening August 25-27. I will not be walking. Maybe I'll be a Walker Stalker.

I want one. Maybe by the time I need a new computer, I'll be able to afford one, and it'll have more disc space, as well. Via FilkerTom.

-by Tegan at 10:14 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Looking Back

Paul asked if I've ever written about being bused back when I was a kid. I don't think I have. And I'm not sure I should. It was 20 years ago, and I've actively tried to forget those two years ever since they happened. Just thinking about it today has brought up some extremely unpleasant memories.

But since I was considering writing a blog entry, or even more than one, about it, I decided I'd better do some background checking first. I was very young when the busing started, and I know the history of it is completely muddled in my mind. And not just because I've tried so hard to forget.

I started by checking the on-line archives of the Seattle Times and the Seattle P.I. to see if I could dig up some stories from the era that I think the busing started. Unfortunately, neither on-line archive goes back that far. Then I tried the King County Library Question Line. They suggested I call the school district.

Instead, I called my Mom. She told me that my oldest sister did not get bused, but everyone after her did until Dimmitt Middle School was closed. I remember when the school was closed. I celebrated and said it was the best possible thing that could happen to my little brother, since he wouldn't have to be bused. I was also extremely angry that it hadn't happened a few years sooner so that I could've been spared the long ride.

Anyway, Mom's information meant that the busing had to have started in about 1976 or 1977. Mom said it was originally only planned to be for five years, and it was because the middle school closer to our home, McKnight, was overcrowded... not because of racial integration. However, every single student that was bused or affected by the busing when I was going to Dimmitt believed that it was because of race.

In addition, the original plan called for the group of kids being bused to Dimmitt to then be bused to Renton High School, which has the virtue of at least being a LOT closer than Dimmitt is to my house. However, since I lived two blocks from Hazen High School, being bused down to Renton would have been ludicrous. The parents fought the idea tooth and nail and won.

After calling Mom, I decided to try the school district after all. The first person I got was stunned by the question and foisted me off onto the transportation department. They hunted around and found the person who had been in the department for the longest and asked her, but she started in 1978 and the busing was already going on by then. To make it so that the call wasn't a total waste of time, I confirmed that the busing had stopped in 1987 with the closing of Dimmitt, then asked if there was any similar busing happening in the district now. Yes, students from Highlands Elementary are being bused to Dimmitt (which reopened in 1997), which is also a long ride. I apparently started quite a discussion in the transportation department with my request, as I was on hold for a long time and when they got back to me I was told that it took so long because they were discussing it.

I had to stop by the library to pick up a book, so I popped over to the microfiche area once I was there to get an idea of how far back I could hunt in the newspapers. I was surprised that the Seattle Times fiche only went back to 1980, and the Seattle P.I. was even less useful, going back to 1999. So I checked at the information desk, and they suggested I go to the Bellevue Library, the downtown Seattle Library Main Branch, the UW Library, or even to the Renton Library, since Renton isn't part of any of the library systems and might have its own files that would be of use.

As a very last resort, I called the Seattle Public Library help line when I got home and asked them. They decided it was a "research" question and got my information so they could send an answer when they find something out. I'm perfectly willing to do the research myself, but I suspect I'd end up spending days reading newspapers on fiche and find lots of interesting things that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. Hopefully the SPL folks will find a good starting point for me, and I can finish the researching on this myself.

I have written about Dimmitt before, when I went there for the 3-Day Expo. There's not a lot of detail there, but I did include a couple of pictures of the gym and some hints of what's lurking in my mind. I'm still not certain I want to write about it.

-by Tegan at 6:47 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Random Thoughts

Armed Dolphins on the loose after the hurricane. They are armed with "toxic darts" designed to knock out enemy soldiers who may be performing sabotage on ships. The Navy isn't letting anyone know how many are loose or if they really are armed, but divers are in danger. Too bad Aquaman isn't around to help out. As I recall, there was a story about Navy trained dolphins in which Aquaman chews out a Navy official... guess they didn't listen.

Speaking of Aquaman, I'm going to have to get TV Guide this Thursday for the first shot of Smallville's Aquaman. And The Absorbascon continues his week on Aquaman.

Someone likes Dorothy so much that she wrote a song about it. Found via the comments at Dorothy of Oz.

Finder is apparently taking the Girl Genius route of three pages a week on the web, and annual collections. I think I was just saying the other day that I would like to see more comics take this route... I only hope that she'll put up the first issue/collection/few pages to give new readers some idea of what the book is about. That will help build an on-line audience (and it looks like she might).

It must be a bummer to need a flame transfusion.

Image Comics for December, and Marvel Comics for December.

Error in new Harry Potter movie has been fixed.

General Zod in 2008. What's truly terrifying is that reading it I thought it would be better than what we already have. At least SUV owners would be sent to the salt mines. Don't miss the kids page. Via Querldox and others.

There can be only one.

The secret shame of SPX. Excuse me while I giggle for a bit. Heh.

The Dog Flu and what to do to protect your pet.

MetaFilter links to criticism of the Red Cross.

No, Seattle isn't protecting rats. It was a sign prank.

-by Tegan at 11:33 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Few Things...

First up... The Wiki is growing up! We've had our first vandal! Last night someone came through and changed a whole bunch of pages to say just "Hello" and nothing else. They also added a ton of pages that said nothing but "Hello". Luckily, David was right on it and blocked the vandal from doing more damage, then got all the vandalized pages back to normal, then started deleting all the new Hello pages. I just finished up deleting Hello pages this morning. I hope this is the last instance of vandalism, but I know that's probably a vain hope.

Johnny B tells us about the blogger screenings of Serenity. I haven't seen Firefly, so I'm not going to try to get to a screening, but it's a very neat idea to let bloggers come in as if they were regular reporters, especially since pop culture is what blogging may well be best suited for.

In completely unrelated news, I'm helping out Kathy with her blogger template, and I'd like some feedback from folks. If you'd pop over there (it's a political blog, but I'm not asking you to give feedback on the blog content, just the layout) and tell me if you see either of two problems:
  • Problem one is the banner at the top of the window. Is it showing clearly, or is it partially obscured by the Blogger navigation bar? Can you read the name of the blog?
  • Problem two is more tricky to spot. If you scroll down the page, do you notice lines disappearing from paragraphs?
I thought I'd fixed both problems, but I'm not certain, so I'd like a few other folks to check it out. The first problem was a matter of telling the template to clear everything that Blogger adds before showing the title banner. The second problem has to do with explicit "line heights" not working in Internet Explorer. I removed all instances of line height in the template, then added another fix that was suggested elsewhere, just in case.

If you spot either of the two problems, please leave a comment on this post, and let me know what kind of computer (OS) you are running and what browser. It would be a big help. (And if you don't notice either problem but still want to let me know, that may also help)

-by Tegan at 9:28 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Happy birthday to my clingon niece!

-by Tegan at 7:47 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 21 September 2005 - Part III

I'd like to point out that although I got Dorothy IV as a review copy, I also bought a copy which arrived in my store the same day. I decided to give the book its own review for two reasons: Because they sent me a copy and, more importantly, because I had a LOT more to say about this issue than previous ones. And now, on with my regularly scheduled capsules...

Oz/Wonderland Chronicles #0: We got the Preview when it came out, and based on the detail in that one we had no problem buying this. It's clear that the writers know their Oz... although one major Ozian fact is overlooked in order to fit the concept of the book. There is a short preview story and a bunch of extras in this issue. The sketchbook gives a bit more detail on some of the characters, and there are six pages of script from the upcoming mini. A nice little book, but I wish the mini would start already! Wiki. 3 starfish

Conan #20: "The Tower of the Elephant": Busiek and Nord tackle one of the more interesting Conan stories and do their usual cracking job with it. I really don't have a lot to say about this except I can hardly wait to see the rest of this tale as adapted by this team. Wiki. 3 starfish

-by Tegan at 1:00 PM Seattle time - Permalink