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Older rants
June 1, 2020   Trip to the Grand Canyon (last year),
Code Talker
Mar 21, 2020   The World Famous San Diego ComicFest
and the testament to dorkness that is my cubicle
and my sad, sad little doodles
Mar 8, 2020   A return to Potterland,
Meg & Dia's Christmas album, December Darling,
some other random stuff
Feb 21, 2020   Agorafabulous!,
Emeli's amazing creations
Nov 27, 2019   David Savakerrva Volume 1
The cubicle of nerdishness
Oct 28, 2019   Art Matters, Neil Gaiman
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Eric Idle
Alternate Routes, Tim Powers
Disneyland - Galaxy's Edge
Oct 4, 2019   Meg & Dia, HappySad tour San Diego 09/18/19
September 21. 2019   David Bowie - Scary Monsters,
More Adventures in Leasing,
More cubicle fun,
A new doodle
September 10. 2019   The Cranberries - In The End,
The Cranberries - Something Else,
Icicle Works, Icicle Works (vinyl),
Dia Frampton, Red,
Juliana Hatfield, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John,
The Lemonheads, The Lemonheads,
Green Day, Insomniac ,
Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords Live in London
August 28, 2019   Heir of Ra (Maciek Sasinowski,
The Catalyst Series (JK Franks): Downward Cycle, Kingdom of Sorrow, Ghost Country
May 11, 2019   Goodbye, little friend
Nov 30, 2018   Fire of Our Fathers,
a Science Fiction Book Club rant
Nov 24, 2018   The Dinosaur Lords,
Dragon Teeth
Nov 20, 2018   My cubicle revisited, really-old ComicCon stuff, Emeli's Art, More Disney Adventures, The Zoo and Safari Park
September 9, 2018   Perimeter - an eBook thriller
September 3, 2018   Take Back the Sky Starcraft Evolution
August 11, 2018   Idaho Dunes Awesome soda Ethanol-free gas an awesome Bald Guy card Our rough dig Harry Potter Interlude story
July 21, 2018   The Cup in the Shadows (The Forbidden Powers Book 1)
June 24, 2018   Jake, Lucid Dreamer
June 13, 2018   Troll-stalking
May 23, 2018   Another badbartopia email spoofer, A sunny-day Disney adventure, Raymond E Feist book signing
May 15, 2018   A rainy-day Disneyland trip The Bassoon King
Apr 28, 2018   Down and Out in Purgatory
Apr 13, 2018   Operation Hail Storm
Mar 4, 2018   American Exodus
Jan 22, 2018   Christmas, Didn't Get Frazzled, The Sea People, The Rooster Bar, Last Burial Night, Doctor Who and the Krikkit Men
Dec 15, 2017   Mistrial, City of Death and Disneyland
Nov 14, 2017   Grace Vanderwaal - Just the Beginning
Nov 11, 2017   Tim Powers Signing at Mysterious Galaxy for Down and Out in Purgatory
November 4, 2017   Return to Disneyland, Halloween at the office, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Long Cosmos Maximus One year After War Dogs, Killing Titan Daddy, Stop Talking
October 29, 2017   Bruce Campbell Signing, Hail to the Chin, Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor
October 20, 2017   Meg & Dia, Imagine Dragons in concert, 2 Years 8 months and 28 Nights
October 17, 2017   All Apologies
October 16, 2017   Thrawn
Septempber 7, 2017   The Rage of Dragons, The Lincoln Myth
August 10, 2017   The Molly Ringwalds, Dia Frampton Musical awesomeness, Beauty and the Feast
July 28, 2017   The IT Sweatshop revisited, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, American Gods and The Magicians, Rogue One, Camino Island
July 24, 2017   CRV glovebox difficulties, San Diego Comic Con rant
July 11, 2017   Beauty and the Beast at the Lyceum, Earthweeds, Sons of Neptune Book 1, Aftermath, Empire's End, If Chin's Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
June 30, 2017   Eastwood: No Direction Home book 2
June 23, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 4/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes, my new record, record player, and Emeli's site is live!
Jun 14, 2017   A noteworthy eBook mention before I return to my vacation ranting - No Direction Home
June 9, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 3/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes...almost. More pictures of spooky old houses, trees, rocks, and other things that nobody cares about! Plus, Goonies stuff
June 2, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 2/4) - The PCH family vacation tale continues... And more pictures of trees and other things that nobody cares about!
May 31, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 1/4) - Way more detail than anyone wants about our vacation up the coast of California and Oregon. And lots of pictures of trees!
Apr 26, 2017   Resurrection America, Pizza Studio art, AmandaLynn, Emeli art, and Disney art, and Gifted
Apr 14, 2017   My San Fransisco OSI PI adventure & "Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be"
Apr 12, 2017   Neil Gaiman speaks, Norse Mythology, American Gods comic adaptation, The Magicians TV series, and Dirk Gently on TV
Feb 2, 2017   A trip to the ever-less-magical land of Disney, The Prince of Outcasts, the Whistler, and a brief mention of The Magicians.
Jan 21, 2017   An update to my nerd wall at work, Found out about Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) being gone, A list of all the stuff (or most, anyway) I've given up to new homes, A review of Dave! and Warp, and a couple of new doodles.
Dec 23, 2016   My final visit to Potterland and a couple of doodles
Dec 11, 2016   Books and related comics, and free/cheap stuff. Not taco Bell Material, President Me, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, The Hedge Knight (comic), The Sworn Sword (comic) Ooma, Ringplus, Amazon prime and other money-saving stuff.
Dec 4, 2016   I'm sharing my sad doodles with the world again. They're not very good, but I'll bet they're better than your scribbles!
Nov 12, 2016   Yet another trip to The Wonderful World of Harry Potter!
Nov 7, 2016   Blathering on about a few of the books I've read recently - Spire, The Check, and Dangercide, Pirate Detective
Oct 7, 2016   Yet another Visit to Harry Potterland. Oh, and my lease-mileage calculator.
July 25, 2016   Another Visit to Harry Potterland, a new car, a new shirt, a new dog, and a whole lot of the same old complaining
May 17, 2016   Email spoofers, Phishing emails, and scammers galore!
Apr 30, 2016   Winter's Edge and a Management zombie attack
Apr 23, 2016   Harry Potter land re-visited
Apr 9, 2016   Xenia...again
Apr 2, 2016   Sing Street, Batman vs Superman, Craigslist griping
Mar 1, 2016   The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood preview, fun at work, Xenia's new song, A Vanishing Glow, Our Fair Eden, Race Wars, The Force Awakens
Jan 27, 2016   Text Wars, Books I've read... Yup, that's pretty much it
Jul 30, 2015   Xenia Martinez news Still selling stuff on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half (the book), The Path Between the Seas, Trigger Warning, In Fifty years We'll all Be Chicks
Mar 17, 2015   Selling my treasures on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half, the Long Mars, Gray Mountain, Anathem, The Golden Princess, The Given Sacrifice
Mar 12, 2015   You'll be sorely missed, Sir Terry
Jan 21, 2015   More BBC 4 radio dramatizations by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: The Amazing Maurice, Guards! Guards!, Neverwhere, Night Watch, Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters
Jan 10, 2015   JabberWocky, Neil Gaiman style!
Dec 24, 2014   The Good Omens BBC treatment
Aug 03, 2014   Every hobby has to end eventually, right?
Oct 8, 2013   Warning: Extreme Geekness ahead!
Oct 1, 2013   The Bloody Crown of iGoogle
Aug 26, 2013   Headphones at work
Aug 22, 2013   The guvmint is gonna getcha
June 25, 2013   Dweebs vs Big Bang vs IT Crowd
Jul 3, 2012   Xenia Martinez & Dia Frampton concert
Feb 24, 2012   Reading...just not much
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Being an idiot with Lev Grossman
Jan 7, 2012   If it ain't broke...
Aug 22, 2011   non-ComicCon report 2011
A Thousand Splendid Suns
An Act of Self Defense
May 5, 2011   On Stranger Tides
On Stranger Tides
March 2, 2011   I'm a gigantic slacker...
Wild Guns
Lord of Ultima
Metin 2
Lord of the Rings Online
Dec 15, 2010   Bring out your dead!
Aug 17, 2010   San DiegoComicCon 2010
August 11, 2010   I'm not dead yet...
May 3, 2010   Hero Comics
Liberty Comics
Dr Horrible
Neil Gaiman & Sam Keith in Batman
The Guild, Felicia Day
April 27, 2010   Mean Gene Wilder! Grrr!!!
April 24, 2010   If it's not one Jihad, it's another...
April 20, 2010   The Satanic Verses
March 15, 2010   Unseen Academicals
Feblueberry 8, 2010   The un-reading shelf (from most of 2009)
Feblueberry 2, 2010   Emily the Strange, the Lost Days...a novel
Nov 25, 2009   Happy Halloween, Mom!
Nov 18, 2009   Summer Vacation in Idaho
Aug 20, 2009   San Diego ComicCon 2009
Aug 12, 2009   I'm a big, fat slacker
June 05, 2009   The networks are helping me cut back on my TV viewing
June 04, 2009   Mandy Moore's Amanda Leigh,
Chris Isaak's Mr Lucky
My name is Bruce?
and Emmy Rossum? Where am I going with this?
May 21, 2009   Randy would have really liked Fanboys...sigh
May 3, 2009   The Spring reading shelf
Apr 21, 2009   Holidays On Ice (a little late for Christmas)
Apr 18, 2009   Leviticus Cross and other Hector Sevilla comic book stuff
Apr 16, 2009   The fantastically amazing and banal Badbartopia RSS Feed
Mar 31, 2009   Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl
Mar 30, 2009   My Amazon mis-order turns out to be not so annoying as previously expected...
(AKA the Dr Horrible soundtrack)
Mar 23, 2009   Stephan Pastis & Richard Thompson have me looking forward to the 2009 SD ComicCon
Mar 19, 2009   Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,
The Guild
Mar 08, 2009   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comic adaptation,
Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Mar 04, 2009   Little Brother
Mar 1, 2009   Pete & Pickles
Feb 11, 2009   She & Him
Pushing Daisies
Jan 26, 2009   The Scourge of God,
When You are Engulfed in Flames
Jan 14, 2009   On the Road = hippy nonsense
Jan 12, 2009   One-by-one, my fish have met their maker
Dec 26, 2008   My Azeroth-avoidance continues
Dec 23, 2008   Nothing to see...move along
Dec 15, 2008   New scribbles
Dec 10, 2008   The Oct-Nov-Dec reading shelf
Dec 1, 2008   Shalimar the Clown
the economic impact of the events in Mumbai
Nov 21, 2008   Star Wars: Allegiance
Nov 20, 2008   Daredevil Black Widow: Abattoir
Nov 17, 2008   Travel Team
Nov 16, 2008   A new comic adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
Nov 14, 2008   Berke's Books:
The Last Basselope
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Mars Needs Moms
Opus: 25 years
Nov 13, 2008   Return to Azeroth?
Nov 12, 2008   Goodbye, Opus
Oct 29, 2008   Halloween costumes of 2008
Project Superpowers
Oct 23, 2008   The Graveyard Book
Oct 16, 2008   Nation
Oct 10, 2008   The Joy of Programming
My foray into Ajax
Oct 9, 2008   My Saturn Scare
Opus ends
Terry Pratchett's condition
Oct 3, 2008   The Hitchhiker's Guide, Book Eoin Colfer?
Oct 2, 2008   Media master - music online
Sony builds a "better" camera
Sept 24, 2008   The September reading shelf
Sept 17, 2008   Still missing Randall
The Fish tank...again
The Graveyard Book
Sept 15, 2008 usual
The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang
Sept 9, 2008   The dearth of Opus strips
yes, I meant to say "dearth"
Sept 8, 2008   A new monitor goes bad...but it all ends happily
Sept 3, 2008   A Boy and His Dog,
Richard Corben,
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
Sept 2, 2008   A slightly newish look
(aka "why I will never be a graphic designer")
Aug 11, 2008   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in all its incarnations Mike Kunkel's re-imagining of Shazam
July 29, 2008   San Diego Comiccon 2008
July 24, 2008   Neil Gaiman
July 17, 2008   Chris Isaak!
June 30, 2008   The Woman Who Wouldn't
Legends II
Mouse Guard Fall 1152
the Jetta's latest round of repairs
fishtank overpopulation
June 10, 2008   The Reading Shelf
Fish tank jungle
Attack of the bees
June 3, 2008   Missing Randall
May 9, 2008   My French Whore
Apr 28, 2008   Fish tank fatality
Flight of the Conchords
The Dangerous Alphabet
Mar 5, 2008   Gene Wilder book signing at Borders
new fish tank
Jan 11, 2008   The Jetta Strikes back!
The Plucker
The Anubis Gates
National Treasure II
Nov 8, 2007   San Diego on Fire,
A clean break from WoW,
UCSD Extension Java I graduation (kinda)
Making Money
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Oct 2, 2007   Back to school, Java class at UCSD
AT&T's Uverse
new sketches
Blockbuster movie pass
August 28, 2007   Mandy Moore concert!
Aug 19, 2007   ComicCon 2007 - Neil Gaiman, Iron Man and all the usual suspects
May 22, 2007   World of Spamcraft (and other spamalicious topics), forum fun...gus, the woes of being a contractor and PIRATES!!
Apr 5, 2007   I'm a conservative - bite me!
Timbaland? Dumb!
Marie Antoinette - snaggle teeth and teasing glimpes. Sweet!
John Q - a lesson about fatherhood or a liberal-propoganda film?
Mar 30, 2007   Things that make me grumpy-er,
employed again at last,
Finn and assorted other ramblings
Feb 8, 2007   The search for employment continues..and the unemployment benefits are NOT pouring in!
Jan, 22, 2007   Freed from the bondage of employment, a very brief review of a few books and films
Dec 17, 2006   Sad excuses, The Innocent Man, 1776, THe Man in High Castle, Absolute Sandman, Wintersmith, garage sale treasures: Ghost in the Machine
Aug 20, 2006   Writers of the Future XXII/Tim Powers, more movie reivews
July 20, 2006   San Diego ComicCon 2006
July 15, 2006   Superman Returns, inconsiderate morons, Peewee's Playhouse returns, my plea for more pirate movies
July 8, 2006   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Wild Animal Park critters, site remodeling
Jun 27, 2006   The good, the bad and the mediocre (a bunch of movie reviews in the new forum).
June 15, 2006   Because of Romek - A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir
May 21, 2006   The DaVinci Code, Aeon Flux, Everything You Want
May 12, 2006   World of Warcrack, the Office, Coraline, my apologies...
Jan 24, 2006   Christmas Vacation 2006, Syriana, Traveling Pants, Wish You Were Here
Dec 19, 2005   Festive Neighbors, the death of Olivia, Media Misinformation surrounding Brent Wilkes/ADCS, Make Love the bruce campbell way
Nov 15, 2005   Microsoft Technet 2005 launch party, Lexmark printer problem, a bad, bad day, changing dentists.
Oct 22, 2005   Thud!, Anansi Boys, Where's my cow
Oct 18, 2005   Terry Pratchet Thud! signing, Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys signing
Oct 15, 2005   A very, very late Comiccon 2005 report.
Jun 23, 2005   The black hole of Warcraft, The Years of Rice and Salt, After the Sunset, Madagascar, Mr and Mrs Smith, Taxi.
Jun 3, 2005   All is quiet on the PM Front, War of the Worlds (the novel), Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Star Wars Episode III, Flight of the Phoenix
May 9, 2005   The program managers strike again, More of my horrendous sketches, Spanglish, A Lot Like Love, Elektra, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the film)
Apr 9, 2005   Stuck in Corporate Hell, a few of my recent sketches, Miss Congeniality 2, Collateral
Mar 21, 2005   Revenge of the Jetta (car problems), a Newegg purchase, a few new drawings, more Opus
Feb 13, 2005   The Mail mystery solved, more of my crappy sketches, A few new photos of the girls, bill-bert (introducing the new Project Manager), sweet phone skills, Opus, Dungeons and Dragons, In Good Company
Jan 27, 2005   Mystery mail, new photos of my beautiful kids, some new sketches, an Episode 3 spoiler, Opus, Going Postal, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, Remember the Titans, Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dodgeball
Jan 7, 2005   Christmas 2004, Update to the site, Elf & King Arthur revisited, National Treasure, Opus, Blade Runner
Dec 18, 2004   A new Stephanie sketch, another Target web page goof, the SD Union Tribune confirms Greg Bear`s research for Vitals, Miramar VW proves my dealer service assertions wrong, neighborhood Christmas fun, Opus
Nov 24, 2004   More of my mediocre drawings, nw russian mail-order coins, Star Wars toys, a big green spider comes to visit, Opus, Dies the Fire, Digital fortress, The Incredibles, Twisted, Van Helsing
Nov 03, 2004   Some thoughts regarding the 2004 election, rants about the environment, a memory rebate update, new computer issues, Opus, The Lone Drow, Deception Point, Roswell season 2 on DVD
Oct 12, 2004   An interesting quiz, mal-in rebates, a parrot joke, my new computer, thoughts on frame removal, web logs, Opus, Vitals, Star Wars trilogy on DVD, Ladykillers
Sep 23, 2004   My "Heath" sketch for Mark Oakley, an update on my a PNY rebate check, the fictitious AWNA Act, Browser Issues with the site, Opus/Pickles, The DaVinci Code, Garden State (Natalie Portman), Man on Fire
Sep 11, 2004   A new drawing: "Stephanie", redneck wisdom, my salary to hourly reclassification, funny video: news from iraq, an update on my mail-in pny rebate, a new rebate through Costco, Ella Enchanted, Highlander Endgame, Princess of Thieves, The Whole Ten Yards
Aug 27, 2004   Fun with my VW Warranty, Opus, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Land of SokMunster, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Wedding, Napoleon Dynamite, Hidalgo, Chasing Liberty, Out of Time
Jul 23, 2004   San Diego ComicCon 2004, the family summer vacation, Bruce Campbell, Opus, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, Angels & Demons, Folk of the fringe, Bourne Supremacy, i robot, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Cody Banks 2, Hellboy
Jul 19, 2004   *** PNY Rebate fun, IE Patch, Linux and socialism, liberal scum, Opus, BIM, timeline, master and commander, tad hamilton, stuck on you,cold mountain, 50 first dates, the terminal, spiderman 2, king arthur, a hat full of sky, the thousand orcs, meditations on middle earth
Jun 20, 2004   Memorial day pictures, Duplex, Mark Oakley/Heroes, Wild Animal Park Dinosaurs, B-52s concertman, Say After Tomorrow, Big Fish, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Eragon, A Hat Full of Sky, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
May 08, 2004   Pat Tillman, LOTR Toys, 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, Tolkien Miscellany, Last Juror, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Pork Tornado
Apr 06, 2004   Roswell season 1 DVD and a some other mindless drivel
Feb 19, 2004   Highlander site contest results, new downloads, princess gallery updates, lord of the rings toys, harry potter, underworld. lost in translation, the hunted, a tolkien miscellany...
Feb 09, 2004   Murder at 1600, Radio, Cheaper by the Dozen, King Arthur, Spiderman 2, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Tolkien Miscellany, Mark Oakley, massive snow in Idaho...
Jan 28, 2004   Swat, Uptown Girls, Somethings Gotta Give, Along Came Polly, Seabiscuit, Ashley Judd Marathon, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Science Fiction Bok Club, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, RA Salvatore, Mythology (Alex Ross), Fastner & Larson, Best page in the universe, etc, etc...
Jan 07, 2004   Clint`s rules, X-Men 2, Holes, Pirates, Two Towers, Freaky Friday (Haley Hudson), new drawings, Thieves` World, Playskool Star Wars, new Interest section
Jan 02, 2004   nothing all that interesting...
Dec 21, 2003   Nemo, Highlander page, Christmas vacation 2003, star wars kid
Dec 12, 2003   E.T. (Erika Eleniak), new drawings, Opus, Santa Claus 2 (Elizabeth Mitchell), Legolas toy/pics, How to Deal (Mandy Moore), Myth update, Last Samurai
Nov 27, 2003   Another Fine Myth, Elf
Nov 22, 2003   Dude, Where`s Bill & Ted
Nov 18, 2003   Not much to say
Nov 15, 2003   Disneyland, Astronaut`s Wife, Dumer and Dumber-er, Monstrous Regiment
Nov 10, 2003   Terry Pratchett, Matrix Revolutions
110103   School of Rock, Terry Pratchett signing, Darth Vader MBNA bust, San Diego fires
Aug 17, 2003   Johnny English, San Diego Comic-Con
Jun 17, 2003   Assorted ramblings
May 28, 2003   Not much to say
May 24, 2003   Almost nothing of note
May 17, 2003   Matrix Reloaded, Pirates
Mar 23, 2003   The Police, Pirates, Lord of the Rings grievances part II
Mar 16, 2003   Lord of the Rings grievances part 1
Super auld stuff   A big list of old submissions with boat loads of broken links

Disneyland, The San Diego Zoo, my cell-away-from-home, and Comic-related stuff

I apologize (mostly to myself, since I'm the main audience of this drivel) that I haven't blathered on about any of the uber-exciting stuff that's been going on - or the books I've read - for a few months, but enthusiasm is low and all the time I thought I'd have with both kids out of the house...just hasn't materialized. But enough with the excuses. Here are a few of the things I've neglected to mention since August (the last time I talked about anything other than books I've read).

Current Cubical comics

To start things off, here are some photos from my current cubicle at work. I don't think I've shared my nerd wall since July of 2017, so let's just say there have been many different comic book selections hanging on my wall since then. The current selection is the first six issues of a comic book I acquired way back in 2007-2008 (back when I was a regular ComicCon attendee - before it became all about non-comic book stuff). Five of the six issues have sketches, signatures, and/or funny little comments (all but issue #1) on the covers from ComicCon, so that's fun.

Here's the wall.

The next set of comics on the wall will be from the amazing Mike Kunkel - Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam. And/Or maybe a few Gus Beezer Marvel comics. We'll see if I ever get around to sharing photos of those. I totally missed the Death Dealer, Conan, Batman, Kill ShakespeareNeverwhere, and many other comic series that have each decorated my wall for a couple of months each, so don't hold your breath.

The Decline of the San Diego ComicCon

And speaking of the multimedia extravaganza that was once a comic book convention called The San Diego ComicCon, here is something I have planned to mention for at least a year. It's another indicator (beyond my own disinterest in what the ComicCon has become) that the San Diego ComicCon should just remove the word "Comic" from its name.

Mile High Comics, a big comic book store in the Denver area that has an inventory of millions of back issues and was one of the founding fathers of the ComicCon 40+ years ago, decided in 2017 not to exhibit in the 2017 ComicCon (or ever again, presumably). If you've been to ComicCon (for the comics, not just to rubberneck for Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson), you've seen the gigantic booth along the back wall of the convention center floor. I acquired a good part of the harder to find back-issues in my collection from Mile High. The only comic book I currently collect is American Gods (and Neil Gaiman-related hardcover graphic novels), so my own interest in comic books has changed over the past few years. Not due to a lack of interest, but more due to a lack of storage space. Regardless, here are a series of excerpts from post-convention emails Chuck Rozanski (Mile High's founder and fearless leader) sent out in 2017.

This is the first email Chuck sent in 2017 to warn his customers/mailing list subscribers of the Mile High Comics booth's absence:

To answer the numerous questions that we have been receiving of late, for the first time in 44 years, we will not be exhibiting at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. I wish that this decision could have been otherwise, but circumstances beyond our control made our further participation impossible. To explain, San Diego has grown far beyond its original premise, morphing from what was originally a wonderful annual gathering of the comics world, into a world-renown pop culture and media festival. As such, it has seen rapidly escalating costs, and also a dramatic change in the demographics of its attendees. Neither of those changes worked to our advantage.

click here to show or hide the full quoted excerpt

And here's a followup email Chuck sent in 2017.

For the past 43 years, the first day of the each San Diego Comic-Con was filled with hope and excitement for me. For decades, I could not wait for this wonderful gathering of all my friends from the comics world to begin. Beginning about ten years ago, however, the convention underwent a major change. Long-time SDCC supporters were told at the end of that year's convention that they were no longer going to be given the opportunity to purchase passes on Sunday evening for the following year. Instead, San Diego's most loyal supporters were told that they were going to be forced to enter an online lottery system dominated by hundreds of thousands of media and pop culture fans. Most comics fans were then shut out. In my opinion, it was that one callous decision that doomed the Comic-Con that we all once loved.

click here to show or hide the full quoted excerpt

This may not be of interest to anyone but me, but I'm a little bit sad that I no longer have a comic book convention full of artists and writers I admire (the small independent creators have long since been priced out of exhibiting) to look forward to visiting in July. Granted, I'm not exactly supporting the Comic Book industry with my one issue a month habit (American Gods). Maybe if the ComicCon hadn't b3ecoe what it is, I'd still be pouring tons of dough into my sequential art habit.

The Art of Emeli

And speaking of art, here are some of the amazing creations of my amazing daughter, Emeli. Each of these is fully painted and much more amazing than they appear in the poorly scanned or photographed representations you see here.

I could post so many more, but Emeli has been curiously shy about me sharing her talents online. In a weird way.

The Occasionally-Magical Kingdom

We went to Disneyland in December of 2017 and it was as crowded and unenjoyable as it ever seems to be. But I did take a few photos (probably a lot ore than this, actually, but I don't know where the others are at the moment). So here are a few photos that I took and forgot to take off my phone for many moons.

They're not super exciting, but a couple of them are things that just might disappear once the new Star Wars land opens next year. Snow White's castle at Christmas is always worth seeing.

We went to Disneyland again in September (2018) and, shockingly, it wasn't crowded. The good ol' crowd forecaster predicted "Ghost Town" crowd conditions (as it has erroneously many time in the past) and was actually spot-on. There were people there, so it wasn't exactly a "ghost town," but it was more like the Disneyland of yesteryear. There was no crowd to get in, no crowds for the rides I went on (Pirates of the Caribbean was a 5-minute wait), and the restaurants/shops were equally uncrowded. It was glorious.

One thing that was crowded was the security check points into the ticketing area. There were more Disneyland security and real policemen hanging around here than I've ever seen. But I guess this is the new normal because the next visit in October was just as security heavy. Welcome to the new world order - it's a Disney Police State.

Our first ride of the day (pretty much standard fare) was Pirates of the Caribbean. The line outside was nonexistent. There was only a single line to the boats inside. I'd guess it took no more than five minutes to get on the ride. So awesome.

I was surprised to see that Pirates of the Caribbean ride had been modified since the last time we visited Disneyland (maybe that's why it was closed for our previous visit).

  • It seems like the ambient narration script changed. For one thing, the "they've seen the cursed treasure..." part is gone. At least I think it is. Sad.
  • There's a new pirate in a cage being taunted by an octopus in a nook of the cave just before you reach the Captain in his treasure-filled room.
  • The ever-awful Davy Jones Squid-Faced fog wall is gone. As is the Davy Jones monologue.
  • And most disappointingly, the pirate bride auction is ruined forever. The redhead is now a pirate, the fatty is now selling chickens, and the other homely wenches are now elderly townspeople selling their valuables. Lame. Rewriting history all over again. I'm all for adding female pirates here and there (there were a few famous female pirates in the Caribbean), but does Disney have to ruin everything else to get them in the ride? Disappointed.

Here are a few Pirates-related photos.

click here to show or hide the rest of the Pirate thumbnails

A much less disappointing modification was the addition of different planetary tours in Star Tours (planets from The Last Jedi). While it's definitely the same ride, it's always nice to have new scenery. There were also apparently some changes made to the Indiana Jones ride, but it was closed earlier in the day and was too crowded once it re-opened so I skipped it.

Here are way more Disneyland photos from this visit than anyone wants to see.

All in all, a good day at Disneyland.

But then I had to go and ruin my warm, fuzzy memory with a follow-up visit in October. The forecast called for a 40% chance of rain, so we had high hopes for smaller crowds. Sadly, the only rain we saw was a light drizzle as we left the park in the afternoon.

The restaurants were as busy as they are in the spring or around Christmas (I don't do Disneyland in the summer, so I can't compare it to that) and we did the 5-hour parking thing again (with a sit-down meal in Downtown Disney) and I had my usual breakfast at the La Brea Bakery. I'm sure it was exactly the same as it's always been, but it didn't hit the spot, so I'll be trying something else if we return again in the future and want the free 5-hour parking.

I did revisit the WonderGround Gallery art shop in Downtown Disney briefly when we arrived and saw some matted prints of a couple of the big-eyed Disney/Star Wars characters for around $40 that I almost picked up, but we never made it back to the shop on the way no new art to put in the garage this time. Another Downtown Disney observation - there was a ton of construction going on. And I was surprised to see the Rainforest Cafe was dead. That was a fun place to eat with the kids.

When we arrived at Disneyland, the line to get in was as short as it had been in September, so we were looking forward to another crowd-free day. The crowd-forecast calendar predicted an "It's all right" crowd - crowded, but not horrible. Initially, I thought the prediction was spot-on. And then I got inside the park. The crowds were out in force to admire the great Halloween decorations. Every ride's line was awful - the Haunted Mansion line was over an hour long. The Pirates of the Caribbean line snaked up over the bridge when we got there, but had somehow shrunk to just slightly annoyingly long (ending under the bridge) by the time we got off the Haunted Mansion ride.

click here to show or hide the rest of the Disneyland thumbnails

A couple more comments about the Haunted mansion line: there was a group of four women in their twenties wearing matching red bathing suits (one-piece, Disney-related, I think) with shorts covering the bottoms (though one had pants on, as I recall). There was an abundance of side-boob from a couple of the women and one of the side-boobers was very attractive (the others were just okay). But I was doing my best to be un-creepy and didn't take a photo of them. Also in the Haunted Mansion line, there were a couple of red-headed young women who were very striking in different ways - Dr. Frankenstein could have made a nice Jessica Rabbit out of the parts. One had a very striking pale face and gorgeous green eyes under her bushy red hair and the other had a body with impossible curves, topped off with a face that was all too possible. Again, I was being un-creepy and failed to capture either in a photo.

We had planned to go visit the land of Disney again in October, but it was going to be in the mid-eighties on the Wednesday we planned to go, so we decided to go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park). I hadn't been to the Safari park in probably over 10 years (when it was the Wild Animal Park).

We have annual passes and were looking forward to the free parking that we'd always received in the past, but were surprised to be told that only the pricier annual membership granted free parking. Boo!

The highlight of the Wild Animal park was the tram ride around the open areas of the park filled mostly with African herbivores. I was surprised by the lack of carnivores that were part of the tour in the old days (as I said, it's been several years since I've been to the park). The lions were still apparently in the same place (we saw them after the tram ride), but maybe the fact that they were both asleep and oblivious to the world made mentioning them not worth the effort. I dunno. We also saw the baby animal nursery, a bunch of bird exhibits, and I bought some delicious fudge (so rich that more than just a tiny slice makes my teeth hurt. Awesomely delicious).

A few photos from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park trip.

click here to show or hide the rest of the Safari Park thumbnails

Also unmentioned was a trip to the San Diego Zoo last month. It had also been quite a few years since we'd last visited the San Diego zoo(or had annual passes). Quite a bit had changed (mainly animal exhibit relocation - including the stinky flamingos up front). The Panda-viewing line was as long as it was a million years ago and probably not really worth the wait, but they are cute little critters, even if they just kind of lay there and eat the whole time you're watching them. The Koalas were just as cute and a little more lively.

The sky ride is still there and apparently free for everyone now, not just the annual pass holders. The new Tiger Trail was really scenic and awesome (not the actual tiger part - the tigers were hiding in the furthest corner in the exhibit almost out of sight). We only saw a fraction of the zoo exhibits and I didn't sample any delicious chocolate, so there's not much more to say, I guess.

Here are a few photos of the Tiger Trail.

click here to show or hide the rest of the Tiger Trail thumbnails

There's a concert, some Balboa Park museum outings, a million books, and a couple of CDs I still plan to mention, but I'm out of steam and have a couple of book reviews to get to first...

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