July 30, 2010

And Here I Thought I Wrote Like Brendan

Ran some of my blog postings through the I Write Like analyzer.

I started with this entry and the result was this:

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I've never read any of Cory Doctorow's books, but I am familiar with his writing at BoingBoing. I appreciated the comparison.

I then ran three more entries through the analyzer. Each one kicked back a different comparison: Stephen King, David Foster Wallace, and James Joyce.

I guess that proves I am writing in my own style.

July 29, 2010

Apple's Magic Trackpad

Apple recently launched their Magic Trackpad.

Like the Apple Magic Mouse it connects to your Apple computer via Bluetooth; but better than the Magic Mouse it supports more multi-tough capabilities. Its like a trackpad on a laptop but for your Apple computer.

Looks pretty interesting to me. I certainly would love to try one out. Not sure if the other iMac users in my house would be interested in the Magic Trackpad. The kids still seem more comfortable with moving the mouse around then gesturing with their fingers.

However, as they use my iPad more and more I can see them becoming more inclined to use something like the Magic Trackpad.

And if you are to believe the guys at Gizmodo, we all should start getting used to interfacing with a computer like an iPad.

Just with Apple would have named it something that didn't sound so goofy.

July 26, 2010

Thoughts on Comic-Con

The 2010 Comic-Con finished up this weekend in San Diego, and like always I watch the daily reports roll in to see what new and exciting I could look forward to in the comic months.

These were the three that stood out for me:

1) Grant Morrison is launching another Batman comic. Sounds like Batman Inc. will debut shortly after Bruce Wayne returns to the present time after his journey through history.

Based on what Morrison has done with the Batman titles over the last four years, I am included to continue to trust him to turn out another fantastic book.

The struggles going to be deciding which Batman books to pick up. Morrison's Batman Inc. is a lock for me to read, but the new team on Batman & Robin sounds interesting (Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason), as does the new team on Detective Comics (Scott Snyder writer). And I'm curious to at least take a look at David Finch's new book: The Dark Knight.

2) I'm not much of a Marvel fan and less of an Avengers fan, but even I can't help but be impressed (and a little jazzed) about the cast Marvel Studios has put together for The Avengers.

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) , Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) , Chris Evans (Captain America) , Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) , Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) , Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk)

Marvel Studios have their main people from their other stand alone films, plus new quality actors to fill out the Avengers team. I'm really impressed. I hope the studio is able to pull off a great film.

Just not sure if Joss Whedon is up to the directing task. What has he done on the silver screen?

3) My favorite news, however, might be the sneak peak at the new animated series coming to Cartoon Network this fall: Young Justice.

The animation in the sneak peak looks great, as do the character designs. I really dig the lineup of heroes they have chosen as their core team. And having the JLA floating in the wings as mentors is just great.

Plus, Peter David, who wrote the original Young Justice comic series that I absolutely loved, announced that he will be scripting some episodes of this new animated series.

This show I am excited about seeing this fall.

July 23, 2010

It's a Scorcher

It is damn hot today.


July 22, 2010

Where Was This Shirt When I Was in College?

And So It Begins

I can remember as a kid making fun of some of my dad's clothes.

(Hell, I still do it now)

Yesterday evening, my own children took up the mantle and started ribbing me on my choice of apparel.

After dinner I changed out of the clothes I had worn to work and into shorts and a t-shirt.

Because we were just going to be handing around the house, I pulled on one of my old pairs of Umbro shorts that I wore when I played soccer in high school. They fit just as well now as when I worn them in high school. I thought they looked fine.

Emma and Zoe had other thoughts.

"I'm not used to you wearing such short shorts," was Emma's first observation.

(The shorts stop about 2 inches from my knee - hardly short-shorts)

Zoe joined in the critique of my choice in short pants, and all the way down the stairs they commented on how "different" and "strange" the shorts I was wearing were.

I didn't bother trying to tell them that when I was in high school and college, Umbro shorts were very popular to wear regardless of whether you played soccer or not.

When I sat down on the couch to read some books to both of them things got worse. The shorts slid up and the tiniest bit of the bottom of my boxer shorts could be seen.

Emma immediately launched into a rousing rendition of "I see London. I see France. . . ." while her younger sister giggled.


I almost feel sorry for how I treated my Dad, but he did own - and wear - a denim leisure suit.

July 21, 2010

Discovering Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month for July, so I’ve been watching (or catching parts of) a lot of films featuring Gregory Peck.

I had never really paid too much attention to this actor before. I knew he famously portrayed Atticus Finch in the movie adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird and won an Academy Award for that performance. But outside of that film, I really couldn’t say much about Peck.

However, now after seeing him in The Big County, Roman Holiday, The Guns of Navarone, Designing Woman, and Captain Horatio Hornblower, Gregory Peck has quickly moved up my list of favorite actors. I have really enjoyed his performances and the movies that TCM has chosen to showcase.

In fact, if, for some strange reason, I was reincarnated as a famous movie actor, I'd might choose to return as Gregory Peck – or at least as his big screen persona.

Peck has an impeccable screen presence. He can be stoic and firm, while still demonstrating a tender, caring side. He had a fantastic voice – a smooth baritone with the slightest accent to make it unique. And next to Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck had one of the most honest looking faces of any film actor of his era.

July 20, 2010

First Look at The Goon

if you've read any of Eric Powell's perfectly twisted horror/action/gangster comic The Goon, you will appreciate this:

No word yet on when the David Fincher-produced film will be released.

July 19, 2010


Whenever I get the hiccups its an event in our house.

Not because it is a rare event (which it is), but because my hiccups tend to be very loud.

My hiccups tend to be more of a "hic-plosion" than a hiccup. Or at least a few hic-plosions followed by a small, demure little hiccup. Which are then followed by 3 or 4 more hic-plosions.

Doesn't matter if I keep my mouth closed or leave it wide open. The hic-plosion still manages to rattle and echo off the walls of the room sounding like the distress whoop of a rare African bird

The kids love it. They run around the house mocking the noises coming out of my throat, and in general love reacting to my incredibly loud hiccups.

Heather stares at me with a slightly disgusted look in her eye and mumbles, "why do they have to be so loud?"

(My hiccups, that is, not the kids)

I've tried drinking water upside down, taking a spoonful of sugar, holding my breathe, and all those other remedies. They never work for me. What I have found works best is just to sit or lay down and relax for a while. The hiccups eventually just go away.

But in the meantime. While I sit and wait for the hic-plosions to pass, I provide a little cheap entertainment for my kids.

July 18, 2010

National Ice Cream Day

Today is National Ice Cream Day.

Please celebrate appropriately.

July 16, 2010

Cliff Chiang Rocks

Cliff Chiang created some new Star Wars-themed posters to be sold at this week's San Diego Comic-Con.

You can see them all here, but my favorite is this riff on a 1960's spy movie poster:

July 15, 2010

I Hate the Heat

I like cool or cold weather. Don't like hot weather at all. Summer is my least favorite season.

There are a number of reasons I don't like the heat, but this morning I was reminded of another one.

When it's hot like it's hot in Chicago today - where heat and humidity combine for sweltering conditions, if you are the least bit tired the heat will magnify that tiredness to make your day even more miserable.

If you are just a little behind in your sleep, then heat pries deep down inside you to find that little kernel of tiredness and pulls it out to cover your entire body.

I hate the heat.

July 12, 2010

Charles Holbert, jr

Really like his artwork.

And not just because he has some fantastic looking pieces featuring Batman.

They Just Don't Get It Yet

In the past month two new apps released for the iPad have made me seriously question whether the publishing industry has been paying attention at all as the movie and music industry have spent the last few years adapting to the new digital media world.

For as much as the music and movie industry serial screw things up for consumers, they at least seem to understand how to price their products. Digital versions available for download are cheaper then their physical product counterparts.

When Sherlock Holmes came out on DVD, you could buy the disc in the store for $17, but online for about $12. Same goes for most albums.

Consumers are smart enough to know that if the company doesn't have to supply an actual physical product (disc, case, printed artwork), then the company is saving money on manufacturing and shipping costs. The price online, therefore, should be reflective of those savings.

But when Sports Illustrated released their magazine app they priced each weekly issue they same as their newsstand edition. Worst yet, they didn't provide current magazine subscribers any discount or option to switch to digital delivery. Nor did they provide any discounted subscription rate. $4.99 every week for the iPad version of SI.

The comic industry is no better. I didn't pay much attention when the Marvel app came out, but when DC Comics released their comic book app I started taking a close look at what was up for sale.

DC had plenty of older issues priced inexpensively, though some were still higher than I expected. What was worse was that they were making only one comic - one out of the hundred that DC publishes each month - available online at the same time that the book would be available physically in stores.

So I could either buy older comics at slightly discounted price from the physical product cover price. Or I could buy the one new, current comic being made available electronically for the same price as if I bought it in the store. Hardly a compelling reason for me to start regularly using the DC comics app on my iPad.

Now I know that there are some costs in delivering comics or magazines electronically. There are servers to maintain and bandwidth to pay for. However, that cost can be distributed across hundreds of titles being sold. You have to pay the printer each time you print a book. In the end, it is still a lot cheaper to distribute your material digitally.

Until publishers like DC Comics and Sports Illustrated realize that consumers expect a less expensive digital version, I don't see how they expect to make the digital portion of the publishing business successful.

July 08, 2010

The Apex of Human Ingenuity

The Knork

The combination of a knife and a fork.

Over the years I've become pretty good at eating anything and everything with a fork - even applesauce. With the revelation of the knork I now envision a simplified place setting at the table consisting of only three items: glass, plate, and knork.

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