Thank god vacation is over!

Every time I take a vacation my family drives me right up the wall and down the other side.  If not for all the reading I got done I might have gone totally insane and the jury is still out on that whole sanity part. 
 
While I did not make it through all of my reading list I did make it through vol 5-7 of The Goon, Vol 3-6 of Fables (so good it is not even funny) and a few books with no pictures in them.  I also fell horribly short on my movie watching list as I only found the time to sneak a few old Kung Fu movies into the dvd player.  I know most people would love to be able to lounge around for a week reading but I had a cold thingy...so the resting and reading was because it hurt to breath and when I moved to much I coughed up a lung.  Now that I am back to work I finally feel better and I am glad to be away from my family...I actually need a vacation from them and work even if it is like a day labor camp is much better than all that family bonding time.

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A moment of random thinking...

Summer is sort of a win some lose more for me sort of situation.   Sure all the students are gone at the college I work at but I still have to sit at my desk all night long in their absence.   As migraine inducing as they can be when they are here sitting in the office for 8 hours with only a dark parking lot to look at and squirrels running amuck in the early morning hours is almost worse.   There is only so much coffee and so much reading you can do for two months before you start to go a bit nutty (the last guy that worked my shift actually did go a bit nutty after doing so for 15 years and he is a foil hat away from being locked up).

Still if not for a stack of Atomic Robo comics and updating wiki’s and a healthy dose of SMODcast as well as Tell ‘Em Steve Dave and Backroom Comics Podcasts keeping me entertained, one might find me  one morning curled under the desk with a sharp stick and tossing my own poo at people.

I am though working my way through my “to do list” as I have finally watched Jersey Girl from start to finish in one sitting, finally have the full run of Y: The Last Man and will be done reading it this weekend, will finally work my way through the first seven volumes of Fables and will have basically by the end of August have killed off most of my reading pile.

Then the students will be back and I will be fighting the urge to curse like a sailor and make horrible remarks about their upbringings and the beatings someone should have given them as a child.   Honestly work with college kids and you will feel the same way and probably want to smack one of them with the first object you can get your hands on.   Future of our country my arse!

Still there is nothing like 2 months of sleep deprivation to just remind you that you are no longer a young man and that those gas station burritos are just not a good choice at 3 am.   That comics and cold meds do not mix as it can take you an hour to read one comic because you keep reading the same to pages over and over and over because you are medicated.   There is always time for anime and there is always time to argue that yes it is perfectly fine to watch Mythbusters just for Kari (because she is awesome) even if there are millions of other reasons to watch it.   That shark week is the best week of the summer and that there is nothing wrong with making your kid watch the Discovery or History chan for an hour everyday (no matter their protests).

So yay for summer as it shall soon be over and I will be arse deep in hormonally challenged freshmen getting drunk and passing out in places they should not be.   Oh the joys of working at a college!

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Last Starfigher

I am totally going to date myself here but I remember seeing the Last Star Fighter in theaters.  So as I walked past the discount movie section in Walmart I slowed and then came to a stop as my eyes fell upon the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Last Starfighter.  I had two thoughts almost at the same time with one being that holy crap the Last Starfighter is on DVD.  The other was double holy crap a 25th anniversary edition?!  I felt old and then the young girl working the electronic section called me sir and asked if I needed help.  I fought the urge to go and find something sharp with which to poke me eye out with and snagged the last copy of Starfighter and shuffled off home (because that is what old people do we shuffle). 
 
Now I have learned over the years that most of the stuff we think is mind blowing as kids is only mind blowing because when you are a kid it does not take much.  You have yet to get a good grasp on things other than the opposite sex has cooties and sharing your stuff with a sibling is no fun because they will always want the thing you are playing with.  I have been let down several times by things from my childhood that are just not as great now that I am grown up and have seen some @!$#.   
 
So I sat down and I told myself to just enjoy the film and remember that this was made before real advances in special effects CGI magic.  That when it was made it was one trying to run ahead of the curve for what you could pull off with computer added imagery.  With that said after the movie ended I smiled and took it out of the DVD player and put it in the shelf with a warm fuzzy feeling coming over me. 
 
Yes in some ways the look is dated but in the end if you are a fan of this movie it just does not matter.  This movie is packed full of heart.  So much so that you can not help look past a couple of plot holes because it is the story that matters.  Last Starfighter has a great story and off all the movies from my childhood it is one of the only ones not to let me down one bit.  It is also one of those movies that if they made a true to the core remake would benefit  from the advances in CGI technology.   What would be even better is if they brought back Lance Guest (who plays Alex) to play Centauri (played by the late Robert Preston). 
 
I still love this movie.  It has lots of heart and even if at times it is a bit over the top in some spots it is high up on my list of guilty pleasures!  For once memories of things from my youth did not let me down!  I am not even going to start in on that whole Thunderbirds debacle...

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Iron Man 2 is pure awesome!

 I just got back from seeing Iron Man and let me tell you...WOW! That movie far exceeded any and all expectations I had. The action is fantastic and this movie is packed full of humor. There are parts of the movie where you can feel the impact that Fractions run on Invincible Iron Man had on this film. There are also some just great fan boy moments that I will not spoil but the funniest one comes when Tony uses what is obviously a mock up or a prototype of a very iconic item to prop up something he is working on.

Things that long time Iron Man fans would want to see in the movie are there. They in a nod to the characters alcoholic past in a rather funny scene and Tony gets to work on some of his daddy issues.

There where a couple of big questions (at least for me) going into this movie and I glad to report that both where put to rest. I was at first unhappy with the recasting of Jim Rhodes and not sure what to think of the casting for Black Widow (I know Johanson looks hot in that tight ever so tight black outfit) but it all turned out ok. Some of the more funnier moments of the movie come from Tony and Jim trading one liners which do not seem out of place at all. Black Widow is not over the top and believable to the point where it would be nice to see her again.

Paltrow is again super as Pepper and yes sports fans she and Tony engage in some lip to lip combat. She is that perfect counter balance to Robert Downey's Stark and the chemistry between the two again reminds me of Fractions work.

I can easily see why some think this film has a chance to be bigger than Batman. It has the action, the humor and enough hints at the future to get you to go back for more. There is also that tease at the very end of the credits.    

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Jim Butcher is the Man

 I find myself with more free time on my hands than I am used to. Even with all the extra shifts I have found myself having to work I still have a great deal of down time. In part this comes from the new "You can only sit at the desk and enjoy the free air" rules they instituted (we have to pay for the air every other Friday). The other reason now that I think about it also stems from the first part. I have been going through my weekly books in one sitting now as we are basically only allowed to read at work (oh the life of a dispatcher as you sit and wait for the shit to hit the fan).

With all this free time and also because I have cut down my pull list I have fallen back on those books with no pictures that everyone seems to hold in such high esteem. Which actually brings me to the whole point of all of this as I was again reminded of just how brilliant Jim Butcher is. Not to mention funny. He is one of the few authors that can actually make me giggle out loud like some one out of the home on a weekend pass. I have mentioned a time or two that his Dresden Files series is just top notch and the books are the definition of page turners.

Harry Dresden has got to be one of the best written characters ever. That is right I said it. One of the best ever. Hey may walk in the world of the supernatural but he is the most human character I have come across in a long time. You pull for Harry. You cheer for his victories and love his wise ass mouth. More than that he is a character that you can care about because at some point along the way you will find a bit of yourself in Harry or one of the members of his supporting cast.

My first introduction to the Dresden Files came from stocking the shelves at a bookstore I used to work at. I always got stuck with the Sci-fi/Fantasty section because no one wanted to do it for some reason. So I would always take my sweet time and one day I came across the first four volumes of the Dresden Files on my cart of books to be shelved. Which if you knew the store I worked at for there to be four books from any series at one time actually in stock (other than Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) was a shocker. So I read the jacket covers and told myself I would have to check them out some day. At the time I was knee deep in Peter Hamilton and Tad Williams country and did not want to add yet another series of books to my reading list.

Then about a year and a half ago when surfing Hulu I cam across the Dresden Files TV show. Which I might add was doomed from the start as it was only on Sci-Fi. I gave it a shot thinking at least it would kill about an hour and it was so dead at work with all the students gone for summer break. So I watched the first episode, then the second and then the rest of the series when I got home. I had the bug in a bad way. The next day I had the first two books in the series in my hand and tore through them. As it was summer vacation at the college there was almost nothing for me to do at work other than sit there in the event that the place caught on fire and some one had to officially point that out. So I was reading about a book a week just to keep myself from fallingl asleep at work. I read the first two Dresden File books basically in one evening. I then went back to the bookstore and got the rest of the series that was out at that time. I ended up finishing them off three days later. I even almost broke down and bought the hard cover versions of the newer books (I hate hard covers). Jim Butcher had won me over in a big way, a way that had not happened since I had picked up that first Peter Hamilton book three years earlier.

Combine Butchers work with hearing the voice of Paul Blackthorn who played Dresden in the TV show in my head and it was just for lack of a better word just heavenly. Then came that extra added twist that made me have a nerd-gasim. Butchers work was being translated into comic book form by Dable Brothers Publishing. I did a happy dance honest to goodness I am not making that up.

The only problem was like everything else I was late to the party and had missed most of the first two volumes of the comic book. So the hunt began like with everything else I turned to CCL and I am slowly getting all the books together. In the meanwhile though I was looking for something else to keep me entertained at work and that is when I decided to give Butchers other series The Codex Alera a shot. While it was a huge shift in gears from the Dresden books it is still just another example of how talented Butcher is. It would also make an excellent comic book as it is heavy on chances for beautiful eye candy. That and in the first book alone he has crafted a a rich world that mixes magic and sword play well.

I have yet to do more than browse the first Dresden files comic as I am waiting to have all of them together so I can devour them in one sitting but it looks great. As I write this I have the trade for "Welcome to the Jungle" working its way to me in the mail. Once I have had a good chance I will fill you in on my impression of the comic book adaptation.

I also have done something I almost never do which is break down and purchase a hardcover version of a book. Normally I hold out and only purchase paperbacks as I find them more friendly for the commute back and forth from work and home. Also as I know at some point that I have at least one more move in my future I would rather move a box of paper back books over hard cover any day. After reading "Turn Coat" I could not hold out for "Changes" to make it to paperback. So that is also in the mail on its way to me (in the same package as the graphic woot woot).

Spoilers be darned I say I can not wait. If you are looking for something to pass the time with or something that is as addictive as crack (but legal) get ye to the bookstore (those brick and mortar places that have all those books without pictures and people walk around doing all that mouth breathing) and try the Dresden Files. You can also find the full run of the TV show still on Hulu and with luck you will find it as charming as the books.     

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Oh look buttons!

Honestly I am not that simple...ok most of the time I am not that simple.  I am not sure just how you get around this sight yet and how the heck you do those quest thingys but I am going to work on it.  Honest.  Don't look at me like that.  I swear right after I read this stack of comics I will get cracking.  Well maybe after I play some PS3,,,

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