Other recap news bites

1) I was on comedy fire yesterday. My Mom called and asked if my kidney stone acted up during our weekend away.

“I have the Lawrence Olivier of kidney stones,” I replied. “It acts well in every scenario.”

2) my scooter is working great. I’ve taken on a couple extended trip days. It holds up fine.

3) I had an MRI today. That checks off the second last major non-invasive diagnostic imaging test. I just need a mammogram now. And MRIs are fun. I accidentally launched two coins into the machine.

Weekend Recap

I wonder if I’m starting to take the weekend for granted. This was our 9th annual retreat weekend.

People recognize us during the trek. The waitress at Humptys for the morning breakfast noticed we were at the wrong table. Later when Dan’s voice provided a stronger lead for the church choir, the priest just nodded his approval. (We are like a 10 person men’s choir as we attend the Sunday service. Although we weren’t the strongest voices this year.)

Our odd drinks, which were occasions themselves, when introduced are par for the course now. Grog, hot buttered rum, homemade cider and beergaritas all made their traditional appearances.

There were games. There was fellowship. All so cool, but no longer astoundingly so.

This year had no crisis. Not that those are good, but they are memorable.

What did distinguish the weekend?

The weather will be remembered as the worst to date. A couple time we were driven inside as much by the cold as the rain. Half of us, including me, didn’t have appropriate clothes. We were wrapped in borrowed coats and comforters. At onepoint the storm, rain, wind, cold and lightning, was severe enough to knock the power off in the cabin.

The food was exceptional. Philly Cheese Steaks and smoked ribs were the two signature dishes. Troy borrowed a portable smoker and pulled it all the way from Calgary. Based on the compliments it seemed worth the effort. The cheese steaks were also delicious – there was variety and care in their assembly.

Some stalwarts couldn’t make it this year and were missed. But Bunkhouse Buck came out. It was great to see what we took as standard – the location, the cabin, the drinks – through fresh eyes.

My favorite gaming moment involved Buck and Pauly. Buck was the sheriff in a game of Bang! A pair of outlaws had been eliminated leaving two deputy’s, one outlaw and the renegade. The hidden location of the final roles was obvious to everyone but Buck. He laid out his reasoning and said he’d shoot Pauly. Pauly through up his hands exclaiming, “I don’t want to say too much, but you’ve got it exactly wrong!” Pauly was one of the deputies.

Rather than hauling me in and out of chairs all weekend, the guys started to just haul me around IN a chair. That was great for me. My ribs are only slightly bruised from lifting. Hopefully it was a bit easier for them too.

Pauly won Buttercup for general excellence as much as anything. There was no event such as the one which inspired its eponymous naming. There was a grand struggle for the humility bear. But it finally found residence with Troy.

We had the opportunity to play two large games – Mage Knight and war of the Rings, but neither finished. Even with enough time we peter out before finishing. Dave had it rough in our game of WotR. He had the less engaging side and the Shadow strategy removed most interesting options. He was quite bored and frustrated by the time we called the game – though others weren’t far behind. Sigh. We just aren’t the group who once played Civ until dawn anymore.

My newest game, Legends of Andor ,was a good hit. We ended up playing that 5 times. Good fun there.

There was a movie. Collectively we now all know far more about the portable toilet industry in Australia then we did before. It was an odd, quirky film. But I think everyone liked it.

Finally we made additional investment in early morning drinks. There was the usual bailey’s for coffee plus a sweet breakfast beer. Some people found themselves done their 5th drink of the day before lunch.

I think those are my highlights. Whether I’m taking the general awesomeness for granted or not, I’m already anticipating next year.

Eisner Awards – 2013

The 2013 Eisner awards for comics came out over the weekend at the San Diego Comic Con.  I’ve copied most of the press release below from the Eisner site.

I wasn’t actually impressed with 2012 as a year in comics.  2013 has been move exciting for me.  The Marvel Now! launch and a ton of cool indie stuff are really ticking. 2012 was more about the DC new 52.

That being said the Eisner winners are still all awesome books. Even in lacklustre years there are items that stand out.

I’ve bolded the stuff I own or have read and highlighted the stuff that I think is awesome.

Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Winners 2013

The winners of the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced at a gala ceremony held during Comic-Con International: San Diego, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, on Friday, July 19.

Best Short Story: “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)

Best Continuing Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best New Series: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7): Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8–12): Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17): A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)

Best Humor Publication: Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Best Digital Comic: Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain) Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)

Best Reality-Based Work (tie): Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion); The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Graphic Album—New: Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint: King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW

Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia: Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Penciler/Inker (tie): David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel), Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)

Best Cover Artist: David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)

Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering: Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Reporter, edited by Tom Spurgeon, http://www.comicsreporter.com

Best Comics-Related Book: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)

Best Educational/Academic Work: Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design: Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon) Hall of Fame: Lee Falk, Al Jaffee, Mort Meskin, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sinnott

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Russel Roehling

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: Chris Sparks and Team Cul deSac

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Book Writing Award: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award: Challengers Comics + Conversation, Chicago, IL

– See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/awards/eisners-current-info#sthash.rFLLYifj.dpuf

Only God Forgives – a review

This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It isn’t ‘so bad it’s funny’. This is made by creators who accomplished exactly what they wanted on the screen. The question is why?

Nicholas Winding Refn (director) and Ryan Gosling (actor) combined for one of my favourite movies of 2011, Drive. It was a bleak look at crime distinguished by the silence of the star, interesting style (colour and music) and shocking, sudden violence.

Only God Forgives is the distillation of bleakness, crime, style (colours and music), silence and violence by the same team. That makes it sound like the perfect movie for fans of Drive, but Only God Forgives discarded such elements as plot, character and suspense.

It might be a good piece of art, but it has no value as a piece of entertainment.

It has a couple of excellent trailers. They contain 60% of the dialog in the movie and 70% of the plot. You’ll get the bleakness, crime, style. It hints at the silence and violence. Watch those and then skip the movie.

My apologies to my brother. I made him watch it. But he is to blame for finding the trailer for me to begin with.

Weekly Recap

Hey look. It is my first post since last Monday.

Nuts. I guess the spree from my vacation didn’t translate into more posts last week.

In my defence, I had a kidney stone. Still do I think, but there has been no pain since Wednesday.

In other words I ordered the new wheelchair last Wednesday. Thursday I applied for funding. That is all in motion now.

In this space here I should be ranting about how awesome Pacific Rim was. But I haven’t seen it yet. But my scooter made it through last week with no problems. No problems, but not one extra hectometre that wasn’t needed. I’m coaxing it.

Played a new board game on Friday, Legends of Andor. It was a lot of fun. LoA is a fantasy cooperative game. We won the introductory scenario and lost the next one. Plus Tim brought ginger beer. I only inhaled one snoot full. That stuff is deadly!

Shout out to Mom for helping out with some house sitting. How do people get by without Mom’s nearby?

Happy birthday to the birthday on the 14th – which I missed! After advance planning not to! And happy birthday to the one tomorrow. At least I finally figured out when they were. I suck. See. I make it about me. It isn’t about me. Happy birthday! Many happy returns of the day.

I’ve started to say that now – many happy returns of the day. If it is good enough for the denizens of the 100 acre wood then it is good enough for me. (That is Milne’s denizens. Not Disney’s.)

Welcome to the new week. Stay good.

Weekly Recap

Well. Last week was vacation. It was good and bad’ish.

On the good column, I am well rested. I watched movies and tv that were good. I read good comics. Played a good game on Friday. Really it was a lot like a normal week, but with less work and more just hanging out.

In the bad column, I accomplished almost nothing I intended. Namely there are five sizeable chores I’ve been postponing until I had time on vacation. Three were items outside the home. My issues with my scooter made those impossible. But three were in the home. I have no good excuse for not accomplishing those.

Even this blog. I committed to 10 entries during the ten days. This is the 7th of those planned ten. I fell apart during the heat wave and never caught up. I think that I did write some interesting stuff though. At least it wasn’t just more complaints about my scooter for a whole week.

The one thing I did accomplish is looking into a scooter replacement. I test drove a wheelchair. It is exactly what I need. However getting me a permanent one will prove to be a bit of a process. I must apply for funding. Once approved or denied I can order the chair. It looks to be a minimum of two months.

The new chair is nifty. It received lots of interest and feedback from the friends and coworkers who saw it. It is way fancier than anything Dad ever had. I even did a conga line at work – pulling coworkers in office chairs behind me.

Hmm. Not sure there is anything else to report. Any questions?

As usual, be well and take care!