Zine Test: Success

2016-04-09 21.07.37

Here is a proof of concept that moves the ball down the field of me working on the mythical zine I’ve been talking about for years.

For those wondering, the things on top are pieces of cardstock trimmed to 7.11″ X 11″, and they were put together and photocopied at 77%. Who says you never use algebra in real life? In your face, math doubters!

Bootleg Trollope


I occasionally turn to the Darkweb when I look for something legitimately and find that it is not available anywhere. Such is the 1982 BBC / Masterpiece Theater production of Anthony Trollope’s The Warden and Barchester Towerst. I just finished Doctor Thorne, Book three in the series, and vaguely remember seeing Donald Pleasance in this when it was originally broadcast (and completely forgetting a young Alan Rickman was Obadiah Slope, the oily clergyman in the Stanhope camp.)

While I am sick and in search of comfort viewing, I sought this out. I had been watching the first few episodes of Monarch of the Glen as unchallenging material for slipping in an out of consciousness. What I didn’t realize until I looked this up is that Susan Hampsire, who plays Molly on MotG also plays Signora Neroni, the weirdo ingenue of Barchester Towers. I’m just suprised Hellen Mirren isn’t in it, since it was a British production from between 1975 and 2015. I thought she was required by law to be in them all.

And I didn’t realize until looking for the links for this post there is a brand spanking new production of Doctor Thorne, with Ian McShane as Sir Roger and Alison Brie as Miss Dunstable. Holy cow!

Attempting Normal on Sale

For those of you who are fans of Marc Maron’s podcast, his book Attempting Normal has been out for a few years but the Kindle version has been over $10 for all that time. Right now it is on sale for $1.99 and there is never any way of telling for how long so if you have an interest in the book I’d suggest getting it sooner than later.

No time like the present, friends. I just bought mine because my experience in these offers is there are two primary time periods for them: now and never.

Whadda You Want From Me?

Ever since playing this song on Mad at Dad the other day, I’ve had Billy Squier’s “Whadda You Want From Me” in my head. It’s been 48 hours with no sign of slowing down, so why not share it with everyone? I hadn’t heard this song in easily 15 years, maybe more like 25. I had forgotten 1) how good it is and 2) it is totally an Aerosmith song that Joe Perry didn’t write.



I thought Blindspot looked intriguing so I set it on the DVR and only just got to watching it this week. I watched all of the pilot. By 10 minutes into episode 2, I deleted the series recording and all the episodes. I just couldn’t take it. This is even though I really like Jamie Alexander as Sif in the Thor movies and was pulling for her. It just felt too network-action-drama bullshitty to me. It’s getting good ratings so most people clearly have either a higher tolerance or even a taste for this. I stopped watching ER a few seasons from the end because it felt like this.

A few observations:

  • This has an NBC patented formulaic plot engine that would make My Name is Earl blush. And the gimmick involves the attractive female lead having to get naked over and over. Even that was not incentive enough to stick around through the horrible dialog.
  • I’m a little surprised I made it through the pilot.
    “Stay in the car!”
    “But you need me!
    <Sigh> “OK, but stay close.”
    Repeat every 6 minutes or more often if the plot needs goosing.

I have a hard enough time keeping up with TV shows. I have a hair trigger and a zero tolerance policy for ones that aren’t working for me.

Rude Dude

In the department of “who knew?” I just happened to stumble across the documentary Rude Dude: The Steve Rude Story. It is free for viewing via Amazon Prime. I have never heard of this before but now I have it downloaded for offline viewing. I have a plane trip next week with 3 different legs and 3 rounds of waiting in airports. Somewhere in there, this is getting watched. I will report back.

Slip It In


I just listened to the episode of the Rock and Roll Geek Show where he interviewed Inger Lorre about the rise and fall of her band the Nymphs. He got to the end and said “I’m going to play one more song, I don’t even know what it is.” Following that, I heard the opening notes of Black Flag’s “Slip It In”, the version Henry Rollins recorded for Rise Above, the West Memphis Three fundraising album. Inger sang the female voice on that version.

I haven’t heard this song in a long time, but from the first few notes, my pulse quickened and I got excited. My body had a visceral reaction even before my mind had registered what the song was. I must have listened to the song easily 500 times when I was in college, mostly the live version on my second-hand Walkman. I’m at a similar weight to back then, and my body is as much like it was then as it has been in decades. I instantly felt like a dumb 20 year old with endless pools of free floating aggression and anger, looking for anywhere to go. This music, slam dancing at the Metroplex, doing ridiculous feats of physical stupidity, that is where it went. I’m glad I survived all that in one piece.

It only took a few seconds of an unfamiliar version of a familiar song to bring it back. Here’s to surviving your youth.

SC Comicon


Even though in recent years Myrtle Beach has not one but two comic conventions (XCon and Myrtle Beach Comicon), I have been keeping an eye on SC Comicon in Greenville. Last year it was the same weekend as XCon and even so I was tempted to go as it had the far superior guest list. I like the Greenville area but haven’t been there since a now defunct hot air balloon festival a few years ago, so some year seems like it would be a good idea to go.

I’ve been listening to the podcasted recordings of panels from this year’s event published by The Dollar Bin podcast. It is impressive how good each and every one of them has been. Even though I am grumpy about media guests, the panel with John Wesley Shipp was one of the best I’ve ever heard for a genre actor.

I think I have to make it a priority to push this con up the stack. They haven’t named a date for 2016, but one of these years I need to go. The previous two years have ranged from March to May, so I assume next year will be somewhere springish. I can only hope the dealer’s room is to my liking, which is less about geegaws and DVDs and toys, and more about boxes and boxes of cheap old comics. If so, step over me as I hunch over the boxes with my list until my aging back gets too sore. I can’t wait.

Darkness – Barbarians

Yesterday I listened to Michael Butler do a track by track of the new Darkness album Last of Our Kind. I liked it, I like the Darkness in general. This album is something special though. It is somewhere between a theme album and a rock opera. What do you suppose the theme would be? Well, no. It is about medieval life and warfare. The opening song “Barbarians” is about the Danish invasion of East Anglia in 869. I like the video too, which is goofy, violent, and full of visual jokes that play off the themes and lyrics.

This album isn’t what immediately springs to mind when you think about a soundtrack to Song of Ice and Fire or Nicola Griffith’s Hild books but you know, it might work. If you go to the Darkness website you can listen to it via streaming. Check it out.

Game of Thrones Game for Free

I bought the Telltale Games app of the Game of Thrones game a month ago. Now and for a limited time, that game is free on various platforms. I’m still early in Episode 1, and am considering just going ahead and getting the season pass while it is on sale for 25% off. I wish I had waited instead of buying it, because I haven’t gone very far in the game at all. I could have saved $5 and used that towards the season. Oh well, it is all Amazon coin funny money to me anyway.

Scott Sigler 10 Year Anniversary

Today is Scott Sigler’s 10th anniversary since he entered the new media world, podcasting and giving away his fiction. It’s worked for him, and he is celebrating with a special deal. For TODAY ONLY – which is code for “don’t dawdle” – he is giving away 10 ebooks for his 10th anniversary. This is all five of the published GFL novels, the three novellas set in the GFL milieu and two of his short story collections.

I have a blog post percolating about the fiasco that lost me access to GFL books 3 and 4. It’s a story of my being a serial idiot. I got them as a package deal with the hardcovers but had completely lost the ebook files. Now, I have them back. It’s a great day for my Kindle.

I recommend the GFL series and it is even safe for middle school and up. I read a lot of SF books and a lot of sports books as a kid. I’d have loved to have this mix back then in between my Heinlein juveniles and the formulaic stories of football championships won or drag racers peeling out.

Don’t forget, this offer is for TODAY ONLY.