27 January, 2010

Where have I been?

I've been kind of away from blogging these past few weeks. Really, I've been too busy to do much of anything that doesn't pertain to work or the house. *sigh* Sometimes I really hate having a real life.

It doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about things and current events, tho. After it became apparent that he was within striking distance of the Senate seat, I started following the Scott Brown/Martha Coakley race in Massachusetts pretty closely. I was glad to see that Brown pulled that one out, because I think it bodes well for Mark Kirk here in Illinois. Coakley was a moron, pure and simple; she practically gave that campaign away to Brown, and clearly deserved to lose. While I don't expect the Democrats to make that mistake (taking any seat for granted) again this year, I also don't think this is shaping up to be a good year for them. Although I also suspect the Republicans will be disappointed if they expect an impending landslide in their favor. There's still ten months before the midterm elections, and as Massachusetts has proven, political fortunes can change in as little as ten days.

Over on the fandom side... Teen Titans #79 comes out this week. I'm more than a little hestitant about new writer Felicia Henderson's take on the characters, but god, anything has got to be better than the mess Judd Winick made of Titans. I just read a preview of the issue on Comic Book Resources (known colloquially as "CBR"), and while I'm encouraged I still have reservations. I don't like the way she's making Beast Boy out to be something of a jerk, and all the other characters feel just a little off. Hopefully the rest of the issue is better, or that she improves as she becomes more comfortable writing in the medium. Failing that, move J.T. Krul onto the title; he's been doing an excellent job with the characters lately in various fill-in issues and mini series.

I've been watching lots of NCIS lately. I never watched this series much until late last year, when my daughter and wife got me hooked (my daughter is a big Abby fan). This is one of those shows you watch less for the story and more for the characters, because its the way they interact with one another that's the real star. I've been setting my DVR to record every episode that gets repeated on USA Network, and then watch three or four episodes while I'm folding laundry or otherwise doing housework. After a couple of months of this I think I've seen about 3/4 of the series. I think I'll be rather disappointed when I get to the end of the backlog, because watching the series like this has been quite fun. But I still have CSI and CSI: Miami to catch up on, so I think those will probably be the next shows that I concentrate on. Its nice having a DVR with lots of space.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. The Winter Olympics are coming up. That's going to be taking up a lot of my DVR space. I've always enjoyed the winter Olympics far more than the summer ones; I think its because the events are crazier and the athletes are more insane.

I had hoped to do a road trip to Alaska this year, but that's probably not going to happen due to money issues. Really, I expect that an Alaskan trip would mean about six weeks on the road: one week driving there (which means one week driving back at the end), and since I don't want to drive there just to have to turn around again a few days later, I expect I'd stay there for a month seeing the sights. I really would like to take the Dalton Highway up to Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse, just to say I've gone as far as you can within the road system. I'd also like to camp in Denali National Park and elsewhere. But another problem with doing this trip are the kids; while I do think they're old enough to handle the trip (with some protest), I don't think they're mature enough to appreciate it. The boys insist on spending all of their time playing video games when we're on vacation, and Megan insists on arguing with the boys and being irritated by the slightest things. I don't think I could take that for six weeks straight. Thus, I suspect Alaska is going to have to wait until another day.

Instead, I suspect I'll we'll be going somewhere like California, perhaps Arizona and Nevada. Some camping will be taking place -- I'll certainly be dragging the camper with me -- but perhaps not as much as we did last year. I would really love it if I could pitch the camper someplace like Moab and just lounge around there for a week, but I think the kids would be driven mad by boredom within a day.

So, I guess that's what's on my mind. Boring, boring, boring.

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