Friday, September 8, 2017

All Things Must Pass

Hi there.


Today is post # 1,600 to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You.


I'm not sure I should count all of them since some were "encore posts" from previous posts.  Just this past weekend, I posted TWO separate encore posts.


Which brings me to the topic of today's post.  











What the what?!?


The end of  I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You?!?


Really?!?


Yes, really.


So....


What gives?


2017 has been a tough year. My mother died, I had a stroke, I had a fall that shattered my elbow followed by two surgeries and ongoing physical therapy. And I had kidney stones.


And depression. That's been a renewed battle this year.


And sleep. It is very obvious I have some kind of sleep disorder. I spend a lot of my days fighting an overwhelming urge to sleep. I've got  sleep study coming up[ in a week or so that will hopefully get to the bottom of that. 


This sort of thing can really mess with your mind, particularly the part of the mind that's supposed to string words together in something resembling a coherent fashion.  


That's been harder to do lately.


During Doctor Who Series 10, it took me a week to struggle through an episode write up. I used to be able to do that within a mere handful of hour after an episode aired. I love Doctor Who. I love writing about Doctor Who. And those posts were less a labor of love and more just labor.  


I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You was supposed to be a fun forum for me to express myself on whatever damn thing popped into my head.


Sorry but this forum has become less fun.


Is I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You done forever? You know the saying, "never say 'never'." But I am not looking at this blog being done "for now". I'm looking at it as being done.


If I can get my act together, there is a fan fiction I want to write for the 12th Doctor. I may launch a Doctor Who centric blog or something. 


We'll see about that. 


But today, this is my farewell to blogging.


This is my farewell to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You.


But always remember to be good to one another. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

What In The World?

So.... what in the world is going on?  


  • Houston, Texas continues to be devastated by flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The White House has prepared a request to Congress for an initial $5.9 billion package in Harvey recovery aid, a first down payment to make sure recovery efforts over the next few weeks are adequately funded. The Trump proposal, which is being finalized pending White House consultations with key Republicans, promises to represent just a fraction of an eventual Harvey recovery package that could rival the $100-billion-plus in taxpayer-financed help for victims of 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
There's  some hub-bub in Washington about tying aid to Texas to current budget negotiations. Not really sure how that will or will not work but leave it Washington to complicate things.  

  • Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. 
This should not come as a surprise. Whatever "will he or won't he" drama may have existed on whether or not Trump would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the odds were always in favor of Trump revoking it simply because it was an "Obama-era program". 
  • North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test early Sunday in an extraordinary show of defiance. Trump responded by declaring the country “hostile and dangerous to the United States” and criticizing an American ally, South Korea, for “talk of appeasement.” The underground blast, which caused tremors that were felt in both South Korea and China, was the first by the North to clearly surpass the destructive power of the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. The government said it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. 
Yes, Trump talked tough towards North Korea while throwing some barbs towards our ally in the region, South Korea. So business as usual for Li'l Donnie.  

Under the heading of "I'm getting old and life sucks"....

  • Walter Becker, guitarist, bassist and co-writer for the sophisticated, dark-humored band Steely Dan, has died. He was 67.
Click here for this link on You Tube for Steely Dan album, Aja. Steely Dan was long time favorite from my youth. The passing of Becker marks another loss from that youth. 


Sunday, September 3, 2017

ENCORE POST: Things I Will Teach My Child




This is from a post I made to this blog back on Sunday, June 9, 2013: Things I Will Teach My Child


 The human brain will triumph over brawn...especially when that brain designs an orbiting death laser.

 Power should be used wisely..so use the death laser to blow up something minor, as a demonstration of that power.

 We all make mistakes, it's how we learn and grow. So you blew up Wilmington DE instead of Wilmington NC? It's OK.



 Always think before you leapa valuable lesson for the next time you calibrate the death laser targeting system.


 Beware hubris, embrace humility. So when you tell the world's leaders you have an orbiting death laser, don't brag.


 Time is precious; don't waste yours or anyone else's. Upfront tell the leaders "I want a billion $ in gold bullion"


 Be clear, don't play games. Just say, "No gold, I blow up Rhode Island in 24 hrs." People will appreciate that.


 Life is a gift, treasure it. Remember, people are important to our plans for a slave labor economy under our rule.


 Respect & be kind to people. Your best laid plans for world conquest can be scuttled by a pissed off minion.


 With great power comes great responsibility. When you use the death laser, be sure the power relays don't overheat.


 Oh, and safety first! Be sure to wear your flare proof goggles cause the death laser can put out a lot of light.


 Above all else, my child, remember: I will always love you. Now, you & me, kid; what say we vaporize Rhode Island?

 
____________________________________


As I look over these lessons that I will impart to my child, I am filled withhope for our future, a bright and shining future where the children of Earth can grow to their full potential under the watchful and benevolent gaze of I, your ruler, and, in time, under the rule of my child. 

Before I go, I would entreat you to remember two very important things:

  • Education is important always, for children and adults.

  • A death laser is in orbit over this planet and it is under my control.

Remember those two things and you will have a wonderful and fulfilling destiny under my ultimate authority.

____________________________________________
 
 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

ENCORE POST: Journeys With the Doctor: My Stories of Doctor Who



Here's a post from Saturday, June 1, 2013....

Journeys With the Doctor: My Stories of Doctor Who#1

Greetings, Earth Creatures! 

Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

We're a couple of weeks out from Doctor Who's Series 7 finale, The Name of the Doctor, and six months away from the 50th Anniversaryspecial coming in November.

In order to cope with the intervening Doctor Who withdrawal, I am posting something each Saturday (because the Doctor loves Saturdays!) relating to Doctor Who. Last week, I dashed off a bit of trifle about the 10th Doctor and Rose encountering Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise where we learn Rose is a closet Trekkerand what opinions the Doctor and Rose have about David Tennant and Billie Piper!  

(For more, click this link: "The Doctor Meets Capt. Kirk: Untold Tales of Doctor Who#2.)

I have other (rather goofy) ideas for future fiction posts (including...possibly...my own idea for a multi-Doctor epic) but I also to use this weekly forum to post other things. For example, today I post installment #1 of Journeys With the Doctor: My Stories of Doctor Who.  This is to share my discovery of the program and my development as a Doctor Who fan.


_______________________________________


Part 1
"I thought Doctor Who was the dumbest thing
I had ever seen!"

Fall 1981: I began attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and it was a major transition for me. It's a major transition for most young men and women moving from High School Land to College World. But I had led a rather sheltered small town life so going away to college was particularly a big deal for me and it was not always an easy adjustment for me. A lot of the social interaction skills that most of my fellow freshmen had worked on in their formative grade school years were still a mystery to me.  But being (by my standards) far away from home, I had few options to retreat. I was going to have learn to interact with people. 

I was going to have to learn to be human.

One of the significant hubs of UNC-G was Elliot Student Center, a place to go to get out of the dorms for awhile, to get something to eat other than the food-like substances at the cafeteria, to just hang out.  Around the student center were 3 area set up with couches and other quasi-comfortable chairs in a semi-circle around a television set. 

(On the ground floor, there was a 4th area with a projection TV. Oddly enough, few people used that TV. 1981 projection TV technology was not all that great.)

One day in the middle of the fall of my freshman  year in college, I was at Elliot Student Center. I was very much on a budget so hanging out around the student center was about all I could afford at that time.  I decided to seek out one of the TV areas with only a vague idea of maybe catching up on the news. It was a few minutes before 6:00PM and there was this one area with one guy sitting on a sofa. He was writing in a notebook, not particularly watching the TV which was on the local PBS station. Still, to be polite, before changing the channel, I asked, "Are you watching this?"

He looked up and said, "Well, actually, I'm waiting for something to come on at 6:00. I mean, if that's OK." Well, he was being polite and I really had no burning desire to watch the local news. Besides, I had a book with me that I really needed to get started on for one of my classes. So I said, tapping my book, "Nah, I really need to get started on this anyway." So I plopped down in one of the soft chairs and opened my book.

A moment later, 2 guys and 2 girls approached and one of them said to the guy already there, "Hey, we're not late?" and the reply was that no, they were just in time. So these new arrivals found various spots on the chairs and sofas and made themselves comfortable,

Then I heard something, an other worldly music. I looked up at the TV screen and saw a strange visual effect, swirling patterns moving outward as the large head of curly haired man appeared. The assembled group actually gave a shout that I heard only at basketball games when someone made a 3 point shot. A graphic, some kind of stylized shield identified the program as Doctor Who



I asked one of the closer viewers what was this.

"It's Doctor Who," he replied. 

Well, I kind of worked that out for myself. Then there was a title: "The Seeds of Doom" followed by "Part Five". 

What transpired over the next half hour boggled my mind.

A tall man with a helmet of curly brown hair and a ridiculously long scarf appeared to be the hero of the show, this "Doctor Who" although I noticed no one ever called him that, just "The Doctor". And he didn't doanything. Well, I mean, he walked, he run, he did stuff with machines and talked a lot. But where's his phaser or light saber, you know all the stuff science fiction heroes are supposed to have? Maybe he had super powers but he didn't seem to be super strong or possess telekinesis or anything of that sort. 



And there was this young woman who appeared to be a sidekick. Or a damsel in distress. Or something. All I know she asked a lot of questions and screamed lot. 



And everyone was oh so properly British. Don't know why but that struck me as odd.

And there was this...monster sort of thing. What I could gather, it was some kind of weird mutant alien plant creature. Apparently, in England, plant life looks like rubber. 



And a lot of other..stuff...transpired over the half hour and then it ended. Or rather, it didn't. There was a moment of intense danger, things look very dire indeed and then....the swirling light effects and closing credits.

The other college students who had gathered to watch this seemed rather happy over what they had just seen. Me, I'm wondering that perhaps they were high or something. Because what I saw wasn't worth the joyous outburst I was witnessing. 

I thought Doctor Who was the dumbest thing I had ever seen. An absurdly dressed hero who didn't act like a hero, a goofy looking monster/alien thing that would've embarrassed third season Star Trek. The whole thing looked silly.

And these five other people must know that too. Yeah, they were probably enjoying this show on some kind of ironic level. 

The next day, I had an evening class to attend that started at 6:30 PM. There were a few pages from the assigned text I hadn't read yet and I had a half hour before class so I ducked into Elliot Student Center to find a spot to read. There were those five people watching that silly show again. 

But I was mildly curious: how would that cliffhanger from the last episode be resolved? I really didn't care that much but OK, to satisfy that small bit of curiosity, I would watch just long enough to see how that worked out. But then I would need to go. I had to get ready for a class and I didn't have time to waste on this silly little TV show.

30 minutes later I was scrambling down the hall towards my class. I couldn't believe I had stood there and watched that whole "silly little TV show". Although, well, it wasn't completely silly. This Doctor Who guy was a different sort of hero, solving problems with his wits. I had to admit that was interesting to me. Still, it was a very silly show. 

A month later, that group of five people watching that "silly little TV show" had become a group of six. I knew their names: Mike, John, Laird, Anna & Tracy. And I knew that strange very different hero on the TV screen was not Doctor Who, he was The Doctor

And so my journeys with the Doctor began. 
________________________________________

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Return of... Ted Cruz Is A Lying Fuck Bastard

Oh, those were such... innocent times. 

Last year, I was posting a regular series of posts called...




I figured enough people were paying attention to Donald Trump and I knew (I  just KNEW) he would sooner or later implode and someone else would have to be the Republican nominee for President and God help us, it might be Ted Cruz.

So it was my mission to remind the world at every opportunity....




Yes, those were such... innocent times.

Anyway, Trump has been so much shit as president, I almost forgot about the prevaricating pudding head from Texas. But in the aftermath of the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey, I have been reminded.... Oh dear Lord! I have been REMINDED (Can I get an "Amen!"? "AMEN!" Bless you!) that once more and forever he shall be....




Let's hear from Sen. Ted Cruz: "The accurate thing to say is that I and a number of others enthusiastically and emphatically supported hurricane relief for Sandy. It’s not right for politicians to exploit a disaster when people are hurting to pay for their own political wish list."

What brought this up is that Sen Cruz has his hat in hand looking for help for all those poor people who have been devastated by the storm damage and horrendous flooding from Harvey. 

As well he should he! Good job, looking out for your constituents like that, you lying fuck bastard.  

You see, back in 2012, when New Jersey and New York were slammed by Hurricane Sandy, a relief package came up for a vote. Much like the relief that Cruz is looking for to help Texas. But back in 2013, Cruz voted against the Sandy aid bill.  

Cruz defended his 2013 vote, claiming the Sandy aid bill had "unrelated pork" and "two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy."

But New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ain't having it. "It is an absolute, outright falsehood," Christie told CNN, referring to Cruz's "two-thirds" claim. His TV appearances Wednesday are the latest in a series of blistering verbal attacks Christie has unleashed against Cruz in recent days, raking him over the coals for wanting Harvey aid despite voting against funds for Christie's state when it was in a similar time of need.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, fact-checked the senator's claim and gave it “Three Pinocchios,” meaning “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.” The paper said the Sandy bill was not filled with pork and the majority of the funds supported disaster relief, contrary to what Cruz claimed.

Or to put it another way....




Along with Cruz, Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn and 23 House members from Texas voted against Sandy relief. The measure passed anyway.

Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., called Cruz a "hypocrite," but said he would support aid to Texas.

Going on Fox & Friends (but of course), Cruz continued to defend his version of events. “For folks who are focused on raising political shots and snipes about the Sandy bill, facts matter,” Cruz continued. “And a simple fact was that Sandy bill was over $50 billion, and 70 percent of it was non-emergency.”

I will agree with Ted Cruz on at least one thing: facts do, indeed, matter. 

And here's a fact I hold near and dear to my heart. 



Can I get an "Amen!"? 

"AMEN!" 

Bless you!

DAMN! I've missed this!!! 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

No Thing Today

So, here's the thing.....




OK, sorry. No thing. Not today.

Maybe tomorrow?  

Maybe tomorrow there will be a thing?

Maybe...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Weird Ass Kirby: OMAC

This past Monday, August 28th, was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jack Kirby. 

Millions of words have been written extolling the virtues of the man the comic books fans called the King. The dynamism of his layouts. The power of his pencils. His provocative use of form and function.

Hell, even the man's speed was an extraordinary thing. Jack Kirby could produce about 15 pages of week.

And another thing about Jack Kirby: he had some weird ass ideas. 



A tough but quiet man, a product of a Depression era New York childhood, Kirby had some really far out ideas about the world outside our view, about the future.

And one of Jack's most "weird ass" concepts was O.M.A.C. 

For today's post, I'm going to look at some 2 page spreads from King Kirby's short lived DC series.






Oh my God! See what I mean about "weird ass". That fever dream of a 2 page spread can be found in O.M.A.C.#1. This issue introduces us to non-descript Buddy Blank in a not too distant future, "the world that's coming" as Kirby describes it on the cover.  When zapped by an energy ray from an orbiting satellite called Brother Eye, Blank is transformed into O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps.  







Check out this wild spree as O.M.A.C. plunges into a an army of goons!

As way out there as they seemed in 1974, O.M.A.C. was a platform to examine concepts of government, capitalism and social relationships taken to bizarre extremes. Yet those extremes seems oddly prescient if you look out your window in 2017. 






OK, you may not exactly see this strange creature if you look out your window in 2017. (Although  the resemblance to Steve Bannon is uncanny.)  By all accounts, Jack Kirby was a kind sweet man but damn! What kind of nightmare fuel was Kirby on to create this thing?












Another two page spread with Kirby unleashed. an overwrought piece of future tech run amuck! And dig that energy rippling around O.M.A.C.. It's an effect called Kirby Krackle! And there is a rock band out there in the world we live in called Kirby Krackle!


Yes, something Jack Kirby created gave name to a rock band!


How awesome was Jack Kirby? 


How totally freakingly wonderfully weird ass was Jack Kirby? 

 

All Things Must Pass

Hi there. Today is post # 1,600 to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. I'm not sure I should count all of them since some were ...