Aggie’s “girlfriend” comes by

This calico dropped by in my recently shorn backyard to taunt my cats, namely the smitten Agamemnon. I like to think he has a crush on her since he’s the one who alerted us to her presence and we didn’t catch until a week earlier with a squirrel she killed. I hope it wasn’t the squirrel who torments Aggie whenever he stares out my office window. I’ve decided to name her Clytemnestra (pronounced KLY-tuhm-nee-struh), King Agamemnon’s wife who got a new boyfriend while he was away fighting the Trojan War for a decade. It didn’t go well when the king returned, Clytemnestra and the boyfriend Aegisthus murdered him. Odysseus found out this ugly news when he and the Argonauts went to the edge of the world (possibly the Rock of Gibraltar) to converse with the dead. Achilles was expected, Agamemnon not so much and I think the dead king warned Odysseus about possible infidelity on Penelope’s part. Don’t worry, Clytemnestra got her just desserts, her son Orestes and daughter Electra took her out; I guess they loved their father more or didn’t really care for the boy toy being their Stepdad.

As for the cat…I will not be adopted her. I may to try trap her, get her neutered (unless she is really the rare one in 2000 males, it’s not needed, they’re born sterile) and fostered to a new home. Speaking of fostering, I do hope matters next Spring are stable and solid enough to take in another gaggle of kittens with their mommy. I seriously believed that my Aggie was beginning to be a good cat tutor. He should be, he is friendly with people, he loves attention (can’t get enough some days) and he loves his big sister Isis.

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Black Adam: Don’t even bother

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? If it’s an anti-hero superhero movie for the struggling DC Universe? Then it’s a steaming turd burger covered in cliché sauce and too much exposition! Johnson wants to be the next Ahnold in so many ways…and badly. There are days I have a hard time not hurling whenever he opens his face about politics and today’s “partisan mess,” especially when his name is brought up as a possible candidate for POTUS. Let’s hope this dud kills this thought. The last thing America needs is another fake Centrist Republican with no real administrative or true leadership skills who will just turn into another Far Right Republican which Ah-hold was all along.

What about the movie?]

Riding on the successful coattails of Shazam, the inept handlers of the Warner Brothers-Discovery-AT&T thought, “Hey let’s bring in Shazam’s equal in ability from the comic books (before DC bought Fawcett)! And with Johnson as the villain, we can’t go wrong.” Oh yes you can!

Let’s start with the story. Around 2000-2500 BC, there was a fake land with a horrible king working his people to death for some magical metal (did he try looking in Wakanda?). It would make him immortal or whatever. The great wizards who gave Shazam his abilities picked out somebody to oppose the king from the ranks of the people. It ended badly with Black Adam being sealed in a tomb. Move forward to today, the fake land still goes by the same name and it’s ruled by a corporation that uses mercenaries with high tech (flying motorcycles) to keep the residents in line. A family of scientists know the legends and in their quest to liberate their country, they release Black Adam who is pissed off, indirectly saving them from some evil soldiers. Enter the Justice Society of America (yes, not the League) at the orders of Amanda Waller (Suicide Squad’s boss) to capture Black Adam as he poses a threat to the US and its allies. Here I was stoked to see Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Nuklon (but they go with the lamer Atom Smasher name) and Twister. I was wrong, read on for why. Numerous fights, deaths, collateral damage and a predictable betrayal follow. Blah blah blah. Another long-ass exposition. Then it ends with a surprise after the primary credits and closes out with a horrible Kanye West attempt at “music.”

Believe me, I went to this hoping it would be on par with the first Wonder Woman and Shazam. I don’t piss away $30 at Alamo to make sure something sucks. I was even willing to put aside my annoyance on how Johnson wanted his turn at being the Terminator. My main focus was finally seeing those Golden Age heroes on the big screen. Instead, two aren’t even needed, one is two-dimensional acting via growls (discount Batman) and the last is Pierce Brosnan phoning it in since this will buy him another sports car. The biggest mistake Adam made was relying the voiceover exposition method. Don’t tell the audience what happened, just show them! If some parts aren’t clear to the audience, the second one they used at the reveal about who Black Adam really is would resolve it! Overall, it’s just a mess and collection of action scenes on par with the equally boring Aquaman which had a drumming octopus to stop it from being a 100 percent stinker. Trace Beualieu of MST3K fame said it best with Aquaman and this applies to Adam, “I could make the same movie by flushing a bunch of action figures into a toilet.”

I’ll close with one positive thing I can say about Black Adam, unlike Moana, we’re spared Johnson’s sorry attempts at singing, autotune to fix it and all.

Alamo Extras: An old cartoon with a knockoff of Abbott & Costello poking around in what people’s ideas of Egypt were in the Thirties; A comedy bit involving weightlifting; Clips from a Filipino version of Wonder Woman, the Johnny Soko show, Justice League New Frontier cartoon, LEGO Shazam and Black Adam showing up in the League of Pets; the moral lesson segment from the Seventies Shazam show; lastly a painful montage of Johnson appearances on numerous TV shows (Colbert, GMA, etc.) or his wrestling past, many with him singing.

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Weight loss has finally made some progress

I know I rambled on about this two days ago with my AARP dig but it’s such a thrill to be under 250 pounds again. I think Obama was president the last time I was this light and probably during his first term! I had the follow up with the doctor and despite two medical professional giving me an “evil laugh,” I don’t have type 2 diabetes (dia-beetus) yet and I’ll even go out on a cliff, never! I just need to get more sun while swallowing vitamin D pills (which I’m on the fence about now that Jennifer told me how the biz is unregulated), cut down on how much I even more. I see the silver lining too via my fave Maggiano’s. I get one of the dishes which gets you another to take home. I cut the meal I have in half, save for another day. Repeat with the takeout! Boom! Four meals for the cost of a single, genius as well as a route to fitness. Actually, I have to period since the doctor said I have to cut back on carbs in addition to sugars. Dieting is so unfair to people of Italian ancestry. The other upside, in the past 20 years I’ve grown to love salmon. I never had too much trouble with having fish when I became an adult, I discovered my dislike was thanks to my parents serving crap, most often fast food sandwiches combined with my hatred of Lent. I was shocked about having to take it easy on fruit and certain vegetables…and I already know potatoes are just delicious starch alongside rice, all kinds.

Let’s see if I can pull off getting below 240 next year. I’m in initial discussions to work with my neighbor Niko the trainer to finally, finally get assistance on killing my gut/spare tire. I never want it to “evolve” into an apron.

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Late Fall/Early Winter has come to Austin

Several days ago we had a thunderstorm roll in and the temperature here hasn’t recovered. Good thing we hit the Renaissance Faire a weekend earlier! Then we just experienced what would be Fall. Now we’re in Late Fall or standard Fall where I’m from, wet, cloudy, cold and a chill that goes to the bones. I don’t care for this because it still reminds me of the snow to come back in the Midwest and Great Plains. Then I remember, I’m in Austin! This is as crappy it gets over 90 percent of the time! Most years, this is our Winter and we’ll have patches of Early Spring sessions all the way to February, maybe March…before the oppressive heat returns.

After 25 years of freezing my butt off in the North, I’ll always love the trade off I made. With Climate Change, I don’t know what to expect for Winter though. Either option isn’t very appealing, namely the possibility of more deep freezes capable of knocking out the power grid for days at a time. I probably should get off my behind and buy a portable generator from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Somehow the cell-phone towers never go down and it will be the best way to convey information.

Meanwhile, I need to stock on some more appealing soups to go with the killer sandwiches Jennifer has let me make for us. OK, they’re nothing I’d enter a competition in. They’re just boring old Wonderbread things filled with delicious HEB-branded deli meats. I’m just more excited about getting the opportunity to make meals around the house and proving I’m Grade A boyfriend material to her. At the very least, a better roommate than the cats have been.

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Am I turning into a greedy AARP member?

My free blood pressure measuring device arrived today! It’s a perk I have because I have high blood pressure and I’m using the Hello Heart app on my iPhone. Jennifer is a nurse so taking the readings are a basic skill but I wanted to spare her the pestering. Besides, it’s not something a psych nurse does on a daily, weekly nor monthly basis, there are other dedicated health-based nurses who tend to take the information down.

Back to my point…

This gizmo is pretty groovy and designed for idiots like me! It’s equal to the sit-down setup at any drug or grocery store, just compact and never a line! I was skeptical of it sending its outcomes to my iPhone via BlueTooth as so many other devices, especially headphones, don’t pair up without a struggle. The funny part was the noises it made when I did my first test in the living room. Every cat but Agamemnon was indifferent to it. Aggie on the other hand didn’t like the noises come from the part squeezing my arm (now I remember, it’s called the cuff) and began to attack the velcro section. Not sure if he was trying to take it off of me, find the source of the noise or he thought the cuff was some weird type of monster. He had little effect on the outcome on my results.

Fear not regarding my blood pressure. It’s crap but I’m not in any immediate danger, I think; the dentists were concerned about me having a stroke during my crown implanting. The readings might explain some fainting and other recent health issues while I’m pulling myself together. I’m just bummed on how little exercising has helped keep down to the parameters it should be. I have also lost some significant weight, FINALLY! The weight stuff’s credit goes to Jennifer. She dictates most days what we’re having and I often cook it. Not as impressive as it sounds. We’re living off these ready-made meals from HEB. The portions are small by American standards of eating. The upside is Jennifer’s small appetite which allows me to finish off what she doesn’t want and it gets me closer to the American portion!

Should I get my blood pressure down to normal levels, you’ll know on this site. I really want to succeed with as little chemical assistance as possible.

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Aggie’s new nap spot during working hours

Due to a certain cat (Nubby) having a horrible habit of chewing through Ethernet cables, I’ve had to close my office door on non-work days whenever I want to write (Picauyune), do the books, etc. Agamemnon didn’t like this. Like all cats, they want to know where you are as much as possible; it’s why some of them will follow you to the toilet; it’s not revenge for you accidentally catching them do their business in the litter box.

My office isn’t quite as organized as I’d like it, and I’ve been working on; more and more books are on the shelves I scored this Spring! But I remember how much he and Metztli made themselves at home on those bookcases. I put this unused cat bed at the bottom and Aggie took to it in the same way a duck does to water. Now he can keep an eye on me or nap with all the security he wants knowing his human daddy will be there to protect him from a xenomorph or the feral cats taunting him over their “freedom.” I love it. Reminds me of the better days in 2020 when I was working in the living room (I was the house’s sole resident) and Aggie would crash on the floor next to the desk. He slept in so many hilarious poses. Now to work on Isis, my oldest and most mellow kitty.

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Being nice to people pays off, Nov ’22 edition

One positive side effect of being in Central Texas for 28 years is the Southern Friendliness rubbing off on me. But I’ve put my Yankee spin on it. See, the South is polite and friendly with an ugly undercurrent similar to how Canadians are allegedly nice while they succeed in slipping in a backhanded slight. Here, a favorite version of it here is “Bless your heart!” Translation, “That’s pretty good for you since you’re inferior.”

Anyway, I’m sincere in my niceness to strangers. I often tell them how much I like their hair or clothes as it doesn’t cost anything to do it. I just feel, why not, the world is rough enough. It’s amazing how you receive a “thank you” and smile back, especially from women. Where I’m originally from, the response in the North is, “Piss off you pervert!” or “Are you high or something?”

Tonight, I saw a lady pondering in HEB’s makeup aisle. I figure she was thinking about what works best given the whole season thing for people; I think I’m an Autumn. I told her, “Pick whatever you like. I bet you will look great!” She smiled and said “thank you.” I probably scared her too yet she realized, OK, this guy is harmless and he means it. I’m not strong enough to be involved in human trafficking.

Then at the self-checkout, I found a quarter on the ground! Boom! Being nice does pay! It may not be a lot of money but as Ben Franklin said or receives the credit for this maxim, “A penny in the hand is a dollar in the distance.” The lady’s smile was enough, the coin was the whipped cream on top of a kindness sundae.

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Why Gestapo NPH for this month?

It’s a nod to one of the best Satires made in the Nineties…Starship Troopers which hit theaters 25 years ago. Like most movie goers, I saw it the first time and thought, “Hmm, pretty decent Sci-Fi/Action flick. Not sure it needed an R rating.” The only hint I caught then was how the former Dougie Howser resembled a Gestapo officer near the end. It was one of the earliest movies I was a projectionist for in North Carolina too. With additional viewings via that part-time job, I noticed the uniforms being modeled after the German army of WWII.

Not until a few years later and, sadly, the September 11th attacks did I realize how Paul Verhooven and screenwriter Ed Neumeier were yanking our collective chains in making a dark comedy about Fascist-Militaristic society. Keep in mind, Faux News had only been on the air for over a year when Troopers was debuted, we weren’t aware of such blatant bullshit or the polite word, misinformation. Here’s it’s a masterpiece and it’s up to the audience to figure it out. I’m guessing the war elements were more deceptive in making it as obvious as it was in their earlier team-up for Robocop. I’ll buy that for a dollar!

I just wish they didn’t predict the current future. The blank check Dubious Bush received was disgusting and I knew he’d lead us into disaster. While watching this, you can easily substitute the name Arachnids with Arabs or Muslims and ta dah! Troopers transforms from entertainment to a documentary. Now the problem is domestic with home grown terrorists represented by an established political party and con artist, self-proclaimed Sky Marshall!

Meanwhile, it was also fun laughing at the whining of Heinlein followers which are a subset of Libertarians. Verhooven and Neumeier didn’t really keep much of the pro Fascist novel intact. Verhooven was quoted as saying he only read two chapters before he was too bored to finish the story. I would agree after listening to the followers defend their guru who comes off like a 20th Century Joseph Smith, namely in the author’s propensity for underage girls and how they all can’t help being smarter than the masses. Yeah, definitely a recipe for remaining emotionally stunted at 14.

In closing, if you ever get the chance, watch the second sequel, Starship Troopers 3. Neumeier cranked up the dark humor and it was good to see Casper Van Dien return.

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The King’s Man

Since Taron Egerton decided play Elton John and passed on being Gary for a third time in the pretty clever Kingsman flicks, the people running this possible rival to James Bond decided to go the lazy, en vogue direction…a prequel. As if anyone really cared how this fictional organization got started, Harry’s explanation taking 30 seconds wasn’t enough. I do admit I was intrigued by the trailer but that’s as far it got.

The short version is all I’ll go with. King’s story mostly takes place during the years leading up to, through and a bit after World War I. It all comes together rather sloppily as a giant, implausible, even for fiction, conspiracy on par with QAnon. Hell, it’s probably what those morons believe on how WWI happened! The reveal of who’s been pulling Rasputin, Hanussen (general close to the Kaiser), Princip (shot Archduke Ferdinand) and Mata Hari’s strings is equally predictable. Director Matthew Vaughn tries to cover up all the story’s flaws with his past action sequences which made the previous two enjoyable and darkly funny. Hell, the conspiracies in them were much better as both had strong kernels of truth and reality to them. A villain trying to set up a Victorian version of SPECTRE isn’t a concept any audience will buy into. Two reasons. One: The general public doesn’t know nor cares very much about The Great War, it ended a century ago so there’s a minuscule number of people who remember it and today, they would’ve been children. Two: The minority who study, read and love History cannot suspend our sense of disbelief to entertain such a thin premise given what we actually have documented on the real players in the conflict; Rasputin had fallen out of favor with the Czar’s court yet still begged the Czarina not to get involved in the war.

There was one clever touch, the same actor plays the UK’s King George, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm and Russia’s Czar Nicholas. Fitting as they were all the Queen Victoria’s horrible (inbred) grandchildren.

Beyond that little nod, save the two-plus hours of your life and avoid streaming this turd burger on HBO, Hulu or wherever bad movies are offered to fill up weak catalogs.

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Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

I finally finished a book! We all (including myself) thought I’d get a bunch read during Covid. No luck. I was really guilty of starting a few, then getting bogged down, forgetting to continue and then losing all the momentum I had and having to shelve it because I forgot where I was and what the hell had happened. I do plan to get back to those books but they remain on hold as I finished this, something I’ve been dying to complete despite it being about 25 years old and the last epilog it had was dated around 2003. Oh, I’m now reading something entertaining to cleanse my palette before I jump into another educational opus.

If you haven’t read GG&S, I highly recommend it as it gave me some new perspective on how Civilizations and History have played out. Many will giggle at how another takeaway I got, how it will influence elements of my D&D worlds too, more as we go.

Diamond’s book proposes a hypothesis (his evidence isn’t ironclad enough for a theory) on why Western Civilization and China, until the Enlightenment, came out on top in the time we live in, aka the 21st Century. The short version, Eurasia had the good luck to be the home of the widest variety of plants and animals on Earth. Since not all plants (e.g. acorns) nor animals (e.g. elephants and alpacas) are suitable for domestication, the advantage goes to wherever the most diversity resides. In Eurasia’s case, there were dozens of both for humans to work with until we succeeded with the horse, cow, sheep, pig, chicken, goat, wheat, rice, barley, apples, so on. Then throw in how easily the technology and know-how could migrate east-to-west/west-to-east alongside all these areas having similar climates, making implementation practical.

Once agriculture is instituted, all Historians, Archaeologists and Anthropologists agree, a civilization will take root. All the trappings eventually follow: government, writing, new technology, organized religion, time keeping, etc. Depending upon the resources, nearby competition and what energy they’re utilizing (human, animal, hydro or carbon), you should see mining, industrialization, powerful weapons and larger political operations. Put this altogether and it provides a reasonable explanation why the Europeans crossed the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans to dominate five other continents until recently.

What about China? They were in the running too as per Diamond’s writings. Now I’ve read the argument he chooses from other writers here; pre-Communist China was a larger, more homogeneous empire at peace around the same time. Peace allegedly breeds complacency, complacency leads to less innovation. There was a brief time China did send ships to India and Africa around the era of Columbus. The Chinese always had the means as long-range sailing wasn’t exclusive to the Europeans. What changed? A political decision happened ordering the expeditions to stop and the fleets were destroyed. The early modern European states were much smaller and constantly at war with each other. Grabbing more turf, inventing more brutal weapons and traveling faster were the side effects. However, Diamond agrees with me on one major point, there’s a hard-to-find sweet spot between too much order/peace and being too decentralized/in conflict to get “progress.” Libertarians and small government idiots don’t have a good argument.

With the previous explanation I surmised in the third and fourth paragraphs, it’s obvious that the shaming finger of racism has been leveled at the book. I utterly disagree with those lazy critics; I seriously doubt few read GG&S. Firstly, the other continents had geographical barriers preventing the spread of what Eurasians had. Secondly, they had fewer species to get success with: corn and potatoes are great but you won’t get far without horses or oxen. Lastly, all the Eurasian crops, animals and advancements have been distributed around the globe, there’s nothing stopping other civilizations climbing to the top as time moves on. Besides, Diamond never made a judgment call saying the First Nations, Black Africans or the First Australians were or are too stupid to use the tech Eurasians developed. Quite the opposite, early on he points out how the Maori used the guns and food they acquired from Europeans to wipe out or enslave rivals.

I want to close out with how I will utilize some of the book’s lessons in my D&D game. It will pertain to languages. The majority only developed a written element when they’re spoken by sedentary peoples, often with agriculture which leads to bureaucracy. So certain monsters will only have a verbal language sans writing due to their nomadic and maybe predatory natures. Monsters who also raid other settlements for food and resources will get a little boost too, namely better motivations on why they do those things.

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More good news that brought Picayune back!

For once it wasn’t one of those annoying groundskeepers or Chinese restaurants sticking something on my door. Initially I thought it was a joke because Google Fiber hit Austin like a decade ago, raging full on. Everybody everywhere in the Austin area rejoiced! AT&T sucks! Spectrum (formerly Time-Warner) sucks! Cox sucks! Grande I’ll let slide as they do try harder than Spectrum and Cox. Amerika’s shitty duopoly throughout the country is painful and reminiscent of our flawed politics. You hate what you have and the alternative is either much worse or not good enough to bother. Off to the races Google went…and then they slammed to a sudden halt! I was seriously bummed. What really sucked was hearing from people who managed to get Google Fiber. To this day, not one serious horror story with it or from interacting with their support people, unlike AT&T; many at Ma Bell are trying yet you know they’re not trained adequately.

What makes this entry even better, I ran into an employee on the street. I asked him, is it really happening? After he got clarification of where I lived he confirmed my little dream. I followed up with, how did we get so fortunate? Google can build its fiber as long as you live in Travis County and if you’re outside Austin, you have to be in an unincorporated area. Finally! Unincorporated has an advantage after 21 frickin’ years! I told him how AT&T is a bit panicked given how they lowered my bill a pittance (three whole dollars!). He chuckled and reminded me how AT&T’s fiber is bullshit since the stretch from the SLAM to my house is still Eighties-level copper, when Google arrives, it will be a pure Gigabit pipe for $70! Closing up, I had to know what was the timetable as the Web site stating availability is no help. By the end of 2022 to next quarter. I cannot wait. One co-worker told me, when you tell AT&T you’re ditching them for Google, the retention agent doesn’t even bother to make the empty pitch to get you to stay.

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Iffa aye-uh fitsa, aye-uh sitsa!

This was a first for my youngest cat Metztli. Normally when she wants to be alone and go into a deep sleep, she prefers a stool in the dining room because it’s probably the most defensible position. Then I saw her climbing into the bag this morning. I figured she was searching for food, find nothing and then move on. Nope, much to my glee, Metztli climbed in completely, found a way to turn around and then parked. She also didn’t mind being photographed. You know animals and children. Oh, I’m pretty confident, if Metztli could speak English, she wouldn’t sound like Chico Marx, the accent is due to where the bag came from.

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RIP Gallagher

It was pleasant to see many contemporary comedians writing nice things about Gallagher’s passing as he had been ridiculed as a hack stand-up for the last 30 years. However there was a time I remembered clearly when he wasn’t the low-brow prop comedian smashing watermelons on stage. Growing up in the Seventies, Gallagher was a regular stand-up doing a few minutes on The Mike Douglas Show or whenever a prime-time variety show had a comic. He even had a couple memorable jokes (paraphrased):

Since the Olympics will be in LA next year, the Soviets are training the athletes for our city’s standard conditions by making them run through a forest fire while breathing through a muffler.

The people of California are like a bowl of granola. Whoever aren’t fruits and nuts are flakes.

I didn’t say they were good jokes. They were timely and considered funny in their day. As for the props, those crept in later and by the mid Eighties came the schtick which lost him the masses and respect. I will readily admit I was probably amused the first couple times but I know before I finished high school, destroying perfectly good food was lame. It made money with a certain population like all those people pissing away money next year to see the unfunny Jeff Dunham.

Gallagher’s career wasn’t all bad. His storming off of Marc Maron’s podcast WTF was the incident I think that re-ignited Marc’s shot at having a third act. I remember hearing all about the incident even though I’ve never bothered to listen to the episode. Having heard it on NPR’s Fresh Air with the overrated Lou Reed’s temper tantrum with, of all hosts, Terri Gross, was enough for me to get the idea how it went down. In return, I followed Maron’s show for a few years.

Farewell Gallagher, thanks for the laugh during my childhood. You sure had a distinctive look and told jokes I repeated at school. Although, your shift to prop comedy wasn’t my cup of tea, you did what thought you had to do to make a living and compared to some other more egregious and unfunny people (Dave Chapelle, Dennis Miller, Fox News and Elon Musk), is forgivable.

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RIP Kevin Conroy

Sad to hear the person who was the voice of Batman for several decades passed away. Adam West put his mark on the character but Kevin really made Batman synonymous with him since he landed the role for the 1992 afternoon cartoon. He never felt typecast as he continued to provide his acting and spin on into the Superman and Justice League shows which followed. Then he was the go-to voice actor for the numerous video games I played Batman on my PlayStations. Kevin’s take definitely influence how others played the Dark Knight too: Diedrich Bader and and Will Arnett bring it down without growling so I wished Christian Slater got coached by Kevin as the movies were just ridiculous. “Umm, Batman, do you need a lozenge?”

Kevin was at the recent Austin Comic Book Convention I went to this Summer, the biggest attraction was Billy Dee Williams. I regret not bothering to get an autograph and all. I had no clue the great guy was ill. Most pictures and YouTube movies of him performing I saw…he was always thin. It’s OK though. The memory of his fantastic acting and being well loved by the voice acting community moves him into the company of immortals, alongside Mel Blanc, June Foray and Daws Butler.

Thanks for everything Kevin!

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HIATUS IS OVER FOR NOW

I’ve taken some time off from life in general; work, my hobbies, my routine, etc. to reflect on whether or not to keep going forward with life, the universe and everything. I was in a pretty awful, awful mood in general with all the same things.

Am I better?

It remains a-wait-and-see matter. Working closer with the doctor and therapist plus an additional medication to help me not really care…so much about everything.

The Midterms being over only helped a little. I really hate politics in Amerika. Nothing can go forward or well due to how it’s rigged to keep petty, regressive, wealthy bigots and their flunkies in power. Ergo, each cycle is an exercise in how much worse will it be this time since after Black Nixon, there’s never going to be someone who will turn the tide back as FDR did. Fascists are going to just keep banging on the gates until they get in…so they can change the rules to stay in power until there’s a coup, revolution, civil war or invasion by a greater power.

Putting Amerika’s Dysfunction aside, I have been pulling myself more together and Jennifer has been a huge help. The cats, they do their part by being cats. They love you regardless since you make them feel safe, loved and important. A couple trips to the dentist and medical doctor are helping. I don’t put too much stock into my Watch telling me to call for help when my heart rate hits 120+ bpm yet I can’t help worrying, “How is this possible while I’m sitting down?”

Other productive things to pass the time while heal up: I got myself down to just one storage space and assembling those awesome shelves I had built which leads to my home office being less and less cluttered. Hell, I can walk straight to the closet from my desk and/or the entrance now!

I’ll close with one last positive incident helping me push toward bringing Picayune back. Finally meeting and talking to comedian Blair Socci. I found out she did read my entry about her last year for Italian Heritage month! So the message in a bottle does wash up on a worthy shore on occasion!

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