21st Century Girl

My daughter Morgan was notified today that she’s been accepted into the 21st Century School Animal Health program at Olathe North High School. Morgan, her mom and I are all very excited at the opportunities to study and work she’ll have while in high school.┬áIt also shows that she’s not only smarter than I am but a much harder worker and much more motivated than I was at that age.

I’m very, very proud of her.

Kindling

My mother bought herself a new Kindle for Christmas and passed her Kindle 2 along to me. I have some pretty major problems with e-books, but I’m generally not one to turn down a gift, so here I am with a Kindle.

I read my first book on the Kindle recently. I have to admit, it was a pretty great experience all around. The Kindle is lightweight and small enough that it’s really nice to carry around. It’s also nice having a device with a bunch of books on it. It’s nice to be able to hold the Kindle and turn pages with one hand. The text size and display is really good, too. Overall, I’m glad to use the Kindle.

That being said, there are things I can’t do with the Kindle that I often do with books, like quickly flip back and forth between widely-separated pages. There’s also the question of DRM. I absolutely refuse to put anything with DRM on my Kindle. I can remove DRM from books I buy from the Kindle store, but I’m not very happy giving Amazon money for products with DRM, even if I end up removing it. Still, there are a lot of free (and DRM-free) books out there to keep me reading for a while.

So it turns out I’m pro-electronic reading device and pro-digital book, although I think we’re a long, long way off from e-books actually replacing bound books.

Moving to a New Home

Two or three of you may have noticed that in the past two weeks, my website has been down a few times, sometimes for up to 12 hours or more. I really like my hosts, Logjamming, but when I’ve emailed their support about my website being down, I haven’t gotten a reply. And their website has been down for the past few days. What’s a poor boy to do?

After asking around on Twitter and checking out some other hosts, I decided to switch to Laughing Squid. I like their name, I like their attitude toward art and culture, and they host (among others) The Nerdist. And I like their rates. I started the switchover process yesterday and just finished it, with some help from Laughing Squid’s very nice support.

Unfortunately, I had a problem backing up my blog before I switched over, so I lost the two most recent posts. I added them back, but lost a couple of comments. Still, everything seems to be working really well, so I’m awfully happy.

Thanks, Laughing Squid!

Justice for Palm City

The Cape premiered this past Sunday night. I was nervous about it. Superheroes aren’t often treated well on TV, but I really wanted to like it, if for no other reason than I’m a sucker for Summer Glau.

I’m happy to say I liked it a lot. It was fun and adventurous, with just the right amount of camp, not too serious but not too goofy. It had a really nice Silver Age/Bronze Age comics feel. Keith David in particular was wonderfully playful and hammy, without going completely over the top. I loved the circus freaks and the fact that the hero uses illusions, escapism and hypnotism to fight crime. The dialogue is often corny, the characters aren’t exactly three-dimensional and the plot is often a bit thin. But it’s nicely paced, well acted and entertaining as hell.

Now I’m a bit worried. Heroes was fun at the beginning, too, but it soon fell into being repetitive, overly moody, nonsensical and boring. The Cape needs walk the balance between taking itself too seriously and not taking itself seriously enough. It needs to stay exciting, light and fun without straying into 1960s Batman-style camp. And it needs to stay serious, dramatic and engaging without becoming mopey and dull.

I’ll keep watching The Cape for now, because it’s fun, and I’m an optimist. I really hope it stays strong.

Forging Ahead

About six months ago, a very nice chap I knew on FriendFeed, Dan Morrill, asked me if I’d like to review graphic novels for his website, Comics Forge. I said, “Hell yes, I would!” He sent me a batch of graphic novels, I read some…and then time dragged, people got busy, and, well, I know have an account on the site and I’m posting reviews. To be honest, I think my first few reviews have been pretty stiff, but I’m just finding my feet with this. Still, I’m pretty excited to be reviewing comics, since I love the medium so much.

If you’re so inclined, feel free to follow my reviews on Comics Forge.

Project 365

I’ve been thinking about doing a 365 day project this year, as part of my move to exercise my creativity more. Then my friend Kathryn Greenhill invited me to a Flickr group, Daily Image 2011. I decided to join the group and take a self-portrait every day this year. But I don’t just want them to be a sequence of similar shots of my face, so I’ll try to be creative about the whole self-portrait thing.

I was a little hesitant to commit to this, since it seemed a bit egocentric and narcissistic to me. But then I decided, “What the hell! Why not be a little egocentric and narcissistic?” The thing is, for most of my life, I’ve been uncomfortable having my picture taken because I’ve been self-conscious and insecure about my looks. For the past few years, I’ve pushed myself to get over that by posting more photos of myself online. I see this project as a way to push myself more, as well as a way to be more creative on a daily basis.

I’ve started the project off with a video. And if you want to follow the entire Project 365, it will be in a Flickr set. Here we go, to a creative, self-indulgent 2011!