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text 2020-03-28 12:22
OT: Long, boring post

Being stuck inside most of the time, I've grown increasingly bored. Normally, I'd at least help tidy up, do the dishes and best of all (no irony) do the laundry. However, since the house isn't the least bit childproof, I have to stick to my son like a leech. Poor thing, he's probably tired of me by now. All I can do is, once in a while, keep an eye on what's going on online. The problem is, whatever is going on, it's not going on in my feeds and on my dashboards... :)

Under other circumstances, we’d be exploring our new neighborhood, but as it is, we can just go to the shops a few times a week. We try to go outside as little as possible. There’s a patio outside but it’s not very nice. You get the impression every neighbor can see us there. It’s also a bit bare. Everything’s very monochrome. Mainly grey with a bit of black here and there. When were at Lidl we were eying an orange tree longingly, but it’s quite expensive and right now, we need to keep an eye on our expenses. There were also violets or pansies in a big lilac pot. They were very pretty and not as expensive. We might get those later, we’ll see. I also want more indoor plants. I have a few I had to leave behind but at the moment, with the borders closed, we can’t get to them. I’m keeping my fingers crossed they won’t die. My lovely Monstera Deliciosa that I got for my confirmation died a few years ago, but at least one of its 'children' was still alive when my sister was last back at the house. We might get something for the patio, to get more privacy and some chairs and a table so we sit outside some time in the evenings.

We absolutely need to get more toys for the children. They’re not even allowed to play in any playground so we haven’t even gone out looking for one.

No matter how inconvenient this is, I know there are others much worse off and we just need to think of them and be grateful we’re doing as well as we are.

I’ve already done a bit of exploring in Second Life, so now I’m probably going to look for a concert and try listening to some music.

We took the opportunity of reconnecting with a second cousin that I haven't met since we were both six. I sincerely hope he doesn't remember that occasion, because I wasn't very nice to him then. LOL. It seems not. He seems nice, but we don't have anything in common.

I also decided to try to log on to my email accounts. Sadly, it turns out I haven't logged into one of my main accounts for more than six months and they are deleting it, if they haven't already done so. Even if it isn't completely gone, they can't reverse the process or let me get the same address again. :( So I decided to get a similar one on my other account. No use crying over spilled milk, even though I almost did. Sigh.

I should try to save and then archive my old homepages/blogs and start new ones. No one will be interested in my ancient history. I'll probably change the name too. I'll see. We will probably keep our fan fiction up until further notice but it's not that simple unfortunately. We'll need to change things over quite a bit. Our personal blogs will be easier. I would love to have somewhere to just 'chat'. I have a private blog where I gush over all the cute things my children and nieces have done, that I promised I wouldn't spam my followers with. :) It used to be where I was whining about my life but nowadays I find that I mainly post about the children. I was born to be a mother.

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review 2019-06-17 00:00
Superman: The Golden Age Sundays, 1943-1946
Superman: The Golden Age Sundays, 1943-1946 - Wayne Boring,Jack Burnley,Whitney Ellsworth,Jack Schiff The ‘Superman Sunday’ pages were written and drawn during World War II and that’s important to remember. One of the most perceptive comments about that war I ever read was made by Len Deighton, the British thriller writer, who also dabbled in history. He pointed out that during the war we didn’t know we were going to win. Certainly, from a British point of view, it looked as if we were certain to lose at one point, about to be over-run by a truly evil regime. When you realise that, it gives the whole thing a very different perspective from the heroic nostalgia of retrospection. At the time, people were terrified.

Maybe not so much in the United States, where Superman hangs his cape, but even Americans were under threat and their especially perceived menace, as this book demonstrates, from the Japanese. There is a lot of nasty stuff in here about the ‘Japs’ and much of the content, both words and pictures, is overtly racist. This has to be put in context but there’s a warning about it in the introduction by Mark Waid to ‘readers of Asian descent and/or nervous dispositions and/or a speck of human decency’. There is irony in two Jewish comic creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, producing such stuff at the time of the Third Reich. Just goes to show we all have our blind spots, especially when in danger.

The approach to Hitler and his henchmen, on the other hand, is almost jovial. In one set of strips, Superman goes to meet the leaders of the Third Reich – ‘the nasty nabobs of Nazism’ – whereupon those ‘supermen’ of the master race dress up in Superman costumes and assure him they all belong on the same side! Cartoons of Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and Hitler in super-hero costume are quite amusing sixty years on. Poking fun at the big bad menace is also a way of bringing it down to size.

But, you may ask, why didn’t Superman just go out there and thrash the enemy himself? This issue obviously had to be sidestepped. Clark Kent avoided the draft by a genuine error. He was reading an eye chart but was so keyed up with anticipation to enlist that he inadvertently used his x-ray vision and read the chart in the next room! He failed the test. Superman, meanwhile, generally opined that American men and women could easily win the war without his help. It would have been ‘presumptuous’ for him to intervene. Of course, he does intervene all over the place. That’s what the strips are about

Clark Kent does a column following the exploits of Dave Cooper, a model Army Air Corps Cadet. Nazi spies led by ‘Eyeglasses’ are out for a propaganda coup by discrediting Dave. Happily, Superman is always on hand to save the young chap. Eyeglasses vows that Superman’s interference ‘shall not deter me from my avowed determination to link misfortune and dishonour to the name of David Cooper’. He has a pretty nifty vocabulary for a newspaper cartoon villain.

Too many of the stories are about ‘Superman’s service for servicemen’ whereby, in response to sack loads of mail, our hero does favours for the fighting forces. One chap is worried that some bloke is after his girl back home. A girl has a similar problem when a ‘mutual friend’ tells her that her man prefers someone else. The ‘friend’ is Lily Field. ‘She toils not, neither does she spin.’ Clever scripting again. Superman spanks her! He couldn’t have done that under the Comics Code Authority. What with Wonder Woman tying everyone up and him spanking, super-heroes were a pretty frisky bunch back in the 1940s. On the more positive side for feminists, there is loads of praise for women’s contribution to the war both in the services and back home.

There’s quite a lot of front line action. A desk-bound officer in Washington DC requests that Superman take him to Asia for a weekend so he can get involved for real. Several ‘Japs’ are duly bashed about. However, this portrayal of the fighting as a bit of a lark where the enemy was far inferior to the mighty American male and easily dispatched might not have been so pleasing to those actually on the front line, where things were pretty damn tough. I suppose they took it as a joke.

When the war is finally over, there’s a reprisal of Superman’s origin. The story is familiar but I noted that Ma and Pa Kent are quite elderly and not so glamorous as in later incarnations, especially on television. Pa is a bald, bespectacled little man who wears a derby hat. There’s a gangster yarn in which Clark Kent gets his job on the Daily Planet, then an adventure on the planet Suprania in which another lady gets spanked! Not by Superman this time but he is encouraging the fellow who does it. After the beating. Queen Arda says that the spanker is ‘strong and masterful’ and she may marry him. Ah, the good old days. Next is a story set in a circus but the war is the main thing here.

It’s worth mentioning that the scripting is often witty and the art is quite charming in its own cartoonish way. Each strip takes one page and there are usually about eleven panels, all rectangular. Within these limitations, the lads do a good job of storytelling. Which lads, though? As with many early comic strips, it is difficult to know who actually did the work. The credits on this edition say ‘Scripts by Jerry Siegel and DC Comics’ and ‘Artwork by Wayne Boring and Jack Burnley’. The introduction to this magnificent volume mentions ‘Siegel, Shuster and their assistants’ struggling to meet the demand for strips. I will leave the question of who did what to those many pundits on the net. Whoever did it, they are well-served by this large, beautiful bound volume in glorious colour. No squinting at tiny lettering or little pictures with this production.

The book would probably not be on the average fan’s must-have list. It is what it is: dated one-page comic strips written for a particular moment in history. I found it interesting and not nearly as awful to read as I thought it might be at first glance. Superman aficionados should snap it up and collecting these historical items into this well-produced volume is good work by the publisher.

Eamonn Murphy
This review first appeared at https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/

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review 2019-04-23 14:51
Last Victim by Karen Robards
The Last Victim - Karen Robards

I liked Charlie's ideas and suggestions while working and the end of the book was quite exciting but it's still a 2.5 star book. There were too many inner monologues and not enough tension. They were chasing a serial killer, racing against the clock, but I was bored. I also didn't enjoy the love story. Charlie had to choose between two men and her choice made me sick. It just went against everything I knew about the woman. 


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review 2019-04-19 19:33
The Hero by Robyn Carr
The Hero - Robyn Carr

I'm so sorry to say it but I was bored. The whole story sounded like a retelling of the book - not enough dialogue for me. I actually forgot the main characters' names and had to check them before writing about the book in my blog and I had just finished it. It also seemed like some parts of the story were missing, like Jacob finding Devon and so on.
The beginning of the story was quite good but the book should have started earlier. I wanted to read about Devon and Laine's friendship and how they lived on the farm. And although Devon's escape and living in Rawley's house was rather good, her romance with Spencer was dull. 

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review 2019-04-13 10:00
The Promise by Kristen Ashley
The Promise - Kristen Ashley

I'd been waiting for the perfect moment to read this book. So, finally, the weather was warm and sunny, I had my cold drink  and was sitting in the garden.  And after reading 10% ... I was bored out of my mind.


Some days later I tried again. This was torture. I read 20% and nothing happened. So disappointing.


Third try. I can do this. I'm ready. I can conquer this book...



At 32 %

I'm done.  I imagine this is worse than Chinese water torture. It's soooo slow, has pages and pages of description and nothing has happened.

I actually loathe Benny's family. Where's the grovelling? After years of bullshit, they own her some serious grovelling. And there's nothing, nada, zilch,.. because Frankie is such a "generous soul". Yeach! You are a fucking doormat, Frankie!


Bye, bye, The Promise. I hope to never meet you again.

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