Saturday, November 22, 2014

Comic Review -- G.I. Joe (Vol. 4): The Fall of G.I. Joe

After a five-month hiatus, G.I. Joe is back at IDW with G.I. Joe: The Fall of G.I. Joe, written by Karen Traviss, art by Steve Kurth.  I started reading G.I. Joe (Vol. 3) in the wake of the last G.I. Joe movie, the one that starred Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson as Roadblock, and I liked it.  Full disclosure: I don’t usually concern myself over-much with whether or not G.I. Joe makes any sense or is at all realistic.  My girls and I enjoy sitting down occasionally to watch some of the old 80s-era G.I. Joe cartoons onNetflix, and I’ve read several volumes worth of the old Larry Hama comics via Comixology.  None of that stuff is overly serious, but it’s presented in a genuine, rarely cynical action-movie spirit that I can’t help but enjoy.  But.  Traviss was a Naval Reservist and a defense correspondent, and she and IDW both go to some trouble in the new volume’s back matter to let readers know that hers is the “realistic” take on G.I. Joe.  
That’s fine.  If that’s the way they’re playing it, I can certainly play along.

Friday, November 21, 2014

5 Things on a Friday: The New Dance is a Chicken Dance

If you came looking for the new Faith No More song, then I'm afraid you're bound to be disppointed.  But don't worry.  I've got something even better!

Let's do this.
***
“Ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna next week, there are some contradictory theories about why Saudi Arabia is content to keep oil cheap for the time being. One is that the Saudis want to nip the U.S. oil boom in the bud. American shale oil is more expensive to produce and needs high prices to remain competitive. As one analyst put it when the kingdom cut prices for U.S. customers earlier this month, ‘the Saudis have basically declared war on the U.S. oil producers.’
But there’s a competing narrative, or ‘conspiracy theory’ if you prefer, that the Saudis are waging war in cooperation with the United States, against their mutual enemies Russia and Iran.
The problem with this analysis is that there’s no “or” here.  The Saudis have the largest production capacity, and they are using it to control the market.  That’s it.  Oil production is their niche in the global economy.  They are using market power to defend their position.  That is not news, nor should it come as a surprise.  Nor, for that matter, is it the first time they’ve done it.  Their actions may well be the final proof of the success of American production—the market leader has had to take steps to bring its new competitor under control—but that’s still not telling us anything we didn’t already know.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Army Football Preview: vs. Fordham

That was some drubbing on Saturday.  I thought in the early going that Army might have a chance, but a bad snap went over the punter’s head, and then Army’s kicker botched a chip-shot field goal.  After that, the game was never in doubt.  This year’s Black Knights are not the kind of team that can come from behind.  In the second half, Western Kentucky looked like world-beaters.  Well, we knew it was gonna be a shoot-out.  Army needed to run the ball, score points, and manage time of possession successfully, and for most of the first half they did exactly that.  However, giving up a short field early was not on the program, nor was allowing a 50-yard Hail Mary to go for a touchdown right before the half.  This year’s Army team has been maddeningly good in spots, but they are an inconsistent bunch playing a style of football that requires a high level of consistency.  They have heart and athleticism, but they make mistakes and can’t overcome them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sketch in My Notebook: Wolfgang & Salamatu (Part 2)

New story.  This one is supposed to be a Christmas present for my wife.  Between you and me, I'm not sure the story is working yet, but I'm hoping that if I can at least get a draft story structure in place, I'll be able clean up the scene structure and language later.  Of course, I've got to get to a stopping place and do that before Christmas...  That's the challenge.

If you missed part 1, it's here.

***

Wolfgang &  Salamatu
Chapter 1: The Hunt (Part 2)

Time passes.  Lunch is taken, and the courtiers’ spirits revived.  The dogs lap at the water and play, slowly getting their energy back.  The hunt begins gradually to revive itself.  At length the King stands and belches, takes one last swig from a flagon of ale that one of his minions has produced from somewhere or other, and announces that it’s time--at last--to hunt some boar.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Offseason Training Log: 11/10 to 11/16 (Week 6)

I got out of the hospital in late August, spent ten days recovering from an infusion of massive antibiotics, tried to come back too quickly, spent three more weeks recovering and slowly building my fitness, and now, finally, I’m six weeks into an informal offseason program in preparation for the coming triathlon season.  I still haven’t done much hard training, but after month and a half of steady work, I started feeling it this week.  I kind of hit the wall.  I’ve still been able to work up to a decent effort at times, but I’m starting to feel like it’s time for a Rest Week.  Fact is, recovery is a necessary part of training.  This being the offseason, now is hardly the time to overwork.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Today's Swim Workout

Haven't been feeling real great in the water this week.  Overall, I've been feeling tired this week.  This is Week 6 of my offseason training program, and I'm about ready for a break.  I've put in at least 100 points every week for the last six, and that's okay, but it's wearing on me a little.  Given that this is the offseason, that's not the plan.

I built today's practice with a bit of fatigue in mind.  I wanted to put in 3000 yards, but I did not want to turn it into a long, grinding style workout.

Saturday Morning Movies

This video is amazing...


The game afterwards wasn't bad, either.