For my family, my biological family and my German host kids and grandkids.

For my friends, the ones I see in person and those I see mostly on Facebook.

For a good job and good house, when not everyone can say that.

For two goofy cats, even when Hector wants me to get up at 6:00 am.

For a good writing year, with works coming out in a variety of publications that I am proud of.

And thank you for reading. Best thoughts and wishes for all.

Alternate Titles for Superman vs. Batman

Warner Brothers recently registered possible titles for the next Superman movie starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. Wonder Woman is rumored to be making an appearance as well. Here are some more titles they may want to consider.

1. Man of Steel 2: Men in Tights

2. Man of Steel 2: Not Owned by Disney Yet!

3. Man of Steel 2: At least it’s not Nicholas Cage!

4. Man of Steel 2: Still better than Superman Returns

5. Man of Steel 2: Way better than Gigli

6. Man of Steel 2: Clash of the Titans (and it will still be closer to mythology than either one of those movies.)

7. Man of Steel 2: Good Kal-el Hunting

8. Man of Steel 2: Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (Magic lasso anyone?)

9. Man of Steel 2: The Return of Loki (Because Tom Hiddleston is that popular)

10. Man of Steel 2: I’m F***ing Ben Affleck (with Jimmy Kimmel)

10 things you probably don’t really care if you know about me

I decided to join in the Facebook game, but decided to do it here as well. So —

1. I was a teenage talking reindeer.

2.. Despite being from Ohio, I have never gone cow tipping.

3. My first “real” (not in the school newspaper) was in 1984 in The Wooster Review. I had won the Ohio High School Creative Writing Contest with a science fiction story called “Sidewalk Sale.” It was about a group of small businesses who revive the concept of sidewalk sales to compete against the big stores. Among the items sold were sonic suppositories.

4. For me,  Steve Austin will always be the Six Million Dollar Man.

5. As a kid, when swimming, I used to pretend I was The Man From Atlantis.

6. I have a Bachelor of Philosophy but I have never taken a philosophy course.

7. I have had dinner with both Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin, though not at the same time and I’m sure neither one would remember it.

8. I have been to all 50 states as well as 4 Canadian Provinces.

9. I have slept in all four hemispheres.

10. I have never been abducted by aliens and frankly, I’m bitter about that.

Almost Human – Almost Original

Some spoilers!

At 8:00, Hector (my very large black cat) and I sat down to watch the new show Almost Human. Hector was unimpressed and quickly fell asleep in my lap. I, however, stayed awake and  liked the show.

While the human/android pairing is hardly original, the show kept my interest. I liked the parallel of both John and Dorian being “asleep” for several years, one in a coma, one decommissioned.  It was a nice touch. The interaction between the characters was good. Dorian is predictably more “human” than his flesh and blood counterpart though that seems likely to  change. The show is taking the buddy cop genre into science fiction television, which could be good.

The dystopian world it is set in is a bit grim and ultraviolent. I was surprised this aired at 8:00 pm. Legs being blown off and skin basically melting seems a little much for “family hour.” (Does that even exist any more?)

I look forward to seeing where the show will go. It will give me something to watch on Monday nights now that I’ve given up on Sleep Hollow.

Thor: The Dark World

So last week I discussed the idea of Disney combining its franchises, not realizing they already had. Thor: The Dark World was a good movie and it certainly had tinges of Star Wars added to it.

First, Disney has been careful in the three appearances of Thor and Loki not to call them gods. This movie is no exception, with Odin even stating that fact. Instead, they are portrayed, as are the Dark Elves, as aliens with super science/magic. We have a giant death star (though not round) and flying battle ships that look a bit like TIE fighters. The energy weapons of the bad guys fire red while the Asgardians’ blades shine with blue energy. At least Odin doesn’t say “Use the Force, Thor.”

I enjoyed the movie, liking it better than the first one. It has what a superhero movie needs: action, story, good characters, and a bit of humor. We all know how major franchise movies are going to end; the fun is getting there. This movie has a lot of fun getting there and yet isn’t too terribly predictable. And visually, it was  a treat.

But don’t be surprised if Disney releases Princess versions of the Lady Sif and Jane Foster.

What if Disney Combined Its Franchises?

What if Disney Combined Its Franchises?

In anticipation of the new Thor movie, what would a combination of Disney properties look like?

Star Wars XXXIV: Young Princess Hanseleia Solo, the spunky daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo is in danger when the Empire returns with a new Death Star (a giant sphere with “ears” on either side to collect solar energy). She asks for help from the Force. Suddenly, a wormhole opens up and drops a magic amulet into her lap. With it, she can summon other princesses to help. Snow White, Cinderella, and Ariel are unable to assist, but Princess Jasmine gives her access to the Genie’s lamp. Princess Hanseleia makes a wish that her planet be saved. The Genie goes through an epic ad lib monologue before summoning The Mighty Avengers!

Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye all appear. Iron Man scans the new Death Star and sees one weakness: a ventilation shaft only 5 cm in diameter! However, Captain America comes up with a plan. The Avengers attack. The Hulk smashes lots of TIE-fighters and Thor summons lightning, even though there is no atmosphere, to destroy even more. Finally, after many battles where they are nearly killed, Cap, Black Widow, and Hawkeye get close enough and Hawkeye sends an arrow into the heart of the Death Star. They all get away just as it blows up.

Afterwards, Genie, Jasmine, and Hanseleia and the Avengers have a relaxing dinner eating shawarma.