Bridges, and the lack thereof

November 1st, 2009

So, the Bay Bridge is still closed. Which means that commuters will be moving south (and north, but I don't care about that), and clogging my bridge. Yes, mine. I've been commuting across it for over 13 years, so I think I have a pretty good claim to it.

Now, the Bay Bridge broke, and, obviously, it needs to be fixed. But it sort of was, except...

A quick fix - a brace designed to take pressure off the eyebar - was installed over Labor Day weekend, but engineers failed to appropriately factor how weather and traffic would affect the repair.

Really? "Failed to appropriate factor" little details, like tens of thousands of cars every day, traveling across a bridge that spans a bay that has been known to get a little bit damp, and just a bit windy? Perhaps they could have overbuilt that repair?

Because at this point, they could have built a new Bay Bridge out of gold, mithril, and unicorn horns. And it would have cost 1/10 as much. Well, at least 1/2. Unicorn horns are probably fairly expensive, even when you buy them in bulk.

Things I do while driving

October 1st, 2009

For no reason, other than to be obstinate and perverse, I like to deliberately mistranslate personalized license plates. (I don't like giving the bastards the satisfaction of reading their plates correctly! Even if they will never know!)

This morning, for example, I saw the license plate NZTYHBT. Which, of course, reads "New Zealand Thanks You, Hobbit." Obviously, it's a somewhat oblique nod to Peter Jackson, and an indication of LotR fandom.

Comics and movies and cons

September 10th, 2009

For years, many people (yes, that includes me) complained that ComicCon (and lately, WonderCon) has been taken over by the movie studios, which are crowding out the actual comic content of the comic book convention. Plus, of course, more movies/TV = more people attending the con, many of whom are not die-hard fans of comic books, but are just those lower-class, secondhand fans who enjoy scifi/fantasy movies/TV shows.

Now, of course, the movie studios are taking that final step, and taking over the comic companies: Disney buying Marvel, and now this, the creation of "DC Entertainment",

...charged with strategically integrating the DC Comics business, brand and characters deeply into Warner Bros. Entertainment

I.e.: Movies and video games:

The new company will concentrate on feature films, television, and interactive entertainment in addition to comics.

I think "in addition to" can be replaced with "as a priority over".

However, killing the comic books would be self-defeating*, and I'm sure that the people running these companies realize it. After all, you can only milk the existing IPs so much...well, ok, there are a lot of characters, and they could probably kill the comic book business and have enough stuff to work with for quite a while. But I'm betting that they view the comic book part of the business as a pool of ideas from which they can pull new IPs every so often. Which would keep the comic book industry going, but every new character is going to be looked at as a potential movie, TV, or game property.

*At least right now, but maybe not so much in a few years. Publishing is expensive, and maybe they'll find a better way to recruit new writers and artists.

Have we hit the bottom of the barrel yet?

September 9th, 2009

"Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is again blasting the Democrats health care proposal, this time in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal."

Who f*&*!#g cares? Palin proved to be painfully unqualified to be Vice President, and then quit her job as governor. Governor of one of the least-populous states (#47); a state with a population smaller than San Mateo county.

Does anyone ask what the current governor of North Dakota thinks about health care? Or the current governor of Wyoming? Hell, maybe the current governor of a state with a much larger Delaware, Montana, or Rhode Island?

Then again, maybe they could find someone who is actually qualified to speak on the subject. Yes, I know that's too much to ask.

Random Music Recommendation

August 28th, 2009

Nat Johnson and the Figureheads

Some of her songs (see the two demos) sound like a more upbeat, folksier Cat Power. But don't writer her off as yet another folksy singer-songwriter until you listen to "Dirty Rotten Soul". It's a brilliant, two-and-a-quarter minute bit of pop goodness: nicely jangly, skiffle-y, and ridiculously catchy.