Saturday, February 12, 2005

So I broke down and bought me an iMac. Pretty much loving it so far, although the keyboard cord is too short and the mouse cord is too long. Go figure. So I've got things a little oddly arranged on the desk right now. Had a few hiccups getting connected to the Internet, since the cable modem apparently thought it was still connected to a PC (bastard), but all is right with the connection now. Obviously.

Sent in my comics order for April today, which is the first one without Batman on it. I want to say I'll miss it... but I doubt it. It's just become pretty superfluous, and there's a ton of Batman-related miniseries and stuff coming out this summer, to tie in with the new movie, so I think I'll survive.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel: SCI FI renews Galactica

Okay, Star Trek: Enterprise may be cancelled, but at least next year, I'll still be able to watch Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica. (This actually isn't much of a surprise, as apparently, Galactica is the highest-rated of the three...)

Monday, February 07, 2005

SCIFI.COM | Battlestar Galactica

Forgot to mention that tomorrow, SciFi is running a marathon of all five Battlestar Galactica series episodes to date. So, if you've been wondering how the show can possibly be as good as I've been saying it is, since it is, after all, Battlestar Galactica, here's your chance to find out.
Lessee... Haven't talked about new foods in a while. Probably because the medicine helps kill my appetite. (I now, for the first time in I can't remember how long, have a freezer full of frozen dinners, just so I can quickly make something in those rare occasions I feel hungry.) However, I treated myself to Pizza the Hut's new "Dippin' Sauce Pizza," since I am a complete sucker for anything dipped into sauces, particularly Ranch (which I don't actually like on salads; go figure). Not bad, and actually better than most other recent Pizza Hut experiences.

Much more pleasant is Dr Pepper's new diet vanilla cherry soda. I swear, sometimes, it's like they're just making stuff just for me. (Although I still have yet to try a diet Jones Soda, so who knows if I've truly tasted heaven yet?)

Doubt I have the ability to stay up and watch Medium tonight, and I'm already an episode behind on Carnivale and Unscripted... So much TV, so little time...
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel: Stars Join SG-1, Atlantis

Now I don't mean to belittle the quality of the Stargate TV series, since I enjoy them both so very much (I say without any sense of irony whatsoever), but really, you only have to look at Lou Gossett's career to see the true value of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, don't you?
So I've had the same computer since 1998, and I'm sick of it. It just seems to keep developing more and more problems, and running slower and slower. The latest version of Norton Antivirus seems to be the biggest drag on its system, but while one solution would be finding a different antivirus program, the simple fact is, it's old and out of date. Microsoft doesn't even provide support for my operating system any more. So I'm going to replace it, and it's going to be with an iMac, at my brother's recommendation. I get out from under the thumb of Windows, I get a more elegant computer that does what little I need it to do, and move on with my life.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

As if the toll my pseudotumor medication is taking on my body isn't enough, now I keep having to butt heads with my insurance company to get the new, increased dosage prescription filled. See, I had the original-strength prescription refilled about a week before I visited the doctor, who then upped the dosage. So, obviously, I went through the pills faster because I was taking more of them. I had mailed the new, increased dosage prescription into my insurance company's mail order pharmacy partner, because there's no co-pay if I get a 90-day supply from them. (It's, like $30 for me to buy them at a local pharmacy.)

Of course, the mail-order pills don't show up, and I start to get pretty low. So I call my doctor and ask her to phone in a prescription to my local pharmacy, because I know from experience that they won't just give me a refill if they think it hasn't been enough time for me to have used up all the pills I got last time. This is what happened with the last medication when she changed my dosage, so this time, I called the pharmacy first, and they said to have the doctor call them. So, of course, when I get to the pharmacy, they haven't filled the prescription because the insurance company won't let them, even though the doctor had phoned in the new prescription to explain why I was going through the pills faster. And they tell me there's nothing they can do, that I need to call my insurance company and talk to them.

So I go home and call RxAmerica, and explain the situation. And once they understand what's going on, they say that all the pharmacy needs to do is to call them for an override. Which is something the pharmacy could have done while I was there, instead of making me go all the way home, and then come all the way back.

And the woman behind the counter is still rude to me.

And, to top it all off, I find out that the reason the mail-order pills didn't come in a timely manner is the same reason: the insurance company doesn't believe it's been enough time for me to get a refill. And now I've just got another month's worth of pills, so they'll be even more convinced that I'm stocked up for the time being and don't need any more. As if the mail is somehow instantaneously teleported from them to me or something, as if there's no need for me to try to get the pills on the way from them before I run out. God.

And I don't even want to be taking the things in the first place. They make me tired, they make me have trouble concentrating, they upset my stomach, and if I was taking one more per day, they'd give me a rash. And now I have to go through all this frustration, just to get the things in the first place.

In other news, it will probably come as a big surprise to folks who know me that I've decided to stop buying Batman, the comic book. (Still planning on reading Detective Comics, one of the other three monthly comics featuring him.) Batman has been my favorite hero since... well, since I first discovered superheroes, I guess, and it feels weird giving up yet another comic that he stars in, particularly the main one. But I'm just not enjoying it the way I used to.

Part of it is my general realization that I'm no longer interested in the monthly superhero/supervillain battles that most ongoing superhero comics present. I mean, Green Lantern: Rebirth is probably the purest example of a truly awful superhero comic, but the fans seem willing to overlook that because it's still hitting all the right genre-element-buttons. It's just hitting them in a spectacularly awful way. But in reading it, I'm realizing that, even when done well, the idea of an ongoing superhero-fights-supervillain series isn't something that appeals any more. Nothing has any lasting impact, because there will always be a new villain next month, a new fight, and everything might be undone with the explanation that people were possessed by yellow fear aliens, so what's the point anyway?

So that's part of my general dissatisfaction with ongoing superhero comics right now. Another comes from my reading Killing Monsters by Gerard Jones, where he talks about why kids read superhero comics. They are, he claims, a way for kids to work through feelings of violence and anger, to confront evil in a safe environment. And reading it laid out like that, I can't help feeling that I'm just too old for that.

Plus, in case I haven't mentioned it, Doctor Who comes back in less than two months, and that's a hero much closer to my own heart. So my enthusiasm for Batman has been shoved aside somewhat.

And, on top of everything else, the last couple of issues of Batman haven't been very good. The art, by Doug Mahnke, co-creator of the Mask, is just fine, but the writing, by Pulitzer-prize-winning Judd Winick, is nothing special. Even worse, when a friend called to ask me how come the latest issue appeared to completely contradict the previous one, I had completely forgotten what had happened. And if that's the kind of an impression the comic is going to leave on me, then there's no point to my continuing to buy it. (Plus, we get it at the library, so I can keep reading it for free.)

Much more worth my time: Blue Girl by Charles de Lint. I've been a fan of de Lint's for a number of years now, and while I'm actually a little behind on his adult novels, I went ahead and started this one, his latest. For the past 15 years or so, almost all his books and short stories are set in the fictional city of Newford. The short stories tend to focus on a recurring cast of characters who show up as supporting characters in the novels. The last two adult novels, however, have brought those supporting characters into the limelight, which is quite nice for his longtime readers. This one, however, is for young adults, and focuses on new characters (and hopefully won't give away any surprises from the books I haven't read yet).

For one thing, he's a beautiful writer. When I think about how I want to write, it always seems to be in a style that's halfway de Lint and halfway Neil Gaiman. (Only it never comes out that way, because I can't concentrate long enough to craft a sentence the way I want it. Just the sort of stream-of-consciousness rambling I do here, that's about all I can manage.) But I also love his work for the way he shows the subtle magic going on behind the scenes, just out of sight. Because his real world people and places seem so well-drawn, I can accept the magic when it turns up.

That's about all for now. Going to go watch the Friday night Scifi shows I recorded because I no longer seem capable of staying up past 9:00 on Fridays...