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Lest Hartnell Be Forgot

For those who are fans of the Doctor Who tv series, and those who were fans of the actor...

William Hartnell, the first actor to play the Doctor on the Doctor Who series, was born on this day in 1908.

For me, Hartnell will always be the definitive version of the Doctor in the series, as I grew up with him as a kid back in the early and mid-1960's. When I got older, I finally caught some of Hartnell's performances in other things he had done over the years, and came to truly appreciate his acting abilities.

William Hartnell was a superb actor, and he will never be forgotten by folks who loved and admired his acting abilities, and who came to know him as the *First* Doctor on the tv series that we have all come to know and love.

Getting Ready for Friday Night Gaming

The weather in Ottawa today has been relatively warm, around 1degC, and it's all melting outside from what I can tell. However, no precipitation in the forecast. Yay! The Friday night gamers are coming out this evening to play, so I'm looking forward to gaming with them this evening.

The Friday night gamers will be continuing their campaign of the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG this evening. I'm looking forward to the game, and can't wait to play with Kathy and the rest of the Friday night crew. This will be my first gaming session of 2019, and the first Friday night session of the new year. Can't wait!

Expecting the gaming group any time now, as we're doing pizza and salad tonight. :)

Have a good evening, folks. :)

Books Read in December, 2018

Since it is the new month of January (and it's barely a couple of days old)... As is my standard usage of my blog space at or near the beginning of the month, I present the listing of my December, 2018 reads.

Books Read in December, 2018

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

November, 2018 Locus

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Hasib and the Queen of Serpents by David B (Graphic Novel)

Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

December, 2018 Reader’s Digest

Adventure Comics #247 - Superboy #124 (Legion of Super-Heroes) (Comics) (r)

The Reader by Traci Chee

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume I by Paul Levitz and Steve Crow (RPG) (r)

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume II: The World Book by The Adventure Architects (RPG) (r)

2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook by Tom and Mary Bierbaum (RPG) (r)

Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns

December, 2018 was a good month in terms of reading, if one counted mostly Legion of Super-Heroes comics from the dim and distant past. I did get in a fair share of books for the month as well all things considered. The month of reading felt very slow for me this past December, but that was mainly due to the various stuff going on in my life health-wise. And the fact that lifting anything with my right hand doesn't work so well. :( (Hence the reading of comics, I guess.) Other than some of the classic Legion stories that I won't go into here, not a lot of great reads this past month to wrap up 2018. The only books for the month that stood out were:

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal - Set in an alternate 1952 in which the US has launched the first space satellite, opening the space race, Washington DC and most of the East Coast of the United States gets obliterated by a meteorite. The climate changes from that impact threaten to render Earth uninhabitable, making getting to Mars a priority. The narrator is Elma York, mathematician and wife of Nathaniel York. She is a computer - aka a human mathematician hired to compute stuff, in this case, space launch trajectories. She's also a former WASP, a group of women hired to ferry military airplanes around in WWII, which comes in handy, as her piloting skills allow her and her husband to survive the impact. She eventually decides that she wants to be an astronaut, and that's where the conflict is. This is the 1950s and women are supposed to be in the kitchen, not in space. Oh, and Elma suffers from anxiety. This set of circumstances makes for an excellent, and fascinating read. The author explorea sexism, racism (blacks were computers, too) and mental health, while providing the reader a gripping and entertaining book. It was quite eye-opening for me in many ways to see the problems faced by people like Elma - people who can and do greatly contribute. The author takes a few liberties with history, aside from Dewey defeating Truman in 1948 and the asteroid thingie, but one thing she was totally true to was that most of the mathematics that got man into orbit was done by hand, and mostly by women. This is an excellent novel, and I highly recommend it.

The Reader by Traci Chee - I'm going to start by saying that I love this book, and am going to provide almost no spoilers for it lest you the reader get spoiled for reading it. This is a world where words, where books, are magic. Sefia, the main protagonist in this one, is a young girl who has had so many terrible things happen to her that her meeting with the boy she calls Archer almost seems like another bad event, but proves to be a lot more positive than the reader first sees. Along the way, the reader meets fascinating and interesting characters, such as Captain Cannek Reed and the crew of the Current of Faith, and get to read about stories told within the story. This book is so complex on many levels, with some good world building, and yet is cleanly written with true magic to it. I highly recommend this book!

Overall, I managed to read 7 novels, 3 RPG and RPG products, 2 magazine, 60 comics, and 1 graphic novel in December. This brings the 2018 year end totals up to the following: 92 books, 40 RPGs and RPG products, 23 magazines, 60 comics, and 4 graphic novels. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't manage to get to 100 books (not including RPGs and other stuff) this year, but part of the reason for that was a couple of dismal months of reading. The reading for the year was equal in books read, so that's not a bad year of reading at all.
For those who are interested in my reading habits, for my usual Book Reads post for the month (in this case December), as some folks know I've started re-reading my Legion of Super-Heroes comics collection from the beginning (as you can read about in this blog entry).

For those into my book reading posts near the beginning of each month, do you want me to list each individual comic in the list of reads, or would you prefer to see me just list it as "Legion of Super-Heroes comics" or some such like that? I don't mind listing each comic read, but as an example, I've read 60 comics alone in December, and will probably end up reading more than that per month in future months. So I'd thought I'd ask those who follow these posts...

Look forward to hearing what folks have to say.

The Year That Was

A new year. A time for reflection. A time for memories.

Up until a few years ago, I always did a Year in Review entry about things in a lot of detail. Four years ago, I changed it up and didn't do that, only something along the lines of a year's perspective. I've come to realise that the year is done. Life has wound its course for 2018, and there's no point dwelling on it too much. That's not to say that I won't remember 2018. I am, I do, and I will. But I can't live in the past, though I can certainly learn from what happened last year. At least I hope so.

For me personally, the year was epitomized for the most part by the declining political situation in the United States (aka Donald Trump, President), the way Canada-U.S. relations went downhill, the extent to which terrorism ruled the headlines, the way in which Mother Earth fought back against what we've done to the planet and climate change, and the various deaths in both the entertainment, music and science industries, notably of individuals my own age or younger; in a lot of ways, this has brought home my own mortality, but has just been saddening in others. I can say that my health didn't drastically improve over the course of 2018, and I may have gotten somewhat poorer in health, though I did lose a bit of weight, and my blood sugars aren't completely under control. I guess, when it comes down to it, I still have some things to learn about my insulin therapy. The bigger health issue, pain in my left shoulder, has now worsened and seems connected to the cervical spinal issues I'm having. That, and the fact I broke my ribs in October and they're healing slowly. We'll see what we shall see.

I can't honestly say there were a lot of 2018 highlights and lowlights that I'll look back on with any real fondness or annoyance, but there were a few of both during the course of the year. I like to think that I'm a bit of a better person for what happened in 2018, but there's room for improvement, and I hope to be a better person yet again in 2019.

That's really all I have to say about 2018.

Now? It's time to look forward. And all the good/great stuff that's going to happen this year.

A Thought For the New Year

January 1st, 2019. A new year. Also a time for contemplation, a time for New Year's resolutions and thoughts, and a time when we discard the destructive, old habits for healthy, new ones. Supposedly. Back when, a good friend of mine, Janet Wilson, suggested that I journal today the New Year's resolutions that she makes every year, based on her time in Alcoholics Anonymous. She got this list from the column that Dear Abby wrote way back when. So here's some thoughts for folks to think about as we get ready to head into a New Year...

Just for today: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

Just for today: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct, and accept those I cannot.

Just for today: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

Just for today: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

Just for today: I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

Just for today: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully - if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.

Just for today: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish each and every one of my LiveJournal friends (and all my friends in other media who might be reading this) a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year. May the Goddess bless you with health, prosperity, safety, and good cheer for the coming year.

Happy New Year, one and all! :)

New Year's Eve Thoughts

And so, here we are, once again. New Year's Eve.

I haven't planned to do much this New Year's Eve, other than to relax and have a relatively quiet evening, and I don't expect that to change. I'm in a heck of a lot of pain today due to my bad left shoulder, and truth be told am not really feeling all that sociable at the moment. I'm just looking forward to ringing in the new year as quietly as I can, and it seems fitting that I'll be doing so on my own with a bottle (or two) of beer.

Not even sure that I'll be awake at the stroke of midnight, depending on how I'm feeling and all.

In any event, I would like to wish all my friends a very safe, healthy, and Happy New Year. Be good to yourselves, be good to each other, and I'll catch you here again in 2019. :)

Final Day of 2018

It's the last day of 2018.

Thank Goddess this year is coming to an end. While there have been some good moments this past year, 2018 saw too many deaths of beloved figures in both music and entertainment, a U.S. government that continued to wreak all manner of changes and most not for the better in the world, and the senseless slaughter of too many people world-wide in acts of terrorism and sheer evil. Add to that the rough, at times miserable, periods I've had this year health-wise (especially during the last four months of the year), and in other regards that I've not discussed this year, and... Well, to reiterate, good riddance to 2018.

It's a Monday morning, so I'm sitting here at home taking it relatively easy. The weather outside is somewhat cold, and snow was coming down when I woke up, and I feel as if I've not really slept all that well last night. Well, actually I didn't. I don't intend to do a lot of stuff today, and I'll see how I feel later in the day.

Time to clean the dishes, and take a nice, hot shower. Hopefully the latter will make me feel somewhat better.

Getting Ready for Sunday Gaming

Well, it's been snowing outside all morning off and on, and is due to have some snow fall this afternoon as well, but I spoke to spross and he'll be running this afternoon.

I'm actually pretty pleased about this as SteveR will be running his continuing Star Trek Adventures RPG campaign. He's supposed to wrap up running games for now with this session, so I hope we managed to finish off the adventure we're involved with.

Or not. 'Cause that would mean I have to start running again next weekend, weather permitting. :)


John Kahane

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