Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Blog Update for September 2008

This is the latest monthly update to the right column of the blog, updating my favorite comics and TV for the previous month. The listings are alphabetical, not by rank of how much I liked them in comparison. My criteria for what makes the list is when I read them, not necessarily when they were published. This is basically also my own records of what I read/liked for the inevitable "End of Year" lists I feel like making.

There were a couple really slow weeks for comics in September, but a couple really busy ones, and that sort of balanced out into plenty of books that could have made my Top 20. Of course, the number of books I'm super-excited about seems to be down, but there are plenty of solidly enjoyable books, and it may just be that I'm in jaded mode. At any rate, there were 5 DC (including Johnny DC, Wildstorm and Vertigo) books that almost made the cut and 5 Marvel (all pretty much Marvel universe, except for The Stand), and Atomic Robo Dogs of War was just on the outskirts as well. In terms of what did make the top 20, it was 4 DC (one in-continuity, one all-ages, one Wildstorm licensed and one All-Star Superman), 8 Marvel (2 X-Books, 2 DnA space books, 3 Brubaker books, and shockingly, 3 with direct tie-ins to Secret Invasion), 4 Dark Horse, 2 Image and 2 Boom Studios. Honestly, if I had to have only one publisher right now, I think I'd pick Dark Horse... they also cleaned up in my graphic novel list, and they've got a great diversity of product (webcomics, licensed Conan and Star Wars, creator-owned gems like Usagi and Hellboy, etc.) and an enormously talented stable of creators. I decided to add in a "Top 5 of the month" based on my Top 5 lists over on Comic Pants, we'll see if that lasts.

I borrowed the second Song of Ice & Fire novel from a friend, but haven't had time to read it yet... October, perhaps. Instead, I read 9 Star Wars graphic novels this month, as well as a variety of other stuff as it came out. I also played an enormous amount of Rock Band 2.

My TV schedule is filling back up, although I think an increased interest in politics and, of course, the writer's strike, has killed some of my once-fanatical love for the medium. Certainly there's nothing new this season I'm really looking forward to (although I'll check out Christian Slater's "My Own Worst Enemy," which is getting good buzz). However, I won't deny being delighted to have some of my old favorites back. How I Met Your Mother came back with a really strong opener and a solid second episode with the best use of Regis Philbin ever. Chuck has a good opener that many have called great. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is probably the best laugh-out-loud show on TV... at the very least, it's tied with The Office and 30 Rock. The Shield... well, I've loved it for so long, I'm mostly sad to see it kind of limping along in its final season, but I have to stick it out and hope for a great finale, even if the series right now is kind of... meh. And Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has really turned around for me, turning into one of my must-watch shows. It's not perfect (John Connor and his girlfriend are annoying as hell, for instance), but it's pretty good. And The Wire? Well, I'm mid-way through season four and I can't decide if I'm sad it took me so long to get onboard this awesome show or happy because it means there's no waiting, and I can just watch all five seasons straight through as time allows.

In RSS feeds, it's the end of an era as X-Axis switches over to blog format and so I've started reading Paul O'Brien's blog "If Destroyed, Still True." I've also started reading The Stranger blog on politics, mostly for Dan Savage's take on things.

I really need to figure out how to link podcasts, but in the meantime I've gone ahead and also added a list of Podcasts I'm currently listening to to the ever-growing (and probably rarely-read) sidebar of the site. In addition to the stuff previously mentioned, I added the real life story podcast The Moth (which is awesome, especially when guys involved with New York mobsters or cops are talking), The Rachel Maddow show (yep, I love her as much as every other liberal does these days) and NPR's Planet Money (it's a really good podcast on economic issues for the layman).

Also, I was kind of amused to see, looking at my tags, that my blog is becoming increasingly a place for me to rant, a lot of the time about politics. Weekly comics posts are still at the top, with 91, but there are 80 rant tags and 75 politics, and I'll be surprised if politics doesn't hit the top tag before the elections.

After the elections, I'll either be calmer or numb, depending on who wins, so it should go back to either more comics posting or increasingly depressed and angry rants about the slow death of America.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - October 1st, 2008

Authority #3 (Abnett & Lanning's post-apocalyptic take on the team has gotten me interested in them again, for the first time in a long while)
Blue Beetle Vol 4 Endgame TP (Rogers' finale on this book is amazing)
Manhunter #35 (Andreyko and Gaydos are doing great stuff on this book, and they're hitting my personal fanboy buttons (Blue Beetle! Suicide Squad! Birds of Prey!) too)
Spirit Vol 2 HC (The last Spirit I'll be enjoying for a while, as Cooke's run concludes)
Top Ten Season Two #1 (I'm skeptical without Moore, but I like Cannon and I like Ha and I love these characters)

City Of Dust #1 (Interesting looking futuristic story from Radical and Steve Niles)
Civil War House Of M #2 (First issue was a little slow, but House Of M Avengers was great, so I'm still reading)
Dc Universe Decisions #2 (First issue... kinda meh. But I'm still curious)
Invincible #53 (Getting bored with it, but hoping it'll pick back up again)
Marvel Apes #3 (Still surprisingly fun, a good guilty pleasure book)
Monsterpocalypse #1 (Fun concept, licensed comic which is worrying, but giant monster fighting should make for some cool comics)
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Vol 1 (Never played the game, but I'm kinda curious about the manga)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aaaaannnd Another Reason to Love Sarah Silverman (As If We Needed One)

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Another Reason to Love Dan Savage

Btw, how can you tell when Randy is supposed to be writing and is putting it off? The blog posts get even more frequent.

Sarah Palin's interview style

You know, it hadn't clicked for me until a co-worker said it, but don't Sarah Palin's rambling non-answers like this:

and this:

Remind you of this?

You can take the beauty queen out of the pageant and make her governor, but you can't take the nonsensical pageant-level answers out of the beauty queen masquerading as a vice presidential candidate.

Or something to that effect.

Thoughts on Minx

So everyone has probably heard by now that Minx has been canceled.

To be honest, as a reader and as a retailer, this doesn't have much effect on me. Despite liking a lot of the talent on Minx, most of the books fell somewhat flat for me (then again, I'm a 37-year-old married guy, if the teen-girl-aimed Minx was fireworks for me, it would have been a bad sign for both me and the imprint). And despite having a big crowd of manga-buying girls and guys at my shop, the Minx books for the most part didn't sell at the store. We gave them a big push early on, thanks to the returnability, but after Plain Janes and Re-Gifters did pretty well, the others just kind of sank for us.

As a follower of the industry, though, it's definitely a sad thing. This was a positive attempt at outreach, and an imprint that earned a lot of blood, sweat and tears from a lot of folks I really respect in the industry. There is a small, selfish part of me that is glad to have talented editor Shelly Bond and any number of the cartoonists who were working on Minx projects working (hopefully) on projects at Vertigo that might be more aimed at me, but like I say, that's small and selfish. Would I rather have more Street Angel than more Plain Janes? Well, yes. Do I think it's in the best interest of Jim Rugg or the industry as a whole? No, probably not.

With any luck, a lot of what worked about Minx (the talent, the focus on a different audience) will be transitioned into work at Vertigo, and the spirit of the line will survive, even if the line itself doesn't.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Newspaper Column

I've been writing a semi-bi-weekly (that means it shows up about every two or three weeks) column for the local paper, The Round Rock Leader. It's aimed at folks who are not generally comics-savvy, more of a "civilian's guide to comics," so I don't know how much interest it will be to my usual readers who read Comic Pants, etc.

But since I have friends and family who read this blog and might want to see my writing elsewhere, here are links to my first five columns:

#1 - Dark Knight Returns

#2 - Watchmen

#3 - Star Wars

#4 - Comic Book Primer - How Much Is My Comic Worth? (Note: This says it's the second column in a series, but I'm not *entirely* sure the first one ever ran... I can't find a link to it, at any rate)

#5 - Bone

Weekly Comics to Come - September 24, 2008

Help Is On The Way TP (Collection of the hilarious "Basic Instructions" webcomic)
Nova #17 (Big spoilers, so I didn't get an advance look at it... even more anticipated than usual as a result)
Solomon Kane #1 (Dark Horse takes on Howard's puritanical ass-kicker)
Tezukas Black Jack Vol 1 HC (One of Tezuka's wilder concepts, a two-fisted surgeon, gets the deluxe Vertical Books treatment)
Warhammer Condemned By Fire #5 (This book has been my favorite Warhammer comic so far)

Avengers Initiative #17 (Digging the Skrull Kill Krew, actually)
Back To Brooklyn #1 (Crime fiction from Ennis and Palmiotti, this could be fun)
Captain America #42 (Brubaker wraps up his *enormous* first Cap story arc)
Conan Vol 6 The Hand Of Nergal TP (Collecting the final Conan stories before the book was relaunched... looking forward to reading them)
Fables #76 (#75 might be a good ending for the book, and I'm close to considering it an ending... but I'll give the book another couple issues to convince me it should be an ongoing, rather than the extended limited series that the best Vertigo series have been)
Flash Gordon #1 (Not wildly optimistic, but the art looks OK, and I'm going in hopeful)
Hellboy The Crooked Man #3 (Second issue weaker than the first, but the first was *awesome*, so that's not a terrible thing)
Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #3 (My daughter's favorite Marvel comic book)
Northlanders #10 (Behind on this one, need to read #9 as well)
Proof #12 (Ditto, I think I'm two or three issues behind on Proof)
Samurai Legend #1 (Looks like gorgeous art... hope the story is good)
Station #3 (Digging this space-based murder mystery)
Thunderbolts #124 (Gage's Thunderbolts are pretty good reading)
Usagi Yojimbo #114 (Always good reading)
Warhammer 40k Exterminatus #3 (Really enjoying this look at 40K's Inquisitors)
Wildcats #3 (One of the weaker Wildstorm relaunches, but I do still like the post-apocalyptic hero angle)
Wolverine First Class #7 (Strange tone to this book, as it's not all-ages, not modern-day... it reads a lot like '80s superheroes... which is cool by me. Plus, Soviet Super Soldiers)
X-men Legacy #216 (Weaker issue of this book, but it's still surprisingly readable for someone who thought he was done with X-Books)

Live-Blogging Heroes Season Three... Sort Of

Look, a post that's *not* about politics!

It will retain all the snark and bile of my politics post, though. Sorry. I watched the first episode of Heroes Season Three and started writing down observations. I was going to Twitter them, but didn't want to spoil anyone who was going to watch the show. However, I only wrote observations about the first hour, because I deleted the second hour un-watched.

Heroes is dead to me. It's not worth my time. SPOILERS and observations below:

Every power in the known universe, and the best plan future Petrelli can come up with is "Shoot my brother in the chest?" Maybe "Stop time and take him aside to talk to him" would have worked?

Maya and Mohinder in the same room... two of the most useless characters the show has to offer. Guess I can tune out for a few minutes.

New drinking game: Drink whenever Mohinder decides to go back to India, despite it being completely contrary to his character as previously established.

If there's anything in that safe besides a note that says "I knew you couldn't resist opening this" I'm going to be very disappointed.

OK, kind of cool superspeed effects.

Plot's still stupid as ever, but the superspeed/time travel effect is neat.

So future Peter Petrelli... is shorter than modern Peter Petrelli?

Oh, Christ, the "10% of our brain" thing is back.

I guess we finally see how Sylar's powers work... about a year after I stopped caring.

If Heroes really wanted me to come back and believe they were doing something different, they should have actually killed Claire or Nathan Petrelli.

Fuck me, they even brought Malcolm McDowell back? This show is allergic to just killing somebody off and leaving them dead, aren't they?

Yep, they are. There's Ali Larter back too.

I *hate* when I wake up in the desert with a scorpion on my face!

Wow, I bet that Hiro/Ando situation is not what it seems. Because they've never done that kind of thing on Heroes before.

The Mohinder gets powers effect was as cheesy as the superspeed effect was cool.

"Things fall apart... the centre cannot hold..." Blah, blah, blah. Does Heroes have *anything* that hasn't already been completely played out?

Monday, September 22, 2008

And Here It Is WIth Video

I should say, I'm not blind here. I'm aware that Obama wants to raise the minimum wage, and as a business owner just barely scraping by, that's going to increase challenges for me. I'm aware that the 7 sick days a year, paid medical leave, etc. is a cost my business will have to absorb.

But I think that's a fair challenge. The fact is, the minimum wage is too low. First thing I did when I bought my store was give a raise to every employee, and we're well above the current minimum wage. And if I need to raise it again to meet a new minimum wage, I'll find the money to do that, because it's clear that the minimum wage isn't accurate anymore... you can't live on one minimum wage job.

But overall, what I'm hearing from this economic plan is much more promising than what I hear from McCain, or what we've seen from Bush (Jr. and Sr.) or Reagan. Trickle down economics DO. NOT. WORK. The higher-ups keep the money. Those lower on the ladder spend their money upward... the rich are going to stay rich, they just might not be as rich.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If You're Voting On Money...

Here is it, very clear, with pictures and everything, why you should vote for Obama.

If you're making over $603,000 a year, you're going to pay more taxes. But there's nobody reading my blog who makes that much money.

If I'm wrong... can I have some money? ;)

A few thoughts around the web

Aaron Sorkin writes up a fictional meeting between Jed Bartlet and Barack Obama.

Tom Beland links to a piece by Tim Wise on White Privilege and the role it has played in the race. My wife sent me this one via email the other day as well.

I have to say, these two factors (white privilege and anti-intellectualism) are probably the biggest factors in how close the race is, and also the most frustrating reasons. It boggles my mind that people want a President who doesn't seem smarter than they are. Isn't that the point of a representative Democracy? Seriously, I wouldn't want me as President (although I'd take me over Palin... at least I know what the Bush Doctrine is.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some Good News (Well, Sort Of)

Don't look too hard at this or think too hard about it, because it's a tongue-in-cheek piece that the author admits is "irrational exuberance," but...

Jonathan Golob has an interesting take on the economic downturn and why it's all going to be OK.

Like I say, don't look too closely at it, just enjoy it as a bit of spoofery, but...

Is it wrong that I get a big grin at the idea of all those upper-class mofos who have been squeezing the middle class downward since the Reagan era losing all their money and winding up fucked in the new global economy they helped to create and hoped to dominate?

I mean, yeah, in reality the end result will be government money flowing to them, the middle class probably being squeezed even more so that the rich can get their money, but... it's nice to think of the possibility of these guys being hoisted by their own petard.

If nothing else, think of how many rich, entitled assholes have had a couple of really, really, really bad days.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - September 17th, 2008

All Star Superman #12 (The Morrison/Quitely finale, the build-up has been great and the cover teases a great ending)
Family Dynamic #2 (Awesome new all-ages book that is probably going to become an obscure favorite, what with being cut down to only three issues)
Guardians Of Galaxy #5 (One of my favorite books of the moment, and the Secret Invasion tie-in has been done well)
Local HC (Super-excited to see this hardcover)
Tiny Titans #8 (Always fun)

Atomic Robo Dogs Of War #2 (Robo in WWII, first issue was as fun as expected)
Conan The Cimmerian #3 (Hopefully more Conan, less Conan's grandpa)
Incredible Hercules #121 (Starting a new story with Amazons, Namora and the Sub-Mariner)
Iron Man Director Of Shield #33 (Starting a War Machine story arc, and I'm a Jim Rhodes fan)
Marvel Apes #2 (Continues to be surprisingly fun, and a neat little twist about halfway through)
Punisher #62 (Second issue not as strong as the first, but I'll give it a little more rope)
Stormwatch Phd #14 (Digging the post-apocalyptic Wildstorm universe... this was probably the weakest of the reboots, but it's got potential too)
Uncanny X-Men #502 (Still remarkably fun, still full of vaguely inappropriate posing and cheesecake)
Walking Dead #52 (Last issue was creepy... looking forward to more)
X-Men First Class Vol 2 #16 (The art's a little wonky this time out, but Human Torch + Iceman is indeed comedy gold)

Monday, September 15, 2008

And Then A Reminder...

That not everyone in America is a total fuckwit.

Witness, a very sweet, inoffensive and kinda funny comic about the cartoonist getting "gay married" (it's the title of the strip.)

The editor defends the piece and prints some of the ridiculous hate mail, including "the minister of a local church accused the newspaper of promoting "sodomy." If your minister ever writes a letter like that to the paper, you owe it to your faith to change churches, by the way.

OK, so maybe there's still a larger than usual contingent of assholes out there, who would complain about such a politically neutral piece. Using the bullshit language of "I just don't want it pushed in my face" is pretty much admitting homophobia, especially when faced with a mild, universal story of marriage depicted in the cartoon.

But the editor's level-headed defense of the piece, not the angry screed that someone else (OK, me) might write in response to idiots like this, reminds me that there are lots of folks out there fighting the good fight. And if we can just keep from having a total financial collapse, healthcare panic, food riots, environmental disaster or any of the other things the Republicans are helping to cause, maybe eventually reason and intelligence will win out.

Yeah, I don't really believe it right now either. But you gotta have hope, right?

The Scariest Thing I've Seen in the Polls

Seeing McCain pull ahead in popular and electoral votes is terrifying enough. But from the recent poll in Ohio, I see this:

"More respondents identify with Sarah Palin than with the other candidates. Asked which of the four candidates is "most like you," 31 percent said Palin, followed by Obama (22 percent), McCain (21 percent), and Biden (13 percent)."

So this country is... mostly like Sarah Palin? Crazy religious, gun-happy, willfully ignorant of history and politics but not smart enough to allow that ignorance to keep them *out* of those arenas?

Shit. That actually sounds about right.

Man, I thought I was getting pissed off during the 2004 elections. But seeing a Republican pull into the lead after two terms of Bush, and the shockingly low approval ratings, is maybe the most frustrating thing I've had to deal with for a while.

After Bush won in '04, I spent a week wanting to throw rocks through the windows of all those assholes driving around with Bush/Cheney '04 stickers in town. This time, I'm more likely to want to throw hand grenades.

My Many Accomplishments

Given the latest polls, it has become clear to me that the key to success in America is to lie as fast and as much as you can, because even if someone calls you out on some of them, you can probably just keep lying and nobody will really pay attention. So in the spirit of John "I really don't want to talk about my war record" McCain or Sarah "I told them I didn't want their bridge money" Palin, here's a list of a few of my accomplishments I thought you all might want to know about:

1. Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston both offered to leave Brad Pitt so that they could have a three-way with me, but I told them no, I felt they owed that poor guy another shot.

2. Not only did I buy a comic book store recently, I also bought the entire state of New Mexico. I'm planning on mostly using it as a place for my old exercise equipment and my vintage comics collection, which has 700 mint copies of Action Comics #1 in it.

3. I am gifted with the power of flight, but I drive my car to work instead because I don't like to show off.

4. The assassinations of Lincoln, Kennedy and Archduke Ferdinand? Same guy. Me. I just thought it'd be funny.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - September 10, 2008

This is late, because I was in Vegas with no Internet and a whole lot of work to do during the retailer conference. Some good info there, though. Anyway, what I've read this week:

BPRD The Warning #3 (Davis's artwork is just stunning... and the story continues to unfold in exciting directions. This is one of my absolute favorite titles)
Secret Invasion X-Men #2 (Shockingly good for a crossover tie-in, this is the new military style X-Men at their best, with plenty of action, character development and surprising attention to obscure continuity)
Dynamo 5 #16 (The new team is a lot of fun, the ongoing story of the team's disbanding is interesting and the art continues to shine... probably the best independent superhero book out there, and yes, I include Invincible in that list)
Warhammer Condemned By Fire #4 (This series started off strong and hasn't let up... nice reunion with some of the Forge of War characters)
Star Wars Clone Wars #1 (Fun, nice art, great action... as always, the comics kick the crap out of the actual movies they are based on)

Big Hero 6 #1 (Love Nakayama's art, have a fondness for the team, disappointed that Claremont is writing it)
Blood Bowl #3 (Sort of a weird book, but fun)
Booster Gold #12 (Nice Bat-time travel interlude by Dixon)
Civil War House Of M #1 (Solid. Not as good as House of M Avengers yet, but a solid start)
Criminal 2 #5 (Hmm... noir-y. Digging this latest arc quite a bit)
Damned Prodigal Sons #3 (Long delay until we got to the end... and it's another cliffhanger ending. Love the book, would love it more if it were a monthly ongoing)
Dugout GN (Baseball and crime... what's not to love?)
Gen 13 #22 (Still digging the post-apocalyptic Wildstorm universe)
Invincible #52 (Boy, Kirkman loves those violent explodo guts, don't he?)
Prince Of Persia GN (First Second's graphic novel based on the videogame looks promising)
Stand Captain Trips #1 (Good opener... but this thing is going to move like molasses, given its format and the length of the original. Beautiful art by Perkins, though)
World of Warcraft Ashbringer #1 (A pleasant surprise, and one of my favorite reads of the week, a World of Warcraft comic that actually has the vibe of the original property)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

*That* Is My Candidate Right There

I haven't said much about Sarah Palin, the Republican National Convention, etc. Partly because there's been plenty of discussion about Palin, and I think the general narrative (It's a risky, balls-y, politically motivated, shamelessly transparent pick that I think is going to backfire) has been covered everywhere. Ad nauseum.

And the RNC? Well, the police are cracking down like they thought those National Guardsmen at Kent State were a bunch of coddling wusses, and the Republicans, no shocker, have nothing to offer beyond more attacks. Every solid idea they've offered on how to fix this country involves either delusion (Romney thinks we need to overthrow the liberals who have been running the country for the last eight years, but I don't know what country he's been in, since the Repubs had control of all three branches for four and spineless Democrat opposition for the last four) or terrifying ideas (seriously, Palin's vision of America is one that makes me want to move to Canada. Except then they'd probably invade from Alaska and the Northern United States in some kind of pincer movement, with Palin wielding an assault rifle and leading the charge). So I don't have much to say, except the expected "Fuck them."

But Obama? Well, he took questions today. And seriously, this is the kind of man I want answering questions. First of all, because we don't have a President (or Republican candidate) who can fucking stand in front of the media and look like he knows what he's talking about, much less provide intelligent, witty answers. Second, because he rightly points out all the smug bullshit that the Republicans want to become the accepted spin. Third, because I see this guy talk and I believe he has some good ideas to help fix this near-hopelessly-fucked country. Which is quite a contrast to how I see McCain, who usually comes off like someone looking off stage to make sure he's accurately conveying whatever his puppet master campaign organizers want him to say.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Blog Update for August 2008

This is the latest monthly update to the right column of the blog, updating my favorite comics and TV for the previous month. The listings are alphabetical, not by rank of how much I liked them in comparison. My criteria for what makes the list is when I read them, not necessarily when they were published. This is basically also my own records of what I read/liked for the inevitable "End of Year" lists I feel like making.

There were about a half-dozen Marvel books that I liked and almost made the cut, most of which were X-Men books (Wolverine First Class, X-Men First Class, X-Men Legacy, Thunderbolts, Secret Invasion X-Men), I liked all the new Wildstorm books (Wildcats, Stormwatch, Authority and Gen 13) but not quite enough to make the Top 20, and the same was true of Conan the Cimmerian #2, Atomic Robo Dogs of War #1 and Tiny Titans #7. In terms of the Top 20, it was 9 Marvel (almost half, although that included a couple MAX and one all-ages, and only two that were touched by Secret Invasion), 3 DC (Manhunter, plus Vertigo's DMZ and the all-ages Family Dynamic), 2 Boom! (both Warhammer 40K books) and then pretty much one per publisher from Dark Horse, Devil's Due, Archaia, Image and IDW. Kind of surprised by how much Marvel is dominating my comics issue reading right now, although I guess I shouldn't be, given how they're dominating the direct market in terms of sales and interest.

No novel read this month, and I barely got my 10 graphic novels out of the way. (Well, except that I read four Star Wars, but I'm counting those as one). Mostly I've been spending my time playing Soul Calibur IV and Too Human, and really enjoying both. I also got the Burnout Paradise City downloads and have been playing that a little bit again, and of course there's always a bit of Rock Band going on. Can't wait for Rock Band 2 and Star Wars: Force Unleashed in the middle of September.

Not a lot of TV for this month. In fact, the only thing I watched on regular TV was Burn Notice, and a couple episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report here and there. But that's OK, as whenever I've got the free time, I've been watching The Wire. I'm now through season three, and plan to start season four whenever Netflix gets me the next disc, probably later this week. TV starts up again in earnest in September, though. Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles is back, The Shield is back, there's a new show on FX called Sons of Anarchy that looks interesting and I'm sure there's more. Dexter starts up again in late September, and I don't know if I can resist the show enough to avoid adding Showtime back into my cable line-up.

Only one new RSS feed this month, the political site Electoral-Vote.com, courtesy of a Twitter link by Ben Templesmith.

However, I did add some new podcasts. I've started listening to Dan Savage's sex advice podcast, Savage Lovecast, and it's *hysterical.* I started in after hearing Savage on This American Life talking about how his 6-year-old son DJ didn't want him to get married, and now I'm completely addicted to it. Honestly, it's not even the subject matter so much as Savage's sense of humor and style. He's a funny, smart guy. Also added the Escape Pod podcast, readings of sci-fi stories. And of course, I'm still listening to the Austin-based Dial A Stranger, NPR's This American Life, and, whenever they post a new one, the Lost Podcast. Anybody got any good podcast suggestions for me? I listen to them in the car, and I don't have a *ton* of time for more, but I'd love a good political podcast.