Category Archives: General

Scott Adams…

…oh my.

I couldn’t tell you the first time I read a Dilbert comic strip. I can tell you that I quickly grew to love them back then, likely in the 1990’s or early 2000’s and before the internet swallowed up any need for me to still purchase newspapers.

I probably have a collection book or two somewhere of Dilbert strips. I liked the characters. I enjoyed the witty and bewildering look at being an office drone. Writing such humorous things takes quite a bit of skill and making it look “easy” takes even more. Having enough material to continue doing the strip for some 30 years? That takes genius.

But it doesn’t mean one is smart.

Back in the 1940’s and through 1977, Al Capp was renowned for his Li’l Abner comic strip…

Though known to espouse certain liberal causes, Mr. Capp would, by the late 60’s and into the 1970’s, become very conservative in his ideologies. He would end his career in controversy, accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, including a 19 year old Goldie Hawn.

And so we have Scott Adams who, with the rise of Donald Trump years ago, started to espouse a sharp right wing philosophy as well. There’s nothing wrong with espousing certain right wing ideologies, I feel, but there does come a point where they can slip a person into unforgivable areas.

Don’t take my word for it. You can go to and see the entirety of Mr. Adams’ video (it runs nearly an hour long) but here you get a smaller length clip that explores what has exactly happened since the video, and shows what got him into hot water to begin with…

The bottom line is that newspapers no longer want to carry Mr. Adams’ Dilbert and… I can’t blame them. I don’t know what goes through the mind of some creators. As I mentioned, Al Capp had his issues… and they may well have been even worse than those in which Mr. Adams currently falls into.

I’m familiar with and could mention other creators who have also espoused strange, perhaps even bizarre ideals and philosophies. The difference seems to be that today these things can be recorded, whether by others or by the person themselves, and posted with seemingly no awareness of how bad saying certain things may make them look.

Mr. Adams, if he was smart, has a nice nest egg thanks to his Dilbert strip. Based on the reactions thus far, he may need it because his strip may not exist for too much longer.

And, ultimately, he will have no one to blame for his misfortunes but himself.

Superbowl LVII

Personally, I found it an entertaining game.

There was plenty of drama and, you have to give it to the Kansas City Chiefs, they looked at halftime and after QB Patrick Mahomes reinjured his leg… that they might be done.

But Mahomes wasn’t about to let that happen and further credit where its due, their coach, Andy Reid, made some adjustments and eventually the Chiefs prevailed, 38-35.

There was controversy toward the very end on a holding call that might have been a little weak but that seems to be par for the course nowadays.

The commercials were mostly …ok… I guess, nothing that I found terribly memorable. What was intriguing, at least to me, was that almost all the car commercials (unless I’m misremembering) were focused on electric vehicles. I believe there was one commercial for a SUV (Hyndai?!) that was an ICE vehicle but otherwise the focus seemed to be on electric.

There were movie trailers as well and I must say of all of them, this is the one that most impressed me…

For a film that I wondered if it would ever get made to one whose main actor, Ezra Miller, has had some incredible troubles (to his credit he’s been out of the news for a while now, but I’m sure they will be dealt with either in court or through other means and may well preclude any future Flash projects), I didn’t think I’d have such a positive reaction to the movie’s trailer.

Frankly, it looks like the movie’s makers really went at it. The trailer gives off some seriously fun vibes and visuals to die for.

And Michael Keaton back as Batman?!

Yeah, I’m there.

Of course, it is a trailer and there have been trailers which made a film look far better than what it turned out to be…

I remain, however, cautiously optimistic!


For the past two years, it has felt like I’m locked into a version of the movie Groundhog Day.

I truly hate bringing it up (a la Groundhog Day, no?) but back in June of 2021, nearing two years now, I lost my parents in the collapse of Champlain Towers South.

Since then and in one way or another, this has been one of the major focuses of my day to day life, each day of the week, each week of the month, and now going on a little over a year.

The sadness is but one of the elements. It’s tough to put into the words not only losing one parent, but both in such a horrendous, unexplainable manner but also having almost all their possessions being wiped out as well… as if they didn’t exist at all.

Which is why I feel so very badly for those in Turkey. My personal tragedy feels almost insignificant when I see images in the news about what’s happened in Turkey.

When it happened, and because of the proliferation of cell phones and their ability to film things, I’ve seen images of buildings coming down and…

…and it instantly brings me back to the horrors of Champlain Towers South.

I can’t watch that stuff. I shut those images/film clips whenever they pop up on my computer or phone. I simply cannot stomach seeing a structure collapse.

Not anymore.

My thoughts and sympathy goes out to those living through this tragedy.


A little over a year ago cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of the movie Rust.

It is my understanding they were filming a scene where Baldwin’s character aims his gun at the camera and fires. The gun Baldwin used had live ammunition in it and Ms. Hutchins, who was behind the camera, was shot and killed while the movie’s director, Joel Souza, was hit in the shoulder.

The event is an indisputable tragedy and, further, should never, never, never have happened.

It is abundantly clear someone on the movie’s staff was very careless with either checking the guns used on the set or HUGELY irresponsible in bringing live ammo there. Alec Baldwin was handed a gun that obviously did not have blanks in it and therefore the tragedy happened.

Yesterday, prosecutors decided to charge Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the movie’s armorer, with involuntary manslaughter.

Though I don’t know the intimate details of the charges. SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ guild, came out with a response to these charges against Alec Baldwin…

SAG-AFTRA Defends Alec Baldwin Over ‘Rust’ Charges, Calls Prosecutor ‘Wrong and Uninformed’ – IndieWire

They state:

The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use. The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect. Anyone issued a firearm on set must be given training and guidance in its safe handling and use, but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer.

I agree with this.

However -and I could very well be wrong here- I believe Mr. Baldwin is being charged as the producer of the movie rather than the “actor” within. As a producer, he then may have some responsibility in making sure the set is safe. However, given the way credits are doled out in movies, his “producer” role may have been in name only.

The big question, unanswered to this point, is how live rounds made their way to this movie set. I suspect we may never get an answer to that.

Ms. Reed, the armorer, has stated she thought the ammunition within the gun was “dummy” rounds.

Either way, tragedy occurred and now we have charges brought forward.

I have to wonder, given today’s technology and the use of CGI effects, why any movie set has to have a “real” gun in it, even if it is watched and checked diligently.

Why, I wonder, aren’t there studios who have warehouses full of dummy guns which realistically “kick” when fired but cannot actually be loaded with real ammunition? In post-production studios can add sound effects and CGI flashes for the gunshots and at least that way everyone is far safer, no?

Who watches the watchmen?

Before I get into this, let me say: Sorry for the dearth of posts!

Sometimes it feels like I’m in some kind of acceleration chamber. My last post, made some 15 days ago shocked me. I’ve been busy, but surely I haven’t been away from here that long, have I?!

Welp, it appears I have and truthfully I find it hard to account for the lost time, even as busy as I have been.

Regardless… onwards!

So yesterday the people investigating the Supreme Court’s Alito opinion piece on Dobbs, the ruling which did away with Roe v Wade and which, IMHO, is going to have pretty severe repercussions for the next few election cycles, issued their report and they said…

…they couldn’t find who leaked Alito’s opinion. An article presented on does a pretty good job explaining what this report stated:

Supreme Court issues report on Dobbs leak but says it hasn’t identified the leaker | CNN Politics

The bottom line from the report is that there were some 90 people interviewed and it seems like the Supreme Court’s records are kept in a rather… sloppy way and, bottom line, they couldn’t determine whodunnit.


This article, also presented on and written by Joan Biskupic, goes into how…

Supreme Court embarrassed by the opinion leak is embarrassed again | CNN Politics

The author notes that the investigation did not interview any of the Justices themselves or their spouses, a rather odd thing to do if one is bent on getting to the bottom of such things.

There are many who feel, based on examining the report and what’s gone on in this investigation, that perhaps Chief Justice John Roberts ultimately didn’t really want to know who leaked Alito’s draft.

One can speculate as to the why, but it seems somewhat obvious: It very well could have been someone quite high up, up to and including Justice Alito, Justice Thomas, or perhaps Thomas’ wife, who has -shall we be delicate here?- a seemingly very strong political agenda of her own.

I agree with the ultimate opinion of Ms. Biskupic’s article, though: By issuing this “non finding” the Supreme Court does itself no favors. If the original leak was such a huge embarrassment and a stunning breach of decorum and therefore an investigation into the source of this leak was something that had to be done…

…why hamper the investigation from the very beginning?

Mind you, I feel Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley, who conducted the investigation, likely did as well as could be done but the reality is that there are other Justice agencies it seems could have done a more thorough job… and are built to take on such cases.

And as was noted in Ms. Biskupic’s article, the final report is also damning in that it suggests the Court’s internal security is anything but, and further leaks are certainly possible.

Again: One can’t help but speculate as to whether this whole investigation might have been more of a PR move rather than a serious attempt at getting to “the truth” of the leak. One can’t help also speculate that maybe for Chief Justice Roberts, in a Supreme Court which seems to be having its share of problems, felt the need to do something for the purpose of looking like he was doing something… but may have ultimately hoped for this result.

The boat’s rocking enough without the revelation that perhaps a Supreme Court Justice -or a close confidant/spouse of one- is a leaker.


Today a few more interesting opinion pieces have been published and are worth giving a read.

First up is Aredba Shah’s article from

Legal experts stunned SCOTUS leak investigators may not have interviewed any justices — or spouses |

This article points out the fact that bothers many regarding this investigation: It seems like from the onset it was given certain parameters, including not talking to or interviewing any of the Justices or their spouses, which seems wrong considering the supposed “egregious” nature of this lead.

There is at least one really fascinating tweet referred to in this article and its by Elie Mystal, The Nation’s legal analyst:

I told everybody, from the very beginning, that if the Dobbs leaker turned out to be a Republican, the Supreme Court would somehow never find who did it. Welp, the report’s out and, what do you know, they don’t know who did it.


A second interesting article is by Katherine Fung and presented at Newsweek…

Supreme Court Report Sparks Suspicions About Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito (

What I’m noticing from many of these articles is that the initial line of suspicion, that perhaps a more liberal minded clerk had possibly leaked the Alito Dobbs decision, seems to be less and less likely.

Sadly, that means that the Supreme Court and its conservative majority is looking increasingly like it has decided to “move on” from this because, let’s be clear here: They kinda know it was either a conservative clerk or someone much higher up responsible for this but simply don’t want to let things get messier than they are.

As I said before…


Hope everyone out there…

…has had a terrific holiday!

It’s been incredibly busy time for me, as should be obvious by the dearth of posts, what with visiting family and having my daughter over but now things are coming back to normal.

I’m deep into my next novel and have another project that likely will be started this year. I don’t want to say too much about it but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while with a very talented individual I’ve known for many years now.

Let’s see what happens!

On the road to normalcy…?

As we come closer to the end of 2022, it occurs to me this past year seems to have been the year when the COVID pandemic became less serious than before.

In large part, I suspect, is the amount of vaccines people have taken. As of October and according to, 12.7 billion shots have been given to date worldwide. The same article notes 613 million doses have been distributed in the United States alone.

There’s also the fact that, unlike the early years of COVID, we now have a better understanding of treatments for those who are infected versus when precious little was known.

Nowadays, it is rare to see people with masks on in stores or out and about in general. I’ve had four shots, the two initial shots and two booster shots to date. I may have caught COVID during the very first wave of the pandemic and before we in the United States even knew it was here. We’re talking about very late January or early February of 2020.

My father, it turned out, caught COVID but didn’t know it… and why would he when it wasn’t yet thought to be in the U.S.? Anyway, people around him also got sick and that included me, though my illness was incredibly mild and amounted to feeling really fatigued. It wouldn’t be until nearly a year later when going to a yearly checkup that blood samples revealed he had COVID antibodies in his system and the only time he was sick was back then in early 2020.

Anyhow, by March of 2020 it was official that COVID was in the U.S. and it seemed the country and the world was in an upheaval.

And as I said above, it now appears the wave, now nearly three years later, has crested.

That’s not to say everything is what is was before. There are high rates of respiratory illnesses appearing in children and there are still those who are catching COVID. Hospitals, too, are seeing an influx of patients but, again, it seems like maybe the worst of it is over.

So are we approaching some return to normalcy?

I don’t think so. Not yet anyway.

I’m a big fan of movies but it seems like the movie industry in particular has taken some serious body shots from not only COVID but the internet and streaming services and I seriously wonder if it will every go back to what it was before.

When the COVID lockdowns began in earnest, there were several films the movie studios had hoped to release but were forced to hold back. Once they were released, it seemed like it was either too early or they wound up going to streaming and… I don’t know how “well” they did that way.

The bigger ones seem to be Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Wonder Woman 84, and the last Daniel Craig Bond film, No Time To Die. Regardless of what one feels about these three films, and there were those who didn’t like them, they seemed to come and go and I can’t help but feel they didn’t do all that well at the box office.

Since then, there have been movies that have done extremely well. Top Gun: Maverick, for example, has been a box office juggernaut. The latest Spider-Man film also did very well. But they seem to be exceptions rather than the norm.

The streaming services from the various movie studios tried to step in where movie theaters were unable to and certain movies were released “simultaneously” in theaters and streaming or, in other cases, very shortly after the theatrical release and this, I feel, might have created unintended consequences.

Why bother going to a movie theater, especially during the time when doing so might be somewhat risky, when you can simply watch the same film in your home and via streaming?

In the past, when we had crappy television sets, there was a clear visual advantage to seeing films in theaters. Nowadays, with new technology and genuinely massive television screens available showing films in Ultra HD, there is less and less difference watching at home versus in theaters.

The purchase of Warner Brothers has also resulted in some really concerning news. Of course there was the infamous “cancellation” of several features, including the all but complete Batgirl film, and one wonders if maybe the new company might be having some genuine financial difficulties.

James Gunn, director of Guardian of the Galaxy and the second Suicide Squad film, has been put in charge of the DC comic book character properties and reportedly they are coming up with some kind of multi-year plan for the release of features more akin to what Marvel did in its early phases.


I can’t help wonder if maybe at this point the whole superhero genre is dangerously close to being done.

Mind you, box office receipts would say otherwise but even the many Marvel properties released of late don’t seem to be garnering the enthusiasm of before, even if they do still seem to be box-office gold. I suppose, in the end, if they keep making a profit they will continue being made but where before you hardly heard anyone say anything negative about the Marvel features, now you have many people noting they don’t feel these newer works are all that special.

I’m no psychic so I don’t know how things will turn out. Perhaps the movie industry will dust itself off and get back on its proverbial feet and we’ll once again look forward to new releases like before.

And as the movie industry goes, perhaps so too will the rest of our lives. The pandemic sure does feel like it is slowly fading from our lives versus what we faced before.

Can a new normalcy return?

Seating on a plane…

I stumbled upon this article on by Isaac Serna-Diaz on…

Man posts complaint after plane passenger refused to give up middle seat so he could sit beside his girlfriend

Given some of the more frightening exchanges one hears about with air travel, I feared this would be another of them, with the impatient dude who wanted to sit beside his girlfriend getting in some altercation with the man who sat in the middle seat.

Turned out not to be the case, but as a somewhat frequent flier, I was curious as to the general consensus regarding this situation.

See, on my last trip back home from visiting my daughter, we were in a really small aircraft that had two seats on either side of the aisle. My wife and other daughter had the seats on the left side of the aircraft, window and aisle, and I had the aisle seat on the other side of the aisle. This way, we were “together” even if separated by an aisle.

In the two seats ahead of mine and sitting beside the window was the guy I mentioned in my Metropolis review (you can read that here). As the aircraft filled, a couple -man and woman- appeared and they had the seat directly in front of mine and the window seat beside me.

The man asked me if I could move to the aisle seat in front of me so that he and his girlfriend could have the two seats together. I told him that I would rather stay where I was as my wife and daughter were directly across the aisle with me.

The guy seemed… well… for a second there I truly believed things would go ugly. Not that he did anything, mind you, but again, you get used to reading about altercations on aircraft over stupid things and I wondered if he was the type that wouldn’t take no for an answer.

My fears -whether real or not- amounted to nothing as that gentleman then asked the guy in the seat in front of mine and by the window if he wouldn’t mind going to the window seat behind him and next to me. He agreed to do so and that was that.

Yep, he’s the young guy who was watching Andor on his cellphone.

I didn’t think much about that until this article.

So the situation in the article was somewhat different. Here we had a larger aircraft with three seats on each side of the aisle and in this case the gentleman and his girlfriend were kept apart by a guy who had the middle seat and didn’t want to give it up.

Reading the article, it seemed people fell on either side (pardon the unintended pun). Some felt it was rude of the guy in the middle seat to not move over either way, to the window or aisle, and let the man (who happens to be a writer for Saturday Night Live) sit next to his girlfriend.

Others noted that perhaps the passenger was a nervous flier and taking the middle seat was his way of coping with flying.

Me? I side with the passenger who didn’t want to move. All the way.


Easy: You get to pick your seats. The man and girlfriend (in my case as well as in the one in the article) obviously procrastinated in either getting their ticket or checking themselves in.

If you know you’re going to fly and you want to sit with your loved ones, then how about you make it a point to both get your ticket and assign yourself a seat well in advance that will have you and the rest of your party together?

Mind you, I’ve had situations where my family and I have had to sit in different seats. Once, my elder daughter was some five rows and across the aisle from where we sat. Once, many years ago and when that same elder daughter of mine was a small infant, my wife and I were forced to sit separately and my then infant daughter was one of those wailing kids that drive everyone on a flight psychotic…

…to this day, my wife tells me I was damn lucky to have a separate seat and that the passengers around her were glaring at her with daggers in their eyes. As someone who has had flights with crying kids, I don’t blame them at all.

But this too can certainly happen as well.

So my point is this: Shit happens and there are times when you don’t get your way and it sucks but that’s life.

If the guy in the story above was comfortable in the middle seat and didn’t want to give it up, it’s on you that you didn’t get seats assigned next to each other rather than the fault of the man who obviously got the seat he wanted (for whatever reason) and refused to give it up.

Tweeting about it, while interesting, doesn’t solve the problem.

Get your seat’s assignments earlier and you won’t have to worry about such a problem cropping up.

Brittney Griner released…

So as I’m writing what I’m hoping will be the last politically tinged post in a while news comes that Brittney Griner, WNBA player who was infamously detained/jailed in Russia for drug charges, has been released

Needless to say, this is a great thing. Ms. Griner was released as part of a prisoner swap. There is at least one notable American, former Marine Paul Whelan, who remains since 2018 imprisoned in Russia and, apparently, the Biden administration tried hard to secure his release as well but were unable to.

Regardless, its good news.

Though I had absolutely no knowledge of Ms. Griner until she was arrested, I can’t help but feel happy for this accomplishment and hope the Russians eventually allow for the release of Mr. Whelan.

Midterms are (finally!) over


So a couple of days ago and on December 6th George had their run-off election to determine who would serve the next six years in the Senate, incumbent Democratic candidate Rafael Warnock or Republican ex-football player Hershel Walker.

There was a runoff because in the midterm elections held on November 8th, Mr. Warnock didn’t receive the necessary 50% of the votes needed to be declared the outright winner. He did receive the most votes, mind you, but just not enough. So the runoff came and, while the results were close, Mr. Warnock won.

This effectively ends what seems like a too long midterm election cycle, one that proved surprising in many ways.

Chief among them is the fact that the supposed “red wave” never materialized. While Republicans did regain control over the House of Representatives, their margin of victory is very slim…

In the House of Representatives, the magic number is 218 and, as you can see from the graphic above, Republicans gained 10 seats to have an 11 vote margin over Democrats but only 5 votes which can provide them a majority in any votes. In other words, if a measly 6 Republicans decide they don’t like whatever is being presented on the floor and the Democratic party holds their votes together, whatever proposals may not pass.

One would think Republicans can maintain a united front. After all, for the previous two years the Democratic Party held the exact same numbers. However, unlike the Democratic Party, the Republican party is far more fractured and there are far right wing elements within it which are trying to exert their power and this may not sit well with others within the party who aren’t quite as extreme in their views.

We’ll see.

As far as Mr. Warnock, he represents the 51st Democratic Senator. In the Senate, there are 100 representatives and the current Vice President can serve as a “tie breaker”. In this election cycle, not only did the Republicans underperform in the House, though they did gain control, in the Senate they actually lost one seat. Now, the Democratic Party has an actual majority here, which will help them with their legislation and, especially judicial picks. Now the committees which push judicial candidates for formal votes will have a Democratic majority which therefore means these picks will be sent to the full Senate much more quickly.

In this day and age, a positive for sure.

In the meantime, Ex-President Donald Trump seems to be having a very bad time of late. He recently hosted Kayne West and Mr. West decided to bring along Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist, to the event. This, along with a court finding the Trump Organization found guilty on all counts of tax evasion, begins to show how bad a time he’s been having of late. Add to that the fact that the majority of candidates he endorsed for this election cycle, including Mr. Walker, lost and you start to see the first inklings of the Republican party maybe realizing he is a drain on their party.


Politics are an interesting and, especially these days, toxic topic to delve into.

On December 5th it was announced actress Kirstie Alley, perhaps best known for her role in the TV show Cheers, had passed away from cancer at the age of 71. My first experience seeing her was in the wonderful Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, easily (IMHO of course!) the best of the Star Trek theatrical movies…

I don’t know Ms. Alley other than the roles she’s played on movies or TV but I was surprised to see many people opining on how (here comes that word again) toxic she had become in the past ten or so years. Seems Ms. Alley, who is also a Scientologist (another strike against her to many!) also became very pro-Trump and hard right wing in her final years, espousing some of the more far out/lunatic rantings coming from that side.

I genuinely feel for people who have fallen into the sway of these right wing politics, especially the things offered from right wing media that seem from the outside looking in as being idiotic at best and dangerous at worst.

In the past few generations, really since Nixon was essentially booted from the White House, it seems like the ring wing in this country has slowly but effectively weaponized their strategies and have used the media to a sometimes alarming degree in swaying voters their way.

And they have taken a lot of people into their sway, including, it would seem, Ms. Alley.

Maybe I’m naive but its my hope that many of these people realize that much of the hate -and it usually is just that, focused hate- is being used to outrage them and keep them in their camp. Hate can be like a drug, one that keeps people in your sway.

I’m not saying these people are mindless drones, though at times they may talk like them.

Perhaps with this election and the fact that Republicans -and especially those who seemed to be farthest right- lost and underperformed as they did that maybe this particular dam is starting to crack.

We’ll see, won’t we?