Not a Blogger by M Schmidb

I guess if this blog says anything, it says I am not a blogger.

But, as I said in this week’s episode of HIGMWTRC, Mark and I are going to start (re)watching BtVS and I will blog our results. So maybe that will prompt me to do more writing here.

I will go ahead and write a bit about what I have been reading lately. You can follow me on Goodreads, if you are really interested. I added a link to the side bar, I think.

Right now, I am reading the third book of S.K. Dunstall’s Linesman series. This has been sitting on my TBR stack for a long time. I got the recommendation from somewhere, but whenever I looked at it, I always thought about E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensmen series, and for some reason couldn’t bring my self to read the Linesman series. Stupid! I am really enjoying these books. They would probably be in my top 10 Space SF book series list. (Note to self, make list of Top 10 Space SF books.)

I also very much enjoyed Ladies Who Punch, a tell-all about the morning tv show The View. I don’t watch The View, but I love a good gossipy girl fight.

Lastly, I will say I am a bit late to the John Scalzi fan club, but I am really enjoying many of his books and stories. I read Redshirts when it came out, and since then have read a few more of his books, most recently the Lock In series.

What are you reading?

Today We are in Elkhart, IN by M Schmidb

Mark found a new comic-con he wanted to try out here in Elkhart, IN.  As per our usual travel rules, we have to try to eat at places that are local, or not available to us in central Ohio.  So today we ate at Ricky's Taqueria.  It was pretty good.  I like these little "hole in the wall" places that one can find when one looks on the Internet for highly-rated local places.  

While it hasn't started yet as I write this, the Hall of Heroes Comic-con looks like it should be interesting.  Mark is especially looking forward to a show by The Mads (Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff) of MST3K.  The whole con appears to be taking place in the restored Lerner Theater, which looked beautiful when we drove by.  Mark is also looking forward to the Hall of Heroes Museum, with it's Bat Cave replica.  I am sure he'll have pictures tomorrow.  

Today We Cooked Blue Apron by M Schmidb

I will preface this by saying that, at least right now, we are not affiliates anywhere, and no links on this page lead to any income for us. 

So, that being said, we have been getting Blue Apron meals occasionally, less than once a month, but when we feel like we need some "special" meals.  This week, one of our meals was Smoky Pork Burgers with Roasted Vegetables.

This is Blue Apron's picture.  Ours looked very similar, though!

This is Blue Apron's picture.  Ours looked very similar, though!

The burgers were fine, dressed with a sour cream/garlic spread and baby kale, but the roasted veggies were phenomenal!  Chop a potato, add bite size broccoli, roast for 20 minutes, then add a mix of diced pepper, chopped kale, garlic and olive oil.  I could have just eaten that for dinner.  

We usually get one meat meal, one fish meal and one veggie meal, but that can change depending on what's available.  I have no idea if these are actually good for us, but it does really help with portion control.  No leftovers!  

So, I am thinking maybe we should mix it up and try a different meal delivery service sometime soon.  Anyone have any referrals codes to share?  

Today I Quilt by M Schmidb

This week, I've been working on a quilt my mom pieced (probably years ago).  It is pretty close to king-size, but I am using a lighter-weight, loftier batting and it is quilting wonderfully with Superior Bottom Line thread.  I have been using Omni thread in the Sweet 16, but I think I love the Bottom Line more!  At this point, after three days of sporadic quilting, I am about half-way done.

I am pretty sure the backing came to my stash from Cat, a friend of Mark's who had to give up her fabric stash when she moved across country.  Thanks, Cat!  

I am seriously considering some vinyl decorations for the quilter. No offense to HQ, but I think some nicely themed SF vinyl to go with Groot and the Adipose baby might be appropriate. 

Today I Read Books by M Schmidb

We’re 7 days into March, and I’ve already read 7 books.  Some of my favorite authors come out with books in March, and it feels like a treat for me, since March is my birth month.  I always treat myself to a few books in March.  

My first read this month was Darkfever (by Karen Marie Moning).  I needed to read a paranormal romance for my reading challenge, and this seemed to be fairly highly rated.  I love paranormal fantasy (or maybe urban fantasy?), so I really thought I might like this.  I did not.  The protagonist of this novel was fairly typical of a romance heroine, more concerned with her makeup, hair, nails and clothes than with the murder of her sister and her discovery of the fae world.  Even though the author had her studying and training with the handsome hero, this main character (who’s name I can’t even remember even though I read this less than a week ago) never developed.  I was annoyed with her through this whole book, and only finished it since it was for my reading challenge.

I really needed a palate cleanser after that one.  I had Dead Things (by Stephen Blackmoore) on my TBR list for a while.  I am not sure where I got the recommendation, but it seemed as though it would be a paranormal fantasy/mystery that was a bit more meaty.  I checked Fantastic Fiction, my go-to site for book series info, and found that there might be a different #1 in the Eric Carter series.  So I went first to City of the Lost.  And I ended up reading all four of the Eric Carter books before the weekend was over.  Blackmore has done some really good world-building here, and I look forward to future entries in this series.

Probably the book I was looking forward to the most this month was Magic for Nothing, by the prolific Seanan McGuire.  This is the latest entry in her Incryptid series, this one following the adventures of Antimony Price, the youngest member of the Price family of cryptozoologists.  And it was every bit as good as I expected.  If you haven’t read Seanan McGuire, check out her website for some free short stories to sample her worlds.  

Lois McMaster Bujold also came out with a new novella this month, in her Penric series.  This was, Mira’s Last Dance, continued the tale of demon-rider Penric as he flees the troubles he encountered on his last mission.  A solid entry in the series, and, as always, leaves me wanting more.  I love Bujold, and while she is not as prolific as McGuire, she has a healthy backlist and I reread her stuff pretty regularly.  


Here’s hoping I can get my other assigned reading (book club) done before I need it!  

Snow today... by M Schmidb

Mark and I are making the finishing touches on the new web page today.  It should go live by next Thursday.  In the meantime, it is snowing.  :)  

New Web Page, New Vow of Blogging by Mindy

I am currently (with Mark's help) working to update the SF Productions web page.  As such, you will occasionally see a post from me, testing some of the features.  Feel free to make comments!  

The Great Comic Read Catch-Up by MELINDA Schmidbauer

As noted on HIGMWTRC today, I am WAY behind on reading comics.  So, I need to read at least 4 every day.  I guess today I am going to count the four I read for the show:

You can hear my thoughts on these books by listening to "How I Got My Wife to Read Comics."  But I will say I really don't like the 3d covers.  They make the comic much bulkier, and, I think, harder to read.  

I am going to try to get a few more comics read before the end of the day.  If I do, I'll let you know tomorrow!  

FoodSaver by MELINDA Schmidbauer

My FoodSaver quit working a couple weeks ago.  This is the one I have:


I love my FoodSaver.  I use it almost daily, for storing leftovers, and heating them up for Mark's lunches.  I got it on clearance at Kroger last summer, but couldn't find the receipt.  At least I think it was last summer...  In any case, I called the CS line for FoodSaver, and went through a few trouble-shooting steps, but we couldn't get it to work.  Surprisingly, even though it was technically out of warranty, they will replace it!  This makes me very happy.  I should be back to vacuum sealing in a week or so.  Thanks, Jarden! 



Mark's Pet Peeves by MELINDA Schmidbauer

Mark has a few "pet peeves" that don't bother me at all.  A couple months ago he saw I had about $7 in library fines.  Our library lets you check out books until you hit $10 or so in fines.  I usually would let it ride and pay it off all at once.  But Mark said, "You have to pay your fines as you get them."  So now I pay all my fines when I accrue them.  The library needs to thank Mark.

While we were in Washington, he saw I had about 3,000 unread emails in my Google mail box.  I often times ignore advertisement email, and just let it sit unread.  This really irritated him.  So, for Mark, here is my Google mail now:


Concrete Crafting by MELINDA Schmidbauer

I am going to start doing some of the backlog of crafts I have.  I just pulled this out of the craft closet:


Yes, the old concrete!  A few years ago I made these projects:

 Googly Eyed Coasters





Googly-eyed planter worm








Now I need to make some stepping stones for my patio mulch bed gardens.  I hope to work on that in the next week or two.  Then, I saw this:


I absolutely love it!  Who's with me here?  Anyone want to make Tiki or Greek God flower pots?

Books, books and more books by MELINDA Schmidbauer

Well, I've pretty much stopped the comic a day postings.  I guess I just couldn't keep up.  Not with the reading!  I definitely read a comic for everyday.  Just with the posting.  

Today, though, I am inspired to write about a comic we read this week, as well as a book series I am currently immersed in.  As we discussed in the podcast this week, we both liked "The New Deadwardians" from Vertigo.  In post-Victorian England, the upper class is vampiric, the lower class is mostly zombies, and never the twain should meet.  This looks like a very nicely done whodunit with a twist.  We'll have eight issues to see it through.  

But meanwhile, I am reading the books in the Parasol Protectorate, a series by Gail Carriger.  In this series, the supernatural set (vampires, werewolves and ghosts) live in harmony in Victorian England.  The Queen is advised by a panel of an unaligned vampire, a packless werewolf, and a "soulless" (a human born with no soul, and therefore not able to be turned into a supernatural being).  Ghosts are used as spies (until their bodies are too decomposed, when they then turn poltergeist and have to be exorcised).  The factions are endless, and the adventures are very proper!  There are five books out in the series now, and I highly recommend them!  

As Mark said, maybe this is part of the trend started by "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," but if so, I am all for it.  Anything that makes the Supernatural a little less scary is a plus for me! 

On a final note, you may notice that we have begun linking to some Amazon products directly.  We did, finally, sign up an affiliate account, so any purchases you make after clicking on a link on our site will result in a (very) small amount accruing to our Amazon account.  Don't buy comics there -- use your local comic store.  But if you do purchase on Amazon, please use our link!

Green Lantern: New Guardians by MELINDA Schmidbauer

I just read issues #4 and #5.  

I think my brain must be getting more absent-minded, or forgetful, as I can hardly remember from month-to-month what is going on in some of these comics.  Especially when there is more than one of a "type."  I am not sure how many GL comics we are getting now, but this seems to be one of a few.  I should start thinking of them as "The One with Hal," "The One with Guy," and "The One with Kyle."  (I think we dropped "The One with Guy," even though he is my favorite GL.  But he is in JLI, too.)

I really have no idea how a new reader could understand anything going on in this book.  We have so many characters from the Blackest Night saga, and the story that was going on before "The New 52" that if you had never read this before, you would be lost.  I am lost and I read them before.  And now, with issue 5, they are pulling in worlds that were supposedly destroyed in previous continuities (and, I thought, in this one?).  I pity the new reader. 

I am even confused by the title of this book.  Are the "New Guardians" the various Crayola Lanterns?  Or are they the old Guardians that are now acting different?  Or have we not met the New Guardians yet? I got to thinking that maybe this whole thing with a big white hole at the center of the universe might be some other Guardians.  But probably not.

I did like issue 5 better than the previous issues, and I am guessing now that the Crayola Lanterns are indeed the New Guardians.  I, like Kyle, needed to look up the word ORRERY.  I did not have a ring to do so.  I have a laptop.  Almost the same.  

I am looking forward to finding out more about Invictus, which is a movie, a poem and now a villain?  

Always catching up... by MELINDA Schmidbauer

I am catching up on my comics from the last two weeks.  Lately I have been only reading the comics that I have to read for the show.  It is very bad of me!  But once again, I am determined to catch up before "New Comics Wednesday."

Do we need to thank "The Big Bang Theory" for making that a common knowledge thing?  A lot of my friends and family now know that comics come out on Wednesday.  But I also think we have to give them a wag of the finger for perpetuating the idea that comic book stores are only for males, and socially awkward ones at that.  Our LCB store is a great place, run by a family (husband, wife, kids) and I have, on many occasions, seen other women there.  I think if we look at the demographics of the "typical" comic buyer, we might even see that more of them are like Mark and me than like Sheldon and Leonard.  

But back to the comics I am reading today!  

Justice League Dark #5

This pretty much completes the first story arc of the New 52 JLD.  The team gets together and "fixes" Enchantress, but then breaks up right away.  Madame Xanadu feels she has failed.  Apparently, she just did the whole separate Enchantress from June Moon to get the team together.  Really, Madame X, you didn't think that through very well.  Since the book is continuing, I am sure the team will come together in some way.  I am looking forward to seeing how this continues.  In fact, I like it better than I like…

Justice League #5

The Justice League is trying to fight Darkseid, and, of course, they try to do it individually.  Well, it is issue 5 and they aren't the Justice League yet.  (But I guess, to be fair, JLD isn't the Justice League yet either).  I am wondering if they aren't ever going to be called "The Justice League."  Just because it is the name of the comic, doesn't mean they actually have to name the group.  

Anyway, everyone is going at Darkseid in a free-for-all, and getting beaten.  Batman, in a daring move, reveals his true identity to Green Lantern ("Who's Bruce Wayne?"), and talks him into trying to get the team working as a group.  Meanwhile, he goes after Batman.  And then finds himself, I am guessing, on Apokolips.    Still not a lot of story. 

Legion Secret Origins #4

This book is a really nice retelling of the Legion origins.  I am enjoying it, but don't have much more to say about it.

Superman #5

Seriously unimpressed with this title.  Why does it bore me so?  There is a fake Superman in Metropolis.  Yawn.  I guess that I was so invested in the previous story line (pre-New 52) and the relationships in it, that I am having problems caring about these new people who haven't really (in 5 issues) coalesced into people for me.  I haven't really gotten anything about their relationships to each other or to Superman.  I really don't care about anyone in this comic, let alone Clark/Superman.  

The Flash #5

The art in this book is nice.  The frozen scenes at Iron Heights were really well done.  While I think Iris and Patty look very much alike except for hair color and glasses, that may just be because Barry has a "type."  I'll give the artist the benefit of the doubt, there.   

Catwoman #5

Poor Selina.  First she gets her fence killed, then she steals from the Gotham PD. Inadvertently, but she is, nonetheless, on the bad side of Gotham's dirty cops.  This title has done a pretty good job of redeeming itself from the first (post New 52) issue.  


Batman: Odyssey -- Neal Adams by MELINDA Schmidbauer

I didn't read this.  I am going to wait until all seven are out.  I am confused by the story, as there are so many Batman books now.  I would really much rather read ONE title per month about a given character.  I guess I am not the best comic book consumer.

This book is probably one that would have been better purchased as a trade.   Since it is only seven issues, it will probably come out as one volume.  Seven seems like a weird number though…  I wonder if it was supposed to be longer.  Hmmmmm.

And here is a correction from my last point.  As Mark pointed out (and I did realize after I posted), the comic I last discussed is not "Deadman #4".  It is, in fact, "DC Presents..."


Deadman #4 by MELINDA Schmidbauer

This is one of those titles in the New 52 that I am still on the fence about.  Too many comics are falling into the "serious" mode; like Lost, everything has to have a big mythology and huge stories.  I am a big fan of the "one and done" stories, and wish that the writers of some of these comics would worry less about the "Big Bad" of the season and more about the stories of the characters, and the little bits of things.  

In this issue, Deadman deals with Lucifer to try to find out why Rama is having him possess certain people.  Lucifer has Boston play "20 questions" until Boston figures out what Rama is looking for.  Then an angry Rama confronts Boston.  Lots of philosophy, lots of pretty pictures, but too much mythology for too little story.  I really like Deadman and hope this picks up soon, otherwise it will join my growing list of "Meh" comics.  After all, I have other books to read, too!  

Skipping Comics and Favorite Comics by MELINDA Schmidbauer

As I said before, I am way behind on comics.  And even more behind after yesterday.  Darn you, new comics Wednesday!  Soon Mark will be telling me which comics I need to have read before the show on Sunday, and I am hoping to be caught up with the backlog from two weeks ago before then.  With that in mind, I am skipping the following:

I am not much of a fan of the Bongo comics.  I will read them at Mark's request, but otherwise I tend to skip them.  

My absolute favorite out of the pile I have left is Fables, so that is where I am starting today!

This was a special extra-large issue for the Christmas holiday.  We got to see most of the Fables, all of whom are making their way back to the Farm from Haven, and hopefully back to Fabletown from there.  Even the Wolfs' came home from North Winds for the "second best Christmas ever!"  The Little Match Girl, Santa, and The False Bride all made appearances as Rose Red had her first foray out as a symbol of hope.  She has to find what hope she will represent.  Very Dickensian.  I am sure I am missing a thousand things when I read these issues, which is why I like to go back and read them again once an arc is finished.  I wish we had room to keep trades of these around!  But I want to buy the issues so they keep coming out.  And I can hardly wait for the new Fables series, Fairest, on sale March 7!

Doesn't this look good?