A Golden Age of Toys

Twenty years ago, I used to write articles about toys for a living. I was recruited by a friend of mine, who in turn had been recruited by a friend of his. There were a bunch of us sci-fi fans who worked at this site, Collecting Channel, once it was up and running. I spent…

Who Killed Steampunk?

Recently, a blog post from a self-proclaimed steampunk fan posed that very question to his readers. He listed several reasons why Steampunk was dead: unsurprisingly, those reasons focused on a highly self-absorbed premise; that, because Steampunk wasn’t exactly the same as when he started, it must be dead. At the very least, it no longer…

Oh, For the Love of Zardoz!

We as a culture love bad movies. Seriously: look how many have been lionized far beyond their relative level of quality. The best example I can come up with is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Let’s be honest: it’s a lousy movie. However, it has an enduring life as an audience participation film, plus hordes…

One Year Along

In mid-September, we adopted two kittens from the same litter. The adoption was through Angel’s Wish http://angelswish.org/ in Verona, WI. They were nearly six months old at the time, curious and full of energy as most kittens are. When we first met them, they were very interested in T and pretty much ignored me, which…

Giving Fatigue

Only two months into the new year, and I’m already tapped out on charitable contributions for a while. Facebook has instituted an interesting new policy: they offer the opportunity for people to put up a post soliciting donations. This is a worthwhile endeavor to be sure, but the speed at which it’s spreading through my…

Transitions

I’ve come to realize, over the last couple of years, that I know quite a few people who either have, or are in the process of, transitioning to another gender. My first experience with this came in the mid-1980s; the place I worked at the time brought in a manager from another city to take…

Taking the Joy Out of Life

Word got out this week about a blog post from “comedian” Bill Maher regarding the death of Stan Lee. He wrote: “The guy who created Spider-Man and the Hulk has died, and America is in mourning. Deep, deep mourning for a man who inspired millions to, I don’t know, watch a movie, I guess. Someone…