Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grimm: The Good Shepherd

This week a tight alliance of Nick, Hank and Monroe take on the case of a Reverend who comes in to report that his volunteer accountant has stolen all of the church funds and has gone missing.

When Nick and Hank go to the accountant's workplace to question folks, they find that the company wood chopping/grinding apparatus is clogged by a body with a metal hip which has caused the machinery to stop.

The investigation is now a homicide and our duo go to question the good reverend to see what he knows.   Catching him in a meeting with his church elders, Nick says Norm was killed and was likely set up by someone else as the thief.  In one of those Grimm only moments, everyone reveals their shock at this news by transforming--the Reverend into a Blutbad and the congregation into Seelengut, rather adorably rendered sheep-like creatures.

Enter Monroe, Undercover Blutbad.  He enters the church one evening dressed in shoddy clothes and hat, his eyes glowing Blutbad red.   The flock of Seelengut are shocked and frightened by him but the reverend hears Monroe's tale of wanting redemption and help and offers him lodging for the night.

The Right Reverend is of course ye wolf in wolves clothing.  He has bilked a congregation before with the help of his "assistant", as Nick and Hank see when they investigate.  He is also among his flock in other ways, getting a young girl pregnant, which inflames his sheepish assistant.

Monroe's dislike of herd mentalities is right on the money.  Our lovely assistant turns the flock against the reverend and they attack him and kill him for his crimes.  Just as they are about to do in Monroe as well, Nick and Hank intervene.

The flock all take responsibility for the murder of the reverend, so no loose ends there.  His lovely assistant and the pregnant girl are off to the beach to enjoy the money from years of scams.   The sheep shall inherit the beach?

A few ongoing threads:

Juliette goes out with friends who tell her Nick asked her to marry him and she said no, nobody knows why.  She has a conversation with Nick and they both decide nobody needs to move out just yet despite the uncomfortable tensions between them.  I have liked Juliette since the beginning and think she is smart and has great research and logic skills even though her heart is currently forcibly in the wrong place.  There was a small scene with Renard recalling the kiss that saved her.  I do hope she does not have some tie to him that will get in the way of her relationship with Nick.  If the kiss merely ties them to each other in some way that would make them prone to loyalty to each other in the future, that is an ok plot twist.

Hank is really growing into his role as Grimm cohort.  He soaks up new knowledge and bluffs his way when he isn't quite sure.  I think if there is this upcoming war, Hank is a great person to have Nick's back.

The Nuckelavee creature that was sent by Renard's "family" to get the key shows up at Nick's trailer and I'm all panicky thinking oh no, he knows where the trailer is, Nick is going to have to move the trailer.  Oh no, Nick has got to kill him and chop off his head, eek.

Instead, a rather tame fight ensues and of all the weapons in the trailer's arsenal to pull out of the cabinet, Nick pulls out a mallet, pummels the guy and that's it.  I didn't even realize the guy was dead till they casually commented to Renard at the end that this guy had been found near the river, pummeled.  I just think he seemed like an extra creepy and potentially powerful enemy and he was dispatched a bit too easily.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I'm not a die hard Sherlock fan, thinking CANON constantly.  Good thing.  I enjoy the utter cleverness of the Sherlock Holmes classic character and his ability to make incredible deductions from keen observations.  If only I could do that.  The things I observe never turn out to be quite so useful.

Holmes and Watson have been updated to present day New York City.  As you can see in the picture, Sherlock is a bit of a squirrel, not dignified at all.  He is presented as a druggie tattooed but still brilliant Sherlockian "consultant" for the New York Police who seem to take him in stride and value him.

Watson is a beautiful, compassionate former surgeon who agrees to babysit Holmes and keep him off drugs and out of trouble on behalf of Holmes' wealthy and unseen father.   Love Watson.  Lucy Liu is just wonderful.  Lots of depth, not a chattering chipmunk like Holmes.

Animal comparisons aside, I liked the mystery plot, I think and hope Watson can temper Holmes and his madness.

No, I have not watched the PBS series yet.  Have season one.  We shall see.

Person of Interest: The Contingency

Reese asks the machine directly for help in this season opener.  What he gets is a phone call from the local phone booth, yo its The Machine!  He hears a series of words, jots them down and goes back to the home base. 

A book of cryptography is useless but then John notices that the book has a code on its spine!  This code is known in the super secret librarian world as a DEWEY DECIMAL NUMBER!  I love this show!  The key to everything is Dewey.  Dang.

The code leads him not to Finch but to a new "victim" named Leon who is an accountant skimming millions from a nasty gang.  Reese brings in Carter and Fusco to help, and it is nice to see them both working side by side for Reese but wary of each other.

Flashbacks to 2002 or so show Finch working with the machine to train it and set its priorities.

Finch is so proud of his creation as he puts it through its paces.  He could win at a casino and clean them out but he pulls back and loses all the money on purpose.  Finch doesn't want himself or the machine to be amoral, he wants to save everyone.

Finch also appears in the present time, prisoner of the ever pleasantly repulsive "Root".  She has the smooth facade of a serial killer and the remorseless instincts of a torturer.  I am really starting to be creeped out anytime Amy Acker plays a character because at some point the claws are going to come out.  Eeeww.

John Reese doesn't disappoint in the bad guy busting.  Only one giant tattooed guy gives him any trouble. 

Without Finch, John depends a bit more on Carter and Fusco, and maybe picks up a dog.  Despite his awesome fighting abilities, he has a fragile personality and the pain with which he begs the machine to help him find his friend shows how much he needs these people.

Among Others by Jo Walton

As we know, I had the opportunity to go to the World Science Fiction Convention this year and the winner for best Novel was Jo Walton for Among Others.  I hadn't read anything by her (but I will read more) so I requested her book when we got back.

Among Others is a journal of Morwenna, a Welsh girl going to boarding school in England.  There is a dream like quality to the writing and the world it presents.


Mori (as she calls herself) survives the harsh school environment by reading widely, but reading, commenting and naming the titles of real science fiction books is the best part.  I read science fiction from sixth grade on, so many of the books she mentions are ones I grew up with.  How nice to hear what someone else thought of them, and that they treasured them as well.

This is not merely a journal of school days, but a chronicle of magic in the world.  Magic is subtle, always present, but difficult and dangerous to use. 

Mori sees creatures as well that she calls faeries.  They have varied appearances: "Faeries tend to be either very beautiful or absolutely hideous.  They all have eyes, and lots of them have some recognizeable sort of head.  Some of them have limbs in a roughly human way, some are more like animals, and others bear no resemblance to anything at all".

Mori speaks with these cryptic beings when she can.  Along with books, they help her make sense of the world.

She is in England after having run away from her mother.  Morwenna's twin Morganna was killed after a confrontation with their mother, who Mori paints as "the Queen of Evil".   She ends up with her father and his three sisters who dutifully take her in and immediately send her off to school.

In school she is brilliant except in math.  Her readings include philsophy and history and these seem to contribute to the very practical, very sensible way she approaches topics as varied as religion and sexuality.

Her voracious reading leads her to the public library and eventually a place in a science fiction book group there.  Once she is among others who love science fiction and fantasy and simply talking about ideas she begins to soften, I think. Drops her barriers.  Finds herself finally with people like her.

She is eventually able to confront her mother, and though she battles her alone, she now has family and friends and community to give her the strength she needs.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Survivor Philippines

Russell Swan was my favorite of the episode, keeping cool, just trying to do his best.  Good guy.  His tribe lost out again and sent Roxy home.  She is a seminary student but oopsie seems to have no fellow feelings.  Very sharp and hateful little beaner.

Lisa, the former Facts of Life star (a show I never watched), crumpled and had one of those Survivor personal breakdowns, pretty early on for that.  She seems like a very fragile personality.  I have read elsewhere that she finalized a divorce right before leaving for the islands though so her emotional state wasn't going to be too good anyway.  I felt for her.

Jonathan Penner found the immunity idol. If he had any sense (and nobody ever does) he would just hang onto it and tell noone he has it.  You can see him dancing off into the shrubbery though so you know he is going to blab his good fortune.  Goof.

Another puzzle challenge for immunity.  Not a fan of those because it is such a particular skill.  Just do some physical no brain stuff for awhile, please.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Revolution: Chained Heat

Miles and Charlie split off from Maggie and Aaron in tonight's episode. 

Charlie follows a reluctant Miles to find an old friend who can help them get Danny.  The friend is on a chain gang hauling a helicopter through the woods.  Apparently Monroe is confident the power will be restored and he plans to have tools such as this at his disposal.

Nora is a total badass woman who didn't need rescuing, so she says.  Pretty tough, I must say. 

Charlie follows Nora's lead and her moms toughie lead (shown in flashbacks), playing innocent and getting close enough to the chain gang warden to shoot him with a jury-rigged pistol.  She shoots another man with a Big Gun liberated from the bad guys.  She seems confident in taking these actions, justifying the killings with the observation that the men are holding 30 innocent people as prisoners.

She had stopped Miles from killing a bounty hunter earlier, so she has scruples of some sort that say when to kill and when to be merciful.

A flashback scene has her family accosted by a man who threatens Charlie then walks away with all their food in a wagon.  Charlie's father is unable to shoot to stop the man but Charlie's mom takes him down.

Charlie was followed in tonight's episode by "Nate" that Taylor Lautner wannabe who is really a member of the militia trying to get to Miles.  Small hint again that he saved her because he has been smitten by her edgy good looks.

Daniel gets to see more of Neville's hard justice.  Gunshots are heard as their wagon goes along.  The militia confront a man with a deer hanging from his clothesline (boy that was quick).  Because it is a crime for anyone but Monroe's militia to have firearms, Neville tries the smooth talk first to get the guy to admit he has firearms, then switches to ruthless mode when the guy tosses out his rifle but balks at letting the militia into his home.  The man is shot and his home is ordered to be burned after he also is revealed to have a United States flag in his home.  Very heavy handed sequence, I thought.  See what gun control could be, it says.  Two points to Daniel for telling Neville he is just a psychopathic murderer.

Grace, who is typing away madly on her Commodore 64 hears a knock at the door.  Bad news as we just see a pair of boots, Grace locking the door and running back upstairs to boot the computer up quick and type in Randall is here.  We fade out on the faceless man with a glowing cattle prod (I think) standing in front of her.

Aaron and Maggie were on their way to Grace's place.  Although I only heard Ben tell Aaron to keep the amulet safe before he died, Aaron says he was told to take it to Grace and the location where she could be found.

If we're lucky, Maggie and Aaron will arrive on Randall's heels and Maggie will take that prod away from him, or show him its pointy end at the least just in the nick.

Last strong woman of the night is Charlie's mom, sitting at a writing table  when slimy ol' Monroe pops in.  He tells her Ben is dead then demands to know everything she knows about Ben and his work, whilst wringing her neck, never the best posture for spilling the beans.

I thought the show was a bit edgier, more swearing and shooting (by a teen) thus earning the show the late timeslot.   All of the strong women are appealing.  Miles gained points for telling Charlie to shut up and that she was a pain.  Amen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday Night At The Movies: Super 8

I finally had the chance to watch Super 8.  Set in 1979 with good old rock playing throughout, it follows a group of kids who are the film crew and stars of 8mm films produced by a wildly creative teen named Charles Kaznyk.

Charles has been working with his pals on a zombie movie which he plans to enter into a film competition.  He decides the film needs a bit of heart so he asks lovely Alice Dainard to play the wife of his film's detective.

Sneaking out at midnight to get just the right mood, they film in the light of an oncoming train.  As they work only Joe Lamb notices a truck racing to intercept and crash head on into the train.  Suddenly the train crashes and explodes, sending everyone running.  They barely recover from their shock when they are forced to flee by the arrival of a swarm of Air Force troups.

The train, as it turns out, is a military train and it was carrying odd radioactive cubes and something else, something that soon begins to turn the town into a wreckage of metal and wiring.

I love a good escaped alien film.  The kids were so smart and yet they did incredibly dangerous things to further the zombie film and then to find one of their own who has gone missing.

The romance that happens between Joe and Alice, two kids with a shared heartbreak, is sweet.  The suspense that builds as the escaped creature becomes more desperate and destructive is excellent. 

The generosity of Joe and eventually his hard, careworn, policeman father makes it possible for everyone to escape the burdens they have been carrying for too long.   I like a good happy ending.

The full cut of Charles' zombie extravaganza plays at the end of the film during the credits.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Survivor: Philippines

I'm pleased with this new edition of Survivor. For at least the last two, every person has been horrible, dislikeable and it has been hard to pick anyone to root for in such a morass of badness.

Now we have only a few immediately villainous types, and they aren't even all that bad.  Actually, looking at the cast and having seen the episode, only Angie seems like a complete witch.  Not a bad start.   RC the "banker" who wants to hide being a banker also is a bit of a hag. 

I'm not a fan of the "returning players" concept.  They are pretty much cannon fodder right off as having already had their shot etc.  Of the three this time, I came in after Australia season player Michael Skupin was injured so I don't know him.  He seems really nice if bumbling.  I like Russell Swan too, and appreciate his efforts to keep himself cool though he can't seem to resist taking over.  Chopping block city.  I was never a fan of Jonathan Penner, a rather oily sort.

The two "famous" people seeking to hide out among the castaways aren't doing so well at it, both have been recognized by at least one other cast member.

I like the splitting of the tribes into three, which eliminates another problem of late:  One side always wins and just chops down the weaker tribe and voila, by episode three they have to merge or mix up to try to prevent one side just going kablooie.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry

Flesh & Bone is the third novel in a Zombie Apocalypse series that began with Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay.

Our heroes have been heading east to see if they can find any trace of a jet they saw flying over in book two.  In a world where the living barely hang onto grim survival, the hope of some remnant of advanced society holds tremendous hope.

What they find is that a band of zealots has found a way to control zombies.  They march them enmasse through the landscape killing any outposts of humanity they find.  In their minds, the zombies are the inheritors of the earth and it should be left to them. It is their mission to destroy any living beings who are now not part of the natural order.

Benny, Nix, Chong and Lila the Lost Girl try to help save the living people they come across who are on the run, even though those people are initially hostile, so deeply are they in survival mode.

This is my favorite of the three novels.  It is tightly plotted, a real page turner and the characters have come a long way since we first met them.  Strong female characters are a bonus.  If only there had been girls like these in novels when I was a teen.

Maberry really has given readers much to think about between battles, as his characters see the zombies as humans gone awry and they feel for them, they examine their own beliefs and motives, and mourn those they have lost.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes adventure, road novels, or the delights of the Zombie Apocalypse.

A side note: in the front and back of each book are cards depicting heroes and villains of the era.  Kids collect these in the books.  They are so cool and should be available as posters or something.


Tonight is the premier of Revolution, a new science fiction show that has all of the lights and power and energy go out in some mysterious event.  The setting of the show is fifteen years later than the event. 

It looks so super earnest and cheesy. Shades of Terra Nova.  The lead actress seems so bratty.

Can't wait!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Children's Writing for Beginners Class tonight

Yay, Yay!  We are having a Children's Writing for Beginners class at Wescott tonight.  Anyone who is thinking about penning for the wee folk should come and get some tips.  This is taught by the Loft Literary Center, don't worry it isn't me giving tips on something I know zippo about.

Edit 9/14/12   We only had seven people (and I pictured a packed room, silly me).   I don't think anyone from either of the local writing groups came, which is disappointing.
It was so informative.  I learned alot about publisher expectations and requirements for some types of books.  Picture books stand out.  Did you know they are limited to 32 pages, sixteen full page drawings with text? 
Also, it is rare that the writer of the text and the illustrator are the same person.  To me, a picture book is a really tight marriage of text and illustration.  I can't see how the author doesn't have a set of pictures in their head to go with the text they write.  You must be able to "see" the scenes you're writing, right?
Beginner reading books are another curious group.  Sentences not only need to be simple, but you don't use certain things like dipthongs or silent letters in order to make it accessible for the new reader.   With such concentration on form, no wonder they are generally so...torturous to read for a good reader.  It is rather like Hemingway is to me, all of those short abrupt sentences.
I thought it was very valuable advice to know that when looking for an agent you should keep in mind they are working for you, and they should not require reading fees or any money from you.  They make money only when they sell your work, which sounds like a decent arrangement.  This explains though why it can be hard to find an agent, because they aren't going to take anyone on whose work they don't feel they can sell to anyone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


There is this bizarre scandal sweeping the reviews scene wherein authors (and one guy in particular) have been found to be writing their own reviews and kudos on Amazon (and elsewhere) and giving BAD STARS to their competition.   These people are being referred to as Sockpuppets which sounds so darn cute!    

I want to make my own lil DOA sockpuppet and put a picture of it with the book in hand for anything I get around to writing a review of here.  Need a glue gun for attaching the googly eyes....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Enterprise takes off

Our library gets a new catalog interface today called Enterprise.  It is being released to us and our unsuspecting public about a month early.  I like everything I've seen about it so far.  It is a huge relief to be offering the public a single interface rather than trying to explain both Aquabrowser and eLibrary to them.

Someday, some brilliant sort will make it possible for staff and public to use the same interface so we are all on the actual same page and talking the same talk.

Edit 9/12/12   Yay!  Day one was a GREAT launch.  People just went in and used the catalog without a word and NO CURSING (there were tons of curses the last time we debuted a new catalog).  Not a soul asked for help using it all day.   Lots of other questions but the catalog is sooo easy to use and sooo intuitive so far that voila!

Edit 9/13/12   Aha, people in the building only have the option to use the new Enterprise interface, but if you have AquaBrowser and eLibrary bookmarked at home you can continue to use those till November 1.  This might explain why we haven't had more feedback...though some oddity with Aquabrowser may force those folks over to the new interface.  Ongoing tale city.

edit 9/14/12    I had only two catalog related questions/comments yesterday.   One was a nice email saying how nice and easy to use the system is (yay) and the other was a classic "I'm looking for this topic and I don't quite know how to look for it in your new catalog" question.  

Not from the public but from a staffer was one of the practice questions we were given (which I did not work through but perhaps I should...but I don't have patience for fake questions!  Give me the real thing baby!) that turned out be just be a garbled title from the customer (fake, one might say SOCKPUPPET CUSTOMER oh noooo).

Strolling with a Bozo

Now that I am largely over my "con crud" I am back on the streets and did two miles.  I will try for three days a week for starters then hope to go daily.  There is nothing better for improving yourself physically and clearing the mental cobwebs as well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

iPad Games Poorly Ported: Puppet Theater and 7th Guest

I have had high hopes for games recently purchased for my iPad.  So far, two that I was really enjoying,  I find myself just stuck and it appears that the companies that have produced the games as ports from other platforms are unconcerned with the iPad as a gaming platform and they just ignore any problems.

What a shame.  The first is Puppet Theater from Big Fish Games.  Good plot!  Small town with a much admired puppet master loses the theater and puppet master in a tragic fire.  Only a small boy escaped, and years later there seems to be something going on in the theater and children are disappearing. 

You'll need to enter the theater and explore the town to solve the mystery.

There are traditional adventure game puzzles and in each area find the hidden object puzzles.  Unfortunately, some mini-games and hidden object puzzle pieces are not functional on the iPad so you get to a certain point ( in the theater with the oil lamp for me) and you're done.  You can't bypass this bit and you can't move on.

Game over.

7th Guest

I still have my pc game of this.  It was one of the first puzzle adventure games I ever played and the whole family got involved solving the puzzles and advancing through the house.  If I recall, there are three possible choices at the end you can make, and at the time I chose the "wrong" one.  I was looking forward to replaying this clever, spooky game and making the "right" choice at the end.

The problem here is I played till about midnight the first time I played this version and I got quite far (I think) but I cannot access my saved game.  The game will grudgingly load briefly then it backs right out to the loading screen.

Another game where people had the same problem and the game company people just did not respond on their forums.

Best Sentence Ever

I have read this multiple times and may frame it:

"No hypermetabolic lesion to suggest active malignancy."  

Grimm Check

I am two episodes behind on my Grimm commentary.  No worries, because they started the season early but are now on a three week break, the stinkers, till September 28 so I will surely get caught up.

World Science Fiction Convention Chicago 2012

I notice I have quite a few drafts or unpublished posts piling up that I wanted to tweak or add pictures to.  I'll just add the details as I can or I will never post another thing.  Just check back now and then for tweaks if something vaguely interests you.   9/10/12

Strolling with the Stars billed as a leisurely one mile walk around the area was a nice stroll indeed. We had a chance to talk with a few people who were also walking and trying things out. The real walk is today, with stars galore.

There were two authors there who I was unfamiliar with. You know how I love authors though so I talked with the gentleman about reading and science fiction and ya sf. I have this odd habit of getting nervous around serious people and then I start to babble. I'm not sure at which point I began babbling. But blah blah blah I went. At one point I could see the guy had a bit of that deer in the headlights look developing but I had gone by the wayside.

I think the point may have been when he and others were mentioning that some were pushing for a YA and Children's Hugo and I was all perky and thought that was a fantastic idea because this is such a great time for ya sf especially. Blah blah, I said, as he gave me a skewering look, even alot of adult authors are now writing ya, blah blah.

I tried to steer the conversation to mysteries but when he asked me who I read and my mind went blank and I could only name a few...I might have as well been wearing a full BOZO the Clown outfit.

We're going on the stroll this morning. I shall seek to be zenlike and not go blah blah blah.

Our first panel was on How to Moderate a Panel

Four women who had done considerable moderation offered tips and experiences. Unfortunately, two of them had such strong personalities that they dominated the conversation, thus nullifying their own panel as an example of "here is how to do this". The moderator sat silent with her arms folded most of the time and another woman with some valuable things to offer did not get many words in edgewise.

My husband was beginning to twirl his thumbs in a gesture of something not good, and every time one of the women spoke he leaned forward a little bit like a bird of prey and I thought he might say something to her when luckily it ended.

Panels are one and a half hours long which is really too much. We took away from that one sit at the back of the room by the door so you can slink out, but we were right up front, still in ComicCon mode of thinking that was the place to be.

Opening Ceremonies

John Scalzi was the toastmaster for the opening ceremonies. He ran a very Johnny Carson like routine with the accompanying band accenting his moves.

Huge couches were set up in front and he interviewed the guests of honor then they took a seat as a new person came by. I found the guest of honor Mike Resnick to be a particularly interesting fellow, also very down to earth.

The lady whose design won the selection for the base of the Hugo award was also quite interesting. I hadn't known it was a competition.

There was a bit of Chicon history which was also fun.

LARPING: Make Believe for Grownups

I read a book a year or so ago called This is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams. In it, a man ran LARP events that had people via the Internet solving puzzles and acting as characters in a dramatic game that he had created. He had some people who were regular players and others who would join in for a single game. Things go awry when a new player seems to know too much and he/she takes over the game. It becomes clear that this new game is a matter of life or death for someone and the regulars join in to help the game master solve the puzzles before anyone dies.

That story is what I had in mind, but the panel participants all have very diiferent experiences. I don't think they really explained what a particular LARP session would be like, they all just mentioned favorite bits of LARPS they have been involved in.

My best guess explanation from what they said is: someone writes a scenario which is acted out in a very limited space, say a room or two. The game master responds to player questions and moves things forward plotwise as he would in a Dungeons and Dragons game. Only, there are no cards, no boards, no character figures. The players themselves are the figures, often in costume, and with props for weapons.

Haunted Bus Tour

We could go to the Planetarium for a special event or on a Haunted Bus Tour of Chicago. Although I've never been to a planetarium and would like to go, I am not one to pass up something like a Haunted Bus Tour.

We visited various sites such as a theater where a fire had killed several hundred people, the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and the former coal pit where the doc from The Devil in the White City supposedly disposed of ashes.

As we rode along the guide told stories of murder and disaster throughout the city. Occasionally after hearing a tale we got out of the bus and examined the site. He told us in many cases that people would find ghostly shapes or people in their photographs. He himself had one seen the imprint of six bodies in the snow at the site of the St. Valentine's Day massacre.

Having grown up reading ghost stories like mad it was all fun, but only two places looked creepy as if something might lurk there:

The alley outside the Iroquois Theater seemed shadowy and spooky.

The Jane Addams Hull-House was curiously empty for a museum. Though well kept it was eerie. I kept thinking this would be a good place for Lizzie Borden to hang out. Note how close the name is to "Hill House". Yup. Creepy place. It has a charming story of a "devil baby" having been in hiding there that is detailed on the museum web site.

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

For some reason Blogger is messing with me using my old laptop which I've brought along. The new blogger interface wasn't showing any add a picture icon, so I went to the old blogger format to get one. It won't let me delete the pictures which are doubles. It added them backwards and wouldn't let me add text at the top of the post, which is why it is buried down here.

We're have having a great time here, fullfilling another item on my list. Tonight, Second City, home of all those famous comedians. Since we are such a laff riot, we will fit right in.

edited 9/10/12 to move pictures together.  Still cannot delete the doubles.  Ack.