Blog Archives

5 a Day With Jay 0161

Audio Only: https://anchor.fm/jr-murdock/episodes/5-a-Day-With-Jay-0161-e17mnbg

Yes, I’m behind on my TV viewing.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV Mini-Series 2021) - IMDb

In the Murdock Family Household, we’re Marvel fans. We’ve gone back and rewatched all the MCU movies in order. I’ve watched all the NetFlix series (with the exception of Jessica Jones season 3, and Daredevil Season 3). We LOVED Wandavision.

My Favorite Daughter burned through Falcon and Winter Soldier as the episodes came out. The Mrs and I, well, we took our time.

Last weekend, we burned through the first 4 episodes, and today we finished off the last two.

Wow, Marvel is getting so good with their story telling. That’s all I really have to say here. I don’t get the hated toward the “new” Captain America character. To me, he was not someone to hate, but rather sympathetic.

If you’re a fan of the Marvel Universe, you need to keep up with what Disney is doing. It’s amazing.

That’s all I’ve got today.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

I’m a reader before I’m a writer.

One thing I don’t like about the kindle tracking my reading progress with my reading goal for the year…or my days/weeks/months reading…it doesn’t take into account the days I read physical media.

I read. Like, I read a LOT. Not just books, short stories, and magazines. I also read news articles. Mostly politics, science, astronomy, and the like. I also read a good number of writer blogs and web comics.

In today’s video I mention Kill Six Billion Demons. I purchased the first two books off Amazon and I’m currently reading the webcomic on Comic Rocket (a website that will remember which page you’re on with a webcomic). First, Comic Rocket is great for, not only discovering new web comics, but also remembering where you’re at in your reading of a given web comic. I know it’s frustrating trying to remember where you’re at when reading a long running comic and not remembering your place.

At any rate, I’ve been reading a lot of older Marvel comics. Lots of old Ditko and Kirby comics. The stories are weak, yes. But then these comics were intended for kids. Villains explain in great detail what their plans are and every character talks…a lot. And then they talk some more. Lots of thought bubbles. There’s never a question as to what is happening.

I’m not reading most of the dialogue. I’m going through and looking at the artwork and being amazed at how many comics some artists were putting out in a given month. Truly amazing.

Back to KSBD. This isn’t a comic for kids. It’s not an adult comic, but it covers some weird topics that, unless you’re a little versed in various religious backgrounds, it’ll go over your head. That artwork is intense and visually strange. I was draw to this one much like all comics I’ve been drawn to over the years. The artwork. Topped off with a fun story, that’s keeping me around even more.

As I said at the start, I read a lot. My kindle doesn’t track all my reading. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s annoying knowing I’ve a far longer streak than the device will give me credit for. Darn it.

I wish I could support every artist I find on the web. I do. There is so much great content out there. I do what I can. When I can’t do anything financially, I’ll do it through this blog with reviews.

That said, what are some web comics you’re reading? I’d love to know. I’ve got so many, that it’d be hard to come up with a quick list. Perhaps someday I will.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only: https://anchor.fm/jr-murdock/episodes/5-a-Day-With-Jay—0134-e10pk7l

Godzilla Vs Kong: Why don’t people love this movie?

I’ve seen number of reviews with a multitude of complaints about Godzilla vs Kong. It’s getting panned and, honestly, I don’t understand why.

What I mean is, if you’ve seen the previous movies, you know it’s not high-brow entertainment. It isn’t doing more than it intends to do. On top of that, there are still many nods to the original material. and previously established story lines. I was happy they even kept the same actors from the previous movies (Godzilla: King of Monsters and Kong: Skull Island).

That said, there wasn’t much of a plot in any of these movies. There’s a simple set up, one-dimensional characters, and we’re off to the races. Lots of fighting, TON of destruction, and you’ve got a movie. It’s, to be, brilliant in its simplicity.

For me, this movie is much like watching Pacific Rim. I can turn off my brain for a couple of hours and enjoy the ride. I am not expecting much and this movie did more than I thought it would. It was silly good fun that made me remember just how terrible the Godzilla movies were from when I was a kid, yet they kept things simple and went for incredible graphics.

I’m not sure what others were expecting from this movie to cause them to get unhappy with it, but I think it’s getting a bad rap. This isn’t a movie like Avatar which promised so much and was little more than Pilgrims vs Indians where the Indians win (and for me, failed hard at plot by trying to be more than it was). It’s a fun film that keeps the franchise going and I’m hoping for more movies like this in the future.

What did you think? Let me know.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Book Review: 11.22.63: A Novel by Stephen King

11.22.63: A Novel by Stephen King

I listened to this book on audio. I’ve got a lot of things to say about this book so get ready. There may be spoilers. You have been warned.

As a Reader: Stephen King hit the mark with this one. I was disappointed with the ending of his last couple of books so as this one neared the end of what I thought was the end of the story. I was quite wrong where the story was going to end. It kept going, and going, and going sort of like the Lord of the Rings. I loved that it didn’t just drop me and leave me wondering or have some weird/corny ending that left me miffed that I’d wasted my time.

King takes us from 2011 back to 1958 several times. Each time things are reset. When George Amberson (the character’s assumed name in the past) stays longer to prevent the assassination of JFK things get weird. There’s a long time for our main character to wait. I had a little struggle with how easily he accepted this task from a person eh didn’t know very well. This part seemed to be glossed over in favor of the person going back to a past he had never lived in. It bothered me, but only slightly.

There’s a lot of fun King had in the past. It almost felt like he was reminiscing about his boyhood. Perhaps longing for a simpler time. I’m not really sure. There are a lot of side trails along the way to stop the assassination and I really didn’t mind them. This is what King does best is to draw you into the characters life. It’s like the end of the Dark Tower. It’s not about the Dark Tower, it’s about the journey. He layers detail upon detail in a way that builds a tapestry you can believe in and learn to love. Then he yanks the rug out from under you, stand you back up, dusts you off, and does it again. Each time you curse what the characters are doing to each other and the lives they’re ruining even though this is only a book.

The end had me tear up a little I’m not ashamed to say. King has a way to get you to really care for the characters. He’s always done that, I’m sure he always will. But the ending of this book (as he mentioned in the afterward) was inspired by his son, Joe Hill, who recommended a different ending. It was a drawn out ending, but satisfying. A very enjoyable ending indeed.

As a writer: Mr. King, please stop feeling like you need to intermingle your works. Yes, you had nods to IT, Christine, and other works I’m sure I missed. Let a work stand on its own. This bothered me to no end as it only provided lines of thinking that lead no where and annoyed me to no end. As did the pie throwing scene. I read Mark Evanier’s blog and he went on and on about this. I wish Stephen King would have as it does relate to the era. One pie = funny, many pies does not equal funnier. Also, they’re not real pies. I refer you to http://www.newsfromme.com/2011/12/13/recipe-corner/ .

I really enjoy how Mr. King doesn’t just have someone go and buy a jacket or a hat, or a gun, but will take a small bit of time to explain what it is, why the character is buying it, introduce you to the person doing the selling, and spend a little time doing some things that might otherwise be considered mundane. He makes them interesting and fleshes out a story in a way that makes the world feel real. He doesn’t skimp. He doesn’t take shortcuts. He loves to drag you along before he slaps you with the reality he’s built in a real and brutal way.

Recommendations: Other than that, I’ve got nothing to complain about. Not that I was looking for things to complain about, mind you. This book was wonderful. If you read it, or listen to it as I did, you will enjoy it. Stephen King is a master at what he does. He doesn’t write horror or sci fi. Those are only trappings attached to his name. He writes stories about people. People you will like, some you will hate, some you will come to think of as real people. I’ve always liked that about his work and 11.22.63 did not disappoint. Well worthy of your time. Do pick up this book. I can’t wait to see what Mr. King has in store for us next.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: I feel like I’m running out of things to say.

Today I sit here looking at a blank page. Words escape me. Some would call this writer’s block. I just feel like my brain is empty. It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s that I’m not able to think of what to type. I figured I’d type up a daily update and see if words begin to flow. Some times that’s all it takes is a little kick to get things moving. Ignore email for a moment. Ignore the twitter feed for a moment. Look away from the comments on those blog posts.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing words. I’ve done a great deal of work today. I took a break intending to write this blog post and perhaps get a little written in Golden West and all I could do was stare at the screen and wait for something to fall out of my brain.

I’m pushing 200,000 words on the year. When I hit 225,000 I’m going to get myself a techy gift. I like to do this for myself and I feel the halfway point is a good time to do that. You may ask yourself what I’m thinking about getting. I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

I’m a mouse fan. I’m not a big fan of ‘hotkeys’ of key combinations. Yes, I know them. Yes, I use them. But I want a mouse with a lot of buttons. One that’ll allow me to do multiple things with my right hand instead of typing. Yes, I currently have a mouse with two regular buttons, a scroll wheel (that clicks and tilts), the back and forward buttons and even a button above the scroll wheel. There is a DPI button but I cannot modify that one. The mouse I have is the iHome (I forget the model) and it was $40. It’s a very nice mouse. Lightweight, cordless. It’s a good mouse.

I want something better. So I’ve been on the hunt for a mouse with multiple buttons. Yes, more buttons. I want a mouse I can program so rather than do all the hotkey combinations I need to do, I can just click and go. I know having a mouse with more buttons will take some getting used to, but I’m prepared for the challenge. I have a few I’m looking at, but rather than cloud your thinking with that I’m looking at, I’m curious what others who have multi-button mouses are using and why. I’m a programmer, not a gamer, but I’d like a mouse that would work for both (eventually)

If you aren’t using a standard mouse and you have one with more than your normal share of buttons, what is it and why did you chose the one you have? How do you like it? Would you suggest that mouse? Does it have multiple profiles available? It is easily programmable? Are the keys easy to get to? Is there a steep learning curve or can you just plug, program, and go? Can I easily program a macro ‘on the fly’?

Like I said, I’m at 192,000 words and when I get to 225,000 I’m going to be getting a new mouse. I’ll take pictures, leave a review, post my thoughts and opinions on it. It’ll be just like a book review. What I like and why, what I don’t like and why. This is a present to myself. I’m not shy about price if the product is a good fit for what I’m looking for.

Are you a mouse manufacturer? I’d be happy to do a review (I can also do a video review) if you send me a mouse. Again, I’m not an avid gamer, but I’d find a lot of other uses for a mouse being that I’m a programmer and speed is the key. How quickly and efficiently can it assist me with tasks I do over and over in a given day.

See, I’m now primed and ready to do more. I knew once I got started I’d be able to pound out some words. I think I’ll go pound out some more.

I didn’t post about ducks yet, did I?

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: I’m home again

Let me start out with a surprise I got today. My story, Don’t Use the Phone, got reviewed over at The Digital Inkspot. I was greatly surprised and delighted by the review. I saw another review for the same story that I somehow missed and was also happy with that review as well. It’s a great story (in my own opinion) and it’s still free. So go on over and grab yourself a copy!

So I was away for a few days. I did a LOT while up in the bay area. So much in fact that I’m surprised that I got any blog posts done. It was up early, to bed late. The last day it was in the second day of rain up there. My sinus gave me a reprieve the first day of rain. Perhaps it was all the Chinese and Indian and Sri Lankan food I ate while up there. But Wednesday did not agree with me at all. I was a slobbery mess and felt sorry for the kid sitting next to me on the plane ride home. I kept asking for more napkins from the stewardess and putting the used ones in my pocket. It wasn’t a happy trip home.

On the plus side, despite my head feeling like it was being crushed underwater, I wrote. I decided that I needed to heed my own advice and stuff head be damned I was going to write. I wrote in the airport… hold on, I’m missing a little point here.

I had left for the airport with ample time. Silly me, I said I’d fill up the rental car before I dropped it off. Silly mistake. There is apparently a law that forbids a gas station from being with 20 miles of the airport. Therefore I got to the airport, spotted where I needed to drop the car off, then remembered I needed to fill it up. I drove, and drove, and drove and even told my GPS navigator to find me a gas station. It did. I went there. Gas Station #1 didn’t take credit cards. Well, this was a company business trip, I needed to put the gas on the card, right? Gas station #2 also did not take credit cards. CONSPIRACY! Gas Station #3 did take credit cards. I locked up the pump and the guy said “Make sure you use the right zip code” I had, I tried again, locked up the pump again. He was busy under the hood of a car and said to try another pump. I did, it locked up also. I went to a third pump with my personal card, it locked up. I went to a fourth and tried it as debit. Locked that pump up. Other people started to arrive at the gas station so I left not wanted to feel the wrath of the man when he realized I’d locked up four of his gas pumps during the soon to be rush hour.

I went back to station #1, used my ATM to fill up the tank, and went to drop off the rental car. I dropped off the car and God decided I wasn’t damp enough and opened the sky a little bit more. Of course I didn’t see anyone so I flagged down a kid in a rain suit and he told me to quit standing in the rain and just leave the keys in the car. I did and made a bee line for the bus to the airport. God must’ve felt bad for the bus waited for me.

Getting back to the airport I took off my shoes and socks and put on filp flops. SO much easier to go through security. I stood that looking at my wet shoes and my carry on. I looked at the wet shoes again, gave them a shake and stuffed them in. I got my boarding pass, still tried to figure out why the crosswalk was outside saying “Walk, gotta get on” and decided that it was just some weird local custom I’ll never understand. People in line were friendly as were the TSA folk. My stuff made it through unscathed.

I sat in the airport and wrote. I wasn’t in the fiction writing mood, but I did write something that I will post here in the future. I wrote a lot (nearly 2000 words) before I got on and on the plane. My sinuses nearly shut me down, but we still went to the in-laws house and said hello and talked for a while before my father-in-law said I looked like I was going to fall out of my chair, which I nearly did, and we called it a day and went home. I took my hard core medicine and dumped my suitcase on the floor and at 7:30PM went to bed.

I woke up at 5AM, read for a little bit, went back to sleep, and woke up again at 6AM. I decided that was enough sleep and got up.

I like the Bay Area even if it did try to kill me, but hey, San Diego has tried to kill me before. I don’t hold it against them. I’m just happy to be home. Rain is scheduled for this weekend. I hope it doesn’t run me down too badly.

For those keeping score, I missed my 2000 word daily goal two of the three days I was away from home. That puts me a little behind, but as I keep saying, I can get caught up. Just you wait and see! Just you wait.