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Squawk Box: The Sandman/House of the Dragon

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I have not read the entirety of The Sandman series, but I've read the first volume and the first season of the show is an excellent adaptation of that volume. I know the show has been renewed for a second season (and I guess there was some question about whether or not it would be, but Netflix gave it another go) so beyond that, I don't know what to expect from the source material. (I know there are many, many people out there who absolutely adore this comic and take it very seriously, the way fandoms are wont to do. I know there are Neil Gaiman superfans out there that attempted to pick this apart at a micro level and from what I've seen Mr. Gaiman was spectacularly unbothered by all of it. Personally, I've enjoyed everything I've ever read by Gaiman, but I too, am not going to let an obsessive love of any given source material ruin an adaptation.) So, The Sandman : In the late 19th Century (I want to say 1896 or so) the King of Dreams, also known as Morpheus (Tom

The Voucher Thing

They're trying to reform the wrong thing. Don't get me wrong: this voucher nonsense seems like absolute dog shit that will not give me, as a parent, anything remotely resembling 'choice.' If your kiddo has an IEP or any other special needs, guess what? You don't get a choice. Private schools don't have to take those kids and most, it seems, don't. So while there might not be a lot of us, we're stuck with public schools. We don't get a choice. Also, it seems like these vouchers come with strings attached. If I'm understanding it right, families can get 'em to pull kids from public school to send to private school, but what if I want to invest in my public school? Doesn't appear like I can do that.  So the idea that 'we should fund students and not systems' is bullshit. You're funding some students and some systems and you're going to impact the quality of my kid's education to do so. Had Kimmie and company come out wi

Bookshot #161: The Fifth Season

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N.K. Jemisin has been one of those authors that I've seen around for years now, but I've never actually gotten around to reading any of her stuff. After what seemed like an extended stretch of reading a lot of Brandon Sanderson, I wanted to cleanse my palate a bit and start reading a bit more widely, so as part of a general push to read books I've got but haven't read yet as well as read more authors that I haven't read yet, I snagged The Fifth Season on Kindle and gave it a go. The world of The Fifth Season takes place on a single supercontinent called the Stillness. Every few centuries, the inhabitants go through what's called a 'Fifth Season' where the climate changes, usually in varying levels of catastrophe. The society on the continent is highly stratified with different castes occupying places in society. (Strongbacks are laborers, Resistants tend to care for the sick, Breeders are self-explanatory, Innovators are engineers, doctors, and other

10 For 2023: Once More With Feeling

A new rotation around the sun begins and once more, I will lay down some resolutions for the year ahead. I know that people think that resolutions are 'lame' and don't like the 'new year, new me' routine that always seems to sweep through the various social media platforms at this time of year. These past couple of months, I've been writing down to-do lists at work to try and keep track of everything I need to get done and there's nothing quite like getting through a work-week and seeing a fully crossed off list looking back up at me from the legal pad I keep in my drawer. I like setting goals. I like making resolutions. It's a way to think about the year ahead and what I'd like to try and get accomplished. The interminable length of January aside, life usually quickly intervenes and I forget about half of these until about October or so and then realize just how mixed my success has been. Yesterday's post tallies last year's resolutions-- I

10 for 2022: How Did I Do?

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All right, we've reached the end of another trip around the sun so naturally, I have to scroll back through my posts to the beginning of the year to see what my goals were when this year started and now it's time to go back through and see how I did. So, let's find out: just how did I do? 1. End the year under 200 lbs Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha... nope. On the plus side, I didn't head in the wrong direction (at least not too much. But, expect to see some variation of this for 2023. 2. Get another tattoo. Nope. I have a design picked out and ready to go, I just have to go and do it! 3. Complete a 200-day Duolingo streak Success! Not only did I get a 200-day streak, but I hit a 365-day streak and haven't looked back! 4. Goodreads Goal for 2022: 25 books!   Success! Going to increase my total to 35 for 2023 and see how I do. 5. Get back to Intermittent Fasting and do it consistently and correctly for the year! Yeah... nope. Working on some other weight loss options now

Squawk Box: Andor/Borgen: Power and Glory

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I'm just going to come right out and say it: Andor is the best Star Wars show to date. Hands down. It should also serve as a challenge to anyone playing around in that universe to up their game because this is a show that demonstrates the full potential of what Star Wars could actually be if the powers that be wanted it. (And if they don't, one hopes they're looking at this show and re-evaluating a lot of their thinking about the franchise.) Andor tells the story of Cassian Andor, which is a character we met first in Rogue One. In Rogue One, he's a spy for the Rebel Alliance and deeply committed to the cause, but the show starts five years before, where we meet a very different Cassian. This Cassian, (still played by Diego Luna, reprising his role from the movie) is a bit of a ne'er do well, cynical and searching for his sister. We find out that he and his sister were separated when their planet Kenari was destroyed in a botched imperial mining project. While se

My City Council Application

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. --Wayne Gretzky I rolled into Iowa City along with my parents on a blisteringly hot day in August of 1987. They unloaded some stuff from the moving truck into our then-house on Glendale Court and then we went out to eat at Mazzio's Pizza now long since departed from its location at the corner of First Avenue and Lower Muscatine Road. With a brief three-year absence for a sojourn to graduate school up in Minnesota, I've lived here more or less my entire life. I got a job here. I purchased a house here. I have a family that's growing up here and going to school here. I am deeply embedded in this community.  I graduated from Iowa City High School in 2001. I graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Political Science in 2006, following it up with an MA in Political Science from Minnesota State University-Mankato. As a state-certified 911 Dispatcher, I have a unique, bird's eye view of the challenges facing the unhous