Turn, turn, turn

My stress level has been through the roof lately, to the point where putting more than two or three words together even on here requires a lot more psyching myself up than it ever used to. And when I say “ever,” I mean dating back to my first blog, so we’re going back like fifteen or sixteen years here.

The one thing that has been keeping me sane the last few days has, no shit, been woodworking videos. They are astonishingly calming. I can’t get enough of them, and I’m going to have to be careful to not accidentally buy a lathe before school starts:

On Thanos’ ass

My wife just showed me this tweet:

And I horribly disappointed her by not having the slightest idea what the hell could possibly be going on. Apparently– and you’re just going to have to believe me on this, as I refuse to look for it– there has recently been a discussion on The Twitter about why Ant-Man didn’t simply defeat Thanos by crawling inside his asshole and then growing.

Look, damn it, I need something more ridiculous than British money to talk about around here. These are the posts. 🙂

It is unclear exactly how much force Ant-Man is able to exert while growing. In fact, two damn near successive images from this trailer make the problem pretty clear:

You only need about the first thirty seconds, but you see two things here associated with growth: first, whatever system they have built inside the van is strong enough to fling another van off of its wheels and into the air. However, the system in Ant-Man’s actual suit isn’t able to put out enough force to break either the drop ceiling above him or the drywall around him. One assumes that you could use Pym particles to generate quite a bit of force, then, but that capability doesn’t seem to exist in Ant-Man’s suit, no doubt because his actual flesh is weaker than the metal frame of the van.

For the sake of argument, I’m willing to accept that Ant-Man or the Wasp are both able to shrink down enough to get inside Thanos’ suit of armor, and from there, provided that he is not actively clenching, one assumes they could work their way into his asshole if it were absolutely necessary. However, any suit that can’t grow Ant-Man with enough force to break drywall is surely not going to be able to overcome the pressure that the rectal wall of a man able to box the Hulk into unconsciousness could exert.

The good news for Ant-Man is that his suit does appear to have some sort of failsafe in it so that he can’t accidentally grow beyond the point where he hurts himself, or he would surely be larger than the room in the scene above, which I’m pretty sure is from a part of the movie where the suit was actively malfunctioning. I therefore posit that Ant-Man is only able to grow large enough, once ensconced in Thanos’ rectum, for Thanos to notice him, at which point one assumes that Thanos would clench, and things end poorly for Ant-Man, who has no particular level of enhanced strength or invulnerability, especially at that size. If his suit does not have the failsafe built in, Thanos clenches anyway, and one way or another the big purple dude is gonna need an oversized bidet to clean up the mess, which isn’t gonna be pretty.

The correct way, by the way, for Ant-Man or the Wasp to defeat a being on the level of Thanos is not to fly into his ass, but to fly into his ear. I’m pretty certain that the Wasp dropped the Hulk himself at least once by flying into his ear and directing an energy blast directly into his eardrum. Or, in a worst-case scenario, shrink down a bit more and head for his brain, which I’m pretty sure she did to the Red Hulk at one point.

Or, y’know, there’s always distraction. Yeah, this happened. God, The Ultimates was terrible:

BOOYAH

Damn right I am Nioh.

In which I turn a good decision into a bad one

I was recently able to pay off a frankly horrifying amount of credit card debt. I have finally, at 43, rectified the errors of my twenties, more or less. In the process of doing that, I deliberately slightly overpaid a couple of the cards, since I wasn’t exactly sure when the big check would go through and so I went ahead and made my monthly payment and then the big lump sum.

Then COVID-19 hit, and I don’t know if you’ve tried to get in touch with a credit card company by phone lately, but apparently one of the side effects of this disease is you call your credit card company, because I waited an hour, on two separate occasions, to try to talk to a human before giving up and hanging up. Turns out that the only way you can get them to send you a check when you overpay an account is by talking to them in person– there is no way to request it online. The other option is to wait four or five months without touching the card, at which point they send you your money to zero out the balance.

Well, I eventually gave up on getting ahold of anyone, and decided that if there was ever an excuse to blow some money, “I literally have a negative balance on my credit card” was about as good as that excuse was going to get.

Under ordinary circumstances, that money gets turned into books posthaste. But that would have been a lot of new books, and my damn unread shelf is already a catastrophe. So what else can I get? Hmm.

Enter Wyrmwood. And these fucking beauties:

You might remember my C2E2 trip at the end of February, where I came home with a similar set of obsidian dice in a bloodwood dice vault. These are made of opalite, and if I hadn’t specifically thought to myself “let’s see if they have any dice made of obsidian” after deciding that spending $400 on Damascus steel dice was obscene even for the looser “buying anniversary souvenirs at a con, with money I have saved specifically for this purpose” standard I was using for my funds, I might have come home with these instead. The vault is made of cherry, which is surprisingly light, but the dice themselves are a bit heavier than the obsidian ones.

And, oh, God, is opalite pretty when you hold it up to light. Please focus on the dice, and not my ruined fingers:

You can sort of see the orange tinges among the blue in the top picture, but looking at light through them is just amazing, and these are stunning in daylight. Which, sadly, we don’t have any of right now, but trust me.

The truly ridiculous thing is that this set and the vault didn’t exhaust my extra funds, so I have several more (much less expensive, but still cool) metal sets coming this weekend. It’s a sickness, I know. I mean, at least I’m not on heroin, right?

(Have I pledged to their Kickstarter for a set of turquoise dice? Am I considering adding to that pledge for something else? Maybe.)


2:54 PM, Thursday (I think?) April 30: 1,054,261 confirmed cases and 61,717 Americans dead. My wife commented yesterday that she thinks I’m spending too much time monitoring the ARCGIS site I get this information from, but I think sublimating my anxiety over the whole thing into the data-nerd parts of my personality is … well, might be a healthy response? Reasonably? Relatively? Hell, I dunno.

(EDIT: Holy crap, does setting a featured image look terrible in this theme.)

#C2E2 Roundup

We had a good time! Other than having to park a full 27-minute walk away from the venue, that is. That’s a decent length for a walk in the cold, and my watch asked me on the way to and from my car if I was working out or not. No! I’m just trying not to die.

Also, when we got there, there was absolutely no signage that there was a security line or a bag check to go through? Just literally a few thousand people all milling around being confused, because no one knew why they were there but everyone stood in the huge mob because they felt like they ought to?

We had our badges already, and they were already activated, so I literally moved a barrier aside and the three of us went in. Somebody tried to follow us and got sent back, and tried to get security to go get us too, but they didn’t. For some reason I found that hilarious. I didn’t find out until after the show that we’d actually dodged the security line; as I said, no signs at all, just a lot of confused people in a herd. I wouldn’t have jumped out of line if I’d have known that, but … whatever, I guess. I thought it was will call, I swear. 😀

I feel like there were a ton more people at the show than the last time, but more on that in a few minutes. I had goals! Nerd goals! First one: meet Gail Simone and Al Ewing. Well, Al wasn’t at his booth at all on Saturday, which was a bummer. But I met Gail!

So, interesting detail: Gail follows me on Twitter. And the account belongs to Luther, which, remember, isn’t my real name. So the fact that I automatically went into “I’m at a con” mode and told her to sign my graphic novel to Luther took me by surprise. Then I found out she was selling scripts and snapped one of those up too– that issue of Tony Stark: Iron Man contains what might honestly be my favorite single-panel joke in all of comic book history:

Gail’s husband accidentally told me something VERY COOL that might be coming out and I was immediately sworn to silence, but I wasn’t told not to tell you that I know something cool now. Which I do.

Authors! We ended up leaving before Robert Jackson Bennett’s signing, but my wife got Sam Sykes to sign a book, and I got autographs from John Scalzi and S.L. Huang:

By this point, I’d set precedent that books were signed to Luther, so I decided to roll with it. John was nice enough to let me take a picture with him, too:

On the Charizard: the boy put it on the table, and John immediately volunteered to sign it if he wanted, which he declined, not knowing who the hell John was. We only talked for a minute or two but he was very nice– in general, everyone was, unsurprisingly.

Also, I bought stuff:

New leather dice bag! Forgive the vast amounts of cat hair on the piano bench, there; it’s one of Jonesy’s favorite spots and I’m not about to retake the pictures somewhere cleaner.

Leather dice tray! It was either this or a tower, and I went with this instead, because of…

…the super fuckin’ cool obsidian dice I bought, which the salesperson made sure to point out are made of glass, and thus, honestly, are probably not the best choice to make dice out of? The price of the set, plus the box and the tray was frankly ridiculous, but much more reasonable compared to the first set I looked at, which were made of Damascus steel and priced at four hundred dollars. But fuck it: twelfth/third anniversary and we both saved up to buy cool shit at this show and I was ferdamnsure going to buy cool shit.

Oh, and I ran into my friend Verna Vendetta, who I met at Starbase Indy a million years ago:

The only real fail of the show, at least for me, was the sparse number of cosplayer pictures I took. Turns out that 1) it’s way easier to get people to let them photograph you when you’re at a booth, and 2) it really was hugely crowded, so most of the time if I saw somebody I might have tried to get a picture of in other contexts, the ridiculous number of people in between us made stopping to do so practically impossible. So I missed out on, say, the guy in the 12-foot-tall Bumblebee costume, because despite being near him there was no way I was going to get him to stop. So I didn’t get nearly as many pictures as I thought I was going to, but I did get a handful of them:

So, yeah: didn’t get arrested, spent lots of money, met cool people, walked seven miles, Achilles tendons currently really painful. I’ll call that victory! If you’d told me at fifteen that I’d not only eventually attend a nerd convention with a hundred thousand people there but that I’d have my wife and son with me and we’d be doing it on our anniversary, I’d have called you a liar. It’s good to be a geek.