Welcome to our web site. For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!


08/17/18: I've not been in the best mood this week, but this video made me happy this morning.


07/15/18: Our neighbors were away this week, so they asked Stephie to go there each afternoon and let their dogs out. She had a great time doing that, and I went with her one day and saw this on the table. I assume it was left there so that it could be glued back together after they returned, but it looked kind of funny so I took a picture
     The family returned this weekend and we stopped over there to talk to them, and I asked them what happend. They said that the youngest daughter did it, but didn't want to talk about it. They told her she wasn't in trouble, but they wanted to know what happened. She hesitated a bit but then told her parents that she knew that Elastigirl stretched, so she thought the toy would as well. Seems logical to me.


07/14/18: This morning, my dream started out with Stephie and I on vacation. I was at a park somewhere, and there was a soccer ball that was deflated. No, that's not right. There was a small door in the side of the ball, which may not have been a soccer ball at all, and it had four screws on it. We didn't have the right size nuts to tighten the door, so I went to a Fila store. I walked up to the clerk and asked "Parlez-vous englais?", so I think I might have somewhere been in France. We got the ball sorted, and next thing I know, I was in a Wal-Mart type store, and Stephie had a shopping cart. She was buying four big bags of cotton balls, and seemed excited about it. I noticed she had a couple of bottles of liquor, and since we were in Europe, I went to the liquor department to see if they had any Vat 69 in stock. They didn't, and I woke up.
     As a bit of background to this, a few years ago I was reading a Dan Turner story in which someone mentioned Vat 69. The very next thing I read was a Michael Shane mystery, and in it, Shane buys a bottle of Vat 69 to bribe a stoolie. I thought it was a coincidence that both would pick a liquor that I'd never heard of, so I did a little research and found that Vat 69 was a pretty popular scotch in the mid-20th century (the name came about because the distiller kept trying out different recipes, and he liked the 69th one) but despite a small resurgence in the early-aughts because of the Band of Brothers mini-series on HBO, it's been unavailable in the US in its traditional bottle, as shown here. I know that because while I'm not a scotch drinker, I did spend some time trying to buy a bottle. The only way I would be able to get one would be to order it on-line, but the shipping was actually more than the price of the booze, and I was not willing to pay that for something that I might not even drink, but just put on my shelf next to my candlestick phone and my collection of Black Mask stories. I figure if we ever get back to Europe on vacation, I'll try to pick up a bottle there.


06/21/18: I had a dream last night in which I was walking around a neighborhood (more of a subdivision actually) and I was carrying a dog leash in my hand. I was obviously looking for a dog as none was attached to the leash, but I don't remember that it was a specific dog. I was walking down the street when suddenly, Kisu was running toward me. It was the young, spunky Kisu we remember from years past, before all the health problems she had in her later years. She ran up to me with that happy smile on her face and spun around like she used to do when she got excited.
     That's all there was to it, really. We lost Kisu almost two years ago, and I don't think I go more than a day or two without thinking about her. I woke up from this dream thinking that maybe she was reaching out to us, to say that we've grieved long enough, and it's time to think about adopting another dog.


06/17/18: My memory is not what it was, not that it ever was very good for anything more than snippets of old Monty Python skits. Recently a friend of mine told me that he was digging out old journals from when he was in his early twenties, and he discovering reams of information about events in his past that he had only vague recollections of. Man, I wish I had that. I realized a while back just how valuable this web site is when I couldn't remember something and found that I wrote about it when it happened. Not everything is here, but many major events in my life got at least a passing mention here.
     So I've started a project that I'd been thinking about for a while. I created a spreadsheet on Google Docs (for portability sake) and have been adding brief mentions of events in my life. I've tended to recall times of my life based on a few significant events, such as jobs, cars, computers, and vacations. I know those are far from the most significant things in a person's life, but I can attribute exact dates to those events, and I can use them as guideposts to organize some less-remembered items. I'm just doing this in my free time, adding a few items at a time, but I think when it starts to get fleshed out, it will trigger more memories that I can plug into the timeline.
     I was adding some concerts to the list, most of which were easy because I still have a pile of ticket stubs and most have the date on the part I kept, but there was one event I don't have the stub for that I wanted to include. Back in 1981, the restored version of Abel Gance's 1927 masterpiece Napoleon was touring the country, accompanied by a full orchestra. It played at the Chicago Theater, and I remember going, but I didn't remember the exact date. My date was a friend of a friend who I took to her high-school prom, and since we only went out a few times besides (I was asked to a lot of proms by "friends") I knew that it was spring of that year. I tried searching the web for details, hoping it was only there one weekend (I remember we went on a Saturday) but it played two weekends, so I'm not sure which I saw. But on the first Google search result screen, there was a link to a picture on Wikipedia with the caption, "A group of moviegoers in front of the Chicago Theatre marquee in 1981 at the showing of Abel Gance's Napoleon". I expected some group of anonymous fans, but when I clicked on the picture, I actually recognized several people. In the center is noted author Max Allan Collins and his wife Barbara. They are flanked by Don and Maggie Thompson, who I felt I knew personally from all the articles I read by them over the years of my subscription to the late, lamented Comics Buyer's Guide. The guy on the left is Alan Light, the founder of CBG, and the other is Terry Beatty, an artist and collaborator of Collins. There is no mention on Wikipedia of who these people were, but it cam from Alan Light's flickr account, and a caption there confirmed my identification.
     I started my project with the intention of recovering some of my memories that may be slipping away, but considering I recognized these people that I only knew from the pages of a magazine I subscribed to, I think maybe my memory is not as bad as I assumed it is.


06/10/18: Today we moseyed over to our local mini-multiplex and saw the new Avengers film that's been raking in all the dough. I've had pretty good luck with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as opposed to DC, which turned me off with The Dark Knight to where the only DC movie I've seen since is Wonder Woman, a film that reviewers think was an anomaly because it wasn't as "grim and gritty" as the rest. We've seen all the MCU films to date except for Black Panther, which Stephie didn't want to see, and pretty much liked them all. The last Iron Man movie was not too good, and I didn't much care for the second Avengers film, but the new one is raking in money by the bushel, so it's got to be good, right?
     While the credits were rolling and we were waiting for the obligatory end credits scenes, I didn't say anything to Stephie. As we were walking out, she leaned over and said, "I'm never seeing another comic book movie again." I don't know that I would go that far, because I'm cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Shazam! film (even though the character's name is not Shazam, it's Captain Marvel, dammit!) but I think I can pretty much guarantee that I'm not going to see the next Avenger's movie, whenever it comes out. I did not have a good time at the show.
     I'm a comics fan, but I don't know much about the Marvel universe that this plays out in. I didn't read the Infinity Gauntlet or any of the other Infinity stories, nor do I care to, especially after this. I have a passing familiarity with Thanos from the '70s when my brothers and I bought darn near every title on the rack between us. I don't remember him being this powerful, where he and his followers could just take out every hero that dared stand against him. I realize that powerful heroes need equally powerful adversaries to make a good story, but watching this film was like following your favorite football team all season, only to have them get to the Super Bowl and lose 51-3, without ever getting the ball past mid-field. Apologies for the sports analogy, but that's what I thought of as we were walking out of the theater.
     I know that this is only part one of two parts, and there will probably be some redemption in the second film, not to mention nullifying most of the deaths that were so shocking and senseless, but I don't care. I paid to see a film, not a half a film. I remember back in 1980 when The Empire Strikes Back came out. General consensus is that Empire was the best of the original trilogy, but I thought it sucked because it ended without any indication of Han Solo's fate (yeah, no spoiler warning for a 38-year-old film.) Friends told me that we would find out in the next movie, but I knew that was three years away! When the second part of this one hits the multiplexes next year and were I to go, I wouldn't remember anything other than a profound sense of disappointment from this one.
     It had some good points, sure, and some of the action scenes were exciting, but overall it was just one depressing fight scene after another, up to the crappy ending. Just "thanks for your money, come back next year." I probably would have put up with this in the comics back when I was a kid because they only cost me twenty cents to read, and I knew the story would continue in thirty days, with maybe an ending. But at over $20 including refreshments for the two of us, and having to wait at least a year for the conclusion, I feel ripped off.



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