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Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Conan Chronicles Controversy

While I enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Conan: Volume 1, I couldn't help but be reminded of the controversy that surrounds this series.  Two factors have bestirred the passions of Conan comic book fans.  The first is that, while similar series' include each issue's cover, Dark Horse Comics (who are publishing this series) has chosen not to do so for The Chronicles of Conan.  So the reader's introduction to each story becomes the first interior page of each comic: not an insurmountable obstacle to a reader's enjoyment, but the absence is felt.  The second, however, is more serious, as instead of including the original coloring, Dark Horse has hired contemporary artists to recolor Barry Windsor-Smith's original drawings.

Our introduction to a recolored Conan in Chronicles.

Now I have nothing against the new coloring of the artwork.  In fact, I found it stunning.  But then, I enjoy the coloring in those old issues as well.  The original coloring was done simply, as computers weren't accessible to comics publishers in the original 1970s, and there's a beauty in that simplicity.  They remind me of simple sketches enlivened with watercolors.  Whereas this new coloring hits you with its power and boldness, I find the older coloring charming and relaxing.  

An example of the original coloring from
"Conan The Barbarian" Issue 39.

But there's more at work here than the choice to recolor the drawings.  Aside from the fact that we're not seeing part of the original artwork (or should I say, the art of the original colorists), in the process of updating the colors Dark Horse has removed the stories from the time in which they were created.  When you page through an old comic book, you are transported back into the era in which it was made.  After every few pages, you find a page or two of advertisements for products or services.  You get to read a few letters that the publishers felt best reflected their readers' sentiments, and reader feedback helps shape a given title's direction.  When you study the panels with their simplistic coloring on yellowed newsprint, you feel a connection with the child (or teen or adult) who pulled that comic off the spinner rack and plunked down his fifteen or twenty cents for that issue.  What would an old Marvel comic be without Stan Lee's goofy soapbox, announcements from the famous bullpen, reminders that the best way to ensure you don't miss a single issue is to subscribe, and of course, those one-page story-advertisements for Hostess treats (featuring your favorite superheroes)?  Well, you'll likely never get those with a compilation, but at least you should get the original coloring.  An artist labored long and hard over that coloring work: it represented not only his or her best efforts, but also the best printing technology then available that a comic book publisher could afford.


Another gigantic gator/dragon, this time from Chronicles.

"Watch out, Conan!  He's hot on your tail!"

So, unlike other compilations, The Chronicles of Conan series is an anachronism.  Barry Windsor-Smith's artwork looks like it could have been drawn yesterday, and the colors are so fresh and vibrant that they don't politely request, but demand your attention.  Not only are they jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but the new colors also stand a better chance of attracting younger readers to the series, hooking them on the character, and hence, getting them to buy today's Conan comics.  Don't get me wrong: unlike many enraged Conan fans, I love the new coloring.  But, as with the absence of the cover art, the new coloring reminds me that I'll probably never see the old version--that I'll probably never see the stories the way they were originally produced--and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't find that disconcerting.

But then, I'd also be lying if I said that I'd let the brilliant new artwork keep me from buying The Chronicles of Conan: Volume 2.  

Dragon Dave

Saturday, June 29, 2013

James Herriot Trivia II

As with the British TV show “Last of the Summer Wine,” Yorkshire’s notoriously changeable weather saddled the production of “All Creatures Great and Small” with numerous problems.  Michael Hayes filmed one scene under a cloudy sky, only to have the sun blaze down when it came time to shoot the next.  So he ordered crew members to gather around, and hold their umbrellas over the camera, the actors, and the horses while filming.


In the commentary track for the episode “Pig in the Middle,” available on the third season DVD set, we learn that director Michael Hayes was used to conditions on a working farm, as he owned his own (horse) stud farm, and thus took the weather in his stride.  Carol Drinkwater, who played Helen Herriot in the show, also grew up on a farm, and so she was used to bundling up and sipping a little brandy to keep warm during cold, blustery days spent filming on Yorkshire fields, fells, and moors. 

Robert Hardy poses for me outside the real Skeldale House,
"The World of James Herriot" in Thirsk.

Robert Hardy, who played Siegfried Farnon, grew up on a farm in Ireland, and nature was such a part of his life that he didn’t shrink from sewing actual stitches into real living animals, as the actors did during the first few years of the program.  When asked about the first time he had seen a sheep deliver a baby lamb, he racked his brain, but simply couldn’t remember the first time he had seen this happen.  To him, such events were woven into the tapestry of his life. 

Watching his younger self riding horses brought Hardy a little sadness, as riding had given him great joy throughout his life.  But with the relentless march of years, he had finally decided to give up, due to the stresses on the body and the legal liabilities of the acting profession. 

The real Siegfried Farnon:
Donald Sinclair

He also missed Donald Sinclair, the man whom Alf Wight (writing as James Herriot) immortalized as Siegfried Farnon.  After the premature death of his first wife, Donald remarried eight years later.  Hardy met the veterinarian while working on the program and maintained a friendship with him until Sinclair’s death.  Every time Hardy thought of Donald, he remembered the vet’s second wife Audrey, and how devoted the couple had been to each other.  Apparently, they had never wanted to be apart, and couldn’t cross a room without holding hands.

Carl Drinkwater also spares a moment for me,
and my camera.

Carol Drinkwater left the program after a few years to take on larger roles. In order to record her commentary, she had flown in from her farm in France, where she grew olives, wrote books, and still acted when the right part came along.  She remembered all the dogs that tore around the studio sets of Skeldale House.  Two had been owned by John Nathan Turner, who served as Production Unit Manager for the first three seasons of "All Creatures Great and Small."  Like Drinkwater, Turner would also leave the series, in his case to become the producer of another great British TV show, “Doctor Who.”  There he employed notable directors like Michael Hayes.  But sadly, not the venerable actors Carol Drinkwater, or Robert Hardy.

Dragon Dave   

Friday, June 28, 2013

James Herriot's First Job


Dalek the Gray: Mr. Herriot, wake up!  The telephone is ringing!




James Herriot: A prolapsed what?  Oh, I really don't think I could--
Dalek the Gray: Of course you can.  Remember what Master Siegfried says: "If called upon, you must attend."  
James Herriot: But Mr. Farnon hasn't hired me.  I haven't even met him yet.
Dalek the Gray:  That is immaterial.  Immaterial!  Burn this into your brain, Mr. Herriot: If called upon, you must attend!  YOU MUST ATTEND!




Dalek the Gray: Here's the cow in pain.  Please hurry!
James Herriot: Oh, very well.  (Sighs)  You know, this really shouldn't happen to a vet.





Dragon Dave

Related Internet Links
The World of James Herriot

Thursday, June 27, 2013

James Herriot Trivia


Included in the DVD release for the third season of “All Creatures Great and Small” is a commentary track for the episode “Pig in the Middle.”  The title of the episode is drawn not from an actual pig, but from a situation James finds himself in, where Siegfried and Tristan Farnon ask him to arbitrate over the matter of which brother will get to take a particular night off.  Both have good reasons why they should not have to remain home that evening in case a veterinarian’s skills are needed, and both are James’ close friends.  As he doesn’t wish to favor one over the other, James decides that neither should benefit, and both should cancel their plans and remain at home that evening.  Needless to say, neither Siegfried or Tristan is satisfied with his ruling.

Providing commentary was Michael Hayes, the director of the episode, Carol Drinkwater, who played James’ wife Helen, and Robert Hardy, who portrayed James’ senior partner Siegfried Farnon.  I found their commentary informative and delightful, and thought I would share some snippets with you.

When producer Bill Sellars approached Robert Hardy about the part, he sent him the first two books Alf Wight had written under the name James Herriot.  These were American editions, as the Herriot books first gained popularity there.  Hardy read the first, All Creatures Great and Small, which was a compilation of two shorter books originally published in England.  While Hardy found the stories “enchanting,” he called Sellars and said, “I don’t know how you’ll make a TV show out of this. You’ll bore the cities and enrage the country.”

Farms in Darbyshire

Nor was Hardy particularly wowed by Sellars’ initial decision to film the series in Darbyshire, another portion of England from James Herriot’s beloved Yorkshire.  While Darbyshire was closer to London, would have simplified production, and saved costs, Hardy saw the landscape as completely different, and the idea disrespectful to the author and his stories.  He told Sellars that either the TV series would be shot in Yorkshire, or he would have nothing to do with it. 

Darbyshire Cow: "C'mon Hardy, be reasonable!"

Yorkshire cows outside Askrigg: "Stick by your convictions, Robert!"

The locals had mixed feelings about the production.  Many people enjoyed it, and one town even demanded that their rector change the time of the Sunday morning services so they could get home in time to watch the program.  Carol Drinkwater remembered that the couple who owned the house in Askrigg that doubled for Skeldale House later sold it for far above its market value.  And, as people began to visit remote locals such as Askrigg which the production used for James Herriot’s fictional Darrowby, many of the houses located at the center of such villages were converted into shops, restaurants, and vacation cottages.  During the fourth through seventh seasons, which were filmed several years after the third, Robert Hardy fainted on a particularly hot summer day.  The doctor who attended him said that, while he didn’t particularly mind being called out, he wasn’t happy about doing so for them, as they had made his beloved region into a tourist attraction.

Skeldale House in Askrigg: A tourist attraction?
Never!

The weather changed dramatically during our visit to Yorkshire, from cold, rainy days to hot and sunny weather.  Thankfully, I never fainted.

Dragon Dave

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rolling With The Changes

Supreme Dalek: What?  That's all you can cough up?
Come on, you can do better than that!

For a while now, I've been wondering how my Pages can best serve my readers.  Unlike Posts, which appear in the Blog Archive under the current month, and then disappear when the next month begins, Pages remain until they are taken down.  It seems to me that the Pages (located on the top right-hand side) should summarize the ongoing life of the blog, and help the reader find Posts most suited to his or her interest.  While my blog is constantly evolving, from time to time I have focused on series or themes that have taken a number of Posts to cover.  So I decided to begin this update with three themes close to my heart: my journey through James Herriot's world last summer, my visit to Stan Lee's Comikaze last fall, and the recent renewal of my love for comic books.

My visit to Yorkshire provided welcome insight into the area where James Herriot lived and worked, and enhanced my understanding of the veterinarian and author.  Some posts have touched people more than others.  Several entries in my series on Ritz Cinema in Thirsk, where he and Helen spent their second date, proved initially popular, and resided on my Top Ten Posts for a long time.  Others, such as "The Famous Woodworker of Kilburn," have recently been discovered by readers.  I'm currently watching season three of "All Creatures Great and Small" on DVD, and each episode brings back pleasant memories of our visit to that region of England.  I never touched upon all the aspects of what I saw and learned there, or explored the intersection between the author and his stories as much as I had intended, but the Page "James Herriot's World" contains a representative sampling of that series.  If you've been considering a trip to England, and are looking for meaningful places to visit, perhaps this Page will be of some benefit to you.  And if you live in England, love James Herriot's stories, and have never visited these areas, well, now's your chance!

Stan Lee's Comikaze was a special convention, one outside my normal experience.  It opened my eyes to other ways in which people interact with the Fiction (particularly Science Fiction and Fantasy) they love.  Perhaps you'll find a new avenue to explore in my new Page "Stan Lee's Comikaze."  At the very least, you'll get an idea of what the convention has to offer, should you decide to attend this year's event in Los Angeles.  

Finally, I've renamed my "Comics" Page "Comics Old & New."  It contains links to most, if not all, of my Posts on comics that I've found thought-provoking.  Check this page from time to time, as I plan on updating it extensively in the coming months, particularly when it come to new (or at least fairly recent) comics.

I'm still uncertain what to do with some of the other Pages, particularly the one devoted to "Authors."  (That one in particular is why I started this blog, and literature is still my first and best love when it comes to Fiction).   I'm considering dropping some Pages, and adding others.  If you have any suggestions on Pages you would like to see, or would find helpful, please let me know, either as a comment or an email.  Lacking feedback, I'll continue as best I can, following the Supreme Dalek's admonition.  Yes, I can do more with my Pages section.  Yes, I can keep them up-to-date and relevant.  Yes, I can do better than I've done in the past.  And I will!

Dragon Dave

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DTM Racing & The Fantastic Four

This weekend, I watched a DTM race for the first time.  That's not to say that I've never seen a DTM race, as I've followed the series (known as the German Touring Car Masters) on and off since the early 1990s. The format of these highlight shows remained fairly consistent over the past two decades.  The opening minutes would summarize qualifying, a discussion of the season thus far, and interviews.  The middle third of the hour-long broadcast would show edited portions of the race.  Each show would end with wrapping-up interviews, and a little of the podium celebrations.  Thus, after commercials, what I actually saw of the race was probably little more than twenty minutes of the cars speeding around the track.  Even if I had to endure this brief glimpse of the series, I longed to watch the highlight shows during the year, rather than several months after the entire series had ended.

A few months ago, discussions with a friend led me to investigate the history of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four.  I discovered that Roger Corman helped produce a low-budget movie in 1994 based on their origin story, and their first meeting with the villainous Doctor Doom.  Although the movie was never officially released, either direct-to-video or in cinemas, it demonstrated that the people who had purchased the movie rights from Marvel understood the characters, and desperately wanted to do them justice with a big budget motion picture.  I discovered that the movie was available on Youtube, and watched it one afternoon.  While it was hard to evaluate the film's merits, watching it as I did on a small rectangle on my laptop, I found it highly enjoyable.

I've realized for some time now that the DTM races were available on Youtube, so the desire to watch complete races, and follow the series throughout the season, beckoned.  That, plus my interest in watching Roger Corman's "The Fantastic Four" on my TV, led my wife to investigate the possibilities of doing so.  She discovered that we could access the Internet through our Playstation 3 game console, and found an app that made it possible to see content with the entire TV screen.  I worried about excessive pixelation during the movie, but it played so nicely that my wife forgot at times that she wasn't watching a DVD.  I worried about the feed halting at times, but everything played smoothly, and the video and sound quality were both excellent (in the case of the races, sometimes even better than the usual broadcasts).  

While we're happy with our cable Internet access, we've been wondering lately if we really need Cable TV.  Has the time arrived when I stop thinking of television in terms of channels and times, and start thinking of it as a database I can access at my leisure?  I'm not sure that we've answered that question yet, but I know this.  I loved watching "The Fantastic Four," and wish they would release the film on DVD, along with bonus material about the production.  We also enjoyed watching the DTM races from Spielberg (Germany) and Brands Hatch, complete and uncut, and each with a length of approximately one hour-and-forty minutes.  I'm wonder what else we'll discover--and grow to love--as we investigate how technology is revolutionizing our (apparently) outdated concept of home entertainment.

Dragon Dave

Related Internet Links
The DTM Racing Series
The 1994 Fantastic Four movie

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mother Nature's Response to Canyon Lake


Canyon Lake was constructed because the channels upriver could hold much more water than those below.  The earthen dam took six years to make, and another four years for water to rise to the desired height.  

The fixture jutting into the lake controls the rate at which water is released to the lower Guadalupe River Basin.  



In 2002, thirty-four inches of rain fell in one week.  The lake rose faster than the dam could safely release the water downstream.  During the next week, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 times the normal volume of the lake washed over this area, and made its own way toward the lower Guadalupe Basin.




From above, the area looks relatively flat, untouched.  


But walk down into it, and you realize what all that water did to the nearby land.



It tore through ground, savaged the hillside, and eroded millions of years of geologic history. (Not to mention what it did to homes and businesses downstream).





Humans created something beautiful, useful, and beneficial in Canyon Lake, but it took us an entire decade.  In one week, Mother Nature told us what she thought of our achievement.  

Like I said last month, all mothers deserve respect.

Dragon Dave

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Discovering Canyon Lake


One day in Texas, we just wanted to relax.  So we drove to a park, sat in our car, ate our lunch, and enjoyed our view of the lake far below.


Afterward, we walked around the park, and discovered a limestone path.


To our surprise, it led down to the lake.  Had we known, we could have brought our lunch and eaten it there.


Some people made me wish I had brought my swimsuit.


Others fished, or plied the waters in all manner of vessels.


This woman had the best idea of all.  


We planned to return, but our week passed too quickly.


If we return, we'll be better prepared.

Dragon Dave

Saturday, June 22, 2013

House Hunters: Backyard Edition


A Guest Blog by Dragon Dave's Wife

The other day I noticed some visitors I had not seen since last spring.  They seemed to be checking out the banana plants in our back yard.  

"What do you think of the location?"

"There's definitely some nice shade here.
We should inspect the foundation, though."

I didn't notice the couple again before we went on vacation, and so, for the most part, I forgot about them, thinking that they had merely passed through our neighborhood as in previous years.

Upon returning from Texas I noticed that the bananas were getting a little ragged.  When I considered pruning the yellowing and broken leaves, I noticed a piece of dried grass hanging from a leaf.  After a closer look, I realized that our visitors had decided to stay and enjoy our yard.  

Needless to say, pruning the bananas has been put on hold.

With the location decided,
construction is underway.

Two days later: the nest is complete.
(Furnishings included)

 

Now we must wait and see if the happy couple's new house will be big enough for their growing family.


Or will the neighbors drive them away?

Dragon Dave's Wife

Related Internet Links 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lemon Tarts That A Dalek Can't Resist



Supreme Dalek: Ah, so this is what Master made for his dessert.  I was wondering what he would do with that box of empty tart shells and that jar of lemon curd.




Supreme Dalek: Ah, Pocket, is this one of the tart shells Mistress made with her leftover Jammie Dodger dough?
Pocket Dalek: Well, she made up the dough, but I cut out the shell, using the same cutter I used on the cookies.  Then I pressed them into a tart pan, and baked them in the same way Denim and I baked the Jammie Dodgers.  Speaking of Denim, have you seen him lately?
Supreme Dalek: Why?  Has he transformed into Hulk Dalek again?
Pocket Dalek: No.  Please excuse me, sir.  I'm trying to keep an optical sensor on him to ensure nothing makes him angry.  
Supreme Dalek: Good thinking.  We don't want anything to make him angry.
Pocket Dalek: My thoughts exactly.




Supreme Dalek: Hm.  They say I'm the leader of this troop, yet Pocket seems to be the one always keeping us in line.  Perhaps I need more experience to solidify my position, and really command the others' respect.




Pocket Dalek: I can't find...sir, what have you done?
Supreme Dalek: I decided to take a sample of this specimen, in order to assess its--
Pocket Dalek: You did what?
Supreme Dalek: It's my duty, as leader of this troop, to assess--
Pocket Dalek: Listen!  Do you hear that?
Supreme Dalek: What?
Pocket Dalek: The TV just went silent!
Supreme Dalek: That means Master has finished his nachos and is coming in here to get his dessert--
Pocket Dalek: Which you just ate.
Supreme Dalek: --which I just...oh.
Pocket Dalek: Uh, excuse me, sir.  I've got to run.
Supreme Dalek: Wait!  Come back!  I demand that you advise me!  My circuits are overloaded; my sustenance processors cannot contain the nutrients my biological systems are trying to absorb!  Oh no, here comes Master!  I must flee before he realizes it was I who damaged his dessert, and decides to exterminate me, Exterminate me, Exterminate Me!




Supreme & Pocket Dalek

Related Dragon Cache entries
Daleks Love Jammie Dodgers: A Cookie-Making Tutorial

Related Internet Links
Lemon Curd Recipe






Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Conan Chronicles Crisis

Although Marvel Comics' first series of "Conan The Barbarian" started in 1970, I didn't start collecting them until the 1980s.  So the bulk of my issues numbered between 100 and 200.  A local comic book shop has allowed me to start filling in the numerous gaps in my collection, and I've even picked up quite a few issues in the 50 to 100 range.  At some point during my teens, I purchased issues 27 and 29; how I got my hands on such early issues I cannot remember.  But reading those two issues made me curious as to how the comic book series began.  And when I realized that, in those early issues, Roy Thomas often adapted Robert E. Howard stories (both his Conan stories and those involving other characters), my curiosity about how Conan started off in comic books soared.

Unfortunately, prices rise dramatically for those early issues, but then I discovered that the early stories were collected in a series of graphic novels called The Chronicles of Conan.  As I'm not a fan of trade paperbacks, I looked for hardcover editions, but found them unavailable. So I ordered the first volume through the Barnes & Nobles website, and hoped it would arrive before we left for Texas.  We tracked the package as it left the warehouse, and watched it made several stops on its way to San Diego.  But it didn't reach our house before we left for vacation.

When we got back, I went through our stack of held mail the first night, and of course, opened the package to look at my beautiful new book. The following night I got to sit down and read it.  Unfortunately, one thing I noticed was that the binding seemed rather loose.  I was heartbroken, as I loved the book, and didn't want to have to fuss around with returning it through the mail, and waiting several weeks for another copy.  And who knew how much returning the damaged book would cost?  I tried calling the local Barnes & Noble store, but they wouldn't accept the book in trade, so I called the phone number listed on the invoice.

To my surprise, I found the customer service representative really understanding.  Although the normal return period had expired, she decided to overlook that when I explained I had been away on vacation. I told her that, if I knew how to glue the book up myself, I would, but she immediately said, "No David, you ordered a new book, you deserve a new book, and that's what you're going to get."  She emailed me a prepaid shipping label, and told me to hold onto the book for now, to enjoy it until the next one came.  She also sent the replacement book via priority shipping, even though I had purchased standard shipping for the first book.


The book completely separated from the cover as I read it, but that no longer worried me, as I knew I would be receiving a replacement.  When it arrived, I was halfway through my original copy of Volume 1, and switched over to my new copy.  Unfortunately, my new book also exhibited the same loose binding, and by the time I finished reading that night, I knew I had the same problem again!


I did some research, and discovered there was a series of hardcovers available (where I figured the bindings would be better), but these were structured differently from the Chronicles series, and I would miss some of the original stories, as they only collected the issues drawn by the series' first artist, Barry Windsor-Smith.  So I called customer service a second time, and told them how perplexed I was, and wondered if it even made sense to request another replacement.  Surely this was a problem endemic to the production run!  

The representative convinced me to give them one more try, and sent me another prepaid return label.  This time, my book arrived quicker than ever, after a mere two days.  As the packaging was different, I can only assume it came from a different warehouse.  Thankfully, the binding on this book didn't loosen as I read it, so finally I was able to enjoy The Chronicles of Conan Volume 1 without worrying about my book coming apart.


I've always loved bookstores, but when I needed to return a book, the clerks aways told me how difficult it was, called in the manager, and sometimes refused my request.  Even when they refunded my money, it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time.  But the customer service agents at www.barnesandnoble.com bent over backward to take care of me, apologized for the inconvenience, and spent far more money shipping those two extra copies to me--in addition to paying to take the defective ones back--than I paid for the order.  

Guess where I'll be buying The Chronicles of Conan Volume 2?

Dragon Dave

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Listening To The Silurians

A Trilogy on CD

While on vacation in Texas, we happened across a store called Half Price Books.  I love used book stores, as I often find books that are no longer offered in new bookstores, as the author didn't publish much, has largely been forgotten, or the title has simply gone out of print. But Half Price Books didn't just have books: they also sold CDs, DVDs, and comic books.  I found six old issues of Marvel Comics' "Conan The Barbarian."  I picked up several books.  And then I happened across something else that was to radically change our vacation.

Included among the CDs were "Doctor Who" soundtracks.  When I first saw them, I thought they contained only the background music from the story.  But when we listened to them, we realized that they contained all the dialogue from each episode of the TV story, and included narration by one of the original actors to link the scenes, and describe what you couldn't see.  We've bought several of the new Doctor Who audio adventures, but always found them difficult to enjoy in the car.  Road noise would dampen the low sounds, and we would have to raise the volume to hear the dialogue.  Then a sound effect or music would kick in, and with our ears throbbing, we would hurriedly lower the volume. We don't usually listen to Audio Books; I guess I'm afraid that I'll get used to the narrator's voice, and then my thoughts will tend to wander.  (For the record, I must state that this never occurs during a pastor's sermon). These CDs are superbly engineered, and as we drove through Texas, whether on winding backroads or on the freeway, we could always hear everything that was going on.  As we know the stories well, we could remember the scenes described, and the miles melted away as we relived these classic stories.  We sometimes wished that our journey had taken longer!

For those unfamiliar with the Silurians, they are an intelligent reptilian species who inhabited the Earth long ago.  Their scientists predicted Earth's destruction, and so they invented hibernation chambers in order to sleep through the crisis in their underground caverns.  Unfortunately, they didn't set their alarm clocks properly, and slept away the eons. When they awaken in the 20th Century, they find that Humans have overrun the planet. The Silurians aren't necessarily evil: they simply assume that it would be easier and more efficient to wipe out Humanity rather than live with us as neighbors.  The Doctor repeatedly tries to convince them that sharing the Earth is possible, and that both species could benefit from interaction.  Unfortunately, misunderstandings always arise, or a few individuals set the two species at each others' throats. Thankfully, this is only Fiction, and in real life, such difficulties never occur between intelligent individuals, religions, ethnic groups, or countries. Isn't that a relief?

Now, if you'll excuse me, all this writing has made me rather tired.  I think I'll take a nap.  

Maybe I'd better set my alarm clock.

Dragon Dave 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Three Recent Changes at The Dragon’s Cache


Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed a few recent changes to this blog.  The first you will find in the top left-hand corner.  This is called a Google+ icon.  I haven’t yet joined Google+; it’s an aspect of Internet involvement (and running a blog) that I have yet to explore.  But if you use it, and you enjoy The Dragon's Cache, please recommend the site to your friends. 

The second recent change is the Follow By Email feature, located on the top right-hand corner of this blog.  Supposedly, if you type in your email address, you will find a copy of each new post in your inbox.  I know how busy we all are, and sometimes we just don’t have time to go out and check all the sites we want.  But most of us check our email each day.  Of course, if your inbox is always so full that you have trouble getting through it, you may not want to subscribe.  After all, reading my blog should be a treat: it should never be confused with work!

Finally, the third recent change is the Labels section, which is located in the left-hand column, below the About Me section.  At first I had no idea how to label my posts, and even now I’m not sure I label entries appropriately.  Setting this up took awhile, as I discovered I had created in excess of 1300 labels!  I’ve whittled the list down to a little over a hundred.  Hopefully, these are topics that you care about.  If you would like to read more about a particular author, subject, TV show, movie, or even a fictional character, you may find it in the list.  Then you can click the label, the current posts will disappear, and in their place you’ll find the entries featuring that particular label.  If, on the other hand, you would like to find a previous entry on a subject, person, or story not listed as a label, you can still use the Search This Blog feature, located on the right-hand side, below the Translate feature and above the Pages list. 

As always, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on all these changes, and the way I’ve integrated them into The Dragon’s Cache.  So if you like something, you would like to see a few more labels, or you find navigating the site (or using a particular feature) confusing, please leave a comment in the space below, or click on my picture or my name in the About Me section (on the top left-hand side).  That will take you to the About Me page, where you can click the Email link, which should open your email program.  Then you can send me your thoughts and concerns, tell me how much this blog has meant to you, how it has radically changed your life for the better, or share with me your hopes and dreams for yourself, your family, and mankind. 

Or, you could just tell me that you enjoy reading The Dragon’s Cache, that everything I’ve written and done is wonderful, and leave it at that.

Dragon Dave