Meaning, Muggled

Update: The soup can is now in effect.

I'm hoping to have some thoughts on the last Harry Potter film up soon, never mind all the other posts in the pipeline. But of course if wishes were horses I'd be buried under a pile of stallions, nags, foals, 'n' fillies — and I know all too well that just wanting something to be does not, in the words of Jean-Luc Picard, to mix my multimedia franchises, make it so [Thanks, Joanie!]. Which brings us to another round of word-verification definitions, those lists of lexicographical alchemy that result from my attempts to elicit some mildly amusing sense from nonsense; for more on the phenomenon, you can visit the page on this blog that explains it and collects all the definitions to date, while I try to regroup and recapture some of that ol' blogging magic.

afenemat — [uh fen uh mat] n. What you lay outside to welcome visitors who insist on entering through the window.

BenCur — [ben kur] The (sadly unsuccessful) all-dog production of Ben-Hur.

cacturne — [kak turn] 
n. Short, romantic piano composition about desert plants.

cragbio — [krag by oh] 
n. History of a jutting rock (published, of course, by Tor Books).

dogroti — [dog roh tee] 
n. Indian puppy bread.

errific — [er ih fik] 
adj. Exceptional at making mistakes.

halitax — [hah lih taks] 1. n. Tariff imposed on residents of the capital of Nova Scotia. 2. v. Present a hardship due to one's exceedingly bad breath.

All-Star Comments

Logo ® Major League Baseball.

The All-Star break seems like the perfect time to talk a little baseball.

I'm very happy that the National League won this year's MLB All-Star Game, 5-1 — not only because the game decides home-field advantage for the World Series, a fact that I fervently hope affects my Phillies, but because of good ol' NL pride. National League baseball is real baseball.

Kudos to 2011 MVP Prince Fielder for his 3-run blast and letting his kids hold the trophy.

Speed Reading

Cover art to upcoming Flash #1 © 2011 DC Comics. 
Pencils, Inks: Francis Manapul. Colors: Brian Buccellato.

I guess the new "52" initiative from DC, which rewrites the continuity of its main superhero universe (again) together with setting up a comprehensive digital-release plan for its comics, gives another meaning to "downloading the new version of Flash".

DC in '76

cover to Limited Collectors' Edition #C-47

DC Comics turned 75 last year. As I've noted — like you needed me to tell you, if you follow the industry at all — it's celebrating the first anniversary of that big anniversary by relaunching its entire main line of superhero titles. On this Fourth of July, however, Blam's Blog is less concerned about what DC's doing at 76 than with what it did in '76.

My personal Golden Age of comic-book consumption was about 6 years old, or more broadly from ages 5 to 8 — younger than some thanks to early facility with reading, supported especially by parents who also encouraged the writing and drawing I was doing based on what I read. (I also had a vibrant "Silver Age" of comic-book collecting from about 12 to 16, full of exciting projects from DC, Marvel, and the new independents — not that I ever stopped buying them until I had to almost a decade ago for health-related financial reasons.) And just about nothing makes me as gleefully nostalgic as the batch of issues published by DC in April 1976, cover-dated July — or, if they were bimonthly, August, with "July-August 1976" in the indicia — to commemorate the 200th birthday of the great, sloppy, ongoing experiment in diversity and freedom that is The United States of America. No fewer than 33 covers sporting a banner that proclaimed "DC Comics Salutes the Bicentennial" hit spinner racks just as your humble correspondent's nascent comic-book craze was taking off — and were followed by a few more acknowledgements of the occasion, including the one above and a couple more mentioned at the end of this post.

I before Zzzzz

Last night my nephew "I", alias Ishmael for the sake of public sharing, arrived with his sisters, "E" & "M", and their mother for their annual summer visit.

Mom-Mom: "Are you ready to get in your PJs?"

Ishmael, who turned 4 last week: "No!"

Uncle Brian: "I just heard Mommy tell your sisters to put on their pajamas. She'll probably be in here in a minute."

Ishmael: "Yeah... We're gonna have to hide."

Kindred Posts: I ♥ ElephantsAn M and E MailTable TalkA Walk in the ParkWhat I Said


You don't have to be a Mac or a PC to appreciate the snow-leopard upgrades here in the Philadelphia area.

I suppose you do have to have a computer of some sort — or another way of glomming onto cyberspace — to watch 6ABC's video of the newborn cub 
at The Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. But if you're reading this post that's not really an issue. 

The cub in the above video was born in May to 8-year-old mama snow leopard Himani and 11-year-old papa Vijay, almost exactly a year after Himani gave birth to twin boys Sabu and Kaba. Just last month, The Philadelphia Zoo's 3-year-old snow leopard Maya gave birth to a pair of cubs by 5-year-old Amga, video and photos of whom are also online.