November 18th, 2013


Legendary ConFusion Without Me

ConFusion 2014 -- 17-19 January 2014, Doubletree Inn, Dearborn MI

It's never too early to schedule SF/F cons for 2014. Besides Detcon 1 come July, there's one of my favorite cons, also in Michigan -- Legendary ConFusion at the Doubletree Inn, Dearborn MI, 17-19 January 2014.

We have Guests of Honor, and they are LEGENDARY!

• Guest of Honor, Mike Carey -- Author of the Felix Castor novels, and a writer for both Marvel and DC Comics
• Artist Guest of Honor, Rich Morris -- Writer and artist behind Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic
• Gaming Guest of Honor, S2 Games -- Creators of the Heroes of Newerth, from Kalamazoo, Michigan
• Science Guest of Honor, Ian Tregillis -- Physicist and author of the Milkweed Triptych
• Honored Fan, Mark Bernstein -- Longtime Detroit-area fan, convention planner, and musician
• Subterranean Press Special Guest, Jacqueline Carey -- Author of the Kushiel's Legacy series among many, many other books
Alas, as with Windycon in Chicago last weekend, I will have to miss this year's ConFusion. I'll only have just gone back to work, and I think it would be pushing things to schedule a trip across the state. And I won't arrange to be on any panels I can't commit to. Sigh. No reading, either.

FYI -- Be on the lookout for another Confusion held the same damn weekend. Further Confusion "is one of the world's largest anthropomorphic (or "furry") conventions", held in San Jose CA. Their 15th. Our 39th. Accept no substitutes!

Anyway, ConFusion is well run, has a superb KidsFusion track if you need to make it a family affair, and attracts a lot of great writers and, with Windsor ON Canada close by, brings in a goodly Canadian contingent as well.

Highly Recommended

Dr. Phil

Two Episodes In -- Not Bad

Almost Science Fiction

Almost Human is the new cop buddy show on FOX. The kink here is that it's the future, the bad guys are getting worse and the cops are losing. Every cop gets an android battlecop partner. Except the current gen are rather cold and questionable. Except our hero, the detective cop.

Like Ripley in Aliens, he blames a synthetic for the loss of his partner and his team -- and the synthetic leg which isn't meshing well. Or least it wasn't in Episode 1 -- not even mentioned as a problem in Episode 2. So he gets assigned an older DRN model, obviously named Darian. The DRNs are much more empathic, and have a reputation for being twitchy. Questionable synthetic, cop who hates synthetics. What could possibly go wrong? And you know they'll be best buds. Expect by Episode 6 the synthetic gets damaged and they want to retire him... And hero objects. (grin)

It's sort of Robocop, except it's the synthetic that gets a new life. The world is rather Bladerunner-ish, but with better weather. It strikes me as owing a lot to A.I. -- Mrs. Dr. Phil compared it to Doll House, the way synthetics are used.

I have to say it looks good. The banter, both when our cop is in a good mode or a bad mode, is fun. In two episodes, the bad guys have gotten a lot of nasty tech. The cops really are outmatched, so they have to be careful and they have to be clever. Oh, and the guy who maintains the synthetics has obviously has to be a socially compromised geek. A loner, surrounded by gobs of old gear. Like we've never seen that before.

One hates to make a conclusion after a two-day pilot event. The script writers will have to keep it up. The tech and the good vs. evil uses of it will have to be believable. And will the two boy-girl detectives get together? Or will our emotionally compromised cop continue to avoid dealing with her? I bring this up, because we've been burned before with off-again/off-again/suddenly they ruin it relationships.

Recommended -- For Now
Mondays at 8pm ET -- until FOX moves it.
Dr. Phil

A Busy Monday Afternoon

Ended up with three visitors today. I was expecting two, but the visiting nurse called and said they wanted to redo the dressing on my heel three times a week, not twice a week. Since 3x was what the original call from the foot surgeon was, I got no problems with that. Good news is that seeping has slowed down to almost nothing and it's clear. Go me.

Then OT came by. We practiced getting into the Blazer, this time with jeans instead of the sweat shorts. Despite the higher resistance, it went well. At this point we've accomplished pretty much everything that needed Occupational Therapy, so they were going to sign off on the home OT portion of my rehab as completed.

PT was going to come by and overlap, but as easily happens with home care, they were delayed. Since we'd already done the car transfer, it was time to exercise the left knee as one works toward a floor transfer. Previously I was unable to get the left knee up on the bed. Today I got the right knee up, but couldn't quite get the left high enough -- it caught on the curved edge of the covers.

But... if I started with the left knee, and after a few tries I could get that on the bed, I went and tried to haul the right up, too. Success! Now I had my hands and knees on the bed, I could move a bit, then roll onto my side. Other than having my feet -- and that includes the shoes and the AFO -- off of the bed, this isn't too far from what I have to do to get onto the floor. From there I managed to roll back on my knees, get up on my hands and knees, and back off and the get my feet planted on the floor and stand up. Yay!

And then I repeated this two more times.

I tell you, I keep making incremental progress every therapy session. And after a while, you get another breakthrough.

Whew, that was enough for today, along with some free standing, free turnarounds of 180° and 360°, and a few little steps of free walking. Later this week, we might try getting on my knees or at least one knee on the floor again.

With home nursing expected to continue for a couple of weeks and Allendale PT not able to start until December 5th, we'll probably have PT coming here at least once once during Thanksgiving week. And one the next week.

As of today, I've been home a whole month -- thirty days. At times I feel completely at home, as if the hospital was just a dream. But then I realize that my senses are out of whack -- my body is waiting for summer to come, not winter. My Year Without A Summer just feels weird. 1% of my life.

Please don't try it yourself. (grin) Or if you do, make sure you pay attention and do (or try) everything they tell you to do. It's the only way.

Dr. Phil