Back (pain) in the USA

My back’s gone out, again, following eight hours on a plane crossing the Atlantic.

Well, technically, my lower back and left leg. Sciatica I believe the kids are calling it these days. But there’s far too much work to get done to complain too long or two loud about it. Still, I can curse Swiss Air and their Seats-Built-For-The- Gnomes-Of-Zurich under my breath, which were responsible for the first case, last fall.

Swiss Air, you are now as dead to me as my lefy calf seems to be…


Dork Tower #33 ships from the printer today.

Dork Tower #34 is at press.

Dork Tower #35 is well underway.

Dork Tower #36 is virtually finished.

With luck, the theoretical bimonthly schedule will be back to becoming a reality again, soon.


Huge amounts of response – quite shocking, really – to the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quotation in Monday’s Dork Tower.

Always great to see there are so many hoopy froods out there who know where their towels are.

For the longest time, my sig file used to be “This must be Thursday – I never could get the hang of Thursdays.” A line I’ve been able to relate to since I was in school.


While in London, I bought my England kit, for the upcoming World Cup.

Couldn’t bring myself to buy a Beckham jersey. And there were no Ashley Cole jerseys to be found (the only Arsenal player on the squad – Arsenal’s my sister’s team). So I picked up a Steven Gerard, #4.

This suits me well since I’ve always liked Liverpool, and having a #4 jersey in Wisconsin is just kinda fun and smart-alecky, in a knowing, snarky kind of way.

Plus, if England Wins, the store I bought the jersey from will refund the cost of the shirt.

I’m not holding my breath, but at least it’ll be an enjoyable incentive to root that much harder for my team.


In rugby, however, I support Ireland. I bought a grand rugby shirt in Cork last January. And since I’ve never really given a jot about rugby since school (I was a closed prop on our team, which I hated – always wanted to be a winger), I figured I’d stay with the team that re-piqued my interest in the sport. Ireland, thanks mostly to the LJs of some friends from Warpcon.


Australia’s in the world cup?




Also, three weeks until the start of the Madison Mallards season.

Got my tickets to the home opener. Will have to miss games 2 and 3, since “Whad’Ya Know’s?” going to be in Iowa City that weekend. But will be back Sunday.


Only picked up a few CDs when I was in London. Mostly stuff that was on sale. Things I needed to fill in holes in my collection. Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ “Do It Yourself,” for example. Plus Paul Weller’s latest, “As Is Now,” which is surprisingly good.

Over the last few years, I’ve picked up all the Weller releases out of a sense of loyalty to the Jam. Many have been a bit so-so, full of “Dad Rock,” I believe the phrase is. But “As Is Now” is a genuinely solid release, with plenty of highlights.


For all my punk/mod leanings, I’m still geeked out about the fact that Al Stewart will be in Chicago a week from Friday.

(He’ll also be in Wisconsin this Saturday, but I don’t think I’ll have enough work done by then to justify the two-hour drive to Elkhart Lake…)

Must go hum “Roads to Moscow” now…


The day we ran into Belle and Sebastian in a Parisian elevator, we also saw Whoopie Goldberg, on Rue Clare, where she was bumming a cigarette off of a french butcher, in English.

Honestly, if you’re going to beg, at least do it in the native tongue.


Of the cool things awaiting me when we got back home, tops on the list was the hardcover of the fourth Girl Genius collection.

The hardbacks are perhaps the most beautiful trade paperbacks I’ve ever had the pleasure to hold in my hands. Phil and Kaja really care about the quality of these books, both in terms of content – amazing, as always – and physical production values.

If you have the money, I can’t recommend splashing out for the Girl Genius hardcovers enough. They’re done in very limited numbers, but are really worth it.



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