Evernote price changes

I just read about Evernote’s pricing and plan changes. The price of a premium account is going from $50/year to $70/year. My premium account renews in January, so I don’t really need to make any decisions just yet. I could drop back to a Plus plan, which would be $35/year. There’s not much in the premium plan that I’d miss if I dropped down to Plus. And, while $70/year seems a bit expensive, I could certainly afford that.

A lot of people posting in the Evernote subreddit are talking about switching to OneNote or Apple Notes. The latter wouldn’t work for me, since I need Windows support. OneNote is a possibility though. But I really like Evernote more than OneNote, and migrating all my notes at this point would be a hassle. (I currently have over 800 notes.)

NYCC tickets, part two: in the queue

I wound up staying home from work today, due to a problem with my right foot. I went to the doctor this morning, and it’s not broken or anything, but I need to go see a foot doctor soon. And this means I’m home, with my foot propped up, and nothing much to do. So I’m waiting in the “virtual queue” for NYCC tickets.

NYCC’s queue page isn’t as interesting as SDCC’s. There’s really nothing to indicate your place in the queue, and there’s no visual indication that there’s anything going on behind the scenes. I assume there’s some JavaScript that’s going out and pinging a server every few seconds, but there’s no indication of that. NYCC is posting updates to their Twitter feed, so that’s something.

It’s been about 30 minutes now, and I’ll give it a little longer, but I feel like I’m about ready for a nap, so I’m not going to give it much longer. And hey, if there’s something wrong with my foot, maybe I shouldn’t be making plans to go to a con that’s going to require a lot of time on my feet, walking around a giant convention center.

NYCC tickets

Well, I got the news today that NYCC tickets are going on sale this Wednesday, at noon. It’s going to be “first come, first served,” so I guess I need to get in there early or miss out. With this year’s “fan verification” thing, I thought maybe they’d do something more interesting, but I guess not. You just need to click the link at the right time, and hope for the best.

San Diego always does their ticket sales on a Saturday, so I can just stay home and try to get tickets. Since NYCC is doing it on a weekday, I need to decide if I want to try for tickets on my phone or maybe bring my laptop to Starbucks at lunch time. (I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to get to the ticket site on my work PC, since we do some pretty serious web filtering on our network.) Or I guess I could take a vacation day, though that seems like going a bit too far.

I actually would like to go to NYCC this year, since I haven’t been to a big con in a few years. The last one was SDCC in 2012. And I’m starting to get more interested in what’s going on in comics right now, with Civil War II, DC’s Rebirth, and stuff like that. So I think it would be a lot of fun.

Legion of Super-Heroes

Quite some time ago, my brother Pat bought a big stack of Legion of Super-Heroes comics on eBay. Pat wasn’t a big comics fan, but occasionally he’d get the urge to read some goofy superhero comics, and he bought these on a lark. He bought a large chunk of the Paul Levitz run from the mid to late eighties. Specifically, the “Baxter paper” (aka volume 3) Legion book that started in 1984. (Remember when we used to all know the name brand of the paper that certain comics were printed on? No? Well, you’re not as old as I am, then.)

At some point, the comics got passed along to me. I had read a lot of earlier Levitz/Giffen Legion comics, including some of the earlier v. 3 issues. So there was some overlap with stuff that was already in my collection. But I’d stopped buying the Legion book in 1985 or 1986, and didn’t follow it regularly while I was in college. I left Pat’s Legion books sitting in a corner of my apartment gathering dust for quite a while. Eventually, I took them and cross-checked them against stuff I already owned, and eliminated the dups, selling those off on eBay. Then, I put the remaining issues at the bottom of my “to be read” stack, where they’ve been ever since.

Well, I finally decided to attack that pile of Legion comics today, and I’m glad I did. It’s bringing back a lot of memories. First, I’m glad to say that these books hold up pretty well, if you go into them with an open mind. Yes, some of the character names are goofy. (“Starfinger,” for instance.) And yes, the look of some of the characters is very 80s. But it’s all part of the charm. Paul Levitz manages to write stories with these characters that treat them with respect, and treat their history with respect, without it all becoming unintentionally funny. (Well, maybe it would be to some people, but not me.) The tone is just right.

The mid to late 80s were a really exciting time in comics. There are house ads for Watchmen and Batman: Year One in the back of these issues. Comic book sales were transitioning from primarily newsstand distribution to primarily direct sales (comic shop) distribution. Printing quality and technology were getting better and better. It’s fun to dip back into this era.

The Legion has gone through a ton of reboots and revisions over the years. I’ve read parts of various new versions, with mixed results, and the original Levitz run remains my favorite. I haven’t yet gotten to the storyline where they try to reconcile Superman’s revised post-Crisis continuity with Legion continuity, and I’m a little worried that it might really derail things. (But, hey, all good things must come to an end.)

Levitz came back for a new run, starting in 2010, and I also recently read the start of that run. Once I finish with the 1980’s stuff, I think I’ll go back and pick up the rest of the recent Levitz run. It’s pretty good, and you can tell that Levitz is enjoying himself. (Given Levitz’ previous position as President/Publisher at DC, I’m pretty sure he’s not doing this new freelance work for the paycheck. Rather, he’s doing it out of love.)

Fifteen years

I just noticed my 10 year post in the “on this day” sidebar. And my first post. So it looks like this blog is fifteen years old today! Weird.

I’m not really in a “reminisce about the last five years” mood right now, so I’ll just leave this here as a marker. I wonder if I’ll still be maintaining this blog in five years, at the twenty-year mark?

Flash Cakes and Glo-Balls

I’m reading a comic from 2010 and saw an ad for these. (More info here.)

I’m so disappointed. I’ve totally missed my chance to eat Flash Cakes and Green Lantern Glo-Balls. I wasn’t reading any regular monthly books in 2010, or really following comic news much, so I missed these entirely.

It’s probably for the best. Hostess cupcakes aren’t good for you and they have a lot of calories, right?

switching to SSL

I got a notice recently saying that the SSL certificate for this site would be renewing soon. That reminded me that it was about a year ago that I bought the cert and set things up so my login and admin were under SSL. That’s been working fine, and I decided today to switch the whole site to SSL. There’s nothing on this site that’s really important enough to require SSL, but I wanted to do it as an experiment, if for no other reason.

I did this simply by switching the site URL in WordPress from http to https. This doesn’t force everything to SSL, but it does make all the internal site links go through SSL. If I want to force SSL, I think I can do that with .htaccess / mod_rewrite, or with a WordPress plugin. But it’s fine for now.

I’m using a cert purchased from my host, 1&1. Their prices aren’t bad, but I probably should have switched to a free cert from Let’s Encrypt. Maybe next year.

removing Google AdSense

I put a Google AdSense ad block on my site way back in 2010. Looking at it again in 2012, I’d gotten up to about $3 in earnings. Right now, it stands at about $15 total. So I’m still nowhere near the amount you need to reach before Google will actually pay you out, which I think is still $100. (Though I’ve read that if you close out your account, and you’re over $10, they’ll mail you a check. But I’m not sure about that.) And lately I’ve been seeing some pretty sleazy ads in my little ad block, so I think it’s time to get rid of it. So, yesterday, I removed it.

I’m using a combination of Adblock Plus and Privacy Badger myself, so I don’t even see most ads on the web. (Though I have whitelisted a bunch of sites, and ABP lets certain “acceptable” ads through by default.) My goal with this blog was never to make money. And I really only did AdSense as an experiment to learn about it. (At this point, I’ve clearly learned that I can’t make any money with AdSense. So, goal achieved!)

gun control

I don’t usually post anything overtly political on this blog. And I’m still not sure if I want to; I’ve started, and then trashed, several versions of this post.

I watched several of Monday’s late night talk shows on my TiVo last night. They all, as expected, addressed the Orlando shooting. The NY Times has a good overview of the late-night response to the shooting here. One thing I noticed about all of these responses is that there was a bit of a “meta” aspect to them. They all mentioned the awful frequency with which these incidents are happening, and the standard pattern of responses that we all seem to fall into after a shooting. And they all included a call to action, though with varying levels of vagueness.

I’ve always been a proponent of reasonable gun control. And honestly I can’t even understand why anyone wouldn’t be. I can understand some difference of opinion on specifics, but I really don’t understand why anyone would think that it’s a good idea to allow anyone to buy an assault rifle, especially someone with a history of mental problems, or someone with a record of spousal abuse, or someone who has been investigated by the FBI for links to terrorism.

The NY Times has an article titled How They Got Their Guns, which they first posted last year (I think) and have updated to cover more recent shootings. The key takeaway: “At least eight gunmen had criminal histories or documented mental health problems that did not prevent them from obtaining their weapons.”

There’s been a lot of talk on TV about the NRA and about how they’ve blocked any reasonable gun control legislation from being passed over the last couple of decades. But something that occurred to me recently was that there has been very little talk about any particular organization opposing the NRA. So I used my old friend, the internet, to see if there was any actual meaningful and organized opposition to the NRA. And, of course, there is. The two main organizations seem to be the Brady Campaign and Everytown for Gun Safety.

The Brady Campaign is named for James Brady and has been around since 1974 (originally under a different name). Some useful history of the organization can be found on Wikipedia.

Everytown is a much newer organization, founded in 2014, as a combination of Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group with another group. It has some pretty high profile people on its board, including Bloomberg and Warren Buffett. Their Wikipedia page is also a good place to start for background info on them.

Both of these organizations have reasonable, moderate, agendas. I’m not entirely sure how effective they are, or how good they are at managing donations, but they both seem to be on the right path. So I guess all I’m saying here is, if you’re as bothered by all of this as I am, maybe look into supporting groups like these.

OK, that’s it for politics. I promise my next blog post will either be about comics or all the keen new Apple stuff that was announced at WWDC this week.


I Made You A Mixtape — An interesting article by Federico Viticci about the evolution of the ways in which he acquires and listens to music. This is a subject I also think about a lot (probably too much).

I’ve seen Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist mentioned a few times recently, including in Federico’s article. I’m getting to the point where I’ve almost convinced myself to stop paying for Slacker and switch to Spotify, but I’m not quite there yet.

I miss mix tapes and mix CDs. In particular, I miss Joshua Benton’s old “CD Mix of the Month Club”. There was something about getting a CD in the mail from a complete stranger every month that was pretty cool. (And, likewise, in creating a CD to send off to a complete stranger.)

One of my friends from college used to send out a daily “track of the day” email to a small group. (He’d send out an email with an MP3 file attached.) That was a lot of fun too. He had pretty eclectic taste, and would send out some really interesting stuff.

I’ve been enjoying the Insomnia Radio Daily Dose podcast feed since I decided to subscribe to it a couple of months ago. That’s the closest thing to an old-fashioned mixtape for me right now. Nearly all of the music on the feed is from artists I’ve never heard of, and nearly all of it is good.