Saturday, August 26, 2017

Weekly update (again)

So Cami had her first volleyball matches of the season. Her team lost both matches, but Cami had some nice overhand serves (even serving for a couple of points), and hit several other balls. She had a good time. She also started practicing for a sort-of travel basketball team at school.

Lexi cheered again (the team lost). She actually was cheering against some of her church friends, which was a neat opportunity (rivals but friends). She is also going to open gym workouts for basketball.

Griffin's team raised their record to 4-0 with a hard fought 20-8 win. After going down 8-0 in the first quarter and not looking very good, the team fought back and played an outstanding final 3 quarters. Griffin was in on a gang tackle. He also had really good pass coverage that helped cause an interception that was returned for a touchdown. We have next weekend off due to Labor Day, and resume games the following weekend. Additionally, Griffin has begun a short fall travel basketball season. His team's first games are this weekend, but he chose to opt out of playing in order to hang out with our new missionary friends and their boys. So, next Sunday will be his first basketball games of the season.

Things have started well, and Trisha and I are looking forward to rooting on our kids as we head into the fall.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER #1 by Kyle Higgins - Book Review

From the publisher: NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER is the story of a future world without “weapons”—where superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders who are charged with hunting the remaining Supers. But when events transpire which turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, the former Boy Wonder must turn against the very system he helped create, with help from the very people he’s been hunting for years—the last metahumans of the DC Universe. Don’t miss this bold new vision from the team behind the New York Times bestseller BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM! 

Nightwing: The New Order #1, by Kyle Higgins, is an interesting new series. As far as I know, its not meant to be any part of the current DC continuity, but it presents a fertile ground for telling stories.

In this first issue, Higgins sets forth the setup: As a result of an action Dick Grayson (Nightwing) took twelve years ago, the world is without 90% of its superpowered people. Those that remain must use a power inhibitor (at least in the U.S.). The United States has become a sort of facist state, with superpowers being outlawed, and Nightwing being looked at as both hero and traitor, depending on the person's point of view. In a story narrated by his son, Nightwing's choices become even more interesting.

I enjoyed the first issue of Nightwing: The New Order. Higgins gives just enough information to draw the reader in, but still dangles several mysteries to be answered as the series progresses. There is just enough of the familiar to make this seem like a logical future for DC. The characterization of Dick Grayson is not as an extremist, but appears to be as someone who wants what is best, and had to make some hard choices. I'm very curious to discover how a hero (one of my favorites) described in this book as the "heart and soul of the hero community" ends up as a near dictator. This is a book for Nightwing/Batman fans, but also fans that enjoy speculative takes on established characters and situations. I highly recommend it.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Success Continues

For the third week in row, Griffin's team was victorious, this time 26-12 (it wasn't that close). The offense put together two good drives, with Griffin taking the plays in at reciever. The defense was outstanding. We recovered 4 turnovers, with an interception and a fumble being returned for touchdowns. Griffin continues to get better at cornerback. He was in on a tackle, but his best play came when he squared the runner up and tackled him head-on. It was a good play by him, particularly because Griffin was more aggressive. There is a tough challenge ahead next Saturday as the team looks to continue to improve.

Lexi continues to cheer for a powerhouse team. They won 49-0 this week. She'll cheer again this week. Lexi is also attending the basketball open gym sessions in order to improve and to show the coaches her commitment to basketball.

Cami continues volleyball practice (I was wrong about her having a game this past week). Her first match is in a couple of weeks. Cami has set a goal for herself to serve the ball overhand and get it over the net. She's working really hard to accomplish that.

More of the same for the Knights this upcoming week.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DARK NIGHTS: METAL #1 by Scott Snyder - Book Review

From the publisher: The superstar BATMAN team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo reunite for a massive, universe-spanning event!

DARK DAYS: THE FORGE and THE CASTING hinted at dark corners of reality that have never been seen till now! Now, as DARK NIGHTS: METAL begins, the Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger—and the threats it contains are coming for the DC Universe! 

DARK NIGHTS: METAL is a DC event unlike any other—one that will push Batman, Superman and heroes of the Justice League beyond their limits to take on threats unlike any our world has ever seen! It will take the combined might of the World’s Greatest Heroes as you’ve never seen them before to face what’s coming their way! 

Dark Nights: Metal #1, by Scott Snyder, kicks of the Metal event, following the two Dark Days books. In it, Snyder actually begins telling the story of Nth Metal and begins to delve into the history of the DC Universe. It's hard to discuss this book without any spoilers, but I can say that the entire Justice League has finally come together and becomes aware (somewhat) of Batman's investigation into the mysterious Nth Metal. More is revealed about the Blackhawks, some of Carter Hall's quest is explained, and there is that ending...the one you might have seen spoilers of, but that I, personally, did not see coming. As the DC Rebirth initiative continues, the various event-type series and team-ups continue to delve into the connective tissue between all the various universes/restarts/continuity blips that have occurred over the years. I'm enjoying the attempt to tie everything together in a logical way, and Dark Nights: Metal seems to be off to an interesting start.

If you like event series, are interested in the mystery (at least one of them) behind Rebirth, or just like Scott Snyder's style, you should pick up Dark Nights: Metal #1. But get on board quick, as it seems like once the story gets going, it's going to go deep.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Another Successful Week

Griffin's team won 24-0 for the second consecutive week. This week we played a school that was new to us, but were still able to pull it out. After a slow start, the boys turned it on; plus, for most of the game we played with only one sub (due to sickness, injury, and absence). I was really proud of all the kids. Griffin did a nice job, playing a ton. He played every play on defense at cornerback, getting close to several tackles and nearly recovering a fumble. He also played a bunch at wide receiver on offense. He did a good job blocking and had a couple of touchdowns run to his side. The next challenge comes next Saturday.

Lexi had her first cheer game of the season, and had a good time. The team won 49-0, and I think the cheerleaders were getting tired arms, as they did push-ups after each score. The next game is Thursday.

Finally, we got the info on Cami's volleyball. She starts practice Monday, and will have games on Wednesdays. She is excited and looking forward to the season.

And just like that, we are superfans again.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse by Chris Roberson - Book Review

From the publisher: Tough times haven’t ended for Mal Reynolds and his crew aboard the Serenity. When a call for help to find a missing friend takes them to an Alliance post on the Outer Rim, they encounter a new force building strength to fight the battle of the Browncoats—soon leading the crewmembers to question their individual values…Discovering that their friend is in Alliance custody and that an Alliance Operative is on the way, Mal concentrates his energy on the problem at hand and strikes an uneasy partnership for a daring rescue. But this is only the beginning of the story. Success will be when the Serenity’s crew makes it off this planet alive and all accounted for…

With Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse, Chris Roberson has done a fine job of continuing the Serenity saga while expanding on it, both by filling in details and opening up a future's worth of stories.

This latest Serenity collection finds Mal, Zoe, and the rest of the crew looking to rescue a friend of theirs from the Alliance. In the course of their mission, they encounter a new group of Peacemakers, a woman named Kalista with a group of girls who have been trained/conditioned like River, a Companion colleague of Inara's, and perhaps the start of a bigger place in the 'Verse for the Serenity crew.

No Power in the 'Verse has everything fans of the tv show have come to expect. There is action, a plan that doesn't work out exactly as hoped, humor, swearing in Chinese, Jayne doing stupid stuff, Mal acting with integrity, and River kicking butt. There is a resolution to the story, as well, but the end contains a springboard to what could be a much larger tale for the Mal and company in the future.

In addition to the main story, there is a short story by Chris Roberson, The Warrior and the Wind. River tells Zoe's daughter Emma the story of the Serenity crew (both tv and movie stories) with a touch of fairy tale about them. It was cute and touching, and a nice way to catch new readers up on what happened in the past.

Overall, I recommend Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse by Chris Roberson. This is a must read for fans of the tv series, and would be an entertaining story for readers looking for a good, old-fashioned space western.

I received a review copy of this book from Dark Horse Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Starting with a Win!

Griffin's first game of the season resulted in a 24-0 win for the team. Part of the fun was that we beat the other team from our school, winning bragging rights for the year. Griffin started at cornerback on defense, and rotating at wide receiver on offense, taking in the plays. He had two pretty good plays during the game. On offense, he made a really nice block to help spring the running back for a 15-20 yard gain. On defense, he made a solo tackle on a pass play that held the receiver to only a couple of yards. I was really proud of him on that play, because we scrimmaged the other team during the week and he was beat on the same play. He learned from that and made the tackle when it counted. Our next game is next Saturday.

Lexi had a week off from cheer practice, but is back at it this week. She has her first football game to cheer at this week, too.

Cami starts volleyball next week, and we will be all systems go!