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Friday, April 06, 2007

It's Superman

Biz Stuff - Five new Ligne Bretagnes have been added to the catalog page. The website overhaul continues apace, with the opening page for Ligne Bretagne getting a clean-up and simplification. Over coming months, I'd like to give the entire site a going-over like this - dropping pointless bits here, nipping there, and generally freshening everything. As with the redesign of the catalogs, the goal is to make the site easier and faster for me to update while enhancing the Google-like simplicity of the layout. The catalyst for all this fiddling has been my discovery and use of Nvu and Kompozer, programs which have transformed website work from tedious HTML typing into happy play.

Today's pic is a change of pace, a shot taken of us working by a photographer for a Breton magazine on village life. This is pretty much my working day captured in a snapshot, with the sole exception being that we'd normally both have wireless headphones on, tuned to our audiobooks of the moment.

And speaking of audiobooks, I'm currently listening my way through "It's Superman", by Tom De Haven. Why does this merit mention in a pipe blog? The book is quite good, for one - Far better than I was braced for, as I am not normally a Superman fan (As a wee lad, I much preferred Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, or better yet Werewolf by Night). I was expecting Smallville, and instead got the Superman version of Batman Begins. It also contains a fair bit of smoking references... and they aren't all negative. It's set in a very grimy and impoverished 1938 on the brink of the war. Lois smokes. Clark smokes. There is no preaching about the evils of smoking - yes, it's 1938, but over the past few years I've become accustomed to such insidious bits of political correctness as altering old films, subtly inserting "anti" messages into supposedly period fiction, etc. Even more amusingly, the book's one major anti-smoker is........

Lex Luthor.

Yes, Lex is not only about murdering his way through competing gangsters and underworld bosses, wiling his way into government, building a criminal empire, and generally being nasty - He's also vehemently anti-smoking, and reviles the demon weed while planning to forcefully stamp out its use. I must say, it's quite refreshing to see a Superman book coming down on the side of personal freedom and showing the anti-tobacco mentality for what it is, namely, the desire to control what other people can do based on prejudice.

Up, up, and away!