Flag Day

We've been pranked?
I think Tony got in her somehow ... with a whole lotta US flag.
Stevie, all I care about is where my covers went....
Sorry, Buck.  I guess I'll just pull up some stars for you.
Yeah. We'll plot to get Tony back later.

For friends in other countries, June 14 is a day in the US which is special for displaying the Stars and Stripes. Not sure how it is different from all other days, and seeing as how July 4 is right around the corner, you can imagine that flag-themed paraphernalia are everywhere right about now.  :P

Best Friends Forever!

"Happy Best Friends Day! I made you some pudding!"

"Um, thanks Stevie.  It looks, pretty good."

"I also bought some cookies at the store, and ordered a pizza."

"That was a great idea."

"Thanks!  I also love the flowers...And it's pretty fun to wear the birthday crown!"

"Watch out, though, these Mai Tais are made with Asgardian liquor.... we should probably drink em slow."

"Mmm, these cupcakes are fantastic!"

"Made with love, for the best pal a guy could ask for."

"Thanks Buck, I hope you enjoy your pudding."

"I'll try!" 

Warily Down the Street

"Hey Steve, what's with the specs?"

"Sh! Bucky, you're not supposed to know who I am."

"Because of the specs?  It's still pretty easy to tell who you are."

"Glasses work pretty well, but a hat works even better."

"Steve, no....  sorry, pal, but..."

"If no one recognizes me, why should I care how bad it looks?"

"Steve.....  well, you mook, I love you any way."


Memorial Day
On this day, in the United States, we remember those who perished in service to their country.  This weekend, thousands of motorcycle riders make their way into Washington DC, the Nation's Capital.

Bucky and Steve are not interested in being seen to support the current government, and so they have ridden in the opposite direction off into the countryside.

"These hills are millions of years old," Bucky tells Steve.  "The sandstone was the bottom of an ocean so ancient that the only fossils are seashellls."

Bucky spends a lot of time these days catching up on the years of science that he's missed.

"It's so peaceful," Steve says. "Really puts things in perspective."

"I love the ride," Bucky says.  "Leaning into the turns, really feeling the road."

"What I love most," Steve says, "is having you at my back."

Bucky hugs Steve a little tighter.

"It was a good idea to pay our respects last week," Bucky said.  "There's no way we'd get past the guards at Arlington right now."

"Well," Steve said.  "They're always in our hearts."

They breathe together for a moment in silence, remembering so many who gave so much.

"Ready to go on?" Steve asks.

"Yeah," Bucky says.

They crank up the bike and head further into the mountains.

May the 4th!

"May the Force be with you!"

"Bucky, this is the weirdest dream!"

"But if it's a dream, how am I answering you?"

"Let's not worry about it, let's just walk a while with this lady and her two boyfriends... "

"And their robot baby... I think it likes my arm..."

"I've never seen so many stars. Remind me to paint this when I wake up."

"Okay Stevie, I'll try!"

Pretzel Day!

"Pretzels are always better with something to drink."
"Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."
"I'm not sure it's even the same beer anymore."
"But it's always been so weak, it doesn't matter that alcohol doesn't do anything for us these days."
"Still it makes me think of so many great games at Ebbets Field..."
"And Coney Island Hot Dogs are still the best!"

Iron Fist
I finally finished watching Iron Fist last night, and I liked it a lot.

That's not to say it didn't have its problems, it did... but it's a more complicated show than critics originally realized when they were given the first six episodes.  The full series is 13 eps, and it has a lot of developments and twists.

Here is a very good article that evaluates the show, taking into account the problem of cultural appropriation, and still giving it a B, so that is pretty good.
I appreciate this critic for having a good handle on the cultural appropriation topic, which I think is slippery and difficult. He takes the criticism seriously and works with it at face value without trying to make excuses, which is important.

If you read the whole article, it does a very good job laying out the problems and how the show treats them -- not based on the first six eps, but based on the full show, which comes to conclusions you may not expect.

The characters of Colleen Wing and Claire Temple are standouts in this show, and worth watching.  There are some inconsistencies, but they are handled well overall.  Claire is definitely the main glue which will eventually bind the Defenders together with her no-nonsense code.

I didn't like Ward much, but I liked Joy, and Harold was fun to hate, with his crazy energy.  Really liked Bakuto a lot.  Watch for his capoeira style!!

I'd be glad to hear what others thought.  If you were turned off by the bad reviews, I'd say, it is worth watching.  If you were turned off by the idea of Danny as a white savior, the show makes clear that he is a typical Marvel character -- messed up, confused, conflicted, and not nearly so infallible as he would like to be. In his heart he is a ten year old boy, regardless of his fighting skills.   Just like Matt and Jessica, he is an orphan, and not a very emotionally mature one.  (Luke is by far the most emotionally mature, and of course Claire takes the trophy.)

Kick some Butts!

"No, Steve. No. I've had it. One more word, and I'm gonna kick some butt!"

Falcon has his wingpack on and is ready to go.  The afternoon was meant to be a little flight practice and maybe some teamwork exercises. But no, now's he ready to go, head to head against the Winter Soldier, even though Bucky has sworn he doesn't do that anymore.
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Today on the National Day Calendar is "everything you think is wrong" day, Kick Some Butts day (smoking cessation!), as well as Pears Helene day.  They have a lot of food days on the Calendar.  It is really National Asset Management Awareness Month.  I could tell right away that Bucky would not like that one bit.  

Pi Day
Bucky and Steve enjoy Pi Day!

"I made apple for you!"
"I made cherry for you!"
"I actually think it won't be a problem for us to put away two pies."
"Let's get started!" 

Bucky's 100th Birthday!

Steve and friends throw a party for Bucky for his 100th birthday!
T'Challa arranged for fireworks.
Natasha brought an assortment of beverages, including an ice cream float for Steve and a thick malted for Bucky.
Sam was in charge of finding the most delicious cake in Wakanda. He tasted many and chose a chocolate mochaccino.
Wanda was in charge of distractions in case Bucky got suspicious that something was going on.
Steve kept him busy until dusk and then got him to go for a great walk in the park... which just happened to lead to a picnic birthday bash!!

"Happy Birthday, pal," Steve said, with a gentle pat to the shoulder. "Many happy returns of the day!"

"Thanks, Steve," Bucky said.  "With such great friends, things are looking up for sure."

Everybody lifted their glass and toasted the birthday boy.

"Na Zdorovie!"
"To your good health!"

Steve lifted up his float and recited the old Irish blessing:

"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand."

"Thanks," Bucky said, with a smile, and Steve pressed a kiss to his cheek as fireworks popped and blossomed in the sky.


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