Archive for February, 2005

“Another Pleasant Valley Sunday…”

Monday, February 28th, 2005

Sunday
Woke up this morning (which is a good way to start any day) thanks to my handy-dandy alarm. Woke up , our first overnight houseguest, so that she could get under way and take care of some errands today. Instead, we sat in the kitchen and talked about stuff. “Stuff” is really the best way to describe it because we would jump from Topic A to Topic V… and then bounce back to Topic F… and so on. It was a nice way to spend the morning.

I went to Borders for a couple of hours to draw. I’m not overly enthused with one of the sketches I did. I am trying to move away from drawing mostly faces and move towards working on figures. I need to work on overall anatomy. The fundamentals. Yet another thing to add to the “to do” list…

Back home. Perry and Max came over and spent the late afternoon/evening with us. I grilled out: Polish sausage and chicken breast filets. (If you’re in the SLC Metro Area, I highly recommend going to Colosimo’s for your sausage/bratwurst fix.) Max played videogames while Perry, Jess and I hung out.

Random Access

He’s got to make his own mistakes
And learn to mend the mess he makes
He’s old enough to know what’s right
But young enough not to choose it…

     – “New World Man,” Rush (from the CD “Signals”)

As a fan of the four-color print media known colloquially as “comic books” or “graphic novels,” I’m used to seeing the hero swoop in and save the citizen in distress. Cape flapping in the breeze, she or he makes a grand entrance, thwarts the villain and carries the near-victim to a place of safety.

If only real life mirrored art in this way.

In the so-called “real world,” people rail against help. Or even the offer of help, in some cases. When they ask for an opinion, they often balk if the response isn’t what they wanted to hear.

Or they just shut themselves off.
Or down.
Or out.

Then the rest of the us, just like readers of a comic, must sit by and watch as the story unfolds.

Sometimes, the “victim” has an epiphany. They awaken to find an option available to them that “wasn’t there before.” Even though it had been staring them in the face the entire time. They take steps to become a “hero,” in their own right, and break free from the situation in which they had been mired. They leap to safety, at the last second, to stand tall and laugh at the failed scenario from escaped.

Unfortunately, far too often, they wallow in doubt or self-pity. They stumble blindly through a maze of uncertainty. Silently cursing The Fates. Their fate. The rest of the world. Either by design or through a haze of rage or fear, they don’t see any options before them. Or a friendly face in the crowd. All that they see is a dark, twisted path ahead of and behind them. And wastelands to the sides.

And one thing keeps coming to my mind. Wilson Philips’ song Hold On. They were spot-on with the lyric:

You could sustain
Or are you comfortable with the pain?
You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness
You got yourself into your own mess

I don’t have red lenses, or a utility belt, or a speedy horse and silver bullets. While they would be cool or fun to have, I don’t need them. I was taught to be supportive of my friends in the same manner that my parents were supportive of my siblings and me. If someone needs help, and it’s within your power, do so. Even if it’s something as “small” as listening when a friendly, non-judgmental ear is needed. Or a supportive shoulder. Or just “being around.” I was also taught that when offers of support are shunned or ignored, step back. Don’t force your help onto them. As someone once told me: “You can’t make or force someone into change, but you can love them through changes.”

I know a number of people who have been in dire straits. (Situations, that is, not the band.) I know some who are currently in the middle of a personal Hell. Almost all of the situations have been difficult to see or hear about. And when they turn down offers of assistance, yet still trudge through the mire, it makes it all the more difficult to be on the outside. To be the reader in a story that’s unfolding before my eyes.

Yet, all I can do is turn the page and wait to see how the plot unfolds.

Sure, I still “…wonder what it’s like to be a superhero,” but I try to keep my feet firmly on the ground and do the best that I can to be a decent person. I like to think that most of the time, I’m pretty good at it. When someone comes to me with a problem, the very least that I can do is listen to them. As a friend, they deserve that much. If they ask for an opinion, consider the options and the possible outcomes and give them my thoughts on it. And if any or all of the above, I can be that shoulder. Or friendly face.

And I don’t need a cape for that.

Stray Toasters

  • Jamie Foxx won the 2005 Best Actor Academy Award. And then he went on to give what I thought was a great speech.
  • As February – and Black History Month – draws to a close, I found this article, “Blackest Month Ever” on PopCultureShock. It made me smile.
  • A friend pointed out this column, from Backwash. It’s a very interesting subject. And a rather compelling read.
  • , I don’t know if this will help assuage the pain of the celluloid fiasco that was Batman + Robin, but here goes…
  • …and if that doesn’t, give this a shot.
  • Star Trek XI in Development
    I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry.

  • This is a very cool picture. (Borderline work-safe.)
  • Halle Berry won a Razzie for her role in Catwoman. No big surprise there. Not only did she attend the Golden Raspberry Awards, she took her 2002 Oscar with her.

    Berry was named worst actress of 2004 by the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation for her performance in “Catwoman” and she showed up to accept her “Razzie” carrying the Oscar she won in 2002 for “Monster’s Ball.”

    “They can’t take this away from me, it’s got my name on it!” she quipped. A raucous crowd cheered her on as she gave a stirring recreation of her Academy Award acceptance speech, including tears.

    She thanked everyone involved in “Catwoman,” a film she said took her from the top of her profession to the bottom.

    “I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of s—,” she said as she dragged her agent on stage and warned him “next time read the script first.”

    It is rare for a Razzie winner to show up at the spoof awards held on the night before Oscars — but Berry did, saying her mother taught her that to be “a good winner you had to be a good loser first.” She received a standing ovation.

  • I need to replenish my stock of Cadbury Creme Eggs and cotton candy.
  • Indigo Girls’ rendition of Romeo and Juliet is great.
  • , a proposed Babylon 5 feature film has been cancelled. Sorry.
  • I like Bruce Springsteen’s Pink Cadillac, too. The man isn’t the world’s greatest vocalist, but he seems to have a good time at it.
  • By way of Slashdot: “The SciFi channel has made Episode ’33’ (Season 1 Episode 1) of Battlestar Galactica available for free, uncut and commercial free, online at SciFi.com.”

And with that…

Namaste.

“Time stand still…”

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

Saturday
We’ll make this the Cliff’s Notes recap of the past 48 or so hours.

Friday was a fairly laid-back day. and came over so that I could help Nox suss out a problem with his computer. We figured it out, made an excursion to LS Micro, fixed the problem and he was good to go.

I spent a good portion of the rest of the afternoon – and later that night – dealing with a computer that I’m cobbling together for a friend. As I mentioned, it’s not going as smoothly as it could. But, I will prevail.

Today was also fairly lax. and I had lunch with Nyx. I stopped at Dr. Volt’s (a local comic shop) to feed my paper crack addiction. I’m still only collecting two titles. Does that make them my “gateway titles?” And, I avoided buying any plastic crack. That was a nice achievement. Then it was back home to work on my friend’s computer again. More problems, but I think that I know what I’m going to have to do to get past them. But I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

Bowling was good; tonight’s top score was a 181, I think. Not only did and Larry go, but Pat and Staci joined us. And, as an added bonus, a couple of friends from IRC dropped in, too; one of them I haven’t seen in five years (but we’ve chatted fairly regularly during the intervening time). After that, it was off to breakfast. As usual, more people joined us there. All-in-all, it was a nice way to cap off a good day.

Stray Toasters

  • I have cotton candy. knows of my weakness for the spun sugar confection and brought me two bags of cottony candy goodness.
  • Nyx forwarded me the URL for Unusual Uses for Everyday Items. It’s a neat site.
  • Metropolis Citizen: “Thank you, Green Lantern!”
    Booster Gold: “I am not Green Lantern!”

  • , when I mentioned that I needed to keep an eye out for some computer parts suggested that I check University of Utah Surplus and Salvage Department. They seem to have a little bit of everything.
  • What is Aqualad doing with/to this dolphin?!

    No. On second thought, I don’t want to know.

  • From PopCultureShock: Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #1
    I like stories that add to a character’s… character. Something that makes them less of a two-dimensional image with word and thought balloons attached and turns them into “a person.” With motivations. Feelings. Fears. And, from what I’ve seen in this preview, that is exactly what Brian Azzarello has done. The interaction between Lex and LexCorp janitor Stanislaw Levin (page 4, page 5) shows Lex as a person. One in a very high position. One who genuinely seems to care about the people in his employ. And one who has a reason to dislike a certain “strange visitor from another planet.” I might just have to pick up this mini-series.

  • I just messaged my mother. She told me to go to bed. I’m 34 years old and 2000 miles away… yet I’m still “her kid.” That made me smile.

Hm, Mom may have been onto something, after all…
I am tired.

Namaste.

“Turn around and walk the razor’s edge…”

Saturday, February 26th, 2005

Friday
I’m having a few issues with a computer that I’m working on for a friend. That’s causing me a bit of irritation.

Also, in order to do some work on that other computer’s hard drive, I had to install it on DS9. Which means that I had to shut ‘Nine down. Which usually isn’t a big deal. But, I had a 2/3 done post that I neglected to save. And I didn’t think about that until about 4 hours after-the-fact.

But, other than that, it’s been a pretty decent day. I even managed to transfer all of the media files from Enterprise to DS9. That puts me a big step closer to converting Enterprise from a Linux-based computer (whose Linux functionality I almost never utilize) into a Windows-based media server for the house.

But, I’m going to bed now. Maybe things will be more copacetic after a good night’s sleep and I’ll be able to get my friend’s computer up and running the way it should.

Namaste.

“I’m riding shotgun down the avalanche…”

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Thursday
and I met and for lunch and an excursion to The Bookshelf. I was very proud of myself – I only bought one box of plastic crack. Unfortunately, all of the figures were duplicates of ones that I already have. On the “up” side, I had a coupon from a previous trip; I only wound up paying a little under $4.00 to feed my addiction.

I had dinner with , Nyx and Nox. Then I headed to Nyx and Nox’ to try out a new game that Nox had picked up, Twilight Imperium. It was like a cross between Risk and Star Fleet Battles… with a twist of Civilization.

Stray Toasters

  • I still have five Cadbury Creme Eggs left.
  • I do not, however, have any cotton candy.
  • Saturday Night Fever dance floor up for auction
  • : They didn’t come out and say “chupacabra,” but here’s this anyway.
  • showed me a link for Dresden Dolls’ Coin Operated Boy (scroll down). Cute. And quirkily amusing. And… Oh, Hell… go look for yourself. (Note: Has to be downloaded. Broadband recommended.)
  • Voodoo knife rack
  • For
  • And, taking a page from my childhood: Mirconauts!
  • Friday night.
    Coffee.
    You know who you are.
    You know where to go and when to be there.

  • From the DCG: The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Battlestar Galactica has been renewed for a second season.
  • I’ve been invited to an Xbox LAN on Saturday morning.
    I want to take a “class” at Home Depot Saturday afternoon.
    I need to figure out the scheduling so that I can do both.

Quote of the Day
BBC News has an interview with Oscar nominee Jamie Foxx on its website. In it, Foxx talks about rehearsing with Ray Charles in preparation for his portrayal of the singer in the movie Ray:

“We got a chance to sing the blues with each other, and I hit the wrong note, and he said, ‘why the hell would you do that’? And I said ‘I don’t know Ray'”.

“And he said, ‘the notes are right underneath your fingers, and all you gotta do is take time out to find the right note. That’s what life is, we all got notes underneath our fingers and we gotta take time to find the right notes, to come up with our own music’.”

I just think that’s a great quote.

Namaste.

“The last days were the realest… realest days of our lives.”

Thursday, February 24th, 2005

Wednesday
I’m back.
Mm-hmm. That’s right.

Moab was good. Rainy, but good. There’s nothing like digging a trench in intermittent rain. The only thing better is not digging the trench in the rain. Which I like. In fact, I prefer it. Hands down. But, I digress… This was a one-day trip. We dug out the and put in the underground ductwork. Normally, this is a piece of cake. However, the crew who poured the foundation did not use any kind of concrete form on the interior… so there was cement almost everywhere that we needed to dig.

*** braincramp ***
The foundation guys had to come back with a jackhammer and undo their mess. To my knowledge, we still haven’t found out “why” they did it this way. Especially given the fact that they didn’t do it on the other twelve houses that they did. *shrug*

I chatted with for a while. She showed me a link to Cartoon Factory. They have prints, lithos, cels and sericels. I was immediately hooked. Then, told me that they were local. I looked them up. They were VERY local. I called Perry and told him that “we [had] to go someplace right now” and that he needed to get moving because I was getting ready to get in the car. He met me there. And the drooling commenced. (They have a cel from Superman: The Animated Series that is from the same episode, “Father’s Day,” as my Darkseid cel.) I think that we spent nearly forty-five minutes talking with David, the gallery director. I will be returning to this place. In fact, I will most likely be accompanying there within the next 48 hours.

and I met the aforementioned Ms. (who is not quite as ill as was previously thought) for a late dinner. Sampan. Good.

Tomorning: A trip to Mecca The Bookshelf with and .

Stray Toasters

  • I have a rather achy knot in my right shoulder.
  • T.H.
  • Video games + Post-It® Notes + Too much free time = ???
  • I had a conversation with this evening. One-liners and quick quips abounded. Maybe it has something to do with the name “Rob.”
  • It seems as though DC will take an interesting tack with the new OMAC title.
  • : Tom Welling as… well, you know.
  • I found the two most recent eps of JLU on Usenet this afternoon/evening. I am happy. Very happy. Can you say “Animated bliss,” boys and girls? That’s right. I knew you could.
  • Thanks to for forwarding the URL to Creation Science Fair 2001. I’m happily Baptist, but this… this is…. wow. I think it’s a bit much for even me. “How much” is “a bit much?” Check out the Middle School Level 2nd Place winner.
  • …and, as an added “Bonus,” she sent a link to an “emergency moral reminder.”
  • : Selina’s getting a new penciller/inker.
  • I am currently working on the next installment of Heroclix Theatre.
  • Hm. I think that I like this. A lot. The thought of acquiring something like this in the hopefully-not-terribly-distant future would expedite my revamping of the media PC.
  • Hopsiah the Kanga-Jew… Words fail me.
  • Hunter S. Who?”
  • : I think that I mentioned this a while back, but if not: BBC has Infocom’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Enjoy.
  • : Since you’re heading in this direction, I thought that you might want to check out: The LeCool Guide to Barcelona.
  • From ThinkGeek: Internet Urinal. Again, words fail me.
  • A Very Brief History of Pacman

And that’s it for now.

Namaste.

“We’re only immortal for a limited time…”

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

Monday
Dead Presidents‘ Day.
Hey, look… A play on words (and titles), of sorts.

I woke up this morning to a call from Perry. He was just touching base with us and wanted to thank us for stopping in to see him on his birthday. After that, the morning was somewhat lazy.

offered to help us with stripping the wallpaper, so we picked him up, grabbed a bite to eat, and then came back here to have a go at the paper. It took almost three hours to clear the west wall. With three of us working on it. Oy. We also (finally) noticed something: The idiotstick who hung the paper didn’t primer the wall first. Shortly after this revelation, we stopped being quite as careful about removing the paper… because I’m going to have to primer the to-be-painted area anyway. We also rediscovered just how ass-tastic (thanks, Nyx!) a job that person did in the alcove in the living room. We are going to wind up replacing the wainscot molding and the baseboards, too. And then, I shall paint.

We stopped around 5:30, cleaned up and headed out for dinner. When we returned,
was here waiting for us.

…but no one else came over for poker. That was fine. We sat around and talked for a bit and then Nox and I came down to the HCC (to game and watch 24) while and Nyx entertained the cats and watched TV.

Stray Toasters

  • I am heading to Moab in the morning. Just an overnight trip, this time. One lot; underground installation. I should be back Wednesday afternoon.
  • and : Broken Frontier has a sneak peek of The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist #5.
  • I finally used the wireless Xbox controller that I got for Christmas. It was very cool. But, like a glasses wearer who recently switched to contact lenses, I kept expecting to have to maneuver around the cord. I would laugh when I caught myself doing that.
  • I literally laughed out loud when I read this entry from .
    “Dat Dude”
    Cracked me up, it did.

  • Action and Intrigue in a Sci-Fi Setting
  • I have received confirmation that my Xbox replacement cord has been shipped.
  • For : From the DCG – Classic Nightcrawler
  • I like Albea’s take on Cyclops and Phoenix’ daughter: Marvel Girl
  • : Here is an interview with Christian Bale about Batman Begins. Enjoy.

That’s it. I really should hit the rack so that I can be ready to go tomorning. See you on the other side of Wednesday.

Namaste.

“We are the New Power Generation. We want to change the world. The only thing that’s in our way is you.”

Monday, February 21st, 2005

Sunday
I slept in again this morning… of course, I didn’t get to bed until nearly 6:00, so it’s understandable. Once again, the cats were not rambunctious at the crack of dawn. Thank God. I was awakened by the sound of the phone ringing; it was Mom. She was trying to return a call to someone else and wound up calling me, instead. But that’s okay. It was good to talk with her, albeit briefly.

Coffee and Honeycomb. Breakfast of champions. Literally. I noticed that Honeycomb is “The Official Cereal of Major League Soccer.” Honeycomb. *boggle* But, I’ll come back to this one in a bit.

We ran some errands this afternoon… including a stop at Home Depot. (We’re moving ahead with plans to remove the crappy wallpaper around the wainscoting of the upstairs living room and paint it, instead. We’re also going to paint the guest bedroom.) We picked up supplies and the necessary goodies to accomplish the task. We looked at a few borders to accent the guest room walls, but decided to wait on that until after we finished with the painting. I [heart] Home Depot and Lowe’s.

We also stopped to get gifty things for and Perry for their respective birthdays. I also got a box of plastic crack… which added three new figures that I didn’t already have to my collection. Then it was off to wish Perry a happy birthday and spend a while with him and his family. Then it was off to dinner with Nox an . After dinner, we went back to their place for a bit. Nyx loaned me her Bunnicula books; I’ve never read them, but they look interesting.

And then it was home to strip wallpaper and keep the cats from trying to sniff/lick/eat the paper and gunk.

News
CNN: Author Hunter S. Thompson commits suicide

Random Access
Chase the dreams of merchandise…
As I mentioned above, Honeycomb is the “Official Cereal of MLS.” I would have expected something a little more… I don’t know… “healthy” to be a sport’s “official” food.

But, along the same lines, Coors is the “Official Beer of the NFL.” Coors, Miller, and Budweiser sponsor multiple teams in NASCAR. (Yeah… beer and driving really fast. That‘s a great combination.) Many tobacco manufacturers also sponsor race cars but, and I could be wrong about this, the NASCAR powers-that-be didn’t think that it was a good idea to have Winston (an R.J. Reynolds company) sponsor their season… and so Nextel got the nod. *shrug*

Whatever.

I just find it odd.

Stray Toasters

  • I think that I have a tertiary superpower: The ability to strip wallpaper.
  • Hedy Lamarr dot org
  • Dad is great!
    Give us the chocolate cake!

  • Common Errors in English     Look. Learn.
  • On the way home from Nyx and Nox’ place we drove past Salt Lake Lutheran High School. They have a large sign out front and it’s new message was:

    A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.

    And the first thing through my mind was: “…so does a soft pillow. And that then means that my conscience can stay in its box in the storage room.”

  • The Art of Shano
  • A friend of mine posted a link to the anti-panti. For the ladies out there: Would you really be inclined to wear a product like this? Honestly?
  • Posh – “Handbags for a fabulous life!”
  • If you missed Saturday Night Shakespeare, click here. It’s ‘Toaster #1.
  • Mad Monarchs – “A series of biographies on the personal lives of history’s mad royals.” And, yes, they even have Caligula! But, I’m willing to bet that this account will be nowhere near as porntastic as Bob Guccione’s Caligula.
  • Blaxploitation. Definitions from Bright Lights Film Journal and from Wikipedia.
  • I was talking with earlier and we got onto the subject of ‘heroes.’ I’m a big fan of the cape and cowl crowd, but she seemed rather surprised when she asked me who my heroes were and I told her: “My folks.” I was even able to back it up with this post from my early days on LJ.
  • Helloooooo, oxymoron! Liberal Party (Utah)
  • Introducing: The Reality Bat –
  • The caption on this made me laugh.
  • Usenet and mp3 remixes. *nod* ‘Nuff said.

And that’s a good place to call it a night.
A very late night.
Or a very early morning.
Or something.

Namaste.

“Everything old is new again, everything under the sun…”

Sunday, February 20th, 2005

Saturday
The day started late. “Sleeping-in” late. And it was good. Selah.

Not a whole lot happened during the early part of the day. Other than a lot of sitting around. And that was fine; after all, that’s what weekends should be about. My occasionally-seen “need to be productive” side apparently sent the “I’m having a good time being lazy” side out for ice cream or something, because I cleaned the bathroom… more-or-less on a whim. Granted, I’ve been wanting to be more regular in establishing Saturdays as “Clean around the house” days, but this was rather spontaneous.

We met Perry, Max and Kate’s brother, Joe at Nickelcade. 5¢ gaming goodness. There were a couple of kids there playing DDR who were not only good at it, but they were good at it without needing to use the support bar. , you should go with us some time and test these kids’ DDR ability. From there, it was on to Jordan Commons for dinner at the new Spaghetti Mama’s restaurant. It was good. We even got to harass Kate. Unfortunately, I neglected to pick up a business card. I’ll have to remember to ask Kate to pick one up for me.

Bowling was all right. I bowled seven games, with a high of 162. I also noticed that I am tending to pull the ball to the left. That’s not good, given that I have a left hook. But, I had a lot of frames where I cleared out the 4, 7 and 8 pins. *sigh* Breakfast was good – we had a better-than-average turnout. There were lots of random conversations… which is pretty typical for our group.

Stray Toasters

  • In the words of No Doubt: “What I’ve succumbed to is making me numb…” In other words, I’ve given in to my Heroclix crossover addiction again. This time, however, I’ve taken a swipe at William Shakespeare. Is nothing sacred?!?

    And so, I give you a scene from Hamlet:

  • I’ve never played Neverwinter Nights, but a friend pointed me to “Neverwinter Vault – Top 10 Lists.” Some of them are rather amusing, including: Top 10 Things You Should Never Say as You Are Greeted by the King and Top 10 Stupidest Ways You’ve Died.

    I think that the most st00pid way that I died, when I was playing EverCrack, was: A couple of friends – and another former coworker – and I were going to the Qeynos sewers to hunt frogloks. We knew of a back entrance – basically a manhole that led to an open area of the sewers – and decided to go that way. We got to the entrance and the two of us jumped in; the third guy stood at the top… and waited. Something happened on the way to the open area and our characters started running out of air. ‘s character had a better swimming rating than mine, so he was able to make it to the bottom. When I started noticing that my air was getting to a critical point, I turned around and headed back for the manhole. And was stopped mid-swim. I couldn’t get past the zone border and back onto the street. And so, my character drowned.

    When I respawned, three zones away, I was not a happy camper. I ran back to the sewers to find the guys waiting for me. My corpse, with all of my equipment, was still at the bottom of the sewer entrance. I asked if anyone knew what had happened. The third member of our party said “Yeah. They closed off this entrance to the sewers. You can go in this way, but you can’t get out.”

    *braincramp*

    This guy knew where we were going and the route that we planned to take. He also knew why we were going that way. And, when we got to the entrance, he didn’t say anything about: “Hey, that’s not a good idea.” It never occurred to him. Idiotstick.

  • : Joss Whedon and John Cassaday are staying on Astonishing X-Men for an additional 24 issues.
  • If you’re a Gen-X’er who watched Friday night TV in the late 70s and early 80s, you’re more than likely familiar with The Dukes of Hazzard and one of the characters from the show: Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. Behind the badge (and the costume) was James Best. And, something that you may not know was that he is an artist, as well.
  • From Salon.com: Love in the age of irony
  • I finally got around to reorganizing some of my bookmarks. That was long overdue.
  • …said the Bishop to the Actress.
  • : Dawnstar (May require free registration.)

That’s it.

Namaste.

“Feel the heat, pushing you to decide…”

Saturday, February 19th, 2005

Friday
I spent a portion of the afternoon with Kate, Max and Perry. I took Perry a couple of CDs with drivers that he needed… and he fed my plastic crack addiction. So, I have now added Doomsday (veteran), Gorilla Grodd (veteran), Joker (rookie) and Witchblade (experienced) and a few others to my collection. Now that I have both Joker and Harley Quinn, I may change the evil King and Queen on my chess set.

The usual suspects got together for Friday Night Coffee. put in a cameo appearance. And, for the first time in far too long, was able to join us. Then a few of us headed to Cheers: North for a bite to eat and general chit-chat.

News
NPR.org: Beyond Melting Clocks: A Dali Retrospective
Morning Edition: Amid Boom, Experts Divided on Housing Market
Morning Edition: Sex Appeal Could Prove Deadly to Roaches
Day to Day: The Animation Show Comes to Town
All Things Considered: Frontline Documentary Stirs FCC Concerns
All Things Considered: Internet Tests Chinese Political Controls
All Things Considered:Death Highlights Dangers of Laser Hair Removal

BBC News: Huge ‘star-quake’ rocks Milky Way (Thanks, !)

Stray Toasters

  • and I have finally started getting under way with SLC Card Exchange. It’s still in its infancy, so don’t expect lots of bells and whistles. Yet.

    For those of you who aren’t familiar with this idea: We are taking business cards from local/area businesses, scanning them and posting them on a site. We are also looking for reviews of places that people patronize; after all, word of mouth is one of the best means of marketing. If there is a business that you go to time and again, there must be a reason why. Why not share that reason with others and help spread the word about your favorite establishment? Two birds, one stone.

    So far, we have sections for eateries, art and decor, music and a “miscellaneous” catch-all section. If you have a business that you would like to see added or would be interested in writing a brief review of an establishment, leave a message for me or with “Card Exchange” in the title.

  • Ski, ski…
    Tumble, tumble, tumble…
    Yard sale.

  • : I haven’t found the song that we heard earlier, but I do have at least one Rick Astley mp3 in my collection.
  • Does anyone else remember the mid-80s cartoon Visionaries?
  • It looks as though the Wendigo may be making a debut in Ultimate X-Men.
  • Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom
    Boom boom acka-lacka boom boom

  • Power Pack… meets the Fantastic Four…. again? I’m not sure how the new PP title ties in, if at all, to its previous incarnation. We’ll have to see if any reference is made to the fact that Franklin Richards, son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, is (or was) a member of the ‘Pack.
  • Look at the cover to New Avengers #7.

    Note Spider-Woman’s walk. I am led to wonder: If a woman drew this cover, would she be depicted any differently?

  • Goose: No. No, Mav! This is not a good idea!
    Maverick: Sorry Goose, but it’s time to buzz a tower. *into radio* Requesting permission for flyby…
    Air Boss Johnson: That’s a negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.

  • sent me a link to Gaijin Geisha. I’m not really sure what to make of this site…
  • Star Wars Episode III to Open Cannes Film Festival
  • After reading ‘s account of an encounter that he had in France, this Maxim article, “The King Cons” seems not-so-oddly apropos.
  • …and speaking of , a potentate among the users of neat and nifty gadgets: The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time

Namaste.

“Conform or be cast out…”

Friday, February 18th, 2005

Thursday
The day started.
That’s the best way to put it.
There wasn’t anything bad about it, just nothing of particular note.

I finished the new pet project. More on that later.

I went to Borders for a little while this evening. I just needed to get out. I ran into . Shortly after she left, I was joined by and . The three of us and went to Chinese Gourmet for dinner. Mmm…. Mongolian Stir-Fry.

News
Morning Edition: Despite Warnings, Hundreds Return to Chernobyl
Morning Edition: No Gun, No Badge, Just the Car
Talk of the Nation: Ex-FBI Agent’s New Cause: Civil Liberty
Talk of the Nation: Black History Month: Postcard from Kansas
Day to Day: Geeksta Rap Brings Education to Music
All Things Considered: Making an Effort to Outgrow Droopy Drawers

BBC News: Three-year-old passes Mensa test

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Six books forbidden, 10 restricted by schools across state

Stray Toasters

  • As I mentioned above, I finished my pet project today. Well, it’s the first of what I’m sure will be a series of projects. It’s something that was born from having too much free time on my hands and Photoshop. Most of you will remember that these two things came together, I came up with the screenshot manipulations from various Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. (For those who don’t, you can see them here: 1, 2, 3, 4.)

    I’m a Monty Python fan. Probably not nearly as much so as , but a fan nonetheless. I’ve also become addicted to the plastic crack known as Heroclix. What happens when a classic Python sketch meets 1½” scale gaming figures?

    Bruces and the Philosophy Song a la ‘Clix, that’s what.

    , something that I discovered while working on this: it’s “crack a tube” or “crack tubes” as in “open a can of beer,” and not “crack two.”

  • Little known Sting fact of the day:

    Sting takes in an average of $2000.00 per day in royalties for this now 20 year old song Every Breath You Take. The song is officially the most requested radio song of all time.

  • There have been a number of people who have messaged me about Kids’ WB’s upcoming Loonatics series. In articles that they have read, it sounds as though WB is “reimagining” their classic characters. They aren’t. Here is an actual press release from Kids’ WB about the new schedule:

    Loonatics, set seven hundred years into the future, introduces six descendants of some very famous figures from the past as they come together to form a brilliant ensemble of superheroes, each boasting special skills, unique abilities and gifted with a firm sense of justice. Alone they are formidable; together they are unstoppable. They’re Loonatics.

    Their beloved ancestors – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Tasmanian Devil, Lola Bunny – hold a very special place in history. But that was then. This is now.

    In the year 2772, this super-charged, high-flying action team of a new generation shares the same DNA and sharp-edged wit as their Looney Tunes forefathers…and that’s where the similarities end.

    Loonatics are one of a kind – and today’s heroes from tomorrow! No matter how high the odds are stacked against them, they’ll whirl in to save the world without a moment’s hesitation. Want to keep the world safe…call in Loonatics! This over-the-top, high-octane action-comedy is produced by Warner Bros. Animation.

    What does this mean? Basically: Your favorite Looney Toons characters are not getting face lifts or retconned. I don’t know HOW the news services that have been carrying this “story” got it so screwed up, but hopefully this helps to clarify things a bit.

  • EyeWitness to History.com
  • And, for : Star Trek – TOS: “Requiem for Methuselah”
  • From Sex Kitten.net (by way of Backwash): Review of Everyone’s Pretty
  • I don’t care what anyone else says: Morris Day is the Man.
  • : I don’t know if you’ve seen this or not, but I think that you’ll dig it: Anime Lyrics
  • You Are Not Alone – A few dangerous myths about domestic violence.
  • : Batman: The Man Who Laughs
  • By way of boingboing.net: Baby Disco (I have no comment…)
  • Japanese Warning Signs
  • Voodooz novelty voodoo dolls. Um…. right.
  • Hey, Power Rangers
  • Sweet mother of God… Galaxy Rangers statues. *covet*
  • George Lucas may make a cameo in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Again, I have no comment.

Namaste.

“But you can hear the same old story, in every town, on every street – the story of Sunset and the Heartbreak Kid…”

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

Thursday
For the most part, it was a quiet day.

I had a late lunch with ; from that point, the day’s pace picked up. After dropping off ‘s truck to , it was off to get and head to The Gateway for…

Tonight’s screening of Constantine. I went into this movie with more than “a little” trepidation. After all, Keanu Reeves was the lead. In a movie whose title character was based on the premise of Sting. Yeah, that Sting, if he was an occultist. And a bit of an arrogant ass. And wore a trenchcoat. And… well, it’d be better if you read Alan Moore’s account of what he had in mind when he came created the character. We met up with , Mary and Chris at the theatre. We showed up early to ensure that we’d be able to get seats. Actually, we showed up VERY early. We killed some time by going to Applebee’s for a bite to eat. (Sidebar: Jenn, our waitress, had a facial structure that reminded me of Britney Spears.) Back up to the theatre… to stand in line. We were wanded down (had to make sure that we weren’t smuggling videocameras or something into the theatre) and then we began the quest for seats; we wound up sitting in the front section, but it was not so close that we could count Keanu’s nose hair.

The movie was good. Very good. Much better than I expected, in fact. Granted, they didn’t say where John Constantine was from, but he was definitely not British. And that’s my only gripe. The visuals were great. The dialogue was dead-on Constantine. And the pacing was good. I remember reading that there was no immediate plans to do a sequel but, assuming that the same creative team was involved, I would see a sequel. I’d even go to see this movie again. And, I’d gladly recommend it to others.

News
Morning Edition: To the Letter: Thriving in a New Job
Morning Edition: Israeli Pop Star Mines Ethiopian Fold Music
Morning Edition: California Woman Insists She’s Alive, Despite Error
Talk of the Nation: Black Hollywood, Then and Now
Day to Day: Slate’s Explainer: Show Dog Names
Day to Day: Village Vanguard Celebrates 70 Years
All Things Considered: Uncovering Those Little Parental Fibs, as a Grown-Up
All Things Considered: Tips on Avoiding Identity Theft
All Things Considered: Everything ’80s Is New Again for Global Musicians

Stray Toasters

  • I started a new pet project this afternoon. Something that neither God, Mother Nature nor Darwin ever intended. But, it entertains me. And that’s all that really matters.
  • By way of : Tori Amos will appear on Thursday night’s episode of The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • From Broken Frontier: Why I Hate Valentine’s Day and the SSCW
  • Luna-tic Girls
  • From Comic Book Resources: You’re a Good Team, Ron and Justine: Talking Tales of the Terminal Diner

    “Ron remarked on how many [Twilight] Zone stories are set in diners, and how often diners appear in movies and commercials,” Justine reflects. “We talked about how much we love the diner spirit: Wholesome food at a fair price, a place where everyone is welcome – and everyone has a story! Ron realized a diner could be the place for all our unpublished stories, the ultimate ‘play place’ from which to tell any kind of tale.”

  • : LoSH: Lightning Lad (I must admit: I like Kitson’s nod to Garth’s uniform from the late 70s/early 80s.)
  • Whose house…?
    Run’s house!!!

  • J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Jeremiah and an impressive run on Amazing Spider-Man) and a collaborator have come up with a series bible for a new take on the Star Trek franchise.
  • If you haven’t already seen it, there’s a new trailer for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on Amazon.com’s front page. Thanks to for pointing this out to me.
  • I still have nine eight Cadbury Creme Eggs left!
  • said that she thought of me when she saw this. Awww.
  • “You know I could kill you before you could make even a squeak, right?”
    “Squeak?”
    “See? You’d be dead by now.”

  • Because I know that will get amusement from this: Goatse t-shirt design
  • Original Fawlty Towers goes for 1.5M Pounds

Namaste.

“As he passes his reflection, he considers his direction…”

Wednesday, February 16th, 2005

Tuesday
I had coffee with Perry this morning. We drank brewed Kona goodness and chatted away a couple of hours. I came home for a bit and checked out a few prospects on Monster and CareerBuilder. Then, it was off to find and pick up the passes for Wednesday night’s screening of Constantine. From there, I stopped by to see and finalize plans for tomorrow evening. Then it was off to Shit Towne the REC to pick up . As an added treat, got out of work early. The three of us went out for a bite to eat.

Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry came on the radio while I was driving this evening. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (after all, this is my bully pulpit): I like the song. It’s amazing how relevant it is in today’s “I want it all and I want it now” culture.

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry!

…and while I’m thinking about it (and still on-topic with the song): Is it just me or does anyone else think that it seems “awfully convenient” that Michael Jackson came down with a “sudden illness?”

News
Morning Edition: NASA Prepares for a New Shuttle Mission
Morning Edition: Kidnapping, a Booming ‘Industry’ in Indian Province
Morning Edition: Fox Offers Disclaimer for Portrayal of Muslims on 24
Talk of the Nation: U.S. High Schools: World Standings
Talk of the Nation: U.S. High Schools: No Child Left Behind?
Day to Day: Hearing Voices: W.C. Handy
Day to Day: To Blog or Not to Blog
Day to Day: Slate’s Kausfiles: The Life of a Blogger
All Things Considered: Kerouac’s On the Road Manuscript Unfurled
All Things Considered: Pride of Carthage Tells Historic Tale

Stray Toasters

  • My new LEGO® catalog arrived today.
  • As alluded to above, , , a couple of other friends and I are going to a screening of Constantine. Hopefully, we’ll be able to return with a positive review.
  • John Kovalic, author of Dork Tower has a journal here on LiveJournal. I was checking out his user icons and saw the following. They made me smile:
         
    He also has an amusing animation that tells of a first date gone wrong
  • Mr. T Returns to Comics
  • : I think that you will be able to appreciate this – Grim and Gritty Jack
  • : Thousands of fans can’t be wrong…

    DC Comics is reporting that Legion of Super-Heroes #1 has sold out. “Really, seriously, when DC first told us how insanely heavily they overprinted the first issue, the flattery of their confidence was tempered with a selfish little bit of ‘Okay, but, gee, we won’t get the added buzz of a sold-out announcement,'” said writer Mark Waid. “Rarely am I this happy to be this wrong.”

  • I was checking out the Luna Brothers’ website and looked at the brothers’ individual sites. I found the following on Josh’ site:
  • …and for , from Jon Luna’s site: Batgirl
  • It’s been a long while since I’ve posted a link to Sequential Tart. “What is Sequential Tart?” you ask.

  • , a friend from Backwash, helps to maintain the Sex-Kitten.net website. While perusing BW for ‘Toaster-worthy items, I came across “Valentine’s Day Causes Herpes” and had to share it. (Note: As the site’s name might imply, this site probably isn’t going to make it past the “work safe” filtering that your employers might use. Also, if you’re offended by mature – or possibly *gasp* “naughty” – language, this site might not be for you. Consider that your forewarning.)
  • From the “MacGuyver” file: Make a night-vision scope from scavenged parts… or a Tesla coil… or a plasma globe.
  • Lightning is attacking the strap on my backpack. It’s cute.
  • Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists…
      10. Top 10 Bart Simpson Chalkboard “I Will Nots…”
       9. Top 10 Excuses for Killing an RPG Party Member that No One Really Liked Anyway
       8. Top 10 Reasons that a Lego Watch Is Cool
       7. Top 10 Things to do Rather Than See Catwoman
       6. Top 10 Reasons that A Modest Destiny Is So Funny
       5. Top 10 “One-Hit Wonders” of the Past Decade
       4. Top 10 Funny Things that Kittens Do
       3. Top 10 Things to do with a FunNoodle® that Don’t Involve a Swimming Pool
       2. Top 10 Quotes from The Long Kiss Goodnight

      …and the Number 1 “Top Ten” List from our home office in Bluefield, WV….

       1. Top 10 Reasons that Celine Dion Should Retire. Again. Soon.

And with that…

Namaste.

“You don’t have to follow me; Only you can set you free…”

Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

Monday
I slept in this morning. The cats were more or less in line with this. Sissy has resumed her 7:30 AM “Gotta go potty” assaults on the litter box…. which is in the master bathroom again. So, we get to hear her as she’s attempting to cover her offering to the gods of litter. “Attempting” because she has a habit of standing on the edge of the box and, rather than scooping litter over her leavings, swiping at the plastic liner on the opposite side of the box.

The morning was rather uneventful. This afternoon, we went to Macaroni Grill for Valentine’s Day lunch. This time, I remembered to take a pencil and eraser in… and I drew a quick Valentine’s picture on the “tablecloth.”

I also picked up three boxes of plastic crack Heroclix. Out of the 12 figures, I wound up with 10 new ones, including: Cyclops (veteran), Deadpool (experienced), Ghost Rider (experienced) and Narya (the unique version of Snowbird). This makes my first out-of-the-box unique… and I’ve been a Cyclops fan since I was a single-digit-aged kid. So, I was very happy with what I got.

We ran a couple of errands and then came home for a quiet evening. We watched 24 as we ate dinner. I worked on Jess’ PC, before and after the show. (Translation: “I wound up taking yesterday’s aforementioned elephant gun to Jess’ computer.”) The reformat/OS reinstallation was painless. Training her NIC to acknowledge the wireless router was pretty easy, too. The slow part of the process came with Everybody Loves Raymond Windows Update. It was a snore-fest. But, it’s done.

News
Morning Edition: Holy Evolution, Darwin! Comics Take on Science
Morning Edition: Journalism and Hidden Agendas
Talk of the Nation: Rejection and Its Benefits
Day to Day: Vision Rehabilitation for Deteriorating Eyesight
All Things Considered: A Woman’s Metamorphosis into the ‘Butterfly Lady’
All Things Considered: Westminster Dog Show Opens (for )
News & Notes with Ed Gordon: Flight: Slavery Narratives Onstage

Stray Toasters

It’s early and I have to get up later, so…

Namaste.

“This is not a black and white world; to be alive, I say that the colors must swirl…”

Monday, February 14th, 2005

Sunday
Waking up and getting up has never been easy …especially the morning after bowling twelve straight games. Ouch.

We did a little errand running this afternoon. I’ve been looking for paint, in LEGO® colors, for the border of the HCC. I found them today. So, it’s all over but the shouting. And the painting. Can’t forget the “painting” part.

I am at the “Snap. Foot. Ass.” point with Jess’ computer. I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems as though its OS is trying to eat itself. It started when she attempted to install a webcam. Now, audio and video codecs are giving a not-so-friendly “Sod off” to the rest of the computer. And its users. I know how to fix it, but the fix is kind of like using an elephant gun to kill a gnat. However, after the evening that I had dealing with this bigger-than-it-should-be issue, I find that to be a perfectly acceptable solution.

News
Weekend Edition – Saturday: The Fight to Preserve DeMille’s ‘Lost City’
Weekend Edition – Sunday: Law & Order Crime Scene Photos in Gallery
Weekend Edition – Sunday: French Flip for Comic Books at Festival
Weekend Edition – Sunday: Listening to the Movies: Oscar-Nominated Music

Football

The NFL Pro Bowl: NFC vs. AFC
27 – 38
The Pro Bowl, my last chance to see NFL action for the next six months, was played today.

Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden and Terrel Suggs (along with the injured and sidelined Ray Lewis and Chris McAllister) were the Ravens in action. The AFC, behind Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning came out with an early and commanding lead. In the second half, Atlanta’s Michael Vick led a rather impressive comeback bid for the NFC… but the AFC held on to the lead.

Benny Friendman, Fritz Pollard, Dan Marino (w00t!) and Steve Young were named as the 2005 inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame before the game.

And, Don Ho was part of the halftime show. What more could one ask for?

Stray Toasters

  • I’m sleeping in tomorrow.
  • Thanks to for posting a URL that I had seen before but discounted. The link was to LJBook, which allows you to convert your LJ into a .pdf file. I now have all my entries archived in one, giant (1677 pages) file. It even bookmarks entries by year, month and subject line. Groovy.
  • As I mentioned a few days ago, I got a box of Justice League Valentine’s Day cards. I also said that I intended to scan them. Guess what…

    And here are the rest of them:

  • By way of boingboing.net: Marlboro Lights iPod Case
  • The All Night Light and Power Company – the work of Daniel Scott Gabriel Murray. I’ve been a fan of his work for the past… four or five years. He posts a lot of it to Renderosity, which is where I first noticed him.
  • By way of baltimoresun.com: I do, my way (may req. free registration)
  • : From the DCG: Dawnstar
  • …and for : Batgirl
  • Well, actually… there is one other qualification I could tell you about right now.

  • Newsarama takes a look at the upcoming Superheroes and Philosohy, including a preview of the first chapter “The Real Truth about Superman: And the Rest of Us, Too”, by Mark Waid. I have been a long-time fan of Waid’s work as a comic book writer. After reading this, I’m a fan of his prosaic work, too. If the rest of this book is nearly as well-written (and given some of the names attached, I’m sure that it is), I want it on my bookshelf.
  • I’ve mentioned that I’ve been Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, but that it’s a little difficult to describe. So, I’m not going to try to describe it. I’ll let you visit the official site and draw your own conclusions.
  • : A review of Bride & Prejudice
  • It’s a little after 2:00 AM Monday morning. I just finished watching Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo. Columbo, starring Peter Falk, just started. I heard a voice that I almost immediately recognized as the Man in Black, himself – the late Johnny Cash. Hearing his voice, I looked at the screen. It was him. Even more odd: I have a vague recollection of this episode… which I haven’t seen in at least 15 years.
  • …and speaking of Celebrity Poker Showdown, J.K. Simmons was on the show tonight. I didn’t know that he was the voice of the yellow M&M nor that he did voiceover work for Norelco. I did know that he has/had a recurring role on the various Law & Order shows.

Quote of the Day

“Well, double dumbass on you!”
      Adm. J. T. Kirk, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

That’s pretty much going to do it from Lake Saline for the night.

Namaste.

“Days go by and still I think of you…”

Sunday, February 13th, 2005

Saturday
Today was another semi-snowy day in the valley. Yay. I called Dad to tell him that it was snowing. He said that we were welcome to keep the snow out here.

I had lunch and coffee with , and . Thai Garden is good. Very good, indeed.

I called the youngest member of the sibko today. He’s well. As it stands, he won’t be on assignment this summer, so he might come out to spend a few days.

I bowled 12 games tonight. Twelve. A dozen. “Too many.”
141 – 136 – 161 – 128 – 108 – 140 – 186 – 132 – 153 – 134 – 154 – 147
Fortunately, the people on either side of my lanes were not annoying. In fact, the mother and daughter to the south were rather pleasant. It was obvious that they were having a good time even though they weren’t bowling exceptionally well. The guy who was with them, however, he came off as more than “a little” creepy.

Tomorrow is the Pro Bowl. Which will be my last chance to see NFL action – not to mention Ed Reed and a few other of the Boys from B-more. , I tried calling you about this; if you’re around, give a thought to coming up for the game.

Stray Toasters

  • I’m going to go all fanboy and request new hotness from Bratstreet and Detective Boogaloo: Hip Hop Cop.

    Hm. There is something new from Detective Boogaloo, so that let’s off the hook. This time. I should really remember to check these things before making a request.

    But, that still leaves : Are there any plans for a Bratstreet update?

  • sent me a link to Musical Chairs. Amusing. I don’t know what it took to stage this, but it was worth it.
  • …but she also sent me a link to Baby Got Book. I don’t know what to say about this one, you’ll have to judge for yourself.
  • Verdammt! I would love to go to this… but it’s on the Right Coast. And I’m not.
  • I’ve learned to make a new milkshake: Boston Creme Pie.
    Now, I just need to learn how to make it without making a mess!

  • I think that this is a cute keychain. The fact that it’s LEGO® doesn’t hurt, either.

    (This is the first animation that I’ve made in a long time…)

  • ::: this space for rent :::
  • I jotted down a few URLs while at coffee this afternoon. Ostensibly, they were going to be used as ‘Toasters. But I am too damned tired to go across the room to get the notebook. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow… or whenever I get around to posting them.

I’m tired.
That means it’s shower and bed time.

Exit Stage Left.

Namaste.