Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It was memorable at least.

Christmas eve was when my dad and step-mom's flight was scheduled to come in. I keep checking its scheduled arrival. The time keep getting pushed further back and back and back. I lay on the couch and try see what is on the tube. My dad only gets the local stations, and one of them is having an Andy Griffith Show marathon. I am watching one particular episode, and the guest star looks and sounds so familiar. Yet, I can't place were I know him from. It is driving me insane as I just can't figure it out. Naturally, I have to wait for the credits to see if i can recognize the name. When the credits roll it is James Best. Of course:



Rosco P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard. That was it!

The flight originally scheduled to come in at 10:50PM finally has its arrival at 12:35AM Christmas Day. Well three days after the original flight as well. I passed by 2 accidents on the way to the airport. I found it cruel and unusual punishment that we had to wait so long for the luggage after all of these people got snowed in at Seattle and then sat on the runway for and hour and half that they then had to wait for so long for their luggage. We finally got back the house at about 2AM. At least they got back.

Christmas morning comes along we have breakfast. We decide what to do for dinner. There is some leftover ham from Thanksgiving, so Jenny makes a casserole out of that, some taters, cream peas, and a pear-blackberry crisp. Considering she wasn't able to go to the store and do any shopping and that was what was just lying around the house I think she did an awesome job. It was a most excellent meal.

I also had a friend of mine call me several times to see if I wanted to go play poker Christmas night at another friend's house. I finally agreed with the condition I could sleep there. (No drinking and driving). Initially, though I told her I didn't think Jesus would appreciate gambling on his birthday (Sacrilegious humor, gotta love it). The next day, on further reflection: the group I play with does not celebrate Christmas for the most part. I did win though!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Breafast time is fun time!


This morning I headed over to Waffle House for breakfast. I don't get to one very often as there is any close to my house, and I really like their pecan waffles. One of the things I love about waffle house is that no matter when you go someone weird will be there. Late night you get multitudes, but this morning I just had the one. Usually it is a customer. I have had a few really weird waitresses there, but today the chef working the griddle was weird. I was fascinated by him.

First: At one point he was putting some bread under the counter, and when he was done he bowed to the counter. Like the image to the right.

Second: He was putting another loaf in the cubby hole by griddle, and he made gun motion to the loaf.

Finally: I have never seen anyone butter toast with such flourish, and then cut the bread in half. It was a scene man.

He also had a bunch of other tics and such. He did seem to be enjoying himself, and his work. I thought that was cool. I hope this doesn't come off as rude. I don't mean for it to. Lord knows I've done a ton of weird stuff.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three Day Par-tay!

Well a week and half ago I started my vacation schedule for the rest of the week lets break it down.

First weekend: Well I got sick Thursday night with a pretty bad cold. Friday I left my house once to get some hot and sour soup. I had forgotten that I was supposed to take my dad and his wife to the airport Saturday. Then I was supposed to stay there until Sunday night when a neighbor from the old house would watch the house the rest of the week. That wasn't so bad except my dad doesn't have cable or satellite. He does have high speed internet, but his computer is painfully slow. Man, it was some kind of boring there. I got some reading done. It was just one night...

Second weekend: My dad is coming back on Sunday, and I had to watch his house beginning Friday night. This time I took my computer with me, and that helped some of my boredom. I also brought some DVDs to watch. Score. Sunday rolls around as does disaster.

A vicious cold front rolled through Dallas, as well as Seattle were my dad and his wife are visiting. He calls me, and they are snowed in. All flights cancelled, and they don't know when they will be able to fly out. Well that sucks. I call the lady who has been watching the house, but she can't come over any more as she has her own house to take care of as she is getting it ready to resale. So, I am stuck there and have just added about 45 minutes or so to my drive to work.

I also notice that it is awfully cold inside the house. The heater won't kick on. I call my dad and he tells me to get the next door neighbor to take a look. He comes over and can't figure out what is wrong. It is supposed to get down to the 20s that night so something must be done. I get a hold of another friend who is a heater/ac man from the old neighborhood. He comes over and replaces the broken igniter in about 3o minutes. Considering he came on a Sunday, and my bill was less than a hundred bucks not too bad. My dad has a little space heater and everytime I went into a different room I would take that with me and plug it in. The house was in the upper 50s before the furnace got fixed.

I got up at about 5:30 AM so I could go home before I got to work to pick up some more clothes, TPBs to read, and my phone charger. I did surprise my boss at how early I was, so that was a bonus.

Looking ahead: The earliest flight my dad and his wife could get out of Seattle would arrive at around 11PM on Christmas Eve. Unfortuantely for them it is supposed to start snowing again in Seattle before their flight leaves, so they may be stuck there for a while longer. If that happens I might crash some friend's Christmas dinner. Hopefully, they will make it back though.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Serial Cereal Reviews: Total Cinnamon Crunch


I've always enjoyed the idea of Total cereal (100% of certain vitamins and minerals), but its execution has usually left me cold. The original wheat flakes have always tasted kind of weird to me. Kind of hard with a slight metallic taste. Not horrible, but I am only good for about a box of it a year. The one flavor I did like was Total Cornflakes, which they naturally discontinued. I've never even tried any other flavors, but Honey Clusters and Cranberry Crunch to intrigue me. I have never been a fan of raisin bran cereals though.

About a month ago, I see there is a new flavor: Total Cinnamon Crunch. I have a coupon, so I buy me a box. This is a pretty good cereal. Basically it is Cinnamon Toast Crunch for adults, but healthier. Total doesn't have as potent a taste as its little kid cereal brother, but it does stay pretty crunchy in the milk.

How does it fare nutritionally? Depends. Yes, it does provide 100% of your daily needs of some vitamins and minerals. Ones that Cinnamon Toast Crunch only provides 25-35%. You're caloric intake is a bit higher though. Total: 230 calories per serving with milk. CTC: 170. "Wait!" You might say. Total's serving size is 1 cup and CTC is 3/4 cup. I accounted for that, and if you extrapolate the numbers out CTC is still 212.5 calories. Not a humongous difference but every calorie counts.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 bowls.

One last note, this is one of the few cereals that I think tastes better without milk.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Too Much Time?

I have been working were I work now for almost four years now, and I have never taken more than I think 2 days off in a row. which kind of hurt me last year, as I screwed myself out of a week and half of vacation time. Well not this year, pal! I am off this Friday, next Friday, and then I will be off from Christmas until January 2nd. I am eager for the time off. I doubt I will go anywhere. I don't really trust my truck on long drives, and it is too late for me to book a flight anywhere. So, it will just be a staycation. Reading and video games will be the order of the day.

On another note, my new electric knife sharpener works REALLY well. My thumb found that out the hard way last night. I haven't cut myself in a long time while cooking so I guess I was due. It is the same thumb I almost cut off 15 years ago while cooking at work.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Legion Sketch #5

After battling a long bout of laziness. I finally continue the sketchbook extravaganza:


This time we got Night Girl by Ben Dunn, the godfather (or is that grandfather?) of American manga. Perhaps best known as the creator of Ninja High School, and Marvel's Mangaverse I think he did a bang up job here. I believe Ben lives in the Houston area so he makes it to quite a few shows up in the Dallas area. If not Houston then somewhere in Texas.

Who knew Night Girl had such big boob?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dreaming of me

I have had some interesting dreams of late. Two of them are weird in just how mundane they were.
In the first one the entire dream all I was doing was ironing a blue dress shirt. I spent a lot of time on the collar.
The second dream was me trying to figure out how to sell a big pile of dust jackets. Not any actual books, just the dust jackets and they were all from the same book.

I won't call the third one a doozy, but it certainly was an action packed dream. So I am present while the president of Congo is making a speech that looks a lot like the elementary school I went to. As he is giving his speech in a classroom shots ring out from the ceiling and seemingly killing the president. I then start ushering people outside as they start to panic. Me and a few others are the classroom, thinking the gunman has left. Shots start coming from the ceiling again. We all dive for cover, but I am shot in the calf. Which left me wondering if the president was the intended target at all. Those of us left removed a few ceiling tiles to try and look for the gunman. Then I woke up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh my goodness

James Ellroy's next book has been given a release date of next fall. It is the third book in his Underworld USA trilogy. You can read about it at: Sobel Weber Associates

I think I just peed myself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In My Crosshairs

I've never read Rick Reilly's writing in the back of Sports Illustrated, or his articles on ESPN.com, or any of his other writings. I have seen him a few times on Pardon the Interruption though, and if his appearances on there is any indication of his writing, then I ain't interested.

People love lists, so here are the things he did in Tuesday's show that irritated me:
  1. Early in the show he demanded that the Cleveland Brown's need to start Brady Quinn. Wilbon then informed him they are starting Quinn. "Well then they need to keep starting him!" I don't think that was really a question.
  2. He makes the really weird analogies. Like: "It was like he had eyebrows superglued on. He couldn't take his eyes off of them." I don't even know what the hell that means. Anyone?
  3. He tries to hard to shoe horn in pop culture references. Like when he was trying to compare the Spurs and the Hawks: "It is like the difference between Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba" Which produced a very quizzical expression from Michael Wilbon. Then he changed it to Scarlett Johansson and Raquel Welch.
  4. No one finds Rick Reilly as funny as Rick Reilly does. Sometimes he is giggling so hard at the line he is about to issue that he barely gets it out. Horrible.
That is it that's the list! 4 items for less than a half an hour of material...horrible

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Serial Cereal Reviews

Now we all know that maple & brown sugar is a popular flavor for cereal, oatmeal, and as a pizza topping. Life cereal recently introduced their own version of a maple and brown sugar flavored cereal. Let us see how it does.

First off let me me comment on how much I like the new packaging on the Life brand. The logo is similar enough to the old one that it isn't shocking, but with just enough change to look new.

The look and texture of this cereal is just like all of the other brands, as you would expect. The taste? I don't know there is just something off with this cereal. It just doesn't come together for me that I can't put my finger on. I was going to drill it after just one bowl last week, but I wanted to make sure about how I felt. I do, and I don't like it. Sorry Quaker maybe next time.

Nutritionally it is pretty much exactly the same as all of the other flavors. Particularly, in the calorie department, with all four flavors containing 160 with the milk. They also all have 100% of your folic acid if that concerns you at all. All things, literally, being equal here my money would go to the regular or cinnamon flavored cereals.

I debated on how I should score this one. If it was a different brand I might be more generous, but this one had big footsteps to follow. I can only give this 1 1/2 bowls.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hello, old friend

Comics: Yesterday I went to my little warehouse in preperation of Wizard World Texas. When I got there one of my comic book boxes was turned upside down. I haven't been there in probably two months or so, and I have no idea how long it has been this way. None of the comics looked damaged, so that was fine. Most of them were just kind of hanging there since the box got caught on another box below it. As I was putting them back in the box I found handful of comics that were unbagged. To my delight they were some comics I thought were long gone. They included the single issues I was missing from 100 Bulletts and James Robinson's Starman. Those issues you know you have, but you can't find anywhere so you think you must be going crazy.

Speaking of Wizard World, I am getting really stoked for it now. It starts tomorrow, and it is one of the best weekends in the year for me. A chance to completely geek out. Plus, I will be volunteering at the Hero Intitative booth again, which I have every year since Wizard World Texas began. One of the few charitable acts I do. As one of my friends said, "Travis? Charity? Hah!"

Salad: Last month for the first time in seriously 7-8 years I had ranch dressing on salad. Man, I forgot how good ranch dressing is. It was great. Very comforting, plus it was nice to get a break from all of the vinegariettes and asian dressing I have been eating.

Family: Coming up on November 22nd I will be attending my great-aunt and uncle's 60th wedding anniversary. This should make-up for skipping family reuniuon this year, as just about the same people should be here for the anniversary celebration. I was at the 50th anniversary as well, and it doesn't seem like 10 years has passed since then. My brother is flying in for the anniversary and staying through Thanksgiving, so that should be a fun week.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And the sign says

I read the following story today:

Yard sign supply for Obama, McCain dwindles in Dallas-Fort Worth area | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas-Fort Worth Politics | The Dallas Morning News

And it got me wondering. What effect do yard signs have on voting? The family four houses down who I have never talked to has a McCain sign, yet the dude across the street who I waved to once is supporting Obama. What do I do?

In other words: I couldn't give a shit who any of my neighbors vote for, unless the country goes to pot. Then I can blame them for voting for the son of a gun in. I really can't think of any purpose they serve other than providing the news stories about running our, or "funny" stories of people having their signs stolen or vandalized.

Maybe I am wrong and they sway a bunch of people, but I am betting I'm not.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Games I have been playing

City of Heroes: This is till the MMORPG I play the most. I have been playing longer than I did the first time when I quit, and I have been back longer then I was away. I chalk that up to my friends and I getting together to play regularly, and keep our characters in the same level. When they come out with new updates it just kills other games in what new material they bring. Of course being superhero based, it appeals to me more than other MMORPGS out there.

Warhammer Online: I hated this MMORPG. Some of the worst PvE I have ever played. I could stay in the same spot and grind out XP for over an hour. I would know what would respawn, and when it would respawn without ever having to move. Speaking of respawn: the rate of respawn is way to fast. It says something about a game were I would rather die and pay the penalty then try to get back to the mission provider by running back.

Very lackluster character creation. Just so blah. I have numerous other complaints about the game: Unbalanced RvR (realm vs. realm), no official forums, crappy running ability, etc. But I already cancelled my account. Another friend of mine cancelled his in less than week he disliked the game so much.

Age of Conan: Another fantasy MMORPG, and I like this one much better. Awesome graphics. More adult oriented, definitely not for kids. More interesting classes to play. Combat is a ton o' fun. It just blows the Warhammer game out of the water in my opinion. I have heard there isn't much end-game content, but that isn't something I am too worried about as the level caps at 80 and my highest guy is 26 or so.

Guitar Hero World Tour: I admit I am a fan of playing a video game and being in a fake band. This game is just a good time and a total time waste. I will say that the drum kit on this so superior to the one from Rock Band 1 (I haven't seen the new one for Rock Band 2 yet, so I'm not sure). It cymbals are elevated like a drum kit, and you have more than just the one snare to beat on.

So there ya go. I am just a typical nerd. After staring at a computer all day at work I come home and relax by staring at a computer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Serial Cereal Reviews

I wouldn't say I was never a fan of the Fiber One brand of cereal. I had never even tried their cereal before. Whenever I looked at the box on the original flavor. It looked like little twigs in a bowl, and it of course just reminded me of the old Saturday Night Live faux commercial for Colon Blow. Not too long ago I got a coupon for Fiber One, and they were advertising a new flavor. The one on the right: Caramel Delight.

It is a decent cereal. Obviously it had some sweetness to it, and the caramel taste is there but not overwhelming. Which for me is fine, as I don't want a strong caramel flavor in the morning. It also stays pretty darn crunchy in the milk. Even once I got to the bottom of the bowl it wasn't soggy. That was a pleasant surprise to me.

Nutritionally it is the weakest out of the Fiber One line. Tied for the highest calories per serving (220 with milk compared to 100 from the original flavor). It also has the least amount of...uh.. fiber out of all four flavors. Still a pretty good cereal. I give it 3 out of 5 bowls

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What I Believe...maybe

My friend Howard had a list a of beliefs that he had written, and challenged others to participate. I am glad to so. My list is fairly superficial, if you want deep read Howard's, or Jeff's, or Mike's.

1.I believe...if you are going to talk on your cell phone while driving, at least go the speed limit. Driving 5 miles per hour below the speed limit in the left hand lane isn’t any safer than going the speed limit. Not paying attention is not paying attention.

2. I believe...that God has a sense of humor, and he finds me really funny.

3. I believe...everyone should work retail for one year. Then maybe some common courtesy would return to the world, and there won’t be such a sense of entitlement.

4. I believe...everyone should know how to cook one dish really well. Something so good that people say, “You should sell this.” That go-to recipe to really impress that guy or gal.

5. I believe...it is good to be selfish sometimes. By that I mean with your time. Everyone needs some "me" time to do whatever they want. Watch a crappy movie, play video games, whatever to blow some steam off. Get away from work, the spouse, kids, responsibility, etc.

6. I believe...the customer isn’t always right, in fact the customer is hardly ever right.If you were my customer a few years ago I would have let you know it.

7. I believe...there are such things as stupid questions. Like my friend who asked me why I locked the front door to the house.

8. I believe...my Dad could still kick my ass, no seriously.

9. I believe...I ran out of stuff to say after #3

10. I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door

I believe I can fly

Thanks R. Kelly for helping me finish my list

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life is just a bowl of Life

We delve into another cereal, and this time it is Life Chocolate Oat Crunch. I am a big fan of the Life brand of cereal. It is sweet without being too sweet. This continues that trend, and provides us with a kiss of chocolate to the cereal.














The chocolate oat cluster thing is a perfect little nugget of chocolate that really enhances the joy of eating Life. there are enough to add to the cereal, but they don't overpower it. The only problem is this:

See the problem? It looks like some sort of rodent turd. Very unappealing. The taste is excellent though. I will give it 4 out of 5 bowl.
Oh yeah, and don't bother looking for the cereal either. They quit making it months ago, the picture of the rat turd is old.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Space Tadpoles Signal Black Hole Mergers

Do I know how to antagonize people? Friday I wore my Wake Forest cap to work (no, I didn't go there) trying to get a reaction from my boss. Wake Forest had beat Clemson the night before in football, and my boss did go to Clemson. As I told the people at work, "Don't let the fact that I haven't worn this hat in 12 years is any reason why I am wearing it today." I can't help myself sometimes, I have to needle to people.

Thank you, sir. May I have another? It was so delicious to watch the Texas-OU game Saturday morning, and watching the Sooner lose. Definitely, the best game I have seen all year. It was great to have a game live up to all of the hype (I'm looking at you Florida-LSU). One versus Five. Big 12 championship on the line. Potentially a National Championship on the line.

It is amazing to see the difference in OU's offense from when they got into rhythm after a first down, and when they didn't. When they got into rhythm they simply looked, and usually were unstoppable. When they didn't they looked so very average. I've never seen an offense look so different in a game.

Does anyone wanna win this? On the other side of the spectrum is the Cowboy game from yesterday. Both teams looked horrible. Neither the Cowboys nor the Cardinals seemed like they wanted to win this game. A ton of mistakes from both side, with the Cowboys making the final one. They lose in overtime on a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown. If the guy who blocked it had somehow missed, there was another dude about a foot behind him who would have gotten to the ball. Some of the worst special teams I have seen in a long time was played by the Cowboys yesterday:

1. Opening kickoff returned for a touchdown.
2. Missed field goal at the end of the first half
3. Blocked field goal that they fortunately got to kick again, because the Cardinals called a time out.
4. A block in the back on a punt return.
5. A kickoff out of bounds
6. And of course the blocked punt to end the game.

Pathetic!

Finally, a video as to why I love the Sports station I listen to:


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's like trail mix...in a bowl!

This time we delve into a new product by the Post cereal company. It is as you can see by the pic on the left, Trail Mix Crunch, cranberry vanilla flavor. This isn't a cereal I would normally get, and when I first saw it, I thought it sounded kind of disgusting. Why would I buy it then one might ask? I had a coupon for it.

Once I actually tried it though, it was pretty damn good. A lot better than I ever thought it would be. Since it was made by Post I was half expecting it to be Grape-Nuts crunchy. It was crunchy, just not that crunchy. I'm also not much of a cranberry fan, but this time it actually worked. Maybe, if I had cranberry in cereal more often i would be a bigger fan. This is definitely something I will try again.

They also have a two other flavors Raisin & Almond: which I am lukewarm about. As well as Maple Nut and Brown Sugar which appeals to me more, but I have never seen at the grocery store. I give it a very respectable 4 out of 5 bowls

I'd also like to thank Radiodad for encouraging me to do more of this.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hitting the bowl again.


As I have mentioned before. I love cereal. Even if I don't have it for breakfast I will usually end up eating a bowl some time during the day. Now Kellogg's Smart Start line is a pretty good group of cereal. They recently came out with a new flavor: Strawberry Oat Bites.

The verdict? This cereal sucks. The main problem? The strawberry flavor seems to be more theory than reality. You really can't taste it at all. They need to get more flavor in there. Like Frosted Mini-Wheats. Also, when you compare it to other Smart Start cereals it slightly lacks the nutritional punch you get from them.

I give it 2 out of 5 bowls.
Don't ask me why I decided to give it a rating...it just came to me.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nothing More than Simply Being


I have had recurring dreams before, but never the same dream continuously through out the night. I did Saturday night. It wasn't anything special, but I had the dream three times. The dream was I was a used care salesman. The one moment I really remember was trying to sell some dude a grey Cadillac and part of sale pitch was, "This baby can turn on a dime." The weird part was when I woke up. Every time I awoke from the dream, Led Zeppelin was playing on the radio.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A little history

The great Dallas Federal Judge Barefoot Sanders passed away earlier this week. My earliest memories of him was growing up, and hearing his name in the local news. I didn't know what they were talking about, but I just loved that name: Judge Barefoot Sanders. It was until much later that I learned the stories were about the case that would define his career: the desegregation of the Dallas school district. A case which he over saw for years.

After reading his biography he is one of those people who did so much good that I think he rose above normal political crap. Even though he was a Democrat.

If you have some time I would highly recommend reading this article about him. It gives great details on his political and judicial career both locally and on the national scene.

Texas Lawyer - In Memoriam: Barefoot Sanders

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm not that smart

Last week I finally got all of the pieces to finally put together my new computer. Now I feel comfortable installing a new hard drive on a system already built, but building the whole thing by myself. Not so much. Friday my friend told me if I needed any help just let him know. I took that as "I will build it for you." I called him once I got home from work, and he said come on over.

I took everything over to his house I thought he would need. I forgot a bunch of items, but he said don't worry he all of the materials he would need to finish it up. We hit one major bump in the road when we couldn't figure out how to disable the onboard video and get the motherboard to recognize my video card. As far as we could tell we disabled it correctly in the BIOS. My friend finally figured it out, the card was getting enough power from the power supply, so we moved it up closer on the chain. Very frustrating.

Once that little problem was solved it was just installing Windows and all of the games I play. That was really the longest most boring part of the process. I really couldn't give a crap about the LED lights on cases in such. I got one with it, because it was cheap. Now I do care. I keep my computer in my bedroom, and I decided to download the patch to City of Heroes while I slept. Those damn lights are pretty bright when you are trying to sleep.

Everything seems to be running smoothly though, and I am always thankful that I have friends smarter than me who can help me with my computer. It really saves me a buck or two.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What the L am I doing here?


Over at Kalinara's site she has a meme on comic book characters based around a letter. I figured I would get in on this, and I got the letter "L". If you would like to participate let me know and I will give you a letter. You aren't restricted to comic book characters, any fictional one will do. So without further ado, lets get started:


1. Lightning Lad: If you know me, you know I am a fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes. It should come as no surprise then that I would work one them into my list. Garth is on of my favorite characters, and as a founding member of the Legion really has a special place for me.

I think he has one of the best background in the 30th century. The relationship with his his super-heroic sister is interesting. Add into the mix that he comes from a race of people were almost everyone has a twin, and his older brother is one of the few without a twin. His brother also has lightning powers, but has turned evil. On top of that, his brother is one of the leaders of the Legion of Super-Villains (in some versions of the Legion anyway). Wow he has a lot going on, and a ton to explore.

2. Luke Cage: One of my favorite series from back in the day is Power Man & Iron Fist. Yet, I didn't really care for Luke Cage then. I loved Iron Fist, and I liked Misty Knight and Colleen Wing than Luke. It was until the series Alias, and his relationship with Jessica Jones that I thought he became three dimensional, and a likable character. It is rare that my opinion on a character changes into a positive one, but it certainly did this time. I have also been reading some old PM&IF and I have been having a new appreciation for the character.

3. Lex Luthor: How can you have the letter "L" and not do something Superman related? Well one of the best villains of all time make my list. With a character as old as Lex you get someone who is a lot more complex. He has been known to show a compassionate side, and he is not all-evil all the time (see the Joker). I didn't likeLex much when I was younger, he just seemed so lame. It wasn't until the reboot that I liked him.

What makes him a great villain is that he can't go toe toe with Superman. Superman just can't come in a beat him up, he has to outwit Lex many times, and I think that is what upsets Lex the most. Not only can he not compete with Clark physically, but he outmaneuvers Lex's plans too. Now Clark isn't able to pin anything directly to Luthor, but he is taken down a peg or two. Of course now he is running around in a power suit again and that lessens him in my eyes. Lex shouldn't be fighting he should be scheming.

4. Loki: Now this is just another great villain. He is a villain I can enjoy without his arch nemesis. Hell I usually enjoy him more when he is not dealing with that moron Thor. What makes him great? He is the master of obfuscation. He is so good at hiding his plans, and that he is the one pulling the strings, for a time. Then his hubris gets in the way. He just can't help himself from making a grand entrance and letting you know he is the one responsible for your downfall. Plus out of the people on my list, he has the coolest costume.

5. Leonardo: Not that he is my favorite ninja turtle, but the turtles themselves do play a part in my personal comic book history:

When I first started collecting comic books I ordered from a company in New Hampshire. Each month they sent a list of comic books you could order and with that list they also had a 1 to 2 page newsletter with it. In that first newsletter I got there was a blurb about the Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles series, and how "hot" it was at the time. I placed an order for thext upcoming issue (number 4 for those keeping score). This was my introduction to the whole independent scene. It really opened my eyes that there comics to be read beyond Marvel and DC, and they were good!

Back to Leo though, he wasn't my favorite, but I always admired him. As leader of the group he had to put up with a lot of crap from the others, especially Raphael. He was the one who was the most dedicated mastering his ninjitsu. I haven't read the title in forever, but I loved it when I did.

That's it, that's the list.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Now Listening to "Sing" by Glen Campbell

In a way a kind of feel ripped off. We were told we are going to get this great storm over the weekend, and by the time it reached us late Saturday afternoon. It was kind of windy and it rained for about an hour or so. It was weaker than a normal spring thunderstorm. After all the effort the gas stations made by raising their prices by 30 cents in about a 5 hour period to gouge the consumer. It wasn’t even bad enough to lose satellite reception. We had a much worse rainstorm about a month ago. Of course that didn’t stop the weatherman from coming on during EVERY commercial break during the OSU-USC game to tell us about it. I was prepared though with my bottled water just in case. Of course you would know it more commonly as a twelve pack of beer.

Speaking of the Ohio State-USC game it was so delicious seeing Ohio State get creamed. My roommate is a huge fan of the Buckeyes. As I told him at half time, ”This isn’t even a national championship game.” What the heck were the Buckeyes doing with their quarterbacks? Sometimes alternating plays, and getting no continuity. Must be hard for the lineman to have to adjust from a pocket passer and then a pure running QB between plays.

In local radio news: I’ve been hearing commercials on the station I listen to for a company called Ashley Madison. The first couple of times I heard the commercial I thought it was joke by the station, but I kept hearing the ad. Apparently it is an on-line dating service for people looking to have affairs. That is right a website that directly endorses infidelity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Discuss this title amonst yourselves

Batten down the hatches!: After checking in with the Travis weather center it seems like Hurricane Ike will still be Tropical Storm Ike when it hits here early Sunday morning. This could all change by tomorrow of course. This is the first hurricane I can remember that will still be pretty strong once it reaches here since Hurricane Alicia back in 1983.


I am so glad I don't live in Dallas proper any more: I read this story earlier today. Essentially $500,000 and 2 years was spent on a scale model for the Trinity River Project, and they didn't even finish the models of the most important parts: what the bridges will look like. The models they used look like a diving board that just ends mid-air. This is a model for a project that the Army Corps of Engineers has said can't be done without flooding downtown Dallas.

I constantly read articles of what is going on in Dallas politics and items like the one above and it always just pisses me off at what goes on down there.

UPDATE: If Ike continues on its current track and hit the Dallas-area as suspected it will either be a Tropical Storm or maybe even a category 1 hurricane. The biggest tropical storm to reach Dallas since Hurricane Carla in 1961.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Legion Sketch #4

Another sketch for you folks:


This is of course Ferro Lad of the legion as rendered by the great Michael Lark. Probably best known for Gotham Central and his current run on Daredevil. This was done at the same con as the Steve Erwin sketch. I've had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Lark several times. Including when he has done sketches at the Hero Initiative booth at Wizard World Texas. He has also taken Hero Initiative collection cans to his own table to collect money there as well. He couldn't be a nicer guy.

I think the rivets on the costume is what makes the drawing. Michael's comment when he was done, "How ridiculous he has the symbol for iron on his chest. " That's the legion!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lonely Planet Images

My Labor Day weekend: Well it was a weekend of hedonism. Friday night I went and ate sushi at Kotta Sushi Bar. Saturday I went to a friend's house, that night we played poker and I spent the night at his house. Sunday, I went to the comic book shop, and then went straight to my boss' house as he was having a party there. I got smashed there and just spent the night there. (No way I was driving home in my condition). Monday, I slept. Besides drinking to much the night before, I had gotten little sleep Friday and Saturday night. Around 5 hours each night. I took and extra day off, and Tuesday I just hung aroudnd the house and relaxed.

The weather: Oh man has it been great around here. Right now it is around 73 degrees, it would normally be in the upper 80s or lower 90s by now. With the sunshine and wind blowing it feels like Fall.

Me and my bike: Last week I went and rode my bike for the first time in over a month. I was riding for about 5 minutes, and I was just like, "Man, I am just worn out. What is the deal?" I looked down and my front tire was halfway flat. It took me a while to get back home. I am not that smart.

And the winner is: For those of you who read the Texas State Fair food post, the chicken fried bacon won the first place prize. The person who won last year estimates a 20% bump in sales to whoever won, so that should be a pretty big boost in revenue.

A new year a new theory

Yet another news report on how global warming affects hurricanes:

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Warming boosts strongest storms

So in 2006 we had reports that because of global warming we were going to have 9 Katrina sized hurricanes. We had none.

In 2007 we were told that global warming was causing a decrease in hurricanes. Why? That year we didn't have that many hurricanes.

Now this year we get notification that global warming makes the bigger storms...bigger.

Now I don't claim to be an expert, but the experts just end up looking like fools, because every year that try to fit global warming into whatever hurricanes are doing that year. I guess if you change your theory every year, you will always be right. It just seems silly to base those theories on a sample size of one year, or at least the appearance of just one year.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fair Food

The following is just a little story of the new food at the Texas State Fair this year:

The Associated Press: Lone Star State serves up frightening Fair fare

For those to lazy to look here they are:
  1. Deep Fried S'mores
  2. Fried Banana Split (apparently not deep fried)
  3. Fried Chocolate Truffles
  4. Fried Grilled Cheese
  5. Fried Jelly Bellys
  6. Chicken Fried Bacon Strips
  7. Fried Chocolate-covered strawberry waffle balls on a stick
  8. Fire & Ice: Fried pineapple ring topped with liquid nitrogen frozen banana-flavored whipped cream
There will be a grand prize winner of best new food announced later. I think I am gonna try and sell battered deep fried Crisco next year.Oh, chocolate covered of course.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Berklee

New Job Responsibilities: Collecting money is going okay. One customer was having fun at my expense. Transferring me to back to herself as the Accounts Payable Department. Then asking me who I pissed off to get stuck with this job. Good times, good times.

Rock the vote: Well for the first time since 1999 I am registered to vote again. I am less excited to vote in the Presidential election as I am in the more local votes. Even with my cynicism about politicians over on Rob's blog, I do enjoy exercising my right. I just wish I had gotten my card a few months earlier to vote on some of the city elections we had. Of course my vote for the Frisco late night referendum (allowing bars to stay open past midnight) wouldn't have mattered as it got crushed.

What to do: I am thinking about upgrading my computer. Not sure how I want to do it. Back up the important stuff and wipe my drive and essentially rebuild it. I might get a barebones system and slap my hard drive in there and fire it up. My current computer is a hodgepodge of being ancient (my cpu and motherboard) and top of the line (my video card).


----------------
Now playing: (International) Noise Conspiracy, The - Ready Steady Go!
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sing Dance Laugh

New responsibilities at work:
As I have started before, I tend to get rather bored at work with nothing to do. The reason being we have taken on another line of shoes, and my customers have to option of ordering directly on the internet bypassing me. This has let to a new job: calling customers who have past due invoices.

Calling people up and asking for money isn't something I really enjoy doing, but I have started already. It requires me to get into a different frame of mind to call these people up, and ask for money. Even though they are the ones who haven't payed. I was surprised about one aspect of this new task. I thought it would be harder to call people I already had a relationship with (as little as that may be) and look for money, but I actually found it easier to talk to them. I thought there would be some tension, but there wasn't. Some of these people I am trying to call have really sweet work hours. IE 8-10 AM. The alternative to calling people about money would be cold-calling prospective clients. No thank you.

My truck:
Well after getting my flat fixed and taking a look see at my front tires I went got four new tires on my truck. The current plan right now is in about a year from now to either pay cash or a huge down payment on a new vehicle next year. I've had the truck for over 12 years now and although it runs pretty good still. I am getting ready for something else, esp. with better gas mileage.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Legion Sketch #3

The third sketch in my mostly legion sketchbook:




This time we have Sensor Girl as drawn by Steve Erwin. Mr Erwin is the professional I get the most nervous around.I first met him in the late '80s after he had closed out Vigilante and he and Paul Kupperberg created the first Checkmate series. I always felt he was an underrated artist, and that he would have been perfect on a high-profile series like Spider-Man, or Batman. He is real good at drawing action with the acrobatic characters. Every time I am around him I flashback to Junior High when I first met him.

If memory serves this was drawn at the con completely different from the last two. In that this show was packed. Attendance greatly boosted by the appearance of Carrie Fisher. She was on a stage behind a screen, and there was always a line to see her (naturally). The problem was that the stage was not wheelchair accessible, so she came down to see one young lady in a wheelchair, I was at a dealer's table by the stage and could have reached out and touched her (I didn't). The layout of the room was horrible as well and with the crowd you could hardly move around the aisles. I do have another sketch by him, a friend of mine had him do one of one of my own characters, that one was done on a regular size board that they draw the comics on, and my scanner isn't that big. I hope someone read the boring story and a few enjoyed the art.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just a few notes

The following link is a very interesting article about the conflict between Russia and Georgia spilling over into the internet. I always wondered when something like this would happen. It looks like now is the time.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Caucasus foes fight cyber war



Last post on house sitting for now. Last night I had everything packed up in my truck, and I was literally walking out the door, and I took one last look see around the house to see if I forgot to take anything with me. I did see one last pile of doggie doo on the rug. I, of course did my doodie...err duty and cleaned it up

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"The best thing about animals is that they don't talk much."

I was telling a friend of mine about all of my trials in house sitting, and he made a very astute observation. Maybe, just maybe, the dog who laid down the Steaming Pile of...2008, and brought in the almost dead rat also laid down the piece of metal that punctured my tire. I thought about this for a while, and came to the conclusion that it is possible. He probably did it Saturday morning when I let him out back. If that is true then clearly he is related to this dog:




FYI, the quote in the title is Thornton Wilder

Monday, August 11, 2008

Keep it coming

Well when it rains it pours. As I continue the house sitting it just keeps getting better and better. Saturday afternoon I decide to go grab something to eat. I go outside, AND my truck has a flat. At this point I'm not even mad any more. I just chuckled. All was not lost however, as my friend left me the keys to his car if I needed to use it for some reason. Thank goodness for that. The nearest auto shop wouldn't be open until Monday morning. I buy a can of fix-a-flat Sunday and get up early today to use it. I toss one of my friend's bicycles in the bed of ym truck and go to the shop. I drop that off and ride back to the house. Once it gets fixed I will just ride back up there to pick up my truck.

And that is why I never say,"It couldn't get any worse." 'Cause it always can.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Animal House

Monday afternoon I got a call from my old roommate. He needed me to stay at his house that night to take care of his animals. He was unexpectedly called into work, and his girlfriend was already there. They figured their dogs being inside for about 14 hours straight would have made things a bit messy. Naturally, I agreed to do it. It went pretty well that night except I had a very restless sleep. I never slept longer than 2 hours straight. I just kept waking up.

After that I knew I would be back later this week to take care of my friend's house for about a week, I started that little venture Thursday evening. I walk in that afternoon from work, and Tuck, the pit bull, has uhhh, made a mess all over the front room. I immediately call my friend to let him know what happened.

"I didn't want you see stains in your rugs and not know why." He told me where the cleaning products were and I went to work. No kidding it took me almost an hour to get it all reasonably all cleaned up. They own a rug doctor, and he said they will give it a massive cleaning when they get back. This is also the house were I have the most responsibility: two dogs, two cats, a fish tank, and watering the plants. Whew!

Get up this morning after surviving Steaming Pile of... 2008. I let the dogs out and get their breakfast ready. I let the dachshund back in, but Tuck stays out. I hear him barking after I finish shaving, so I go to let him in. He isn't at the door while when I open it, so I call him a few times. He does come running in...with an almost dead rat in his mouth. *sigh* I tell him to drop it and he does. I get him to stay, and keep and eye on the cat that is hovering around it while I get some paper towels. I gather up the rat and throw him away in the trash can outside. At this rate either Tuck or I am are not going to make it to next Friday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Beating---Well---Avoiding the Heat


Another day and another day over 100° day. I don't watch the news much, but I did last week and since around the middle of July we have not been at 100 or higher one day. 107 Sunday, 105 Yesterday, it is just brutal out there. Less than a minute outside and you get a sweat going. We had rain last week so that gives us a bonus of adding a bunch of humidity to the mix. Which as my mom used to say, makes it feel like you are breathing through a wet rag. What I did find amusing was reading the weather for the next few days and we are getting relief from the weather soon thanks to Tropical Storm Edouard. Yeah that relief are highs of 97 instead of 105.

This weather has temporarily put the kibosh on my bike riding. I rode a few times when it was only 101, and that just about did me in. Night time is out as Sunday for instance it was 97 at 10PM. Hopefully, I can get used to getting up earlier and be able to put a ride in the morning.

Next summer I will, if possible, take a vacation to see my family up north. I've done it a few times and it is nice to see my family in Iowa were their high temps are our lows.
It may seem like I am bitching about the weather, but I'm really not. I just take it, because bitching about it isn't gonna make it any cooler. I'll just grin and bear it while wiping my brow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Legion Sketch #2

I expected to post my next one sooner than this, but better late than never:



This one was drawn by local Dallas-area artist JE Smith. I was a bit saddened to learn that he has pretty much retired from comics while researching this post. That is right wiseguys I do a modicum a research for this thing. If you ever get a chance to pick up Jeff's excellent Complex City I highly recommend it. I chose Polar Boy for my next sketch as he officially joined the Legion around the time I started regularly collecting the series, and he soon became one of my favorite characters.

I still remember when I gave him the sketchbook he said, "Oh great I have to follow Todd [Nuack]." I think he did a great job of doing just that.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Faxless Payday Advances

This weekend is almost upon us, so it is time to talk about last weekend (huh?). Anyways, last weekend I went to my friend Wendy's lake house near Gun Barrel City (I love that name). It is about an hour and half drive. I rode up there with my friend's Sam and Nicole. I was a bunch of fun. It has been way too long since I have been out on a lake. Went riding around the boat several time. I also got to pilot a wave runner for the first time. Seriously, I shouldn't be allowed to drive one of those things. Not that I am too crazy and drive like a maniac. I just get lost too easily on the water. After like 5 minutes I didn't have any idea where I was.

Highlights:

I had Sandra Bullock's house pointed out to me about 25 times.

I was told we were going to play poker over the weekend, and we did. Starting at 1:30AM

I have a hard time sleeping when I am not in my bed. I went to bed after 4AM, and I started waking up around 7:30. I finally got up at 9:30 and read for an hour and half. I figured 11 was as far as I would let them sleep in, so that is when I left my room and started milling around. Plus it was hard to go to sleep at first, because when you cled you eyes it felt like the rocking of the boat on the water.

I was impressed I had my own room

It was a little tense because her ex-boyfriend (also a friend of mine) was also staying on the same lake. We did go and see him for a bit. Out of all of the lakes in all of Texas...

I met one guy who only had one long. I liked him, and he had a good sense of humor about it. He goes by "Uno."

I was surprised at how many people either didn't know how to swim, or were very weak swimmers.

I became very good at refueling the wave runner.

Paddle boats are more trouble than they are worth. Very tiring.

Late Sunday morning or right around Noon, Wendy's family came over. A lot of her brothers and sisters and their kids. When they first started coming through the door I didn't think they would stop. I swear by the time we left there was 30-40 people in her family there. I didn't really plan on eating any of their grilled good, but then I caught a whiff the hot dogs on the grill. I walked over there and one...and then I had another one. The major problem there was the heat. Above a hundred during the day and no breeze to speak of. That just beats you down. We left mid-afternoon and stopped by Dairy Queen to get a blizzard on the way back, which was a perfect topper after being out in that heat. It was a ton of fun, and I would definitely go back again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Horror comic book update


There was one thing that really, really bothered me in that horror comic trade that I talked about in the post below. I meant to mention this earlier. It was broken down into different groups of decades, '40-'50s, '60s-'70s, etc. OK, so between each section there was a text piece explaining the state of comic books in general and horror comic books specifically. Now, what bothered me? In two or three of the pieces the guy writing it kept calling Swamp Thing: Swampthing, and it was everytime too. Swampthing, Swampthing, Swampthing. I know, I know it is a little thing, and it is something that if it had been a non-comic article I would have let go. This I could not let go, not only was this a comic oriented book, it was horror comic book, and you can't even get the name of a genre defining character right? Unbelievable. End rant.

The same company has done several big books like this. I just took a volume of war comics that they did to work to read. You can look forward to my thoughts about that months, and months from now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh no

So I come home from work Thursday afternoon, and I notice almost immediately that something is amiss. Oh crap, my bedroom door is open. Suddenly, I have visions of going into the back yard and finding piles of chewed up comic books strewn about. The dog, Juno is a notorious chewer and wrecker of...everything. I've been meaning to post some pictures of his handy work. He really likes to get into paper products, the mail isn't even safe when it is on the bar. I slowly walk to the back door so see what damage has been done. I look back there, and...nothing. There was one of my socks, but I expect that. Juno will take one of my socks even when I am there, just one though. Seeing that didn't bother me. I was just so happy that none of my comics were out there. Hopefully, he is growing out of his chewing phase.

In other news, I finished the huge tome The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics. It was a really good for the most part and at over 500 pages mammoth is right. It collects pre-Code horror comics from the '40s and '50s all the way up to some just a few years old. I didn't find any of the stories particularly scary, and after so many tales at how great the pre-Code comics were, they were fine, I guess I was just expecting something gorier.

I did enjoy the older comics more than I did the newer ones. Especially, the stories representing the 21st century. That had two by the same guy that was just photoshopped work, which I don't dislike on principle, but this just wasn't very good. Plus, one of his stories was a remake of one earlier in the book, so that really left me cold. There was also a Steve Niles/Ben Templesmith Cal MacDonald story I have yet to see anything by either creator I like. There was also one or two Lovecraft stories, and that is just material I never got. Just mind-numbingly boring to me. The good greatly outweighed the bad though. Some nice early Kaluta. A Bernie Wrightson story, and he never disappoints. A number of Bruce Jones tales. Defintely worth the cost. I am saying this, and I am not even much of a horror fan at all.

My other problem is calling it a "Best of" when there is no EC.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I am bored!!!!

I finished up all of my work at...work at around 9 something this morning an I am bored.

bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Find exactly what

Last night I made a very comforting dinner that was very reminiscent of what my mom used to make: Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes, and stewed squash. Pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I just used to much liquid in all of them though. Have to cut it back next time I make it.

After dinner I watched the movie Blast of Silence. I have hear a lot of great things about the movie, and how great it is. It was alright, nothing earth shattering. I was expecting some sort of surprise or twist somewhere and it just never happened. A solid film though.

A bit adventurous this morning at work. I carried my 1 million can box of Coke Zero, up and the handle on the box broke. One of the cans busted and sprayed coke everywhere. That is embarrassing enough, just couple that with I work out of my boss' house. I am just glad it didn't get on the rug or anything like that, it was easy to clean up. After that I had to get my jumper cables for one my boss' cars. Between three cars and a whole house. Neither my boss nor his wife own a set. That amazed me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Changing my ways...

I have started to change my idea on how I buy music. I was always one of those people who wanted the CD. I want to read the liner notes, and get all of the info packed inside. A few things have altered my thinking on that.I usually just read the liner notes once. If even that, sometimes I store the CD away and never get around to reading the liner notes.

On Amazon it is usually cheaper, sometimes a lot cheaper to buy the whole album digitally. I downloaded one "CD" 11 bucks cheaper than if I had bought the physical product from the store. Seriously, 11 dollars!!!! Just glancing through it seems like around a 5 dollar average in savings. A couple of those and I can buy a book on the musician I am interested in. Another benefit is that I get the music pretty much instantaneously.

Now if what I am looking for isn't available for download, I will still buy CD, but I figure that will be getting rarer as companies open up more of their catalogs.

The digital age indeed.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sketch #1

After much cajoling and pleading from my pal Rob* about posting the sketches I have gotten in my (Mostly) Legion of Superheroes sketchbook I have finally relented, and I am posting the first one today.

Here it is:


This is sketch is done by Todd Nauck. I can hardly believe this was 6 years ago. I knew I wanted one of the original three for my first sketch, and I was greatly pleased to have someone who has been a Legion artist in the past to do the first one. I do remember the convention I got it done at, because it was a very poorly attended convention. The table next to Todd's had Geoff Johns before he truly blew up in the comic book world, and there was about an hour when it was just us three talking about different stuff. I had a ton of fun at the con, a lot of one-on-one time with different creators.


* Rob may not have pleaded and cajoled, it may be something he mentioned once 2 1/2 months ago. My memory is a bit hazy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

That went horribly


Well the Rangers did not complete the sweep of the Yankees last night. In fact they got shelled. I, and I think everyone else in the free world, saw it coming when the relief pitcher Warner Madrigal came into the game. I don't think a one run game versus the Yankees in Yankee stadium was the right time to make your major league debut. I left the game before Madrigal did.

Two interesting stats I heard:
Derek Jeter post-season at bats: 495
Texas Rangers Franchise: 300
In the 36 years that the Rangers have been in Texas the number of sweeps of the Yankees in New York: 1 in 2003

That was during Showalter's first season as manager. You would think in all of that time they would have lucked into a sweep with some of the Yankee teams on the 1980s to early '90s

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Liasing




The radio line of the week makes it return after a long hiatus since nothing struck me as funny. This one was unintentionally funny:
"I don't hate Sidney Ponson. I hope he gets into heaven. I really do."
I don't know why, but that really made me laugh.

I am finally, kinda sorta getting use to the route I am riding on my bike. I can ride it without feeling like I am going to have a heart attack. Plus when I go uphill I don't need shift down so much. Slowly, but surely.

The Texas Rangers have never had success against the Yankees. Like ever. They have already won their first series since April 2005 against the Pinstripers. I haven't done the research yet, but I am curious to see when was the last time they swept them. They have that chance tonight.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Putting it in perspective

Sometimes I lose focus in just how far computers have come over the past couple of decades. My first IBM compatible PC (as we called them back then) was back in 1989 that my mom bought. I think the whole thing was about $2000. I still remember some of the specs. It was a 286, with 1MB of RAM, EGA video card, and a 40MB hard drive.


Now this sucker:



That little guy's capacity is 10000% higher(if my math is right) than the hard drive on my old IBM, and it cost 15 bucks. That is something that just amazes me.

And yes, that is my hand.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keys Please

Just a few things:

1. I was cleaning some crap out of my truck and not only did I find my umbrella I have been looking for for about 2 years behind the seat. I also found a key to a some sort of Mercury. I don't have a Mercury, as far as I know, none of my friend's own a Mercury. My best guess is that someone from a repair shop left it there while working on my truck at some point in time. I just wonder how long it has been back there.

2. I've had a friend's copy of 300 for a while now, and finally tried to watch it the other night. I definitely was not in the mood for that, I popped in the first season of The Shield, now that was what I was looking for.

3. Outside of when I ride my bicycle I haven't worn socks and shoes for almost a month now. Sandals only, baby!

4. I talked to my cousin Renae last week. I knew she had moved, but I didn't know where. She has moved to San Francisco. I told her, "You know my brother practically in San Francisco." No, no she did not. I gave her my brother's number, so they should be getting together.

5. I was kind of handy the past week as well. Helping my roommate install a new dog door in the house. A nice one to with 3 flaps and various insulation to help keep energy costs down. I also helped him install a trailer hitch on his car. The instructions claimed it would take 35 minutes to install the hitch. That is a pretty specific time. 35 minutes my ass.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Wedding, Part 3?

Well I had planned on posting some pictures from the wedding, but I haven't been able to hook up with my dad to get a copy of them, and he is leaving town at the end of this week so it may yet be a while.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Isn't Terrorism Fun?

A link to a story new restaurant in Lebanon. I found it interesting and kind of funny.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Lebanese food served with a bang

My favorite line:

"They accuse us of terrorism, so let's serve terrorist bread, why not?" Mr Ibrahim told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NBA Prediction Round-Up

Around the start of the NBA season I looked at SI.com’s predictions of the upcoming season. Now that the season is finally over lets see how they did:


1. Who will win the NBA title? No one had the Lakers and Celts. Also no one had the Lakers in the finals, and the 2 people who picked Boston had them losing. Paul Forrester really blew it with a Mavericks-Bulls final. The Bulls were horrible this year and the Mavs got bounced easily in the first round.


2. Who will be the regular season MVP? Not one person picked Kobe


3. What team will be the biggest surprise? Jack McCallum picked the Bulls, and if he picked them for their total collapse this season and finished 16 games below .500. Oops. Forrester was the closest by picking the Hawks, who at least made the playoffs this year, but were still 8 games below .500. Clearly the biggest surprise this season were the New Orleans Hornets who no one picked, of course.


4. Who will be the biggest disappointment? Some guys really nailed this one. Marty Burns and Chris Mannix both picked the Heat, and they were absolutely right. The Heat really tanked and Riley decided it was time to retire from coaching again. Steve Aschburner selected the Mavericks, which I have no argument against. Unfortunately, Ian Thomsen picked the Lakers and claimed they wouldn’t even make the playoffs.


5. What player will break out and become a star? This could be painful:

Ian Thomsen picked Andrea Bargnan from Toronto, he of the awesome 10.2 PPG and shooting 38% from the field.


Marty Burns took Rudy Gay who did have a decent year for the truly awful Grizzlies at 20 PPG


Bostjan Nachbar of the Nets was Chris Mannix’s pick. The guy shot a sparkling 9.8 PPG at about a 40% clip.


McCallum and Aschburner both took Luol Deng, and he put up 17 PPG. As high as he was taken, and this being his fourth season in the league I would like that number to be closer to 20. This is particularly true when you consider his PPG, shooting percentage and rebounds per game all dipped from the previous year.


Finally Forrester chose LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trailblazers. He did almost double his scoring from his rookie season to 17.8 per game.


I don’t see any stars here…


6. Which coach opens the season on the hot seat? Meh. That is more for the beginning of the year lets move on.


7. Who will be the best rookie? In the end, whoever didn’t pick Kevin Durant was a fool, and that would be Thomsen and Burns who both picked Luis Scola. Durant averaged 20.3 PPG breaking the rookie record for the Sonics


8. What will be the leagues biggest controversy? A couple of guys picked Donaghy, which is the story that still has legs. Forrester said a star would test positive for a PED, and that didn’t happen.


9. Will Kobe Bryant be traded? Only Mannix and Forrester said yes, and we know how that went


10. If you think Kobe is staying, then who will be the biggest name traded during the season? Everyone else said Jermaine O’Neal. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Good job guys, see ya next season!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Wedding, Part 2

Once the actual wedding ceremony took place I was ready. Like I mentioned previously it was taking place outdoors. I waited until the last possible moment to put my suit coat on and go outside. It was still pretty damn hot. Mercifully, the ceremony was short. It was performed by Jenny’s (my dad’s new wife) friends from Kansas. It was decidedly non-traditional. These two people are very much into New Age ideas and religious concepts. We weren’t quite praying to the “Earth Mother”, but it wasn’t to the God I was raised with either. Like I said though it was a nice ceremony, and the vows they said were very sweet.

After the wedding, you are supposed to pose for pictures, naturally. We move the flowers in place and we are going to take the pictures around the garden in the back yard. Being so hot people grab some drinks like tea or wine, whatever. I am standing there, and I wait…and wait…and wait. It has been over half and hour, and I say, “Hey, its getting pretty hot here lets get these pictures taken.” Someone tells me to take my jacket off until we do take the pictures. I tell them “no” explaining that if I take it off I will cool down, and then it will seem even hotter when I put it back on. Finally, the pictures get taken, and I am able to cool down.

Cool down I did. I had brought a change of clothes with me, so I stripped down to a t-shirt and short. I didn’t bring a change of clothes though, so the decision was between wearing my dress shoes or going barefoot. I chose barefoot.

Before I forget: the cake. It was great. Two of Jenny’s co-workers offered to make the cake for her. It was a three-tiered cake. Alternating layers of strawberry and lemon filling, the lemon filling for my brother who hates strawberries. It was freaking fantastic though. I had like 3 pieces there and I took some home as well.

The great part was about it is that people were using their digital cameras. When everything was wrapping up we gathered on the deck to watch the pictures that were taken on a laptop computer as music played in the background. After that we moved the air-conditioned house and chitchatted for a couple of hours.

Next some of my final thoughts…

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Wedding, Part 1

May 31st was my dad’s wedding, and I will break it down into different parts. This one will address the meal we had before the ceremony. The initial plan was to have the ceremony first and then to go eat. Realizing how blazing hot it would be at around 3-4PM in Texas at the end of May, the decision was wisely made to push the ceremony back to early evening when it would be a bit cooler.

Off we go to the restaurant Marlo’s House in the great city of Garland, TX. The sign outside says “Authentic Mennonite Cuisine”.

“I don’t know what ‘Mennonite Cuisine’ is”, one of my dining companions says

“I don’t either,” I reply. “So, how would we know if it is authentic or not? Could any of us here be able to tell if they are lying or not?”

We squeeze the tables in the tiny restaurant around so that we are all sitting “together” and the tables kind of spiral around. Somehow we get our party of 14 into the dining room.

Since we have such a large party and only one cook there were a few items we were discouraged from ordering, so that we could eat in a timely manner. The dish I got, which I can’t spell so I won’t even try. What it was though: egg noodles topped with a cream sauce and sautéed onions, a side of homemade sausage, coleslaw, and a slice of rye bread. The noodles, sausage, sauce, coleslaw and bread are all homemade in-house. For the most part it was great. The noodles were awesome, but the sauce could have used some seasoning. The coleslaw was better than I expected. It had slices of apple in it, and I am not fond of fruit in my vegetable salads for the most part. This was pretty good though. My favorite part was the sausage without a doubt. I wish I had more than just the one link. I inhaled my food, and I was soooo stuffed afterwards.

I love that it is very informal there. The waiter/co-owner hands me a pitcher of tea, as I am pretty central to, so that I can refill glasses. When another party arrives, he is sitting at the table talking to them. Really gives it a nice homey feel. I was surprised to see they are only open three days a week. I guess they have other jobs the rest of the time.

The most shocking/awesome part though: The chef cooks all the meals on a four-burner stove. When I learned that I was truly amazed. She prepared all those different dishes, for 14 people in a very reasonable amount of time. Wow.