If you recall last week was Christmas. My original plan was to go to my dad's house Christmas Eve drive back home, and go back Christmas morning. Well it started snowing Christmas Eve, and it was pretty treacherous just driving to my dad's house. On one overpass a guy decided driving 15mph in the middle lane wasn;t good enough for me so he jumped into the left had lane and drive 15mph there. He almost got rear ended, and the truck swerved in front of me and ended up the right hand lane because of the ice. Everyone was okay though.
So, I did end up spending Christmas Eve at my dad's house, and I was worried where I would sleep. Well my dad got a new camping trailer and I ended up sleeping in it. The trailer has a gas trailer, and I ended up turning it down, because it got so hot in there. The main problem was the wind, it would blow so hard and shake the trailer until about 4AM.
It was pretty cool having a White Christmas. It was the first one in Dallas since 1926, and only the second one I have experienced in my life.
Christmas Day was uneventful for the most part. I spent a few hours at a neighbor's house from my old neighborhood. Such a big differnce between their house and my dad's. So many kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids there. Back at my dad's there were just four of us. After we ate Christmas dinner though, we were just sitting there, all four of us, literally staring at the wall. With the same music from like 10 hours earlier playing. The snow had cleared up by this time, so I got out of there. I can understand leaving the TV off when everyone is talking and visiting, but when no one is saying anything to each other lets turn the thing on.
Well last week I was off for vacation, and I took another staycation, and lived like a hermit in my house. My enjoyment was lessened though, my roommate having training all week, so he was at home doing a class on-line. I am getting a bit stir crazy though being in Dallas all of the time. Next year I definitely want to get out of here. I haven't left the D/FW metroplex in 2 1/2 years, and I haven't left the state of Texas in 5 1/2 years. I already have tentative plans to attend STAPLE in Austin, TX in March. It is a one day comic book convention, but I hope to make a weekend of it down there, as I love Austin.
For Christmas, my step-brother is arriving tomorrow, and it should be just a small gathering at my dad's house with just four of us. My brother and his girlfriend aren't able to make it this year. I hope I can make time to visit some of my friends from the old neighborhood.
I hope everyone else has a good Christmas. Eat all ya want, you only live once.
A little sports post today. First the Texas Rangers basically let Marlon Byrd go when he declined their arbitration offer. Through a trade with the Red Sox they have replaced his bat (not his position) with Mike Lowell. Fine, whatever I just let it go. My ears do perk up though when one of the hosts on the radio is going on and on about how Mike Lowell can't possibly replace the production that Marlon Byrd gave Texas. I just had to look it up.
Avg. Byrd: .283 Lowell: .290
HR Byrd: 20 Lowell: 17
RBI: Byrd: 89 Lowel: 75
OBP: Byrd: .329 Lowell: .337
OPS+ Byrd: 106 (!) Lowell 106 (!)
SO: Byrd: 98 Lowell: 61
I mean they are almost exactly the same player and Lowell did that in 27 less games. The only major factor in the trade is Mike Lowell is 4 years older.
Another thing I want to give a hearty congratulations to the SMU Mustangs who have finally reached a bowl game for the first time in 25 years. Head coach June Jones did what no other coach has been able to do, and he did it in his second season.
I always felt that SMU was wrongly given the death penalty way back when, not so much as they didn't deserve it per se, but all of the other school who have been proven to have committed worse infractions didn't. It is greatly believed that the NCAA won't ever impose it again, after seeing how crippling it is to a school. If you remember they got a one year penalty, but had to cancel the next year as well as they couldn't get enough players to the school to field a competitive team.
Geez, has been two weeks already? Anyways, I went to the Wolfmother concert two weeks ago. They were playing at the House of Blues in downtown Dallas. They has two bands opening up for them. thenewno2 who I had never heard of, and the Heartless Bastardswho, not only had I actually heard of, but I liked. I was stoked to see them. Well I was told, that we (that being me and my friends were going to meet a a bar first), so no opening act. I was a bit disappointed, but the Filmore was a pretty cool bar to hang out at.
Well, we did make it to the House of Blues in time to catch the last 4 or 5 songs of the Heartless Bastards. My faith in them was totally rewarded. They were awesome, and my friends pretty much acquiesced that it was a mistake to miss their entire set. A couple of my friends enjoyed them so much they bought CDs and t-shirts. I was still sober enough not to buy a t-shirt there. We did miss all of thenewno2.
Then it was time for Wolfmother to take the stage. Watching them, and hearing them play is what I imagine it would have been like to see some of the great bands of the '70s. It is a no frills concert with just hard rocking music. I love that the bass player (or was it the rhythm guitarist?) is also the keyboardist. When it is time for some keyboard, he just flings his instrument around to his back and jams on the keyboard for a bit. Both bands that we saw really seemed to be into it, and seemed to be having a great time. I think that was helped by it being the first night of their American tour. It was just a great night, with pure rock and roll music.
I did find out a few things about thenewno2. They are led by the Beatles great George Harrison's son Dhani. I was wondering were they got there name from. First, I thought it may have to do with defecation. Then, maybe it was a self deprecating name in that they are the new number 2, and not number 1. Finally, I thought it may have something to do with the cult TV show The Prisoner. Yeah, it is the TV thing. Last thing, the next day my roommate (who bailed on going at the last moment) asked if I knew any of Woflmother's songs. I replied, "Well they have put out two albums, and I own both of them, so yeah I knew a few."
Well, I have been doing quite a bit of house sitting the past few weeks. With another bout this upcoming weekend as a friend and his wife go to Austin for the Texas Longhorns game. The only thing that happened of real significance was at my dad's place. The problem is that whenever you move something around his computer it seems like the whole set-up moves because his wires are all tangled up together. My last day there, on a Sunday, I spent about an hour untangling them, and try to clean it up.
First off, I found two lengths of wire that were not attached to anything at either end. Puzzling. Next, there was about 10-12 feet of phone line winding through the entire mess. It was plugged into a phone jack at one end of the room, but nothing around the computer. To make it all a little bit neater, I used garbage bag ties so there wasn't so much loose wires everywhere. It was all a little bit tighter. Obviously, it is still a lot of wires running around everywhere, but it is better. Please note that picture is NOT from my dad's house.
In other news of me. I have been consistently busy at work for over a week for the first time in months. Which has been great, because when it is too slow the day just crawls by. Also I have been given new responsibilities, so I have more to do in general. It has been good.
I made a mostly seamless upgrade to Windows 7 yesterday. Many thanks to my friend Dave who worked at Microsoft for a great deal on the upgrade. This version of Windows was actually very good and finding new drivers for some of the hardware on my computer once I got hooked up to the net. It took me directly to the Sound Blaster site for the driver for my sound card. Plus, it automatically installed the driver for my wireless network card. Sweet, since I had lost the installation disc.
Okay, here is something I do not get. I am an unmarried man, with no girlfriend or kids running around. As I get older, understandably, more and more of my friends do have family obligations and such. Yet, they always tell me to call them when I want to do something. That seems flawed to me. This is a conversation I had with my friend Victor when we finally went out earlier this month after spending months trying to get together.
Him, "Give me a call when you want to go out again."
Me, "You should call me when you want to go out. You have a wife, you have a son, you work about 30 more hours a week than I do, and now you are back in school."
I have had versions of that talk with numerous friends of mine. The put the onus on me though to call them. I am always free. Pretty much always available. Another thing I told Victor, "Dude you can call me to go do something any time, and I will be ready in fifteen minutes or less." The main reason I don't call my attached friends is after a while you get tired of getting shot down. Hell, some of these guys are losers who never wanted to do anything when they were single. Eventually, I do learn my lesson and just quit calling people.
So, yeah, do call me, AND I will call you (maybe).
After the debacle on Sunday all of the rage around Dallas is who to put the blame on. Tony Romo or the Dallas defense? I spread it over both of them pretty evenly myself. What worries me more though is the defense. Not just this early in the season, but how they ended last season.
24-33 loss to Baltimore and surrendering 265 yards rushing. Two rushing TDs of 77 and 82 yards. 6-44 loss to Philly. Even taking out the two fumbles returned for touchdowns the defense gave up 30 points 34-21 win on Tampa Bay. They still gave up 450 yards of total offense with no sacks and no turnovers. 31-33 loss to the Giants. Another 427 yards of offense including 330 passing from Eli Manning. With another game of no sacks and no turnovers. If the defense had made one stop the Cowboys would have overcome Romo's 3 interceptions.
This is with Wade Phillips taking over the defense. If the defense doesn't get good fast the Cowboys are just going to be in a shootout each game.
We are still at Wizard World Texas 2007, and we also get our second appearance of Wildfire in the sketch book. This time he was drawn by Angel Medina. Perhaps best known for his run on Spawn. I really enjoyed listening to him talk, and hearing some of his thoughts on comic books.
My favorite line (to someone else at the table),"Are you impressed with my skill?" "Yes." "Then why doesn't it get me laid more?" Pretty close to that anyways.
I do find it interesting that on the sketches that are pencils only the paper looks yellowed. Oh well.
It is just going to be a bunch of random stuff this time.
Lots of sadness: In the past week or so, the dog I left with my parents when I first moved out (no pets in the apartment), Samson passed away. He was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease last November.
My great-aunt Julia passed away on Labor Day, but I didn't find out about the funeral until the night before. Really wished I could have made it. One of my favorite relatives to visit with at family reunions.
Also, my current roommate's father passed away last week, and I was honored to be his pallbearer on Monday.
Auction news: Does anyone want to bid on Jack Ruby's leg shackles? One of the weirdest and creepiest items I have ever seen offered up. I still love Heritage though. If you are ever in Dallas, I would highly recommend trying to get in there and look around. They have some very cool stuff there.
The Rangers: I think the season is pretty much over. They are 6 games back of the Angels for the division and 6 1/2 from Boston for the wild card. They had perhaps their worst series ever at home by only scoring one run in three games against Oakland. Wow, just wow.
I was also pissed about the local media wondering why people weren't going to the games this week. Well, it was after the weekend, it has been raining all week (today is the first time it hasn't rained since last Friday), school has started, uncertainty about ownership and direction, and the Rangers made absolutely no moves to help their team when every other team they are in the race against did. Plus everyone hates the Ranger owner Tom Hicks. Personally for me, I enjoy going to the games, but that drive back is a beating. I hate driving back.
This is Dream Girl of course as drawn by Thom Zahler who does a very neat little comic called Love and Capes. I really like his style, and I don't know if it comes through here, but he did put in some cool silver coloring on the costume. This is also from Wizard World Texas 2007, where I definitely got the most sketches done at one time.
This rounds out the Fatal Five from Wizard World Texas 2007. This was actually done by one of the other Hero Initiative volunteers: Hector Avila. A very cool, menacing Validus. He filled the page up so much part of the left hand side got cut off on the scan.
Well, for the first time sine the early to mid '90s it feels like the Texas Rangers finally have a future to look forward to. Even more so than those teams, this team has more younger players who can hopefully contribute for a longer period of time. Of course it is entirely they will never win anything, but it looks like they will be in the hunt for a little while.
The most electrifying prospect is pitcher Neftali Feliz who has taken the role of a middle reliever right now. His stuff is just awesome right now. He has a nasty slider, and changeup to accompany his 97 mph fastball.I would love to see him become a starter at some point (next season maybe?). Last time he pitched he lowered his ERA to 0.46.
Last night it was great to see Julio Borbon and Elvis Andrus bat 1-2 in the lineup (Andrus was second due to Michael Young's injury), the same slot they batted in last year when both were in AA ball in Frisco. With the continuing maturation of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton it looks like the Rangers are going to have a good young hitting for a while.
The other young pitchers also seem to be adjusting to the major leagues pretty well too. Usually the Rangers call up their young pitchers to replace other injured pitchers, and they usually get shelled a few times. Then we never see them again. This year with Holland, Nippert, and Hunter they don't seem to be afraid of big league hitting. If the workhorse Millwood can remain healthy and if they do move Feliz to the starting rotation I think the Rangers have their starters for next season, and it won't matter if Brandon McCarthy is healthy or not (I am going to bet not though).
So yeah there is some hope for the present and the future
This is of course Tharok. I figured he would be the biggest pain in the butt to draw because of the robotic half of the character. I think the artist, Hal Saville, did a nice job of with it. At Wizard World that year he was really trying to promote his subscription site, the sketches just became part of the promotion.
I haven't done one of these in a while, but then again there really hasn't been any cereal I felt like talking about. Finally I have tried a new cereal, Active Lifestyle which is Kroger's version of Special K. Now I know Special K (and by default Active Lifestyle) is marketed for women, but taste is taste and Active Lifestyle tastes pretty damn good. For a flake style cereal it holds up pretty well in the milk, and doesn't get mushy too fast. If you like Special K, you will probably like this one too.
So, last Friday afternoon I am at home from work noodling around in City of Heroes and drinking a beer. There is a knock at the door, and it is my neighbor. She asks if I will be around for a little while, and I tell her I should be. See, she sold her couch, chair, and ottoman to some dude, and wants some help moving it. It took all of my willpower to not just respond,"Well I guess he should have brought more people." Instead, "Sure."
Later she calls me, and I go out to help. who did the guy bring? Some, how to put this delicately, older gentleman (late 50s probably). Naturally, the couch is upstairs. By the way the it is a couch with a hide-a-bed so it is one heavy sucker. We do everything we can to lighten the load, and my neighbor goes to her neighbor on the other side to bring him in.
We finally get the couch moved to the stairs, and it is hot upstairs. When we tilt the couch to go down the stairs the bed falls out. We get some wire to tie the bed down. I don't know what the AC is set at, 85 maybe, it is scorching up there. The other neighbor, Hasshan, I feel real bad for him. He is wearing black slack, a long sleeve black dress shirt and a tie. He was at home for lunch from work. After much finagling, since couches never go down stairs easily, we get the damn thing down. I am exhausted, and so is Hasshan who needs to get back to work. Everyone else is nice and gets out fo our way so we can carry the couch by ourselves out to the dudes truck. Now I am getting pissed and we do little more than drag it across the yard.
Here is the kicker: The guy buying the couch? Didn't help at ALL! He just stood outside talking to my neighbor the entire time. Oh man was I mad. We are moving furniture he bought, and this sorry motherfucker doesn't even help! All he did was help load into his truck at the very end when Hasshan left to go back to work. It wasn't like he couldn't help, he was this real cut dude too. Looks like he works out all the time. What a jerk
Well, last night I went to my first Texas Rangers game in years. Last night was a reminder of why I should go more often. The Ballpark in Arlington, even with that horrible name, is a really great looking park. The weather was absolutely fantastic, it was in the upper 70s by the time of the first pitch because it had been raining all day. Welcome relief from the usual 100 degree weather we have been having. The weather cooperated for the game as well. It started raining a bit in the 8th inning, but held off enough to finish the game (around 2 1/2 hours).
The seats we had were on the home run porch in the all you can eat section. I won't break down what I ate, but they damn near rolled me home. Not surprisingly the crowd was sparse at the game. Weeknight, rainy (could have been rained out), playing the Tigers. Not a recipe to bring them in.
My observation watching the Ranger pitcher, Tommy Hunter, during the first three innings: They either hit the ball to the wall, or it doesn't leave the infield. The game got off to a rough start when Curtis Granderson hit a home run on the second pitch of the game. The Rangers tied it up in the 5th, and put the game away in the 6th. The game was also a reminder of how Michael Young is the most under appreciated athlete in the Dallas area. He went 3-4 last night with an RBI to raise his average to .322. He is just Steady Eddy though. Every year he averages .300 with 200 hits. Always a good, but not flashy fielder. He has moved from second the short, and now short to third effortlessly.
All in all I really enjoyed myself even if I did eat a bit too much.
I heard of this car chase on the radio, and kind of paid attention when I actually knew where the chase was taking place. I later found out it ended right in the neighborhood I grew up in. When I finally watched it I was like, "Hey I went to that day care! There's Dairy Queen." CRASH!!!! The bad guy was hurt pretty bad, the truck driver seems to be okay. The bad news for him is that was his second accident in two days.
Moving in stereo:In other news. My old stereo has been broken for years. The only reason I haven't chunked it yet is that it has 6 CDs in it. I was debating to either get it fixed or just rebuy the CDs. The first few I looked at I could get real cheap, one I found for a penny. Then came the doozy. One of the CDs I could not find for less than $35.00 (as high as $60.00). Apparently it has become a collector's item. I am gonna try and see if I can get the damn things out myself.
As mentioned previously, at Wizard World Texas 2007 my goal was to get the Fatal Five done. This time we get the Emerald Empress drawn by Brent Schoonover (who did the art on my buddy, David Hopkins' comic Astronaut Dad. This con was the first one were I saw the artists taking using digital cameras to take pics of all of the sketched they did. As one guy told me at the time: "I am getting more done this weekend than I do in a normal month."
This month marks the 20th year anniversary of my introduction to the world of the BBS. For those of you not in the know, back before the internet burst on the scene there were these things calls BBSs (bulletin board system), and they were run by the system operator (Sysop). Basically, the sysop would have a dedicated phone line and run the BBS software on his computer, and people would use their modems to dial in. Once on, it was basically like a message board that one person at a time could read (unless it was one of the BBS’s with multiple lines). Some of them also had games you could play. I also played in a lot of RPGs on them. People would run AD&D adventures and such. Like the internet now, a lot of time wasters.
The reason BBSs mean so much to me is that through them I formed my best, most long lasting friendships. I even ran my own board for a few years: Schizophrenic’s Paradise which was mainly for me and my friends to play games like Global Wars (a Risk rip-off), and keep in touch with the ones who had gone off to college in Austin.
I wanted to give some shout-outs to some of my old friends from back in the day. Those that I can remember anyways.
The ones I still know: Galth Ractus – My brother! Eric the Red – Keep on keepin’ on Avshar – We work together, so of course I see him a ton. Lancer – Good to hear from you again, man. Craven Raven – Good to see you again. Vector – Congrats! Larry – Sorry dude, I can’t remember what name you used.
The Rest: Erik the Blue – It was great hanging out at your apartment. Especially, for a teenage punk like I was Grandmaster – I loved playing the RPGs on Runestone. Horseman – Hope you are doing well, Jason Enchantress Thunderkorr – What up, Chad Quasar Pendragon – The last Eric. Bullwinkle King Arthur Crayon Black Dragon Akasha Slice of Australia – One of the funniest people, ever. A master of ANSI animation. You were on of the best, Daniel Satin Knight Scooter Rider Pern couple – I remember their board, but not the names they went by. Headhunter The Flying Chicken – Wrote some of the best mods for the WWIV software, and then just disappeared. Bluenose – I always like you and your old man. Fox Fire – Probably the only person funnier than Slice of Australia Tauran Knight – Is KCE still around? I bought my 28.8 modem from him, when that was top of the line. Old Goat – It was fun playing tennis. Vernor Fido Dido – Tamara, you really put me in a pickle that one time. Outside of that you were a pretty cool chick. Freddy Krueger – The one Fido Dido got me in trouble with, kinda. We ironed everything out. Zed Le Elf – Ron, sure had fun hanging out those too few times. Yasmin Stargazer – I truly hope you found some peace in your life.
I am certain I forgot a ton of people, but it had been a long time. Thanks to everyone for all of the good times! Catch all of ya’ll on the flipside.
Stormy Weather: Last night and most of today we have been having some hellacious weather. Tornado sirens going off early. Me and my roommate thought we saw a fire starting from some lightning, when we drove over there we discovered it wasn't. It was just a few optical illusions fooling us. On the drive back to the house the rain was so bad you couldn't see more than maybe 10 feet in front of you. This morning we had rolling thunder for about three hours. I love the sound of rolling thunder. It cleared up for about an hour or two, but have since had more storms come through. Wow it was awesome.
The picture to the right is by Justin Terveen who took it yesterday.
Creee-peeee: So, Friday night I am at Kotta Sushi drinking a beer at the bar. At one point this couple gets there and we chat for a bit. After a while the dude's wife leaves to go to the restroom, and this happens. "Yeah, we just got married in May," the dude. "Congratulations," I reply. "Hey, when my wife comes back, tell her how gorgeous she looks." "Uh, that's okay. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that." "No, no. It's fine," he says. "No, no. It isn't." It was just so weird, and creepy having some guy I just met telling me to tell his wife how good looking she is. Especially someone who is a newlywed. Ew.
Well, excuse me: One thing that bothers me the most is when customers who owe the company I work for get mad. Well, this morning I one of those customers called me directly and irate that I had told one of his employees they were on credit hold. All I told him in response was, "What am I supposed to tell them, then?" That seemed to piss him off even more, he said I had a bad attitude and wated to talk to my boss. When I told him that my boss would call him back in a few minutes he complains again, and again I told him, "What should I tell them?" The he said I had a real non-chalant attitude. I said the same thing again, but I wanted to say,"Well, this attitude is a defensive mechanism to keep me from telling you, To go fuck yourself." Which, it really, really is. I have been known to go off on customers before, so I was trying ahrd to keep myself in check. My boss did smooth things over later, of course everyone's opinion here is if he paid in a timely matter it wouldn't ever have to come up.
Last Friday I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Dallas, and that is Sushi Yama. Itis only the second time I have been there in about 2 1/2 years. Their sushi is only average, were they really shine is on the rest of the Japanese cuisine. I don't think there is another Japanese joint out there does it better in terms of taste and price.
For this first time in a long time I are katsu curry, and age dashi tofu. As I looked at the menu I was really wanting some omu rice, nabeyaki udon, and so many others. I have really missed that place. After revisting it, I will really try to get out there more often.
It was also my first time to eat in Dallas since they city government implemented the smoking ban in all bars. Sushi Yama is next to two bars. As a non-smoker what bothers me more? Having to walk through the throng of all of the smokers outside lighting up, or not going inside the smoked filled bar to begin with?
I also enjoyed that two spots over from my car there were three dudes playing dice on the parking lot.
Memorial Day Weekend I was house sitting for my dad again as he and Jenny went on vacation. It made for one the most boring Memorial Day weekends of all-time. My dad does not have cable or anything like that, so it is just over the air TV, but it is in HD so that is a bonus. I also brought my computer over, so I could have its full capabilities (including gaming) while I was there.
While there I did discover a new channel in the area. Channel 31, I never knew it existed until then. I did enjoy the HD channel of 31-3 which is Cool TV. Which shows some music videos and a lot of songs from concert DVDs pretty cool for the most part. They haven't gotten all of the kinks worked out yet as some videos are on for maybe 30 seconds before it just stops and goes to another video. A nice changeup and some relief from the boredom.
I did have desperation TV early Monday afternoon, and watched some Maury. I really enjoy the scrapping of the bottom of the barrel with all of the paternity tests that were going on. Totally trashy television.
In other news, I was saddened Monday to learn of the death of Jay Bennett. The tremendously talented multi-instrumentalist formerly of Wilco. Arguably the force that steered Wilco from being Uncle Tupelo Jr to finding their own voice and musical direction and becoming one of the best bands in the past 10+ years. Lucas Hilbert has a very nice post over here. 45 is just way too young.
Part 1, or why I love the internet: In the past year or so I have been reunited with about 4 friends of mine through the internet. 3 of them used to be in my regular role-playing group, and another was a guy I used to work with. It has been really cool chatting with these guys again.
At least two of them have found me over at Captain Comics, which is the message board where I use my real full name. The original reason I used my real name there I have always said, was because if I lambasted someone's work, I at least wanted to have the balls to use my real name, and not hid behind an alias. The secondary effect is that it has allowed friends of mine to find me online. So cheers to "teh internetz"
Part 2: Two Saturdays ago, one of my good friends, also my old roommate had his wedding reception (about 5 months after he eloped). This were I got to see two of the guys from above show up, and a few other friends of mine. Some of these guys I haven't seen in 10 or more years. Most of them it had been 3 years or more since I had seen them. It was fun just to socialize with all of them again, no matter how briefly it was.
Some didn't look like they had changed at all, others had changed...a lot. A real nice evening.
This is Dawnstar of course, as illustrated by Kristian Donaldson, perhaps best know for his work on the Brian Woods' series Supermarket. I dig this one a lot, and Kristian is a really nice guy. He is almost the personification of the typical artist though.
Over at Rob's blog, he did a post on who he gives a free pass to. Those who could piss in his soup, and he would have seconds from, or something like that,. Actually, it is people who have entertained you so much, they get a pass on their lesser works. Here are mine:
Quentin Tarantino: I loved Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, so much I will pretty much watch anything he does. I even watched the episode of All-American Girl he guest starred in.
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant: Simply for their previous work in Led Zeppelin. I liked the Coverdale/Page album, and when Jimmy Page was playing with the Black Crowes. Also, Plant's CD with Allison Krauss was great. John Paul Jones gets a lot less press (or none at all), but if I knew what he was up to I would check that out as well.
Geoff Johns: I don't think anyone does pure superhero fare better than Johns right now. I wanted to hate his run on Flash, and I loved it. I went into Green Lantern: Rebirth with great skepticism and he won me over. His run on the two Justice Society of America series' is some of the best comics of the past decade. All of that is so great I can forgive his Avengers.
Ed Brubaker: At one point he was writing my enitre pull list from Marvel: Captain America, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Criminal. Only his leaving Iron Fist changed that.
Today we get a surprise guest. I didn't know Cocoa Puffs Combo existed until I opened up the box, and thought to myself, "What the hell are these white things in here?" Apparently, these are vanilla flavored puffs. My one worry was that one of the flavors would overpower the flavor of the other. No worries here as they are really well balanced. It is nice for a change of pace cereal. Although normal Cocoa Puffs is a change of pace cereal for me since I hardly ever buy it.
It doesn't kill you on the calories either at 150 a serving. Which is less than a lot of the "healthy" cereals. It just doesn't have as many of the vitamins you are looking for, but hell take a multi-vitamin and you will be fine I would think. Don't ask me though, I'm eating Cocoa Puffs Combos.
Last week, the Rangers and their fans got to see pitcher Derek Holland enter the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The next day I was listening to the local sports radio station. Holy cow, they damn near put him in the hall of fame.
What one show host said, "I have not felt this good about a Ranger pitcher in years. " Holland's line for the night:
IP: 2 1/3 H: 3 R: 0 ER: 0 BB: 0 SO: 2 ERA: 0.00
A nice outing I reckon. Another host said of Holland,"He should be inserted in the starting rotation immediately!" Wow, seems to be jumping the gun a but there. Well let's check out Derek Holland's stats for the season:
IP: 2 1/3 H: 3 R: 0 ER: 0 BB: 0 SO: 2 ERA: 0.00
Hmmm, well, okay. I don't think I want to stick someone in the starting rotation who has only pitched once this season. Lets get him some more outings. Finally, another host said this, "Derek Holland will be the number 2 pitcher in the rotation by the end of season." Incredible, well maybe he has done a lot in his major league career. I wonder what his major league stats are:
IP: 2 1/3 H: 3 R: 0 ER: 0 BB: 0 SO: 2 ERA: 0.00
Okay, stop just stop. It was his first ever major league appearance. Come on, please. Give him a few more outings.
Another fun thing that happened at that game was the new Ranger pitcher Darren O'Day made into the game. The Rangers had just signed him off of waivers from the Mets. He was entering his cab from the airport when the Rangers tied the game up in the 9th. He entered the game, but they didn't have a jersey for him, so he had to wear Kason Gabbard's old uni. How bush league!
Friday, 2B Ian Kinsler was on the radio and they were asking him about O'Day's coming into the game. He said Vernon Wells looked into the bullpen and aksed him who the sidearm pitcher was, and he replied he didn't have any idea. When he did enter the game, the team came out to the mound and shook his hand. The catcher had to ask him what kind of pitches he threw. Pretty funny I thought.
So, what does it take to get me to watch the Master's Sunday?
Be at my dad's house
Being there he has no cable or satellite.
The only other real choice was the Cavalier-Celtic basketball game, and the Cavs were beating brains in o the Celtics by 30 points.
Outside of actually watching golf not much else happened on Easter. I switched Good Friday off for Monday at my boss' request, and I always say yes. The reason is if it is even remotely slow on Friday I am going to go home early anyways. It was, and I did.
Every time I have a day off like Monday I make all of these plans in my head of what I am going to do. As usual I did nothing. I barely even left the house.
This time I go back and try what I have always considered the red-headed stepchild of the Chex line. Growing up this was my absolute least favorite of the cereals. I would finally eat this after I had burned through the corn and rice flavors. I recently went back and revisited this most despised of flavors.
After eating a box of this. I have to rethink everything. This is actually a pretty tasty cereal. The wheat flavor really distinguishes itself from all of the corn and rice cereal you normally get. Like the rest of the Chex line it stays pretty crunchy in the milk. I may not put it ahead of the other Chex cereal, but it has definetely closed the gap.
Nutritionally it is pretty good compared to rest of the brand. One serving will give you 40 more calories than corn or rice, BUT it the wheat gives you 80% of iron and 100% of the folic whereas you get 50% of both from rice and corn. The one that is a slightly better nutritional value is Mulit-Bran Chex which I have never seen at any of my local grocery stores.
I am going to surprise myself and give this cereal 4 out of5 bowls. I really dig it.
This is Bouncing Boy of course. This one was drawn by Jake Ewing who runs the comic shop I go to, Awesome Comics. This was done at a con, and Jake was getting pretty bored there selling his own self-published comics. This is one of those sketches you get when someone is bored. Hat-Trick is me, and I did bring a bottle of Crown Royal up there. The Crown helped with some of the boredom as well.
A couple of thoughts while watching the NCAA tournament:
Who does Dick Enberg think he is fooling? He was completely grey in the '80s, and now he has brownish color hair.
Something I heard on the radio before the Michigan State-Louisville game, "You guys are in for a treat today, because you won't see more animated coaches on the sidelines than Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino." The day I watch any sporting event to see the coaches on the sideline is the day I give you permission to put me out of my misery.
Am I the only person who roots for Xavier, because it reminds me of the X-Men?
I did absolutely no research on my brackets this year, picked only the higher seeds, and I am currently in third.
In other "sporting" news: I qualified for the PGA tour in Tiger Woods Golf. Wait, what?
The car: I am still having problems with my car, and I am getting so frustrated. I won't go into the long boring details, but it is really killing me. I am happy that Goodyear hasn't charged me a dime for the last three times I have taken it in.
This would be Star Boy of course. This one rendered by one of the nicest guys I have met in comics: Tone Rodriguez. Something I will miss the most about the cancellation of Wizard World Texas is talking to Tone every year. He is just a fun guy to chat up. Anyways, I think this is just a great looking sketch.
Another new cereal in the Special K line, and this one gets it right. I am not a huge pecan fan, but in this cereal it works great. The nuttiness and the cinnamon really compliment each other well. It really does taste great. Whatever problems I had with the blueberry flavor, I have none of those here. Like the weird textures the blueberry flakes had.
Nutritionally it is comparable to all of the other flavors. I really liked this one 4 1/2 bowls out of 5
Is it possible to fall in love with a food? I just may have. About a month ago one a whim I bought a jar of jalapeno stuffed olives by Mezzetta. Oh. My. Goodness. These are just so awesome, I think I peed myself a little. They do have some heat to them obviously, but you get that balanced with the brininess of the pickling with olive. Hot? Yes. Too hot? Maybe for some, but not for me. When I make a salad these days, I put three olives only on it. Two reasons why, I don't want to burn myself out on them, and they are like 6 bucks a jar at the grocery store. Yikes. If you like spicy food, highly recommended.
Another note, on the car I got. The service engine soon light came on, and I took it to get fixed. The friend I bought it from offered to split the bill with me. "I never would have sold it to you if I had known there was a problem." I've known the guy almost 20 years, so I trust him. Imagine my dismay though when two days later the light comes on again. I wasn't really mad, just frustrated. My friend was mad though.
I took it back to the shop, AND the mechanic actually admitted he made a mistake. There was a small hose he didn't secure properly when he fixed it, and it got a hole. He fixed it up for free, and I should be good to go now.
It is Invisible Kid by John Lucas. I first remember his art when he did a Desperadoes one-shot way back when. This was sketch was done at Wizard World Texas in either 2003 or 2004. My guess is 2003, as I don't think I had any done in 2004. I do remember I was late getting back to the Hero Initiative booth (still ACTOR at that time though). This Invisible Kid looks like he can take a punch though, what a jaw!
Well today is St. Patrick's day. Another holiday that seems to be an excuse for everybody to go out and get wasted. I never need a special occasion, so I don't usually celebrate this one. Plus, I am more "responsible" now, and I really enjoy going to work not hung over. The beer I do have at my house doesn't seem to really get into the spirit of the holiday. Is Dos Equis an Irish beer?
Why do you get pinched for not wearing green today?
I was listening to the radio this morning and they were at an Irish restaurant, Black Finn, and the were serving Kegs and Eggs beginning at 8AM.
Lame joke for the day: What do you call a diseased Irishman who goes to jail? A leper-con!
Finally, in honor of the day I decided knock out some of Ulysses. Right, Rob? Rob?
This is Chameleon Boy done by Josh Blaylock. Best known now as the guy who runs Devil's Due Publishing. At one time though he actually had time to produce some art. I think the smirk is what really sells this one.
Okay, so about 2 weeks ago or so a friend of mine asks me if I would be interested in buying his Pathfinder. I was kind of interested, but I knew the cost would be pretty high as it is only 2 years old, and its gas mileage would be about the same or worse than my little truck. Well, two days later I get a text from my old roommate if I would want to buy his old car. What are the chances of two people asking me to buy their vehicle two days apart? Pretty damn slim I imagine. My old roommate's care is seven years newer than my truck, so I worked out a deal for it. Friday night I am at my Dad's house telling him about how weird it was being offered two cars two days apart. He tells me,"I was going to call you to see if you wanted to buy your mom's old car." Apparently the guy who "bought" it hasn't made a payment since December, so my dad was going repossess it. Seriously, three cars out there in the span of 2 weeks?
I recently started reading a book called, Acrobat by Gonzalo Lira. I'm not too far into it yet, but something is already bothering me: the names. Too many of the names sound fake to me, like they are made up names. Now you usually have a couple of unusual names when you read a book, but this has too many already and I'm barely 40 pages in.
Some of them so far: Duncan Idaho - ugh. Sounds like the name of a drive time DJ. Ljubica Greene - pronounced You-vit-za. The book tells us so. Monika Summers - If this was a movie it wouldn't bother me, but this is the printed page and Monika is spelled with a "k" and that bothers me Nicholas Denton - Nicholas Dent would have been perfect. Nicholas Denton sounds fake. Amalia Christopher Farnham Roy Livre Bart Michaelus
After a long string of excellent books, I guess a clunker is expected.
I don't believe it! After they not only lost all of that money in the first place. They then piss away all of the money they already recieved from the government. Now they have the balls to go back looking for more, and the government gives it to them. It really makes me want to vomit. I have something I want to say that words simply can't convey.
Welcome back! Let's take a look at this installment's sketch:
White Witch obviously lends herself to a black and white drawing. This was done by Chris Medellin who some may remember for the Batman vs. Predator sketch. When I last talked to Chris (last year), he said he is getting more response for his writing than his art. The fact he is getting any kind of positive response is great. I don't know what spell she is about to cast, but she looks pretty serious about it.
Good ol' Chlorophyll Kid, one of the Subs. Unfortunately, I can't remember who did this (notice he signed his initials in Interlac). His name is either Mike or Micah, and he is usually at the local comic shows doing caricatures. He also used to draw the comic strip at the college I went to. As you can tell he was really into it, really fun.
I was messing with my computer on Sunday updating some drivers, and had my motherboard box out on my bed. My roommate walks by and asks if I got a new motherboard.
"No," I explain,"I keep all of the software and manuals for all of my hardware in that box. That way whenever I have to reinstall Windows, or mess around with my computer I have everything I need in one place."
"That is such a good idea. I never would have though of it," he replies
"Wait, are you being serious or sarcastic?"
"Serious, I am always scrambling around looking for my software. That is genius."
This piece was done by Cal Slayton, who I always thought had a very good cartoony style. I always thought he would be perfect on an all-ages comic, his style would be perfect. I remember that he was really impressed with getting the Kirby-dots on this.
As you can see it is hard for me to get a good scan, on the scanner because of the spine. I'm gonna have to do something about that. What I just don't know.
Last week I called a friend/ex-coworker who I have not talked to in pretty much exactly one year.
I give him a call on his cell phone number, and "This is Todd blah blah of the IRS." Me,"Uh, what?" "This is the Internal Revenue Service" "Uh, well then I definitely have the wrong number." Click.
I finally track my friend down at his current job (thank goodness I remember where he works), and we agree to meet Saturday. He says he will call me between 8 and 8:30AM to firm up a time. Saturday morning passes, and nothing. Never calls, I finally give him a ring that afternoon, and still no answer, but I leave a message. Sunday, still nothing, and I leave another message. Monday morning still nothing. I was actually getting kind of worried, 2 1/2 days and now word. He finally called me Monday afternoon, "Oh sorry I was out of town." That was it.
This time I revisit an old favorite: Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch. It has probably been about 10 years since I last had this cereal, and I loved it then. I have just neglected the whole line this past decade. Well I had a coupon and they were on sale: sold! I crack open the box and it smells like I remember it. I pour myself a bowl and bite into it. Hmmm, something seems off. What is it? Not much of a peanut butter taste. I remember it having a much stonger taste before. I was really disappointed in this cereal. Doens't taste as good, and doesn't seem as crunchy as before. Which sucks for a Cap'n Crunch cereal.
Nutritionally? Well it is a kid's cereal so don't expect much. Except I compared it to some other cereals I had around. Even the adult, healthy variety. Cap'n Crunch stacked up pretty well. In most cases had less calories (although more from fat), and was equal in some of the vitamins and minerals. A few it completely fails at though. That was surprsing to me.
Still a disappointing experience, and maybe it is from nostalgia I can only give it 2 out of 5 bowls. For those of you who really want to try it, and can't find it, you can buy it here on eBay. I guess people do sale everything there.
This sketch was done by Mark Murphy. I dunno why I picked Laurel kent for this one, I've always liked her "uniform" though which is nothing more that really Superman's cape covering up most of her body. Too bad she was killed off when DC tried to shoehorn the Legion in the Invasion! mini-series.
On the other hand if you didn't read Mark Murphy's Tiki Joe Mysteries last year you did yourself a great disservice. It is such a great visual to see meen in suits wearing tiki masks. Check it out!
For the two people who read this blog. I have another blog that has a lot less text. It is a Tumblr blog. I hope to do different articles? posts? something there than I do here. Whatever the hell it is that I do here.
Let's jump right in today. Kellogg's has rolled out a bunch of new flavors for Special K lately, and the newest seems to be Blueberry flavor. I love berries: blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries, frankenberries. They are all great. I like Special K, even if the texture has always been a little weird to me. This is a completely average cereal though. Nothing really bad, and nothing really great. The blueberry flavor is not little dried pieces of blueberry like you would normally get, but blueberry flakes instead.
Nutritionally it looks like all of the varieties are pretty much the same.
1. I was an altar boy. 2. I am a very competitive person. I just hide it really well when I lose. 3. I've had the hands of a sixty year old since I was in kindergarten. 4. I love to dive around and listen to music. That was almost half the fun I had when I would drive to visit my family in Iowa. Stop for gas and switch out the CDs in my player. 5. I was the first person I knew with internet access. 6. Around 2002 I went through a green phase. I wore green almost everyday, and I would only write in green ink. It was pointed out to me before I ever noticed I was doing it. 7. I haven't eaten fried chicken since summer of 2001 . 8. One of the best compliments I ever got was when a friend of mine told me that if he ever got on Who Wants be a Millionaire? I would be his phone-a-friend. 9. I am fascinated how people get into their careers as I have never known what I wanted to do. 10. That being said I have enjoyed every job I have had. 11. I lived with my uncle most of one summer and worked on his farm. 12. There is an old saying, "Never trust some one who has never spent a night in jail." You can trust me. 13. I never minded mowing the lawn. 14. I once drove 4 hours with a 105 temperature, and then had to be taken to the emergency room when I got to my destination. 15. In my senior year of high school I helped my Computer Science teacher from my junior year teach her first period class. 16. I once beat a friend of mine 23 games in a row in one on one basketball. 17. I didn't realize how fast I had grown, until one day I looked straight down and got dizzy. It looked so high up. 18. I credit my dad with my desire to try new things and my sense of humor. 19. I credit my mom with my love of cooking and reading. 20. I share my birthday with a grandmother and my friend John. 21. I liked hunting and fishing, but I quit both once I had to start paying for the licenses. 22. It has been over 3 months since I got my haircut. 23. In that vein I didn't need to start shaving regularly until my 30s 24. I have never tried a cigarette even once. 25. It is so hard for me to explain what I will and will not eat onions in, and if they have to be cooked or not in a dish it is just easier for me to say I don't like 'em. For the record though if I will eat them 99% of the time they need to be cooked.
This is Mon-El by Kerry Gammill. I have always loved his comic book work it is just a classic work. He draws one of the best Superman as far as I am concerned. This picture of Mon-El looks regal to me. This is my friend Eric's favorite sketch I believe.
This past weekend was a perfect storm of a good time. It didn't start out that way though. Friday at about noon I left work early as I was feeling nauseous and was running a fever. I was hungry, but everything I even thought about eating made me feel like I was going to throw-up. By about 4 though I was feeling fine.
Late Saturday morning I played my regular City of Heroes game with my brother and friends. Then I got the call to play poker Saturday night. Of course I went. I brought the beer, and my friend Stephanie made some pho. Nicole baked cookies. A nice pre-Chinese New Year's celebration. One guy went to a party, came and played poker for a while, and then went back to his party (I think the girls finally showed up). After we got done I spent the night there.
Why? Because the next day I was going to the Dallas Comic-con. My friend's house was closer to the con than my place. I also got to play with their son for a couple of hours before I left, which was fun.
Going one day was fine with me. I didn't bring my camera (or I did but no batteries), but I did meet the likes of Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, and Herb Trimpe. Which was cool. I talked to some dealers and local creators I know. The top topic being the cancellation of Wizard World Texas. (Slight tangent one day pass to Dallas Comic-con: $10.00 Wizard World Texas: $28.00. Are you kidding me!?) I bought a slew of Weird War Tales, a bunch of half-price trades, other various odds and ends of comics. It was fun, and three hours there was a perfect amount of time to be there. No sketches this time though.
As some of you know I house sit for my friends and family usually a few times a year. I have been at my old roommates for about a week now. (Brief tangent: no cereal review as I am not home with my info, you guys are so sad I know). He went to Flagstaff, AZ and I asked why. "Well, as you know me and Mandy have been talking about moving there for a long time now." No. No I did not know that. Friday night I am sitting there and I get text message. They got married. It was quite a shock, right out of left field. The more I thought about it, though, the more it perfectly fit my friend. It was so him.
I gave gave him a hearty "congratulations", and went back to watching TV
Last year Kellogg's deigned it necessary to unleash a new flavor of Frosted Flakes upon the public. That is the new Frosted Flakes Gold. I will put it bluntly this cereal sucks. It isn't just crunchy it tastes kind of hard and stale right out of the box probably from baking the honey on. The honey flavor doesn't work either. The whole thing just seems off to me. Same calories and nutritional value as regular Frosted Flakes, but it comes with a much worse flavor.
Also I don't know were they get this "long-lasting energy" crap from. Long lasting? How long? What are we comparing its lasting effects to?
Save your money on this one kids 1/2 bowl out of 5
I really don't know what to say. It is times like these that really make you examine your life. If I had known about this sooner, I would have given Zima a proper send off. I would have bought a six pack, opened it up, and poured that crap right down the drain before some unlucky soul had had the misfortune of buying it.
In work news: Friday I was the first person to work, and the last one to leave. I left 2 hours early. This is the slow time of year.
That would be Quislet by Scott Kurtz of PvP fame. This was from the same con as the Night Girl sketch. I remember when Mr. Kurtz was done he was most impressed with himself by adding the Kirby-dots coming out of that tail. A nifty little sketch.
I want to kick of this new year off right! This time we grab a bowl of Fruity Cheerios. In this consumer's opinion one of the best new cereals to come out in years. They are basically Froot Loops for adults. I personally like them better than Froot Loops. It isn't nearly as sweet, and has a fruitier flavor. They also stay crunchier in milk than Froot Loops. I buy a box of this cereal pretty much every time I go cereal shopping.
Nutritionally, it is comparable to the other cereals in the line for the most part. It has 25% more calories than regular Cheerios and 20% more than the Multi-grain flavor. It has the same or less than the rest. It is pretty close to the whole line when it comes to your vitamins and minerals, except for the Multi-grain variety. Yet, that one kicks all of their butts by having 100% in a bunch of categories.
I give this cereal 5 out of 5 bowls. A gold star. A blue ribbon. Whatever, this cereal rules.