Thursday, December 30, 2010

Strapping on the feedbag.

Under No Management: We've had a a few local restaurants close down. The first was the closest Jack In the Box which I was kind of shocked closed. I figured if it would close it would have been 2 years ago during all of the construction going on. It made it nearly impossible to get there, once that was done I figured it would be okay. Nope, it was all boarded up.

Next, one we lost was Lenny's Sub Shop. I didn't go there a whole lot, but I did like their version of the philly cheesesteak, as they had this really good spicy relish they put on it. This place actually lasted longer than I thought it would, because it was never busy there.

Finally, Andrea's Pizza closed. This one hurts the most. It was a local mom and pop place and when I did get a pizza it was usually theirs. They had such an awesome thick crust pizza that was just a little sweet. Definitely not the cardboard variety. It was really good pizza at a decent price. Plus, I hate to see little local shops like this close to the chains.

Christmas eating: A little Christmas info. Here is what my step-mom made for three people:
  1. a nearly 12lb turkey
  2. mashed potatoes
  3. stuffing
  4. gravy
  5. green beans
  6. carrots (did I mention this was for three people?)
  7. creamed peas
  8. 2(!) Jello Salads - which I don't usually eat. Nor did I this time.
  9. plus for dessert, also for three people. Cheesecake with strawberry sauce
  10. Bread Pudding
  11. Pumpkin Pie
There was so much food, my step mom bought some containers just for me to take leftovers home. Plus, I took a whole pumpkin pie.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Milling About

Saturday, my friend Jake had his annual party at his house. Jake is the guy who runs the comic book shop I go to, and we get along great. It is one of the few parties that I am guaranteed to get wasted at, as Jake and his girlfriend are kind enough to let me sleep over. Anyways, pretty much the who point of this post was watching this one guy hit on this one girl, and the crap he was saying.

He was saying stuff like this:
"That movie had some of the best cinematography I have ever seen."
"My favorite composer is doing the score of that movie."
"I like that scarf on you, it makes you look like an aviator."

I just wanted to jump up and tell him, "Dude, you are so full of sh*t!" I didn't though. I held my tongue. I was pretty proud of myself. A few years ago I probably would have ripped him.

Other highlights:
A dude picking up an acoustic guitar and doing a very neat version of Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again". I thought it was funny.
Talking to a kid who used to play college football at Utah State. He quit fairly early, because even at rinky-dink Utah State it was "no longer a game. It was a career."

The absolute lowlight was when I finally left Sunday morning. Apparently it was the day of the White Rock Lake marathon. I drove around for 45 minutes before I finally found a way out, and escaped. I tried north first, and then west. I knew east would be no good as that was the direction of White Rock Lake. I finally got headed south, and kept going south, while constantly looking to the west, and seeing I was still hemmed in. I finally made it to a highway and got home. It was not a fun drive. A fun night though.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Right Decision

Pretty much all season long, and especially since Wade Phillips has been fired the talk around DFW is not if, or when, but which Super Bowl winning coach should the Cowboys hire to replace him. Sure Jason Garrett won his first game, but nothign would make the populace happier than getting John Gruden or Bill Cowher. Maybe even Brian Billick. It is something I've been thinking about as well. The question is, is it worth it?

The short is answer in the history of the NFL (Super Bowl era at least) is no.

We can delve into the longer answer. Basically only Bill Parcells and Mike Holmgren really got close. Winning one with one team, and they both took another team to championship. Two others lost the big game, and then went on to win (Dick Vermeil, and Don Shula). Vince Lombardi won at Green Bay and never did much with the Redskins. Hank Stram won at Kansas City and then only posted 7 wins as the head coach at New Orleans. So basically just don't go too crazy about signing that big name coach with a Super Bowl win under his belt. It hasn't worked yet, but then again maybe they are due.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

World Series...who? Me?

Well boys and girls I actually got to go see Game 5 of the World Series on Monday. How did I get to go? Well, back during Game 1 me and some buddies were watching the game, and the they asked me then if I wanted go in with some tickets with them. I had just gotten four new tires, an alignment, and brake pads installed on my car, so spending almost $500 for a World Series ticket wasn't in the cards for me. I regretfully declined. Monday rolls around and my boss, who had bought a ticket wasn't feeling well. About 1:30-2:00 in the afternoon he just asks,"If I don't go to the game, do you want my ticket? It's already paid for." Of course I would, so that is how I got to go. Or as I said at the time, "I just fell ass backwards into a ticket."

The actual game? I don't know what I can really say about it. It was an awesome experience. Charlie Pride sang the national anthem, with fireworks and a fly over. I don't care how old you are, the fly over is cool. Another really neat thing was having the the upper part of the stadium chant "Texas!" and the bottom part "Rangers!" and it sounded great in the stadium, and people have told me it sounded like an international soccer game on the TV.

Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum both pitched great games. Lee had one bad inning, and according to Benjie Molina it was because Lee didn't want to pitch around Renteria to get to Rowand who could barely get on the field. Lincecum was just phenomenal. One of my friends just looked at me as the Rangers went down in short order, and I said,"Yeah, Lincecum is still good."

I had a whole slew of Giants' fans in front and to the right of me. They weren't annoying or anything, and were pretty cool. One even shook my hand and wished me good luck during the ninth. The Rangers lost of course, and the fans around me all just got in a group hug and jumped up and down. In the end it was a great season, and the Rangers overachieved this season. I do realize it is possible this was a once in a lifetime possibility, so I just wanted to enjoy the moment. There are no guarantees in sports, and especially baseball. The Rangers may never get back in my lifetime, and I am so glad I got to go.

P.S. I am now 0-3 at post-season games.

P.P.S. A picture from my other blog where you can see me at the game. That blog gets updated more often as it is less text intensive.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Concert 2 and 3?

Just a few short days after the Sharon Jones concert I went to another concert. This time it was with a group of about 10 people, a much bigger venue (the Superpages center by Fair Park), and a much more well known act: Rush. My biggest complaint it just that we were really far away, but then again closer tickets would have cost an arm and a leg.

The concert was basically broken up into three parts, and had video interludes through out. The first part was just an opening set with song from the past, some newer stuff, and a song or two from an upcoming album. The second part was the main reason I was there. They did the entire Moving Pictures album, and that was awesome. Song which include Tom Sawyer, Limelight, and YYZ. I loved it, it was great. The third part started off with Neal Peart's drum solo. That was worth the price of admission alone. It too was broken into three parts: a rock solo, then he played on an electronic drum set that was programmed with different sound effects and such, and the final part was a jazz solo. They also played the song 2112 in it entirety, all 20+ minutes.

Then I started running out of steam on the guys. They played quite a bit more after that, and it was over 3 hours or so. That is more than I can really take of any one band. I had had a enough really. Last thing on the concert: musically the guys sounded great and I really liked it, the problem was that Geddy Lee was having a hard time hitting those high notes on some of the older songs,a nd he tried to over compensate by screaming. That made his voice warble quite a bit.

3rd Concert? Well not quite. A few days after the Rush concert the original lineup of Guided By Voices was playing in downtown Dallas. After two trips to downtown in just a few days, I couldn't get my dander up to make a third one. Especially having to work the next day. I kind of regret not going, as after the concert there was an after party with the band. Plus, I missed Tim DeLaughter (lead singer of the Polyphonic Spree) getting kicked out. Oh well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Just Banter

This is a local radio guy who Zach Galifianakis'd Zach Galifianakis. He said he wasn't sure if he was going to go this way with the interview, until when he first met him he hit his head on the overhead mike. Then he decided to just go for it. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Concert (of the year)

#1: I believe it was three weeks ago that on a spur of the moment decision I went to the Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings concert. I didn't even know they were playing until the night before, and made my decision to go about 2 hours before showtime. I called one friend who I thought would be interested, but he was unable to go due to a prior commitment. No worries, I'm not afraid to fly solo. The show was at the Palladium Showroom. The Palladium has two different places for shows: the Ballroom and the Showroom. This one was at the Palladium Showroom which is the smaller of the two.

The show was supposed to "start" at 7:30. Now I'm not naïve enough to actually think the concert will start then, but I do expect the doors to be open. They weren't, and the doors to the place are down a long 4 foot wide tunnel surrounded by brick walls. Brick walls that had been taking the Texas sun all day. It was almost a 30 minute wait to get inside and the heat was brutal.

The actual concert though was absolutely fantastic. The opening act was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. They were a great band that seems to cross several genres in their music, and Grace Potter is quite the honey. They were throwing down an unusual look. Grace was wearing a Tina Turner like outfit, and the Nocturnals looked like a '70s garage band.

Now I had never seen a picture of Binky Griptite of the Dap-Kings, but once I saw this dude come out in a maroon suit with a fedora cocked on the side of his head, I knew exactly who it was. I was right. The Dap-Kings sang a few songs by themselves before Sharon Jones came out.

Binky played up to the crowd a bit with,"You know I've been in Texas for two days now, and I ain't heard no one say 'yee-ha', so how is everyone out here tonight?" With the crowd giving a resounding "YEE-HA!" Including me.

Once Sharon Jones did come out the energy just amped up. She is just so enthusiastic. I told one of my friends that I hope to have her energy when I am her age, but I don't even have that level now. During a couple of different songs she brought people up on the stage with her. I was literally 3 feet from the stage, and it was electric. Smaller venues like that really do it for me.

PS Within 5 seconds of Sharon Jones appearing on the stage I could smell the weed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

so long...

Well, over the Labor Day Weekend, my former boss, Kazy passed away. I still don't think I have fully processed it yet. He was found in the store laying on the counch after 11 AM last Tuesday, which meant they employees were working there for over and hour before they discovered the body. They went looking for him, because he hadn't called them yet, and they were concerned.

So, there was a bunch of madness on Tuesday. That evening I was fielding phone calls, texts, and messages on Facebook while trying to draft a team in Fantasy Football.

We always had a volatile relationship. Seeing as how my tenure at the store didn't end well (I ended up being fired). I did work there for 12 years though including the entirety of my 20s and I always loved and respected the man. So, I felt I should at least pay my last respect by going to his funeral.

One at the funeral it was packed, and I was running a bit behind. I did meet an old co-worker there, and everyone else was to nervous (scared?) to walk by everyone to sit in the overflow seating, so I led that group over there. The actual ceremony was unlike one I have been to before. The minister only said a few words, while butchering all of the Japanese names, and then opened up the podium for some eulogies. We got 4 pretty solid ones from people who knew Kazy from different times or interests.

Afterwards there was the social gathering in the back which was another surreal time for me. Sure, it was sad, but it was also neat seeing a bunch of people I hadn't seen in literally years. Old co-workers, customers, and friends. I felt like I was running for office I shook so many hands and hugged so many people. I was surprised that his daughter seemed to be handling it better than his son. He was understandably pretty out of it.

Anyways, rest in peace Kazy. You definitely deserve it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

If it feels good, do it.

Call me: I've been contemplating getting a phone for a couple of months now for two main reasons. 1. I want one with a keyboard for texting. 2. The battery life on my current phone has gone to crap. I usually get my new phones directly from AT&T's website. So, my plan of action on Friday was this: find a phone with a keyboard (duh), and one that was free*. After perusing my options I decided on the Palm Pixi Plus. It got stellar reviews, but the main complaint is that the battery life seems a little low, but I think I can live with that. The keyboard was the main thing. When I placed the order I got huge notice saying there are no deliveries on weekends or holidays, so imagine my surprise when I got home Saturday and it was already in. Score one for me!

*Free after you sign a 2 year commitment, but that is no biggie for me. I wasn't planning on leaving anyways.

Gatekeeper: As I have mentioned before, I work out of my boss' house. This school year his neighborhood has decided to keep the gates to the neighborhood closed. And man is that screwing some people up.

First, they made this decision then end of last school year, and the the first day they kept the gates closed? The first day summer vacation. Good one. Then last week I was going to eat lunch, and as I left two cars drove by expecting to cut through and one lady just stood there staring at the gate and keeping me from turning into the street. When I cam back from lunch, another lady almost took the gate all, and came to a screeching halt when she didn't realize the gate would be closed.

The thought that occurred to me this week is school busing. I don't know where they go now to pick the kids up. Last year I would drive by three different locations in the neighborhood that had pick-ups for the kids, and now I wonder were they go, or if their parents are forced to drop them off at school now. Hmmm.

Thank you: I got a nice compliment from my roommate a week or so ago. I do enjoy watching a lot of the cooking "reality" shows: Hell's Kitchen, Iron Chef America, and Top Chef. I don't watch them every week, but if I catch them on I will watch them. anyways, my roommate told me,"You know these people make all of these sauces, and foams, stuff. But you make food I would actually eat."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Legion Sketchbook #34

Ah, the great Tellus appears this time. Tellus was drawn by Nate Bramble. I think his cartoony style fit Tellus perfectly.

This is actually the last of my Legion sketches for now. There is a show in just two weeks, so hopefully I will get some more done then. If not, I have some other things in store.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sports Edition

Dateline Arlignton: Well last week the auction of the Rangers finally came off, and in the end I didn't care who ended up owning them as long as Tom Hicks didn't any more. In the end the Ryan/Greenberg group won the auction after like 15 hours from Mark Cuban and his team. Remember the important part: no more Tom Hicks. After losing his shirt in so many other ventures I am just glad to see him go. I got tired of hearing how good the concession sales were at the end of the year, but merchandising was down at the end of the season address. The fans don't care; we want to know what you are going to do to make the team better. This new group has already talked about it. The day after the auction Greenberg was on the radio talking about how they are going to really go after Cliff Lee (oh thank you). Resigning Josh Hamilton, etc. With Hicks as owner, for the past several seasons, the payroll was always going to be the same as the year before or lower. The Rangers are a top 5 market team with a bottom 5 market salary. All you need to know about Tom Hicks as an owner of a sports franchise is this: Hicks also owns the Dallas Stars, and he said the worst thing that happened to them was they won the Stanley Cup. What a penny-pinching jerk.

One thing that did bother me about the auction was afterwards Mark Cuban said he did what he came there to do. Didn't he go there to win the franchise? He didn't, and if he did what he planned to do what was that? To drive up the price of the franchise? For what purpose? Some accuse him of driving up the price since he actually own some of the Rangers' debt. Yet, he owns such a small portion he spent more on his lawyers on this than what he will make from the owning the debt. I just wonder what it was.

A final thing about the sale that worries me is GM John Daniels. There is a clause in his contract that allows him to leave if the Rangers change ownership. A bunch of people think he might bolt to the Mets the team of his childhood. Hell for the Mark Teixeira trade alone he should get like 10 years of immunity.

Quick bonus: Congratulations to the great Norm Hitzges, who today is celebrating his 35th year of doing sports radio in Dallas. He has hosted numerous shows, worked for ESPN, and has worked for just about every pro team in the are outside of the Dallas Stars. That is a good long while, a true icon around here.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

UFO Spotting

Last week 2 friends of mine, Steve and his cousin Paul, came up to Dallas to visit for the weekend. Friday night he hung out with me and another friend of our, Sam. Saturday was going to be family day. After some negotiations for dinner (we agreed not eat eat dinner together) we finally decided to meet at the Flying Saucer. If someone wanted me to take them to the best place to drink beer it would be the Flying Saucer. They probably have a couple of hundred different beers available. It is the only place I know of in Dallas that has Newcastle on tap.

About 10 minutes after I arrived the power was knocked out for about 30 seconds due to the very unseasonable July thunderstorm. I was of course the first one there, even though I was the furthest away. Driving in the rain. During rush hour. It was great to see the guys again even if we are pretty lame now. Every discussion begins:
"What have you been up to?"
"Work. How about you?"

We had a pretty good time for a couple of hours. The Steve and Paul decided they were ready to go to the topless bar. Which, there reason for going, amused me. Together they blamed another cousin who wasn't there as being the one who really wanted to go. When Paul went to the restroom Steve said it was actually Paul who was pushing to go. When Steve went, Paul said it was Steve. Now, I have nothing against those places, and I have been known to go to them before. But, I knew the one they were going to was a skank bar, plus I didn't relish the thought of driving back to my place about an hour a way after we were done with wet roads and drunk drivers. Not to mention the cost of going to one of those places. So, men and Sam went to another, more upscale bar, BJs to finally get some eat and chit-chat at bit more. Sam wouldn't have been able to go to the topless bars anyways since he forgot his wallet and would not have been able to get in.

A pretty fun Friday night to catch up with some good friends.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Legion Sketch #33

In this edition:

We get the lovable, hugable Gates. This was done at the last show I went to in January, by Brock Rizy. A nifty little sketch I think.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Minister Singh

Mallrats: The other day I was at the Dallas mall, Northpark Mall for the first time in about 5 years or so (I was killing time waiting for my comic book shop to open). You can't walk into the place without feeling like money is just being sucked right out of your wallet. It doesn't have security guards inside, they have Dallas police officers there. I did like the idea of getting my car washed while doing some shopping if I so desired, I didn't desire. Sometimes they have a piano player there. It isn't the biggest mall around, but it has to have the highest ratio of jewelery stores of the Metroplex. I counted 13 myself.

The shop that actually got me to go inside? The toy store that had both a Batman and Superman plastic statue. It was a neat place that even had some of the old original Star Wars in a glass case along the back wall.

I also saw an Original Soup Man stand there. This sign made me chuckle: "The Soup ThatMmade Seinfeld Famous" Sure thing buddy.

Father's Day: This year I think I finally got a winning present for my dad. It was a scanner that has a special tray to scan slides and film from a 35mm camera. My dad was pretty excited to get, even if he has "about 1000 slides" to scan now. I set it up for him, and scanned in the first two batches, and it looked really good. I figure it is a project he can work on and avoid the 100 degree heat.

A Movie: Monday I was flipping around and found a movie called The Night of the White Pants. I first turned it on to see Selma Blair, who is the quintessential girl next door type. I was watching it and my ears perked up when I heard one character say his band was playing at a club called the Double Wide. I thought, "Does this take place in Dallas?" Once they showed the place I knew it was. We get a decent amount of films and television filmed here, but unless it is a JFK movie very little actually has taken place in Dallas since the old TV show. It was a neat little movie, and I really like movies that take place over the course of about a 24 hour period. IE Dazed and Confused, American Graffiti, and Suburbia.

Sports: A local sports radio guy has decided to give soccer a full seasons chance to capture his attention. He is a better than than me. He blog post is here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Legion Sketch #32

We're back again:

This is Timber Wolf as drawn by Paul Milligan. He did this for me at the last Wizard World Texas at the end on Sunday because he was so bored, and "man, I just want to draw something." Hey anyone who signs their initials in Interlac is okay by me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Can I Keep My Jersey?

I recently finished reading Paul Shirley’s Can I Keep My Jersey? It details 4 years in his life as a “basketball vagabond”. I enjoyed quite a bit for the most part. His writing has a very appealing quality. At points you really feel sorry for Paul. The endless travels in lesser leagues made me feel weary after reading about it. The horrible hotel rooms he stayed in doing an EA Sports basketball tour, and the room he had when he played in Russia with a bed that consisted of a mattress on the floor. It really is an emotional roller coaster.

One of my problems with the book though, is that a lot of the time he isn’t a sympathetic person. He recognizes that fact, but it doesn’t endear you to him either. It got tiresome reading about him trying not to laugh at his teammates who were religious. You may not have the same beliefs as them, but to constantly ridicule them behind their back was pretty uncool.

My biggest problem with him though, was his constant grousing of people not speaking English whenever he was playing in Europe. Apparently he did make some attempts to learn the language, but since there were a lot of obstacles in communication, it seems like he could have tried harder. When he was playing in Spain, he complained about how the Spaniards put canned tuna on everything. Well I sure as hell would have learned how to say “no tuna” in Catalan, but apparently he never did. By his third time in Europe when was playing in Russia and was still bellyaching about no English, I wanted to pull my hair out. Speaking of Russia, he also complained about how cold it was in the city he played in, Kazan. No crap dude, its Russia.

Not to totally rail on the guy. There were also plenty of times I felt bad for him. How he is literally unable to have a normal relationship with a woman. When he leads such a transient lifestyle were he is taking buses to play games in Mexico, and then he might get a 10 day contract in Chicago, followed by a couple of months in Europe it makes it impossible to start a stable relationship. You feel his pain when he laments meeting a girl that he is certain he could have had some sort of long term deal with.

I was excited for him when he went to the Bulls and they agree to a contract until the end of the season. I was also crushed when he got a season ending injury there before signing that contract. That was one more thing that was bothersome. He seemed to get injured a lot. Its hard to get a professional career on track if you are constantly sitting on the bench injured. He just never seemed to be injury free at any place of the decent places he played except for his time with the Suns. Of course he barely got to play with them at all, as he was at the very end of the bench.

Further, I liked how matter of fact he was about the people he played with (he didn’t like most of them), his coaches, the trainers, and I really liked his relationship with his agent. His agent, Keith Glass, was brutally honest with him, telling Paul from the beginning he may never get to the NBA. That was refreshingly honest.

It was certainly educational as well. Seeing how the tryouts worked in the NBA, and it was a lesson in how hard it was to make a team. The rules they have in the European basketball leagues. Like no more than 2

Americans per team, and they way the teams get around it. Fascinating reading. I do wonder if his openness about the NBA shut the door on his future there. It is possible, or maybe teams just weren’t that impressed with his brand of ball playing. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2005 season with the Phoenix Suns. Maybe they tired of his arrogance. I know I did. It was wearing me out about him talking about all of the “white trash” and such. I wanted to yell at him, “You are from Merdian, Kansas! You aren’t from some cultural mecca!”

The book is a stellar read. I highly recommend it for any sports fan. It has been often compared to Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crumbling to dust

With Nebraska bolting for the Big 10, and Colorado not waiting around to see what they rest of the conference does going to the Pac-10 it looks like the days of the Big 12 is numbered. It looks the rest of the south division sans Baylor will also join the Pac-10, making the first super conference. There are some people grousing about the loss of the conference, and I just don't feel it. It isn't like when the Southwest Conference folded. That had a lot more years of tradition, and it was the one I grew up with. That made me sad, this, not so much.

Another complaint I hear about is the loss of some rivalries. Well the formation of the Big 12 initially killed one of my favorite rivalries in college football. OU-Nebraska. The had legendary games until the Big 12 came about, and they no longer played each other every since they weren't in the same division. Speaking of the north division this new conference just seems to be replacing the north division with 8 teams from the Pac-10. That makes it such a much better conference that it was previously. Oregon, USC, and Cal is so much more appealing than Iowa State, Kansas State, and yes even Nebraska who hasn't been good in years. Where would you rather watch games at?

It will also let some of the B-list schools recruit better players. Like allow Texas Tech and Oklahoma State get some of the California players. And vice versa it lets Arizona State and Washington have a better chance at Texas players.

A question, now that the Big 10 is going to add nebraska are they now the Big 12? Will they stupidly keep the Big 10 name? Will they have to pick something besides the Big 12 if that is a trademarked name?

What happens to the teams left out? Where does Baylor go? Or Kansas? Etc.

I just heard on the radio that the acrimony towards Missouri was so bad when they made an overture to the Big 10, they were almost kicked out of the Big 12. They started it, but weren't able to finish it.

Wow, this stuff is happening fast and furious. It is fascinating.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

All Fantasy, All of the Time

The Faire: The past weekend I went to Scarborough Faire for the first time a few years. As per usual it was a ton of fun. They have some incredible food there (a lot of people really dig their turkey legs). I had a rogue sandwich (a brisket like sandwich), a spinach pocket (think creamed spinach inside a pastry) and of course the very traditional Renaissance fare: the root beer float. I also looking at all of the shops that have a ton of handcrafted items. What red-blooded American male wouldn't want to take a gander at the swords there?

I watched a couple of shows. The highlight being The One Flaming Idiot, who does a really funny show. He used to be part of the Flaming Idiots, a trio who left a few years back to take their show elsewhere. The other two left the show to pursue other employment. There was also Don Juan and Miguel. Which Don Juan had a walking cast, which he also had the last time I was there.

Which brings me to the part that is a little bit sad. I've been going to the Faire for about 20 years now, and there are so many of the people involved who are doing it then who are still there now. These people just travel around from festival to festival to put on their acts, and some of them are looking pretty haggard. Who knows how long they were performing before I even went there. Something these guys are looking pretty haggard now. I can't imagine it is very easy life to maintain. I can't imagine doing one of their acts several times a day on the weekend in full Renaissance gear in May in Texas. I was burning up wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Still it is a lot of fun. Some friends even bought some contraband alcohol there.

RPGing: Well for the first time in 8? 9? 10? years I am slinging dice again in a RPG (role-playing game). My all-time favorite was and always will be Champions, but my friend running the game wants something a little bit easier to play as he is getting his wife to start playing. So, for the first time in about 15 years or so I am actually playing Dungeons & Dragons. The 4th edition rules which is quite a bit different from the last time I played (which was second edition or so).

From what I have seen the changes are for the better. More hitpoints for the players is always good of course. Magic-users in general start out a lot more robust. They were fairly useless in the early levels and I am glad to see they have buffed them up. Also every class just gets a lot more utility which I like.

I also liked the program a friend of mine had to creat the characters. It had all of the texts, plus stuff from the magazines to aid in building you character. Pretty sweet.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homeowners with

Well, first things first. I'd like to ask everyone for their thoughts, prayers, or whatever for my cousin Rich. I just learned over the weekend that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 41. The doctors are very hopeful that they are getting to it early enough.

My aunt was in town and I enjoyed listening to her and my dad talk as I always learn something new about my dad. Like, he belonged to 4-H when he was younger and actually had a cow that won the grand champion ribbon three years in a row until they were forced to sell her. I also learned that at one point in time Texas Industries had airplanes (little prop planes) that their employees with a pilot's license could rent.

I've mentioned it before and I will mention it again Marlo's House in Garland, TX is awesome. I absolutely love their food.

Finally ex-major leaguer and current Dallas radio personality, Mike Bacsik is an idiot. Although how long he remains in Dallas radio is to be determined

UPDATE: Mike Bacsik fired by Cumulus Media

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Legion Sketch #31

In this episode:

I will be honest and say that this is probably my favorite sketch I have. We have Shadow Lass, of course, painted by Evan Bryce. He is another member of Space-Gun Studios.
I just think this one is incredible.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And Boom Goes the Dynamite!

Well Sunday was the implosion on Texas Stadium, the old home of the Dallas Cowboys. I am not one to get sentimental when it comes to most old buildings (well depends on how old they are). When they tore, are they still tearing down?, Reunion Arena it didn't really bother me that much, and I spent a lot more time there than I ever did Texas Stadium. Heck, I've only been to Texas Stadium 6 times ever, and 5 of those times was within the last 7-8 years. I think it bothers me more just because historically it is more significant.

You know 5 Super Bowl champions is one thing. I loved when Brent Musburger on the old NFL Today show would say, "You're looking live at Irving, TX and Texas Stadium" It was featured on the opening of the old Dallas TV show. I liked how Tex Schramm said the hole in the roof was so that God could watch the Dallas Cowboys. And I will admit it, I liked the fact that kind of talked pissed some people off.

My favorite memory from Texas Stadium? Showing up at 7:30AM for a noon kickoff game and tailgating (IE drinking) until 11:45. Sometime during the game we lost my friend's brother for quite some time. Oh and the Cowboys won against the Lions in one of the most boring games of all-time.

Finally, the answer is:
Ronny Gant, Cinco De Mayo, and George Strait.

The question:
What are Jerry Jone's best memories of Texas Stadium.

This deserves a WTF?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Would you like fries with that?

A couple of food related topics.

Last week on the radio station I regularly listen to (1310 the Ticket), they had some huge burritos in there for lunch and there was one left over. They asked one host, Norm Hitzges, if he would eat one on Friday, it was Wednesday when they asked. He said maybe he would, and two of the hosts pledged $250 bucks each to his favorite charity. He then agreed to it. It wasn't just a three day old burrito, he ate. They left it out at room temperature until Norm ate it Friday. He ate it on the air, and said it still tasted really good. While he was eating it people called in donated more money, and he ended up raising over $3000 for the Austin Street Centre. It is a charity I have actually donated to before. Austin Street Centre is a homeless shelter than runs only on private donations. Very cool that a man can eat a three day old burrito and raise that much for charity. Monday, Norm said he never felt ill after wards.

In other food stuff kind of things. My roommate told me he was going to start eating more fish, even though he hates fish. I asked him why. "To lose weight," he replied. I told him maybe he shouldn't go to Whataburger up to 5, yes 5 times a week. We all know how to lose weight, its all about want to. I sure as heck can stand to drop some weight, but I haven't gotten to the point of wanting to make the effort.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Script quickly

As you all know yesterday was April Fool's and that day always reminds me of my personal favorite prank. I love it because it totally fooled me, and I am usually pretty decent at sniffing them out. It was the early to mid '90s and the Dallas Mavericks were the worst team in the NBA. I was watching the local new station and in the normal newscast they had breaking news. The Dallas Mavericks had just traded for David Robinson. Holy cow! This was a complete game changer. The Mavs just got one of the dominant players in the NBA.

They sold it so perfectly too. It occurred so naturally in the news cast. No one gave it away. David Robinson was in on it to. They showed him giving an interview about the trade and how happy he was coming to the Mavericks. I was almost jumped up out of the recliner with joy. Then at the end of the interviews, Robinson turns to the camera and says, "April Fools!" I would have been mad if it hadn't worked so perfectly. I also think it worked so well, because you weren't inundated with practical jokes like you are now with so many on the web. Plus, it was so rare for a TV station to pull something like that. I found it hysterical.

Well maybe I was a little bitter.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Word in the Butterfly

Cooking: I got an immersion blender for my birthday this month, and I used that last week to make some split pea soup. I just had a general idea on how to make it, so I was kind of winging it. My real problem was how much liquid to use. I kept adding more as I was cooking it. Then I went a bit crazy with the blender and didn't have any chunks of peas in it (I added some carrots and ham after the blending and cooked it longer). The taste I actually liked a lot, but instead of soup it was more of a pea paste. Whenever I reheated it, I dilute it with some water, and that really made it more appetizing. Otherwise it looked like I was eating baby vomit or something. I am excited to blend more stuff up, and it is a lot easier to clean than a regular blender.

Gaming: In my video game playing life. I haven't gotten EA NCAA College Football in a number of years, but I did get the 2010 version. Playing it in HD, the graphics are incredibly awesome. I've played it and after a play I was thinking to myself, "Man, that looked like a facemask." Sure enough the flag comes out. That is pretty cool. The recruiting in the game is pretty in depth. You have different pitches to give the recruits, you get limited time each week to call them, there is off season recruiting as well. I swear sometimes I spend more time recruiting than playing the actual game.

You to can institute change: I asked a manger at my local Kroger's a couple of weeks go why they only have a couple of bottles of Red Hook ESB on the shelf for the pick sic, six pack, and never full six packs of the beer. Well just last week they now carry six packs, I would like to think that I made some small impact locally. If only to get me inebriated.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Legion Sketch #30

We get the older Star Boy this time by Jake Ekiss. He is part of a group of young local artists (Space-Gun Studios) that I think could do some great things. I always though this version of Star Boys costume would be a pain in the butt, but I think Jake did a great job on it. This was done at the last Wizard World Texas show.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stance Limit

Work stuff: I don't talk about my work much, but this time I am. Today I had one of those problems that I hate, in that I really am powerless to solve it besides just making phone calls. Plus, there are just so many layers to it. It goes like this:
1. A sales rep thinks they are missing a shoe.
2. They call their home office.
3. The home office calls me.
4. I have to find the original order and then call the company I ordered the item from.
5. They find the order, track it, and then give me the info.
6. I then call the company's home office.
7. They then call the rep.

That is the basics some times there are more layers (IE. my boss gets the call and then he gives me the info, and I give it all back to him). Today's though was a huge cluster that I finally deduced that the company I order the hoes from never got the order, which was good because I also discovered that our customer ordered half of the shoes to go to the wrong sales rep. I think I could have spent those 2 hours doing something more productive. It was a total beating.

Other stuff: I talked to a cousin I haven't talked to in a few months. I was shocked to discover that her father (my uncle, natch) has throat cancer. My cousin quit her job to take care of him for the past 2 months (she is a nurse). Now that he has gotten a little bit better, she has gone back to work. If that wasn't bad enough for her, the day she got back home her boyfriend broke up with her. On top of that they still lease and apartment together which makes the whole thing super-weird.

NCAA Basketball: Just a quick shout out, and a hearty congratulations to the Baylor Men's basketball team for making the sweet sixteen. I never thought that program would survive after the scandal back in 2003. What a turn around by head coach Scott Drew.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Legion Sketch #29

In this edition:

Lightning Lad by the Great Rob Osborne (he likes it when I call him that). I first met him at a party at Wizard World Texas a few years ago, and he is just one of those people you meet in life you just hit it off with. I've had the pleasure of chatting with him and his wife a number of times since then. This sketch was done at CAPE (RIP, sniff), which was a huge Free Comic Book Day event in Dallas, about two years ago.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A staple for a nutritious breakfast

This past weekend I went to the great city of Austin, TX. One, to go the the STAPLE comic book convention which focuses on the independent comics. Two, just to get away for the weekend. It had been over 2 1/2 years since the last time I left the DFW area, and that was great. The were supposed to be a group of us going, but it ended up being just me and my friend who runs the comic book shop I go to (even his girlfriend bailed less than a week to go). Quick tangent it was going to cost more to change my room from a queen to two double beds than the hotel room would cost (we got around it by someone sleeping on the recliner).

I was running behind myself and when I showed up my friend, Jake, wanted to drop off some packages at the post office. The first one had no power so then we had to go to another one. After a few more delays we ended up leaving about an hour or more later than I had wanted to leave. A mandatory stop on a road trip to Austin is to stop either on the way there or the way back in West, Texas at Czech Stop to get some kolaches and other pastries there. They are awesome, we stopped on the way down. I had a very nutritious lunch of cream cheese kolaches and pecan rolls.

The hour delay really killed us once we hit Austin as the Friday afternoon traffic was in full effect, and Austin has grown so quickly they only have one major highway to handle it. We drove past one Ramada Inn and I told my friend, "I bet that is our hotel."
"No, man, the exit didn't Koenig on it anywhere." Which was the flaw in the directions I had, they said to exit Koenig,but the exit sign does have that name on there, it is FM 2222. Well we had to drive almost all the way through Austin at 15 MPH before I convinced my friend I was right. Eventually we made it back to hotel.

We both had a friend or two living in Austin, and what was really great was one of Jake's friends (John)lived about two miles away from the hotel. We went out that night to quite a few bars. The last one I remember (I wasn't driving) was Barflies when we pulled into the parking lot to begin with we were waved off by three police cars. We parked around the corner and went in anyways. We ended up crashing at John's house. I was lucky and got the couch. Jake slept on a hardwood floor.

Saturday, we had what was essentially brunch at a place called Ruby's BBQ. I had a brisket and sausage sandwich with slaw on it, with some home fries. It was awesome. I loved when I placed my order: The guy asked if I wanted creamy or vinegary slaw on my sandwich, and I told him creamy. He looked at me, nodded, and said "You bet you do."

Then we went to STAPLE for a few hours and it was a lot of fun. I will probably go into more details on the at the Captain Comics Board. I will say meeting Guy Davis was a pure highlight. There is also more and more female creators out there, and Monica Gallagher takes the prize for hottest person there. Oh my goodness. I bought something from her for that alone. The weirdest moment was when someone told me that "Travis" is one of his favorite names. He even mentioned how weird it was to say that to me.

We went out again that night. I was happy that my friend Larry came out with us as well, having only seen him once before in the past 15 years or so. We ended up at one club, and we were told that it was the CD release for a group. We were outside were they had the stage and the DJ ended up being one of Public Enemy's DJs which perked my ears up. He was spinning some tunes, and I was looking around and noticed there were a lot of lesbians there. It ended up being, I guess, a lesbian hip-hop duo, God-dess and She. To tell the truth, they were pretty good. I really liked what they did. God-dess was rapping and Jake asked me if the She was going to be the "hype woman" of the group. Of course I didn't know. Man, could she sing, she was great. She sang one song acapella. Later she sang one of my favorites: Michael Jackson's PYT.

I took easy that night, as I didn't want to drive home hungover, as I have done that many times before from Austin and it sucked. The rest of the night was uneventful. We left later than I wanted to Sunday as well, and I drove in the rain all the way back.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ticket Stock

Last weekend my favorite radio station hosted their annual Ticket Stock, sometimes Ticketstock. I wasn't able to go, but what I love about it is that it is free to the fans. No admission price to get in, and no cost to get autographs from any of the celebrities that show up. They are mostly local sports stars. Like the Cowboys Tashard Choice, the Rangers David Murphy, etc. They also bring in some pretty big time guests as well. Like this year they brought Barry Sanders. He was so committed to getting here when his flight got canceled out of the city he was in (I believe Detroit). He drove himself to another city to catch a flight to Dallas, what a guy!. Now Barry Sanders' autograph was free as well, but there were a limited number of tickets that you did have to wait in line for.

The other fun part of this event is that almost all of the show hosts do a little concert together. They are collectively called the Time Wasters, and you get a nice mix of original songs, song parodies, and straight covers. Really cool, and can be really wheels off. Their backing band is one of the hosts' own band who learns all of the songs they are doing fairly quickly.

I did get to hear parts of it live on the radio. I enjoyed them trying to get Barry Sanders to admit he was better than Emmitt Smith. He refused, especially since he was in Dallas. Tashard Choice has everyone convinced for a few seconds he had just been traded to St. Louis. Good times. I hope to go next year.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From Home

Well, by brother was in town for about a week, to visit, and it was his birthday. I was originally going to meet him, his girlfriend, and a couple of other friends Thursday night, but that got nixed when we got record breaking snow here. So, we weren't able to get together until Friday night, his actual birthday. We all went to dinner with my dad and step-mom. We ate at the terrific Marlo's House which is a Mennonite restaurant. I am amazed at how quickly the sole cook back there gets food out on just a 4 burner stove. The food there is excellent.

Saturday is were things took a turn for the worst. Here a group of six of us went to the French restaurant Bonnie Ruth's. Now I don't mind if there is long dinner that grows organically from conversation and what not. This was not one of those times. This was three hours just wasted. A little rest give from time to time for waitstaff is to order an ice tea w/o lemon, and see how well they pay attention.. This time it came with the lemon, a little warning.
The highlights:
  • I never, ever got any water
  • Well over an hour to get our appetizer
  • Over an hour for my brother's girlfriend to get her glass of wine
  • A friend dropped his fork before we got our entrees. We got tired of waiting for the waiter to bring a new one once the meal did arrive we got our own.
  • They ran out of creme brulee. Which they were going to give one free to my brother, nothing offered to replace it.
  • We were offered free champagne cocktails for our trouble. We never got them.
  • THIS JUST IN: The bastards double charged my card. I just found this out like 5 minutes ago.
My brother and his girlfriend spent Saturday night at another friend's house, so we could get together easily on Sunday. We ate breakfast at the Original Pancake House (it was awesome), and then we went and saw The Wolfman. Which was awful, one of the worst movies I have payed for in a long time. Boring, cliched, etc, etc.

Monday was the last night I would see my brother before he went back to California. It was a nother family dinner at Babes Chicken House. I had never been before, but had heard rave reviews of it. Those were well deserved. You don't get a menu really. The waitress gives you a list of the 6 or 7 entrees they have available. You order your entree, and then every side dish they have is brought to your table family style and is all-you-can eat. I had the (very well reviewed) fried chicken, and I gotta say it was the best restaurant fried chicken I have ever had. Once you are done you can take your leftover entree home, but you can't take any of the sides. I still got away with the leftover biscuits.

Well, it was good to see my brother, I hope I can visit him again soon. It has been to long since I have been to San Fran.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wasting Time

Just a few notes. I hope everyone enjoyed to Super Bowl. I know I did. I watched the game at a friends house. Won 25 bucks, drank too much (didn't drive), and ate too little (just a kid sized bowl of chili). I wanted the Colts to win, but it wasn't like I was pissed of the the Saints won. I do get tired of trying to be guilted into rooting for them because of Katrina. You watch enough sports and you learn everyone has a sad story. That is half of the Olympics and a third of College Game Day.

A bit of sad news. For everyone planning to come to Dallas for the NBA All-Star game, it grieves me to report that there are no more Lamborghinis available to rent.

A story that really made my blood boil

Friday, January 22, 2010

Alpaca Breeders

The other day, my boss gave me a very nice compliment,"Travis, I don't day this often enough, but I never have to tell you anything twice. You always take care of whatever I need immediately. I don't have to follow up with you." Which was very flattering. There is a reason I work this way though, at every job I have had. I am a master procrastinator. If I don't take care of my work as soon as I can I will slough off and I may just wait a day or two to take care of what I need to. I simply can't wait or it won't get done. When I was in high school I would always be "sick" the day before a research paper was do. I would then do all of my research and and writing the day I missed. I wait till the day before my inspection runs out on my car before I get that taken care of. That explains that.

A quick Dallas Cowboys note. Wade Phillips was given a contract extension this week, and I have heard a more than a few people on the radio claim what a great job he has done here. Even going so far as to malign what Bill Parcells did for the team.
"Look at Wade's record, it is better than Bill Parcells'"
"Bill Parcells didn't win a playoff game."

Now I am no great fan of Tuna, BUT does no one remember the team that Bill Parcells took over? They had three straight 5-11 seasons. He had Quincy Carter for his QB (an NFL career rating of 71.7), and he still made it to the playoffs that year. He also had Troy Hambrick (who?) as his number 1 rusher, and Terry Glenn as the lead receiver (754 yds for the year). Parcells built up the team, and he was the one who convinced Jerry Jones to keep Tony Romo. So let's give Parcells a little credit shall we?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Legion Sketch #28

This time we got:

We got a Sun Boy pic by Tom Morgan. He was a very entertaining guy to listen to at the convention I met him at. He did quite abit of work for the Big Two in the '80s & '90s and just kind of disappeared from the comic book scene. He said he was getting calls all the time from artists friends saying that they could get him work on a book if he needed it. He didn't, he had moved on to a career doing storyboards for films, tv, and commercials.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A very special offer

I am just about done going inside my bank to get anything done. I do 90% of mine banking on-line, and the only time I go in a branch is when I have a paper check to deposit. Now whenever I go inside someone is trying to give me the hard sell to open a new account, take out a loan, or spend some kind of money there.

Like earlier this week I was in there, and some guy working there told me that I and a select few customers have chosen to earn 1.5% on any new saving account we open up with a minimum of $25,000. All I could think was, "Yeah select few, the select few who are stupid enough to walk inside." I told him that no I couldn't really that right now. I wanted to add that he sees what my deposits are each week, and why would he think I have an extra twenty-five grand laying around.

So, yeah, if they don't ease off I may try the ATM deposits.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Decade of Dross

Well, my friend Rob tagged me in one of them blog meme type things. It is a “best of decade” thing that hopefully I can squeeze 3 or so categories out of. From Ami Angelwing’s original blog post:

It's the "of the decade" meme! Basically come up with 3 categories and who you think wins that category! Be creative!

Like what I mean isn't just "best comic book of the decade"... like "best moustache of an comic creator of the decade" or whatever.. it can be serious (best Asian male film character of the decade) or not or whatever.. it doesn't have to be about comics, or games or whatever.. it can be about nething (worst hair of a world leader, weirdest food trend... etc etc)

and tag 3-5 other ppl! And then they come up with 3 categories.. etc :] The main part is to be creative!

Be creative? That isn’t my specialty, but lets see what we can do…

Best Piece of Radio Audio of the Decade: Just go and listen to this piece of audio. The thing to remember is that this was a radio host interviewing the Dallas Chief of Police. Oh, what must have been going through his head!? I have heard this well over a hundred times and it makes me laugh every single time.

Best Sporting Event of the Decade: This decade was the second time I went to the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. The first round is four games with quite a bit of time between the first two and second two games. Between those games two friends and I were drinking at the bar in the arena. One of my friends hits on a girl there and, she offers to give us the seats of some of her family who have already left. We ended up watching the games that evening on about the 15th row. A little bit better that our seats on the last row in the arena.

Best Website of the Decade: The Captain Comics message board. One of the most civil places on the web were we discuss so much more than just comic books. I have even had the pleasure of meeting a few of the people on there.

Best Comic Book Memory that has Nothing to do with Comic Books of the Decade: I don’t believe I have ever told this story on the web before. Okay, so it is the first year of Wizard World Texas in Arlington, TX (I wanna say 2003). I am volunteering at the Hero Initiative booth (still called ACTOR back then). One of the guests of honor is George Perez and he is also donating some of his time to sign comics at our booth for donations. I meet him Friday and that was very, very cool.

Saturday night a friend of mine who was their peddling his comic with some other friends was having a party at his house, and I went to that of course. We almost pulled an all-nighter, and I ended up with a solid 2 hours of sleep. I went to the con that day very tired and very hungover. I sat in the back of the booth feeling sorry for myself waiting until the time I had to go back on duty. At one point George shows up ad he looks miserable too. It turns out he had gotten mild food poisoning the night before and also felt like ass. He just wanted a place to hang out before he met more of the fans, so George Perez and I just sat in the back of the booth commiserating with each other for about an hour. That’s right kids I had just about every fan boy’s wet dream as I had a one-on-one with George Perez. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I know it had little to do with comic books

That is it that is my list. Who to tag? I reckon Howard, Jeff, and Mike. I would tag P-Cat as well but I don’t know if his serious sports blog would be up for a meme. If you are go for it as well.

PS I am trying to see how many places I can out that picture of me and George Perez. This is either 4 or 5 sites. This picture was taken a few years later though.