Monday, December 17, 2007

Cubism?

Many people here at work know me through my incredibly brightly decorated cube. (Comics posters will do that). However, SQ sent in this interesting article/slide show that demonstrates I have not gone far enough...

* * *

In other news, I was going to regale y'all with the tale of how Faith escaped from the bathroom where we're keeping the kittens, but honestly now that they've almost all done it once or twice (the most frequent offenders being Xander and Faith, shown together here) it hardly seems quite as dramatic... We expect that we'll be returning the kittens sometime in the next week, and while it's optimistic, it's possible that they might be in their "forever homes" (that's a phrase we use at the shelter) by Xmas.

You know, I'm not sure if I ever said why I got involved in this... specifically volunteering at the shelter (the fostering just being an outgrowth of that). I have to say it was MLW's idea originally, I think her exact words were something to the effect of, "You like animals... why don't you see if the Animal Welfare folks need volunteers..." And why it's true that MLW was the impetus that got me to send the first email on the topic, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the examples set by other folks I've known of the years on the value of caring for animals. I already mentioned MLW, and I'll do so again, but I also am thinking here of the work that Boppie does, and going back even further, well, I'd be leaving out a lot if I didn't point to Ms. K. Even though we don't talk that much anymore (and even if, if memory serves, I gave her a hard time about it back in the day), I think that her example was something that made an impression on me.

So anyway, enough of my yammering. More cute kitten pictures coming as soon as they get out of the camera...

* * *

Coming soon, more info on comic book movies... (I know, you can hardly wait...)





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Friday, December 07, 2007

The Golden Compass...

...is coming out this weekend, and while other plans prevent me from seeing it, the movie looks pretty cool. And so is the website.

Check it out, my daemon is a female tiger (I hope this doesn't mess up the blog format...):



Apparently you can comment on how accurate a view of me that seems to be and the daemon might morph. Be nice.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ask me about my foster kittens...!

So I've mentioned to some of you that MLW and I are currently fostering four kittens for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (whom I've discussed before). Contrary to popular belief, these are not four new additions to the household, but rather a short term project we've taken on as part of our volunteering. We're working on socializing the kittens (they're all semi-feral... I think) and making them good candidates for adoption. So yeah, it involves a lot of scheduled playing with kittens, petting kittens, holding kittens (and also being kittens the ubiquitous needs to feed, water, and clean up the waste of kittens, but I generally leave that to MLW... Have I mentioned how lovely she is lately?)

Many of you have asked for pictures of the kitties (well, those of you who haven't already met them). And now that our temporary Internet hook-up hiccup has been solved (through the generous auspices of the incredibly nice OragamiSlayer), we can bring the initial pictures to you. Thus, I happily introduce...
  • Buffy (the leader) -- Buffy enjoys eating, the house, eating, occasionally receiving special coded messages from the mother ship, and, oh yeah, eating.
  • Willow (the shy one) -- Willow enjoys eating, hiding, eating, seeing what other people are eating, and... you're not looking at her are you?! Don't look... eek. (Willow's is going to be the most work.)
  • Xander (the... boy) -- Xander is a cool dude. He is Willow's brother. Even through his eye drops, he's been great. He loves playing, and often will wrestle with Faith. Loves hiding behind things and jumping out. Doesn't mind eating, but isn't compulsive about it...
  • and Faith (the vaguely crazy one) -- Faith is the youngest of the kittens (I don't know if I said, but there are 4 kittens from three litters) and physically the smallest, but she doesn't appear to be aware of any of those factors. For the first couple days she truly terrorized the other three. Though now she and Xander seem to play wrestle more than fight. Faith is also the only one that really makes sounds. (All four purr, mind you, but Xander and Buffy only seem to make sounds when they go to use the litter box.) Faith has a cute/pathetic little meow sound she makes. Or should make... it often drops off, so one thinks, "Wait, did I hear that or not?" She often makes the noise while purring if not being petted with both hands...
Please bear in mind that Xander had a minor eye infection when we got him, so we had to give him drops. Hence the vague pirate-like look about him in some of the photos.

I also feel the need to stress that these are not OUR kittens. If you're interested in adopting any or all of them (or any number of other beautiful cats, dogs, birds, small critters, etc.) please contact the AWLA and fill out an application. Even if you're not sure, the first step is always an application. If you are interested in the kittens, please mention us and them. (It's likely the AWLA won't know them by name, because they have hundreds of cats, and more importantly, because we changed their names just recently... as there was no common theme, and many of them kinda sucked...)

More pic's to come I'm sure. Also likely wacky stories...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A couple of interesting...

...articles about the movies... the first talks about what the phenomenon of the new movie and technology behind Beowulf and what it means for the convergence of video games and movies. The other is an amusing piece from the NY Times -- your pre-holiday despressing movie guide.

And just to keep things real, as it were, this from the "DUH!" dept...


Hopefully, I'll have some photos of recent events and the gaggle of kittens we're fostering some time soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My cousin...

...sent me this disturbing news about the local PetSmart. I'm going to have to look for somewhere else to shop...

UPDATE:

This just in through my contacts at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria:

Allan and myself went out to the Petsmart and reviewed the tapes with the Manager and District Manager.The employee never hit the dogs and has a great record with them. The employee is 18 years old and was basically being a kid. He was play-grabbing at one dog in particular, nothing that would be cruelty to animals, but the dog he was playing with is a very submissive dog; including with its owners. We spoke with the teenager and advised him that if the dog is submissive then he should not be playing with the dog in that manner, also we advised the Managers that they need to do more training with their employees and explain to them how to read dog's behavior, etc. Also the employee states that no one told him what was acceptable forms of play in the playgroup. In any case the dog was not hit and the employee was talked to about the situation and will get better training. The dog was not physically hurt. The actions of the employee could be interpreted wrong by someone looking in, but if you review the tape, frame by frame as we did, you will see exactly what occurred and he did not hit any of the dogs. According to the Managers the complainant was a disgruntled client.

Chaun Gorden--Director of Animal Control
4101 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Va.22304

Friday, November 09, 2007

I have a lot more...

...to talk about (and seemingly have forever), but in the meantime, here's a little something someone at the AWLA sent me.


video


Cat lovers know it's funny because it's true...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Serious stuff

...(though not apparently serious enough to make me get this posted on time... I can be such a loser...)

So occasionally (and I use that term loosely), I get the "So what's new?" question. And since I don't believe I've shared this here yet, I thought I would let you know. I've been volunteering (for four+ months now) at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. The AWLA is a great organization that takes care of animals here in (you guessed it) Alexandria. So one night a week (or more if my schedule permits) I stop by the Voila Lawson Animal Shelter and pet cats. Yep, that's right. I pet cats. Who even knew that was a job? But it's not only a job, apparently, it's an important one. Live in the shelter can be stressful on the animals, and no one who comes into adopt says, "Hey, can I have that stressed out looking kitty in the corner?" By us (and by "us" I mean myself and the other volunteers, amongst whose ranks I'm managed to convince MLW to join) spending time with the animals and continue to keep them "social" we reduce their stress level, which in turn makes them more marketable, which in turn gets them adopted quicker into a good home. The folks at the League tell us we're saving lives, and on my less humble days, I choose to believe them. But I'll let you in on a secret, I really feel as if I should be paying them. No matter how bad my day or how bad my week is, I know that on Tuesdays, I get to play with cats (and kittens, but I personally feel they don't do much before 5 months or so). This lows my stress level. It's a win-win (as I think we've covered in earlier posts...)

So, if you're looking to support a local animal charity with either your time or your dollars, please allow me to suggest the AWLA for their fine work. And expect to see me occasionally referring to different cats I may interact with. Some of them can be quite memorable (like Bobbit). And please don't think AWLA only deals with cats... there are an equal number of people working with dogs, rabbits, birds, and various little critters (hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.)

* * *

Okay, so that's what I've been up to, but it's not even remotely everything I want to share. A lot of environmental stuff has been across my inbox of late, much of it worth sharing...

Do you know anyone that actually likes junk mail? Yeah, me neither. But did you ever stop to think about how much of a waste it is? For everyone. Time, money, trees, gasoline, more time, and more money. Why not opt out instead?

* * *

And speaking of wasteful... OMG! Was I disturbed when I read this... Did y'all have any idea how bad an idea bottled water is? Now, I'll be the first to say I can't see it disappearing, but maybe working together we could do something to reduce the amounts. I mean, DAMN. Out of control. This will straighten your hair...

* * *

Okay, enough ranting for the time being. Next time we'll have some lighter topics like the Bionic Woman, the Lone Ranger, and Halloween costumes...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I was going to...

...continue with my random posting from Thursday, and then I read this posting by Joss Whedon, and it seemed more important somehow.

Randomness will continue later...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yarrr! A day late...

...and a doubloon short... Or somethin' As most of you should know, yesterday (9/19) was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about might I suggest/recommend the official page, the Wiki, or the fine tome Pirattitude! So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here’s How! and at least that way you'll be ready for next year. Still confused? These polite Canadian gents have created a handy "How To" film.

* * *

What else? Oh, right... I stumbled across this and fine it morbidly fascinating. My favorite part is under "Uses" where is suggests, "Last word in an argument" (because I guess "when you want to be an ass from beyond the grave" was already taken?) I must admit it could come in handy if you're threatening a global conspiracy or large government...

* * *

On the science front, it seems that scientists have determined that we are apparently (each, I imagine) ~0.9 percent more unique than they thought we were earlier (for a total of roughly 1% uniqueness). Oh, also redheads are going extinct. Or rather it was reported to be the case. Turns out things got jumbled up through the media and the interWeb... (no wonder I had so much trouble hunting down the source...)

* * *

I'm sorry, what was I saying?

* * *

This is quite possibly even COOLER than TLAP Day... My thanks to Origami Slayer for bringing it to my attention. Naturally, it's been picked up by clipmarks, digg, and probbly fark...

Okay... End part 1, more tomorrow...

Monday, September 10, 2007

This is totally awesome!

The first "official" Iron Man trailer to hit the web. (I caution you, it took me five tries to get it to download correctly, but I think that has more to say about the network at work than it does about anything else...)

But it is WAY cool. Check it out.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

If the rest of the world stopped...

...maybe I might catch up... but I doubt it.

There's so much I haven't had time to share...

I didn't comment on how your Transformers collection might be worth a million dollars... Not mine, of course (though it is quite the talking point at work), and really probably not yours. But this dead guy's...

Nor did I mention there was finally news on the much awaited Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVDs. Nor the one from our dear, lamented Veronica Mars...

And for the local folks, FINALLY some other self-professed pizza snob has spoken up. (Several of those courtesy of SQ... thanks, Man).

Nor have I pointed out how the FBI could be following you around online (or, as some people who are MLW think of it, one step closer to Big Brother).

And that's not even getting into what I've been up to lately. Hint: kittens are sharp and potentially evil...

More later, I swear.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My work here is done...

So I get the following email from a dear, feline ninja friend of mine. It is completely true as I understand it. No names have been changed to protect anyone. And it brings a ridiculously huge smile to my face every time I read it:

Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 21:37:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ninja El Gato
Subject: It's CLOBBERIN' TIME!
To: Jonathan Mazur

Good GRIEF, what have you DONE to my CHILDREN!
Fantastic 4 this, Fantastic 4 that, I spend my days as
Reid [sic] Richards to Sammi's Sue, with Quinn alternating
between Ben and Johnny Storm.... sometimes I get to
be the Thing, but Quinn usually claims that role. A
few weeks ago they spent the day with the team emblem
on their chests, done with face paint. I feel like an
underpaid actor. (But it's all good! S calls our
family the Fantastic 4.) It's all they ask for to
watch right now. Although has asked for her own
Spider-Man costume... Quinn's loathe to share, it's
still his favorite.

Got yer message (oops, now I'm typing like Ben talks),
sorry I haven't called yet (and sorry to hear about
your voice, I hope you've reclaimed it!), finding
phone time remains a challenge.

Sincerely,

Mr. Fantastic
I seriously cannot tell you how funny I found the first line.

Comic books... capturing children's imagination since 1939...

(Granted, some people think it's "corrupting the morals of youth," but I think we know that those people are idiots...)

So happy to be passing on the fun to future generations. And now waiting for JADO's and my cousin's kids to be old enough.

* * *

So much other stuff to report. Perhaps when I have more time...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

No, I haven't seen it yet...

...but SQ sent me this article which was kinda funny, since Transformers mania is sweeping the nation.

(For the record, I did see LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, and it was really good...)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Some of you may find this dry...

...or boring. But I think sometimes people forget the importance of the 4th. And this was a fascinating analysis that MLW found.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Attention car people...

(...so that would be like Dad and JADO....)

This site which explains how to treat your non-hybrid car as a hybrid sounds like a marvelous idea and a great way to help the environment. Tell me why I'm wrong. Do I need to worry about damage to my engine? What about the battery? There are some traffic lights down here that can last for two or three minutes or longer.

This, of course, is all while I save up for my new dream car, which sounds positively awesome.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hee-hee

I so enjoy seeing Bruce Campbell working. He's in a new series (in a supporting role) called BURN NOTICE on USA. Looks like it could be funny, and it seems quirky and somewhat original. Therefore it will probably be cancelled after 3 ep's, but hey, I can hope, right?

Bruce has a series of video interviews (short clips) that he did promoting the series, featured on the website for the show. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pay attention this week...

...Dear Reader, as I feel a posting mood coming on...

In the meantime, it's nice to know the Japanese are working on the prototype for my Mind-Control Helmet...

Ah, Japanese scientists... did anyone ever figure they maybe have too much time on their hands...?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Do you think if I chase myself...

...long enough, I can ever actually catch up?

So, lots and lots of stuff -- nothing super-exciting, but if I don't post I'll never be able to close all these open browser tabs! (Damn you Firefox for your tabbed browsing efficiency!)

SQ sent my this piece on the new Speed Racer movie.

In Japan, the Army is poised to attack... um... wild animals, apparently.

I don't even remember who sent me this article on the proposed Avengers movie (for the record, I can't imagine how that would work), but conceptually it's a neat idea.

More info and photos on our trip to Wizard World Philly coming shortly. Also, maybe some complaining about having to move my cube at work...

Friday, June 01, 2007

When describing...

...the town where I grew up in New Jersey (insert your own joke here), I often refer to it as "a small Midwestern town, transplanted to the Northern New Jersey woodlands" -- which I have always felt was a reasonable description of West Milford Township (still "my hometown" at least in my head) -- at least when you factor in the notion that it's more my IDEA of what a small, Midwestern town is like, anyway.

Never has that been more true than today. I give you this piece from the Bergen Record:

Cow still running wild in W. Milford

Friday, June 1, 2007

By MICHAEL J. FEENEY
STAFF WRITER

For one evening, it was the Wild Wild West -- West Milford, that is.

There was the swarm of true-grit horse riders in Stetsons. There was the trail boss with a lasso and a gun. It was like an old-fashioned cattle drive.

The only thing missing -- again -- was the cow.

Despite the best efforts by about 20 riders combing woods and fields, a black cow continued to run wild through the township as night fell Thursday.

The escapee from a cow-herding horse competition has been out there for almost a month, getting fat on the foliage and posing a potential danger to motorists. And the posse had saddled up with one goal in mind – bring 'er in.

The cowpokes, looking smart in their western hats, doused in bug spray and astride their personal horses -- many specifically trained to herd cattle -- started out by cantering gently down a heavily wooded area, just off Gould Road and Union Valley Road, where the cow has been spotted numerous times.

But after a nearly two-hour search of the rocky and wooded terrain, it was time to admit failure.

"It was disappointing, but we'll try it again tomorrow," said John Macellaro of the Passaic County Sheriff's Department Auxiliary Mounted Unit, who organized the townshipwide cow hunt.

"It's becoming a nuisance," he said of the elusive bovine. "You just don't want the cow running out into the road and killing somebody."

Past searches have failed to get close to the wary animal. Police say one motorist has reported hitting the nearly 600-pound cow, which likely has gotten bigger since being out in the woods. Driver and cow were reported to be OK, but the car sustained significant damage.

Macellaro, who is certified in search and rescue, had made up a map grid to help strategically plan the search. The riders split up into four groups with high hopes that this time someone would locate the cow, which had been spotted as recently as Thursday morning. If they did, they would call in Macellaro, who had the goods to bring the critter in.

"There's more power in numbers," said Macellaro, riding his horse Snorty like a true cowboy, wearing spurs and a cowboy hat. "I got a rope and a tranquilizer gun. We really just want to catch him for the guy [owner Frank Battipaglia]."

Macellaro hoped the horses could find the cow and chase the animal around until it is tired and then he could move in with rope or tranquilizer.

The cow has been on the loose since May 6, when she jumped a fence during a cattle-herding horse competition at the West Milford Equestrian Center, owned by Frank and Ella Mae Battipaglia.

The all-black bovine with a cloth number zero tagged to its hide has been nearly impossible to catch, despite many close encounters with Frank Battipaglia, who has said the cow runs away when it sees him.

The cow doesn't belong to the Battipaglias. It's actually one of a small herd they rented from a Monticello, N.Y., livestock competition for the penning competition held in an indoor arena at the equestrian center.

Each of the cattle are tagged with a number, and competing horsemen use their skills to drive the cows into a pen at one end of the arena.

Kathy Leaver, who also organized the search, said, "We've been going out two or three times a week looking for the cow, just for fun. She needs to be caught."

Leaver said all the riders rode their personal horses, which are kept at Echo Lake Stables, a small ranch community in the Newfoundland section of the Highlands township.

Leaver and Macellaro own the stable.

Leaver, riding Aspen, was optimistic their biggest search would turn up with some positive results. She shouted, "Let's go guys, mount up," while reminding the riders the sun would be down by about 8:20 p.m.

Despite the results, Marta Samsel, riding Midnight Sky, was still smiling after the search ended.

"The cow was an excuse to go and have fun," she said.

Although the search didn't have a happy ending, Macellaro concluded, "We did see a lot of cow manure. Now we have a pretty good idea where she's been hanging."

And, naturally, just as everyone was parting ways and the horses were being loaded into trailers, another sighting came in.

Reason for another cattle drive, soon.

Copyright © 2007 North Jersey Media Group Inc.

So, um, there you go. We have some traffic lights now too, you know... (Freebird!) Thanks to my mom for sending that along.

Happy Trails!

Friday, May 25, 2007

By the Power of Greyskull!

This is the sort of thing that SQ normally forwards along, but this time MLW beat him to the punch. Sure, why not another 80s show to film? Read to the end of the article to see what else is in process...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two weeks behind...

...(at least) on seemingly everything. Hell, that may just be my epitaph... All I can say is, work is keeping me super-busy. Don't really know why, exactly... doesn't seem to be one thing I can point to, just seem to be busy all the time. (Truly, it's a struggle to get to the gym or read.) It's not "bad busy" but it doesn't leave time for much else.

Anyway, at the risk of giving up my lunch or getting further behind in my email, here's at least two weeks worth of bloggables at once...

So it turns out that French and Austrian scientists (who apparently decided, you know, that all the rest of our problems had already been solved) were studying animals, and learned that petting them reduced their stress as well as our own. So score one for, um, science?

My mom sent me this piece like back at the end of February (Did I say two weeks behind? Clearly I meant months. Make that three. Months.) -- some sort of in memoriam of Mr. Rogers. Utterly random, but worth reading, I thought (presuming, of course, you can since it's in the Bergen Record, which probably requires registration...)

Here's a really cool site (and when I say "really cool" I realize, OriginalWebb, that not everyone will agree with me...) that debunks or sets straight many comic book urban legends. Didn't know their WERE comic book urban legends? Me neither. But I found out I believed some of them, and so this site helped me learn the truth.

For local folks, I found the Virginia Renaissance Festival (we always hear about the Maryland one which starts around August and runs through late October, but never a VA one), which sounds interesting. Maybe we'll go if it doesn't get too hot... They do have a Pirate weekend... (Arr!)

And speaking of pirates (see what I did there?), I have YET ANOTHER bone to pick with my high school Guidance Department -- NO ONE ever told me "professional treasure hunter" was a viable job choice! How cool would that be?! Answer: pretty damn cool. And apparently profitable!

What else is up? Saw Spiderman 3... I'm sure at some point I'll have an interesting conversation with JADO about that. Um... I'm not sure that's there's any other news of excitement. Oh, other than the murder up on the next street. (MDFA's parents don't read this blog, right?)

Back to work now. Thanks for reading...

Friday, May 04, 2007

I don't want to spoil it...

...or otherwise prejudice people, so I'll just say this about Spiderman 3*...
  • Bruce Campbell rules!
  • The redhead works as a blonde
  • Yes, there's a lot going on
  • Toby Maguire (and for that matter, every other young actor in Hollywood) needs to learn if you're playing a superhero, people want to see the superhero, NOT the superhero with his mask off (or half off or three quarters off or whatever). It's getting weak, Toby.
Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled work day...

*=What? No, I didn't leave the office for 3 hours with 3 coworkers to go see a movie across the street... That would be wrong. (Actually, no it wouldn't. It would be fun. Charging the customer for it would be wrong, and I'm not going to do that.)

I wanted to quickly...

...acknowledge both the premiere of Spiderman 3 and the fact that tomorrow (May 5) in addition to being Cinco de Mayo is also Free Comic Book Day! I know I've already mentioned that it's Spiderman week in New York.

So I figured I'd give you this link to Marvel's page summarizing the history of the conflict between Spiderman and the Green Goblin and also the link to the current Rotten Tomatoes on the new film (because I know if one film is dependent on good reviews for success, it's this one...)

So get out there, get some free comics, and see Spidey numero tres, because Hollywood needs the money...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Clear your calendars

MDFA after some subtle prompting was kind enough to look up the summer movie release calendar for me. Now that we're nearing the end of April, when for all intents and purposes the Summer movie season begins. So make notes, True Believers! We're soon headed to the cinema!

May 4th - Spiderman 3
May 18th - Shrek the Third
May 25th - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
June 8th - Ocean's 13
June 15th - Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer
June 15th - Nancy Drew (for MLW)
June 27th - Live Free or Die Hard (aka Die Hard 4)
July 4th - Transformers
July 13th - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
July 27th - The Simpsons Movie
August 3rd - The Bourne Ultimatum
August 10th - Rush Hour 3

I'm sure this doesn't represent ALL the movies coming out this summer, nor all the ones we will see, but hey, it's a start. If you haven't see the trailers for some of them, do check them out (the Simpsons' one had me laughing and laughing.)

More as we get closer to each individual one...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Just remember...

...I don't pick the icons...

So, I got an email from MLW, the other day, directing me to this site, which in turn explains that Ziggurat Con -- the first RPG con to be held in a war zone, will be taking place this June.

Now while I personally don't plan to attend, what with my allergy to warzones and all, those of you that are frequent readers know that MLW and are like to support AnySoldier.com and while this event (to my knowledge) has nothing to do with that charity, it does appear to be about supporting the troops in a way I know I can (who doesn't have extra rpg books lying around the house?), and so I'm passing it on, in case any of you feel the same way.

Keep 'em rolling!

Friday, April 20, 2007

True Story...

So the CEO of my company (who works right down the hall from my cube) comes by just as I'm about to step away for a second. This is not uncommon, as my cube is across the hall from three (count 'em, three...) Vice Presidents' offices. But he's not making direct eye contact, so I'm not sure if it's me he's talking to when he suddenly says, "So have you heard about this latest travesty?" And I glance to my left, not seeing anyone more important than myself that the comment could have been directed at. And I look past him, to see if there was someone right behind him that he might have been addressing; nope. So, concluding that he must be talking to me, I said, "Uhhhh...." (or words of a similar bend, displaying my mental acuity and speed of cognition).

To which he replies, "I really want to know who even thinks of this stuff?" And at this point, I'm beginning to get concerned, because it's not like some of my projects haven't had their little problems, and it's not that big a company that the CEO couldn't know this or have been called by an irate client. And I believe my follow up was, "Um, I'm sorry, I'm not sure..."

To which, he finally replies, somewhat vexed, "Did you hear that they are making a Spiderman MUSICAL?" (Cue, JAM mentally yelling "Whew!" and figuratively wiping his brow...)

"Heh. Oh, yeah, Paul, I think I did read something about that... It didn't work for Superman, either."

"Unbelievable."

"Say, Paul, we are going to get the afternoon of May 3rd off, right? To see Spiderman 3?"

Now it was his turn to look uncomfortable....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

That's the Akron Beacon-Journal...

...for all your DVD news... But seriously, folks... TV Shows on DVD is reporting that in an interview with the Akron Beacon-Journal (first in news for, well, Akron...) Robert Vaughn has more news on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD collection.

Also, in other Robert Vaughn news, a reminder that his truly excellent show Hu$tle returns to AMC this very night (Wednesday, 10 p.m., AMC). Watch it, it's totally cool!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

For those of you who demanded it!

Apparently they're going ahead with that Green Arrow in Prison Movie... according to Wizard. Put me down for a "Wha....?"

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mark your calendars...

Just saw this article from the AP saying that Spiderman 3 was going to be premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in Queens, NY (see, Peter Parker is from Queens... get it?) And apparently this event kicks off a week long Spiderman Week in NYC event. Kudos to Marvel for pulling this one off (though don't think it means I've forgotten about that Captain America thing...)



* * *

Incidentally, for those who asked, I'm waiting for MLW to get the photos of the plumbing episode and the NYCC uploaded to her Fliker site, before I begin those particular photo essays...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mmmm....

...ice cream.... (and gambling -- two things that go great together!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

SHA....ker of salt

Both IMDB and Wizard Magazine are repeating a story from the NY Daily News (you gotta scroll down a bit) saying that the studios are considering Jake Gyllenhaal for the lead in a new franchise based on DC's Captain Marvel (who says "SHAZAM!" to transform... but the character names are often confused due to the long, storied, and confusing history of the character).

These things tend to have absolutely no substance when examined (witness the number of people "cast" as Wonder Woman, the new Superman, etc., etc.) but since SQ was nice enough to bring it to my attention, I figured I'd share.

And now back to work....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

'Nuff said?

New Fantastic Four TV Commercial/Trailer.

New news on the (upcoming) Iron Man movie.

And as some of you may have seen during HEROES at some point (I'm so far behind it's not funny...) the 7+ minutes from Spiderman 3!

I had thought about giving you a rant on the whole Death of Captain America thing, but then I figured, why bother when this guy has more or less summed up my thoughts, and regardless of those thoughts, Marvel (Make Mine Money!) will continue to capitalize on it. (It's what they do now.)

Photo posts still coming soon...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My flight has been delayed an hour…

…which means a three hour wait or so in the Nashville airport. Some random observations of no particular significance nor order:

Part 1:

I’m seated outside of the security checkpoint for Concourses A & B, outside of the “Andy Jackson Tavern...” I believe in exactly the same seat as I was when waiting for my coworker the other day. The line for security is incredibly long. I figure I’ll sit here a while and watch (also, I’m waiting to see if my colleagues show up – they have a different flight, but same security checkpoint and one had said something about having a “debrief” if we had time sitting around. I suspect they’re going to ditch me (again), but I’ll sit here for awhile and see if the line gets any shorter…)

· Women’s shoes don’t… you know, what? I’m not even going there…

· A family – a large, extended family – of Mennonites? (I don’t think they were Amish – too much color in the wardrobe) are moving around en masse. I’m not sure if they’re all traveling or just one or two of them are, but there must be over a dozen here of all ages. They are attracting a modicum of attention. It’s interesting to see who looks and how they react, or who stares, with or without feeling bad.

· You know, if any gene pool remains too isolated, everyone starts to look alike. Independent of gender.

· After careful analysis, I am forced to conclude that Absence DOES make the heart grow fonder (as opposed to “out of sight, out of mind,” I guess) – the people saying goodbye are by and large, not nearly as emotional as the people saying hello. I’ve seen a number of people welcomed home – families, daughters, soldiers – people really are glad to see people they pick up at the airport (the soldier won for most emotional homecoming, I think). I can say with some assurance that I am, in fact, looking forward to seeing MLW.

· I was surprised to learn the girl with the dog was a departure and not an arrival. The dog seems to be going along. What a well-behaved little (but not toy) dog.

· I think I finally understand the difference between dog people and cat people. Dog people feel it’s perfectly acceptable to walk up to a strange dog and a strange person and pet the dog and talk to the person. Not unlike dogs, I suppose… Cat people, well, I guess we like to chose who we walk up to, and vice versa…

· Dad? Oh, no. Of course, not. Why would he be in a Nashville airport? Striking resemblance though…

· I think I’ve forgotten what background noise sounded like pre-cellphones. Was it as constant? As loud? As random if you put the words together and make sentences?

· The line is not getting any shorter. Not really any longer, but not any shorter.

· My colleagues are no where to be seen. I hope they are okay.

Part II – Going through security

· I am curious to see how this compares. I got through National’s crack security with a pocket knife, a 2 oz bottle of undeclared hand sanitizer gel, and a book of matches. I did not intend to do this. It was not a planned test – I had forgotten I had the knife in my pocket, and so quickly moved it into my jacket pocket (where the rest of the contraband was, as it happened) hoping that I could just go with, “Oh? Really? I forgot…” should I be challenged, and not have to throw away the knife I’ve had since age 12. While they did stop the conveyer belt with my jacket in X-Ray and call over “Bill” for his opinion, the main exchange I caught was, “Do you want to open it?” (snorts derisively) “No. Do you?” At no point did anyone look at me, wave me over, look to see who picked up the jacket, ask me about it, etc. I feel so safe…

· On line one man, loudly declares to his traveling companion, “I don’t care… I am NOT throwing out my toothpaste!” I idly wonder if he will hold fast to that opinion if confronted with a full body-cavity search from an attendant named “Big Earl…”

· Someone could make a tidy profit hanging out on the “outside” of security just sweeping up the bottles of unopened beverages that people apparently buy and then abandon when they realize they can’t take it through. Not sure how, but I’m pretty sure there’s money to be made there…

· One of my colleagues is quite tall – I’m quite sure I could spot him over the throng of people. I don’t see him.

· It might actually be quicker if we all just flew naked and just got all our stuff on the other side. Colder, mind you, but possibly quicker.

· I really must get that Richard Reed a lovely fruit basket. I so enjoy taking my shoes on and off in public while there’s people waiting.

· Though it seemed much longer, it only took 15 minutes to actually start at the end of the line and get all the way through.


Part III – “The Other Side”

· My gate is down at the far end of Concourse B – if ever there was a desolated area, a Boulevard of Broken Dreams, this is it…

· Nice sunset… it doesn’t look like anyone noticed.

· When I sit down to drink my peach smoothie and eat my raspberry bar (see? Fruit. Who says I don’t eat healthy?), I notice two guys staring at an apple laptop (whatever they call them…. LapMacs? Mactops?) and while I’ve never seen either of them before the expression on their faces seems strangely familiar. Once I can see the computer screen it makes sense; they are playing Civilization…

· No matter how attractive a woman is, how well-coiffed, or put together, she loses the effect if she’s squatting on the floor outside the restrooms, back against the wall, texting someone…

· If you plug your laptop into an outlet in the airport, are you stealing their electricity? Does this affect the price of airline tickets? Clearly, I’m not the only person who had this idea…

· The Mennonites seem to have made it through security. Seems like it’s just the two eldest men traveling…

· Wandering around deciding what to buy to eat (and what tacky souvenirs to pick up), walking the length of both concourses, I must wonder if my bag would actually make the weight limit…

· Also, my colleagues are in a snack bar down near their gate (their flight is also now delayed… I wonder if something happened in DC… but not so much as that I want to pay for Internet access….) Clearly they thought better of the debriefing. Or something. Or they just don’t care for me, which I think might be the case in at least the one instance…

· The agent in front of the Gate (B10) has been patiently telling every person that has come up to ask when the flight will be here, “Ten Minutes” for at least 20 minutes now. It’s not hard People; look outside… you see a plane attached to the building near where we’re sitting? No? Then it’s not here yet! Clearly you need a lot more patience than I have to be in this line of work. Of course, that’s true of so many jobs…

· You know, if you smile at people, most of the time they do smile back…

· In the South, apparently it’s perfectly acceptable to call people “Baby,” “Sweetie,” “Honey,” and my personal favorite, “Sugarpie.” I am not going to try it, however.

· Each new person that goes up seems to think they are the first person to think to inquire as to when the flight might be arriving, leaving, if there’s news, the pilot’s name, etc.?

Special In-Flight Bonus Round!

· That must be the smallest cockpit I’ve ever seen… The pilot is practically sitting on the nose of the plane.

· Fun Fact, brought to you by the fine folks at US Airways (Get a piece of the Rock, fly US Airways and give a Coke to someone you love! *) – When a plane is late and the ground folks need to decide between a plane that’s on time and a plane that’s already late, they do everything they can to keep the one that’s on time, on time. Screw the late people. That would be us….

· Dun-duh-dun, dun-dun-da, dun, dun, Dun Dun Da, Dun Da-Da, Dun Da Da-DUN! Da, Da, Dun! Da Dun! Dun-Dun-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da DAAAAAAH! **

· I think if I live to be 200, I will still be amazed every single time I get on an airplane and it successfully takes off. I get it – we’ve been doing this for a hundred years now. Heavier than air objects fly by means of Bernoulli’s Principle (which spellchecker recognizes, btw) – yes, see, I know things – but I’m still amazed on some level. I don’t understand how people can become blasé about that…

· The flight is very empty – people have spread out. It’s a small plane – a small Canadian plane – I wonder if we’re past the point where distribution of the people’s weight matters. (You know, back at the beginning, they used to weigh people before they climbed aboard to make sure the weight was evenly distributed…)

· A lot of these people are younger than me… yeah, I know that’s only going to get worse. This one kid that was my seatmate for about a minute has Bose earphones… actually a bunch of these kids do… I thought Bose earphones were expensive? Maybe I’m wrong about that. What the hell do I know...? this kid could have invented the World Wide Mind or something and will be the next Quadzillionare by the time he can drive… Are we raising a generation of kids that will have severe hearing damage by the time they’re my age?

· The clouds always look pretty when illuminated by moonlight. So soft.

· Hmm. The planes headlights actually work to a short distance. Who knew?

· She going CRAZY with the pretzels. I know that will make me forget about arriving two hours late. (Mmmm… pretzels…)

· America is WAY lit up. Like it’s no wonder we use so much energy. Damn it, America, turn that light off if you’re not in the room! You think we’re made of money? What’s that? Oh…

· One Excedrin was not, in this case, all it took. But now I’m too WAH to sleep.

· I know it’s probably me, but he’s flying the plane banked. My water is tilted.

· Flight Attendant – another job I don’t have the patience for. Let’s keep a list, shall we?

· Anyone want to take a guess to see how long it takes me to post this once we land? I’m guessing April…

* = Or words to that effect.

** = Those amongst you with trained ears, will recognize that as a rousing chorus of the Air Force Anthem.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Can someone tell me what's so great...

...about traveling for business? I thought it would be interesting, but really I could be anywhere. Instead, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Brentwood, TN, wondering about tornadoes, eating room service and, you guessed it, doing more work. I just don't get the appeal. Plus, the guy in the room next door is like practicing singing while playing guitar (badly). What's up with that?

Anyway, all things being equal, I'd rather be home in my torn apart house. But I guess I can do that tomorrow. If I had more time, and didn't feel exhausted, I'd write more about either of the exciting stories I have for you (per my last post). Soon. There's photos...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Plumbing and Comics

WAY too much going on these past few weeks with no particular sign of an ebb any time soon. The Readers' Digest version (with promise of more later)...

On plumbing/home repairs -- I think it's covered very simply by Mazur's 15th Law: Nothing Can Ever Be Simple... But it's nice to have hot water again.

On the NY Comic Con -- Wow. Just wow. Oh, also, NYC is freakin' expensive. And cold. Very, very cold. Also, Gary Coleman is an angry, angry little man...

More on both (with photos!) to follow.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Yet another sign...

...of the breakdown of society? Every time one of these types of stories shows up (and what's up with that?) people go on and on about how we don't know our neighbors and the speeding up of the pace of our society has destroyed the human connections. I sort of wonder how long people have been saying that...

In other news, OriginalWebb tells me that the sporadic blogger "phenomenon" wherein my posts don't appear right away has returned. So if you missed my birthday post or any of the stuff from February, please by all means, check them out.

Hopefully, a bit more later in the week, including the exciting world of plumbing repairs and bathroom remodeling...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Star Wars?

So as I mentioned in my birthday post, MLW and I watched Star Wars (and no, I'm not calling it A New Hope -- it's just Star Wars). And curiously this evening as she flipped around channels when I left the room, I saw she happened upon the end of Episode I and then probably the last third of Episode III. But because WPE sent me this a few weeks back, I couldn't help but see them all in a completely different light. It makes a disturbing amount of sense... and also means that GWEK was right when, right after Episode I (I think) he said to me, "I'm telling you, Yoda and R2 are the only two that know the whole story..." but I don't want to emphasize that too much, lest it go to his head... But watch Star Wars after you read this, and tell me that maybe, just maybe, you can't see that Alec Guinness was playing coy with the trash can secret agent...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Ice Storm of DOOM!

Or at least that's what I've been calling it since yesterday. The birthday snow fizzled. And for that matter, so did the massive storm we were supposed to be getting. Although, if you ask me there were too many people ready for this one... so of course it didn't amount to anything. The weather folks are still playing coy, but I think they'll definitely have a forecast for Monday through Wednesday by something on Thursday...

A couple of amusing things sent in be various loyal readers (or something):
And I think that's about all I have right now. Gotta go skate outside and grab some lunch...

Monday, February 12, 2007

36

Not really sure how this happened, but that's the age I turned today. It seemed oddly appropriate that this blogthing was on the "new" page:

You Are 46% Misanthropic

You're somewhat misanthropic, but you're not willing to write off the human race (yet!).
There's a few people you like, and even them you like at a distance.


So anyway... it's been an odd day. Props to MLW for trying to make the day special (though I really didn't need to hear "it's your birthday!" one more time... -- I'm kidding, dearest, I love you. (Actually, I'm not)). Some strange items in the news: some oddly apropos and others not so much.

The usual folks sent in well wishes by e-card or snail card (that's a phrase, right?) -- thanks usual people... MLW made me a nice dinner and we sat and watched Star Wars on video (yeah, that's right -- video, VHS, tape -- I haven't bought the DVDs yet because I'm waiting for the inevitable box set that has all six -- I've given Lucasfilm enough money already, I don't think I need to buy multiple versions of the whole saga (especially since the first half kinda blew...)) I opened some presents and cards (I save them all for my birthday as a rule) and fielded the usual calls from home. All-in-all as nice a day as a random birthday year and a day spent working can be.

While I never intended to give it much thought I found myself compiling a birthday Wishlist (and no, not the nigh-300 items on Amazon.com...) This would be things I really, truly want.

  • I want the smokers driving in front of (and alongside and behind) me to stop treating the world like it's their personal ash-tray. If it's so great, keep it in your car, and while you're at it, keep the window rolled up too; I don't need to be sucking in the second hand smoke through my vents...

  • I want the news media to remember what journalism is. That's journal, not sensational -ism. I understand how they might confuse those two. If aliens arrived on Earth yesterday, they would have had to conclude that Anna Nicole Smith was a world leader or great thinker or something. And don't give me that crap about how "well, if it didn't sell people wouldn't buy it or watch it or read it." I'm pretty tired of other people deciding what we're capable of. Admittedly, I haven't traveled all over this nation of ours, but I suspect that people are smarter than we give them credit for. At least individually....

  • And speaking of our once great nation, I want our government to realize that not every problem can be solved with a stick, no matter how big. Sometimes we need other methods. And likewise not every problem can be solved by throwing MORE at it, be it more money, more men and women, or more bombs.

  • While we're at it, I want America to realize that More is not always More. And New is not always Improved. And that you can't have your cake and eat it too. And then have a pill that makes the affects of that cake disappear. You can't have a job you can do from a reclining position, like on the Jetson's, and you're far more likely to be struck by lightning or killed in an automobile accident than you are to win the PowerBall jackpot (for gods' sake put the money into a fund, a savings account, even under the mattress, or if you insist on throwing it away at least throw it at a charity...) Put down the fries, America, and don't drive around and around looking for the closest space -- you need the walk.

  • I want everyone to realize that the Greenhouse Effect is not just a headline, and the clock is running out on the time we have to fix it. And this clock has no snooze button. And I want the energy companies to apologize for using Big Tobacco tactics and positioning this issue as one open to debate or interpretation or I at least want them to pay.

  • And hey, while we're at it, I want people and the government to realize that with a few notable exceptions, Big Business does what Big Business has to do... and that's watch the bottom line. And any shortcut they can take to get there (whatever the quasi-legality of it) they will use. Because when you're single-minded of purpose and goal, morality tends to evaporate. So we have to make them accountable.

  • And speaking of accountability, isn't it about due for a comeback of some sort? I want our leaders, and hey, just ordinary people to say, "Yeah, that was me. I did that. Maybe you disagree, maybe you condemn me, but I will at the very least admit that the issue was my responsibility." Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't you be able to respect someone like that? And if you respect them and find them capable, wouldn't you vote for them? Could they do a worse job than the usual suspects? And it's not just leaders, parents blame teachers, schools, TV, music and video games for their kids bad behavior. (You know what? I had all those things and I've never done something horrible, never shot up a strip mall or a school. You know why, because my parents (and other people) taught me there's right and there's wrong -- it's a choice and you know it when you make it. You can pretend afterwards you didn't, but unless you're a sociopath, you most likely were aware of the choice when you made it...) Everyone seems to look to someone else to blame for their problems. Hey, I have problems, we all do, and some aren't even of our own making, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be dealt with. And wishing or hoping or praying isn't going to make that glass slide across the table, you have to get up and get it.
Wow. Listen to me... "I want, I want..." always about me isn't it? Might as well wish for a pony as I think we all know I stand a much better chance of waking up with superpowers, so I guess I'll just get a PS3 instead... And now to steal a page from JADO's book...*


* = The preceding rant was brought to you by to you by Old Age and Crankiness®. That's Old Age and Crankiness, now with extra Bitterness®.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

First Cousin, Once Removed!

So, lots to talk about in terms of work, and other exciting developments going on.

But trumping all that was today's development as My Dear Cousin A, gave birth to a bouncing baby boy (well, okay, he wasn't bouncing exactly... mostly he just kinda slept -- so it's nice that he and I have so much in common already) who we'll refer to as Baby Z. He was born at 4:07 p.m. EST, and weighed in at 8 lbs., 4 oz., and was 21 inches long.

Herewith are the photos, which have not been doctored to make anyone look nicer, I swear.





















Cousin A with Baby Z. See, he's sleeping.



(L to R):
My aunt (Cousin A's Mom), Baby Z, and Cousin A. (Note how he's still sleeping).




A disheveled looking JAM (I meant to shave, really), Batman shirt and Green Lantern ring and all, holding my first Cousin, Once Removed, Baby Z. I think I'm just going to let him call me Uncle. It's shorter and easier to explain. I did tell him I'd always have comic books for him, though. (Note how you can just sort see his eyes in this picture. They're really dark blue, not red as they might appear in this light...)

So, anyway, that's all for now. I'm tired. And I wasn't even there all day. Or in labor. Or really anything. But he seems cool. He made me laugh at this one point with a funny face, so that was cool.

We'll see how Day 2 goes tomorrow...