Friday, February 13, 2004

A Present for Randy Update:

Hello, Leaguers! You may be wondering about the status of the "A Present for Randy" contest. Things are going swimmingly.

Apparently offering a present in exchange for an entry was the thing to do. Well, done, my greedy little Leaguers. However, some of the key Leaguers have not piped up. Where is Ann Francis? Where is Nathan Cone? Why doesn't Jason ever pipe up? And is that really Jim's final word on the matter?

Alas, I think we may be at daggers drawn over the topic.

Anyway, I will probably be shutting down the contest here in a week or so. Keep in mind, all entrants who include their snail mail address will receive Vol. 2 of the League of Melbotis musical CD. You can put the disc into your car CD player and pretend you're driving to work with Melbotis himself, but without all of the doggy odor.

an actual picture of the new toy from the upcoming Batman animated series

With this cartoon and the new movie about to begin, it's time for me to clear some additional shelf space at League HQ.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

how cool is this?
Good news. My brother has offered to cut off my head as part of the ancient Seppuku ritual! Instant death for me, boy!
it seems that the concepts first employed with the 1980's 5:30am show "Captain Power" are being re-employed with the Dark Knight Detective.

This doesn't bother me. I hope the toys are cool and the show is cool. We'll see.

What bothers me is that they can embed electronic messages into my TV to cause things in my house to be programmed. Leaguers, if there were ever technology ripe for abuse by a nefarious conglomerate run by a mad super-villain, this would be it.
Yesterday at work we sat down and outlined the various initiatives, programs and projects we're going to be dealing with in the near future. I have come to the conclusion that the only honorable escape is through seppuku. I am now seeking a sword and a place where they will find my corpse before it begins to stink.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Somewhat interesting. Dean Wartella has been Dean at UT's school of communications for years and years and years. It looks like she's off to sunny California.

I spent 5 years in the College of Communications while at UT, and I can say Wartella had a profound impact on my life. She showed me that I can spend five years somewhere and never have the slightest clue that my college has a Dean. The School of Communications was always critically underfunded, terribly organized and showed little or no interest in any of it's actual undergraduate students. The Department of Radio-Telelvision-Film itself felt often as if it were being managed by drunk lemurs, with no clear path for graduation or real standards for students to meet. Grad students hung out for up to ten years, and decisions were made mid-stream which screwed crucially with my entire graduating class who was in the production track.

No clear path of communication was ever given. If the College had anything resembling an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, I don't know who it was. One of the primary roles of a Dean is to seek funding for a College. not once while I was in the College, or in the years following, have I read about any major award to UT's College of Communication.

Career services consisted of a desk with a student worker who's job it was to point at a pile of outdated books and suggest you browse them. The job board consisted of opportunities at HEB and some telemarketing firms.

But mostly, I never even heard the Wartella's name until we were told what was going to happen while we lined up for graduation. I had good reason to assume nobody was actually in charge, because, by God, it felt that way 90% of the time. So farewell, Dean Wartella. Have fun wherever you go. You were a lousy Dean and nobody will ever notice you parted ways with the College.

Oh, and Paul Stekler is a dick.
Jim can wax philosophic on Survivor, so maybe I can be the bottom feeder on reality shows.

The new fave rave at The League is "My Big, Fat Obnoxious Fiancee" which stars a lame Scottsdale girl and a dude who, for all appearances, is the missing Steans brother. Seriously. Character or not, "Steve" is very much in line with what one would expect from a member of the Steans clan.

The premise of the show, for those of you who are above such drivel and will not watch, is that Randi (a Scottsdale prototype if there ever was one) believes herself to be a contestant on a reality show in which, if she can convince her best friends and family she is in love with, and marrying, someone she met three weeks earlier, she will win a million dollars. The twist is, they've given her "Steve". Who is pretty much a sitcom sort of guy's guy. Randi is unaware that Steve is a trained actor playing an obnoxious clod. So she thinks she's pulling one over on her family, and being fairly clever doing it. Meanwhile, she believes the producers have stuck with an impossible dork of a man. BUT, if she can convince her family she's in love, and they go through with the wedding, she get's $1 million.

Yeah, it's so meta, it took me two episodes to figure out exactly what the hell is going on. I will say, it was morbid curiosity which drew me in, and it's malicious pleasure which keeps me there.

You see, Randi is probably a somewhat nice, if shallow person. And like all good current reality shows, this one sets out to punish Randi for being such a shallow, money-grubbing Scottsdale dork.

Last night's episode (of which I actually only saw the last half), reminded me of exactly why the Valley of the Sun annoys me so very, very much.

Randi's family came in from Scottsdale, and Randi had to spring it upon them that she was engaged. Her parents, in all honesty, took it much better than I had expected. But her siblings are the same jug-headed maroons who blast Snoop Dogg from their Kia Sorentos while cruising Scottsdale Road on their way to Sugar Daddy's. Her folks are the kind of people who can't distinguish between arts and crafts and who are the reason the "art festivals" around here can get away with charging $200 for a rusted copper back scratcher. All in all, it was nice to see them being so openly disenchated with "Steve", because at least they were being honest. Even if Randi's brothers are big old jug-heads.

This town isn't just full of these people, it PRIDES itself on being a boringly pedestrian place to be. I don't dislike golf in and of itself. But if you admit to not playing golf here, folks look at you like you just told them you think Stalin had some great ideas. It's bland, bland, bland and more than a little bit boring.

Look, I ain't pretty. And I ain't getting any prettier. So no small part of me is delighted to see Steve, who is also probably very aware of how unpretty he is, taking full advantage of the situation. Sure, he shows some small glimmers of sympathy for Randi. ut, really, he is more than aware that even if he is a great guy, Randi's the girl who's looking for the Accountant with the golf clubs already packed in the trunk of his BMW.

Steve's "family" is also great, and once again, they al so remind me all too much of the Steans clan. God bless 'em. I could totally envision my family encouraging me "to do the Moose", an act which defies both taste and description.

Like all Fox reality shows, the series will stretch out waaayyyy too long, and eventually really test my patience with all the pseudo-tense moments. But I think as long as I keep watching only the last half-hour of any given episode, the show will move long at a good clip.
New animated series update:

Jim e-mailed me a story ona new Batman cartoon set for Kids WB! this fall. And then just this morning I saw an article on the show on another site. This one includes some images. Interesting interpretation of Batman. It looks like a cross between Year One Batman and his earliest adventures in Detective Comics from 1939 or so.

The series is no doubt intended to coincide with the new movie being developed at WB. It's good to see Batman getting out there again. As much as I'm a Superman fan, I've been a Batman fan from a far earlier age. Now let's see Superman out there again getting treated with the same high standards.

Monday, February 09, 2004

A Present for Randy Update.

Apparently there is little or no love for Randy at the League. Last week, I posted a new League contest. I'm a little disappointed that the single, solitary suggestion for a gift for Randy came from his fiancee. It can also be said that I strongly suspect the fiancee was suggesting something for herself, rather than for our beloved Randolph.

Despite some fairly strong numbers, I now believe actual readership for the League is down. It's impossible to keep up with how many hits we're really getting as the idiot from the beer site continues to use my bandwidth and I've decided I don't care enough to get into a fight with him/ her.

But the bottom line is that this contest is a bit of a flop thus far, and I don't think that speaks volumes for the success of this particular blog.

Anyway, I would point any remaining Loyal Leaguers to take a proactive stance and go ahead and submit an entry to the contest.

Who knows...? the very fate of the League may be depending on it...

Oh, I think every entry sent with a snail mail address will get the Music of The League of Melbotis Vol. 2.

So send an entry, kids.
Did anyone else see Teen Titans this weekend on Cartoon Network? It was both completely hilarious and as scary as anything else I've seen on TV in months. And it had an opening scene villain I can only assume was supposed to be Harry Knowles.

But the best part was Cyborg's reaction to the realization that his candy was, in fact, "evil." Dwayne McDuffie is a genius.

Randy was right about this series from day 1. I now look forward to it as much as I do new Justice League episodes. I need Tivo so I can always have episode of Teen Titans, Justice League and Static Shock on hand. Ah, screw it. I watch too much TV as it is.
Melbotis writes:

Dear Jim,

Today Mel was hanging out very bored

this is Mel at League HQ

When all of a sudden Killer Croc showed up

Killer Croc is trapped in plastic

Stupid cat came to see Croc

Jeff says: Hooperee dooperee

Then Gorn lizard man come by to give tips

The Gorn advises: don't underestimate Shatner!

Then other Killer Croc come by

The other Killer Croc feels like a lesser croc, and this makes him angry

Mel was happy for free stuff from Loyal Leaguers

First Nathan send press materials from new DVD release, Comic Book: The Movie

The League meant to find this movie this weekend, but spaced out and forgot.

Then Jim send Croc

Where will Croc live?

Maybe with Caped Crusader and pals?

Croc tired of being in package...

Jeff check to see if Croc OK...

Jeff's report: Jlippy jloopy jloooooo

Batman swing by to give directions

Croc find home among many other friends from horrible Gotham City

Thanks to Jim for making this ridiculously pointless photo essay possible. The League extends it's eternal gratitude.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Julius Schwartz, the great Silver Age editor of all things Superman, has merged with the infinite.

Julie Schwartz edited well before my time, and just barely into it. I was always more familiar with his work from reprints and collected editions, but just a few years of fandom, and it's hard not to know what a personal and creative influence Julie was on so many.

RIP, Julie, and thanks for everything. Up, up and away.

More anecdotes are included on this same page.
Congratulations to my former co-workers at the Faculty Innovation Center at the University of Texas at Austin. These guys work really hard, are chronically underpaid, and put up with an insane amount of nonsense. Why? because basically they like each other and can't imagine not being a part of that team.

Some public recognition was doled out last week.

I'm going to go ahead and quote from an e-mail Juan Diaz, Video Producer, sent out to many, many people this weekend.

"WEP: Engineering 109" took the Silver Award yesterday, at the awards ceremony in the Palmer Events Center.

In case you are not aware the ADDY awards are the advertising industry's equivalent of the Oscars. Ad campaigns compete initially at the local level, and the local winners eventually compete at the national level. This year's national ADDY awards ceremony will be in Dallas, TX. on June 12. The local competition was hosted by the Austin Ad Federation.

We at the Faculty Innovation Center have been working very hard to produce these commercials for the College of Engineering, and it is very rewarding to know that we are competitive with organizations like GSD&M, Milkshake Media, and Fd2S.

Anyway, congrats, FIC. It's a real pleasure to see you guys getting some recognition for your work!

See the Faculty Innovation Center Website here.

You can download the video off the Women in Engineering Program website. I think it's the download over there on the right.