Friday, February 27, 2004

The League generally steers clear of sex, religion or politics. This is editorial policy. And woe be to the poor writer who must fall under this policy or who tries to buck the editorial board which holds the League in it's infernal grasp.

Hence, the League has spiralled into a soup of comic info nobody cares about, rambling stories about couches, letters answered by the League's namesake, and a lot of other "play it safe" sort of tidbits. Looking at The League these days, I can't imagine that as an outsider, I would be remotely interested in ANY of this content. It's ridiculous. We don't even give regular Melbotis updates anymore, kind of nullifying the whole point behind the League.

But the League got tired of hurt feelings and political debate, and so the League decided it was going to quit messing around with anything remotely political, religious or sexual in nature.

I think we started out good. We had some good bits, but it's become a real routine, and the content is definitely suffering. Especially under workload and going to school (because I try not to talk to much about either within these pixels).

So as of today, the League is going on hiatus (but NOT blogicidal) until THe LEague has a meeting with the editorial board and can figure out some new ground rules which will keep The LEague from becoming the Highlights for Children of the blogger set. (oh, Goofus! Why can't you be more like Gallant?)

Anyhow, don't be alarmed if there are limited posts for a while.
Justice League will become Justice League Unlimited in Season 3.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Worlds collide as the NBA teams up with Kids WB! action star Static.

I actually really like the Static Shock cartoon. I never read the comics when the Milestone line was released back around 1990. There was a deluge of new material coming out then, and at the time, all I read was some Sandman, Hellblazer and Batman. The Milestone comics were geared toward a black audience, featuring mostly black cast members with traditional super powers. Aside from that, i can't say much. I do remember picking up Static and liking the art, but saving my pennies for some crucial turn of events for Swamp Thing or somebody who I was more familiar with.

(little note to folks not collecting comics: picking up issue #1 of anything was once fashionable for comic readers to do. This could lead very quickly to burnout on "origin" stories as there are ALWAYS #1's being printed. This is also why so few new comics survive in the marketplace.)

The Milestone line died somewhat prematurely, without ever exploring the possibility for merging into a core Universe, like the DCU.

The Static Shock! cartoon came on Kids WB! (lots of exclamation points when you're aimed at kids) a little while after the cancellation of the comic. And while eating my Grape Nuts on Saturday morning, i began to tune in.

The cartoon is about a kid who gains fantastic powers centering around electricity. At the same time he gained his powers from a mysterious explosion (at the heart of Dakota City), many other gained powers as well. Static is supposedly the only one who happens to be using his powers for good. Hurray!

The show has guest starred many real-life folks, including Shaquille Oneal. It appears in this episode that Static is teaming up with several super powered NBA players, including Karl Malone and Yao Ming.

In a nutshell, here's the episode:

Together, these four form the leading members of the secret organization known as the National Biotech Authority, dedicated to preserving world peace and stability. In the episode they join forces with Static to help defeat the evil Doctor Odium, who's created a frightening new device to dominate the world.

Anyway, sounds not unlike when the Harlem Globetrotters helped Shag and Scoob solve the mystery of the creepy mansion.

I saw Yao Ming play in December. If he's fighting crime in his off-court time, it may explain why he didn't appear to have the energy to pull down anything off the boards.
Are they just now tuning in? I'd be very curious to see what, exactly, Stern did that he hasn't done every single day for decades.

I never guessed Janet Jackson's nipple would have such a profound effect.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Denby writes:

Dear Mel,

How do you feel about cloning?


Denby clarifies with:


How do you feel about cloning; specifically gay republicans?


Dear Laura,

Mel not sure why Mel opinion sought on such complicated issue, but Mel try anyway.

Mel not very clear on concept of cloning. Also, Mel not real clear on gay. Or Republican. Or biggest mystery of all: gay Republican.

Mel know only that cloning mean more people. And more people mean that more people might pet Mel on Mel's head, and that cannot be all bad. Do gay Republican pet doggies? mel genuinely hope so. So mel highly in favor of cloning gay Republican if they have treat or take Mel to park so Mel can run and bark and they can pick up Mel-poo.

Mel fairly certain if world full of gay Republican, world would be better place.
Randy writes:

Dear Mel,

Are you a Democrat or Republican? What's your stance on gay marriages?
you think Kerry/Edwards/Sharpton has a snowball's chance in hell to
Bush? Also, what's next week's lucky lotto numbers?

Thanks for your time,


Dear Randy,

Mel live in house where Mel get little say in matter. Often, Mel tries to see if he can have milkbone a it early because mel still hungry. So Mel look at man on couch and man look back at Mel and say "Oh, you're starving to death." and Mel say "yes!" but still no milkbone come. So Mel suspect that it not matter really what Mel think. Mel not going to get milkbone anyway. Mel clearly live in slave labor state, so is like asking if he labor or conservative party.

Mel not to sure about gay marriage. Mel only know marriage mostly involve debate over where to go for supper and a lot of rolling eyeball at one another. So if two men or two lady want to do that, good for them. Mel like to eat all alone. otherwise, Mel feel threatened and have to growl and eat at same time.

Mel still stand behind nice Sharpton man in bid for presidency. Sharpton man look like he might give Mel extra treat and pet Mel on head. Kerry man look like man who walk by and pretend not to see Mel. Mel think that dumb and so barkbarkbark at kerry man. He dumb. Edwards man is confusing to Mel. he seem like he might pet Mel, but not give Mel extra treat. mel used to live few miles from George Bush and he never come by. Mel say "Hey, dumb Bush man, come give Mel treat," but it do no good. Mel think that all things be equal, if Sharpton give everyone extra treat, then maybe he win.

Next week lucky lotto number are 1 and 2. That as high as Mel care to count. After two, mel lose track.
By the way Leaguers...

It turns out that if you accidentally let Tartar Control Listerine go down the wrong pipe, you will still be coughing more than 12 hours later. My co-worker speculates that I lightly damaged my lungs. HURRAY!!!!!!
The Onion presents us with this:

Transformer Refuses To Change Back Into Volkswagen
CYBOTRON—Following an intense battle with Megatron and his evil Decepticons Monday, former robot-in-disguise Bumblebee refused to revert to his natural state as a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. "I hid my existence in this world by taking the form of a vehicle! I revealed my true nature when I was called upon to protect earth!" said Bumblebee, a member of Optimus Prime's heroic Autobots force. "I refuse to change back into a humiliating bubble-shaped compact car!" Bumblebee added that Megatron arrived on earth with one goal: Destruction!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

because America loves an underdog....

God bless you, Will Hung.

But for the Grace of God, there go I....
My brother, Defense Attorney and former philosophy major writes:

Dear Mel,

Are people innately good, sometimes making mistakes, or are they innately evil, acting like they are good only in order to get what they want?


Dear Jason,

Mel have met many, many people. Maybe as many people as Mel have toes, and mel usually get petted on head by people and sometime they give Mel treat. In old house, Mel notice many little people who walk by house going one way in morning, going other way in evening. Little people would shout at Mel and bang on fence and so Mel know these people are evil because they not pet Mel or give him treat. But taller people who walk by give Mel pet or wave at Mel and say "hello, doggy!" so mel run up and down fence and say bark bark bark bark.
Also, mel not sure if people act to get what they want as people never want anything from Mel. But Mel know truck is eveil as truck want garbage and steal it every week no matter how much mel bark bark bark.
The saga of the couch continues as Jamie takes exception to how events were related (as she frequently does).

Jamie writes:

Dear Melbotis,

I would like to take the time to call bullshit on a particular part of the Tale of the Couch. In particular, the part where the League claims he was concerned about what would happen if we kept the leather loaner sofa:

"Knowing we had a cleared check and a new sofa en route, I took a moment to pause. "What are we going to do with the interim sofa?" I asked Jamie.
And we considered our many options, but what I DID NOT want to happen was for us to be tracked down in a year when we'd given the sofa away and were unable to retrieve the thing. Nor could we let them know we had it until we had received the new sofa.
Which arrived two weeks ahead of schedule on Friday.
"We need to return the interim sofa."
"I don't think they know we have it."
"We need to return it."
"Look, you take care of it."

I believe the conversation went a little more like:

The League: "Wow, they have no idea we have their couch. I am totally going to sell this to Juli for like 400 bucks."
Mrs. League: "I don't know if I'm comfortable with that, hon. It isn't our couch and I have this sinking feeling that if we do that, they're going to be taking inventory some day and come after us."
The League: "They will never remember we have this. Come on, be cool, baby."
Mrs. League: "I just can't do it. I'll be having constant nightmares about anthropomorphic leather couches."
The League: "Fine, but you have to deal with it."

Thanks for listening, Melbotis. You can go back to chewing on pig-head now.

Dear Jamie,

Mel not sure of exactly what happen, but Mel suspect you probably are wrong. Mel believe it went more like this:

The League: Dammit woman! We have to do what is right!
Mrs. League: I am so lazy, I can barely talk.
The League: Jamie, get off the couch so I can return it.
Mrs. League: No. Although I agree the couch is not suitable for this room or our tastes, I am sooooooo lazy, I plan to just lay here so we can't get rid of the couch. besides, we could probably sell this couch to a struggling immigrant family at an incredibly inflated price, thus taking all of their hard earned money and depriving them of a chance at the American Dream. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!
The LEague: I cannot stand idly by and allow you to continue to abuse immigrants! We're returning that couch, and you're going to call the Roomstore yourself!
Mrs. League: In the light of your unwavering righteous wisdom, I see the error of my ways. I shall call the Roomstore.
The League: I'm so proud of you and love you so much. Right, Melbotis?
Melbotis: Right, Ryan!
All Together: Ha ha ha ha ha...
(and... scene)

So, you see, Jamie. mel say there are many ways to perceive the events and how they happened. mel sad that your perception is so tragically incorrect.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Jack Kirby is now ten years gone. All Hail the King.
Slow weekend.

This is what happens when you actualloy buy a house in the suburbs, Leaguers. I spent Saturday replacing a sprinkler head on our automated sprinkler system. It turned out to very inexpensive and fairly quick to do. Then, we went to Arizona Cactus and got several plants for the yard, then some soil and planted those. It's raining like a bastard today, so i am curious to see if we'll still have cacti when i get home, or if they'll all have flooded away.

And now is as good a time as any to relate The Tale of the Couch (or: Be Careful When Purchasing a Sectional Sofa).

Last August, Jamie and I decided it was time to get a new sofa. The sofa we had was purchased immediately after college with little funding behind it, and the wear of two unweildy Steans men and a chubby dog had ground the thing into uselessness.

We also had family coming for Thanksgiving, so we decided we should replace the sofa sooner rather than later.

Jamie and I also have a steadfast rule: Our house is not intended to impress other people, it's there to entertain us. And as such, we began to also consider what Jamie might like best. And if Jamie likes one thing, it's getting a little shut-eye. So, while wandering around one furniture store, we said to ourselves "Ah-HA!!!! We shall get two parts of a sectional. One part shall be a two-cushion section, and the other shall be a lounge, so that Jamie may lay down all the time!"

We looked high and we looked low for a new sofa, trying not to travel all over the Valley of the Sun to select one, but making sure we'd given it a good shot. We have a smallish space for a sofa to fit in, and we also knew the sofa would not sit against a wall in the room it was intended for. Jamie and I seemed to be drifting toward a bold, solid color as we looked at our options. There's a whole world of variations on a theme of beige when one looks for a sofa.

At long last, we ended up at Basset furniture. Basset makes custom furniture based upon a wide array of designs and fabric selections. We found just about exactly what we were looking for, got through the process and paid a small deposit on what was to be a fairly expensive piece of furniture. We wnet home knowing that in about 6 weeks, we'd have our furniture.

7 weeks passed and I called Basset. I was told one part of the sectional had arrived, and they were awaiting the secodn part. It should be in within two weeks.

Two weeks later I called and was told that the second piece had not arrived, and could I wait two weeks?

The process more or less repeated itself, and I asked to speak with a manager. "He's not available. Can he call you back?"


Nobody called.

And then THIS process repeated itself.

Finally we reached about a week before Thanksgiving, and I still had no new sofa. So I drove down to the store (which, just by point of explanation, is about halfway across town). I asked for the manager by name, and upon seeing me, he pretty much freaked out. "We have half of your sectional."
"I know that."
"But there was a mix-up, and they sent the wrong piece for the other half."
"How long have you known that?"
It urned out they'd known that for a LONG time, but someohow had not fixed the error in their system. So basically the order was coming up in their computers as "completed," but, in fact, was not. I was assured that they would correct the situation.
Two interesting things happened while I was there. Apparently everyone at Basset knew who I was from my frequent calling. Steve the mqnager said "this is Mr. Steans," and they would say "Ohhhh, Mr. Steeeans." And then I heard some guy, who did NOT know who i was decribing a situation similar to mine and talking about what a chump the customer was. It was then pointed out I was Mr. Steans, and the guy got kind of quiet.
Steve the Manager told me that I would get several hundred dollars taken off the price of the sofa if I didn't ask for my money back at this moment, and, as a bonus, I'd get a loaner sofa for the interim.
It sounded good. If I were patient, I'd get the sofa I wanted for cheap, and I'd get a nice, leather sofa for the interim, and a nice little story about the sectional when it did show up.
The interim sofa showed up as promised. No problems there. We had the interim sofa by THanksgiving, and I gave the old sofa to a poor student in need of a place to sit.
But then things got quiet from Basset.
I called again.
"Where's my sectional?"
And I got the same old story from them "Well, it looks like you got a piece of it in the warehouse, and they're waiting ona second piece..."
"Can i talk to Steve, your manager?"
On hold.
"He's not available."
So given some time off right between Christmas and the New Year, I went down to Basset to figure out what the story was.
I pulled into the lot, and the sign was gone. Basset had closed it's doors. And they had a few hundred of my bucks.
I freaked out. BUT...
there was a sheet of paper taped to the window of the Basset store. It directed all inquires to THe Roomstore which sat next door.
I wandered in and asked what was going on. They were able to track my paperwork after a while. it turned out Basset was financially attached to The Roomstore, and The Roomstore now was supposed to take care of my business for me.
It says here we got in one piece of the sectional..." the girl read from the screen.
"Okay..." I sighed, rubbing my eyes. "I want my money back."
THey promised a refund of my deposit. I was happy. I was curious that they didn't ask about the interim sofa, but whatever.
Jamie and I went in search of a new couch, and upon visiting a different store, found one immediately. We ordered it, and off we went.
"You ordered a new sofa?" people asked me, incredulous that I would take such a dare again.
"Well," I would nod, "I do need a place to sit."
"You have that other sofa."
"I don't like the other sofa."
"I can't believe you're willing to take that chance again."
Well, people, there are millions of sofas safely delivered each year. I figured we could take our chances on this one actually arriving.
But my re-imbursement check didn't arrive.
"Did you wait 7-10 days sir?"
"Uhm. It's been like 7."
"It could be there in 10 days."
So I waited.
And it didn't show.
So i called again.
"Oh God," said the girl on the other end of the phone. "They never even started your paerwork to get the check. Hold on."
I waited, staring into the image of the firey abyss I imagined the whole shopping center becoming.
"Sir," she chirped. "I've begun your paperwork. You can expect your check in 7-10 days."
"Okay..." I said, imagining the whole strip center an inferno.
But then... the check came. And it even cleared.
Knowing we had a cleared check and a new sofa en route, I took a moment to pause. "What are we going to do with the interim sofa?" I asked Jamie.
And we considered our many options, but what I DID NOT want to happen was for us to be tracked down in a year when we'd given the sofa away and were unable to retrieve the thing. Nor could we let them know we had it until we had received the new sofa.
Which arrived two weeks ahead of schedule on Friday.
"We need to return the interim sofa."
"I don't think they know we have it."
"We need to return it."
"Look, you take care of it."
So Jamie called, and The Roomstore came within 24 hours to actually come and retrieve their own sofa. "You have MERCHANDISE?" Apparently the girl was horrified to find this out. Apparently they had no record of the interim couch and we could have kept it for all eternity.
So we have the new couch. It's big and blue and has seats for more than two. I'm pretty pleased with the darn thing. I just wish we'd gone to Stone Creek Furniture to begin with. I also found out I CAN be patient and not turn into a weepy mess when confronted wiht an irritating but non-life-threatening annoyance.