Saturday, June 12, 2004

sound the bells and hang the flags at half-staff...

a catch-phrase is dead.

The bling is dead. Long live the bling.

Today, at 2:20pm PT, the phrase "bling-bling", AKA "blingbling", AKA "BlingBling", died a horrible and miserable death as used, somewhat properly, by one of the stars of USA Network's Before & After'noon Movies. This marked the last time anyone will ever look good or not sound like an idiot using the phrase "bling-bling."

I first heard the phrase "bling-bling" around 2000. I had no idea what it meant, and let the phrase slide, assuming it would go as soon as it had come (as phrases do more when you're in college and around college). I had previously misinterpreted "'da bomb" as meaning something was bad, as in, it was a bomb. I was, clearly, very wrong. And I had already paid dearly for misinterpreting that one while working at a record store.

Finally the use of "bling-bling" used a critical mass in usage on television, in casual conversation, and finally I heard one of our student workers use it, and I had to ask.

"You don't know?"
"Why the &*#$ would I know what it means?"
"Don't you watch MTV?"
"I'm not twelve," I explained.
"Oh. Well," the student worker spoke very slowly, to explain to me, who was so unfortunate and so obviously un-hip. "It means, like, lots of flashy jewelry and stuff."
"Like... lots of gold."
"How the hell did anyone get 'bling-bling' out of that?"
"'Cause it's the sound that too much gold makes when it slaps together."
"That," I concluded, "Is the dumbest thing I ever heard."
"You're so not cool."
"Tell me about it."

But the phrase stuck around. Like a stray cat you thoughtlessly fed tuna the one time, it just hung around at the door.

As a non-extreme, non-hip, non-hiphop, nor Gen Y sort of person, I did my best suburbanite Gen Xer routine, and only used the phrase when I was being silly and poking fun at the phrase. But to no avail. Bling-bling was now part of the lexicon, and I was powerless against the forces of the hip. Talk show hosts used it. Guests on talk shows talked about their bling-bling (or blaeng-blaeng, as it is so often pronounced). I half-expected Diane Sawyer to toss out something about her bling-bling. I imagine Oprah was using the phrase, but, hell... all of a sudden, everyone was talking about their bling-bling.

It's a Gen Y thing, I think. Or a shift in the pop culture psyche. I've never been sure which. Pop stars in the 60's and 70's might show off a neat car, or wear a nice dress, but it wasn't something you talked about. And folks emulated maybe a little, but it wasn't something you ever thought about as adopting as your own lifestyle. But the publicists downplayed that aspect. In the 80's everyone was so high on cocaine, they allowed Robin Leach into their homes, and made America wonder what they had to do to get a gold-toilet seat, too. But for the most part, everyone was too drunk and high to even notice they owned much of anything.

But the J-Lo's, and Mariah Carey's and 50-Cent's and P-Diddy's TALKED about it. They TALKED about the stuff they bought, and what they owned, and it was a hell of a thing. They had the bling-bling, and who the hell were you if you didn't have some, too?

The new notion was this:

All of America is already famous. All of America is on the verge of being a star tomorrow. We can all sing well enough, dance well enough, and we all look good in those pants we got at the Abercrombie & Fitch. All of America is going to wake up tomorrow, and the TV cameras will be upon them, and, by GOD... we will be ready. We'll have on our bling-bling like our royal jewels and say "Jesus... what took you so long to figure it out?"

And so I was reading an article not too long ago, and they were using "bling-bling", but, as hip writers will do, they had co-opted and transmorgified the meaning. The writer had used "The bling" as something along the lines of the perfectly usable word "cachet". Something like "Senator Boring has the credentials and the bling-bling to be noticed." Hell, I don't remember exactly what was said, but I knew it wasn't good...

"They're using it out of the original context..." I pondered. But, you know... it was going to happen, and that's the way hip, young writers work and our language works.

But today...

Today I was watching USA's Before & After'noon Movie (which happened to be Burton's version of Batman), and at the commercial breaks, some genius decided we'd like to see some privileged high school girl get ready for prom. It was Before & After'noon, so we get a movie before noon and a movie after noon, and over 6 hours we get to see an already perfectly pretty girl get her hair done, so it's like before and after(get it????). And here's the good part: the girl is on the show because, tee hee, her first two trips to prom were SUCH A DISASTER, but this time, Mom wanted to make sure this evening would be the kind of night dreams and memories were made of...

Okay, NOTE TO PROM GIRL'S MOM: If your daughter's gone to prom with three different guys over three different years, she may already have that memory you're praying to God she doesn't already have.

So, anyway, the totally scary middle-aged lady who has made her life getting teen-age girls ready for cotillions and stuff has our Barbie dressed up and staring at the camera like Bambi in headlights, and declares she now needs her "bling-bling" (ie: her expensive looking rented jewelry provided by USA).

She. Needs. Her. "Bling-bling."


Yes, a phrase which began in the heart of the hip-hop community is now being bantied about by a 50ish lady owning nothing but Josh Groban and Anne Murray records. Bling-bling, from the mouth of this goober, in a suburban backyard, on a Saturday afternoon movie show. Bling-bling, which this jewelry really didn't qualify as anyway... bling-bling, which, may appear at some proms, but was most certainly NOT going to fit into this poor, deluded mother's vision of what was going to be a Disney-esque evening with magical chariots and coachmen (but was probably going to end with some puking and a lot of tears).


And as it slipped from the weird make-up/ ward-robe ladies' lips, there was a sound like glass breaking as a small part of America died.

Bling-bling, they're still going to invoke you. You're still a popular phrase. Maybe too popular? For the most part, they may even use you with the original meaning, but you will never be the same. They're going to drag you kicking and screaming into routine usage. You're going to be watered down like the original usage of "rock n' roll", or "juke." You were kind of silly to begin with, and maybe you were too cute for your own good. Maybe that was the source of your ultimate demise.

I'm not sure I can even miss you, bling-bling. How can I miss you if you won't go away?

I invite all Leaguers to share their memories of the bling...

Greeting, Leaguers!
A few months ago I threw down the gauntlet and challenged Jim D. and Randy to not only go see the new feature, Garfield: The Movie, but to write a review.

Well, Jim got a bit weak in the knees at the idea and went running back to his Bergman films. Randy, however, downed a bottle of Maalox and headed down to his local cinema.

I now owe Randy the ticket price and a debt of gratitude. He's saved us all a lot of trouble.

Garfield peers into the depths of Randy's beleaguered soul...


A few months ago, The League challenged Counselor and me to watch and review Garfield: The Movie. Counselor was unable to lower his standards long enough to view the film, but I have no such qualms. So yesterday, Emily and I trekked to our local mega-multiplex and viewed the movie. Per The League, I present my 500+-word review.

Like many children of the 80s, I grew up with Garfield. I recalled having dozens of Garfield books and watching his cartoons. I even received a Garfield phone for my Christmas one year. However, I was not excited about Garfield: The Movie when I heard about it. Instead, disappointment overcame me. It did not help matters that the Garfield in the movie is computer generated. I was used to the cartoon, 2D, Garfield. My inner child rejected the new-fangled 3D Garfield.

It was with this mindset I viewed the movie.

Garfield: The Movie does not compare to Garfield and Friends. No, Garfield and Friends is much better. Unlike other CGI characters such as Shrek, Nemo, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear, this Garfield is not very lovable. The cat is neither particularly cute nor adorable. In fact, the movie Garfield is rather irritating. Even Bill Murray – who voices Garfield – cannot save the character or the film. In fact, the human actors in the film – the two principles being Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Liz the Vet – are horrible. They, and the rest of the cast, look embarrassed to be in the movie. While most of the actors in the movie are B-List stars at best, it is surprising to see Hewitt here. It seems like only yesterday when she was an up and coming star in Hollywood. Now, she is relegated to mediocre roles and films such as this. The real star of the film is Odie. Unlike the CGI Garfield, Odie was cute, heart-warming, and lovable.

It goes without saying that the plot was simplistic and mawkish. It involves Garfield despising the newly adopted Odie then learning a lesson about friendship and sharing. There is also an evil villain, his dopey sidekick, and an army of cute animals. In the end, everyone is happy and the guy gets the girl. There were a few funny moments and zingers, but it was few and far between.

Unlike the Scooby-Doo movies, where there the CGI Scooby only serves as a foil to the other four human and primary characters, the decision to mix a CGI character with real cats and dogs makes for an odd combination. It would have served better to make the movie with 100% real animals ala Cats and Dogs or 100% CGI ala Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Shrek, et al.

Perhaps I am being too hard on Garfield: The Movie. I grew up with one idea and image of Garfield, and the movie presents a completely different view of the character. Of course, my reaction is rejection and spite. However, the movie targets a younger generation, one who did not spend Saturday mornings watching Garfield and Friends, and Sunday mornings reading the Garfield Sunday strip. Indeed, many of the children in the theater laughed at all the jokes and found the movie endearing. So in that sense, Garfield: The Movie succeeds, but if you are a child of the 80s looking for the Garfield of your youth, avoid this movie and instead buy (or rent) the soon to be released Garfield and Friends Vol. 1.

Nevertheless, if you happen to be stuck watching this film (say with a child), entertain yourself by attempting to spot Jim Davis, who – according to IMDB – makes an un-credited cameo as a "Drunken Conventioner".


So there you have it, Leaguers!

Thanks to Randy for going through this for the rest of us. I'm going to have to call into question the notion that Jennifer Love Hewitt ever had anything to offer anybody, let alone a sustainable career, but that's just me being snarky.

You can see what Randy is up to on a regular basis at his site:

Friday, June 11, 2004

More on Brad Meltzer's Identity Crisis limited series for DC Comics

Houston Chronicle

New York Daily News

St. Louis Dispatch

I also need to mention Steven Seagle's (not Seagal as I previously misspelled it in a fit of madness...) "It's a Bird..." This is an excellent graphic novel, but it's only out in hardback. I get deep discounts from my retailer as the lone Superman geek of his store on anything Superman related which he's overstocked.

Anyway, Seagle was recently interviewed about the graphic novel on NPR.
Thanks, Science!!!

Remember the scene in Slacker where the guy is locked in his room with dozens of TVs on, and a TV strapped to his back? And the guy explains that he decided to give up on real-life and turn to television because real-life just wasn't real enough?

Maybe we've transcended that and decided instead of all wanting life to be more like TV, we've decided our lives are as ripe as the lives on TV. At least the way we imagine our existences.

And thusly, some company has produced a camera which (I can think of two major practical uses right now...) will no doubt be used instead to perpetuate the navel gazing and endless recycling of our own boring lives as fodder for family slide shows and internet distribution.

Small enough to clip to a pair of eyeglasses, the camera will CONSTANTLY record your experience, keeping only the footage around the time you press record. But don't worry. It will always jump backward, so it's not like you're suddenly beginning a recording when you hit start. It starts 30 seconds before you hit record, if that makes any sense.

Thanks to Emily's boy-toy for the link.

It's the first real description and images from the new Krypto the Superdog series.

Lifted this from The Superman Homepage


Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ... dog! It's Krypto The Superdog!

Jettisoned to Earth after countless years orbiting in space as a test-pilot puppy aboard a malfunctioning rocket ship built by Superman's father, the fully grown Krypto immediately seeks companionship on the strange new planet, gravitating toward young Kevin Whitney, a boy who longs for friendship.

Endowed with an awesome array of superpowers--from heat vision to superior strength to flying--Krypto partners with Kevin to fight the evil forces that threaten the safety and well-being of both people and animals in Metropolis.

Joining Krypto and Kevin in their never-ending crusade are Bathound, Streaky the Cat, and the Dog Star Patrol, a group of selfless mutts who patrol our solar system for signs of trouble from villains intent on taking over the world. Join the amazing adventures of Krypto The Superdog!


Krypto in action

Krypto saving kittens

Jim D sent out this amazing link.

Ladybugs at

Read the reviews. I beg of you.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Ray Charles has passed away.
A tribute to that favorite of summer treats, sure to send you into diabetic shock, THE OTTER POP.

More (official) information can be found here. There's something comfortingly lo-fi about the Jel Sert homepage that makes me want to ask them for a job. I imagine Jel Sert is somewhere in Anytown, USA, where I can hang out on my front porch and eat Otter Pops and enjoy 85 degree summers all year long.

And don't miss the Otter Pops' promotional page for the Otter Pops' band.
New York Times best selling author, Brad Meltzer, isn't just a comics fan. Somehow word got out several years ago that he was willing to write comics as well as his novels and whatnot.

He had a run on Green Arrow a short while ago, and yesterday launched DC Comics big event mini-series: Identity Crisis.

Identity Crisis is a 7 issue mini-series which is not just a whodunit, a la Detective Comics, but a series which is poised to be one of the key turning points for DC Comics' internal Universe.

I think it helps if you've read a lot of DC comics to enjoy the first issue, but I don't think it's completely necessary. The issue clearly details who everyone outside of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are, and if you even had a cursory glance at Superfriends, you can probably fill in the rest of the detail.

I don't usually poke my head up and say "hey, go look for this comic!", but today, that's exactly what I'm doing. Rags Morales' art is at the peak of perfection, and Meltzer has launched one of the single best first issues of a series or mini-series I've ever picked up.

Identity Crisis. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Far be it from me to criticize other people (ho ho ho!), but last night I was watching a documentary on the STILL uncompleted Airbus 380, and it seems to me the Airbus guys have the single least efficient assembly process, ever.


Some parts are built in England. Some France. Some in Timbuktu. All need to be shipped to the Northern ports of France, and then TRUCKED all the way to Toulouse, France, half-way across the country. During this transit process, the parts need to travel down English canals and under bridges giving them about 1.5 feet of clearance. These aren't just any bridges. Several of them are historical, monumental types of bridges which actually happen to connect one side of town to the other. So if the water rises, I guess the people who live in these towns are just SOL.

Once in France, the parts need to travel on trucks the size of a small airplane, themself, just to make it to the factory where all the parts are assembled. These trucks take up the entire width of the road (both lanes), drive incredibly slowly, and are going to be stacked several trucks deep. Which means that, once in full production, these plane parts will routinely (weekly) jack up the French highways. This is not to mention that the route takes the trucks directly through a small village where clearance on either side of the trucks is about 20 inches. Not a lot of room for error. Also, that's 20 inches from people's bedroom windows. These trucks are big, loud, and mounted with huge "look out I'm a truck" lights. And this is going to happen once a week.

What was not mentioned in the TLC program I watched, but was mentioned on NPR, is that in order to routinely move these boats down the canals in England, they're going to want to dredge these canals. Which the environmentalists are having a fit over (I can't remember why), and the tax payers will have to foot the bill for. Further, they're not really sure that too many airports actually have runways long enough to accomodate this flying monstrosity, and at least one of the airports they're targeting using would need to extend it's runway into protected wetlands or something at the end of the runway. Brilliant!

Now the Airbus 380 is an amazing piece of engineering. It makes the double decker 747s look like tinkertoys. It's a fully realized double decker jumbo jet seating around 600 people (someone check these numbers for me...), and with a wingspan of 261 feet. That's in the nieghborhood of 85 yards. That's longer than virtually any quarterback can throw, and longer than any field goal kick I can think of. And it's actually pretty damn fuel efficient for it's size.

There are definitely going to be some growing pains as this thing gets off the ground. I'm just wondering what the hell was going thru the minds at Airbus when they decided THIS was how they were going to build and assemble the damn thing.

They clearly have not taken any Six Sigma training.
Oh, while it was Denby who sent the link of Ashcroft belting out his tune, she credits Ryan "Ted"/ "Ryan 2" Weston with the location of the clip.

Ryan can be seen performing with his band, Black Before Red, on a fairly regular basis in the greater Austin area. They're really good. Check them out.
Donald Duck turns 70 today.

Hurray for Donald! As one of the three mainstays of Disney Cartoons, Donald remains steadfast as a true piece of Americana, and his cartoons still work as well today as they did when they first debuted.

I need to find the Donald cartoon where it's snowing and he and his nephews have a snow-fort arms race. I think it's simply titled Donald's Snow Fight, but it's one of my favorite Donald shorts.

Happy B-Day, Donald!

thanks to Randy for the link...
there's nothing like contradictory real-life experience to shake your faith in television.

Granted, most of my life is now vicariously lived through television (who lives in a pineapple under the sea...? Why, I think it might be me...), but every once in a while I have an honest-to-God real life experience.

So last night I was watching Mythbusters on Discovery (part of the line-up of shows which have come to overwhelm my prime-time viewing habits). Mythbusters essentially takes urban legends and puts them to the test to see if they could happen. Two special effects professionals try to recreate the scenario as closely as possible, and then try to see if the scenario could have ever really happened. THey are usually assisted by this kind of spacey folklore expert they dug up form the local university.

Anyway, they'll take a story like "Peeing on the 3rd rail will kill you," and then test the hypothesis.

Last night they tested whether or not a soda can may blow up if left in a hot car, and, bizarrely, they concluded this was a myth, and could not happen.


In 1994 my pal RIchard and I borrowed his grandmother's enormous Town Car for a trip down to Astroworld. In order to get into Astroworld more cheaply, we wanted to hand in empty Coke cans with coupons printed on the back. So, en route, I drank a ton of soda. But not ALL of the soda.

Four days later, we'd forgotten to take the soda out of the car, and in the heat of a Houston summer... BLAMMO!!! Richard's grandma's car was coated in Coke which dried to a fine sheen on her leather interior.

In 1998, I was PA for the last Don't Mess with Texas commercial. We shot on several different locations around Austin, and part of my job was carting Cokes around town for the crew to enjoy during breaks.

It was unusually hot that June (I remember wilting, standing in an alfalfa field while some actor couldn't finish the line "It's just a little cigarette butt..!" THe shot was NEVER USED.). The last day of the shoot, I got into my car and discovered a few cokes had exploded inside my car, coating the interior with sugar and carmel coloring. While my car smelled terrific, it took a while to clean it. And then I stuck a Coke covered tape into my tape-deck, effectively ruining the deck.

The flaw in the Mythbusters experiment was that they put a Coke into a toaster over, and believed the oven had to reach 300 degrees before the Coke would explode. I don't think they gave the soda in the can enough time to heat up, so it's not as if the soda in the can ALSO reached 300 degrees before it blew. There was simply no measure of the liquid's temperature inside of the can. I'm also no scientist, but I do know how a solar convection oven works. I mean, you can literally roast a turkey in an aluminum and glass box if you leave it in the sun long enough, so tell me again why can't you properly heat a Coke in yoru car?

Anyway, the rapid heat change of the oven was also not indicative of the actual conditions of the car, nor the curve of how long it would take to heat liquid versus air. Come on. I wasn't even in honors level science classes for chemistry or physics, and I know this.

Apparently the Mythbusters guys, based in San Francisco, do not think it gets hotter than 85 degrees on a summer day (equating to 100 degrees in a car). To that, my friends, I say "HA!" As any of us from the rest of the country know, if it's 110 degrees outside (as it already is here in Sunny Phoenix), it's more like 160 degrees in your car. Hot enough to make you expire in pretty short order, anyway. Hot enough that you should know better than to leave any compressed gasses, aerosols, etc... in your car if it's going to sit in the sun.

Anyway, my faith in the Mythbusters' experiments is now forever shaken. I shall forever be left wondering whether or not the conditions of any and all of their experiments are not properly controlled.
Texas Story

A man walked into the produce section of his local
supermarket and asked to buy a half head of lettuce. The
boy working in that department told him that they only sold whole heads of lettuce. The man was insistent that the boy ask his manager about the matter.

Walking into the back room, the boy said to the manager,
"Some asshole wants to buy a half head of lettuce." As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him, so he added, "And this gentleman kindly offered to buy the other half."

The manager approved the deal and the man went on his way
Later the manager said to the boy, "I was impressed with
the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We
like people who think on their feet here. Where are you
from, son?"

"Texas, sir." the boy replied.

"Well, why did you leave Texas?" the manager asked. The boy said "Sir, there's nothing but whores and football players down there."

"Really?" said the manager. "My wife is from Texas.

"No kidding ?" replied the boy. "Who'd she play for?"
You never saw that bespectacled bore, Reno, bringing the house down like this...

You know, kind of puts Dean's "YEEEAAAAAAGGHHHH!!!!" into perspective.

Really, this could give me enough ammo to last until next Thursday. Instead, I open the forum.

But I can't close without this... And I mean it, with all sincerity...

Let the Mighty Eagle of your talent soar, Mr. Ashcroft. Let it soar.

thanks to Denby for the link...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

2 good bits of news courtesy of the Superman Homepage.

1) Looks like Cartoon Network has confirmed production on a "Krypto the Superdog" TV show. The show doesn't follow the comics too well, but who cares..? KRYPTO IS GETTING HIS OWN SHOW!!!!

Krypto is essentially the Kryptonian equivalent of Laika the Cosmonaut Dog. In the 1950's Superman Comics, Superman's Dad supposedly sent Krypto in a test rocket to earth, but the rocket was knocked off course by a rock or something. Anyway, Krypto DID eventually make it to Earth, and became one of the five or six most powerful beings on earth.

Krypto wasn't around in the comics for years and years, but he returned around 2001 with a squeaky clean new origin story, devoid of animal experimentation. Hurray for Krypto getting a show, no matter how short-lived or silly.

(***note: I haven't seen ANY concept art for this show. Hopefully we'll see some soon. The pic on the Superman page is old Krypto art from the 50's.***)

2) JAKKS Pacific is going to produce several TV games based on DC Comics properties. I have two of the Jakks games now (who needs a PS2?). Essentially, the Jakks TV games consist of a joystick with all the games built into the handle. You just plug into the RCA plugs on your TV, switch to the right input on your TV, and you're in business (provided you have 4 AA batteries).

There are going to be Superman, Batman, and Justice League games. Should be fun (and wayyy cheaper than buying a PS2, memory card and a game).

One would hope the Attorney General wouldn't have to reassure us of things like this...
The WB's Superstar USA.

Upon watching this show once again, I can only say it is absolutely dastardly and cruel, and yet I cannot look away. It debases and humiliates. It embodies all which is loathsome about both television and our culture of quick fame and entitlement.

I am ashamed to watch, but it never enters my mind to change the channel.

Vitamin C: You are like the horrible mean girls from high school who I thought were awesome but would never date me.

Tone Loc: While your star has fallen, you still bring in an incredible amount to the table for one who is so clearly stoned.

Other guy: I have no idea who you are, but if there is any justice, you will be a millionaire who burns out in a mountain of strippers and blow, never knowing what horrors you gleefully wreaked upon a public you always despised.

Thank you, WB. Like that dude in Krull retrieving the glaive from the lava... you have reached into the blazing pits of hell and pulled out something totally scary and awesome. You have handily bested The Surreal Life, Bachelorettes in Alaska and Who Wants to be a Playmate?

Yes, WB's Superstar USA, I salute you. Your abject misanthropy is an inspiration to us all.

Monday, June 07, 2004

There, but for the grace of God...
Thanks to Randy for this link

Story of man driving armored bulldozer around town
Okay. Squawkbox has been successfully implemented.

A few ground rules:

1) Keep it clean. Let's keep some of the choicer profanity off the comments box. Unless it's really funny. Then you may drop whichever bomb you like.
2) I take no responsibility for anything anybody else says.
3) Make sure to identify yourself.
4) All responses in the form of haiku will receive generous praise.
5) Jamie may use this forum. Please ignore all which she says. She's on a lot of medication, but she still has occasional "episodes". Just ignore whatever she says.
6) Freedom of speech goes both ways. If you post something with a little political vitriol, be prepared for someone else to step up to slap you back. I provide the Squawkbox, but I do not monitor, edit or censor the opinions and blatherings of anyone. Freedom of speech and all that.
7) Lefties and Righties... everybody play nice. "Because you're an imbecile" is not a good debating point. Try to write in that nice 5-paragraph persuasive paper style they taught you in high school. At least make sure you have a point and evidence to back yourself up.
8) Type-o's are fine.
9) "Hoo-AHHHH!" is a legitimate response.
10) Everybody try to have fun. The League is a journal, sure... but it's also intended to be fun most of the time. I haven't posted a squawkbox up to this point as I have been deathly afraid of this site ever turning into some sort of place where people get all crabby with each other.
11) letters are STILL my preferred mode of communication for lengthy discussion, but that may change if you Loyal Leaguers use the comments section well.
Squawkbox, ahoy...

As per a few requests, I have attempted to add comments to The League.

You will see some noise as I do some testing.
Today marked the 60th anniversary of my Grandfather's participation in the Allied invasion of occupied Normandy. My grandfather (Marvin J. Ross) was part of the 82nd Airborne, and was a paratrooper, jumping into France on that infamous day.

It appears that a grandson from my Grandfather's first marriage, Sgt 1st.Class William Marcus Tucker of the 101st Airborne, participated in the reenactment today.

A big thank you to them both for their courage and dedication.
We were supposed to be going to Austin this weekend, but it didn't pan out. Lots of things came up, and Jamie's been not feeling great on and off for a few weeks, so it just wasn't a good time to go. We had some other family business which I am still wrestling with, and I still haven't resolved it all.

The biggest problem with big issues is that, very often, you don't see them coming. Or you ignore the warning signs until it's too late. I'm desperately guilty of ignoring the warning signs in both my professional and personal life, and so things tend to smack upside the head a lot harder than they should.

Which is why I need a pair of minute Japanese fairies.

The Godzilla films from Toho feature a pair of parakeet sized magical girls referred to, as best I can tell or remember, as "The Cosmos". It helps to understand that Godzilla is not, in the Japanese films, a stupid animal. Godzilla is sort of a living angry god who only stomps Japan when it's time for the arrogant humans to learn an important lesson about, say, recycling. Godzilla's not exactly benign, but he wouldn't show up if the humans didn't keep screwing up. After all, Godzilla also protects Japan from a series of invaders (like FRANKENSTEIN! and SPACEGODZILLA!). Of course, some monsters are even MORE nice than Godzilla, such as Mothra.

Anyway, the Cosmos show up just before things go sour, to forewarn of Godzilla's impending rampage. These cute little elves can also sing to soothe Godzilla and keep him from using his atomic breath to level the Starbucks.

And given their usefulness (and the likelihood I would listen to the tiny little munchkins more closely than an evil corporate tycoon), I conclude that I need the Cosmos to help me avert personal and professional disaster. Anyone spotting two minute Japanese women dressing alike and showing a penchant for singing, please forward them to The League. (Molly, your help here is greatly appreciated).