Saturday, July 30, 2005


Soooo... The week began with four Scout leaders at the Boyscout Jamboree getting electrocuted sticking a tent pole into a power line. Article.

Later in the week, El Presidente was running late due to weather issues and hundreds of Boy Scouts were taken down by oppressive heat at the Jamboree. Article.

And then today a Scout Leader was killed by a lightning bolt. Article.

Indeed, Scouts are not having The Best Week Ever. That, and if you're not quite a Cub Scout and not quite a Boy Scout, you're called a Webelo. And that's just awful.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Speaking of comics...

The Onion A.V. section has two interviews this week with comic writers The League is fairly familiar with.

The first interview is with Brian K. Vaughn. I'm reading the collections of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina, and highly, highly recommend both series. Vaughn is a uniquely thoughtful writer, looking at big picture/ fantastic ideas and then making them believable and human.

If you don't normally pick up comics and you aren't too keen on superheroes, I'd probably have no trouble putting Y: The Last Man in your hands. In fact, I am going to break the fourth wall here and directly suggest that Maxwell might really enjoy this book.

Steanso or Jim D. seem like Ex Machina type-of-guys.

Interview #2 is with Geoff Johns, a minor diety in the DCU proper.

I first really noticed Johns on either JSA or Flash. I can't remember which. But I've been reading his comics for about 3 - 4 years. I actually remember sitting in the Austin airport waiting for Jamie to come back from her interview in AZ while reading "Flash: Blood Will Run" and thinking "Yeah, I DO like this Johns guy."

Johns also got me reading Hawkman, something I was sure would simply never happen, delivered with a new Teen Titans series in a way the more recent DC teen books hadn't come close to touching. He's now working on Infinite Crisis with Phil Jimenez, which is the big comics event this year. (I also have to mention, I really, really dig Jimenez's work. Sure, it's a lot like Perez, but his Wonder Woman comics were just astounding to look at. And, Jimenez got me reading WW, which is something I never thought I'd do.)

Anyway, check out the interviews. Good stuff, even if Johns' interview sort of necessitates some prior knowledge.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

So, everybody wish Steanso the best of luck.

I am sorry to say that due to several factors having nothing to do with his own performance, Friday is Steanso's final day at his current law firm. He's exiting stage left, and I hope that when he goes, he's going to leave them aghast and filled with horror. Sadly, I suspect that he will not rise to the occasion and will probably be civil about the whole deal.


I haven't been writing as much as I'd like. I feel like I need to write something comicbook related as it's been a while.

The only thing I can work up the energy for at the moment is Countdown to Infinite Crisis. Especially the OMAC Project and the tie-in issues of Superman and Wonder Woman. I don't want to say much, but I highly recommend the OMAC series and the JUly issues of all three Superman comics and Wonder Woman. The storyline is called "Sacrifice". Check it out. Should have significant ramifications in the DCU world for quite some time.

Also, I've been diving into longboxes at comic shops lately and looking for back-issues of Superman. It's been fun. The comics are just written from an entirely different era, and era in which the events of Sacrifice would never even be imaginable. But there's still value in these older stories. There's a lot of imagination in these comics and a real focus on fun and directly entertaining an all-ages audience. For me, the Superman comics from this era have a terrific charm.

Looking at the dates on the comics is a bit mind-boggling as you can really see DC comics stayed locked in the same groove right up to Crisis on Infinite Earths that it had built in the 1960's. While Clark was worrying about whether he should marry Lois or Lana for the 200th time, Frank Miller was introducing Elektra and cooking up Dark Knight Returns.

In other topics, I've been watching a lot of NASA Channel. The launch of the Discovery has been fantastic television, including the docking with the ISS and the somersault Eileen pulled off today.

And, lastly, I never got in my $0.02 on Lance's 7th victory at the Tour de France.

Well, it's all been said now, but that makes the achievement no less astounding. Like everyone else, I never paid any attention to cycling until Lance started winning tours, and I certainly never cared about drafting or time trials or any of the rest of it. We've now got our Babe Ruth of cycling. Or maybe Mohammad Ali. I dunno.

Looking forward to seeing what the ma does with the rest of us his life as he's only a year older than Steanso.

Congrats, Lance.

Oh, and I watched my first Phoenix Mercury game. That's WNBA, kids. Apparently we sucked until recently. Then our players came in from Europe, and we're much better now. At one point we were up on the LA Sparks by 30 points.

I am now a huge fan of European players Vodichkova and Stepanova. Vodichkova scored 24 points before taking the bench with 6 minutes or so left in the game.

I'm tired.

Best of luck, Steanso.

There's always work at the post office. Go get a haircut.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Jamie... I am sorry to report that High-Fiving White Guy has been traded.

Suns trade Voshkul to Charlotte

The key to the Suns' success this season was not the outstanding play of MVP Steve Nash or the astounding ability of Marion or Stoudemire. No, the glue that held the team together was the same mysterious force who ensured that the Suns bench would never defy gravity and fly off into the troposphere.

All season long Voshkul kept Bo Outlaw company in the furthest reaches of Benchland, firmly planted upon the pine a few minutes walk from Mike D'Antoni. When Stoudemire or Nash came in from play, especially at a time-out, Voshkul would rise and high-five them. He also performed high-fiving duties when Quentin Richardson or Shaun "The Matrix" Marion would hit a three-pointer. These high-fives were usually with Bo Outlaw.

I wish High-Fiving White Guy a tremendous future in Charlotte. He is sure to bring a lot of spirit to a rather languid bench and will, no doubt, team his own mass with the native gravity of Earth to marry the bench to the floor for another season.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Perhaps only funny to those of us who own a cat.
The Shuttle returns to orbit.
All-Star Batman and Robin Review

Hey, here's another review of All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder from in the imcomparable Return to Comics.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The League Journeys to BMT
a full report

As Jamie and I drove away from the airport today, heading home from our fabulous weekend, Jamie turned to me and said, "You really can't write anything funny about the weekend. Jim will hang himself."

True enough, I suppose. But the weekend was terribly fun, even if my personal amusement was at the expense and discomfort of others. Why? It's always about The League, here at The League.

This fine weekend, The League dumped off the pets at the PetsMart PetsHotel, jumped a plane and took a small journey to Spring, TX. We then popped over to Beaumont for the first ever Assemblage of Loyal Leaguers.

We arrived in Houston on Thursday, just in time for dinner. Had dinner with The League's parental units in their palatial suburban abode, hung out and rapped for a bit, and then toddled off to bed.

Friday was a day of slack. The League crawled out of bed, lurched downstairs and came face to face with young Kelsey B., my folk's two-year-old next door neighbor. Kelsey is about 22" of pure dynamo, and we're all expecting big things out of her.

Dad and I sort of puttered and drank coffee, tried to do a headcount of who the hell all was coming to dinner my mother had planned, and then Jamie and I took to the pool at the Spring, TX annex of League HQ. The pair of us bobbed and floated, took in some daylight (which, refreshingly, wasn't cooking the meat off of our bones) and then chilled. The Admiral and I set sail for ice cream and ice, and made a side-trip for me over to Bedrock City Comics (a fine, fine chain of comic shops in Houston) where I picked up the seminal "Last Superman Story" issue, a signed John Bryne comic and a TPB of "Stray Toasters" which I had been looking for for about 15 years.

The admiral shook his head in disappointment and we headed for Kroger to get Vanilla and Magic Shell.

Loyal Leaguers Shannon C. and Josh Q. Lowry showed up first, followed quickly by John and Julie B. (married just this spring). Jason arrived in short order with Cassidy the three-legged dog in tow. Completing the massing, Peabo arrived with his long-suffering wife and utterly confused sister-in-law (who is in our fair nation studying up on her English).

I tried to catch up with as many folks as possible, but it was a bit of physical challenge, given how I hadn't seen most of the folks represented in many months. Nonetheless, the company of all in attendance was appreciated. We staye dup too late and talked possibly too much.

Saturday we all finally got out of bed, showered, ate and hit the road for BMT.

As Loyal Leaguers will be able to tell you, Jim D. is involved with the Board of Directors at Beaumont's historical Jefferson Theater. He's been involved with the Summer Film Series at the Jefferson, and, as such, had secured a print of the director's cut of the 1978 film masterpiece, Superman: The Movie.

With Steanso, Jamie and The League in one car, and Peabo, wife and sister-in-law in the other, we made it to BMT far later than originally planned. But that's the magic of trying to politely wrangle that many people, all of whom are there because they want to say hello to you, and all of whom have said they want to go along with your hare-brained scheme to see the Superman movie.

Well, something also got lost in the translation (literally) as Jeff explained to Adriana and Lucy that we were going to a Sneak Preview of "the new Superman movie." Jeff's not a "details" sort of guy, I suppose, and the change fo plans didn't bother him. Further, he'd promised a beach to Adriana and Lucy, but a beach was not to be had. Alas.

Anyhoo, our merry troop met up with Jim D. and at Carlo's Ristorante in Beaumont, and for the first time, I met RHPT.

Firstly, Randy is exactly the same height I thought he'd be. No taller nor shorter. Nor larger nor smalled. His photographs pretty much tell the whole picture. What the photos can't convey is that Randy's a very nice, sharp guy with an odd tale to tell about a flood in his house.

We had a lovely lunch at Carlo's, then headed over to Jim's preferred comic shop, at which I found a few Superman comics which I snatched up immediately. One of which was the classic "Kryptonite No More" comic from back in the day, which I suspect was a bit underpriced.

From there we took a colorful tour of the back streets of BMT, trying to get around a train. I thought maybe Jim planned to kill us all and dump our bodies in the tall grass, but we eventually did located the Jefferson Theater.

The Stately Jefferson Theater

The Marquee announcing a line-up sure to make fanboys wet themselves

Let me state that The Jefferson easily rivals Austin's Paramount Theater in it's decor and venerable charm.

We entered the lobby to the sound of pipe-organ music, which Steanso pointed out was playing "YMCA". The Jefferson employs an organist, a wonderful gentleman we had opportunity to speak with, who also had music for Superman, which he had mastered.

I was disappointed only in that I don't live in BMT and will not be there in the next few weeks for the Wild West Series which he has promised to preceed with "The Magnificent Seven" and other great themes from some of my favorite movies.

There was a very nice man playing the organ, but, clearly, he was not playing when I went downstairs to get a picture.

We were also referred to a few pizza joints in town and told to ask for specific organists. So Jamie and I are actually going to go to Pipe Organ Pizza this weekend if Lou is playing. Should be fun.

Jim suggested we go to the balcony for the best view and to get a nice, old-timey theatrical experience, so we went upstairs and selected some seats.

Included in this shot are some of the pipes to the pipe organ. Plus an idea of how nice the interior is at the Jefferson. Shot, I might add, from the balcony.

Jamie demonstrates the proper enthusiasm for Superman: The Movie

The lights dimmed, we took our seats and the movie began.

Look, sometimes things happen nobody can control, and, people, it's not Jim's fault. But just as the Planet Krypton exploded into a radioactive mass, hurling kryptonite chunks to the far reaches of space, the projector died. Or, more accurately, the shutter broke on the projector.

The organist leapt back to his position and kids began dancing around the theater, some family stole our seats and Randy fell asleep, complaining of exhuastion.

Steanso eagerly awaits the next reel of the film.

But, as I say, sometimes things happen.

Sadly, the film could not be shown, and we all got refunds.

The League Assembles!
left to right,, Steanso, Lucy, Adriana, Peabo, Mrs. League

Jim had some business to take care of at the theater, so we abandoned him and took our ticket money and headed for Crockett Street where we holed up for the next few hours and drank beer and chatted.

All said, we had a really good time talking to Jim and meeting Randy. It was a heck of a lot of fun to actually see each other and not rely on comments sections and e-mail to communicate.

Jim has apologized, and it's totally unnecessary. He's a champ for getting the film in the first place, and we all apprecaite the work he did. Sometimes technical glitches happen.

Anyhoo, we were SUPPOSED to fly out Sunday morning, but Jamie wasn't feeling well at all, so we delayed and flew out today instead.

So, long story short, I spent Sunday chilling out with my mom.

Anyway, thanks again to all Loyal Leaguers who could participate, and special thanks to Jim for making the whole thing possible. You're #1 in my book.

Why city authorities have requested Superman just fly over intersections instead of pressing the button and waiting for the cross-walk.