Saturday, September 09, 2006

Well, we lost our game to Ohio (by we, I mean the UT Football team). I am down about it, but not entirely surprised. I've been walking around for weeks saying "Yes, Limas Sweed is great, but why are we ranked number 2?" Well, today's game unfortunately may have people asking that same question.

Here's the good news: I think we can go otherwise undefeated.

And we're playing Rice next week. I don't think We've lost to Rice in forty years. In a way, I kind of feel sorry for Rice next Saturday. The Longhorns are going to be looking to rebuild their self-esteem, and they're going to be happy to use Rice's skulls for that self-affirmation.

Oklahoma woke up and looked like Oklahoma in the 2nd half. And, hey! A&M look like they're back to playing like A&M.

What else...?

Packing, packing, packing.

Silly dogs.

Sold sign in the front yard.

Do not (I repeat: do NOT) pick up the cat and swing him around and sing songs to him.

And I had a really, really nice send-off happy hour after work. Faculty, staff and all kinds of folks were there. Juli McG from my office put it together and we had a good turn out. You know, sometimes you think "I'm going to walk out of here after four years and that's going to be that." Well, sure a lot of people are always happy to show up just for the possibility that somebody is going to pay for a round, but, man, it was nice of so many people to come by and say a heart-felt adios.

So if any of you folks from my former-employing University are reading this: Thank you all. It's been great.

Take care of yourselves and stay out of the sun.

Friday, September 08, 2006

1 Hour Left

In an hour, I will be unemployed. I have nothing to do for the next hour. Perhaps I will go bother Eric.

Boy, I hope I get that job I interviewed for.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

24 Hours

So after work on Tuesday I had Octavio drop me at the airport.
"What did you pack?" he asked, eyeing my suitcase.
"My suit. Underwear. A t-shirt."
"A suit?"
"Yeah, I figure short of a tux, you can't be overdressed. Especially in Texas."
"You know," he said, being very Octavio, "This week in eWeek, they had interview tips, and one of them was that companies will now not hire you if you overdress for the interview."
"The heck you say."
"Apparently they think that if you overdress, you don't understand their corporate culture and won't fit in."
I thought long and hard about my suit and decided I was going with the suit, anyway. After all, it was wear a suit and hope that was okay or buy all new clothes when I hit Austin. And these people might not have read the article in eWeek, nor bought into that particular philosophy.

Nonetheless, it was not exactly what I wanted to hear.

The flight went well. I read my Superman/Doomsday collection which literally had the lady sitting next to me looking at the pages and then looking up at me repeatedly. She was, I assume, trying to guess how a 12 year-old got so large.

I arrived at Jason's around 11:30 CST, ate my Wendy's value meal, chatted some and hit the hay. I couldn't sleep so I stayed up reading "Wasted", a true crime book based on a case Jason worked on years ago. There's something odd about a book that portrays real people in what I assumed are imagined conversations. I know it's not exactly journalism when one writes a sensationalistic crime book, but... I dunno. I'm more of a "stick to the facts" sort of guy.

I panicked at 1:45 am when I realized Jason didn't have an alarm clock. Well, he DOES have an alarm clock, he tells me, but I didn't see it. Anyway, I lay in bed desperately trying to pre-program my brain to wake me up as soon as the sun came up. This didn't happen.

I did get up at 9:10 AM Central, which is a repectable 7:10 AM Arizona time. I realized I had nothing to eat, no coffee or hairspray, jumped in my sweet rental car and saw a warning in the LCD display.

"Oil 0%: Oil Change"

I sort of freaked out. I was not willing to pay for an oil change for a rental car, but I also didn't want the engine block freezing up on MoPac. Nor did I want to miss my interview.

I ran to Target, got my goods, ate some breakfast bars, made some coffee, reviewed the company's website (which had been completely redesigned since I'd looked at it the week before), drank the coffee, showered, put on my SUIT and headed off.

I think the interview went well. Anyway, I do like their approach, and the job is almost exactly what I was looking for coming back to Austin. It's project management for a computer based training company that has solid clients. Really, it's probably a little too good to be true, which means if I don't get the job, I'm going to feel pretty blue.

I then called Kerry (our long suffering realtor) and was told to cool my jets for a while until she finished some appointments. I drank some coffee, read three sections of the Statesman, then headed to CVS to get a disposabel camera to take some shots of the house. Instead of a still camera, I found a disposable video camera.


For $29.99.

Do you know how @#$%ing crazy that is? I love technology. I love that in two years a disposable video camera will be something you get in a box of cereal. I already saw a still digital camera for sale for $4 at Walgreens.

So the camera holds only 20 minutes of video, and the lens is a cheap, fixed lens. But you can review the last "scene" you shot and you delete it if you don't want it. At the end of the process you bring the camera to CVS where they "develop" the video to DVD. That sort of irked me because the cost was $12, but in a way I feel like the $42 I spent today means that I'm supporting an industry that I think is a good idea and will drive the price down in the future (for those of us who constantly forget our cameras and won't pay out the money for a video camera in our phone).

Smaller, faster, better.

And Jamie now has a narrated DVD of the house we're going to get.

So, anyhoo, Kerry picked me up and we went and saw the future House of El (my choice) or Hall of Justice (Jamie's choice). I'm pretty excited. It's a cool house. Lots of space for us to spread out and do our own thing. A usable front porch and a balcony porch upstairs where I shall be placing a rocking chair for Jason to sit upon and play me country tunes while we all drink lemonade and throw rocks at passing cars.

All in all, a decent place. Come on over. We'll leave the porch light on.

Wound up my appointment with Kerry, drove to Austin books, picked up a few items and headed back to Jason's. I abandoned my suitcase and suit, put on a t-shirt, jammed a few items into my travellin' Man-Purse and headed for the airport.

My car still hadn't seized up on me with the 0% oil efficiency notice, and when I pulled in to refill my tank: I could not. The gas kept "splashing back". Luckily the good folks at Enterprise completely understood I was verging on being an unhappy customer and gave me a pass on the cost of gas, etc...

I checked in, changed my seat to a window seat, had nobody between me and the guy on the aisle, and settled in with a comic and my iPod for the duration.

A succesful 24 hours, I like to think.

We're scheduled to drive out of here next Friday. Wish us luck!
Dave's Long Box presents us with his point of view when it comes to Fandumentalism.

Whether you're a genre-geek or you want to understand a little bit more about how insane the genre-geeks truly are, I highly recommend his essay.

Because, honestly, as a comic-geek, and particularly as a Superman Fan who has believed he was looking at the end times based on WB casting rumors, this essay speaks volumes to me.

Read here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Well, my three day weekend passed in a blur of packing, watching VH-1 Celebreality programming (which is awesome if you want the TV on, but do not care at all what is on), occasional bouts of napping, dog rangling, Animaniacs viewing and generally being anti-social.

Last night I started the portion of my comics packing that means I really am drawing to a close here in PHX. I only partially organized the remaining comics left out in my room. I did not bag nor board them, and did not place them exactly where they need to go in the correct long box. That sort of sorting will need to take place in Austin. I put the comics in the database, and breathed a sigh of relief.

One nice thing: I located my Justice League of America #0 special edition cover in the process. I had been looking for it for a week, as it cost me $6.00. I was half convinced some kid had grabbed it for the shiny superheroes on the cover while his parents were looking at our house. The other part of me knew it was in there somewhere. I was also convinced a week ago that ruffians at the Austin-Bergstrom airport had stolen my work Blackberry. They had not. It was in Jason's guest room. So I need to quit assuming people are trying to steal from me or else I'm going to turn into the weird old guy who won't answer his door anymore because he thinks those Girl Scouts are up to no good.

In watching Flavor of Love, Season 2, I've decided that Jason needs a show on VH-1 where ladies compete for his affections. I really want to see 20 fame-hungry LA-dwelling club rats talking about what a great guy Jason is and how he's their "man". Mostly I want to see Jason wearing a crown and floating in a pool while girls try to impress him.

Also, I have decided I want my own show on Home and Garden network called "Man, I Have No Idea". It would star me, Mel and Lucy, but I'd wear a tool belt and some flannel. People would bring Mel, Lucy and myself into their home and point out some repair they'd like done or some other home improvement project. I would then pause awkwardly as I looked at what they wanted done. They would say "Do you know how to do that?", to which I would respond, "Man, I have no idea."

That's pretty much it. That's my big concept. Oh, and then Mel, Lucy and I would play fetch for the last five minutes of the show while contractors completed the work. Occasionally I would bring in Jeff the Cat and play with him using a laser pointer.

I could also have a spin-off show called "How Hard Could it Be?" in which I would attempt the repair myself, and THEN bring in the general contractor to repair the damage.

Tuesday night I am off to Austin for a job interview. The total trip will be less than 24 hours. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP Steve Irwin
The League will really, really miss you, Crocodile Hunter

Monday morning, Australia time and late Sunday evening AZ time, I started seeing reports that Steve Irwin, better known as The Crocodile Hunter, had died.

You can read more here.

I guess it should come as no huge surprise to anyone familiar with Irwin's television program that he died in the field while taping a new program.

I remember first hearing about Irwin from college-pal Manzo, who tried desperately (despite having indulged in one too many cans of "Sportz") to explain that there was this new guy on cable who tackled live reptiles. A few months later I remember spending hours and hours on Jan. 1, 2000 watching a Crocodile Hunter marathon as I tried to get over Dec. 31, 1999. I was already hooked on the how.

Early on I lost track of how many hours of television I watched of Steve leaping into the water after man-eating crocodiles, wrestling them and then moving them either to safer environs or to the Australia Zoo.

Irwin wasn't just a thrill-seeking adventurer. His program was educational, and he was always most interested in ensuring his audience understood the complexities of the animal kingdom and the wonders of nature. His boyish awe in the face of everything from a walking stick to a brown bear was contagious, and I found myself tuning in week after week for years.

As much as I'd been a "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" fan as a kid, Steve was the logical extension of the school-book lectures, explaining the wilds to his viewership as he handled animals himself.

If you watched long enough, you knew Steve was the enthusiasm, but long-suffering wife, Terri, was the patience that balanced out the act. Terri became more and more integral to the show, narrating and stepping in from time to time (usually to handle cuddlier animals or remind Steve NOT to handle the deadly cobra, etc...). And, just when I moved to AZ, Steve's tiny daughter began making appearances in episodes taped at the zoo. And, of course, Jamie and I went to see "Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course".

The world didn't just lose a great TV personality when it lost Steve Irwin on Monday. We lost a terrific conservationist and a spokesman for a greater balance of man and the rest of the beings with whom he shares his planet.

So long, Steve. I'm going to miss you. Hopefully you can work out a deal with The Man Upstairs to corral animals up there.

From CNN: He is survived by his American-born wife Terri and their two children, Bindi Sue, born 1998, and Robert (Bob), born December 2003.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


We've been busy enough around League HQ that I completely missed the entire WNBA season. I never paid attention to the WNBA before last year, so its not exactly killing me that I lost track of this season.

What IS bothering me is that I guess I didn't pay enough attention to the pre-season coverage of both NCAA football and the NFL pre-season hoo-hah. Why is it bothering me? Leaguers, that's a hell of a lot of reading and pre-season analysis that I will need to have at my fingertips should Reed and I sit down to watch a few games when I return to Austin.

I have no idea who the quarterback is at A&M or Oklahoma, let alone what the predictions are for the season. I even thought Snead was UT's starting quarterback. I feel so out of the loop.

I only watched half of the UT football game yesterday... the second half. And while I felt good about the dominating defeat of NTU, Game 2 of the season is the real test, isn't it? I mean, who didn't start seeing the possibility for greatness after UT's stunning victory at OSU last year? Well, maybe Randy, the Doubting Thomas of UT Football.

Sure, it helps that UT is playing OSU at home, but... Well, it's pretty much going to set the tone for the rest of the season. Here's to hoping The Horns do a little better than the Cotton Bowl this year. And then, after the usual stomping of Rice, UT faces Iowa State. My co-worker's nephew is their field goal kicker. I can't help but read something into that.

Turning to the NFL, I'm excited to see what TO brings to the Cowboys. I know, I know... but we're a Cowboys household.

I've actually been paying a little attention to the Cards this season. With Kurt looking healthy, Leinart already looking comfortable in pre-season play, Berry, Boldin and others looking sharp... dare I predict a winning season for the Cardinals?

So... how are your teams looking? How's Vince looking in Tennessee? What the #$%@ is going on in Minnesota? Is it worth tuning in to my once beloved Packers?

Anyone, football...? speak up...