Friday, November 03, 2006

I am probably forgetting something. I keep forgetting to do things. Things like posting funny, funny links sent in by Leaguers. Responding to e-mails from Jill. Reporting to my parole officer. Things like that.

Yesterday was interesting, sort of. I had breakfast with a sort-of former co-worker at the Austin Java on Barton Springs. She wanted to meet at 8:30, which meant I had to get up at the crack of seven. Mid-Day was trying to clean things up for this weekend's impending familial visit. We've got Unky B and Tia Linda coming in from the DC area for a day or so. I am not really sure as to our agenda.

I was supposed to have an interview in the afternoon, and so I drove all the way up to the Arboretum area for a 4;30 interview (which was supposed to take place in a hotel lobby) hung out for half an hour, couldn't find the guys, and then went home in Austin 5:00 traffic on MoPac. Good times.

Ah, well. C'est la vie.

The flip side of all this was that I got to Jason's bands' show at the Ben White Florist (you play Ben White Florist, and you're, like, a week away from getting signed). Mono E sounded good. Actually, they sounded much, much better than I recall them sounding prior to my departure, which was probably due to the fact that they played songs (both covers and originals, including, I was told, a tune penned by Jason) rather than exploring the outer limits of the musical universe in an hour-and-a-half jam-odyssey.

I do not like bar bands. I do not like jam bands. I am sorry. Call it a weakness or a musical blindspot. But these guys are all quality musicians, so it was great to hear them showing their chops and having fun.

However, the show was outside, and despite the fire log (which almost turned Mandy's purse into a fireball) it was pretty nippy out. Reed's family was in attendance, including Jen, Meredith, Sharon and Heather, Mandy came and brought Susan, and the usual Mono E friends and family were all there.

We hit Hill's Cafe for dinner, and just as we received our salads, an extremely tardy Steven Harms and lauren made an appearance. The tenacious SGH had used his detective skills to track us from the florist (thanks, Reed!) to the restaurant. So, yeah..! A surprise visit from SGH and Lauren is always welcome.

Anyhoo, all is well. And, in case you missed my note about this below... Nathan C. is gonna have another kid.

Leaguers, first and foremost, Turner Classic Movies will be representing the original 1948 Superman Movie Serial starring Kirk Alyn.

You've seen Kirk, but do not know it. Kirk played Lois Lane's father in the Richard Donner film "Superman: The Movie" during the Smallville/train-race sequence. Noel Neill played, what else?, Lois' mother.

here's some data on the TCM Superman showings.

Thanks to Nathan C. for that tidbit.


When I do not know what to post, or I know I will be away, you are there for me... at least until people starting suing you for copyright violation.

So, let's let your legal folly be this weekend's content, shall we?

Presented here are a handful of short videos re-mixing Justice League and Justice League Unlimited footage. The craft that went into the show is unbelievable, especially in this era of low-rent cartoons designed to make mid-career Hanna Barbera cartoons look like full-blown Disney productions.

If you ever questioned the animation, action, character and storylines for Justice League, mayhaps some of these videos will change your mind.

Keep in mind: Justice League Unlimited Season 1 is out NOW on DVD.

A somewhat long tribute to Justice League:

Where have all the good men gone?

In her satin tights...

...and I feel fine (this one is not great, but at least it doesn't feature some really bad nu-metal, which is enough to make it stand out from 80% of the fan videos)

...and going classic on you...

...and this one is spoiler laden if you have never seen the finale episode of Justice League Unlimited

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Nathan C. has included The League of Melbotis in an e-mail blast announcing that he and Renata are going to have another kid in May. This means Samantha will now have a younger sibling whom she can torment for the next sixteen years or so.

Well done, Nathan. I don't see any of the other male-Leaguers ensuring their DNA is passed along in quite the same enthusiastic manner as you and the Mrs., what with them all maxing out at 1 kid.

I wish you a strong child. Like freakish, Bam-Bam Rubble or Superbaby strong. Picking-up-the-Ford-truck-off-the-jack strong.

Congratulations on the successful recombination of your DNA with Mrs. C's. Soon your kind will cover the earth in their millions.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Well, another month has come and gone. And that means (a) its time to review the results of a poll, and (b) its time for Randy to harass me about not having up a new poll less than 12 hours into the new month.

Thanks, Randy. You do know there's no prize for reminding me about the polls, right?

Anyway, let's take a look at the poll question and results:

Halloween is coming up. What should I give the kiddies who come to my door on the night of the 31st?

-a penny: 10% / 2 votes

-popcorn balls: 0% / 0 votes

-a bowl of cereal: 5% / 1 vote

-a good talking to about what trick 'o treating was like when I was a kid: 5% / 1 vote

-coupons clipped from the Sunday paper: 0% / 0 votes

-a jury summons: 15% / 3 votes

-a shot of Windex, right in the eye: 15% / 3 votes

-a scathing critique of their choice of costume: 15% / 3 votes

-Jamie's old shoes: 0% / 0 votes

-extra candy if Mommy is good looking: 35% / 7 votes

20 votes total

It appears that a large plurality agrees that when Mommy is a cutie, it is time to start bribing the kids. Sadly, I was only in charge of comic book distribution. Jamie handled the candy hand-outs, so no extra candy was dispersed.

Some kids certainly deserved a scathing critique of their LACK of costume, and I think we had two or three of this year's Power Ranger get-up before I identified what I was looking at. With a pleated cape and intricate design, it looked a bit more like a refugee from the reject pile of the Lil' Liberace collection.

Also, one of our Supermans was wearing vampire teeth.

I asked around, and apparently I am not licensed by Travis County and may not select kiddies for a Jury pool. Too bad, because those kids seemed qualified to handle the intricacies of our judicial system. Especially the little boy from down the street who was dressed as a turtle, and, despite the fact he was holding his Dad's hand, kept pointing at me and shouting "Daddy!"

That kid can't prove anything until he subpoenas me for a DNA sample.

The Windex in the eye? You get one shot at that, and then the police come. I really wanted a far more relaxing Halloween than what that was going to afford me.

I don't actually keep pennies. Pennies are for pitching. Especially from the window of the car when you drive past old people on their scooters. So no pennies were handed out. And Jamie is too stingy to share her Boo-Berry, so we kept that to ourselves.

Anyhoo, good poll. See you again next month.
random comments: October 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


My Halloween was nice, thanks.

I did not forget it was Halloween today, but for some reason it was an hour later, well after leaving the post office, that I realized why the one guy was wearing a pink, spaghetti strap top under an off-the-shoulder gray sweat shirt. At least, I am using Halloween to reconcile the fact that outfit with anything I know about post-Flashdance fashion.

Later, I saw a gentleman in full 70's-era Elvis regalia (complete with wig) at Matthews and Manchaca rocking out with his acoustic guitar. Again, its Austin, so you sort of have to hope that he was doing something for Halloween.

We had a veritable boat-load of trick-or-treaters swing by League HQ this evening. Seriously. We ran out of candy and the tiny little comics I handed out. And this was after I laughed at Jamie for buying some additional candy "just in case" at HEB this afternoon.

The comics were a Marvel Comics teaser do-hickey and a Donald Duck comic. Each trick-o-treater got one of each, so I did my little part to improve the general welfare of America's youth.

Costumes varied from ninja to some sort of death mask to princess to flying, furry dragon. We had a few Batmans and two Supermans, some Ninja Turtles, a handful of Spider-Mans and a Hulk. All in all, costumes were pretty good.

A lot of folks didn't mention to their kids that costumes are important, and that it's not all about coming to someone's house, shoving a wrinkly Target bag in their face and saying "gimme". yes, yes... costumes can be expensive and not everyone can afford four $50 costumes for their kids, but, c'mon... the lack of costume, to me, displays a startling lack of imagination in today's youth. Where's the "crazy spoon head" costumes? Where's the paperplate Batman symbol and towel? You'd think Mom and Dad would, if Junior can't bother to tear his eyes off the playstation for five minutes, try to dream SOMETHING up so their kid doesn't walk around in costumeless shame...

We also got some Moms trick-o-treating. I think I counted a minimum of two or three moms who not only had a costume of their own, but who were getting their own candy. The teenagers were actually a lot more polite about their candy-grabbing here than in Phoenix, where they all but tried to tell you "You suck" even as you handed them a "fun sized" Snickers.

A lot of the neighbors participated in candy distribution, and I think a lot of cars were coming in from outside of our neighborhood to bring in little trick-o-treaters.

Was it spooky? Not so much. But that's okay. The spooky stuff is good for the older kids, and I was very happy to note that no kids were dissuaded from coming up the stairs to our porch just because of Jim DeadMan. Also, lots of neighbors told us how much they liked the big spider. So, you know, that's staying up 'til March.

My two jack-o-lanterns were not my finest effort. By the time I got around to carving pumpkins today, it was much later in the afternoon than I'd meant to get started, and I was trying to beat the clock.

But, dizzam... my Kilowog Green Lantern costume was wicked cool. Lots of folks were quite excited to see a Green Lantern handing out the treats.

In other news...

Bob Barker has announced his plans to retire.


The League loves "The Price is Right". Bob is exactly the kind of host The league imagines he could be, given his own program. Or at least the kind we would want to be. Smooth, friendly, and using your powers for the greater good (don't forget to spay or neuter your pets!). Plus, I want an army of anonymous spokesmodels known as "The League's Lovelies". (Only "The League's Lovelies" would only be spokesmodels by day... by night they would be an elite, international anti-terrorism super squad, specifically chartered to fight the forced of the mad dictator "The Serpent's Hand" and his army of soldiers, known as "The Snake's Fingers".)

I actually had posted a few days ago about how I wanted to take over "The Price is Right" some day, but found it distracted from whatever the hell I was posting on that night and took the paragraph or two down after a short while.

Short of my personal apirations, its worth mentioning Barkers insanely long television career, going back something like 50 years. 50 YEARS. And he is on his game each and every day. Man. As much as I think I can put in a decent day's work... you gotta admire that.

Other stuff:

-I was going to post on the whole Kerry's flubbed joke/"furious"-delighted GOP/irritated Dems thing... but the whole thing is so stupid, and the whole brouhaha leads me to believe that everyone involved thinks that I, as a voter, am a complete idiot.

I am now fully prepared to just roll over when we're invaded by our Canadian liberators.

-We are now something like 52 days from Christmas. 20+ days from Thanksgiving.

-I need a job.

-For some reason, though it took me almost a week to pack to my office in PHX, I thought I could unpack in two or three hours. I have a lot of stuff.

-Jason and his band (not called Jason and His Band) are playing First Thursdays on South Congress early Thursday. I plan to at least stop by. You should, too. He says:

Also, apparently The Mono E will be playing a First Thursday gig at Ben White Florist, a flower shop which is actually located at 3200 South Congress Avenue, just south of Amy's Ice Cream, and on the same side of the street (not on Ben white). We're supposed to be playing from 5:30 p.m. until around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., I believe, and we'll probably be playing below our usual volume level, so if you've been looking for an opportunity to bring your grandma to see The Mono E, this might be your best shot. The gig is part of the monthly South Congress First Thursday event (although the venue is outside of the Soco area which typically hosts a lot of the First thursday events), so we'll probably be pretty family friendly. Mostly.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I've learned there are three things you don't discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.

suggestions for further reading:

Jamie has declared that she is now a proud comic geek. Or something like that.

At any rate, she's now taking full advantage of the League of Melbotis Library of Popular Comic-Book Fiction at the League of Melbotis Hall of Justice.

En route to Houston, Jamie stated:

I want to read Infinite Crisis. Can you make me a list of what I need to read in order to understand Infinite Crisis?

I COULD have given her the Countdown to Infinite Crisis list and wandered off, but, Leaguers, not often am I put to the test in such a manner. My biggest complaint regarding Infinite Crisis was that, short of the DC Fanboy with a steady drip of DCU pumping into their arm, I was uncertain who could enjoy the Major Crossover Event.

Rather than field a heck of a lot of questions later, I attempted to compile a list of DC collections which Jamie should read that she might fully embrace the impact of Infinite Crisis. Further, I notated my perceived levels of importance to enjoying Infinite Comic Dorkiness.

If you care to think of it one way, the DCU is one long, continuous tale with a million little subsections. What I've tried to do is cut to the meat of what could be considered the driving forces behind the DCU.

I post this in order for the comic-knowledgable to point out errors, argue the value of certain items and present omissions.

It seems a shame to keep the list to us, here at League HQ when it could benefit Loyal Leaguers... NAY! all mankind!

so... without further ado... The League proudly presents:

Jamie's DCU Reading

This list is meant to be read in order. Please note the key beneath the first section, indicating levels of importance to the overall story arc.

1) Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 1 p. 5-56*, 164-188*, 138-163 (b)
2) JLA: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Vol. 1 p. 4 -6 (b), 59-76 (a)
3) Crisis on Infinite Earths*
4) History of the DC Universe*
5) Legends (b)
6) New Teen Titans: Who is Donna Troy? (c)
7) Zero Hour (b)
8) Final Night (c)
9) JLA: Tower of Babel - Vol. 7 (a)
10) Identity Crisis (a)
11) Teen Titans/ Outsiders: The Death and Return of Donna Troy (c)
12) Prelude to Infinite Crisis*
13) Power Girl p. 3 - 78 (b), 79 - end (a)
14) JLA: Crisis of Conscience - Vol. 18*
15) The OMAC Project*
16) Superman: Sacrifice*
17) Wonder Woman: Mission's End (b)
18) Villains United*
19) Rann-Thanagar War (a)
20) Day of Vengeance (b)
21) Infinite Crisis* (please note: Infinite Crisis includes story sections which are enhanced by numbers 22 and 23... I will be updating Jamie's list when my copy of Infinite Crisis arrives so that she may break up her reading accordingly)
22) Superman: Infinite Crisis*
23) Infinite Crisis Companion*

* - required
a - heavily referenced during Infinite Crisis or a key moment in DC history
b - would enrich reading of IC for backstory
c - tangentially related, but in DCU narrative arc toward Infinite Crisis

Reference Material:

DC Comics: A Celebration of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes
The DC Comics Encyclopedia
Crisis on infinite Earths: The Compendium
Superman Chronicles #1
Batman Chronicles #1
Superman Vs. Lex Luthor
Man of Steel Vol. #1
Batman: Year One
Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn
JLA: Year One
Green Lantern: Rebirth
Adam Strange: Planet Heist
Death/ Return of Superman Trilogy

For the previous SFFR, click here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


you will need to have read the previous post in order to truly value the magnitude of this exciting list of facts and anecdotes

1) Mel rode with us to Houston. Saturday, while we went to S. Houston, Mel remained with The Admiral and Karebear. I now have a strict "where I go, Mel goes" policy. Lucy is believed to have spent the duration under Steanso's watchful eye. We are under the impression that it was a mostly peaceful weekend for Jason, Cassidy and Lucy. Jeff the Cat remained house-bound, and, we believe, hiding in the tub.

2) Shannon and Josh are old friends from my days at KOHS. Shannon and I once played a married couple in a dinner theater production of "Rumors". I was hilariously unfunny. Jamie and Shannon were roommates in college at Trinity U. Which they attended with Richard. Richard was also childhood friends with the Aaron, my neighbor in college during my freshman year at Univ of Texas. I met Richard in the Jester Center Elevator where his companion recognized me from a party at Trinity.

3) I cannot find the name of the band that played Richard's wedding. They were very good. When getting married in Houston, I suggest all Leaguers should book them. Also, they were game and attempted to play Kanye West's "Golddigger" for the remaining audience, even as The Houstonian was trying to shut things down. Sadly, not a soul in the room knew the words to this Top 40 hit.

4) Once, in 1993, Josh performed a drum solo so amazing, people cried blood-tears.

5) In no way am I for or against Crystal Gale. We had been out with Mark the night before and asked "what's on tomorrow for which we can get free tickets?"

6) Josh can lift a Hyundai clear over his head

7) I do not hate Spring, TX. Returning to my former home is a bit like seeing the family cat is losing fur and occasionally hacking up hairballs on the sofa, but it's occured so gradually, nobody seems to notice.

8) I am very, very good at "the robot", but I will not perform it by request or by way of spousal or peer pressure. The right combination of events must occur to warrant a performance. This combination can include: weddings, strobe lights, downtime at the office, or any number of other factors which it would be foolish of me to share.

I can also perform "the worm", but have not done so since the "large, flat cardboard incident" of 1997.

9) At the wedding, Josh fought an elk.

10) My father owns nothing of value aside from his car. He is not a flashy, money obsessed capitalist pirate. The bejewled orb which rests in his right eye-socket in place of the eye he lost at sea is purely ornamental and of limited monetary value. It is also cursed. It does, however, allow him to see ghosts upon the high seas. Those seeking to shanghai my father's car should think twice before attempting such a venture as the eye also grants him the power to see the aura of guilt upon the brow of the actual perpetrator.

There and Back Again

Friday we loaded up the car and headed for Houston. This trip was centered around the nuptials of Richard W. and his finance, Laura T., both of Houston, Texas.

We got into Spring fairly early, were horrified by the unnecessary construction and "growth" out near my old haunts, and generally irritated with the increase in traffic and addition of stoplights. Spring is/was an aesthetically pleasing little hamlet with lots of tall, skinny pines and leafy oaks, but that's being rapidly replaced with 3/4 empty strip-malls and the derelict shells of abandoned failed fast-food restaurants.

On the flip side of this, Spring residents can enjoy the fruits of their neighbors' controlled zoning in the Woodlands which up and built a pre-planned Bedford Falls-type downtown area sometime in the past four years. Well, not exactly Bedford Falls as it IS The Woodlands and folks like The League couldn't actually afford much in the way of shopping in the little city-center. BUT... I guess I find it interesting (and encouraging) that there is still an interest in a deeply embedded suburban area as The Woodlands to have a nostaligic town square. Even one that feels a bit like a Disney attraction with overpriced shopping. It was a little charming to wander around their pre-fab town and see so many people NOT dashing in and out of cars, but sharing space and not elbowing one another to get the first table at Applebee's.

Saturday we hung out a bit with The Admiral and Karebear (always a pleasure), and then The Admiral loaned me the use of his totally sweet ride (a BMW M6 Coupe) for our drive down to Shannon and Josh's pad just South of town. I can say this now, because evrythings fine... but there is a bit of difference between hitting the gas and changing lanes in a BMW M6 than in a V4 Subaru Forester, and it took me a spot of time to adjust.

Shannon and Josh have a really nice Kennedy-era house in which they are held hostage by several cats, not the least of which is the astounding Annie. We dressed (Jamie looked absolutely stunning. Your humble narrator, not so much...), then headed down to the Houstonian for the wedding.

People, if I have one bit of advice for you, it is as follows: Nobody cares what you have to say to one another during the wedding ceremony. Keep it short. Richard and Laura managed to have a lovely, brief ceremony in which we all got the idea, saw the lovely dresses, hit all the major points of a wedding, and then were released to the open bar for pre-dinner cocktails. I don't often cry at weddings, but so grateful was The League for the brisk pacing, that I was moved to tears of joy.

The wedding was outside, near dusk, which in Houston in October could well have meant rain. Instead, we got clear skies, low humidity and mid-70's for temperatures. I was stunned.

Also, Shannon read a poem that I pretended to understand.

Inside we had a lovely sitdown dinner which was also served in a timely fashion and was actually very good. I sat with Jamie, of course, and beside a high-school/college/post-college chum, Mark L. Mark works for, I think, Ticketmaster in some capacity which I completely don't understand. But he was responsible for obtaining tickets for Richard and I one fine evening about ten years ago when we saw Crystal Gale with the Houston Symphony. No, really. And George and Barbara Bush sat about four rows in front of us. It was an evening so strange that Richard and I tried to drink it out of our memories before midnight. Obviously, the plan failed.

I am not always a fan of bands at weddings. They are very loud and often very bad. The band Richard and Laura hired was about seven people and really good. I say really good, mostly because they knew a lot of early Michael Jackson. And, Leaguers, your humble League and Mrs. League certainly cut a rug. Especially to the 80's-era Michael Jackson tunes. Sure, sure... Josh and I took center stage for our dance during "Proud Mary", and I did a mean, mean robot... But Jamie danced enough that this evening her knees no longer bend. They are "owie".

But, mostly, she looked extremely cute in her outfit.

Today we returned to Spring, picked up Mel from my folk's house, picked up Lucy from Jason's house and returned home. I think I am lightly sunburned from the drive home.

Congratulations to Richard and Laura W.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.