Saturday, February 24, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters

Coming soon...

I now know this film will have everything I ever wanted to see in a single movie.

Thank you, movie poster.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Justice League of America: THE MOVIE?

Great Rao!

Warner Bros. to try the impossible and make a JLA film!

Randy sent along this link.

Comic Fodder had this to say (Shawn's words, not mine).

Ain't It Cool News

And the all-seeing eye of Variety. Note that Variety used a JLU comic cover with Vibe right smack dab in the middle. I take this as an ill-omen.


I've posted a bit on some thoughts for WB as they embark on this venture.

New Machine

No Obama

I didn't see Obama today. I'm a bit down about it. Apparently Texans for Obama underestimated the appeal of their own candidate as I circled for twenty or thirty minutes looking for a place to park north and south of the river, and as I was on my lonesome and it began raining, I threw in the towel and went home.

News8 was estimating 20,000 folks were there to see Obama, and Texans for Obama thought they'd max out at 16,000. Originally the meet had been scheduled for Gregory Gym. That would have been a fiasco as Gregory Gym sits at the center of campus and has zero parking and accessibility for non-UT staff and students.

I take it Mr. Obama's campaign is going well.

At lunch the other day we were discussing Obama, and I think his appeal over Clinton is that Hilary might be the smartest person in the room... or she might not. She's sort of the valedictorian who got there by sacrificing every moment of social time and spending lunches in the library. She knows she's worked for it, and thus believes she deserves the position and the accolades. But when she goes up to give her big valedictorian address, she comes off bitter and weird and demanding of respect. When she talks about her high school years, and what she sees for the future, everyone sort of realizes "Wow, you spent every Saturday night watching SNL alone, didn't you?"

Let the Conversation Begin? ...yikes...

Oh, Hilary, you over-achiever, you.

Obama might be more of the same, but he's so new to the national political scene and he's been fairly consistent since he came on the scene that one doesn't look at him with 16 years of baggage tied on. And, as my friend Juan said, he's got that "Mr. Obama Goes to Washington" vibe going on.

I guess since I missed him, now I have to read his website.

A Vista with a View

Leaguers may recall that I recently purchased a new desk. Leaguers may also recall that the motherboard on my laptop recently took the dirt nap.

So, unable to deal with the realities of the modern world sans computer, I went and ordered a Dell Desktop. As you can imagine, all new Dell's come with Microsoft Vista.

I was pleased with the haul I got with my fairly standard desktop. 20" monitor, printer, some fairly nice speakers, optical mouse and a really, really clacky keyboard. Clack. Clack. Clack.

I'm sort of non-plussed with Vista, as I suspected I would be. They've sort of changed everything just enough that you have to spend an extra twenty seconds poking around for once familiar icons, etc... As the Mac commercials promise, Vista does have the Agent Smith security asking you questions as you plug along, but I don't think it's really any different from what MS has tradionally done with Windows. That's not to say I love the pop-ups, but I sort of feel like that's par for the course when dealing with Microsoft's security problems.

The look is certainly inspired by the gummy, glassy look Mac's UI has sported for the past few years, although it's tinged with a bit of the ol' MS sterility.

One thing MS should do when you get your new computer is ask you: Are you an idiot? Click here for "yes", click here for "no". In a week or so, the questions and "getting to know you" screens will quit appearing. For now I just minimize them and occasionally poke around, but for the most part... Windows is windows, and I don't really need a tutorial. And my guess is, most folks buying Vista aren't going to welcome those screens, either.

There's a feature called "Gadgets" that's sort of dumb, but I confess to liking the big, shiny clock and calendar living in the background.

I sort of miss 3.1 every once in a while. Oh, sweet Packard Bell 486, you were my first love. We got through the Clinton years together. Sure, it was weird in those final months when I had to tap the hard drive on the desk to get it to start spinning... but those were good times. Good times.

New Route

The problem now is that I think I figured out that my Linksys wireless router's WIRED portion isn't working. In short, I can either run the WAN into the wireless router and Jamie has access, or I run it into my machine and I have internet access.

Is four years too late to return a wireless router to Best Buy?

Thursday, February 22, 2007



Goodness. After a few lackluster weeks, this week was kind of nuts. Superman finally hit the stands again. Civil War #7. Amazing Spider-Man. Wonder Woman. Checkmate. A good week. I'll be posting reviews, etc... to Comic Fodder.

Can't Vote for my Candidate

So after swearing off American Idol, I decided to spend some time with Jamie last night, and that meant watching American Idol.

I think I'm letting my prior irritation with the show go as I understand AI understood they may have crossed a line with their audition shows this year, and at this point, they are getting down to the nitty gritty of actually caring about how people sing.

Anyhoo, I only watched about half of last night's show, but I thought it was pretty clear that Lakisha Jones is in a completely different league from the other teeny-bopper contestants trying their best to emulate better singers. Lakisha simply IS one of those better singers. She's simply not been discovered to this point.

Lakisha is not beautiful, and when not singing, her self-esteem drops to nil. But I think AI voters are smarter than they used to be and no longer just vote for the poodles the first few rounds.

As mentioned above, I couldn't vote for Lakisha. I tried. I tried calling on and off for about an hour and could never get through as the line was busy. I take that as a very good sign for Ms. Jones.


Friday I am taking time out of my busy schedule to go and see Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama speak at Auditorium Shores. Schedule providing, I want to see everyone who swings through Austin and speaks in a public venue which does not require $1000 a plate dinners. This includes folks from any party you want to throw at me.

I am, of course, most curious about Obama. I've no idea what his politics and policies actually are (I guess I could read his book or his website), and aside from being relatively fresh to DC, and having a smoking habit, I don't know much about the guy. So Friday I shall go to hear some platitudes and get some vitamin D.


When I was 17 we were headed back from a weekend in San Antonio visiting College Jason. I have no idea how long it had been there, but it was the first time I'd ever noticed Ikea, and the first time I had to go there.

As a grumpy 17-year-old with lots of homework to do and with no plans to buy furniture, I was more or less shanghied into a shopping trip to the amazing assemble-it-yourself furniture store. If Ikea was looking to create a nightmare scenario for a reluctant shopper, they'd fully succeeded.

For those of you have never been to Ikea, it's the only shopping experience I'm aware of that demands a forced march out of its patrons. Like Disney World, there are probably hidden doors and passagways for use by the staff, but for schlubs like me, you have an endless march through adorable housing goods ahead of you.

The bottom line is that Ikea requires that you make a visit to their store an event. You cannot go to Ikea just to buy, say, a spatula. You're going to pick up a table, an ottoman, cutting board, drapes and various unnecessary plastic objects.

So this week I needed an inexpensive desk. I'd done my due diligence at Target, Wal-Mart, Office Depot and the Office Max site. But as a gentleman of generous vertical and horizontal proportions, and with a mass close to that of a white dwarf star, I was pretty sure one of the particleboard specials designed for college kids wasn't going to work for me.

So, after a little bit of browsing their website, I decided Wednesday would send me to Ikea.

Ikea is located north of Round Rock, which is a pretty good jog from South Austin. When I was a kid, Round Rock was but a happy little hamlet without much going on. In fact, their two claims to fame were (A) during the cowboy era, a notorious criminal named Sam Bass had been gunned down in the streets of Round Rock, and (B) the actual Round Rock, which was a point for turning around in a creek on the Chisolm Trail.

Now, it's suburban sprawl of the Chandler-kind. JoAnne Fabrics abound. Restaurants like "Cheddar's" dot the freeway. A huge flyover is being put in at an intersection that used to be a swinging stop light. It's a true oddity how Austin stops a few miles South of downtown, but goes on for an infinite distance North of town.

The Ikea was a looming monstrosity of Univ. of Michigan blue and gold, clearly visible a mile or two before reaching the store. What struck me immediately is that Ikea's philosophy is fundamentally different from virtually any other store. They trust their own shoppers to handle their shopping. There are not chipper teenagers positioned every thirty feet (who can't answer your questions, anyway). Items are marked fairly well, and you're able to grab a pencil and paper and write down the items you need to pick from the bins at the end. Further proving their faith in their shoppers, Ikea requires that if you want a desk, you don't just write down the table name. You have to write down the tabletop model, the frame number and the sort of legs you'd like as all parts are mix-n'match. There's a bit of personal responsibility associated with your purchasing. No commissioned sales staff showing you items you don't want to look at, and because you live by the laws of polite society, you are forced to look at.

Also, they had a totally sweet late-80's mix playing over the PA at a comfortable volume everywhere you went.

But I still had to walk through The Maze of Scandinavian Consumer Madness. I can't say it didn't work. I bought a cheese grater Octavio had once described to me in glowing terms, a spatula I thought would solve my pancake-and-egg-turning problem, a cutting board for properly shuffling chopped vegetable bits into a pot, and a turtle pillow for Jamie's delicate noggin. But mostly, I found a desk of the exact dimensions I'd imagined, with adjustable legs to fit my elephantine body structure, and it was white. I did not want stained wood as the colors of my office are, shall we say, not exactly reminiscent of a woodland meadow. I also have to mention the price was in line with what I might have paid for a low-end desk elsewhere, the furniture was easier to assemble than any Target furniture, and was made out of materials I have some faith in.

I'm definitely much more supportive of the Ikea than I was prior to my shopping expedition. I am not crazy about the near-hour drive to get there, nor the aimless meandering of shopping there, but I suspect repeat trips to Ikea will not be a frequent occurence. However, return we will. I saw options for our kitchen and for our upstairs hall/ oddly proportioned upstairs area that gave me some ideas. And that, Leaguers, is the point of the forced march. I may not have bought a hallway's worth of bookshelves yesterday, but I might next time.

Ikea, you win again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2007 Mellies?

Hey, Leaguers. Last year I think I got a little overambitious as far as The Mellies went. We had tons of questions, about 4X the number of respondents I'd expected, and I spent an insane amount of time putting the whole thing back together. Basically, by the end, I swore I'd never do it again.

Instead of abandoning the Mellies, I'm looking for interest levels to see if I should run this again.

How did you feel the last round went?

If we did it, would you participate?

Would you be willing to place your answers in the comments section rather than have me assemble everyone's responses?

It's in your hands, Leaguers. Tell me what you want.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bone Headed Movie

Just saw "Ghost Rider".


Curiously, it's not Nic Cage who is going to drive you nuts. I think Nic Cage must have held both the director and the script in contempt and chose to just sort of do his own thing. And that's the only brilliance you'll see in "Ghost Rider".

After the movie spends somewhere near twenty minutes putting together the set-up, the rest of the action is just sorta obvious. Sorta. They pretty much say "Here's Ghost Rider, here's what he does. He has to keep X from happening." But this is also one of those movies where things were either lost in script versions, on the editing room floor, or because the director didn't know what he was doing. This is the same director as Daredevil, so who knows. Not me. There's just some action that seems to occur just to occur and not because it makes much sense. Like Wes Bentley's wardrobe.

It's not really clear why Satan's son is in a fight with daddy, or what his master plan is. Or why he...

Oh, heck. At least the movie moves along really, really fast. And Eva Mendes is very good looking, even if she has the least believable presence as a news reporter in recent memory. But, again, she's very good looking, and so we can forgive her.

Sam Elliot plays the old Ghost Rider, who actually DOES have precedent from the comics, if my West Coast Avengers memory serves.

I dunno. It's a dumb movie. But the FX are decent, Cage was funny, and Eva Mendes is, I repeat, very good looking.

I've not read a lot of Ghost Rider comics. Frankly, I thought the character was sort of one note. But that can work okay in a movie. It just doesn't sustain over an ongoing comic series.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What up

I think at this point I've more or less explained what that post from the other day was all about to the folks who asked. Let us all put that behind us now, shall we?

I learned an important lesson this week regarding my expectations of my own life, and, I think, in keeping my ears and eyes open when it comes to the big decisions.

In less exciting life lessons, I also learned that the comic store is going to do everything their power not to give you any money for your comics when you go to resell back issues. The good news on this is that I held onto a lot of my Spider-Man comics, so those didn't just disappear on me. I also still have my runs on X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. And more closet space. But I will never, ever try to resell comics at the comic shop. I guess I don't mind too much that I practically gave away the comics I gave away, as I had no plans for reading them ever again, and was pretty certain nobody was going to be that interested in reading them, either.

But, yeah, the whole thing left a sort of bad taste in my mouth. I can't say my tastes are really that much more refined today than they were when I bought a lot of those comics in the last twelve years or so, but I was given some good tips by my Comic Shop owner/manager in PHX. His advice: Pick one thing you're going to collect, focus on that, and if you manage to collect all of those, great. Then you can move on. Now, this applies for purchase of back-issues and less for purchase of current titles. Obviously if I buy Extreme Combat Rats #1, it doesn't mean I should buy every issue of Extreme Combat Rats. But it does mean that if I am to "build" a collection, it's best to have long runs ona title. There is, basically, no advice for what to do with your copies of Extreme Combat Rats numbers 1 -4 that you purchased, but gave up on, and then saw was cancelled with issue 13. It's unlikely anyone will ever really want those.

(Although there will be someone out there who will set up an Extreme Combat Rats fan site, possibly with their own fan art and fan fiction.)

What I did get was some store credit to Austin Books, with which I picked up the Invincible Ultimate Collection Vol. 1, as per JimD's recommendation. And JimD was right. Invincible doesn't necessarily bring a lot new to the superhero genre, nor even really the Teen Superhero genre. Instead, the series takes the concept and simply chooses to execute on some fairly well worn ideas extremely well. In fact, a forward thinking movie producer would find a way to turn the first 13 issues into a very popular 2-2.5 hour movie.

Saturday jason auditioned me for our new, non-existent band. Jamie played key boards, I played the bass and Jason played drums. Sigmund showed up for the end and played the trombone, and thus was born: Sigmund and the Steans Monster (and Andy). Look for us to be filling stadiums next summer, as people rock out to our hit "If I was a Fish".

Last night we headed to Jeff and Keora's place over on Enfield. Apparently Jeff and Keora live in a quad-apartmenet building tucked amongst some obscenely expensive homes in one of Austin's older, monied neighborhoods. I do not know why, but their rent is insanely reasonable. A while back I kept asking Jeff why he didn't move, but I will never ask him that question again.

Anyway, Jason just called and I think we're headed for food, coffee and maybe the dog park.