Friday, May 11, 2007

Crisis with Multiple Dogs!

Randy sent me this link. This physicist has a series on his blog in which he discusses physics with his dog.

And discusses how we live in a multiverse

DC was right all along...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Reporting in

Our pal Heather is off from her studies at Texas Tech, and so she's using League HQ as a sort of base of operations for the week she'll be here. She's studying speech therapy, which sounds incredibly complicated. Perhaps unduly complicated.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to catch up with a blast from my screenwriting class past as Joanne P. is dropping into town. Joanne was in my screen writing classes with Jim D. She's a swell dame, a nifty writer, and she helped us find our realtor in PHX. So we like Joanne.

Then Saturday we're leaving the house and dogs in the capable hands of Heather as we head off to Houston to see the Astros defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks. We should be back early Sunday afternoon, and then back to work.

I'm still adjusting to this whole "weekend" idea again. It was so much easier to stretch out fun over several days when you're kicking it unemployed style. Now they expect for me to work a few days a week, and that interrupts my flow.

Anyhow, hope Leaguers are doing well. All FOUR of you with babies are probably spending the weekend changing diapers. To which The League enjoys a hearty chuckle. Until one of the animals throws up on the carpet.

Oh, and I finally may have turned a corner on ABC's "Lost". Not only did the network promise a conclusion this week, but someone finally (FINALLY) took action in figuring out what the hell is going on.

That said, and this is sort of a spoiler so...


I sort of hoped Jacob would be the cute little white bunny from the flashback sequence. But that's just how I roll.


Add in some background fill ins, tie some scenes together that didn't need to be tied together (but they are, so it's kind of cool). Anyway, Lost is back in my good graces.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sam and Max!

Here's a look at Nathan C's kids, Samantha and Maximilian in their latest adventure!

Ah, I kid. Here's the real deal. Samantha and Maximilian share a moment.

Samantha plans out the next 16 years of psychological torture which she is duty bound to inflict upon Maximilian as the elder sibling.

Walt would be so proud...

"Mickey Mouse" teaches kids to attack Israel and to hate the US.


Owen strikes a pose

Obviously several days late. Anyway, here's Peabo's kid adorned in the proper attire for impressing the whole gosh-darn world.

Rock on, Owen!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Marvel'ing at The Leagues other choices

As many readers of League of Melbotis will note, my interests skew largely toward the comics published by DC Comics.

The other powerhouse on that end of the comics spectrum is Marvel Comics, publisher of titles such as Spider-Man, Avengers, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and more.

As much as I love my DC, I'm not immune to the charms of the Marvel U. Recently I've been reading the "Civil War" cross-over and mega-event, as well as some of the fallout titles, such as "The Initiative".

Leaguers such as Peabo and Reedo will recall my former interest in X-Men and X-Men related titles. Sadly, my interest in Marvel's Merry Mutants hasn't been terribly high since Claremont left the X-Books in the early 90's. I enjoyed a brief resurgence with Grant Morrison's "New X-Men" and have followed that series and Joss Whedon's "Astonishing X-Men" as trade paperback collections. Both Whedon and Morrison told the kind of mutant-centric tales I enjoy, although Whedon seems to skew too far into generic superheroic tales.

I also pick up the Ultimate Spider-Man collections (which Jamie reads before I do), the Ultimates collections, and the Supreme Power trades (although I've not picked up the new Squadron Supreme books).

With "The Initiative", I'm once again picking up monthly Marvel titles as I try to suss out what the new Marvel universe will look like. For those who don't know, the Marvel U recently passed a law asking all the superheroes to register as federal agents, quit, or become outlaws. It's a fairly major seismic shift, and it's piqued my interest.

My other Marvel reading includes two of the Spider-Man books (as my love of Spidey comes and goes, but never really fades all together). I'm having a hard time picking up Peter David's "Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man". Something about Peter David has never really worked for me, although I don't react exactly negatively to his work. The issues I have picked up have been okay, but...

Black Panther has been on my pull list for a while. I love the idea of the book (king of a highly advanced African nation who uses super-intellect, super-tech and herbal supplements to defend his nation in both combat and "the hard stare" diplomacy), even if I do not always love the execution. I'm also picking up "Fantastic Four" while Black Panther enjoys a short stay on the team. We'll see if I stick with it.

Daredevil is a must-read (no, really. I think there should be a law), but it reads best in a collected format. Whether you're picking up Bendis' amazing run, or Brubaker's equally fascinating stories, I prefer to have a full Daredevil tale that I can sit and read in an evening. That said, the recent runs of Daredevil from Bendis and Brubaker are some of the best "superhero" comics out there, and fall in an interesting gap that looks a bit more like "the real world" than most comics. And it's generally far, far better than the movie from a few years back.

Marvel is also dipping into the world of literary adaptation. I picked up the first issue of "Last of the Mohicans" last week, and was pleasantly surprised. The dialog seems as if it was taken from the original book, and the art is okay, if not always great. The adventure genre translates very well to comics. However, I don't know if I like the multi-issue format, especially as I know that once the series is collected I'd proudly keep an illustrated "Last of the Mohicans" out on my shelf. So, yeah, I'll be picking up this series as a collection, as well as the upcoming "Treasure Island" (actually, especially "Treasure Island" which I loved reading when I was 10). Now, lets' get an illustrated "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

In many ways I'm not a fan of Marvel's Cosmic adventuring, such as Adam Warlock or even Captain Marvel. The concepts are usually much more interesting than the execution. I attempted to get into "Annihilation" limited series from last year, but just didn't make it past the second issue. But it looks like Marvel has sucked me back in. How, you ask?

Cover by NIC KLEIN
Annihilation: Conquest continues here - - with the war book that brings back cosmic cult faves from throughout the decades! Peter Quill is once again Star-Lord - - but what could possibly make him take on his former identity? And what brings together the motley crew that includes Bug, Captain Universe, Deathcry, Mantis, Groot and Rocket Raccoon? Grab your blaster and say your prayers as Keith Giffen (ANNIHILATION) and soon-to-be star Timothy Green (Rush City) deliver a sci-fi twist on Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

You didn't read the above solicitation, so let me point you to the two words that have me sold on this comic: Rocket Raccoon.

In middle-school I picked up the Rocket Raccoon mini-series from Austin Books (two owners ago). You either love/get Rocket Raccoon or you don't. Surely this book was never going to appeal to 80's comic fans seeking even more ninjas, but it DID appeal to those of us who liked the idea of a laser-pistol wielding raccoon with rocket-skates. Oh, yes. It did.

And it still does.

To explain the plot would be nothing but a grave injustice to the mayhem of the series, so i won't try. But after two decades of cooling his heels (and rocket skates), Rocket Raccoon will be appearing in a comic once again.

Let's all hope they collect the mini-series in some sort of prestige format.

And to get my current dose of RR, I'll have to jump into the middle of a massive cosmic cross-over that I abandoned some time ago. Go figure.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Small Items


For your dog.

Thanks to Randy for the link.

More Spinal Tap

New Spinal Tap Video

from JimD

Stok Caffeinated Coffee Creamer

A caffeinated coffee creamer? Seem redundant? That's because you don't know how to ride the Pony Espresso, Leaguers. WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Yup. I put this in my 7-11 coffee this morning. Sure, some extra jolt of caffeine was entirely possible, but I couldn't really tell. Perhaps tomorrow. Anyway, adding caffeine to your coffee is a novel concept. I'm no longer the caffeine junky I once was (Vivarin is a cruel mistress), but I still like the idea. Why be just a little peppy when you could be vibrating your way to Earth-2?

I'm just a little sad I never found a can of this little marketing error.

Steve Nash's Nose

I don't really care who wins the Spurs/Suns series. But I also think it's a fun series, and it may be one of the best in this year's play-offs. Sure, I'm pulling for the Suns as the Suns have been my team for the past few years. But I've always enjoyed the Suns/Spurs/Rockets tri-fecta.

And the Suns might have pulled it out had Steve Nash not been a bleeder. Poor fella.

Paris Goes to Jail

Is there any greater feeling that the one you get when you hear Paris Hilton's prosecutor sent her to jail? No.

And I'm not sure that hoping someone hits her with a lunch tray makes me a bad person.

Lost to End

Apparently ABC has decided that running a show into the ground may not be a great policy. Looks like Lost will actually build to a conclusion.

Mellies '07

Someone asked about the '07 Mellies.


Every time I sit down to think about The Mellies, I really can't think of any good questions. I've had a lot less time for pondering the imponderables of pop culture and the human heart this year, and usually I ask questions that somehow reflect topics that are on my mind. I also sort of have a "been there, done that" feel about a lot of the media/ pop culture questions, but I think those questions are a sort of necessary evil.

I dunno.

Steven's also been working very hard on the application which will collate the responses into a usable format. And then he got busy with work and school. So probably sometime after Steven finishes the semester and after I come up with some questions.

It IS a Small World After All

So yesterday I was making a mention of some of our Saturday Free Comic Book Book day adventures, and I used some unfortunate grammar that made it sound as if Austin Books had not provided some of the free Steve Rude's Nexus comics. Let me assure you, Austin Books had a really nice FCBD set-up which included the comic in question.

At any rate, today I received an e-mail from Brad, the proprietor of Austin Books, who was very concerned that I hadn't found the Nexus comic, and who promised to place a copy aside for me for my next visit. THAT, Leaguers, is customer service.

Realizing that I had, in fact, made a grammatical error which not only confused my message but might lead folks astray, I quickly rewrote the offending sentence. I hope that set things square.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Austin Books does a heck of a job, and it was kind of cool to see the owner doing his due diligence to see how their event did in the public's eye. And when he found waht looked like a dissatisfied customer, working to resolve the problem. I assure you, Leaguers, this is not the industry norm for comic shops.

After the recent adventures on this site and Saturday night's beer-fueled conversation about the Clambake Jake incident from recent posts, I've been thinking a bit about how the world is a shrinking place. And, sure, Google's relationship with Blogger is most likely shoving LoM posts closer to the top of the Google search results. A bit of blogging now seems to lead to contact with businessmen in a manner which I would never consider communicating in a face-to-face. After all, unless I have a question, I don't usually start telling shop owners what I'm thinking. How business owners will learn to engage bloggers is probably an open question, but I look forward to seeing how it plays out here at the League.

I'd be curious to see what the algorithm might be for size of city, likely number of customers/ attendees, readership of a blog, content of the blog in question, etc... for how likely a business owner is to actually contact the blogger.

Is this a new mode for a more democratic mode of consumer awareness? Or is the ability for any jerk with an internet connection merely the new nightmare for any business smaller than a Big Box Store?

I dunno. But it's a trend to watch. After all, this isn't the first time we've been found by the very subjects we've mentioned in a blog post. Which is why The League will be name dropping Lynda Carter a lot more in the future.

Anyway, thanks to Austin Books for caring about a Nexus-less comic geek!



How was your Free Comic Book Day weekend?

What? FCBD isn't treated as a Holiday in your home? You're an anti-comic-bookite.

Saturday we rose around 9:30, Jamie made some breakfast and we puttered around for a while.

Finally about 1:00ish we left the house and headed to Southside Comics where Ty pointed us toward the FCBD offerings, and then said "back issues are by the game tables. Oh, and if you want to look for more, they're in that room behind the yellow door."

So poor Jamie had to stand there for somewhere near 45 minutes while I rifled through the backstock Ty had put out, and then passed through the yellow door where many, many more boxes remained.

I found some interesting back-issues of The Flash, Green Lantern, and some copies of Kirby's "Eternals". All in all, I had quite a stack, and noted that none of the issues were actually priced. My plan was to have Ty put them somewhere safe, and I would buy the issues up slowly (this is how I got my run of Mister Miracle, some of Kirby's Forever People and an issue of "The Demon" featuring the first appearance of Klarion the Witchboy). Instead, Ty decided to give me the stack at a deeply discounted flat price, as he said, "I want to get rid of that stock and knock down that wall". Well, Ty's impatience was my gain. I paid literally a fraction of the value of those comics.

Next we headed to campus/Lamar for lunch, then picked up Pat Sanchez, and headed down to Austin Books to see their offerings. Austin Books had set aside a separate area for local comic creators to set up and hawk their wares. I bought two comics from a local artist whose stuff I found sort of dreamy and pretty. I'll be reviewing her stuff either here or at Comic Fodder at some point.

Pat picked up some stuff from two guys whose spiel was kind of annoying me, but he liked it, so... you know... they made a sale.

Inside Austin Books I picked up Adventure Comics 364, which features one of my favorite covers in all of comicdom. I think it may end up framed in my reading room.

Plus a handful of MORE free comics.

Typical of Southside, they had not ordered any FCBD copies of Steve Rude's "Nexus", which is slated to make a comeback. (editor's note: I DID find a copy at Austin Books!*). I missed Nexus the first time around, so I'm hoping they begin releasing the old issues in a format I can afford and not just the $50 HB editions (come on, Steve Rude!).

All in all, a fun FCBD.


And Juan Diaz hosted a cookout! It was very nice. Matt was back from Colorado, but is holding up pretty well, I think. I played fetch with Levi, met Juan Diaz's lady-friend, talked a bit about work with Pat and Matt, and generally had a good time.

Well done, Juan Diaz.

We shall host the next. Levi will be welcome.

Getting healthy, '07

Among many other tasks, today Jamie and I joined Gold's Gym. After having a less than satisfactory experience with Fort Fitness (aka: Lifetime Fitness), we've opted for the straightforward, more economical model of Gold's Gym. Plus, their equipment has the TV built right in. That's cool.

I've gotten really out of shape, which has led to an increasingly odd body shape which is beginning to resemble a ham perched atop sausage legs with floppy sauasage arms. I don't think it's readily apparent unless you're me seeing me in the mirror en route to the shower, but... man...

So, okay. I was assigned a standard chair at work in Day 1. A week and a half ago, I heard the chair's plastic arms (and back support) make a loud "POP", as the plastic gave away in one location, making the chair uncomfortable but mostly okay.

Wednesday my co-worker was in a phoen conference and I was quietly working on a schedule when a second loud "POP" occured, and the whole left side of the chair gave away and I yelled "WOHOOOOOOAAAHHH!!!" into her conference call as I listed severely to the left.

So Thursday afternoon I bit the bullet and asked for a "big boy chair". "This chair must sipport more weight than the average chair," I explained. "My girth is trememndous and must receive support or I will break the next chair."

Working with the office-runner, I found a chair in the "Big and Tall" section of the Office Depot website. "I'll have to check with Anne," Cassie told me. "We can't just buy a chair this expensive."

"We can either pay the money now," I warned, "Or go through two or three more chairs, and then end up buying my Big Boy Chair."

So it went to Anne, who runs Internal Relations. Anne looked a bit nervous. "It's over $100," she explained. "I need it approved by (The VP)."

"Fine," I sighed. "They saw my girth when they hired me. They had to know this was coming." Nothing like the cumulative effects of your fat ass drawing the attention of the VP. But such is the fate of The League.

Bear in mind, I share an office with two people, who welcome a constant stream of co-workers. So, yeah, any hopes of doing this quietly or on the sly were long gone as I had to explain to a great number of people (a) what the conversation was about, and (b) why i was sitting on the floor.

The good news: The new chair will be here this week. The bad news: Week three and already I'm breaking furniture.

Grande Ryan strikes again.

So, yes. I joined a gym today. Shut up.

*Editor's Note: Apparently Austin Books is concerned with customer satisfaction. Brad from Austin Books somehow found the post, contacted me and promised to set aside a copy of the Nexus FCBD book. THAT is customer service, Leaguers. I already picked up the copy on Saturday, and my poor grammar is to blame for the miscommunication. It was my usual shop that had no copies of Nexus.

I just want to point out what a class act they are at Austin Books. Three huzzahs for Brad and his shiny new sign!