Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm healthy again


In case you didn't know, Loyal Leaguer, Randy, and his lovely wife, The Mysterious M, have had a baby.

Congratulate Randy. He is 50% of the face of a new generation.


I can only assume that Technorati, etc... are to blame for why so many people are finding The League in reference to themselves. I had another person find me.

Here. Read the comments.

I don't know who posted the original bit about Dave Ramsey, but you've helped to make the world a little smaller.


Blogging about blogging is totally lame. But...

As much as I understand WHY visitors to the site may wish to remain anonymous, I'm not a big fan of anonymous posts to the comments. In a perfect vacuum, I suppose it shouldn't matter who you're speaking to, but that's just not reality.

Without exception, I like and respect the folks I consider to be Loyal Leaguers. And I think you'll find that even in the most heated debate, I tend to try to pick my words carefully when I'm talking with someone I consider a pal, no matter how far on the other end of an ideological spectrum. That's just common courtesy. Also, if I know with whom I'm speaking, I always have the option of taking the conversation off the blog and into an e-mail conversation.

But I also don't really want to block out the random folks who roll by. If they want to drop a comment, that's okay.

I'm a bit baffled by the recent exchange which took place in one of the posts. Not that someone disagreed with me, because that's par for the course, and I'm cool with that. I just had no idea with whom I was speaking, and that's a bit odd. Obviously this person became upset with me, but I also sort of felt like this person hadn't been around for some of the more colorful debates which have occurred here at The League.

At some point when someone is posting anonymously and failing to identify themselves, you don't necessarily feel as if you've got to put on the same "we're all friends here", game show host face. There are certainly times when i know exactly who "anonymous" is, but I choose to behave with some bizarre gentleman's agreement that I will not reveal the identity of "anonymous". In this case, I don't mind as much, but it does make debate a bit difficult at times as part and parcel of this gentleman's agreement is that one not reveal the identity, even when certain revealing examples could be relevant. But, as I tend to like these folks... I mostly play along.

But the truly anonymous posters...

In no small part, truly anonymous posters are a bit like a person who has crashed a party and then decides to pick a fight with the host. It's a bit baffling to me when a poster such as the one from this week's debate takes umbrage and declares I'm standing on a soapbox. While I'm writing on my personal blog.

In this instance, I sort of think that "anonymous" wasn't anyone I know. At this point I recognize the writing of most Loyal Leaguers, and, moreover, most of you know me well enough to know what my opinions are and where I'm going to draw lines and how I'm going to debate. I'm still not sure what "academic" debate this guy was trying to have, but he didn't get it, I guess.

What was most downright hilarious was the insistence that Anonymous was so busy, so pre-occupied with higher minds than my own that he didn't have time to actually debate with me. But he had time to keep coming back. And surf sites mostly dedicated to nonsense, while leaving lengthy comments.

Anonymous, I salute you.

Tori Amos and school children...

This is incredibly sweet. And with all you Leaguers dropping kids onto the face of Mother Earth, I thought I'd share a moment of brightness and hope that makes me think kids aren't just small, stinky, stupid people...

Skip to the 4:00 countdown mark

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


dang it! I'm sick!

I noticed when I got up, I didn't feel terribly well, but due to Jamie's jimmy leg and Matt Mangum in the guest room, I wound up sleeping on the couch last night. Being a little extra groggy after a night of couch sleeping didn't seem like a big deal, and so my plan included a Starbucks Double Shot while en route to work.

I still couldn't shake the general feeling of fatigue after arriving and trying to get some work done. I went and grabbed a coffee, and then got cranking, but during my 10:00 phone conference, I began drooping. By the time we were fifteen minutes into the call, I felt a bit like I was hearing things through glass and I just wanted to put my head down.

By 11:15 I was pretty sure I was getting sick, and by 11:45 I was headed home feeling feverish and awful.

Anyhow, I feel not great. Hopefully better tomorrow.

Off to go lay very still.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

Adventures of Superman DVD's on Sale!

Never in the history of man has there been greater news. Well, that's not really true at all, but this is good news.

Amazon has all the George Reeves DVD's on sale! HALF OFF!!! (Come on, Randy... you're having a baby. You have plenty of time to watch these episodes!)

Anyway, here's the story from the Superman Homepage.

Bankston in the News

My former roommate, KB, has made the news.

Here's the article.

Well done, KB.

Honestly, I think that's the first time I've seen him in a baseball hat.

Time and Time Again...

So back when I didn't feel like blogging for a few days, I asked for Loyal Leaguers to submit questions. And one Loyal Leaguer asked the following super-related question:

If you could go back in time and convince yourself not to become a fan of Superman, would you? Why or why not? If not, what would you go back in time to tell yourself, and to what year would you go?

Aside from how Superman has made me sort of poor... I can't think of a compelling argument for why I would convince myself not to become a fan of the Man of Steel. My Superfandom has sort of served as a funnel to contain a lot of my smaller tics and obsessive tendencies that I am absolutely certain would have manifested in other ways. And as I honestly believe that the ideas behind Superman are kind of neat, if not merely benign, I'm not sure if I can form a compelling argument as to why I wouldn't be a Superman fan.

I think my Superman fandom sort of forms out of this perfect storm of how Superman intersects at so many of my areas of interest. There's film, TV, comics, pop-culture history, a passing interest in mid-20th Century sci-fi, somewhat more substantive history (as in the context of Superman's genesis and how subsequent portrayals have reflected the attitudes of the time, as well as corporate culture). Add in my love of mentally categorizing things, date-stamping items, cataloging, etc... (I've often thought I should get a master's in Library and Information Science). As well as the sheer vastness of not just the DCU, but 70 years of Superman media... There are literally over a thousand Superman comics I'll never own, maybe thousands of stories I'll never read. Whole television programs I may never have a chance to see (every episode of Smallville, Lois and Clark, the Adventures of Superboy, the many iterations of Super Friends and the various Superman cartoons that have hit the air...)

So, yeah, there's sort of an endless realm of discovery within the character and franchise, brand, what-have-you.

And in some ways I almost think I need Superman to occupy the portion of my brain that enjoys worrying about those sorts of things. As I said before, I am pretty sure if it weren't Superman, it would be something else such as airplanes or cars, sports or music or something.

The source of the Superfandom has a few crucial moments, and I have no idea where the cut-off would be. Would it be The Admiral taking me to see the first movie when I was a little kid? When I saw the second movie? The third? Watching SuperFriends? Tying on handmade capes received as gifts from my grandmother and playing SuperFriends in our basement when I was three or four? (I always got to be Batman or I pitched a fit. The Superman thing came along later).

Would it be when I saw Superman: The Movie on TV one night (the first time I'd seen it in years) when I was 14 and was blown away by how genuinely good it really was? Would it be when I saw internet bulletin boards for the first time in college and was reading Superman forums? When Bruce Timm and Paul Dini launched the Superman animated series? When I crossed the line from picking up the occasional Superman comic in college to picking up the full line? When I started reading up on some of the randomness of the Superman comics in order to make sense of Big Blue, sometime around 2000? When I hung that enormous Alex Ross poster in our living room in our first house and poor Jamie had just seen the tip of the iceberg?

Like any other memory, the idea of erasing some part of your mental make-up can be a bit horrifying. Who would I be if not for the Man of Steel? Much different? I've no idea, but like any icon from our youth, it's difficult to imagine what we'd be if it were stripped away.

Perhaps at the root of the question may be the possibility of whether or not I think I would be a more successful person, a kinder person a more decent person if I were not a Superman fan. I don't think so. Do I think Superman has made me more successful, kinder, more decent...? I can say that surely my interest in the character was based at least in part upon a representation of what I felt reflected my ideals, especially once I no longer found myself as interested in some of the more extreme elements in comicdom. Whether Superman reinforced those ideals or not..? maybe you could ask Jamie. There's nothing mystical there. I just happen to think we tend to seek out those things which have a ring of the familiar.

I'm fairly certain that at this point it will be a long road ahead for me as a Superman fan. I enjoy picking up vintage back-issues, enjoy reading up on Superman's many incarnations, track the movie franchises and look forward to the release of Superman material on home video. Jamie's been plenty patient with the whole thing and has nary batted an eye as whole sections of the house have been given over to Super-Memorabilia.

So, yeah, we'd probably be driving gold cars and living in a mansion now were it not for Superman. But, you know, we have our fun.

The funny thing is that I know I'm not alone. There's a Superman Museum in, of course, Metropolis, Illinois. The Superman Homepage is very well trafficked, and Superman through the Ages, the Supermanica Wiki is cool, and there are a slate of other encyclopedic-style web sites dedicated to the Man of Steel.

We are among you, and our numbers are legion.

This was a tough question. Hope you don't mind that I took so long to answer it.
Hey, Leaguers!

Busy weekend. These days I'm finding that the most tired I am going into work is on Monday mornings, which means I need to start taking it a little easier on Sundays.

Friday night Jamie and I headed to the Alamo South to see "Knocked Up", which was preceded by a reel of sex-ed clips from the 1960's and earlier, each creepier than the next. Mix in some Judd Apatow clips and deleted scenes from "40-Year Old Virgin" and it was a good show. It was also Matt Mangum's birthday, and so I bought him a beer at the show.

I liked "Knocked Up", for the record.

As some Leaguers know, the Krypton Kruiser has seen better days and we're now looking at trading her in. I'm a lot sad about the idea of giving up on my car, but I think Jamie and I are now at the point where we're throwing good money after bad with that car, and we'd actually save money by taking on a car loan and a 3 year warranty. No, seriously. That's the kind of money the damn car is costing me.

Jamie was supposed to be in the market for a new car two years ago, but she never bothered to look, so we're both looking at cars with a strong chance we'll both be in new cars by the end of the summer. I'm a Consumer Reports believer, so I'm only looking at cars with a minimum of a check mark (as in recommended), and looking a lot at fuel consumption and safety features.

Anyhoo, Saturday was mostly spent looking at cars and standing out on the pavement in the sun. There are a lot more options in the arena of the Forester (small SUV/ station wagon) than when I was looking seven years ago, and we have fairly good options within our price point. But I haven't come anywhere close to making a decision yet. It's not like when I got the Forester seven years ago and had been researching the heck out of that car for months before I walked into a dealership. I actually really still like the Foresters, and it has the head room and safety features your League needs, but it's a little weird to think I'd be driving an updated model of the same car, putting me in the same auto from 2000 until past 2014.

Saturday night Nicole was sick, so we took Matt out on his lonesome for his brithday margarita and dinner. A tough trick as it was both the Republic of Texas biker rally weekend and Gay Pride weekend, which meant many restaurants were hopping both in town and out as restaurants on Manor (down near where Matt is living for the moment) seemed more packed than usual. We wound up at El Mercado, which was Omega Man empty, had some margaritas and then went back to Matt's to check in on Nicole.

My folks also needed to get into our house Saturday night as they'd been tubing the Blanco river, so we returned home and they were snugly asleep in the guest room.

Sunday we headed to Threadgill's for the Gospel Brunch (which is fun if you're in town on a Sunday), said our good-bye's to The Admiral and Karebear, and then Jason and I hit Barton Springs for a while with Kim Bloom. I am pale, hairy and chubby, which isn't really the demographic for the shirtless of Barton Springs, but I braved the sunshine, anyway.

Barton Springs hasn't changed much since I first visited prior to even moving to Austin in 1984. It's a great summer-time sort of place, with water at a constant 68 degrees, a nice lawn to throw down your towel, and you mostly don't need to worry about anybody stealing your stuff while you're swimming. Jamie was grabbing some much needed sleep, so I don't know if she's ready to take on the Springs once again.

Grabbed a sno-cone on my way out, then ran home and did the front yard.

Last night we got pounded by a fairly serious storm, and our program was interrupted by predictions of tornadoes. Last week marked the ten year mark since Jarrell was leveled by an F5 killing two dozen people, and the meteorologists around here still take this stuff very seriously.

Once the storm passed I got some comic reviews done, which meant I also stayed up too late.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.