Saturday, June 30, 2007

Interview I forgot to do

This is a blog game, courtesy of Amy C.

Here's how it works:

I answer the questions from my 'interview' here. Then if you want to play you do this:

1. Be one of the first five people to reply with INTERVIEW ME.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. Who would win in a fight: Wolverine or Batman?

Batman. Please. And if I have to explain it, I'm taking away your comic geek membership card.

2. How do you like your new vehicle?

I like it just fine. It drives forward and backward. It gets me to work, and it seems to have better fuel efficiency than the Forester. I have adorned it with a Superman sticker, so you know it has my seal of approval.

I have realized that one in every four vehicles on the road in South Austin is an Element, so I do not feel as if I shall be cast as a trend setter in this matter. According to a salesman at Honda, the car is sold largely to people who own dogs.

3. If you had to choose between cutting off your right index finger or your left foot, which one would get the chop, and why?

My right finger would go in a heart beat. While my usual method of making accusations might be confusing at first as I waved a four fingered fist at the accused, I am certain I could get a novelty rubber finger to attach to the stump for particularly meaningful blame sessions.

4. What's your favorite food?

Anything that doesn't still have enough fight left in it to bite back when I begin chewing.

5. What's your theme song?

Probably "Send in the Clowns" or "Turn on Your Heart Light". Curiously, this is the second time I've been asked this question in an interview. I find this odd. Perhaps others perceive a musical quality about me, or, more likely, see me as a supporting character in a mid-range budget summer comedy in need of a theme. At the time of the first interview I thought "Bastard Wants to Hit Me" was fairly accurate.

Today, I am unsure.

There just aren't many songs about chubby comic collectors.

Also... I believe I am now duty-bound to interview five people who ask to be interviewed. So, drop a note in the comments.

Happy Way Late Birthday, Randy (aka: anonymous)

Austin Books is my Secret Mistress

So recently a book was released entitled "I Shall Destroy all the Civilized Planets", and, surprisingly, it is not the memoirs of JMD, it's a collection of features by comic creator Fletcher Hanks. "I Shall Destroy all the Civilized Palents" is a fairly geeky comic to want to get your hands on as its reprints of third rate comics from fourth rate publishers, but Hanks' work has been one of those secret hand-shakes of comic geeks for a while, I guess. It just hasn't really been reproduced in any way that I'm aware of.

Anyhow, I was unaware the book was actually coming out quite yet until I found out from Amy C that not only was the book out, it was sold out at Austin Books and had already been re-ordered. By the time I got in touch, much to my dismay, even the re-orders had been sold out.

But that didn't stop them from seeking out the book for me. I think they talked to three or four distributors when they finally found it and got it in for me on Thursday.

That, Leaguers, is customer service.

I did pick up two issues of Jimmy Olsen as well, and the new issue of Black Coat (Black Coat...! Think masked mystery man in service of the Patriots in 1777 or so) and a comic about outlaw Belle Starr.

I'm now looking forward to the Labor Day Sale at Austin Books. I need to assemble a list of some sort for maximum effieciency as I figure out how much Jimmy Olsen is too much Jimmy Olsen and if the 4th volume of New Gods is really a comic I want to get into.

I salute you, Austin Books. Thanks for finding my book for me.

Sweet iPhone Justice

I know I said I had no plans to get an iPhone, but that doesn't mean I think it's okay for other people who DO want one to get gouged by eBay speculators...

And because I can't think of anything else...

Here's Lynda Carter

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

No iPhone for me

It hasn't even crossed my mind yet to get an iPhone.

It doesn't help my chances of getting an iPhone that I have a phone contract to which I'm beholden for another 18 months, and I feel I'm getting decent service. And, of course, my phone was free with my contract. The phone is the LG Chocolate, which also stores music and takes pictures. And the phone sucks, in no small part because it ALSO has a faux-touch screen capability that goes off when you stick the phone in your pocket. It likes to call whomever was the last person I intentionally dialed, a feature I can't find when I actually want it, of course. I suspect Jason gets a call at 8:00 most mornings when I'm putting keys and phone in my pocket.

I keep looking at the touch screen of the iPhone, and it's a real turn off. I ponder how scuffed the screen was on my iPod (I couldn't keep it in the protective sleeve and take it running in my arm band, so I quit using the sleeve). And how messy it looked with fingerprints all over it. I look at the iPhone and I just imagine a grease-smeared box which will keep calling Jason every time I put the damn thing in my pocket, if it will even fit. The Chocolate fits in the change pocket of my jeans. It doesn't seem the iPhone will fit in that pocket, which means at some point that glistening surface will come in contact with my keys, and that will be that.

I'm intrigued with the varying capabilities of the iPhone, but, honestly, do I really need to see the skateboarding dog YouTube video while I'm standing in line at the grocery? (That's sort of what they're pitching in the commercials for the iPhone). If I want to check e-mail, I can get the Motorola Q for a few bucks on my existing plan, or surf the web from a Treo. All without the awkwardness of tiny touchscreen buttons.

Yes, I prefer rubber buttons. There's nothing more frustrating than poking at a touchscreen that's decided it no longer wants to recognize your electrical field.

the only time you'll see the damn thing without thumb prints all over it

iPhone is contractually bound to use AT&T as their carrier until 2012. Not my current carrier, and so I would necessarily have to change services to a service not of my choosing for five years (most likely six as contracts usually run in two year cycles.)

Also, with the luck I've had with my iPod, I don't like the idea of losing all of my music, phone numbers and videos of skateboarding dogs should the thing decide to take the silicon-dirt-nap.

I know its totally un-hip not to salivate at the iPhone, but there's nothing in my lifestyle that makes me think that I need one. I have a free phone. I'll continue to get free phones with a series of upgraded features. Heck, in 18 months I can probably expect for my mobile provider to carry a competing product. Hopefully one lacking a touch screen interface.

Right now I get the feeling the Apple-Zombies have bought into Jobs' hype hook, line and sinker when a cost benefit analysis offers no real benefits. I was a bit appalled to hear a report last night about how plans of action are being circulated by Apple-geeks to contact the BBB, etc... with false claims regarding their cell-phone carriers so they can wrongfully be released from their contracts (hint, Apple geeks: by telling NPR's Marketplace this was your plan, you just screwed every person with a legitimate complaint out of any hope of being released from their contract for the next year).

The iPhone is sleek looking, but in that EPCOT "in the future we'll all use video-phones" sort of way. I'm just not seeing the value in this doo-hickey.

POST EDIT: I had mis-spelled Treo as "Trio". This is what happens when one does not do their research and hasn't thought too much about PDA's in a year.

I also mis-identified the carrier as Sprint. This was horribly wrong. The carrier is AT&T/ Cingular. I have no experience with AT&T or Cingular, but I have been known to get grouchy about Sprint.

I shall include my original rant, anyway, as I sort of think Sprint's customer service stinks:

Further, I have nothing nice to say about Sprint mobile service, who dealt me a list of offenses between 2000 and 2001 (including the now unheard of practice of "slamming"), and whose call center staff has the single worst customer service I've ever experienced, including dropping calls after an hour, not correcting charges after literally a dozen tries, refusing to believe I couldn't get coverage at my house in Chandler and turning off my phone on the day I was moving out of Austin thanks to their screwed up charges, which wound up with me having to pay the charges just to reinstate service so I could find my damn moving van.


On the touch-screen front... while I foresee an ocean of blue-screened gaming tables in Vegas, I can actually get my head around the practical usage for the new Microsoft touch table.

That's not to say that consumer apps will make sense quite yet, unless you're Batman, but I can visualize a couple dozen educational uses, advertising, gaming, menu's at restaurants and all kinds of Blade Runner/ Diamond Age good stuff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thanks to Randy for sending this along. No, Arden has not finally escaped from Jill. Spike Jonze is making a movie of "Where the Wild Things Are".

Not much going on here. Last night Jamie and I had a lovely dinner with Lauren at Chuy's. Steven was traveling, so she came on back to League HQ and hung out for a while. She's a swell dame, and while we never did get around to firing up the Wii as planned, we still managed to stay entertained.

Found at Lauren's blog... Watch as a morning show host/ journalist actually tries not to cover the Hilton story. Not just a wink and a sigh... I mean, really tries not to cover the story...

I'm still trying to get my head around what happened there. But I know I just saw something that tells us a whole lot about cable news... and I'm sort of afraid. Not in a "I'm being snooty" way. I'm genuinely a little freaked out by how her co-hosts and the producers reacted.

This evening Jamie met up with Amy C. and went to go see Henson's "Labyrinth" at the Dobie and I tried to clean up my office for the first time since before I got a job. It was a @#$%ing mess.

I spoke briefly with JimD (aka jmd) who had been to the first meeting of the S. Carolina Longhorns. Anyhow, apparently Jim saw there was no Texas Ex org and put one together. So, essentially, Jim just found his drinking buddies for Saturdays from August to December. Well done JimD!

I then walked the dogs, reached the farthest point in the neighborhood from the house, and it began to totally pour. Like, not a drizzle and then some rain. It was like someone turned on a shower. Mel flipped out and pulled out of his collar and leash and Lucy was straining horribly at the end of her leash.

Jamie came and tried to save us. She'd just made it home. Sadly, it was too late. I was drenched like I'd jumped in a pool with my clothes on. Hopefully my "Say No to Kryptonite!" shirt will survive.

This is the story of that planet...

I thought I posted Planet Unicorn back in May. Apparently not. People keep sending it to me. Anyhoo... thanks to everyone who sent me Unicorn Planet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just some stuff

Another Blood-Sucking politician...

Randy sends this bit of news regarding a sword wielding vampire running for president. Really, when you have that going on, the jokes just write themselves, Leaguers. I invite you to compare and contrast to your favorite candidate.

Steanso actually covered Sharkey when he ran for Governor of Minnesota.

Total Awesomeness abounds...

Now, for $20 per hand, you can stab people like Wolverine! Or, for $16, like Spidey! Or Batman! (you know... for kids!)

There are so many totally awesome weapons at the Swords of Might Ye Olde Onnelynne Sword Shoppe that if I think about it too long, I forget to breath.

It's great to know exactly what I can get Jamie for Christmas so early on in the year.

Also, maybe a little something for your toddler?

We'll Always Have Paris... whether we like it or not...

So I guess Paris is getting out of jail soon and there's talk of her agent or whatever trying to make good on Paris Hilton's few days in lock-up by seeking bids on her "story". Which is odd because (1) I mean, didn't she just sit in a room with people she didn't know for a few days? and (2) is there even a remote chance that we'll get anything resembling the actual story?

I could care less. But what struck me was how once Hilton's face was gone from news sites, from cable TV, etc... as we were forced to live in a world without Paris Hilton for just a few days... I didn't even notice she was gone. Did you?

Really, until I heard a story on NPR's Marketplace last week (prefaced with a disclaimer of "We feel we have to cover this because the networks are covering this, and we're embarrassed)" I had managed to get through a few weeks without thinking about Hilton at all. Not once.

This isn't too bash Hilton, but rather a passing thought on how, like it or not, because I use websites with basic levels of news service, I inadvertently follow every minute of this person's life. Not exactly the Truman Show, as God knows what's actually going on half the time when she isn't paying people huge salaries to ensure she remains in the spotlight...

But without Paris, services like Yahoo News actually seemed to contain news regarding topics like Gitmo, Bloomberg's resignation from the GOP, and stuff that resembles, well... news, all without links to Paris-related news. It was weird.

Well, CNN of all @#$%ing outlets seems to have ponied up for the first interview with the heiress, which should be a real meeting of the minds as Larry tries to figure out who this young lady is sitting across the desk from him while simultaneously putting the last nail in teh coffin for both his reputation and that of CNN, which officially just became InTouch Weekly on TV.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why We Wii

Because it makes Pat happy

Because Jamie strikes a pose while bowling a strike!

And sometimes Jamie bowls a 172

These pictures were taken the other night at Shoemaker Manor where the fighting forces of our extended circle of pals had assembled for Pursuit of Hoppyness.

Earlier in the evening we'd attended a Roundrock Express game, which was, seriously, a ton of fun. I highly recommend a game to anyone looking for a nice night out, some bad beer, worse hotdogs and some surprisingly exciting baseball (our pitcher, with a .063 average, hit a double or triple. I forget which. I was jumping up and down and shouting too much). Anyway, the Express trounced the Nashville Sounds 6-1. Mangum and Nicole came along. According to Mangum, the $5 Nolan Ryan hotdog was... not so good.

Special thanks to Mr. Peek for the tickets. And to Peabo for suggesting Mr. Peek send them our way.

After the game we headed down to Shoemaker's, and the evening continued. We played Wii.

I don't know what Matt did here, but everyone looks pretty excited.

FYI: I didn't take any of these photos. Pat has a remote on his camera and I was always sitting just out of range.

Here's Mrs. Shoemaker, Laura Ryan (who I hadn't seen in, like, 5 years) and the British dude she just married. I think his name is Simon. And, since I know nothing else, I'll also guess he can move objects with his mind.

And as the night drew to a close (we'd already left) Jeff offered a hops-fueled benediction