Saturday, April 26, 2008

Anyone up for Radiohead?

Hey Leaguers,

It seems I have two tickets to Radiohead in Houston on May 17th. If anyone wants to go, let me know. You'll have the pleasure of not just my company, but that of Jamie.

Now, this isn't a give-away. You're gonna have to give me some cash.

We do have seats under the pavilion dealy at the Cynthia Wood Mitchell Pavilion, so we're not on the grass, for what that's worth (which in Houston in May, might be a good thing).

So if you want the tickets, let me know.

Apparently, people think I'm a moron

Technically, the "Compare People" application embedded in Facebook isn't officially part of Facebook.

But I signed up for it in the early days of getting on Facebook, and once in a blue moon, it sends me an e-mail.

Today, this is what it sent me:

Your friends have voted on your strengths and weaknesses:


most outgoing
person with the best hair


most adventurous

So, apparently folks find me neither particularly adventurous, nor very smart.

That's what I needed in an e-mail today. I needed to know I have good hair (which I get from a Flobie-like device at Great Clips for $12.00). I'm somehow tough. And outgoing (where did that come from)?

But apparently, people don't find me very smart. At least compared to other people on Facebook.

Which, you know, does wonders for my self esteem.

Anyhow, I'm going to go stick my head in an oven. I will now be clicking on the link that says "disable e-mails here".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Countdown and Death of the New Gods: A fanboy rant

Well, so that's over.

I want to be be clear here as this post begins: Will this post come off as fanboish, and all that fanboyishness implies? Yes.

For readers who are not following the DCU, two years ago DC Comics launched a series entitled "52", a weekly series, each issue encapsulating a week in the life of the DC Universe. While interesting, its not clear that 52 managed to fulfill its goal of giving the reader an eagle's eye view of the DCU and the new status quo following Infinite Crisis.

Selling almost 100,000 copies every week seemed like a pretty significant success for DC, and so they followed with "Countdown".

I have a number of issues with the current administration at DC Comics, but many of them can be boiled down to two points:

1) DC has seemed far more interested in "stories" cooked up as editorial, status-quo-changing ideas rather than as organic tales with a natural arc from point A to point Z. It seems as if Didio and Co. are much more interested in where the characters will end up, rather than how they managed to get there. Which, correct me if I'm wrong, is sort of the point of telling a story.

Instead, DC has determined finishing points for their characters and don't really seem to care whether or not plot points B-Y make any sense, or occur in any particular order. Or, whether its a satisfying read with an engaging narrative arc.

Countdown has not been the only offender.

2) Unable to convince the DC A-list writers and artists to get on-board with this cockamamie scheme, Didio rounded-up a team of writers that never met an idea of Didio's they didn't like. It's my guess that Dini may have plotted the original Countdown story, but it was this team of writers that put words in the character's mouths and came up with the execution of the action. Unfortunately, these were mostly DC's B and C-listers. The guys who seem willing to take on 2nd and 3rd tier books and who are asked not to mess up the character too much until someone else takes over the title in order to boost sales.

In my opinion, the issues you'll see in the rant below trickle out of the above two issues.

The concept behind Countdown was that it would act as the "spine" to the DC Universe, and idea I've always felt was a pretty good idea. A central book which would reflect and define the events of the DC Universe. I now see that idea was not one of my better ones.

The troubles started with the absolutely abysmal cross-over "Amazons Attack!", which was supposed to be a major event, I guess. Unfortunately, it was terribly executed, made no sense, and reflected how little thought had really gone into Wonder Woman by the DC powers that be with the Infinite Crisis re-launch.

Add in the side-events, such as the death of Bart Allen, and Countdown was a colossal trainwreck this year for the DCU. The idea of tying the books together didn't really work. And shouldn't work over the course of a year. At best, that's a one month event editor's should try every year or two. If not less frequently.

Marvel's Civil War may have succeeded far better for one single reason (aside from the writing, and there being a point): Something explicit was happening in the Marvel Universe, so each character had an opportunity to react to it. Countdown chose to be a story of covert happenings and occurrences on other-dimensional versions of the DCU Earth. From the first issue, there was never anything for the characters in the other books to actually react to. Certainly there was no sense that anything was "Counting Down".

One of the funnier things, to me, about the whole Countdown debacle started when I was writing for Comic Fodder. Contributor Jason C. had proposed we write a series of alternating articles, ostensibly about Countdown, but to never actually discuss Countdown in the articles. "Because", he explained, "Countdown isn't about anything." I think I understood at the time, but Jason C. has a PhD, and I do not, and so it was that every few weeks upon closing an issue of Countdown, Jason's words would come back to haunt me.

For a sampling, go here and here of what was to be a year-long meta-joke, that only ran 6 installments.

Structurally, Countdown broke down almost every issue to show you what was going on with some aspect of the "Countdown" story. There was a storyline featuring a rogue Captain Atom as "Monarch", forming a trans-dimensional army to do... something. With a character called Forerunner, who was... supposed to do something...

The "Challengers" were supposedly hopping from Earth-to-Earth across the DC Multiverse in order to find Ray Palmer. There was a mysterious tattoo we were supposed to learn more about, that looked like the symbol of The Atom. The Challengers were made up of Donna Troy (DC's answer to the lifeless student council president), Kyle Rayner (the fifth wheel of the GL Corps), Jason Todd (who should have stayed dead), and a Monitor.

The Monitors were supposed to care about people jumping from world-to-world, but why they cared was never made clear.

Darkseid was up to... something.

For some reason Karate Kid and part o Triplicate Girl from the Levitz/ Giffen era Legion was there. And had Space Herpes.

Jimmy Olsen (one of my favorite characters of the Silver Age) was involved, probably to revitalize Jimmy as a character. Unfortunately, the writers seemed to hate writing Jimmy, and never bothered to give us a reason to like Jimmy or care.

Harley Quinn and Holly Robinson, two characters who've never been that popular in the DCU, were death marched through a nonsensical plot that I'm embarrassed to even describe, and came off as equally grating and useless to the entire Countdown story.

Speaking of useless, Flash villains Trickster and Piper shared a storyline that was supposed to give off the same spark as the movie "The Defiant Ones", but came off more like "Fled".

And, of course, the character self-immolation DC felt was necessary for Mary Marvel, the only non-whiny female teen in the DCU (well, I guess we have Misfit now over in BoP).

A few things:

-It seems that none of these storylines would have been approved by DC as a 6-issue mini-series, so why they were part of DC's YEAR LONG, 52 issue event is a mystery.

-It seems that having a writer who was passionate about any of the stories might have been to the overall story's benefit. Instead, rotating through writers every week... didn't work. I can't shake the feeling the lack of enthusiasm stemmed from the D-list level of characters, and, of course, the fact that the story made no sense.

-Somehow the series lasted 52 episodes, and yet we learned nothing about the characters. How does that even happen? The one character who actually HAD a character story-arc was Mary Marvel, and her awakening was literally magically infused.

-The characters carry a person with a deadly virus all over the place instead of just quarantining them. Plus, if you're familiar with how diseases spread, kids... pretty much the whole JLA/ JSA and the DCU should have been infected as Karate Kid should have been contagious before showing any symptoms. Plus, when, where and how did he get infected?

-The plot was not just all over the map, it was across 52 maps. Not a single storyline had a satisfying conclusion. In no way did the events of the final seven issues or so really tie into the first 40+ issues. Instead, our protagonists just stood around watching events unfold on Apokolips, on Earth-1, on Earth-52 and sort of through the whole series, really. Aside from mindless brawls here and there, did anybody actually DO anything in this series?

-The whole Morticoccus thing was just awful. As was Brother Eye/ OMAC. What was I supposed to get out of that? Where in continuity Kirby's ideas came from? From frikkin' Karate Kid?

Oh, DC. Do you ever write these things down, sleep on it, and look at it in the morning to see if they make sense before you start writing the script? Because it sort of feels like the whole story was the result of cramming for finals on too much coffee and No-Doze.

I'm inclined to believe something pretty major happened at the DC offices somewhere around week 15 when they realized readers were staying away in droves. It can't have helped that writers on other books were having a bear of a time trying to tie back into Countdown in some way, when the story wasn't really much of a story.

Unfortunately, DC was more about saving face with keeping the weekly machine going, rather than actually fixing the problems of Countdown. Or someone grabbing the editor and asking him if he actually asked what the story was before the damn series got started.

To add insult to injury, DC launched several companion series, many of which I began reading, and stuck only with "Death of the New Gods" through to the end. I am sad to say I was not enjoying Steve Gerber's work on Doctor Fate prior to Gerber's death, but after the very straightforward and interesting idea of Kent and Inza Nelson plus helmet was tossed to the side, I'm afraid yet another adaptation of the Fate idea just wasn't working for me. At all. Nor did "Countdown to Adventure", that Lord Havok series, or whatever else they were throwing my way.

In truth, "Death of the New Gods" reminded me why I'm not much of a Jim Starlin fan. Starlin has a reputation for the cosmic, but when simultaneously reading Kirby's original work, side-by-side with this series, Starlin comes up far, far short in understanding the characters, dialog, and energy that Kirby put into the original work.

Like Countdown, Death of the New Gods seemed largely plotless, and the reveal of the murderer wasn't just disappointing, but a smear on the work of Kirby and the many writers who have come after in an attempt to keep Kirby's flame alive.

Countdown could have been easily read and enjoyed without Death of the New Gods, but would have left An early issue or two of Countdown, and Issue 2 of Countdown feeling a bit out of place. Not that the conclusion to Death of the New Gods and the events of Conclusion match up in any satisfying way...

In truth, Countdown and Death of the News Gods each turned out to be enormous disappointments. And the worst part is, because I took a risk, week after week, believing DC had a plan in mind, I was going to get something out of all of this when the story wrapped up. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Which means I'm out a lot of money for collecting both series.

So what to do now?

DC Universe Zero comes out Wednesday. Is a single issue, and written by Johns and Morrison. And is 50 cents. So I'll pick that up. I'll pick up Final Crisis, mostly because I trust Morrison.

As per DC's next weekly series... I'm picking up the first four issues. I trust writer Kurt Busiek to an extent, but I'd be foolish after this debacle to keep going back to a weekly series and expect that DC had a master plan in mind if its looking like they really don't.

I might swing a bit to the left, but I believe capitalism works. When i used to write at Comic Fodder, i would always encourage readers to "vote with their dollars". In a way, I did vote with my dollar. I voted that I had confidence that DC had a plan, and I wanted to be on board to see what that plan was. So I took an expensive gamble and I lost.

Do I feel like a sucker: I didn't. Not until that page where the new team of The Atom, Donna Troy, Jimmy's insectoid ladyfriend and someone else decided to front with the Monitors, which I totally didn't buy. At that point, I was left wondering where the hell they came to the conclusion that the people who stood by and watched two worlds die were going to (a) hold anyone responsible for stuff that, really, had nothing to do with the Monitors, and (b) how they were going to do something now, when they hadn't done anything before. At that point, I felt like a sucker, because I realized DC had spent the entire Challengers storyline setting me up for a series that sounds very much not up my alley, and I'd give 12 issues before cancellation.

What DC can do for me:

52 left a lot of hanging threads. The Island of Mad Scientists. Lady Styx. Steel. Do wright by these. (And Infinity Inc. is not, by definition, doing anyone any favors).

If you want to do a weekly comic, think about a new format. It doesn't need to be a year-long. Think anthology. Think classic Showcase formatting. I'd read a weekly book featuring c-list characters, especially if I knew storylines were going to wrap up and not last for 52 issues.

Pay attention to what made The Sinestro Corps War story work in Green Lantern and GLC. Note how it didn't have a multitude of mini-series tied in. Note how the story built out of characters and character motivations, and not just "let's make Mary Marvel Evil".

DC does have an aging audience of older readers who have seen it all. The references to older events in Countdown were interesting, but you can't base a storyline around nostalgia for work that is significantly better than what you're putting on the page. Don't remind me you're nowhere near as talented as Jack Kirby by trying to use his ideas, or that you're not even as much fun as the old Superman's Pal comics by referencing Jimmy's many transformations.

Signs indicate that DC has learned many lessons from Countdown. Heck, the latest DC Nation column read something like an apology for Countdown (not yet online).

So I don't count DC down for the count yet.

If you take a look at the line, the Batbooks are the best they've been since I started reading Alan Grant/ Norm Breyfogle and was wowed by Jim Aparo's Dak Knight. The Superman books are in good hands and seem to be headed in a clear direction, with a new continuity that ties in the best of all the eras of Superman. Green Lantern is amazing. Gail Simone is pulling Wonder Woman out of the gutter, and simultaneously talking to previous authors of Wonder Woman about what made the character work for them. Justice Society is a great read every month. And Justice League ain't half-bad, either. Even the formerly luke-warm Legion series is a page-turner. And I really dug the latest Suicide Squad run.

Count me in for Morrison's work on Final Crisis.

It's too bad the "spine" idea didn't work out, but I understand why it couldn't. I just wish it hadn't set me back so much dough.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The French Fork

Hey Leaguers,

League-pal Letty has started a new food-oriented blog. Letty is from the countryside of France, and a bit of a gourmand. She's mixing stories, observations, etc... and recipes and thoughts on food. And it's good reading. Food is life. Life is food.

Letty became an American citizen in 2007, has been married to League-former-co-worker and pal Juan Garcia for.. a while... I forget. Anyway, their own story is kind of wacky in and of itself.

Here at The League, we adore Letty and we hope to continue to encourage her with her blogging and cooking (which has often benefited The League). So swing on by The French Fork. Tell Letty "howdy".

If you're a food blogger, why not link to her? I'm sure she'd reciprocate.

Superman at LakeCreek Alamo April 27th - take 2

Hey Leaguers:

Do not forget, Superman: The Movie will show at the Lake Creek Alamo Drafthouse on Sunday.

We're going to the 1:00 show.

You don't need to make a big fuss about the whole thing. But we'll be there with JAL and Mrs. JAL.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Well, Leaguers... according to the counter, this is post number 2500.

I was going to link to an article about the Chicago Bulls mascot getting sued for a high-five gone bad, but then I said "oh, that's post #2500. Perhaps something a bit more dignified...".

Every time an anniversary comes up around here, I feel the need to do an Oscar aceptance speech in order to thank people. And I imagine, mentally, each of you begins playing the Oscar music in your head and is walking me off the stage by the second sentence. So I won't do that here. If you want to be thanked and feel you deserve it, you know who you are. Thanks. You're a peach.

I'm a bit stunned to have reached 2500 posts. Sweet Christmas, what have I been doing with my life?

Oh, yes... this:


Well, apparently when it comes to talking about myself, Superman, comics and other useless minutia, I have a surprising degree of stick-to-it-iveness. The Admiral would be both proud and ashamed, I think.


Test Footage: Where the Wild Things Are

This is just test footage. I have no idea if that's the script. It isn't the real kid actor, or the right costume, apparently.

But, hey, wow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sci-Fi getting dumber thanks to super-heroes?

Randy sent me this link. It's worth reading. (editor's note: the link is now fixed. Don't try to watch daytime TV and blog, Leaguers.)

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with one of the author's points, which is: super-hero movies are full of bad science. A rocket-powered dynamo like Iron Man seems unlikely without some yet-untapped energy source. And where would you keep that fusion reactor in the suit, anyway? How does the Hulk grow with no means for gaining mass? Or Isn't Halle Berry's wardrobe in Catwoman a little improbable?

However, I disagree with a few of his points, or at least his accusations.

I think what he's trying to say is that: Science Fiction was once much smarter than what we get today.

I would not disagree with the merits of Blade Runner being a bit higher than what we're likely to get from Iron Man, as per moral complexity, well-fleshed-out-narrative, etc... But the author has selective perception regarding science fiction, and is ignoring the B-Movie tradition of sci-fi. For every plausible sci-fi movie (the author points to 2001: A Space Odyssey and Terminator, both of which this reader finds to be dubious choices), there were ten "Battle Beyond the Stars" or "Laser Blast".

It seems, really, as if the author is also suggesting that Blade Runner didn't have to share the market with Krull, Beast Master, and a lot of other stuff that wasn't exactly dealing with the steps of the scientific method.

Most of the characters coming to screen are not products of recent scientific development. Iron Man, Spider-Man and the Hulk made their debuts around 1963. Catching a low-budget sci-fi epic was a cheap thrill for a Saturday afternoon, and, of course, this predates most serious cinematic sci-fi by a few years. 2001 would debut a few years after Spidey, and about 30 years after Superman, for example.

He also suggests that comic book movies will somehow keep our kids from dreaming, our science from science-ing. Somehow equating Spider-Man with a lack of American students enrolled in science curricula.

From an historical standpoint, sci-fi comics were the black sheep in the sci-fi family, but there was a direct connection between the guys who were publishing "Amazing Stories" and other science-fiction publications. In fact, DC editor Mort Weisinger had worked for similar publications before coming to National. And Julie Schwartz would be the one who would insist on at least pseudo-scientific explanations for his heroes beyond "mysterious energies", bringing in the Silver-age of science-based heroes. Read more at Men of Tomorrow.

Often the earliest super-heroes, often referred to as "The Golden Age" heroes (circa 1938-1955) reflected the wisdom of the time. Hourman could gain his amazing strength from a pill (with no thought given toa ddiction, etc... but much to the power of modern chemistry). Starman was powered by the strength of his "gravity rod".

However, one of the markers of comics' move from the Golden-Age to the Silver-Age was the post WW-II interest in science and industry which fueled the country. The first Silver-Age sci-fi hero, Barry Allen as The Flash, is a walking textbook of physics issues. I recommend checking out the Showcase Presents: The Flash, which is terribly pseudo-sciency, but does try to make leaps from the textbook to the imagination, in a "look, kids... science is fun and cool!" sort of way (even when it makes no sense, whatsoever).

Further re-imaginings of characters, such as The Atom, explored the possibilities of the textbook as applied to super-hero feats of wackiness.

By 1962ish, when the FF was strapping themselves into an experimental rocket in order to beat The Commies into space, Stan and Jack were mostly concerned with drumming up new ideas to save Timely/ Marvel comics. As mentioned above, the science of the concepts wasn't necessarily rock solid. One was less likely to gain powers from an irradiated spider than one was to, say, get pretty sick. And if genetic traits were passed, Peter Parker did pretty well by not growing extra arms or having weird bug-eyes.

But that wasn't ever really the point of Marvel comics. Marvel was far more invested in the development of the characters behind the powers than in merely showcasing super-feats and displays of the mights of science. Pretty clearly, Stan and Jack were taking a page from the absurd science of movie serials and Saturday matinees. But characters such as The Hulk took also from both Doctor Jekyll & Mister Hyde with a strong shot of Frankenstein.

The point that this guy really misses, I think, is two fold:

1) The 20th century was when science came into the home of the average person. Myth and magic had to give way to the powers of the atom. Interesting ideas for a super-hero possessing the powers of the spider could be attributed to either magic or science. In 1963, science was going to win out, no matter how nonsensical the explanation.

2) Science fiction has long pre-saged actual invention. Laser beams, which are used every day in countless applications, first appeared in a science fiction story. And just because you don't see the path for Tony Stark's incredibly small, incredibly powerful power source, or how repulsors work today, doesn't mean that you won't see it in five years.

How many scientists, engineers, etc... first dreamed of becoming the next Ray Palmer, Reed Richards, Tony Stark? How many kids will look to exoskeletons and the possibilities?

We now live, eat and breath science. To suggest that we aren't surrounded by high-tech developers of cyber-space is bizarre. To lay the blame for a lack of developing science academia at the feet of Tony Stark is crazy when there are so many other factors out there from anti-intellectualism and the now popular attacks on science from politicians and folks looking for camera-time, Spidey isn't really your issue. Especially for those who really know Spidey know that his web-shooters weren't just genetic mutation, but are his own invention.

If anything, this article is somewhat depressing in that the author is suggesting that rather than dream of HOW the feats of Tony Stark or Spider-Man can be achieved, those dreams are too big and should be considered impossible. In a world where we went from a small engine propelling the Wright Bros. through the sky to landing on the moon (and coming back!) within a few decades, how can anything we see Batman, iron Man or any other super-hero doing be considered impossible? Perhaps today's suit of armor has no stabilization control, but tomorrow's might look and behave differently. Its not about the outward package, its about the problem you need to solve to get the basic concept to work.

I'm not writing off the science of super-heroes. I may know that a yellow sun will never make me defy gravity, and bullets will never bounce off my skin, but that doesn't mean we, all of us, can't imagine how that could happen.

Anyhoo, that's my two cents.

Mel Turns 10

The celebration of Melapalooza '08 was this weekend, but Tuesday April 22nd marks the 10th birthday of Melbotis Perkins.

He will get a trip to the vet, many treats and a walkies.

The Birthday Boy hisself.

The birthday boy with his biggest fan.

Little sisters get to come to the party, too.

And sometimes relatives come in from out of town for parties. Mel with Kristen and Doug.

Cassidy was all set to party.

And here is your League, in his "pontificatin' hat"

Happy 10th Birthday to the best darn dog any boy ever had.

You can see the photostream here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

End of an Era: Dave's Long Box is put in the attic

Let me get this out of the way: I love Dave's Log Box.

Sometime in 2005/2006, JimD turned me onto the site, and it's consistently been one of the best comic blogs on the planet (nay... in the UNIVERSE), since its inception. Dave may have invented the idea of theme weeks for blogs, as near as I can tell. He brought the frenetic energy of fandom to the fore, celebrating both the good and the absurd in superhero comics with equal enthusiasm.

Blogging isn't a paying gig, Leaguers. So when folks discovered Dave's talents from the world of dollars and cents, he was able to parlay his blogging gig into a paying gig, writing for the Invincible Encyclopedia, a comic or so, and now writes for And for that, I salute him. We'd all of us bloggers probably have a secret wish that someone would put us on a payroll and give us medical and dental just for doing what we're already doing, and every once in a while, it actually works out for the best of the bloggers.

And Dave is one of the best.

Last Wednesday, I missed Dave's final post thanks to a few factors:
1) I check it once a week, because that's about how often Dave had been updating
2) Doug's malevolent presence

But he did leave a farewell post. I invite you to read his good-bye's. And not just because League of Melbotis gets a passing mention (In the privileged position between "the creators of Laser Force", and Bahlactus. Pretty solid company, if I say so, myself).

He's moving on to full-time. And I wish him well.

There's a promised new blog coming, so I'll keep my eyes peeled. And you should, too.

I'll also be cleaning up my blogroll to include Dave's ABC work and the new site, whatever that might be.

Vaya con dios, Dave's Long Box.

I admit relief...

It seems the Justice League movie has been "tabled", according to super-producer Joel Silver.

Read here.

Everything about the movie's production sounded... wrong. It reminded me very much of the press coming out regarding the attempt at a Superman movie before Singer took the reins.

-It was not going to be a Magnificent Seven-style story, bringing the JLA together.
-Rumors were floating that it involved Brother Eye, which works in DCU continuity, but would baffle fans of the Batfilm franchises and cartoon.
-In order to avoid conflict with the Superman movies, rumor was it was to have Superman "dead" through the film. Dead. Ie: We don't need Superman for this movie, a point with which I will not agree.
-They were casting young, hip and sexy with CW-style fluffy bunny actors.
-They were talking about one of the old Mad Max guys for Martian Manhunter for some reason. The last live-action J'onn we got was played by David Ogden Stiers. A fine actor, but... not exactly super-hero material.
-Not casting Bale as Batman and Routh as Superman seems... short-sighted.
-It all sort of had the same vibe as the failed 1997 TV show for some reason.

I would love a JLA movie. A huge, Earth-shattering Morrisonian epic would be great (WWIII?). I sort of got the feeling the screen writers picked up recent JLA comics to see what the comic was actually like, were impressed that it's not the kiddie faire they assumed they'd be adapting, and started lifting from Rucka's "Project OMAC" series and Countdown to Infinite Crisis rather than actually understanding how all of this fit. This was serious, latter-day JLA lore, when the DC was in need of rebooting and retro-fitting, not entry-level stuff.

So, yes, I am happier with no JLA movie rather than a compromised JLA movie.

Also, WB... Morrison will soon be done with many of his comic-writing duties. I am sure Paul Levitz and Dan Didio have his number, if you'd like it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The past week has been a bit of a rollercoaster.

It is true that I have (ahem...) extra time. Fortunately, Doug was already scheduled to be here for the week to entertain and amaze Jamie, so I never really got much of a chance to just sort of roll around in the dark and feel sorry for myself. I was in a weird mix of not feeling great/ anxious/ glad to be playing host/ geared up for Mel's party/ coming down from my own very nice birthday... In addition, it was great to have Judy and Dick in the area for the past few days.

In addition, the past week my grandfather was in the hospital in Florida. KareBear has been out there since last Thursday helping out, and The Admiral went out there before the weekend. My grandfather is home now, but its likely that they'll be moving out of their home and into a retirement facility of some sort in their current town. I'm watching all of this from a bit of distance, but am feeling positive about the steps my parents and uncle and aunt are taking.

Anyhow, this week will be different. I've done the resume polishing. We'll see what happens.

I'm also hoping to play a little more bass this week. Maybe get to read some, and maybe draw a bit with some gear I got for my b-day.

well, huh...

I will probably still see this, but...

Thanks, Leaguers!

Hey, Leaguers!

I think its safe to say Mel had himself a great birthday party yesterday. We missed those of you who couldn't make it. Perhaps the next League gathering?

Thanks to those of you who could make it to the party. A special thanks to both those who brought Mel gifts, brought food, etc..., and a special welcome to doggie guests Pierre and Levi. We had five dogs in the yard, and it seemed that they all had a pretty good time. Although poor Pierre had it in for my plastic squirrels I keep on the front porch.

Jason posted some nice pics here.

Leaguers came from near and as far away as the furthest reaches of Parmer Lane (hi, Sue!). We had some new guests with Jason and Mike, as well as Amy C. Our timing with the Shoemakers was a bit off, and for that I apologize. We'll have to catch up with dinner this week. The In-Laws attended what will surely be the first of many League HQ parties, and despite the fact I would not eat Judy's blue-cheese crackers (look, I can't deal with blue cheese), it was fun to have them meet so many of the folks they've heard about over the years.

Mel had a great time (that much attention never hurt him). It was great to catch up with so many folks. We even wrapped things up and headed over to Madam Mam's for some Thai food at 8:30 or so. So, I think it was, all-in-all, a success.

Special Request: If anyone is posting pictures to Flickr, etc... let me know.

Doug and Kristen are leaving today, so by this evening, its going to be pretty lonely around League HQ.

Next week will probably be a lot of putting my nose to the grindstone and job-hunting. If, uh, anyone knows of any local companies looking for an able-bodied project manager, let me know.