Friday, January 16, 2009

RIP Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth has merged with the infinite.

The picture above is called "Master Bedroom" and has followed me from bedroom to bedroom for about 12 - 13 years. And I suppose it probably always will.

I used to have a print of "Christina's World", but I have no idea what became of it. I don't think I'd had it up since 1997 or so.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

So this is sort of more of a blog post

Moderated comments

We all have things we're touchy about. And when we start thinking of specific areas of our lives, we can probably find something that doesn't work for us. When it comes to maintaining this blog, the thing I find hardest to manage is the Anonymous Comment.

I want to be very, very clear about this: I am not mad at anyone, and that's not what this is about. I just received a spate of anonymous comments over the past few days, and I have no idea who is commenting. Were this some popular site, I'd probably think nothing of it, but as we have often the same visitors here, I prefer that if you comment, you find some way to self-identify.

That doesn't mean you need to use a Google account. You can still just post a comment, but I'd prefer you then sign your comments one way or another.

I know you're going to ask why.

1) Yes, each of you is a unique snowflake. But no matter what you think, I can't really hear "your voice" when you post anonymously, so it certainly is useful to see who is saying what so I can get the tone of what you're saying. The same comment that can seem incredibly rude from an anonymous comment can be understood as a joke or whatever if I know who the source is.

2) I have no way of knowing if you are someone new if you don't self-identify. I might think you're one of the Loyal Leaguers, but for all I know, you're somebody I don't know, and that makes it difficult to frame a response.

3) Sometimes I also want to talk about a comment that's been posted offline. No matter how open I try to be, every once in a while a comment shows up that I know is going to cause an issue, and I think that if we're all friends here, we should be able to talk about it sidebar rather than immediately causing a problem.

4) And I'll be truthful. Every once in a while we'll get one of these drive-by commentors who is literally doing nothing but being obnoxious. That happened today, and I'm just not in the mood. I know this person is having a grand time but... whatever.

So, anyway, I'm sorry about all that. But that's how we're going to roll for a little while. I think as we head towards our sixth year (yeah, seriously. SIX) I've earned enough trust that you know I will publish anything you guys say (within reason). But I also want to try this new policy. Hopefully it won't discourage you guys from commenting.

And, hey, this may all pass in a week or two and we'll be back to SOP.

Airplane in the Hudson

I don't even know what to say about the crew who landed a plane in the Hudson river and everyone involved made it out alive. That's simply amazing.

Read here.

Not only am I having a moment of pause that for once, a story involving a plane wasn't a tragedy, but... all those millions of times a flight attendant went through emergency procedures, this was the only time I heard of the steps for a water landing being actually applicable. It's sort of mind-boggling.

I will actually pay attention next time I'm on a plane.

I'm being plagiarized, sort of

So as you know, I write for a site called Comic Fodder.

I check technorati on a semi-weekly basis or so to see who may have linked to Comic Fodder. I find it to be good practice to see what people are saying about whatever the hell I said.

And I know the internet is full of people who steal your content all the time, but...

Anyway, (edit: I had the site directly linked, and it appears James Michael Wilcox has chosen to block me somehow. The URL is was completely ripping off Comic Fodder's content.

This dork is the party responsible.

Here is a photostream of his family.

He seems like a real bum.

He's also moved on and is ripping off other content.

Bad form.

Spidey y Obama

I did manage to get a copy of the limited edition issue of Spider-Man meeting Obama.

I don't usually seek this sort of thing out, but I've started collecting comics with political figures (there's a comic coming soon about Caroline Kennedy!)

Anyway, here's a pic of that cover.

Austin Books was very good about how they managed distribution, which I guess I'm saying, because I got a copy.

Bush says "adios"

So Pres. Bush had his farewell speech this evening which I sort of listened to while Jason cooked dinner (I know..! Jason cooked dinner!). It was short, covered the same talking points he's hit in every interview the past few months, and was full of no surprises.

So long, George. I wish I could say we'll miss you, but... well, there's like 22% of the people who will miss you.

Comment Moderation is On

Hey, I'm sorry about this, but I'm turning on comment moderation for a while.

I'm old, tired and grumpy and I need my signal to noise ratio very high this week.

If you wish to have your comments published, please provide an identifier of some sort. I'm not requiring an account, but I am requiring that you identify yourself.

I also reserve the right to remove and block comments. That's just the way it is.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A sort of blog post.

So, yes, I am working on a new column for Comic Fodder. I don't think this week's column was necessarily the way I want to format the column, and I have changed the name (it was called "Routine InfoCom", but I decided that sounded more like the name of Aphex Twin album than a comic column). I have decided to rename the column "The Signal Watch" in honor of Jimmy Olsen's oft needed device he used for summoning Superman when he'd landed in trouble.

Aside from that, not much to report.

Lucy ate a tin of mints yesterday. That was interesting.

I cannot blame her. They were novelty "bacon mints" I'd bought for Jamie at Christmas.

Today two of my co-workers informed me they're following this site. That's never really happened before, so I'm not sure what to do about this lack of separation between work/ life as the two worlds meet. Ah, well. Hi, Kristi and Dan.

That's about it.

I feel a bit guilty about the light blogging, but that's the way things go sometimes.


RIP Ricardo Montalban

Oddly, I watched the last thirty or forty minutes of Star Trek II just last night.

So long, Mr. Montalban. May you find your own Fantasy Island.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I did blog... just not here

I've started a new column currently titled "Routine InfoCom" at Comic Fodder.

check it out. We discuss women superheroes, what "morals" means in superhero comics and why it makes me itch, the racial make-up of Krypton and more.


Next week, perhaps we will discuss politics, religion and sex.


By the way, today was kind of tough as I finally got in touch with Jenny V. Jenny was Mel's original caretaker, who raised him from puppyhood until he was two. At that time, Jenny moved to Manhattan and Mel came to live with us.

I remember Mel's first appearance at a party when he had just moved in with Jenny. I picked him up with one hand, looked him in the eye and informed him he would be such a big, big boy.

It was heartbreaking in so many ways to have to share with Jenny what had happened. But I am glad she knows, and I'm glad we spoke.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I didn't blog!

I'm going to start trying to do two columns a week at Comic Fodder. So... I was working on that instead of this.

In the meantime, witness our visit to the Austin Zoo in this short video by Jamie.

By the way, Jamie shot and cut this thing as her first project with her new camera. It's been 12 years or so since she touched an editing suite, so give her a hand.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last Will and Testament of The League

Mel's passing has given me a moment of pause regarding my own affairs. Jamie and I have never gotten around to putting a will together, but now seems like a great time to do so.

I am assuming that I'm going to go out in a pretty awesome manner. I feel obligated to provide you guys with instructions that are relatively easy to improvise by, as, depending upon awesomeness of my passing, there may or may not be a body at all.

Firstly, there are going to be a lot of women who are going to regret that they never took their shot at me while they had the chance. It is up to you to calm these women down so they don't upset Jamie. It's also best that there's not an open casket if there is a body, so nobody tries to climb inside and be buried with me out of grief.

No doubt the City of Austin, State of Texas and Federal Government are going to want to pool their resources to finally build that Colossus type statue of me and Mel in the middle of Lady Bird Lake. What I would suggest is that you just make the statue roughly life-sized, and put it by the side of the lake, then use the unspent moneys to have a party down by my statue. Be very selective about music, and remember people all can agree on mariachi and break beat. Also, provide fruit punch so nobody gets dehydrated.

Again, there are going to be a lot of women who are going to want to stand vigil all night by my statue. I suggest you discourage this behavior, but I'd hate to see the cops get involved, because we really won't need any rioting if the ladies are turned away.

1) In the event there is a body: Cremation.
2) In the event I've disappeared under mysterious circumstances: Wire all funds to the National Bank of Switzerland under the name Friedrich Von Happelhausen. Friedrich will be sure to settle my affairs. Do not seek out Friedrich, or notice that he and I look very much alike, save Friedrich's affectation for wearing a mustache, top hat and monocle.
3) Many will wish to eulogize me. Do not let them. It will just upset the ladies all the more, and/ or cause a traffic jam in the aisle as all who wish to rush to relate my awesomeness compact the walkway. Instead, just play the funeral scene from Star Trek II on a 60" flatscreen.
4) Flowers are allowed, but only the purest white magnolias and orchid blossoms shall festoon the coffin.
5) The coffin, which will be empty*, shall be made of the shiniest polished steel and be adorned with a large crest of The House of El.
6) No eternal flame. I hate to think of the gas bill.
7) At my final resting place, it will be tempting to erect a monument which dwarfs all those around my empty coffin, capped with a statue of Lucy as an angel, complete with halo and harp. But that is a bit much. A simple slab of pure, polished steel, again emblazoned with the Crest of The Man of Steel in 24K gold, shall be placed over my resting spot. No name or words are necessary. Just the shield, my years of life, and the word "awesome".
8) My ashes shall be scattered with those of Melbotis, my one true friend who was not above giving me his honest, harshest criticism when I needed it most.
9) I wish to be sent to the oven in a blue suit, with a red tie, wearing my Superman costume underneath in an undetectable fashion.
10) It is completely normal to end a funeral with a screaming guitar solo and fireworks.
11) Do not let Randy into the after party if he did not remember to wear a tie. Someone may wish to bring an extra, just in case.

My Worldly Possessions:

In my travels I have accumulated a wide variety of items which I sincerely hope will not lead to bitter strife within my family, loved ones and secret concubines as they seek to break up this astounding collection amongst themselves.

The Comics: All trade paper backs, graphic novels and spined books are to be given to the Libraries at the University of Texas into the Ryan "Awesome" Steans Memorial Collection. If they do not want the comics, it is okay to just leave them at the loading dock behind the PCL, just east of Whitis.

The "floppies" shall be broken up as a collection and sold for a fair market value. Except for the Jimmy Olsens, Action Comics and Supermans. The Jimmy Olsens shall go into the furnace with my body, mingling with my own ashes.

The Action Comics and Superman shall be locked into a steel storage facility 30 floors below sea level where they shall be safe for the next million years, only to be discovered by a super-intelligent race of opossums who will have dominated the world by that time (tragically, they will have lost their child rearing pouches through the mysteries of evolution).

The statues shall be donated to a display at the Ryan "Awesome" Steans Reform School for Wayward Teenage Girls, which shall be set up with a portion of my vast wealth. May those young ladies look upon the plaster visages of the Justice League and learn a bit about moral fortitude.

My clothes shall be donated to a scholarship for chubby, oversized teen-age boys who like Superman and UT football.

Jamie will, of course, become available once again. I ask that you give her space to grieve, and recognize that while she may marry for financial security, that her suitors should be forewarned: once you've gone League... well, few other men will stack up.** That said, I suggest a contest of strength, wit and spirit shall be had between her many suitors. Gentlemen, I wish you luck.

Also, know Jamie will try to get you to clean the downstairs bathroom once a fortnight.

That is all

I suppose that should settle my earthly affairs. To my family, thanks. To those I leave behind: You were lucky to have known me. I'm pretty awesome.

To those kids the lawyers keep claiming were mine: You are in no way mine in any legal or biding sense, but you have been gifted with the greatest gift of all. Half your genes come from a pretty awesome guy and not tha conniving weasel you call a mother who wasn't even that great of a Putt-Putt Golf employee when I met her.

*I am terrified of zombie/ vampire/ ghoulism. Seriously. Cremate my body.
** probably Alec Baldwin