Calling all Leaguers!

Melbotis (Mel-boh-dis) Perkins is a 116 lb. golden retriever dedicated to Truth, Justice and the American Way.

The League of Melbotis welcomes all likeminded individuals willing to use their unique abilities for the betterment of mankind.

Comics, superheroes, giant robots, doggies, space ships, movies, personal journal, schadenfreude.

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    Items of import:
  • Melbotis Store! Melbotis items at CafePress
  • Phoenix Suns
  • University of Texas Football

  • Leaguers:
  • Dedman's site
  • Cowgirl Funk
  • Adventures of Steanso
  • Steven G. Harms
  • The Social Bobcat
  • Distorted Veracity
  • Michael
  • Distorted Veracity
  • Michael Scaljon
  • Sugar and Splice
  • Houstonist
  • Digest: TST
  • Natalie

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  • Pay the Man
  • Dangerous Beauty
  • Razzberry Vinaigrette
  • cbgblog

  • Comics!:
  • DC
  • DC
  • Marvel Comics: Home of Spider-Man
  • Comic Book Resources
  • Newsarama
  • The Pulse
  • Comic Treadmill
  • The Beat
  • Dave's Long Box
  • Return to Comics
  • Comic Blog Legion
  • Comic Candy
  • Wonder Woman Museum
  • Emerald Dawn
  • Superman is a...
  • Hulk's Diary

  • Some sites worth looking into:
  • Arizona Rollerderby
  • Dames in the Media The League Once Dug
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Why Superman?
  • Texas Public Radio
  • Lunchtime with The League
  • Eddie Johnson's Jump Shot Club
  • Lileks
  • retroCRUSH

  • Blogs taken at the suggestion of others:
  • Mr. Jones
  • NFL Draft Review
  • The Black Table
  • Hammer!


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    Saturday, August 26, 2006  
    I keep forgetting to post this...

    It's a link to some mock-ups and whatnot of what the Transformers will look like in the upcoming Michael Bay-directed live-action Transformers movie.


    At some point I lost interest in Transformers. I'm not sure why. I always enjoyed fiddling with my Transformers toys as a kid (Optimus Prime was always my favorite), but as an adult I didn't have a particular nostalgia for the characters.

    But, heck yeah... it's not like they don't have the CG down now to handle a cool transformation, so I'll pay $8 and see this movie. I wish they'd hire back the original voice actors from the cartoon for Optimus, Megatron, Starscream and Bumblebee.

    RHPT loves the Transformers, so, by God, I'm going to post this for him.

    And if you scroll down on this link, there's a pic of a guy with a Bumblebee prop.

    11:57 AM |

    Friday, August 25, 2006  
    Hey, Jim Parsons is in a new commercial for Stride gum.

    Go Jim!

    Go to Stride's website to see Jim here.

    9:55 PM |


    Aisde from pondering the imponderables of a universe comprised of multiple dimensions, all separated by a mere vibrational frequency discovered by The Flash, and which has upset comic fans in a way I've begun to find hilarious...

    What else do I have for you?

    Over at Cowgirl Funk, Maxwell has been considering the Haude Elementary Fifth Grade play. I didn't attend Haude in 5th grade, but Steanso did. And I remember him wandering around our house on Ella Blvd. humming the tunes to himself.


    How It Should Have Ended: Superman the Movie

    (found at Superman Homepage)

    There may be a movie of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's life in the works.

    So You Want to be a Superhero? has spun wildly out of control. Apparently by casting fairly decent people who grow to care about one another over the course of a program rather than trying to destroy one another, every elimination round is now filled with tears and hugs. With people in tights and capes. Kind of odd. Nonetheless, I am really digging the show and, despite a sad lack of Monkey Woman, I think they narrowed it down to the best three.

    Did you see Fat Momma with the kids? She was really good.

    And while this comic strip is rated "R" for language, it kind of reminds me of college. So enjoy.

    (Courtesy of Amy C.'s blog)

    RHPT asked about setting up a Friends of the League site. I don't want to do it, but if you guys want to do, it go nuts. What would you want on such a site, anyway?

    10:57 AM |

    Thursday, August 24, 2006  
    Okay Comic Geeks

    Can someone tell me why some comic fans (mostly longtime Marvel fans) find the multiple Earths concept so mindboggling as to swear off DC Comics, but don't bat an eye when Marvel has the Ultimates Universe, the Exiles popping from one dimension to the next in each issue, the Zombie universe, the Negative Zone and wherever Squadron Supreme (both incarnations) is supposed to live?

    1) How is this any different from the multiple Earths?
    2) Is it the numbering system? Because I think that's the problem.

    Okay, so sometimes comics are a little hard to jump right into...

    10:24 PM |

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006  
    Rambling evening update

    I guess I've been on the quiet side the past few days. No new posts and whatnot since the weekend update (delayed to make room for The Admiral's B-Day) and the great Mallow Dog taste test (which actually occurred over the weekend).

    I've been really busy with work as I wind up my current job and also start a new semester for the online kiddies. I tried to get Jamie to fill in for me yesterday, but she was also busy dealing with house-related work. Buying, selling and moving a house across the country is a full-time job. I do not understand how people are able to perform this particular hat-trick who do not have someone available to work on all the related tasks during the working day.

    I also am getting old. These days when I have a long day at work, I'm ready to start wandering off to bed at 10:00. What happened to fun-time 26 year old Ryan who would stay up until 2:00AM playing The Sims and then get up at 6:30, have a gallon of coffee and still make it to Tae Kwon Do? Sure, most of my twenties is now a caffeine-riddled blur, but I squeezed a lot of hours out of my day. I haven't loved sleep this much since high school.

    I also haven't been running. Sure, today I can use the pouring rain as an excuse, but yesterday...? The only day I've been running this week was Tuesday, and that's pathetic.

    Last night I finally saw my LCS-owner. He's been AWOL for a while, allowing his lieutenants to run the shop. Apparently he's planning to close his doors in December.

    I find it depressing, but it's also been fascinating to watch him take over the shop and make what I consider to be genuine improvements, only to get busy with the details of life, get hit with the ebb and flow of the student population shrinking over summer, and now the city is planning major construction outside his door which will basically prevent access to the shop for a year or two. I have some ideas for what I might have done to change the store up a bit more and make it like unto Austin Books (given size constraints), but fate has dealt the guy a pretty tough hand. Plus, one of his loyalist customers is pulling up stakes and leaving town, so that's money out of his pocket.

    I love the idea of owning a comic shop, but it's a tough racket. I've always sort of felt that I couldn't handle the idea of having to deal with comic-dorks day in and day out. I think a lot of these guys sort of feel like a comic shop is their living room and want to treat the shop that way, but that's not good for anybody BUT those comic dorks. There's a reason Moms get uncomfortable taking their 12-year old into a lot of comic shops, and the trashed basement/ never-kissed-a-girl boys' club feel of comic shops is tough to mitigate, but its do-able. Atomic Comics at the Chandler Mall is making money hand over fist because the front of the store is filled with Yu-Gi-Oh, Godzilla and kid-friendly fare. It's clean and shiny. The employees wear a uniform black t-shirt with the store logo. It basically looks like a store and not like the dorky guy's dorm room.

    Austin Books might still be a bit intimidating for the moms, but for the adult crowd, the store is wonderfully laid out with wall shelves displaying covers of new comics, areas for specific creators, toys and whatnot nicely displayed around the perimeter of the back, and a large, open area for long boxes full of back-issues in the back.

    But, mostly, if an employee walks by and you're not already elbow deep in back issues of Action Comics, they ask you if they can help you. Not: "What are you looking for?" (which to me is sort of a tough question to ask people who are just wandering in off the street and might be a one-time buyer) Not: "Let me tell you about my favorite comic..." So, yeah... It's a little more approachable. And because there's not a gaggle of guys hanging out by the front door, you aren't breaking up a conversation just by walking by the counter. It doesn't feel like a big deal to ask to see one of the collector's item issues behind the glass.

    I'm going to be going on a bit of a comic-shop odyssey when I get to Austin. Part of it will be trying to figure out if I want to buy near my house (there are at least two stores within three miles) or wherever I end up working. Obviously I'm pretty picky, but I'll be chasing that discount all the way, so if i end up half-way across town, I end up half-way across town. With the number of titles I follow, I can't afford not to get a discount.

    Oh, and speaking of comics: Justice League #1 by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes was really, really good. I'm hoping the Dr. Impossible character (I know, I already lost some of you with a character named Dr. Impossible) is a forshadowing of Mr. Miracle making the final cut for the new JLA. If not, he's still an interesting idea, so I look forward to seeing this all play out. And that's the key, isn't it?

    Also, did anyone else read Batman 656? I wasn't sure what Morrison meant by ditching the somber, moody Batman, but this is the most excited I've been by a Batman comic in a long time. There's no mistaking that it's still Batman, but the spin is very good, and the story is already showing all the signs of Morrison-style madness. Plus, the art by Andy Kubert is top-notch, adding to the story in a way that really uses the medium. Sure, it harkens back to the giant type-writer days, but in a way that makes sense. If this is the Batman to come, I'm onboard.

    I am going to be taking advantage of my change of comic shops to do a purge of comics that I'm currently picking up on a monthly basis. Some of them I've been reading out of some misplaced sense of loyalty. Some of these I've been collecting out of habit. I don't look forward to putting comics on the chopping block, but if I take it off my pull list and see that I really miss the title, well... Hopefully I can still pick it up off the shelf and eventually add it back to the list. However, a lot of the time when I drop a title, it stays dropped until the title is cancelled or there's a massive overhaul in the creative teams on the book.

    We'll see.

    10:41 AM |

    Monday, August 21, 2006  
    Weekend in Review:

    Not much to report about the weekend.

    I don't honestly remember what we did Friday night. It couldn't have been too spectacular.

    Jamie is still fighting a cold she got when we flew to Austin. This is reason # 281 that we need to be back in Texas. Every time we fly, Jamie picks up whatever is in the air. And with the Feds telling her she can't bring her Purell hand-sanitizer on the plane, they're pretty much committing their own little act of bio-terrorism on her immune system. Thanks, terrorists, and thanks, federal government.

    Saturday we had the Home Inspector come through the house. He was a really nice guy, and he showed up on time. I am hoping that this translates into a favorable home inspection for us, especially as his biggest question was "who laid your tile?" Apparently our tile is laid poorly. I never noticed.

    I've heard some reports that a Loyal Leaguer here and there did NOT like Superman Returns. Well, I'm sorry about that. I could only qualify my statements regarding my enjoyment of the movie so many ways. You're on your own after that.

    After the home inspector left, we jumped in the car and drove down to the second-run IMAX theater at the massive mall off the I-10 and 60. We decided to forego "Snakes on a Plane" in favor of seeing Superman in IMAX in 3-D. I may actually go to a late viewing of SOAP on my own later this week. I'm not sure Jamie is interested.

    Superman in 3-D was very, very cool. The scenes selected for 3-D conversion were well chosen, and the 3-D worked much better than any of the 3-D at the various Disney theme parks. I suspect a lot of the success had to do with the massive lenses on the glasses and the size of the screen. The 3-D definitely brought an immediacy to the action, but the moment a scene slowed down you did become a bit aware of the technical aspects. I'm not a fan of being pulled out of a narrative unless the story is structured as an examination of the narrative, so I'm glad I didn't see the movie in 3-D until the 3rd viewing.

    I think they can pretty much do anything they want for a sequel. Seeds were definitely sown, and there were a lot of big old plot threads which need to be sewn up. Essentially, the Luthor plot really is the secondary story of the movie. Necessary for the "super" portion of the tale, but this is a small story in a lot of ways.

    Anyhoo, after leaving the theater we headed into the big, frightening mall. I'm not exactly sure what the story is at Arizona Mills, but I say without exaggerating, roughly 20% of the square footage of the mall is comprised of athletic shoe stores. This, of course, is completley irritating to learn just before I leave town as I have always had a very hard time finding shoes since I moved here.

    We really didn't do a whole lot after all that. Watched some TV, played with the dogs and counted sheep.

    Sunday I tried to revive my Dell Inspiron 1100 as I will soon have to give up my shiny, lovely work laptop. It was my first experience in over a decade re-installing an OS. Boy, that process is just as much today as it was in 1995.

    Also organized some comics in preparation for the move. All in all, not a bad day as far as getting stuff done, but nothing too exciting.

    Hope all is well with you guys.

    10:43 PM |

    The regrettable "mallow" hot dog

    What is mallow? We've all had a marshmallow at some point, either roasted on a stick over a campfire, buried in our Lucky Charms or tucked between chocolate and a graham cracker. But what is Mallow?

    Friday night I was buying a sno-cone (bubble-gum flavored) and perusing the candy aisle when a certain something caught my eye. The Mallow Dog.


    It looked like a hotdog, but was not. I'm always a fan of food that is meant to look like one type of food, but is not. Example: Swedish Fish. Also, Runts. Those little gummy hamburgers. Etc...

    If a hot dog is a veritable cornucopia of animal by-product, what could a mallow dog possibly contain?

    Only a buck forty-nine!

    The packaging promised "All American 'Fun'". I'm an American. I like fun. Maybe not "fun", but I like fun. I suspect the copy writer for the package was all too-aware of what lay in store for the consumer.

    I think "fun" is a pretty apropos term for most items that you can get at the "Water & Ice" store. It also applies to most forms of "fun" in Chandler, AZ.

    The Mallow Dog experiences freedom, like a good American

    The texture was sort of powdery and squishy, but still firm enough to hold it's shape. Firmer, indeed, than a Jet-Puffed marshmallow. And it smelled like cheap, cheap perfume.

    All American?

    The mallow dog's ingredients were listed in a way which seemed to indicate that the producer was listing them only grudgingly. Also, I noticed the mallow dog had been made in China and imported to San Diego. It truly was all American.

    You can click on the picture for greater detail.


    We tried a side-by-side comparison of mallow dog versus hot dog. Suddenly the mallow dog looked woefully unappetizing in a way it just hadn't before. It looked like some sort of muppet-inspired prop food which had escaped an acid-fueled nightmare. And it smelled really bad.


    there's that smell. God. That's awful.


    i briefly consider an abort. After all, this isn't technically food. It's a mix of organic and inorganic substances which will not necessarily kill me if it passes through my GI tract.

    Who wants to live forever..?

    There's a well-learned fear in my eyes here. Obviously my brain was trying to stop me from doing this, but me and Mr. Brain haven't been on speaking terms in two decades.


    this photo was taken about four seconds before regret kicked in.


    Whoop. There's that regret.

    Yeah, that thing tastes sort of like a big asprin, but with the texture of a foam pillow, or maybe packing materials.

    In reviewing these photos I also realize I should have showered between mowing the lawn and the taste test. I think we're looking at about 30 hours without a shower here.


    Jamie was not fast enough to get a photo of me expectorating the mallow dog into the trash (see how neatly we pile our recycling...?)

    not real food

    I don't know what the hell this thing was supposed to be. it wasn't good and it didn't taste like anything fit for human consumption. I am no ccloser to understanding what the hell mallow is, but I do know I'm not going to keep up this line of research.

    False advertising

    Can I sue for this? This wasn't a great tasting anything. This thing tasted like sugar and bad perfume.

    never again

    And thus ended the taste test.

    On the whole, this sort of ruined my appreaciation for foods that look like other foods, but you kind of have to appreciate the fact that we live in a world where you can make a fake hot dog out of marshmallows in a factory in China, ship it to the US where it is finally sealed, and then send it out to be consumed by dudes like The League. That's what a free market economy is all about.

    It's all about "fun".

    10:15 PM |

    Sunday, August 20, 2006  
    for today is his big birthday

    Happy B-Day, Admiral! I hope they got you a cake or something at work to celebrate the glorious event.

    The Admiral is a decent guy. Born in New Jersey, he quickly picked up stakes and left the Garden State to move to sunny Dade County, Florida. Raised in the southern sun and with entirely too much sea air, the Admiral mostly spent his days filling buckets with gasoline, throwing in handfuls of bullets and adding a lit match. Perhaps this was his way of trying to escape from the shadow of Uncle B (International Man of Mystery) who had made such an impression on most of southern Florida.

    The Admiral up and joined the Air Force, where he found himself working on radios and a good tan out on the flight line. This was, of course, before he was deployed to a mysterious land we know today as Vietnam, where the admiral spent his evenings ducking for cover and his days trading cigarettes for Ho-Ho's.

    From Vietnam The Admiral was then sent to the Mid-West where he was accidentally stationed at KI Sawyer AFB in the snowy wastelands of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was here, in a drunken stupor, that The Admiral first caught the eye of the KareBear. They're still beer-goggling it almost 40 years later, God bless 'em. Legend has it that the KareBear was a mean, mean dancer in her day. Word has it that the Admiral was four-sheets to the wind in order to gather up the courage to talk to my Ma. Well, he got in the first word, but she's still chatting on 40 years later.

    We're a little hazy as to the next 25 years or so, but here's how we think it went.

    The Admiral was more or less honorably dischared from the Air Force, got engaged to the KareBear at some point, and then headed back to Florida to make quick use of his GI Bill dough. So, some community college and a wedding later, The Admiral nabbed KareBear, removed her from her native habitat of igloos and polar bears and dropped her into South Florida.

    At some point The Admiral was accepted to U of Florida, where he earned his bachelor's degree and rolled right into his MBA, which the Karebear was bankrolling on her fat public teacher's salary. Karebear got her Masters in Reading Ed, and this is pretty much where I start to feel uncomfortable about having not completed my post-secondary education. Anyway, The Admiral became an accountant of sorts and went to work at an aerospace company crunching numbers. Jason came along about that time, spawned from the swamps of Lake Okeechobee, and The Admiral decided that Ford might provide some opportunity. So, they loaded up the car and moved back to Michigan.

    They were lucky enough to be blessed with what I like to believe was my completely planned-upon arrival about a year and a half-later.

    I have two very early memories of my Dad: 1) Going to see Star Wars and 2) Going to see Superman. I have no idea why KareBear wasn't there, but The Admiral knew what a young mind needed to see to grow properly. I also remember him being there for Empire, Superman II, and taking us to a sneak preview of "The Last Starfighter." He is a sci-fi geek, The Admiral is.

    Anyhoo, for some reason The Admiral skipped out on Ford, and when I was four we moved to Dallas where I have my first memories of The Admiral walking around in ill-fitting shorts. That was a lot of Saturdays. He was game and got involved in Indian Guides (the least PC, but most entertaining organization I've ever been involved with).

    Shortly thereafter we wound up in Houston where the Admiral decided I needed to learn to mow the lawn. I've never really forgiven him for that. But he did give me one really good bit of advice: keep your fingers away from the blades. In Houston the Admiral became a linesman for my soccer matches, and I have very firm memories of seeing him zipping up and down the sidelines wearing a baseball hat and putting a lot of dramatic flair into letting folks know who last kicked the ball.

    Also, the Admiral read the paper a lot. I have lots of memories of standing behind the paper while the Admiral tried to relax in his easy chair, while I tried to figure out how to get his attention without causing too much noise.

    Always up for getting out of the house, he took me to see "Bambi" instead of "Delta Force" when I was 7 or 8. And he took me to see Footloose, The Black Stallion and a whole bunch of other movies that had nothing to do with being manly.

    In 1984 we all picked up and moved to Austin for the first time. The Admiral accidentally selected an odd blue color for our house, believing he'd picked a slate-gray. I've never forgotten that particular family spat. However, it did make our house easy to find.

    It was in Austin that The Admiral began to refer to The League as "Boy". As in "Boy, get out there and mow the lawn." A practice which continues to this day.

    The Admiral worked a lot, and I recall spending some Saturdays up at his office playing with the photocopier and taking tours of the data center at Martin-Decker. Everybody knew The Admiral and seemed to like him, so that was always sort of fun.

    He was both our Indian Guides "Chief" and a "Den Mother" for our Cub Scout Troop that year when Karebear was sick of gluing popsicle sticks together and handing out badges. We attended camps together with lame names like "Dad and Lad", but we had fun trying to fish, hiking about in the woods, and the cruel, cruel joke of sending myself and the other scouts on a snipe hunt. I was 17 before I realized there was no such thing as a snipe.

    Wisely, The Admiral put a healthy fear of guns into Jason and I by taking us out with a .22 rifle and letting us shoot at a cliffside, only to hear the bullets ricocheting all around us. I've never been interested in handling a gun since.

    We weren't nearly close to injured enough, so the Steans Men took up scuba diving and that made for some grand vacations. And nobody (I tell you, NOBODY) looks better in a wet suit than yours truly.

    Later, the Admiral would teach me to drive in our neighborhood, constantly referring to other drivers as if they were enemy planes. I'm not sure what exciting WWII picture he had running in his head, but I was always shocked that he never asked me to wear a little leather flight-cap and goggles when we got in the car. To this day I wonder what The Admiral is seeing and hearing when the rest of us are just sitting in traffic.

    We all moved to Houston (well, not Jason) in 1990ish. I mostly remember The Admiral pointing out that the garage needed a storage space, then pointing to some sheetwood, a power saw and a ladder and telling me not to cut anything off we couldn't reattach. Again, I was forced to mow the lawn. This time Jason was not there to edge and trim.

    The Admiral was originally dubbed "The Captain" at some point around 1992. Why this occured has been lost to time. But I think it came after a lot of trial and error, including the names: Pops, Pumpkinhead (I have no idea where that came from either), Old Man and a host of others. Somehow, "The Captain" stuck.

    At this point I recall The Admiral was around a lot, still reading the paper, obsessed with CNN during the first Gulf War, and always lending a hand during my goofy high school thespian days. And, honestly, I can't tell you what a relief it was when he completely didn't care that I quit the basketball team.

    Luckily, the Admiral and KareBear's hard work and insistence that I do my homework paid off, and they footed the bill for college. Mostly. I mean, eating was out for whole days at a time when I moved out of the dorm, but you'd be surprised how long you can stretch a bag of beef jerky. I felt like a pirate on the high seas. But, like a pirate, I worried about scurvy.

    Upon Graduation and after having had stretched his dollars as far as they would go, The Captain was promoted to "The Admiral", as leader of our fleet.

    SInce that time The Admiral has been both a VP of finance for a really big company that makes valves (it's true!), as well as continuing to lead our tiny fleet.

    Well done Admiral. Today, I hoist a flag in your honor.

    At the risk of being a complete sissy: I am your son, and I love you.

    Now go out and there and tie one on for the team.

    9:32 PM |

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