Showing posts with label round-up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label round-up. Show all posts

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Revisiting The First Posts

League of Melbotis soft-launched in March of 2003.

You can see that first week's worth of posts by clicking here.

Its worth noting that I actually pulled down the League after its first week, then put it back up. I might have saved myself and all of you a lot of time and trouble if I'd just shut it down back then, but then who would have been around to give you lengthy reviews of "Santa Buddies"?

My very first post at this blog?

March 30th, 2003:

Greetings, mortals. This is my very, very first post to this blog. Jim Dedman is a weenie.
posted by Ryan at 10:29 AM

Two years into the Bush presidency and a year and a half out from 9/11, America was in an interesting place. We'd rolled into Iraq in a war that made little sense to me at the time. I did not understand how, if Iraq indeed had the WMD's we said they did, they hadn't lobbed them at our military as they spent a month gearing up on Iraq's borders. I also couldn't begin to guess what the gameplan was for occupying such a large and hostile country in the wake of an invasion.

Well, a funny thing happened...

Those early posts are fascinating to read in the here and now. At the time, I was in a very different place in my life. I had no real reason to believe my parents would find the site, nor anyone else that I not pointed to the site. Blogs were only semi-known as a publishing medium, and I couldn't fathom anyone Googling my name (and once it became clear that was an issue, I began referring to myself in 3rd person as "The League").

Jim and I were passing emails on various political topics back and forth, and looking at some of my opinions now, I don't necessarily think I was wrong, but would certainly address the issues in a different way.

Its also clear the contempt with which I held The Valley of the Sun. Neither Jamie nor myself were very happy when we arrived in Phoenix, and after four years, at best I'd say our opinion didn't improve. With three years behind us back in Austin, the majority of the four years is a blur of long work hours, hospital visits, odd social situations, boredom, and the endless planning necessary for scheduling visits to Austin, Houston and Lawton.

Last night Jamie, Jason and I were watching a Canadian documentary entitled "Cat Ladies" (recommended, btw), which reveals how managing, caring for, rescuing, etc... of cats has become a crutch and coping mechanism for the women in the film (a cop interviewed from the Toronto animal detail states that 99% of the animal hording cases are women).

Its not a huge leap to say that some of my obsession with comics, etc... and, indeed, getting into the habit of blogging stemmed from my own dissatisfaction. At one point, I considered winding up this blog when we returned to Austin because I was aware that the person who was writing this site in Chandler, Arizona would be a bit different from the one who was writing it in Austin. However, in the end, documenting the return and re-engagement with a life we'd left behind (and, of course, the aspects of "you can never go home again" which followed) was all part of it.

By April 2 of 2003, I was already ranting about Superman. Superman, comics and pop culture would immediately begin to overwhelm the conversation at LoM. I've never been particularly comfortable arguing politics, and find it odd that I thought a public website discussing politics was a good idea. But we can talk Superman, or Spidey or the latest movies without faces changing color or people feeling like they absolutely must have the last word.

By April 03, 2009, I was getting into details of the latest releases in comics.

At one point, blogging was still fairly new, and I wondered if LoM wouldn't accidentally find itself a wider audience of comic fans. There were little flirtations as I was linked to from bigger sites such as The Beat once or twice (Heidi is still my gold standard for industry coverage), the old Blog@ Newsarama, etc... Always enough to spike interest for a day or two, but I wasn't able to get any real traction.

Luckily, I had no expectations, just wishful thinking. And I do think that my comic work at Comic Fodder made a dent or two in fandom and saw quadruple digits on a couple of posts.

As I didn't believe my folks or anyone else was reading LoM, the language in those early posts is a bit salty. I don't apologize for that. It was what it was, and once I knew Judy and the KareBear were reading, I cleaned things up a bit, and also learned that "@#$%" is infinitely more satisfying than actual profanity, anyway.

And every time I type it, I think of Sgt. Snorkel from the Beetle Bailey comic strips I read obsessively as a kid, and who I recall first employing the tried-and-true technique.

My first pic of Melbotis appears here.

Leaguers may recall that early on, I didn't have titles on my posts, didn't have a comment section, etc... For years, we used HaloScan, and it was a tough decision to abandon the comment section that was sort of the comments of record. We've used the embedded commenting tool for a few years with great success, but I've since lost the comment the time musician "Meco" showed up in the comments to outline how George Lucas had screwed him on the Star Wars Christmas album, and when I'd complained about a McDonald's commercial and the actor's aunt wrote in to tell me I was a @#$%.

Here's a pic I posted on our 3rd wedding anniversary.

kind of sums it up

We'll be married 10 years in April. Go figure.

Here's my first link to Randy.

Its been a long, strange trip.

It is true that, in part, I am looking to close the blog to close a chapter in my life. Many of the reasons why League of Melbotis sprung into existence have wound down or come to a natural conclusion. We're in a different place in how we're dealing with everything from politics to career to comics. And, of course, we're going to have to dig deep when we return to a few outstanding projects that we promised ourselves we'd do touch on again some day.

Still, I'm glad to have such a long period of my life (6.75 years of the past 34.75. That ain't bad.).

And who knows? We could be back.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's a Wonderful Blog

I'll be writing a few posts as we head toward the December 20th ending point of this site which will be, alas, actually about the twists and turns of writing LoM over the years.

JimD suggested I write about people I might not have met and experiences that could not have occurred without League of Melbotis. And so I shall.


To understand this web of people, its also important to understand that JimD is at the center of it all. I met Jim in a screen writing class in the Fall of 1997, and took my second screen writing class with him in the Spring of 1998, just before we both graduated. I had no immediate plans following graduation, and he was headed for law school.

We kept up via email, writng back and forth multiple times per week on pop culture, politics, etc..., and Jim maintained a blog (one of many over the years). Eventually he persuaded me to start this site in the Spring of 2003.

Randy and Emily

Many Leaguers would be surprised to learn that I have only met Randy twice in person, and our acquaintanceship stems directly from this site. Randy knows JimD from many years back, and I guess Jim sent him a link to the blog circa Summer of 2003.

Since that time, Randy and I now email at least once per day. I still recall when he emailed me that he was thinking of getting engaged, and years later, he's now a husband and father. Kind of kooky.

Randy moved to Tennessee during the tenure of this blog to make a life with Emily, who I finally met this year, and immediately liked. Randy is a lucky guy.

Steven and Lauren

My understanding is that Steven wrote for UT's student paper "The Daily Texan" while JimD was editor of the paper. I don't recall exactly when Steven and I began chatting back and forth, but it was a good year or so prior to 2006, when he and Lauren packed it up and moved from the Bay Area to Austin.

Steven's decision to do so was part of the catalyst that launched us back to Waterloo. It became somewhat apparent that such a move was possible if we really wished it (and we did).

We'd been back about 3 - 4 weeks and missed one another a few times when we finally met for coffee at Magnolia Cafe. For whatever reason we hit it off, and Steven and Lauren have been terrific friends. Sadly (and I think I'm spilling some beans here), Team Harms-Roth is picking up and returning to The Bay Area this winter. My feelings are mixed as, selfishly, I hate to lose such great friends to geography. But I also know that career opportunity, lifestyle, etc... are a huge draw.

My gameplan is to visit Dug and K in Berkeley frequently, anyway, so I suspect we'll be seeing them on some sort of routine basis.


I have no idea when Simon began visiting the blog, and I pray he never finds the jokes I used to make about Canadians eating babies in some earlier posts when the League was still feeling its way.

A fellow comics nut, Simon and I chat via email regularly, have exchanged comics through mail, and I have visions of meeting up at a Convention one of these days. He's been a co-writer at Comic Fodder, maintains his own blog which I read when he posts semi-weekly, and has been an all around good guy to have around.


Perhaps the most mysterious of all Leaguers, I know little about Fantomenos other than that he lives in Oregon, is a football and genre fiction nut, and wrestles with dog issues as well. He's my equal number living somewhere in the North Pacific.

I think 99% of our communication has occurred via the comments section of the blog, but he's such a regular, I really look forward to when he shows up to chime in.

I am, of course, very sad that the end of this blog will mean the end of the mysterious Fantomenos in my day.

Paul T.

I don't think I'd heard Paul's name before my trip to Vegas. I was checking my messages on my phone and an old high school chum, JenIn, emailed me that she was going to hook me up with this guy, Paul, assuring me we'd be best buddies.

Paul and I have been chatting back and forth ever since, and I actually owe him an invitation to coffee.

It turns out Paul is from the same part of Austin whenre I attended school in 4th - 9th grade, and also attended UT Film school, just a few years behind me.

Paul maintains a blog
, and has started a nifty web project called "Sunday Screenings" that I really need to get motor-vated to take part in.

I guess JenIn saw enough parallels that she hit the nail on the head. Anyway, check out Paul's work.

Some Other folks:

Check out that "Fan" list. 77 Facebook fans. Not bad.

I see I forgot to mention the always amazing Alfredo, Anne Francis and about a dozen or so more of you. Wow. Truly a George Bailey moment.

Reconnections Via the Blog
some folks I used to know, who found me thanks to LoM

Michael Corley
Carla Beth
Madi (she floated around here circa 2004 or so)
and many more!

That doesn't include all the folks I never lost touch with, but with whom I've been able to maintain contact, like JAL and Nathan C.

Its been a wild ride, Leaguers.

If I missed any of you, pipe up, and we'll do a post numbero dos.

But I gotta go to bed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post Holiday and into the Holidays

Howdy, Leaguers!

What a holiday! I am not at all ready to head back into work tomorrow, but head back in, I shall.

Wednesday evening Doug and Kristen arrived from Berkeley, and we met up for a small family dinner of Tex-Mex.

Thursday was the big day. You've seen photos, and I briefly posted on the Texas A&M/ Univ. of Texas game. Holy smokes. An amazing roller-coaster of a game. TAMU fans have a lot to look forward to next year, especially as UT goes through a re-building year with the loss of McCoy, Shipley, Houston, et al.

Friday we went to the Alamo South to watch "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", which was even better than I had heard. It's difficult to point to exactly why the movie hit a chord with me, but a smart script, great animation, well-defined characters, etc... and Wes Anderson's always great use of music (Wilson's "Heroes and Villains" appears early on), made for a very satisfactory movie-going experience.

Afterwards, we hit "The Highball", which is Austin's new bowling alley/ bar/ restaurant from the creators of the The Alamo. It was actually a lot of fun. Jamie and Doug rocked at skee-ball. I enjoyed the heck out of my "Dr. Pepper Ribs". Not sure Jamie felt the same (we shared).

We followed all this with a viewing of "Santa Buddies", Disney's 9th installment in the largely straight-to-home-video "Air Bud"/ "Buddies" series of films. This was done somewhat on a dare when Leaguer Nathan C., a station manager at San Antonio's Texas Public Radio sent me a screener-copy of the movie. I now owe Nathan and the city of San Antonio an honest review of "Santa Buddies".

The next day we hit Mary's Taco X-Press (which was amazingly un-crowded), visited South Congress (and "Hey Cupcake"), then went for dinner at Jamie's folks' place in San Marcos.

This was followed by a screening of "D War: Dragon Wars", which you may recall we discussed at some point in 2008. The movie is no better, but was significantly assisted by RiffTrax. But I felt that if Doug was going to watch the movie, he should really do so with someone who had been there mentally and emotionally.

This morning we had fake-McBride-Christmas as Doug and K will not be in Austin for the Holidays. Some gifts were exchanged, we had a wonderful Christmas-morning breakfast (including Holiday tunes), and we made merry.

One gift which had been bestowed was a copy of the new Super Mario Bros for the Wii, which I am thoroughly enjoying (even if I'm awful at it). We also received a popcorn popper and a pair of DVD's.

Also watched the Tennessee Vince Youngs play the Arizona Leinarts, complete with a last-second VY pass into the endzone for the victory.

A good weekend.

This afternoon and evening, Jamie and I put up our interior decorations for Christmas, so we are quasi-ready for the Holidays. With Scout having her first Christmas here, and with her needing space for her crate, we opted for no tree this year. A bit sad, perhaps, but I'd rather not risk Scout deciding to eat a fake tree, grab glass ornaments, etc...

I hope your Holiday was a good one.

Now, on to Christma-Hannakwanzaa.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

When Jamie is Gone

This weekend I:
  • hung out with Jason, ate dinner, sort of watched TV
  • went to a midnight movie, "Paranormal Activity"
  • watched the last half of "Evil Dead 2"
  • watched the last half of "Reality Bites"
  • slept 4 hours
  • watched "The Longest Day" (which was really very good, and I'd recommend it to anyone. Glad I finally saw it.)
  • wrote official "nakedness" policy for League of Melbotis
  • Went to post office - learned you can do all your postal stuff online these days and there's no reason to go to the post office
  • Backed up line at post office talking to clerk about "Death of Superman" and various Justice Leaguers and DC Animated cartoons
  • Went to: Target, Spirit: The Halloween Store, Home Depot, Lowe's (neither had what I was looking for), HEB (a local grocery)
  • Watched the UT/ Colorado game with Matt and Nicole
  • Hung out
  • Re-did shelves
  • Slept 7.5 hours
  • am drinking coffee and considering more sleep
  • Scout is asleep and laying on her back. She's dreaming she's running, so her feet and tail are moving. Its hilarious.
  • am going to go into my office and do some comic-collecting-related activity

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday Evening Round-Up: Ro-bama, Beer, Dune

The Robo/ Disney Conspiracy

It seems Disney has joined with the robots to work against us.

Beer Surplus Jettison Cooperation

Leaguers will know that my one regret about opening the doors to League HQ in celebration is that we often wind up with a great deal of undrunk beer and beer-like items (Mike's Hard Lemonade, etc...). Well, this is a problem no more.

We have a house full of recently graduated Lutherans living across the street who, upon my offer, seemed more than willing to take the surplus off our hands. Once again, our fridge is free for the storage of leftovers and numerous tupperware items of indeterminate storage points.

I salute you, Lutherans, for your readiness to consume that which we could not.


So, Leaguers, I have a confession. I've never read Frank Herbert's Sci-Fi classic, "Dune". Nor have I seen the movie in its entirety. I think i watched the entire original mini-series on Sci-Fi (or, SyFy, as they've rebranded themselves this week), but since I can't recall how it ended, I can't say for certain.

Its embarrassing to have a weak point in my nerd-armor, but there you are. I've no real excuse, but I've also always been a much bigger fan of sci-fi movies than I have been that of books. I read a lot of Asimov and Bradbury at one point, and some other stuff, but sort of lost interest in bothering to read the actual books.

But during our celebration of independence from the bastards in England, I got caught in a 30 minute conversation on the subject of "Dune" between Steven, Lauren, Eric and Patrick. And I figured... oh, hell. I might as well.

So posts may be short for a while, because I'm actually going to read a book.

Yeah, I know...

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Jason documents the 4th. That's a lot of pontificatin' hats.

Jamie posts on Team Swizzlebeef's latest.

There's a Facebook Page up for JimD's movie, Pleadings.

By the way, I failed to mention that last week was Jamie's one year anniversary at Troubles McSteans.

If you like comics, and you like superheroes, and ou aren't reading Mark Waid's Irredeemable, you are making a mistake.

One More Dead Celebrity, Coffee Talk, Torso Pillow


Man, if it hasn't been a couple of weeks to be a celebrity.

Now McNair? I'm not surprised the man wasn't exactly faithful to his wife (I know they're not reporting any romantic entanglements quite yet, but... As a mid-30's sports superstar and millionaire, I'm betting he wasn't just in the same book club with the 20-year-old "friend"). I'd guess the wives of pro-athletes aren't completely clueless and ask for discretion more than honestly expect much in the way of fidelity from their husbands.

And call me a cynic, but I'm assuming this is a murder/suicide.

After Jon Gosselin, Governor Sanford and now McNair, it is a bad time to be a philanderer.

But, hey, wow... Poor McNair. He was one of my favorite atheletes for a good while there.

Like Native Americans

Last night around 11:30, post fireworks, sparklers and cocktails, people started grumbling about being hungry. Sure, we'd had a cook-out, but we ate around 5:00, so I understood if they didn't want to go in for round 2 on the Tostitos and whatnot. I didn't want to volunteer to fire up the Weber again, so we headed to the IHOP at Slaughter and Manchaca.

In high school, I wasn't averse to the late-night trip to the Denny's (1960, east of Kuykendahl) for coffee and chatting. I learned the waitresses didn't care if you didn't order anything, as long as the tip was okay, and so my habit became dropping $5 to rent the seat and enjoy the coffee until I got the shakes.

The IHOP we visited last night wasn't littered with high school kids, but we were seated close enough to hear one table debating stem cell research. It was a surprisingly cogent and unheated debate, even if voices did rise loud enough for me to begin listening to them.

I tuned out for about 45 seconds to actually pay attention to the folks at my table, only to hear one of the high schoolers at the next table blurt out: "we'd all be a lot better off if we lived like The Native Americans".

Indeed, sir.

I'd say I miss that sort of just-enough-information-to-be-dangerous proselytizing one feels compelled to do at 1:00 AM at a chain diner, but I'm not sure it ever really goes away. There's just a certain way one goes about it at that age as you're beginning to be able to think for yourself, and a little Discovery Channel goes a long way. Declarations are made, and utopia often seems well within grasp. If only we (fill in terrific idea here).

His friends gave up too easily. There was no "how's that? How would things be better, and what Native Americans are you talking about, Mr. Cultural Anthropologist?" Perhaps the guy took challenges to his assertions poorly and they didn't want to provoke him. Maybe he was easier to deal with if they didn't prolong the conversation. Maybe they agreed. Sadly, they were wrapping up, so I never heard how we'd be better off with teepees, or if he meant modern Native Americans (who I worked with at former job. Here's a secret: they had no magical powers, unless you think accounting is a magical power.).

As they were walking out, the kid was insisting that "we'd all live to be 173 if we lived more like The Native Americans." I wanted so badly to see this 173-year-old Native American. But, man, it's nice to know that bored suburban kids are still sorting these things out in low-cost chain restaurants. It's a largely undiscussed artifact of suburban middle-class culture. You're not going to see kids wrestling with the moral issues of the day, debating the politics of their parents, what-have-you on "90210". And those shows sure as hell aren't going to be shot in a Denny's between 10:00 and 1:30 in the morning.

And, of course, we were having our own, barely-more-informed discussion on some other political topic at our own table. But, mostly these days, we rely on pontificatin' hats and a cocktail.

Give me 17 years and I will make no progress.

If it comes to this...

I will work something out for you with JimD.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Round-Up for Tuesday


Here in the 11th inning, this UT/ LSU baseball matchup is going to give me a heart attack. And so I will die and not see UT actually lose the game.


I am in a hotel room in Houston watching this game. If I have a heart attack, nobody will notice until 8:00 AM tomorrow when my boss looks for me at breakfast.

This is an okay hotel. The air conditioner was set to "Put Him in Carbonite" when I walked in.

I have an odd affection for Houston. I sort of love it, but know that I would have found life in the many sprawling suburbs of Houston not to my taste. But I doubt I'd have swung a salary befitting living "inside the loop". Also, Austin has plenty of humidity already, thanks. And I'm a sucker for elevation in my landscape (although the gulf plains make it easy to find downtown). However, for getting a bad rap due to existing within the borders of Texas, Houston is a deeply diverse city ethnically, culturally, socio-economically and probably some other category. Its home to considerable museums, theater districts, universities, professional sports, hospitals and more. The money Houston seems to be able to generate has gone back into the place in a way that gives it much to offer.

I am unsure if the air of new-money goofiness has left many parts of Houston, if the rednecks who were a part of my natural habitat in high school still roam free, and if the obvious and crippling poverty is still ignored as folks fly by on I-45. But if sociologists want to study America at its most American, I say not to head to the heartland, but see the 2 dimensional map of Houston as a cross section of the sausage that makes up our great nation.

UT lost

Dammit. Still, I am not entirely surprised.


I have become convinced that my hairline is receding apace. Whether this is true or not, I am not yet sure. I blame the last haircut I received for its inhospitable awkwardness which has led to the uncertainty and confusion.

Ah, well. Me and my head had a good run. Now to look like a Klingon with my bumpy cranium.

League Christmas Special

I am giving serious thought to writing and shooting a 5 - 10 minute Christmas special for this year. I will need guest stars, so let me know if you want to be in it. I will need to pen a very special League Christmas tune.

We will probably need to shoot in November to make this work.

Also, I hope to force Jamie into an elf costume for the entire special.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monday Round-Up

Steanso off to London

Jason and my folks are headed for London for several days this week, leaving me and Jamie (and my aunt and uncle, presumably) as the State-side Steanseses. I am not sure what Jason will do in London, but we've seen "An American Werewolf in London" and suspect that it will end poorly.

The Bros. Steans have not been Europe-side before, so let us hope Jason finds a lot to do. He's also going to Paris for a day or two, so I have my fingers crossed he will wind up in some Da Vinci Code-esque adventure (only they better be asking for analysis of BSG-related clues if they hope to get anywhere).

I'm off to Houston

For about 18 hours. So don't get too excited. And, no, I won't have time to see any Houston-area Leaguers. Sorry.

We're headed to the University of Houston for Tuesday, which should be fun.


On Friday night we were lucky enough to have Bug and her husband Scott in town. I've known Bug (aka: Erica S.) since high school, where we shared a GPA and class ranking. I came very close to attending college with Erica, but wound up at UT, of course. Jamie was roommates and suite mates during her time in college, and we've all stayed in touch.

A few years ago, Erica married her man-friend, Scott, who I personally think is a cool guy. Together, they put together Isaac, their kid born around the time of Hurricane Ike. Who we had the privilege of meeting before heading out.

Anyhow, it's always fun seeing old friends. So, old friends, where are you guys? Its always a good excuse to go out for dinner for us.

Comic Organization Continues

I've got most of the last year's worth of comics bagged and boarded. Next weekend I'll spend time entering them into

The past three years, I've quit bagging and boarding everything. Hence, I have a stack of comics which I'm looking to get rid of. In many cases, these aren't even bad comics. They're just comics that I'm not going to keep. Some are duplicates I accidentally picked up (I had that problem upon occasion when I tried my experiment in monthly ordering from an online source). So, if you want free comics, e-mail me.

What this really confirms is that I need to make a conscious effort to move to trades for some of my stuff. Unfortunately, this is just as DC is adding back-up features to many titles (I'm looking at you, Bat-comics). But for some ancillary stuff, I'll probably move to trades. I just don't really know what to do with the floppies, and I'm not sure people actually want them if I don't.

There's probably a message in there somewhere to me and the industry, but there you are.

Father's Day

I spent Saturday evening with my folks, my uncle and cousin, Jamie's folks, and some family friends. Today I had brunch with Jamie's folks here at the house. I really need to learn to sit at the table without playing with Lucy the whole time. Nobody needs that.

My cousin is working her way through an adoption, and by Tuesday I should no longer be the youngest member of my family. That's a little weird, but a welcome change. And I'm very happy for cousin Sue.

More details on that soon.

Happy Father's Day to The Admiral and DocDik. You guys are the tops!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things I Like That I'm Not Sure Why

Most things, if you ask why I enjoy them, I could tell you why I've come to enjoy them. You guys have to sit through very long posts on Trek, etc... where I discuss that sort of thing.

But some things you like, and you've never bothered to analyze why. Here are some of those things...

Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart".

Yeah, a 20 secnd bit from "The Mighty Boosh" inspired this whole post.

Tilda Swinton

We watched "Burn After Reading" the other night, and I found myself quite pleased Swinton was in it. I haven't seen that many movies with Swinton, but I like her.

Spaghetti (with meatballs)

Its just meat, noodles and tomato sauce with some oregano. Its still one of my favorite foods.

Ghost Hunters

Seriously. Its just dudes scaring themselves in the dark.

Fourth of July Concerts

Local, certainly. But I also watch whatever they have on PBS when I get home on the night of the 4th.

Ozzy's "Mama I'm Coming Home"

News 8 Austin

Austin has a local 24-hour news channel. If you think CNN has a time finding material for its 24-hour cycle, then you can imagine the challenge of finding enough to cover in Austin. So we get "Pet of the Week" and a lot of coverage of events in the community such The Great Texas Dog Walk, marathons, holiday events, etc... Its on a shoe-string budget, but... seriously. I feel very well informed about my hometown, but why do I feel compelled to watch it virtually every time I turn on the TV?

The McRib

It's pork by-product pressed into the shape of ribs, smothered in a lo-fi bar-b-q sauce, and topped with onion and pickles. And I love it. God help me, but I love the McRib. It's one of the few times each year that I'll drink a large Dr. Pepper. r, really, these days, actually go to McDonald's.

But I dig it.

Jeff Daniels

Yes, he routinely gets nominated for awards and stuff, but that's not something that usually sways me. I think its the crazy range of stuff the guys is willing to take on, and always acquits himself quite well.

So that's the random list of stuff. I expect I'll do this again.

Feel free to add your own.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lazy Weekend

Hey Leaguers,

It was a nice weekend, all in all.


Friday night Jamie and I stayed in and watched Disney's "Bolt" on OnDemand. Quick recap: Bolt is a dog that's a TV star of a sci-fi show about a sort of superdog protecting his person, a 12-years-oldish girl, Penny, from an evil scientist and his minions. He is sort of lost from the studio and has to learn that he's not a superdog (he doesn't know he's a celebrity, so that whole part of the fish out of water bit is conspicuously absent).

The movie has some issues, not the least of which is that the opening sequence in which Bolt is acting as a superdog is the best animated, coolest part of the film. The rest of the movie is fairly pat, which is fine. Its family entertainment and the "incredible journey" part of the story will be new to your young 'uns. And, somehow, I found the whole movie kind of sad in a way I don't think was intended.

I do think it picked up substantially in the second half and the ending is sort of classic Disney feel-good. Disney's 3D animation wing has greatly improved, but they haven't quite mastered the form in the manner of Pixar, finding ways to humanize and animate more stylized characters.

Kids and adults will enjoy Rhino, the hamster who joins the journey. perhaps for different reasons, but I sort of loved Rhino. Who gave the best motivational speech I've seen in a movie in a while.

I should also note that for Superman fans, the comparisons between Bolt's sci-fi TV show character and Krypto, Superman's canine Kryptonian pal is inevitable. And, yeah, I would love to see Krypto receive the big screen treatment. So there's a little envy there, but it didn't last too long, given the nature of the story.

You should check it out, especially you Leaguers with kids.

Also, Jenny Lewis is on the soundtrack. Go figure.


As very little opened this week and it was raining, we wound up then watching "Role-Models" on OnDemand. It was pretty much exactly what I expected.

My Office

I also spent time goofing in my office and re-arranging junk. Ie: playing with my toys.

Korean BBQ

We wound up having dinner with Mangum, who recommended we try Korean BBQ, which I'd never tried before. I have to say that my first experience was, once I got oriented, very good.

I don't know if Matt and Jamie were terribly excited that I selected squid as one of our options, but I liked it. Of course, I know nothing about Korean food, so... just because I liked it doesn't mean a whole lot. But the prices were okay, and it was nice to try something new.


Letty and Juan are due fairly soon. We've not heard the name of the child yet, but Juan pitched Lando Calrissian Garcia, and that seemed to be a popular favorite.

We had a few folks over to wish Letty and Juan well with their final days as couple before they become 2 plus 1. We over purchased on meat, but that's what usually happens when I hit Central Market infrequently. Everything seems like a good idea.

Anyhow, it was nice to dust off the grill and have some folks over. I think Matt is right, that we haven't done this since football season. Hopefully we can roll right into football season with the cookout season.

It was a beautiful day, somehow, and we did manage to get outside a bit. Probably the last of that before things heat up and we're all running for air conditioning until October.

Hope ya'll had a good weekend.

Monday, May 11, 2009

hat and san francisco

Howdy, Leaguers!

Retiring Pontificatin' Hat Mark I

Leaguers who've made it out to League HQ or run into me at Barton Springs or ACL fest will be familiar with my Pontificatin' Hat.

I look faaaantastic here. Also, in my hand? That is "Pontificating Fuel", kids. Ask your mom where you can get some!

As you can see, the Pontificatin' Hat Mark I didn't ever fit exactly right. With summer here and ACL Fest tickets secured, I decided it was time to step it up a bit. Get a bit more in space around my noggin' and a bit more acreage out of the brim.

The Pontificatin' Hat was dubbed as it somehow tended to make appearances at the end of parties when we'd find ourselves on the back porch, chatting. One does not wear a "thinking cap" for such occasions, Leaguers. I recommend securing a Pontificatin' Hat of your own.

I'd expect Pontificatin' Hat Mark II, a Guatemalan Palm Cattleman's style hat, to start making appearances as early as this weekend. Heck, I just wore it outside at 9:30 at night to water the trees.

For fashion and lifestyle reasons, I resisted a cowboy hat for many a year. But after living in Phoenix and dealing with the relentless sunshine there, and deciding I kind of missed cowboy hats instead of grass-weave bermuda hats that were common in golf-mad Arizona, upon my return to Texas I felt it necessary to obtain and employ the traditional hatwear of my home state.

I'm certainly hanging onto the Mark I. I have a lot of affection for that sweaty, beat up hat.

San Francisco CA

It looks like Jamie and I are actually taking a vacation of sorts this summer. This is not something we normally do. We have a lot of logistical issues to resolve every time we leave town for more than 48 hours as Jamie needs dialysis Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week. That requires her to find a clinic where she can go that takes our insurance, etc...

Traveling is also tiring for Jamie, so add in a dialysis day, which usually means a lot of resting, and we need to plan in pretty good detail what we're up to.

Luckily for us, The Dug and K. live in the Bay Area, and so we were already thinking that heading out that way was a good idea. Throw in that they became engaged a week or so ago (something I'm still excited about) and its a good time to fly out there for a visit.

No idea what I'll do, and what Jamie will want to do and see, but we've got a pair of Bay Area regulars to show us around, and that ain't bad.

In truth, my knowledge of San Francisco, etc... comes mostly from movies, TV and Mythbusters. But I'm not too worried about running out of activities. I had lunch with David G. today, and he had a very specific place he recommended for breakfast that I have to remember.

Anyhow, if I disappear for a few days in July, now you'll know why.

I should probably look up Bankston while I'm out there.

Also, I'm going to do this...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Round-Up and Video Clips

Chuck Candy

Firstly, today was a wild day here at League of Melbotis. JimD sent a link from my Chuck E. Cheese post to Whitney Matheson at Pop Candy. (Matheson is the same blogger who recently asked my Devo question...) Matheson posted the link, and my hit count jumped from its usual 45 hits or so a day (that includes a lot of folks accidentally hitting the site) to about 1800 at last count.

That's a lot of people hearing about my tight slacks and aversion to messy children.

Anyhow, I welcome all the new folks who might stop by. We always appreciate new visitors here at The League, and we hope you enjoy your stay. Please feel free to poke around, ask questions, and generally make yourself at home.

It's always fun getting some visitors who aren't usually at the site. I totally recommend going back and reading the comments section as several other Chuck E. Cheese alumni piped up with similar tales. Great stuff.

Bankston on MSNBC

My former roommate, Kevin Bankston, appeared on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" this evening arguing for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the government for illegal wiretapping.

You have to understand how weird it is to see the same guy using the same tone with Keith olbermann that he once used to argue that it was MY turn to clean the living room.

I'd rather we not actually debate the topic here, as this isn't that kind of blog, but be a little weirded out that the guy with whom I share a multitude of embarrassing memories is now an important attorney-guy/ pundit.

Old times, old crimes.

Nimoy and New Trek in Austin

It seems the Alamo Drafthouse is a bit bigger deal than I realized. There was a showing of Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan at the Alamo this week with, supposedly, a few minutes of the new Trek sent by the studio. The Alamo surprised the audience with a guest appearance by none other than Leonard Nimoy (that's Spock to you non-nerds), the sort of proto-celeb to us in geek-kind.

In 6th grade, and I wish I were making this up, I had gerbils named "Leonard Nimoy" and "Richard Nixon". Let us speak on this no further.

Well, THEN Paramount pulled the coolest switcheroo in geek history by showing the entirety of the new Trek movie to the assembled.

Read it here in the NYT.

DAMMIT, MAN!!! Sadly, I probably would have missed it had I been in town because I did just watch Star Trek II on cable. Twice.

Spock is my homeboy.


I'm probably way late on this, but... it sort of sums up my feelings on a lot of why I can't fully embrace Twitter as a social tool.

Easter Fun

Some times the simple ideas are the best


I saw very little of Minneapolis while there. I can say the conference was pretty cool, and I learned a lot. Too much stuff going on during any hour, so I missed stuff that I couldn't split in two or three to visit.

There was snow on the ground when I arrived, but it all melted by the time I walked around a very little bit on Sunday. After that, I never really left the office.

Anyhow, I'm back. And I'm going to catch up on some sleep.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quote of the week:

"Kim Kardashian is soooooo pretty!"
-irony-free anonymous co-ed in library (at TAMU)

Every celebrity is somebody's hero. Which means somebody out there is really into Steve Guttenberg. And that is amazing.

Leaguers, what can I say but that this week was really... a week.

To TAMU and back. Work was jam-packed from Monday through Friday. Friday night we headed out to Guero's to assist Steven in celebrating his freedom from grad scool applications, and we toasted Steven with a few cocktails.

Saturday we headed to Auditorium Shores park with Jason and Cassidy, attempted to go to the new Mighty Fine location down off Brodie Lane, only to learn it had been co-opted as a "suburban family friendly cool" location. Which means that, for what's really a pretty standard burger and fries operation, the place was crammed with our local nuclear families, far past the point of reason.

Good for Mighty Fine's business, bad for me ever trying the place again on a Saturday.

I might mention, and I know this is heresy, but I'm not a fan of In'n'Out. We had them scattered across Arizona, and I was actually very excited to try my first In'n'Out, but wound up severely disappointed. It is, no matter the ingredients, legacy, what-have-you, a fairly standard burger. And I didn't care at all for their fries. But, holy smokes, does that place have a reputation, so beware being the one guy in the crowd who is "meh" on In'n'Out, for it has developed its own brand of acolytes and followers.

Seriously, I thought it tasted a bit like "Short Stop" here in Austin, and which I don't care for, either.

We then headed to San Marcos to visit Jamie's folks and watch the UT/ OU basketball game. Which, huzzah, UT won. But, of course, Jamie's folks are die-hard Sooners fans. So... we were as polite and gracious as possible about UT's upset of the #2 ranked Sooners.

Today we ate breakfast, gathered ousrselves and went to Lowe's. It being so nice out, I wanted to plant a tree in the back and flowers in the front. I am now the owner of a Chinese Elm I have named "Chairman Mao", who I hope survives his first Texas summer. We also have several petunias and whatnot dotting our front flower beds.

Chariman Mao, while deeply respectable, will need counter-parts, so next week I will head back to pick up a couple of Live Oaks, a true Central Texas tree if there ever were one. Our neighborhood is actually named "Grand Oaks" thanks to the large Oaks they left when they developed the area.

Planting a tree is a bit daunting. The tree may live or not. It may be a poor choice for your yard. And if it is healthy, it will grow at an incredibly slow rate, reaching maturation just about the time I begin pondering retirement. I like that idea. Being in this house to watch the trees grow to their full height and then spread wide as shade trees. Forgetting exactly which year I planted Chairman Mao, Zapata and Khan, but knowing it was in the first years I lived in the house, as I'm on my third or forth fence. But we'll look at pictures and say "when we moved in, everyone had just one tree in their yard that the builder put there," and it will look bare. And then we will get in our aero-cars and fly to the moon for space-burgers.

But RHPT has gazed into the crystal ball and found my future. Not for those who dislike naughty words, etc...


Sorry if we did not call you back this weekend, Nicole. We would like to see you this week, though. Or at least before Matt disappears to the Far East.

I hope everyone's weekend was lovely and relaxing. I am happy springtime is here. we're ready for the winter to pass.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A whole mess of stuff

Sorry about the lack of blogging. I was back at College Station again on Tuesday. Its been a busy week already.

Steven applies himself

After several months of working on his grad school applications, he's now hit "submit" on the form. He's applied to a serious Research 1 university or two, and these days, that's a lot more than merely filling out a bubble sheet with your GPA.


The League is actually very interested in seeking graduate education himself in the next few years, and so we're watching Steven with marked interest. We've both been rejected by good graduate schools and accepted by less-good graduate programs. And actually walked away from a graduate degree a few years back when we had a moment of clarity and realized we did not want the degree nor career path we were headed towards.

We hope to once again actually feel its okay to not tempt Steven and Lauren with distraction. But it occurs to us that its now all the more pressing that we get as much Steven and Lauren time as possible fit in as we may be losing them come the fall.

Hmmm. That seems like a poor option.


I @#$%ing love Nannerpuss.

That is all.

Keeping Exotic Animals

I was going to write something kind of mean about the events in Stamford where a woman was attacked by her friend's chimp.

Maybe because I was raised with extremely mild-mannered dogs, as well as animals that were just as happy to bite me as take a meal (see: Perry the Python), and gerbils, fish, turtles and whatever... I've always appreciated dogs in particular for their easy ability to fit into a human lifestyle thanks to their deeply embedded pack mentality.

If my cat, who I know loves me (if sleeping by your head and purring loudly isn't love, I don't want to be right), but occasionally goes nuts and does something dumb, like attack my foot or whatever... what on earth makes people think that keeping a 200lb chimp around the house isn't going to eventually end in disaster? Or the story or two that comes up every year of someone with more money and machismo than brains whose tiger escapes its backyard enclosure and mauls either the owner or some unsuspecting neighbor.

Human fear and ideas about justice almost invariably lead to the animals being put down for doing what animals do. Which is always marked down as "suddenly unpredictable", when that's pretty much what most animals are. If they weren't, we'd all have pumas and pandas in our houses.

I'll never know what possesses people to feel they can or should put others at risk for what seems to be vanity or misplaced belief that they're The Beastmaster. I strongly suspect it has something to do with how far we're removed from a world in which we have a legitimate fear of being eaten by wolves and bears.

Thanks to my Dudes

I have to give a shout out to both JMD and RHPT, who always send me good stuff via e-mail. I don't often post those items, but I am publicly saluting you.

Don't ever change.


Countdown to "media critics" freaking out about Watchmen.

As long as we're going to exploit good comics that KIDS SHOULD NOT READ, it kind of makes me wish they'd do:

Frank Miller and Sienkiewicz's Elektra
Miller's Ronin
Morrison's Invisibles
We3 (perhaps one of my favorite comics of all time, for reasons that would be obvious once you'd read it)
Preacher (which is brilliant stuff, but I would be really upset if my mother accidentally read an issue)

What did I miss?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Things that College Students Do

1) Try to just walk into my office. It's weird. The light is on, there are no study lounges on my floor, but every once in a while, they start just pulling on my door and trying to get in. The door is always locked because I use the main door to the office suite, not the door in my office that empties to the hallway. My door isn't really marked except for a number, but... I guess I mostly get creeped out at what they might be doing in there if they found the door open.

2) Talk loudly on their cell phones about @#$% that doesn't matter. Which, yeah, no kidding... But, Leaguers, I work in a library. You understood how a library worked when you were in school, no? Apparently, that particular people skill went away with the invention of the iPhone with its goofy cable microphone dealy-o. Which they all hold to their faces and shout at the mouthpiece. Also, that makes you look stupid. Which is just slightly better than wearing the blue-ttoth earpiece and looking like a maniac walking down the street yammering to yourself.

3) Make liberal use of the public bathrooms. I was a little confused when informed we had an employees bathroom tucked away around the corner. But more than once, I've entered the public bathroom to find people bathing in the sink/ using the bathroom as if it were in their apartment.

4) Not press the button at the crosswalk so that when the light changes, the indicator says "walk" and you get the right of way. I don't think this should be a part of primary education, along with "how do you exit a bus", but how does one reach college age and make it into the top 10% of their class and not understand how buttons or cross walks work?

5) For some reason, Asian female students always travel in pairs. Always. Just an observation. But somehow these pairs don't hit the button at the crosswalk between the two of them, either.

6) Not seem to know how to order a cup of coffee. The menu is up there, where its been the ten minutes we've been standing in line, sir.

7) Dress up the first week of school in all their new clothes they got for Christmas, and then its back to sweats.

8) Get the hell out of your way when you step off the elevator with any conviction.

9) Either they don't check the weather before they leave, or they take seasonally inappropriate dress as some sign of machismo. Even if its 32 degrees outside, there's always some dudes running around in nothing but shorts and t-shirts. It kind of makes it seem that given ample evidence, these young minds still cannot make an appropriate decision and makes you believe they really DO need their mother to dress them.

10) Stand around talking, loitering in odd places, having lengthy, important conversations, using $0.25 words they just learned in class having the sorts of discussions that, once they're actually working for a living, that they will never have again. That's actually fine. Someone's gotta do it.

special bonus item for Valentine's Day: I see a LOT of dudes walking a half-step behind some young lady, talking entirely too much, sort of following around a co-ed (often who are out of their league) who seems like she's only half-listening. These poor dudes seem to believe that as long as their mouths keep running, the girl may not like them, but she can't get away. And maybe, just maybe, they'll wear her down. And they will find love... *sigh...*

Monday, January 05, 2009


UT wins Fiesta Bowl

So... UT won the Fiesta Bowl. Who'da thunk it?

I certainly thought UT had all the potential in the world to win and SHOULD win, but given how 2009 had been going so far, I sort of figured... eh, why get your hopes up? In fact, I predicted UT would lose by 14, just to make myself feel better.

Well, UT won this evening in Glendale versus the Buckeyes. Heck of a game once we were in the second half. Colt, Cosby and the rest managed to pull a rabbit out of their hat that I confess, I wasn't sure they had in them (if it had been VY, then I would have believed it, but...).

I am really happy for the UT Horns and am optimistic that next year can be just as great.

Now to look forward to Thursday's game, which I am guessing will be pretty crazy. I am unsure who I am rooting for yet, as both teams were impressive as heck all year (and I seriously question whether UT could beat either team at this moment).

Salvation Army Red Bucket

So I want to both report on how we did and thank some folks for the success of this year's first foray into the Virtual Red Bucket as the League of Melbotis had its first fundraiser.

Our projected goal was $300, and we managed to raise $360! Not bad, everybody!

We'll be back next year (or perhaps in June) with another go at it. I like the idea that maybe I can use LoM for good, occasionally.

So who can I thank?

My in-laws, Dick and Judy get a shout out. My own folks, KareBear and The Admiral. Jason, of course. The Doug gave, as did Heather Wagner. Matt M. and Erik Z. chipped in. My Arizona pal Maria Hanlin gave, too. JimD was more than happy to throw a few clams in the bucket.

PLUS, I had reports from Leaguers such as Carla and Nicole (and Justin?) that they'd found a real bucket out there and made sure to help out. And poor Simon tried to make a donation, but the website apparently was displeased with his Canadian money. So special salute to Simon for trying and trying.

Melbotis Tributes

Thanks so much to all for their support.

Randy makes mention of Mel at his site.

Lauren draws a lovely image of Mel and invites you to join in.

Jason says good-bye.

And so does Jamie. I know how hard writing this must have been for her, and I think its a lovely tribute to our guy. Also here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

For those of you keeping score at home...

Last night Lucy, who has been very anxious with Mel gone, ate a box of biscuits she's received as a present for Christmas. The whole box.

So this morning Jamie woke up just in time to witness Lucy horking up the undigested portion onto the sofa. So poor Jamie had to go to the vet with Lu while I figured out how to clean a sofa. Visitors to League HQ will be glad to know that while it did take the better part of today, we have a very clean sofa to sit on. Probably cleaner than at any other time you've been here, honestly.

So far 2009 is not turning into a banner year. I think I will be crawling back into bed and waiting to see what 2010 has in store.

Lucy is feeling much better, by the way. Although I am noticing she's still a bit off her game.

Jeff the cat remains, as always, Jeff the cat.

My extended holiday from work is now over with, and tomorrow morning I return to the salt mines. I'm actually looking forward to the distraction and getting into my groove again at work, once it is I remember what I do for a living (more than a long weekend away, and I usually need an hour just to sort out where the water cooler is located).

All of this work business has largely been put into perspective by a combination of the past week and a viewing of all of Season 1 of the BBC sitcom "The IT Crowd". If you work in IT, especially in an environment which does other things but relies upon your IT team, I highly recommend tracking the series down.

At this point, I am not expecting UT to win their game tomorrow at the Fiesta Bowl. I'd love for them to win. I will be rooting for the Horns. But... you know... it's just been that kind of week.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 More Year End Review

2008 is rapidly drawing to a close. We've already visited 2008 in excrutiating detail previously.

Don't forget: New Year's Eve Party at League HQ. You're invited.

Here's a link to Good Stuff in the comics world in 2008 over at Comic Fodder.

Jason did a "good stuff '08" list of his own that you should check out.

In the end, 2008 was a pretty decent year. If you'd asked me how it was going in September, I probably would have told you to stick it in your ear. Unemployment, an off kilter career and all of the related issues associated really had me down. But I think that's changed a great deal.

1) Employment!

I can't complain about the wonders of a job with benefits, a parking garage, and which puts me into a position where I feel like I'm helping out the world in some, small way. I am actually really enjoying work, so hopefully that will continue well into 2009 and beyond.

2) Re-arranging my comic buying

I've generally been a much happier comic buyer and consumer since I've made my weekly destination for comic purchasing Austin Books rather than the convenient but annoying shop I had been visiting. The crew at Austin Books is far more friendly and knowledgeable, and they understand my need for things like drinking glasses featuring the Justice League. The selection is terrific and they're much better at the whole "special events" thing than I am at participating (although I made it to the Christmas party/ sale).

I am trying to talk Jason into tailgating Free Comic Book Day with me.

3) Relatively Healthy

Jamie has been relatively healthy. We've had trips to the ER and hospital, but its all mostly been on the up and up. Our last trip to the ER was pretty much 90% unnecessary (I won't get into details), which in our world is a very good thing. May family, friends and good doctors continue to buoy Jamie's health and spirits.

4) Lucy behaves

She's not exactly ready to be the poster dog for perfect obedience, but Lucy grew up a lot this year. We no longer worry about her spazzing out any more. It's true, I guess, that labs really are puppies until they're three (or four).

Lucy turned four on Christmas Eve, by the way.

5) Mel in pretty good health

My buddy Mel is officially entering "old dog" status, and that's okay. He's always been one who seemed ready to be wearing slippers and a cardigan from day one. Despite our cancer concerns from earlier in the year, Mel has rebounded beautifully.

We are taking him in for dental work on Monday, but his bloodwork during his recent exam went very, very well.

Love you, pal.

6) Costa Rica Trip

Longtime readers of this blog will note that The League does not hit the road all that often except to see family, etc... So it was particularly fantastic that Jason and I were able to jump a jet and spend a few days kicking around Costa Rica. I can't say enough about how much fun I had (despite that panic attack in the hotel that night. Sorry about that, dude). But it was great to see a geological marvel, see some unfamiliar sights, swim in the ocean and see a coatamundi. All in all, an amazing week.

7) Catching Up With Folks Via Facebook

It's been a weird year as far as social networking technology goes. I've gotten back in touch with a few friends this year that it was probably unlikely I'd have run into again, one way or another, had Facebook not become the gold standard for social management.

I've gotten to see some of these folks, and hope to see the rest at some point. But it's great to catch up with anyone you've lost touch. Some are raising kids, some fighting fires, others are scientists. The trick now is not to lose touch.

8) Keeping up with Leaguers and other Pals

I can't say enough about how much 4 years kicking around Arizona led me to appreciate friends and family. The Steans clan has always been fairly casual about mixing the two, and the tradition continues on. And, honestly, that's the way I assume it always will be. We still enjoy having friends over (see the New Year's invitation), and I think sometimes I forget that all these folks don't know each other. And we still like dinners and nights out with our pals. And, occasionally, some of you will live with us for an extended period of time, and that's good, too.

Of course some Leaguers aren't in town, but that doesn't mean I don't want to know what you're up to or what's going on with you.

9) Writing

I'm still of the opinion that maintaining LoM is worthwhile, and I guess if you're checking in regularly, you feel the same way. It helps me feel like I am writing on a routine basis, even if its not going anywhere. And, of course, I'm still writing over at Comic Fodder, so I'm not just able to talk about comics, but occasionally I become part of the wider conversation going on about comics and comic culture.

I have three New Year's Resolutions, and one is to write even more (but probably not more here). So, yeah, there's that.

10) The Future is Now!

These lists aways seem like a much better idea when you start off, and then you run out of ideas somewhere around Item #7, and find yourself trying to get Jamie to give you some help, but she's tying her shoes and says "Did you talk about the election?" and while it IS really a big issue for you, you try to make a point of not talking politics too much on the blog, so...

I don't want it to pass without mention, but this isn't maybe that kind of list. And I really don't want to end the list on some divisive note, so... Let's stick with something awesome. Rockets and jet packs.

And I'm ready for mine...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

as if anyone cares...

Today was pretty nifty. We stepped outside to head for a breakfast at Curra's (Jamie, Kristen, Doug and me) and it was unseasonably warm. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

Once on Ben White, we could literally see a clear edge to the front coming through, and by the time we were at Curra's we decided that it was too cold to sit outside. I had also been informed I was somewhat hi-jacked and we were headed either for a movie or the zoo (not that I didn't want to go, but nobody likes suddenly learning that they aren't headed out on the mission they thought they were on).

Anyhoo, since we were already eating, going to The Alamo to see a movie I didn't care to see held little appeal, and everyone else wanted to go to the zoo, too, so off we headed.

If you've never been to The Austin Zoo, I highly recommend it. It doesn't have the massive gazelle herds of, say, the San Antonio zoo. But what they've done with their space and resources is pretty spectacular. Not to mention that some of their key attractions are rescue animals.

You know how you read about people keeping lions or tigers in their yards? It seems that many of their big cats come from such situations, or from circuses that probably never should have taken on big cats as a side-show item in the first place. Anyhoo, the lions, tigers and leopards are given a pretty nice place to call home, lots of loving attention and fawning admirers. And you can get up fairly close to their enclosures, enough so that the big cats are used to it and don't mind that you're five feet away.

I would post pictures, but, again, I had no idea I was going to the zoo, so... no camera.

Also, many, many different kinds of monkeys and primates. And interesting birds, but not an overwhelming collection, I think.

This evening we headed back to San Marcos for dinner. Tomorrow Kristen heads back to Berkeley, so we most likely will not see her again for several months. Perhaps a Bay Area trip is in our future?