Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hey, all. I wish I had more to report, but since what I've mostly been up to is going to work, I don't have much to report. Jeff the Cat seems better. He's actually staring at me right now. And he hasn't been too sick since Monday. Logy, but not sick.

I don't even really know what's been going on in the news or anything. I bought a stack of comics this week that I've barely even had a chance to touch. Some of that has been that I haven't been going directly home after work this week, and part of it is being a bit logy myself.

Anyhow, hope you guys are okay.

I have to go shove medicine down Jeff's throat now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hey, Leaguers. Sorry for the lack of updates. Work has been busy, and Jeff the Cat has been ill and required medical attention. Also, I slept a bit.

Hope everyone is well.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Thanks to Julia, Lauren and Steven for coming out on Sunday night to bask in the glow of Superman: The Movie on the big screen at The Paramount. If you couldn't make it, The League understands and does not hold it against you.

With apologies to JMD, it was nice to see the(ahem) entire film on the big screen for the first time in a decade or two. The presentation was the extended cut, so there was a bit more to the movie than the good 'old normal cut (which will probably be lost to time).

It was also exhilarating to see the movie with so many other people, when normally I see it with an audience of one or two. People seemed to genuinely enjoy the flick, catching most of the jokes, sitting in awed silence at the appropriate moments and giving in to peels of laughter during the "Can You Read My Mind?" sequence, which just doesn't work all that well now, if it did almost thirty years ago. Folks even took the scenes involving miniatures very well, considering that one gets the sensation that the audience has accidentally wandered into a Godzilla movie for a few frames.

Walking out of the theater, I was approached by a fellow Superman nut who had some trivia he was busting to share with me (I assume because I was wearing a Superman t-shirt), and I enjoyed chatting with him briefly. Nice guy, but I felt bad as he had no Loyal Leaguers of his own with which to see the movie.

Anyhow, stay tuned for future assemblages of Loyal Leaguers!

More stuff I don't need but want

DC Direct has decided to put out figures of the New Gods in classic Kirby style.


I will buy them. I will also hope they add a Kirby Jimmy Olsen, Barda, Black Racer, Detective Turpin, and the Forever People, complete with a Super-Cycle.

Simpsonsization continues!

The League's own Nathan Cone is Simpsonified.

CBG posts her image, plus, gives herself a plotline!


In-Law Weekend

Hey everybuddy!

It is true that Jamie's folks are here this weekend. In fact, they're here to look for a house and relocate to the Central Texas area in the next year or three. Friday, Judy and Dick hit the road with a realtor, and I'm not sure, but they may have already found something.

So take that, Mom and Dad (aka: those who like to look at houses but have no idea what they want).

The League: Action Hero

My desk has a keyboard tray, which means my bulk will not always fit properly under my desk. Anyway, I was in a weird position, and my foot fell asleep at work. I was maybe fifteen feet from my desk before I realized I was getting that pins and needles feeling. Just as quickly as it decided to get tingly, my foot decided to turn in (I could see it, but didn't feel it) and the next thing I knew I belly flopped in the middle of the floor in the open area where all the multimedia people work. It was awesome.

You don't really think about it, but as an adult, you rarely actually fall over. Sure, you might trip, but you don't just flop over on your face. Anyhow, you see kids fall over and have this totally confused expression on their face, and for maybe the first time since I was 4, I totally had that feeling. Luckily, most folks had gone to lunch, so there weren't too many people around, but those who were seemed a little wigged to see the largest dude in the office go over like a sack of bricks.

I thought maybe I'd jacked up my ankle, but, for good-or-ill, I twisted my left ankle so many times growing up that there's a piece of bone where there shouldn't be, so I'm not sure I can actually twist that ankle anymore. So, all's well that ends well.

Anyhow, I am the raddest guy in the office.

Lady Bird

As some of you might know, the Johnson family had a viewing (I guess you'd call it) on Friday and Saturday at the LBJ Library on UT campus. The viewing was closed casket (which makes it not a viewing, but there was no booze, so it wasn't a wake, either) and was going on through the night, so, after Jamie and Judy went to bed, Dick and I jumped in the car and drove down to the library to pay our respects. Lots of folks were there, and, of course, the grounds of the library were lit up.

Anyhow, I was glad we went. I wasn't sure what to expect, but there were all kinds of people of all different ages, some dressed for a funeral, others who obviously had come on a bit more of an impulse. But for 10:30-11:00 at night, there was a fairly steady line of foot traffic.


Today we drove all the way to Steiner Ranch, out to Lakeway, down to Wimberly, and then to San Marcos. Let us just say that the area in which Judy and Dick are pondering a house search is fairly wide.

I realized I had never been to downtown Wimberly, which was touristy, but nice. Really, with Karebear and The Admiral visiting so often, it's nothing short of a miracle that we hadn't been to downtown Wimberly as it seems like exactly the sort of destination we would normally hit for something to do.

We also went to Fonda San Miguel and played some Wii. I also slept for like two hours this afternoon, which is why I'm up at 2:00 AM blogging. I need to go to bed.

Hope everyone is well.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson

When I was a kid growing up in Austin, I recall it was a pretty big deal that Lady Bird Johnson still maintained an office in the LBJ Library. The rumor was that they couldn't build any structures higher than a story or two between her window at the library and the Capitol, lest anything obstruct her view. It wasn't that Lady Bird Johnson was supposed to be mean and bossy, but nobody really wanted to obstruct her view. I thought that must say something pretty nice about the lady.

At some point when I was 12 or 13 my folks were customers of The Bank of the Hills, which belonged to the Johnson family. I still recall my folks going to the opening of the new building out near 620 and 183 (when the area was a field) because they heard Lady Bird would be there shaking hands. Sure enough, my folks were just two of the rubes who Lady Bird shook hands with that night. I believe Lucy may have been there as well. I remember finding it mindblowing that she was involved with family business and would just meet any old person who wandered in to the bank that night. (I think i stayed home, watched an Arnie movie and ate fish sticks).

We have Lady Bird to thank in Austin for Town Lake Park, the LBJ Library, the control of billboard proliferation, the planting of wildflowers along the highway, and, of course, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. She was also involved with Austin's KTBC during its glory days. And, of course, she was also involved in her husband's campaigns in Texas and National races.

Finally, she was also a Journalism major at the University of Texas, and thus a fellow Longhorn. It is my understanding that she also was available as a guest speaker during the semesters in which Dr. Lewis Gould was teaching his "First Ladies" conference course for the History department. (Unfortunately, I found out about the course after it was no longer offered with Dr. Gould's retirement.)

Godspeed, Lady Bird Johnson.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Balloon Guy

I've received basically the same article from at least two people (thanks Peabo and Maria!).

The basic gist of the article is that a guy filled 100-odd helium balloons, tied them to his lawn chair and floated 193 miles.

There is a word for that, Leaguers: Totally awesome.

Also: Balls.

In this era of "pioneers" being defined by which CEO of a company which happened to build a nifty piece of software, give me a dude who straps 105 balloons to a lawn chair, packs a brown bag lunch and cruises 193 miles. Humanity has more or less lost its taste for adventure, so every once in a while it's up to a guy with a half-baked plan and a love of colorful balloons to really break the mold.

I swear, back in the 1920's this guy would have been a national hero and had a sandwich or something named after him. Even today we'd be like "Why do they call it a Couch Sandwich?" and your trivia-spouting friend would say "Oh, it's named after Kent Couch." And you would totally know what that means.

Mr. Balloon Jockey, I salute thee! It would take three or four times that many balloons to lift my XXXL-sized carcass (plus the thermos of coffee) across the sky, and I don't even know where to get big ballons, anyway. But I'm a lot jealous.

I suppose I'd also need a fairly durable lawn chair...

Anyhow, Thanks for accomplishing what they said probably shouldn't be done. And I think was a topic once on Mythbusters. So go figure.

Yet More Leaguer Simpsons Madness

We had two more entries as the day progressed!

Jason. Sort of. This is his try.
I tried to make a Jason avatar. It was sort of tough to capture his manly, Samson-like hair.

Supposedly Randy. I assure you... not Randy.

Note that both are wearing the same shirt.

Where's your avatar?

SUPERMAN at the Paramount on SUNDAY

Hey, Leaguers

I'm going to be a bit out of pocket for a few days while the in-laws are here, so I'm posting now.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE will be playing at the Paramount Theater on Sunday JULY 15th at 7:00 PM.

The League of Melbotis reps will be there nice and early to get a good seat. You need to be there, too!

Come for all the fantastic fun and Ned Beatty one director can cram into one movie!


Compare and contrast Margot Kidder and Valerie Perrine! Compare and contrast Gene Hackman and The League's own JAL! Thrill as Superman saves a helicopter! Gasp as Lois's thoughts are transformed into poetry! Cheer as Ned Beatty walks through a train station! Trip the light fandango with a baby in a chandelier! And BRANDO IN A POWDERED WIG...!


Even More Leaguer Simpsons Madness

The League's own JAL Simpsonified

For those of you who have never seen JAL, this is eerily accurate.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Dear Mr. Jobs,

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

Today I got my hands on an iPhone. You know, Steve (can I call you Steve?), I was more than a little skeptical about the iPhone.

Now, you know... if you want to send me one...

Anyway, let's just say that I'll be your spokesmonkey for quite a while if one were to find it's way into my mailbox.

Your admiring friend,

The League

Your League in Springfield

Your Simpsons League

Your Simpsons Jamie

Make your own, Leaguers! If you do, send 'em in.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hey, Leaguers.

It's been a fun weekend. Yesterday we finally used the Element for the task which I had in mind when I picked it out. You can take the back seats out of the Element, so I took one out for more space. We loaded up the dogs (including Cassidy), and Jason, Jamie and I headed to the Barton Springs spill-over.

I admit, I'm a total worry wart about the dogs, so I think I spent the whole time trying to corral my dogs, who aren't that used to water and who tend to spaz out when other dogs are around. I am sure the other folks were tired of my constant calling to all of the three dogs, so I feel a bit like a heel. I feel even worse because I think my insistence that we leave (because Lucy kept pestering a tiny dog) interrupted Jason talking to some cute girl who was hanging out with her dog. That's me. The League: Scene Killer.

Now here's the other pro-dog thing about the Element: rubber floors. The floors are still dirty, but all I need to do is get a wet rag and clean them up. It's kind of cool.

Or would be. I hadn't initially put on my suit, so I went back to the car to put it on. Lucy jumped over a four foot wall and followed me back to the car. It was both heart warming and a bit weird to see my girl abandon the water and fun just to help me change pants. Anyhow, dripping wet she jumped in the car and shook herself dry.

Let us hope the talk about the sturdy material of the seats was not just a sales pitch.

Saturday night we went to see "Sicko" with Carla and David. We also had a nice dinner at Chinatown. Always a good evening with CB and David.

I had spent some time writing up a bunch about Sicko, but I also don't feel like moderating a comments section which would surely go into meltdown. Suffice it to say, with our personal situation, I am well aware of the issues in the film and I have some personal feelings wrapped up in the topic I'd rather not get into.

I've also come to peace with Michael Moore as a filmmaker. Once you know what to look for, you know...?

Sunday was mostly chores, some comic blogging, lawn mowing, and then Jason and Reed came by for a pizza and some Wii.

Jamie smoked me in bowling, but I am the grand champion of boxing.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

I Heart Robocop

I do.

I saw Robocop for the first time during one of our annual family vacation trips to Upper Michigan. Mom was cool enough to take us to the theater (1 screen, of course) in Ispheming, Michigan. To this day I recall that one of the trailers they showed prior to the movie was for a re-release of Disney's "Snow White". And then they showed one of the most intensely violent movies I had seen in my young life.

The movie has aged a little oddly. Some of the fashions thought no further than 1988. A good chunk of the technology barely surpasses 1990. But the movie's wink-and-a-nod look at corporate control of public trusts and the interstitial TV bits feel a little bit on the nose... Especially the Yamaha artificial heart commercial which seemed absurd in 1987, but now...

I also dig the story about Murphy recovering himself despite what's been done to him by crooks, OCP R&D, and what befalls him when he tries to move beyond his programming.

Robocop shoots a ton of people in this movie

The action sequences were cool if not a bit pre-dated by Terminator's equally nuts robot stop-motion and crazy gunplay sequences. The villains were some seriously evil, evil dudes, played by guys who would go on to star as Eric's dad on "That 70's Show" and another guy who wound up as a doctor on ER for a while (Jamie informs me his character lost an arm to a helicopter. I'm not clear on the specifics.) Plus, a young Miguel Ferrer, one of my favorite guys in any TV show or movie.

Dead or alive, you're going with Robocop

Peter Weller rocks as Robocop/ Murphy, and manages to make the transition from man to machine and back again in a way a lesser actor might have stumbled. And, darn it, why doesn't Nancy (Officer Anne Lewis) Allen get more parts? The last time I saw her was in "Out of Sight", I think, playing a supporting part. (And speaking of Allen's... why don't we see more Karen Allen? I know she isn't in Robocop, but I like Karen Allen, too).

Plus, you know, ED-209. Oh yes, ED-209.

You have 20 seconds to agree that ED-209 is totally awesome

Like many Verhoeven movies, Robocop is exceedingly violent. Not Wild Bunch violent, but its got its moments. So if you've just seen the movie once, and all you remember is a lot of squibs bursting open... I suggest you check the movie out again and note that there's a very sci-fi but kind of sad story about a dead cop, corporate corruption and a world slowly going nuts beneath the heaped upon layers of smoke and bullets.

Verhoeven also directed Total Recall, another sci-fi action flick/ satire that ALSO becomes more enjoyable on multiple viewings (and, to a lesser extent, Starship Troopers. A movie which always makes me cackle.). Total Recall also throws in a heaping dose of Arnie, so it's just a big stew of the stuff I loved in the late 80's.

Anyhow, I salute you, Robocop! Your sequels and TV shows got steadily goofier, but the first movie is still a good movie to stumble upon on a Friday night.

I dunno. I just really like Robocop. I thought I'd share.

Still, it is no R.O.T.O.R.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson was hit by a car driven by Mary Dodgen on the night of July 3rd, 2006. Jason found out in the early hours of July the 4th and returned to Austin. He was not at the concert when Jeff was hit as he was visiting with Jamie and me at our parents' house in Spring. We were supposed to be coming into town to tell my folks we were moving back to Texas, but had let it slip beforehand.

Kim and Sigmund Bloom were also struck, as well as two other men. Jeff passed on July 10th, 2006.

There's an article in today's Statesman about the current status of the case.

It's been a long year for Mandy, Jeff's parents (Don and Jajuan), Kim, Sigmund, Jason and a whole lot of people in Austin.

Jeff occasionally commented on these pages. He maintained his own blog. He assisted with the briefly lived media blog "Nanostalgia", with which many a-Leaguer participated. I knew Jeff mostly through e-mail, online, and a few times we'd visited while I was in Austin.

I didn't know Jeff as well as most folks, but I know Jeff is missed profoundly by all.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July the 4th, EoD

I've run this once before, but in the spirit of the holiday...

Beware, this video has naughty, naughty words.

We didn't do much. I slept late, did some stuff for work, it rained, went to the store. Returned a clock/weather radio I'd bought as (a) it wouldn't tune in to the weather frequency, and (b) if it lost power, despite battery back-up, the radio would turn off (but it would keep the time). It's a weather radio. Seriously, Timex... what the hell? What, exactly, were the criteria you assigned the engineers working on this piece of junk?

I'm not 100% positive I need a weather radio, but I'm also not 100% certain I DON'T need one.

Anyhow, we cooked some burgers with Matt. He ate my hotdog without permission, but we had plenty of food, so no big deal.

Went and bought fireworks and set them off in Buda. Never buy 48 jumping jacks, even if they are only $4. Do buy the artillery shells. Matt put on quite a show.

More dull days need to end with fireworks.


I actually grew up with this picture hanging in our hallway. I have no idea what happened to it.

Hey, Leaguers! Happy 4th of July!

Today's the day 231 years ago when we threw off the shackles of King George and went full tilt towards becoming the Robosaurus loving nation we would one day become.

The League of Melbotis salutes our nation, our troops, our first responders and, of course, the Red, White and Blue.

I hope everyone has a fantastic 4th!

And, if you get an opportunity, punch an Englishman in the face for not just giving us our independence when we asked for it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Jill solves dog energy crisis

Arden puts cute doggy in inescapable death grip

Of course! If the dog is hyper, obtain a child. Apply child to dog...

It's really the only way I can think of to get Lucy to quit trying to sit on me when I'm playing Wii or on my laptop. I'm totally going to the Mall and looking for a lay-a-way plan for a kid this weekend.