Friday, September 30, 2005

The man said it's a disgrace to the badge

But he didn't realize he was talking about himself.

You will absolutely not believe this. Recently some New Jersey policemen were returning home from a 14-day aid trip to New Orleans. They were traveling in a convoy of about a dozen police cruisers, heading up I-81 here in Virginia.

At 95 MPH.

With their lights flashing, which just happens to be illegal in Virginia (and most states) unless they are responding to an emergency.

And they were a little upset when Virginia police pulled them over and gave them a warning.

Here's the news article

And here’s the transcript from the deputy's telephone call

Playing on XM: not listening right now

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Eddie Spaghetti feeds the soul

Just thought I'd bring this to everyone's attention: Devil's Food, the latest release from those fun-loving music-makers, the Supersuckers. Devil's Food is a collection of singles and hard-t0-find rare tracks. And I'm glad they put them all together in one place for us.

If you don't know the Supersuckers, they're a rowdy, hard-rockin' Seattle group who span the musical spectrum with guitar-whippin' punk sounds just as easily as they twang a bent note.

The disc is good from start to finish, but I want to highlight some of the gems. First and foremost is their cover of Rubber biscuit, which even Elwood Blues would have to say, "Damn boys, that's a good cover!" I've been listening to this track repeatedly.

The next one is a cover of Jerry Reed's Eastbound & down. You may remember this one as the theme from the movie Smokey and the Bandit. Yeah, it takes you back a ways. Again, they've done a nice job of making someone else's song sound distinctly their own, while at the same time, keeping true to the original. And it's a fun song.

My personal favorite from the track list is what I'm pretty sure is the first Satanic country song I've ever heard. It's a devil-worshipping romp called Born with a tail. On the jacket, they warn you parenthetically that this one is a country song, just to brace you for the musical change. Man, that's thoughtful of them.

This is the Supersucker's first "studio" album since 2003's release, Motherfuckers Be Trippin', which included my all time favorites Bubblegum and beer and Pretty fucked up. With such poetry as "She used to be pretty, now she's just pretty fucked up," what's not to like? Next month you can look for an all-new release from the group's front man, Eddie Spaghetti. His second solo album, it's appropriately titled Old No. 2 and it promises to be good.

In the meantime, check out Devil's Food.

Playing on XM: Aqueduct

Taste the sensation

On Wednesday mornings, I volunteer in my son's kindergarten classroom to help with activities. They've been studying the five senses and this week's sense is taste. I was charged with conducting the scientific experiment in which the kinderlings taste different foods and record either a happy face if they liked the flavor or a frowny face (the anti-happy face) if they did not like the flavor.

They were tasting, in order, the following flavors: sour (gummy candy), salty (chips), bitter (baking chocolate), and sweet (Hershey Kisses). I knew the baking chocolate was very bitter (there's no sugar in it), so I gave the first group tiny chunks of it, smaller than a chocolate chip. They ate it and of course, all of them hated it and identified it on their score sheets with a “Mr. Yuck” poison symbol (you’ve probably seen this…it look like a frowny face, only more intense). One of them nearly threw up on me... I staved off his spasms by suggesting he go get a drink of water. But let me tell you I was really worried as I sat there in the floor with this 3-foot tall person on eye-level with me while he was making the puke-face at me.

After that, the other groups all got very tiny shavings which was still more than enough to get the flavor. And I immediately sent them all to the water fountain to chase away the taste. By the time I finished with the last group of miniature thugs, I was actually enjoying the third step of the experiment, relishing their “Oh my god, that’s NASTY!” faces once the severity of the baking chocolate’s flavor hit. And that one little boy who always annoys me by being loud and not listening to my instructions…oh yeah, you bet yer sweet patootie he got a bigger piece than everyone else.

Playing on XM: Flying Burrito Brothers

Monday, September 26, 2005

Killer Coffee

That naughty bean tried to poison me this morning. Today is the roughest of Monday mornings I've seen in quite some time. In the final 5 minutes before rushing out the door, I brewed a quick pot to take with me. I didn't get to taste it until well on my way to work. Apparently my spoons had been heaped quite savagely because there needed to be two or three times the amount of water over what I used. It was so bitterly strong I nearly died as it hit my stomach lining. Of course, I had to take 3 or 4 more test sips to confirm this. They all corroborated the first taste, and thus intensified the bean-venom.

Luckily there were donuts at work this morning to counteract the poison. Upon arriving at work, I dumped out half of it and refilled my cup with hot water. Now I have a cup of intensely strong, but drinkable coffee. This is why I don't drink coffee very often and when I do, I prefer to have it made by a professional.

Playing on XM: Hank Williams III

Saturday, September 24, 2005

"Black Canary said a buzzsaw arrow was self-indulgent."

That's the quote from tonight's Justice League Unlimited. It was spoken by Green Arrow (obviously) after he cut himself free from a villain's mega-snare. Most of the characters are perfectly rendered on this show, with the exception being Hawkman, who made his debut last week. He came off as a goofy Hawkgirl-fanboy/hero wannabe. One of the best things about the series is that Lex Luthor is voiced by Clancy Brown. You remember Clancy, don't you? Perhaps you know him by his other name: The Kurgan.

That's all the geek speak for tonight. I was just itching for a reason to post today and GA rescued me with that wonderful quote. The day was spent on the homefront doing some fall cleaning. Good stuff. Dragged some major junk out of the basement for the dump, waxed a vehicle and played with the kids. Major project: cleaning out and organizing the linen closet.

I don't get Inuyasha. I just don't.

Playing on XM: Neil Young - "Love to Burn" Sweet.

Friday, September 23, 2005

You are not your wandering uterus

First of all, yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox...happy Autumn everybody!

Today marks the anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death. With his psychoanalytic theory of the mind, he single-handedly perpetrated the Victorian era image of women as the weaker sex. Ladies, please, keep that uterus on a leash!

And it's the modern disciples of Freudian theories that make people dependent on psycho-analysts for years at a time, rather than applying other forms of psychotherapy that are actually empirically valid AND short in duration, requiring only months rather than years, to complete.

On the upside, Freud contributed greatly to the understanding of the mind and what it means to be human. Luckily, he inspired many OTHER people to test his theories and ultimately come up with their own, many of which actually make sense in terms of human behavior.

Okay, I think my Ego has had its rant now. Time to tend to the needs of my Superego and get some work done. After all, it's Friday and my Id will be pretty thirsty by quitin' time.

Playing on XM: Rodney Crowell

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Roleplaying personas

When creating a new character for D&D, I turn to history or classic literature for ideas. These areas are full of great characters just begging to be brought back to life.

For example, when creating a cleric, I once turned to Sigmund Freud and his 'talking cure' to create that game's first psychotherapist. And he charged for his services too. I recently tried to revisit this idea, but the character quickly diverged from this root and took on a life of its own...and that's how it should be. It's good to have a template for your character's personality, but eventually the PC should grow into its own identity. Afterall, the life it experiences can't mirror the life that shaped the figure who first inspired you. But when it comes to getting started, it's nice to have a springboard to inject some life into the character.

Right now, I'd love to play (or see played) the ever-observant Sherlock Holmes as a rogue. Who better to solve the always-present mysterious plotline or navigate a trap-filled dungeon? A gentleman's rogue if ever there was one!

Some other ideas that came quickly to mind:
  • Alexandre Dumas' D'Artagnan as an overzealous, young fighter (actually, all of the musketeers are great characters)
  • A ranger, druid, or eco-friendly cleric who plants trees where ever he goes so people will remember his example
  • Davey Crocket as a ranger or fighter with a penchant for exploring the wilds
  • a gnome mage modeled after one of our country's most brilliant men, Benjamin Franklin
The list could go on for as long as I had time to add to it. Let me know if you have any good suggestions. Yesterday is filled with great personalities. Let's put them to use!

Edit: Something I forgot to say the first time through...this idea only really works if you do a little research on the historical/literary figure's personality and personal motivations. The whole point is that you know how the person would act in a given situation. But then, you probably already understood that that was my point.

Playing on XM: The Great Divide

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No cover charge for comments

I changed the settings so non-members can leave comments, so have at it.

I'm home from work today with a semi-sick kid. He was sick last night and fine this morning, but in years past, he had a habit of running out of steam an hour or so after going to school, which was signified by vomiting all over the teacher. Since we haven't even finished the first month of the school year, I thought I'd save his teacher from this side of his charming persona.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Frank Miller sucks

Okay, now that I have your attention, let me tell my story. I work at the local comic store on Sundays. Every once in a while, the most Annoying Customer in the world comes in. And yes, yesterday was one of those days. His usual routine is to stand around reading comics for an hour, then try to make annoying conversation with his tiny little brain, and then he leaves without buying anything. Never a single book. You can read all you want, but at least buy a book to pay your share of the rent.

So yesterday, catching up on a few titles, he wanders over to the counter where I'm reading a comic of my own. His attempt at thought-provoking conversation goes something like this:

AC: "Man, comics these days. I don't think the industry can keep it up."

Me (not looking up from my comic): "Hmm?"

AC: "Well, like DC for example. They're trying to re-invent themselves again. And I don't think they can pull it off, do you?"

Me (really not wanting to get into this line of conversation with him because DC is currently doing some very compelling things and industry sales are climbing in part because of them): "Well, they're all always trying something new."

AC: "Yeah, I guess. So, what're you reading?"

Me (holding up the comic): "The new Allstar Batman & Robin."

AC: "Oh yeah. Jim Lee can draw some pretty good characters, but that Frank Miller just can't write worth a damn!"

And he was dead serious in his opinion.

At this point I just stared at him with the blankest of looks I could muster. What I really wanted to do was grab his shirt collar and drag him out into the street. His survival instincts must have kicked in at this point because he mumbled something about the time and soon left the store.

For those who don't know, Frank Miller is probably the most $ucce$$ful comic book writer of the modern day. And there's a reason for it. Two of them, actually. Creativity and Talent.

But everybody has an opinion.

What's in a blog?

So my first real blog entry highlighted the fact that I am easily entertained. oh boy. Here's another example. I read a Batman story recently, written unbelievably enough by comedian Patton Oswalt, where Batman returns to the bat cave after a rough night of getting his butt kicked.

Alfred, his steadfast butler, greets him with a cup of tea and says, "I assumed you would like to make some notes on the night's events, so I booted up your blog."

Batman growls back at him, "It's not a BLOG, Alfred. It's the Bat-log."

(for those who care, the story was one of many gems tucked away in a hefty volume called Bizarro World, which features stories of DC Comics' characters created by artists and writers of alternative and underground comics.)

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Here's an old piece I've been hanging on to. I wrote this a couple of years ago.

I recently became a die-hard fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! FX started re-running the show from Season 1. Charles, my neighbor, was recording them & offered to let me watch them. Being bored that night, I begrudgingly accepted. Four episodes later, I was hooked.

My first impression whilst watching the first episode was, 'This is sort of an occult power rangers!' Here's why:
  • Set in small, suburban Californy town,
  • Group of teens repeatedly saving the world,
  • General population if oblivious to the goings-on,
  • Fresh, teen-centric dialogue,
  • Kick ASS theme music!
In the 2nd episode, one of her companions actually said, 'It's okay. Buffy's a superhero!' Another line I love is from Buffy (said full of teenage female attitude): 'Okay, I get it - you're EVIL!'
Make fun of me if you will. My motto is now: WWBD? (What would Buffy do?)

After writing that, I heard the phrase a week or two later as I edged my way into Season 2. Huh. I think they tried to use it as a marketing slogan that didn't really take off. Well, I'm still a big Buffy fanboy. Mostly for the characters and dialogue, but I still crank the theme music when I watch an episode.

Oh, how marvelous it was for Buffy to be a new experience, fresh and unknown. As a TRUE fan of all things horror, I avoided what I was sure must be a trite, niche-targeted, empty TV show. Boy, did have no clue! I don't need to talk about how COMPLETELY wrong I was in my ignorant assumptions.

This post also reveals one of my dark secrets: I love the Power Rangers. Well, the original show that is. I've tried to watch several of the modern incarnations, but none of them have the appeal and character as the original cast, crew, and what served for storylines. And yes, this is coming from the same person who avoided Buffy for so long because I doubted that it had 'soul' or value. Hey, at least I'm willing to admit my quirks.

Buffy may be the loftier, more 'literary' of the two programs, but the original Power Rangers still gets the award for having the best theme music EVER.

You doubt my word?

Mission Statement

All this time, I've been thinking, 'why do I need a blog? what am I going to write there?' Then I looked around at all of my notes and half-written essays and rants... So maybe this is as good a place as any to store and record those things. I'll be posting some old stuff and of course focusing on new thoughts...or what passes for thoughts... in my head. Wow, a forum of my own. Neat.