Mar 28, 2010

Sweating To The Surreal

In lieu of actual content, I ran across this video and wanted to post it for your consideration:

Please feel free to leave your "WTF?!?" comments after viewing.
I'm still scratching my head about this one as well.

Mar 20, 2010

Welcome Spring

Not that this past Winter was as rough as the previous 2 or 3 years, but at last it's over with and Spring has arrived.

Let's see I think the poem goes likes this:
"Spring has sprung, the grass has rizz,
I wonder where da flowers is?"

Anyway, I thought we should send Winter off and welcome Spring with a nice, mellow song by Louis Armstrong as he performs "What A Wonderful World"..... the Death Metal version.

Mar 19, 2010

(Not) Bathroom Humor

Over the course of the past weekend, I got to visit a bunch of different public restrooms.
Mostly at hotels, but also at the airport and a couple of restaurants.
Although they were different places and each one had a different "atmosphere" to it, one thing was common among all of them:
People who didn't flush after they were finished.

It's not just this past weekend either.
I'm seeing it happen practically everywhere I go to.... well, er... "go".

What is the frickin' deal with this?!?
Are people so proud of their 'work' that they feel compelled to share it with others?
Or have people just grown so lazy that something as simple, and DECENT, as flushing a toilet has become too much work for them?

Technology has advanced at an alarming rate in recent years; phones that fit in our pockets, televisions that are almost as thin as a deck of cards, and whole libraries of music that can be carried with you on a stick about the size of a piece of chewing gum just to name a few.
Some of it has been great and a real boon to modern society, while others have only made bad things happen faster and easier for people.
One thing that technology has brought us is the self-flushing toilet.

If people are so proud of their "performance art" that they wish to share it with the world, I think they should take a picture (after all, it lasts longer) and start their own "Poop Blog" so they can share it with the world.
Or if people have become so lazy that the simple act of pushing a button has become hard work, well now they have an even better excuse to not put out the effort.

With the economy in the "crapper", so to speak, I believe it would be in our best interests if the government were to fund installing these self-flushing toilets across America.
It would provide local jobs for people, thereby generating revenue, and make things a much more pleasant experience for people just trying to relieve themselves.

I hate using public restrooms as it is, but when you have the added 'bonus' of witnessing someone else's lunch from the day before, it makes me want to just set the place on fire to cleanse it.

Anyway, that's my 2-cent rant for the day.
You can go back to doing what you were doing before.
I'll be in the bathroom. Reading.

Mar 16, 2010

Emerald City Comic Con - 2010

Another year, another comic convention here in the great metropolis of Seattle.
This show was the biggest ever, in terms of not only the guest list but also the sheer number of people who attended it.

There is just w-a-y to much to cover in this post, so I will simply touch on a few of the high-points of my weekend.

Friday morning started early... like 3:50 a.m. early!.... as I woke up 'cause I couldn't sleep anymore. I had to be up to catch a ride to Seattle so I could check into the hotel, then it was off to the airport to greet guests as they arrived.
I was at the airport with the Maimed Man from around 9:00 a.m. until 6:45 p.m.
We worked in tandem: he kept an eye on the flights and which baggage claim to meet them at, while I coordinated with the drivers outside and gave the guests their show packets. It was a great system and went very smoothly with both of us there.
We met a lot of the guests, including (but certainly not limited to) Erin Gray, Lou Ferrigno, and Leonard "Spock" Nimoy!
I also got to meet Terry Moore & his wife Robyn as they arrived. They remembered me and gave me hugs to say "hello".
It was a long day and very tiring, but after leaving to come back to the hotel we then went out to dinner with a bunch of the other ECCC volunteers.

Saturday morning, I got up early again and started taking my stuff over to the convention center so I didn't have to lug it there at the last minute.
It was about 6:30 a.m. when I walked up to registration and there was already a line of people waiting to get in. (The show didn't open until 10:00 and they still had 3-1/2 hours to go)
Then I got some breakfast at the Dragonfish with C. Burnham before going back to the convention center for the day.
People were still setting up their booths right until the time the doors were opened for the attendees.
I made my way around the show floor getting reacquainted with old friends and meeting a few new ones.
Then 10:00 rolled around and the people started pouring in.... literally!
Here's a pic of the crowd right before the doors opened:

And here's what it looked like on the inside just a few seconds after they opened:

There were three main places that people were making a beeline towards.
One was to get in line to meet Stan Lee.
Another to meet Leonard Nimoy.
And the third was at the opposite end of the building to meet Geoff Johns.
Those three areas quickly became a mass of bodies and chaos.
It took some wrangling, but eventually we got volunteers to manage those areas as best as possible.
As for the show floor, it was PACKED!
So much so that I had a difficult time getting around from place to place.

Still, I managed to weave through the crowd and make my way to the guests and bring them stuff they were asking for.
I ended up at the end of the day with blisters on two of my left toes and I was sore all over just maneuvering through the crowd and being on my feet all day.

Originally there was to be a "meet-and-greet" with Stan Lee right before the show opened for a few of us volunteers, but Stan got the the show floor too late for it to happen and then his line was overwhelming. I asked a couple of the promoters if there was even a chance of getting to see him, but it looked doubtful. So I gave up on my dream of getting to have my picture taken with him.*

I was busy the entire 8 hours of the show (not to mention being there a few hours early), but finally it was 6:00 and everybody was shooshed out for the evening.
A bunch of volunteers met up for dinner, but I went out with a friend and we met up with some of the comic writers from the show.
Along the way, I ran into Filip Sablik (the publisher at Top Cow) and Steve Rolston among others.
I was having a good time, but the evening began to catch up to me and I began to fade. So I bid them all a good night and headed back to my hotel room to try and sleep.

Sunday morning came and I got up later than I expected.
In fact, I had just enough time to take a quick shower before getting to the convention center and had to skip breakfast.

On my way, I was carrying an ice cooler on one shoulder and talking to my mom (who came for the show) with my other hand. The guy in front of me was nice enough to open the door and hold it for me so I could get in. It turned out to be none other than Joe Quesada! The Editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics!

I showed my mom and her husband around for a bit, and then I had to get busy as the doors were about to open again for the second day of the show.

Day two is always (THANKFULLY!!!) a bit slower, and I managed to meet a few new people and find out more about the books or art they were selling. I also was able to get a couple of sketches I'd been hoping to get this year and I picked up some new books to read.

The day went a lot easier with fewer attendees on the show floor, but my blisters from the day before began giving me trouble. I wrapped up each toe with a band-aid and continued to power on for the day.

As it drew closer to the end of the day, the crowds started to die down and people started to get their stuff ready to pack up.
Over the intercom speakers, they announced that this year's show was the biggest ever with over 14,000 people having attended it! (Although, I heard a little later that the number might have even been larger... so once I get the final total I'll let you all know)

The post-show dinner party took place across the street about an hour and a half later.
Hotness & I showed up a few minutes apart but mingled for a bit and then ended up sitting at different tables.
Since she works with the media guests, she tends to hang out with a lot of the volunteers from that group.
I am usually working with the comic book professionals, so I always end-up sitting with them at dinner and catching up.

After a couple of hours, they kicked us out of the resteraunt and sent us downstairs to hang out in the bar. Aaron Douglas (who was a guest at this and last year's shows) showed up and goofed off for a bit with all of us.
Then we headed out to another resteraunt for a few drinks and nibbles before settling down for the night.

We stayed at the hotel an extra night, so it was nice not having to rush home after staying out late the night before.

I got up Monday morning and had breakfast, then after Hotness woke up I took her to get something to eat.

There were a few guests in the hotel lobby when we got back and I got to speak with them and introduce them to Hotness.
Among them: Tim Bradstreet and Mark Texeira, both of whom Hotness has always enjoyed art they have done.

We finally headed back up to the room and packed up our stuff and made the drive back home.
It was a long, but very fun and eventful, weekend.
Much more so than last year's. (I was fighting off a cold last year, and by the end of the show I had no voice left and could barely walk anymore)

I'm resting up and looking forward to my trip to Calgary in a little over a month.
Lots of cool stuff happening then and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

* Oh yeah.
I had given up on ever meeting Stan Lee, when at about 3:30 in the afternoon on Saturday I got a text message that said: "Hustle your butt down to the photo booth right away!"
I got there and found out that I was going to get the chance to have my picture taken with Stan after all!
Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to him for very long, but I did get to shake his hand and tell him what an honor it was to meet a legend like himself. Then 3 seconds later, our picture was taken and I was out of there and back on the floor helping guests.
The photo printer broke down during the show and I was not able to get my picture before the convention ended. Luckily I know the photographer and will be getting it in the mail soon, though.

Mar 2, 2010

So.... About That Wedding

I figured out a way to get online at the house. Not sure how or why exactly, but why look a gift horse in the mouth. I'll make use of it while I can.

Back to our previous topic: The wedding.

Hotness and I had planned on having a "Vegas Wedding". We didn't want to deal with finding a place out here and getting all that kind of planning together. Besides, something non-traditional seemed like "us".
However, the best laid plans never work out the way you want them to, so we ended up having to compromise.
Without a steady job to pay for tickets to Vegas (and not wanting to dip into what money I do have), Hotness thought we should have the wedding here at home.

She asked a friend of hers if they would mind letting us use their house for the ceremony and reception. They live quite a ways out in Preston, WA in a H-U-G-E house with tall windows that look out into the woods. (See picture below)
The living room was just the right size for a small group of friends and family to sit comfortably and share our day.

The minister she wanted to have was a friend's dad, and she called to see if there was any way he could make it up here to marry us. He currently lives in California, but has known Hotness since grade school and said "I'll be there. I wouldn't miss it

Hotness's brother had recently returned home from a several-months-long European trip (after having flown back-and-forth from Hawaii to Montana during their mom's illness), so he really wasn't in a financial position to come back out on ANOTHER flight right away.
Then, a few days before the wedding, he & I talked for a bit and then he said, "It's my sister's wedding. How many times am I going to get to see that? I'll be out there for it!"
We decided to keep it a secret from Hotness until the day of the wedding.
He took care of the flight and I just needed to figure out a ride from the airport and a place to stay for the night once he got in.
My friend Imperfect had recently come home from a family vacation in Florida, and had the house to himself while his wife and kids were still away. He said he wouldn't mind picking up her brother and letting him stay at the house since it was pretty much empty at the time.
So now we had that taken care of.

On the day of the wedding, Hotness got up and left to get her hair and makeup done while I got my suit and stuff together.
I headed over to Imperfect's place to check on Hotness's brother and go over a few last minute things with Imperfect.
Hotness called while I was there to say that she was already done and headed to the house where the wedding would take place.
This was much earlier than I planned on, so her brother and I left right away to get there before she did.
She beat us there by only a couple of minutes, and was out near the road tying balloons to the mailbox so people could find us.
As we got closer, her brother ducked down in the car so she wouldn't see him and then jumped out (after I slowed down, of course) to surprise her.
There were lots of squeals, smiles and hugs as told her "SURPRISE!"

After that, I went inside to get some of the food ready for the reception.
There wasn't much to do, but it was still too early to get dressed in my suit so it filled my time as people started showing up.

An hour before the wedding was to start, the minister took us aside to go over the vows and what was to take place.
Then 15 minutes before the wedding I went to get changed.
At 2:00 p.m. everybody was sat down in their seat, the music started and the wedding began.

It couldn't have turned into a more perfect day.
The sun was shining and it was coming into the house through the big windows we stood in front of.
Hotness's brother walked her down the aisle.
My mom and her husband came out and she made our wedding cake for us.

After a brief ceremony, we exchanged vows and the minister then pronounced us "Husband & Wife".
We walked down the aisle together as "You're My Best Friend" by QUEEN played on.

Everybody soon joined us in the next room where we thanked them all for coming and to please enjoy themselves to food.

We took a few pictures and then it was time to cut the cake.
I'm not a fan of "smooshing" the cake at weddings. The bride spends all day getting ready and trying to look nice for the biggest of "big days" and then you go and stuff cake in her face? I think not.
Instead, we took small forkfuls and ate them without a lot of fuss.

After that, we mingled a bit to make sure everybody had been introduced to everyone else.
Then it was time for us to sign the wedding certificate.

We mingled and talked for a while longer, then as it started getting late and everyone was heading home, Hotness, myself and a few others went to get dinner together.

So that's the gyst of it.
Here are a few pictures of the day:
I decorated the entry way with pictures of us at various stages of our lives. To the left were pictures of Hotness as a baby, child, teenager and an adult. To the right were pictures of me as well.
In the middle were pictures of us through the years that we've been together.

The big windows as the sun shined in during the vows, and our first kiss to "seal the deal" as a wedded couple.

The cake my mom made, as well as some of the food that was served.
My mom and I both made all the food for the reception.

Preparing to cut the cake. Notice Hotness's look of eagerness. (Should I be worried?)
Then our first bites together.

Signing the marriage certificate
A view of the back of Hotness's wedding dress.
Myself, Hotness, G-rod and Liz.
My new brother-in-law, Hotness, and myself
The newly wedded couple!

Post-wedding, Hotness is trying to earn back some cash to help pay for the wedding.

Since we weren't able to have all the people we wanted at our wedding, our plan is to have a B-I-G reception at a later date (hopefully this spring or summer) and invite everyone to it.
We really wanted to share our day with all our friends and family and by having another reception later we can include them all.

While our internet is working I'll try to post some more recent things, but we'll see how things go.
Thanks for your patience.

Feb 15, 2010

"We're Experiencing Techincal Difficulties"

Yes, Hotness and I are officially married now.
I've been trying to post about it, but our satellite internet connection at the house has gone out and we don't know when it's going to be repaired. We are scheduling a technician to come out soon, but until they get there we do not have access to the interwebs.

As a result, there is no "wedding update with pictures" to post.
I'm using a friend's computer right now, just so ya'll wouldn't think I'd forgotten about you.

I promise to post as soon as I can and give the rundown on everything, but until then this "mini-post" will have to suffice.

Sorry for the delay. I'll try to get back soon.

Jan 31, 2010

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something "Blu"

With the wedding coming up shortly, things are beginning to take shape.
I made Hotness's bridal bouquet and I'm taking care of the music.
I also need to get some appetizers whipped up (I have the stuff for one, but still trying to decide on what the other will be), and I'm working on the decorations... although we aren't going crazy with that. Just something to make the place look more "wedding-like".

I have my suit all ready and Hotness picked up her dress last weekend, so those are out of the way.

This is our last weekend to "take it easy", as next weekend will begin the final hours to the event.
Friday night we have a wedding shower to go to. Saturday night is the ballet. Sunday I will be getting the chairs and dropping off the decorations. Monday I'll be getting the appetizers made and setting up the chairs and decorations I dropped off earlier. Tuesday will be... let's see... um....
Oh yeah! The actual wedding.

As the day approaches, we have been asked by different people, "What would we like to have as a wedding gift?"
Hotness and I have different opinions about this.
I feel that we really don't need anything, as we've been together for so long and already have the things we need. Plus, with the economy the way it is, I don't want people to feel they HAVE to spend money on us.
Hotness feels that if people would like to get presents, we should let them. Some people really want to express their happiness for us by getting us a gift, so we shouldn't stop them and make them feel unappreciated.
So we're basically leaving it up to the individual as to whether they want to buy a gift, but it's certainly not necessary.

Now, having said that, we received our first wedding gift in the mail on Friday.
It was from my good friend Imperfect and his wife.
They got us a Blu-ray disc player!

I've been on the fence about getting one.
I was perfectly happy with the DVD player we currently had and didn't see the need for spending more money to upgrade just yet. But on the other hand, I did have a nice, new HDTV that wasn't living up to it's full potential and with Blu-ray discs being released at lower prices than standard DVDs, it was beginning to sway me over.

I would've been happy to wait until our wedding day to open their present, but due to some packaging SNAFUs, we decided to open it early.
We opened the box and... TAA-DAA!!! A beautiful, Panasonic DMP-BD60 Blu-ray player was inside!
So yesterday, I made a trip down south to Fry's to pick up the HDMI cable (and a Blu-ray disc, 'cause... Heck! Why not?) as well as some LAN cable to connect it to the interwebs.

I got back home and proceeded to hook it all up.
There was an update for the firmware, so I took care of that right away and then afterwards I went about setting up the adjustments (i.e. video output, audio, brightness, on screen language, etc...).

Unfortunately, my surround sound DVD player did not have an HDMI input.
That would have been the best option. So instead, I had to use regular co-axial plugs.
But to be totally honest, I can't see that it makes a bunch of difference to my ears. My "home theater" isn't that big and my ears aren't that discerning when it comes to sound. So I'm happy it works.
I did have HDMI inputs on the TV, so I plugged the Blu-ray player directly into it.

Then I went and tried out a few standard DVDs to see if the picture quality was any better.
I noticed it was a bit sharper, but almost a bit "over compensating", so I'll have to tweak the settings a bit more (or just use the regular DVD player).

Then I put in the new disc I bought. I got "The Blue Man Group: How To Be A Megastar Live!"
This had special significance on a couple of levels.
First: Being our first "Blu-ray" disc, why not get the "Blue Man Group"?
And Second: This was the same concert tour I went to see with Imperfect a few years back, and since he got us the player it seemed appropriate.
This was by far a H-U-G-E difference in visual quality. I really didn't expect it to be, but I was amazed. Even Hotness said "Wow, that's really clear and what an amazing picture!".
So I'm totally glad to have it have it and especially happy that they got us such a nice gift.
Thank you both again!

In other news....
Nothing new to report in the job-search, although I hope to have something exciting to say in the not-to-distant future.

The Emerald City Comic Con is only a few weeks away. I'm excited and nervous at the same time for it to happen. There are so many cool new guests (Stan Lee, Leonard Nimoy) and awesome returning guests (Terry Moore, Whilce Portacio). It's also expected to be the BIGGEST show yet, which means there's going to be a LOT of hard work to do while it's happening.
Last year was a tough one, so hopefully this year we'll be better prepared. Hotness and I are sharing a hotel room for three nights (instead of two, like in previous years), so that'll help in not having to travel back right away after the second day of the show. We can relax one evening and take our time leaving on Monday.

Babysitting is still happening quite a bit and despite catching the occasional "bug" from the kids, has been a lot of fun. Being "Uncle Ferretnick" is a blast.

Well, that catches us up again for now.
I apologize for the sparse postings, but until something happens that's worth "blogging" about, I tend to just let things slide on here.
With the wedding and conventions coming up I should have more to talk about.

Ya'll be good now!