Feb 29, 2008

Happy Leap Year

As if you didn't already know, today is Leap Year so we get 366 days in 2008 instead of the usual 365.
You might also celebrate Sadie Hawkins Day today as well..... although some people would rather you didn't.
(for a list of other Feb. 29 traditions, click here)

Hotness started out this day by running over a baby bunny with her truck on the way to work.
(It was not intentional and she's very upset about it. It darted out across the road and then reversed direction thus getting squashed by her tire.)
But I have to wonder... what kind of an omen is it when you hit a bunny (or a frog, I guess) on "Leap" Year?

How To (Almost) Get FREE Money

The other day, I got an email from my buddy Technogreek who told me he got me something cool on his recent trip to WonderCon and I only needed to bring $20 bill to pay him back.
Sweet! Cool new comic-related stuff! I wonder what it could be?

So after work, I stopped by the bank to check my account and pick up the cash.
Standing at the ATM I thought, "Hmm... I don't want to get a wrinkly bill from the machine. I think I'll see if I can get a nice, 'crisp' one from the teller".

I walked over to the counter, and asked one of the tellers if they might have a nice, crisp $20 bill that didn't have any wrinkles or folds.
They were very happy to oblige, as they opened the drawer, pulled one out and handed it right over to me.
"Here you go", they said, "will that work for you?"
"Why yes it will indeed", I replied.
Then an awkward pause...
"Um.. do you want my account number so you can take it out of my account?", I asked.
"Oh. Yeah. I guess I should do that", he said, "...or you could just get twenty from the ATM and we can swap bills for you".

That sounded plausible, so I went to do that.
I took about two steps and then turned back around towards the teller.
"Would you like to hold this bill so I don't try to walk out of the bank with it?" I asked.
"Uh yeah, that would probably be a good idea", he answered.

I got my money out of the ATM, switched it with a nice new bill, and went on my merry way.

So you see kids, you don't have to have a gun and a stick-up note to get money from the bank apparently. You just need to be polite.
Of course it probably helped that I was wearing a tie and nice clothes that particular day, instead looking like my usual sloppy self.

Oh! And what exactly did I get from Technogreek?
I haven't found out yet. He didn't make it to the comic store to drop it off that night.
I'll find out on Sunday and let you know.

Feb 26, 2008

True Story pt. 2

A few years ago, a buddy and me were going to go see Van Halen in concert.
I saw a wheelchair on the side of the road that somebody was either getting rid of with the garbage or had been abandoned.
I was going to take it home with me so that one of us could sit in it and we could both get better seats at the concert closer to the front. Hotness was with me and wouldn't stop the car so I could pick it up.

When my friend found out what I had planned, he offered to go get it himself so we could still use it.
But it was gone by then.

*sigh*

True Story

This happened to me once. I kid you not.

I won't do it again.

Feb 24, 2008

Ocsar Party (a.k.a Weekend Of "Love")

I can't say I had a whirlwind of events this weekend, but what I did do kept me plenty busy and entertained.


After saving the earth yesterday from the Lovecraftian horrors that were about to descend on us, I took a break and re-grouped myself to attend an Oscar Party at the Love Shack.

A very good friend and fellow tequila lover, John Love, hosts an evening at his house with food, drinks, contests and plenty of TV and chairs to watch the Academy Awards.

This is the ninth annual party he's hosted. I wasn't able to make last year's party due to the flu, so I was really looking forward to being there this year and seeing friends I hadn't seen in quite a while.

We got there about 5:00ish and caught up with people as we made our way outside to find a chair to sit and watch the awards being presented.

Shortly after the show started , John broke out a bottle of Gran Centenario and poured shots for everyone. Mmmm-mmmm! A mighty fine tequila!

Hotness and I stayed and chatted with some folks, discussing movies and making fun of the outfits for a few hours until we noticed it was getting late and we needed to head back home.

So now we're back.
The weekend is just about over and the start of another work-week is about to begin.
I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. The weather was nice here (although I didn't actually spend much time outside taking advantage of it).
You can tell that spring is on the way soon.

In other news, just 8 weeks until I'm off to Canada for the Calgary Expo.
I'm really getting excited. They have a very impressive list of guests this year from a variety of entertainment sources and I'm honored to be one of the chosen few who will be flying up there to help as a volunteer at the show.

Then, just a couple of weeks after I get back, the Emerald City Comic Convention will be taking place. I'll be volunteering at that one as well, doing my usual thing of keeping the guests happy.

As an added bonus this year for ECCC, Dr. Zoltar & myself will be posting a pre-con report Friday night before the show on the Comic Stop Blog.
If you're planning to attend the ECCC this year, you might want to check out our report.
We'll try to let you know of any insider-scoop we have.
(Last year, I hooked-up some folks looking to get sketches. They were going to stand in line and wait, but the only way certain guests were offering sketches was by a donation to the CBLDF or H.E.R.O. Initiative.)




Until next time..... be good!

Feb 23, 2008

Arkham Horror

I spent the better of today down in the South End playing Arkham Horror with Dr. Zoltar and some other friends.

I'd never played the game before, so the rules were very confusing and convoluted to me the first time around, but it was very enjoyable and I think I'd have even more fun playing it again. (Now that I actually made it through the game once)

It's kind of a mix of different game styles.
You run around the board collecting game pieces (objects, weapons, clues, etc....), fighting off monsters, jumping through 'interdimensional gateways' and coming back out (hopefully alive) to seal them off before one of the mega-bosses of the game comes to life and wipes up the floor with you.
I liked that you weren't in competition against other players. Everyone works together to finish the game. Some are better at fighting the monsters, while others are better at going through the gateways and closing them off.
Plus you can hand helpful objects to the other players as you pass them on the board. So if you've got somebody who isn't a good fighter but they're walking around carrying a shotgun, they can pass it to another character who is a good fighter and give it to them to use. And vice-versa, maybe your fighter found a 'spell' but can't cast it. They can pass it off to a gate-closer who will put it to good use.

It's probably not a game I'll be buying though.
It's really fun to play with several people, but where I live it'd be hard to get that many people together to play.
Plus, I know Hotness wouldn't really be into it.

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In other news... what a great day here in the Northwest!
Although I spent a lot of it in doors, the brief period I was out in it was beautiful.
Hotness actually washed her truck today. (Now if I could just get her to wash mine....)

The Sixth Beatle?

I think this little tyke knows more of the words than I do to the song!

Feb 22, 2008

Sushi Shuffle

I'm still loving my new(ish) cell phone.
By now of course, it's already out-dated but it still does everything I wanted it for.
Plus you can even call other people on it! Go figure. The wonders of modern technology.

Every now and then I download a new game on it, to the point that I'm practically a walking arcade now.
It comes in handy when I just want to kill some time and don't have a comic book to read (or I just finished reading all of them).

Hotness can do the same, but has never had an interest in using her phone for games.
Eh, whatever! She's a girl and girls have cooties. (Just kidding sweety! I love ya! *smooch!*)

Anyway, my point is that I just got another game the other day that I'm really addicted to.
It's called Sushi Shuffle.
It's kind of a cross between Tetris and those slide puzzles you can get from the party store.
And what could be better than combining two of my favrorite things... food & games?

So if you see me hunched over in a corner on the couch, I'm probably just trying to match up pieces of sushi so I can feed the hungry penguins. Or getting Frogger back home safely. Or having a championship pillow fight match with hot co-eds. Or.....

Feb 21, 2008

New Writing Gig

As someone who really likes comic books as much as I do, I sure don't talk about 'em much on this here blog.

All that is about to change!
I have recently been invited to be a regular poster for the Comic Stop Blog, the official blog of my favorite comic book store.

I'll be posting my thoughts about past, upcoming and current issues, convention reviews and anything else comic book-related that comes my way.
I'll still do some of that on here, but this blog is my personal one so it'll pertain mostly to my experiences.
The other blog will be for getting the word out about books or what's happening at conventions and the shop.

I look forward to doing both and I hope you'll check out the Comic Stop Blog from time to time.
There will be other contributor's on there as well, so there'll always be new stuff to read.

-----------

P.S.: I just added a link over to your right under the The Comic Stop.
Oddly enough, it's called The Comic Stop Blog.
So don't confuse them. Okay?

Feb 20, 2008

More "Gun" Humor

(click for radical, gone postal sized humor)

Feb 18, 2008

I Gotta Get One Of These!

Who needs to worry about a zombie apocalypse when you got one of these bad boys?

video

This (while unfortunately not real) would be kick-ass!

I got this from the Brotron website, where they have lots of cool pictures of other things robotic.

Feb 16, 2008

Chillin' With Friends

Spent the day in Seattle with Liz, G-Rod and new friend Kristi visiting the Frye Art Museum for the Robert Crumb exhibit they were having.

Crumb is best known for his work in the underground comics scene of the 60's and 70's. He created a lot of different pieces with memorable characters, most notably Fritz The Cat and Mr. Natural, among others.
There was even a movie about his life, although I haven't yet seen it so I don't know much about it.

It was a very interesting body of work that was on display. There were pieces he'd drawn in his early childhood, sketchbook pages, original comic art from the 60's (during his LSD days) on through his current pieces he's done for the cover of New Yorker Magazine.
Unfortunately we couldn't take any pictures so I don't have any to post here for you, but if you're in Seattle and have a chance to see the exhibit, I recommend it.
(Hotness wasn't able to join us today, but the exhibit runs until April 27th so hopefully we can get back to it before then)

After that, we went down to the waterfront and had lunch at Anthony's and then walked through the Olympic Sculpture Park.




The morning didn't start out looking very nice, but by the time we were through with lunch and were looking at the artwork, the sun had poked through the clouds to say "hi" briefly.


We had met at a Park & Ride to carpool into the city, so we headed back to drop off Liz 'cause she had a hot date later in the day. (Ooooooh!)

G, K, and myself drove back north and ended up doing some shopping.
Well... okay, actually I did all the shopping. They just humored me by being good sports and joining me. Thanks you two!
I picked up a couple pairs of jeans, new dress shirts, a couple of ties and some new shoes.
I've been updating my wardrobe and with my New Year's resolution to wear a tie at least once a week, I've had to get shirts and ties so that I'm not cycling through the same 4 I've have for the last few years.

With the shopping finished, I dropped the two of them off and headed home where Hotness and I shared dinner I'd picked up on the way.

A long, but very fun day!

P.S. More random graffiti found in Seattle:

Feb 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

No really, I meant it.

I'm not a total ogre afterall.
I think my real problem with Valentine's Day (and most holidays in general) is that it has gotten over-commercialized. Every holiday has become an excuse to buy BUY BUY!

As a nation we're enough in debt without having to make it worse, but retailers try to convince us that if we don't spend money on our loved ones then we must not love them enough.
In fact I heard on the radio this morning that the average amount of money spent on a loved one on Valentine's Day is about $100 per person. A hundred bucks!
It used to be that the simple things in life are free, but not anymore I guess.

Below is a poem that was written by my friend Vicky.
It kind of touches on the theme that love is no longer something magical, but rather just a way of bettering yourself in this world.

My Question - by Victoria Rego
The materialistic idiocy of a narcissistic world
Developed by the destruction of
The common courtesies once plagued by humanity.
Simple gestures of kindness, once upon a time
Meant more than the naivety of a pure soul,
Destroyed by the continuous reminder
That love is no longer an emotion,
Rather a positive chemical reaction
To the pheromones of two beings; at best
Similar to the adverse reaction of one eating chocolate.

How simply complex has our world become
When marriage is no longer a symbol of love
And commitment but rather a financial constitution
Benefiting one or both parties? When companionship
Means be there in bed but no other part of my life,
Have we improved upon the status of relationships
Or destroyed the basic values of civilization.

Basic emotional needs of man/woman/humanity,
No longer take precedence over the desire
To be better than any one else.

How is it that a person pure in heart can be condemned
For wanting to forgive past pains—for believing
In the concept of true love? Is it so wrong to believe?
In this world yes, it is. In this world, the only true belief
Is in the value of money not people.
This is what we teach our children: that the value
Of a person is in the physical appearance
And financial standing of their being
Rather than the spiritual, emotional
Or moral aspects of who they are.

This has become the philosophy of today’s youth.
Thoughts devoured by endless counts of prejudice
Brought on by so-called do-gooders that have forgotten
The basic values of their spiritual beliefs.
That we, as human beings, purpose for being
Is not to destroy but to renew—to develop
The ideas of the past into something grander than before.

Can good truly be born from evil?
In the mass of destruction that we call life,
Is it possible to maintain the purity of open love?


Posted with permission by the author
(You can check out more of her poetry HERE. It's really good stuf!)

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I really hope you have a good Valentine's Day, whether you're single or in a relationship.
And I hope that somebody does something to make your day special, without making it seem contrived.

Feb 13, 2008

Pre V-Day Rant

I'm not particularly a fan of Valentine's Day.
It's okay as holidays go, but I think retailers go out of their way to make guys feel inadequate.

"Guys, doesn't your special woman deserve a diamond for Valentine's. Of course she does! And for only the price of 3-months pay, you can prove to her how much you love her."
Yeah, I mean who needs to eat or pay bills for three months anyway?

"Men, if nothing else in your miserable lives, at least on this one day show her you love her by spending wads of cash on her and let her know you care about her. Then you can go back to being a selfish pig the rest of the year"
But what if I'm not a pig and I already show her I care throughout the year?

On the radio the other day I actually heard an ad for how to let your "special someone" know you really love them... by buying them a hot tub for Valentine's.
A hot tub? Really? Are you kidding me?!?

I'm all for letting Hotness know I love her and giving her a card on Valentine's, but I hate being lumped into the 'stupid man' group by the media just because I have XY chromosomes.
The rest of the year, I cook her dinner on a regular basis, I bring flowers home for her on occasion to surprise her, I stick cards in her lunch bag so she finds them at work, I warm the bed up for her before she gets in it, and a ton of other little things.
So really, on Valentine's Day what more can I do other than go broke by spending money I don't have? Besides, I thought money doesn't buy you love.
(I heard you can rent it, though! wacka-wacka!)

If you are truly a selfish prick of a man, then by all means at least on Valentine's Day try to show her you love her by doing something special.
But this media/retail harassment against guys has gotten out of control.

Not to mention that if you're a single person on this day, you're made out to be some kind of freak. And this happens to both guys and gals.
'Cause nothing makes you feel more appreciated than being ostracized by society because you don't have a date on Valentine's.
"Oooh honey, don't get near the single person. You might catch something."


It should be a special day, but I don't think we should be told how to make it special.

----

On the flip side, I don't hate the holiday THIS much!

Feb 12, 2008

So Much For Working At NASA

I failed horribly at the Moon Survival Challenge.

28%



I did much better at surviving a zombie apocolypse, though.

Feb 11, 2008

Blue Tarp Camper

I'm not advocating Pemco Insurance (and I'm not knocking it, either) but this commercial of theirs pretty much looks like most of our camping trips last summer.


*sniff!* Ah, the moist Washington air!

Doing Okay

This past Friday (02/08/08) Hotness had some surgery.
Everything's okay and she's doing a lot better now that the anethesia has worn off, but she's still hobbling around the house until she's all healed and back to normal.
(Well, as normal as she's going to get anyway)

So, I had sort of a 'snow day' on Friday because of the surgery.
I had to come in late to work, 'cause I had to drop her off. Then they called me to let me know I could come and get her, so I left a little after noon.
Since she needed constant attention, I took the remainder of the day off.
I think I was at work a total of 2-1/2 hours. I might as well have just taken the whole day off, but we weren't sure how long the surgery would take.

-------

On Saturday (02/09/08), we celebrated our 'anniversary'.
Though we aren't married, we have been together now for just over 10 years.
Fed 9th is the date we went out together and discovered that we had a lot in common.

We really didn't do anything that day, as she was still getting over the surgery. But we got to spend the day together in our PJ's, so it was nice and relaxing.

-------

On Sunday (02/10/08), she was doing much better so we went to the gym that morning.
She got on the treadmill and just walked slowly for about 15 minutes while I did other stuff.
Later that day, we went to some friends' house for Indian food (YUM!) and just had a nice evening with everyone.

Hope the weekend was sufficiently exciting (or not) for all of you.

Feb 7, 2008

Ultimate Warrior

Back in the day (oh... about 20 years ago or so) I used to watch wrasslin' on Saturday nights, just like every pre-pubescent kid my age. I even watched it with my grandmother. She loved it!

I had my favorites, like Hulk Hogan, George "The Animal" Steele, Junkyard Dog, etc....
But there was one who stood out from all the others.
He wasn't one of my favorites but I always enjoyed when he was on the bill for the evening 'cause he made it intersting to watch....
The Ultimate Warrior.

This guy was off the hook!
Here's a little video about some of the interviews he used to give:


My favorite line in all that is;
"The family that I live for only breathes the air that smells of combat!"

Uh... what?
Yeah whatever.

Anyway, I was reminded of him today thanks to Chris Sims and I watched some old videos on YouTube with the Warrior and remembered my formative years as a youngster watching him on TV.

VRBT200


I got this little puppy the other day to use instead of the Bluetooth earpiece I got with my phone.

The earpiece kind of hurts my ear after a while, and I really only use it in the car.
Except for when I need to wear it at the upcoming Comic Book conventions so people can get hold of me. I never hear my phone, so they send somebody to find me all the time. (You won't have to do that THIS year, guys!)

Here's a review on it in case you're interested in it.
The review is pretty spot-on with my feelings about it.
I like it.
I don’t have to wear it on my ear.
It’s pretty clear, so you can have a conversation on it with other people in the car.

My one drawback is that sometimes it doesn’t pick up voice commands when I’m trying to dial a number, but that might be more of a limitation of my phone rather than this thing. (Even my Bluetooth earpiece gets the voice commands wrong, so it’s probably my phone)
But I haven't had a problem when talking to people while using it.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a hands-free device to use in the car, but don’t want to wear an earpiece, this is pretty nifty.
Target has them for about $50 - $60, but I got mine at Costco for a lot less!

Winter Precautions

Well, I know we're about halfway through winter, but with the mountain passes getting closed on a constant basis lately and my own recent snow-related incident, I thought it might be a good idea remind you all to be prepared.

There's a great winter driving emergency car kit you can put together located on the WA State Dept. of Transportation site.

In hindsight, I wish I'd had some sand or kitty litter the day I slid of the road.
I had everything else, fortunately.

Feb 6, 2008

More Snow Camping Pix

Here are a few more pictures from our snow camping adventure the other weekend.

It was really good timing when we went, since the passes have been plagued with avalanches and road closures since then.
It wasn't our fault... honestly!

Enjoy the pictures, and thanks to Shane for taking them:



Feb 3, 2008

Romeo et Juliette

On Groundhog's Day, Hotness and I attended the ballet in Seattle.


The sets were stipped-down in favor of showcasing the dancers' talents, rather than relying on the visual spectacle of a heavily decorated stage.
It was very impressive, but I had a hard time accepting it as a new interpretation of the classic I was used to seeing.
Don't get me wrong! It was still a stellar perfomance by the dancers, but I saw it less as "Romeo & Juliette" and viewed it more as a new piece entirely. Also, the music was different than the previous versions I've heard before.
I'm most familiar with Tchaikovsky when I think of the music, but this one was set to Prokofiev.

In fact, had it not been called Romeo & Juliette, I probably would have enjoyed it more thinking it was something new. It was just hard for me to process what I was seeing now compared to what I have seen traditionally on stage.

Afterwards, we headed over to Pomodoro for a late dinner before going back home.
video
This time we skipped appetizers in favor of a main dish. Hotness had veal scallopini and I had chicken in a gorganzola and pistachio creme sauce with apricots.

By the time we got back to the house, it was well after 1:00 a.m. and it was all we could do to get into bed before falling over onto the floor.
We're just not night owls like we used to be.

Feb 1, 2008

Random Crap - 02/01/08 Edition

'Cause I thought it was funny, here's a baby scared by his dad's flatulence:

Baby Scared of Fart


And for you bacon lovers out there;

Bacon Earrings!


Bacon Panties!



Bacon Vodka!


.... Uh wait. "bacon vodka"?!?