Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best of 2010: Music

1. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
2. Daft Punk - Tron Legacy
3. Spoon - Transference
4. The Black Keys - Brothers
5. Cage The Elephant (2009)
6. The Golden Hits of Louis Prima
7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
8. She & Him - Volume Two
9. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)
10. Weezer - Hurley

I didn't buy a ton of music in 2010, and didn't find a lot that I loved. I bought two Weezer albums (Hurley & Death to False Metal) which were, respectively, disappointing and *really* disappointing. Likewise, the She & Him follow-up, while solid, wasn't as good as their first album.

However, Mumford & Sons was a revelation, and the Tron Legacy soundtrack was as good as the movie was bad. Spoon's latest was a solid offering, and the Black Keys' new album was a good listen as well.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of 2010: Movies

Top 5 Movies of 2010
1. Inception
2. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
3. Toy Story 3
4. Iron Man 2
5. How To Train Your Dragon

I saw only a dozen movies in theaters last year, and I saw about that many this year, too, if you count the viewings at Paramount of classics like Casablanca and The Thin Man movies. My "if you know it's going to be a shitty blockbuster, skip it" philosophy continues to work for me, although I did get suckered in by Tron Legacy. I also saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice, but I knew what I was getting into with that one, and I saw Karate Kid, but that was for Katy, and she liked it and I found it tolerable, at least.

There were disappointments, though. I thought Shutter Island was OK, but probably not worth a theater viewing. Ditto The Good, The Bad and The Weird, which had an *amazing* trailer but I found the story just bewildering, and the action often disappointing.

Overall, though, my top five represents a pretty good series of films, I think. Any of the first three could easily be my favorite movie of the year, and my love for them is separated out by only the barest of degrees. And Kick-Ass just barely misses the cut-off, as does the Spanish film [REC] 2, which is even better than the first one. But I couldn't make room for 10 great movies in 2010 without including movies I haven't seen, so I left it at top five this year. If I'm being 100% honest, [REC] 2 is probably better than Iron Man 2 and How To Train Your Dragon, but I'm much more likely to rewatch the latter two, so the genre (horror, not my favorite) drops it a couple points for me.

On DVD was another story. I saw a couple through Netflix that I missed in theaters: Daybreakers, Hot Tub Time Machine and The Losers. In every case, I was glad I didn't pay theater money to see them. The Losers was the worst of the bunch, I didn't even finish it.

Of course, I missed a few in theaters just because I haven't had time to see them. I wanted to see Megamind, Despicable Me and Due Date, although it sounds like I may have dodged a bullet with that last one. I also wanted to see The Warrior's Way, but I expect it's not as interesting as the trailers make it look, ditto for Machete and Predators.

I am legitimately sad that I haven't made time for Black Swan or True Grit, but I expect I'll see those on Blu-ray in 2011.

On Netflix streaming and DVD, I filled a few holes in my cinematic education, as well as watching a few movies from the last year or two that I'd heard were good. Despite my general disinterest in documentaries, I found both The King of Kong and This Film Is Not Yet Rated pretty compelling, although the latter was a bit too strident in its point of view. When I agree with you and I still find you preachy, that's a problem.

From recent years, I caught Moon (great sci-fi), Black Dynamite (way more funny than I expected), Sunshine Cleaning (disappointing indie-by-numbers), The Goods (hysterical comedy with a great cast, Craig Robinson steals the show as DJ Request) and Cashback (great little British twenty-something angsty romance with a narrative trick I really liked, and guest starring the gorgeous Michelle Ryan).

Going a bit further back, I watched Excalibur (liked it OK, didn't love it), Dr. Strangelove (bizarre and fun, but I probably won't watch it ever again), Donnie Brasco (solid if cliched crime thriller), The Man With Two Brains (one of Steve Martin's weirder and weaker movies, but funny in parts) and Jaws (just as good as everyone always said it was).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Best of 2010: TV

Top 20 TV Shows in 2010
1. Terriers Season One (FX)
2. Breaking Bad Season Three (AMC)
3. Boardwalk Empire Season One (HBO)
4. Community Season Two (NBC)
5. Treme Season One (HBO)
6. Lost Season Six (ABC)
7. Louie (FX)
8. Parks & Recreation Season Two (NBC)
9. Party Down Season Two (STARZ)
10. Archer Season One (FX)
11. Chuck Season Three and Four (NBC)
12. Rubicon Season One (AMC)
13. Sherlock Season One (BBC)
14. Better Off Ted Season Two (ABC)
15. 30 Rock Season Five (NBC)
16. Cougar Town Season Two (ABC)
17. Modern Family Season Two (ABC)
18. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season Six (FX)
19. The Walking Dead Season One (AMC)
20. Castle Seasons One - Three (ABC)

Favorite Hour-Long: Terriers (FX)
There's no competition here. Boardwalk Empire is close, Breaking Bad is closer, but there was no question in my mind that Terriers was my favorite new show this year. It might be my favorite new show of the past five years. So of course it was under-rated, under-watched and canceled. But it was a perfect single season, which takes the sting out a bit. And Treme was fantastic, although it was early enough in the year that I forgot it in early drafts of this list.

Lost had an ending that I liked quite a bit, and while I understand the disappointment of many, I don't share it. However, while I did enjoy it, looking back, Breaking Bad probably should have topped my 2009 list, and Lost did lose some ground to pretty amazing competition on cable.

Chuck, a consistent favorite, is just outside the top 10. I'm still very much enjoying the show, but it hasn't been as consistently great as it was in season two, which in retrospect was kind of the peak of the show. Rubicon just misses the top 10, largely because of its weak ending, but the rest of the show was really, really good. And Sherlock sits further down than it otherwise might because there were only three episodes, and it honestly feels like cheating to consider it anything but a miniseries.

Then there are the procedurals. TV is lousy with these "formula of the week/weak arc" shows, and I don't have patience for a lot of them. Hawaii 5-0, probably the strongest new network show that wasn't immediately canceled, doesn't make my Top 20... it might squeak into the bottom of a Top 25. I finally started watching Castle, and while I still feel like Nathan Fillion isn't getting to use his full range there, I can now see the appeal. I also continue to enjoy Burn Notice and Leverage, although both can occasionally lapse into basic cable cheesiness, the kind of thing that put me off White Collar and Covert Affairs, and both just missed the cut-off for the top 20.

The Walking Dead sits a lot lower on my list than many critics, but that's because I felt like the 6-episode season was a bit rushed and the characters were more of the USA/TNT caliber than what I expect from AMC. Good, with potential, but not as great as many are claiming.

Doctor Who just barely misses the list, and it would have rated higher had more of the episodes been of the quality of the first episode that introduced Matt Smith, who I think is doing a great job as the Doctor. Despite how much I like him (and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond), the stories have been very standard Doctor Who material for me, not as engaging as Steven Moffat's one-off episodes or most of the other shows he's run.

Also just missing the top 20 cut-off is Dexter Season Five, which had a pretty solid arc with Julia Stiles and a good scenery-chewing villain in Jonny Lee Miller, but was very much in the Dexter formula. I like the show, but I don't love it the way I did in season one.

Best Comedy: Community (NBC)
As with Terriers, there really isn't anyone even close. Much as I loved, and laughed at, Party Down and Archer, Community has shown a willingness to experiment with format that is matched only by how well that experimental spirit pays off in big laughs. One of the most talented ensemble casts on TV, matched with some of the best comedy writing we've seen this decade. And, of course, it's rated much lower than a lot of really poor comedy on TV.

Better Off Ted was another one like that. Great show, got a second season largely due to the strike and the need for fresh content, and was funnier and smarter than most of the comedy on TV. Too funny and smart for the vast majority of the modern sitcom audience, of course.

I don't know how Louie rates, but it almost doesn't matter, because it's so cheap for FX to make. And it's great. Dark, honest and unbelievably funny. I loved Louie C.K.'s stand-up, and I'm glad to see it translated so well into a half-hour comedy on TV.

Parks & Recreation, due to its low ratings, got held back for a midseason launch for its season three. A shame, since after a forgettable first season, it came back strong as one of the funniest shows on network TV, just behind Community, actually. NBC's comedy block is actually stronger than it's been in years, but long-in-the-tooth favorites like The Office and inexplicably green-lit crap like Outsourced keep it from becoming "Must See" again.

Speaking of NBC comedies, 30 Rock has gotten off ratings life support, but has struggled a bit creatively. It's still funny more often than not (unlike say, The Office), but it's only in the past few weeks that it has started hitting its stride consistently again.

More consistent, but alas not as funny at its peaks, is Cougar Town, which I finally gave a shot to despite it's horrid name. I found a fun ensemble comedy that is the heir to Bill Lawrence's Scrubs. Not as funny as Scrubs, unfortunately, but in that same ballpark.

Modern Family is another one that started strong, and had pretty great ratings, but hasn't been as consistent in season two. It's still very funny, though, when it's hitting its stride.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, now in its fifth season, is also uneven, but their boldness in terms of subject matter makes up for one-note characterization. And the occasional highs, like Lethal Weapon Five or the culmination of Dee's pregnancy, or Frank's charity dinner/the Gang lost in the woods episodes, make it worth watching.

Not making the cut is The Office, which had a few really funny episodes but many more that were just really weak, and How I Met Your Mother, which hasn't been consistently funny or clever in a while.

Weekly* Recap - December 27, 2010

God damn, Alamo Drafthouse Butter Beer is delicious.

The newest employee at Rogues Gallery: Mortimer T. Talkingstick

Neither Community nor Terriers are on AFI's Top 10 TV 2010 list. So I declare it invalid.

Watching Top Chef makes me hungry... but not for anything actually served on Top Chef. Same thing used to happen with Iron Chef. Mine is not a sophisticated palate. Give me comfort food any day.

Chris Schweizer draws the cast of Community... as the Avengers. So very awesome.

WTF? Favreau, Fincher and Del Toro, instead of creating projects based on their own ideas, are churning out theme-park-based films for Disney? And Aronofsky is doing Wolverine.... it's all just kinda sad. They may (hell, probably will) produce good movies out of these franchises, but... I wish they'd pull a Nolan and give us their own "Inception" instead.

Happily, I only saw one of these shitty films. I would have made it out at zero, but Craig Robinson and Rob Corrdry lured me into Hot Tub Time Machine. Bastards.

Saw Tron Legacy and... uh... the music is cool, at least. What a disappointment, even with my lowered expectations.

Another game of Fiasco played. There were no rape yetis this time. There were, however, Were-Seals. From both the KGB *and* the CIA.

After *another* game of Fiasco... I now know who really killed JFK. The mafia was involved... just not in the way expected. Nor did anyone expect the budding transsexual novelist to be the one to make it out the best of any of our cadre of criminally-minded characters.

I *love* Fiasco. And my parents got me the Fiasco T-Shirt (with Mall playset) for Christmas... I'll be playing more in the New Year.

Always nice when a customer tells you your shop is the best place he's ever shopped.

I'm way behind in making my Free Comic Book Day plans this year... I started (sort of) at NYCC, but this time last year I think my guest list had pretty much been set. Time to start sending out emails!

Things I'm already thankful to 2011 for #1: New Xombi series by John Rozum!

Pandora Christmas station found a duet on Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Frank Sinatra... and Cyndi Lauper. Well played, Pandora.

Here's a sentence I never expected to post: I just bought tickets for the Austin Ballet Nutcracker performance. Katy was really excited about it, so we did a father-daughter trip on the Thursday before Christmas.

I am now the proud owner of a new iPod and Bluray player, among several other gifts from friends and family. It was a good Christmas. The iPod in particular allowed me to take some video and pictures of the kids getting their Christmas presents.

Also? Turns out a surprising number of people drive between Dallas and Austin on Christmas Day around midnight. And it also turns out that driving from Dallas to Austin with the check engine light on the whole time was *not* tempting fate, as I feared it might be.

I *love* when Jon Stewart gets angry. Because this is a total evisceration of the hypocrisy of the GOP. Shame it won't make a tiny shred of difference, because he's just preaching to the converted. (Or maybe it did... everyone started picking up on this story after The Daily Show covered it.)

Other Links:
This Word Lens app is pretty awesome.

Chris Sims digs into Sage Advice for some of the weirdest questions ever asked about D&D. And it's *gold*

No agenda here, I just think it's a funny piece by Ricky Gervais.

I love my city.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly* Recap - December 11, 2010

*Not really - More like every few weeks

Rest In Peace, Leslie Nielsen.

Roku remote broke, after only having it for a month, maybe two. Good news is, there's an iPod app that can sub as a Roku remote. Bad news is, the iPod is usually out of the house with me, and the Roku is mostly for Suzanne and the kids. The other bad news is that the Roku remote was apparently a cheap piece of crap.

Early Christmas present for the gaming group from Chris. Awesome.

The Tron Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk does not disappoint.

Food Blogging:
Apparently it is impossible for my local HEB to keep Sweet Leaf regular flavor tea in stock. Mint, Diet, sure... regular, no.

I have learned something very important today. Potbelly has a sandwich called the Lucky 7 that is the Wreck and the Italian combined. #thisiswhyimfat

One of my New Year's resolutions is to lose (or at least not gain) weight. Another is to make sure and eat at any of the places on this list I haven't been to. For I am large (and getting larger) and contain many contradictions.

Terriers Finale:
I *loved* the finale of Terriers. And I was really, really hoping it was a season finale, not a series finale. We did another "commentary" podcast for the TV Dudes, and had a lot of fun talking about the show.

And sadly, the next week, the cancellation notice came down. This blows. It's understandable from a business standpoint, I can't really blame FX for the decision... so I blame everyone out there who has a Nielsen box and didn't watch it. The best show of 2010 gets canceled. Outsourced will probably get a 2nd season. TV, you are a total bitch whore.

Ted Griffin talks with Sepinwall about Terriers, and a key moment that would have been in season two.

There is a Terriers sized hole in my Wednesdays... that will never again be filled

Sunday is a pretty good night for TV: Boardwalk Empire, Dexter and Walking Dead. And I'm really enjoying that despite having read every issue of the comic, the Walking Dead show has mostly new stories for me.

So OK, there's no denying it now. I guess I'm a Top Chef watcher. Wow, most twenty-something chefs have *no* idea what kids will eat, do they? First episode, I loved Jamie, second episode, I think she's a kid-hatin' wuss.

Yay to Bravo for getting Anthony Bourdain to blog weekly for them. Boo for not having RSS feeds. Also, I'm quite certain Bourdain would be *horrified* by my taste in food, but that's OK... I watch him on TV, I'm not gonna eat with the dude.

The concept's a little... meh - but it's the creator of Better Off Ted making a new sitcom, so that's good news, at least.

In other good sitcom news, Sepinwall has seen all 6 episodes of Parks & Rec Season 3 that will be airing soon and declares it to be good.

Brainstorming possible Crocodile Dundee III ideas at work: Explosive Crocodile Nun-chucks to feature, possible title: Outback For Vengeance!

Having reached the halfway point of Annie Hall without anything to show for it other than a desire to strangle Woody Allen, I moved on to Jaws. Which was as great as advertised. Most intense knot-tying scene ever

Add to the list of Dark Horse's out-of-print list: Amazing Screw-On Head and Blacksad. Back in print? Only Umbrella Academy. Other publishers are guilty too: New Mouse Guard HC went out of print immediately, and Blackest Night is out just in time for the holidays.

And, of course, Spider-Man Noir has been out of print for months, despite much increased demand related to the Shattered Dimensions game. And despite the second volume, Eyes Without A Face, having just now come out.

Wow, a USA Today story *and* special strip in USAToday Online! This would be *fantastic* promotion if, y'know, the first volume of the Goon hadn't been inexplicably out of print for *months* now.

Previews: The "anticipated run" of Batman & Robin. Not "highly anticipated," but "anticipated." Way to sell excitement there, DC Marketing.

Previews: Deadpool/Cable #26, Wolverine #5.1, Wolverine #1000... Marvel is king of nonsense numbering.

Do people go into Best Buy and ask about the process of buying somewhere else online? Or do just comic shops get this particular joy?

If I had a nickel for every person who wanted to know what their Spawn #1 and Death of Superman were worth, I wouldn't have to sell comics.

Kevin Smith's CBR column is no real surprise. He's never handled criticism well. About as well as he handles writing Batman, actually.

I'm *very* excited to note that DC is finally collecting the Abnett/Lanning Legion Lost series in July 2011. In hardcover, no less! Hope it does well enough that they collect the rest of the series, especially Legion Worlds.

Yay, more cosmic from Abnett & Lanning! Boo, only 4 issues!

The Angry:
I swear, when I first saw this story, I thought it was real.

Because it's not so much more of a reach than their backscatter/fondling choice. This is an awesome choice. Do I get life-threatening radiation or felt up by TSA agents? Even better, next time I fly with my kids, I get to make that choice for them.

New Christmas wish: I wish the Westboro Baptist Church would burn. to. the. fucking. ground. Preferably with the congregation in it.

Part of me wants to be glad the Democrats finally grew a spine. *Most* of me wants to know where it was when this fight would have been helpful, instead of detrimental to actually getting something done.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Recap - November 27, 2010

It is amazing to me every now and then to realize that I have a magic box where I can type in almost any question and get an answer, instantly. Most of these answers are even correct! The rest, of course, come from Wikipedia.

This week's D&D game went great. No character deaths, and they talked their way past a goblin fight, took down a sleazy treasure hunter and got his treasure map *and* avoided being turned to stone by an angry medusa. They also broke another captive's fingers, which I think is going to give them a bit of a reputation in Sharn.

My wife took both kids to the grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving. She may be more of a daredevil than I give her credit for.

I am *far* too excited about .38 Special coming to Rock Band 3 next week.

Everyone should see this: Grandma's Superhero Therapy

Loving Call of Duty: Black Ops so far. The period is one I don't think we've seen a lot of games set in, and the gameplay is in the same mode as the Modern Warfare games I've enjoyed previously.

Caught up on Boardwalk Empire, and after the cliffhanger of that last episode... I'm wishing I could go on to the next episode immediately. Terriers is still my favorite new show, but Boardwalk Empire is close.

Speaking of Terriers... last time Sepinwall did this, we got two more seasons of Chuck. I hope it works this well for Terriers. Btw, if you have cable and you're not watching Terriers, start. Now.

The more I thought about "Professor Professorson" the funnier it got. #community

Is it me, or is 30 Rock becoming one of NBC's best comedies again? Last week's episode cracked me up repeatedly.

Did they change showrunners on Brave and the Bold? I've been disappointed in every episode of season two thus far.

Last week's episode of The Walking Dead was easily my favorite since the first one. The scene from the final minutes was one of the big shocks on my first read-through of the series, and it was executed very well.

Catching up on Castle, and it looks like David Grae has written most of my favorite episodes. There are plenty I've liked, but all of Grae's have been above-average or better.

Caught up on nine episodes of Dexter Season 6. Still like the show, but you do have to view it with a *huge* suspension of disbelief to get through it. That said, as long as the contrivances in the writing don't bother you, it's a fun ride.

So, the Green Lantern trailer. Not as *terrible* as folks were making it sound, but it's decidedly mediocre. Does not have the "must see" vibe that the Iron Man movies did. Actually, not even as strong as the Thor teaser from San Diego.

Whedon brings a little perspective. Yes, the Buffy without Whedon movie is a terrible idea, and yes, everyone involved should probably be a geek pariah for a while, but... it's not life-ending, or even really life-affecting, for most of us. Just another shitty movie we're not going to see in the theater.

I mean, it's not like Zack Snyder wants to cast a complete stiff as Clark Kent and CGI Superman in his increasingly-shitty-sounding Superman movie, right? Wait, what's that?

Thanksgiving Travel Tips (a.k.a. Making Fun of the TSA):
Make sure and flirt with your appointed TSA pat-down specialist. Never break eye contact, and moan suggestively throughout.

Nobody loves pranks more than the TSA. When going through the new body scanner, use metallic tape to create a sign. I suggest "The guy behind me is ticking" or "My other car is a car-bomb."

Remember, it is not inappropriate to ask your TSA pat-down specialist for a "happy ending." It is, however, customary to tip.

It is considered polite to fake an orgasm while your TSA pat-down is going on... no need to make the guy feel bad he couldn't get you there for real. The louder, and more obscenity-filled, the better.

That TSA agent is bound to get bored while fondling your junk. Make sure and tell him or her all about your favorite D&D character while they're doing the pat-down.

It is not technically illegal to bring two large frozen turkeys, one as your carry on, and the other as your "personal item."

Blank keys and fobs reading "Hotel Room #" are cheap. Hand one of them to your TSA agent and say "Meet me later tonight. Bring the gloves."

By The Way, Fuck The TSA:
For fuck's sake, Obama... can you be on the right side on *one* of the easy ones? Just one?

I honestly don't think I'd have the patience or the collected head to do this... but I'm glad somebody does.

SNL addresses the new TSA guidelines

Westboro Baptist Protesters get their tires slashed. This makes me laugh with devilish glee. From the article: "Police say that they were unable to find anyone in town willing to repair the vehicle." Karma's a bitch, you hate-mongering bastards.

This is the modern GOP in a nutshell. Argue for "the market" when it comes to everyone else, and "special treatment" when it comes to themselves.

This Daily Show piece was... spectacular. I used to respect McCain, but I've long since realized that he'll say and do *anything* to keep his political power, and any principles he might have had are long gone.

I'm thankful that a jury realized what a scumbag Tom DeLay is. And to make it better, he was convicted in Travis County. Where I live. Hells yeah.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ebay Time

Selling a few comics runs off on eBay. One of the side effects of consolidating the office was that I tried to eliminate some of the duplication in my trade and issue collections, and also found a few runs that I liked back when I bought them, but realized I'd probably never read again.

So I'm selling off my Astro City, Captain Marvel (Peter David), Deadpool (Joe Kelly), Green Lantern (Gerard Jones) and Sandman Mystery Theater collections. There will be more at some point in the future, near (if I decide to finish doing the work) or far (if I put it off).

Take a look, bid if you see anything you like, and spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested. I can donate them if I don't get any bites, but I'd rather they go to someone who actually wants them, and yeah, I'd kind of like to make some holiday spending money.

Auction Links

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekly Recap - November 13th, 2010

Comics Retailing:
Kind of stunned by the amount of Dark Horse material currently out of print. Dr. Horrible, Serenity Vol 2, Beasts of Burden, Black Lagoon, Empowered 6, Goon Vol 1, Umbrella Academy Vol 1, Buffy Vol 1 & 5, etc. I had actually thought Dark Horse was a comic book publisher. Does it count if you only publish things sporadically every six months or so?

By the way, these are not marginal titles. Especially in the case of Umbrella Academy, Serenity and Dr. Horrible, these are books that sell every week. I know setting a print run isn't easy, but some of these have been out for months. I can forgive temporary print shortages, that's down to guessing and gauging orders, and every retailer knows how tricky that is. What I have a harder time forgiving is taking months and months to reprint key titles.

You know what is in print, right as the TV buzz is at its highest? Walking Dead. And it has *stayed* in print. Image, at least, is doing right by retailers and fans.

This comic about real customers at a comics shop has been making the rounds. Now, most of my customers are great people that I really appreciate. But the rest? There's enough truth in these comics that I laughed. A lot.

Gypsy trailer picnic was *packed* I got to have a delicious crawfish etoufee pie at Kate's Southern Comfort, and a Cherry Bomb donut from Gordough's, before heading off to work. A touch late because of all the traffic. Gordough's is delicious, but it might not have been the best idea on a mostly empty stomach. I was full/uncomfortable for about half the day.

Kate's, btw, is fantastic. I went back for lunch a week later and had another crawfish pie, as well as the Nak-i-Dish Classic (beef and pork). My friend Jamie got bread pudding, but was too full for most of it, so I got to have a fair bit of that, and it was pretty tasty as well.

I'm getting enough invites to potluck events that I need to come up with some sort of signature side dish I can always make and bring. This is difficult, as my favorite side dishes are mostly potato-based, and fancier, more distinctive dishes are probably for those who like vegetables. (Currently in the running: Spinach dip, artichoke dip, roasted mushrooms from friends, and a potato/green chile/cheese dish that my mom makes)

The Halloween episode of TV Dudes, in which I scandalously admit that I love Cougar Town more than Modern Family right now.

I feel like Cougar Town deserves a slow clap for their most recent post-credits sequence, *especially* since they acknowledged the debt it owed to Spaced.

Wow, the new Avengers cartoon is kind of terrible. And Iron Man sounds *exactly* like Jack Black. Weird choice.

"New Winnie the Pooh from Disney" gave me pause, but... this trailer looks pretty great.

Evan Bryce is super-talented *and* a helluva nice guy. I've got several pieces from him at the store and in the home office, and recommend everyone get one of his prints.

Read Dungeons & Dragons #1 by Rogers & DiVito, and it's pretty damn good. Bonus points for the game stats and adventure in the back of the variant edition.

Chew #15 - I love this comic book so much, I want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant. #love30rocktoo

Wednesday I got All Star Superman, Two Generals and The Coffin 10th Anniversary HC. Pretty great haul. Two Generals in particular is *gorgeous* and All Star Superman is even better than I remembered it being.

'50s noir detectives in L.A. from the guys who made Red Dead Redemption? I'm in.

I'm kinda with Maher on this one. I love Stewart and Colbert, loved the rally, but most of the "left is just as bad" arguments amount to false equivalence. It's not that there aren't crazies on the left, it's that the right has more of them, they're louder, and they're much more prone to inflaming dangerous action against those they disagree with.

If you still think Fox News and MSNBC are identical, just on different sides of the political spectrum, watch this for a key difference.

Weirdly, I think Fox is in the right, though. The left is going into these political knife-fights with one hand tied behind their back and no knife in the other one. If ethics aren't being applied on both side, I'm not sure the moral victory of "We lost, but kept our ethics" are worth it.

I'll say this for Rick Perry... he probably hasn't ever personally murdered any orphans. That we know of.

Full of win.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Weekly (?) Recap - November 6, 2010

Whoops. Got a little busy and even the lightweight work of re-posting Facebook took a back seat. I wish I still had blogging discipline (which sounds like something dirty, but isn't) so I could blog regularly like some of my favorite bloggers (Kari of Haiku Mama, Jen of Blag Hag, etc.) I've mentally constructed a half-dozen posts about politics, TV, games but lose them before I get to the computer. But I'll at least try to get back to posting these update things every week.

This is my giant catch-up post. I've added more categories so readers can easily skip the boring parts. Which, in fairness, is probably most of it, unless you happen to be related to me.

Took Katy and Aaron out trick or treating tonight. He was a firefighter, she was a vampiress. Both had a great time, and our neighborhood is really good in terms of folks participating. We could have gone down two or more streets, but the kids were tired (OK, Katy was... Aaron could have kept going all night) and their bags were *packed* with candy.

Home Office Reorganization:
Home office reorganization done, and it only took a month or so. Big 'ol entertainment unit given to friends, computer desk switched, TV trays to replace tables and bookcases bought due to the largess of my awesome parents. This is where a picture would go if I ever took pictures. But trust me, it's spacious and organized and awesome.

My general take? I got tired four hours in, and with a couple bright spot exceptions, probably would have been better off skipping it. The crowds were pretty much San Diego level, without the same amount to do, and the lack of name badges was a *huge* mistake, as I'm sure there were folks I knew from online but just didn't recognize (and vice versa) and so it was all a bit isolating.

Bright spot exceptions? Cajun omelette at Delta Grill, The Jane was a great hotel, had a good time walking around with Chad Thomas, and got to say hi to a few folks I rarely see like Chris Schweizer, Jason Horn and his lovely wife Jessica and recent Austin expatriate Paul Benjamin. On Friday, I went to the NCSoft/City of Heroes party and got to meet old Usenet pal Hosun Lee, and that was a lot of fun, *and* included free rum and cokes. On Saturday, Zack Smith put together a pretty swanky dinner at an italian restaurant with a ton of writers he knew, and that was a fun evening.

So mostly the fun I had was outside the show. Although the Comics Alliance panel was a blast. Oh, and watching cosplayers dance to the Michael Jackson game was endlessly entertaining. And I got my picture taken with a Bolter from Warhammer 40K, which is my new profile picture.

Also, the JetBlue terminal at JFK? Pretty fantastic. Free wi-fi throughout the terminal, plus a place to plug in and order food from the nearest grill, right at the gate! Which was fortunate, since the flight got delayed and I wound up stuck there for about four hours. During which time I watched a lot of Avatar The Last Airbender.

There are two No Ordinary Family episodes stacked on my DVR, and I gave up on the boring Undercovers and disappointing Running Wilde. Hawaii 5-0 continues to be a pleasant surprise, although my DVR missed an episode and I didn't particularly care. Other than Terriers, Community and Cougar Town, my favorite thing I watched in October was the three seasons of Avatar The Last Airbender Season two on Netflix Instant and Castle Season Two on Netflix rented DVDs.

Here are five reasons to watch Terriers. Number six is "I will be very sad if it doesn't get a second season."

If I didn't already love Community, the Halloween episode would have made me love it. Fantastic, and the equal of last year's "Modern Warfare" episode. If you aren't watching, here's a fun remix to show you what you're missing. And I expected a comedown after the terrific Halloween episode, but this week's episode might have actually been funnier.

Whereas his 10 seconds were hilarious and her moments were mostly painful and unfunny, I move that Scott Adsit be given all the time currently given to Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock. Do I have a second?

Next idea to improve NBC comedies, based on the last two weeks of The Office? Stitch together all the pre-credits sequences, which have been hilarious, into one or two great episodes. With all the extra time left over, run Parks & Recreation Season 3. Boom. You're welcome.

And earlier this week, I watched the new Sherlock Holmes and the first episode of The Walking Dead. It was a *goood* two days for TV.

Second episode of the TV Dudes podcast, covering... well, a lot of stuff actually. Had a lot of fun recording this one.

Episode three of TV Dudes: Rubicon & Mad Men finales!

Episode four of TV Dudes: "Live" commentary for Walking Dead episode one. Probably my favorite show we've done so far.

Kind of surprised how happy everyone seems about the news that Zack Snyder is taking on Superman. Isn't conventional wisdom that both 300 *and* Watchmen were terrible films? And isn't his current Owl movie also awful? The Dawn of the Dead remake may have been the anomaly. Although Sucker Punch looks like over-the-top fun, I'll admit.

My favorite comics right now? Chew, The Sixth Gun and Unwritten. Hawkeye & Mockingbird is on there, too, but apparently it's transitioning to being part of the Widowmaker miniseries, and then transitioning into being canceled. :(

Hellboy/Beasts of Burden was pretty great. It's gonna help us sell a lot of Beasts of Burden hardcovers to new fans. Or it would, y'know, if Dark Horse had bothered to get the book back in stock at Diamond in time for the one-shot. *facepalm*

Not surprised, but disappointed, that Rock Band's new website wasn't up in time for the game launch. And it took a while to get the linking even halfway working. Still, for a big overhaul, it wasn't too bad in terms of lateness/functionality problems.

Overall, I love Rock Band 3. Great setlist, took me a while to figure out the new navigation, but now I really appreciate it, and the keyboard is a fun addition, as is the regular use of three vocalists. However... it's gotten a lot harder. I can't play Expert Guitar on a lot of songs now.

The combination of peer pressure, Halloween and the ability to ride one of the horses of the Apocalypse won out over Doors DLC. So I've been playing Undead Nightmare since Halloween. Zombies are dicks!

Y'know, if politicians worked even half as hard at doing things in office to benefit me as they do at getting me to vote for them, I might not be so disgusted by politicians in general. The last week before the election, I was ready to start answering the phone "Hello, we voted already! Stop with the damn phone calls!"

Private sector jobs way up, government jobs way down... shouldn't the Tea Party be in love with Obama about now? ;)

When I think of local Texas politicians, I tend to think of right-wing fuckwits who are slowly but surely fucking my state back into the 19th century. It's nice to know there are guys like Joel Burns in office in Fort Worth.

This makes me so remarkably angry. It looks like cowardice, or worse, politics over principle, from the Obama administration. "We want the political points from ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell! And we pinky swear we're going to do it. This isn't like that time 2 years ago when I said I was going to do it and then didn't."

Much as I love it, The Daily Show usually leaves me feeling angry with someone. The Rally, however, left me feeling more optimistic and in a better mood than I went in. And had kickass music by The Roots.

This was a great closing speech that apparently *none* of the 24 hours news networks carried. Gee, I wonder why?

Not depressed by the election results. Mostly because I've been working through the rage and depression over the last two months, when it became incredibly clear what was going to happen.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Weekly Recap - October 2nd, 2010

Intro/Random (NYCC Edition):
New York Comicon is next weekend... and I really need to do a little planning. I usually over-plan for San Diego, I haven't done much planning at all for this show.

Of course, after posting this I got three separate emails that helped fill up my plans a bit. And now I'm starting to hit a few schedule conflicts. Nothing like trying to schedule panels at San Diego, though.

I'll have two or three dinners while I'm there... need recommendations for good restaurants in New York! Good food, not gourmet food... more Adam Richman than Anthony Bourdain.

...And there is no way on Earth my 11:35 arrival at JFK gets me to the convention center in time for Darwyn Cooke's retailer signing. Damn!

Comics I Read This Week:
Terminator 1984 #1 (The center of this story is a pretty ballsy retcon, but it opens with Whedon addressing the "no more time travel" of Terminator that was ignored in every other project going forward. That, the quality of Whedon's previous Terminator mini and Ben's reaction to the present, a neat little character moment, has me extending a bit of trust)

Chew #14 (The return of Savoy does not disappoint. Nor does the introduction of Tony's crazy ex.)

Comics News:
Huh. Well, it's an unexpected choice, I'll give them that. And a first, right? No one has ever been EiC of both Marvel *and* DC before?

Liefeld's praise for Bob Harras concludes with "Age of Apocalypse, X-Force, X-tinction Agenda, X-Cutioners Song, Gen X, Deadpool. Bob Harras presided over all of these. Good resume." I would guess Harras is probably thinking "Hey, Rob... stop helping."

The first TV Dudes audio podcast... introduced in this video teaser.

Great Stephen J. Cannell retrospective by Alan Sepinwall.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 25th, 2010

Playing a little Rock Band, whether singing, drumming or guitaring, always improves my mood, whether I'm in a good mood or bad mood to start with. I should remember this.

I started the home office reorganization on Wednesday, and abandoned it halfway through. These things must be done in stages! Stage 2 has not occurred yet.

On Saturday, my son attached a small bungie cord to my extra Rock Band drums and was jumping down while holding it, saying "Yoinks and away!" Not too surprising, given that he's been watching Daffy Duck's Robin Hood impression at least once a day lately. But funny.

Wow, Monday is a crowded TV night all of a sudden. First impressions: Lone Star is a great pilot, the lead has a very Clooney-esque quality and I have *no* idea how they're gonna sustain the cons, but I'm interested in seeing where it goes. (Apparently, it's going into quick cancellation. Ratings were *terrible*)

Chuck came back strong, as always, and remains one of my favorite shows.

Hawaii 5-0: Beautiful to look at, plays like a solid action movie remake of the franchise... and I actually thought O'Loughlin was decent as the lead of the ensemble. I'll keep watching.

Running Wilde: Maybe it was all the bad-mouthing by Fienberg & Sepinwall, but I thought it was OK. Mediocre, sure, but a couple of laughs and I see some potential in the premise.

Undercovers: OK, but both Hawaii 5-0 and Nikita are better action shows among this year's crop of new shows.

Other Links:
I haven't actually read a ton of Pratchett's work. But this story makes it clear that he is awesome.

Not only do they make great music and amazing videos... they're dog lovers. OK Go, you are also awesome.

Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" is a fantastic idea, and should be spread far and wide.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 18th, 2010

Karoake Apocalypse at the Nomad was a blast. Lots of really good singers, great crowd, had fun hanging out with friends. And I sang Ball & Chain and did mostly OK, aside from forgetting to sing "Take Away This Ball and Chain" the last time and having to be prodded by the bass player.

I went to the Nomad twice last week, actually. On Tuesday, I grabbed an Ace Pear with friends and a Funky Monkey at Gordough's.

Also had a great dinner at Frank, followed by Last Starfighter in the park, on Wednesday.

Comics Retailing:
[sarcasm]And as we all know, after the year 2000, nobody ever sold comics again. So all this panic about "August-mageddon" on the comics website is *totally* rational and not at all stupid, half-assed analysis by folks without an actual realistic view of the market.[/sarcasm]

Rented Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions from Redbox on Tuesday. Played three levels (one Amazing, one Noir and one 2099) and so far... pretty impressed. Neil Patrick Harris makes a great Peter Parker, and it's fun to see more of the 2099 universe. Also, Noir is very much a riff on Batman: Arkham Asylum, complete with stealth and takedowns. Might have to put this on the buy list.

I will most definitely be playing this during Fantastic Arcade. Also? Twisted Pixel, the guys who made 'Splosion Man, have a new game and are Austin-based. I knew neither of these things, and I'm looking forward to interviewing them for the Leader.

Rewatched about half of the Star Trek movie on Netflix Instant and... I still don't get it. Yes, the cast is pretty good, yes it's flashy as hell and has some nice set-pieces. But... everyone is so damn smug, the villain is *terrible* (has Bana ever been good in anything?) and the plot is over-complicated and not super-interesting. I don't get the love for this movie.

Yeah, Cartoon Network, that countdown clock for Sym-Bionic Titan running for the entirety of Brave and the Bold's premiere isn't at all annoying. And on a related note, am I the only one who wishes Ross & Waid had never come up with Captain Marvel using his Shazam lightning as a weapon? It's getting really, really old. And was one of a few cliches in Saturday's Brave and the Bold opener, which was awesome in the details but disappointing in the actual story.

Other Links:
Man I wish I could be in Washington DC in October for The Daily Show's Rally for Sanity.

SMBC is hysterical.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 11th, 2010

What does it say about me that I find Jack in the Box's egg rolls superior to most of the veggie-filled, bland egg rolls I've ever had at Chinese restaurants? Am I going to the wrong Chinese restaurants, or is my palette all messed up, or is Jack in the Box that good at egg rolls?

On Monday, a woman brought an entire box of Swedish fish to the store. Not trying to sell anything, just a promotion for Swedish fish. Odd. But delicious! Apparently they're making a big marketing push in Austin.

Don't ever look at Yelp! at around midnight. I was craving Best Wurst, Kebabalicious, Habana *and* Franklin BBQ and none of them were open on Monday night. So I decided to go to Franklin BBQ for lunch on Tuesday. Despite the downpour which flooded parts of the city, still decided to go, and... learned that it is not open on Tuesdays, even when it isn't raining. My buddy Jason and I went to Torchy's instead, which was good, but I'm still craving Franklin.

On Thursday, I had a blast doing Geeks Who Drink with friends at Nomad. We came in fifth, which I blame on sports, elephantitis and the Branch Davidian compound.

Watching Road Runner cartoons with my son... there are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning.

Comics I Read This Week:
Thanos Imperative #4 - The first half of this issue was sheer cosmic action joy, the second half more of that "they're screwed" sense that's pervaded the rest of the series. Loving it, as with all the Abnett/Lanning cosmic stuff, and I hope this isn't the end of it all. If it is, it's a great send-off.

Sixth Gun #4 - Very strong contender for best new title of 2010.

More TV Dudes! This time our giant two part Fall TV preview. Part 1 here, Part 2 here.

Watched The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard - This was a lot of fun... great cast. Craig Robinson almost steals the show as DJ Request.

Not quite as impressed with Daybreakers - 2 1/2 stars is probably generous, upon reflection. Not the best movie that could have been made from this premise, but also not the worst. Oh, and weird, weird ending... seems like they went "Hey, we still have a huge gore budget to burn!"

Loved Black Dynamite. Lots of folks do '70s exploitation parody, few do it this well. Hilarious and clever, with lots of great performances.

Sunshine Cleaning I'm a little more uncertain of. I'm not usually a big fan of quirky soul-searching indies, but I thought this was pretty good, if you are into that sort of thing. On reflection, though, I liked it a little less, although I still love Amy Adams.

Finished Castle Season 1. Bring on Season 2! Except that the DVD comes out the day *after* season 3 premieres. WTF kind of planning is that?

I seem to be in the minority amongst my friends, but I thought the pilot for Terriers was pretty frickin' great. Donal Logue was *perfect* for the lead role, the chemistry between him and co-star Raymond James is really strong and the whole thing has a vibe that's James Ellroy meets Elmore Leonard with a very recognizable streak of Ted Griffin's snappy patter and fun set-pieces from Ocean's 11. Highly, *highly* recommended viewing. Daniel Fienberg has a really good review.

Oddly, Alan's "I'm not interested, but it's well done" review has me more excited than I previously was for the new Nikita. Partially because I never watched the USA version, partially because I like the twist of Maggie Q's character (and Maggie Q) and partially because I am super-partial to shadowy spy action stories.

Here, Alan Sepinwall talks Rubicon and why you should be watching one of the best shows on TV. Even if we still don't really know what the conspiracy is about, 3/4 of the way through the season.

Other Links:
This looks very cool... if I was an artist, I'd totally do it.

Awesome mash-up of Matrix and Big Lebowski

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Weekly Recap - September 4th, 2010

This week: TV Dudes recording on Rubicon, the Emmys and Community; a game of Fiasco that's half veteran, half newbie (I love seeing people discover this game) set in Gangster London; a second viewing of Scott Pilgrim and the commencement of a new D&D Tomb of Horrors game. Full but promising week.

My son, on the inherent unfairness of Wil E. Coyote v. Road Runner: "Cut that out, Meep Meep!"

Took a nap on Friday. Woke up and the world had exploded with a half-dozen metaphorical fires that needed putting out. I long for the days before adulthood, when days off were a real thing

Anybody else doing Fantastic Arcade? Looks like I'm going to be covering Thursday and Friday at the show to do a piece or two for the Round Rock Leader.

Comics I Read This Week:

GI Joe A Real American Hero #158 (A few confused action sequences, but in general, this is reminding me of post-#50 GI Joe, which is to say it's not the book at its peak, but it has the same no-nonsense action vibe that made me a fan in the first place)

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #4 (Continues to be a book written just for me. McCann has nailed what I like about these two characters, and his secondary characters, from Dominic Fortune to Phantom Rider, are favorites as well)

Hellboy The Storm #3 (Fantastic conclusion to the latest Hellboy series, and I'm especially pleased that we may *finally* see Hellboy back with his comrades at the BPRD)

Young Allies #4 (Coming together nicely... the more extended pacing of "putting the team together" stories these days doesn't always work in the first couple issues, but if you stick around, sometimes you're rewarded with a promising new group. We'll see if this can stick around where things like The Order, Runaways, etc. didn't)

Comics Retailing Thoughts:
This is huge, very good news.

Comics News:
This is a fantastic Batman analysis by Chris Sims. My Batman is the Miller Year One Batman and the Dixon/Grant Batman of the '90s, and I'm not 100% sold on Morrison's take on Batman, and I disagree with some of the assertions he's made, but you have to agree that he's done some of the most thoughtful Batman work of anyone in a long time.

The video series I've been doing with Greg & Grant launched for real this last week, with episodes on Summer TV (in two parts), Rubicon (my favorite so far) and The Emmys.

I also chimed in on the League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen podcast on '80s action movies.

And I finally got the Losers from Netflix, watched it and *hated it*. Toothless, by the numbers shitty adaptation of a great graphic novel series. Wasted potential, I got bored enough that I didn't finish watching the last twenty minutes or so.

On the other hand, perhaps my friends were right, and I should have been watching Castle all along. I've been really enjoying the first season DVDs.

Wow, this is pretty awesome. Tons of Iron Giant sketches from various artists. Iron Giant is fantastic, and even better, remains on Netflix Instant Watch. If you've never seen it, check it out.

Other Links:
Finally they add cameras to the iPod Touch. I'm gonna need an upgrade.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 28th, 2010

OK, restaurant owners... I know Pepsi is cheaper, but if you're gonna be a Pepsi place, you can't have your Dr. Pepper tap on the fritz. Because Pepsi is terrible. (Btw, this post drew the most comments of anything I've posted on Facebook in a while. The Cola Wars are alive and well.)

Had a great time recording the '80s action movie LEOG podcast on Thursday.

I hate work crises that I have to deal with on my day off. I hate them more when they're basically of my own creation.

Here's my latest new project with Grant Davis & Greg Smith of the LEOG, a video series talking about TV. At least for now, we're calling it the TV Dudes.

Wow, someone actually found a use for the crappy Matrix sequels that is kinda awesome. I give you: Scott Pilgrim vs. The Matrix

The official trailer for The Walking Dead TV series is up, and it looks fantastic.

Caught up on Californication Season 3, and though I was ready to quit about halfway through, I stuck it out. Not sure I'm glad I did. I enjoy the stuff with Hank trying to be a dad and husband, but the "which of these beautiful women will he fuck tonight?" that passed for story in the first six eps was relentlessly stupid, and though there was come come-uppance near the end, I felt that he got off too light for his current sins and was punished too harshly for his older ones.

‎"You could have gotten yourself killed!" "Well, the safety was on the whole time!" Well played, Castle. I will watch more episodes.

Put in the preorder for Rock Band 3 on Monday. With keyboard, naturally.

Had two no-shows for D&D on Monday, so we played Fiasco instead. Set in Restoration era south, it featured grifters, a secretly gay lumber merchant, his son, the girl he thought he'd knocked up (who was actually in with the grifters), an Army captain, a lot of ether, a renegade bear, a gun-toting, bear-skinning doctor and a bag full of lovingly carved wooden sex toys. As always... fun and very odd game.

Other Links:
Can someone explain to me how The Daily Show is the best source of basic investigative journalism (and by that I mean using the Google) on TV? I mean, this is funny, but it's sad that the major news networks basically cover for each others' incompetence.

It's funny because it's true. It'd be funnier if Rick Perry lost the election to Bill White and stopped being quite so true.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 21st, 2010

I was in a bad mood for about half of this week. I'll spare anyone reading this the re-posting of a lot of my gripey Facebook posts for the week. Instead, I'll post the link to a funny Louis C.K. bit that captured my mood for the week pretty effectively.

Comics Alliance tipped me off to Threadless's $10 sale including the "Every Night I Have the Same Dream" collection, so I got all 4 of the shirts by Tony Moore, Jill Thompson, Art Baltazar and Cliff Chiang for $40! Nice!

It is only laziness preventing me from driving down to Gordough's to satisfy a late night sweets craving, pretty much every night. Which is fortunate, because the same laziness would prevent me from exercising away the damage done by one of their awesome donuts.

Related: Some day I'm going to live in South Austin. And on that day, I'm going to gain an *enormous* amount of weight, living close to Sugar Mama's, Gordough's, Texas Cuban, Franklin BBQ, etc., etc.

Comics I Read This Week:

Chew #13 - Goddamn, this book is good. Another new character introduced, along with forward movement on the various stories, and it's becoming clear that the story has been even more expansive from the start than I imagined... and I imagined quite a bit

GI Joe Cobra #7 - Delving into Serpentor and the Croc Master, and fitting them into the darker tone of GI Joe Cobra, is a strange, but ultimately very satisfying choice by the creative team

Sixth Gun #3 - A little more mythology, a lot more on the characters, some great spooky stuff and spectacular art - this supernatural western is one of my favorite new books

Comics News:
I'm not sure anything could be better than just reading the title... but the strip is pretty funny.

The new Avengers cartoon looks... just terrible. Seriously, especially with that music, it looks and sounds like one of Marvel's shitty '90s cartoons.

The Daily Show was really on this week. The Jon Stewart/John Oliver exchange over the "Ground Zero Mosque" was particularly great.

But I was watching Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX, naturally) on The Daily Show and I have two thoughts: A) Why, fellow Texans, did you vote this guy into office? and B) Looking at him, and Michelle Bachmann, what percentage of the House of Representatives is completely batshit insane? 25%? 30%? Is it higher?

It's higher, isn't it?

I hate Scooby Doo. Always have. But Katy's enjoying all the movies on streaming.

Rubicon is quickly becoming one of my favorite shows. Episode four was probably the best one so far.

I disagree with almost everything this guy has to say about why Scott Pilgrim flopped at the box office. But then, I liked the graphic novels and the movie, and so I think his "Hey, just because I hated both, I'm still a neutral observer" opener is kinda bullshit.

Other Links:
Neither of my kids are gamers, and may not be, but if they are, I think this is the 100% correct approach. I had the same "doing it wrong, but it was awesome" experience when I first started playing D&D.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 14th, 2010

I went from toying with the notion of going to New York Comicon on Saturday night to registering as a retailer on Thursday to booking a flight and hotel on late Thursday night. So I'm going to New York Comicon in October!

And just for the record? My NYCC trip, including hotel, flight *and* admission costs considerably less than half what San Diego would have cost me this year. Continuing to not regret the decision to skip Comicon.

Things I learned at Torchy's Tacos on Saturday: A) The Ace of Spades, their taco of the month, is epic and delicious. Jalapeno sausage, brisket, egg, diablo sauce... damn. B) An 8" tortilla is a lot bigger than you might think.

Things I learned on Sunday: Torchy's queso: Spicy, tasty and *probably* not the most nutritious lunch I could have. But the first two outweigh the third.

After my son woke me up at 8 AM on Sunday, I heard a loud crack. That crack? The sound of my tree falling on the neighbor's car. And as I was leaving, several of the electrical outlets weren't working because of some kind of faulty breaker. This pretty much wiped out the money my wife made working extra hours for the last two weeks.

Jury selection result = no jury for Randy. In related news, you know which two streets sound alike but are not the same, and are in fact on opposite sides of downtown? San Jacinto and San Antonio. Guess which one I *thought* the courtroom was on. Narrowly made it to selection on time.

Comics I Read This Week:

Dungeons & Dragons #0 - I've been waiting for this comic for something like 15 years. Nobody has done the license right since DC had it in the late '80s/early '90s, and IDW does exactly what I wanted someone to do. Good art, good writers who get D&D (John Rogers does quippy, fast-paced dungeon crawling, and Alex Irvine's tease of Dark Sun captures everything I would have wanted of that setting. Can't wait to see more.

Hack/Slash My First Maniac #3 - Really digging Seeley's Year One for Cassie Hack, and love that the book is coming out more regularly again

BPRD Hell on Earth New World #1 - Wow, that's a mouthful for a new regular title. New title or no, it's the same book, same writers, same artist, which means it's excellent as always

Thanos Imperative #3 - This is feeling a lot like the culmination of what Abnett and Lanning began back in Annihilation... if this is the end, it's going to be a good one, but I hope they're setting us up for Cosmic Avengers

Comics News:
I'm totally, 100% with Chris Sims on this. Except he's fairer than I would have been. Motion comics are a ridiculous waste of time, effort and money.

Hmm... Weeds and The Big C start on Monday on Showtime, but Boardwalk Empire starts in September on HBO. I can't really afford either one, but if I was going to go with one or the other, that's a tough call.

Thought Invention of Lying was funny and clever, and suspect that a lot of the negative buzz I heard was because of its hypothesis that without lying, there's no religion.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is every bit as awesome as you've heard. I think I actually liked it better than the books.

Zombieland is on Netflix Instant Watch! YES!

Other Links:
Louis C.K. is coming to Austin. Giving serious thought to going to the late show on November 19th

I think the science here might be a bit shaky... but the article is funny as hell.

Oh Internet, I love you so. Blackstar Warrior is a must-watch.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Weekly Recap - August 7th, 2010

When a business (usually a restaurant) is showing FOX News, I'm not quite annoyed to go up and ask why (or ask them to change it) but it does usually make me less likely to return. Seriously, folks... even CNN is better, and CNN is shitty as hell.

On Sunday night, I successfully got my iTunes library to recognize almost all of the songs on my external hard drive so that my laptop can play iTunes properly. This doesn't sound like much now, but the amount of work it took made it feel like a triumph of Herculean proportions.

Here's a helpful Google tip: When you're looking for Sugar Mama's Bakeshop, the awesome cupcake place in Austin, be sure you're clicking the right link. Because only one link from a search for "Sugar Mamas" will take you to cupcakes.

Comics I Read This Week:

Captain America #608 - Lots to like here, particularly the art (love Guice's take on Black Widow and Luke Cage in particular) and the new female Beetle. On the other hand, I think Bucky Cap needs to be doing some less personal crime-fighting, because it's getting a little too melodrama that every battle he's ever had is directly related to his personal history. And honestly, while I'm glad to see the Fixer here synced up with the Fixer in T-Bolts, I liked the reformed Fixer, and I'm not wild about him being revealed to be a traitor for Zemo

GI Joe A Real American Hero #157 - I'm enjoying this even more than I thought I might. Hama's got the same touch here that he did on the '80s GI Joe, and the loss of some of the wackier latter-era toys has freed him up to do some of his best work since the first 50 issues of the series, and Padilla is a flashier artist than Trimpe, but with solid storytelling fundamentals to back that up

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #3 - McCann does the kind of writing that Parker, Slott and Gage do at their best, which means it's right up my alley, Lopez is as good here as he was on Fallen Angel... these are my two favorite characters being done extremely right, and it makes me very happy

Hellboy The Storm #2 - A fantastic read, as always. Liked seeing Hellboy catch a bit off what's going on in BPRD as well... it's been long enough, I'd love to see him do at least a guest stint in BPRD again

Thunderbolts #144-146 - Took the time to read the first three issues, and I'm really enjoying Parker's take on the team. It's a nice blend of what Ellis, Diggle, Busiek and Nicieza have all done with the team in the past - still getting used to Walker's take on some of the more familiar characters, but I like his art a lot in general

Young Allies #3 - It took a few issues, but I'm hooked. McKeever's teen (and young twenty-something, in Gravity and Firestar's case?) book is like a new spin on the '90s New Warriors, without being a nostalgia book or another tired revamp, and I'm really digging Baldeon's art, particularly his expressive faces and strong background work

Comics Retailing Thought of the Week:
It's more than a little annoying how many people online think they can do my job better than I can, and are not at all shy about offering up their observations in the snarkiest possible manner. Despite never having worked comics retail, or in many cases worked retail at all, in their lives.

It's a skill set, people. Really. Just because you read (or make) comics doesn't necessarily make you more qualified to sell them, or judge how we do our job based on what little you know of me from online. I'm not saying there are no bad retailers, but there are a lot more good ones that don't get credit for what they do.

Comics News:
Go here to read Erik Larsen acting like a tool

This seems like kind of a gray area. Isn't a fan-film by definition under the copyright of the original work? Dark Horse did the classy high-road thing here, but it seems to me like legally, and you could argue ethically, they're in the right to treat any expanded universe work on Serenity/Firefly as part of that universe, especially if it was put out there on the Internet for fans to enjoy.

Tom Beland is doing sketches again! These are fantastic... two or three friends of mine have gotten them, and I've finally tossed my name in the hat to commission one as well.

This is a really interesting piece, reminding me that right about the time it went out of business, I was really digging a lot of Crossgen's stuff. I'd particularly like to see El Cazador and Way of the Rat back, and a collection of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (or more stories).

So it looks like I'll be having a Rock Band 3 party in late October.

I was watching the 30 Rock Live on the season 2 DVDs and... holy shit! It's Donald Glover, playing a bunch of parts! Guess this was during his time as a 30 Rock writer, pre-Community.

Saw Monster House and liked it a lot, especially the first half or so, when it felt like a modern-day take on the '80s kids adventure/horror movie like Goonies.

In case anyone was wondering... Ferris Bueller is still great, 24 years later. Loved seeing it again on the big screen at the Paramount. That said, this, from the Paramount show notes "You have to wonder, if Bueller's smart enough to evade getting caught while playing hooky, why not turn his genius to studying and simply graduate early?" makes me sad, as it suggests that the writer doesn't really remember what it was like to be in high school. Which is key to enjoying Ferris Bueller.

Hot Tub Time Machine, on the other hand, was dumb as hell... but fun.

And this week I'm going to see Inception for the second time on Sunday, and Scott Pilgrim on Thursday.

Other Links:
So... apparently Target is on my "do not shop" list along with Wal-mart. That's a bummer, because I actually do shop at Target from time to time, but not if they're gonna support guys like this. The "we just like his business politics, not his anti-gay politics" defense doesn't do much for me, either.

Oddly, the pro-business Republican platform offends me as much as the anti-gay thing. Because "pro-business" in politics (Democrat *and* Republican) usually translates to "Let the corporations do whatever they want."

The CEO offered up a "sort of" apology this week. While it's nice to see him say he's sorry, but it's a real "non-apology" apology, and doesn't offer anything to make things right. I'm not sure if they can legally ask for the money back, but that's something they should do, publicly, if they want to avoid the heat they're getting.

Of course, on the other side of things, there's Prop 8 getting overturned. Which is awesome.

This is depressing, but Anthony Weiner is my hero.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekly Recap - July 31st, 2010

After she became obsessed with the iPhone app "Pocket God" I have introduced my daughter to The Sims. That should keep her busy for a while. (Actually, she got bored with The Sims - too many things to figure out - but she loves Pocket God)

Cleared cached, turned off hardware acceleration, video still choppy on my computer. I believe the problem is "my computer is old" which is harder to fix.

Comics I Read This Week:
Thor Mighty Avenger #2 - Really loving the artwork on this book by Chris Samnee, and the all-ages, new-reader approach to Thor by Langridge is interesting.

Comics Retailing Thoughts of the Week:
Scott Pilgrim Vol 6 sold out in its first week, but Oni and Diamond managed to get it back in print before we sold out at the store... which is not how things usually go with books that sell out fast. Kudos to them for making sure the books are available for sale at the peak of movie interest.

Wish it was common. Because now probably isn't the best time for Thor Volume 1 by Straczynski to be out of print... and it's been out of print for at least a month. And kind of surprised Irredeemable Volume 1 has been out of print this long, too.

Interesting article on the closing of Rocketship. Alex seems very sanguine about the whole thing. If Rogues Gallery ever closes, my exit interview will be insane and no doubt profane.

Comics News:
Talking comics retail with Brandon from Austin Books, Eric from Tribe and the LEOG guys... this was a lot of fun to record, hopefully it's fun to listen to.

Stabbing at increasingly crowded Comicon Hall H. Had to happen eventually.

That said, I'm glad to see Comicon has been going so well for many of my friends, and particularly happy for Rob Guillory and John Layman who are clearly the king and queen of this year's Con. If you discount Oni, Edgar Wright and Bryan Lee O'Malley, who clearly win at Comicon-ing thanks to Scott Pilgrim.

Also out of San Diego, the news that Dwayne McDuffie is helming an animated adaptation of All-Star Superman is spectacularly awesome news.

Alright, Ryan Reynolds... you had me at saying the oath for the little kid. I guess you can be Green Lantern.

Aaannd it looks like I won't be going to Comicon next year, either. Or possibly ever again. It's not that I couldn't get a retailer pass, it's that if it's going to be this crowded, I'm out.

I had to prep and run two D&D games (Chaos Scar and Eberron) this week. Not much Transformers getting played this week... although I did make time for a little single-player Decepticon and a co-op Autobot game.

I thought it'd be the Chuck panel, but it turns out this is the panel I'm most sad I missed at Comicon. And clearly, my Comicon interest is actually mostly TV-related.

Watched one of the Cougar Town reruns on the DVR. Alan Sepinwall was right. Against all odds, this show (with the *horrible* name and premise) turned into a really funny comedy about midseason.

Speaking of Sepinwall, here's his interview of Donald Glover & Danny Pudi of Community outside San Diego Comicon.

New episode of LOUIE had Matthew Broderick as a guest star, and he was great. But the opening bit with Louie dealing with a heckler was one of the foulest, funniest, cringe-worthy comedy I've seen outside of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

OK, now I've seen the Thor trailer and... damn. Skepticism gone. That was a pretty damn good trailer.

Other Links:
I love this Bollywood-themed video for The Guild. Maybe even more than "Do You Want To Date My Avatar?"

What we have here is some weapons-grade crazy, folks.

Funniest thing I've seen on the Internet in weeks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekly Recap - July 24th, 2010

Why does Google Ad Words keep suggesting a cell phone snoop to track my two-timing husband? Is it accusing *me* of something, or does it think I'm secretly gay-married to a philanderer?

Mostly not sorry I skipped Comicon this year. Sorry not to be seeing friends, but I think the money savings, and not having to fight the crowds, more than makes up for it.

My Tuesday: Starting to feel the Comicon blues, bummed that my shop didn't jump on the Scott Pilgrim midnight release thing, and my Transformers XBox game won't be here until tomorrow. On the other hand, Texas found my last paycheck from ACC and wants to send me close to $700 in free money. So... on balance? Not a bad day.

Comics I Read This Week:
GI Joe A Real American Hero #156 - Not a fan of the Jugglers or Billy and the ninjas, which dominated too much of the latter half of Hama's run. And COBRA becoming a "Blackwater" type organization is kinda goofy. That said, if you can roll with it, and I can, because I loved Hama's GI Joe, it's a fun return to form for Hama, and the artwork is surprisingly good.

Graphic Novels I Read This Week:
Just Scott Pilgrim Volume 6, actually. Which I thought was really good, maybe not quite great. Volume 4 remains my favorite volume of the series. But the series as a whole is definitely great.

Comics Retailing Thought of The Week:
Talking comics retail with Brandon from Austin Books, Eric from Tribe and the LEOG guys... this was a lot of fun to record, hopefully it's fun to listen to.

Comics News:
Modern Comic covers re-imagined in the Silver Age by Chris Sims. Awesome.

So far, this is my favorite news out of San Diego.

Inception was amazing, one of my favorite movies in years. Also gave up some sleep to catch REC 2, and it was also fantastic, better than the first (which I loved.)

Speaking of Inception, Udon Studios has done a pretty decent prequel comic. Which I recommend reading after you've seen the movie.

And this Roger Ebert piece springboards off Inception, but it's mostly about the craft of reviewing and the reactions to it. He also raises the question of whether any movie is universally loved, and a commenter suggests Casablanca. So... anybody out there dislike Casablanca? Because I think that commenter is probably right.

Started playing Transformers: War for Cybertron this week. It's good, and lots of fun doing the transformations. Love that you can play the whole game as a 3-person co-op. However... the boss battles are frustratingly hard. Not enough to ruin the game, but enough to be annoying.

Rock Band 3 playlist is shaping up nicely

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekly Recap - July 17th, 2010

Good news from the exterminator... just ants, not termites. And not many ants, at that. Whew!

This week I had mini-churros from Jack in the Box and a Son of a Peach donut from Gordough's. Both were quite delicious in very different ways.

Video is running kinda slow on my computer of late... thinking I need a new system. Also thinking I can't afford said system. I also want an HDTV, an iPhone 4, one of the new XBoxes, a new computer desk and any number of other gadget-y type things I can't afford.

Berkeley Breathed is going to be signing at the IDW booth in San Diego. There's my first slight twinge of sadness I'm not going. On the other hand, knowing I'd probably have to wait in line for hours to get my book signed takes the edge off considerably.

Comics I Read This Week:
Avengers Academy #2 - Not bad. I'm still not really invested in the kids, but Gage is doing interesting stuff with their powers and personalities.

Chew #12 - I continue to love this book. Love the "mistaken page" bit of storytelling this issue, love the Chu/Amelia relationship, love the last page cliffhanger, love Poyo, love the art throughout... just one of my favorite books.

Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #1-2 - A great take on the "year one" story for Cassie Hack. I've long been a fan of this series, and I'm glad to see it getting a new spotlight and a chance for new readers at Image.

Sixth Gun #2 - It was a long wait for the second issue, but totally worth it. Much as I loved Damned, Sixth Gun is even better. Great western/supernatural adventure, love the characters and Hurtt's artwork is fantastic.

Sweets #1 - The book looks fantastic, which is no surprise... the story is expansive and scattered, and it's either going to come together beautifully or wind up being an over-ambitious mess by the end. But there's enough potential in this New Orleans-based crime story that I want to follow up and see which way it goes.

Thanos Imperative #2 - If this is the swan song for the Abnett/Lanning cosmic stuff, they're going out big. So far, it's as good as Annihilation and Conquest. I sure hope these guys are doing the new Cosmic Avengers book, because they've got this stuff down to a science.

Unwritten #15 - Wow, things are happening fast in this book. The literary geography, conspiracy elements and just generally great character interaction make this easily my favorite Mike Carey book, and easily my favorite new Vertigo book since Y and Fables.

Graphic Novels I Read This Week:
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites
BPRD Vol 13 1947

Reread Absolute Planetary Volume 1 and it was actually even better than I remembered it, Was very pleased with Absolute Planetary Volume 2 as well.

Brody's Ghost Vol 1 - Mark Crilley is *criminally* underrated in the comics industry. He's beloved by those that know him, but too few know him. Akiko, his earlier work, is a masterpiece that can most easily be described as Star Wars meets Wizard of Oz filtered through the sensibilities of Miyazaki. After that, the four part Miki Falls is a wonderful piece of supernatural romance.

And now we have Brody's Ghost, drawing on Crilley's asian influences to create a story of ghosts and psychic power wrapped up in a empowering oneself theme with fantastic characters, beautiful art and a very promising story.

Fans of Jeff Smith or Kazu Kibuishi's work should *definitely* check this out. It's a great opener, I can't wait for more, and I hope more people discover Crilley's work

Retailer Thought of the Week:
Almost as annoying as Marvel/DC's "three Wolverine/three Batman" in one week? The *flood* of long-delayed indie books that inevitably crowds my shelves the week before San Diego. At which point they're all competing much harder for the few indie fans' dollars, just like the Wolverine books compete for Wolverine fans' money.

On the upside, however, the flood of IDW material includes Scott Morse's new Strange Science Fantasy *and* Darwyn Cooke's Man With The Getaway Face teaser.

Missed Karate Kid at the Drafthouse, so we went to see it at Tinseltown. I actually saw three movies in the theater this week, which is a bit of a rarity. Saw Karate Kid (better than expected, Katy really liked it), Sorcerer's Apprentice (surprisingly solid little urban fantasy action movie. Would have liked more wacky Nic Cage (TM), but... fun!) and Inception (which I'm actually seeing after I write this recap, but I'm excited for).

Covert Affairs: Interesting opener, love some of the supporting cast, and it does have sort of a low-rent Alias feel to it. Of course, I loved the first couple seasons of Alias, and this is merely OK, but... I'll keep up with it for a few episodes, at least.

Accidentally watched about five minutes of a Castle rerun, including the fun opening sequence. Damn it, I'm gonna have to watch this show now, aren't I?

Does it make me a bad fan that I don't care at all whether Edward Norton is the Hulk or not? I like Edward Norton, but I didn't think he embodied Banner the way Downey Jr. just nailed Tony Stark, and I doubt Banner will be very prominent in the Avengers movie.

Along similar lines, if you think we should cast a wrestler for Thor or Captain America because "they're big enough" we can't have a serious discussion about superhero casting.

Walking Dead on AMC is looking pretty promising. The new cast shot is great, and this interview with Michelle MacLaren is pretty good as well.

Other Links:
My sister writes about their son's autism... and I thought she did an amazing job.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekly Recap - July 10th, 2010

It's been a pretty good week. I played D&D in three different games, recorded a LEOG and caught Spy Kids at the Alamo, which let me spend a lot of time with many friends and my daughter. And my son and I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday morning watching Backyardigans on the XBox/Netflix.

Shockingly, the Tuesday & Friday off, work Saturday schedule is, so far, better than having Friday & Saturdays off. Not working all of our slowest days, and working one of our busiest, is better for my mental health.

First Saturday night back at work was not too bad. Nice, busy day, nice quiet night that allowed me to get a lot done. Would have loved to have been busy at night, too, but we had a busy enough day that a quiet night was a good thing, not a bad thing.

Apparently we have termites in the house. Possibly only in my home office, but either way... not thrilled. Exterminator is coming on Tuesday. Think happy, non-termite-y thoughts at us.

The San Diego schedules are being announced, folks are announcing product they'll have there, and aside from a couple minor twinges... I'm pretty OK with not going this year. Realization of how much money it cost and how much hassle it was to get into *anything* last year have soured me a bit. I think it's a good thing I'm taking this year off. Also, Fred Phelps and his gang of loons are headed to San Diego, and since it's been a lifetime dream of mine to stomp one of those fuckers to death, it's probably best I'm not being presented with the temptation.

Comics I Read This Week:

Avengers The Children's Crusade #1 - It's not a bad read, and I really liked the Heinberg/Cheung run originally, but... it feels dated, given how much has changed since Civil War, etc. More importantly, it's rooted in the Avengers Disassembled stupidity, which means every page or so is slapping me in the face with the out-of-character behavior the various Avengers (especially Scarlet Witch) have been engaging in. Solidly done, clearly not for me.

Hawkeye & Mockingbird #2 - The WCA codenames are a bit goofy, but in an '80s way I appreciate, and in every other way, this book is being written just for me. McCann broadcasts his last page reveal a bit much, and it's a little darker than I'd like in a book that I want to be kind of caper-y and fun, but overall, I'm really enjoying this.

Hellboy The Storm #1 - I love the new status quo for Hellboy, I love Duncan Fegredo's art and I loved the fight scene that closed out the book.

I Zombie #3 - This has a really weird vibe, an unusual cast and of course, spectacular art. I'm digging it so far.

Shadowland #1 - I've been enjoying Diggle's Daredevil, but I've lost interest in the last couple issues, and I'm really not sold on Shadowland. The writing felt a bit clunky, and I really don't like the moral relativity the Avengers have developed since Bendis relaunched them, and I *really* don't like the new "Do what we tell you or we'll shut you down" arrogance they've had since he relaunched them again. But the biggest problem? Can someone honestly tell me why killing Bullseye, who is an unrepentant mass murderer that they can't keep imprisoned for more than a week, is a bad idea? This is Daredevil's big break with heroism? Sorry, I don't see it.

Steve Rogers Super Soldier #1 - This new spy Cap just doesn't feel like Steve Rogers to me, and I can't stand that no one at Marvel thought to give him an actual job title instead of just "Top Cop of the World and Commander of the Mighty Avengers," both of which are meaningless. That said, if I just view it as a superhero-tinged spy/action book, it's a pretty solid read.

Thor The Mighty Avenger #1 - A continuity-free new Thor series, starting from the beginning in an "Ultimate" type of way (modernizing his origin and his supporting cast) by Roger Langridge & Chris Samnee? Yes, please! Fantastic stuff.

X-Women #1 - Damn near unreadable with the Claremontese, but beautiful to look at.

Young Allies #2 - The "Heroic Age" still has an awful lot of civilian deaths for my tastes, but I really like Gravity and Firestar, and this book is reminding me a bit of what a revamped, new take on the '90s New Warriors would look like, and that's no bad thing.

Retailer Thought of the Week:
Had somebody get kinda surly with me this week because we sold out of Shadowland #1 first day. Now I get that selling out of one of Marvel's big books on the first day seems like an inconceivable error, like I must not have any idea what I'm doing, but here's the thing: It was one of over 75 books we ordered this week. Not including graphic novels and other merchandise, just single issues. We got maybe two or three wrong and sold out too early. I would *love* to be perfect. I hate selling out of stuff too early and I hate having to turn someone away without being able to buy what they want... but asking me to have perfect 100% ordering just seems a bit much.


My Monday D&D group saw them facing down gnomes, bandits, a swordmage and a couple halfling warlocks... not to mention wraiths and the half-mad betraying half-elf warlock who hired them... before turning into an aberrant creature of darkness and trying to murder them all.

Started playing Brutal Legend, which I got for my birthday from my friend Jason, and I'm really enjoying it thus far. Pretty funny writing and voice-acting, solid gameplay.

I was thinking of trading in some old games to get the new Transformers War on Cybertron game, which has been getting amazing reviews, but 8 XBox 360 games would net me about $20 in trade credit at Gamestop. Yeah, that's why I pretty much don't trade in games.

New Red Dead Redemption DLC! Multiplayer Poker, Liar's Dice & Horse Racing! New characters! New weapons! Zombies! Hell yes!

Damn it Bioware, I can't afford to buy a new computer! And I don't have time for a new MMO! But you're going to make me do it, aren't you?

Roger Ebert can't resist poking the bear further, in regards to videogames. Ironically, whenever Ebert writes about videogames, I think of a Twain quote: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." How the guy can be so smart, observant and thoughtful on so many subjects and just pig-headedly, willfully and *loudly* ignorant about videogames is frustrating to me. (I have been reliably informed that this is not actually a Twain quote, even though it has been attributed to him... still, the quote seems apropos)


Louis CK - Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy from Conan O'Brien and The Poker Scene from Louie Episode 2

It turns out that I have an opinion on Blue's Clues. The ones with Steve are better than the ones with Joe. And I'm as shocked that I have an opinion on that as anyone.

Netflix decided that Starz canceling Party Down wasn't enough of a kick in the teeth for fans

Regarding Texas Heat:
Having mowed the yard and taken the kids to Amy's for ice cream & playground time on Tuesday, I can confirm: It was super-fucking hot out. You won't get that kind of measurement from our weather people, but you should. Texas heat should be measured not in degrees, but by how many times, on average, you mutter "FUCK! It's Hot!" while outside.

This guy's a tool. "I have to say, it's about 80 right now and perfectly comfortable." Yeah, well, it's usually a hundred here in Texas, and we need our goddamned A/C! Most of his "Republican victories are due to air-conditioning" type points feature spotty logic, as well.

Other Links:

I Love The Onion