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.