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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

One of the movies that I've had on my MUST WATCH! list is The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.  I have wanted to see this movie from the very first moment I watched the trailer for it.  I knew I was going to love watching this movie!

I am 11 minutes and 48 seconds into this movie. I hate it.
Keep in mind I've read up on the parrots.  I've read about the infighting between the residents of Telegraph Hill.  And I've read Mark Bittner's in depth response to the fighting and blame laying and rebuttles and on.  For a while I really ghosted this guy's website just to get an idea of the situation these birds were in.  (Note: half of his website seems to be down right now.  The In Depth details and discussions are not online.)  The few times I've run across his book I've set everything aside to read what I could.  I've even seen other documentaries made by Judy Irving. 
So finally getting a chance to see the movie was supposed to be like playing with fine glitter after dealing with grit.  Only. . . it's the other way around.  Seriously just over 10 minutes into this film and it is not cool. 
I'm going to ask P.B. to take a look at it.  Maybe I'm missing something here. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Violent! Hunted by Morgan Freeman

*** Violent ***
This is a gamecast of a group of friends playing a first person shooter and having fun.  It's a bloody video game.  But the commentary and the voice impersonations are pretty spot on! 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Seeing Red

     Just felt like putting up some mostly red Decoed 'Bots

  • Ironhide
  • Swerve
  • Cliffjumper
  • Hubcap
  • Windcharger
I happen to think Cliffjumper looks good with Ironhides big Sniper rifle

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Avengers in the House

     We Purchased Marvels the Avengers at Walmart yesterday. We are scheduled to Podcast and watch it this Sunday, and Sam doesn't think I can hold out. To that end, I have decided to Chronicle my symptoms.
one of these white cars may actually be mine...

     I will be updating this daily until the Packaging gets torn open...

  • Day 1: it's on the shelf- I can see it there, when I look back. It;s right next to Thor, with a little gap in the shelf where Captain America, as yet unwatched, has been removed. It's a little like a lost tooth- it doesn't hurt, but you know there is a gap where it's missing from. Or maybe more like Something stuck between two teeth, and you haven't gone for the floss yet. You know it's there, it's a little uncomfortable, but it's not driving you crazy...yet.
Update 1:
  • Day 2: I know the movie is there- I feel it constantly, and see Loki around the edges of my Vision telling me it's OK to watch some of the movie...everything will be OK...I 'm going to stay strong, and hold out. Still must watch Captain America...
Update 2:
  • Day 3: Still hnads are shaking, I may have a slight fever. I rose this morning from an unquiet sleep filled with Stark Tech and thunder gods to the knowledge that it's still another day off...
Update 3:

This week’s assignment from the League: West Wing Beginnings- the Young Bartlet Years

In the spirit of Young Indiana Jones, Young Frankenstein, or Young Einstein, come up with a “Young ___” prequel or series.

     WWB(from the CW network) covers the early years of Jed Bartlets life, and his long Friendhsip with Leo McGarry- each episode features an opening Narration by Martin Sheen, as well as a closing Narration, with the life lesson learned
     The Show Stars Emilio Estevez(obvious) as young Jed Bartlet
     Kristin Kreuk, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Chris Zylka star as the young Abby Barrington, Dolores Landingham and Leo McGarry respectively (since they are all available on the CW). The Plan for the show is to run 10 seasons, culminating in Bartlet taking the oath of office, similar to the overall story arc of Smallville. The vicious battles in the New Hampshire state house, and the back room deals of the governors office promise for exciting T.V. There are plans to allude to Bartlets MS, and story arcs covering Leos battles with alcohol and pills. Possible cameos by younger versions of CJ Cregg, Toby Ziegler, Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn, as well as more esoteric characters from the original series
Here are some offerings by my Esteemed Colleagues

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Transformers Prime

"We must never lose sight of the fact that upon this Earth, we are titans...and such power must be used wisely" Optimus Prime on Transformers Prime-Legacy  

  I love the story, not 100% in love with the animation models, but I like them. And I love the engineering on the figures, and am looking forward to the new releases. I promised I would put these up for Pax and others, just took me a while to actually take the pics

now, to just transform them all back...

Friday, September 21, 2012

In Training

     Like any Fine Athlete with a big event coming up, I am training. I'm training for The Avengers. So in my training, I am re-watching the movies leading up to The Avengers. It's demented and sad, yes, and it is the way I roll. I finished Iron Man this morning before work. I expect to have Captain America finished on monday. I will be updating this post with thoughts from each movie as I go along.

  • Iron Man- I think my favorite scene in the movie is the scene with Pepper and Stane in the office, where she is copying the drive. Bridges is so casually sinister, so cat and mouse, that he just blows me away. Second favorite is the scene in Gulmira where Iron Man makes his debut. there is not much to it, in terms of action, but it's a feel good scene- he saves the kids father
updates to come as I watch

Update 1:
  • The Incredible Hulk- I had never seen this one before, largely because of the first Hulk movie, where it seemed the writer and director had a name (Hulk) and a color (Green) but no actual knowledge of the character or origin-but I digress. this one was fun. I would own this one if I found it at the right price, the relationship between Betty Ross and Bruce Banner was almost mother/child in some scenes, which was interesting. A lot of sly nods to the TV show back in the late 70's. Norton makes a  good Banner, trying hard not to lose it and turn green and nasty.
Update 2:
Update 3:
  • Thor - I love Thor, think the casting is great- Anthony Hopkins makes a perfect Odin, Tom Hiddleston an excellent Loki. The design of Asgard is beautiful to look upon, and otherwordly without being too out there. As a comic fan versed in Thors story, I am able to see the subtle nods to his comic history (Donald Blake M.D.) and where it all fits together. My only Fear for this movie is that the script doesn't cover enough for a non-fan to really get a grounding in what's going on, yet at the same time, the conflict between Thor and Loki is Basic, easy for anyone to understand who ever envied a brother. There is a lot played out for laughs, and Coulson is back(above), and always great on the screen
Update 4: Final Update
  • Captain America-The First Avenger- I can't heap high enough praise on this movie. As a lifelong Captain America fan, I feel that they did the story just right. They took what could have been campy or corny or just plain bad and made it noble and proud without hammering it into you. I have not talked a lot about the leads in these movies this go-round, focusing instead on the supporting cast, but Chris Evans...just nails it. He takes the character seriously, even at times where the character can't take himself seriously(seeing his performance selling war bonds as resembling that of a trained monkey) He plays the character as smart, dedicated, observant and brave, even before the application of the super-soldier serum. Backup performances by Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones are perfect, and Hugo Weaving makes a perfect Red Skull. Above all of these fine performances, though, the Director captures the atmosphere superbly, and splendidly ties the past into the present, making this movie the one that ties all of the others together. Note the Symbol of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, versus the S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem.

We also get to see Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark, when he was not the cold, distant man Tony remembers but was a lot more like Tony himself. We get to wonder what took the fun out of him

Jingle Ball Apocalypse

     I'm not sure what happened. I'm not sure what they did to deserve it. But every Jingle ball has been thrown out of Tangos cage, and are on the floor

 Every jingle ball.
 we have two under the cage, and one under the bed

     So I did some looking to try to find out what they might have done, and I have to conclude that the banishment was probably arbitrary. There is no reliable statistic about jingle ball related crimes

Point of fact, I'm not sure why half those links came up in response...always fun and informative to confuse the internet, isn't it?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bad Combination of Tastes

     I have, on my desk, a snack container. I put things in it, Sam puts things in it. right now, it contains Mint Oreos, and roasted and salted peas- each in their own container, but the mint is Strong.

     So I have mint flavored roasted and salted peas... not a good combination

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Been Super Lazy

     I have been reading Blog posts, not writing them. I have found many Wonderful writers through the League Of Extraordinary Bloggers, and I have just been enjoying their wit and wisdom.

     So here are some of my Favorites(in no particular order)
  1. 3B's Toy Hive
  2. Action Figure Blues
  3. Green Plastic Squirt Gun
  4. The Man Who Stares At Toys
  5. ShezCrafti
  6. UnderScoopFire

I'll be back to writing soon, I have pictures to take and edit- in the meantime, enjoy what I have been enjoying

Monday, September 17, 2012

This week’s assignment from the League: How to destroy the Death Star

The League of Extraordinary Bloggers
We all have our own skills and talents, and I thought that this week we could learn a thing or two from one another. This week’s League challenge…

Write a step-by-step guide on how to do something. This could be a real world project or a fantastical one, so do with it as you will.

  1. Open a Starbucks- everyone loves Starbucks. pretty soon all of the compartments and corridors around that Starbucks will be filled with restaurants and shops. I envision a Ross in there where you can buy discount and oddly fitting stormtrooper armor and imperial uniforms...
  2. This Starbucks is too crowded- if there is only one Starbucks, pretty soon it will be so crowded that no one wants to go there- solution: open 12 more Starbucks, and so on...until the Death Star has become the Death Mar , a series of Strip Malls with the power to destroy an entire economy- mainly it's own. Stormtroopers will be moonlighting to try to pay their credit card bills, and soon...
  3. Stores start closing- vast sections of the Death Mar will be deserted and unmaintained. Huge American Grafitti'd sections where not even Droids will willingly go will be taken over by Bothan hover-skateboarders and used as Skate parks. Once prosperous stores will close and move to Alderaan, leaving the space to go to low- rent thrift stores and Family Credit
  4. When the last Starbucks Closes, you will be able to drop a credit coin in the former north control room of the Death Mar, and anyone in the south command sector will be able to hear which side it landed on
  5. After Galactic Renewal, the Death Mar becomes all low rent housing for single unwed Gungan mothers. I particularly like the fountains they install around the main reactor shaft-very artistic
  6. And then someone gets the brilliant idea to open a Starbucks for the Gungan Mothers...

total time involved: approximately 6 standard galactic months, and not a single Proton Torpedo impacted on the surface. By the way, can I interest anyone in a used X-Wing? only piloted by a little old lady on her way to Jedi Temple.

I look forward to seeing what Green Plastic Squirt Gun, The Sexy Geek's House of Swag, Cool and Collected, and 3B's Toy Hive come up with, as well as everybody else!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Entree Versus Dessert

     In the movie "Music and Lyrics" ( Romantic Comedy, possible Chick Flick, and I don't care) the two leads compare songs to food- that pop songs are like dessert, fun but not really meaning anything. The Song he Writes at the end, to win her back, she describes as "dinner"

     I feel like that about my blog posts- some of them are dessert, some nothing but a candy bar, and some are probably a handful of tic-tacs. Some of them are a full entree, and are there to evoke deep thoughts, and possibly to inspire you to do something creative too. They are not always going to be funny, but you'll know when I dirty a few pans putting one together

     Interesting fun slightly related fact- Sam can cook an entire meal and use one pan and like a pair of chopsticks. I can boil water and dirty every dish in the house. She is an endless mystery to me, and I fear her powers. It's even worse now that she got those two rings, the green one and the one with elvish writing on it...

     Dirtied: approximately one sauce pan, a cheese grater, and that thing Sam calls a "zester"

Angel Movies

     Been watching Angel movies...Michael, The Prophecy(1, 2, 3, the ones with Walken as Gabriel). Both are fascinating takes on these Mythical beings.

     Gabriel in Mythology does the kindness of God, but in the Prophecy, Christopher Walken's Gabriel is more of a celestial Terminator- nigh unstoppable, except apparently by modern technology. He is forced to seek out humans at the point of death and "stop" them -delaying their death for as long as he wants- to use as servants to do mundane tasks such as driving him or using a computer. At times Gabriel is Chilling, at times Tragic, at times Darkly Funny("it's not personal- it's business") but whenever he is on the screen, he dominates it. He compels us to watch him, and his fall, and finally his rise in the third movie.

     Michael is a comedy, more than that, it's a Nora Ephron comedy. The Tagline is "he's an angel, not a saint". We first See Michael as an obese, chain-smoking dirty man in boxers, living in a roadside motel with an older lady. Oh, let me add - With Wings - the prosthetics on this were pretty decent for the genre and time the movie was made. Michael seems like a hedonist- a "Grass Roller"- hiding out on earth because he likes the atmosphere, but he has a subtle purpose in being there, which he carries out by forcing the reporters who have come to see him to go on a lengthy road trip. Travolta's Michael has a sly wisdom about him, and is not above a head trip along with the road trip

     There are a lot of movies about Angels-T.V. too- From It's a Wonderful Life and the Bishops Wife to the contemporary, such as Legion and Supernatural, our take on angels runs the Gamut from Saccharine Sweet to Sinister. We don't really know what to do with Angels, I guess, but they spur our imagination and our dreams. Whether we have them showing us our life's work and putting it in perpective, or winning a baseball game, or stalking us mercilessly, blood in their eyes, they do catch our attention

Friday, September 14, 2012

Evil Genius

    If I ever find that I need to become a Supervillain or a Mad Scientist, I believe the name I would chose is Dr. Conuresleeve. Tango helped me come up with this name, and I'll bet you can imagine how.

   I just experienced him climbing up my t-shirt sleeve, across my right shoulder-blade (making me, for that interval, more hunchbacked assistant than mad scientist) and then up through the neckhole of the t-shirt.

     I tried to get pictures but he moves around more than a pack of spider monkeys on Espresso. He has this whole Migratory cycle that takes place in just a few minutes of time. Apparently he thinks birds who move seasonally are slackers.

However, this crude diagram should give some idea

now I just need a Rube Golbergian plot for World Domination and maybe an Archnemesis
on a different but related note


     An update to our trials and travails with a leak in the apartment. the landlord got a contractor down here, once we had given him a good idea of where to look for the water source, and he located and eliminated the leak upstairs (or so it would seem at this juncture- cautiously optimistic).

     currently he is in the process of removing no-longer-drywall so he can patch up the walls and we can actually have a door that closes in there again!!!

     Yay, Landlord and Contractor!

     and there shall be great rejoicing

Thursday, September 13, 2012


     "Look, there are certain rules I have to abide by. I'm not authorized to communicate with you except... to say I can't communicate with you... " - Agent Simmons, Transformers

     Sam has a big post she is working on, so I am posting this (paradoxically it seems) to let you know that she has asked me not to post today

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

League Assignment: Star of the Show!

Do you have what it takes to be a Shakespearean prison actor?
Television executives have determined that you lead an amazing life and have pegged you as the next big reality TV star. What’s the name and the premise of your show? 

Prison Masters takes you into the thrilling and illicit world of the Ants of Words Shakespeare Troupe.  Ants of Words travels from penitentiary to penitentiary performing various Shakespearean works.  These actors put on shows to 'Bring Theater Arts to the Caged Masses'. They work with little to no money, no sets other than a stage, and no other expectations than to put on a good show.  Or so they say.  The real purpose of Ants of Words is far more sinister than anyone could guess.

Prison Masters debuts with reading tutor Peggy Mather's* first day as a volunteer drama coach.  She's instructed through security procedures and walked to the drama room by the overseeing warden himself.  Though Peggy is advised to 'never let yourself get caught alone with these guys' it's advice she very quickly forgets.  

Peggy first meets Joseph**, an inmate in for life.  He's a reformed gangster turned Christian.  He sneaks into the drama room, practices a few lines from the St. Crispin's Day speech, and charms her.  When he asks Peggy to return a hand-sized pink covered bible to his mamma, how can she refuse?  Later in the episode Joseph's mamma gives her a beta fish (complete with tank) to take back to her son.  (Several episodes later we learn the beta fish was for fish fighting - a source of gambling in the prison.  Oh, and there was money hidden in the air filter.)  It's up to Peggy to figure out how to get the 'gift' in to Joseph.

Each episode is 22 minutes before commercial inclusion.  Although this is filmed on location the opportunity for sponsorship is endless.  The viewers, as well as Peggy, are let into the fact that the primary purpose behind the troupe is to move goods.  What kind of goods?  Anything they can't obtain in person.  This goes beyond the usual cigarettes, cell phones, ipads, and poker decks.  Anything goes - the weirder the better.  

Although trades of goods are not the primary or secondary focus of the show approximately five minutes of air time will be devoted to how the item is obtained and what it is used for.  One mid-season episode is entitled Goliath.  The troupe itself 'trades-in' a small jar of four black widow spiders 'for gambling'.  At the end of the episode, however, the prison is locked down as a brutal guard is found dead in his office.   Vincent, the quiet director of the troupe, warns Peggy to say she doesn't know anything.  And that 'Rumor isn't truth."  The next episode opens with Peggy being interviewed by the Lieutenant Warden regarding what she knows of how the guard dies.  

Other troupe members include Jordi-Gordi-Diana.  Peggy's uncertain around him at first as, per the other troupe members, one never knows which one of the personalities you're talking to.  They grow closer, though, when Peggy learns the austere Shakespearean actor cannot read.  She decides to take Jordi-Gordi-Diana under her wing.  (By the end of the first season he's mastered reading at a fifth grade level and html coding.)

Though Peggy herself is often caught flat-footed, and a little surprised at the troupe's open attitudes towards just about everything, she surprises them as well.  When it's revealed Peggy is having relationship issues, each of the troupe members attempt to help her through 'man speak'.  In one episode troupe members argue the philosophical approach Peggy should take in dealing with her husband.  The prisoners backing the Freud 'method' (just f**k him till he grins) go sharpened spoon to fists with the prisoners backing the Maslow 'method' (lock him in a dark closet and deprive him of all things until he begs for forgiveness).  

One breakout surprise is Monster.  He's a former military specialist who has the habit of giving timely advice and mixing up his Shakespearean lines with poetry from Keats.  Monster collects postcards and magazine cut-outs of rare art pieces.  Though their relationship starts out warmly, Peggy's not to sure of him as the season travels on.  Her security in being around Monster takes a serious nosedive during the season ending episode.

Speaking of the season ender, what would you expect to happen at a prison?  That's right: a riot.  And Peggy Mathers is caught behind bars in an unfamiliar prison with the Ants of Words Shakespeare Troupe.  Asphault, a wiry haired wannabe vegan, suggests she eats the beta fish to survive.  A small betting war is started between two lesser troupe members as to whether or not Peggy will.  Later in the episode inmates burst into the room only to be faced with Monster.   Monster protects Peggy from the rioting inmates by doing what he does best: breaking bones and ending lives.  Ending scenes from this season are of Peggy talking about how she doesn't know if she's going to return to the troupe.  As the credits roll out Joseph can be heard quoting lines from Taming of the Shrew.  
*   All names are changed to protect the innocent. 
** Convicts are presumed innocent except where prosecuted in a court of law.

I enjoyed reading these League Challenge posts:
Lair of the Dark Horde
The Ward
Thrift Justice
Geeks In Love
Special Note: 3 B's Toy Hive - Must watch the 911 operator videos to the very end.  Too Good!  This made me laugh so hard.  Thank you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years ago today...

     I was sick that morning- I remember being violently ill- had thrown up and was still nauseous when we heard the news about the towers- at the time, I thought it was a psychic flash a la Obi Wan Kenobi of all the lives snuffed at once- A great disturbance in the Force. In retrospect, I probably just ate some bad Midichlorians

     I'd like to say all of those lives were snuffed out by a thoughtless act, but I think we all know the act was very well thought out, an act of evil, conceived by evil minds.

I wanted to share this, from the West Wing Episode "Isaac and Ishmael"

League Assignment : Star of the show!


     I'm taking up the challenge from the League for this week, (Television executives have determined that you lead an amazing life and have pegged you as the next big reality TV star. What’s the name and the premise of your show?). To be My reality show, it has to reflect my preferred reality.

     Introducing Badgers Plastic Bubble: Real Life in an Unreal World. it would feature me, a blog writer and artist, trying to make sense of those around me and the situations I find myself in by utilizing the sage advice of my Birds and My Plastic Toys- who speak in voices no one else on the show can hear...; Some Examples of good voices would be:

     Whe the show airs on AETV in a half hour timeslot between MeTV  and Monster Cafe, with the exciting Penny Hunter later on, this surefire hit gets tweeted like crazy, inspiring a CBS sitcom- "$#*! my Bird Says". The audience can wonder if I'm actually mentally disturbed or if the voices in my head are real! The truth of course lies somewhere in the middle

Someone messed with my swing- I think they were nihilists
Man, that swing really brought the cage together

So how about we go get some pizza- can we do that? I think that's a great idea

Monday, September 10, 2012

Deep in My Parents Garage...

     An Ancient N scale train set-mine from years ago- I had to haul it back across town in the back seat of the civic because the box was too big for the trunk. this monstrosity is mounted on a 3-d Styrofoam landscape and the track loops over and bridges across itself.

     this is part of the "clean your darn stuff out of mom and dad's garage" project. I need to inventory it, and make some calls, see if anyone is interested in it. I know that I am unlikely to currently try to set up a model train set unless part of it transforms...

     Who knows what other treasures await in the garage tho? possibly even the other half of my G1 transformers collection, long thought lost...

     A guy can dream

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Historic 100th post

It's been 100 posts full of birds, books, movies and merriment- looking forward to 100 more!

and our top 5 posts of the month, relinked!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hondo by Louis L'Amour

     Hondo is an expansion of the short story "the Gift of Cochise" - well, I say expansion but there is a bit more to that. The short story was bought for movie rights by Robert Fellows and "the Duke" himself. Louis L'Amour wrote the novelisation of his original short story, which placed it a few years later in history and made it a lot darker in tone

     Angie Lowe is the same, a courageous woman with a young son, taking care of the homestead in Arizona in the absence of her husband, Ed; in the original story she has a daughter as well. she wins the respect of Cochise (Victorio in the novel and film) by fighting off his warriors, killing seven of them in the process. She also shows that her young son can shoot, further engendering his respect.

     Ed Lowe has been changed, drastically- the original story has him as a well intentioned but idling man, who works hard when he has to but likes to laze about. The novel turns him into a much darker character, the kind of man who would desert his family for months on end and not give them a second thought. In the short story(full text provided above) he steps into a fight where Ches Lane is facing superior odds, saves the other man but is fatally wounded himself. This sets Ches off on a quest to find the wife and kids of this man, and...tell them? save them? he's not 100% clear on his intent, except that he can't let it slide

     in the novel, Ches Lane becomes Hondo Lane, an army dispatch rider who once lived among the Apaches. He is very tough, a very good desert survivor, and has a dog trained to alert to the smell of an Indian (seriously). There seems to be very little softness in him even an indifference initially, which is why I tend to like Ches a lot more than his brother Hondo. Hondo himself turns out all right in the end, he's just not quite as nice a good guy as Ches is.

     I'm not going to open wide the plot for you, read the book if you are interested in how it turns out. I kind of feel like the story got a "Hollywood" treatment, to make it a tough as nails western for John Wayne to play in. Ches becomes Hondo the gunfighter. Ed Lowe becomes a lowdown gambler. We have Victorio, who's an honorable warrior but we also have Silvio who is a savage in every definition of the word, and completely base. What I did find interesting is that all through the book, I never got the sense of John Wayne as the character. I tried over and over again to fit the Duke in there, and he just wasn't quite the right fit. He wasn't a square peg in a round hole, but he was at least oval.

     I liked Hondo- I liked it a lot. but I can't help but wonder what a full length novel of the original story would have been like...

How I Became Poker Champion of the Poor

I'm not saying I wrote terrible things in the free-write.  
But . . . 
Satan just handed back the rough draft and won't meet my eyes.

Original Post: 
Hey, Badger, I want to post a story here titled How I Became Poker Champion of the Poor.  It's all about how I didn't get my sandwich and got into an argument with a doorman.  It's irreverent and rude and sarcastic and maybe even a little snarky.  Best lines are:

When I get off the train the first thing I see are these werewolf outfits.  Not just any werewolf outfits.  But the extra special ones made out of creamy colored alpaca wool made from the really good stuff out of Land-of-Groom farms.  Sure, it makes the wearer look a lot like Disney's Goofy.  But as far as werewolf outfits go these are the type that are top of the line.  The outfits are piled off to the side one ontop another like they're old skins or something off a dusty spagheti western.

It features Chippendale Policemen, The Russians, and G.L.O.W.  Oh, and it'a all about the things one can collect.  Like the Transformers Monopoly crossed Tarzan MMORPG.

Should I post it here?  There's cusswords, too.  Did I mention the European survivalist fashion model?  Or the bamboo walls????  Did I tell you it has Ted Bundy and George Carlin, too?

What do you think?

I Support Street Art

I support street art.  It's not the same as mindless gang graffiti.  It's deliberate.  It's Banksy.  It's the screw on the side of trains.  And it's the Revolutionary Council of the Peoples Front for Street Sign Liberation.

I may not always agree with street art.  I have trouble with it on an environmental level.  And, frankly, to pull it off costs a lot in $$$ and time.  But I do know it's what makes a parking lot an elegant place to be.
I don't know whose pic this is.  If you do please let me know so I can give them proper credit.  :) Sam

Thursday, September 6, 2012


     On I-25 southbound, just before Steele Street, there are a set of skidmarks that literally run from the left lane to the right wall. I see things like that, and my mind starts to work- I try to figure how empty the highway had to be to leave uninterrupted skidmarks across that many lanes of traffic. I try to figure how fast the car had to be going. And I wonder if anyone was hurt, hoping not.

     The world is full of tracks of things that have gone before- rabbits on a snowy street- dogs in mud- cats across your car roof. If you stop to examine them, imagine what happened, sometimes it's pretty interesting. Down on Champa street between 16th and 15th in denver, there are gouges running across the street, up onto the sidewalk, and all the way to the doors of a building. it looks to me like the Light Rail train derailed, but I have not been able to find any definite confirmation

For Further reading on tracking- The Tracker by Tom Brown Jr.

and Tom Brown Jr.s page at wikipedia

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Use of Latin

     I don't speak Latin. I kind of wish I did- it sounds cool, and one of my literary idols, Terry Pratchett has a lot of fun with his Latin and Pseudo-Latin jokes

     So I go to google translate and fake it, attempting to sound cool. I mean no offense to any Latin scholars, and certainly would prefer not to find any hordes of undead  Roman Centurions (!)  Marching in Formation outside my front door looking for some linguistic payback for butchering their talk

     If I offend, it's not meant so, and if you can correct, I would love to see where I'm going wrong.

     Maybe I can learn a little late-life Latin after all!

Confessions of a Collecting Mind Part 4

From Part 3

  I'd like to call this the modern age of my collecting. In the 1990s, Star Wars Figures began to be released again, in a newer style. I hunted down the first series of these, and the plastic monkey sank his sharp plastic fangs in. I Grabbed occasional Transformers, as they caught my interest.
      I married again, to an amazing person filled with patience and understanding of my quirks and broken places. And when Patience and Understanding don't work, she kicks my butt into line. We worked together, raised pets together, sometimes buried pets together. We moved from an old Victorian style house to what I call "the Burrow".

     In 2007- Michael Bay (love him, hate him, etc.) Directed the Transformers live action movie and suddenly I had new Transformers toys again that I was interested in. My old love affair was reborn anew, and I was agog at the engineering advances in the last few years.

     In 2011, the Crepundia Carta was formed in my household to limit my collection to:

  • What I really want
  • What I really care about
  • What I can take care of
  • What I have space for
  • What I can afford from my Hobby Account
     So here is my Confession, with Grateful thanks to Chuck Barris for lending me a title. I've learned to live with the Plastic Monkey and his wants. I've learned a lot about Moderation, Compromise, and Temperance. I've learned about preserving the things from childhood that matter- the wonder, the discovery, the imagination, and those amazing plastic toys...

My Crown Jewels...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Confessions of a Collecting Mind Part 3

     Continued from part 2

  In 1984, Transformers started showing up on afternoon T.V. for the kids getting out of school. This was a golden time for Toy manufacturers, when the regulations restricting promotional content from being placed in Children's shows were considerably eviscerated. We had He-Man, with She-Ra thrown in later. We had G.I.Joe (a Real American Hero). And I had nephews coming over to my parents house to be watched while their mom was working.

     I've always felt like my childhood ended just as the toys were getting really good. So now I could re-experience the toys with my nephews and help entertain them. Together we would replay Star Wars and create new adventures. And something about the Transformers just clicked- here we had a story of Heroic Mechanical Beings battling Tyrranical ones. We had Robots in Disguise, who could change their form to blend in. I collected quite a few- My nephews did too, and we had some good times

     For Perspective, at this point in the narrative, I'm in my third year of high school. Girls are of interest to me, definitely. But I'm looking for girls who share my interests too. I got involved in Fantasy Wargaming as well. I graduated, moved on to college, met a girl, got married, had a child of my own, got divorced, and moved on with my life. My Transformers and Star Wars stuff got packed up, and for a while, there was not a lot of toy collecting going on

and then...came part 4

Monday, September 3, 2012

Confessions of a Collecting Mind Part 2

     From Part 1
  In 1977 there was Star Wars, Right there on the big screen, and We Had Never Seen The Like. We had Space battles on the screen, and Lightsaber battles...OK, some of this stuff had been done before- Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers serials...but we had never seen... Star Wars

Love him, Hate him, think he's the devil made flesh, George Lucas had some amazing ideas about how he wanted his movie to look, and he created a whole world of special effects just to do it. What we see in Modern movies would not be possible without Lucas and ILM paving the way

     But I come not to praise Ceasar, but to bury him- and I come not to talk movies, but toys...

     with Star Wars came something else we had never seen before- the 3.75" scale toys which would become the industry standard for the future. in the entry I linked, it talks about Mego turning down the license for Star Wars toys when offered...Mego is long gone now, the only thing left is the memory of their 8" figures and the fading sounds of them kicking themselves over that decision.

     We had the Star Wars Early Bird Offer, one of the greatest marketing coups in history. we got the main movie characters, plus some others and a toy line that spanned multiple companies, six movies, and countless "expanded universe" books and media. I remember picking up about 5 characters from a toy store called "Guys and Dolls" in 1978, when they were released

     I mentioned Mego, and they were not long to jump on the 3.75" bandwagon with the Cheesy(extra cheesy) Buck Rogers movie/T.V. show, the Dukes of Hazzard and the Black Hole. Despite all of this and bringing the Micronauts from Japan, Mego went under for the last time in 1983. Here is a site where a lot of their toys can still be viewed today.

Something else momentous happened around this time- my sister Spawned Young- making me an uncle- and she moved back from the forbidden wastes of Arizona. Suddenly I had her kids to play with, a fact which would become really significant in part 3

On to Part 3....

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Confessions of a Collecting Mind Part 1

     I was raised the last of several kids, in a house with lots of stuff my brothers and sisters left behind. My brother left a forbidden bin of comics(mostly marvel), my sisters left Barbies and accoutrements. And my parents collected Depression Era Glass.

     Every Saturday morning, I would watch some cartoons, and then we would go out to the DAV and the Salvation Army stores as well as antique stores they liked. and they would find pieces they wanted, and I would find books or toys, and once a fencing foil

     My toys during these years were the Mego Worlds Greatest Superhero Collection, an amazing collection of both DC and Marvel characters- I remember having Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, and many others. I would play alone or with school friends, and I recall creating a submarine for Aquaman out of a plastic trash can and two hangers

     I was a spoiled kid on many levels- I remember I used to get a mego hero when I went to the doctor for instance, and I got Strep Throat a lot as a kid- at least twice a year. I had no idea then what possibilities the future would hold for toys...

To Be Continued...seriously, that's what part 1 means!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Confuse it Forward

     So, Sam and I are out to grab a bite to eat again, this time at Del Taco. Sam is not very hungry, and orders something unusual- three orders of fish tacos worth of cabbage and sauce, but no fish, and no corn tortilla- Basically a kind of Cole Slaw. I'm listening to this with half an ear, considering my own selection, when I hear the guy behind the counter say "no Fish"

     Instantly my attention is fully on the transaction. "there's no Fish? I say. "no, there's fish- you want fish tacos?"- well I didn't until I heard that there might be no fish.

     So now I'm confused, but that's OK, because the counter clerk is still trying to figure out why Sam wants cabbage, and sauce, but no tacos- and she wants it in a tray like they use for french fries- and he has no clue how to ring up the final result. So she has confused him, and he has confused me. And together, we all confused his manager- end result, Sam got her Del Taco Cole Slaw, I had chicken soft tacos, and the counter guy had a great story to tell later on...

On a a different note: 10 Signs You Have Become a Crazy Bird Person