Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2013

Taxman - not a superhero



Jamie does our taxes.  I have no idea how any of that works.  I suspect, however, if something goes wrong it shall be me and not she that winds up in the clink.  All the more reason to be nice to the wife.

In this day and age, I don't really know anyone who doesn't (a) file online (b) as soon as they have their paperwork together.  Maybe growing up with stories on the local and national news every April 15th of people sitting in line at the post office to get their taxes in taught my generation a lesson.

Still, it is that magical day here in the US, so if you haven't filed, it's probably time.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

No Post Thursday - what I've been doing (class, books, end of the yearly cycle)

This evening I went to the gym, watched an episode of Mad Men Season 5, did some pre-ordering of comics, and got pretty far along with the first unit of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) I've started through Canvas.

When I get through the first week, I'll post some personal and professional observations as someone who (a) has read comics for a long, long time - including a good chunk of the assigned reading, (b) who actually does care about gender representations in media - but maybe not in a particularly prescribed way, and (c) who worked in distance education for a decade before moving on to digital libraries.  As bonus featurea (d) I already went through five years of undergraduate education in narrative media studies, and (d) I sort of have my opinions regarding scholarly writing when it comes to social criticism, so...  it's turning out to be an interesting experience already.

It's going to be a long post, and only, likely, I will care about it, so...  look for THAT.

Speaking of gender in comics and pop-culture, yesterdays post on why it's okay for Power Girl to have a "boob window" got a fair number of hits.  By that, I mean, we were around 95 last I checked, which is, like, HUGE for this site.  I never know what's going to get traffic.  I fully expected upwards of 18 clicks.

I am making a commitment to just admit I am going to just read all the Richard Stark novels and nothing else that is not a comic until I finish the Parker and Grofield series.  And then I have, literally, ten books to get through.


  • I'm about a quarter way through the Larry Tye Superman book Nathan gave me, so that might get read while I work through the Stark novels.
  • Dark City Dames by Eddie Muller - a book with bios of a handful of noir sirens, including sections on Audrey Totter and Marie Windsor
  • Altered Carbon - as recommended by Steven
  • the next three Barsoom novels starting with Thuvia, Maid of Mars
  • Doc Savage, Man of Bronze - personally recommended by no less than Chris Roberson
  • The Big Screen  - a non-fiction book on the history of cinema
  • The Killer Inside Me and After Dark, My Sweet, that I've been putting off for, literally, almost twenty years
  • the new Glenn Wheldon Superman book  
  • a Dashiell Hammett collection


As I said on the Facebooks today, I need more time to read.

So, no recommendations for a bit.  My plate is full.

Jamie's birthday is passed, and mine is next Friday, so if you're around and want a cocktail, email me.  We may be doing something about drinks on the 13th.

We have a yearly cycle that starts at Halloween and ends with my birthday.  Really, from Halloween, it's something every few weeks, including Valentine's Day, then March - the months of birthdays, etc...  And, of course, Easter and Mother's Day take us into May.  At this point I'm used to it, but it does seem like it compresses time into the various observances.  Summer has become my holiday from holidays, except for July 4th, which includes explosions and hamburgers and is thus becoming one of my favorite holidays.

My folks are headed back to Kenya for missionary work/ putting eyeglasses on Kenyans.  Always proud of them in their volunteer efforts.

Mad Men Season 6 starts Sunday night, so, leave a brother alone while he does his thing.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Your St. Patrick's Day Dose of Good Cheer: Jennifer Connelly


Well, I probably should have held off on posting pics of Maureen O'Hara til today, but I didn't.  So, we're going for something a bit modern for this column.

I believe Connelly is as much of an American mutt as most of us are, but the name Connelly is Irish, right?  Wikipedia says she's at least part Irish, so we're running with it.

Any excuse to post pics of Jennifer Connelly is a good excuse.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

President's Day! Late Edition. William Howard Taft, #27

Dammit, just look at that magnificent bastard.

Howard Taft, sometimes known as "The Pimpest of Presidents"

It's my opinion that of all the presidents, William Howard Taft gets the shaft most routinely and most undeservedly.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Taking the Night Off - The League is Your Valentine's Evening Co-Pilot

It's Valentine's Day. I had a hell of a day, and I'm not social media-ing at all tonight.

That doesn't mean I can't provide all you good people with the finest in Valentine's Day music, sure to brew up some romance.

Ladies and gentleman, the Reverend Al Green.



Mr Stevie Wonder



Ms. Minnie Riperton



and the killer app of romantic musicians:  Sade





and, more Sade


Happy Valentine's Day to Superman and Lois Lane

Well, it's Valentine's Day, and we're here to talk about the one thing we're an expert on:  ROMANCE.

Just think of The League as your shifty bellhop of love

Aside from my folks, I honestly think my earliest ideas about romance probably came from movies and cartoons, and, later, comics.  I mean, I remember watching Hart to Hart and thinking those two had a pretty ideal relationship, but I don't recall much from TV for adults that informed my ideas about how to actually pursue the ladies or what blossoming romance might look like.

The Leia/ Han relationship of Empire attempted to teach me a lot of things.

1.  Sometimes a bit of verbal combativeness is flirting
2.  Carrie Fischer looks great in a snowsuit
3.  You can find romance when stranded inside a giant spaceworm
4.  When you're ready to make your move, turn off the droids
5.  When it looks like all is lost and it's time to express how you really feel about each other, when she confesses in front of a bunch of strangers, that she loves you, always say "I know".  That shit is COOL.

As much as I appreciated Kirk using the Enterprise as his personal chick-magnet, he never really had an ongoing romance for more than episode or two, and maybe there's something to be learned from that.  Space Bros before Space Ladies.

I was always a little sad that Marion Ravenwood only appeared in one Indiana Jones movie, that is until recently.  She was the only leading lady who seemed like a good match (clearly, Willie Scott was not up to the task).

But, going back further, I do think the Superman movies did a good job of setting up the romance for a strange being from another world and a career gal in the big city.  Aside from Han and Leia, I think the pair I remember pulling for the most in movies from back in the day was Lois and Superman.  Despite all his, frankly, totally awesome powers, it seemed Clark Kent was no better around women than any of us, and could be jut as quickly and totally swept off his feet by a woman who isn't going to notice him until he drops a yacht in front of the police station.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Unky League says "Don't Forget: Thursday is Valentine's Day!"

Boy, Valentine's Day!  Who doesn't just LOVE Valentine's Day?

I am guessing many of us just got done paying off most of the Christmas bills, and now its time to buy yet another thing for your significant other.  Great.  She's a wonderful dame.  She deserves the world.  Unfortunately, most of us are both tapped out of money and ideas here at the mid-point of February.

And, let's be honest, when we say that we need to be thinking of something for our significant other - for those of us straight dudes with a straight lady, we know that it really means we're expected to buy something expensive for our straight lady friend, but we aren't getting @#$%.

I know that in other arrangements, things differ, but I have never, ever heard anyone of the female persuasion in a relationship with someone of the male persuasion pondering anything on V-Day except where they want to go to dinner and when.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our Christmas Letter, 2012

This is the annual holiday letter Jamie sent out to family and friends.

No, I am not kidding.


Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Holidays!

Another year has passed here in our quiet hamlet of Austin, Texas.  The past twelve months certainly had their ups and downs. 

We’ve been very glad to have family so close by this year as Jamie’s mother had some health issues at the end of the summer, and we’ve been able to see her regularly and enjoy her progress.  Doug has also been here quite a bit to check in and assist.

In the early summer we visited Chicago for vacation and took in the museums, local nightlife and an Astros/ Cubs game at Wrigley.  Jamie’s health has been very stable and Ryan continues to work for the Texas Digital Library, refusing to divulge any details due to the sensitive nature of his experiments. 

In fact, for much of the year, Ryan has been locked up in his makeshift laboratory in the old watchtower on the edge of town.  Luckily, he’s not alone and has his assistant, Fritz.  The pair are working almost feverishly day and night, refusing to see anyone.  You’d hardly know anyone was there but the lights in the tower and the large boxes with strange return addresses delivered regularly under cover of darkness.



In fact, Ryan’s been such a workaholic that the only time we see him seems to be on moonless nights on the road near the local cemetery with his wagon and a shovel where he’s been taking strolls.  “I like to keep fit,” he explains.

He does love his work, and I think he’s on twitter, so maybe you can reach him there!

If you did not hear, early in the year, Jamie was inducted into “The Avengers Initiative” and it sounds like she spent quite a bit of late May wrangling with despotic transdimensional overlords hellbent on subjugating the planet.  It sounds like her ragtag team of misfit heroes really came together and we won’t need to be worrying about those alien invaders again for a little while.  She felt the team work was challenging and complicated, and she’s sorry about the giant metal snake thing they left in Manhattan.  That said, Jamie very much enjoyed the experience and plans to see the team again in summer of 2015.  Maybe with The Vision this time if anyone is thinking ahead.




By the way, if you meet a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, we really encourage you not to look them in the eye, but do give them a big “thank you”.

We hope you and yours had a terrific year, and we hope 2013 turns out to be the best one yet.


Sincerely,



Mr. Bananas, esq.
Chimpanzee & Head of Household Staff
Stately Steans Manor



Merry Christmas, Signal Corps


To all of you on The Good Earth

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peace on Earth

We come back to a few things each Christmas here at The Signal Watch.

Many years ago now, NathanC shared with us the incredible video of the Apollo 8 Astronauts reading from the book of Genesis from the moon on Christmas Eve, 1968.

Once again, we share this with you.



And, of course, images from the Alex Ross/ Paul Dini collaboration, Superman: Peace on Earth.



May you find warmth in this cold season however you seek it, be it among family, friends, in solitude or on the dark side of the moon in a tin capsule, looking back at our lonely orb, bright against the void.

Close another chapter.  Be grateful for everything the year gave you, and take a moment for what it took from you.

Having grown up Lutheran, I think of this as a night of anticipation, not just for the presents under the tree and the turkey that was showing up during tomorrow's celebration, but it has always been a night when we took a beat and a breath and in the tradition with which I was raised, the next day's delivery was about a better tomorrow for all of us, if we chose it.

Whether you're Lutheran, or Catholic or Zen Buddhist or Atheist, maybe we can choose a better tomorrow. I know what that future looks like to me, and it's what I hope for every Christmas Eve, and every New Year's Eve.

May your Spaceman Christmas be a merry one.  We wish you a peaceful Christmas Eve, wherever you are on The Good Earth.

And the only post-Bing Crosby Christmas song that should be in everyone's Holiday rotation, Ms. Darlene Love.

Yes, we watched: Santa Paws 2 - The Puppening

A lot of discussion followed the viewing of this, the second installment in the Santa Paws franchise.  Santa Paws 2 is a spin-off of a spin-of of the 1990's harmless movie about a Golden Retriever who could shoot free throws called Air Bud.  Since 1997, I believe this is the 17th movie in the franchise/ shared universe of Air Bud.  No, I am not kidding.

really, I have no one but myself to blame.

I saw part of the first Air Bud movie on cable once, and its really very sweet.  If you're playing along at home, Bud was a real dog that COULD shoot free throws, so they made a movie using this dog, because...  holy @#$% - that dog could shoot free throws!  But as dogs do, he died.  They got other dogs and made more movies in which the dog played sports, and then, at some point, the franchise wasn't cute enough, so the script called for Bud to put some other Golden Retriever in a family way, and out came a herd of wise-cracking golden puppies and an entirely new and far more annoying franchise.

After a few of those movies, Disney (yes, Disney) insisted on a Christmas version, and our heroes joined with Santa's dog's son, I believe, Puppy Paws in Santa Buddies. This begat The Search for Santa Paws.  Which begat this installment.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Very Spidey Christmas

Paul sent this along.

I can only imagine how this would have gone for 5 year-old me. Mind would have been blown...


Wonder Woman, Christmas and a little B&E

Wonder Woman loves Christmas.  Enough to break into your house to make sure you have a lovely holiday.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Audrey Totter is delivering Christmas Joy


I stole this pic from Jenifer's twitter account.  I figured that in the spirit of the season, she'd want to share.

Here we see Audrey Totter atop some sort of motorcycle/ moped be-decked for the season and lugging around a sack full of toys she is, I assume, redistributing rather than showing off or hoarding.