Saturday, September 8, 2012

Patsy Cline's 80th Birthday

Patsy Cline was born on this day in Virginia in 1932.

Perhaps most famous for her performance of "Crazy" (written by a young Willie Nelson), Patsy's voice and mid-century country stylings are still very much in vogue and end up in more movies, TV shows and commercials than you want to think about.  She's very much a part of the American soundtrack.

She retains a following among Austinites in no small part thanks to the nigh-nightly tribute to Patsy that's done at Austin's own Esther's Follies, a sort of comedy/ variety show that's had the Patsy Cline bit going since it debuted.  Maybe.  I don't know.  Patsy's music seems to fit lazy, hot evenings pretty well, so maybe she's still this popular across the south.

Cline was part of a great era of American Country before "popular" Country music became watered down pop-rock in the 80's and settled there in the 90's when the big money rolled in.  She was a performed at the Grand Ole Opry and a major talent.  Had she not died in a plane crash in 1963, there's really no telling where she would have ended up.  I suspect she would have continued performing for a long, long time.

Happy Birthday, Patsy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rave On! It's Buddy Holly's Birthday!

Today in 1936, Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas.

At some point in 7th grade a Buddy Holly tape found it's way into my possession (I think KareBear gave it to me for Christmas) - and 23 two-and-half-minute songs later, I was a fan.  I still consider Rave On to be one of the best pop songs ever written.

A few random things to take us into Friday

Movies 2012:  I watched John Carter again.  I don't want to talk about it.  It's a weakness.  On this go-round I really realized how far it strays from the novels, but I guess I like it well enough on it's own as a planetary romance.  And I really like both Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins.  But I sincerely doubt we'll be seeing a sequel.

Marvel:  Marvel has been running these ads for the "Marvel NOW!" project, I guess, and they all seem to have one word in a sort of overly aggressive font splattered in blood.  The latest said "SURVIVE."  With BLOOD on it!  Which seems like something I would have drawn in the margins of my notes for class in middle school trying to come up with something really hard-core and edgy, but being a kind of pudgy kid who hadn't kissed a girl yet.

your content-free totally edgy concept has really wowed me, House of Ideas
I am so too old for whatever it is they're doing over there.  But I know 13 year old me would have eaten that stuff up.

Taking a couple months off from consumer spending:  For the next two months I'm not going to order anything from Amazon, I'm not going to sponsor any Kickstarters, I'm going to the comic shop once per month and I'm sticking to my budget for the online purchasing of comics-related stuff.  I also want to see what survives the forced pickiness.  It's a routine time to prioritize.

I liked the idea of Kickstarter at first.  Maybe too much.  Basically, in recent months, I didn't think one of the projects I was sponsoring would make, and so I sponsored something else, and they both made, so I'm out the cost of both.  And, of course, you're still not just buying the item you wanted, you're paying a premium to feel good about being part of the process.

I don't feel any return on the latter portion anymore.  If I want to feel good seeing money go nowhere, there are pretty good causes that could use the money.

I can't breathe:  Yeah, I thought I was getting better, too, but this thing is just clinging on well past it's expected shelf-life, all while finding new ways to annoy me.  Like Justin Bieber, in it's own way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cat-22 - Jeff The Cat Goes to the Big House

The players in our story
For 13 years we've shared space with Jeff the Cat, a yellow tabby of terrific intelligence but ornery disposition.

Every once in a while, Jeff decides that there's something very attackable about Jamie beneath the knees.  He's been hunting her shins and feet as long as he's lived with us.  Not all the time, but often enough, and especially when Jamie's asleep and gets the jimmy legs.

Signal Watch Watches: Last of the Mohicans (1992)

If you've seen this movie, what you'll primarily remember is Daniel Day-Lewis running around the woods outside of Asheville, North Carolina with a musket in one hand and a hatchet in the other.  That's because this is the movie about the toughest long distance runner to ever cross the screen.

I've tried to read the book of Last of the Mohicans at least twice and wasn't able to get past the period prose, so maybe it's time to try again.  The movie is a pretty interesting look into a corner of the seemingly interminable French Indian War that preceded the Revolutionary War by more than a decade, and lays the groundwork for why colonists would have bucked a bit at the yolk of their British lords.

he's running at you before you even start the movie

Lack of posting - I am sick

I came down with something Monday morning and I'm still fighting it.  Luckily, it's been giving me fever sweats and making me just lie there still enough that I watched, like, four episodes of Mythbusters in a row while I rode the wild coaster of chills and scorching heat.

I apologize if I gave you my plague.  I did not mean to do it.  But I could be some sort of disease vector, so avoid me for a day or two.

I'm just going to remain in bed in my jammies until I get better.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Michael Clarke Duncan merges with The Infinite


Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has passed at the age of 54.

Duncan appeared in all kinds of movies I did like and was also a highlight of films that I didn't like so much.

Some highlights:

  • Kilowog in Green Lantern
  • Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby
  • Sin City
  • Kingpin in Daredevil (the only thing I liked in that movie)
  • Planet of the Apes as Attar (again, the best part of the movie)

Sure, his classiest work occurred in The Green Mile, but I never saw the movie, so, perhaps I should get on that.

We are sorry to see him go.  Godspeed, sir.

The Man from Metropolis - a visit with a Super Collector

A week or so back I mentioned a show called The Toy Hunter which had visited a local Superman fan and collector.  I had found the show a bit frustrating, but from the episode I could tell that the Superman collector had a stellar collection many times the size of my own.  

Prior to the episode, I knew this guy existed.  We both live in Central Texas, we're both into Superman.  You hear things.  But afterward, I found his website ( and saw he had prints of a famous Superman image, but not one I'd ever seen for sale.  

this one
And as I reconfigure some space in my living room, this seemed like the ideal print to fill that corner.  

Anyway, it's a semi-famous image at this point, thanks in no small part to the original going lost and only recently turning up.  

In my order, I mentioned "hey, I live in South Austin.  You don't need to ship.  I'm happy to come by and pick it up."  I got an email from Tim, and he invited me over.  I expected to grab the posters, shake his hand and go on my way, but Tim invited us in for a full tour and to chat for a while.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

I watch a lot of stuff I don't really care about when I'm on the elliptical at home, and this is a pretty good example.  It's not Christmas, I didn't even watch it in HD, let alone 3D, but after having intentionally watched the first two Harold & Kumar movies, I made a conscious decision to watch this one, too.  It's on HBO right now.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas would probably have benefited from both 3D and an intoxicant, and I don't think the makers of the movie really thought you'd be sitting through this one sober as a judge.  Released last year well in advance of Christmas, I didn't see it in the theater because, honestly, it's really hard for me to make it out to the movies during what Hollywood considers to be a huge movie going season.