Showing posts with label Austin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Austin. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh, right. So, my folks' house did not burn down (yet)

Thanks to the heroic efforts of local firefighters, the abode of The KareBear and The Admiral still stands tall.

If you're catching up, their area of Austin, Steiner Ranch, was one of several areas experiencing wildfire thanks to drought conditions (and, it turns out, some power lines shooting sparks).  I'm not clear on how close the fire came, but it was still a bit away, so its not as if it burned right up to their property line and then respectfully stopped, not wanting to give The Admiral a bad day.

The folks have been out to the house, checked it for problems, and have headed back to Houston until next weekend.

I appreciate everyone's concern, and I know my folks appreciate it, too.

Unfortunately, there's no rain in our forecast, and we do have dry and breezy conditions forecast for the next week.  That ain't good.  All of Texas needs about a week of solid rain, as wildfires are breaking out across the entire state.  We're going from an agricultural problem to a potential catastrophe of state-wide proportions.

Here's to our emergency responders, who are working around the clock to save the day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Texas on Fire

While the East Coast has been experiencing severe weather, and Louisiana has been grappling with a tropical storm, since the 4th of July, most of Texas has been dealing with record breaking heat by standards of both intensity and duration.  Add in the fact that it simply will not seem to rain here, and the Central Texas region, which is home to Austin has become a wildfire waiting to happen.

Fires of various sizes have been cropping up all summer, and its a credit to the firefighters that while we've definitely lost homes and property, by and large the disasters have not spread completely out of control.  Until now.

I'm afraid its gotten pretty bad out there.  My folks bought a house in North Austin they're retiring to before Thanksgiving, and were in town for the weekend for the UT/ Rice game.  Unfortunately, wildfires caught out in their area, and right now they're evacuated to my... sofa, actually.  Its fairly nerve-wracking watching the news and seeing the devestation.  And the crazy part is that Steiner Ranch isn't even the part of town hardest hit.  Bastrop, a former small town - now a bedroom community, is getting hit really hard.

Anyhow, I may be distracted for a while dealing with my folks' situation and real life, so I ask that you bear with us.

Here's The Statesman, our local paper, and their coverage.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Austin Books Sale is On like Megatron

Jamie is a good person.

This evening she picked me up from work, we went to Austin Burger/Pizza/whatever joint, EZ's, had a bite and then headed up to Austin Books and Comics Sidekick Store.  This is where the action is for the sale, in many ways.

I picked up some Bronze Age Superman (man, that era is just good fun, too), an issue of Men of War, finally picked up the last few issues of Superman/ Supergirl: Maelstrom, and found out there was a second Icon trade that I didn't even know existed.  I really liked the first volume and...  I never reviewed that, did I?

Well, anyway, the big buy for me was a complete run of Volume 1 of Alien Legion and a handful of the prestige -related issues that came later.  Yes, I love Alien Legion.  Because it is awesome.

that Legion?  of Aliens?  Totally rad.

If you're in Austin, head on down and see what you can find on sale (cheap, people). The sale goes all the way through the weekend.

Now, Jamie didn't buy anything, but she just wanted to come see.

 "Don't you want anything?" I said. "I think you've got plenty I can read," she replied. Will I get Jamie to read Alien Legion?

 Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Signal Watch bears Witness: Midnight Release of Justice League #1 at Austin Books

So, I wasn't going to go to the midnight release of Justice League #1.  And then, mid-afternoon, I had this thought that "gee, this sort of thing only happens every so often.  I don't go to midnight movies anymore, I don't go to late concerts, and hopefully DC won't be re-launching their entire universe again in the next twenty years.  At which point I'll be 56, and there will be no way in hell I'll be showing up for midnight releases then..."

So at 11:00 I hopped in the car and drove up to Austin Books, arriving around 11:30ish.

The deal was that ABC wasn't just having Flashpoint 5 and Justice League 1 available, they were also putting back issues on sale, and all DC Superhero trades were 25% off. 

I ran into Brandon outside, came inside and paid my $8 cover charge, which got me a receipt, which would get me my comics at 12:00. 
Comc Book Brandon shows off a comic I will never be able to afford.
I did take advantage of the 1/2 off sale and picked up a few issues of Men of War to work on my Enemy Ace collection.  Truth is, there's a big sale at Austin Books this weekend, and I plan tos pend time hitting the dollar bins, so I'm watching my pennies a bit.

So many nerds packing in so tightly.  It must be New Justice League Day!  EEEEEEE!!!!

This was still before midnight, and people were sort of lurking about, very ready for their brand new Justice League.  I heard some people standinga round me talking about how they'd never bought a DC Comic before, which I found exciting/ bizarre.  But I think that's what the relaunch is all about:  get some folks to try the comic that they've never tried before and get people reading some DC.

But to the one guy criticizing his friend for being into Aquaman: let it go, dude.  There's no one right answer in superheroes, and especially in comics.  Also, Namor is one of the oldest characters in superhero comics. 

Kids today.  No respect for history.

The crush to the register was more of a slow mosey to the register.

There was a bit of a line to checkout after midnight, but everyone was in such a good mood, it all went off without a hitch. 

Via Twitter I've talked a bit to the brains behind website The Kryptonian, Aaron.  I happened to run into he and his lovely fiance, Michele.  You can see Aaron's report here.  Youc an read his review here.  And see his enthusiasm at nabbing an alternate cover here:

that dude in the back was really excited about photobombing the happy couple

I went home, read some comics, and crawled into bed in the wee hours. I'll write up some on both Flashpoint 5 and Justice League 1 in short order.

Austin Books once again did a fantastic job hosting, and it was great to have the opportunity to share in the anticipatory atmosphere DC has been working so hard to build. ABC made the event easy and fun, and I think that's a pretty big success.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

So guess who just met comics scribe Mark Waid while seeing Captain America?

Wow! Fun night.

Me and Pal Kevin headed up north, had a lovely dinner and then ran over to the Gateway theater where Austin Books hosted a screening of Captain America with the Austin Chronicle. In attendance: Mark Waid.

Firstly, I am a big fan of Mark Waid's work on Flash, Captain America, Kingdom Come, Irredeemable and a whole lot of other books and characters. Secondly, of Marvel's roster of characters, Captain America is one of my three favorites (with Spidey and maybe Rocket Raccoon).

Waid (left) puts up with the unruly Austinites

So, this was kind of a big deal for me. Oh, and I also won a hat by answering a trivia question.

I actually had all the books that ABC had brought with them to purchase and get signed (like I said, I'm a Mark Waid fan), so I thought - ah, heck.  Why not?

yeah, I made him sign the hat, too

Mark Waid will be at Austin Books on Saturday from 4-7pm, if you have a chance to stop by.

My review of Cap is coming, but (spoilers) - I loved that thing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mondo Posters from Alamo Drafthouse to be added to the archives at The Academy

Wow! This is pretty amazing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has taken notice of Austin's own Mondo posters and is going to begin officially adding them to their archives. Very cool!

Also, Mondo announced they'll be selling this limited edition Frankenstein poster, and when they do, it will be mine. Oh yes, it will.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Here's an ad for Austin Books (its Green Lantern-centric)

This aired on local cable to promote Austin Books and Comics and the Doug Mahnke signing during the release for Green Lantern. I volunteered, but they had no GL costumes in a 54 long.

I think it turned out pretty well!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No Post Wednesday - Arcade Fire was in town

Well, I went to see Arcade Fire tonight with Jamie, Jason and pal AmyR. The show was really pretty great, and in no small part because Jamie and I figured out it was the first show we'd been to together since a Bowie concert circa 2004.

I dig this song off the most recent album.

Before leaving the stage, Win commented for maybe the fourth time about how much they love Austin, and reminded us "You don't even know how good you have it here". And I think maybe that's true some days. But I'm also glad someone else noticed.

And here's another favorite:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mayor Leffingwell accurately geeks out on Austin as "Green Lantern" of cities

Over at Newsarama, Austin's own Mayor Lee Leffingwell, the guy I actually voted for in our most recent mayoral election, compared Austin to superhero Green Lantern.  And he did it with surprising accuracy fit for a comic geek.

Click here for Newsarama's take.

And our local NBC affiliate

"Austin is the Green Lantern," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "We are a city without fear. We are a city that can create anything we can visualize, through sheer force of will. We are a city with a special charge to shine a light into the darkness and lead the way to a new and better day."

one way to beat I-35 traffic

I now expect to see t-shirts reading "Keep Austin Oan".*

"Lawyers-are-Pigs Guy, you have been determined to possess great will..."

*in the wake of crushing suburbanization and a massive jump in transplants to Austin who were surprised by the laissez faire attitude of our fair city when it comes to letting folks be folks, Austin adopted a "Keep Austin Weird" slogan to encourage and support the creative and technological arts. the slogan has since been endlessly co-opted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Austin Books and Comics to be Crushed by Godzilla!

IDW has launched a new Godzilla series, and as an incentive to retailers, if the shop ordered a whole lotta copies of Godzilla #1, they could get copies with an image of the store getting destroyed by the rampaging toes of the King of Monsters.

I already had plans to read this series and am quietly very excited about getting a copy of this comic.  I find the idea of Godzilla rampaging his way down Lamar toward The Triangle, and into campus, then southward toward the Capitol...  appealing. 

when will the staff of ABC learn to live in balance with nature?

And I think Brandon at ABC would have wanted to go exactly this way, by the way.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Awesome News! The World is Ending! Everybody PARTY!!!

So, we were driving back from grabbing lunch at Curra's here in Austin, and at the intersection of Congress and Oltorf, three trucks were parked in a lot, all with the same graphic.

I could only get one of the trucks with my cell phone.

the most oddly depressing strip center in Austin gets a little added spice

In case you can't read the graphic:

Guarantee is a very strong word...  I'm just saying.

As if that wasn't wacky enough, Andrew - a guy I am 6 degrees away from being a relation (uh, Jamie's brother's wife's brother.  Yes, that sounds right)  also posted images on Facebook of himself next to exactly the same truck in Virginia.  He says there were five at his location.  So, people, let me know if you're spotting this fleet of people declaring the Earth will end before the Green Lantern movie gets released.

As Jason said "well, there's been somebody predicting the end times are about to happen since time began".  But I'm not exactly sure what the hook is here other than some mash-up of Mayan snake-god calendaring getting mixed up with Poltergeist-2/ tent revival/ end-times fun.  And, look, if its a financial scam, three months isn't really much time to maximize your profit.

On the one hand, if the world were ending...  Just imagine how kooky the next three months would really get.  I tell you what, I wouldn't feel very incentivized to show up at work or fill out my tax return.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Day in Austin (a short photo gallery)

Austin sits in kind of a funny place geographically, geologically and meteorologically.  Not that weird.  I've been to the Bay Area, and you people have different weather by neighborhood.  But the weather here changes fairly drastically during the mid-point of winter.  Last weekend, we were wearing shorts and running around town, then it became very, very cold, dropping into the high 10's, and now its lovely and sunny again and I'm wearing a t-shirt.

My understanding is that we get southerly fronts from the gulf, and we also get northers - the arctic air originating from around Alaska that pummels the western and middle states- coming through, so you kind of need to stay on your toes. So, you just keep your eye on the forecast a lot more in this part of Texas than folks do in, say, Arizona.

So when it does snow, we tend to take lots of pictures.  For Canadians, us getting snow is sort of like if you woke up and your yard was inexplicable covered in cactus that just disappeared after a day or two.  We get ice here, and sometimes snow will fall, but will not accumulate at all.  The ice storms are crazy and mean, and you generally don't want to go out in them.  This time, we actually got both ice and snow, I was told.  which made driving in town really dangerous.

Anyway, I woke Friday to about .9 inches of snowfall (thus losing my place on the office betting board where I'd guessed we'd get 1.0 - 1.5").

Babar the Happy Element found himself under a blanket of snow

League HQ held up well under the winter weather

The dogs were really excited to be out in the snow, so we took a walk

Scout was pleased to be out on patrol.  She must have detected a menace somewhere at the time of this photo.

If you know my street, you know this is not how it usually looks.

and here's one by a random Austin citizen that I saw making the rounds on Facebook.

Along Lady Bird Lake, Austin is lovely on an average day. Here, it looks kind of surreal:

Austin on the rocks

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm Headed for Waco, also (Some) Lawyers are Pigs!

I'm headed out for Waco yet again tomorrow.  No, I will not go to your old local haunts, JimD.  Its another night at Ninfa's for me!

I'd feel worse about the fact that I'm not going to do a real post, but I interrupted my hiatus to talk about Wonder Woman on TV and the Comics Code thing.  See:  news breaks, we're on the scene!

This evening I was driving south on Lamar in Austin, and at the intersection of Barton Springs and Lamar, I saw this:

It was a gentleman of middling years in a pig costume standing at the intersection and cheerfully waving. 

And then he turned and I saw his sign:

I was in traffic.  I risked my life to bring you this image.
Can't read the sign?  Well, let me help you out.

"Some" Lawyers are Pigs!
Apparently the pig costume is nothing new.  Austin gadfly John Kelso wrote a column on the Lawyer-hating pig-guy way back in November.  I'd just not had the chance to see him.

Kelso never did learn what was going on, exactly, and it sounds like the world may never know.  I just like the idea of dressing up as a pig to make an abstract point.  Especially when you dress up as one of the two things you're comparing and suggesting you like neither.  That's owning it, man. 

But, I wonder if the pig suit is getting attention as pigs can be terribly cute animals.

I am waiting for the high pitched "eeeeee!" sound Jamie will make when she sees this pig.
See, that's just adorable.

I actually think grown up pigs are cute, too.  And delicious

Anyway, I knew I was in luck when I went to Google "Lawyers are Pigs" and "Lawyers are Pigs Austin" came up as an option.  I salute this fellow, even if the lawyers I know are mostly okay.

why I am not allowed to have a pig of my own