Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Wedded Bliss in New Orleans - Congrats Lauren and Steven



This weekend Jamie and I flew to New Orleans for the wedding of two folks I met via blogging and have become good pals with as we all lived in Austin for a few years before they departed for San Francisco and then NYC.  On Saturday Steven H and Lauren R tied the knot in City Park with yours truly officiating.

The Peristyle in City Park.  This is from the internet, but it is where the wedding occurred.


This was the third time I've officiated and every time it's no less nerve-wracking, and it is no less special as I've known all the couples well and know their stories.  It's truly an honor and privilege to be asked, and to get to play that role is a truly memorable experience.

It's also the best seat in the house, if you're going to show up for a wedding, anyway.  You want to see people having a moment as up close as it gets?  That's where you want to be.  You'll also see your friends looking as dashing and beautiful as they will ever be from, like, three feet away.

In short - I hope I didn't mess up the ceremony too much.

Monday, April 23, 2018

I think March 30th was the 15th Anniversary of the Start of my Blogging


So, I guess I missed my own 15th Anniversary of blogging.  We were over at League of Melbotis back then.  Here's a link to the first batch of posts.

Back then, kids, we had no facebook, no twitter, barely had iTunes and it took me forever to figure out how to upload photos and have a comment section.  I was a lad of about 27 and living as a Texas ex-pat in Arizona at the time.  I was busily learning about Superman and comics, and I was oh, so, sweetly naive.  Reading those early posts is sometimes a teeth-gnashing experience but also a journal of what was going on in my head in the blogging salad days.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Action Comics Hits #1000 and 80 Years of Superman



April 18 marks both the 80th Anniversary of the release of Action Comics #1 and the release of Action Comics #1000.

Short a few documents written by fellows in wigs and waistcoats, there are few things in Western culture, Pop or otherwise, with so profound an impact or as wide a legacy as this simple, brief story by a couple of young men from Cleveland.

Superman's first appearance was just one of several of different genres appearing in Action Comics #1 (this link is currently good and includes the first Superman story)   To revisit the story, every time I read it I find it shocking how much of Superman springs to life there in those first few pages - an assemblage of parts of other characters and science fiction concepts forged into something entirely new and its own.

Doomed planet.  Locomotives and bullets.  Lois Lane as a tough girl reporter.  The cape, the boots, the forelock.   A newspaper setting.  The dual-identities of Clark Kent and Superman, Lois' failure to recognize her co-worker.  Superman/ Clark's immediate attraction to Lois.  Righting wrongs.

Superman.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

On the Event of my 43rd

Slippery People
Talking Heads



What about the time?
You were rollin' over
Fall on your face
You must be having fun
Walk lightly
Think of a time
You'd best believe
This think is real
Put away that gun
This part is simple
Try to recognize
What is in you mind
God help us
Help us loose our minds
These slippery people
Help us understand
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
I remember when
Sittin' in the tub
Pulled out the plug
The water was runnin' out
Cool down
Stop actin' crazy
They're gonna leave
And we'll be on our own
Seven times five
They were living creatures
Watch 'em come to life
Right before your eyes
Backslidin'
How do you do?
These slippery people
Gonna see you through
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
What's the matter with him? He's alright
How do you know? The lord won't mind
Don't play no games, he's alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Turn like a wheel, he's alright
See for yourself, the Lord won't mind
We're gonna move right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel
He's alright
Love from the bottom
Alright
Love from the bottom to the top
Alright
The love from the bottom
Right now
Turn like a wheel inside a wheel

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Happy National Pet Day from The Signal Watch


Happy National Pet Day from The Signal Watch.  This is your blogger with his two dogs, Scout (left) and Lucy (right). 

Despite the fact they wanted to go out at 3:30 in the morning again last night, I love these two dogs dearly.  They're older now, and it's both a heart breaking and lovely time in their lives - they are as sweet-natured as they've ever been, but you also see the sun is setting.  They can't talk about it, and they want to still be the same dogs they've always been, and they just get up every day and keep trying.  You just need to have more patience, help them when you can and love them as much as they love you.

I wouldn't trade these two knuckleheads for all the tea in China. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Work Trip - We Were in Palo Alto/ Stanford



There's a bit of a travel season in Library-land, and it started this week (for me). 

This week was a 72 hour turn around to Stanford to meet up with colleagues, plot the future, etc...

In my 9 years of working at my last job, where I traveled quite a bit, I never dealt with anything but the barest of inconveniences while flying or driving.  And, the bit of travel I've had so far with this gig, it's been the smoothest of all possible sailing.

Nothing "bad" happened, but Wednesday I was set to fly out at 10:30 AM to be in San Jose pretty early (I think 2:30 Pacific) so I could get my hotel, get some work done, meet up with colleagues to do dinner.  Instead a pretty standard issue awful spring weather system cut through Texas.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Apparently, this is my 1000th Post Tagged "Movies"



I dunno.  I like milestones.  That seems significant.  1000 posts.  On movies.

There are 2865 published posts here, so I guess movies are mostly what we discuss.  That's not to say I've watched 1000 movies since starting The Signal Watch, but it also isn't to say we haven't.  I don't really know.  I've only done the "let us account for every movie we've watched" thing a few times.  And even then I left out things like Hallmark Christmas movies.

But I have been doing this blogging bit long enough that The Room has gone from a cult-movie bit of schadenfreude to fodder for an Oscar nominated picture and we've been through three Spider-Mans.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

First Amazon Order


Seems this is a thing we're all doing, so here goes.

I very much remember placing this order (or these orders).  Half of my friends were totally excited about this new Amazon thing, and half of them were convinced Amazon would just take my credit card and drain me of money.  Both were right, as it turns out.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Movies in 2017 (for me)



In 2017, at the height of my "oh, who cares?" moment, I made the decision to stop posting on every movie I'd watched.  But I've found it's sort of weird to me, personally, that I can't go back and see a list of everything I watched in a year or refresh my memory from my notes when a movie comes on.  Thus, in 2018, I'll be at least dropping the name of the movie and some info for my personal reference.  That's what you can learn from the change in format that started at the beginning of the year.

When I was writing up every movie I'd seen, I said it allowed me to spend more time with a film, and that's still true.  In 2017 I leaned into writing more of my personal experience, dropping some notes on how I engaged with the movie, and rarely got much into straight up attempts at criticism.  There's enough of that out there, and you can Google any movie and find reasonable reviews and critiques.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Uncovered 90's! Pics of My High School Years Bedroom

Let it be known - I was remarkably square in high school.  I don't want to over or undersell anything here.

But a kid's room is a timecapsule - not just of a time, but of what was going on and how things intersect.  As near as I can tell from other pics in the stack, these are from some point between Christmas and Prom of 1993.  If the other pics in the pack were taken at the same time, I have reason to think it's Christmas break of 1992.

My folks were incredibly lax about what I did with my room, which was on the second story of our house.  It was in the front, had a big window I never opened, and had a vaulted ceiling, which was kind of nuts.

At some point I just started tacking and stapling stuff to my walls, and by the time I graduated, one wall was pretty well covered and the opposite was getting there.

All this was taken down unceremoniously circa 1995 when I'd left for college and my parents had some visitors with a kid who "couldn't sleep in my room".  Apparently they found it "scary".

In theory some of the contents were preserved during the re-do of my room, but they didn't survive the purging of my old stuff pending the sale of my folks' house before they moved to Austin.

most of high school I was riddled with acne, so I don't know how I look so fresh-faced here

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The 90's Return! Taste Test: Celis White

BEHOLD..!

this post can be accompanied with any of the following tracks: 



In the 1990's, Austin was home to the Celis Brewery.  I don't think their distribution reached far outside of Central Texas, but they were much beloved here in The City with the Violet Crown.  Prior to the arrival of Celis, local favorites were more or less Shiner Bock and, while we had Lone Star, it was sort of reserved for "we're cooking burgers and it's 100 degrees out and no one cares" drinking.

I wasn't much of a beer snob (I still definitely am not), but I knows what I likes.  And I was a fan of Celis, particularly Celis White.  Also, Celis Pale Rider, but we're not here to talk about that one today.  If you read the picture above you'll note that Celis was brewed in the Belgian style.  I didn't know much about that then or now, but in our poor college and post college days, it was a bit of a premium beer that folks agreed upon, and if someone brought it over, it was like a sign of respect.

Eventually, as happened with many fine beers of the 90's, the brand was purchased by a larger company, they attempted wider geographic distribution but it didn't take.  So, instead of just giving it back and letting us live our lives, they shut it down.  Why?  Why do that?  Just let us have the beer.

Anyway, flashforward to 2016 and it became clear Celis was coming back.  The family had re-obtained all the legal necessaries, they got a brewery going again, and last week when I was walking through HEB (the Texas-based grocery store chain that is to Texas what Publix is to our friends in The Sunshine State) and one of those PR folks was handing out samples.  I mean, I didn't need a sample if I properly remembered the '90's, but it was a happy exchange and I walked away with a six-pack of Celis White, what I consider (and I assume they do, too) the flagship of Celis.

This week was bananas.  I could have just popped a beer, but JimD, also a product of 90's Austin, suggested an old-school Taste Test (this was something we did from time to time at the League of Melbotis blog).  So, here we are.


Lucy, underage, will not be participating in this nonsense

Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy B-Day to The Admiral

this was during the Holidays, 2016.  Raylan is considerably bigger and chattier now.

These days The Admiral has a more important title, that of "Papa" (which, to my ear, always sounds more like "Pop-Pop" when Raylan says it).  Raylan's my nephew, so I'm not around all that often for their interactions the way Jason is, but when I do listen to my dad and Raylan, holy smokes, do I have flashbacks to how we wrangled me and Jason when we were little.  

Where my mom was all about a two-pronged approach of (a) getting us out of the house and educated by osmosis via experiences and (b) reading*, my dad was the one who couldn't leave well enough alone when we were performing mundane tasks and turned it into a lesson.

"You know how a telephone works?" you might suddenly hear.  Well, no, Dad, but I bet by the end of this conversation I will, you'd say to yourself.  This is not a complaint, by the way.  I was the only kid in my 4th Grade class who understood the principles of lift, thrust and wingshape or how radio waves work.  In middle school it was how companies and combustion engines work.  In college it was rotary engines.  I don't think we've completed the list of random stuff my dad seems to know how it works, because you never know.  Even now he's figuring out something with an artificial waterfall and pumping mechanism that I've got about a 1/3rd of the story on.

Now he's got another round of well-refined "How Does It Work?" to share with my brother's kid.  Just last week I saw him explaining gears to a 2 1/2 year old on YouTube.  Next week it'll probably be how fishtank filters work or something.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Dad, and thanks for all the impromptu lessons that made me unbearable to my classmates but also occasionally surprisingly handy.




*so, so much reading.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

TL;DR: We Discuss Our Love of Wonder Woman as Character, Icon and Hero



This isn't a review of the movie, which I'm slated to see in a few hours.  But with the arrival of Wonder Woman in cinemas, I wanted to reflect on Wonder Woman as a character and my road with Diana.

Like most kids of my generation, I grew up with Wonder Woman as the default "superhero for girls".  Sure, DC had a wide array of female characters, but a lot of "team" concepts aimed at boys included 1 or maybe 2 girls on the team no matter how big the roster got (see: GI Joe).  And on Super Friends, Wonder Woman was the all-purpose female character who was not Jayna of The Wonder Twins of Wendy of Super Marv and Wendy (ahhh, the 70's).

but at least they gave WW two villains from her rogues gallery

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Today I am 42




Sycamore Trees

by David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti and Little Jimmy Scott



I got idea man
You take me for a walk
Under the sycamore trees
The dark trees that blow baby
In the dark trees that blow

And I'll see you
And you'll see me
And I'll see you in the branches that blow
In the breeze,
I'll see you in the trees
Under the sycamore trees



Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Birthday to My Brother


Today my brother, Steanso, is 43.  He is old like dirt.

At least he managed to bring these two people into our world.


That kid loves a tortilla.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March in Austin, 01/21/2017

I'm the guy in the Superman shirt


I hadn't really planned to go to the Women's March in Austin early in the week.  While I understood and supported the idea (more on that later), I also am of the opinion that the last thing anyone needs at a march for women's rights - and as the event drew closer, LBGQT rights, the rights of POC, the rights of people non-Christian faiths, the rights of immigrants - was to have a giant, 40'ish, straight, white man standing in the middle taking up space.

"Will you be going to any of the marches?" a colleague asked me.
"There's not really a march for boring white dudes," I said.
"Well, you could always come out in support."

Support, indeed.  Maybe I wouldn't just be in the way.  When I mentioned maybe going to Jamie, she was on the idea like white on rice (and hadn't asked because she knows I like my Saturdays for coffee and contemplation.  Sometimes we do that thing where we don't ask each other if the other wants to do something because we both assume the other won't want to, but we're both into the idea), and because Jamie is a woman and I support her, we were off to the races.

Now, this isn't a blog on politics, and despite my personal misgivings about the new president and his crew, I am not planning to turn this into my soapbox (much).  But, I gotta be me, and so occasionally don't be shocked if you see a This Moment in History (tmih) post, or an Actual History or news post.  Or, even something personal.

And, yeah, participating in one of the largest collective protests the country has ever seen (and I will go to my grave telling you that the 50K number being quoted for walkers at today's march in Austin is too conservative an estimate) is something I did, it was a newsworthy event, and so, it's going to wind up on this site.  You don't have to read the posts and you don't have to care.  There's no fee either way.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The 2016 Kryptos - Movies



Welcome to the 2016 Krypto Awards.  This isn't just for movies, but that's where we're gonna start - by looking back at the Good, Bad and Ugly of 2016 movie-watching here at The Signal Watch.  If you haven't seen our post on what all we watched this year, numbers-wise, you can check it out here.

It's tough to say "Best Picture" means a whole lot, but we'll try to narrow it down some.  We're only really talking about the movies we saw for the first time in 2016, which really narrows the field here from 160+ to 88 films.

Of course, we didn't just want to heap congrats on things we adored.  We kind of hated some things this year, so we'd be negligent if we didn't discuss what didn't work for us and take some cheap shots on our way out the door.

So - Let's get to it.

Movies 2016 - Crunching the Numbers



Time to crunch the numbers.

In 2016 I tagged every movie I watched from beginning to end with "Movies 2016".  I did not include movies I only watched in part.  I also did not include any Hallmark Channel holiday movies as I intended to do a post on those movies, but once again did not get my act together.

It is likely this is off by a count here or there, as I am not too worried about this being 100% accurate, but a snapshot of what I watched this year.

To view my numbers and a complete list of movies, you can look at the spreadsheet by clicking on this link.

We'll talk about the actual movies themselves in a follow-up post.

The Numbers


Total times a movie was watched:  165
Movies "new to me":  88

My goal for this year was to watch more movies that would be new to me, and I actually managed to watch a majority of new movies instead of just watching old movies as comfort food.  If I re-watched a movie that was new to me (example:  Rogue One), it only counted once as a "new" movie.  So I think I did okay.

Given how much baseball I wound up watching this year, the number of movies I watched in October while I know I was watching tons of ball - I kind of wonder how much I left the house that month.  But I do think it helps account for why I watched roughly 20 fewer movies this year than last year.