Showing posts with label signal corps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label signal corps. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So far in Quincy...

It's been a fine trip. I flew through JFK yesterday en route to Boston Logan, arrived, ate some food, read, internetted and then went to bed and slept in a bit.

Today the conference started and I presented in the mid-afternoon session. We had lower attendance than I would have liked, but I thought the conversation which occurred was tremendous. Then, at the meet'n'greet cocktail hour had some great conversations.

My biggest problem is that I've been doing this so long and attended so many conferences, I can't always remember where I know people from. That caught me twice tonight.

After the happy hour I met up with Kevin of One Wall Cinema.

the aforementioned Kevin
Kevin took me to a favorite haunt of his, and it was a really nice night out away from ETDs and library talk.  I had a great time, and am a bit bummed that Boston is so far from Austin.  Kevin is a good man with whom one can chat.  I recommend you try it.

Kevin took me on a quick drive around Quincy, and I saw City Hall, the former home of John Quincy Adams, and the graveyard where John AND John Quincy Adams are buried.  I nerded a bit.

I suppose I knew Sam Adams (the beer) was from Boston, but as its one of my favorite beers in Texas, I don't think of it as local to Boston.  It is, so I should shut up about that.  But I bypassed Sam Adams this evening and tried local favorite Wachusett Blueberry.

It is AWESOME.  And they put blueberries in it.  I'm not a huge beer drinker, but this was right up my alley.

Now you can begin your day with Boo-Berry and end it with Blueberry
I am confident I rid my body of many oxidants by consuming a glass of this beer.

In general, I've been having a lovely time, as far as this conference business is concerned.  And I am quite fond of the Boston accents of various stripes I've heard around me.  Partially because nobody has yelled at me, which will ruin it.  On the plus side, nobody has, as of yet, asked how I like them apples or, indeed, any apples at all.

Kevin also convinced me to eat "Buffalo Chicken Nachos".  Texans, we cannot control what they do with our local cuisine once it leaves the state, but there are worse ways to see a pile of nachos wind up.

Friday, June 1, 2012

And Happy Birthday to Matty Mangum

Happy birthday, man.

I know you hate my blog and think comics are stupid, but we heart you, anyway.

Tomorrow we will get you a pony ride.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. President - 50th Anniversary

Well, this is interesting.

Saturday was the birthday of both our own NathanC and Seattle-based-pal, The My.  NathanC received a light hearted image of Donald Duck with cake.  For The My, I decided to Google an image of Marilyn Monroe in "the dress" singing to JFK.

It turns out that May 19th, 2012 was the 50th Anniversary of the infamous "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" birthday serenade from Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy, President of the United State of America.

I say:  God bless America.

While Mrs. Kennedy was not in attendance, the performance did not go unnoticed.  It can't have been much fun to see America's icon of sex throwing herself at her husband from a stage in front of not just a Madison Square Garden full of people, but Life Magazine, TV cameras, and the world.

Still the gold standard for both brazen winking about one's dalliances and performances of The Birthday Song*, we can only stare in disbelief that the world of 1962 was kooky enough that one would have their birthday party hosted by Peter Lawford.  Also: have their mistress sing to them on camera in front of an NBA-arena-sized crowd.

If you've never seen Monroe's breathy performance, here you go:

The reference to "the late Marilyn Monroe" was a joke about Monroe's tardiness to the birthday program. Of course, Monroe would be dead within 6 months.

For more on the performance, consult the internet.

Happy 50th Anniversary of ruining everybody else's birthday, Ms. Monroe.

*Megan Draper's performance of Zou Bisou Bisou in the Season 5 premiere of Mad Men may set another standard for good Birthday singing ideas.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Signal Watch Cinema Series is GO!!!

If you live in Austin (and many of you do), then you may want to check out our "calendar" section all summer long.  Come June, Austin ramps up the offerings to us locals at The Paramount, The Alamo and elsewhere.

our own Paramount Theater

Just click on calendar in the horizontal tabs, and see what we're thinking of doing.    We'll try to keep the calendar updated all summer long as movies come out and life and whatnot gets in the way.  I'd guess we're going to be changing the line-up every two or three weeks, so keep your eyes on the schedule.
there you go, Jason.  Right there.

It's in Google Calendar, so you should be able to add our events to your own calendar with the push of a button.

If you want to join us for anything, make sure we can actually make it by contacting us first.  Email, texts, phonecalls, twitter, facebook and singing telegrams are all perfectly reasonable ways of reaching out to us.

We're also planning a trip down to San Antonio this summer to see a movie or two (most likely Gilda), so join us in The River City.

It's a hell of a line up this summer, and I am pretty excited.  Bond Week.  Sci-Fi Week.  Horror Week.  Noir.  Samurai.  It's going to be all right.

my second home away from home in the summer

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blog hiatus: The Dug is coming (and K)

The Dug is scheduled to arrive this evening, and this will seriously cut into Signal Watch time.

We're thrilled to have Dug with us, and very happy K had a change of plans and can make it out, too.

But of the many faces of Douglas, which will appear?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Signal Watch Goes All Out (walks a mile or two) For Kidneys and Charity


Longtime readers may know that Jamie, the better-half and brains of the outfit here at Signal Watch, has some serious kidney dysfunction.  She has a disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. It is not as much fun as it sounds, and its pretty serious stuff. Even Wikipedia says so (she fell under "none" under that treatment tab).

What are we doing about it this week?  We're raising money for research and whatnot through the National Kidney Foundation.  .

To raise money, I will walk side-by-side with an army of dialysis patients around a lovely man-made lake somewhere in Pflugerville.  One assumes the walk isn't very far because, you know...  dialysis patients.*

Somehow kidney disease does not have the prestige and glamour of other diseases.  Awesome people who are not Jamie have kidney disease, too, but you rarely hear about it.  Sean Elliot of the San Antonio Spurs has FSGS, as does Alonzo Mourning.  Curiously, Jamie never played NBA basketball, but she also contracted the disease.  We're still looking into why she never got a contract with the Denver Nuggets.

Anyhow, if you can, please give just a few bucks.  We'd certainly appreciate it, and you'd be helping what I assure you is a very very good cause.  Kidneys.**

*What are you, some kind of monster wanting to see how far you can make those people walk?  They're ill!  What is wrong with you?

**you have them, too, and frankly, we're worried about how much sugar you've been eating

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Documenting A Descent Into Madness with Paul

The weekend seemed to just shoot by in a way that the past several weeks really have not done.

If you're following us on social media, you may have seen a cryptic allusion to PaulT (aka: PlacesLost) and I joining forces with our respective extra-curricular interests and making a day of it.  Spoiler alert:  Paul was looking to do something fun for himself in the world of video, and so he interviewed me about my Superman hobby for a while, and then he shot my my collection of stuff.  Also: we ate pizza.

I think its still a bit up in the air what Paul will do with the footage, but we had fun, and I think I talked either as an interviewee or just running my mouth from 10 in the morning until about five PM or whenever Paul departed.  

This promises to upstage Nixon/ Frost, I am sure.  Yes, that is me in my office.  We're a bit out of focus here, so consider it a teaser and get off Paul's case.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A round-up of things (Cap Soldier Dad, UT political cartoon, Batman in his Lambo)

Hi guys!

Over the past few days I've received a few links from you guys, and I guess its appropriate to comment.

Cap Homecoming

If you haven't seen the video of the little boy receiving a visit from Captain America for his birthday, and then learning that the unmasked Cap is the dad he thought was in Afghanistan where he's serving, then you really need to watch it.

An amazing and poignant moment, and a reminder that the US military is a volunteer military of men and women who are also fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Here's to all of our Captain Americas coming home.

Yes, I saw the Gawker article and cartoon.  Yes, that's The Daily Texan.

Yes, The Daily Texan is the student paper at UT Austin where I went to school and currently work.  Yes, its embarrassing.

I have literally no idea what the cartoonist was thinking, but contextually, just the use of the word "colored", which is only used in Texas in a weird, gallows humor sort of way to suggest backwards thinking, tells me that this cartoonist was trying to make a point which never quite made it into the strip, and instead just made UT's daily student paper look backward and racist.

If the cartoonist was trying to make a point about how the matronly and condescending media is telling the story by framing the story to a child-like audience to scare them, then...  okay.  I guess I get it even if I don't buy necessarily buy that interpretation.  You'd pretty much need to be handed a few sign posts to get you there.

From looking at the rest of the cartoonist's work on the Texan website, all of her strips (if you want to call them that) are terribly inept and seem to fail to actually convey anything other than a general sense of "I watched CNN last night" and a bit of anger at someone running for student government*.  Frankly, political cartooning is hard.  The skill to create icons and symbolism to convey your opinion or some greater truth with a 2 second glance is hard to come by.  Even among comic nerds, political cartooning gets a certain level of respect for the difficult task it represents.  This student gets an F in cartooning.

But, pulling Eisner's work would mean The Daily Texan would then need to either fill that space with another cartoon (and lord knows how hard that would be to find), or run an ad for Forbidden Fruit or Tom's Tabooley or something.  I just wish the editor or faculty advisor had been able to make a better decision before letting this see print.

Update:  Eisner more or less admitted she screwed up the cartoon.  

Yes, I saw that a guy who owns a Lamborghini apparently likes to dress up as Batman

And I saw that the cops pulled him over for having a bat-symbol, I believe, as his license plate.

Several comics sites talked about the guy, and who can blame them?  A dude who owns a completely amazing black Lamborghini dressed himself up as Batman and drove around in the car (with the top down), pretty much doing what every single person in the world has always wanted to do.

Some were saying this guy does this for kids or a charity or something.  Really, I don't know why he does it, but he's okay in my book.

Speaking of Batman

Here's every window cameo on the 1960's Batman program with Adam West and Burt Ward.

And how can you go wrong hiring Andy Devine to play Santa?  I will tell you:  You cannot.

My Personal Bug-a-Boo of the Day

Mixing historical figures with genre tropes is getting played out.  Especially when you can tell that neither the artist nor the person writing the article (a) realizes this, or (b) realizes that this one in particular was done a long time ago and better as "Tales from the Bully Pulpit".

No, I don't care about the Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter movie.

Thanks to everyone for thinking of me and sending me links!  Keep them coming.

*dear students:  these elections will never matter anywhere, to anyone but to sad people reading grad school applications in basements

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to Jamie

Jamie gets lost in the wilds of Austin

Jamie won't be getting much of a present this year as she was in on the purchase of her present already: the purchase of a pair of tickets to see the Chicago Cubs play in Chicago this summer (v. The Astros).  We're giving the trip to one another in lieu of Christmas and birthday gifts.  We don't get to travel just the two of us all that often.

Tonight, we'll be going out for a dinner at one of Jamie's favorite places, and I hope the weather holds out and we can enjoy a great spring evening.  Then, of course, Mad Men premieres, as a special gift cooked up between me and AMC.

We've had a fantastic year this year, and I look forward to coming around the bend on birthdays next year and knowing that year will have been a good one, too.  But, you know, we get along.  Years with Jamie are usually pretty great.

Happy birthday, Jamie.  I love you.

You guys have no idea how much red wine I had consumed by the time this picture was taken

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy B-Day to My Brother

Today is Jason's 39th Birthday.  Holy cow, we are getting old.  It seems like just yesterday 13-year-old Jason was beating the crap out of me for eating his Easter candy.

Time marches on.  We resolve our differences these days with far less pummeling, carefully laid traps, and mutually assured destruction.

This year Jason is spending his B-Day with AmyD, seeing some touristy stuff and catching up with some old pals in Houston.  I think his 39th year will likely be one of the best yet.

And, yes, I did get Jason a couple of presents and bought him a lovely dinner, so there.
our birthday boy

The boy has been cursed with a Leprechaun Day birthday, so his actual B-Day is often quite compromised, as it ALSO always falls during SXSW.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go out and enjoy some St. Patrick's Day fun.  You know, if you can find a Bennigan's that's open or whatever.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Reader Participation: The Loco Taco Taste Test Supreme

I do not eat fast food as often as I once did (which was, like, a lot).  At some point my GI tract rebelled and said "no more", and so its a true rarity that I swing through a McDonalds, Wendy's, BK or other joint.  I don't care for Panda Express (like, seriously, guys, no.  Gross.), and Chik-Fil-A apparently hates Teh Gays, so I have an excuse not to eat there, which isn't really a problem since I burned out on them circa 2004.

But Taco Bell (and our regional Tex-Mex favorite, Taco Cabana) are still in light rotation.  Especially since Taco Bell quit insisting that I have to order a "Chicken Ranch Taco without Ranch sauce" in order to get a chicken soft taco.

People, I love tacos.  I have been known to eat tacos for multiple meals in a row.  I have been lured out of doing work with the promise of tacos.  I eat voluntarily in a college cafeteria because of tacos.

Yes, the price at Taco Bell today is far, far more than the $0.59 I used to pay per taco back in college, but I am okay with paying $1.30 per taco if it means the workers are less likely to add spittle to my food.

Now, I am aware that what we call "Mexican Food" in the US varies regionally.  I was stunned by the differences when we moved to Arizona, and, of course, what they serve at the local places in AZ differs from what you're getting in Mexico City vs. elsewhere in Old Mexico.  But nowhere in Mexico did food ever look exactly like Taco Bell.  In fact, I'm not really sure where Taco Bell originated.  In fact, I recall laughing and laughing and laughing at a colleague from Chicago when she suggested she did not want Mexican food for lunch because she'd had Taco Bell for dinner the night before, which was an equation I don't think I would have made in a hundred years.

Similarly, I was well into college before I figured out that Doritos were supposed to suggest something about an origin in Mexican cuisine.  Sure, I saw that it said "nacho flavor" on the packaging, but still...  I'd always believed the consistency of the chips was necessary for heavy layer of the cheese dust from Mac'n'Cheese packages they used for "flavor".  Don't get me wrong, I love me a Dorito, but somewhere in the 1960's-era processed food blitz that generated them, somehow they created something entirely new en route to imitating Chips'n'Queso, which I assume was the inspiration.

But now, Taco Bell and Doritos, two bastard sons of the American cheap/ processed food wasteland have found one another in a nigh post-apocalyptic dining scenario.

I present to you (and I am not making this up) the Loco Taco from Taco Bell.

From the site:
A Taco Supreme® made with premium seasoned beef,crisp lettuce, diced juicy red ripe tomatoes, real cheddar cheese and topped with cool reduced-fat sour cream, in a shell made from Nacho Cheese Doritos® Chips.
That is amazing.  That is a food stunt of the highest order that I did not think Taco Bell could top when they did the food stunt equivalent of jumping 10 flaming school buses on the back of a tricycle with their burrito stuffed with chili-cheese Fritos.*

I have not engaged in a Taste Test in many, many moons...  but it may be time.

For, like, $1.30, you could also participate.  Just go to your local Bell, order one or two of these up, indulge and send me your thoughts via email.

*seriously, just looking at the burrito menu at Taco Bell reminds me that the Surgeon General pleads with you not to consume any Taco Bell burrito products.  Choose life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thanks to Randy!

The Amazing Rando, our own RandyT, sent me a surprise package in the mail.  No idea what inspired this outpouring of generosity, but with two Jill Thompson books and a vintage Planet of the Apes book, Randy wins the week for being my favorite person with whom I do not share a house or who is not related to me in some way.

Way to go, Rando!

 Step it up, Jim.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fantastic Voyage (to Denton, TX and the movies)

Wednesday I head to Denton, TX for a 2 day conference on...  you know what?  I'm pretty sure you don't care.  But, yeah, 48 hours in Denton with Librarians and Degree Evaluators.  Should be a hoot.

Anyhoo, on Saturday I'm hoping to join SimonUK at the Alamo South Lamar for a screening of one of my favorites from middle school, shown to us in Life Sciences in 7th grade in order to demonstrate exactly where we might need to know this stuff.

Fantastic Voyage is the original "we've shrunk them down to microscopic size and injected them in a submarine into someone's bloodstream to save this important person's life" story, which is way less specific than you'd think.  Its been ripped off on numerous occasions.

But the first is still the best.

World's least efficient way of keeping your cholesterol under control
Doesn't that look exciting?  13 year old me certainly thought it was amazingly exciting.  I think 36 year old me still sees the appeal.

The movie starts at 11:00, but as Kid's Club at South Lamar is free, be there early as 10:00.  Have some coffee with me and Simon.  We're good company.

And if you need further incentive:  Raquel Welch wears a white "scuba suit" for a good chunk of the movie.

You can microscopically swim around in my bloodstream anytime
You can never have enough scuba-suited, laser-toting Raquel Welch for my dollar.

Come out and join us!  Wear your Slim Goodbody costume so we can map the progress of our crew!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blog Spotlight - Down and Out: An Austin Love Story

So, some time this summer PaulT and I headed down to the Alamo Ritz to see Babyface because I was promised lots of Barbara Stanwyck (which it delivered in spades).  Prior to the movie, a lovely young woman sat down a couple seats down from PaulT, and because it turns out PaulT, myself and this person are all the sort of person who will talk to just random people, we talked a bit before the show began, and then afterward all wound up at a bar next door for a few drinks.

That lovely young woman was LT.  She's fairly new to town, a world traveler, highly educated, and now unemployed and trying to make a go of it here in Waterloo.  Turns out she can also turn a phrase, so I encourage you to check out her blog Down and Out: An Austin Love Story.

I think you'll find it an interesting read.  I know I do.  I'm personally totally rooting for LT, and it wasn't so long ago I was also unemployed in this town under very different circumstances.  So if you have a chance, give it a read.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, JimD

edit.  Oh, hell.  Apparently tomorrow is Jim's birthday.  Just consider this an early present on Jim's B-Day Eve

we don't do birthdays around here much anymore.  But it's Jim D's B-Day, and I remembered.

Friday, December 16, 2011

SW Advent Calendar December 16

Provided by our own AmyD.

This was my response to her email:

I doubt you guys listen to much Magic 95.5 for their magical month of Christmas, but I think they play this song every hour on the hour.  Its insane.

Sometimes...  this is the song that gets stuck in my head, and even a power drill and a tire iron cannot get it out.

And now I share with you. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to The Dug


Today is the birthday of The Dug, brother of League-wife, Jamie.

I'm sure today is important for other reasons, too
Happy B-Day, Dug.  I won't reveal how old you are, even if I get punched in the stomach forty times.  Why, if forty angry badgers were biting my shins, I'd never say how old you'd become.  For forty days and forty nights I could resist questioning that would reveal your true age.

Happy B-Day, Dug.  May it be contain the fun of 40 Nukies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Pics Not of Me

Oh, right.  If you have pics of you or your kids from Halloween, send 'em in.

Here's Peabo's kid, Owen, taking the fight for freedom to, what appears to be a Cap Metro bus.

Cap.  Cap Metro!  I crack myself up.

Kudos to Owen for a surprisingly accurate movie-Cap costume.

Let's hope justice doesn't mind tacking on an extra 30 minutes for the commute.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, Y'all!


Or, as I like to call it, "The Day Before We All Start Freaking Out About Christmas".

We'll be checking out for the evening as we prepare to dispense candy and comics (!) to the neighborhood boys and ghouls.  If you're in Lower Austin, do not hesitate to stop by for candy, comics, tricks or treats.  I believe pal HeatherW is joining us on the porch this evening.

Before we check out, please feel free to send in your pics of you or your kids!  We'd love to have a gallery posted of our beloved Signal Corps and their offspring at the most ridiculous time of year.

Email pictures here.

Here's an index of our Halloween posts for 2011.  OOOOOoooooooooo....!!!!

Halloween Interactivity! Day 8: The League - Part 2 ("Count Dracula, Jr.")

My brother will readily point out that, especially as a child, I'd pursue an idea right into the ground, based upon the promise of the idea far, far more than whether the idea were practical or matched up with reality.  In the manner, I went to college and got a film degree.

Insert drum fill.

So it came to pass in 3rd Grade that, after having been a "cute" character for Halloween in 2nd Grade, I was ready to be something a bit more scary in 3rd Grade.  

That prior year, we were all riding high off the release of ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, and my grandmother, having no idea what an ET was, sewed me an ET costume.  I was freaking cute as hell, but it was also a warm autumn in the Spring, Texas area, and I'd mostly remembered sweating through the shirt I'd work under the costume and wanting to take the mask off at every opportunity so I could release some of the heat building up inside.  It was like wearing a ski-mask in 80+ degree temperatures.

So, somehow the summer before 3rd Grade, I began considering going out as Dracula.  Both The Wolfman and The Mummy seemed to have the same "mask in humid Houston" issue, and I couldn't figure out where to secure a Frankenstein head except via a paper-mache project I was fairly certain I'd just sweat through, anyway.  

I made a list of what I'd need to become Dracula, looked at pictures, and was certain that my Dracula would not be a plastic-apron-costume variety with those pokey plastic face masks.  But...

1)  Dracula's opera-tuxedo costume was not something one could easily get their hands on, and 
2)  the more I looked at Dracula, the more I felt he was a bit of a dandy in our modern, 80's, Casey Kasem-driven-era

And so was born my own, unique, concept - Count Dracula, Jr.