Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009!


Another year over...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Masterpiece #3
















Alessandro Turchi detto l’Orbetto, Italian

Jesus Asking Strangers for Directions, 1580

Oil on canvas

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Masterpiece #20


Benedito Calixto, Portuguese

Open Mike at Our Lady Santa Maria de Sao Paolo, 1883

Oil on canvas

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I Just Finished Reading

Right as Rain Right as Rain by George P. Pelecanos


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is probably my favorite by Pelecanos to date.

If you have read any Pelecanos novel, you are familiar with the area he writes about and the type of world his characters inhabit. His plots are intricate without being overwhelming, the dialogue is sharp and realistic, his characters are human and relatable and the resolutions are realistic, satisfying in some respects and frustrating in others.

I also appreciate how the books can tie together very subtly. I read a lot of "series" by authors I like. I find myself frustrated by picking up a novel that is a DIRECT sequel to another book (that I might not have read) or where the author fills in so much background information (practically cutting and pasting for the benefit of a new reader)you can zone out for a page or two. Pelecanos does such a nice job of being able to hook new readers while tossing long time fans a bone or two. (For this book, there are so many subtle tie-ins, but the one in the last chapter brought tears to my eyes.)

If you have read Pelecanos but haven't read how Quinn and Strange ended up as partners, then this book is for you. If you haven't read anything by Pelecanos yet (WHAT!?!?), then this book is an excellent one to start with.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, December 25, 2009

In honor of the new movie...


Sherlock Holmes: The Fire Island Years, 1881
Ernst Josephson, Swedish

Oil on canvas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas


One more day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2000s: Top 10 MLB Games

Sports Illustrated has a few new Top Ten lists on their site right now. All of them have to do with Top "Something" of the Decade. I'm not one who really cares about when these "decade" lists come out ("There was no year ZERO!" "A decade literally means ANY ten year period!"), I do like when the Red Sox are on the list.

#4
Red Sox 5, Yankees 4 (14 innings)
Game 5, 2004 ALCS

The Yankees got within three outs of a sweep in Game 4, but the Sox rallied against Mariano Rivera. This time, the Yanks got within six outs, leading 4-2, when the host Sox rallied again. Five scoreless innings followed with several missed opportunities, most notably a ninth-inning ground-rule double by Tony Clark that would have given the Yankees the lead had it not skipped over Fenway Park's short right-field wall, and Jason Varitek's nearly kicking away the game with three passed balls on Tim Wakefield's knuckler in the 13th. David Ortiz won it in the 14th with an RBI single. The Sox would become the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series, and then break their 86-year title drought with a World Series sweep of St. Louis.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009




Looks like young Skywalker has a bit of the OCD. I can't decide if this is something Uncle Owen instilled in him, or savagely beat him for while he was growing up on Tatooine. Probably the latter. (Via Unique Daily)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ninjas Hijacked My Mother

There are so many great phrases to use as the title for this post...

from Topless Robot (NSFW) "The Day Job Orchestra -- whoever the hell they are -- decided to redub this clip of Star Trek: The Next Generation based entirely on the actors' mouth movements. As you can see, they got it exactly right, and recreated TNG's dialogue practically word for word. Impressive! (Via Warming Glow)"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day of Infamy

From the address given by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., on December 8, 1941:

"[On] December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific."


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Friday, December 4, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This day in history...


2001 - George Harrison died at the age of 58. He had been undergoing treatments for cancer.

When I learned of George's dying, I remarked it made me sad because in high school, four of my best friends were named John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They got me through a lot of "high school" stuff.

The woman I was eating with remarked on the coincidence of me having four friends with the same names as The Beatles.

She wasn't very bright.

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Masterpiece #2


Jan de Bray, Dutch
Uh, Guys? How Long Has That Painter Been Sitting There?, 1577
Oil on canvas
from the newly discovered: That Is Priceless

Saturday, November 28, 2009

FlashForward



We are still trying to watch this, but have fallen a few weeks behind.

Found this on tumblr the other day and made me laugh. We'll have to try and catch up soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


There are so many things for me to be thankful for today, that if I attempted to list them I would invariably forget something important or embarrass myself.
Suffice it to say, I am a very happy, lucky and blessed man.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just finished both of these...

Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys (Marvel Premiere Classic) Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys by Stan Lee


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an impulse pick up at the library yesterday as I stocked up for the long Thanksgiving weekend. A good collection of two "important" story-lines that I had never read.

The deaths of Captain John Stacy and his daughter, Gwen, as well as the Green Goblin, are cited as a major turning point in Spider-man's character development and in comic books in general. I can see why.

While dated in its storytelling, art and writing, there are themes here that transcend pigeonholing. These are good stories told in a good way. I read somewhere that originally Spider-man's uncle was killed in a page or so. Tight writing, not a lot of superfluous material. When his origin was retold recently, it was stretched out over 5 entire issues. This collection is definitely in line with the former, as these 6 issues are so packed with detail but paced nicely, almost breathtakingly fast.

And whereas comics "back in the day" relied on thought bubbles and over explanation by the characters (for the benefit of the reader) today's comics script out every pause and aside, again these stories lean toward the former but not distractingly so.

Basically, if you like comic books in general, and Spider-man in particular, you would benefit from familiarizing yourself with these stories.

View all my reviews >>


Batman: The Black Glove Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison


My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I understand the desire of some comic book readers to skip the monthlies and move to these sort of collected trades so that they can have a larger chunk of the story at one time.

That mentality helps this collection get a second star, otherwise it would have gotten just the one. The opening story (not sure how many parts it was, this is one jumbled mess of a collection) attempts to bring some of the goofier Batman stories of the 50s and 60s and bring them into modern day Batman continuity. It works to a degree and provides a decent mystery.

However, Grant Morrison is out of his mind and the narrative is difficult to follow and the remaining stories are just a jumbled mess.

Some comic book fans laud Morrison and his story telling. I admit I liked his X-Men run and it was that run that had me buying some comics again after an 8 year absence, but man oh man is this collection just not my cup of tea.

While pretty to look at, some of the "chapters" seem to be odd just for the sake of being odd. And unless you are a comic book "historian" (which I often read that Morrison is, hence is use of bizarre and random older issues of Batman as launching points for some of these stories) and "hepped up on the goofballs", good luck following this mess.

View all my reviews >>

Reading...

Tripwire (Jack Reacher Series, #3) Tripwire by Lee Child


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My library has a spinner rack of paperbacks that you can "take" and return on the honor system. I rarely check it out (my cousin Lee and I once had a conversation about the general "skeeviness" of reading used paperbacks) but the library is missing about 4 or 5 Reacher novels and while I was requesting them via ILL I spotted this one on the rack.

What a ride! Such a strong Reacher book. Actually fleshed out villains. Strong supporting characters. A subplot or two that tie in nicely and actually educate and tug at your heart.

While there is the typical ludicrousness (Reacher's pectoral muscles are abnormally thick so that the slug from a small calibre handgun actually appear to bounce off of his chest!!!) this is a strong entry in the Reacher mythos.

View all my reviews >>


**If you aren't on Goodreads yet, you should check it out. And then find me and share reviews. Thanks Marc (or was it Lee) for hooking me on the site.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Masterpiece #13





















Artist Unknown, Flemish School
Liberace’s First Day of Kindergarten, 1934
Oil on panel

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Dagobah System Ain't Safe for Droids or Pussies



from Topless Robot
"Dago-bam, motherskywalkers! No wonder Luke left so quick in Empire Strikes Back. I wouldn't have hacked it on Dagobah for more than an hour before crying and wetting myself. Infinite thanks to CommandSheep for the tip."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Date In History


The Gettysburg Address is a speech by Abraham Lincoln. It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kids These Days And Their Music...

I am not a big "music" fan in general and I truly hate this whole "autotune" stuff that is on the radio these days.

I LOVE THIS CLIP!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Male Prima Donna" by Subtle Sexuality

While I have known about my resemblance to the Nard Dog for over a year now, I have really only explored that connection on Facebook. Once I saw his prominent role in this AMAZING video, I just had to post it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day*

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army


IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.




*The holiday is commonly printed as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day on calendars. While these spellings are grammatically acceptable, the United States government has declared that no apostrophe rather than the possessive case is the official spelling.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I Read....a little while back...

The Brass Verdict (Mickey Haller, #2) (Harry Bosch, #14) The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An enjoyable read. In addition to to appearances by Haller and Bosch (who have a HUGE improbable plot twist that make me wonder where Connelly is going next with his charcters), newspaper reporter Jack McEvoy (subject of two other Connelly novels) plays a minor role.

Good courtroom scenes and a fun mystery to unravel.

View all my reviews >>


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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tom and Jerry

I truly hate Tom and Jerry. I loathe it. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but hated it growing up and hate it now when my kids want to watch an episode. Regardless, I LOVE this clip and sing it in class all the time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Violent New Mexico Soccer Player Suspended!

I was looking at some website this morning >ahem< PerezHilton >ahem< and stumbled across this gem.....the text after is from that other site....




Ya think?!

After seeing New Mexico player Elizabeth Lambert's violent behavior on the field, it has been announced by head soccer coach Kit Vela that Lambert has been suspended indefinitely!

Watch the video above to see Lambert's highly unsportsmanlike conduct against Brigham Young University during the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Championship.

We're glad she's facing some consequences! You can't behave like that and get away with it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Recently Read....

Rapunzel's Revenge Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another DCF nominee. Not really a retelling of Rapunzel, but a graphic novel set in an old west type world with elements borrowed from Rapunzel and a few other fairy tales. It was quite fun.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Day In History...


On November 4, 1988, Tonari no Totoro is released in Japan. It would be dubbed in English and released in 1993 as My Neighbor Totoro. Disney acquired the rights and apparently released a better dubbed version in 2006.

Either way, if you have not seen this movie, you owe it to yourself (or your children) to rent it immediately.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


"Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Farmer grows pumpkins with human faces




This article about a farmer in Ohio who grew creepy pumpkins with human faces on them was apparently in the January 1938 issue of Popular Science.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

From Terry Border's site: Bent Objects

I was going to try and spread these out over a few weeks...built in posts to keep things moving, but I do not have the patience today....


A Side of Baby Carrots


Stud Muffin



Zombies Are Nuts About Brains


Hamlet was Nuts!


It's a dirty job, but....


Missing!


Paper Training


Irony in Pill Form

Honeymoon Sweet


Star of the Show!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Star Trek Meets Monty Python

My interest in both of these have waned in recent years, but both will always hold a spot in my heart. Both got me through difficult times and helped me relate to people who are my oldest and dearest friends.

Either way, this was pretty funny!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obi-Wan's True Feelings About Mos Eisley



From Topless Robot: This message, which has not been approved by the Tatooine Tourism Commission, contains Obi-Wan's unedited description of a certain location commonly known as a wretched hive of scum and villainy -- you might want to keep the volume on low if you're at work. Or if you're in a horrible Mos Eisley cantina. (Via Peter Serafinowicz)
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Invidiousness!


I just love this sketch. I love the looks on both of their faces. I love the "symmetry" of the characters. I love the inside-y nerdiness of it.
Created by Amanda Conner and posted on tumblr by Retcon Punch.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What I Read....Recently

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On Friday, I had a few hours to kill at the doctor's office so I grabbed a DCF nominated book to read in the waiting room.

There seems to be a sub-genre of post-apocalyptic dystopian horror type books in children's literature these days. There also seems to be a need for authors to create series or at least trilogies right away.

I did enjoy this book but it seemed to be unnecessarily and unrelentingly bleak. Sort of a "Running Man" meets "Survivor" but with children.

I was discouraged when the librarian told me that "the next book" was in stock, as I knew that meant and unsatisfying conclusion. With a little editing and some forethought, this could have easily been a strong stand alone novel.

I do not see myself wishing to read the sequels.

View all my reviews >>


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