Friday, November 28, 2008

I Could Write a Graphic Novel Based On This Image

For some reason this one image sends my imagination in a thousand different directions. It just tells its own story. What brought Bob and Rob together? What kind of trouble are they getting into? And what is with Rob's hairdo...I mean really...just cause you are big and scary is no excuse to go crazy with the hair gel. Who is he trying to impress? And what will happen when St. Peter catches up with them???? The mind boggles.

A Well Dressed Apocalypse

From the Desk of the Great Emancipator

I found this article on FARK and it is another reason to continue my love affair with the Obamas. Maybe its the little things that I find so cool about this guy. Sure he may save western civilization and lead us all to the promised land but I believe his true value will be in the way he will inspire us all to be better and do better. Check out this little nugget from a recent interview. I can just picture his daughter doing her homework at Lincoln's desk in the Lincoln bedroom- the decendant of slaves working where the Great Emancipator signed the very document that freed the slaves. There is something full circle about the whole image. And can't you just see him in his slippers and housecoat walking through the Whitehouse turning off lights. I hope they are bunny slippers and Spider-Man pjs. CLASSIC!

CHICAGO—President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, said their young daughters will still have to do chores in the White House and won't get out of doing homework just because they're the president's children. In an interview with Barbara Walters, the Obamas said Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, will have lives as normal as possible. That means helping out around the house. "That was the first thing I said to some of the staff when I did my visit," Michelle Obama said. "I said, 'You know, we're going to have to set up some boundaries,' because they're going to need to be able to make their beds, and clean up." The girls, who will be attending the prestigious Sidwell Friends School, also will be expected to do their homework as usual. Although, the president-elect said, Malia has her eye on a special spot to write important papers. When she came back from her White House visit recently, she told her dad that she plans to work at the desk in the Lincoln bedroom. Obama, who is known to be an avid reader of Lincoln history, said his daughter told him "I'm going to sit at that desk, because I'm thinking that will inspire big thoughts." During the interview, Obama described the desk as being the spot where Lincoln signed the Gettysburg Address. While there is a copy of the address on display in that room, it actually was the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves that Lincoln signed there. Obama will be sworn in on Jan. 20, and he said he wants to work quickly to make the White House "green." The president-elect said he plans to sit down with the chief usher for the presidential mansion and do an evaluation of its energy efficiency. "Part of what I want to do is to show the American people that it's not that hard," Obama said. Asked whether he'll be tiptoeing around at night, turning off the lights, Obama said he isn't going to be obsessive about it. "But I do that in my current house," he added, "and there's no reason why I wouldn't do it in my next one."


I am totally in love with the high energy series FLASHPOINT which chronicles the lives and missions of a big city S.W.A.T unit. It stars some of favorite actors - Hugh Dillion (who narrates the awesome Ink: Alter Egos Exposed about the comic industry), Amy Jo Johnson (the first, best, and ONLY pink ranger) and Enrico Colantoni (Eliot from the much love and missed JUST SHOOT ME).What distiquishes this show from others are not only the nail biting suspense but also the relationships between all the members of the unit. They are real, faliable human beings who make mistakes under the most stressful of conditions. And their mistakes don't go away or are forgotten. They keep reappearing in future missions and affect the decisions they make in each case - just like it would happen in real life. We can't escape our past mistakes and they have a weight to them that hold us down, keeping us from becoming who we want to be. Their struggle is the same struggle we all face just being human. And these aren't trigger happy macho cops. They spend more time trying to save lives and diffuse situations. Calling a "SCORPIO" (which means taking the shot that takes a life) is the last thing they want to do because the ripple effects can't be avoided. I love how they intigrate the study of human behavior into their job and I am often left contemplating how I would react if put under similar stress. We are all just one moment away from losing everything and making that ONE bad decision that destroys everything we spent a lifetime building. Anyone who thinks they are immune are just fooling themselves. This show deserves a long long run. I am still shaken by tonights episode where Jules (Amy Jo) is shot by a sniper targetting her fellow full view of her new bf who is also on her team. The drama is intensified by the fact that their romance is against police policy and could cost them not only their jobs but the "family" this team of cops has become. You are torn between wanting them to be together and cursing them for risking so much for love. I am a sucker for that shit.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to the Beginning

This is the first comic book I ever read. My beloved cousin Frankie gave it to me the summer before we moved to Europe and I carried it around with me and re-read it until the cover was ripped and frayed. When my father saw how much I loved it he started bringing me home Spiderman and anything else he thought I would enjoy off the spinner rack at the gas station. I would give anything to find a copy of it to frame as it represents a long and satifying love affair with comics. How fitting that it be a Batman book seeing how Batman is the one superhero a person could actually become if one were dedicated and single-minded enough to make the effort. I just managed to dowload this issue and its a real cultural artifact. When Batman is confronted by a dead dummy that looks like Robin he actually crashes through an apartment window to use the phone to call Dick Grayson in college. You would think that someone who could invent all those bat gadgets could have cobbled together a rudimentary cell phone or even some Bat Walkie-Talkies. Later he used a phone at a street phone booth. OH Batman! The final "death" of Robin found the Boy Wonder in a guillotine and Batman throws a silver plate to stop the blade from finishing its job. I don't know how many times I practiced my throwing skills with ice cream bucket lids. But the thing that always stuck with me was how the villian ended up unconsious on a huge statue of Justice balanced on the scales. Even at seven I knew that was the side of law and order that I wanted to be on.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Live Long and Be Funky

I found this article on Topless Robot and it just confirms my belief that my African brother Barack is THE coolest guy ever and he will lead us all to the promised land...or in final battle with the alien zombies that we all KNOW are just wating for the right moment to start causing shit. Barack Obama is the holder of many firsts in America, virtually all of which have been covered elsewhere. But I'd like to talk to you about him today because he is the first nerd to ever be president. Now, I don't want to start a political argument, so I'm not going to talk about his policies or anything like that—and if any of you get even slightly uppity in the comments, I will ban you hard your mother won't recognize your username. But whether you're a Democrat, Republican or Other, if you're reading Topless Robot, I think you can appreciate the significance that for the first time ever, a man who collected comic books will be the leader of the country.

Yes, Obama collected both Spider-man and Conan the Barbarian comics; he actually wanted to be a comic artist when he grew up. He owns all seven Harry Potter books. Wired says he's a Star Trek fan, and offers this awesome anecdote from Leonard Nimoy:

He is a big fan of Star Trek. He said himself: "I grew up on Star Trek. I believe in the final frontier." And, when Leonard Nimoy was the guest on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" in September, he said that he had run into "one of the presidential candidates" and that that candidate had, upon seeing Nimoy, given him the Vulcan salute. He refused to name the candidate, but said he "was not John McCain." And of course, he traveled to the home of Superman, the tiny town of Metropolis, Illinois, and took the above picture of himself at the town's Superman statue, which he even put on his Senatorial website. I don't know what this will mean for nerds in the long run, but I do know one thing—Hayden Panetierre still doesn't want to shake his hand.

Can you just imagine what that moment was like...Barack flashing his Vulcan gang just gives me goosebumps. This action figure needs to come with extra hands just to replicate that moment.

At the recent annual newscasters dinner in Washington Barack and John McCain made very comical speeches. This one line from Brother Obama firmly cements his place in the geek hall of fame...

"I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the Planet Earth."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just Because There Is Ache In My Heart That Never Goes Away

50th Post - Star Wars Memories

Star Wars as a movie was a singular joy for the 12 year old me and like everyone from that generation I have a great story to accompany my first (and second and third) viewing of Star Wars.

You have to remember that 1977 was a far different movie landscape than we are used to today. Movies did not open in 2000 theatres and stayed around for months and months. The big opening weekend was not the focus and the multiplex was non-existent. It seems there were less movies back then and less crap just made to fill the tiny multiplex theartes. Theatres were huge and luxurious with actual balconies that you rushed to just to have that front balcony seat. Popcorn and pop are meant to be rested on that ledge in front of me and not beside me or on the floor...I am not a barbarian here. There was little lead up to the movie so it kinda just exploded on the screen and was primed for a twelve year old audience. Never before had we seen such pristine special effects. The movie just seemed CLEAN if that makes any sense. The characters were fresh and dynamic and the whole mythology of the "Jedi" and the "Force". George Lucas famously took less of the profits from the movies themselves in exchange for full control and profits over the toys and merchandising. This kind of mechandising jugernaut was virtually unheard of before Star Wars.

But I digress. I was telling the story of my seeing Star Wars for the first time in 1977. Well I had waited weeks to be taken to Winnipeg with the expressed purpose of seeing Star Wars. I would have been the first of my classmates to get the chance and as a fanboy from birth it was something I couldn't pass up. What was I thinking right? How could the movie possibly live up the hype that I built up in my mind. What in life ever does?

Anyway we arrived in time for the 6 o'clock show but NO ONE in the house would take me. I was totally pissed. My parents and older cousins actually expected my to wait until the next day? I reached for the phone book and found the bus dispatch service and found the correct bus to take to get to the theatre and just left the house. Never told anyone I was leaving and I doubt they even noticed me walking out the door. I was the kind of kid who was never afraid of doing things on my own and I have a kind of insane bravery that comes over me in those moments. So I arrive at the theatre, and some guy in the ticket lane sold me his extra ticket. I Was in and I grab my pop and popcorn and took my seat and for the next 2 hours I experienced something that I hadn't before or since - a transended movie experience. So much was going on that I felt that I couldn't open my eyes wide enough to take it all in.

When the Death Star exploded I felt a wave of panic come over me...I couldn't leave the theatre yet...I had to see the movie again...not tomorrow but right that night...the next showing. In a daze I rushed to the bathroom and using a tecnique I had seen on tv I locked the stall door and sat on the top of the toilet hugging my knees. I waiting for what felt like a hour for the movie crowds to recycle and then snuck into my second showing JUST as the opening credits began. I was giddy with euphoria for not only seeing Star Wars again but for what I just got away with. I, however, was not brave enough to purchase more snacks for fear that I would be recognized. You would think that after the second Death Star of the evening had exploded that I would have had enough but I was always one to push my luck. After all there was one more showing that evening and "in for a penny, in for a pound" was sorta my mantra. I laughed outloud when I resumed my place behind the locked bathroom stall and almost shit myself when someone tried to get into the bathroom stall. To this day I don't know if it was a theatre employee or someone with poopy pants.

 I was so cocky during that third showing that I went for snacks TWICE just to push the envelop somemore. Around midnight I left the theatre and my feet didn't touch the ground once. I don't know how I found the right bus but I eventually made my way back to my Aunt's place. Of course I had been missing 6 hours and they had the police out looking for me. They may have yelled at me but I didn't care. Another example of my passive agressive way to get what I wanted and to this day I have NO regrets. Definately one of the top five adventures in a life full of adventure.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dewey Readmore Books and Stinky

Vicki Myron was a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm and an alcoholic husband. But her biggest challenge as the new head librarian in Spencer, Iowa, was to raise the spirits of a small, out-of-the-way town mired deep in the farm crisis of the 1980s. Then, on the coldest morning of the year, Vicki found a tiny, bedraggled kitten almost frozen to death in the night drop box, and her life—and the town of Spencer—was never the same. Dewey, as the townspeople named the kitten, grew into a strutting, affable library cat whose antics kept patrons in stitches, and whose sixth sense about those in need created hundreds of deep and loving friendships. As his fame grew, people drove hundreds of miles to meet Dewey, and he even ended up in a hit television documentary…in Japan! Through it all, Dewey remained a loyal companion, a beacon of hope not just for Vicki Myron, but for the entire town of Spencer as it slowly, steadily pulled itself up from the worst financial crisis in its long history.

Check out Dewey's site and videos of him here -

I love this book and have to admit that I have always had an affinity for library cats. It just seems that no library is complete without one. They add an air of class to the operation and for some reason they seem to be the most long lived of felines. There has to be some connection between knowledge and long life. I love the story of how Dewey came to be in this small town's library and how over nineteen years he gave love and personality to his small town. He reminds me of our beloved Stinky who lived 23 years - four years longer than Dewey. The greatest thing you can say about your kitty when her time comes is "she was a good cat" and our Stinky was. Found her abandoned one day after school and took her home in a old pop tart box. She was the most beautiful Calico colour and the classiest girl on the block always. When we lived at Penhold our house and yard backed onto the main road into the base and across this road was a huge rural field that she would visit (after looking both ways and patiently waiting her turn to cross the road) and hunt for mice for hours in the sun. When we moved into Red Deer she still would go for her neighborhood rodent search but her catches were much less frequent. However she was like a Puma in our large yard trees and would climb to near the top of them to get at the birds despite the fact that her colouring hardly rendered her invisible. When she was ready to die she went to my fathers feet as she did so many early mornings as he got ready for his work in the army. They had a special bond and he was responsible for her name. When she was about a month old she had taken a poop on one of my comic books and he was praising her for being such a good 'stinky girl' (she was also called girlie) so the name stuck. (He also named two cats Fluffy and Stretchie, a dog Scruffy, a rabbit Stew and two hamsters Bonnie and Clyde - I loved him but the man had NO imagination for pet names) But when she died he buried her in the back yard in a varnished wooden box. 23 years and only visited a vet once when she was a kitten to be fixed. She was a good cat.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obamma May Be President But A Black Man Will Never Win Survivor

Now I say this with much love towards my African brothers - no black man will ever win on Survivor. I have been watching Survivor daily from the beginning on sattelite and the whole show take a little more than two weeks to go through. I think watching it everyday just intensifies the whole experience, the infighting and conflict that make the show so appealling. It gives one an overall view of the entire series from one to ten which is the current series from Gabon. I mean lets be honest...there is nothing better than when they start to turn on each other just waiting for the 'screwgie' to be either delivered or recieved. Its better when they can't find food cause a hungry tribe is a desperate tribe and if there wasn't some prohibition against cannibalism the starving would go for the thickest peice of fine butt meat there was and be done with it. For some reason the overfed and over relaxed survivors of the MARQUESES are taking longer to start their downward spiral towards showing us how the least appealing traits of humanity will lead one cutthroat pirate to ultimate victory but it is coming and as usual it will be SWEEEET. And before you judge me for enjoying this aspect of the program blame the producers for stocking the contestants with beautiful, vain, self-important fame seeking wannabees. Its everything me and the Germans love to hate. Now I hate to bring this up but there is something unique about the play of black males on the show. They fall into two catagories -they are either lazy and do very pooly in the challenges despite their percieved strength or they are completely out of their element from day one and the stresses of NOT being on a vacation break their spirits long before anyone else is ready to give up. They often refer to doing any work as 'kissing butt' but I think they just don't like having 'THE MAN' telling them what to do. One actually DID give up and that was a first for males or females. Women have the disadvantage despite their sensuality to get to the final four also becuase any use of said sexuality is viewed by the other women negatively and by the stong alpha males as a distraction - especially when their attentions do not come the alpha males way. And for that reason we will never see SURVIVOR INUIT. No fur covered bikinis. Maybe next time they should make their own palm bikinis or skorts with boots (see previous post) And when is the cool undersea fish fight seen in the cool picture from above...season 11..."THIS TIME ITS TOO THE DEATH!!!"

OMG...I LOVE Survivor. Maybe its because I have been watching it daily from the start on sattelite but for some reason I love it more than ever. I can't get enough of the contestants when they all plot and scheme and turn on each other for a piece of moldy bean bread or three more days in their filty rags. In the latest instalment from Gabon Bob the physics teacher has built not ONE but TWO fake immunity necklaces to play with everyone's head. How much chutspa do you have to have to try the same trick twice???? And it worked TWICE? That is just pure evile. I could never be on Survivor..first of all the Pepsi depravation would drive me batty and I would be found carving a sharp edge into a clam shell for that moment when the sun went down. Then like a running man I would slit a thousand throats in one night. The next morning would find me full and the last Survivor. Do I say this cause I am a just know myself and how much I love my creature comforts and home little I tolerate change or assholes...especially half starved and grubby assholes. And I would be the only one NOT to lose weight on the island. And that would fill anyone with murderous rage.

Top Ten Movies #9 - Resident Evil

There is nothing I loves better than my zombie movies espcially when you get together a crack squad of highly trained bad asses to enter a zombie infected zone (cooly named THE HIVE) to do what they do best - shot for the head. Add to that the most evile of corporations (the best named UMBRELLA CORPORATION) working against our heroes at every turn and you got yourselves some great guilty pleasures. Of course it doesn't hurt to put my beloved Milla Jovovich in high boots and a sexy cocktail dress (with scort - why oh why don't I see that look more often????) and give her a kick ass attitude and mad skills to match. Is there anything better than seeing her take out a cadre of zombie dogs with a high kick and that "What the fuck did I just do?" look on her face? The Hive itself is a labryth death trap (beneath another cooly named RACOON CITY)controlled by a computer program (the RED QUEEN) that manifest itself as a hologram of a ten year old girl. When she expresses in the calmest manner possible that "you are all going to die" you can't help but feel a cold chill go down your spine. Evile technology controlled by evile corporations? Love it love it love it! The two sequels that followed were not as repeatably watchable as the first one but they have their charms. In Apocalype you have the character of Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) who by either special effect or luck looks like a character taken directly from the video game complete with her own sexy impractical scort with boots outfit (its like they just KNOW me). The creature of Nemesis is a bit over the top as a male super soldier and you could see the plot points coming from up the street and around the corner. The third movie suffers from a lack of all out zombie mayhem but there are several great set pieces and neatly wraps up the saga of Alice who herself is the final culmination of the most evile T-Virus experiments of Umbrella. Call me a fool but I likes these movies and thankful that she didn't lose any of her beauty to become the super soldier she actually did. Must be a guy/girl kind of thing. Recently they came out with a CGI movie called Resident Evil Degeneration that had characters from the video game which I never played. Its zombirific, especially when Clair uses a red and white UMBRELLA as a weapon - an obvious homage to the Umbrella Corporation.

Signs of the Zodiac - The Gemini Snake

GEMINI - The Chatterbox (May 21 - June 20) Smart and witty. Outgoing, very chatty. Lively, energetic. Adaptable but needs to express themselves. Argumentative and outspoken. Like change. Versatile. Busy, sometimes nervous and tense. Gossips. May seem superficial or inconsistent. Beautiful physically and mentally.

I am always amazed at how accurate these descriptors can be but as a rational thinking human being I know I project my own desires into them and they are just general enough to seem to be true. Nothing however can accurately describe in a few words the complexity that is the human animal...or Big Daddy. Even the Chinese Zodiac seems to fit my personality.

Chinese Zodiac - The Snake

Depth and charisma make the Snake a formidable presence. You tend to spend a lot of time in your head, but you are not a worrier. Rather, you pass your quiet time in reflection and contemplation. This, together with your love of learning, is what gives you such great depth. Of all the signs of the Chinese zodiac, yours is most closely associated with wisdom. You probably have many interests and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, which result in an increasingly complex persona. In fact there is always more to learn about you. Just when people think they know you, they find out you have developed a totally new interest. Not only that they discover you have quickly grasped the subject

Although you are more than willing to share your knowledge, you have a penchant for secrecy when it comes to your personal life. This adds an aura of mystery to your already commanding presence. Like the Dragon, the Snake is a karmic sign, which means you are likely to experience lots of extreme highs and lows in your life.

More than any other sign, the Snake knows how to present itself in the most favorable light. You are rarely flamboyant or ostentatious. Rather, you are probably fully aware of your karmic status and don’t feel a need to impress anybody. But, when the spirit moves you, you will appear as the most dazzling personality on the scene.

Wasted LOL Cat of the Week #1

This one is just hopped up on goofballs. It is the reason for an intervention/feline twelve step program. Now before you judge Mr Scruffles, who of us has not got a little loopy over the Niquil...the sweet sweet Niquil but remember...DON'T FIGHT IT or you will get the Niquil Psychosis.

Favorite Redheads - Because Redheads Rock

Barbara Gordon - Batgirl/Oracle

Kari Byron from Mythbusters

Leanna K from Ed and Red's Night Party (now lost and lamented)

Mariska Haggarty from Law and Order SVU

Long suffering Laura from Dr. Katz

Mary Jane Watson-Parker (no one will convince me that her and Peter's marriage never existed)

Jean Grey - Marvel Girl of the X-Men

Everything You Need To Know About Spidey In Six Words

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Big Jim Is One Tough Monkey

When I was a kid I sooooo wanted these action figures and I cannot find them on Ebay for a resonable price in Euros (since all Big Jim figures seem to come from Europe these days). I had DR STEEL but he went missing with all my great G.I.Joes and Mego Superheroes when we came back from Europe (forever to be referred to as the GREAT DISASTER) The WHIP had a ton of extra weapons and I always wanted one of the wrist communicators/home computers to wear over my turtle neck sweater with wolf emblem like BIG JIM had. And explain this to me..when did BIG JIM become such a bad ass where three of the toughest action figures would follow him? (later to include TORPEDO FIST) I mean he went camping with his shirtless male friends and then one day he desides to be a super spy. I don't think WARPATH, DR STEEL and the WHIP would follow him once they saw BIG JOSH in his shorts and jean vest come over to Jim's house for fondue. He would have had to totally leave all his BIG JIM friends behind when he entered that tough guy world. Lets just say it wasn't the most masculine toy line around.

Just So We Never Forget....

Sheep Shearing, Crab Traps and Bubble Tops

I have come to the realization that I am a weird little person. I mean what can you say about a person who is no ashamed to admit that he LOVES watching sheep shearing...if they had a sheep shearing channel I would watch it 24/7. In fact I go to the Westerner Fair every July just to watch them shear the sheep. Blame the book 'The Sundowners' about a family of sheep shearers in Australia during the 1930s who travel from farm to farm to cut the wool. I watched it in grade 9. It was a magicical movie and totally devoid of reality I assume. But nothing is cooler to me than when they take off the wool in one peice. Well as cool as a full trap of crab on 'Most Dangerous Catch'...or maybe bubble helmets...or bubble tops on cars...or 'bubble' this car which looks like a life size Hot Wheel vehicle. And no self respecting spaceship or evile genius' city killer can be without a bubble top hatch. I only wanted to be an astronaut so I could wear the bubble helmet (not a fan of tight enclosed spaces and food that comes in a toothpaste tube). That steampunk version of Flash Gordon has those extra touches that make it awesome. I was even tempted a few months ago to buy these little girl superhero snowglobles just because they came in these awesome glass bubbles. And I have for a long time resisted the temptation to collect snowglobles cause I love clear glass globes. In fact I don't even look them up on Ebay (metal lunchboxes either) because once I see a really cool one I will collect them like action figures. I already make myself crazy with the action figures I DON'T have and I don't need the stress. But to find a girl that ALREADY collect the snow globes...mmmmmm. You think they have a dating site for that?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Whoops, You Know What The Music Means.

One of the smartest and funniest tv shows (never easy to do) was Dr Katz Professional Therapist. For a high concept show it was brilliant. Take the best jokes of many of the top stand up comedians of the late 90s and have them riff and rant while in their psychiatrist's office (the previously mentioned Dr Katz). Add to the mix his slacker son Ben and long suffering, disinterested, people hating secretary Laura and you have six seasons of comedy GOLD! The animation is totally unique 'squigglevision' which is actually a cheaper form of animation but its not about the cartoons...its all dialogue baby. Ben is the ultimate slacker loser but his dad still loves and encourages him. Dr Katz tries to have hope that Ben will become something but we all know that will never happen. Oh and "long live BULLY".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Was I Ever So Young? Part 1

I was scanning some pictures to send to some old cadet camp friends on Facebook and decided to add them to my blog to remind myself that I was once young and beautiful...well I am STILL beautiful but you get it. This was our air guitar band Paul and the Chesterfields. I was a Chesterfield. We did Prince's 'Little Red Corvette' with Paul Ramesar as Prince. I remember us winning and drinking flaming Drabuie's that you had to remember to blow out the flame first or you ended up with third degree burns. I love that black and white photo of myself. It looks like it was taken during WWII and maybe it was...but I have said too much already. I even remember the tape I was listening to in that picture - The Human League - Dare. Wore that tape out in the summer of 82. SIGH...good times. Even wore that thick eye liner and pink shirts with little crocodiles on them, tweed jackets and hunting caps. If we could have found them we would have walked around with sword canes too. wonder we didn't date much. Too impressed with our own awesomeness.