Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Superman Returns.....

...but I haven't seen it yet. Planning to on Friday, after work.

Speaking of work, I got my picture taken for the Employee of the Month promo that should be appearing in Sunday's newspaper. It came out pretty good, if I say so myself (I got emailed a copy of the picture). I played the political game of wearing my shirt with the newspaper's logo on it for the photo (we all got one last year as a reward for meeting a certain standard for quality, or something like that).

Busy week at work so far... last night (Tuesday) I was there until 8:30 (making it a 9 1/2 hour day - usually Tuesdays are slow days, and I'll usually be done at work at least an hour early), and tonight I put in 9 hours and 45 minutes.

Why so many hours so far this week? The reason is twofold: 1) This coming Tuesday is, of course, the 4th of July, which is a holiday for us, so we're on early deadlines for the ads. 2) We have one of our largest special sections deadlining on Friday night, so we've been trying to fit in working on all those ads, as well (we finally got all of them built tonight -- at least, all the ones that were turned in so far).

Plus, it's also been busier than usual anyway!

This morning, the keyboard on my Mac up and died for good. I'd been having occasional problems with it for the past few months, since an unfortunate incident involving a tipped-over can of Diet Mountain Dew, and especially in the past few days, there've been times when it just wouldn't work at all, and I had to restart the computer to get it working again. This morning, two restarts didn't do me any good... so at the beginning of my lunch break, I ran over to this local computer store and bought a new one, which I'm using now.

Only one problem with this keyboard: I'm using OS9 on my Mac, and the keyboard requires OSX to be fully functional -- in other words, the volume control and CD eject buttons don't work on it. The volume buttons don't bother me too much... but I'll have to use some workarounds to open the CD drive now!

Oh, I should mention that earlier this week, I got my comp copy of Twomorrows' Comic Book Nerd, and pretty much read through it already over the past few days. I would love to be able to highly recommend it, as I always have everything else of theirs that I've acquired... but honestly? I didn't find it funny. At all. Maybe part of it is that I've not read any recent issues of the non-Twomorrows mags that are parodied in the book in quite some time. And maybe part of it is that I expected much more from it.

I don't even recall that any of the jokes made me smile, much less chortle, giggle, laugh, or make any other kind of verbal response.

Of course, your mileage may vary. Sorry, Pete (assuming you read this blog, which I doubt), but it just didn't work for me.

I suppose I could also mention here that if anyone who reads this blog would be interested in my reviewing any comics-related stuff that they produce, you can contact me at the email link around here somewhere for mailing information. Like my buddy Tony Isabella, I won't promise to give a good review to anything I receive, but I will review anything that is sent to me.

Whine time: It's been several days since the newest "Cover Stories" edition of "Comics They Never Made" was posted, and I have not heard any comment about it at all... then again, I don't think I got any comments on the one before that, featuring Marx Brothers comics, either. As a matter of fact, it's been well over a year since I got any kind of email concerning the Cover Stories column at all!

Tomorrow night's blog posting? I've been thinking about doing a post about the BBC sitcom "My Hero," which I've been watching via BBC America, and I really enjoy...


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Superman Returns... here's some Superman-related videos to tide you over!

Original 1978 Superman trailer (note: corrected date, thanks to faithful reader Matthew):

Fleischer Superman Cartoon:

Superman Peanut Butter Commercial:

Seinfeld and Superman:

Superman Anti-Smoking PSA:

Warners Needs To Hire These Guys to Make Their Superhero Movies....

Monday, June 26, 2006

Family Road Trip, Part 2...

In case you didn't read the first part, scroll down an entry or two and read it first...

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, all three vehicles were attempting to leave Ocean Shores and proceed onward to dinner somewhere....

Well, it was a nice idea, anyway. Jessi and I had headed back to "downtown" Ocean Shores to look around at a few stores while waiting for my nieces and one of my sisters to finish their horseback ride, and we finally got the call that they were packing up and ready to leave...

...the beach, anyway. The older of my two sisters wanted to stop at this one store that sells fudge before we got going. This same store also sells overpriced t-shirts and sweatshirts (as well as other overpriced souveniers of Ocean Shores -- I think every business in Ocean Shores has to sell overpriced crap, like it's a law or something). She looked over the $35 shirts for a bit, and while she did that, my mom bought some fudge, too.

This place has a great racket going with the fudge. They'll give you a free sample (probably a smaller piece than most people would consider one bite), and then you can buy a quarter pound for $2.50 -- and if you buy a full pound, they'll throw in an extra quarter pound free!

Hmmm... that's 1.25 lbs. of fudge for $10.00. What kind of meat would you be willing to pay that much for? Personally, I get frustrated paying more than, say, $3 a pound for meat, unless it's a special occasion. And since I don't need the calories of fudge anyway, I passed on that (as I did on buying anything else there).

My brother, meanwhile, needed to use the bathroom, and discovered that none of the stores nearby (not even the Subway) would let anyone use the bathroom there -- you had to use the public restrooms nearer the beach.

Finally, people had bought what fudge they were going to buy, and we were ready to leave... not! You see, the younger of my sisters (who went on the horseback ride) is apparently very allergic to horses, and her eyes were looking very puffy -- so my mom ran to the local pharmacy to get something for her. Maybe it's just me, but if I knew I was highly allergic to a particular kind of animal, I think the last thing I would do is pay $25 an hour to ride on the darn thing!

So after that, we were off... about two blocks down the street to the local McDonald's (the only business that let people pee there) because the older of my sister's kids had to use the bathroom. Sheesh... so Jessi and I were waiting on the side of the road out of town, across from McD's, so we could see when they were ready to go. After about a 10-minute wait, my mom's van pulled onto the street... and right into the McD's, because my nephew had to use the bathroom, too!

You'd think everyone would figure it'd be a good idea to use the bathroom all at once, before we tried to leave, but noooooooooo!

At least once that was done, we finally hit the road to Hoquiam, where the younger of my sisters wanted to go to a place called "Duffy's" for dinner -- supposedly a family-style restaurant that wouldn't cost much to eat at.

Unfortunately, nobody -- and I mean nobody -- knew where it was. There were supposed to be two, one in Hoquiam, and one across the river in Aberdeen. Well, the Hoquiam one was long gone (or so we decided after we couldn't find it), and fortunately, the one in Aberdeen was on the road we were travelling on.

We had another wait at the restaurant, because, naturally, it's almost impossible to get a table for 12 at a moment's notice!

Dinner was... well... interesting. Jessi had a chicken sandwich and fries, I had a club sandwich and potato salad (it needed salt), and we both had Diet Pepsis. Our bill came to about $23 (seems high to me -- then again, their kids menu had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a drink for $4.79 -- yes, nearly five bucks for something that didn't require any cooking at all, and probably cost them $0.50 for ingredients!).

The nieces and my nephew ordered whatever they wanted -- one niece ordered "Super Nachos" for her dinner, which she couldn't even eat a quarter of... another one ordered a chicken strips dinner (my family doesn't eat anywhere unless they serve chicken strips), which apparently came with eight or nine chicken strips.

I think maybe one or two of the kids ate all their dinner, maybe.

Oh, the french fries were apparently deep-fried in the same oil they use for their fish -- because it tasted like fish! Yecch.

Finally, we were all finished, paid our bills, and hit the road for home. Since Jeff's car was at our house, we suggested that he should ride with us, so nobody would have to stop on the way... but we were told that the older of my sisters would probably appreciate him driving that far... so we took off, finally arriving home at about 9:35 pm.

Jaeger and Yoshi were stuck in their crates from 11:00 to about 9:40 that night. I'm amazed they didn't have an accident, but they held it in, although they were in a hurry to get outside!

It was about 40 minutes later that my mom's van pulled in the driveway to drop off Jeff. Yes, after all the fuss about my sister wanting him to drive, she decided she wanted to head straight home.

Why did it take my mom's van 40 minutes longer to get to our place? They made at least one other stop on the way. Plus probably a bathrooom break.

Next time my family wants to go to Ocean Shores, I think we'll just tell them to call our cell phones when they get there... and we'll just do what we want while we wait for them to arrive.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

This Week's Cover Stories...

Features a world-premiere edition of "Comics they Never Made!" You can check it out at this link... and since my original version of this post, I've updated the link so that it's the permalink to that post, so it'll always be here (at least, until World Famous Comics goes away, may that never happen!).


Why I Hate Road Trips With My Family...

Fortunately for me, I seriously doubt any member of my family ever reads this blog... but then, there's no way for anyone who knows my family to connect them with this blog... at least I don't think so, anyway.

So... Saturday we had a trip planned to Ocean Shores for my niece's birthday party. The plan was to rendezvous at our house at 9 a.m. (since it's on the way) and to go from there. As is usual for my family, we all had our radios with us for communicating as we went.

The first problem? When the older of my sisters was getting her SUV loaded up for the trip, one of her daughters cut her toe, so they needed to take her to an Urgent Care Clinic to get it taken care of. They were then expecting to get to our house at 9:30.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a clinic opened around there (Puyallup, in case you're wondering) at that time of day, so they headed down figuring they could stop somewhere here to get it taken care of. The only place I knew of nearby wasn't open on Saturdays, so they got here instead, and Jessi tried to help take care of the cut (which, from what she said, was about 1/2 an inch long at the most, and superficial). As Jessi was treating the cut, a small amount of blood oozed out of the cut, which caused my niece to faint (this wasn't the one the birthday party was for... that niece is one of the younger of my sister's kids). Apparently, all my sister's kids faint at the slightest sign of blood -- and so does their father, who "had" to work that day (that's what we were told, but given that they own their own business, I find it all-too-convenient). Jessi knew of a different clinic they could take her to, so they were off to that.

My brother Jeff had shown up on time. However, my mom's van (with my other sister and her three kids, including the birthday girl) finally showed up at 10:00. It was still 11:00 before we finally left in three cars (we took KO and Krypto with us in Jessi's Outback).

So, we were supposed to rendezvous at 9, didn't leave until 11. With me so far? Since it's only about two hours' drive to Ocean Shores from our place, we should've been there by this time, or nearly so.

But still, we were finally on the road. As I said, we had radios to keep in touch, but unfortunately, the kids had them in the other vehicles most of the time... so most of the messages back and forth were pretty irrelevant (we couldn't even understand half of what was being said, to be honest).

Things were finally going well -- except that my mom's van is apparently unable to drive at speeds of up to 55 miles an hour (and a lot of the freeway we traveled was 60 mph). Then, we were about 10 miles away from Aberdeen (about the halfway point) when my mom calls and tells us that we need to stop somewhere to get a new memory card for her digital camera, because her card is full.

Now, my mom has a 1 gigabyte card in her camera. That's right, 1 gig. She also apparently doesn't believe in transferring the pictures from her camera to the computer AND then deleting them from the memory card (I guess she's afraid they'll get lost if something happens to the computer -- so the idea of saving back-ups on, say, a CD-ROM is lost on her, too).

Fortunately, Jessi knew there was a Wal-Mart in Aberdeen, so we stopped there... well, my mom ran in there (along with other family members who needed to use the bathroom). Jessi and I stopped at a nearby McDonald's to use the bathroom ourselves, plus to get something to eat (we'd had breakfast at 8, so we'd be all done eating and have things cleaned up before anyone arrived -- this was about 12:30 at this point, and we were getting hungry, despite how unhealthy McD's stuff is -- this was our first McD's trip in a year and a half).

I think we wasted a half-hour there altogether.

Then we went on the road again, finally arriving at Ocean Shores... where there was a big chainsaw carving competition AND a sandcastle competition going (did nobody think to check the events calendar to see if something was going on? Nooooooooooo!). So it was really, really crowded. And nobody could decide where the heck we were going to park all three vehicles so we could eat our late lunch. Nor did anyone apparently think about whether or not there'd be a place to sit and eat.

At this point, while they were all arguing over where to park, I was ready to just give up, give my niece her birthday card with the cash in it, and go home.

And remember, we had Jaeger and Yoshi at home -- stuck in their crates while we were gone, which their owner knew was going to happen. I thought we'd be back about 4:00 at the latest, which was obviously delusion on my part.

So, we ate, Jessi and I took our dogs for a little walk to see if there was a relatively unoccupied part of the beach where the dogs could be let off-leash (impossible to find), and the nieces wanted to go horseback riding. We did learn there was another beach about six miles south that was never that busy, so Jessi and I and the dogs headed down there while the girls waited to get their turn to pay $25 for a 45-minute horseback ride (which was a led ride, not go riding where you want).

As the dogs were playing, I looked at my watch, and did some quick calculations... and figured it'd be 5:00 before the girls would be back from their ride, and then they were all supposedly going to pack up and meet us at this other beach? That was not going to work, obviously... so we called them (thank god for cell service) and let them know this wasn't going to work, and it was agreed we'd meet them back at Ocean Shores and then head to Aberdeen to stop somewhere for dinner.

I'll relate more of this road trip from hell tomorrow morning...