Saturday, June 10, 2006

This 'n That

Got a few things to catch both of my faithful readers up on (you know, one of these days, I really ought to do something about figuring out how many people do actually read this blog -- or do I really want to know?)...

Movie Watching

So, today I finished watching the 1960s Steve Reeves Hercules movie... I'd recorded it on the DVR, and have been watching it piece by piece over the past few days.

You know what? It wasn't a bad movie, really... in case you haven't seen it, it's kind of a mash-up of the start of the 12 Labors of Hercules with Jason and the Argonauts, and a bit of other stuff thrown in there. Now, certainly, this won't make me forget Harryhausen's version of Jason by any means -- after all, this was a pretty low-budget movie -- but it was still fun to watch.

The biggest cheese factor was this dragon that Jason had to fight to get the Golden Fleece... what could've been a major battle lasted just a few minutes, as the actor playing Jason runs around and dodges the dragon (a guy in a rubber suit, like Godzilla -- in fact, the beast's roar seems to have some of Godzilla's roar incorporated into it) until he picks up a handy spear and throws it through the roof of the dragon's mouth, and through the top of the head!

Anyway... it was fun to watch.

Children's Books

This'll be an oddball entry... I've had a few ideas for children's books lately (perhaps it's because Jessi and I have been talking about having kids soon), and I actually wrote up a first draft for one, called Andy the Ant Gets Lost. The problem is, my drawing style is entirely wrong for this kind of thing (not that my regular drawing style is very great shakes to begin with)... I've got kind of an idea in my head what I want Andy to look like, but I can't get anywhere with sketching it out to my satisfaction.

One thought I did have was doing the artwork for it as construction paper cut-outs... and perhaps I can get Jessi to help me with that concept. It could be a challenge!

The other idea I have is for a story about "The Nudder Cow" -- a little girl we know was looking through an ABC book, and under "C", she saw a picture of a brown and white cow, and asked what it was. Of course, I told her it was a cow. Later on in the book, under "M," there was a picture of the Moon, with a black-and-white cow jumping over it. She asked me what that was, and I said it was "another cow" -- which she interpreted as meaning "a nudder cow" -- so all black-and-white cows to her are "Nudder Cows," and since then, her favorite cuddly toy when she goes to sleep at night is a stuffed black-and-white cow she calls "Nudder Cow." I've got the germ of an idea in my head as to how I could write a children's book about the Nudder Cow... well, more than a germ, actually... but again, my art style is entirely wrong for this, too!

Anyone have any ideas how to find a person who'd be good at illustrating a children's book? I figured the thing to do would be to try the story out on some small children, and get their reaction to it, and then either try to find a publisher, or even publish the darn things myself, if need be!

Busy, Busy, Busy...

It's beginning to look like Jessi and I are going to be ridiculously busy every weekend from now through the 15th of July -- which is, of course, when the wedding is. Today, for example, I had to go in to work for about four hours, and then after that, we met some friends at the house briefly before going to a different friend's place where we were supposed to be helping her move in to her new place (by the time we got there, the moving had been done already).

Tomorrow is my sister Debi's 40th birthday, and I think we have something to do before we head off to that!

Monday I have a scheduled vacation day... but it looks like I'll have to do some yard work then (unless I can fit it in Sunday before leaving for the party), and Krypto needs to be brought in to the vet for his next shot!

Next weekend? Jessi has her wedding shower on Saturday (I'm having my brother and my friend Dan and his son Anders over for pizza and old monster/sf movies, and maybe some cartoons), and then on Sunday, we'll have to get her ready for a little trip of a few days in length, a training session she'll be away for from Sunday night until Wednesday night, too far away for me to consider stopping by after work.

The weekend after that is my niece's birthday, and apparently we're going out to the ocean... and I'm sure there's something else going on that weekend, too!

The weekend after that (the weekend before the wedding, unless I miss my guess) doesn't have anything planned so far, but I'm sure it'll be busy...

And sometime between now and the wedding we have to get the rest of my outfit, get the music put together for the reception, and come up with a CD player to play the music on!


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hump Day!

So... Hump Day is completely over... and what a day it was!

10 hours and 15 minutes at work... tomorrow may be just as long... and then there'll be Friday, which could be an eight-hour day (which would be longer than usual for a Friday)... and then on Saturday, I'll be going into work again for a bit to help out with one of the special sections... probably three hours or so, I'm guessing.

Fortunately, on Monday, I have a vacation day... of course, since I'll still be spending some time at work on Saturday, I still only get two days off... but at least it'll make for a nice paycheck (the overtime will, I'm sure, go towards the honeymoon).


I've been doing a little bit of thinking about this blog, and what I should do with it... and I'm thinking I may go with a theme for each day of the week... for example... Monday could be posts about TV shows, Tuesday could be about music, Wednesday could be about comics, Thursday could be about movies, and Friday could be about animation.

At least, that's the basic idea. Saturday and Sunday, when I'm able to post at all, would fill you in on the latest in my own life, and whatever else I feel like posting.

I don't really have any definite ideas for what I'd write about on each of those days, but at least I'll try to post stuff relating to those themes when I do post.

Of course, we'll have to see how it works out!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Talkin' Music

As I've noted before, my tastes in many things tend to be rather old-school... and music (at least, so far as rock and roll) is no exception!

For as long as I can remember, I've always loved the Beatles... not only their music, but the group, as well... their movies, their sense of humor, and so on. Definitely the music was the driving force of my interest of them.

It doesn't matter which part of their career it is... the early Beatles, when they were the cheerful mop-tops singing "Twist and Shout" at the beginning of their concerts... the middle years, from Rubber Soul to Sgt. Pepper, where they experimented with their music (and, admittedly, other things, too)... or the later years, from the White Album through Abbey Road, where the individual Beatles' own interests in what to explore musically offered even bigger contrasts from one track to the next... I love it all (well, okay, I have to be in a special mood to listen to "Revolution #9")!

Needless to say, when I was a regular at the local karaoke bar, Beatles songs (particularlly John Lennon leads) were a part of my repertoire.

After the Beatles, my favorite rock music would probably be that of Elvis Presley... which would seem perhaps to be way too obvious, but there it is. My enjoyment of the King's music is a bit more picky than that of the Fab Four, though... I love Elvis' early stuff, through the early 60s, but then my interest in his stuff wanes until his comeback in the 70s, particuarlly "Burning Love" and "Suspicious Minds." Yeah, I sing a lot of Elvis stuff when I've done karaoke, too.

For third place? Well... that is tough to call... Roy Orbison is another major favorite of mine, but I suppose I should really put the Monkees in third, since I have purchased several Monkees albums (first on vinyl, and then later on CD), where as I've "settled" for greatest hits for Roy Orbison, as well as other favorites The Beach Boys, Mamas and the Papas, Grass Roots, The Byrds, and many, many others. Oh, can't forget to mention The Doors!

But I'm sure you get the idea. Yes, the 60's stuff is there, but I also love 50's rock, too... songs like "Blue Moon" by the Marcels, just about anything by Dion and the Belmonts...

When it comes to the 70s, however, my tastes get pickier. I like America, some CSNY (or just CSN... it's difficult for me to keep track of what they were called for which song), Beatles solo stuff (naturally)... but my favorite 70s group is probably Electric Light Orchestra. I rarely enjoy listening to any disco stuff.

Actually, it was during the 70s that my interest in 50s and 60s rock probably intensified, as I just found fewer and fewer songs on the radio that I enjoyed listening to.

The 80s offered some respite to me... I definitely enjoyed Duran Duran, The Pretenders, Huey Lewis and the News, and the Bangles. I guess it couldn't be helped that I would be exposed to the 80s stuff, as MTV was pretty much everywhere... when I was in A-School in the Navy, learning Journalism, MTV was always on in the common room, so it was impossible to avoid!

One strange thing happened when I actually purchased music in the 80s... just when I'd buy a CD or cassette tape of a band or performer I liked... they'd suddenly dissappear!

I began to realize that my purchase of any performer's music apparently killed their career.

As the 90s started, the only music I'd listen to was some of the hold-outs of the 80s performers I liked... although there were a few groups I did like. Probably the group I was most fond of was R.E.M., especially after listening to "Losing My Religion."

So, after doing karaoke for a while, I wanted to learn that song, so I bought the CD that song was featured on... "Out of Time."

I don't think R.E.M.'s come out with another CD since that purchase.

At one point, I had lots and lots of CDs... before moving from Wisconsin, after Barbara's death (my wife, for those of you who are new to the blog and haven't read previous entries), I did sell off a bunch of them that were Barbara's tastes, and not mine, but I still had quite a few left...

...and then my not finding work after arriving in Washington eventually led me to start selling the CDs off, along with lots of other stuff at the swap meets. I had already imported my favorite music into iTunes when I got this Mac, so I could at least still listen to the music anyway... but I did always hope I'd be able to replace all those CDs I used to have.

To date, I think I've replaced about four or five of them. If I have 10 music CDs in my collection currently, I'd be surprised.

These days, I don't listen to music at home at all... nor do I listen at work (even though I do have music on my Mac at work, as well as headphones). My only music listening occurs when I'm driving to and from work, and since my commute is only about 10 minutes... that's a total of 40 minutes a day, minus commercials (yes, 40 minutes... I come home on my lunch break). Of course, if Jessi and I go anywhere else, we're listening as we go...

Sometime in the next two to three weeks, I'll have to start compiling music for our wedding reception... and yes, there's going to be lots of Beatles in it!

So, what's the point of all this? Well, there is no point. I just felt like writing about music. Maybe sometime in the future, I'll blog more about music.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday Night Post!

So, if you read Sunday's post, you're probably surprised to see this entry, given what I'd said about it being busy at work this week...

Well, I did put in nine hours today, but it doesn't look like the rest of the week will be all that busy... but one never knows until the week gets under way, eh?

I've found myself spending too much time looking up TV shows I enjoy on Wikipedia... soemtimes learning new stuff about the show in the process! Last night I read up on Blackadder, and discovered there's quite a bit of Blackadder I've never seen... I can only hope for an Ultimate Blackadder DVD Set sometime in the future...

Speaking of things I can only hope to see...

Jon's List of Showcase Presents... Volumes I Want to See!!!

Showcase Presents The Inferior Five

Showcase Presents The Doom Patrol

Showcase Presents Superboy (which would necessitate DC coming to terms with the Siegel Estate, obviously)

Showcase Presents Showcase (it'd be a natural, eh? And besides, where else would some of those features ever be presented?)

Showcase Presents Adam Strange

Showcase Presents The Legion of Super-Heroes (yeah, like the Doom Patrol, these are available in Archive format, but I like the Showcase Presents format for budgetary reasons)

Showcase Presents Jerry Lewis (yeah, I know, this will never happen... and neither would Showcase Presents Bob Hope)

Jon's List of Essential Books I Want to See: (some of these may have been announced, or even out already, in which case I just plead ignorance)

Essential Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD

Essential Sub-Mariner

Essential Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos

Essential Mighty Marvel Western (reprinting different Marvel Westerns in one volume)

Jon's List of Comics I Want Essential/Showcase Presents Reprints of (but doesn't expect it'll ever happen):





Archie Super-Heroes (I suppose they'd call them Ultra-Heroes or something like that)

Mighty Samson

Well... that's enough for tonight...


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday night blogging...

A few short notes this time around...

20 Miles!

That's how long a bike ride Jessi and I went on Saturday. Honestly, I don't know how much longer a ride than that I'll be willing to go on... I was exhausted when we were done, and had a hard time staying awake afterwards! I went to bed Saturday night at 9 p.m. Let me repeat that: 9:00 p.m.

I'm usually up until at least 11 to midnight.

Wasted Potential

So we were watching some Law & Order: Criminal Intent episodes recorded from Bravo earlier today, and they were promoting a new website: I checked it out a few minutes ago... maybe it's that I'm using Netscape on OS 9 for Mac, but I didn't get enough out of the site to make it worth bookmarking. I expected a nice site about great TV shows that got prematurely cancelled... maybe that's there, I just couldn't find the appropriate links.

Busy Week Ahead!

This week will be a busy one at work... we have another special publication that has to be ready by Friday, and the "last" of the ads to be turned in were turned in on Friday... and we were too busy then to get much of them done, so that'll leave a LOT to do this week! So if I blog less than usual (even for me), that's the reason why.

Cover Stories

I'm sure you've already checked it out, but this week's Cover Stories revisits the Ghosts theme (although with all-new covers to look at, starting with a Mister Justice cover). I believe in another week or two, the first of the "Drive-In Movie Classics" covers will be showing!

Wedding Stuff

Jessi's having an extended wedding shower on the 17th... me? I'm hoping to have my brother Jeff and my friend Dan over for pizza, beer, and videos -- no, it's not a bachelor party.... more of a geekfest! I figure we'll likely be watching cheesy horror movies from my dollar DVD collection, along with the Cartoon Network premiere of Superman: Brainiac Attacks, which I've heard isn't that good, but I like to decide these things for myself.

Other than that, not much to report on the wedding front!