Saturday, June 17, 2006

When I'm Wrong, I'm Wrong....

...and it appears I'm very wrong in my assumption that a children's book would need to be submitted with artwork... as has been confirmed by a children's book editor who happens to read this blog (apparently, more people read this than I realized!).

Actually, what they said, I believe, was it's good to submit both with just the text and with the artwork, so that'll be my plan when the two stories are shaped up enough to submit. I'll be working more on the second story idea over the next few days.

Other Stuff:

I see by checking the World Famous Comics website that next week's edition of "Cover Stories" will be the next installment of "Comics They Never Made" -- which will be the first of the "Drive-In Movie Classics" installments I've mentioned here before. Anyway, if you want to check out the current installment, you can do so by clicking this link -- or better yet, click the link by whatever method you need to do to have it open in a new window, so you can read the rest of this post first!

Did I mention I've got some last-chance eBay listings up? Well, I do... they're right here, and the prices have been reduced. As of this writing, there are 10 books left for sale, all below half cover price (well, except for the Marvel Comics #1 reprint, anyway).

The next few days should be... interesting. But let me fill you in on some other stuff first!

The week at work ended better than it was looking like it would... we had a server issue occur at 4:15 Friday afternoon that had us all worried... but about 5 it was reconnected to us, and fortunately, nothing we'd done was lost (whew!).

Today (Saturday, as I write this), Jessi and I went to Weight Watchers, and then rushed home to have breakfast before my brother, Jeff, and his wife, Kristi, came over. The four of us went to "Super Saturday" at Evergreen State College, which occurs every year the day after graduation. It's kind of a hippie festival, with lots of booths of people selling stuff -- some of it stuff they made, some of it stuff they're simply reselling -- as well as lots and lots of food.

Honestly, I don't find it all that interesting... they have bands playing there, too, but unfortunately, we couldn't stay for the Beatles tribute band that played later in the day. And the music that was playing while we were there wasn't my cup of tea.

After that, we went back to our house and popped some popcorn to snack on, and then Jessi and Kristi went off to Jessi's bridal shower, while Jeff and I hung out here, had some Papa Murphy's Thin Crust Delite pizza, and watched all the Fleischer Superman cartoons, plus a few episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Jessi came back with all sorts of presents, including a new microwave oven!

After that, we watched a House episode and a Monk episode between Jessi getting ready for her trip. Yes, Jessi's going away for a few days, starting Sunday at 3:00. It's a work thing, a three-day training event that will take her away from me until Wednesday night. I'm kind of bummed out over this -- we haven't spent a night apart since we moved in together -- but I'd imagine we'll both deal with it. Who knows, maybe it'll do us some good???

Aside from all this, the vegetable garden is doing well (we're starting to get some peas growing, although I haven't seen anything developing on the tomato plants yet). We'd been plagued with slugs recently, and to avoid this, we tried the beer-in-the-pie-tin trick. Guess what? It works! Earlier today, I extracted about a dozen slug corpses from the tins and disposed of them (a secondary function of the poop scooper!). We'll see if any more take the bait overnight tonight.

Let's see... anything else to report? While Jessi is away, I'll be working on that second children's book idea, and I may even play some Roller Coaster Tycoon. Aside from that, there's a few items on the DVR I'm hoping to get watched, and I'm also going to try to keep the house neat and clean while she's gone (wish me luck on that, okay).


Thursday, June 15, 2006

No post tonight...

...because I don't have anything to talk about tonight. Maybe in the morning.


Early Morning For Me...

Have you ever woken up an hour earlier than you usually wake up because of some emergency?

About 7 am, Jessi woke me up to say that the side gate was open, and she couldn't find Krypto.

Now, that's one of those things that will wake me up immediately. I rushed to get dressed and out the door so we could find him... by which point he'd actually gone back into the back yard, thank goodness!

What's really annoying about it is that it's my fault the situation happened in the first place. You see, we keep an extra garbage can in the back yard, which is where we put all the dog poop before transferring it into the can that gets collected. Well, I say "we," but that's really just my job.

We -- and by "we," I still really mean "me" -- also use the extra can for any weeds we pull up, and any other debris we wish to be rid of that's from the back yard.

So, since Thursday is garbage collection day, when I got home from work last night, immediately after I put our supper in the oven to cook, I collected the garbage from the kitchen, bathroom and my office to put in the garbage can, plus emptied Mickey's birdcage of the litter from the past week (remember Mickey, our cockatiel? darn bird still hasn't learned any new sounds from us, and still refuses to be social), and then, since there was room, I emptied the back yard's can into the can that's emptied (or I should say will be emptied, since as I write this, they haven't been by yet to collect)...

...and I forgot to close the back yard gate and latch it.

But fortunately, Krypto didn't wander too far away from home, and he was back and safe and sound.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Talkin' Television...

So, earlier tonight, Jessi and I watched the House episode "Humpty Dumpty".

As with so many shows, the title of the episode wasn't shown anywhere in the show itself... but it was mentioned in the on-screen guide when we watched it from our DVR. Just in case you were wondering. But if it hadn't been for that, I still would've known the title from the Polite Dissent blog, which reviews all the episodes.

Anyway... Jessi and I love "House." Or, as the titles call it, "House M.D." We're relative late-comers to this show (as we seem to be with a lot of shows), and as such, we've been a bit spoiled by the number of eps we've been able to see in a short period of time... new episodes airing on Fox, reruns from the first season on USA... and now that the new eps are all done, Fox is showing two episodes every Thursday, back to back!

Thanks to Wikipedia, it was pointed out to me the parallels between House and Sherlock Holmes -- after all, Holmes sounds like Homes, and House is a synonym of Home. House has one good friend, Dr. Wilson... which sounds like Watson, Holmes' only good friend. Both Holmes and House have an unparalleled ability to take in a number of details that escape others and come up with a logical conclusion. Oh, and both Holmes and House have their addictions... House to Vicodin, I believe (it could be some other pain-killer), and Holmes to opium. Holmes played violin, House plays piano.

There the parallels end, more or less. Holmes certainly didn't have a trio of young detectives working under him, nor did he work for a woman (I can't see trying to compare Dr. Cuddy to Inspector Lestrade).

Another major difference is the personalities of the two. I figure you're probably at least somewhat familiar with Holmes, so I'll just talk about Dr. Gregory House.

House is an arrogant know-it-all who doesn't personally care about his patients. Once he figures out what's wrong with them, and they're cured, he has no further interest in them. He pretty much says what's on his mind all the time, no matter how others might take it. He comments on the size of Cuddy's breasts. He makes jokes about Dr. Foreman being black. He makes jokes about Dr. Chase being rich (then again, Foreman makes rich comments, too). He makes comments about Dr. Cameron (both about her looks -- and she is gorgeous and sexy -- as well as about her caring too much). He's certain that everybody lies -- and that's often borne out as the episode progresses.

Now, I think that if I were to meet someone in real life like House, I'd probably not put up with him... or at least I wouldn't like him. But I have to admit, I see a tendency in myself to act like him on occasion. House is a know-it-all in his field (as well as in other areas of interest), and likes demonstrating his intellectual superiority... and I've been known to do the same as well (although I've been working on trying to be more subtle about it... still, if I know the answer to a question, I'll answer it).

But if I or someone I cared for were seriously ill, I would much rather have a doctor like House in charge of the treatment (someone who may irk me personally, but will hold on like a hungry pitbull until he solves the problem) than a doctor who I got along with but was all-too-willing to waste time trying one test at a time, and waiting for the results of that test, and not even consider other possibilities.

The doctor who initially treated my late wife, Barbara (before she had to go to the emergency room) was a doctor who Barbara liked personally... and he did not believe in bucking the system. He'd do one test -- just one -- and patiently wait for it to come back (sometimes weeks later) before looking at another possibility.

House? He'd never be that patient. Or that stupid. Stubborn, yes... stupid, no. A few weeks back, we even saw an episode of House in which he treated a patient who had the same condition that Barbara had... and he recognized it quickly, and got it treated.

In a way, I suppose watching House could end up being as frustrating as watching The West Wing was -- I was a big fan of The West Wing, but seeing a good president on that show, and then dealing with our real-life president, who was (and continues to be) a polar opposite got too frustrating, and I stopped watching.

I suppose if, now that I've been watching House, if I did have to start dealing with real life doctors who weren't like that would get equally frustrating (if not moreso).

Still... if you don't watch the show, I can strongly recommend it.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Let's Talk Animation!

OK, so it'll be a bit one-sided, since it's my blog, after all, and you won't be able to participate in this "talk" unless you leave a comment. But anyway...

I've been a fan of animation and cartoons for as long as I can remember, and one of the frustrating aspects of this is the inability to always be able to watch the cartoons that I loved when I want to see them... which changed when home video tapes first hit the scene (and I used to have a pretty large collection of those, mostly animation, all of which were sold off, and damn few of which are available on DVD... yet), and is changing even more with DVDs.

As you know, I've been involved as a transcriber with Andy Mangels' special features for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVDs, as well as other stuff that has and hasn't yet been officially announced. I've found myself wishing that I could've been involved with the same facet of production of other animation DVDs, but apparently none of the producers of those DVDs have asked Andy (or any of the people at Twomorrows, from whom Andy got my contact info) who they could go to for this kind of work...

But that's not the point of this particular blog entry. Instead, I'm going to talk about revivals of characters.

Most cartoons that have been revived for all-new episodes haven't fared that well. Probably the only really good one that was done was Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse series for CBS, which was head and shoulders above the original, one-note toons.

There have been many more that were just plain awful... and it strikes me that when someone's revived a cartoon (yes, even Filmation was guilty of this), the people who worked on them probably didn't have the deep love of the character enough to keep the character (or characters) true to the original spirit... instead, they mucked with them, or at best, did pale imitations of them.

Speed Racer was revived once, did you know that? And they changed the look of the Mach V.

Now, the Mach V is, hands-down (at least in my opinion) one of the coolest cars ever imagined by the minds of men (the only car cooler than that was the 1960s TV Batmobile, and the Monkeemobile is at least in third place). Redesigning the Mach V so it looked like any other car was completely asinine. It's probably a good thing I never saw the revival, because it might've soured me to the original series (which, thank goodness, is on DVD, and yes, I have the first two volumes of it).

Even He-Man was revived, and shown on Cartoon Network a while back... and you know, it wasn't that bad when I saw it... although I hadn't watched the original series since it was originally on, so I just had 20-plus-year-old memories to go by. However, watching the "10 Best" DVD when I got my comp copy, I decided I preferred the original.

I didn't care for the revived Transformers, either... but then, I didn't really like the original series.

Probably even worse than that Speed Racer revival was the Hanna-Barbera Popeye series... which may eventually come out on DVD (all the other Popeyes are coming out, after all).


Now, the Fleischer Popeyes are probably among my top five cartoon series of all time. These cartoons pretty much cemented who and what Popeye was in the minds and hearts of mankind, even those who never saw those original cartoons, but may instead have seen the lesser Famous Studios cartoons, or even the King Features direct-to-TV cartoons (which were the first ones I'd ever seen as a child, and as bad as I've heard those are, I'm looking forward to those coming out on DVD)... they all basically imitated -- poorly -- the Fleischer cartoons.

For all I know, the people who worked on the latter Popeyes were just as big a fan of the sailor man as I am, maybe even moreso... but it doesn't really show.

So far as I'm aware, nobody's tried to revive Popeye in animated form since Hanna-Barbera's Popeye series (which included an Olive Oyl in the Army series imitating Private Benjamin -- the Laverne and Shirley animated series took this same tack -- as well as a Popeye and Son series)... but I, for one, would like to see someone attempt it again.

Now, I have no idea if any animation studio would even be interested in trying it... even less idea if any network would be interested in airing it... but if the right people were on the project, I think it could be an outstanding series.

Here's what I'd like to see in a Popeye revival:

First of all, the characters need to look like the classic characters. Popeye's non-missing eye is just a dot, as are both of Olive's eyes. Nobody should look like their Famous Studios counterparts.

The characters should be mostly drawn from the original comic strips... the lead characters should naturally be Popeye, Olive, and Wimpy, but we should also get Poopdeck Pappy, Eugene the Jeep, and some of the other residents of Popeye's hometown of Sweethaven. The villain shouldn't always be Bluto... the Sea Hag should get her licks in, too.

Of course, Bluto should be in there... but I'd throw Brutus in, too. Yes, Brutus was Famous Studios' version of Bluto, but I think there'd be room for both characters. Play them as being identical twins, both bullies, but play them slightly different. Bluto would be more rough-looking, while Brutus would be slicker. So, if an episode revolved around Popeye becoming a professional wrestler, he'd be fighting Bluto... but if an episode featured Popeye in a Ballroom Dancing contest, his foe would be Brutus. If appropriate, you could even have both of them teaming up.

No nephews. The only child Popeye deals with is Swee'pea.

The show should open with the traditional Popeye song... you know, "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man." Not necessarily the slower version from the Fleischers' series... but use those lyrics, naturally.

The show should have a very high sense of humor... both in the dialogue and in the animation itself. If Popeye has to save Olive Oyl from a rampaging bull, when he hits it, the bull goes flying into the air and lands as a butcher shop display of meats. Maybe when Popeye sees the bull, he could make some comment about it being a severe case of Mad Cow. Maybe not.

The voices need to be the best you can find... Popeye has to sound like Jack Mercer voiced him. If they can hire a stand-up comic who can do the voice and is good at improvisation, so much the better -- so the under-the-breath muttering can return after all-too-long an absence.

The stories themselves should take place in the "present day" -- acknowledging that Sweethaven is kind of locked in the past, but the rest of the world moves on. There's still unexplored places in the world, and Popeye is the best man to explore them. Magic does exist, obviously (after all, the Sea Hag is one of our villains). I'd even like to see some multi-part stories in this series... perhaps the way to go would be to open the show with a short gag piece, about five to six minutes in length. The remainder of the episode could be the latest part of a multi-part storyline with Popeye's adventures. The plots for these longer adventures could likely be drawn from the original newspaper strips.

Why do a short cartoon and a serial in each episode? Well... I'm glad you asked. Or I'm glad I'm assuming you asked.

The shorter cartoon could provide all the "bits" one expects in a Popeye cartoon... introduce a humorous situation in which Olive (or Swee'pea, or Wimpy, or someone else) is threatened, and Popeye tries to deal with the situation until that's all he can stands, he can't stands no more... then the spinach comes out, the music starts, and that's the end of the threat. The longer serials might not have room for that in each chapter.

It would have to be remembered that Popeye, even without eating his spinach, is still terrifically strong, and also very, very tough. Spinach just acts as a super-booster to his abilities, and its effects don't last terribly long, and therefore, Popeye only uses it when that's the only thing left to do.

Now, as I said, the stories should be present-day... but they could possibly start in the present-day, and go into the past or the future... if O.G. Whatasnoozle invents a time machine, or the Sea Hag casts a spell to send Popeye into the past or future. That would give us the opportunity to have Popeye spend a story fighting dinosaurs in the Jurassic, for example.

What could well work for story ideas would be the concept of Popeye being sort of a one-man Challengers of the Unknown in some stories... where he'd be hired to check out some bizarre situation that nobody else can handle. Naturally, Popeye would get his crew on his ship and set sail without hesitation (but not without comment... after all, this is the guy who was known for saying in one comic strip adventure, "I hates myskeries on accounts of I cansk unnerstands 'em.").

In this instance, he might try to convince Olive to stay behind and out of danger, but she'd end up on the ship anyway... probably accompanied by Wimpy and Swee'pea (and maybe Eugene the Jeep, who could act as babysitter for the kid) and whoever else the writer feels like accompanying them this time around.

The series would not be about explaining things about Popeye! No explanation as to why spinach doesn't seem to affect most other people like it does Popeye or his relatives (although as we have seen, Swee'pea, being Popeye's adopted son, gets the same instantaneous benefit of the green stuff).

So, to sum up... the characters have to be true to themselves, the voices have to be good, and the series has to be FUNNY!

Anyway, that's all I have for now... when I started writing this entry, I'm sure I had other aspects of this that I've since forgotten (I've been kind of thinking about this all day, actually), so I may revisit this some day.


Monday, June 12, 2006

So.... It's Monday Night

Now, I know I've made a few posts today, and some of 'em actually had to do with the aforementioned topics I promised I'd try to talk some more about...

This post is about a refrigerator. As it happens, it's about our second refrigerator.

I'm sure that needs some explaining. The house Jessi and I rent, obviously, has a refrigerator. And given that it's just the two of us, one would think one fridge would be enough... but NOOOOOOOOOOO!

You see, we go through our beverages... especially when we have people over. Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Green Tea, bottled water, Diet Cola... plus some occasional other stuff.

So, we figured we could use a second fridge to keep in the garage that would be devoted to beverages, and only beverages (although I'd imagine the next time we're going to have a party here, or even before that, we'll use it for an "overflow" fridge).

Thanks to Freecycle, we now have that second fridge.

Not familiar with Freecycle? It's a demonstration of one of the best aspects of the internet... that of connecting people together for mutual benefit. Freecycle has local branches in just about every major (and not-so-major) city. I forget where the main site is... if it's or I'm sure you can Google it if you're interested.

Basically, the way Freecycle works is through a Yahoo group, or other kind of mailing list. People who have something they don't need, and want to give away, will post a message to the group, for example (as I posted earlier today), "Offered: Cookbooks," in which I listed a bunch of cookbooks I don't need. Anyone who's a member of the group who wants said item responds to the message, and those responses go directly to me, and not to the group. I choose who gets the stuff, let them know they're getting it (I always give it to the first to respond, by the way), and make arrangements for them to pick it up. I get no money for the item.

So, in short, it's free items being recycled to someone else... free + recycle = freecycle.

It's a pretty cool thing.

Now, Jessi got picked for this offered refrigerator, which still works (strangely a lot of people offer up stuff that's either broken or needs some kind of repairs -- and even stranger, people want them!). Unfortunately, neither Jessi or I drive or own a truck, so we had to make arrangements. Fortunately, we know a lot of people who have trucks.

First we went to our friend Dan, but his truck has a canopy on it, which is nearly impossible to remove, and since refrigerators need to be transported upright, we had to go to someone else. Then, Jessi's friend Tifney came through for us tonight, and we headed over to Tumwater to meet them and get the refrigerator.

This fridge had been stored outside, unplugged, for a while... and I don't think it had been cleaned recently, either. So it was... well... dirty and stinky.

What Jessi doesn't know is that after she went to sleep tonight, I went out to the garage, pulled out all the shelves and such that could be removed, and washed them all, as well as cleaned the inside and outside of the refrigerator (I also adjusted the settings as well).

It should be a nice surprise for her tomorrow when she gets home from work, especially since I made a big joke about when *she* cleans it up.

Anyway... freecycle is a great deal, and you should definitely look into it in your own area!


Showcase Presents: The Teen Titans Vol. 1

So, earlier today, I finished reading the above-mentioned TPB...

And you know what? It was a fun read, despite (or maybe partly because of?) some of the "far-out" teenage slang that Bob Haney wrote for the characters.

I've read a number of critiques of this series that focused most of their criticism on the slang being used, and how "real teenagers" would never talk that way. One thing about that, however: I don't recall reading any of these critiques that were published concurrently with the books being discussed, so for all I know, they could have been more accurate than they appear today.

A lot of the slang seems to have been borrowed from the Beatles' movie "A Hard Day's Night," which I recall John Lennon (and probably the other Beatles) would joke about some of the slang they used in that movie (although the writer of that film said he picked up most of it from the Beatles themselves).

I think that slang tends to be something that's (mostly) unconsciously used... like any verbal cliche that a person in particular may use.

For example (and I hope Jessi doesn't mind my using her for an example here), Jessi has this thing she says a lot... "Yaaaay!", usually said in a slightly off-beat, even ironic (although not intended as such) way... almost half-hearted, one could say. I've joked about counting how often she says it in a day, and she's even sometimes realized she says it a lot. I'm not trying to get her to stop saying it, however... it's part of her "character," after all.

Anyway, back to Haney's Teen Titans: I don't mind the uses of "grotty," "fab," "gear," and so forth... what did start to get to me was some of the nicknames for the characters themselves... "Robin-O" was starting to get to me after a while, but then the nickname "Dynamic Duo Over Two" appeared in two stories in a row! It took me a minute to figure out what the heck Haney was saying... and then I realized it was slang based on... math! As in one-half = one over two, saying Dynamic Duo Over Two = 2/2 = 1, or in other words, half a Dynamic Duo.

"Twinkletoes," "Wonder Doll," "Gillhead," and most of the other nicknames didn't bother me so much.... although I had to wonder what the heck Haney was thinking referring to Kid Flash as the Scarlet Speedster! After all, that was his Uncle Barry's nickname for his own costumed persona!

Another thing that struck me while reading these was how Haney couldn't quite decide how powerful Wonder Girl was (no surprise there, given that she wasn't intended over in Wonder Woman to be a separate character from Diana, and also that it probably wasn't too long before she'd appeared more often in Teen Titans than in Wonder Woman). There's one issue in which she snags the entirety of Mount Rushmore with her magic lasso (by George Washington's nose, at that!) to catch it from falling to Earth and smashing to pieces (no, I won't explain how that came to be necessary... buy the book and read it for yourself, effendi!)! She's strong enough to fly and hold the darn mountain and lower it to Earth gently... let, in a much later story, an ordinary human is able to hit her and at least stun her, if not knock her out!

She also gets some temporary powers that go away later on... one issue lets her "magnetize" her bracelets so that they attract human flesh, and then turns that off to drop the person to the ground -- strangely, I don't recall seeing any scene in which she deflects anything with her bracelets!

It was surprising, too, to see the entrance to the Titans' Lair (in a mountain, just like the JLA started out) being covered by a huge billboard promoting the Batman television series (actually, two different billboards -- and the TV show is even referenced in dialogue in a few places). I'm thinking that would've been about as logical as if the JLA's original cave headquarters had its entrance covered by a billboard promoting the George Reeves' Adventures of Superman show!

Aqualad's limitation of being out of water for no more than an hour is mentioned a lot, to be sure -- but then again, one has to remember that back then, writers tended to make sure that new readers were up to speed on characters quickly (although most of today's better writers can fill in the readers more naturally than that).

Overall, as I said, it was a fun read... lots of great Nick Cardy artwork (although not quite at the peak of his pencilling skills, it appears -- but the rather loose inking could account for the appearance of the artwork here). As with all the Showcase volumes, I can definitely recommend it.

One last point on this -- and it goes for all the Showcase Presents volumes -- the production values on these books are way beyond most of the Essential volumes from Marvel. There's been more than one Essentials volume in which the reprinted pages are simply a grayscale scan of the original comics, with little or no effort to convert it to straight-forward black-and-white line art. I'm predicting that these volumes will probably find their way onto many scanners for web site usage!


A Bit More Randomness (in other words, no themed posts tied to each day yet)...

Children's Books Revisted:

So... I did get a response to my post below about the children's book I've written a first draft of, which told me 1) I shouldn't illustrate it before submitting it to a publisher, they'll take care of that (not entirely sure I believe that -- I think a package deal, or at least something that's temporarily illustrated should be more appealing, as the publisher could see where I saw the book, visually speaking), and 2) pointed me to a website which was supposed to have some info to give me tips on writing children's books, but which, when I visited it, only loaded some blocks of color, with no text other than a counter at the bottom.

On the other hand, yesterday, when Jessi and I were visiting our friend Dan, I told him about my two ideas, and he loved them!

And so it goes. I do have an idea for how I might illustrate the Andy the Ant tale... once I see where I go with it for sure, I'll let you know.

TV Comics:

One thought I keep coming back to every few years concerns comics that were based on TV shows, and how -- aside from back issues, naturally -- they're inaccessible to most people these days.

One thought I had relating to this, years and years ago, was that someone like Nick at Nite/TV Land should consider forming a comics company (call it TV Land Comics, for example) that could reprint comics based on any shows that they're currently showing. Not necessarily just in pamphlet form (in fact, I'd think that would be the worst way to go), but in trade paperbacks, which could be available in bookstores as well as ordering from the network's website.

I mean, think about it... there were comics based on sitcoms, drama shows, and more... I, for one, would love to be able to get a TPB of Dell's Bewitched comics, even though I don't recall from the one issue I used to have long ago that it was all that great -- it would just be nice to have it.

Trying to come up with ideas for "Comics They Never Made" based on TV shows has constantly shown me just how many TV shows were adapted into comics form that I'd never even heard of -- I knew there had been a Partridge Family comic book, but it was only recently I learned there had been a Brady Bunch one, as well (I think Dell did that one). Gold Key did a Happy Days comic, as well as Adam-12... Charlton did Space:1999, Emergency!, the Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman (some of those not only in color books, but in black-and-white magazines, as well).

I keep waiting for the network to latch onto this idea and run with it... heck, the biggest problems I can see with it are 1) There'd be the licensing issues (which I'd imagine wouldn't be all that major a hassle -- unless there was a discrepancy with who has the rights), and 2) Bookstores might not know where to stock them (I'd think the logical place would be with the books on TV shows, rather than with the comics).

Busy, Busy Weekend!

So... I think I told you guys about the plans for this past weekend... they pretty much all went as planned. My sister's 40th birthday party was fun, although I'm sure that Jessi's feeling as though she could've gone without one conversation with a few of the friends I used to hang out with all the time (these are friends whom I've drifted away from over the last 15 years or so, due to our interests going in completely different directions, as can happen in life). Still, we enjoyed ourselves, and Debi (the youngest of my sisters, whose birthday it was) loved the present we got her (a huge bucket with 75 packages of sunflower seeds -- she's addicted to eating 'em as she watches the Mariners play -- and that's probably the first sports reference I've made on this blog, isn't it?).

Today is a vacation day for me... and unless it stops raining and dries up quickly, I won't be doing any yard work today... so it may just be a relaxing day!