Monday, 27 December 2010

Gosh It's Cold

Late December has brought the cold. Not arctic snow drift or anything crazy like that [I won't be going outside with a cup of hot water to throw into the air and watch it turn into snow] but it's still brisk enough to make one grab some woolen undies and a warm shirt.

Still, I'm going to enjoy it while I can because in a month or so the typical Florida weather will return and we'll all be sweating our smalls off as we huddle around the air con.

Katy Perry Is The Hypnotoad

Just sayin', ya know. "Buy my records ... put the kettle on, Russ."

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Don't Call Me Pops

Well the other day I was sipping some delicious coffee and wasting some time on the internet. Caleb was asleep upstairs, and all was well with the world. The doorbell rang. "Jiminy Cricket, I bet that's the Federal Express!" I said to myself.

I dashed for the door only to discover some crazy, wild-eyed woman waiting for me. She was a door to door salesperson who assured me she wasn't selling anything but who proceeded anyway to try and sell me something. She mentioned the look on my face was unimpressed which was very astute of her because I was being that transparent. Then she called me Pops. Pops?! I'm not old enough or poppy enough to be a Pops. I cut her off mid stride after she tried to high five me. I explained I wasn't interested in the magical stain remover she was peddling and wished her a good afternoon.

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Me and the missus were watching the History Channel this evening and it was quite informative. How so? Well, you know the giant Christmas tree that is erected next to the skating rink at the Rockefeller Center in New York? Yes, that one. Well, in order to erect a jumbo-sized tree for the holidays their head of gardening hops in a helicopter and scours the land for something suitable. When he finds a potential candidate he marks the location on a map and then visits the owner of said suitable tree. Then he asks the owners if the Rockefeller Center could have it. And they pay the owners ... nothing. Which is odd because there is great expense driving a 90 foot tall tree from the sticks to NYC so I imagine the Rock ain't stretched for a dime or two. Bizarre!

I know what I would say if some dude showed up on the doorstep wanting my mega tree and was offering nothing for it. That's right -- I'd be asking for some tickets to SNL, baby! Actually I'd probably tell him to fuck off. Nicely, of course.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Red Letter Media's Baby's Day out review

Mr. Plinkett's review of Episode III is coming soon. Before then, here's a review of ... Baby's Day Out. I barely recall this movie when it first came out, and I don't believe I ever saw it. Or ever will.

Red Letter Media's Baby's Day out review

So Long, Voyager

One of the Voyagers is on it's way out of the solar system. It's only been burning tracks since the 1970s, or before I was born to be precise. Hopefully it won't fall into a black hole and be retrieved by an alien civilisation because that would suck.

Anyway, it's about to enter the heliopause which is an area of space where the solar wind from the sun runs out of puff and meets the winds that make up the interstellar medium. I hope they remember to take pictures.

Christian Science Monitor.

North Korea Is On Facebook!

Wonderfully blue map created by Facebook shows the world as defined by Facebook friendships. You see some great detail and some barren areas where Facebook ain't so hip. Like, the ocean ... the deserts ... and China. What I do find amusing is the couple of strands from North Korea heading Chinaway. I'm assuming it's from one of Kim Jong-il's holiday homes. Maybe he's a FarmVille fan or something.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Comic Book Splurge

Took a drive down to Tate's this afternoon to grab me some comics. I wasn't looking for anything in particular; rather, I was in one of those moods to browse and grab whatever looked interesting. And I got some cool shit.

Let's see:

I managed to pick up Detective Comics #853 which had the second part of Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? story. I wasn't expecting to find a copy, but it was nice to be pleasantly surprised.

Star Wars: Invasion #1, and Legacy #37. Not sure what Invasion is all about, but there was one copy left and it seemed intriguing so there you go. Have enjoyed the Legacy series and I've already collected a number of issues [plus what I've missed in trades] so it was logical to get this. And logic prevails, people.

Captain America Reborn #1 [Ross variant cover]. Not much of a Marvel fan but I'm a dirty slave for major events and the return of Steve Rogers is somewhat of an event. Mind you, when Marvel killed him at the end of all that Civil War stuff did anyone think he was really dead? No, in the world of comics dead is just merely inconvenienced. Just ask Jason Todd.

Green Lantern #43 [Prologue to Blackest Night]. Have turned into a Green Lantern fan on the back of the Sinestro Corps War and this series promises to be quite the party. Not sure if I have the patience for crossovers and will probably collect this sporadically while I await the trade release [like I did for Final Crisis, sad sad].

Batman #688. This is the big Batman release of 2009. Unfortunately, it's written by Judd Winick. I have nothing against Winick personally, I just don't like his writing. His writing actually made me stop collecting Batman and I only jumped back into Gotham when Grant Morrison started writing the Bat Dude. I know, I'm such a snooty bitch but Grant Morrison is God.

No Hero #5 [wrap]. Bought this on name recognition, as it's by Warren Ellis. I didn't see any of the prior issues and I didn't bother to look in the stacks but I bought it nonetheless. I always find Warren Ellis interesting and he's as original as he is prolific. He's not everyone's cup of tea but I think he's the shit so he must be alright.

The Unwritten #1 & #2. Purchased for much the same reason as No Hero. Mike Carey is an excellent writer and I enjoyed what he did with Hellblazer while Lucifer was amazing.

He's even started writing some prose with his Felix Castor novels. I've only read The Devil You Know but it was an enjoyable read. I have no idea what The Unwritten is about although according to the blurbs by Bill Willingham and Brian K. Vaughan it's the duck's nuts.

And there you have it, my little splurge on some comic book goodness. I think the selection could be described as quite the good haul considering it was an impromptu kind of thing.

The Ghost Cat Backlash

The couple in New Zealand who posted a video on the internet allegedly showing a ghost cat walking around their driveway have faced a little bit of stick. Some folks reckon they're a little loopy thinking the orange furry blur thingy on their camera is the ghost of their neighbour's cat.

Indeed, skeptics have suggested that it was a insect or dust mite that made its way across the lens. A TV interviewer has offered to help them talk to some "experts" so the couple can get to the bottom of this spectoral mystery.

One individual even suggested it was the ghost of a cat called Lizzie who died in the 19th century when she fell "under the wheels of a cart on a foggy winter morning." Alrighty then.

Make up your own mind! I'm a bit of a skeptic myself, but I'm a little open for any possibility.

Would You Pay $17,500 For a Video Game?

I wouldn't it! Some dude paid the above sum for a gold-coloured limited edition Nintendo NES cartridge from 1990.

According to the story, only 26 of these bad boys were produced to be used in a gaming contest. The cartridge lasts for just over six minutes and contains three games: Tetris, Super Mario Bros, and Rad Racer.

Well, if you've got the spare cash and you're a collector then I guess all power to you. But $17,500!?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Film 2009: Moon

Moon looks like one of those hard, pure science fiction films that come along every so often. These are the types of films that don't make a studio any money but the viewer is enriched from the experience. To me, Moon looks absolutely fascinating.

The trailer poses many questions. Has Sam Rockwell's isolation driven him to insanity where he imagines seeing a person that looks like him? Is the film a comment on science and technology? Has technological advancement stripped humans of their warmth and emotions, driving us into a sterile iVironment? Is the other Sam Rockwell an alien? Is the other Sam Rockwell a clone made by the company to replace him so the lunar base always has a Sam Rockwell on hand?

I certainly can't wait to see this.

Finally Managed to Crack Africa

Hey, I see on my ClustrMap wotsit that I managed to get some page views in Africa. About bloody time. Africa was the last of the Earth's continents to feel my blog.

Although, closer inspection tells me it was less than ten page views so whoever was reading looked into the soul of this blog and ran screaming into the night. Possibly.

Bad Cabinet. Naughty Cabinet.

So we bought a cabinet thingy that stands over the toilet [I think the aristocrats call them an etagere] earlier in the week and I must say what a piece of shit it turned out to be. Twice.

Shit the first: because it was missing a few crucial pieces. Okay, easy problem to solve -- hop into the car and drive to Target to exchange it for one that has all its bits. Problem solved.


Shit the second: this one had all of its bits but the dowels were on the smallish side and the screws were so soft they seemed to be made of tinfoil [monster strip time!]. Plus, the design of the cabinet turned out to be a little top-heavy. Add this to the lack of cross beam support and we ended up with a wobbly pot of half-baked poop.

Take it apart >> box it back up >> jump in the car >> return it to Target for a refund. Are you there IKEA? It's me, Richard.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

I Was Only Being Half-Flippant

The other night we were closing for the evening when a blonde woman approached me and stopped at the door. She looked somewhat disheveled and not quite right if you know what I mean. Something was "off" like she had blended up some Percocet with her soy protein beverage before hitting the bookstore.

"So you're a guy, right? Let me get your opinion on this," she asked me.

Oh, Lord -- I love these ones. Nevermind that I'm holding the door open for you because we're closed.

"Er," I said.

"What do you do if you've broken up with someone and he was the love of your life. Like, he was it, the one the love and now it's gone," she said.

"Um, well my advice would be to get drunk," I said.

"I don't drink," she said.

"Well, I'm fresh out of suggestions. But that's what I'd do, get drunk. Have a nice night!" I said as I ushered her out of the door.

And I was only being half-flippant toward a question I didn't really need to be asked considering I didn't know the person from a bar of soap. Timing is everything; if she had asked me while we were open I could have shown her our Relationships section that has a shed load of books on the subject.

Still, that's probably what I would do in the same situation -- hit that sauce like it ain't no thing! Not Nicholas Cage Leaving Las Vegas drink myself to death sauce-a-thon, but it would be one hell of a bender. And then I'd get back on the horsey again.

>>>>Agony Aunt Hat<<<<

Because when you think about it, saying that the person who dumped your arse was the love of your life is immediately assuming the role of the victim. No no, that's not the way to see it. One must alter one's perspective: you were the love of his life. So hit the sauce and then trade up.

The Trash Heap has spoken.

It's Ghost Central!

First there was the ghost cat in New Zealand, and now the interwebz are all a flutter over the alleged ghost of Michael Jackson caught on Larry King Live. As if the spectre of MJ would be bothered to flash itself on CNN!

Next we'll be hearing about the ghost of Elvis haunting a kitchen or the ghost of Paris Hilton skanking it up on some European dance floor. Oh, wait -- Paris is still alive. Right.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Return of Grapefruit Man

Imagine, if you can, a stool the size of a grapefruit. It's large, isn't it? One imagines it would be difficult to pass something of that size and still be alive.

I mention this because Grapefruit Man has returned to Barnes & Noble. He's well-known to the staff; or, rather, his stools are well-known to the staff. And it was my lucky day.

Anywho, some context. A customer approached me today and asked if I was a manager. When I told him I was he said, "You have to go to the handicap stall. Someone is very sick."

Thinking we had a full-on medical emergency I began to ask questions. "Has someone collapsed? Do they need help unlocking the stall door?"

"Oh, no," replied the customer. "The stall is empty. It's what they've left. You see, it won't go down."

"What won't go down?" I said.

"Um, poop. As I mentioned, someone is very sick," he said.

"Oh, I see," I said. "Well, my day just got a whole lot better. Thanks for letting me know."

I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed one of the other managers to act as my wingman and we headed in. It was exactly as the customer described: a monstrous thing sitting there like the King of Turds all knobbly and obviously calcified. Hell, I'm surprised that shit didn't crack the porcelain when it dropped.

"Fuck me that's wrong," I said. "The guy probably has a gape large enough to drive a double-decker bus through. If we find someone collapsed outside on the floor weeping and a bus conductor sticking out of his arse, that's our man."

"It won't go down!" said my co-worker after several flushes.

"We'll need to break it up," I said.

So we poured a whole heap of bleach on top of the turd, hoping the chemicals would begin the softening process. We locked the stall door from the outside and I set about the task of constructing a cutting implement.

I grabbed a plastic knife from the cafe and taped it to a long, yet sturdy, plastic rod. Essentially what I created was a harpoon, MacGyver style. And yes, there were a few odd looks from customers as I walked through the store carrying my harpoon. I felt like Captain Ahab swearing revenge on the great white stool.

However, it was the suggestion from another co-worker that a common plunger should be sufficient to finish the turd off. And that turned out to be the case as I made short work of it and sent the beast off to a watery grave. The harpoon will have to wait for another day before we get to try it out.

And you thought being a Barnes & Noble manager was a job without excitement.

Moonwalker Video Game

In the huge media crush that's ensued following Michael Jackson's death it's hard to believe there was a time when he was as famous for his music as he was for his court room dramas and wacky lifestyle.

While I was thumbing through one of the ubiquitous memorial issues of popular magazines [TIME, Newsweek, People, Entertainment Weekly, etc] I stumbled on a little nugget of 1980s flashback: the Moonwalker video game from Sega.

To be honest I'm not surprised I forgot about the game because we never owned it nor was I inclined to play it when visiting the arcade. Casting my mind back I remembered the pitch for the game going something like this:

Mr. Big has captured the Children of the World. It's up to you, as Michael Jackson, to defeat Mr. Big and rescue the Children of the World.

The ten-year-old me was like, "Cool!" and then, "Eh?" Yes, even then it all seemed a little dodgy. Besides, I was far too interested in Ghosts 'n Goblins and Winter Olympics for the Commodore 64 to care about something like Moonwalker.

Apparently, one of the specials that could be used was called Dance Magic. You can see it in the video below as a spotlight from God or something that descends and illuminates MJ causing him to break into a complicated dance routine. The bad guys, all born with two left feet, are unable to match the awesomeness of the moves and are totally destroyed in the process. However, further research tells me the bosses do not dance but will take damage. Sounds difficult.

Anywho, here's a video of the arcade version complete with a casserole dish of Whoos!, Bubbles the Chimp, children squeaking "Michael" when they're rescued, and some wicked MIDI versions of MJ's hits.

Two Weeks Until Baby Time!

Wow, it's hard to believe that nine months has passed on by. In little more than two weeks we will have a baby in the house! Well, we already have a 31-year-old kid in the house but this will be an actual baby.

Diane has already started her maternity leave so tomorrow when I drive off for my manager's meeting she will be snuggled up in bed safe in the knowledge that for the next three months the only time she'll be getting up before 7am is to check on the baby.

I'm going to take a few weeks off work to help out with feeding and changing and last minute errand runs because even though we think we have everything there will still be shit we didn't get or need.

So, two weeks to go. If the past nine months has taught us anything these will go by as quick as something that moves very quickly.