Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Maggie Moo visits the office


One of the project managers also owns a Maggie Moo franchise and decided to have a bit of fun here at the office.

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No Rocks Here!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Blink and You'll Miss It


The legend that is Bill Watterson has a review of the new Charles Schulz biography over at the Wall Street Journal. Oh, and if you haven't checked out the collected editions of Peanuts, do yourself a favor and pick one up for a jolt of amazement and warm, fuzzy nostalgia.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Zoe the Wonder Dog!



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Rejoice

Click the link, Frank.

If chauffeurs ruled the world, it's what I'd like to see. Then everyone in the world, would take a back seat to me...

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Week Ends, the Week Begins

Taking a cue from my pal, Siskoid, I'm going to summarize some of the stuff experienced and/or acquired over the past week. So without further ado...

DVDs

My copy of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Volume One (mentioned here) arrived within a day of clicking "Send" so Amazon Prime gets a big thumbs up from me even if I still haven't taken the shrinkwrap off. The packaging matches up with the Indiana Jones trilogy box set fairly well, so it's got that going for it... which is nice.

Sometime next year, I hope to put together a bonus disc of sorts containing the extras that appeared on the 1999 VHS releases as well as the box art for those folks that like to play with Photoshop. We'll see how that project turns out, but don't hold your breath waiting for it.

Books

Arriving the same day as the Young Indy set was my copy of Into the Wild (my film review here) by Jon Krakauer. It's currently on my to-read pile along with a host of other stuff.

52: The Novel has been put on hold as my commuting read for the time being. I really wasn't getting into Greg Cox's prose. In its place is Morgan Spurlock's Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America. Allegedly, this book is what Spurlock's documentary, Super Size Me, would have been given more screen time. The book looks like it will be a quick read.

Film

Last night, Em and I hung out with some of the Luna-C folks over at Casa Stewart. While enjoying some good pizza and other assorted snackery, we watched Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Pan's Labyrinth.

Wallace & Gromit was a very fun film for what I saw of it. Gromit is easily one of the best claymation characters ever and the film takes the level of zany hilarity to an entirely new level. Plus it has rabbits—very cute rabbits.

Pan's Labyrinth was not what I expected it to be. I thought it was another mindf@$% in the same vein as The Cell. The film is layered in subtext as it bounces back and forth between 1944 Spain and a rather odd storybook world. This is something that bears repeat viewings though I don't recommend it for the squeamish.

Other Stuff

Episode 008 of the G.I. Joe Review Podcast was a rundown of this year's G.I. Joe Convention in Atlanta instead of the usual reviews of Marvel's comic book. While I liked hearing about the experience, it still very much had a "You should'a been there!" bend to it. That's fine for when you're talking to your friends (sometimes) but makes for very poor podcasting. Some audio from the event might have been nice.

Friday night was spent in "The Haunted Forest" located next to the Algonkian Park's miniature golf course in Sterling. It was your typical collection of macabre scenes and people jumping out at you in assorted costumes. The end is marked by a cemetary full of plywood tombstones and other decor you'd find in Count Floyd's basement. However, I do have to note the undead mom pushing a blood-stained pram. I really wish I could have taken a photo to convey just how creepy this woman looked. She was the only part of the "tour" that I found unnerving. I also found her oddly hot.

After enduring night blindness and the mediocre creepfest, it was off to Minerva for some awesome Indian food. After filling up on Chicken Pakora, Butter Chicken, and Chicken Biryani, I was ready for some sleep.

Lastly, an update to the car situation: my 2004 Kia Rio is no more. The damage assessed was more than the value of the car to the tune of $1300 and was deemed totaled. I'm patiently waiting for the settlement office to ring me back. However, I'm not entirely sure if I'm even going to buy another car at this point. I carpool with Em most mornings and it's not too often that we need more than one car. I'm giving serious thought to joining ZipCar or FlexCar for those days I need to drive.

Friday, October 26, 2007

By the Power of Campbell...

Dave Campbell that is. Dave recently reviewed Superman #9 from 1987, which contains a second story featuring Lex Luthor. I'll let Dave explain it:
In the short story, Lex stops his limo at a roadside diner for some bacon & eggs and a little casual, life-wrecking cruelty.

He picks a foxy married waitress named Jenny and offers her one million dollars if she'll jettison her life and come to Metropolis with him for one month. That's one million dollars for thirty days of sex with Luthor. I'd ask for two million. He tells the waitress he'll wait in his limo outside for ten minutes and then his offer will be off the table. Oh, BTW can he have his breakfast in a to-go container? KTHX

It is established that the waitress is married to a bit of a jerk, but the decision is gut-wrenching. Should she dump him and leave her simple life for a month of God-knows-what in Luthor's crib? Oh, what to do?

Of course, Lex drives off before the ten minutes have elapsed. In his limo he gloats, "Jenny Hubbard will never know what her final choice would have been. And that question will torment her for the rest of her meaningless life!" We learn that he does this stuff all the time.

I love that story! It should be called "Lex Luthor: Total Asshole."
Who am I to argue? Thus, I present this:

The Original Star Trek Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

On November 13 and 15, you'll have a chance to see the extent of Paramount's exhaustive remastering of the original Star Trek when the two-part episode, "The Menagerie", is presented in high definition with surround sound! Also part of this presentation, are new CGI effects incorporated into the episode. If you've been following the remastered series on TV, then you've already seen this but not in high-def.

I just purchased tickets to the November 13 show and am considering picking up tickets for the November 15 showing as well.

As you can see in the bottom of the film poster, this film event is pretty much hoping you'll pick up the HD-DVD/DVD set of the remastered Season 1. I personally will not be buying the set for myriad reasons (mainly that I don't have an HD-DVD player), but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the show!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Into the Wild

I caught this film last night and absolutely loved it. Based on Jon Krakauer's book, we follow Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) on his journey across the US and into Alaska. Along the way, Chris meets some folks who will be forever changed after meeting him before he heads off to live life solo in the remote forests of Alaska.

It truly is a terrific film. Many people (particularly native Alaskans) were worried that Chris would be touted as some great folk hero, but he's not. Sure, he's not the best outdoorsman but that isn't the point. The fact that he eventually realizes he's come to know happiness through helping others know it is the point. It's something we could all do well to learn.

Technically, Sean Penn is an adequate director that more or less lets the scenery set the mood. Having extremely capable actors like Jena Malone and William Hurt on board really helped this picture out. If you're into gorgeous landscapes, then see this film in a theater. Whether you decide to wait for the DVD or not, I implore you to take the time (about two and a half hours) to see it.

Everybody Starts Somewhere

I just ordered the first volume of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Volume One from Amazon, where it's currently $69.99—46% off of the list price. For a 12-disc set, that's not bad at all. This volume pretty much focuses on the 10-year old Indy so I'm sure a lot of folks will skip this set in favor of the teenage and young adult years, which is unfortunate because there are some terrific stories with the younger Indy—particularly "Passion for Life" (where he goes on safari with Teddy Roosevelt) and "My First Adventure" (where he meets T.E. Lawrence). Unfortunately, the Old Indy bookends from the original TV run are nowhere to be found but there are a ton of historical documentaries in their place.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't mess with Jonny Quest's Tabasco



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Updates

I didn't hear from anyone about the car yesterday and the status on the insurance company's website continued to read "Pending" as late as 11am this morning. I'll likely call the body shop in a little while to see if they've even received my car at this point.

As if on cue, Emily's car begins overheating badly while en route to retrieve me from the Metro. Luckily, a friend of hers was home and they eventually arrived to pick me up.

So we began the day without a car. Emily's lovely sister drove Bug to school and the two of us to Enterprise where I rented a Suzuki Forenza for the next couple of days.

From the Not-At-All-Dire-for-a-Change Department: I finished reading the entire 155-issue run of Marvel's G.I. Joe last night. My hope is to start reviewing them here on the ol' blog before too long.

Something Pleasant



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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Horror!



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Check It Out Now... the Funk Soul Brothers?

As you can see at the top of the blog, I've added a little widget from Utterz.com that allows me to post stuff using the magic of cats... er, my mobile phone. The hope is to give you, my very kind readers, live coverage of my mind or stuff going on around me. New content will appear sporadically so that gives you a good excuse to check out ol' Retcon Redux every single day!

Crash

The plan this past Friday was to pick up a friend, have some dinner, and attend the Cheryl Wheeler concert at the Birchmere. Pretty simple plan, right? Well, I miscalculated the amount of time it would take to leave work and arrive in Annandale so I ended up with an hour to kill. Spying a comic book shop, I thought I'd check it out.

Unfortunately, while turning into the shopping center, I became entangled in a traffic accident that left both vehicles inoperative. I can't go into too many specifics since I haven't discussed things with the insurance claims officer yet, but I can tell you the ordeal took over two hours to deal with.

While the incident itself wasn't pleasant, the absolute worst part was the sheer amount of verbal abuse hurled in my general direction. The gist of this abuse were along the lines of "Move your car, idiot" and variations of that particular theme. I'm well aware that people are inconvenienced (as if I wasn't), but my car wasn't moving due to all of my transmission fluid now found in a huge puddle on the street.

At one point, I was bent over while looking at the damage when a passerby yelled, "Get out of the road, you fucking moron!" I shot him The Finger while I was still bent over, not even looking at the guy. Evidently, that was too much for this lad since he got out of his truck to ask if I "had a problem." Exasperated, I rose up, turned around, read him the riot act, and mentioned a possible meeting with my fists and his face. That got him to back away and immediately leave the premises. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not a violent person, but even a non-violent can be pushed too far sometimes. I'm certainly not proud of stooping to such boorish behavior, but emotion had taken over at that point. I'll endeavor to do better in the future.

No signs of injury the first night but Saturday morning was hell. I stayed in bed pretty much all day because my legs hurt too much to move. I'm faring a bit better today as I patiently wait for the claims officer to return my call. Once the dust has settled, I'll upload the pictures from my phone for the shock and amazement of all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Holy Star Trek Canon


Because most Star Trek fans are the biggest whiners this side of a wheel of Brie, I've overheard various rants about how the new film by J.J. Abrams and his crack team of writers (or team of writers on crack) violates the continuity established by the original series concerning Kirk and Spock's early relationship.

Most of the bitching claims that Kirk and Spock did not know each other prior to serving aboard the Enterprise. Others are going bat-shit crazy over the casting with droll fare like, "How dare they not cast a Scottish actor as Scotty??!!"

I've adopted a wait-and-see approach until I either a) see the final shooting script, or b) see the film (shocking, I know). While I wish my fellow Trek fans would do the same, that would rob them of their chance to engage (pardon the pun) in pissing matches over who is the bigger fan.

So, folks who read this blog, I ask you:

What problems, if any, do you have with Star Trek XI?

Feel free to use the comments link below to sound off.

X-Cited and I Just Can't Hide It


New to the list of Retroactive Conspirators is G. Kendall's Not Blog X. Not Blog X examines the 1990's X-Men comic book phenomenon and its assorted spin-offs. The general thinking is that this period of the comic book industry eschewed decent storytelling in favor of overprinting and questionable anatomy. Mr. Kendall revisits the comics in his possession (for which he should be beatified) so we don't have to. It's an interesting blog that I find myself reading pretty much daily.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Allyn Gibson = Evil

My pal Allyn has a meme he'd like his readers to fill out, but I know what it's really about. It's about building landing strips for gay Martians!!
  1. Can you cook? Why yes, yes I can. It greatly depends on my mood whether I want to or not.
  2. What was your dream growing up? My biggest hope was to be an Air Force fighter pilot. However, I'm sort of glad that never happened.
  3. What talent do you wish you had? Acrobatic agility.
  4. If I bought you a drink what would it be? Martini - straight up.
  5. Favorite vegetable? Fresh cut green beans.
  6. What was the last book you read? The novelization of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
  7. What zodiac sign are you ? Aries (I think).
  8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? No and no.
  9. Worst Habit? Procrastinating.
  10. If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride? Sure, unless you were really really sweaty.
  11. What is your favorite sport? College basketball followed closely by Sasuke (known to G4 viewers as Ninja Warrior).
  12. Negative or Optimistic attitude? Mostly negative with a dash of optimism from time to time.
  13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me? We'd probably end up talking about Star Trek and/or politics.
  14. Worst thing to ever happen to you? It was when I found out that McDonalds phased out the McRib.
  15. Tell me one weird fact about you. I don't like to talk on the telephone.
  16. Do you have any pets? Two dogs (Arf and Zoe) and two cats (Victoria Schroedinger and Tommy).
  17. What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly? I would apologize profusely about the mess.
  18. What was your first impression of me? I immediately noticed you have a great sense of humor.
  19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Depends on the clown—Cookie from The Bozo Show was cute, John Wayne Gacy was scary.
  20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be??? I'd straighten my hair.
  21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Given your non-predilection for evil, crime partner.
  22. What color eyes do you have? Brown.
  23. Ever been arrested? Nope, surprisingly enough.
  24. Bottle or Draft? I'm kind of partial to draft beer.
  25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it? Sock it away somewhere.
  26. Would you date me? You're a nice guy but...
  27. Where’s your favorite place to hang out? The local Barnes & Noble where they serve great coffee and the barista looks like Lana Lang from Smallville.
  28. Do you believe in ghosts? Not at all.
  29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Watch movies.
  30. Do you swear a lot? Yes dammit.
  31. Biggest pet peeve? People incapable of walking in a straight line on the Metro platform.
  32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Sleepy.
  33. Do you believe/appreciate romance? It's a pretty cool thing. I recommend everyone try it at least once.
  34. If you could spend 12 hours with me and ask/do anything you like, what would it be? Probably a whole lot of drinking.
  35. Do you believe in God? Future uncertain, try again later.
  36. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same? It's on my blog, isn't it?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Does Anyone Else Smell Bacon?



If you've ever played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, then you may want to check out the Oracle of Bacon. It is uncanny how many actors you can name and have them somehow lead to Kevin Bacon. The most distant I was able to find was three degrees.

Monday, October 1, 2007

De's Movie Corner

I'm home sick today (yeah yeah, poor me) so I've been taking it easy and drinking my weight in liquids. I've also been watching lots of TV - stuff like Code Monkeys, My Name is Earl, and It's Me or the Dog. However, I did log a couple of hours with an awesome flick called Akeelah and the Bee.

The film is about a young girl from South Central LA with a talent for spelling and the struggles she endures on her way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Helping her along the way, among others, is Laurence Fishburne as a semi-retired college professor who coaches young Akeelah. Although some cliches can't be avoided, this was one terrific movie if I may be so bold. All the characters in the film are developed at a decent pace and actually grow without resorting to sappy, pappy crap. If you don't mind the occasional well-done, heartwarming film, then look no further than Akeelah and the Bee.

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