Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Took him long enough

Bush: Iraq insurgents hurt U.S. efforts

By Terence Hunt, AP White House correspondent

WASHINGTON - Summing up a year of set-backs, President Bush conceded Wednesday that insurgents in Iraq thwarted U.S. efforts at “establishing security and stability throughout the country.”

This must have killed him. I bet you could hear little brain cells popping from the strain throughout the West Wing.

And all it took was nearly four years and almost 3,000 American lives.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You're gonna crap thunder

God help me - I think we have to watch this.

When I heard about "Rocky Balboa," I thought it was a joke. Stallone was going to make another Rocky movie? Why? There's nothing left to say, and you've already stolen any dignity left in the property. And hey, Sly ... you're ooooooooooooollld.

Normally, I'm an unapologetic Rocky fan. I still tear up when Rocky calls out to Adrian, and I hate commies all over again when Drago kills Apollo. I openly weep when Mickey dies. Even when the movies became more and more cornball, I still loved the Rocky series.

Well, except for "Rocky V" - what a piece of crap that was. I refuse to even link to that steaming pile. And of course, that movie was the first thing I thought of when I heard about "Rocky Balboa." Why would I want to watch Stallone trot out his aging Italian Stallion one more time, along with his apparently oversized ego? Rocky was brain-damaged in the last one, so what could we expect in the latest installment - two hours of drooling?

But, I bargained with myself, I did see all of the movies in the theater, and I hate to let a perfect record go to waste. And it is Rocky.

And then, I was watching the trailer the other day and it had a line that just totally sold me on the whole thing. Duke (Apollo's original corner man, and total bad-ass) is telling Rocky what they'll need to do if they want to have any chance at a comeback, and it doesn't sound good:

To beat this guy, you need speed; you don't have it. You've got calcium deposits on most of your joints, so sparring is out.

Damn, Duke - is there any good news?

So what we'll be calling on is blunt. Force. Trauma. Heavy-duty punches that will rattle his ancestors.

And then Duke raises both fists like they were hammers and says:

Let's start building some hurtin'-bombs.

I was wrong - we need to watch this.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Favorite Panel Friday takes a hike

Looking for comic book-goodness? Thanks to your support and encouragement (and the awesome coding skills of E), it can now be found right here.

We now return to our regularly scheduled Bean. Mmm-mm ... delicious!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Has anyone else ever heard of this? Apparently, you hide a pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree and it's good luck for the person who finds it.

Who the hell thought up the idea of a "Christmas Pickle?" Would a pickle chip count? Does Hannukah get a gherkin or what?

Either way I feel obligated to do it this year, if for no other reason than to be able to say, "I put my pickle in your tree."

Monday, December 04, 2006

In flight

The downside to the sudden roller coaster-dip in the weather is that it's been a surprise to the local wildlife, too.

As we were leaving the building this morning on our way to work, we saw something at the end of the walk. I thought it was a kid's coat or sweater. Lopez thought it was the neighbor's stray cat, which he's been feeding for a few months. It turned out to be a hawk, compact and muscular and dead. Lying there on the concrete, it was still beautiful, as magnificent as it was sad.

Making sure there was nothing we could do for it, we left it there, figuring the people running the office would be better equipped to deal with it than we were. Then, getting into the car, Lopez noticed something.

Huddled next to the tire of the car next to us was a tiny sparrow, puffed up and motionless. I went to take a look at it, and it turned its little head toward me. It was alive.

We took a box from the trunk, and while Lopez crumpled up newspapers I picked the bird up in a piece of cloth. It fluttered its wings, but couldn't take off. We gently put the bird in the box, covering the top with a paper bag.

Driving across the street, we stopped to pick up some breakfast on the way to work, which took about 10 minutes. We got back into the car and Lopez asked, "How's the birdie doing?"

I checked and said, "Oh." The sparrow had died, wrapped in cloth and nestled in newspaper.

I told Lopez, "At least he died comfortable, and not on the street."

Lopez sighed. Then she said, "Poor babies."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Favorite Panel Friday says nyet!

Damn, GL - slapping Russians around with a giant bear ... that's kind of an ironic bitch-slap, isn't it?

I've mentioned before how Green Lantern has always been a front-runner on my top-heroes list, and this panel from Green Lantern #15 sums up why. When I say "Green Lantern" I'm talking about Hal Jordan, and in the classic Silver and Bronze Age interpretations you could always count on some visually wacky action to go along with Hal's charming brand of dickery. Seriously, using the most powerful weapon in the universe to bop someone with a glowing mallet? That's just rubbing it in.

In the newish run written by Geoff Johns and pencilled by Ivan Reis, that version of Green Lantern has been updated while rediscovering all the things that gave Hal his personality - hard-headedness, bravery, nobility, a rakishness that implied he was considering stealing your girlfriend after he was done handing you your ass. Basically, what a normal person might act like if they fell into their own super-powers. Say what you will about Johns and what he's done with the DC universe lately, but he understands characters and is able to elevate and humanize them all at once.

It doesn't hurt that Reis' art is gorgeous, following in the style of Rags Morales and Patrick Gleason. It's perfect for the blend of spandex and science fiction that a Green Lantern title should be; kinetic and detailed without being busy or distracting. And I don't usually mention it, but the inking by Oclair Albert and coloring by Moose Baumann is top-notch, enhancing the whole thing.

But seriously, what's Hal gonna do next - box Australians with a giant kangaroo? Wait a minute ... I think he already might've ...

Green Lantern #15: Geoff Johns, writer; Ivan Reis, artist; Oclair Albert, inker; Moose Baumann, colorist


After 11 months of summer, the heat broke at last. You'll hear native Austinites get expansive about the heat and humidity with something like a deranged pride, drinking coffee while they slap around everywhere in their flip-flops.

But even they were were starting to sound desperate and everyone was wondering if it was ever going to get cold.

Apparently, you don't mess with Mother Nature because she's a fickle chick - it was 80 degrees the day before the temperature dropped like a prom dress to the 40s.

So what? So I finally got to wear this*:

Ear-flaps included! Oh yeah, I look like a goofball - but my melon is warmed by a blend of polyester and memories of Cloudcroft, and it finally feels like Fall around here. I guess I won't be starting a one-man riot and changing my name to Mookie after all.

Now if we could just get those yahoos to stop with the flip-flops already.