Yay! Zombies.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 | General | No Comments

I am completely smitten with The Walking Dead. I love the comic. I love the show. And now, I love this fabulous poster from artist Andrew Kolb.

Notes from my first Comic-Con, part 1

Friday, July 30th, 2010 | General, Life in Czeltistan | 2 Comments

So back in late-October or early-November, my friend Bridget and I decided we should go check out Comic-Con. Passes were still available and, we thought, quite affordable. By the time we actually got around to buying them, Preview Night was sold out, but we still managed to get four-day passes.

Next came the hard part: waiting for July.

By the time July came around, we had a booking for a cute little cottage and a vague idea of what to expect from the convention itself. Except that nothing could really prepare us for the Con. It was pretty mind-bending, right from the get-go.

For starters, the convention center was HUGE. (You’re looking at less than half of it in the photo above.) It took us the better part of three days to see everything on the exhibit hall floor. Seemed like every exhibitor had something interesting we had to stop and check out. Our mantra for day one was “we don’t need to impulse buy everything.” (MUCH harder than it sounds.)

We started at the far end of the convention center in a section called “Artists Alley.” It was one of my favorite parts of the show floor. It’s just a bunch of tables. Nothing fancy. But at each table is an artist — some more well-known than others. They’re selling their wares, of course, like just about every other vendor at the show, but at their booths you can watch them actually create their art, commission a quick on-the-spot piece, or get them to sign existing pieces they have with them. Name a style of art, it was there.

A few days before we left for San Diego, I’d seen a retweet by someone on Twitter and followed a link. It led me to an artist named Katie Cook. She had a booth at SDCC, so she was on my little map of vendors I wanted to see (and was the reason we started at the Artists Alley section). Not only did I get the piece I wanted from her, I got a little drawing she did and got two commissions from her (one of Cliff and Norm). Bridget got a few pieces, too. Visiting Katie’s booth was an excellent start to the event. (Later in the weekend, we visited another booth in Artists Alley and bought fab posters of Boilerplate the robot, signed by artist Dan Guinan. It’s the World’s Fair image at the top of this page.)

After that, we wandered into the rest of the exhibit hall floor. The displays were massive and eye-catching. People in costumes were everywhere. There were lights and movie props and giant robots and things going “pew pew pew.” We wanted to buy nearly every cool new thing we saw (and there was a LOT of that). In short, it was to nerds what a bowl full of Pixie Stix and a giant ball pit is to a group of pre-schoolers. I’m surprised our heads didn’t explode.

Around noon, it was time to explore the surrounding area in search of lunch. I’d heard the SyFy Channel turned the nearby Hard Rock Cafe into Cafe Diem from Eureka. I had to check it out. The food was pretty much standard Hard Rock fare, but I enjoyed nerding out on the decor. I may have “liberated” a Cafe Diem pen at the end of our meal. (Oh, dear. Was I supposed to leave that on the table? My bad.)

After that, it was back to the convention center to pick up where we left off. After a bit, we decided to check out a couple panels up in Ballroom 20. We’d heard warnings about the lines, especially for Ballroom 20 and Hall H. Now it was time to experience them first-hand. We thought our first line was huge. It went all the way down the hall and started up again outside! Turns out the hall is massive and the line moved pretty quickly. (It also turns out this was a “short” line for the room.) We got into the room in time to see both of the panels we wanted to see. Hooray! (For those of you playing at home, the panels were for USA Network shows White Collar and Psych.) It was also our introduction to panels with giveaways. Oh, man, do those spoil you for panels that don’t give things away. It’s amazing the lure a couple of t-shirts and a foam pineapple “finger” can have.

After the panels, we made an attempt to check out more of the exhibit halls, but quickly realized we were pretty exhausted from the day. I was also anxious to call home and see how my basement was surviving the massive storms at home, especially in light of the fact there was now a massive new sinkhole farther down my street. (Answer: some water in the basement, but not that bad. Considering how hard many of my neighbors were hit, I was very, very lucky.) We picked up our panel giveaways and set off back into the Gaslamp Quarter in search of a cocktail and some food.

After food, it was time for an exciting game of “get ready for disappointment.” Bridget is a huge Dr. Who and Being Human fan and there was a screening of both in one of the conference rooms. We went back to the convention center and got in line (Line-Con!). We got within six people of the door to the room when they announced the room was full and no one else was getting in. Bummer!

We could have waited around to see if anyone left the room (unlikely) but it was time to call it a night. Eleven hours of crowds was enough for one day. We made a quick run to Ralph’s for groceries (yay for lodging with a kitchen) and went home to crash.

So, yeah. There’s more, but I tire of typing at the moment and this is long enough, so it’ll have to wait. To keep you occupied in the meantime, head over to Flickr and sift through my photos from the weekend. I’ll try to write up the rest over the weekend.


Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 | General | No Comments

Hey! Didn’t even blow things up this time. (You’re welcome, m@.)

Now I just have to actually add some new content one of these days. (Be patient.)

Not abandoned

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 | General | 1 Comment

I haven’t forgotten about this place. Just kind of busy elsewhere. Be back soon.

Haven’t forgotten you

Sunday, July 19th, 2009 | General | 1 Comment

I actually have things to post. But it’s busy season at work, so they’re going to have to wait for another week. Might have a quick something on Wednesday, but it’s unlikely I’ll have much else this week. Have I mentioned lately how fab you all are for your patience? No? Well, you’re all lovely.

A look inside

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 | General | 1 Comment

I posted my x-rays. Four shots for your edification, starting here.

And yes, I felt it snap. Felt like a dislocation, but no luck. Then again, this will heal faster and doesn’t really hurt much.

This is fab

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 | General | No Comments


Two of my favorite things.

Thanks, vidiot

Warning: You’re about to feel all warm & fuzzy inside

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 | General | No Comments

Hard Times, a Helping Hand

IN the weeks just before Christmas of 1933 — 75 years ago — a mysterious offer appeared in The Repository, the daily newspaper here. It was addressed to all who were suffering in that other winter of discontent known as the Great Depression. The bleakest of holiday seasons was upon them, and the offer promised modest relief to those willing to write in and speak of their struggles. In return, the donor, a “Mr. B. Virdot,” pledged to provide a check to the neediest to tide them over the holidays.

Not surprisingly, hundreds of letters for Mr. B. Virdot poured into general delivery in Canton — even though there was no person of that name in the city of 105,000. A week later, checks, most for as little as $5, started to arrive at homes around Canton. They were signed by “B. Virdot.”

(Thanks to raypride for the tip.)

Snowpocalypse Now

Friday, December 19th, 2008 | General | 3 Comments

Awake many hours earlier than I should be (7am is too early for me to wake up even on work days, much less on days off), but my neighbor’s spinning tires woke me up, so I figured I’d get up to see how bad SNOWPOCALYPSE ‘08 is, and I’ve been sucked in by watching the news reports.

We’re at 9″ already and it’s still coming down pretty good. Rumor has it the snow will stop in the next 3-4 hours, though. At the moment, though, it looks like we’re in a snowglobe that’s just gotten a good shaking by someone with anger issues.

I looked out the window a few minutes ago. Car’s buried up to its bumper, thanks to drifting in the parking lot. So that’ll be fun for later. But for now, I’m crawling back under the covers with the cat to wait it all out and rest up for some snowshoeing later. (Yay!)

Happy Repeal Day!

Friday, December 5th, 2008 | General | 1 Comment

Ha! In your face, prohibitionists.

Cocktails all around!

I’ll be celebrating by visiting the brand-spankin’ new Great Lakes Distillery facility down in Walker’s Point and then heading out to the Irish Fest Christmas party.

RIP, Toot

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 | General | 1 Comment

Joe Klein has a very well-written post on the death of Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham.

That gum you like will come back in style

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 | General | 2 Comments

Photos of Twin Peaks, then and now.

We tried to do this when we were out there in ‘91. We found most of the main locations and a couple secondary ones. And I can attest that the Mar-T’s (Double-R’s) pie was some damn fine pie. Coffee was pretty good, too, if I remember correctly.

(Via The Morning News)

Notes from a trip to the mall

Saturday, September 6th, 2008 | General | No Comments

1) The acronym “BOGO” needs updating. It hasn’t been around all that long, but where it used to mean “Buy One, Get One,” it now mostly means “Buy One, Get One Half-Off.” Errm…excuse me, store marketing folks, but shouldn’t that be “BOGOHO?” Just make sure you don’t write that as “BOGO, Ho.” That means something else entirely.

2) Heard two cover songs while shopping: a kind of metal-ish version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” (which Miz Christyl points out can’t actually be any worse than the original) and a Sade-meets-feminist-folk-singer version of Bryan Ferry’s “More Than This.” I’m all for people doing whatever they wish with Michael Jackson stuff, but thou shalt not mess with that Ferry song. Made me immediately want to go home and watch the karaoke scene from Lost in Translation. At least Bill Murray’s cover is entertaining.

3) There was a Russian woman in the store with me. She had a totally unruly small child with her. She repeatedly disciplined him in English, to no effect. When she’d had enough of his shenanigan, she wheeled around, grabbed him by the arm and said something to him in Russian. Judging by the look on his face and immediate angelic behavior, I suspect that if I’d been paying better attention, I’d have learned the Russian for “if you don’t knock that off right this second, they’ll never find all the pieces of your corpse.” Damn. I always miss the good stuff.

Overheard on TV

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 | General | 7 Comments

Dear True North,

I know that’s what it is, but perhaps describing your product in your commercials as “an extraordinary nut snack” might not have been the wisest thing ever, especially if you’re not going to say that until the end of the spot. I had to wait until the third showing to see what the product was and figure out that I was mis-hearing what was being said. It’s possible I’ve got more of a potty brain than others, but I if it were up to me, I would have worded that differently.

Just sayin’.

Overheard at Beans & Barley

Friday, May 16th, 2008 | General | No Comments

“It’s an awkward kind of funeral to be at.”

Oh, the possibilities…


Monday, March 31st, 2008 | General | Comments Off

I hope these people are wildly successful with their renaming efforts.

Day One of Unemployment

Monday, March 31st, 2008 | General | 10 Comments

Being spent in jammies, eating snacky foods, watching BSG reruns and doing my taxes.

The kicking continues!

Friday, March 28th, 2008 | General | 15 Comments

You know what’s a really great way to end a week that started with the cat dying?

Getting laid off!

Yay!!! What fun!

In theory, it’s “temporary,” it happened to several other people I work with and I got a severance package. But still. Shock. Anger.

If y’all excuse me, I’m gonna go hide in a cave somewhere for awhile.

Thanks, everyone

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 | General | 1 Comment

Your support has meant a lot. Really. I’m lucky to have such great friends.

We both miss Cliffy a lot, but Norm and I are doing as well as we can. I’m spoiling her horribly and she’s “putting up” with every minute of it. Between Kopp’s custard I’m eating and the treats I’m giving Norm, we’re both gonna need a diet in no time.

This week sucked. A lot.

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 | General | 17 Comments

Thought it’d be enough that I had a crappy week at work. (Don’t ask. Suffice it to say it was a really bad week.) Guess not.

Had to say goodbye to Rishi this morning. Her kidneys have been failing for some time now and it had gotten to the point where she didn’t want to eat any more. It was either keep sticking her with needles to give her fluids and possibly have to force-feed her so I could limp her along for awhile longer, let her slowly starve herself to death, or call the vet and let her go now. It was the most miserable decision I’ve ever had to make, but I couldn’t have her suffering any more.

So goodbye, little Pumpkin Butt. Thanks for being such an awesome cat. I miss you terribly.

July 1990 – March 2008