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January 29, 2004

Someone Thought This Was a Good Idea

Quick, who's this?

Time's up! It's Space Ghost, buffed for the 21st century by DC Comics! From the preview article at Newsarama:

Initially, Kelly explained, DC was reluctant to explore the possibilities of Space Ghost as an action character in comics, but to his continued surprise, winds shifted. I cant believe they actually went for it, Kelly said. Its really a hardcore, pulp-feel story, with him being betrayed by the police force and taking his revenge. Its really dark, and its going to be a blueprint for them to revamp the character and keep it going.

Blink.

So the character from the cheery happy '60s adventure cartoon and the bizarre comedy/talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast is now getting the nostalgic revamp treatment so popular in comics today.

Hard to believe that the readership of comic books is simultaneously aging and shrinking, isn't it? I'm not saying that Space Ghost is a sacrosanct character by any means. I don't care about the character. But what's next? Charlie Brown packing heat? I've already seen a modern comic book based on the '80s toys The Transformers featuring a person being stomped flat -- yes, killed with a faint red mist in the air -- by a giant robot.

Statistically speaking, was anyone in America clamoring for a Schwarzeneggerean Space Ghost?

Oh, wait, maybe it was this guy.

January 28, 2004

Call Me Shallow...

The Hutton Inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly has just been delivered. It pretty much exonerates Tony Blair of "sexing up" the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and also meant the resignation of the BBC chairman.

On a whim, I checked out the Hutton Inquiry, and was stopped dead in the first paragraph of the first passage:

Lord Falconer further requested me to deliver my report to him.

"Lord Falconer."

You know, sometimes I envy the British. I've been wracking my brain to find a similarly cool, Dark Jedi or supervillain-like name in government. They have Lord Falconer. We have Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's just not fair.

Slip Slidin' Away

The main roads are apparently clear enough that, once my subdivision's looking better, I'll be able to go into work. That's good -- I need to get back into the routine and stop losing vacation days. On the other hand, cabin fever will continue to reign for Shannon and Will. I feel guilty about leaving her without backup today, but I gotta pay the bills.

January 27, 2004

What He Said

Shoot me. But shoot that other m-----f----- first.

-- Mark Tebault, a university technology help desk guru and philosopher king, on the author of the latest Windows virus

Low Carb = Healthy, Right?

Dork Tower's John Kovalic, also a talented political cartoonist and game illustrator, pokes fun at the marketing excesses around low carb foods. Read this and the next two comics, and especially note the Lord of the Rings riff in the third one.

(I have been cutting down on my sugars and carbs a bit -- but anyone who automatically assumes that a 1/3-pound cheeseburger is health food....)

The holiday season is in full swing and diets everywhere are being tossed aside in favor of eggnog and cookies. Want to get back on track without feeling denied of the yummy indulgences of the season? Now you can. Introducing The Low Carb Thickburger from Hardee's the newest version of the Angus beef Thickburger.

Worst Political Commercial Ever?

Patrick Ballantine's running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. His new campaign commercial features an unearthly gown-clad child superimposed over North Carolina landscapes whispering, "Believe." Astonishingly creepy.

Time Sink (Free)

The other thing that's kept me from writing or otherwise being productive is the online Settlers of Catan game, a Java rendition of the Best Board Game Ever. Since Will's birth, our time for board games and other socializing with friends has been at a premium, and I've really missed this game. Now I'm on a competitive ladder, ranking myself against players from around the world. And I'm pretty rank at the game, I must say.

Time Sink (Fee-based)

So against my better judgment, I'm giving the massively multiplayer online role playing game (that description's actually a genre name, frighteningly enough) Star Wars Galaxies a try. In addition to the cost of the softare package, you pay a monthly fee to access the game's servers. Without the fee, the software is as useful as TurboTax 1999 is for January 2004. You create a character, choose a profession -- think The Sims with zap guns, but without the bizarre subculture that comes up when you create a game without a plot.

The game's a graphical wonderland. Weather effects are particularly impressive -- sandstorms on Tatooine, blinding rain on other planets, and so on. The gameplay is sound if not spectacular, as you spend your time fighting either other players or computer-controlled Rebels or Imperials depending on which side you joined; or creating weapons, droids, houses and bioengineered creatures for other players whilst raking in the (virtual) cash. Of course, a new player's expectations should be lowered -- you'll be fighting small bugs and lizarrds and building tiny fireworks until you gain enough experience.

That experience-building grind, plus the sense that if I'm paying for it, I should get my money's worth builds up an inertia in Sony Online Entertainment's favor as far as keeping subscribers. If our finances hold up, I'll probably stick with the game as long as my circle of friends does.

House Arrest

Obviously, it could have been a lot worse. But Shannon, Will and I haven't left the house in three days thanks to the latest round of ice and snow. Make that four days for Shannon -- I was at least able to go to an aikido seminar Saturday -- and five days for Will, who stayed home from day care on Friday thanks to his 793rd ear infection.

I didn't think it was possible for a two year-old to go stir crazy, but it happened. I haven't seen so many wild emotional swings since high school drama club. We're going to try to bundle him up and show him this skating rink of a neighborhood -- safely, I hope -- and hopefully entertain him.

And ourselves. We're kind of stir crazy ourselves, and I keep watching my saved vacation days bursting into flames....

January 25, 2004

Bend It Like Beckham

So I'm only about a year late in seeing Bend It Like Beckham. It's miles ahead of that other recent, hyped independent film about the clash of cultures. The characters have more depth, and the problem isn't blandly "cuted" away. An outstanding movie.

A Hiatus in my Hiatus

I would like to apologize to my loyal readers -- both of you -- for allowing life to get in the way of blogging. I have shirked my responsibilities to you, and feel horrible crashing waves of guilt for it.