Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Month in Review

I'm kinda at wits end about data storage options. This is the second back up drive that crashed and wiped out all the stuff I've saved this year. Short of burning everything in ever-increasingly dis-organized volumes to CD I have no idea what I'm going to do. My backup drive failed, then another and now a flash drive I bought so I could carry stuff between two computers also crashed out. I just bought it. I'm sort of angry about it and some rare stuff is lost forever. I could duplicate some of the art I made but that would be a chore the second time around and not in the least bit enjoyable. I'm most upset over losing very detailed drafts of the apocalyptic tale Sacrilege Lands and Realms Apart, a short story of elder gods infesting San Diego. When the hard drive crashed I was glad I had the documents saved on the flash. Then that one quit working within a week. Rating: ☆

At the start of the month I was at work when a good citizen came into the store and let me know that some kids idling their car next to the outside produce stands were loading up watermelons into the vehicle. I looked out the window and saw that was indeed the case. I also noticed there was no license plate on the front of the car. I went outside to send them off. While walking towards the car I noticed they had no license plate on the back of the car, either. Apparently they had removed them prior to coming onto the property to steal stuff. Often when a shoplifter gets out of the store we just get the license plate of the car, make a police report and send off the video to the detective assigned to the case. The owner of the car will eventually get pulled over and there will be a warrant out for them. A lot of the time they are career criminals and we get a call asking if we want to press charges. We always do.

I was walking toward the kids when they jumped into the car and started shouting, yelling that I was out of luck in trying to identify them to the police. They all found great amusement in this fact and called me names like 'bee-yotch' and impugned my gender preferences. The car started to accelerate away so I took a couple of steps towards it and kicked the passenger side door really hard. The car screeched to a halt and I kicked the door again, this time denting it severely. The driver went absolutely bonkers and started screaming through the open passenger window about what I did to the car. I thought that took some nerve. I told him to have his Daddy call me about the dent and I'll fill him in about how it happened. Then I said, being awesomely cool: "How do you like those melons?" He screamed some curse words and drove off. I decided to call it even. Rating:

Saw Terminator Salvation this week and while I didn't outright hate it I agree that it would have been much better had it gone with one of the alternate screenplays where Christian Bale did not play John Connor. I also think the decision to cancel Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles over the execrable Dollhouse was directly linked to the expected box office prospects of the film. I speculate that it was common knowledge that there would be little future and revenue for the film past the opening weekend. Since the television show ratings would not be getting a boost from Salvation, the decision was made to cancel Chronicles rather than renew it and be on the hook for all the production money. I have little doubt if there was positive buzz in the studios that Salvation would be a huge smash then Chronicles would have been renewed for at least one more season. Rating:

Bully sent two books which I enjoyed immensely.

Even the most uninitiated who know of the Superman character are aware that he has been around in print for longer than they have been alive. Many people think he was the first superhero. Well, they are wrong. Supermen, The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 is a fine companion piece to the Fletcher Hanks collection from 2007. The book showcases a number of characters that were around long before Superman jumped over his first skyscraper. All the comic book heroes were continuations of if not descendants of the Pulp Heroes of previous decades. Comic books, back then, where the replacement for the failing market and the more mature content of pulp magazines were being attacked by politicians and parents. Easy to read sequential pictures replaced text and a whole new and younger market was exploited. The book is a fine collection of early comic books and is a must-have for those interested in pulp heroes and the infant comic book industry.

Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers was the other book I received. This collection of Sparky Watts and Babe tales put together by Craig Yoe is just what the title claims: Bizarre. Rogers combined surrealism, zany excess, 'Lil Abner and super heroics to create his stories. What's missing from the volume though is the apocalyptic tale of Sparky Watts that started all the renewed interest in Rogers when it appeared on blogs a year or so ago. The volume is well-represented otherwise, particularly with the Babe stories, but the end of the world arc is really too good not to have been included. You can get Supermen, The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 and Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers at Fanatagraphics. Rating:

Halfway through two weeks vacation. Did I need it. The last time I was on 'vacation' was a few years ago when I was looking for work. That wasn't a very restful time. This time around I'm taking it easy and getting stuff I enjoy done. Reading, watching movies, getting caught up on things. Rating:

I've been spending a lot of time wandering around used book stores and thrift shops looking for old books. Found a few nice ones that I scanned and posted some of the images over the last few days. Southern California really isn't the best resource for what I'm looking for. Most of the houses and families have not been around that long compared to other parts of the country. On the other coast boxes of books, records and other cool ephemera will be in some attic for 60 years or more and will eventually make it to a garage sale.

In Southern California the pickings are far more slim and neat stuff will often get thrown out rather than dragged from home to home until it sells at a yard sale. The other aspect of this area is that quite often people are aware of what their old stuff is worth and won't part with it unless they get top dollar. Not that I'm looking to make a steal or rip someone off, I don't care about that. The problem with people wanting 50 bucks for an old book is that there really isn't much market for it. It isn't even that there is a speculation boom. Typically some owner looks up a book on the internet and see it's worth $100 someplace and they want that much for it, regardless of the condition or whether they can actually sell it or not. Travel north a bit and there are plenty of garage sales you can find cool stuff at without taking out a loan. I just look for neat stuff to purchase at a reasonable price. I've got some family camping up north this month and they usually find good stuff to bring back. Rating:

My son got a notice to serve on a jury a few weeks back and went in today. He didn't get picked so he won't be called for a year at least. Personally, I despise jury duty. I'm not in a job where I get paid if I am not working. Serving on a jury means no paycheck which means not paying the bills which means I lose my car and then have no job. I went through that in Maryland and I'm not ever being in a position where that happens again. Juries also scare me. The prospect of being tried by a 'jury of my peers' keeps me on the straight and narrow. I'm terrified that I will get arrested in some Kafkaesque nightmare of a situation and going to trial. Not being wealthy I'm totally screwed if that happens. My peers are probably rampaging dumbasses. I imagine I'll get the chair because my jury will consist of twelve wingnuts who would consult the bible for their jury instructions and pray for guidance in the best way to make me pay for my sins so my eternal soul can be saved. Rating: Zero stars.

Please ignore the hot pink and black rubber (that melts in the heat of a closed car and gets sticky blobs all over) 2 Fast 2 Furious steering wheel cover that came free with the car and check out those tire tracks on the road ahead. The off-ramp I'm driving down is leaving the 805 above Mission Valley towards Interstate 8. On the other side of that mound of iceplant the tracks lead through is a drop of about 100 feet. That must have sucked to go flying off the edge. Hope everything was okay. Rating: (For schadenfreude).

1 comment:

  1. I have two external hard drives and a bunch of flash drives, but I still worry about what to do with all of my stuff. DVDs are not a good option either. Even Johnny Mnemonic could only carry eighty gigs of data. (He needed the rest of his cranial data space to contain his awesome acting abilities, I suppose.) There has to be a solution!


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