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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
8:50 am - 110 - I swear I'm not crazy, but...
Adventure only happens if you're willing to be a little crazy, right?

Some 25 years ago, Sol and Brown left me on the airfield and told me to "wait". That was the last I saw of them, and I haven't been able to Lucid Dream ever since. Every year, the training I think I received seems more and more like something I'm not remembering correctly or maybe never even happened at all, to the point where I have to assume that it was all just the product of an overactive imagination.

Last night I tried to contact them again on a whim, tried to remember how we did it, but i don't think it worked.

But this morning, at the top of my Reddit feed, is an AMA with a man named "Stephan Z", an expert in the field of Lucid Dreaming. Coincidences rarely happen in nature.

"Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid" may have answers in it... Sol had always said that "Pushing Potion" and "Popping Tonic" were a good baseline concept to keep you grounded in reality and give you focus.

So frustrated in the fact that I can't remember if this was all real or not, but even if it WAS real then it means that none of it was "real". It's hurting my head to think too much about it.

Yeah, reading over this and it looks/sounds crazy. Red Pill or Blue Pill, Pushing Potion or Popping Tonic, Follow the white rabbit... delete or post?

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Monday, August 22nd, 2016
10:33 am - 109 - Putting the Social back into Social Media
I recently friended spikesgirl58 here on LiverJournal, and she does something just *astounding* on a fairly regular basis that I'll refer to as a "Just Wondering" post. More about that in a minute...

Social Media seems to be less and less "Social" with every passing year - When I repost a funny quote I saw on the internet and you "like" it, that's not a social interaction. That's both of us acknowledging a thing. Even if you take the time to write a response of "LOL" or even a simple emoji, that's not a social interaction.

You coming here to read this thing I wrote where i complain about Social Media, THAT'S not Social Interaction either - that's about as social as reading a book - even if you take the time to point out all my spelling and grammatical errors.

For the most part, THE BEST interactions you can really hope for on Social Media would be a series of short statements where you take turns telling each other that you're wrong and attempt to correct each other and fail. Observers choose sides and jump into the "conversation" attempting to vilify the other side till people give up. There is no compromise, there is no debate, just a series of attacks till somebody stops typing.

But with spikesgirl58 and her Just Wondering posts, she's inviting a social interaction that is truly uplifting and fun, where you actually learn something about people AND lets you be a star!

THREE QUESTIONS. Not loaded question, not trivia, not invitations to conflict. Just questions about your life that may inspire you to respond with your own anecdotes, which she then (usually) follows up with more questions because she seems to be legitimately interested in what you've done :)

Everyone likes to be important and listened to, and this type of post does just that :)

I gotta tell ya, it was SO MUCH BETTER to wake up to a "That's fascinating, please tell me more" message than to a "You're wrong and here's why you're wrong" message :)

So yeah, a bit later today, I'm going to start making a "Just Wondering" post and see where it goes :)

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Friday, August 19th, 2016
10:27 am - 108 - North End Board Game Swap Sunday August 28th


Hey, did I tell all you Livejournal peeps that we're having a big old Board Game Swap in Bothell/Woodinville next weekend? Bring your old games that you're done with or that just don't make it to the table as much any more, swap them for the forgotten games of others! Or try to sell them! Or auction them off! However you want to try and make it work! There will also be plenty of space to play games as well, because who could ever get new games and NOT need to play them immediately???

We have 30 people so far who have signed up for the event over on Facebook, and about a dozen more who have said they are coming through other non-Facebook sources. People coming from as far as Olympia and Bellingham!

The whole thing starts at noon and goes till 8pm, on the top floor of The Holly Hills Clubhouse in Bothell (conveniently located just off of I405 at 19200 Hollyhills Drive NE, Bothell WA 98011). It's a beautiful late-60's clubhouse with a giant ballroom that will be PERFECT for this event!

My daughter, Molly, will be selling beverages and a variety of baked goods during the event to help raise money for Animal Rescue, so there's that to keep you from starving to death ;)

WAYS TO MAKE YOUR TRADES HAPPEN:

MATH TRADE: We've set up an Abecorn Math Trade, which i don't understand at all but apparently this website will match you up with multiple-step trades in order to get the games you want - it takes care of the "I have Game A and I want Game B, but the person who has Game B only wants Game C, so I have to trade to get game D so I can then trade game D for Game C and then trade Game C for Game B" situations. Crazy, but we've got 31 people who have started listing their games in there so far!

OLD FASHIONED SWAPPIN': Of course there's always MY preferred way of doing things - just bring a stack of games, plop 'em down on a table and see if anybody wants to trade. I strongly suggest that you look up your games on Board Game Geek before doing this so you have some idea of what your game is worth before going into this, as some people will probably be offering just straight up CASH if a trade can not be made.

OLD FASHIONED SELLIN': Or maybe you don't want new games and instead just want cash? That's fine, too! Again, look up the prices of your games at Board Game Geek beforehand and know that at these swaps the prices are traditionally a bit lower than what is listed there. Be ready to haggle if this is how you plan on doing things!

SILENT AUCTION: There is a small stage in the Ballroom, on which people will be allowed to run up to 3 auctions each at a time, for up to 3 hours per auction. There will be forms for you to fill out, which will include: Seller Name/Contact, Game Title(s), Starting Time, Ending Time, Starting Bid and Buy It Now (which is optional). So for example, let's say i have a bunch of little games that I don't think anybody is really *looking for*, but I'd like to get rid of because they are just taking up space. On my form I will put "SELLER: Captain Slinky (Brian Pierce). GAME TITLE: Lot of Five Small Games. START TIME: 12:27 END TIME: 2:00 STARTING BID: $5.00 BUY IT NOW: $10" The sheet then stays there with the item so people can examine it and write down their own bid for it, "Witzard 27 - $6.00". Each new bid must be higher than the last. In order to bid you must fill out an Auction Bidder Information Card, which will have your name and your contact info (so you don't have to write your phone number on every bid). Bidder information will be kept by The Auctioneer, who will call out when auctions end and make sure things run smoothly :)

...And that's pretty much it! Any questions?

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Monday, August 15th, 2016
4:09 pm - 107 - EXTREME Money Saving Tips For Disneyland You Never Knew!
Crystal and I were just sitting here laughing at an article titled "25 Ways To Save Money At Disneyland You Didn't Know About", and we went down the list of what we knew would be on there before we even read it - Free water, stay at an off-site hotel, take the bus instead of paying for parking, buy souvenirs outside the park, blah blah blah... not a single NEW way of saving money.

So here are a few EXTREME money saving ideas for your next trip to Disneyland - feel free to add any we forgot to mention in the comments below!

  • It's good to know that even with all the security measures for getting into the park, they're only really looking for weapons and illicit substances. Thanks to the recent obesity epidemic, you can buy a pair of pants large enough to smuggle up to four children into the park with you and no one will even bat an eye!
  • Lots of picky eaters means that there's plenty of half-eaten pizza, burgers and other tasty treats everywhere you look! Just bus a few tables for a makeshift smorgasbord buffet!
  • Tired of spending a fortune on hats, pins and other souvenirs in the park? Well why not try some of the "Free" souvenirs that can be found everywhere! All you have to remember is that EVERYTHING is FREE as long as nobody sees you take it!
  • Save money on hotel accommodations by knowing where to stay! There's a perfectly fine room located just above the Firehouse on Main Street that hardly anyone ever uses, and you can stay there for FREE as long as you don't get caught!
  • Many people don't realize that the restrooms of Disneyland are FULL of free liquid soap, urinal cakes, paper towels and toilet paper. Stuff as much as you can into your backpack to help offset the cost of your admission!
  • If you find yourself in need of a quick snack, look no further than the piles of abandoned strollers outside any ride for stray Cheerios, baby carrots and even sippy cups full of real fruit juice!
  • A quick trip through any Disney themed Etsy Shop will show you that anything - ANYTHING - can and will be a hat. Rummaging through pretty much any trash bin in the park can produce a multitude of cups, popcorn buckets and other Disney-Logo items that can be balanced on your head to create the perfect artistic expression!
  • All the plants in Tomorrowland are edible, so it's easy to make your own unique salad for free and create a "Signature Salad Dressing" with a mixture of free condiments from any eatery! Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard and Relish in the right combination is a spot-on Thousand Island dressing!

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Sunday, August 14th, 2016
8:36 am - 106: Bajillion Dollar Idea, "ADLT"
Free idea for whoever wants to make this a "thing", it's the next gazillion-dollar multi-platform social app for your smartphone, and i call it "ADLT".

ADLT makes it easier to be an Adult by giving you POINTS for what is popularly referred to as "Adulting". You rack up points and get an ADLT Rating which you can then share with others and use as your justification for whatever ludicrous thing you're doing!

"Hey man, aren't you a little old to be standing in line at Midnight for the release of a new video game?" Nah, check my ADLT rating - I've been making my bed every morning, I haven't had Fast Food in a week, I watched the news on television twice AND I did a load of laundry where I separated my colors and my whites! I can afford this!"

Use to impress potential employers! They don't need to know that your outstanding ADLT rating comes from the fact that you put gas in your car even though you still had half a tank, ordered an entire pizza for yourself but only ate two pieces, REFRIGERATED the leftover pizza instead of just leaving it on the couch, and stopped watching Netflix after just one episode of whatever show you're currently into. Sure you reek of Doritos-N-Weed and you wore a "Who Farted" T-Shirt to the interview, but your ADLT Score is ASTOUNDING!

Use it for dating! "I'm looking for a good time, somebody with an ADLT Score of, like, 25 at the most" or "I'm looking to settle down with a nice ADLTer in the mid-to-high 90's..."

Of course, it's up to other people to balance out your score. You choose at least TWO friends during set-up that are your "Mods". The job of a Mod is to keep you honest - they have veto power over anything you claim points for ("Oh you DID NOT sit down and plan your retirement fund, you just went shopping for Beanie babies again!"), AND they report your Negative Points as well.

    POTENTIAL ACTIVITIES THAT COULD GET YOU NEGATIVE POINTS:
  • Ordering "That Blue Drink" at the bar.
  • Eating an entire package of something that is obviously far more than one serving (sleeve of Oreo, Family Size bag of Ruffles, Entire Dominos Pizza, etc)
  • "Binge Watching" (negativity compounds with each episode - 2 episodes = 2 Points, 3 Episodes = 4 Points, 4 episodes = 8 points, 5 episodes = 16 Points, so on).
  • Staying awake past 10pm (9pm on Weekdays)... Yes, this rule is unfair for those who work nights. Choose your Mods wisely! These points can be offset by Work Credits!
  • Blogging
  • Tweeting
  • Hitting "Like" on Facebook more than ten times in an hour
  • Spending more than an hour on The Internet
  • Video Games
  • Sporting Events
  • ...Basically ANYTHING that makes life worth living

So what you're trying to do with this app is to find a balance and keep yourself from falling into a downward spiral of depression regarding your life and your choices.

BEFORE the ADLT App, you would sit unshowered, in your underwear, on your couch next to that last slice of pizza and the empty two-liter bottle of Pepsi, watching the credits for the final episode of Boston Legal and waiting for Netflix to suggest your next binge, and you would cry "Oh my God what have i DONE with my life?"

NOW, thanks to ADLT, you'll be able to open the app and see that you're score is at 87%, which is WAY too uptight! You DESERVE this weekend! Yes, netflix, i WILL start watching Burn Notice next! Let me just go get that can of Pringles and some Ice Cream first! Thanks, ADLT!"

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Saturday, August 13th, 2016
10:43 am - 105 - Best Laid Plans are the WORST.
Remember how yesterday I was gonna just hop in the car and go find a dark place to share the Perseid Meteor Shower with my family? I was all Kerouac about it and was gonna let the wind take me wherever it was a-blowin' and that's where I would end up?

Yeah, that didn't happen. A series of poorly made last-minute decisions put a kibosh on that.

We *did*, however, get to drive around from Midnight till 1am in a random patern, so that was pretty cool :)

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Friday, August 12th, 2016
8:38 am - 104 - Weekend Plans
Our weekend starts at 1:09 this afternoon, and we have one goal with about two dozen potential paths to achievement. So in other words, we have plans, but we don't know what they are yet.

The plan is to get someplace SUPER DARK by Midnight tonight so we can see the Perseid Meteor Shower.

We will either go North, or we will go South, or maybe East. Or we might stay here.

We might jump on a late-night Ferry through the San Juan Islands. We might start driving towards Rockport. Maybe we'll make an entire weekend of it, drive down to Oregon or over to Idaho.

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Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
9:28 am - 103 - First 7 Jobs
There's a Meme going around my Facebook neighborhood right now where you post a list of your first 7 jobs, and I'm having trouble with it...

As I thought back, I realized that I was the kid of child that they write Young Adult Fiction about, constantly coming up with and following through on various money making schemes.

My goals were the same as any 80's kid, I'm sure - make enough money to afford Ricky Stratton's Mansion, an Orangutan and a Robot.


I had intricate lists of how much work I would have to do in order to achieve each goal, which my parents gladly helped me prioritize. "You better get that mansion first, because I ain't living with no robot", "Have you considered that if you own an Orangutan, you also have to buy Orangutan food for it?"... It was decided that I would first get the Orangutan, who could then help me by selling stuff at a second location, which would then pay for the robot who could take care of feeding the Orangutan while I concentrated on getting my Silver Spoons Mansion full of arcade games and miniature trains.

So my first seven jobs, starting at I wanna say *four years old*, goes like this:

  • 1. BOOK STORE: I took many of my children's books and comic books, since I couldn't read yet, and tried selling them for a dime each to the neighborhood kids as they came walking home from school. I had a real nice set-up in the ditch right along our rural gravel road, and I had exactly *one customer* (the only other kid in the neighborhood at the time), who somehow talked me into just *giving* him the comic books.
  • 2. PROSPECTOR: Both of my parents were heavy smokers, so I had unlimited access to empty cigarette boxes. Each one had a shiny foil inner packaging that could be torn and crumpled up to look like REAL, HONEST-TO-GOSH Gold and Silver nuggets! Put those into the cellophane wrapper that had been around the box, it looked like a bag full of precious metals! I attempted to sell them for $500 each, sold on to the man next door for 50 cents.
  • 3. REPORTER: Since we had both a typewriter AND a Polaroid Instant Camera, I decided it was high time that somebody publish a hard-hitting investigative newspaper in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood, btw, consisted of 10 houses spread out along two miles of dirt road, 8 miles out of town). The newspaper had a great picture of me at the typewriter on the front page, a plea from The Editor (me) asking for my readers to let me know if there were any "scoops" out there for me to report on, several comic strips that I had cut out of the regular newspaper, and about one bottle worth of Elmer's School Glue that I didn't bother to let dry. No time to let glue dry, this was NEWS! My readers needed timely reporting! I placed the wet newsletter into an envelope and, as an added incentive for people to read my work, I included as many grapes as the envelope could hold. I put my one and only copy of the newspaper (and the Free Incentive) in my neighbor's mailbox and waited. Never got a subscription, so I had to shut down the paper after just one issue.
  • 4. FRUIT STAND OPERATOR: We had a giant Dansom Plum Tree in our yard (aka "Cherry Plumb", plumbs the size of cherries) that ALWAYS produced way more fruit than we could ever use. And so it was decided that every summer I would set up a card table, either in front of our house (where I could get up to three customers drive by each day) or at the little market on the other side of the highway from us, where I cold sell these plums. This was boring, tedious work and even though it made me the most money, I always spent it way too fast on comic books, Cokes and junk food at that little market.
  • 5. SEED SALESMAN: My friend's Dad was a Captain of Sanitation (aka "Garbage Man") who was continually pulling awesome stuff out of the garbage for friends and family. One of the things he was able to pull for us, knowing that *my* Dad had a fairly large garden, was a giant box of seed packets from the dumpster behind a Hardware Store. Oh sure they were all expired and probably dead, but that didn't stop me from setting up my little card table and trying to sell them at the little convenience store across the highway. It wasn't till one of my customers said "Say, son... you know that these seeds are expired?" and told me that what I was doing here was technically FRAUD... told me I could go to JAIL for this... it was then that I decided to close up shop and never speak of seeds again.
  • 6. DOOR-TO-DOOR SALESMAN: In the back of pretty much every Comic Book I bought back then, there was an add for "Olympic Sales"...

    I could earn valuable prizes OR cash (my choice!) for simply going door to door selling my neighbors Christmas Cards & Gifts (which practically sold themselves, according to the brochure). After my parents, grandparents and all 9 of our "neighbors" had been contacted, I had 3 sales - not enough to "cash in", so I gave up :(
  • 7. COMIC BOOK GUY: Now THIS ONE was the start of something BIG! There was yet another comic book advertisement for "American Entertainment" which offered to sell new and used comics at bargain prices - the more you bought, the cheaper it got. Using the good old "Buy Low/Sell High" technique in an age where the closest comic book store was some 60 miles away, I sold hard-to-find comics to my schoolmates AND at the local "Shipwreck Day" festival in town. I made so much money off of this that it solidified what I wanted to do with my life - I wanted to own a comic book store :)


After those seven, I got *one* real job - McDonald's - before opening my comic book store. But that was only because you couldn't get a business license at age 16 ;)

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Sunday, August 7th, 2016
3:10 pm - 102 - Retro Revolution Roundup
I started the day crippled with self doubt and nausea-grade levels of regret. The Retro Revolution Video Game & Retro Toy Show set-up had shaken me quite a bit, wondering why I had thought I could sell my lamps to a bunch of folks who would be looking for old Atari cartridges and Power Rangers toys.

About 1/4 of the dealer tables for the show were empty, which allowed for several dealers to spread out and take up more space but it still looked very thin in there from my perspective. I was glad I had brought a big box of "Rescue Toys", toys that I just couldn't being myself to turn into lamps till I had given them a chance at finding a home, because for a very long time it looked like the only chance I had of making back the cost of my table would be from the few bucks that came trickling in from those sales.

#retrorevolution


I was unprepared for the polite nods and outright dismissals of the "Early Bird" crowd at a Toy Show (people who had paid extra to get in the door early), but I should have realized that if you pay extra to get in to a toy show you probably have some pretty specific things you're looking for. Eventually, once I shook off those early morning blues, I started chatting up people and explaining my lamps and having a good time.

...And that's when the MAAAAAAGIC started ;)

One person and his lady-friend where VERY interested in one of my lamps, "They Grow Up So Fast", but wanted to haggle me down to $60. Since the showe hadn't even officially opened yet, I passed - I PASSED ON AN OFFER! Usually I am a *huge* pushover and ready to gladly take whatever sock they may toss at good old Dobby, but this time I said no! I said I had to hold out till at least when the show opened to regular customers, "Sixty Bucks is more of an 11am or Noontime price".

They came back at 10:45ish ready to leave for the day and I said well okay then, sixty bucks :)
FIRST SALE! "They Grow Up So Fast", $60


Emboldened by this sale, I was now ready to get loose :) I had officially made back the amount I paid for my table PLUS ten bucks now, so everything after this was pure gravy :)

Ever since the "Regular" (non-Earlybird) customers started filtering in at 10am, interest in my lamps had been steadily climbing. I had to keep telling people that it was okay to take pictures of my lamps, feel free to ask questions if you want to know how to make your own, and of course doing all my silly little jokes and voices :)

Soon, another lamp sold! WOO!
SALE! "Fa la lala lah laaah, Fa lala Yo Ho", $80

"Fa La Lah La-La Laah, La La-La Yo Ho!", a skeletal pirate ship full of skeleton warriors and Papa Smurf (he's a powerful wizard, why not try some Necromancy?) purchased as a gift for one of the Seafair Pirates who couldn't be there today. I love knowing where my lamps are going :)

Near the end of the day, one last sale to this young fellow who looks like he walked five hundred miles AND he would walk five hundred more:
SALE! "Jurassic Funk", $50

He had spent A LOT of time coming back to my table all day long, trying to decide which lamp he loved the most. In the end, he ended up taking home "Jurassic Funk" :)

And last but not least, I offered a trade to the lady at the table next to us. It was her first show ever (long time Ebay seller, first time in-person seller) and she did *pretty good* I think... I kept cracking her up with my lamp descriptions and various jokes, and we had just a grand old time so I *had* to make sure she went home with one of my lamps!
TRADED! "Infestation", for a Heroquest Board Game :)


I traded her "Infestation" (A lamp I may attempt to recreate sort of or at least recycle the general idea of) for an incomplete and fairly beat-up vintage copy of the HeroQuest Board Game, which is a CRACKING GOOD Game! The best part of this HeroQuest trade was that I got to keep on doing my impression of Bardic Broadcasts. HeroQuest is the greatest game ever made, and anyone who says otherwise, is WRONG. Here's why:


(Seriously, you gotta watch that video)

We made new friends like Sean, Shay and Erik... we got to see old friends like Greg, Anne, Cory, Daniel and Fred... it was a good time :)

NEXT UP: Get some lamps listed in my Etsy store, and getting ready for Oddmall in November!

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Thursday, August 4th, 2016
8:23 pm - 101 - Price Input Requested, Please!
Okay, so here are all the lamps I am taking to the Retro Revolution thing in Kent on Saturday, with their titles and their prices. Please let me know if you think a price is too high or too low, and also what you think the price SHOULD be. Pricing is my worst part of this whole thing, as I have no idea how many hours I put into each lamp I just kind of *make them* and then there they are :/


“The Gilded Likeness Of Signor Della Fetti”
$60


“WHERE IS YOUR KING OF POP NOW?”
$70


“Princesses”
$50


“Opti-Miss Prime”
$50


“Sold My Soul For Rock-N-Roll, Forgot To Keep The Receipt”
$50


“They Grow Up So Fast”
$75


“Little Sister”
$40


“The Next-To-Last Supper”
$75


“Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?”
$60


“My Patronus, Baby, Yeah!”
$65


“Jurassic Funk”
$50


“La lah la lala-lah, lah la-la Yo Ho!
$80


“Infestation”
$60

AWW CRAP! Just realized I have two more lamps that I plan on selling but I don't have pictured for! Anywho, this is the majority... what do you think?

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9:11 am - 100 - Retro Revolution Show (This Saturday)


I'll be trying to sell some of my lamps at the Retro Revolution Toy & Video Game Show in Kent this Saturday, and I'm once again very nervous that no one will buy any of my stupid lamps. I don't know *why* i feel that way, I've only ever taken my lamps to *one show* where they didn't sell, and that was this dinky 10-table Holiday Craft Bazaar in the back storage room of an abandoned Masonic temple down a hidden dirt road up in Mount Vernon where we had a grand total of 7 customers stumble across the event all day long (TRUE STORY).

But still, I am worried :(

Worried enough that I think I'll go ahead and bring some non-lamp stuff, just in case...

I have a big box started of "Rescue Toys" - stuff that was given to me for making lamps but I think might do better in the hands of a collector, so what I'll do is put those toys out with a sign that says "Make An Offer - If It Doesn't Sell, It'll Be A Golden Lamp Next Time You See It!"

So today I have just *one* "Problem Lamp" to finish up, then I'll be busy breaking down my entire operation so we can load up the Mini Van and transport down to Kent at some gawdawfull hour of the morning to set up our wares. Behind the cut, you'll find pictures of my current offerings as well as my "To Do" list (because To Do is the best thing to do while drinking coffee).

Click Here Only If You Want To Fall in LoveCollapse )
I'm sure that Crystal will remind me of a dozen more things for this list, but for now this is what I am focused on :)

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Sunday, July 31st, 2016
9:02 am - 099 - Marked Words
"Kids today are too reliant on screens and gadgets, it's making them soft and unprepared for real life. Mark my words, all these video games and computers and insipid TV shows are making them fat and stupid - I weep for this generation!"

...Said the old man I used to mow lawns for back in 1987.

"The Clintons are the most corrupt political couple history has ever known, with an obvious trail of dead bodies and shady business dealing that reaches for MILES! Mark my words, it's just a matter of days now before they'll be indicted and thrown in the slammer for treason, murder and more!"

...Said my boss at the Jackpot Mini-Mart back in 1992.

"BASIC is the programming language that all computers speak, end of story. Mark my words, if you EVER want to have a job that has ANYTHING to do with computers, you're going to need to master BASIC first!"

...Said my 11th Grade Computer Sciences teacher in 1990.

"You don't HAVE to vote for The Lesser Of Two Evils! All we need is the enough people with the courage to vote their conscience instead of using their vote as some sort of strategical way of keeping their least favorite person out of office, and there's finally enough people who are disillusioned with he system that we can make a real difference! Mark my words, Ross Perot will be the next President of The United States!"

...Said the hot barista chick with entirely too many piercings back in 1991.

"Two words, my friend... BETA. MAX. Mark my words!"

...Said the family friend who owned a Zenith dealership in 1982.



Yours words, as requested, have been marked :)

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Thursday, July 28th, 2016
9:46 am - 098 - Trigger leads to EXCITEMENT!

I admit that my Straight White Male Privilege activated the "They're Ruining My Childhood" alarm when I first read that Disney is making a Reboot/Sequel to The Rocketeer featuring a Black Female lead, but then once I actually stopped to think about it and tried to argue exactly *why* this "triggered" me, I got REAL EXCITED FOR THIS MOVIE!!!

So here's everything we know about it so far (which isn't much) - The title is "The Rocketeers". The events of this movie take place six years after the original Rocketeer disappeared while fighting the Nazis, which places this movie at some time between 1944 and 1951, considering that the first movie was set in 1938). In his absence, a young African-American pilot dons the jetpack in order to stop a scientist from using technology to turn the tide of the Cold War.

So we have that all-important tension of an unlikely hero who would be shunned and mocked if the world ever found out who they really are - Before Civil Rights, before Feminism, here is a Black Female super hero! CRAZY!

If they do it right, at least. Put TOO MUCH emphasis n the racial and gender-based challenges, the film comes off as misogynistic and racist. Not enough, it's "White Washing". How do you find that sweet spot between the two?

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
9:50 am - 097 - Baloney & Steak
First of all, this post contains NO SPOILERS. I wouldn't do that, not for this...

In a summer where we struggle to find a show that grips us enough to watch more than an episode or two each night, Netflix brought us "Stranger Things" - a show that we had to FORCE ourselves to spread out over two nights. We watched the first three episodes on night one and I got a very real sadness at the revelation that if we watched more *now*, it would mean that the show would be over that much sooner.

We watched the remaining 5 episodes last night. We couldn't NOT watch them.

Default description that everyone is giving (which is accurate) - Every great 80's Kid/family movie you remember fondly, it's in this show and then kicked up several notches as thought Bobby Flay himself were cooking it up and adding a heaping pile of grilled corn and cilantro.

But the best part of this show is that it really is THE NEXT EVOLUTIONARY STEP OF TELEVISION.

The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad - these all paved the way for something like this. They told deep, rich stories with high production values at an engrossing pace, but they were still condemned to be Television Shows which are dependent on bringing back viewers week after week, season after season. They rely too heavily on "shock cliffhanger" mechanics to produce an addiction reaction among viewers. "Stranger Things", though, was a full STORY. Beginning, Middle, End. It was a visual novel that didn't have to worry about viewers tuning in for the next episode. It was an EIGHT HOUR MOVIE, broken down into chapters.

This is a triumph! This is what we want more of, please!

The only problem, though, is that now everything/anything we watch will seem so bland :( We were int he middle of Season 1 of "Lucifer", which was fine, but now that we've seen something SO GOOD... how can we go back? How can you go back to enjoying your baloney and ramen when you've had Steak and Lobster?

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Monday, July 18th, 2016
5:59 pm - 096 - Cheeseburger Summer
I forgot to cross-post here on LJ, Molly and I are doing a project called "Cheeseburger Summer"! Just before the school year ended this year, she "discovered" REAL Cheeseburgers - Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, The Works. Now she can't believe she ever ate those silly little Kid's meal burgers! So dry, so plain, so flavorless...

So now we are on a quest to find who makes THE BEST "Deluxe Cheeseburger". The main rule we're trying to observe is that it has to be a Counter Service restaurant, a place where you go up to a counter and place your order and you stand around waiting for your number to be called out.

So far we've done four of them, here's the latest:


You can check out all her other videos and PLEASE subscribe (she wants to be a YouTube star SO BAD) by Clicking Here, thanks :)

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Thursday, July 14th, 2016
9:03 am - 095 - Speed Zone (aka "Cannonball Fever", aka "Cannonball Run 3")


Let me tell you about SPEED ZONE, also known as "Cannonball Run 3" and/or "Cannonball Fever".

SHORT REVIEW: "Speed Zone" is like if a person saw Cannonball Run 10 years ago, then tried to tell you about the movie while stoned and obviously is mixing it up with old episodes of SCTV and anecdotes from their own life, but they keep drifting off to sleep while telling you about it.

It's terrible.

When I found this video tape, I posted it to Instagram saying what a shame it was that films like this are lost to time forever because no one is going to do a Blu Ray Special Edition of this despite the pedigree and potential historical importance. This was the THIRD and FINAL FILM of the Cannonball Run trilogy! You can buy Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run 2 on digital media, sure... but this one? LOST FOREVER.

LOOK AT THE CAST!
John Candy
Eugene Levy
Joe Flaherty
Donna Dixon
Matt Frewer
Tim Matheson
Mimi Kuzyk
Melody Anderson
Shari Belafonte
Dick and Tom Smothers
Peter Boyle
Don Lake
Alyssa Milano
John Schneider
Brooke Shields
Michael Spinks
Lee Van Cleef
Carl Lewis
Richard Petty

Well now that I've seen it, I know why it's been buried for all time. Gene Siskel said it best, ""it is an atrocious excuse for entertainment. If I have a pet peeve about movies is that they are so venal that don't even try to be good. That's Speed Zone."

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8:34 am - 094 - It Was A Difficult Decision
The recent awesomeness of DC Comics has forced me to the point where I needed a Subscription Box so I wouldn't miss an issue. Yes, they're THAT GOOD, and local shops have been selling out on a pretty regular basis.

Before I go on, what is a Subscription Box? In exchange for x-amount of dollars and the agreement that you will come in at least once a month or so, they will take a list of comics you want and pull a copy of each new issue as it hits the stands so you are guaranteed a crisp, mint-condition copy of each and every issue so you never miss one again. There's also usually a few perks that go along with owning a Subscription Box, which varies from shop to shop.

I had to choose between three different comic book shops.

SUBSPACE COMICS - Located in Lynnwood, this is the comic shop I have spent the most time in. They were the last place I ever had a Subscription Box, back when they were "The Comic Stop". Since the weird, unknowable split between the owners, though, going in there always feels like visiting friends that you only ever knew through your ex. They're friendly and they're always glad to see me and they know my name, but... it just feels *weird*. It's a very professional shop, located near the Alderwood Mall, so it has the look and feel of a "We're Just In This For The Money" shop (even though I know for a fact that they have comics in their blood and soul). Minimal back issue sellection, limited mostly to recent issues (they focus more on current product). Offers a 10% discount to Subscription Box customers.

MILL GEEK COMICS - A "shop" that you need to know about in order to find. No signs, located in the back of a non-descript business office behind a 7-11, this place is everything I used to associate with comic books before the boom of the 1990's. A real speakeasy type of a vibe where people talk about HARD CORE comics history and other geekiness. A nice assortment of back issues including the largest and possibly last ever Quarter Bin assortment I've ever seen outside of a convention. They don't have much in the way of new comics, though, and they tend to focus more on Magic The Gathering cards because it makes them money. As far as I can tell, they do not offer a discount to subscribers but they DO give subscribers any and all the promotional posters that they don't use.

CORNER COMICS - The "Smack Dab In The Middle" shop. Kind of awkward location but better than it used to be, decent selection of back issues that go back to Silver and Golden Age, minor amount of the shop dedicated to merchandise and/or Magic The Gathering cards. New issues are hard to browse because of the size of the shop (small). My biggest problem with this shop is that one of the guys who works there, has literally NO IDEA what he's doing. You ask him if they have a certain title, or if he knows where something in the shop is, he'll mumble "I dunno, if it's not on the shelf..." The other two folks who work there, though, are *excellent* and know their product and know their inventory and if they don't have it right now they can have it for you in three days. They offer a 10% discount to box holders.

Eventually, after much internal debate and struggle (Go with the Nostalgia, support The Little Guy or go with the median), I chose Corner Comics in Kirkland. It all boiled down to their attitude towards Free Comic Book Day; they treat it like Christmas. The other shops treat it like an obligation or a favor that they're doing for their customers, but Corner Comics has this wonderful feeling of CELEBRATION and THANKFULNESS where they even have people smiling at the doors to greet people and thank them for coming! They advise outsiders about what they might enjoy! It's really quite wonderful :)

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Sunday, July 10th, 2016
10:56 am - 093 - Ghostbusters Go
The most striking thing about Pokemon Go, to me, is just how wonderful this new style of Game Play really is, and how easily it could be adapted to other franchises. Ghostbusters, for example...

You create a Ghostbuster character, you walk around your neighborhood looking for ghosts, the AR puts them in to wacky animations for you to discover. There's a ghost around here somewhere, let's use the Spectro-Goggles to find it... OH LOOK! There's SLIMER, coming out of the neighbor's garden hose! Flick once to put out your trap, then tap-n-drag to catch him in your Proton beam and force him into the trap! You then take your captured spooks to a Central Containment Unit and unload them for credits which you use to upgrade your equipment (beginner Proton pack can only hold the stream for a minute before needing to recharge for an hour, upgrades make it go faster, longer and stronger). Join up with other Ghostbusters in your area to defeat bigger ghosts and earn more points.

Why is this not a thing yet?

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10:43 am - 092 - Pokemon Go
I told Molly NOTHING about the Pokemon Go app. I downloaded it in secrecy and I surprised her with it at the last second with an air of mutual discovery - we were going to learn this game together and have an awesome time!

She *loves* Pokemon. The cartoons, the plush animals, the toys... she even loves the cards despite not really liking the game at all. Any time we HAVE had a non-traditional Pokemon Video Game (like the ones for the Wii) though, she's loved it and played it to completion.

So we loaded the app. We created a character. We captured a Pokemon. And that is where our mutual experience ended.

Molly isn't into it. She enjoys seeing ME play the game, though. Enjoys seeing me run around like a damn fool trying to catch these little bastards so I can impress her. She just gets no joy from it :(

tl;dr - I am now addicted to this stupid kids game, the one that the kid doesn't really like at all.

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
11:58 am - 091 - Kids These Days
I signed up for the latest batch of The Reddit Gift Exchanges because that's the kind of guy I am - I love giving and getting suprises in the mail :) One of the Gift Exchanges going on is all about Your Favorite Decade - Tell your person all about your favorite decade, they'll get you an apropriate gift reminiscent of that decade!

I wrote:
"I'm a HUGE fan of the late 1970's/early 1980's era of Animation, especially the stuff from Hannah Barbera in that era. Scooby Doo, Wacky Races, Yogi's Gang, Stop The Pigeon, Laff-A-Lympics, Jabber Jaw, Grape Ape... I love everything about them! I also really love all the Sid & Marty Krofft stuff from that era as well, from Land Of The Lost to Wonderbug! Kids shows of that era just really speak to me. I also love the "Soft Rock" of that era rather than the Disco or Rock that you might usually associate with the 1970's. Give me Barry Manilow and Air Supply any day and I'm a happy camper!"

They replied:
"So U like old cartoons like Pokemon?"

I clutched my shawl around my shoulders, refilled my hot water bottle, grabbed a new sheet of paper and replied:
"My daughter enjoys Pokemon, we've watched every episode and she has a HUGE collection of Pokemon stuff. Tons of the cards, too, though we never play. But as for ME, my tastes are a bit older than that. The stuff I like is from the 1970's, and Pokemon didn't start till - "

...I had to stop and check Wikipedia to see when Pokemon started airing in the United States. Obviously this CHILD, maybe 10 years old or so, had wiggled their way into the Gift Exchange and had no grasp of a time before their own lifespan, right?

1998.

If this "kid" was even just 18 years old, Pokemon would have been on TV for their ENTIRE LIFE. Pokemon would be something that just always has been and always will be on TV. Pikachu is to this person, as Yogi Bear is to me; there wasn't a time before Yogi Bear. There just wasn't.

I took another glug from my bottle of Geritol and finished my reply, hitting send. Somehow I know that in a week or so I'm going to receive a mystery package in the mail full of old-fashioned DVD's full of Pokemon episodes. Ah, physical media... now THAT takes me back to The Good Old Days :)

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