Sunday, June 26, 2016


Maximus had to be put to sleep Friday.  He was 14.  His health had fallen off badly in the past couple of weeks--Mom thinks it was possible he had a stroke.  He was a good dog.  There have been a lot more tears the past couple of days than I'd have thought.  Given my work schedule, and the fact I live in an apartment, I don't have a dog.  Max was my folks' dog.  But, I thought of him as mine, too.

He grew up in a time of camera phone.  I have hundreds of pictures of him.  He was a photogenic cuss.

He was a good dog.

I've looked at the last one in line here, or some version of it, a couple dozen times in the past couple of days, and it makes me wan to cry every time.

Max was my buddy.  I'm gonna miss him.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


There isn't much that takes the shine off things like having to dig a grave for your dog.

He's not my dog.  He belongs to my parents.

I don't get to own a dog.  I'm not home enough.  It'd be cruel to keep one cooped up here.

So, I claim others' dogs.

Max is 14.  He's blind.  He's been falling down a lot.  Like I said, the folks will check to see if anything can be done.  But, he's been in some pain, so we may have to say goodbye.

Damn it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Planet Hulk, and whatnot

I've had Age of Ultron on in the background this morning, as I've been cleaning.

The movie has a couple major flaws.  Gutting Black Widow's character is bullshit.  I'm not sure how you do that, except that you don't do that.  Her "They made me a monster" speech is abhorrent.  And it serves no purpose.  I choose to forget that entire section of this flick.  Comics have always allowed you to create your own canon.  I do in this case, as it regards Black Widow.

What has my attention here, though, is Hulk.

I've probably written about this before.  But I can't help but think what a lost opportunity this was for the character, and for Universal, who still owns the movie rights.

Let's look at the climax of the flick....Here there be spoilers, by the way.

The Avengers are looking to destroy Ultron's machine.  The story kinda telegraphs the whole Vision with Mjolnir taking out Ultron thing.  Why not add a level to that.  Thor calls for Vision.  Ultron knocks them both asunder.

Ultron is having his moment of glory.  Iron Man is yelling that somebody needs to take the shot from on top.

Have Hulk come bounding in.  He takes out Ultron's bot.  He gets Thor and Vision to safety...perhaps having Vision wake up to fly Thor.  Then, in a truly terrific moment, Hulk becomes worthy to heft the hammer because he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good.  He lifts Mjolnir, and destroys Ultron's machine.

And disappears.

The sting at the end of the credits will have Thor standing at Asgard, looking up, and having Mjolnir appear from the sky.  He will know Thor is out there somewhere.

In the meantime, you can have Universal put a kickass Planet Hulk movie together that would release this summer, as a bit of "meanwhile, on the othr side of the Universe" twinbill with Captain America: Civil War.

And you can have Planet Hulk lead right into Thor Ragnarok.

I dunno.  I really love the Planet Hulk story from the comics.  I really think they could have done a lot more with Hulk and Black Widow.  Hell, with proper writing, you could have Black Widow go along with Hulk, and work Black Widow into that Planet Hulk story.  This way, you have a couple long standing characters sacrificing themselves for the team, instead of Quicksilver, who knew the team for all of a day and a half.....

That's a little selfserving, too.  I always liked the conflict within Pietro Maximoff in the comics, and think he's too good a character to just off.  Still, if memory serves, there's something in the whole deal with Fox, so that they might use Quicksilver in the X-Men movies as well...

Cubs 2016

Dear Online Nerd Diary:

This weekend, I went to Atlanta to see the Cubs play the Braves.  I've refrained from writing about the Cubs, out of irrational yet omnipresent fear that I am some manner of jinx if I mention them online.  My fears were somewhat assuaged after seeing them play live.

This was the last time I'll likely see them at Turner Field.  That's 99% assured, and assumes that the Braves don't reel off 90 wins out of their next 110 games to make it back into the playoff picture.

Allow me to speak on that:  it is sad to know that a perfectly good structure like Turner Field will be left to history (and local college teams) after just 21 years.  I may not be a Braves fan (I'm more of a well-wisher, owing to their geographic proximity and broadcast presence).  I have seen a ton of baseball at Turner Field, though.  It's a fine baseball stadium.  I don't know the issues.  It seems wasteful to let it go...even more so for tax payers up the road helping foot the bill for a new one.

That said?  One of the things over the past several seasons that has kept me from attending a Braves game on a whim is not wanting to drive through Atlanta.  Having the team play their games up in Marietta will be pretty sweet, from a drive-time standpoint.....

The Cubs were fun this weekend.  They lost Friday, a game I didn't get to see.  Saturday's contest, they won 8-2, on the strength of several dingers.  Today was a beatdown, 13-2, with almost everybody getting in on the act.

I'm crazy tired.  About 12 hours of driving over the last 2 days, on top of what was easily the most ridiculous week since the last ridiculous week.  I'm going to sleep for 10 hours tonight!!!!

Friday, June 03, 2016

The Magnificent Seven

We understand. You could make much more in a grocery store. And it would be good, steady work. 

Watching The Magnificent Seven tonight.  Haven't watched it in years.  Accidentally ordered it from Amazon.  I'd looked at the BluRay one night a couple weeks ago.  Then, went to order something else, and clicked through all the screens as irresponsibly as one could.

A couple days later, I got a note that my Amazon order with "The Magnificent Seven" and one other item had shipped.  Got worried that some sort of shenanigans was on.  The realized my error.

Anyway.  It was a good purchase, and a bit of a gift to myself and my addlepated mind.

Still, the conversation Chris and Vin have, convincing Vin to join Chris's little Fly-Shooing expedition, where the villagers assuage Vin's could make much more in a grocery store...hit a little hard.

I've been down lately.  Work has a lot to do with it.  Tired.  Scheduling has gotten difficult.  I feel like I'm missing out on a lot more lately than even I did a few months back.  And I've felt like I've missed out on a lot the last handful of years.....

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tonight's Read

Tonight's read.  Popped up in some listicle or another.  Originated in a Clickhole list, as near as I am willing to search it out.

I dig that.

Wilmore is originally from Murfreesboro, by the way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy birthday, Thomas!

This is Thomas.

He is my nephew.

He explained to me, in great detail, the workings of the Jurassic World tablet game he plays on his grandfather's tablet.  He is also on Level 50 of Angry Birds Transformers. (This is farther than I am).

He is 6 today.

He is endlessly impressive.  He is ceaselessly funny.  He's a goofball.  I like him.

Happy birthday to my nephew.

I got him Legos, because I'd kinda like to play with the Legos, too.

Them's the shakes.  But you play with the Legos all you want.  I'll always be there.

Maybe even for the Minecraft.  I don't pretend to understand.  But you run with it.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Random Thoughts

Discouraging week at work.  Long hours.  Little thanks.  Going home exhausted at the end of a day.  Working 9 out of 10 coming back from vacation.  Half of them 11+ hours.



Working six days.

I'll put in 60, 65 hours this week.

I'm not sure why.

It makes me incredibly grateful for those people who do come in on a daily basis, and bust ass.  I'm thankful for them.


I finished Doris Kearns Goodwin's Bully Pulpit this week.  Strong stuff.  I wish this one had been around when I was in Dr. Himebaugh's Media History class.  That one was one of my favorites of my college career, but the one thing it never seemed to hit just right was the impact of the media--its role in changing things.  I never got a real glimpse of the Yellow journalists, of the muckrakers, at least in terms of the world they lived in.  This does an excellent job.


Started a re-read of Geek Love....a listening of it this time.  I was given a copy to read by a co-worker several years back.  I was reading it to try to have conversation material with somebody I was crushing on at the time.  I read it, and was astounded by it.  I found later that my crush had abandoned her attempt.  Katherine Dunn passed away recently.  I wanted to give this one another run through.

Thursday, May 05, 2016


I got to surprise Shyam tonight.  It's been a ridiculously busy couple of months for them down at the business.  She's been swamped.  It slipped by her that one of her favorite artists was going to play in Knoxville tonight.   It did not slip by me, I am pleased to say.  I was able to get ahold of a presale password by being that guy who goes "anybody got the presale password?"  Found some fifth row tickets to see this lady:

I kept the surprise for several weeks.  I was kinda afraid she'd get wind of it somehow, from Twitter or a family member.  Then, a couple weeks ago, we went to the same venue Lucinda Williams played at tonight to see Kevin Smith.  I didn't see any "Coming Soon" featuring Lucinda, so my secret was safe...until they started a rundown of coming events at the Bijou.  I was floundering for a way to distract her, when an usher did that for me perfectly, leading somebody to the seats right next to ours, as they announced that Lucinda would be there on May 4.

"Did you catch that?" I asked, a pratfall in verbal form.  Cool as a fucking cucumber, me.

She had not.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  And the surprise held until we drove up to the Bijou tonight.

We enjoyed the show.  Lucinda plays a good show.  Rocks out.

Like I said, Shyam's had a busy few weeks.  She said this was a nice surprise and a reset for her.

Today was a good day, campers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On the passage of time...

I wrote this 13 years ago:

I started this blogamathing in November of 2002.  I think this was the first thing that I wrote that a goodly number of people linked to.  And by goodly number, I mean, like, 3 people.

Every now and then I'll run across something I've written on here and think "that's pretty good."

This is not one of those times.  The idea is funny, and I like it on that basis.

This blog will turn 14 this year.

At work, we've passed a number of milestones, with regards to the age of the co-workers.   I realized that I have a couple of e-mail addresses older than some of the folks I work with.

If I stay with my company that long, I'll have a weblog older than a co-worker.

It shouldn't take me aback.  We all age.

Still.  It made me raise an eyebrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Superman, and whatnot

First real day off in ten days or so.  Of course the brain wakes itself wide the hell awake at 5:30.

Read this article, which has made me mark Superman: American Alien down on my list of things to check out, at some point.

The thing that turns me away from it is this, though:  too many Superman stories are focusing on the fact that he's not human.

Take it as read.  We all know.  We don't need to rehash it.  One of the charms of Superman is that he's cool with it.  At least for me.  The inner turmoil and loneliness?  Turns sulky real quick, especially in Zack Snyder's Superman flicks.

Oddly, this all makes me think of Tarzan and the Lost City, which is a helluva fine Tarzan flick, easily the best of the past forty years, which just jumps into the story without wasting time telling you who Tarzan is, and how he came to be.

It might well be part of why Superman is boring to some:  we just see the same story over and over again....

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Random Thoughts

Ain't wandered around the blogamathing in a little while.  What's new?  That's a good looking haircut!  Have you gained weight?  Here's a bullet point list of the things that have been going through my head lately:

  • Working like a botard.  I feel like I've spent the last month covering for somebody.  I feel that way because I have been.  Between people being sick and vacations.
  • A situation at work arose that might have benefited me a promotion, potentially.  It didn't pan out, we found out today.  That's a bummer.  I've worked myself stupid, the past six months especially.  There are days (like today) that I don't feel like I'm getting what I should be. 
  • I wandered out to see Batman vs. Superman Monday.  Hoping against hope that it would be better than the reviews I'd seen.  I was disappointed.  It's a mess.  Neither Batman nor Superman is true to his roots.  It felt like an 80's action movie.  There was no heart there.  No humor.  I felt like going back in time and apologizing to sixth grade me.
  • My odd problem?  Gotham City and Metropolis are across a bay from each other.  OK.  Well enough.  But in the 18 months since Superman came to Metropolis, he couldn't be arsed to fly half a mile across the bay to meet Batman?  And vice-versa?  Especially when Clark seems so ever-loving concerned about crime in Gotham?  It's no problem to fly around the planet to save Lois from African Warlords, but flying across the bay is verboten?
  • Reading Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country right now, and I'm really impressed.  Episodic, short storyish collection of stories about the magical underworld, surrounding an African American family in the 1950's.  Tremendous stuff.
  • Baseball season has started.  And I'm pleased.  That's all I'll say, for fear of jinx.

Monday, April 04, 2016


The Cubs start the 2016 up tonight, over in Anaheim.  It's a late start, but I'm closing the store, so I'll get the watch the last few innings after I get home tonight.

Excited is not the right word.

I'm optimistic.

I've said it before:  somehow, I'm not comfortable with the winning.  I don't know how to act.  The losing?  I'm used to.

The team is stacked.

The most you'll get out of me, though, is that it's going to be an interesting year.

For sure.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Personal Top 50

For no reason, except that it's something Shyam and I discussed during our ride up to Bristol the other night.  It's been a while since I've made an actual list, which is odd considering how much I love making lists.  Here's a list of my Top 50 Go-To flicks, at present.  Call it my favorites, I guess.   Listed alphabetically, it's just movies that work for me on any number of levels:

12 Angry Men    (1957)
13th Warrior  (1999)
Animal House    (1978)
Apollo 13   (1995)
Arsenic and Old Lace    (1944)
the Big Lebowski   (1998)
Blazing Saddles   (1974)
Captain America: Winter Soldier   (2014)
Cedar Rapids    (2011)
Chinatown    (1974)
a Christmas Story    (1983)
Clerks    (1994)
Cloud Atlas    (2012)
Dark Knight   (2008)
the Day the Earth Stood Still   (1951)
the Departed   (2006)
the Devil's Backbone   (2001)
Dr. Strangelove    (1964)
the Empire Strikes Back    (1980)
Field of Dreams    (1989)
Ghostbusters    (1984)
the Godfather, part II    (1974)
Harvey    (1950)
the Incredibles    (2004)
the Iron Giant    (1999)
Iron Man    (2008)
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World   (1963)
Jurassic Park   (1993)
Kill Bill, volume 1    (2003)
a League of Their Own    (1992)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring   (2001)
Mad Max:  Fury Road   (2015)
the Man who Shot Liberty Valance     (1962)
the Meaning of Life    (1983)
No Country for Old Men    (2007)
O Brother Where Art Thou?   (2000)
Princess Bride   (1987)
Raiders of the Lost Ark    (1981)
Rashomon    (1950)
Robin Hood   (1973)
the Shawshank Redemption   (1994)
Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan    (1982)
Star Wars   (1977)
This is Spinal Tap     (1984)
Time Bandits     (1981)
To Kill a Mockingbird    (1962)
UHF    (1989)
the Usual Suspects    (1995)
Yojimbo   (1961)
Young Frankenstein   (1975)

Completely subjective to the morning of March 25, 2016.  I've left something out, of course.  I'm sure I'll look at my list this afternoon, and say "what the hell was I thinking with that Disney Robin Hood flick?"  This is the list I came up with just looking up and down my movie shelves....

Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Computer

Had to buy a new computer today.  Just trying it out.  Taking it out for a test toast, as it were.

This is the fourth computer I've written this blog with.  I guess that averages about 4.1 years per computer, in blog years.

I ordered this one from upgrade of the Lenovo I bought about five years ago.  It came from the Charleston, TN, warehouse, some 11 miles down the road from Casa de Big Stupid Tommy.  Got it in a day, though there was part of me that wanted to go and beat on the door of the Amazon warehouse.

It's a good one.  Its fan works.  Its mousepad works.  It's screen is bright and clear!

So.  New computer.  Yay!