Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bushisms of the Day

"These are big achievements for this country, and the people of Bulgaria ought to be proud of the achievements that they have achieved." --George W. Bush, Sofia, Bulgaria, June 11, 2007

Comic Book Superheroes Part III

Birthday Meme

Somehow I missed this when she first tagged me. Lyn from Last Minute Lyn's Life tagged me with the birthday meme awhile back and somehow I missed it. The really weird thing is that she tagged me with this meme on July 12 - which is my birthday! Ok, here's the rules:

"THE BIRTHDAY MEME" Here are the rules: You go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday (month and day) Then you write down 3 events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and tag 5 friends. There are five slots in the meme list.... as you are tagged, you have to remove the name in the first slot and bump everyone up so that your name can be added to the bottom.

Three events:

1933 - The United States Congress passes the first federal minimum wage law in the United States: 33 cents per hour.

1960 - Etch A Sketch, the drawing toy goes on sale.

1962 - the Rolling Stones played their first gig at the Marquee club in London.

Two births:

100 BC - Julius Caesar, Roman military and political leader (d. 44 BC)

1972 - Brett Reed, American musician (Rancid)

One Holiday:

Northern Ireland - Battle of the Boyne Day (also known as Orangemen's Day or the Twelfth, see Irish calendar).

Ok, I'm not going to tag anyone, I've seen this meme everywhere and I figure everyone has had a shot at it. If you haven't done it consider youself tagged, it's fun.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ryan Adams

The month is all but over with, so we end our month of Ryan Adams. I hope you've enjoyed the videos and such I've scattered throughout this blog the past month. Before we go I thought I'd leave everyone with a brief history of the aforementioned Mr. Adams. (I probably should have done that at the start of the month...oh, well - live and learn.)

Ryan was born on November 5, 1974 in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He was raised by his Mother and Grandmother. He dropped out of school at the age of 16, deciding that the life of a musician was what he wanted. After a short stint in some punk bands he formed Whiskeytown, after moving to Raleigh.

Whiskeytown was one of those early Americana groups that got a lot of press and was supposed to be the next big thing. They never quite graduated to the level of success so many anticipated for them. Ryan supposedly was not an easy person to work with, by the time of their last album together there was only one other original member left in the group, besides Ryan.

Ryan's first solo album was Heartbreaker in 2000. Since than he has released a total of 9 albums. Besides the releases albums there are a few unreleased albums that are supposed to be released later this year in a boxed set.

One thing that can be said about Ryan is that he is highly prolific. It's also been said against him. One of the most often heard complaints about Ryan is that he puts out too much material, that he needs to slow down and pick what he wants to release more carefully. I find this crazy. I like the fact that he is not afraid to release a lot of new material. Remember the days when the Beatles released some of the greatest albums in a span of just a few years? Or CCR? I'm glad to see an artist that doesn't take four years to release one album.

Recently Ryan has admitted to a long time drug abuse problem that he says he has ended. His last few albums have found Ryan using a regular band again, the Cardinals. Rumors are always floating around about a reunion with his former band Whiskeytown.

Ryan has said the reason he releases so much material is that he loves making music. I hope he continues to love it and releasing as much as he can.

TopBlogMag is Out Today!

It's that time again. Monday means the newest issue of TopBlogMag is out. Just click on the logo and go check it out. I even managed to get my column in. I talk about the Blind Boys of Alabama and the song "Amazing Grace." So what are you waiting for? Go read it.

Buffy Season 8 # 5

This is a stand alone issue of the currently Season Eight of Buffy being done in comic book form. The first four issues were one storyline "The Long Way Home" written by series creator Joss Whedon. This issue is also written by Joss Whedon. It tells the story of one Slayer, she is never named in the story, that acts as a stand in for Buffy. To confuse her enemies there are fake Buffys out there, at least two - one in Italy (which explains an episode of Angel) and another one underground, fighting demons. This issue tells the story of the second stand in, the one fighting the demons underground.

If this was an episode of the tv show I think it would rank with some of the classic episodes. It's that good. The real Buffy never even appears in this issue. This story tells what happens after this young girl gets her powers and becomes a slayer. I can't think of any higher praise that to say that it would have made an excellent episode of the television show.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

No spoilers here but I have finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I actually ended up buying it while I was up in Tennessee with my Dad. It was nice to escape into Harry's world now and than while everything else was going on. I loved the book. I will admit that I thought it wandered aimlessly a big towards the middle, but overall the book was great. And that's all I'll say for now, at least give everyone a chance to read it without it being spoiled.

Ryan Adams: When The Stars Go Blue

Manic Monday #21: Miss

Today's word is Miss. I really hadn't planned to tie my Mainc Monay post into the past week, but when I saw the word I knew I had to.

Some random things I will Miss about my Dad:

Calling him on the phone and the first thing out of his mouth was always "What do you want?" It was a running joke, I would always answer with something like "a new car," "a million dollars," or something along those lines. He would always tell me it was in the mail to me.

Cooking. He loved to cook. He'd try to get all creative now and than, but most of us are fairly boring eaters, so he couldn't get too creative. We're a meats and potatoe type family.

Watching him in his workshop. He loved to build things. His workshop was a toolman's paradise, he had every type of tool in there that anyone would ever need. He was always happy when he could go in his shop and emerge hours later with a new bookshelf, table or whatever someone wanted.

Christmas morning. Both my parents were like little kids come Christmas morning. I would usually sleep over the night before and they would both wake me up with their excitement. Than after everyone got up we would all gather around the Christmas tree and he would hand out the presents. He would hand them out one at a time, even though we were all eager to get our presents and open them. Sometimes I would just watch as he handed them out, forgetting to open mine, he was having so much fun doing this.

Most of all, I just miss him.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Scenes From My Week

I was planning on heading up to Tennessee sometime Saturday afternoon. I had to work late Friday night, so I decided that I would go home, get some sleep and hit the road around one or so in the afternoon.

Friday morning I was watching an episode of Angel when I heard my phone go off. I didn't have to be at work until one so I was just lazying around, waiting till I had to get ready. My phone has certain ringers for different people, the ringer that was going off was for my Mom. I knew something had to be wrong for if she was calling me at ten in the morning. She would have assumed that I was at work. It was. This was one of the few times that I can remember my Mom crying. She told me that they didn't give my Dad much longer. I told her that I was on my way. After hanging up I called work and told them I wouldn't be in and than called my brother. We decided to drive up together, he said he would be over as soon as he got home and packed some clothes.

It was going to be at least an hour wait before my brother came to get me. That was one of the longest hours of my life. Waiting, not knowing what was going on. I was allright and than I'd break down, thinking about my Dad.

First look: He looked terrible. You've seen those pictures of concentration camp survivors, that was what he reminded me of. His arms were like pipe cleaners, they were so thin. The last time I saw him he looked sick, but never like this. It was enough to take my breath away. He had been out for the past day and would never regain words again. His eyes would stay open for hours at a time, a reflex the doctors said, just staring straight ahead. He never looked around at anyone or anything.

My Dad is one of those people that never realized the amount of people he touched. He always thought that people didn't like him, he never knew the truth of how much he was loved by others. The second day there the waiting room was like Grand Central Station. At one point I counted over 16 people in there, visiting him and expressing how much he meant to them.

We had nurses that no longer worked on his wing come by and spend time with him. They just wanted to visit. One nurse broke down crying after seeing him.

My brother flew my niece and nephew down. I call them kids, but they aren't. Sean is 22 and Shannon is 18. I can't call them kids, because they showed me what type of adults they were and would be that week. I was very proud of them that week. I know it was hard for them, both of them were very close to my Dad. Shannon all but worshiped my Dad, she loved him so much, so I know it was very hard for her. But she was so strong. She would sit by his bed and hold his hand and kiss him bye when we left.

I remember one point when there must have been ten or twelve people in the room, everyone talking at once. Shannon got up and went and sat on the bed next to her Granpa and held his hand. Slowly the talking died down, one person at a time, until we were all sitting there watching this young woman give comfort to my Dad. It's scenes like this that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I don't know if I would have been as strong as those two that week. They helped keep the rest of us sane I think.

My Mom would spend hours sitting on his bed side, holding his hand and talking to him. Everyone had a chance to sit with him and tell him goodbye.

He died Monday night, not long before midnight.

The area where my Mom lives has been without rain for a long time, everytime I've talked to her on the phone she would make a comment about their lack of rain. The night my Dad died, it started to thunder. Not long after he died it started to rain.

I'm not big on Funeral Homes. I think a lot of them take advantage of people in situations where they're not thinking clearly. I personally don't see the advantage to go in debt to buy a casket that can cost as much as a vehicle. But I have to admit the Funeral Home we went to was not what I expected. They helped with a lot of the paperwork and stuff that would have taken us forever to get through. They arranged for the Military Funeral. And they didn't push us for a certain casket, they left us in the room and left us to ourselves to pick it out.

They did wonders for him at the wake. He looked better than I've seen him look in a long time. He looked peaceful.

They created a cd with pictures that we gave them of my Dad. It was a cd of about 30 pictures that basically showed my Dad throughout his life. It was a very nice touch. They had it running off to the side during the wake and everyone came up to see my Dad in better times.

Larry and Darryl, two friends of mine from New Orleans, drove up for the funeral. I cannot express how much this meant to me and what a surprise this was. We are at least six hours, if not more, from New Orleans, so I was not expecting anyone to make that drive up. Work sent a nice arrangement of flowers and that was all I really expected. To see them drive up for the funeral meant more to me than I can express.

My Dad served 22 years in the Navy so he was able to have a Military Funeral. They gave him a 21 gun salute and played taps. I was holding up pretty good until they played taps.

This has probably been the hardest post I've ever had to write. I started it not long after I got back home. I just wanted to put down some of my thoughts on the last week so I would remember them. But I've had to stop so many times, as I type I just become overwhelmed with the emotion from the scene I'm talking about and can't go on. So this post has taken me almost three days to write.

Rest in Peace, Dad.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Dad

Born October 12, 1935
Died July 23, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007


I won't be online for awhile, not sure how long, my mom just called, my Dad is dying, they don't give him much longer so im heading out now.


What Bernard Malamud debut novel introduced aging baseball phenom Roy Hobbs?

Yesterday's answer: An elelphant


What is the name of the 2001 movie that, although a fable, is loosely inspired by the true story of heavy metal band Judas Priest and stars Mark Wahlberg who becomes the lead singer for the fictional group Steel Dragon?

Yesterday's answer: Stever Miller


WATERLOO: a decisive or final defeat or setback

The Battle of Waterloo, which occurred on June 18, 1815, has given its name to the very notion of final defeat. Why? Maybe because it ended Napoleon's spectacular military career, as well as 23 years of recurrent conflict between France and the rest of Europe. In addition, it was Napoleon's second "final defeat." He was defeated and exiled in 1814, but he escaped his confinement, returned to France, and was restored to power for three months before meeting defeat at the hands of the forces allied under the Duke of Wellington near the Belgian village of Waterloo. The word "waterloo" first appeared in casual use the following year, 1816.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thirteen Thursday # 31: Books About Comic Books

In continuing the theme of the last few Thursday Thirteen this week will be books about comic books. Not books featuring reprints or even original comic work, but books that tell the history of comic books, or a creator, or any other historical or informational book about comic books.

1. The Pirates and the Mouse by Bob Levine

2. Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book by Jordan Raphael and Tom Spugeon

3. Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution by Ronin Ro

4. Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America by Bradford W. Wright

5. Men of Tomorrow: Crime, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones

6. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

7. The Great Comic Book Heroes by Jules Fieffer

8. Comic Wars by Dan Raviv

9. The Education of A Comics Artist by Michael Dooley and Steven Heller

10. Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner

11. Superheroes In My Pants by Mark Evanier

12. Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andleman

13. Writers on Comics Scriptwriting edited by Mark Salisbury

Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night at midnight the newest and sadly the last Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will go on sale. I had planned to be in line to get it, but I'm supposed to be leaving to go to Tennessee this weekend. The plan was originally to go up there Friday night, but I don't get off work till 11, so I don't know what I plan to do yet. I may just wait and leave Sat afternoon. That way I can get some sleep and get the book too.

First Season Done

I just finished the first season of Angel. It was very well done, I enjoyed it quite a bit. They're still struggling a bit to find its own identity away from Buffy, but they start that with the episode where Angel tells Buffy to stay out of his city. While the crossovers are cool, they were smart not to over do them and let Angel stand on its own. In this season we see the evolution of Angel, more than even in Buffy he's starting to become more human and realize that he needs these people that he has in his life. The biggest growth is coming though from Cordelia, she's still some of the airhead she was in Buffy but by the end of this season you start to see her take on a more serious role and realize that there is more to life than the newest sale on shoes. All in all I'd rate the first season as a success, they stumbled a few times but mostly kept the quality of the series up to the task.


What type of beast is Hathi, in The Jungle Book?

Yesterday's answer: The Commitments


Today's "Brain-Rocker" clues are:

1. "Fly Like An Eagle"
2. "Space Cowboy"
3. "The Joker"
4. The "Gangster of Love"

Yesterday's answer: "Cum On Feel The Noize"


BINARY: 1: consisting of two things or parts 2: involving two alternatives only (as on-off, yes-no)

"The animals went in two by two, the elephants and the kangaroo..." If you recall how the beasts went into Noah's ark, you'll remember the etymology of "binary," because it traces to the Latin bini, which translates as "two by two." Although "binary" can be used for anything with two parts, it is now used especially in relation to computers and information processing. Digital computers use the binary number system, based on the digits 0 and 1, to process even complex data. In binary form, for instance, the word "HELLO" looks like this: 1001000 1000101 1001100 1001100 1001111.

I'm Back

Back from the wilds of Houston Texas. I got back last night but was too tired and had such a headache that I pretty much went to bed early. Glad to be home.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Haven't left yet, I leave in a few hours, but didn't want to forget to remind everyone to go check out the new issue of TopBlogMag. It's some great writing and even another music column by me. This week I talk about Buddy Miller.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

While I'm Gone...

Gone Fishing

Not exactly fishing, but I will be gone for the next four days. I'm heading to Houston for some work related seminars. Buffy will just have to find other ways to keep herself entertained while I'm gone.


What novel about a struggling Dublin band kicked Roddy Doyle's writing career into high gear?

Yesterday's answer: Smith College


Chuck Berry started recording in 1953, but it took him until 1972, 19 years, to get his first number one hit. What was it?

Yesterday's answer: Bob Seger


FLEXUOUS: 1: having curves, turns, or windings 2: lithe or fluid in action or movement

English author Thomas Hardy described his dark-haired Tess as "the mostt flexuous and finely drawn figure," but these days the botanists' use of "flexuous" to describe plant stems that aren't rigid is a more typical application. Stemming straight from Latin flectere, meaning "to bend," this flexible word can also describe fluid writing or music, or someone who moves with a fluid sort of grace.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Prince Gives Away Album

Prince is back to it again, getting people upset. Now he's got the record retailers mad at him. He's giving away copies of his new album Planet Earth free to anyone who buys a British tabolid, The Mail on Sunday. The album goes on sale July 24. You got to hand it him, he's definitely someone who is going to do it his way and doesn't care what others say or think.


What women's college hired Jill Ker Conway, author of The Road from Coorain, as its first female president?

Yesterday's answer: Glengarry Glen Ross


Today's "Brain-Rocker" clues are:

1. Detroit Rocker
2. Silver Bullet Band
3. "Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight"
4. "Night Moves"


CRACKERJACK: of striking ability or excellence

The 19th-century pairing of "crack" and "jack" to from "crackerjack" topped off a long history for those words. "Cracker" is an elongation of "crack," an adjective meaning "expert" or "superior" that dates from 1793. Prior to that time, "crack" was a noun meaning "something superior" and a verb meaning "to boast." (The verb evolved from the phrase "to crack a boast," which came from the sense of "crack" meaning "to make a loud sharp sound.") "Jack" has been used for "man" since the mid-1500s, as in "jack-of-all-trades." "Crackerjack" entered English first as a noun ("someone or something of excellence"), then as an adjective. The trademarked name "Cracker Jack" dates from the 1890s.

One Million B.C.

In 1966 Raquel Welch starred in One Million B.C. For men of a certain age this above image will be part of our collective past forever.

Recently I saw that they are making a movie entitled 10,000 B.C. I have no idea if that movie is supposed to have any sort of connection to One Million B.C. I figure it doesn't, but the title kind of gives it some. Maybe to today's audience it won't, I'm not sure how well known the previous movie is today. I've included the trailer for 10,000 B.C. The special effects will definitely be a lot better, but as a historical piece I can see that this movie is far from the truth. (Not that One Million B.C. was anything close to being accurate.) Claiming it's from the director of Independence Day doesn't add any special weight to it as far as I'm concerned, I didn't like that movie.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I Hate Seinfeld!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm at my computer and the tv in the living room is on, the news just went off and Seinfeld just came on. I have to go turn it off. I hate, not let's make that...HATE Seinfeld. This is not a show that I just don't want to watch, I really do not like it. I cannot see what everyone saw in it, I just think it is a terrible show and not funny.

Sorry, I just have to say that every so often, to counteract those who are always going on about how great it is.

Friday the 13th

To many people today is a day of bad luck. Researching this topic finds no real clues to why this particular day is considered one of bad luck. There are a lot of theories, Friday was the day Christ was crucified, their were 13 at the Last Supper, etc. and etc. but no one really can point to any one (or two or three) reasons that make the combination of Friday and 13 such bad luck. Most think this is more of a modern invention too, more from after the 20th century than very far back in history.

Glen Quinn

The actor Glen Quinn played Allen Francis Doyle in Angel. Before Angel he was in Rosanne as Mark Healy, Becky Connor's husband. In Rosanne and much of his tv and movie work Glen had to hide his Irish accent, but in Angel his character was Irish (and half demon) so he was able to use his real accent.

In 200 Quinn was found dead on the couch of a friend. He died of a heroin overdose.

Watching Angel

I've been watching Angel now that Buffy is over. I'm still on season one, but I just finished watching the episode where Doyle is killed. You can see the characters stretching away from their Buffy roots and starting to attain their own personalities as the series progresses. One of the characters that is showing the most growth is Cordelia. She still has some of that "Me" personality, but she's slowly starting to become more of a real person that cares about others.

I Need This

This is a master cylinder for your brakes. I need one. It's pretty important. When I'm at a stop I've noticed that my brake pedal wants to keep going towards the floor while I step on it. Not a good thing, to start moving forward when you think you've got the brake down. So now I need a new master cylinder. No one local had one, they're having to over night it so I can get it for tomorrow and get it fixed. This is one of those times I wish I knew enough about cars that I could do this myself and not have to rely on a mechanic.

Ryan Adams: Firecracker

More On Vitter

This Is Wrong, But It's Funny!

Another Louisiana Politician

It seems that these sorts of politicians always come from Louisiana.

In 1999 David Vitter replaced Congressman Bob Livingston after Livingston resigned due to an adultery scandal. In 2004 he was elected Senator from the state.

"Abstinence education is a public health strategy focused on risk avoidance that aims to help young people avoid exposure to harm...by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice for health and happiness."

“I’m a conservative who opposes radically redefining marriage, the most important social institution in human history.”

"It's obviously a tremendous loss for the state...I think Livingston's stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess,"

All the above quotes are from David Vitter.

David Vitter's phone number has been discovered on a list of phone numbers from the D.C. Madame Pamela Martin.

You know, it's not the fact that he visited a prostitute that bothers me so much. That's more of a problem between him and his wife. What bothers me the most is the hypocrisy. He wants to tell Clinton to resign because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but I don't see him resigning. These men set themselves up as arbiters of our morals, but they feel like they're above their own beliefs. They want to tell us who we can and cannot have sex with, but they feel like they can have sex with whomever they wish. If you're on the opposing side it's worse to get a blowjob than it is to lie about the reasons we go to war and thousands of our young people die.

If it wasn't so tragic it'd be funny.


What play, set in a Chicago real estate office, earned David Mamet a Pulitzer Prize?

Yesterday's answer: John Barth


Quiet Riot has a #5 hit in 1983 with what song that was titled anything but quiet?

Yesterday's answer: Jeff Beck


VATICINATION: 1: prediction 2: the act of prophesying

The Latin vates, meaning "prophet," had both successful and unsuccessful progeny. "Vaticinar" (prophet), "vaticinatress" (Prophetess), and "vaticiny" (prophesy) have all faded into obscurity, while "vatic" and "vaticinal" - both synoyms of "prophetic" - keep the vates lineage alive today.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


What Tidewater novelist devotes Fridays to writing nonfiction, some of which was published in The Friday Book and Further Fridays?

Yesterday's answer: Atlas Shrugged


The 1972 #1 Stevie Wonder hit "Superstition," was written for the English blues-rock guitarist Stevie was touring and recording with at the time. Who was he?

Yesterday's answer: Roy Orbison


CONGRUOUS: 1: marked by agreement or harmony 2: appropriate

"Congruous" has been used in English since at least 1599. Derived from the Latin congruus, an adjective formed from the Latin congruere, "to come together" or "to agree," "congruous" has remained more or less true to its Latin roots.

Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter's last album was The Animal Yearsand I thought it was one of the best albums of the year. After he released the album though his label imploded and he found himself without a home. Luckily BMG has picked him up and will release his new album The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter on August 21.

This is "Girl in the War" from his Animal Years album.

Thirteen Thursday # 30: 13 Music Books

As anyone that has even glanced at my blog knows I like to listen to music and I also like to write about it. A lot of the facts I get on obscure music trivia are from my library of books on music and musicians. So today's 13 is going to be a random listing of 13 books from my Music Reference Library.

1. Wilco: Learning How to Die by Greg Kot

2. Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes by Greil Marcus

3. Blue Monday and the Lost Dawn of Rock and Roll by Rick Coleman

4. Glory Days: The Bruce Springsteen Story, Volume 1 by Dave Marsh

5. Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters by Robert Gordon

6. The Beatles by Hunter Davies

7. Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs

8. Shakey: The Biography of Neil Young by Jimmy McDonough

9. Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad

10. Amazing Grace: The Story of America's Most Beloved Song by Steve Turner

11. The Mansion on the Hill by Fred Goodman

12. Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be by Jen Trynin

13. Laurel Canyon by Michael Walker

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson Dies

Former First Lady, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson died today at the age of 94. I'll be honest, I didn't even know she was still alive. Her husband has been dead for so many years that I guess she fell off the radar.

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 24 January 2007 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact John @ JohnH985@gmail.com. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org/