I'm starting to understand why so many people refuse to pay for software these days

I finally got around to reinstalling Norton Utilities on my laptop; only 94 Windows errors and 36% fragmented drive space found so far. I hit LiveUpdate to bring my Virus def's and such up to date, but it says I don't have an internet connection. I did, so I went to the Symantec site to check out their support for my NU version, only to find out that they don't support it anymore. Their site is a Microsoft-esque rat's nest of dead links, faintly irritated announcements that they ain't supporting their older products no more, mostly useless & redundant tutorials, and a general sense that the company is run by greedy/lazy douchebags -- usually, the main cause is a buyout by/of another company. In this case, I figured the buyout must have occurred during my summer eyeballs/laptop failures. Yep, pretty much.

I also discovered today that my old Quark CDs are too scratched to use; after this Symantec shitfest, I'm dreading contacting Quark about replacements or buying an update. Fudge.

The 555th step on the last road home.

Merry Mammonas

Good thing we won the War on Xmas, huh? I wasn't sure we could pull a third front off, since our troops & resources are already pretty much tapped by the wars we're losing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thank Gawd all the real Americans beat the odds and bought lots of useful gifts at a generous retail price from wonderful places likes local malls and Walmart SuperStores. Better luck next year, godless liberals/Osama/Chompsky/activist judges/fill-in-the-blank-here!!!!

The 552nd step on the last road home.

Please buy the comics I hate owning; also, fun with depravity

I read some DC Comics crap this morning that was so lame I decided it had to be the first publisher purged from my collection, never to befoul my swell new bookcases. So, lots of fancy hardcovers will go on my eBay block tonight and tomorrow morning, with a small flood of softcover bullshit to hit this time tomorrow. Visit early, visit often, since some crap will have Buy It Now prices designed to make books sell immediately SO I NEVER HAVE TO [NOT] LOOK AT THEM EVER AGAIN. I thank you.

And now, for the depravity I promised:

Seeing things like this [NWS] is why I drag my feet in seeking medical treatment for my rapidly failing eyesight. Who thought doing that was a good idea, and Why? Why?? WHY???

After my eyeballs were sodomized by some of the nastier jpegs in that gallery, I thought I'd better give myself some retail therapy. So I went to Amazon.com and almost immediately [no groaning, please] came across this. [Work safe, but you might not want to leave this entry at the top of your "RECENTLY VIEWED" list. Some people probably wouldn't understand if they saw that in your sidebar, even after you tried to explain my blog, me and/or this post to them.]

That Amazon page is funny for three things; first, that they still make lambskin condoms; second, that Amazon sells "used & refurbished" lambskin condoms; third, that demand is apparently so great for used/refurbished lambskin condoms that they're the same price as new ones; and fourth, the idea that you and your spouse-to-be have the option of adding used/refurbished lambskin condoms to your Wedding Registry. I would assume that particular to-add-or-not-to-add discussion takes a happy couple less time to hash out than choosing their china pattern.

The 540th step on the last road home.

Doesn't this describe pretty much everyone?

Your results:
You are Spider-Man
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Too many bookmarks, not enough posts

I like Classic arcade sounds.

Political mashes are always funny.

I like to compare and contrast Backwards Bush , Worldometers and NewsMap.

I like the idea of programmer movies or serials based on comic strips, so long as I never have to watch them.

I still like WFMU, I love Murry Wilson more than any two of his children did and I still like those Wilson cartoons Pete Bagge and Dana Gould produced for Icebox.

I still enjoy laughing at the scads of overzealous tools who bought Xbox 360 boxes for stupid amounts of money. Just think about the scores of morons who were outbid on this shitting things, and how angry/frustrated they were about not getting to spend hundreds of dollars for an empty box. The only thing crueler/funnier than eBaying off an empty 360 box would be filling it with an Atari 2600 & games, gift-wrapping it and giving it to your best gamer friend -- the anticipation, the ecstasy, the big reveal, the crying and finally, the playing of ADVENTURE on Level 3 and maybe fishing "the dot" out of the white castle's maze and checking out the programmer's signature/Easter Egg for the millionth time.

I love dis fuggin' guy.

I'm not much of a fan of his music, but I've long been amazed and inspired by Robert Fripp's work discipline and dedication.

I recently heard Kazuhito Yamashita's solo-guitar arrangement/performance of Modest Petrovich MusorgskyÂ’s "Pictures at an Exhibition" on some NPR program and remembered how awesome Yamashita is -- This article does a pretty good job of explaining why. The long George Warren quote in the middle is funny because it's true. Why isn't this classical landmark available on CD?

I kill too much time playing mumbltypeg, escapa and random ones here.

I really should get my latest credit report. I should visit The Consumerist more often too.

Krazy Kat and Winsor McCay cartoons at the Origins of American Animation 1900-1921 site.

The Academy of American Televison Arts & Science's oral-history list.

Watching New York City traffic is rather soothing.

I always find Nina Paley's art appealing, but these cartoons are really spiffy.

Holy shit, Kure Kure Takora!!!

Conan O'Brien vs. Chuck Norris: Conan wins.

More amusing video: Jokaroo, Filecabi.net, Break, Ebaumsworld and Fazed. Also, Compfused, Postcrap.com, OpenDirViewer.com, Slate's Podcast archive and Cakeandpolka.

UBU.com has an amazing archive of classic art films.

Writer blogs: Paul Guyot, James Lincoln Warren, Lee Goldberg and Mark Evanier.

BOSS: Earth's greatest foot pedals
; also, BOSS mods.

Photos: Brian's Page of Antique Weirdness. Gorgeous/funny/scary Happy Palace photoblog. Brian Chippendale gallery.

Audio sites: Vinyl talentshow. The Jean Shepherd and Air America archives. Big roundup. Gorilla vs. Bear. SpaceAudio. Radio spots for smut. WFMU's main blog. The Radio Station All Pets Enjoy ... except for Little Man and the other cats in my house. Still a funny idea, tho.

Bleeping Computer's handy-dandy Startup-program index. And since I use it every three or so weeks, I'm putting a link to "VersaMail crashes or resets Treo 650" here for easy ref.

The 538th step on the last road home.

Your amusing Japanese-media link of the week

One of the few superhero experiences I enjoyed as a child was watching BATTLE OF THE PLANETS early early early Sunday morning; to give an idea of how early in the morning this aired, the only other things on were a televangelist, a test pattern and a local public-affairs/farm report show. I remember thinking how cool it was that the opening shot, of a sunrise in space, was on-screen at the same moment the sun was rising outside, and assuming it was deliberate. I remember seeing G-FORCE, the re-repackaging of the original Japanese series, a few years later and going mildly insane from the relentless backbeat they dubbed into every nook and cranny of the audio track; I started taping the show soon after, and that music cue is one of my favorite things to annoy people with.

I just got the most recent Rhino BoTP release and discovered that it doesn't have the original GATCHAMAN eps like the first six individual discs and boxed set had. I went online to see what the deal is; it seems that the rights to the original anime have been given to ADV Films, who are releasing the entire series in just a handful of sets. I understand a lot of DVD nerds are ready to storm the Bastille if they have to buy, say, THE LORD OF THE RINGS one more time, but I haven't been burned too badly. I know almost nothing about today's hot movies -- the ones that get released on DVD today, with a two-disc set four months later and a three-disc Director's Cut for Xmas, a boxed set with the sequel and another extras disc the following June, etc. -- and I don't buy them. I've gotten more than eight bucks of enjoyment out of the first editions of OFFICE SPACE and THE WILD BUNCH in the two or so years between their release and the fancy-schmancy second Special Editions that I don't feel gyped buying the movie again.

Anyway, ADV's doing just the original japanimation [what a deliciously awful term] and it seems that they're pretty close to releasing the entire 105-episode first season on DVD. I'll be picking it up when it's completed, despite owning the first 24 eps from the Rhino discs. Why? Spiffy new extras on the ADV set plus the Alex Ross interview here won over my heart and mind, and I don't even like Ross or his work. The first part of the interview is really funny -- he's filmed watching an uncut episode for the first time, and he has the same reaction as every Yankee Bluejeans gaijin-nerd over the age of 30 everywhere: "Whoa, holy crap! Mark/Ace just totally slit that dude's throat!" etc. -- although I call bullshit on the idea that he doesn't have a complete set of Gatch/Gatch II/Gatch F bootlegs on tape. There's always at least one guy at San Diego who sells/trades full runs of the series [if you ask right], it's never been a secret that Ross loves BoTP and convention nerds live to kiss Ross' ass. Bullshit, total bullshit. In fact, here's a senryu to break it down:

Ross manhood, turgid
Bootlegs, hotel VCR
Jun cosplayed groupie

Isn't it romantic when you see it in your mind's eye? I would have called the Jun cosplayer a "visual aid" [a groupie for graphic artists] but it's two syllables too long. Also amusing in the Ross interview: the name chryon, done like the FLASH GORDON movie/soundtrack logo [a big Queen fan, I assume] and his story that he had no way of finding out who owned the American rights to the show [which was airing on Saturday mornings as SABAN'S EAGLE RIDERS around the same time], so he did an illustration for WIZARD in the hopes that someone who knew would see his plea and write in with the information. Dude. I have trouble remembering what it was like trying to find information in the days when the Internet wasn't immediately handy.

The 533rd step on the last road home.

Enjoying the happiness

I've been sifting through the video at archive.org, and rediscovered the Rob Pongi video-clips enjoyment; his site seemed to have been down forever, but it's back now. Hooray! I was surprised to discover how much I've missed the personals readings, the ringtone swaying and Miss Emi. I also like the Mozart clip and this funny little kid, and the "Fucking USA" video still disturbs yet rocks. Especially the ringtone swaying; it's more relaxing to watch than tropical fish.

Hey kids, comics!

Over at Sony Pictures' site for THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA, they have a few examples of the "Ranger Business with Ranger Brad" tie-in comic strip, in the site's "Skelectables" section. "Skelectables" is a fun word to say. "Skelectables." "Rower" is fun to say, too.

I get so tired of people writing me into their scripts

This is my first time being written into a funnybook, though:

THE PORTENT is the story of Milo, a man who has absolutely no interest in the world or other people. ... Milo is not like the other 'anti-heroes,' he isn't rotten to the core ... Eventually, he'll come to terms with who he is and what he must do, but by then it is already too late.

Needless to say, I'll sue their asses into jail if the comic isn't as good as my uncredited appearances in other media.

The 526th step on the last road home.

Future Project: "Crazy Eddie & The Cruisers"

I love Crazy Eddie Antar almost as much as I love Tom Carvel, but I kinda doubt Eddie paid R. Crumb for the commercial use of this illustration. Click the jpeg for a great tribute site to the CE spots and Jerry Carroll, who was my favorite TV personality for most of my childhood. I often wondered if he was Crazy Eddie and just referring to himself in the third person [which would be pretty crazy] or if there was an actual Crazy Eddie and Carroll was just rude and didn't bother to introduce himself. But it was pretty clear, even to a child, that something was rotten in Coney Island -- how could any business thrive and expand with prices that were ... innnsaaaaaane? If there was a DVD of all the CE spots, I think I would pay out the ass for a copy.

The 522nd step on the last road home.

The 521st step on the last road home.

Didn't it blow your mind this time? Didn't it?

Great giggly Jesus, just when I thought it was safe to peruse the Tribune Media site for JUMBLE merchandise, my fragile eyeballs and psyche encounter another 300+ page GIL THORPE collection; this time, it's a basketball trade.


The 519th step on the last road home.

Why I'm not getting an Xbox360, ever.

The first consoles are the best consoles. It's true; I can prove it with math.

You + mild nostalgia + [sincerity / irony * your age] + time to kill + original videogame console = better than sequel platforms.

The Atari 2600. The Nintendo Entertainment System. The Playstation. And, as of 11 hours ago, The Microsoft Xbox. These are the platforms -- at least, the first three -- we remember fondly and still play on occasion. Perhaps an isolated dork or two longs for another go on the Sega Genesis or Jaguar, and I suppose we all enjoy playing some of the bosser Nintendo 64 games [GOLDENEYE, EXCITEBIKE, MARIO KART and, uh ...] every once and a while -- but we all like the original plats the best. No one pulls their old SNES or 5200 out to play out of love, only hate.

If any of you out there are thinking about paying an asinine amount of money for a 360, don't. Just don't! In 10 years, it would be at the bottom of your closet -- if not your basement or garage -- collecting dust while you're playing ZELDA on the skeletal remains of your NES.

I really don't if I'll be alive in ten years, but if I am and can still play video games, I have five bucks [2005] that sez I'll still be about quarter-way through GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS [Hot Coffee-edition, not that I'll ever get around to unlocking that creepy game, but I had to have that edition on general principle], spending most of my time in the game bicycling through the ghetto, giggling and crooning "Nigga stole my bike" to Little Man. Sure, the massive scale, vastly improved AI and great leap forward in realism across the board are nice -- I also enjoy spawning and using the jetpack and military helicopter & jet from time to time -- but the true awesomeness of the game is that you can work out on the bike and get stronger and healthier. It's amazing if you think about it. Anyway, it's a pleasure that will not be truly available on Xbox 360 ever, so please don't waste your allowances. I thank you.

The 518th step on the last road home.

Hating Koreans; the next big thing in manga

Articles like this make me wonder how soon it will be before the "early adopter" gaijin [read: yellow-fever dipshits] over here will lean back on their heels and bellow on, to no one in particular, about how comics can never resume being a mass medium until the nationalist/racist genre of sequential art is properly represented in the book trade and direct market.