Easy Pecans, indeed.

What an ugly blog and a terrible idea; whoever this "Dr. Frank 'Easy' Pecans" is, he's clearly an idiot. [NSFW, unless your boss is cool with dirty words written above pictures of beloved childhood icons.]

Seen on the Internets: Know Your Potential Clientele

This probably is how 90% of freshmen at these particular colleges probably spell it, after all:

I did not find what I was looking for in collages, but the Union is strong and the center will hold. Good night America, wherever you are.

Froi the cat vs. his tail vs. a chairback vs. gravity

Truer words were never posted: "The world will end when everyone has posted a cute cat video. Here is my contribution to the apocalypse."

Best Nephew & Sister, Ever

Got a call a little bit ago from the home office; my sister and nephew were taking stuff out of the storage area in my mother's basement in case Hurricane Irene is strong enough to flood it tomorrow. My nephew told me there's a really heavy box that says "Vox" -- am I OK if it stays down there?

I have no idea what box that could be -- I have three-and-a-half plastic bins in storage; I thought it was all stuff that was [or can be, if I ever find the heart to look at it again] salvaged from the '06 flood. At least two of the bins are full of cassettes and records that I keep solely as proof that I once owned a hard copy of all the non-public-domain mp3s I have, but a box marked "Vox" that's too heavy for one person to carry up the stairs? No idea. As senile as I am, I know I didn't buy a replacement AC30 amp only to leave it down there and forget about it.

So, they took a quick picture of the bin and texted it to me:

Holy flaming-blue shitballs, when did I leave my footpedals down there???

Left to right, top to bottom: carrying bag for a first generation Vox wah-wah, my first digital tuner [feh], BOSS DM-3 Delay, "potato bug" Ibanez Tube Screamer, BOSS VB-2 Vibrato, generic on/off switch for my [not pictured] DOD rackmount Spring Reverb, "black label" Japanese-made BOSS PH-2 Super Phaser and the Vox wah. Underneath those are a few hundred cassettes [and maybe some vinyl; no wonder why they couldn't lift it]. Whew!

Should my sentimental attachment and delusions that I've ever be in a band where I could comfortably gig with them fade, I will totally contribute a 15% [re-]finder's fee from the sale proceeds to my nephew's college tuition for his work saving my beloved stompboxes today.

Barbarian at the gate

Doo wants in my room SO BADLY. What's ridiculous is that it's the hottest, most uncomfortable room in the house; if I had any options, I wouldn't be in here. He acts like it's the V.I.P. Lounge.


Photographed as they were seen during my convalescent walk last Sunday.

Buy some books/minicomics/zines and help stick it to cancer.

Dylan Williams is a truly great guy. He's also a very private guy and a very ill guy at the moment. This is why dozens of his friends, admirers and acquaintances are posting notes like this all over the Internet today. This speaks to the measure of the man, and that integrity carries over into the work he's already done at Sparkplug.

You should go to his site right now and fill your sad-looking bookshelves with stuff he publishes/distributes. This ain't no library, and hospitals expect to get paid.

There's a good-sized preview for nearly everything Sparkplug sells, but might I recommend Sir or Madam treat themselves [if they haven't already] to the joys of the following?:

The Victorian horror/thriller anthology ORCHID, which would also make a great early Xmas gift to any comics-curious relative you have.

Chris Cilla's THE HEAVY HAND, Jason Shiga's BOOKHUNTER and/or Rina Ayuyang's WHIRLWIND WONDERLAND, which deserve all the praise they've gotten but would be burning through third printings if this were a just world.

Perhaps you should check to see if you have any holes in your David King, Eric Haven or 1-800 MICE collections?

Trevor Alixopulos' THE HOT BREATH OF WAR might be a good one to give to any dorm-bound freshman, your dropout-PoliSci uncle or you, if you've been denying yourself all this time.

I've not seen it, but I can believe people who say that John Hanckiewicz's ASTHMA collection is a shoo-in to be one of the best books of the year.

I still owe Tim a post about Strats vs. Teles.

How long can you endure this video? I made it to 1:49 before I had to stop, then I clicked to the middle of the clip and saw it only gets worse. I had no idea that a mild douche could be so cheesy.

Apparently, these videos are supposed to sell the guitar being demonstrated, in this case a genuine 1957 "Mary Kaye" Fender Stratocaster. Even when I had too much money to burn, I doubt I would have ever spent any on guitars that have been touched in public by some jerk sporting a soul patch. I'm sure Mr. X is a lovely man and his dog loves him, but, um, this is not a good way to sell anything that sells for the upper five figures to middle six if you can get enough rock stars and Japanese businessmen bidding on it.

Froyo the Kitten Discovers Ice Cream

The accidental Dutch angle to the head shot gives him licking the cream off his chops an entertainingly sinister flavor.

BBQ yesterday

Really, the mint brownies.

Zack & Krista's wedding, Ilse's birthday dinner.

Actually, the mint brownies from the BBQ yesterday, my wedding meal (mozel tov), some of the decor from the dance pavillion and then my b-day dinner -- I gotta figure out how to invest in that steak marinade Abel makes from scratch; it will be like printing money) and a dessert of grilled organic peaches on vanilla ice cream. A very full, funny, fine day.

Late Night Soundtrack: The Replacements' "When It Began" and "Anywhere is Better Than Here"

This, now and probably for a long time to come:


That there was a music video for this song, much less a claymation one, blows half of my fucking mind. It would have blown it all if the video was actually good, although it is endearing to see the band caper about like they actually liked each other at the time:

Someday, when cirrhosis has taken the last of the "Paul Westerberg started sucking the instant he sobered up and started actually trying to be good" Mats cultists, DON'T TELL A SOUL and ALL SHOOK DOWN will finally get their due.

Richard Thompson agrees with Pat Metheny, at least regarding Kenny G.

Although I would be OK with throwing Mr. M in the river with Mr. G:

I'd like to think, no matter who ... or ... what you are, if Richard Thompson writes a song about you, then you would pull a full-stop and reconsider every examinable moment of your life and the choices you made up to that point.

A $30 lemonade.

ZASO's bachelor-party dinner at Uchu's Sushi & Fried Chicken (only in Portland).

Still too easily gassed for blogging

Meanwhile, the Cookie Monster croons Tom Waits' "God's Away On Business." If this YouTuber syncs up CM to any track on BONE MACHINE I will be poop-slinging ecstatic. There's no Muppet who sounds like Keith Richards, is there? Perhaps Grover can serve in a pinch [I typed "punch" first] for "That Feel."

dinner for a wedding-prep craft night

Veggie pizza from Signal Station, five bucks of pastries from Santa Cruz. Yesterday.

This is not the BBQ-chicken pizza we ordered from Pizzicato

Dunno what the non-basic-cheese side was, but it was still pizza, BEDAZZLED was still watched and interesting conversations were still had yesterday.

Old Comics Wednesday: Frank Robbins Draws The Best Red Skull Ever

Click images for larger scans.

Panels from INVADERS #6: How can you not love Frank Robbins' depiction of The Red Skull, even under the [only slightly rushed-looking, for a change] brush of Vince Colletta?

Just look at him. Do you care about how well you do your job as much as the Skull clearly cares about his? No.

[Insert semi-trite FOX News/Glenn Beck/Tea Party joke here.]

Post-therapy session sign

Surrrrrrrre, that's what they WANt you to think is in there.


I don't know which one baffled and nauseated me more. Yesterday.

Curb art

I love what appears to be a roll-down window. Yesterday, on my way back from testing at the hospital.

Monday Afternoon Soul: The Meters' "It Ain't No Use," live On The Queen Mary

It doesn't matter who you are nor when you hear the above music, you will not hear anything funkier, tighter or more soulful this month. In a better world, DJs would spin this track at least once a night and be showered with tips accordingly.

I still can't decide what's most amazing: that Earth's greatest live album sat on a shelf for 17 years before being released, or that a show this awesome was performed for Paul McCartney's birthday party. I actually got my copy of this CD as a gift/accident when I placed one of my first mail orders to Rhino Records in 1991 or 1992. The first couple of listens opened a door into an entirely universe; it's harder to explain to people who weren't there what it was like to be a kid who had to make the best of the least-objectionable and fringe offerings that pop radio, MTV, underfunded A/V libraries, guitar magazines and a handful of sloppy local non-cover bands could offer in those pre-MP3 days. I wish I still had that Rhino order's invoice; disc for disc, it was probably the best cultural investment I've ever made.

Walking back from the bus home

Better to get off before the"village limits" rather than the stop heading toward the industrial areas. I like this color combos on this jalopy.

Tempting fate at lunch-special prices

I don't know why I'm compelled to eat spicy, greasy food after I get my heart checked; the bad idea du jour was the egg-drop soup & spicy fried eggplant at the Hunan place on NW 23rd. It was ... feh. I would never question what province the cook came from, but I would question the ancestry of a few pieces of that "eggplant."

Oh, and they still don't know what's wrong with my heart/chest, so we're leading off with the easy one (severe anxiety) and running more tests this week.

Fish burrito from Santa Cruz

I was staggering through in the neighborhood for the first time in a fortnight and thought, a five-dollar hot meal trumps an already-paid-for salad dinner. Priorities change the more you wheeze.

Little Man abides.

He just got back from the vet with his semi-seasonal clutch of
antibiotics, steriods and a metric ton of vet-staff fawning, and is
reportedly doing better already. T-18 hours until I see my vet about
whatever's going wrong in my chest and/or head.

Dead Man's Admiration Society: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore

Peter Cook (November 17, 1937-January 9, 1995) & Dudley Moore (April 19, 1935-March 27, 2002) were Earth's greatest comedy team. They are dead now, and it's interesting how their corpses have been processed:

Cook's ashes are buried .... somewhere .... behind St. John's Church in Hampstead, the bohemian part of London that Cook called home for most of his adult life.

Moore's remains are parked under a stately although rather flashy stone at Hillside Cemetery in Scotch Plains, NJ. Dudley Moore was buried in New Jersey? Yes, Dudley Moore was buried in New Jersey.

What does it all mean? Probably nothing, but I've had these photos on my hard drive for years and decided the day before my doctor's appointment for whatever's wrong with my heart is as good a day as any to post some cemetery photos.

When Giants Collide, Sometimes Results Don't Completely Rock.

This is why I need to get back to work on my time machine; the idea of Tom Jones & David Gilmour burning on a cover of Prince's "Purple Rain" is too awesome for this somewhat underrehearsed-sounding 1992 effort to match -- but coupling those men for a performance of the song 10-15 years earlier? Forget about it.

Old Comics Wednesday: When Nazis Insult

I'm still down with heart/breathing problems, but I had these clipped panels ready, so what the hell. From SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #90's heart, I stab at thee:

Click image for larger scan.

This week's amusements come from an issue of the long-running series' first year of living death; one of the stranger, less examined aspects of Marvel's 1970s publishing history is the company's practice of continuing a number of poorly selling series in reprints. The best-known example is UNCANNY X-MEN #67-93, but SGT. FURY [apparently a slightly better sales performer, if these 1969 numbers from Publishers' Statements of Ownership are to be believed, than X-MEN and even THE AVENGERS] did it one better with a publishing strategy that probably was conceived in a methadone clinic: Beginning with issue #80, SGT. FURY featured sorta-sequential reprints in every-other issue ... except for seasons when they published two or three new comics in a row for no discernable reason.

After publishing five new stories in a row, SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS was canceled for six months before being brought back as one of Marvel's mid-'70s reprint titles. It ended for good 48 bi-monthly issues later in 1981, crushing the hopes and dreams of all comics nerds who yearn for cultural diversity and the phrase "Ratzis" in their corporate funnybooks.

Click image for larger, unblurry scan.

"And One Must Die," by letterer-briefly-turned-writer Al Kurzrok and the art team of Dick Ayers and Syd Shores, illustrates what happens when you borrow from THE DEFIANT ONES without noting that it doesn't really make sense transposed to WWII, even if you have a witty black guy like Gabe Jones on one end of the chain. Also, titling it "And One Must Die" telegraphs the ending even harder than the usual Howlers story. Entertainingly rude racism aside, the issue is pretty rote stuff until this grabs one's attention with both hands:

Click image for larger scan.

Wait .... "BLACK BOY" is the most insulting comment of all? I'm no expert, but that copy doesn't quite look like it was the original lettering for that balloon.

Also: The scripter of this story, who is also lettering it, intentionally wrote the let-me-describe-what-I'm-doing-in-this-panel dialogue in the second panel above? In 1971?

Click image for larger scan.

Well, OK, that "BLACK BOY" does look like it was lettered with the rest of that copy, although there's some unfortunate copy placement in several of these balloons. It's shocking to see such sloppy work in an underperforming '70s Marvel comic book. Shocking. I do rather enjoy seeing Gabe backhand the doomed Ratzi halfway to Krigsteinlund in the last panel.

Click image for larger scan.

OK, maybe this was the panel that got me clipping out the rest of this bunch for a blog post. NO MAN CAN SAY.