Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Betty Boop & Hooters

I suppose it was only a matter of time, but when I saw this link over at Mark Evanier's site I had to bring it to your attention.

Click on the headline above and you'll find an article about Betty Boop being licensed by the Hooters chain of restaurants. The Booper's image will be available on pins which can be purchased at the restaurant. According to the article there are folks collecting Hooter's pins and other merchandise, although I doubt there are many married men among them.

I am perfectly honest when I say that I have never eaten at a Hooters. It's one of those places I'd never go to on my own, as I'd feel like a dirty old man and wouldn't know where to look once the waitress came over anyway. Donna and I sometimes talk about going, but I said I'd feel more comfortable going with another couple. Call me old fashion!

My late mother absolutely loved Betty and I have to wonder what she would have thought. Although, she did have a wonderful sense of humor and probably would have loved the idea. Mom was not judgemental!

I'll take a moment to confess that I've always had a 'thing' for Betty Boop, which probably goes back to seeing a Tijuana Bible featuring her back when I a teenager. Best not to dwell on that either.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Jack Kirby Museum online

I had the opportunity to see the late Jack Kirby several times at various comic conventions. He was, in fact, a guest back on one of the very first cons I ever attended (either the 1974 or '75 San Diego Comicon). I worked up the nerve to speak to him and get an autograph only that once, and babbled some nonesense. Still Mr. Kirby couldn't have been nicer and actually thanked me for whatever inane praise I gave him. He truly was a nice man!

The Jack Kirby Museum is long overdue and I hope that it will serve to bring a much needed examination of the man's work. He and the characters he created & co-created continue to be money makers for people with barely a percentage of his talent (and in some cases, no talent whatsoever).

I just wanted to bring this site to your attention, for which I have to thank Mark Evanier for placing the link over on his site. I can't wait for Mark's bio of Kirby and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

The King truly does live on!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Too close for comfort

The Red Sox were fortunate to win last evening, allowing them to retain a two and a half game lead on the Damned Yankees. Personally, I have a bad feeling about this, especially with Curt Shilling not really pitching up to his old standards. Perhaps he should return to the bullpen where he appeared to be doing quite well. He could still surprise us and I certainly have my fingers crossed.

Dwight Gooden turned himself in after a few days, so now of course everybody is going with the 'this is his first step to turning his life around' line that they always use in these cases. Didn't Dwight leap across that "first step" a while ago? Wouldn't he really be better off doing some prison time rather than another stay in rehab? Face it, would any of us non-celebs get more than one chance?

Guess it's my day to kick folks while they're down, huh?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Dwight's flight and Frank Robinson speaks out

Looks like former NY Met & Yankee pitcher Dwight Gooden has once again gotten himself in trouble with the law. Stopped by the police while apparently driving under the influence Gooden took off and has yet (as far as I know at this point) to be located. He may face some actual jail time, both for this incident and for still being on probation for an earlier problem. It’s a shame since Gooden was a one time headed for solid career but sadly, he and former team mate Darryl Strawberry just couldn’t seem to keep their respective acts together.

Meanwhile, Frank Robinson, one of baseballs most respective former players (and current manager of the Washington Nationals) seems to be getting blasted for comments he made about other players. Hell, some sports radio hosts are saying harsher things about Robinson then they did about Rafael Palmeiro. Robinson has stated his opinion that Palmeiro’s statistics should be erased because the Baltimore Orioles player was suspended for a failed drug test.

Just a few overheard comments: “Let the history books decide this!” “If you do that where will it stop…Do you delete the records of those players who used to take uppers while playing? Those weren’t illegal back then!”

It strikes me that some of the broadcasters are over-reacting because Palmeiro and others pulled the wool over their eyes. Also, many of them will make the comment that “the FANS don’t care about all this! They just want to see players hitting home runs and don’t care how they do it!” Hmmm…guess it’s the fan’s fault and the poor players were forced to shoot up or drop various substances to keep ‘us’ happy. They would NEVER have done it unless ‘we’ pushed them into it. “Fans killed sports! You bastards!!”

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

DAWN OF WAR: yet another book review

DAWN OF WAR by C.S. Goto is another in the Black Library series of book based on the Warhammer 40,000 (WH 4-K) role playing game. It’s also much more what I had initially expected when I began reading the WH-4K series, after reading several of the graphic novels. This book deals with the adventures of a company of Space Marines in conflict with orcs, heretics against the Emperor and aliens. The story has lots of bloodshed and double-crosses by one group against the other throughout.

Brother-Captain Gabriel Angelos leads his fellow Blood Ravens into battle, as he has done so for decades. You have to remember that the Space Marines have been physically augmented and live quite a long time in service to the Emperor. In the WH- 4-K universe the Emperor also has set on his throne for thousands of years, undying yet not truly alive. He is kept alive by a combination of technology and magic. As he has been around for so long, and in complete control of millions of planets and their inhabitants, the Emperor has more than his share of enemies human and otherwise. It is the task of the Space Marines, to act as the front line combatants in these conflicts.

Gabriel is one of the most famous, if not infamous, members of his order (as the Space marines are similar to the Knights Templar in being both military & religious in nature) having actually committed genocide on his home planet when he found them to be tainted by heretical blood. His current mission is to battle what seems at first to be an orc invasion of the planet Tartarus, which unknown to him was once the scene of an inter-dimensional battle thousands of years previously. It now seems that those same combatants have returned and are gearing up for a new fight.

This book also brings in the Eldar, a race which predates human kind and is now dying off. They remind me of the elves in Tolkien, at least as they are portrayed here. While they have their own agenda and have no great liking for mankind they are trying to do the ‘right thing’ at least as they perceive things. Sadly, the good Captain sees things differently, which appears to set up the possibility of a sequel to this book at a later date.

Goto, obviously a pen name, does a nice job with all the characters, human and otherwise. The scenes with the orcs are fun since the really do exist only to fight. “War for war’s sake,” is their motto, or rather WAAAUGH!!!!!! Ya gotta love it!

Getting too close: Baseball & the Fall Season

The Red Sox have to stop doing this to me! My old heart can't take it any more.

Boston is known for blowing it this time of year and can't keep hoping that other teams will somehow beat the Damned Yankees to keep the Sox in first place in the AL East. Randy Johnson kept Tampa Bay scoreless and it was only thank to the Yank bullpen that this wasn't another victory for New York. The Yanks are back at four and a half games back and three + back in the Wild Card race. Still I need Boston to keep winning on the road to ensure a repeat of last year.

I'm always interested in seeing which new shows the networks will launch in the Fall season (still their major push, even though they are more willing to put in new shows in the summer and pull some reruns). If I remember I'm going to make some predictions here on what I feel is doomed from the first broadcast.

I do think a safe bet is the new Geena Davis show, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, with the actress portrays the vice-President of the U.S. who must take the top spot with the President dies. This is ABC's version of THE WEST WING I guess, since Ms. Davis and other associated with the show are not your big GOP supporters. I like Davis, but not sure if this will have staying power.

Than again, who would have thought that Dennis Hopper would ever be on network prime-time, as a Pentagon general no less? I'll give E-RING a look see, just to see Hopper chewing some scenery.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Just a bit of baseball

The Red Sox got saved by torrential rain last night. Kept their winning streak alive and sent them on the road for a week or more. Since the Sox were losing (or at least in a tough spot) before the initial rain-delay they only slipped a half game in their lead over the Damned Yankees. New York had the bad grace to win last night so they are currently 4 and a half back in the AL East.

Boston, if they maintain their lead and the team remains healthy, have a pretty good chance of repeating last year's trip to the World Series. Fingers & toes crossed on this!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Talking a little baseball

Well, the Red Sox had the night off last night, so it gave the Damned Yankees a chance to pull up a game in the standings. They are still five games back of Boston in the AL East and at least three games back in the Wild Card race. Of course, being the team they are it would not be a surprise to see them inch a bit closer the last month. Many fans and the sports show hosts are conceding the season (except here in the city, naturally)and I'm more than happy to join that side, as you can imagine. Still stranger things have happened (Witness the World Series last season!).

The Mets fans and the team itself had a few scary moments yesterday when right fielder Mike Cameron was taken off the field on a stretcher following head-to-head collision with center fielder Carlos Beltran in the seventh inning. Caught the thing repeatedly on the news last evening, with most of the New York stations leading with it in the opening then showing it again early in the broadcast, followed by another repeat in the sports highlights section of the program. Both Cameron & Beltran could have been more seriously injured so they are lucky indeed. This is why the players generally will wave off one another. Trained professionals, indeed!

Friday, August 05, 2005


Dean Koontz’s FRANKENSTEIN Book One: Prodigal Son - Prolific horror & suspense author Dean Koontz was originally approached to write the pilot and additional episodes of a mini-series for the USA Network. Martin Scorsese became interested in the concept and came aboard as Executive Producer. Sadly, the network wanted changes made to the show as conceived, causing both Koontz and then Scorsese to walk away from the project.

Koontz has decided to reshape the work into a trilogy, working with several other authors to bring his original concept out in prose form. This first book is co-written with Kevin J. Anderson, himself a science fiction writer (I’ve previously read an X-FILES novel by him, GROUND ZERO which I liked quite a bit.).

In this series neither Victor Frankenstein nor his creation met their doom as Mary Shelly wrote in her novel. It seems that the author took some fictional liberties with the true story as told to her by others. Following his initial murder spree and final battle with his maker the ‘monster’ roamed the world for decades finally finding peace in an Asian monastery. His creator also survived having found ways to extend his own life. Now Frankenstein, over two hundred years old but looking like a man in his forties, has taken up residence in New Orleans. Under the name Victor Helios he has begun producing dozens of beings with whom he plans on recreating the world in his image. Over the past decades Helios/Frankenstein has placed his creations in every institution which might be of value to his plans, or which might stand in his way. He has even created duplicates of some individuals killing the original and replacing them. As his first creation (who calls himself Deucalion, the son of Prometheus in Greek mythology) states Victor is now the monster, while he has become more human.

Anderson does a good job of bringing believability to Koontz’s characters. The only problem I had was that Anderson tries to be a bit too cute sometimes, throwing in cultural references in some inappropriate places. I don’t mind so much the human characters doing this, but you have to wonder why Victor’s creations would use them, since they are essentially ‘born’ educated and programmed by Frankenstein who holds such a distain for the culture of the Old Race as he calls those born of woman.

In the first book, some of the New Race have begun to question their programming and gone against the wishes of their creator. These improperly wired beings have drawn the attention of New Orleans detectives Carson O’Connor and her partner Michael Maddison. Their hunt for a serial killer (actually more than one they discover) and the discovery of Frankenstein’s plans are what drive the first book. The second, co-written by mystery & western writer Ed Gorman, will take up where this leaves off. I don’t know where Koontz will finally bring all this but I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the next few weeks.

Having reread Mary Shelly’s original work a few months ago, I was interested to see what other contemporary writers were doing with the characters. I’ve noted a couple of other books on the shelves also using one version of the monster or another. There’s just something about the idea of the creature which fascinates me and apparently lots of others.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Suspension of Rafael Palmeiro

The suspension of Rafael Palmeiro and his admission (half-hearted and after the fact) that he used steroids brings this controversy back to the surface. Major League Baseball had hoped that they had heard the last of this, with the ending of the Congressional hearings (much ado about nothing).

It also brings Baltimore back into the limelight, but not in the way they would have liked. They have fallen from their early lead in the Eastern division and will probably not even make a wild card berth. The sports-talk shows are all hitting on Raffy, questioning whether Baltimore should go ahead with the celebration of his 3,000 hits and if the once sure thing Hall of Famer will sit out the rest of what may be his last season.

It's a shame, but as with many other sports figures he might have been better off keeping his mouth shut. Being Mr. Self-righteous on Capital Hill wasn't a thing he thought would come back to haunt him, obviously.

On a lighter note, the Boston Red Sox continue to be in the lead of the American League Eastern division and the Damned Yankees lost again last night.

There is light at the end of the tunnel!