Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fred Hembeck invades DC

Still more Fred Hembeck DC Universe comic strips:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

English conundrums

(From a forwarded email making the rounds:)


You Think English is Easy???
Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present .
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row .
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
21) Drive on the parkway and park on the driveway ?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP. We could go on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP, so... Time to shut UP!

Empire Dreams

I watched EMPIRE DREAMS, the documentary on the making of Star Wars, or how it almost didn’t get made, on The History Channel the other night. While this doesn’t make it automatic solid history per se as that channel is also notorious for playing shows on UFOs, Area 51, the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis, and the Loch Ness Monster, nevertheless, it does lend more historical credence to the social phenomenon that was Star Wars.

Funny thing is: I know dozens of students at school, here and back down in Washington, who have never seen it and don’t even want to. So as the beginning of the program talks about it being “tough” to remember a time before Star Wars,” it’s tough for me to understand kids who don’t want to know about it at all.

Is this the lack of imagination between my generation and theirs?

Star Wars got me dreaming. It was, hands down, Star Wars that gave me a love of science fiction and simple, plain ol’ fiction. I liked stories.

Because of Star Wars, I read other books, comic books, saw other science fiction movies and shows. I even wrote some Star Wars stories and play acted with the characters among my friends. Between Empire and Jedi, we constantly tried to come up with ways to free Han Solo from the carbonite. Those figures gave us hours of new scenarios. And I branched out from there. And play acting? Do you fathom how important a skill it is to be able to play act?

Star Wars sparked my imagination. Maybe that would be a decent class to have in English. I could structure a complete English lesson around it.



I know I have mentioned this before, but the hours and hours that I spent as a kid playing Burgertime on my Intellivision was time well spent.

From the Intellivision channel on YouTube:

Another blurb

Fantastic. I was reading an advance copy of Illusive Arts' and Fanboy Planet's Tony Loco #2 by Teague and McCaw and guess what? My review blurb from a review of issue #1 is featured on the back cover of the comic.

Tell me that's not cool...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Berzerk part 2

I especially love the graph that includes the "different" games available.


BERZERK had to be one of my favorite video games as a kid. Something about it. You are trying to escape while robots chase you down. Your imagination goes with this stuff. I swear, these old games, probably because of their limited picture enhancements, made you imagine a greater world in the game. You had to actually picture yourself as the main guy. The robots, or whatever came to get you, had to seem frightening in your mind. The imagination leapt forward, as if filling in the gaps that some of these games left behind in the details. The game seen now seems so utterly simplistic, like a kid's programming effort. However, it was one of the biggest games of its day.

Here, for posterity's sake, is the BERZERK game manual. Check out the cool pictures. Probably another thing that got me into comic books as a kid.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Help Wanted: Stapler Repair

At the Science Academy, if a child wants a special job, they have to fill out an application. I applaud this for its real world significance. Morgan had to fill this one out on fixing the stapler:

She says, "I have been fixing staplers since I was five years old." Classic.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I self-analyzed my handwriting at Handwriting University. Quite informative. Here are the results:

******* The Analysis Starts Here *******

For a graphologist, the spacing on the page reflects the writer's attitude toward their own world and relationship to things in his or her own space. If the inputted data was correct Matthew has left lots of white space on the all four borders of the paper. Matthew fills up just the center area of the page. If this is true, then Matthew has a particular shyness toward people and a fear of moving too fast in any direction. In some cultures, respecting people, rules, and adhering to protocol are ways of life. The right side of the page represents the future and the left side represents the past. Matthew seems a bit stuck in the middle, afraid to take action. Matthew seems to have a fear of looking bad or of crossing boundries. It will be easy to work with Matthew on a team, because Matthew will usually follow the rules. However, this desire to respect the boundries can often be construed as a lack of confidence and people will walk over Matthew if he is not careful.

Matthew has a healthy imagination and displays a fair amount of trust. He lets new people into his circle of friends. He uses his imagination to understand new ideas, things, and people.
Matthew is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect his ego when he feels hurt. He pokes people harder than he gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time.

Matthew is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. He needs to visualize the end of a project before he starts. he finds joy in anticipation and planning. Notice that I said he plans everything he is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. Matthew basically feels good about himself. He has a positive self-esteem which contributes to his success. He feels he has the ability to achieve anything he sets his mind to. However, he sets his goals using practicality-- not too "out of reach". He has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation, yet, he will not take great risks, as they relate to his goals. A good esteem is one key to a happy life. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence catagery, his self-perception is better than average.

In reference to Matthew's mental abilities, he has a very investigating and creating mind. He investigates projects rapidly because he is curious about many things. He gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but he soon must slow down and look at all the angles. He probably gets too many things going at once. When Matthew slows down, then he becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, he must slow down to do it. He then decides what projects he has time to finish. Thus he finishes at a slower pace than when he started the project. He has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. His mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. He can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. Matthew can then switch into his low gear. When he is in the slower mode, he can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. He is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

Matthew is not facing something going on in his life today. He is deceiving himself about it. Often, Matthew's opinion of himself is different than those around him. This trait gives Matthew the ability to deny anything that does not agree with his "truth." This trait is not always something negative. It is only a defense mechanism allowing Matthew not to face some reality in his life at this time.

Matthew is moderately outgoing. His emotions are stirred by sympathy and heart rendering stories. In fact, he can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. He has the ability to put himself into the other person's shoes. Matthew will be somewhat moody, with highs and lows. Sometimes he will be happy, the next day he might be sad. He has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because he is in between. Psychology calls Matthew an ambivert. He understands the needs of both types. Although they get along, he will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." He doesn't sway too far one way or the other. When convincing him to buy a product or an idea, a heart rendering story could mean a great deal to him. He puts himself in the same situation as the person in the story, yet he will not buy anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. Matthew is an expressive person. He outwardly shows his emotions. He may even show traces of tears when hearing a sad story. Matthew is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. He weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, and then will decide when he finally has to. He basically doesn't relate to any far out ideas and usually won't go to the extreme on any issue.

People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, Matthew doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.

Somebody please tell me...

Eddie Murphy's Norbit. Martin lawrence's Big Momma. Tyler Perry's Medea.
Will somebody please please tell me why it is so funny to dress up actors in fat woman suits? Please?

Friday, February 16, 2007

King Crabs

Cyril came up last night with three huge king crabs to share. He has his crabpot right out on the ice on the Bering Sea. He brought them to us still alive and kicking. He showed me how to clean them and Madison and I feasted on crab meat. Amy gets heartburn from too much seafood and Morgan doesn't like it. Being native, Cyril doesn't have to pay for the crabpot permit. If I got one, it would be pricey. So he shares with all of us in the apartment. There was a ton of meat after we cooked them. In fact, I didn't have anything but crab for dinner. Great stuff!

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Seven Wonders of Illinois

The Illinois Bureau of Tourism is taking votes on the Seven Wonders of Illinois on the website I am interested in this as the place of my birth and what everyone else thinks of Illinois.

I was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, at Little Company of Mary Hospital. There's a bit of trivia for you. My mom grew up in Worth. We lived in Bolingbrook or that area through my eighth grade year and then we moved out to Somonauk. I spent a lot of time in that area and the western suburbs. I have been through most major cities, only once down to Springfiled on an expedition with Hal and Britt to get a video game. I went all the way down to Southern Illinois University once, where I got my tattoo. I graduated from Western Illinois University out in Macomb. My first year I went to Northern Illinois University. My sister graduated from Eastern Illinois University, so I have been most every place.

I am interested in the rest of the state so I will be keeping a close eye on this.


Drop what you're doing right now and help me out:

Go to right now and sign up for a free, absolutely free account for free books and free graphic novels.

Reference my email address:

If just ten people do this, I get an iPod Shuffle.



Sunday, February 11, 2007

Atari manual, part three

Atari manual, part two

Atari manual, part one

In all its glory, I have scanned in one of the old Atari manuals for posterity's sake.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Superman prank

One of the funniest things I did to Morgan:
When she was still learning to read, about 5 years old, I took out this copy of Superman, a public service announcement about the land mines in Bosnia. It was an outreach program to stop kids from picking up discarded landmines.
As she started to read, she got as far as "Superman." The comic was written for Bosnian children, in their European language with their alphabet system. She couldn't figure out why the letters looked so strange. She thought she was going crazy because she was a pretty good reader at that point.
I eventually let her in on the joke. I'm mean, aren't I?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Equipment coming in on the plane

CGI, the local cable company, tonight was having a bit of difficulty.

Surprisingly, this did not affect any of the other channels.

More proof that TNT has programming unlike everybody else...

(Ba-dump BUMP!)

More Reindeer

I asked at work what the difference between caribou and reindeer was. I was told, jokingly, that caribou have two ears and reindeer have one ear. That means if you shoot an animal, and see it has a reindeer tag on it, you lop off the ear and they can't prove it was part of the reindeer herd. Caribou are mostly wild and reindeer are part of a moving herd that they have pretty much domesticated, like the lower 48's equivalent of when "the cows come home."

New Reindeer

The reindeer herd was right off the main road yesterday.